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Monday, November 28, 2011


Thanks to the holidays, I've been a cooking and baking fool these days.
And I went out on a limb this year... I tried brand new, unproven recipes for Thanksgiving for company!  I know!  Scary stuff, but that's just how I roll!  Livin' life on the edge!  Ya, I'm a rebel!

Wanted to share some of the new recipes that I've tried the last few weeks in case you need some new ideas.  None of these recipes are hard. I don't do hard mostly because I just don't have the time for it.

Hello Lover!  
If you love it so much why don't you marry it?  
I think I just may!  Crazy Mrs. Peanut Butter Pie has a nice ring to it.  
This pie is so rich that a very very small slice was plenty.  Easy enough to make, and even though I'd never made a chocolate ganache before, that was easy too!  Skipped the garnish and just used a store-bought ghram cracker crust because I'm that lazy.  Use the hot knife trick mentioned in the recipe!

Oh yes, will definitely add this to our dinner menu.  I did add chicken to this to make it a bit heartier for dinner, and cheap ol' Roma tomatoes were just fine instead of cherry.  I also liberally added the balsamic vinegar that the recipe says is optional.  Severed with a salad and a loaf of crusty bread and everyone at the dinner table loved it and said I should make it again.  

I will never purchase already baked rolls for a holiday supper again.  Ever.  I promise.  These rolls were almost as wonderful as the second coming.  It was the hit of the meal.  We all gained at least 5 extra lbs each... and it was worth it.  

Was looking for some new ideas to expand our breakfast menu, and these did the trick.  Fast and easy enough to do for the kiddos before school and well liked.  I need to play with the amount of the time they spend int he oven to make sure they're not over or under done, but definitely will be adding to our menu.  I might precook the bacon to make it even easier in the morning.  (PS-Love love to cook bacon in the oven! So easy and far less mess.)

My kiddos adore pumpkin butter, and I adore anything that get pumpkin in their diet.  Pumpkin is so so good for you!  Think apple butter, but no apples, pumpkin instead.  We spread it on toast, or pancakes, or biscuits, or when I'm not looking Sunny tries to eat it directly from the spoon.  I've tried a few recipes for it, and I like this one because it doesn't have pectin and it doesn't have as much sugar as other recipes.  I do cut back the cinnamon a bit.  It's super easy to make and makes a great hostess gift too... unless your kiddos eat it all first.  

I was sick and tired of buying canned chicken broth at the grocery store.  It's stupidly expensive, and it seems every soup recipe I need it for calls for 8 cans at least.  So my sister in law and I decided to give-'er-a-go and I'm never buying that expensive yellow water again.  It's ridiculously easy to make chicken stock.  Fiddle with the herbs and veggies to what you have on hand.  Then I can a whole bunch of it and save it in the pantry.  I only make it when I have a chicken carcass on hand, after some kind of chicken meal.  (Turkey carcass is in the freezer as we speak waiting for next week's stock making.)  And I discovered that stock makes the most amazing rice when used instead of water!

Wonderful appetizer that isn't served hot so you can take it to a potluck!  Bite sized, these were eaten as fast as I could make them on Thanksgiving day!  Will so so so so make again.  The girls and I made them days ahead time and froze them, then put them int he fridge to thaw the day before.  Garnished with cream cheese and bacon last minute, (and sage since I had some fresh in my garden) and they didn't take up much time at all.  they were possible one of the top 10 appetizers ever!!!

I'm totally not a fan of these Pillsbury rolls, except for that part when you pop open the can and the rolls come bursting out of the can!  That's always fun even when you're 43!  But this was made from Sunny's request in lieu of a cake for her birthday brunch.  How could I say no?  So I made it and it was a sugary hit!  I'll do it again for sure, but I think I'll find a recipe that uses regular bread dough instead.  The younger kiddos had fun making it though and popping open the cans!
Another one we'll definitely add to our dinner rotation.  It has cream in it!  What's not to love?  Coming from my Irish-American heritage, finding some whiskey in the back of a cupboard wasn't hard.  The recipe calls for heavy whipping cream.  I substituted 1/2 and 1/2 just fine.  Served with a tomato-basil salad and again, some crusty bread.  There were no left overs.  

Saved the best one for last.  I'm not a fan of tomato soup.  Never have been.  But Sunny, our foodie-in-training, kept going back to the same restaurant to get a particular tomato soup, and asked if I could try and make something similar at home.  This has been made multiple times since.  I cut the veggies very small and add zucchini or some kind of squash too.  Again, I substitute 1/2 and 1/2 for the cream cause really, who needs the extra fat, and this soup is still quite rich.  And I substituted about 1/2 of the canned tomatoes for fresh since they were on sale for 33cents a lb.  No, I didn't peel them either.  Serve totally alone, or with grilled cheese sandwiches, and you'd think I was Julia Child!

Holler if you try any of them.  Would love to know what your family thought!


  1. everything looks delicious! I've saved a bunch of the recipes and can't wait to try them out. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I am making the pb pie to wallow in!!!! Looks wonderful!

  3. Oh my goodness! Those all sound delicious! I need to try those bacon muffins for my MOPS potluck breakfast!

  4. Ohmyword. Um, hello peanut butter heaven! I think I must make that. :) All the others look good too but wowzers that pie rocks!

  5. I'm so making those pasta dishes. I have Pioneer Woman's cookbook. There's so much to love...


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