Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best of 2009

Wow! Can you believe that today is the last day of 2009? What a year it has been! It has definately been a crazy and busy year for me.

I started out the year with Nathan still home visiting on R&R. It was wonderful to be able to start the year with him. He went back to Iraq a few days later and returned home for good at the end of May. Shortly after his return and our vacation, we had to start packing to leave Germany. This was probably the hardest part of my year. After 7 years it was really hard to say goodbye to our home and our friends. We took another vacation before heading to El Paso which is where we now call home.

The kids have grown and changed so much in one year. I can't believe how fast they are growing up. Before I know it, they will be teenagers and I will wonder where my babies have gone. I am definately trying to cherish every moment with them!

I have changed so much in one year. This blog has changed so much in one year. Posting has dropped dramatically, but I am still thankful to have this outlet and to have people who read and comment.

In honor of the end of the year I would like to share some of my favorite recipes from 2009.


Cheese Ravioli in a Spinach Cream Sauce - After being introduced to homemade ravioli by my brother-in-law's girlfriend, Lauren, I became addicted. This is my favorite ravioli by far!

Lasagne (Daring Baker Challenge) - I have made this many times since and it has become my go-to lasagne recipe. Love, love, love it!

Bacon Jack Chicken - Bacon, Mushrooms, Cheese, Chicken... Need I say more?

Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun Dried Tomatoes - One of my favorite pasta recipes of all time. ALL TIME. Seriously, make it!

Sweet and Sour Pork - Having a hard time finding good Chinese take out? Try this recipe and you will never order take out again!


White Chocolate Lime Scones - You knew there would be scones on this list. ;) These are AMAZING!

Farmhouse Breakfast Bake - Hearty and delicious! Plus, you can assemble it the night before to make the morning even easier!

Pumpkin Waffles with Orange Walnut Butter and Nutmeg Syrup - The title says it all. YUM!!!

Croque Madame - Probably Nathan's favorite breakfast ever. If it wasn't on this list, I might be in a bit of trouble. Hee hee!

Fluffy Lemon Sour Cream Muffins - Fluffy, lemony, and delicious. Plus, the variations are endless. I loved them with craisins and really want to try them with blueberries.


All Star Sliders - A super delicious lunch!

Cranberry Bread - One of the best quick breads I have ever tasted!

Dessert - Saved the best for last!

Butterfinger Cake Balls - Easy peasy and oh so good!

Strawberry Shortcakes - Oh, you know you want some!

Snickerdoodle Blondies - If you aren't careful, you will devour the entire pan in one sitting.

Peanut Butter Cookies from Baked - Oh my goodness... The best peanut butter cookies in the world!

Lemon Sugar Cookies - I also made these with lime and turned them into ice cream sandwiches. Incredibly delicious AND addictive!

Brownie Peanut Butter Cups - You can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate!

Happy New Year and may your 2010 be filled with many blessings and happiness! Oh, and of course, LOTS of good food!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Baked Mac & Cheese

While making this for lunch today I realized that I have never posted this recipe. I have been making this recipe for years and absolutely love it. We don't make it often, maybe only once or twice a month, but it is a good one. It takes more time to make than a box of Kraft, but I promise you won't be disappointed!


Baked Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups elbow noodles

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp ground mustard

1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce

2 cups milk

Dash ground nutmeg

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook noodles according to package directions; set aside.

In saucepan, melt butter. Add flour, salt, pepper, mustard, and worcestershire. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Add milk and nutmeg; heat to boiling. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in cheese until melted.

Mix macaroni and cheese sauce. Pour into 2 qt baking dish. Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December Daring Baker Challenge: Gingerbread House

On the first of every month I get excited to go to the Daring Baker website to find out what the new challenge is. Every month I get excited over the new challenge. Every month I have lofty ideas of how I will complete the challenge. And every month I end up doing a mediocre job because I can't find the time to do what I really want to do with the challenge.

This month I had hoped would be different, but again I couldn't find the time to do the challenge the way I wanted. I was incredibly stoked that this months challenge was to make a gingerbread house from scratch. This is something I have always wanted to do and I was thrilled to have the push to do it this year. I wanted to do a Bavarian style gingerbread house to remind me of Germany. This is the first holiday season in 7 years that hasn't been spent overseas and I really do miss it.

Once again, though, I couldn't manage to bring my lofty goals to fruition. So, here is my gingerbread house, baked, assembled, and decorated in just a few hours. I put lederhosen on my gingerbread man to make it somewhat German, but he turned out creepy looking. Anya gladly bit off his head so we didn't have to look at him anymore!

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

From my family to yours.... Have a very merry Christmas! I am off to bake some more cookies for Santa! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TWD: My Favorite Pecan Pie

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe is My Favorite Pecan Pie. Luckily the recipe was chosen in time for me to make this pie at Thanksgiving. Nathan's favorite pie is pecan pie so I was excited to give this one a try.

This recipe is different from the traditional pecan pie in that it uses less sugar and corn syrup and has the addition of espresso powder and chocolate. I omitted the espresso powder but was more than willing to give the chocolate a try.

The verdict? An immensely good pecan pie that will probably become my standard recipe.

Thanks to Beth of Someone's in the Kitchen with Brina for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cranberry Bread

This is seriously the BEST cranberry bread I have ever had. It is out of this world! From the delicious crumb, to the plump, juicy cranberries, to the fantastic streusel topping... I don't even know where to start! I made this bread on Monday and it was gone by Tuesday afternoon. I had to make another loaf this morning because it is just too good!


Cranberry Bread
Taste of Home Oct/Nov 2009
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup cold butter
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice
2 tsp grated orange peel
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 TBSP flour
2 TBSP cold butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp orange juice
In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Cut in butter until crumbly.
In a small bowl, mix egg, orange juice, and zest. Fold wet into dry just until moistened. Fold in cranberries. Transfer to greased loaf pan.
Combine streusel ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Move to wire rack to cool completely.
Mix glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over bread.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TWD: Sables

Short, sweet, and to the point. These cookies were great, easy to make, and delicious to eat! I made the spice variation and rolled them in cinnamon sugar. YUM!

Thanks to Barbara of Bungalow Barbara for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog.

Related Posts with Thumbnails