Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: December 2019

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

My Favorite Recipes of 2019

I decided to do my favorites of 2019 a bit differently this year and choose just 1 recipe from each month as my favorite and boy was that a struggle some months!!  I didn't blog as much as I'd hoped in 2019, so here's to 2020! Cheers!

January

Can I tell you a secret?  I still make this on a daily basis!  It is my go to mid-afternoon caffeine hit!


February

These pot stickers with homemade wrappers were ridiculously time consuming, but the deliciousness increased because of the time spent on them (definitely).  I haven't remade these yet, but I still dream of them from time to time!



March

The BEST!  I think this may be a yearly treat for Hubs' birthday!  There is seriously nothing wrong with this recipe and everything right.  All of my favorite rolled into one freakishly rich dessert!



April

Another time consuming favorite that is worth every minute!  Store bought tortellini have nothing on these!



May

Hello Star Wars Fans everywhere!  This recipe is super easy and super festive!


June

Can I love this recipe for both it's simplicity and complexity?  This was my second attempt at sourdough and I love the challenge.  On the flip side, there's nothing better than a simple avocado toast with a little everything bagel mix sprinkled on top!



July

I love this ice cream!  It is inspired by an ice cream I tasted whilst on vacation last summer, coined "The Exhausted Parent".  Enough said.  This is a new favorite.



August

Star Wars inspired, yet simple and tasty enough to be enjoyed by all!  This is another remake, inspired by a non-Star Wars drink I had at a wedding!



September

Oh. Em. Gee.  Do you love biscuits & gravy?  This recipe is here to blow your mind, because it is even better!  This is your new favorite way to eat biscuits & gravy!



October

I make a lot of cookies in my house.  Enough to the point that my kids just assume that cookies will be there and will be delicious.  These cookies had them begging for more (literally begging!) . I made them three times in October & November!



November

Can a muffin be a cupcake?  Or a cupcake be a muffin?  Maybe a dessert muffin?  Whatever these are, they are fantastic and a must for fall!



December

This was a last minute recipe that turned out to be a total winner!  A savory version of cinnamon rolls, it's the perfect Christmas appetizer.



Honorable Mentions

You didn't really think I could only pick one a month, did you?


Another copy recipe, this one inspired by our vacation to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida.  Need I say more?  It's Harry Potter themed comfort food!




Are literally all of my favorites inspired by something else?  I had a version of this drink at a local bar and perfected it at home!  A keeper to say the least.  Plus dragon goblets!


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Twisted Parmesan Christmas Tree Rolls



This month’s Food ‘n Flix was a challenge.  Like, a huge challenge!

Instead of a specific movie, participants were tasked with created a recipe based on their favorite Christmas movie.  Ok, what’s that?  I’m supposed to choose a favorite?  Impossible!

My favorites include: Christmas Vacation, Elf, The Santa Clause, Rudolf, Charlie Brown, Mickey Christmas Carol, Bells of Fraggle Rock, Home Alone, and Muppet Family Christmas.

How can I possibly choose?  They are all on the must watch list every Christmas season!

Since I couldn’t choose one, I decided to share a recipe for Twisted Parmesan Christmas Tree Rolls.  I figure it can fit in with all of my favorites: Christmas Vacation (Clark brings home a giant tree with the classic line, “bend over and I’ll show you”), Elf (Buddy cuts down a tree in the park), The Santa Clause (Christmas trees galore), Rudolf (Silver and gold decorations on every Christmas tree), Charlie Brown (the classic “Charlie Brown tree”), Mickey Christmas Carol  (Christmas trees in many scenes), Fraggle Rock Bells of Fraggle Rock (Uncle Traveling Matt hides under the Christmas tree as he investigates “the silly people”), Home Alone (Kevin decorates a Christmas tree), and Muppet Family Christmas (not critical to the plot, but there is a tree, could totally see these rolls being made by the Swedish Chef).

This recipe was a last minute creation.

Last week, the boys had a Christmas party at their piano studio.  I belatedly (that day at noon) remembered that I had volunteered to bring a snack or treat to the party.  I had also just been informed that both boys would be going directly to a second party for boy scouts.

Since I’ve been baking for weeks, I almost just made up a cookie tray, but then I realized that by going from one party to the next, I wouldn’t have time to get the kids dinner (yikes!)

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Mandalorian Gingerbread Men with Baby Yoda Sweaters


It’s time for this month’s Fantastical Food Fight, hosted by Sarah at a Fantastical Sharing of Recipes.

This month’s theme is cookies!!  Such a great theme for Christmas!

