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Archive for December, 2011

I never knew that my favorite pretzel hug treat had a real name.

Apparently they are called “Santa Buttons.”

And they’re delicious and addicting.

Oh, and they’re the easiest thing to make and are perfect to take as a a hostess gift or to have on hand in case friends stop by during the holidays.

So, here they are! Santa Buttons.

Normally I use circular pretzels, but I couldn’t find them at three stores, so I just gave up and used regular pretzels.

Three ingredients and 20 minutes later, you’ll have a tray full of Santa Buttons. You’ll thank me. Enjoy!

Recipe

Ingredients:

Hershey’s Hugs

Pretzels

M & Ms

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place pretzels on the baking sheet. Place a hug in each pretzel. Place baking sheet in oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove baking sheet and press one M & M on top of each hug. Place baking sheet in freezer for 10 minutes or in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Remove Santa Buttons from baking sheet and enjoy!

And, congratulations Amanda! You won the OXO Good Cookie spatula giveaway. Please email me your address so I can mail it to you. Thank you to everyone for participating in my first giveaway!

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‘Tis the season of cookies. Yum.

Until writing this post, winter has been my absolute least favorite season. I see the sun every other day. It’s cold. It’s dark. There’s slush everywhere. We can’t park our cars on our street if there is more than two inches of snow. So, basically we can’t park our cars on our street for the next four months.

See why winter is last on my list?

But, winter does have one redeeming quality. Baked goods. Specifically cookies.

So, what better way to fully embrace the cookie baking season than with a cookie baking giveaway?

As part of OXO’s Blogger Outreach program, I was selected to give away one of their “Be a Good Cookie” spatulas as part of their Cookies for Kids’ Cancer project. I also received one for my own use and love it! I know you will too.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was discovered by two OXO employees whose son was diagnosed with pediatric cancer. While treating their son, the parents learned that over 25% of kids diagnosed with cancer do not survive because of a lack of effective therapies. And, the lack of therapies is due to a lack of funding.

Cookies for Kids encourages individuals, communities and businesses to raise money for pediatric cancer through local bake sales.

This year, OXO will donate up to $100,000 from its limited edition “Be a Good Cookie” spatula profits to benefit pediatric cancer research. To purchase a “Be a Good Cookie” spatula and help fight against pediatric cancer, visit your nearest Bed, Bath and Beyond, Amazon or check out the store locator at www.oxogoodcookies.com to find a local retailer.

I wish I had a new cookie recipe for you, but being on crutches does not really allow me to be very active in the kitchen. But, check out some of the blogs on my Blogroll for some great cookie ideas for the holidays. They won’t let you down!

Do you want a Good Cookie spatula? Leave a comment on this post and follow me on Twitter with mention of this post for a chance to win! You have until Friday, Dec. 16 at midnight to enter, so be sure to comment and tweet before then! I’ll mail out the spatula to the winner!

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Totally Tortellini Soup

I’m usually not a huge soup fan…except for when I’m sick. Then I like it. But recently, John and I have fallen into a Sunday Soup routine. It’s a great meal to make at the beginning of the week because there are usually leftovers. And I love leftovers. Leftovers weren’t high on my list growing up either, but now that I’m the primary cook in the house, I love them.

Getting back on topic, soup. I recently made this soup, and it exceeded my expectations! Definitely more filling than other soups because of the tortellini.

I know. So good! This soup was pretty dense, so I also added some Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato Soup on top to add some more liquid to it.

If you make it, let me know what you think! Enjoy!

Also, I’m having my first giveaway on the blog tomorrow, so be sure to come back and enter to win!

Recipe

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion
2 cloves minced garlic
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
8 oz. tomato sauce
9 oz package of whole wheat cheese tortellini (or any other type of tortellini you like)
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
9 oz bag of baby spinach, chopped (I was out of spinach, but will include this next time!)
1 bag frozen corn
shredded cheese for garnish

Instructions:

In soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion and garlic, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the broth, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Bring to boil.  Add the spices, corn, and tortellini and cook to package instructions (mine took 7 minutes).  Finally, add the chopped spinach and serve immediately.  
Garnish with shredded cheese.  Makes about 5 servings. 

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I’ve been MIA on the blog due to surgery. What have you been up to?!?

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I’m back! Well, kind of…The good news is that the surgery went well. The bad news is that it’s going to be a long recovery. We are talking about 4 months. I know…it’s a long time. I’ll dedicate a few posts in the near future specifically to surgery and recovery, but for now, I think it’s best we focus on food.

Thanksgiving food.

I know I’m late and now everyone is focused on Christmas cookies, so if you want to stop reading here, that’s fine. I see how it is.

For everyone else, here’s what we prepared for our pre-Thanksgiving.

Turkey, obviously.

Mashed potatoes, courtesy of Jaden at Steamykitchen. These were okay…they were lacking a bit in salt, so be sure to add some when you make them.

Green beans from Cooking Light...and these were fantastic. I will definitely make these again, and they only get better on the second day. And they have bacon on them. Don’t you just love leftovers?

Stuffing, courtesy of Gina at Skinnytaste. This was my first attempt at homemade stuffing, and I think I did a pretty good job. It also has bacon in it…I’m beginning to see a pattern. But, you can always leave the bacon out you’re not a fan.

Seriously, delicious.

And, apple crisp, courtesy of Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats, for dessert. I’m a big apple crisp fan, especially in the fall. Throw some vanilla frozen yogurt on top of this and you’ll be in heaven.

So, here are the links to the recipes. Enjoy!

Mashed potatoes

Green beans

Stuffing

Apple crisp

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