Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

We love chocolate chip cookies around here.  Occasionally I try out new recipes.  Here is one I tried last week and we loved it!  I found the recipe through www.yourhomebasedmom.com.  In one of Leigh Anne's posts she mentioned Your Cup of Cake.  I checked out her site and found this recipe: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  When I try it again I might use a few more oats and/or flour.  But overall, a great recipe!  (The dough was oh so good!) 

June 22 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lynn Jeanfreau
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 ¼ cup flour sifted (measure then sift)
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 bag Guittard Milk Chocolate Chips [I have no idea where to get Guittard chocolate chips...we just used what we had on hand]

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.    Cream butter and sugars together for about 5 minutes.  (It's a chemical reaction, so give it time.)  Add vanilla and eggs.
3.    In a separate bowl mix salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sift flour. 
4.    Add dry ingredients slowly to wet while mixing.  Do not over mix. 
5.    Add oats.  Add chocolate chips.
6.    Place dough balls that are about the size of a golf ball an un-greased cookie sheet (parchment paper on the cookie sheet works best). 
7.    Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Time will vary depending on ovens, but you want to take them out just before the tops start to golden.  
8.    Let cool on a sheet a for 3 minutes.  Once they set, taking about 15 minutes, they will be ready to eat.

The story behind making the cookies was promise to have a party the following night if all the kids were asleep by 8 pm!  After the party (cookies, popcorn, soda and a movie!) the kids went out and caught fireflies or lightening bugs...your preference. Next week I will be posting on my grocery budget and how I fared for June.  Stay tuned!

June 22 2011 Shanna Cal Clark Haley

Monday, June 27, 2011

4th of July Wreath

With the 4th just around the corner, if you haven't already pulled out decorations for Independence Day, now's a good time to start.  If you don't have any decorations, there's still time to whip something together. 

I got together with some of my friends on Saturday and made this cute wreath.  The original idea came from here.  Instead of using paper, we used fabric.  Although this isn't my idea,  it was so cute, I had to share it.

You will need:
A wreath form (mine is wire)
Red,white and blue fabric
Needle and thread
Whatever floats your boat, really. 
Hot Glue Gun
Time: approx. 2 hours

Cut out circles, of various sizes.  
Larger circles will cover the wreath faster.  Some of my friends made circles of various sizes and clumped them together.  I didn't want to spend tons of time on my wreath, so I made my circles a little larger.  

I made yo-yos with some of them and sewed them into the center of the bigger circles.
To make a yo-yo, sew a gathering stitch around the edge of the circle.
Pull your thread to gather the fabric to the center of the circle.
Knot your thread.  Add a button or star, or nothing to the center of the circle.

I also gathered the centers of all my large circles, to make them a bit frilly, and help them stand out from the wreath more.  Some I just pinched in the center and sewed in place.  Others, I sewed a small circle in the center (as in the picture),
then I pulled the thread tight and knotted it.
 Then add a yo-yo, button or star to the center of the circle.

Once you have a good selection of circles to use, arrange them around the wreath, any way that you like, and glue them in place using your hot glue gun.  Add stars, ribbons, streamers, or whatever makes you feel patriotic.  
Happy 4th of July!!! ~Lena

Friday, June 24, 2011

Blueberry Dessert

This must be a week of desserts here at Five Sisters.  Summer is in full swing and blueberries are in season.  We took advantage of this and went blueberry picking on Saturday.  Blueberries are awesome all on their own, but I can't resist pulling out lots of old favorite blueberry recipes to make.

When we were young, our mom would sometimes make (for a very special occasion) a blueberry dessert.  It was really rich and yummy.  She got the recipe from her friend Ann, whom I've never met.  The original recipe calls for raw eggs that are whipped with sugar and butter to form a thick cream that is spread in the dessert.  Here's my modified version, that nixes the raw eggs and uses cream cheese instead.

Ann's Blueberry Dessert

3 cups fresh blueberries
4 Tbs corn starch
3/4 cup sugar.
Cook over medium heat until bubbly and clear.  Put aside to cool.
(Or use 1 can blueberry pie filling instead)

1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs or graham cracker crumbs (or combine 1 cup wheat flour with 1/4 cup brown sugar and a dash of salt--this is what I used)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 pkg (8 oz) of cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup whipped topping, or 1 cup whipping cream, whipped and sweetened to taste

Layer 1:
Mix cookie crumbs with butter and press into the bottom of an 8"x8" pan.  Reserve a little bit to sprinkle on top.

