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Monthly Archives: December 2013

The saying goes “Friends come and go but Family is forever” and if that’s the case I gained another family when I met Nicole, her family welcomed me into their home on numerous occasions and have been great in introducing me to home cooking and delicious new recipes. Nicole has a family I dreamed of, her mom is one of those Italian Mama’s that cooks for hundreds when she does and Nicole always brought back leftovers to school for us to enjoy! I loved having Nicole around because she got her mom’s cooking skills and always made delicious meals for us! I always made dessert, it was the perfect combination!

I couldn’t be happier to have Mama Pinkham let me share this with my readers. This is the cure-all soup that even beats my own Chicken Noodle soup. This is crock-pot slow cookin’ Italian Wedding Soup, I use to only ever be a chicken noodle soup girl but this recipe changed me! So here it is:

Ingredients

The amounts are going to vary based on personal preference and the size of the crock pot.

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Chicken Broth
Ground meat
Celery
Carrots
Onions (Get the tissues out!)
Cheese tortellinis (These are key! Although you can make it with any type of pasta, it became my favorite recipe when Nicole or Mama Pinkham would make it with the cheese tortellinis)

Directions

Get out the crock pot and start by pouring the chicken broth into the pot. Then chop up the veggies add as much or as little as you would like! Once those are complete and in the pot you can grab your ground turkey and start rolling it into little meatballs. Once those are done toss them into the pot and turn your crock pot onto “LOW” for 6 Hours!

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Once the soup it complete on the stove top you can make your tortellinis by the package directions. Then add them to your crock pot and you are ready to enjoy! This is so simple to make in the morning and enjoy after work. I hope your family enjoys it as much as my family does.

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A special “Thank You” to the Pinkham Family for welcoming me into their home 6 years ago and making me feel like family! 

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I think it has been established that I love baking with cinnamon and sugar… and well snickerdoodles are the perfect combination of both these ingredients! This past weekend my mom and I had a few Christmas parties to attend so we thought it’d be nice and maybe even beneficial to my blog 😉 to bring a few sweet treats!

These snickerdoodle cookies came out so perfectly! They are delicious on the outside and nice and soft and chewy on the inside. Please enjoy with your family, or by yourself because you may not want to share!

Ingredients

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1/2 Cup Butter, Softened

1 Cup Sugar

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

1 Egg

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

1 1/2 Cup Flour

2 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Directions

In a medium bowl start by beating the butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add the 1 Cup sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Beat until combined, scrape the edge of the bowl when necessary. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Then add the flour slowly with the mixer, if you are unable to mix all of the flour in with the electric mixer you can use a spoon, or the fun version, your hands!

Let the dough chill while covered for an hour.

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Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees (F). In a small bowl combine the 2 Tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

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Bake for 10-11 minutes until golden. Let cool. Should make about 30 cookies.

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Today I will not be posting a recipe… I know I’m really sorry! But instead I will be sharing some of the other amazing blogs I read by some of my really close friends.

High school was an amazing time for me but I only had three best friends I’ll keep for life and remember forever, and they are doing amazing things with their lives right now! One got married and is a teacher and the other is living it up in Washington D.C, and both my have a recipe or two to share this month.

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College though college was where I made the majority of my friends. Picking a college means you are picking a family, you automatically have something in common and it’s room for growth. The first blog I want to share is one of my absolute best friends, Nicole’s. We met freshman year living across from each other and continued to stay friends because we not only had a living space in common but we shared the same major. She has a blog focused on what we went to school for, Event Planning, she gives great advice on parties, gifts, how to plan a party, who to invite, she wants you to “Devour the Details” of every event. This is a must follow type blog, especially if you are planning a party any time soon! (You can even hire her for your events!)

http://devourthedetails.blogspot.com/

The second blog I’m sharing is a friend I met way to late in college. Carly and I didn’t met until our senior year of college, not quite sure how this happened (it’s not like we went to a huge college or anything). But I was lucky enough to meet her at all. Carly has this fullness on life attitude and has turned it into a blog. She shares healthy recipes (what are those?!) but she also shares ways to live a fuller life, minus fear, and more giving. It’s a really interesting blog that I enjoy and definitely gets me thinking about how I live my life and how I could be living my life.

http://www.zoelaneblog.blogspot.com/

Please enjoy these blogs as I do and feel free to share with your friends! Thank you to my followers for being my major supporters and my motivation to hopefully have a huge surprise come 2014! But continue to follow in 2013 for more great holiday recipes!


