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Archive for February, 2014

Friday is Valentine’s Day, folks, so that means we are almost halfway done with February already.  Hopefully that also means that winter weather will soon be a thing of the past.  C & I went to Lowe’s Friday night and I made most of my garden seed purchase while I was there.  I had to fight myself not too buy too much because the packages looked so tempting.  They had all of my usual favorites and I picked up a couple of new seeds to try as well.  Can’t wait!!

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, do you have plans with your sweetheart?  C & I usually keep it low key by exchanging cards and maybe going out to eat.  That is our favorite way to celebrate.  I hope you and your sweetie have a wonderful V-day! 

I am afraid there is nothing new on the menu this week.  I just don’t seem to be in the mood to look for something.  I need sunshine!!!

Sliders with oven baked fries

Easy deep dish pizza with salad

Tacos with fresh fruit

Bubble up Enchiladas with salad

Shredded BBQ sandwiches with oven baked fries

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

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It is sweet treat month here at Picture Perfect Cooking!  I tried so many new tasty treats over the Christmas holidays, I decided to make all of the February posts extra sweet.  Make these for your sweetie or yourself!

I found these little beauties on the Taste of Home website and I think they are so pretty with the crushed peppermint candies on top.

Peppermint Meltaways

For the cookies:

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

For the frosting:

2 tbsp. butter, softened

1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp. 2% milk

1/4 tsp. peppermint extract

1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

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For the cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet. Sift the flour and cornstarch together onto a paper plate and set aside. In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioner’s sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add extract.

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Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well.

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Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.  Move the cookies to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

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For the frosting:

In a small bowl, beat the butter until fluffy.  Add the confectioner’s sugar and extract.  Beat until smooth.  Spread the frosting over the completely cooled cookies and sprinkle with crushed peppermints. Store in an airtight container.  This recipes makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Peppermint Meltaways

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How’s that old song go?  Wishin’ and hopin’ and plannin’ and dreamin’?  That’s what I have been doing with these.

 

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These companies sure are smart.  These beautiful catalogs come out during the cold, dreary winter and just looking at them makes me want to buy one of everything.  Even the plants that won’t ever grow here.  Oh, well…I can’t wait until gardening season!

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I have an announcement to make: IT IS STILL WINTER!!!!  I must have thought when the calendar changed from January to February that something magical would happen weather-wise.  Nope, it is still same ol’-same ol’ around here.  Saturday was absolutely gorgeous and we got out and enjoyed the sunshine with the dogs for a while.  Yesterday was rainy and cool before the winter stuff starting falling again.  Yuck!  Come on, SPRING!!!

This weather makes me want to eat all the time.  I am trying to keep it fairly healthy since I seem to be stuffing my face way too much, but I am throwing in a new dessert this week to celebrate the birthday of a special co-worker and friend.  Yay for birthdays!  They give us the perfect excuse to eat too much cake.  Stay warm and safe, my dear readers, and remember that February is the shortest month of the year.

Hamburger stew

Sausage bake with salad

Chili

Grilled pork chops with oven fries & salad

Chunky vegetable soup with cornbread madeleines (new)

Saucilicious pork chops with curly fries (These chops didn’t get made last week.)

Pizza night

Strawberry swirled cheesecake (new)

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

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Since it is now February (Wow, how did that happen so fast?), I decided to share a few sweet treats I made during the Christmas holidays.  These were awesome at Christmas, but I bet someone would love getting these homemade goodies for Valentine’s Day as well?  Hint, hint! Winking smile 

I usually make candy bags for my co-workers at Christmas, but the rainy weather just wasn’t cooperating so I turned my attention to COOKIES instead.  This recipe comes from Two Peas And Their Pod and they are so good.  The dark brown sugar and toffee combine to give great flavor and the texture is perfect.  Try these…soon.  Yes, that is an order!

Brown Sugar Toffee Cookies

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cornstarch

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup Heath toffee bits

Extra dark brown sugar for rolling cookies, about 1/2 cup

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat if you have one.  (I have two and they are nice.) 

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside. Beat the butter and 1 1/4 cups brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Turn off the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients.  I like to sift my dry stuff onto a paper plate so then it is easy to transfer to the mixer.  See:

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Stir in the toffee bits.  Form tablespoon size balls of cookie dough then roll the dough balls in the remaining brown sugar.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.  Don’t over bake the cookies.  You want them to be nice and soft.  Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days (if they last that long).

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