dinsdag 21 december 2010

Christmas Cookies: Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

My friend Jenny from New York was so kind to send me some Hershey Kisses as they are not available here in The Netherlands. Amongst the bags she sent me was a bag of Candy Cane Kisses, which made me search the Internet for a cookie recipe to use them in. Over at RecipeGirl I found this recipe. My mom and dad test-tasted these and absolutely loved them. After baking the cookies the kitchen smelled minty-fresh!

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies
(adapted from RecipeGirl)

Yield: About 2 1/2 dozen

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1¼ cups butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped Candy Cane flavored Hershey’s Kisses
granulated sugar
additional, unwrapped Candy Cane Kisses- about 30

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make room in either refrigerator or freezer for your cookie sheet.

In large mixer bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter, extracts and egg. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often until creamy (2-3 minutes).

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to wet mixture and beat, scraping bowl often until well blended (1-2 minutes). The mixture will be a bit crumbly.

Stir in chopped Kisses. Shape dough into ¾-inch to 1-inch balls; roll in granulated sugar. Place 1-inch apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set.

As soon as they come out of the oven, press a Candy Cane Kiss in the center of each cookie. They’ll crack a little around the edges, so just use your fingers to kind of hold the cookie together while you set the kiss inside.

Put cookie sheet (with cookies) immediately into the freezer (preferred) or refrigerator so that the Kisses will set quickly. As soon as you press them into the cookie, they will begin to soften… so if you can get them into the freezer then they will keep their Kiss shape.

Store in a covered container- at room temperature for up to a week.

In the freezer they should be okay for a couple of weeks.

You can add an addition teaspoon of peppermint extract: the cookie gets plenty of peppermint flavor from the addition of the chopped kisses, but if you’d like it really minty then go ahead and add the peppermint extract.

RecipeGirl says she spotted these Kisses at Target and CVS Pharmacy.

maandag 20 december 2010

Still looking for Christmas gifts???

Christmas is coming up and this means several things: delicious food, time spent with family & friends and of course shopping for Christmas gifts. We all know shopping for gifts can be a nightmare: running from store to store, only to find out they don't have what you're looking for.

I have found the perfect solution: shop online!!! Check out CSN: they have over 200 sites with more that sell almost anything: counter height stools, cookware, toys, clothing and many other things! I am sure you'll be able to find the perfect gift for everyone special in your life!

dinsdag 14 december 2010

Christmas Cookies: Lime Meltaways

Here's another cookie that will go into this years cookie gift-bags for coworkers. This is a partial success... I liked these, but thought the lime-flavor was a bit understated: a bit more lime-flavor would have been nice. My dad really liked these, unfortunately my mom did not.... She absolutely hated them!! She took one bite of the cookie I offered her (she's my preferred taste-tester as she always tells me exactly what she thinks of everything I make) and almost spit it out, she then gave me back the other half of the cookie and told me she hated the flavor and didn't care for the texture of the cookie. I was somewhat stumped since this was the first time my mom really didn't like the end result of something I made.... :S

Lime Meltaways
Recipe by Martha Stewart

3 dozen cookies

3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Grated zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment (I used my regular paddle attachment), cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy. Add lime zest, juice, and vanilla; beat until fluffy.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add to butter mixture, and beat on low speed until combined.

3. Divide dough in half. Place each half on a separate 8 by 12 inch piece of parchment paper, roll dough into 1 1/4-inch diameter logs. Chill at least one hour.

4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. (I placed in bowl) Remove parchment from logs; slice dough into 1/8-inch thick rounds. (I sliced them more like a 1/4 inch) Place rounds on baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart.

5. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly 8 to 10 minutes. While still warm, place cookies in the sugar-filled bag; toss to coat. (I put powdered sugar in a bowl and added baked cookies to coat) Bake or freeze remaining dough. Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

maandag 13 december 2010

Virtual Cookie Exchange: White Chocolate & Macadamia Nut Cookies

A while ago Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook and I had a conversation on Twitter where she shared her idea of hosting a Virtual Cookie Exchange. Ofcourse I was immediately smitten with the idea: I love baking cookies and seeing all the other cookies would probably give me even more ideas and inspiration for my Christmas Cookie Goodie Bags that I'm giving out at work this year!

