Eggnog Cookies {Recipe Revealed!!}

eggnog cookies recipe cardI didn’t immediately realize that this photo I posted on my blog about Supper Plans was pretty hard to read. This is the taped together, darling little recipe card from my husband’s Aunt. As I mentioned before, it is a fairly easy recipe to find and she likely got it from a magazine considering it is small, typed and easy to attach to a tiny index card. You may note that the typed recipe below reflects Aunt’s change of 3/4 cups of eggnog instead of 1/2. When I made these cookies the other night I followed the original recipe, plus tons more nutmeg and cinnamon in the batter, and minus the nutmeg topping per cookie.

20131121_161810When I tried this recipe last night, I failed to leave out the stick and a half of butter so it could soften. While I waiting for the butter to get more pliable, I made myself a drink. What else was I gonna do with all that extra eggnog!? Now I understand why people add rum to their ‘nog. I added just a tiny bit of rum, filled the rest with eggnog, swirled it around and topped it with nutmeg in a martini glass. I don’t drink martinis, so in my world this is a perfectly acceptable use of the glass.

Here is the recipe typed out:

Eggnog Cookies

1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.
3. Cream sugar and butter until light in a medium/large bowl. Add eggnog, vanilla and egg yolks; beat at medium speed until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined. Do not over mix. (I mixed all of this by hand)
4. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Bake 20-23 minutes until bottoms turn light brown.

20131121_173237They look a little lumpy butt because I didn’t use a wire rack to cool them on. If you have the time/space, I recommend allowing them to cool for 5 minutes or so until they harden. When they first come out of the oven they are a touch mushy. I didn’t care if I ended up with funky shaped cookies so I just stacked them all up on a plate.

The hubbster approved and so did our new roommate. I think these cookies are a win. They are awesome compared to regular sugar cookies and have a little bit of eggnog kick to them. Delicious!!! And they are pretty darn easy. If you need a quick holiday cookie then you should really give these a whirl.

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New Hairdo!

I have been a bum about updating my blog to my biggest changes, but seeing as I have rendered myself useless [bleach in my hair], I may as well blog about  it. Before you start getting worried, I’m just talking about changing my hair.

I recently cut most of my hair off. I mean for realz, most of my hair is gone-zo, but I love it. Let’s review some photo history:
hairlong1Check out the hair I used to have. I was pretty much at mermaid length hair.
Hair long2The trouble was with hair this long, if I washed it in the morning and put it up it would be wet all day. Things that don’t do well in winter. I loved my long hair, but have been planning a change for a long time now. Yes, I will likely grow out my hair again someday.

hair braids Even though my hair had been bleached, I decided to try and donate it to a wig making charity. The requirements page listed that they would be able to sell the hair for profits (to make more wigs) if they couldn’t use my hair. So my hair stylist braided it into four sections and started whacking off hair!hair in handPretty soon I was left with four braids in hand and a really awkward bob. I was excited to keep moving on from this weird hair length. trimming the bobShe pinned up bits of my hair and cut sections at a time. Our goal was to have short sides, very short back, bangs and enough hair on top to spike up and play with. M cut on cut on my hair for almost two hours!! I am very high maintenance I think.
hair on floorThis is just a little bit of the hair that was ultimately cut off. Keep in mind it doesn’t include the heavy braids nor the final 30 minutes of trimming and fudging to make it perfect.

katnewhairstyledsilly hair post shower

This was the end result! It is very very different from my usual loooong hair and no bangs. And yes, I am still getting used to my bangs.

20131121_150905I know you’re shocked but I still wasn’t pleased exactly with the length. So I got more cut off and I bleached it out.
20131121_141820Just freshly cut off some more.
20131121_160556Bleached, washed, cut and styled. This crazy spiky look is exactly what I want. I may wear my bangs down over my forehead if I want a slightly less spikey hairdo.
What do you think of my epic transformation?

