Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cider Braised Beef and Vegetables plus my little Witchy Poo

Are you ready for Halloween?????

Tights, check.
Little Black Bloomers (just in case she wants to do a cartwheel when little warlocks are around). Check.
Pointed black hat. Check.
The dress. Check.
The apron. Check.
The cape. Check.
Double-sided, of course. Check.
One happy little Witchy Poo. Check.
One tired mother. Check, check, check, check.
But it's all been fun, and I'm all set to go. I've even got a simple and hearty Halloween dinner planned. I spotted this braised beef on the October Cooking Light cover. Why not chili, you wonder? Frankly, we've been eating chili all month long, so this looked like just the perfect unexpected Halloween dinner, the kind of dinner that could slice through a trick or treat chill. I've made it just as they recommended in Cooking Light, except I swapped out the beer for cider and a tablespoon of cider vinegar. The meaty juices had just a hint of autumn sweetness. I think you're really going to like this one.
We're gearing up for our big neighborhood Hallween party. I can't decide if I will dress as Hermione or Little Red Riding Hood. I've convinced the Quiet man to be a mad scientist. He already has the lab coat and goggles. What about you? Are you dressing up? How will you be spending the evening? However you pass the spookiest night of the year, I hope it is safe and happy for all.
Cooking Light Braised Beef and Vegetables
Estimated Cost: about $10.oo for four servings
Tips: Ask your butcher to cut a 1-pound roast for you, or buy a larger one (especially if it's on sale) and freeze the rest for later.
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil1 (1-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 teaspoon salt,
divided1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (12-ounce) dark beer (I used 1 cup cider plus 1 tablespoon cider vinegar)
1 bay leaf
3 carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
9 ounces small turnips, peeled and cut into wedges
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Preheat oven to 300°.
2. Place flour in a shallow dish. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef evenly on all sides with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; dredge in flour. Add beef to pan; cook 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add broth and next 3 ingredients (through bay leaf), scraping pan to remove browned bits; bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 300° for 1 1/2 hours. Add carrots; cover and cook 25 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, turnips, and onion; cover and cook an additional 1 hour and 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and beef is fork-tender.
3. Remove beef and vegetables from pan; discard bay leaf. Cover beef mixture; keep warm. Let cooking liquid stand 10 minutes. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour cooking liquid into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain cooking liquid into a medium bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Serve cooking liquid with beef and vegetables. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon parsley.Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces beef, 1 cup vegetables, and about 1/2 cup cooking liquid)CALORIES 383 ; FAT 19.7g (sat 6g,mono 9.1g,poly 2.2g); CHOLESTEROL 70mg; CALCIUM 68mg; CARBOHYDRATE 21g; SODIUM 815mg; PROTEIN 24.4g; FIBER 3.6g; IRON 2.9mg
Post Edit: I almost forgot to unabashedly solicit votes for my French's recipe. My goal is to get to 500 votes. I'm almost there, so vote again Friday and Saturday and help your old Pru get to New York. Thanks and here's the link.
Next Up:
Spinach and Apple Salad with Cheddar, Pecans, and Maple Dressing

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Apple Cider Donuts

I couldn't wait any longer, not one more minute. I had to make these donuts last night. I'd been dragging the recipe around from a magazine insert, salivating from dusk to dawn. The madness had to end. And such delectable madness they were. I still think the buttermilk maple are my favorite, but there's room in my heart for more than one toroid. (I only know the word toroid from my crossword puzzle obsession; it means donut shaped.) The recipe and pic came from Home Made Simple, link below.
And now that you're here, can you do me a quick favor? Vote for my French's recipe one more time. There's just a few days left, so don't forget to vote every 24 hours. I'm hoping to become a finalist so I can get a trip to NYC.
I'm off to class, running a little late as usual. Tonight my students are analyzing the film Sense and Sensibility, looking for characteristics of the Age of Reason and the Romantic Era. Should be fun for all my Jane Austen fans.
I'll be back tomorrow with that hearty beef stew with cider for Halloween.
See you then.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Brownie Torte

