Saturday, December 20, 2014

~christmas cookies~








Thursday, December 18, 2014

~homemade gifts in a jar~


Love, love, love giving gifts in mason jars.
Here are a few ideas of things I've gifted in jars over the years - enjoy!






Wednesday, December 17, 2014

~christmas tree for feathered friends~

Sure wish I had the time this year to decorate a Christmas tree for the birds.
I had so much fun with this a few years back and wanted to share the ideas again.
Maybe I'll decorate a tree for my feathered friends in January! :-)



Here  are all the how-to's!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

~christmas candy~


What is Christmas without yummy, special, "only at Christmas-time" homemade candies??
I think I make more candy during the month of December
than probably the whole rest of the year combined!

I make the simple kinds, no candy thermometer involved. ;-)

Here are some faves...













And last, but not least, 
our very favorite Christmas candy will always be



I've been making them for sixteen years now 
and I think they have become my signature candy. :-)
I made 6 dozen this evening to share with co-workers!

Happy candy making from my kitchen to yours!

Monday, December 15, 2014

~peppermint candy ornaments~


I'll be honest I was really thinking these might be a "Pinterest fail..." ;-)
But they worked!
I followed the instructions here.


I used a bit of shortening on the cookie cutters
instead of the cooking spray the original instructions suggested.


I also used a straw instead of a toothpick to poke the holes in the ornaments.
(I found if you wait a minute or so after they come out of the oven it is easier to make the holes.)


The whole process took just a little more than 30 minutes.


They harden back up really quickly.


I put some red ribbon on to hang them with,


and added them to my kitchen Christmas tree.


I thought they really turned out cute!


I would have made more, but only had a dozen peppermints on hand.




I put the star one on the top of the tree! :-)





More peppermint!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

~gingerbread ornaments~


I LOVE gingerbread!  
It tastes good.  It smells good.  And it's SO Christmas-y!

This afternoon I used this 
to make gingerbread ornaments for my kitchen Christmas tree. :-)








I had a bit of dough leftover, so I used tiny cookie cutters
to also make a cute little garland for my hutch.







More gingerbread!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Menu Plan

Supper Menus
December 13th - 19th

Saturday
Sunday
leftovers

Monday
Tuesday
spaghetti, caesar salad, garlic knots

Wednesday
leftovers

Thursday
out for supper

Epic baking success! Texas Roadhouse rolls!


You will need -

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup lukewarm milk
3 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled
1/4 cup sugar
4 cups flour, divided
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
extra butter, for basting rolls


What to do -

Combine yeast and water in bowl of stand mixer.
Let sit for 10 minutes.


Add milk, butter, and sugar. 
Combine using paddle attachment.
Add 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix until combined.
Add egg and salt and mix well.


Switch to dough hook and add remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour.
Continue mixing for 5 minutes.
Dough should be smooth.


Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel,
and put in a warm place to rise for one hour.
Spread dough out on a floured surface and shape into a square about an inch thick.
Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into 18 squares and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.


Let rolls rise 30-45 minutes longer and then bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Take rolls out, baste with butter and put under broiler for about a minute to brown tops of rolls.
Remove from oven and baste one (or two!) more times with butter.

SERVE WARM! :-)
(Three were consumed at my house before I even got them to the table!)