Saturday, February 18, 2017

Mardi Gras Macaroni Salad-Dyed Pasta

So-many-possibilities... The starting point for this Mardi Gras Macaroni Salad is dying the pasta gold, green and purple, from there, what sounds good? Want a simple pasta salad with a little Cajun seasoning-done. Want a Muffaletta Pasta Salad by adding deli meat and cheese and some pickled peppers or giardiniera-done. How about a Cajun Seafood Pasta Salad by adding some shrimp and crab-um, also done:@) Have fun with it and change it up to your liking, you know your crowd.

Colorful and festive!

Directions for Dyed Pasta:
  1. For each cup of cooking water use 20 drops of food coloring. (Use a little less blue than red for the purple.)
  2. Cook pasta per directions on the package or until desired doneness, drain and run under cold water until the water runs clear.
  3. Make your favorite pasta salad recipe and enjoy!
Have a happy day and laissez-les-bons-temps-rouler:@)

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Carrot Onion Dill Bread-Bread Machine or Oven

This is such a nice loaf of bread! There's so much flavor with the onion and dill and while I'm not really sure what the carrot is for... Extra sweetness maybe? It does add beautiful color:@) Soup, stew or Sunday dinner, you can't go wrong with this Carrot Onion Dill Bread any time. You will want to look at this dough once it starts mixing, some carrots are wetter than others, you may need to add a little more water or a little more flour. Just make sure it forms a nice ball while the machine is kneading it.

Light and fluffy, great as is or with butter:@)
If you have some poppy seeds, they'd be a great addition.
I halved the recipe for a 1 lb loaf and made it in my Zo bread machine. 
You can visit one of my favorite blogs for good, down home cooking HERE for the larger recipe and oven directions.

Carrot Onion Dill Bread for the bread machine-from The Iowa Housewife
*1 lb recipe
1/2 C + 1 Tblsp water, you may need to add more
1 Tblsp butter
1 1/2 + 1/8 C bread flour, you may need to add more-I used A/P
1 Tblsp dry milk
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 C grated carrot
1/8 tsp dill weed
3/4 Tblsp dried minced onion
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp poppy seeds-optional
~Add everything to the pan in order given, choose 1 lb, light loaf and let er' rip!

I love my little Zo folks! Have a happy day:@)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Cherry Chocolate Kiss Cookies

I first saw these little Cherry Chocolate Kiss Cookies at Christmas and thought they'd be perfect for Valentine's Day. I loved the bites of cherry! I will say while we all enjoyed these cookies, they did not turn out like the ones on Pinterest. So I have some notes below. And if your first batch happens to flatten out and doesn't resemble a thumbprint cookie at all (as mine did)... Roll with it and call them Cherry Shortbread Cookies, they still taste good:@)

  • The cookies in the link are a beautiful pink color, mine are not. Pink would have been perfect for Valentines's Day. So I recommend that if your cookies stay white after mixing in the cherries, add a drop or two of red food coloring (or better yet, just add it while creaming the butter and sugar). 
  • Be sure to chill your dough. I put the bowl in the fridge while the first batch baked, and then put the baking sheet in the fridge for 5-10 minutes after I rolled the balls. It held a thumbprint shape better.
  • Keep your balls small. Set a Hershey Kiss on the counter, it will help with perspective.
  • Drain your cherries well, I pressed them between a couple paper towels.
  • Chop the cherries. I kept mine a rough dice, maybe cutting each cherry into four pieces. I thought the mixer would break them up more, it didn't. 
  • I rolled them in granulated sugar, they might be prettier rolled in sanding sugar.
  • Last note, these are fairly crisp once they cool off right out of the oven. They soften with time because the cherries have moisture in them. I think these are best eaten the day they're made-but that won't be a problem:@)
Cherry Chocolate Kiss Cookies-from Punkie Pie's Place
1 C butter, softened
1 C powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp maraschino cherry juice
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 C A/P flour
10 oz jar maraschino cherries, drained reserving 2 tsp juice
granulated sugar for coating the cookies
36 Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
  1. Chop the cherries, set aside. 
  2. Mix butter, sugar and salt until creamy.
  3. Add cherry juice and extract, mix well.
  4. Add flour, mix well. Then mix in the cherries.
  5. Form dough into 1" balls and roll in sugar.
  6. Place on baking sheet 2" apart. Press your thumb into the center of each cookie until it's about 1/2" thick.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove from oven, add a Kiss to each cookie, return to oven for 1-2 minutes more (until bottoms are lightly browned).
  8. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
Enjoy a cookie and have a happy day:@)

