Gorgeous Day in December!!

Friday, December 30, 2011 5:34 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
A gorgeous day in December on our visit home to Oklahoma! We spent it out at the park with the kids! They absolutely love this park though I'm not the most fond of it since I feel like it's a huge maze to loose my children in lol






Egg Plant Parmesan

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 10:19 AM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
No one in my family will eat this but I still love it!





Ingredients

3 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
1 (16 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side.
In a 9x13 inch baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Double Chili Cheese Dip

10:15 AM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments




Ingredients

1 (8 ounce) package light cream cheese, softened
1 (15 ounce) can turkey chili without beans
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped green chilies
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives (optional)
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
Baked tortilla chips
Directions

Spread cream cheese into a 9-in. pie plate or quiche dish that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Top with chili, onions, chilies and olives if desired. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips.

20 Minute Chicken Parmesan

10:13 AM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments



INGREDIENTS:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


PREPARATION:
Place chicken between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/4-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Dip chicken in egg, and dredge in breadcrumbs.

Cook chicken in butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Spoon spaghetti sauce over chicken; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with cheeses and parsley; cover and simmer 5 additional minutes or until cheeses melt.

Cherry Fruit Salad

10:11 AM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments


a favorite recipe I got from my grandmother!

1 small tub of whip cream
1-2 cups mini marshmallows
1 can cherry pie filling
1 cup crushed pecans
1 small can of eagle brand sweet milk
1 can crushed pineapple (drained)

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate!

3 Bean Slow Burn Chili

10:07 AM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments

Ingredients

6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
4 habanero peppers, seeded and minced
2 (15 ounce) cans chili beans in spicy sauce
1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
4 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
1 (16 ounce) jar hot salsa
1 can corn
1/8 cup chili powder
1/8 cup coarsely ground black pepper
1/8 cup red pepper flakes
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
2 pounds ground beef
Directions

In a large pot over medium heat, combine garlic, onion, habanero peppers, chili beans, kidney beans, black beans, diced tomatoes with green chiles, salsa, chili powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer.
While soup is heating, cook beef in a large skillet over medium heat until brown. Drain excess fat, then stir beef into soup pot. Simmer, covered, until flavors are well blended, about 1 hour.

Kings Ranch Casserole

Monday, December 26, 2011 8:29 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments



1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
3/4 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
12 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
Sliced green onion
Stir the soup, picante sauce, sour cream, chili powder, tomatoes and chicken in a medium bowl.
Place half the tortillas in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with half the chicken mixture. Repeat the layers. Sprinkle with the cheese.
Bake at 350°F. for 40 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with the green onion. Serve with additional picante sauce and sour cream.

A Wonderful Christmas 2011!

Sunday, December 25, 2011 10:13 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments


Last night started our Christmas adventures!!! We spent the day baking cookies for Santa, making reindeer chow, went to our church candle light service, off to a friends for a Christmas Eve party and then ended the night watching Elf on A Shelf!

we woke up this morning and had a special Christmas breakfast! Santa pancakes!

A pancake covered in whip cream for the beard and hat, the hat is filled with cherries, bananas for the eyes and nose and chocolate chips!


The kids had a wonderful Christmas and got everything they wanted from Santa! Probably a little to much but they have been super good this year!










after we got done opening all of our gifts we went to church and then came home and started the day of cooking! I wound up making our day extra special by getting to big of a turkey in to little of a pan apparently and it dripped down to much in the oven and started smoking then had flames coming out of the oven! We got it cooled off and cleaned it up and tried again but still to much so my husband had to rush off to Golden Corral and pay out the butt to get some pre done turkey to feed our family and the 4 families coming over for dinner! It was well worth it to enjoy our wonderful Christmas here with our Army family!

Great night visiting with friends and laughing and having a good time! I will surely miss these years spent here with our Army Family in Texas and sad to think this is our last Christmas spent here!

Melted Snowmen

Saturday, December 24, 2011 5:43 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments




I finally got to make the melted snowmen tonight!

I used pre made sugar cookie dough, cut cookies with the top of a cup in round shapes and baked according to package.

