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Showing posts from December, 2011

Italian Wedding Soup

So, anyone else get colds for Christmas?  Pretty much the best, isn't it?  :)  As I started writing this post we were also getting our first significant snow of the season in big, fluffy flakes.  My daughter can't wait until there's enough to play in.

There's nothing like soup for colds or the cold, and this is one of our quick-to-make favorites.  It's also one of the first soups my daughter liked; the tiny meatballs make it fun for kids.

Italian Wedding Soup

1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 beaten eggs
4 T. breadcrumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
dash of black pepper

10 c. chicken broth
3.5 c. beef broth
1/2 c. small soup pasta, like Acini Di Pepe or Pastina
4 c. thinly sliced escarole
1 c. shredded carrot
1 T. Italian seasoning

Mix together turkey, eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, basil, onion powder, salt, and pepper.  Form into 3/4" meatballs and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Bring chicken and beef broth to a boi…

Christmas Surprises & Kaeng Kari Kai (Thai Yellow Chicken Curry)

Notice anything different?  I'll give you a hint...I didn't get a haircut. 

I'm difficult to surprise at Christmas time.  Partly because I'm the mommy, and it comes with the territory to mostly know what goes on under the roof of the house I consider my womanly domain. :)  I see the packages that arrive, and through December I try not to think too hard about them if they aren't addressed to me.  But this year it wasn't the return address on a package that had my husband sweating bullets while he tried to keep his thoughtful gift a surprise, it was the thought I might randomly look into a domain name and find I already owned one.  Happily, I was truly astonished to unwrap a little box that held a small slip of paper with on it.

Totally sweet of him, right?  I own a domain! 

I think the move from blogspot has been seamless; all existing links and bookmarks should continue to work.  My little podunk blog suddenly feels so legit.  :)  Let me kn…


Ideally, I would have had this post up a week ago so you could actually make these cookies for various holiday festivities.  But while I intended to have all my Christmas t's crossed and i's dotted a few weeks ago, leaving only cookies to worry about this past week, I'll admit I've been wrapping, cleaning, and baking right up until pretty much now.  So, while it's unlikely this post will do you much good immediately, it is an opportunity for me to pop in and wish you a very merry Christmas.  I wrote this in our Christmas letter to friends and family this year, and it's true: "Christ arrived with purpose.  By his death on the cross he made a way for a world of broken, rebellious people to be right before God again.  Without this willing sacrifice, we'd stand condemned before God and still lost in our sin.  Without the birth, death, and resurrection of the Holy Son of God, we'd be without hope.  I'm so thankful that Jesus came.  Because He did, w…

Peppermint Cake Roll

What do you call a cake that will never give you up, let you down, or hurt you?

A Rick Roll, obviously, but it might dessert you, so you're better off with this peppermint roll.

'Tis the season for pretty desserts, right?  I love chocolate and peppermint together.  I made a rather fantastic discovery in the bulk foods section of the grocery store the other day--you can buy crushed peppermint candies by the pound.  Maybe everyone else knew that already?  I'd been buying candy canes or starlight mints, unwrapping them, and going hog wild with a meat mallet.  Bulk candy is a much nicer/neater solution. 

I assembled this in a very Frankenstein fashion, borrowing bits from different recipes.  The cake is from Taste of Home, the filling a minty spin on a recipe from Tasty Kitchen, the ganache a leftover bit of my favorite All Recipes stand-by.  It worked.  If I was going to change anything, I'd maybe make the chocolate in the cake more pronounced, maybe use some black cocoa…

Masala Gosht (Beef in Spicy Tomato Gravy)

I love the complex flavors of this Indian beef dish.  It manages to be sweet, spicy, and savory all at once; so rich and satisfying.  It's exotic without being esoteric, and I think it could trick a strictly meat-and-potatoes-no-surprises palate into enjoying a taste of the East. It cooks on low heat in the oven until the meat is tender and the spices have mixed and mingled.  This dish tastes best when allowed to rest for a couple hours at room temperature or refrigerated for a day or two before serving, making it an exceptional make-ahead meal for entertaining, or for a work day.  I even think you could put it in the slow cooker for a few hours instead of the oven step.  This dish also freezes well; just defrost thoroughly before reheating.  To reheat, gently simmer over low heat until warmed through.  

I always go with the lesser amount of red pepper for a subtle heat my kids won't balk at, but feel free to kick it up a notch or two if you want to feel the burn in your toes. …

Cookies and Technical Difficulties

Friends, I have good news and bad news.

The good news is, on Black Friday we bought a new computer.  It is shiny and fast and now doing things online is no longer akin to being trapped in the middle of a glacier armed with only a hairdryer.  

The bad news is, it's taking a while to get my whole work flow up and running.  Photoshop, Picasa, etc.  We're moving from Windows XP to Windows 7 and things are a leeeeettle diff'rent.  The time had to come one day, but I don't do well with change.  Thankfully my awesome engineer husband is doing most of the labor on this because it kind of just makes me want to flail and panic.  And stare at the bright new widescreen monitor with Precious Moments eyes.

So, thanks for hanging around while we resolve our technical difficulties. 

The even good-er news though is that Christmas is coming.  We're reading through Advent Foretold again this year for evening devotions--it's always so good to remind ourselves of God's graci…