Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

To continue with the fall theme around here I made some scrumptious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. They were our dessert on Thanksgiving day (I talked about it here). If you like your cookies a little cakey this is your recipe, so good friend...

As a side note, here is the thing with making cookies for our desserts; cookie recipes usually make 40 big ones... If I kept that many cookies around our house we will be eating on those all the time. Instead, I like to bake half of a batch and freeze the rest for later use (see my method for freezing cookie dough here)... It works so great for us because we get to enjoy them now and later without me having to whip the whole batch up again when we are in the mood for cookies.
Ok, so back to delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, you will need a can of pumpkin puree. I have been buying cans of pumpkin puree (on sale now!) to add to cakes, breads, pancakes and now cookies (thanks to my friend Tara for the great idea!) and stocking them to be used throughout the fall/winter. Try it if you like pumpkin... It tastes so good... So without further adieu I leave you with:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredient:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet

Preparation:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper (I use my silk pad). Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.
Enjoy

PS. you know all those Hershey's candy bars your kids got on Halloween? Well, after my kids go to bed I raid their bag, remove them and save them for recipes like this one (don't feel bad for them...They got so many, they will never notice). If I don't have enough for my recipe I mix them with unsweetened chocolate chips. Just an idea...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pictures from the weekend

Hi friends! I hope you enjoyed the long weekend in the company of family and friends. Our weekend started on Thursday. We made our dinner table very festive...
Ate lots of good food...
and the rest of the weekend we tackled this...
Can you say, yikes? We have our work cut out for us, right? I will be doing a couple of postings about our garage and the process of getting it cleaned and organized. But now, I will leave you with a picture of our trip to the home improvement store. It is a family affair after all...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Menu for the week

The Thanksgiving leftover edition (see our Thanksgiving menu here)...

Shepard's pie/green beans (with leftover cornish hens, mashed potatoes and green beans)
Spinach and pancetta strata - recipe from here/Salad (with leftover stuffing)
Vegetable noodle soup/salad (broth made out of the cornish hens bones)
Penne with 5 cheeses - recipe from here - I will be making my own ricotta/salad

Other things we will be making with the leftovers: For this weekend breakfast: buckwheat pancakes with cranberry relish
And for snack: peanut butter and cranberry relish sandwiches on dinner rolls
Breakdown:
Aldi/Kroger $41
Costco $27

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving day. We are taking advantage of the long weekend to take care of lots of things around the house. Our plans include getting all the Christmas decorations up, some after-thanksgiving shopping, and garage renovating. Yes, we are going to be scraping, painting, cleaning and, if we have enough time, organizing our garage... More on that little project soon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New scarf

I made a new scarf inspired by the ones I saw in Paris. A little background: I was in Galeries Lafayette (only the awesomest shopping store in Paris), with a similar scarf in my hand and after much thought I decided I could make my own with one of my old ones. So as soon as I got home I started going through my stash of scarves and I found a wool one I have not worn in ages...
Here is the before and after

Basically, I sewed the edges together and then I sewed the end (I cut off the fringes). It was as easy as that. If your fabric has a little give it will work even better.

And speaking of Galeries Lafayette, this store is magnificent. The building is so beautiful. Check out some of these architectural details:
People (mainly men) sipping champagne while waiting for their companions. If they had something like that here in the US (replace Champagne with beer) the husband will be going to the mall all of the time with me...
By the way, for my little girl's homemade Christmas gift (remember the pledge I took last year?) I will be making her a recycled scarf too. She is totally going to love it. I'll be doing a posting about that later on... 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Faire du leche-vitrines

That is the way French people call window shopping. The funny part is that it literally means licking windows... Now, can I tempt you with some window licking?...
I did the photographic equivalent of Faire du leche-vitrines, don't you agree?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pictures from the weekend

A very fun weekend here in the ATL. We hung out with friends all weekend long. We also had very nice weather so on Saturday afternoon we went for a walk in downtown Roswell. Here are some pictures from our walk...




All pictures taken with my trusty point and shoot.

Happy Monday everybody!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Menu for the week

Beef Bourguignon/crusty bread/pot de cremes
Crab soup - Recipe from here/salad
Spaghetti marinara/salad
And for the big day: cornish hens, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans and roasted carrots. For desert pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Aldi/Kroger $44
Costco $12
Super H $5

My friend Maria is coming to town this weekend, yey! We will be hanging around town and with other friends. It should be a fun weekend. Thanksgiving is next Thursday, can you believe it? I am getting my shopping done this week to be ready for Thursday. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Crepes

I finally did it! I made our very own crepes and they were delicious and super easy. I followed the recipe from the Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". So here it goes... I hope you try it too...

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
2/3 cup cold milk
2/3 cup cold water
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for brushing on pan
Directions:
1) Mix all ingredients until smooth in a blender or with a whisk. Refrigerate.
2) Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Brush with melted butter.
3) Pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into the center of the pan and then tilt the pan in all directions to cover the bottom evenly. Cook about 1 minute, or until browned on the bottom. Turn and cook briefly on the other side.
4) Cool on a rack or plate as you finish making the rest. Serve as desired.

This recipe makes a good bunch. We had some with nutella (for snacks) and some with cheese and grilled mushrooms for school and work lunches.

PS. Did you see Tartalette's gluten free crepes with honey lavender roasted persimmons? My friend Jenny gifted us with a good bunch of persimmons... She is awesome! I am planning on making something really good. I'll be posting it soon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pictures from the weekend

Hi everybody, I hope you had a fantastic weekend. It has been all about fall around here. We are at our peak... I'm afraid this is it for us :(... Here are some snapshots from the last couple of weekends...


We grabbed some breakfast (and cupcakes) in Inman Park. A little walk around was in order






Not quite ready for winter... But I know our days are numbered. I could use a little more fall prettyness around here...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rock, paper, sissors

 Add some glitter, ponies and stars too... Can you tell who is calling the shots around here?
Happy Monday everybody!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Menu for the week

White bean chicken chilli/Salad
Spaghetti with purple basil and pistachios pesto/Salad
Minestrone alla Genovese/Salad
Chicken tikka masala/Basmati rice/oven roasted cauliflower

Breakdown:
Aldi/Kroger $35
Costco $8

The weekend is here! For a change we have nothing planned. We will spend the weekend at home enjoying the weather and maybe squeeze in a little outing for breakfast.

I hope you have a good one.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Raspberry scones with honey and orange butter


Doesn't it look amazing! Not only do they look good, but they also taste so good. I used this recipe from Cup and Table.
For the butter (YES! I made my own butter... It is so good!)

1/2 pint cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey
1 orange, zested

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add all ingredients and whip on high speed until the cream starts to clump and turn light yellow. Continue mixing as butter forms and the buttermilk begins to separate out. Scrape sides and continue mixing until mixture is one lump of butter. Place butter into a clean container or serving dish and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Enjoy!