Welcome to Tuesdays with Dorie, the day in which I whip up one of Dorie Greenspan's sweet treats with my on-line weekly baking club. Join in; it's super fantastic fun. Whee!
This week's assignment was for a Cherry Brownie Fudge Torte, but it just didn't sound like Halloween, and all treats this week must evoke the spookiest of holidays. So with a few little changes, I've made a Halloween Brownie Torte. I used Dorie's brownie as a base (click here for the recipe), and then added a cheater mousse made by whipping 4 ounces of cream cheese, 1 cup of whipping cream, and about 1/2 cup powdered sugar. I piled it high and deep atop the brownie, then added a chocolate chevron pattern. It's easy; I'll show you. Simply pipe some melted chocolate into straight parallel lines; then run a toothpick in a perpindicular motion down from end to end, switch directions and run up from end to end. You can do it, too.
But here's the naked truth: this week my mind is on donuts. I'm considering a new recipe for apple cider donuts to eat while pumpkin carving. But these are my all time favorite maple glazed buttermilk donuts, and I'm not sure if anything else will ever be as good. Make some, OK? I'll try the new recipe and let you know if it's worth it. Because these maple babies are worth every. single. deep-fried. sugar-coated. calorie.In less guilty pleasures, there's always a hearty bowl of my crockpot vegetarian chili to warm the cockles of the Halloween heart. You can look on my sidebar for lots of other chilis, too. One can never have to much chili, unless you are a baby. "You fed a baby chili?"

I also like the warming idea of a hearty beef stew with a hint of cider before Trick or Treating. See you soon with that recipe.

P.S. Here, here. I've entered a French's recipe contest that ends on Halloween Day. Click here to vote for my recipe. I'm not a passionate lover of voting contests, but this one is nicer than usual, since you can vote for any and all recipes that you like. If you like mine, could you purdy please vote for it once a day? You can? Thanks, I knew I could count on you.
Next Up: Hearty Beef Stew with Cider

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Sister Heidi's Red Curry Chicken

Live from my house, it's Saturday night. The weekend is going along just swimmingly and I'm in my pajamas early, which always makes my heart sing la-la-la. This busy coming week is going to be Share-your-talents week for the charges. My little Sailor girl has a voice recital in which she will be singing "I'm Shy" from Once Upon a Matress. Why isn't she more nervous? I'm not even sure she knows the words. I'm the one who should be up there singing because I'm living the title; when it comes to singing outside of the home, I really am shy. I could belt "I'M SHY!" and truly mean it. Tomorrow the kids are in a primary program for church. Once a year, the younger crowd share songs and spiritual thoughts about the past year's Sunday school curriculum. It's my favorite Sunday of the year, save Christmas Sunday. Wouldn't you rather listen to kids for an hour over grown-ups? Sailor and West will also be playing their violins for the program. Thank goodness that I'm not playing the piano for them, but I'm nervous anyway. West always waits until the last minute to put his violin on his shoulder. I'm in the crowd, trying to catch his eye, frowning, grimacing, motioning to him to put his violin in ready position. If he sees me he stubbornly shakes a "No" in my direction, with a playful gleam in his eye. He likes to put his violin up just as his bow comes down, a tick late for the first note. Why is this? Can somebody please tell me? My theory is that he likes to see me squirm for sport. And a few nights later, the charges are both playing their violins in the annual Halloween Spooktacular concert with the Southwest Symphony. West, dressed as Indiana Jones, will be sure to put up his violin at the last minute, just to prove that he is adventurous, blithe, and insouciant. And I'll be in the audience, trying hopelessly to signal to him to be ready. It's a little game we play, him and I. Except I'm really sweating, and he's laughing.
Since this week is going to busy, I already know what I'm making for dinner. It's my sister Heidi's chicken curry, the latest hit of the dinner hour. A few weeks ago, I wrote that Heidi left some red curry paste in my fridge, and this is the dish for which it is intended. I'm hooked. At this point, I want it at least once a day. It's delicious, healthy, cheap, and best of all-fast. At least I don't have to worry about dinner. Phew!
Money Saving Tips: A curry paste jar is a little pricey, but a little goes a long way. You can substitute red curry powder to save a little money. For a vegetarian option, swap out chicken for two cans of drained chick peas and veggie broth. Cook up a double batch of rice and store leftovers in zip top bags in the freezer for the next time you serve curry. I bet it'll be soon!
Heidi's Red Curry Chicken
Estimated Cost: $6.00 for 4 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
3 tablespoons apricot jam or mango chutney
chopped cilantro, for serving
hot rice, for serving

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and peppers and cook for four minutes. Add chicken and cook until chicken is browned on all sides. Sprinkle chicken with flour and stir for one minute. Add ginger and garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Add paste and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir in jam and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve over rice.

PS My youngest sister Mary Kate left her lover-ly bracelets behind when she last came for a visit. If she's wondering where they are, ummm, she will find them in the above picture. I promise to return them the next time I see her, but in the meantime, ahem, I'll put them to good use. Thanks, MK!