I have made and shared dozens of different recipes for Christmas cookies over the years.  I have so many favorites and I was really struggling with what to make that was new this year.

So I decided to a Christmas favorite, gingerbread, and come up with a creative way to decorate them instead.

Since I am a HUGE fan of the new Mandalorian show, so Spud and I thought to only natural to dig out our Boba Fett cookie cutter (yes, I have one, doesn’t everyone?), and use that as the mandalorian (close enough!)  And since it’s not gingerbread men without ugly sweaters, Mando here is sporting a sweater featuring the crowd favorite: Baby Yoda!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Hummus and Veggie Santa



A couple weeks ago I had my staff Christmas party!  It was a bring an appetizer of dessert to share type of affair.  I very nearly brought some Christmas cookies, but I didn’t quite get them decorated in time.  Plus, I had just seen a super adorable veggie Santa idea and decided to make that instead!

My kids and Hubs loved it.  Amongst the vast array of appetizers, it was largely overlooked at the party.  I would definitely make sure people know that there’s hummus under there if you decide to bring this to a party.  I think people saw all of the cauliflower and went “meh”.  Ah well, I’m glad my family enjoyed it!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Cinnamon-Chai Butter Cookies

 Disclosure: I received spices to sample from Book Blends.  All opinions are my own.




Today’s post has a dual purpose.  Fantastic cookies and a great gift idea!

Let’s talk spices first.

Book Blends (and Song and TV Blends) are unique spice blends inspired by popular books, songs, and TV series!  This was right up this librarian’s alley, especially since I’ve read many (and know of the rest) of the books referenced in these spices!

I also loved the TV Blends (though I seen fewer shows and mostly just heard of them) and I adored the oldie song choices – all of which I love!



I was able to choose a couple spices to sample, but I absolutely could not narrow it down, so I chose my samplers and ordered a 12-pack to give as gifts so I could have all of my favorites (well, have them in my house at least, I won’t sample the gifts! Haha!)

For today’s recipe, I decided to combine Of Spice and Men (cinnamon) and Chai a Little Tenderness (chai blend) and breathe a little new life into  a Christmas favorite: butter cookies!

I was first introduced to butter cookies the first time I visited Hub’s family over Christmas.  His grandma was making butter cookies and they were completely new to me!  I decided to try my hand at them the next year, with the addition of rosemary and sea salt (and they were sooo good!!) 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Lebkuchenherzen (German Cookies)



Woah, did time ever get away from me!  That’s December for you, isn’t it?

You guys – I have so many fantastic recipes to share with you!  I started off with good intentions!  Then there was crazy weather Thanksgiving weekend, so we hunkered down and decorated for Christmas.

Then we were just getting back in the swing of things and Hubs came down with not-the-flu.  Not-the-flu is identical to influenza (high fever, body aches, sleeping all day, etc) but with a negative flu test.  Poor guy, he was super sick (feeling much better now, thankfully), but I was thrown into a super busy week, being both parents, cooking, cleaning, carting the kids everywhere, and obsessively bleaching the house to keep anyone else from getting the crud (and we’re all blessedly healthy, thank you Jesus!)  Needless to say, I was exhausted at the end of each day and had no brain power left for blogging.

So here we are at this month’s installment of the Eat the World recipe challenge hosted by Evelyn at CuturEatz.  Usually, a country is assigned each month and we choose a recipe from that country to stretch our culinary skills.  But this time, (like Halloween once before), it was flipped and participants were tasked with creating a Christmas recipe from their country of choice.

I almost went with Norwegian Lefse, since I just taught myself how to make that (look for a recipe sometime in the future), but decided I wanted to make something that represented my family history instead.

I’ve highlighted Ukraine a couple of times on the blog, because though I am about 75% German ancestry, the baking grandma is “German from Russia” (most likely modern-day Ukraine, due to similarities between grandma’s Easter Bread recipe and Easter breads around Europe).

I grew up with recipes that would definitely qualify as “American”.  Baking grandma reminisces that her parents (and their friends) spoke German, but never taught my grandma or her sisters.  My great-grandparents wanted their daughters to be American, so the language and (presumably) many traditions were not passed down.

However, as a nod to my German heritage, I decided to make the Christmas classic: gingerbread!  I’ve read many historical-fiction novels that mention Lebkuchen, likening it to gingerbread.

So I began my research, and as often is the case, there are a million variants to lebkuchen.  Here’s what I learned…

Lebkuchen is a big deal in many parts of Germany and recipes are often closely guarded secrets.

While I’ve always thought of gingerbread as a Christmas cookie, in Germany, Lebkuchen is a “special occasion” cookie (holidays) because of the extensive number of spices some recipes include.

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