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Sunday, December 28, 2014

No Fuss Egg Nog Doggie Biscuits

I love to make this recipe using egg nog thru the holidays for my furry kids(and the neighborhood ones also).Trust me it is just as good if you use milk.You can omit the honey, but I have a little girl with a sweet tooth, and honey is a great natural antibiotic .I use a good local dark clover honey .

This recipe is so dog gone easy, your going to wonder why you ever bought those chemical filled treats from the store!This recipe is a large batch, but you could half it if you choose. I always seem to be giving them away, and my furballs eat them so fast,I could double this recipe and never have enough. 

5 cups whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
2 cups milk, or Egg Nog
2 eggs
2 T. honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Mix all ingredients in a stand mixer with dough hook attachment. I use a low speed, mix just until dough pulls away from the bowl, and forms a ball. Roll out on a floured surface and cut with a cookie cutter, or use a pizza cutter and cut in strips. Lay on an ungreased cookie sheet close together, but not touching. Bake 10 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven . Cool, and store in an sealed container for up to 6 months.These freeze well also.

Peanut butter is rich in protein, iron, calcium, potassiummagnesium, copper, and Vitamins B3, E, K,and a great source of furry kids love it!
Did you know it contains  rich natural oils including omega acids that help kill the bacteria  in your dog’s mouth, which cause bad breath.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Essential Oil Sugar Cubes

Whether you love a sugar cube in coffee , tea , or champagne. This is a great recipe for a cheaper, healthier, and more glamorous sugar cube...Oh...and did I say DELICIOUS!!!!

1 cup sugar [ the best quality pure cane you can afford]
2 T. water
1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
3 drops good quality essential oil [I love lavender}
1 OR 2 drops food color [optional]

Mix the ingredients with a fork. Try to remove the clumps of sugar and make a smooth mixture. If clumps of sugar remain, continue mixing to remove them. The sugar is ready when it retains it shape when lightly pressed.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper. You can use a bread pan, a loaf pan, or any type of glass or metal pan that is oven safe.Sharper corner pans work best.

Pour the sugar onto the parchment paper. Pack the sugar into the base of the pan very tightly with a spatula or another tool that is stiff and flat. The height should be similar to a commercial sugar cube, around 1/2 an inch.

  • If you want sugar pieces that aren't shaped like cubes, pour the sugar into oven-safe candy molds or muffin tins.
  • If you have candy molds that aren't oven safe, you can still use them. Pour the sugar into the molds and use a spatula to flatten the tops. Instead of putting the molds in the oven, cover them loosely with parchment paper and leave them on the counter overnight. They'll be hard by morning.
Score the sugar. Using a knife, cut the sugar sheet into cubes of the size you want. Try to cut neat, even squares. Do not forget this step; if you do, you will end up with a sugar block, rather than sugar cubes.

Put the pan in an oven preheated to 120°C or 250°F. Set a timer for 1 hour.

Remove the pan of sugar from the oven. After one 1 hour, take the pan out and let the sugar cubes cool for at least 10 minutes.

Break up the cubes. Pull the sugar cubes out of the pan and break them apart with your hands or something smooth like a knife. If cut properly, they will break fairly easy.

Store the cubes. Put the sugar cubes into an airtight container for future use. Or, pop them into your coffee or tea right now and enjoy.

                      HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Little Vintage Trailer Cookies


2 C granulated Sugar
1 C plus 2 T brown sugar
1 C Crisco solid shortening
3 T molasses
4 eggs
1 ½ t salt
2 t baking soda
6 C flour
1 T ginger
1 T cinnamon

Cream the shortening and sugar in a large stand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until fluffy. Add the molasses, salt, soda, ginger, and cinnamon. Mix completely. Add the flour, one cup at a time. The dough will become very stiff, and the bowl will be quite full. Once the flour is incorporated, turn the mixer off. It is a very stiff dough, and the object is to incorporate the flour, nothing more.

Roll dough to a generous 1/8” thickness directly on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Trace around paper stencils (available for publication) to cut out the walls and roof of a gingerbread house. Lift away the excess dough on the cookie sheet with a spatula or knife. Be sure to leave some space between the pieces—the dough does expand while baking.

Bake at 375 degrees for between 10 and 14 minutes. Slightly over-baked (short of burning) is better than slightly under-baked as you need rigidity for constructing gingerbread houses.
Let the cookie pieces cool completely before assembly—even overnight. When cooling and storing, do not stack the pieces. Ice with royal icing.

ROYAL ICING~ Beat 3 egg whites,a 2 lb. pound bag powdered sugar,1 tsp cream of tartar, and 1/4 cup water on high speed til mixed well...... thin with 1 tablespoon water at a time until desired consistency....I have never had an issue with raw egg whites in the 40 years I have done cookies, but you can substitute with meringue powder if you please.

I hope everyone had themselves a Merry Lil' Christmas....

Perfect Roast Chicken

This simple recipe is my family's favorite roasted chicken. This is a no fail method of roasting a chicken to perfection!
I use about a 4 to 5 pound  whole chicken for this recipe. 

