Grab Button

It took me a while, but I did it! I now have a grab button for you to put on your blog! Go grab it from my sidebar! Enjoy!


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

{pumpkin pie has met its match}
I saw these when I was browsing... somewhere out there in cyberspace. And all it took was one look, and I was immediately head over heels and the site was saved in my bookmarks three seconds later. To say that I was excited to try this out, is an understatement. This definitely worked as a great test run for YW's In Excellence in two weeks- I'm in charge of treats, and I've been brainstorming ideas for the evening, and these I think are in my top 5. 
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ginger
1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the frosting:
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 8oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325F. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a bowl, and whisk together. In another bowl, beat brown sugar and oil until combined, then add the pumpkin, and whisk together. Add vanilla and the egg, and mix again until combined. Fold in dry ingredients until incorporated. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Use a melon baller (or something that measures 2 tablespoons) to scoop the batter on to the cookie sheet- two inches apart. Bake for 9-10 minutes, OR until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cookies sit for 5 minutes before moving to a wire wrack to cool. 
To make the frosting, beat the butter until creamy, about 30 seconds, then add in the cream cheese. Beat on medium for about 1 minute until mixture is creamy and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat again until desired consistency. If too thick, add a couple teaspoons of milk and if too runny, add 1/2 cup powdered sugar. 

Once the cookies are cooled, and the frosting is all frosting-y, using a small spoon, scoop up some frosting and dollop it on the flat underside of one cookie, and sandwich it with another cookie, flat sides together. Repeat. If you wanted to get fancy, you could pipe the frosting.
Once they are all assembled, put them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving!

Just a tip: if the tops of your little cookies are a bit rigid from sticking to the utensil you used to scoop them onto the baking sheet- before baking, dip the tips of your fingers in water and smooth out the little peaks. 
Source: Teenie Cakes 



{oh my goodness i love thanksgiving}
This was my first time hosting Thanksgiving. You're thinking, 'Thanksgiving, on October 24th?'. Yes. I missed Canadian Thanksgiving, and here in Canada, American Thanksgiving isn't recognized, and you don't get time off of work. So we decided to do it yesterday, and it was a success! I have to admit, without Warren it wouldn't have happened... I gagged the whole time when he was playing with the bird before it was cooked. Blech! You laugh, but it's true. Also, let me tell you the secret that made our turkey especially delicious. Thanks to my good friend Erin, who sent me a link on to do this with a chicken, we now have a perfect recipe for turkey to go into our recipe collection. Boo ya! Want to know the secret? Okay, you twisted my arm. It's Mayo! Say what?! Yeah, Mayo.
Ingredients... really?
A turkey
a cup of Mayo
basic seasonings

What ya do is, once all the giblet bags are out (you're gonna wanna make sure it's thawed first), you are going to spread Mayo all over the turkey (minus the bottom, obviously). Then add your seasonings. I used thyme, some oregano, some garlic powder, and some salt and pepper. Cover with foil, then pop that bad boy into the oven and cook it for the time specified on the package. Best part... no basting needed!
Ta da!
Source: Rookie Cookie Roast Chicken   


Cranberry Pummmmpkin Bread

{tis' the freakin' season}
Can I just tell you how much I love pumpkin flavored anything? It's funny because pumpkin pie, is not my number one favorite. But put pumpkin in anything else, and I'm yours. I can't get enough of it! I especially love the way it makes your house smell. Reminds me of grandma's house during November and December. It's so welcoming and pleasant. I thought that breads like this were for experienced bakers only. To my surprise, it was quite easy-- minus of course, my big flaw of not cooking the first loaf entirely before taking it out of the oven. That's right my friends, this is the second loaf! The inside of the first loaf, literally was the same consistency of the batter that went into the oven in the beginning. I went ahead and did some research on why this happened, and what I could do to rectify it. So here is what I found:
Bread sticks to pan. Unless you're using high-quality nonstick metal or silicone baking pans, you should always grease the pans before you pour in the batter. The best thing to use for greasing the pan is shortening, because its melting point is higher than any other kind of fat, which helps maintain a "shield" between pan and batter while the bread is baking. A high-quality cooking spray--one that won't bake on to your pans and discolor them--is also a fast, easy fix. You can also prevent sticking by removing the bread from the pan sooner: let the bread cool for at least twenty minutes in order to set (Bundt loaves should cool twice as long) before inverting the pan.
There are big holes and "tunnels" in the bread, and/or the bread is tough. These problems are usually caused by over-mixing. See above, Mixing the Batter, about mixing technique.
There's a big crack down the middle of the quick bread loaf. The crack on top happens when top of the loaf "sets" in the heat of the oven before the bread is finished rising. Don't worry--it's normal for quick breads. Drizzle the loaf with icing or dust with confectioners' sugar.
The bread looks done on the outside but it's still raw in the middle. This is one of the most common quick bread problems, and it can be caused by a few different factors. The oven temperature could be too high. (Use an oven thermometer to check: they're cheap and available at most supermarkets.)
Try lowering the oven temperature and/or putting a loose tent of foil over the top of the bread so it won't burn before the middle has time to catch up.