PSS Begging your pardon, but if it isn't too much trouble, would you please click here to vote for my recipe again? You can vote once every 24 hours. A million thank yous. Or, rather, 25,000 thank yous.
Next Up:

Halloween Brownie Torte

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spicy Green Beans with Pork


Photo: Courtesty Family Fun Magazine
In my former life, before I became a dedicated food blogger, I used to be a competitive cook. I'd enter several recipe contests a year, and sometimes when extremely lucky I'd even win. (Think money, trips, Food Network appearances, and more aprons than I care to admit.) I've always enjoyed the challenge of creating new recipes and I particularly like using common ingredients in exciting, new ways. Since I started blogging, however, most of my creative recipes land right here at Prudence Pennywise. That's a good thing; I love being able to share what's cookin'. And frankly, before this blog, I wasn't exactly a stellar record keeper. I'm constantly clicking on my own blog to get my own recipes. This is where I keep them; it's their home. I'm absolutely giddy over the idea that other people are using my recipes and enjoying them too. So, thank you! But still, once in a while, I do miss the thrill of cook-off, and that good-news phone call or letter in the mail, and that chance to win a prize or trip. So here and there a cooking contest will lure me in, like this one. 25,000 bucks for a recipe. Not bad, eh? It's worth a shot,right?
And besides the grand prize, there's a cook-off in NYC in the spring for the semi-finalists. I need your help to get there! All you have to do is click here to vote for my recipe. You'll see my recipe (Cheery Cherry Chicken with Crispy Onion Grits), and a box that says Vote Now. Click on it and I'll earn another star, and be one step closer to becoming a semi-finalist.
You can vote one time per day till October 31st. And if you're so inclined, try coming up with a recipe and enter yourself. I'll vote for you too, promise.
Today's recipe, ironically enough, isn't mine. I lifted it straight from the pages of Family Fun magazine. A couple of months ago the mag ran a "Homemade Takeout" section with some fast and fabulous restaurant quality recipes. This Spicy Green Beans and Pork caught my eye immediately. Oh, mama-the taste of crisp-tender green beans with garlic and ginger together with thin slices of pork and a sprinkle of sesame is just to die for! You've got to make this one this weekend!
Money Saving Tips:
Look for 2 for 1 sales on pork chops and then stock up. If you like, you can substitute chicken for the pork. I swapped out the hoisin sauce for ketchup, since they are both essentially sweet and vinegary. Be creative if you don't have a lot of Chinese sauces on hand. You could also substitute red pepper flakes and fresh garlic for the chili garlic sauce. Sesame oil is pricey but it only takes a little drizzle to pack a big punch.

Spicy Green Beans with Pork
Estimated Cost: $6.00 for 4 servings
From Family Fun magazine
1 pound pork tenderloin (I used chops)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine (I substituted extra chicken stock)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon spicy bean sauce (I left this out)
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce (I substituted ketchup)
1 1/2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
1 pound green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup toasted white sesame seeds
Instructions
Cut pork into the thin possible strips. (Tip: first partially freeze it for 30 to 90 minutes.) In a small bowl, toss the shaved pork with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice wine, and the pepper. Marinate the pork at room temperature while assembling the rest of the ingredients.
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, the remaining tablespoon of rice wine, the stock, spicy bean sauce, hoisin, chili garlic sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch, and set aside.
Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the beans and stir-fry them until they begin to brown or blister, about 10 minutes. Remove the beans from the pan using a slotted spoon and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil.
Return the pan to the heat and add the pork, garlic, and ginger. Stir-fry the mixture until the pork is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the green onions and cook for 1 minute.
Add the reserved sauce and green beans, mix well, and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about one minute. Finally, sprinkle with the sesame seeds before serving. Makes about 5 cups.
Next Up:
My sister Heidi's Chicken Curry

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sweet Puh-tayter Hostess, that's me!