Once cooled I frosted with white frosting, topped with a large marshmallow, decorated with red hots for buttons and wiltons black icing for the face and hands! We didn't have orange on hand so we had green noses lol but it worked!

Turned out super cute and kids love it!

Wrap 'N' Stack Sandwhich Tree

5:40 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments

made this for the Christmas Party we are attending tonight!


Ingredients
1 16-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce
4 large (9- or 10-inch) spinach-flour tortillas or flat breads
Mayonnaise
3/4 pound thinly sliced Monterey Jack or American cheese
3/4 pound thinly sliced smoked turkey
1/2 head green-leaf lettuce
Toothpicks
Red and yellow bell peppers
cocktail onions, for garnish
Instructions
Spoon the cranberry sauce into a food processor and pulse it briefly.
Then lay the tortillas or flat bread on a flat working surface and lightly spread them with mayonnaise (a rubber spatula comes in handy for this). Now your kids can top each tortilla with a layer each of cheese and turkey. (Tip: When stacking ingredients, leave an inch margin along the top of the tortilla. Roll the bread toward that edge to keep the filling from falling out.)
Spread cranberry sauce on the turkey layers and cover them with lettuce. Snugly roll up the sandwiches, ending with the loose edges underneath.
With a serrated knife, cut each roll-up into 1 1/4-inch-wide pinwheels and insert a toothpick to hold each one together.
On a serving platter, arrange the pinwheels in rows to create a Christmas tree. Garnish with pepper-star ornaments (cut out with a small cookie cutter) and cocktail-onion lights.

Reindeer Chow

10:58 AM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments





Reindeer Chow Snack Mix
Posted by Cynthia Ewer on December 4, 2010

Description

Looking for a last-minute stocking stuffer? It's Reindeer Chow! Sweet and crunchy, this seasonal snack mix is a favorite with kids, not just reindeer!

A simple concoction of cereals, pretzels, peanuts and M&Ms-brand seasonal candies sparked with a white chocolate coating, Reindeer Chow is a fast, last-minute snack mix recipe for holiday giving.

Package Reindeer Chow in zipper food storage bags or cellophane snack bags for an easy classroom treat or Secret Santa gift. Add a free printable gift tag with the Reindeer Chow poem to make an easy holiday gift.

For a fun and festive family gift, fill a pet dish (from the Dollar Store!) with Reindeer Chow. Inexpensive self-adhesive "foamie" letters spell out the name of your favorite reindeer!



Ingredients
1 pound white chocolate chips or almond bark-brand white chocolate coating
3 cup Rice Chex-brand cereal
3 cup Corn Chex-brand cereal
3 cup Cheerios-brand cereal
2 cup pretzel sticks
2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
12 ounce M&M-brand chocolate candies
10 copies printable gift tag
Instructions
Slowly melt chocolate in double broiler over water. Alternately, place almond bark or white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is melted.

Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl, then drizzle melted chocolate over top and mix well. Spread in a shallow layer on a cookie sheet or broiler pan.

Allow to cool completely, then package in single-serving bags or an inexpensive pet bowl.

Print 10 copies of the Reindeer Chow gift tags and attach to gift. Or, create your own tag using the poem below.

Makes 30 servings.

Notes
Use this Reindeer Chow poem to create a gift tag for your holiday gift:

When reindeer fly on Christmas night,
They work up quite an appetite!
But Mrs. Claus knows what to do,
To feed them when the flight is through.
She mixes up some Reindeer Chow.
A secret only she knows how.

With something salty, something sweet,
It’s Rudolph’s favorite reindeer treat.
Back in her kitchen at the Pole,
She heaps it high in every bowl
To welcome her returning crew.
So here’s a batch that’s just for you!

Reindeer Chow Poem Copyright © 2009 by Cynthia Ewer.


http://christmas.organizedhome.com/recipes/snack-mix/reindeer-chow

Oreo Brownies

Friday, December 23, 2011 9:56 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments



Oreo Brownies
from Eat Me, Delicious

2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 eggs
1 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped Oreo cookies (25 cookies)

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9"x13" baking pan.