Another cause of "raw center" syndrome could be using a different pan than the recipe calls for. One of the nice things about quick breads is that you can use the same batter to make muffins, mini loaves, jumbo loaves, or rounds. But each size requires different baking times--and some require different baking temperatures. The larger and thicker the loaf, the longer it's going to take to bake. If you're using a different size pan than your recipe calls for, adjust the baking time accordingly and check the bread often.
Taken from allrecipes.com. So... I had to try it again to prove that I could do it. And whadda know... it worked! I adjusted my oven temperature and I covered it with foil the last 10 minutes, and now I have yummy, yummy pumpkin bread to eat!
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (optional) (you could also throw in nuts and/or chocolate chips)

Cream butter, sugar, and eggs. Add pumpkin and mix; set aside. In another bowl sift flour, baking soda, and spices. Gradually add dry ingredients to creamy mixture. Mix until just blended. Fold in cranberries. Grease one loaf pan or four mini loaves. Pour batter into pans. For one loaf, bake at 350F for about 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. For mini loaves, bake at 350F for about 35-40 minutes.

FYI... this makes a fantastic gift to give to your neighbors and friends!
recipe adapted from The Essential Mormon Cookbook.

Aunt Judi's Shepard's Pie

{thanks aunt judi!} 
A family recipe that I'm glad to finally have as part of my recipe collection. Mmm... it's so good. I was a bit skeptical because I'm not a fan of things that are too meaty. I like the taste and the flavor but sometimes it's just too much for me, and I end up picking it out and eating around it. This was perfect. Not too much, and it had just enough mashed potatoes to balance it out! Give it a whirl, I'm guessing you'll love it, too!
1 lb. lean ground beef sirloin
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 cup fresh or frozen peas (or you could use green beans...)
1 8oz can Tomato Soup
6 potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed (or 8 servings of instant mashed potatoes)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef in oil, then add onion, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook until onion is tender. Drain. Put into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Top with peas (or green beans). Spread/pour tomato soup over peas. Top with mashed potatoes. Then sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes, or until it's bubbly on the sides the cheese is melted.


A Couple New Things!

You may or may not have noticed my flood of posting I've done in the last couple weeks. First I have to say thanks to all my close friends who graciously accepted the mission to help me eat it all before it went bad! Second, all the posting wasn't just an accident. I'm going to be going on hiatus for a couple of weeks due to some traveling back to the States. A lot has been happening in my family and the baking and cooking kind of helped me cope with it. Once I get back, things will pan out a little with a couple posts a week, more or less depending on special events- unlike lately, where I've had to stagger the blogging as to not overwhelm my readers ;).

I've added a couple new things to my blog... You'll notice at the end of each post are 3 other posts that are similar to that post, and a list on the side bar of the most popular posts. I thought this would make me look more "official" and also to help organize things and make it easier for people to navigate their way around.

Also on my side bar, you'll notice I now have sponsors. They are great people and I can't thank them enough! I'm still working on adding the rest of them, only a few are posted as of right now. If you have any questions about my sponsors (who they are, and what they do) let me know, or you can click on their pictures and that will link you to them directly. ALSO if you would like to become an awesome sponsor, please contact me via email k[dot]thompson[at]aggiemail[dot]usu[dot]edu.

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for reading!

Pin it!