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Valentine's Crafting-Heart Ornaments

I found some inspiration at Walmart and did a little cold weather crafting... Foam glittered hearts, a fun arrow, some accent trim and a cameo button from my stash turned into a cute ornament for my Valentine's tree:@) Lovin the touch of black too.

 Used a little cherub button, letter beads and tinsel pipe cleaner for a second heart. 

 Simple but sweet.

The 98¢ purchases that inspired me.

Make something just for fun and have a happy day:@)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Piped Mashed Potatoes and Easy Valentine Heart Shaped Foodie Round-Up

It's the little things that help make occasions special... So here's a round-up of some easy ideas to add to your Valentine's Day fun. I was excited to try this Piped Mashed Potato Heart but have to say my heavy handed addition of paprika kinda turned it into more of a bloggy blooper... Yea, don't do that. Simply place the Sheppard's Pie under the broiler for a couple minutes if the heart doesn't brown up enough in the oven. The decoration was piped on using a disposable icing bag and could be for any theme, Happy Birthday, Go Team, etc.

Here I've cut heart shapes out of Maraschino Cherry Fudge using a cookie cutter.

The heart shaped disc that comes with most cookie presses makes Valentine's cookies a breeze!

Red Bell Pepper Deviled Eggs.

Putting my cookie cutters to use again... Heart Shaped Ravioli.
Now I'm hungry...

Let's do a little Valentine's Day embellishing and have a happy day:@)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Valentine's Day Tree 2017

I still love using the little silver tinsel tree for Valentine's Day, lots of sparkle and white twinkle lights help brighten up January and February.

New this year: I didn't put the small white and red clip on bird ornaments away after Christmas. 
They are cute and a good scale for this little tree.

 Love the delicate hand blown beaks on the red birds. 

It's a sweet little tree:@)

Have a happy day:@)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Super Bowl Oatmeal Sprinkle Cookies

I just had to try these Oatmeal Sprinkle Cookies when I realized I had sprinkles in both team colors for the Super Bowl! But of course they'd be great for any occasion or holiday by simply using different colored sprinkles. This is a very nice crunchy cookie folks, love the oatmeal! And all you raw cookie dough fans... No egg, so enjoy:@)

Now, don't take this to Vegas but... 
The Patriot's cookies stayed together pretty well while slicing... 
The Falcon's kinda crumbled a bit. Just sayin'.

Tip: The sprinkles stick a little better (and quicker) if you rub moistened hands over the cookie log before rolling in sprinkles. 
I made a half batch and used a 2" container of sprinkles per team. Plan on using lots of sprinkles.

Oatmeal Sprinkle Cookies-from Scrambled Henfruit
~Also known as Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies and Rusty Logs
1 C powdered sugar
1 C butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C A/P flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C old fashioned rolled oats
  1. Cream sugar and butter.
  2. Add the rest, mix until combined.
  3. Divide dough and roll into two logs, approximately 1 1/2 round. Refrigerate dough for a half hour if it's too sticky to work with (I didn't need to do this).
  4. Pour sprinkles onto wax paper, wet dough with damp hands, and roll logs in sprinkles, pressing firmly, until covered.
  5. Wrap in the wax paper and refrigerate until firm, or overnight.
  6. Slice cookies 1/4" thick and place on parchment lined baking sheets.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 18-25 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Cool on rack.
As for the game today, I'm really only rooting for a win in my block pool! Those sprinkles aren't Eagles green folks...
And hopefully there will be some fun commercials too.

Here's wishing everyone the best of Super Bowl Sunday, eat well and enjoy:@)