In a heatproof medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, heat butter, chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla and sugar. Blend chocolate mixture into egg mixture; cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1/2 cup flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture. In a small bowl, stir Oreos and remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Add Oreo mixture to chocolate mixture. Pour batter into baking pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula.

Bake 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 3 inches from center comes out clean; do not overbake. Allow to cool. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped, until cold; cut into squares.

Christmas Package Cheese

9:35 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
this was fun to make! A cute twist to the normal cheese ball!



Ingredients
8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Scallion
Red bell pepper
Instructions
Mix the dried dill, garlic powder, and salt into the softened cream cheese.
Pack the mixture into a rectangular container lined with plastic wrap (you can reuse the cream cheese box).
Refrigerate it for at least 3 hours. Before serving time, set the unwrapped block of cheese on a platter and decorate it with a scallion bow and red pepper polka dots and gift tag.

The Christmas Pickle

9:22 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments




The Christmas Pickle


The tradition of the Christmas Pickle has got to be one of the strangest modern Christmas customs in that no one is quite sure why it exists at all!

In the 1880s Woolworth stores started selling glass ornaments imported from Germany and some were in the shape of various fruit and vegetables. It seems that pickles must have been among the selection!

Around the same time it was claimed that the Christmas Pickle was a very old German tradition and that the pickle was the last ornament hung on the Christmas tree and then the first child to find the pickle got an extra present. However, this seems to be a total myth! No many people in Germany have even heard of the Christmas Pickle! (Like in Russia virtually knows the story of the supposedly Russian story of Babushka!)

There are two other rather far-fetched stories linking the pickle to Christmas.

One featured a fighter in the American Civil War who was born in Bavaria (an area of what is now Germany). He was a prisoner and starving, he begged a guard for one last pickle before he died. The guard took pity on him and gave a pickle for him. The pickle gave him the mental and physical strength to live on!

The other story is linked to St Nicholas. It's a medieval tale of two Spanish boys traveling home from a boarding school for the holidays. When they stopped at an inn for the night, the evil innkeeper, killed the boys and put them in a pickle barrel. That evening, St. Nicholas stopped at the same inn, and found the boys in the barrel and miraculously bought them back to life!

There is an old legend about St Nicholas rescuing boys from a barrel but the barrel was originally holding meat for pies - not pickles!

So it's most likely that an ornament salesmen with a lot of spare pickles to sell invented the legend of the Christmas pickle!

The American city of Berrien Springs, MI (also known as the Christmas Pickle Capital of the World) has an annual pickle festival held during the early part of December.






So this is one of our favorite Christmas traditions we have adopted as a family! Every year when we wake up Christmas morning the kids unwrap their gifts and at the end the kids look for the "Christmas Pickle" which is a pickle that my son Keagan made that was hidden on our tree by Santa! The child who finds it, gets the extra gift! They have a ton of fun with this every year! Our pickle isn't the traditional ornament but rather looks like this

Gingerbread Men AKA Alien Men

3:31 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
just got done baking a favorite in the family that has been made for years growing up as a family tradition even back when I was little and my siblings were little! They're gingerbread men cookies but we call it alien men because they look like little alien men lol


1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
2tbs molasses
1 tsp cloves
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon

raisins or red hots for decoration.

Cream butter and sugar. Add molasses and unbeaten egg. Beat until smooth. sift all the dry ingredients and add to molasses mixture. Roll 3 pecan size balls for each. Flatten first ball for head. Roll 2nd and 3rd slightly into a rope for arms and legs. Flatten slightly. Decorate adding eyes and buttons and bake at 375 for 8-10min.

Gingerbread House Fun!

1:03 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments




Today we made our traditional gingerbread houses out of graham crackers, icing, and lots of goodies from coconut for snow, marshmallows, candy canes, gum drops, chocolate chips and more! The kids had a lot of fun this year since they are getting older and can really get into making them even bigger and better!









Getting in the Holiday Spirit!

12:57 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
We've had a fun last two days getting into the holiday spirit!