Christmas is coming and what better way to wake-up than with a breakfast already prepared the night before! According to Ocean Spray “cranberry are the unofficial-official fruit for the holidays” so I have decided to try a new recipe! The nuts are always optional but I made a cranberry nut bread today, this is my first time and I have had one great review from my mom who had it with a little tea as her morning snack. Please leave a comment if you have tried this recipe and fully enjoyed it!

Ingredients

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2 Cups Flour

1 Cup Sugar

1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

3/4 Cup Orange Juice

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Egg

1 1/2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Cranberries (Chopped!)

1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts (This is optional and you can put in as much or as little as you would like.)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees (F). Grease a loaf pan (I used a 9×5). Mix in a medium bowl all of the dry ingredients. Then add the orange juice (Mix) then the egg (mix). Mix all those ingredients together until it is well combined.

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Then stir in the cranberries and nuts. I used a little handy chopper from Black and Decker to make this process go a little faster, but a good ole’ knife and cutting board will do the trick too.

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Pour into the *Greased loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes (this time can alter based on your oven). Best trick in the book take a toothpick and check the middle in order to see if it comes out clean. Once the bread has finished let cool for about 15 minutes. Then flip it over and place it on a decorative plate, you could even have it sliced up already for easy pickin’.

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Grab your coffee or tea and enjoy!

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These are amazing! Growing up on Martha’s Vineyard I was a slight tourist and enjoyed my occasional trip to the Black Dog Cafe for their amazingly delicious Giant Chewy Ginger Cookies! They were so good that as I continued to get older and more familiar with the idea of baking and how ingredients worked and even looked up different recipes for ginger cookies I finally discovered one that was perfect!

*My only issue is that they are delicious the first two days soft chewy moist everything you want in a cookie, however, once you hit day three they start to turn into “Giant Ginger-SNAPS” because they are a little harder. Be advised if you decide to bring them to a party.

Ingredients

4 1/2 Cups Flour

4 Teaspoons Ground Ginger

2 Teaspoons Baking Soda

1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

Pinch of Salt

1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

1 1/2 Cups Shortening

2 Cups Granulated Sugar

2 Eggs

1/2 Cup Molasses

3/4 Cups Coarse or Granulated Sugar (The Coarse will make the cookies look so pretty but I only had granulated sugar – really your choice)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees (F). Then start mixing the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon cloves and a pinch of salt together. Set that aside. You will need two bowls for this recipe or you can do the second part of this recipe and then throw in the dry ingredients after, as long as it all makes it into one bowl it doesn’t matter how it’s combined.

In the second bowl start with the shortening and beat that till it’s creamy (30 seconds). Add the 2 Cups of granulated sugar then mix till they are well combined. Beat in the eggs and molasses until well combined again.

*I hate the smell of molasses don’t let that turn you off from this recipe. While mixing you may not enjoy the smell of these ingredients together but they taste so good together once they are baked!

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Start to stir in the flour mixture until it’s fully mixed. In order to make these cookies “Giant” use an ice cream scoop, but take half of that scoop and make a ball. Once you have a ball of cookie dough roll it around in the coarse or granulated sugar. Then place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet.

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Bake for 12-14 Minutes until the cookies are light brown and puffed. Be very careful not to over bake or you will never get the chewy cookie it will go straight into a ginger-snap. Let cookies cool and then enjoy! These are another great cookie to bring to a swap because this recipe will make about 25 cookies.