Layer 2:
Whip together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.  Spread over top of crumb crust.

Layer 3:
Spread blueberry filling over top of cream cheese mixture.

Layer 4:
Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with a few more crumbs.  Refrigerate any leftovers.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fruit Pizza

I love to cook and I also love making fun desserts. Usually I don't have that much time to spend making things but every once and a while I can make something really fun. A few years ago I made a birthday dinner for my brother Roger. His wife was out of town so I wanted him to have a really fun birthday. For dessert I made a fruit pizza. It is a perfect dessert for summer. You can use any fruit you want to. I used kiwi, blueberries, raspberries, and peaches. You make the crust out of sugar cookie dough and then the sauce is a cream cheese frosting. My sugar cookie dough and cream cheese frosting recipes are below. If you want to make this really fast just buy some already made sugar cookie dough and a container of frosting from the store. Enjoy your SUMMER!

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

Submitted By: Jill Saunders
Photo By: Katie206
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Minutes
Ready In: 3 Hours
Servings: 60
"Whenever you make these cookies for someone, be sure to bring along several copies of the recipe! You will be asked for it, I promise!!!"
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1.In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3.Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2011 Allrecipes.comPrinted from Allrecipes.com 6/23/2011

Cream Cheese Frosting II

Submitted By: Janni
Photo By: frances
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 10 Minutes
Servings: 24
"This is a wonderfully creamy frosting that goes well with pumpkin bread, carrot cake, chocolate cake, on cookies or between cookies."
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese,
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2011 Allrecipes.comPrinted from Allrecipes.com 6/23/2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Easy, Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

The other night we had cinnamon rolls for a bedtime snack.  Normally if I want cinnamon rolls I'll use a recipe that calls for eggs, extra sugar, and rising time.  But when you want cinnamon rolls in under an hour, I don't want to wait for two or 3 just to let the dough rise (though, those are the BEST kinds of cinnamon rolls). But for a bedtime snack for the family, this recipe is great. I got it from my cousin Holly....not sure where she got it, but here you go!  Thanks Holly!

June 15 2011 Cinnamon

Holly's Pizza Dough (now it's cinnamon roll dough!)

1 Cup warm water
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/3 Cup sugar (normally for pizza dough it's only 1 tablespoon sugar, but since it's for cinnamon rolls, I like the extra sugar!)
1 teaspoon salt
2 - 2 1/2 Cups flour
1/4 Cup butter or margarine, softened or melted

Let yeast dissolve in 1 cup warm water--I give it a nice stir and let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Mix in sugar and salt.  Work in flour.  Finish kneading dough till it's a good consistency (for a couple of minutes...).  You may have to add in flour here and there so it won't stick to the counter.

Roll out dough in a rectangle, to no less than, about a 1/2 inch thick. Spread on margarine or butter to cover entire rectangle.  Sprinkle on sugar to cover the dough surface, and then enough cinnamon to your liking.  I do enough to cover the surface. Roll lengthwise and cut about 1 inch thick.  Place in greased pan.  Let rise for about 10-15 minutes in a warm place.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  (I actually don't know how long to bake them, I just check them.)

Let cool and frost.  For a quick butter frosting, combine together in a bowl: approximately 2 Tablespoons butter, 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and about 1 - 2 Tablespoons milk.  I like to mix it with a salad fork. Add more or less milk depending on the desired consistency.

You could even make caramel rolls.  Just spread extra butter on the dough (once rolled out) and then add about a cup (or less) of brown sugar.  When you take the rolls out of the oven, flip over onto a platter or plate. Mmm.....  Have fun being creative!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sewing for Dad

The kids and I have had fun sewing up some Father's Day surprises for Dad and Grandpa this week.  We made a travel tote for all of Dad's gadgety stuff.  You can look at the instructions here.  The instructions use a dish towel.  We decided to use two fabrics, sewn together into a dishtowel-sized rectangle.  For a quicker, easier project, I recommend the dishtowel. 

We (I was helping my 8 year old with this project) started out with two fabrics and matching thread.