Within no time at all Di had a list of names of other Tweeps whom we thought would love to join and the Virtual Cookie Exchange was born! One of Nancy's very talented daughters designed the wonderful badge pictured above for all of us to use in our posts. Di will post a roundup of all the cookies later this week, so be sure to keep an eye on her blog!!

I had a lot of trouble deciding the one cookie I wanted to share with you, there are so many good ones!!! Finally I chose this one because it was voted as the most popular cookie of last years 12 Days of Christmas Cookies, both by my family and coworkers. Since then I've made it several times: the White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookie!! These cookies are also a bit versatile: if you like a chewy cookie bake them for 12 minutes, but if you prefer a more crunchy cookie bake them for 15 minutes!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
(adapted from My Tasty Treasures)

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped macadamia nuts
2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Beat together the melted butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg, egg yolk and vanilla in a bowl with an electrical mixer until creamy.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture until just mixed.
Stir in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips by hand.
Drop by the spoonful onto a greased or lined baking sheet.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until edges look golden brown (I baked mine for 12 minutes).
Cool on the cookie sheet for at least 4-5 minutes so the cookies can set.
Remove to rack to cool completely.

donderdag 2 december 2010

CEiMB - Tortellini-Spinach Soup - One Sentence Post

This week it was Bri's turn to pick the recipe for Craving Ellie in My Belly and she did a great job:
this soups tastes deliciously spicy (I used chili flakes instead of red pepper flakes) and is perfect for the wintery weather we've been having here as it's been snowing and we've been having temperatures around -8 degrees Celsius during the day. I may have overfilled the soup just a bit as I had a bit more veggies at hand than the recipe indicated.

The recipe can be found here at Bri's blog Yoshimi Vs. Motherhood, don't forget to check out what my fellow Ellie-istas think of the Tortellini-Spinach Soup!

Madonna - Crazy For You [Official Video]

A childhood favorite... Looked it up after Glee's Madonna show.

woensdag 17 november 2010

Looking at Briefcases

Since I started school again in September, I've found that I'm in desperate need for a new briefcase, I discovered this cute brown/pink one and I absolutely love this pink leather laptop briefcase that I found at CSN Stores. Now if only I could find something similar here!

maandag 8 november 2010

CEiMB - Mushroom, Onion and NO Basil Pizza

Last weeks Craving Ellie in My Belly is brought to you by Joanne of Apple Crumbles: she picked Muschroom, Onion and Basil Pizza that can be found here on Joanne's blog or on page 176 of The Food You Crave.

I must apologize for posting this pizza so late: I actually made it before my parents went on their trip to The States, about two weeks ago but didn't get around to posting it due to a vicious attack by the flu and some study sessions for upcoming exams, but here it is! I used storebought dough and used the leftover from my pick (recipe for sauce posted here). I forgot to add the basil and added a bit more cheese that needed using up. We loved this and will be making it again!

Go check out what my fellow Ellie-istas thought of the pizza here!

donderdag 28 oktober 2010

CEiMB - Spaghetti Frittata with Salad Presto - My pick!!!

This weeks it's my turn to pick the recipe for Craving Ellie in My Belly and I chose Spaghetti Frittata with Salad Presto. It seemed like the perfect recipe to use up leftover pasta and marinara sauce, for the marinara sauce I used the recipe from The Food You Crave (page 153, see below).

Now, let me start by saying that I got to learn to read recipes better before picking them: in this recipe the eggs are partially cooked in a pan and then put under a broiler. I don't have a broiler or an oven-safe pan!!!!!! So I decided to bake the frittata in my oven: : I prepared the veggies and spaghetti as written in the recipe, I then put the veggies and spaghetti in a 9x13" ovendish, added the beaten eggs and topped it with grated Parmesan. I then baked it for 45 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees.

