Posted in Baking, Cooking, Foodie, Holidays, Recipes, Tutorials

Foodie Friday – Gifts from your Kitchen

For neighbors and co-workers, I usually gift plates of homemade cookies and candy. I Love to cook and bake around this time of year, so it seems like a good idea to share the goodness. Here’s the thing though, I haven’t got my act together to get the baking done yet this year! That’s right, with just 11 days until Christmas, there’s been NO baking yet! YIKES! I better get busy! I’ve got a back-up plan though….Mixes! That’s right, let the recipient do the cooking or baking. The concept is simple too. Pack the dry ingredients of your favorite recipe (breads, cakes, drink mixes, cookies, soups, seasonings….) into either a Mason jar or zippered sealing bag. Add a recipe card with the remaining ingredients and directions for mixing and baking/cooking. Add some festive touches to the jar or packaging (I sewed up a simple bag from some cute Christmas fabric to put the zippered sealing bag into) and BOOM! Your gift is done!

You can find LOTS of recipes for mixes on Pinterest. If you’re really short on time, you could also pick up some store-bought mixes and dump them into a jar/bag….maybe even adding some dried fruit or candies to the mix….it’s a thought….

Here’s the Beer Bread Recipe I plan on mixing up for gifts…

Beer Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups Self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning

(you could substitute other seasonings for the garlic powder and Italian seasoning if you wanted….Pumpkin pie spice anyone?)

Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients together and put in a 1 quart Mason jar or zippered sealing bag.

Additional Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. bottle of beer or club soda (I plan on including a bottle of a Holiday-type of beer)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Mixing/Baking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan (not sure your recipient has a loaf pan, you could possible include this as part of the gift….)
  3. Place Beer Bread mix into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Pour the 12 oz. of beer over dry ingredients (if your recipient would rather drink the beer, they could substitute the club soda for the beer).
  5. Mix until just moistened.
  6. Transfer to your prepared pan. Pour melted butter over the bread mix.
  7. Bake 45 to 55 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  8. Enjoy!

There you have it…still plenty of time for gifts from your kitchen!   😉

Happy Cooking!

Lori

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Posted in Baking, Christmas, Cookies, Recipes

Cake Mix Cookies

Just 5 days until Christmas and I’m still baking. I found a couple of Cake Mix Cookie recipes from Betty Crocker that are really fast (and good!). The first one is this Cake Mix Fudge Crinkle Cookies. I swapped out a Red Velvet Cake Mix for the Devil’s Food Cake Mix because I thought the red color was a little more festive. The second one was this Cake Mix Snickerdoodle Cookies.  I used red and green sugar sprinkles in place of the sugar/cinnamon mixture to make them a little more Christmas-y. If you need Christmas cookies in a hurry, I highly recommend Cake Mix Cookies. If the recipes above don’t appeal to you, there are a ton more on Betty Crocker’s website.  Just type “Cake Mix Cookies” in the search bar to find your favorite. If you try baking any of these Cake Mix Cookies, I’d Love to hear what you think of them!

Posted in Baking, Christmas, Cookies, Desserts

Last Minute Holiday Baking Hacks

 

My hubby and I like to give out goodie trays to friends and neighbors at Christmas. Sometime in November, my oven decided it no longer wanted to heat. At all. That makes baking a little difficult. Last Friday, hubby surprised me with a new stove and oven! WHOOHOO! Let the baking begin!

With just a week until Christmas, I’ll have to make the most of my baking time if I want to get any goodies made. Luckily, I have some time-saving tricks up my sleeve! I thought I’d share some of them with you.

  1. Use store bought mixes. Sure, if you have time, homemade is ALWAYS better. BUT. There’s less than a week until Christmas and if you can save time using a mix…..do it! The gift recipient will not be able to tell whether you measured out every ingredient.  I promise.2. Think small. Mini cupcakes, mini cakes and mini bread loaves. Baking the full-size version takes the same amount of time, but, by baking smaller sizes you have more goodies for more people. Besides the smaller sizes are just so darn cute!3. Almond bark. This stuff is FABULOUS! Melt it in the microwave (or stovetop if you prefer, but the microwave is MUCH faster!) and drizzle over breads, cookies, cupcakes and popcorn (that’s right, popcorn is great for gifts, check out this recipe!) You can also use it to make barks like this one. 4. Holiday mix-ins and extracts. Add some seasonal flavor to your (store-bought) mixes with extract flavors like orange, mint and almond. For mix-ins, think crushed candy canes, cranberries (fresh or dried), nuts and coated chocolate.

There you have it….my quick holiday baking tips. I hope you found some tips you can use to speed up your holiday baking! What are you waiting for…..get baking!

Posted in Baking, Desserts, Low-Carb, Pampered Chef

A Low-Carb Birthday Cake

Yesterday was my birthday. And. I made this Low-Carb Chocolate Cake. I’m happy to report, it was AMAZING! Worth every one of the 5.7 carbs I consumed!

Grated the zucchini using my Multi-Grater & Slicer (yep! really loving this gadget!).

Mixed all the ingredients up together (in my Kid’s Cookie Baking Set, I use this set all the time….even though I don’t have any kids….). Here’s where I should mention, I cut the recipe in half and I also used Xyla as the sweetener (instead of the Pyure which I didn’t have on hand). I didn’t have any monkfruit either, so I just omitted it (there was NO WAY I was going to town on my birthday!).

Here’s the cake ready to be baked.

And, after it was baked.

I wanted to make a cream cheese frosting for the cake and I figured why even bother looking one up, how bad could I mess this up? That’s probably why it looks a little lumpy.

Here was the “recipe” I used:

  • 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup Xyla (Xylitol) sweetener
  • 1-2 Tbsp. warm water

Dissolve Xyla sweetener in warm water (otherwise, I think it would be grainy), then mix into the softened cream cheese (I’m sure I would have gotten a smoother frosting if I had used my mixer, but I didn’t….).

This cake goes perfectly with a cup of coffee!

Posted in Baking, Breakfast/Brunch, Cooking, Low-Carb, Pampered Chef, Recipes

A Birthday Breakfast

Yep! It’s my birthday. AND. I bought myself a new gadget!

This Multi-Grater & Slicer. So far, I LOVE IT! (Here’s where I should mention, I’m a Pampered Chef consultant. And. I haven’t really found a product I don’t LOVE….)

Since I don’t have to work (at work anyway) today, I decided I wanted to make these for breakfast. Hey! It’s MY birthday, I should be able to choose what I want for breakfast. right?

I didn’t have round ham slices (I guess I could have made them round….), so I just cut ham slices in quarters.

Poured in beaten eggs (about 8, I think, I wasn’t really counting….). Topped with my shredded cheese (from my new handy-dandy Multi-Grater & Slicer!).

Then baked at 350F for about 10 minutes (who was really paying attention? Then I wonder why sometimes I burn stuff…..) until the cheese was melted and firm. Oh My! They were SO GOOD!

Want to know what I’m doing later today?  Baking this Low-Carb Chocolate Cake! I’ll let you know how it comes out, but it sounds AMAZING!!!!