1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup softened butter
2T. Soy sauce
1T. Worcestershire sauce
1T. Mrs. Dash

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Rinse your chicken before roasting, remove giblets.  In a bowl, combine all ingredients with a  spoon until creamy. Using your hands, rub mixture over entire chicken.. Set chicken in a roasting pan breast-side down for first half of cooking time, then flip breast side up .The butter and honey really caramelizes into a beautiful crispy glaze. Roast for about 1 1/2 hour . I use Ina Garten’s tip of slicing the leg and if the juices run clear… it’s done! Let rest for about 15-20 minutes before cutting. ENJOY!

Monday, December 8, 2014

GLUTEN~FREE Gingerbread House

Gingerbread was brought to Europe in 992 by the Armenian monk Gregory of Nicopolis (Gregory Makar) (GrĂ©goire de Nicopolis). He left Nicopolis Pompeii, to live in Bondaroy (France), near the town of Pithiviers. He stayed there for seven years, and taught gingerbread baking to French Christians. He died in 999.
During the 13th century, gingerbread was brought to Sweden by German immigrants. In 15th century Germany, a gingerbread guild controlled production. Early references from the Vadstena Abbey show how the Swedish nuns were baking gingerbread to ease indigestion in 1444. It was the custom to bake white biscuits and paint them as window decorations.
The first documented trade of gingerbread biscuits dates to the 17th century, where they were sold in monasteries, pharmacies and town square farmers' markets. In Medieval England gingerbread was thought to have medicinal properties.One hundred years later the town of Market Drayton in Shropshire, UK became known for its gingerbread, as is proudly displayed on their town's welcome sign. The first recorded mention of gingerbread being baked in the town dates back to 1793; however, it was probably made earlier, as ginger was stocked in high street businesses from the 1640s. Gingerbread became widely available in the 18th century.

  • • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  •   1/4 cup tapioca starch
  •   1/2 cup potato starch (not flour)
  • • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • • 1/3 cup  coconut oil
  • • 2-4 tablespoons milk substitute ( or milk)
  • Icing for Gingerbread
  • • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar 
  • • 2-3 tablespoons milk substitute (or milk )
  • • Squeeze of lemon
  • The oil/fat should be solid and at cool room temperature. 
  • 1. Place the first eight dry ingredients in the bowl of your  mixer  with the paddle attachment. Pulse  to combine.
  • 2. Add the molasses and oil and mix on medium-low until you have a damp, sandy mixture.( about 60 seconds).
  • 3. Starting with 2 tablespoons, add the milk substitute and mix on low speed until a dough forms. If the dough doesn't come together use the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk.
  • 4. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and press into a disk shape. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.
  • 5. Working with small portions (keep the unused dough wrapped and chilled), roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/8" thickness.
  • 6. Cut out desired shapes and carefully transfer by using a very thin spatula dipped in a bit of gluten-free flour 
  • 7. Place cookies on greased cookie sheet and bake in the center of a preheated 350 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your cookies.
  • 8. Cool on sheet pan for about five minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Gingerbread House Party

This past weekend I hosted a gingerbread house party for family. Having a new grandbaby 7 months ago prompted me to start some new traditions. 

It is such a great experience chatting over hot cocoa, tea and coffee with family and friends. Sometimes we even get a bit competitive. My guests were so happy leaving with their little beautifully decorated houses. 

I can't wait til he gets old enough to decorate his own..... but for now he can just be an adorable little helper. 

                                                             Little cookie man

You can buy pre made houses, make your own from scratch, or even use graham crackers for mini houses.

(over 100 years old)

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter and lard mixed
1 1/2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 egg
1 cup Brer Rabbit Molasses
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water

Cream shortening and sugar. Add beaten egg, molasses, then dry ingredients which have been sifted together. Add hot water last and beat until smooth. Roll out on a floured surface, cut in desired shapes. Bake in greased shallow pan or cookie sheet 40-45 minutes in moderate oven (350° F.). Makes 1 large house or 2 smaller houses plus a couple gingerbread men. Good old-fashioned gingerbread.

Gingerbread House  Royal Icing Adhesive

3 Tablespoons meringue powder (available wherever cake decorating supplies are sold , even Walmart )
4 cups powdered sugar 
4-6 Tablespoons cold water

  • In a large bowl beat the meringue powder and water until frothy.
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar, half of a cup at a time.Scrap down the sides of the bowl if necessary, until the icing becomes thick.
  • Place the prepared frosting into an air tight container and leave at room temperature until ready to use. Or place directly in to a pastry/frosting bag fitted with a tip and use as soon as possible.
  • If you would like to color your icing, use the food coloring in place of the water.

  •  A couple days before my party I assembled the houses to ensure they would be sturdy and dry for my guests. The last thing I wanted was for a house to break apart on someone.

      If you are on a budget, ask people to bring a bag of two of candy ..people always have plenty of left over from trick or treat.

                                            Everyone looking very serious here....

                                                Sometimes we just need a nap.....
                                             The teamwork is my favorite part.

                                                   Admiring their  masterpiece....  

    I encourage everyone to try your hand at your own party. It is sooooo much fun. Crank up your favorite Christmas music, and throw a bunch of candy and sprinkles on the table...Let the fun begin!!!

                        Now to get all that frosting off of everything!!!