Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quick and Easy Recipes & A Few More Sweets

So I spent most of the weekend preparing some meals and cookie plates for some folks who needed a little something. Thinking I ought to pick easy but yummy favorites, I tried to keep it simple. I thought for sure I could spare an hour here and there, but by Sunday it became apparent that I needed some help... called in my sister-in-law Sam for help! Thank goodness for her, couldn't have done it without her help!

(I'll Post A Picture Soon of the Cookies... need to upload to our slow computer....)

For the meals, I quadrupuled this recipe... but I love to use Corn Flakes on top of the casserole instead of bread crumbs.

We used Martha's Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing (both were actually much less complicated than her usual recipes-- make sure you use only 2 egg whites for the icing, not the 5 she says on the video); White and Milk Chocolate dipped pretzel rods; Spitzbuben; and Kim's Christmas Caramels.

You MUST make the caramels ... I don't know anyone who doesn't like them and I'm making a second batch today. Here's the recipe:

Kim's Christmas Caramels
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt
-Combine ingredients in heavy pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until temperature reaches soft-ball state on candy thermometer (about 15 minutes). Pour into buttered 7x11'' pan. Cool, cut into squares, and wrap in wax paper. Makes about 75 pieces.

Jeremy's been a big help in the lunch and dinner department lately, but I still love to spend a little time in the kitchen. This week I discovered two really easy things to throw together that are both pretty good (of course, it's much better when it's homemade, but who has the time???): Chicken Noodle Soup and Peppermint Patty Brownies:

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup:
2-4 cans chicken broth (low sodium!)
2-3 carrots, cut into small pieces
2-3 stalks celery, cut into small pieces
roasted chicken, about 2 cups, shredded
2-3 portions pasta, uncooked
a little salt and pepper
-Combine all but the pasta in the broth, allow to boil. Add pasta. Soup's ready when the pasta is!!!

Peppermint Patty Brownies:
1 bag of Peppermint Patties
your favorite brownie mix
-Make brownie mix according to directions. Pour half the mixture into baking dish. Top with Patties. Cover Patties with remaining mixture & bake.

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