Supper: Pot Pie & Eggnog Cookies

stove recipe  boxSeveral years ago, my mother in law gave to me and my husband a cute box of recipes belonging to Kit’s Aunt.
I have browsed through it but never took the time to pull out a recipe and collect up the ingredients. There are some from magazines and some from memories long ago. Getting into the season of epic cooking, I took another look through the recipe box and have decided to try and pull one or two recipes out a month and give them a whirl. I would love to do one each week, but knowing me, I will fail at it if I make promises.

open recipe boxIsn’t that recipe box just darling?

So, what have I chosen for my first tester recipe? Eggnog cookies. I never knew such a thing existed, but I’m excited to try it. The chicken pot pie is a recipe that I found online. Apparently, I never wrote down the recipe that I used for last year’s pies. I have a stellar crust recipe and I know the veggies and chicken are just keep throwing it in until you run out of room. However, broths and gravies always make me a little nervous. Seasoning and consistency mostly. The recipe I chose to follow is one I found through Pinterest and the source is Instructables. I love that website and had no idea they had Instructable recipes. I can’t vouch for the recipe as a whole, but if you use recipes as a guideline then it will be perfect for you too. Here is the link to the chicken pot pie Instructable recipe.
I plan on adding broccoli, carrots, onions, garlic, mushrooms, squash and whatever other veggie I can find to the pot pie. I plan on serving the pot pie with fresh spinach salad. A nice crunch to go with all that chickeny goodness.eggnog cookies recipe card

Apparently Eggnog Cookies are just a Google search away. How have I never heard of them before? I’m kinda pumped because from the recipe it looks as like an amped up, more flavorful version of sugar cookies.
I can tell ya right now, that I will be increasing the amount of cinnamon. Much like garlic, they don’t list enough on recipes.

Hubbster and I had the great debate trying to decide if we wanted to try Eggnog cookies or Oatmeal cake. Oatmeal cake looks dead easy so it will be on the menu sometime soon. This aunt loved her cakes and pies, that is most of the contents of the recipe box. There are some savory recipes, some sides and several pickle recipes that we will have to try next summer too.

Have you ever made eggnog cookies before?
Do you have a go-to recipe for pot pie or do you mix up the veggies each time?

Pumpkin Quinoa Soup–The Results

Let me start by saying–my hubbster is picky and I haven’t had anyone else over to the house to be on my side about this soup. I loved it!
If you’re a picky eater or not fond of weird foods then perhaps continue your google searching because you may not like this recipe. My hubbster might have liked it if I had included chunks of ham or chicken. However, as the recipe is below, Kit had no seconds nor leftovers.

You may recall that I posted a blog talking about how I make up recipes and end up a trial Franken-recipe once I get to the kitchen. Here is what I changed once I actually got into the kitchen to cook this soup.

Ingredients
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 TBSP garlic to taste (I never measure this)
2 TBSP olive oil (never measure)
2 TBSP curry powder (you can continually taste and add more/less as you cook because soups are wonderfully forgiving)
salt and pepper
A couple of shakes of red pepper flakes
3 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped
3 small/medium sized yellow squash, washed and chopped

2 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 cup uncooked quinoa

Toppings–Grated cheese. I tried both cheddar and mozz.

Directions
Saute onions, garlic and spices in olive oil until translucent. Then add carrots and squash. Cover and allow to cook on low medium until veggies are a bit more tender–Remember you don’t want them super mushy because you want some texture to the soup.
Add broth, coconut milk, pumpkin, diced tomatoes and quinoa. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat the low and cook until quinoa pops open and liquid is absorbed. It took perhaps 30 minutes to make sure the quinoa was popped open and delicious.

What did it taste like?
It was awesome! The pumpkin was prominent and the coconut milk made it creamy and comforting. The curry powder did NOT make this soup hot but added a little kick and more complexity to the soup itself. I thought the veggies gave it just enough goodness to munch on.
If you please, you could reduce the quinoa amount at 1/3 of a cup and chicken broth by 1 cup. You would end up with about the same amount of broth/fluids.