I really liked this when I ate it hot for dinner, paired with the Salad Presto and some store-bought Garlic Bread. But I also loved it the next day at work, when I had a cold piece for lunch served with some Mustard Soup. My mom really liked it too! Go here to check out what my fellow Ellie-istas thought of the Spaghetti Frittata with Salad Presto!!

So Easy - Ellie Krieger, page 100

5 large eggs
5 large egg whites
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, sliced thinly into half moons (I used a red onion)
5 cups baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), reconstituted in boiling water for 10 minutes, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked whole-wheat spaghetti (4 ounces dry spaghetti) tossed with 1/2 cup marinara sauce (I included the recipe I used below)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 recipe Salad Presto (recipe follows)

In a medium bowl, separate 5 of the egg whites, discarding the yolks. Add the remaining 5 whole eggs to the bowl with the whites and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Heat the oil in large oven-proof, nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onionis softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach, sun-dried tomatoes,garlic, salt and pepper and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Add the pasta to the pan and stir to combine. Pour the eggs evenly over the pasta and vegetables. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until eggs are set on the edges but not in the middle. (Or prepare the veggies and spaghetti as written in the recipe, then put the veggies and spaghetti in a 9x13" ovendish, add the beaten eggs and top it with grated Parmesan. Bake for 45 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees)

Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the top of the frittata with cheese and place under the broiler. Cooke until the top is set and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook or the eggs will become tough. Cut into 6 wedges and serve.

So Easy - Ellie Krieger, page 101
1 5-ounce bag mixed greens (5 cups lightly packed)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
pinch of dried basil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Put the greens in a medium salad bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar. Drizzle the dressing over the greens and sprinkle dried basil on top. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

The Food You Crave - Ellie Krieger, page 153

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, drained, tomatoes chopped
    3 tablespoons tomato paste
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 bay leaf
    Salt and pepper

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add thegarlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

zondag 24 oktober 2010

Joyeux Anniversaire / Happy Birthday Dorie!!! - Curried Chicken with Pepper and Peas en Papilotte

Today is the birthday of Dorie Greenspan, the author of Baking: From My Home To Yours and Around My French Table (plus lots of other great cookbooks). Baking: From My Home To Yours inspired Laurie of slush to set up the amazing group Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD), followed byFrench Fridays with Dorie (FFwD)

Holly of Phe.MOM.enon (one of the members of both groups) and Laurie came up with the idea of celebrating Dorie's birthday by creating our version of the 'perfect menu' from Dorie's new bookAround My French Table by choosing a few people who have been with TWD for a long time and joined FFwD.

There are 9 sections in Around My French Table and every blogger chose a section to pick a recipe from. The sections are:
1. Nibbles & hor d'oeuvres
2. Soups
3. Salads, starters, and small plates
4. Chicken and duck
5. Beef, veal, pork, and lamb
6. Fish and shellfish
7. Vegetables and grains
8. Desserts

I was very much tempted to pick something from Desserts, but instead I chose the section Chicken and duck and picked Curried Chicken with Pepper and Peas en Papilotte on page 221 of Around My French Table. This dish was perfect for me as it requires very little preparation and it's extremely easy to put together: you slice up some chicken thighs, a red onion and a pepper, add some peas and curry, salt and pepper to the mix. Cut some parchment into 4 pieces and divide the chicken mix over the 4 pieces. Fold them closed and bake in the oven untill the chicken tests done. Serve with rice.

I'm not going to post the entire recipe, I want to urge you to go ahead and buy Around My French Table: you won't regret it as it's filled with lovely French recipes that are easy to make at home! I loved the flavour, although I might add just a little bit more curry or use a spicier variety next time. Unfortunately I can't show you how it turns out as I accidentally erased all the pictures from my camera before uploading them to my computer :S

Gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag Dorie! (translation: Happy Birthday Dorie!)
Thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes and cookbooks you have written, they are truly amazing!