Why, Hello! What a surprise to see you here! Don't forget to wipe your feet on the way in, it's so dusty round these parts. There now, won't you come in and sit down? It's so nice to have you for a visit, dear. How is your old aunt getting on with her arthur-itis? Oh, good, good, I'm glad to hear it. I'm glad to hear about your daughter's engagement; we were wondering when it would happen. Such a nice young man she found, and only two tattoos, isn't that somethin? Now that you're seated, I have a little announcment myself, just a bit of news, now there's no need to panic. I, ahem, am officially the host-ess with the most-ess for Tuesdays with Dorie. Little old me. You'd probably heard, hadn't you? Is that why you came for a visit, to see the hostess? I hope I look the part in my freshly pressed calico house dress. I did think about wearing them hostess pants, that Ethel done gave me on my last birthday, but between you and me, they're just a might too big-for your britches high horse for me.. Maybe I'll wear'em the next time my hostess turn rolls around, in 2012. If they still fit, that is, after three more years of Tuesdays with Dorie. You know, dear, I've eaten my way through cakes, cookies, pies, eclaires, tartes, tortes, scones, muffins, and ice creams for my turn. And now my turn is finally here. I chose sweet potato biscuits; why, I've got some warm from the oven right now. You just sit tight and I'll bring you one now with a little butter and orange marmalade. There you are. Oh, I'm so glad you liked them, honey lamb. If you're still hungry, I'll bring you out a little bitty sandwich with barbecued shredded beef. You know dear heart, I liked these biscuits so much that I made some sweet potato rolls the next day. I wrapped up a good dozen and took them down to the neighbors, on account of the mother being sick with the new fangled piggy flu. Sure, I can get you that recipe. Why, it's not trouble t'all, it'd be my neighborly duty. Well, I guess it's getting a little late, and I've got to be up early to help Jedediah milk the cows; his backs never been the same since he had the chiro-prac-tic adjustment. But it's been awful good having you for a visit. I'm glad you're here and I hope you'll come back and follow me around often, especially on Tuesdays. A body gets plum lonesome for someone to come around and help eat all these treats. You tell your friend and neighbors to come around too, won't ya??? There's plenty for everyone.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
by Dorie Greenspan
Estimated Cost: $2.50 for a dozen (using fresh sweet potato)
Soft and creamy-textured, with flaky layers, these biscuits satisfy like cake.
Using canned sweet potatoes makes them easy to prepare at a moment's notice. I use canned sweet potatoes packed in light syrup -- I just drain the potatoes and mash them with a fork. If you've got leftover cooked sweet potatoes or yams, give them a good mashing, measure out 3/4 to 1 cup and you're good to go.

Makes about 18 biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
2 15-ounce cans sweet potatoes in light syrup, drained and mashed
Pinch of ground cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Get out a sharp 2- to 2 1/4-inch-diameter biscuit cutter, and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and spice, if you're using it, together in a bowl. Add the brown sugar and stir to incorporate it, making sure there are no lumps. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat it with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You'll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between -- and that's just right.
Add the sweet potatoes to the bowl, grab a fork, and toss and gently turn the ingredients until you've got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick, gentle kneading -- 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don't worry if the dough isn't completely even -- a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.
Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting -- just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)
Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a cooling rack -- cooled a bit, they're more sweet potatoey. Give them 10 to 15 minutes on the rack before popping them into a basket and serving.
SERVING: Unlike most biscuits, these are best served after they've had a little time to cool. They are as good at brunch (they're great with salty ham and bacon) as they are at tea (try them with a light cheese spread and/or marmalade). Or have them with butter or jam, fruit butter or fruit compote.
STORING: You can keep the biscuits in a plastic bag overnight and give them a quick warm-up in the oven the next day, but you won't recapture their freshly made flakiness.
Sweet Potato Rolls
Estimated Cost: $2.50 for a dozen
Notes: Proof your yeast if you are concerned about its reliablity. Mix your yeast into the warm buttermilk and give it 10 minutes to see if it rises nicely. Continue with the rest of the recipe as follows.
3/4 cup mashed sweet potato, pumpkin, or butternut squash
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cups buttermilk, warm (think baby bottle warm)
2 teaspoons yeast (I love SAF)
1 egg, divided use
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 and 1/2 cups flour, plus more as needed
softened butter, for dough
wheat germ, if desired, for tops
In a large bowl or free standing mixer, combine potatoes, butter, and buttermilk. Add in yeast, egg YOLK, sugar, and salt. Gradually stir in the flour, about 1/2 cup at a time. Knead for 10 to 12 minutes, adding more flour as needed to produce a smooth, elastic dough. Form the dough into a ball, and rub the outside of the dough with butter. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 70 minutes. Punch dough down and shape into 12 balls. Place on greased cookie sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an additional 45 minutes, or until light and doubled. Brush tops of doughs gently with egg white and sprinkle with wheat germ. Bake at 400 for 8-12 minutes. Serve warm.
Next Up:
My new favorite Shaved Pork with Spicy Green Beans

Monday, October 19, 2009

Want another cookie?