 Cut them out to the size you want.  We used a dish towel to measure.  I like to be precise like.  If using fabric (instead of a dishtowel) sew around outside edges, leaving a gap to turn everything right-side out.  Then stitch the opening closed.  We used a slip stitch. 
 Start folding up the short end to create two pockets, one over the top of the other, with a flap on the top, that can be folded down over everything.

 Pin the pockets into place.  To make it easier, draw lines where you want the pockets to go, with a fabric pencil.
 Sew the pocket lines.  Don't forget the side seams!
 We sewed a shoe lace in the center of the back to tie up the bag when it's all rolled up.

My five year old helped with the next project: a case to hold Dad's gps.
 Measure the fabric.  We folded it over the gps, then cut it out.
 We sewed the top sides together, turned it out, then when it was inside out we sewed the sides.  We then made a strap, by folding a strip of the outside fabric together, sewed the open edge closed, and sewed it to the back of the case, making sure the strap could fit over to the front.

I wanted the strap to wrap around the case so there would be a loop where Dad could attach the case to his belt if he wanted. 

 We added a button to the front and a button hole on the end of the strap. And there's our case.  Pretty good for a 5 year old (and Mom). 

For our final project, my 7 year old made a case for Grandpa, similar to the gps case, but instead of a strap with a button closure, we had a flap on the top that folded over the front and we used velcro to close it.
Happy Father's Day DAD!

Two Week Menu for June

Here is my menu for last week and this current week.  They go from Wednesday to Tuesday, since we get our grocery ads on Tuesday evening.  I used to do it from Friday to Thursday, since my errand day was on Friday, but it just works better now to have my errand day on Wednesday.  This gives me time to put together meals for the weekend, bake any bread products I will need for the next week and buy any additional things I might have forgotten before Sunday and have a chance to make sure everything is all organized and put away before Friday.  

Clam Chowder

Baked chicken hindquarters and baked potatoes

Bean Dip with Homemade re fried beans

Potato Salad and Hoagies--for the potato salad, we were traveling to Nauvoo the night before, so I didn't want it to spoil at all.  I put all the chunky ingredients (i.e. diced potatoes, sliced hard-boiled eggs and pickles) into an ice cream bucket and brought with me an unopened bottle of mayonnaise.  When it was time to eat, I pulled everything out of the cooler, mixed in the mayo and some mustard and voila~potato salad, without the worry of food poisoning.  Then, when all of us had eaten (and it was pretty much all gone), I just threw everything in the trash--since it was just an ice cream bucket.

Leftovers and ice cream

Spanish Rice Enchiladas--I made homemade tortillas, filled them with Spanish rice and some shredded cheddar, folded them up and then poured green enchilada sauce over them.  They tasted VERY yummy!

Spanish Rice Fritatta

Hummus and Homemade Pita Bread

Pigs in a blanket

Sloppy Joes and Coleslaw

Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza

Chicken Enchiladas (a special Father's Day request!)

Spaghetti and Garlic Rolls

Cabbage Ramen Salad

Egg Rolls--filled with the leftover salad.  The seasonings are SO different it doesn't even taste like a recreation of the same meal.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Strawberry Pie


Mmmm, strawberries! One of the best things about early summer are cheap strawberries. And one of the best things to do with strawberries - make strawberry pie. A few weeks ago my friend Mary shared her strawberry pie recipe - which I believe is her husband's Grandma's recipe... But no matter where this recipe came from - it's DELICIOUS!!! My favorite by far - so much so, I've made it three times already and have some more strawberries in the fridge waiting to be turned into this pie.

There are several things I love about it - it's super easy, uses ingredients I already have on hand (don't need to get the strawberry glaze stuff at the store), sets really well, and it tastes amazing!

I admit - I don't have a picture of the actual pie, because they are always gone before I even think about it. :) But here is the recipe:

1 pint strawberries, sliced*
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 c sugar
1 c water
3 tbsp strawberry gelatin
1 graham cracker crust
Mix cornstarch and sugar. Boil with cup of water until thick; add strawberry gelatine and combine. Cool Slightly. Add Strawberries. Pour into Crust and refrigerate. Eat and enjoy!

*I've done it with half a pint too and there are still enough strawberries to satisfy. :)