Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cookie Jar Makeover

I was bummend when I didn't have enough spending cash for a Christmas Cookie Jar this year...( I'm determined to stick to my budget) I've always wanted one but life dictated otherwise...soooo I pouted and then a light bulb went off in my head. HEY ! Maybe I do have a creative bone in my body afterall ! I took my plain Jane all purpose glass canister and created my own Christmas Cookie Jar using old ribbon I had tucked away, and then took 2 ornaments off my tree !! Now I have a Christmas Cookie Jar...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wrap it up !

Being thrifty doesn't have to make you sad. I already get the newspaper, so technically it was 'free' wrap ! This actually made me smile when I wrapped it up this morning.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's not Christmas until the Pizzelles are made !

Well, alrighty ! That's better. It just didn't feel like Christmas yet... even with the Santa Puzzle complete ! I dived in with both feet tonight. I just couldn't put it off another night. The Pizzelle's are finally made... just waiting for powdered sugar. It's beginning to feel and smell like Christmas around here ! Yippee !

Santa Puzzle

We're in full Christmas gear here at the Cozy Kitchen. We completed our Santa Puzzle, another Christmas tradition around here. ( Sadly, I only found about 3 pieces!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A peak outside my Cozy Kitchen window

I woke up and decided to take a few pictures of the view outside the Cozy Kitchen.
My kitchen is surrounded by mostly windows, so I thought I'd share with you what I see all day when I'm cooking. Here are a few...

When my son saw the sky, he said it looked like God took scissors and cut the sky in half. I grabbed my camera, and snapped this picture at 7:00 this morning.

Then I ran inside, and cut up an orange. I love to feed the birds ! I watch them outside my window all day long !

I noticed my winter Camellias were in full bloom !

I love winter blooms ! Even on gloomy days, these flowers make me smile.
This is my River Birch. I absolutley love the bark, and the way it unfolds in the winter ! It reminds me of unwrapping a crayon !
What's outside your Cozy Kitchen ? Take pics, post about it, come back here and leave a comment, and we can all go on a tour of what's ouside your Cozy Kitchen window ! We'll call it the Cozy Kitchen Window tour !

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Wine Exchange

I can't help it. It never fails, I get totally overwhelmed every December. After a long, hectic week, I was in search of something that had the potential to bring a smile to my face. I chose this beauty. Hess Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005, $13.00 . "Aromas of mocha, brown sugar, and dark chocolate wrap around a core of mountain blackberry. Cedar and cassis follow as secondary aromas. The palate is well balanced with berry flavors and spice. While displaying classic mountain concentration, fine grained tannins provide a smooth finish." Oh ya baby...I'm smiling !

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside Corn & Cheddar Chowder

I woke up this morning and had cold feet. I ran downstairs to see what the temperature said on my computer. A freezing 26 degrees ! At that moment, I knew exactly what was for dinner ! This is served frequently at the Cozy Kitchen during the winter months ! I love the cumin in this soup !

Corn and Cheddar Chowder
Gourmet January 2000

This soup stands on its own as a main course when paired with a green salad and some crusty bread.

Yield: Serves 4 -6

Active Time: 40 min
Total Time: 45 min

4 bacon slices, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 large boiling potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup heavy cream
10-ounce package frozen corn kernels ( I use a can of Green Giant "Niblets"corn )
1/2 pound sharp Cheddar, grated

Cook bacon in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Add onion and butter to fat in pan and cook, stirring, until onion is softened. Add cumin and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in broth and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Add potato and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 8 minutes. Stir in cream and corn and return to a simmer. Add Cheddar, stirring just until cheese is melted (do not let boil), and season generously with pepper.

Serve topped with bacon.
Soup keeps 2 days, covered and chilled

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I found this night light at Belk on sale for 14.00. They are in the China section. I thought it would be cute in the Cozy Kitchen ! I love the glitter swirls...they float about constantly when turned on and look sparkly at night. A great gift idea too !!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Wine Exchange

Blackstone, Merlot
I found this on sale at my grocery for $9.00. The Blackstone Merlot is a rich red wine, with an almost creamy texture. This Merlot has a flavor profile that is brimming over with ripe fruit flavors of plum and blackberry covered with a splash of vanilla. Excellent choice.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Black Friday Tradition

Happy Black Friday ! The thought of shopping at 5am with thousands of others makes me cringe. Instead, our tradition is to make a Gingerbread House and use it as the centerpiece for our table...and then we decorate our Christmas tree.

By the way, our Greenberg Smoked Turkey was FANTASTIC, just like I knew it would be. Again, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Mr. Greenberg !!
More for a note to myself...this was our menu.

Hot Crab Dip for snacking....YUMMA LUMMA !