The Process of Making a Recipe

People are constantly begging for my secret, Where on earth do you find these amazing recipes, Kat! Or, Gee, your cooking is the greatest, Mrs. Clark.
Honestly, no one says that, but in my head that is what it translates to when people compliment my cooking.

So here is that process I have to making a recipe. My methods are not unique, but do typically yield good results. It begins with me finding an ingredient, hearing people talk about or getting exposed to a food via media and it the gears start turning.

I have been thinking about pumpkin soup all summer because I have tons of cans of pumpkin in my cabinet and a co-worker mentioned that he really loves making pumpkin soup. Especially as the weather has gotten colder.

I started searching the Internetz for recipes that sounded good to me and almost immediately, had an unhappy realization. Almost all of the soup recipes I found had quite a bit of broth. Kit prefers a chunky soup, so I knew that a watery soups would mean I would have to eat the whole pot.

After pinning a few recipes I liked I started thinking and ultimately chose quinoa. It is filled with good proteins, has a good texture and soaks up liquids quite well. Quinoa and savory pumpkin sounds amazing to me. I also like the idea that I could adapt a recipe to having vegetable broth and make it for my veggie-saurus brother.

The trickiest thing about soups are that if you want a certain result of liquid you have to start with the right amount of liquid. Or suffer the cycle of doom where you keep adding things until it gives or you give….And end up with double the amount of soup you intended.

Under closer inspection of the recipes I found some similarities and pulled all the ingredients I knew we would love. I pulled ingredients from this Coconut Curry Pumpkin soup recipe I found on all recipes and a crock pot Chicken Quinoa-Pumpkin soup that I found on a personal blog.

That’s basically the process. The next step, of course, is making it on a night that I will not burst into tears if I have to order a pizza and dump it out. However, that isn’t so hard because I usually enjoy trying a new recipe.

crock-pot-chicken-quinoa-pumpkin-soup

Here is the Pumpkin Quinoa soup recipe that I came up with:
Warning: I have not tried this yet, but am looking forward to it mid-week. I will post an update to let you know what changes I made to the recipe below.

Ingredients
1 sweet onion, chopped2 TBSP garlic to taste (I never measure this)
2 TBSP olive oil (never measure)
1 tsp curry powder
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

2 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1/3 cup uncooked quinoa

Toppings–Sour cream, or grated cheese (parm) and chopped fresh spinach.

Optional–potatoes, carrots, celery, cooked chicken.

Directions
Saute onions, garlic and spices in olive oil until translucent.
Add broth, coconut milk, pumpkin, diced tomatoes and quinoa. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat the low and cook until quinoa pops open and liquid is absorbed.

Because I haven’t used this recipe before I’m not sure if three or two cups of chicken broth is more appropriate. I think for most people that three cups would be fine, but knowing that we like thicker or stew-like soups we should probably go for less. I already have a feel too, that I will want more pumpkin.

I’m really debating if I want more stuff in my soup. I usually have carrots and celery on hand to fill out a soup, if necessary. Chicken would be good, but it shouldn’t be a main player in the soup. I feel like the chicken would try to steal the show, when really, it is more about the creamy pumpkin soup.

After actually trying the recipe, Kit and I will sit down with our bowls or plates and eat for about five minutes before we start the deconstruction. What spices did you use? Are the flavors mellowed together? If you could change one thing to make this better, what would you do? And so on. We don’t place blame on the cook if the food isn’t perfect, but rather, figure out if we should try it again, tweak it, or keep it exactly the same. I love, love, love this part of our relationship. Not only can we cook and hang out in the kitchen together, but we make a game out of the recipes. Perhaps, like a friendly panel of judges on Iron Chef.

What process do you use when you’re trying to find new recipes to add to your regulars?

Do you ever follow the recipe exactly as you found it?