Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Raspberry Almond Thumbprints

I got this recipe from this amazing blog, seriously check her out, talk about some serious inspiration. I keep telling myself that when we are in a house instead of an apartment, I am going to entertain just like her. She is something else. Anyways, I love the use of almonds instead of walnuts, which is how we always made them growing up. Mine spread a little much, so they aren't too beautiful, but they make up for it in taste! Enjoy!

Almond Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

1 1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 almond extract)
3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. almonds, ground coarsely
1 c. raspberry preserves

-In bowl of stand mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy in color, about 3 minutes.
-Add eggs and beat to combine well.
-Add vanilla and combine.
-Scrape down sides of bowl, slow mixer to low and add flour and almonds.
-Beat to combine (mixture will be coarse), remove bowl from mixer and scrape down sides, making sure all mixture is thoroughly combined.
-Scoop dough out into tsp sized rounds, rolling into balls. Place on cookie sheet at least 1 inch apart.
-Place cookie sheet in fridge for 15 to 20 minutes.
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line cookie sheets.
-Make an indentation into top of cookie with finger.
-Using a spoon, place a small amount of jam into indentation of each cookie.
-Place into oven and bake until starting to turn golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
-Remove from oven and let cool before serving

Friday, December 19, 2008

More soup from the crock pot

I LOVE this soup, and I love that it sits in my crock pot all day while I work and I come home to an awesome filling meal. This recipe makes a lot of soup, but I love to freeze it in individual tupperwares so I have lunch for work. This recipe is supposed to be like the Olive Garden's Pasta Fagioli, but mine is always thicker then theirs, even more like a chili I guess. So anyways, I prep everything at night and just put it in the fridge, so in the morning before work all I have to do is put it in the warmer and let it do its magic.

Pasta Fagioli

1 lb cooked ground beef
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup of chopped onion
3 stalks celery chopped
40 0z can of tomato juice
14 oz can of beef broth
2 cans of kidney beans with liquid
1 can of white kidney beans with liquid
26 0z can of tomato sauce
8 0z of cooked macaroni noodles
oregano, basil, paprika, and garlic to taste

Add all ingredients except for noodles to crock pot and let simmer on low all day. 1 hour before serving add cooked macaroni noodles.
Serve with Parmesan cheese and bread sticks for dipping.
And if your married to a husband like mine, he will need a sandwich to go with it, because soup is not enough to fill him up, or so he says.

Fall Food

Alright, I know it is winter now, but it is just starting to feel like fall here in California, and I am sooo behind in posting, that this fall favorite of mine is just now going up. Super easy, everyone has a version of this, but just in case they don't, I have to post this, everyone should enjoy this side dish. Michael had actually never had squash like this, and he was pleasantly surprised. He did give it a bit of the once over when I put it in front of him though. :)

Fall Squash

1 acorn or butternut squash, cut in half
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp honey
2 heaping! tbsp brown sugar


Place squash cut side down in a glass baking dish with about1 inch of water, cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes, until sides of squash are soft to the touch
Remove pan from oven, turn squash over and fill with the honey, butter, and brown sugar (1 tbsp of each per squash, but isn't that kind of obvious) Place back into oven uncovered and bake an additional 10 minuter. Now put it on the plate and enjoy.
These are also really good mashed, but why bother, I think the presentation is cute as is!

Serious comfort food...done lighter!

This recipe for alfredo sauce is all over the Weight Watcher's website for good reason. It is incredibly easy, and delicious. We added some sauteed scallops, shrimp, and sun dried tomatoes and served it over tomato flavored fettuccine. Something else that I also love about this recipe is that it is just for 2 servings, since alfredo sauce left overs are never great warmed up. Enjoy.


3 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Garlic & Herb
3/4C skim milk
1 tbsp reduced fat Parmesan cheese
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine all the ingredients over a low heat, until everything is melted and the sauce is velvety smooth, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately over hot cooked pasta of your choice

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas is coming!

Alright, I will admit to you that I do not actually feel that way. Christmas just doesn't seem to come in California. I really hope that on December 23, when I step off that plane in Washington, all the sudden the Christmas rush hits me. I am really missing it. No matter what I do, it just doesn't feel like Christmas here. The lights are up, the Christmas music is on, and I made these cookies from Katie's fantastic blog, to try and get in the spirit. I enjoyed them, but Michael requested a non-healthy version with regular white flour, so those are on the agenda this weekend. Merry Christmas, hope you are all getting in the spirit!

Fabulous Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 eggs1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp lemon zest
5 c. flour (I used whole wheat to Michael's dismay)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Powdered sugar, for rolling

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes.
-Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly.
-Add vanilla, almond, and lemon zest.
-Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt a little at a time.
-Do not over mix, this process should take about one minute.
-Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away.
-Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake cookies for 7-8 minutes.
-Wait until cookies are cooled before icing.

I frosted these with this cream cheese icing, then using cookie stencils and sprinkles decorated the tops. So easy, and so cute!