Yesterday we took the 3 older kids to see Arthur's Christmas after dropping the youngest at the babysitters. They loved it and it was a pretty cute movie! I even cried at the end! I know, I'm such a sap!


later that night we took off for our yearly tradition to visit the Blora Festival of Lights and stop in between for hot cocoa and a cookie! Their lights here are huge and so much fun! Between driving slowly through the lights and stopping to see santa and get our treat in between looking at lights at Santa's Shop it turned into a 3hr event!


The kids love it every year but I think this year Santa spent a little to much time in the sun because he was really tan this year! haha

The Chinese Moon Festival & Winter Days

Thursday, December 15, 2011 11:06 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
Today for the fun part of our day we learned about the chinese moon festival and made Moon Cakes! Mmmm they were ever so yummy!!




On the 8th full moon of the lunar year comes the Moon Festival. On this night, the moon is at its brightest. Friends and family gather together to enjoy the moonlight and of course eat mooncakes!
This Festival is the equivalent of Thanksgiving Day and its origins go back to ancient times, when people would get together on the 15th day of the 8th moon (around September or October in our Calendar) on a day of thanksgiving for a good rice harvest. This is the time when crops and fruits are at their best and the weather is pleasant.

In ancient China, emperors would make offerings and sacrifices to the sun in spring and to the moon in autumn.

An so it is also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. Autumn in the Chinese Calendar falls on the seventh, eighth and ninth lunar months.

Nowadays, families get together with friends to celebrate and enjoy the moon and the savory Mooncakes.

In celebrations around the world, there are the usual Dragon Parades, Lion Dances, and festivities of the season. Take a look at this Mid-Autumn Festival celebration in San Francisco,


Here's what real moon cakes look like




Er, yours likely will look more like these as ours did unless you are a better artist lol




Ingredients:

1/4 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup salted butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup strawberry (or your favorite) jam (traditionally red bean paste is used so if you want a more authentic version, you can use a can of red bean paste instead of the jam).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the butter, sugar and 1 egg yolk and stir.

Mix in the flour.

Form the dough into one large ball and wrap it in plastic wrap.

Refrigerate dough for half an hour.

Unwrap the chilled dough and form small balls in the palms of your hand.

Make a hole with your thumb in the center of each mooncake and fill with about half a teaspoon of jam.

Brush each cake with the other beaten egg yolk and place on a cookie sheet. (We didn't have a brush to do this, so skipped the brushing step)

Bake for about 20 minutes or just until the outside edges are slightly brown.






We also studied about winter and made some fun winter painting outs of snow!

Foam shaving cream
White glue
Construction paper
Small plastic bowls
Paintbrush or Q-tips
Toothpicks, twigs, or craft sticks, if desired



We also made some paper snow flakes!


Some of our math fun was season today and Christmas themed pictures as well as writing letters to Santa!



Aidan's letter read..

Dear Santa,
I want an ipod touch. I want a iphone more. More cologne and gingle bells. I want a bird. I want a four wheeler. A country guitar or an electric guitar and a picture of rudolph.



Keagan's letter read..

Dear Santa,
I wanta monkey and a foobal and a light saber. I want to be like you and a reely little motor cycle and a i podd touch and a remote controle car. I want a monkey stuffed animal and a picture of rudolph. And a toy elf and toy phone and a hug from santa and to see you. I love santa.


Brooklyn's letter read..

Santa,
I want a ds and a monster high and a repunsel doll and dora kitchen and dora with her dogs and operation game.

Flowers and the Arctic Ocean

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 7:50 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
Aidan finished up reading about edible flowers and sunflowers today! He was really amused with the different uses for so many flowers.

He made a sunflower out of popcorn today as part of his craft project blended in with his science lesson.


he also finished up on his history lesson reading about Greece and the Spartans! He made his own shield to defend himself in war after he finished his lesson out of card board!


He however is not to pleased with the fact they killed off their weak babies or left them out to die and could be adopted as slaves. In fact I'm pretty sure he's traumatized by it haha jk

Keagan continued on reading about Daniel Boone today and more about the Arctic Ocean, Tundra, Grasslands and more! He had some fun with making his own ocean and watching the different waves! We used a tub of water, food coloring and a blow dryer (supervised lol) to watch the different waves!