Thank you Holly and Lauri for organizing this virtual birthday dinner! Are you curious about the other recipes that were made or do you want to know what other bloggers participated in this virtual birthday dinner? Go check out the roundup over at Phe.MOM.enon!!!

donderdag 21 oktober 2010

CEiMB - Chicken Pot Pies - One Sentence Post

I love being a part of online cooking/baking groups because they make me try new recipes all the time: this week was the first time I made Chicken Pot Pies, these were made for Craving Ellie in My Belly and they were picked as this weeks recipe by Shandy of Pastry Heaven.

Half the recipe was made and I shared one with a friend I hadn't seen in a while due to both our current hectic schedules; I must apologize for the lack of pictures, before I knew it we were eating dessert and I realized that I forgot to take photos: however my fellow Ellie-istas posted plenty pictures, so go check out their posts!

(So technically this is now a three sentence post, but I just wanted to share with you that I just received my first grade for school: a 7!!! :D)

maandag 11 oktober 2010

TWD: Fold-Over Pear Torte - One Sentence Post

Cakelaw of Laws of the Kitchen selected Fold-Over Pear Torte on pages 348 and 349 for this weeks Tuesdays With Dorie, this one was a huge hit all around: at work, with my dad and with my friend!

zondag 10 oktober 2010

Gorgeous barstools

I have mentioned CSN Stores on here before, this weekend I was browsing through their website and found their lovely bar furniture; let me tell you: if I were to redecorate my kitchen I would probably fit a gorgeous bar into it for me to have breakfast at or for my guests to sit at while I cook them dinner, I especially like this cute modern set!

vrijdag 8 oktober 2010

FFwD - Gerard’s Mustard Tart - One Sentence Post

This is my first recipe for this new and exciting group: French Fridays with Dorie and it was Gerards Mustard Tart which I absolutely loved, as will probably everyone that likes mustard although I must say trying to cheat with storebought tart dough wasn't the best idea I had today since I mistakenly bought sweet tart dough and I also accidentally left the tart in the oven a tad too long; the recipe can be found in Dorie's new book Around My French Table, don't forget to check out what everyone else thought of this tart here....

donderdag 7 oktober 2010

CEiMB - Tomato-Tortilla Soup - One Sentence Post

Thanks to Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feed for picking Tomato-Tortilla Soup for Craving Elly in My Belly (page 76 of The Food You Crave): this one was very tasty and super easy to make, definitely a recipe I'll make more often!

dinsdag 5 oktober 2010

For this weeks episode of Tuesdays with Dorie Lynne of Honey Muffin chose Double Apple Bundt Cake on pages 184 and 185, I turned these into mini-cakes and will post a picture as soon as I can relocate them on my laptop: I have no idea where I saved them :S.
What I can do is tell you that these were amazing!! I took them into work with me and served them dusted with some powdered suger: tasty!!

woensdag 29 september 2010

One day late - TWD: Tarte Fine

This weeks recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie was picked by Leslie of Lethally Delicious. It was extremely easy and quick to make. I made the 'Playing Around'-version and also added some cinnamon to the apples: it was delicious!!!

Four weeks ago I started going back to college/university: I'll be studying to get my Bachelor in Communication and am so glad that I made the decision to go back to school. However, this does mean that I will barely have spare time left as I work full-time, attend classes two nights a week and have to study.

I do want to keep baking and cooking things, but know that I won't be able to write lengthy posts. Therefor as long as I have classes my posts will be pics and 'One Sentence Posts'. When I do have time (e.g. during school holidays) I will try to write longer posts.

zondag 29 augustus 2010

Lady Antebellum - Need You Now (HD)

One of my favorite songs at this moment!!!

My first attempt at Ontbijtkoek: Failure!!!

Yes, there is a huge dent in my Ontbijtkoek and No, there's not supposed to be a dent in Ontbijtkoek. The worst part??? It wasn't even completely cooked.

Attempt #2 will follow soon, using a different recipe!!