Hello, Monday morning. I miss Cookie Bookie already. Do you? If you didn't catch one, you could scroll down for any Cookie Bookie posts from last week, or you can check out some of my favorite treats and reads from last year....Spicy and Soft Ginger Cookies. These are some of the cheapest cookies on planet earth to make, and yet they taste so lovely.

Chocolate Buttermilk Cookies are so purdy with candy corn on top.

Pecan Praline Cookies are another genius cookie from Martha Stewart. Sometime I skip the cookie and put the frosting on ice cream. Very, very bad in a very, very good way.

Come back on tomorrow.
I've been waiting almost two years for my turn to host Tuesdays with Dorie. It's finally here. You are cordially invited to my party. See you tomorrow.
P.S. I cannot make this last picture go away. It just won't take a hint. So for some reason, some one out there must need this bottom picture to make their life complete. So here it is, like a high school boyfriend, outstaying its welcome for who knows why.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gingerbread Pumpkins and Kid's Halloween Book Picks

Welcome to the final day of Cookie Bookie 2009. There are still so many October books to share. If only I had the time to have Cookie Monthie, but all good things must come to an end. Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite books to read with young whippersnappers for Halloween. I confess that I own over 100 children's Halloween books, a collection started during my years as a first grade teacher.

First and foremost, I love The Witches, by Roald Dahl. (If you read his autobiographies, Boy and Flying Solo, you'll see the fascinating seeds for many of his imaginative tales.) The Witches is narrated by an orphaned boy who lives with his Norwegian grandmother. She cares for him, feeds him, educates him, loves him, but most importantly teaches him how to spot a witch in disguise. Beware of well dressed women with wigged heads, since it is a well known fact that witches are bald. Beware the gloved hands, hiding hideous claw like fingernails. Beware the square toe-less feet, the blue tinted teeth, but most of all beware the eager interest in little children. (The book is mildly frightening, but the movie is down right terrifying since the Grand High witch is extremely hideous.)
For smaller children (or those with a juvenile turn of mind, like myself)....

Shake Dem Bones, by W. Nikola-Lisa, recounts a Halloween party but reads like poetry and jazz music; scoo-bee-doo-bee-doo-wah, yah.
The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat, by Stan and Jan Berenstain is full of mischief, misconception, and misadventure, but it's all resolved in the end.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, by Linda Williams, tells of a brave little woman whose courage is tested by a piecemeal scarecrow. We put on a reader's theatre every year for Family Night with this book.
Miss Nelson is Missing ,by James Marshall, is every grade school teacher's fantasy. Miss Nelson, fed up with her misbehaving students, disguises herself as the witch Viola Swamp, and then heaps on the discipline and homework. Did I miss any wonderful kid's Halloween books? Leave me a comment and let me know. And now, a very kid friendly cookie to accompany our young-at-heart literature. All children love to roll and cut out cookies, and these gingerbread babies are sturdy enough for the chubbiest little fingers. They're strong enough that you can poke a hole in the top and hang them from a tree which is handy at Christmas time, but don't wait until then to make a batch. The homespun smells of molasses, ginger and cinnamon are meant to be enjoyed in the fall. And if you can tell me a better way to spend an October afternoon than with young charges by your side, an exciting Halloween book in your hands, and a cookie waiting on the plate, then I'd like to hear about it. Now is the time to stop and enjoy. Thanks so much for joining in for Cookie Bookie. I've had about 2000 readers here daily, and I'm still so amazed at your kindness and interest. Your comments mean the world to me. I've got all kinds of fun stuff planned for the holidays, so keep coming back and spread the word!Gingerbread Cookies
Estimated Cost: $2.00 for about 2 dozen
Keep this recipe in mind when you are out of eggs.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup sugar
2 and 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teasoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350. In a small, melt butter. Stir in molasses and sugar, and cook until mixture is smooth and not grainy. Remove from the heat and cool to lukewarm. In a separate large bowl, combine 2 and 1/4 cup flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour butter mixture over dry ingredients and stir to combine. Work in remaining 1/4 cup flour. Dough should be like playdough. Roll out to a generous 1/4 inch thick and cut shapes. Bake for about 8 minutes, depending on size of cookie shape. I like mine a little underbaked so that they stay soft. Let cool for two minutes on cookie sheet and transfer to rack. Frost as desired. (I use about 2 tablespoons butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar and enough milk to make a spreadable frosting.)

P.S. I just adore my cakestand. It's perfect for every season. With just a change of the ribbon, it's ready for fall. I'm honestly considering having some made. Everyone needs such an adaptable cakestand.

See you After the Weekend that Pork and Spicy Green Bean Recipe...