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This is a family favorite, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t already make these. When I was younger my mom and I would host this amazing Mother/Daughter cookie swap with a Yankee swap involved. It was always a blast for me because I knew at a young age I enjoyed baking and I loved finding new recipes for this event each year near Christmas.

I don’t make mine any different from others… Unless of course you buy a bag of Peanut Butter cookies from Betty Crocker, in which I do make it differently because I do all my own measuring. So here it is, the family favorite Peanut Butter Blossoms.

Ingredients

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1/2 Cup Shortening

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Egg

2 Tablespoons Milk

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

1 3/4 Cup Flour

1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar (Used for coating the cookie)

Kisses

Directions

These don’t take long to mix up, so start by preheating the oven to 350 (F) Degrees. In a large bowl start with the shortening  and peanut butter and mix till it’s creamy (you will need an electric mixer for this recipe.) Once that’s mixed add the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar along with the brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix it up then add the egg, milk, and vanilla. Last step mix in the flour gradually. Doesn’t it smell delicious?!

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Once it’s all mixed in together start shaping the dough into 1-inch. balls. Before placing the dough on the ungreased cookie sheet give it a spin in the 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Once the balls are coated and on the baking sheet send them into the oven!

Bake for about 10-12 minutes. While these are baking you and your little elf can start to unwrap some hershey kisses. This recipe should make about 30 cookies.

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As soon as the cookies come out of the oven press a kiss into the center and let them cool. It will be tempting to try it right away but be patient and pour a glass of milk in the mean time.

Enjoy!

*If traveling or bringing to a party place in layers separated by wax paper in an air tight container. These cookies can last up to 3 days in room temperature or frozen up to 3 months. I promise you they will not last that long anyways.

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Check back later this week to see what else is on the plate! 


This is my absolute most favorite recipe! About two years ago for a friends birthday I told her I will make anything you want, within reason. She asked for monkey bread… Because, although I love her, she doesn’t like a lot of sweets and actually hates chocolate, weirdo! So a promise is a promise, but what is monkey bread?! How do I even make it?! Well thanks to pinterest I learned that monkey bread was really simple, and actually a ton of fun to make!

The fun thing about this is that you can make a big monkey bread in a bunt pan or if you are going to have a ton of rowdy kids, or in our case some crowds of college kids, you may not want to share the bread so again thanks to pinterest I learned monkey bread can be just as good in a muffin tin for individual servings. In order to keep with my Christmas Countdown, this is the perfect dessert for a large party or could even be one of those “dangerous” Sunday breakfast. But enough with the chit-chat without further delay I bring you Monkey Bread!

Ingredients

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Pillsbury Grand Biscut Rolls

1 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Cinnamon

1 Stick of Butter

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

Directions

Start by lining a muffin tin with muffin cups, feel free to be festive you can purchase Holiday cups at any craft store or Walmart. Also, preheat the oven to 350 Degrees (F).

Now here is the fun part, mix the sugar and cinnamon into a zip-lock baggie and cut each biscut dough into 8 small pieces. Once the biscuts have been cut up throw a few pieces into the bag and shake your bootyy! Get those pieces covered in cinnamon and sugar goodness! If you have a little elf in the kitchen with you, let them shake up that sugar and cinnamon while you melt the butter and brown sugar on low heat. Once that has been melted and the (8) pieces have been placed in each tin take a tablespoon of the butter and sugar mixture and drizzle over each cup.

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Once this is all complete… it’s time to bake! This is always my favorite part because the house starts to smell delicious!

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*As an FYI if you decide against the butter and brown sugar mixture these taste like little scones, which is why my pictures don’t look gooey because I did not place the mixture on top. It’s up to you but either way it will taste amazing!

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Bake for about 8-10 minutes like you would any biscut. Once these come out of the oven let them sit for a little bit to cool off, but after that they are fair game and will become a family favorite!

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