Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

I found this recipe on the side of a red velvet cake box. I thought they would be the perfect Christmas cookie with their red color and all. They were very easy to make! I made one change. The original recipe called for 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1 tsp of cornstarch, but I had tons leftover, so when I make these again I will use 1/2 instead. FYI, this dough is very sticky. You MUST use a scoop to handle the dough. Just like my brownie crackle recipe here, you need to drop the dough from the scoop straight into the powdered sugar mixture and carefully roll it around. If you try to make balls with your hands, you will just make a mess.

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
adapted from duncanhines
6 TBSPs butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix
2 large eggs
1 tsp lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt butter; set aside to cool. Place powdered sugar and cornstarch in shallow dish. Mix with a fork to blend.
2. Place cake mix, cooled butter, eggs and lemon zest in large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until well blended and a dough forms.
3. Form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place on cool, ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
4. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in center of oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
5. Store in airtight container with wax paper or parchment separating layers.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Reindeer Noses

My kids and I made these this week and gave a few away to friends. It was a fun treat for them to help with.

Reindeer Noses
Pretzel rings
Hershey's Kisses
Red M&M's
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Place the pretzel rings on a foil lined baking sheet. Put one Hershey's Kiss in the center of each pretzel ring. Bake for 4 minutes to soften the Kisses. Remove from oven and push an M&M into the center of each Kiss. Cool completely to harden. To speed up the process you can stick them in the refrigerator.

Creamy Garlic Pasta

Here's another Pinterest meal that I tried recently. It was very tasty! I like that you cook this all in one pan instead of making a sauce and cooking the pasta separate. Less dishes!! Serve it immediately, because sauce absorbs fast and then it isn't as creamy.

Creamy Garlic Pasta
adapted from
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP butter
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chicken stock
½ lb spaghetti
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
¾ cup heavy cream
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley

1. In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil.
2. Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and parsley. Serve immediately.
Serves 6

Tip: Pay attention to the liquid as the pasta is cooking. If it starts to get low, turn the heat down a little.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

I love a good slow cooker recipe, especially when I can just dump in a bag of frozen chicken! I made this a few days ago, and we all loved it. My 2 year old kept asking for more chicken, and I ate too much!

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
adapted from
1 3lb. bag of frozen chicken breasts
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 TBSPs canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 TBSPs cornstarch dissolved in 6 TBSPs water
Sesame seeds

1. Place frozen chicken into a slow cooker.
2. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken.
3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high 4-6 hours.
4. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve cornstarch in water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened (if sauce isn't thickened after 10 minutes, leave slow cooker on high and whisk until thick). Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving.
5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

*You can also sprinkle more red pepper flakes on top if you want more heat.

Caramel Grapes

These are like a mini caramel covered apple! I found some gigantic grapes at the store and remembered seeing this on Pinterest. My kids and I made them as a snack. I bought some caramel dip and heated it a little to make it easier to coat the grapes and then we rolled them in nut topping.