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Archive for May, 2012

Good morning, folks!  It is Memorial Day here in the good ol’ USA so we are off work today.  Yay!  It’s been a scorcher this weekend so we have spent plenty of time under the air conditioning keeping cool, but we did manage to get the yard mowed and trimmed and looking good for the holiday.  I also managed to do just a little more garage clean-up early in the morning Saturday before it got too hot so progress was made there as well.

It is the end of the month so that means it is time to clean out the fridge, freezer and pantry before grocery shopping again.  This week’s menu has all old favorites on it and it is just a little short since we have a couple of outings planned.  Enjoy your holiday (if you are celebrating) and have a happy and blessed week!

Taco ring (2 nights)

Grilled hamburgers with oven baked fries

Baked ziti

Hot ham & cheese rolls with curly fries

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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Oreo Truffles

I have had this recipe for several years and realized that I had never posted it on here.  That had to be remedied because it is not everyday that you find an almost fool-proof candy recipe, but this is really close!

The success of a lot of candy making depends on the temperature and humidity of the air around you, not just the cooking method.  This little gem doesn’t seem to mind as much and I think it is because of the way it is made.  There is no cooked sugar or egg whites, just three simple ingredients and a little bit of your time.

1 package Oreo cookies

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

Candy coating

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In a food processor, crush the whole package of Oreos until you have small crumbs like this:

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Mix these crumbs with the softened cream cheese until thoroughly combined.  Roll into 1 inch balls and chill in the fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes to set.

Melt the candy coating according to package directions and dip each truffle to completely coat.  Let these set until the coating hardens then enjoy!  I took a little of the leftover candy coating and drizzled it over the top of the truffles to decorate them a little.

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These kitties know how to relax after a busy day of yard work!
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Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap.  You’ll find me posting over at Bake Sew Write about my honey baked ham recipe made with family-produced honey, and I’m excited to welcome Laura from Food Snob St. Louis to Picture Perfect Cooking:

Hi Picture Perfect Cooking readers!

I’m Laura, and I blog over at Food Snob St. Louis. I’m really excited to be guest posting today and sharing a fun recipe with you that I recently made for a local blogger bake sale.

Figuring out what to make for a bake sale can be daunting. Your item needs to be #1 tasty, #2 look delicious and #3 packaged well. Not only do I feel the pressure of my baked goods tasting really good, but I also want people to see them and want to buy them – let’s just say that pretty food presentation isn’t my strongest skill.

Lucky for you and me, these cookies are very simple to make and look delicious with very little effort!

Cinnamon Roll Cookies (slightly adapted from Heat Oven to 350)

*These cookies need to be refrigerated and frozen. Be sure to allow yourself at least a day or overnight to make them.

For Cookies:

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 large egg white

1 tbs. water

For Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 – 2 tbs. milk

Directions:

1. In a stand mixer, cream 1/2 cup of the sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Stir in the flour until a ball of dough is formed. Wrap this dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

2. Remove dough from refrigerator and plastic wrap. Roll it out on a piece of parchment paper into a rectangle (mine was about 9’x13′). In a small bowl whisk together the egg white and water. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg white mixture on top of the dough.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the dough.

4. Starting at one of the longer ends, tightly roll up the dough into a log. Wrap this tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until firm.

5. When the dough is ready to cook, heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from freezer and line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/2 inch discs and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly golden along the edges.

6. When cookies are done, transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely, then make the glaze by stirring together the powdered sugar and milk (you can adjust the thickness of the glaze by adding or using less milk). Drizzle the glaze over the cookies.

I found these cute little confectionery boxes at World Market. I lined them with parchment paper and also put a layer of parchment paper in-between each layer of cookies.

I also made a loaf of my Boozy Banana Bread to take to the bake sale. You can find that recipe over at my website here. Both sold fast! If you like what you saw here, I also encourage you to come check out all of my recipes or my ramblings about being a new mom!

Visit Life Your Way to see all of the Ultimate Blog Swap participants!

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Even though it is not officially summer yet, we are starting to feel the heat around here and I’m not talking just about the physical heat.  Between work, housework, yard work and a little extra organizing, I am pooped!  That means that last week’s menu plan went out the proverbial window and I just made do with what I could.  Hopefully these next few weeks will start to get a little easier since we will have a holiday weekend and then our vacation in just a couple of weeks after that.  Yay!!!  Can’t wait!

C & I aren’t taking any big trips this year, but we will take a short one night get-away to have some fun.  I will tell you all about it when we get back.  Other than that, I hope we get to make great use of our deck, grill and air conditioning! Smile

Here is this week’s plan and I hope to have the energy to stick with it.  I’m kind of tired of take out pizza.

Honey BBQ meatloaf with oven baked fries

Tacos

Grilled pork chops with oven baked fries

Cheesy steak sandwiches with fries (2 nights)

Grilled pork tenderloin with grilled potatoes

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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I am not usually a cookie baker, especially sugar cookies.  Not that I don’t like cookies, I DO, but I usually have better luck with other baked goods.  When I found this recipe from Annie’s Eats on Pinterest, I really wanted to try my hand at sugar cookies one more time.  These turned out really well and were a great addition to my Christmas cookie/candy tray, hence the red and green frosting!

For the cookies:
4½ cups all-purpose flour
4½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
7-8 tbsp. milk (plus more, as needed)
Food coloring (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)

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In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk together to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients mixing just until incorporated and evenly mixed.  Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.

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After the chill time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 cookie sheets.  Scoop a scant 1/4 cup of cookie dough and roll it into a ball.  Place the ball on the cookie sheet and press it out gently to form the cookie.  Leave about 2 or 3 inches in between each cookie.  Bake for 10-12 minutes and then cool on a wire rack.

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For the frosting, place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl.  Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk to the bowl and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in additional milk as necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.  Tint with food coloring if desired.  Use an offset spatula or spoon to frost the cooled cookies.

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And, yes, I have had this recipe to post since Christmas, but others seemed to take a front seat.  Oh, well, at least you will have this for NEXT Christmas.

 

Please join me at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday.

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Please join me today over at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.  Who knows?  You might find your new favorite book over there.

Today I am bringing you the first few lines from “The Girl Who Chased The Moon” by Sarah Addison Allen.  I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Ms. Allen’s books and look forward to whatever she writes next.

"It took a moment for Emily to realize the car had come to a stop.  She looked up from her charm bracelet, which she’d been worrying in slow circles around her wrist, and stared out the window.  The two giant oaks in the front yard looked like flustered ladies caught mid-curtsy, their starched green leaf-dresses swaying in the wind."

Poor Emily!  You just have to wonder what’s on her mind and where she is going. 

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