9.29.2013

Just add milk!


I believe baked goods are the perfect gift for almost every occasion.
Who doesn't love a fresh batch of cookies or a cake?
 
And I love any excuse to bake!
These particular cookies were a thank you gift.

 

 Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 cup oatmeal 1 t baking soda 1 cup creamy peanut butter 6 T salted butter, softened 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 egg 1 T vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup chocolate chips 


Preheat oven to 350ºF. 
{Doesn't every recipe start this way?} In a bowl mix together dry ingredients- the flour, oatmeal, and baking soda.  

 
With a mixer, whisk together the brown sugar, white sugar, butter and peanut butter until combined and fluffy.  Then add the egg and vanilla and blend well. 



With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients a large spoonful at a time. 
Fold in the chocolate and peanut butter chips last with a spatula. 


Using an ice cream scoop, place dough 2" apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. 
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown on top. 

Allow to cool on a wire rack as long as you can resist them.


Pack up any remaining cookies and attach a thoughtful card! 
And ta-da! The perfect gift!




9.26.2013

Fall Moss Wreath







I'm back to share a little bit about the wreath from our fall mantel. 


This was my first fall craft of the year!
It was so easy to make.
{You just have to trust me on this one because I didn't take any pictures!]
Bad Blogger!

All this wreath took was a green wreath ring, two bags of the moss of your choice 
and some natural flowers for decoration. 

I used a bag of reindeer moss, half a bag of leftover sheet moss 
and half a bag of left over variety mosses. 
I used hot glue to attach the moss to the wreath ring. I just worked in small sections around the wreath and then attached the flowers where I wanted them.

I hung it with some thick ribbon I already had.
This mirror was a gift from m grandparents when we moved into our house.
It belonged to my great grandmother. I was completely blown away when they gave it to me.
My grandfather says he remembers it hanging in his mother's house as a child. 
He estimated it to be 80-90 years old!
I just love it!

I just love how the gold mirror looks with the natural elements and moss wreath.

Until next craft time!
 


I'm linking up the The Lettered Cottage!
The Lettered Cottage

9.25.2013

Brew’s First Post – Spaghetti and Meatballs


 

While I am {technically} only 1/8 Italian (My great-grandfather was Italian), Italian food has always been a big part of my life. Growing up with an older brother and hungry dad in a family of 5, pasta was always a cheap and delicious meal. Therefore, an Italian food post as my first only makes sense. This recipe is all fresh ingredients with the exception of dried spices.
Here are my recipes for sauce and meatballs.

Ingredients:


Meatballs:
1 ¼ lb hot turkey sausage
½ c milk
1c breadcrumbs
1T dried parsley
1 egg

Sauce:
2 lb vine ripened tomatoes (~7-8 Roma tomatoes)
2T extra virgin olive oil
Mirepoix (1 peeled carrot, 1 stalk celery, ½ red onion)
2 cloves garlic
½ c Red wine
1T dried oregano
1T dried basil
1T dried parsley
1T rosemary
1t fresh cracked pepper
1t sea salt
1T sugar
2c Water
1 handful fresh basil

We’ll start with the sauce. Start boiling a pot or dutch oven full of water.
Start with fresh, bright red tomatoes.


Then we’re going to score them with an ‘X'


This will allow the skin to peel off easily after a flash boil
Once the water starts boiling drop your tomatoes and boil them 1-2 minutes. It won’t take long and you’ll start to see the skin peel away.
Drain the tomatoes into a colander and then into an ice bath to stop the cooking process


While your tomatoes are flash boiling and cooling, finely chop your mirepoix.  This doesn’t have to be perfect because this will all be blended together.



Add your olive oil to a pot and heat up. Once hot, add the mirepoix. Start to heat until onions become translucent. Then add your garlic. Continue to heat until veggies are cooked through and your kitchen smells like garlic. 
Then, deglaze with your red wine. You don’t want to use a super expensive wine, but not super cheap one either. Use your favorite $10-$15 dollar bottle. I like using a zinfandel because it adds a robust flavor.  Also, since the recipe doesn’t use a lot,  you then have a decent wine to drink when it’s done!



Oh yeah, don’t forget to save the cork for you crafty wife…

Now you’re ready for the tomatoes! Get your hands dirty and squeeze the tomatoes into the pot. Be careful to not squeeze juice on your lurking dog…


Then you’re ready to add spices!! 
It’s going to look like a hot mess when you add, but trust me.



Let this simmer for about 10 minutes to make sure all your veggies are nice and soft. And then time for the submersion blender. Blend until smooth. 

Now it looks like sauce! At this point you can add the water and let simmer.



During this whole process, you want to get your meatballs going! Start with some turkey sausage. Sure you can use a pork/beef combo, but we have to cut calories somewhere, right?? And these turn out delicious.


Cut the sausages out of the casing and add all the ingredients. Get your hands dirty to mix’ em up. I like big meatballs, serving 2-3 per person, about 2-inch diameter. This recipe made 9 meatballs on my run. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. {took me 35 this time} 
This makes a nice crustification {Triple D Reference} on your meatballs.




Then let your meatballs take a dip in the saucy hot tub. 
The meatballs add flavor to the sauce and vice versa




Let the meatballs simmer at least 1 hour to thicken the sauce and add flavor. Add your favorite pasta and enjoy! I recommend add your pasta to a pan and adding sauce to amalgamate and avoid over saucing. 
Add fresh basil for garnish.

 Goes great with Caesar salad and bruschetta {future recipes}



I {on special occasion} also make my own pasta. But that’s for another day…