Greenberg Smoked Turkey... Yes, I will order this again !!
Mom's Sweet Potato Casserole - Yes...perfecto !
Corn and Herb bread Sausage Stuffing Yes, it's fabulous every single time !
Mashed Potatoes- Always
Make Ahead Gravy-by Cuisine Tonight. Yes ! I will make it again. (I made it on Tues. )
Jellied Cranberry Sauce - out of the can...a must for the hubs
Fresh Cranberry Relish- didn't work this time -Use Pecans next year. Did not like the walnuts.
Carmel Banana Pie- a bit runny, but tasted great. Bake carmel longer next year !!
No Thanksgiving is without a hiccup in my house....I could NOT figure out why I was so relaxed at dinner...I felt unsettled because I knew something was missing but could not figure it out.
The CARROTS !! I forgot to make my buttered carrots !!!!!!!!!!!! WAAAAAAAA !! ( oh well, at least it wasn't the PIE, like I forgot LAST year !! )

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gobble Gobble

Look who was waiting for me on my doorstep when I came home last night !!
Mr. Gobble Gobble arrives in a non-descript white box, but will NOT fail to impress me when I serve him up ! I can't tell you how relieved I am knowing the 'turkey' is already done ! I can't wait to make the 'sides' favorite part of the meal !! Thank you Mr. GREENBERG for making my Thanksgiving stress free and FABULOUS !! It's not too late to order one for Christmas !

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stack of Cuppies !

I love this idea for an alternative "Birthday Cake" for little ones. That way, everyone gets their own 'cake' fighting for a piece with special frosting etc. Thank you Paula Deen for this recipe ! I'm a peanut butter fan, so I LOVE these !

Peanut Butter Cupcakes by Paula Deen

1 (18 1/2-ounce) package chewy fudge brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines)
24 miniature peanut butter cups

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 regular muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.

Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies. Fill the cups half full with brownie batter. Press 1 peanut butter cup into the batter in each muffin cup until the batter meets the top edge of the peanut butter cup.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the cupcakes are set. When they can be handled safely, remove them from the muffin tins and let cool completely on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Enjoy !

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Wine Exchange

Yes, Yes, Yes....... I will buy this again. It has been dreadfully dreary day. A stormy, thundery, rainy, cozy, flu shot, bubble bath at 6pm kinda day. A perfect red wine night.... I picked this up at the local grocery on sale for $9.99.

Bogle Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, California 2006
"Dark cherry fruit and vivid plums create a welcome first impression, while touches of herbal tea and leather nestle themselves among the spicy, saucy fruit. Sixteen months in American barrels have produced wisps of tobacco leaf and notes of spicy cigar box. With well-integrated tannins and a rich and round finish, this wine will be a favorite for years to come."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Blue Ribbon Peanut Butter Cookies courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens Hometown Cooking Magazine

These won 1st Place and Best in Show by 8 year old Ellen ! So easy that my 4 year old daughter made them ! But more importantly, they are sooo good !
I will never buy a Nutter Butter again... these are fast,easy and fabulous, and they only take 18 minutes to make the entire batch. I love nothing more than reading community cookbooks ( i always find the BEST recipes there !) , and magazines that feature Blue Ribbon & State Fair Recipes !
This recipe only has 3 ingredients ! If you like Peanut Butter Cookies, please try these. They are fantastic.
Did I mention easy ???!!! ;)

Ellen's Peanut Butter Cookies
Prep 10 min.
Baking 9 min. per batch ( makes 2 trays )

1 C. Sugar
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1 egg
sugar to roll them in
Preheat oven 375.
In large bowl, beat sugar, peanut butter and egg until combined.

Make 1 inch balls...
Roll them in sugar

Flatten with a fork

Bake at 375 for 9 minutes. Enjoy !

*REPOSTED FOR DIY Day over at a soft place to land !

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Wine Exchange

Pinot Grigio

I love this wine. It picked it up at the grocery... $7.49 ! A refreshing basket of apple, pink grapefruit, and lime sorbet ! LIME SORBET ??? ARE YOU KIDDING ? What's not to love ?! A great wine to try !

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Roasted Chicken Oreganato by Martha Stewart

This is one of my all time favorite recipes. It's simple, comforting, and my family loves it. I have been making this since August 2 ,2002 ! How do I know this ? After watching Martha Stewart prepare it on one of her shows, I promptly went to my computer, printed it out, and stuck it in my recipe files so the date is shown at the bottom of the page I printed it out on. After making it for 6 years at least twice a month, that's what I call a "keeper!".
Try it. It's great.

Roasted Chicken Oreganato by Martha Stewart
Serves 4 to 6
3 1/2 pounds chicken, cut into 10 serving pieces (* I buy whole split chicken breasts with rib meat, skin on )
4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into medium-size chunks (* I use red new potatoes! They come out perfect ! )
4 plum tomatoes, cut into medium-size chunks
1 large onion, cut into medium-size chunks
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with rack in upper third. Combine the chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, and onion in a large roasting pan. Add the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper; toss to combine. Arrange the chicken, skin side up, over the top of the vegetables. Roast until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees. about 45 minutes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Magic Wands

This was a fun project ! Remember those "Autumn" Nonpareils by The Gourmet Baking Co. that I found at TJMaxx ? This is the end result...Magic Wands. Perfect, since my little kitchen helper is going to be a Princess for Halloween.
They were so fast and easy to make.

Magic Wands
1 Bag Pretzel Rods
1 lb. Almond Bark ( vanilla flavored coating )
Nonpareils or other fun sprinkles

Melt the Almond Bark in a double boiler or just use sauce pan, but keep on low heat til melted.
Dip pretzel in melted almond bark.
Roll in sprinkles.
Cool on parchment lined cookie sheet til dry.


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