This and that: November 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday ~ November 29/12

November is just about over... and the busy season is starting
Are you ready.. I am not and I feel that my schedule is so tight that I don't have a minute to breath.
But good thing for Foodie Friend Friday Linky Party
We have recipes right here at our fingertips... 
Our last party was a great success with 173 recipes linked up
I also want to thank everyone who voted and clicked my recipes
as I won Voted Top 3 and Most ..  

We have a great giveaway for this week from Locust Hill
3 random winners will win a jar of either apple raspberry honey jam or cranberry apple honey jam
 (their choice)

Remember to fill out the Rafflecopter
 for you chance to win
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Host for this week:

Foodie Friends Friday
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Marlys at This and That
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Michelle at  From Calculus to Cupcakes
Cynthia at Feeding Big
Jodie at Binomial Baker
R Dawn at Spatulas on Parade
Angie at A lil Country Sugar
Jutta at HungryLittleGirl
Cindy at Cindy's Recipes and Writings: : 
Joanne at Winelady Cooks:
Marlene at Nosh My Way:

Last Week Winners:
This and That ~Palpitation Cupcakes
Crumbs in my Mustachio ~ Eggnog Bundt Cake
This and That ~  Salted Caramel Mocha Latte

This and That ~Palpitation Cupcakes
This and That Salted Caramel Mocha Latte
Hun... What's For Dinner ~ Mexican Nutella Hot Chocolate

Also remember:
Foodie Friends Friday ~ Daily Dish
is having a gingerbread contest
gingerbread house competition

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Salmon Croissant or Bread stick Casserole for breakfast

I am always on the look out for great breakfast recipes and I think I finally found something that is wonderful and fairly easy to make. You do have to plan ahead of time as it does take sometime to get it ready and cook... but once it is baking... just sit back and enjoy the smells.  I have made this recipe twice.  The first time I made it was with Pillsbury garlic bread sticks and it was yummy but the temperature the original recipe said I think was too hot and the bread stick got too brown for my liking.  The second time I made them, I used large buttery croissants and turned the temperature down and they worked out wonderfully.
My husband preferred the garlic bread stick one and I plan to make them again with the bread sticks at the lower temperature and see what happens.  I will let you know when  I do it.


Salmon Croissant or Bread stick Casserole
adapted from All Recipes Croissant and Salmon Breakfast Casserole

6 garlic bread sticks or 5 buttery croissants (large size)
1/4 cup onions chopped
1/3 cup mushrooms chopped
1/4 cup red peppers chopped
1 tbsp oil 
7 eggs beaten
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp dill 
1 tbsp garlic if using croissants
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
1 cup Monteray Jack and Colby Cheese shredded
3 -4 oz smoked salmon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Bake garlic bread sticks or croissants as directed on package.  Cut up half of the bread sticks into small pieces or the bottoms of the croissants and place in the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan.  Place the other bread sticks and tops of croissants to the side.  
Saute onions, mushrooms and peppers in oil until golden and place on top of the broken pieces of bread sticks or croissants.  Spread cheese and salmon over mixture.  In separate bowl mix eggs and milk until frothy add thyme, dill, garlic (if using),and salt.  Pour this mixture over top of everything.  Arrange the left-over bread sticks or croissants on top, pressing into egg mixture.  Bake for 45 -50  minutes until eggs are set and croissants or bread sticks are brown.  Serve hot.

ready to go into the oven

the bread sticks came out very brown.  I also used a smaller
dish.  The second time I used a 9 x 9 pan and
it worked perfectly.

made with bread sticks...

made with croissants.

This dish would also be great for lunch with a nice salad or a light dinner.  You could change the meats, veggies and also the spices to make it your own.  The possibilities  are endless.  Enjoy!


Thursday, November 22, 2012


He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part:
The full, the true Thanksgiving 
Comes from the heart.
J.A. Shed

As I sit here this morning, thinking of Thanksgiving...
I fill blessed for so many things.
First to God as with out Him we would have nothing to be thankful for.
Then to our country and those who put their life's on the line everyday to keep our country safe and free.
Then to my family and friends...
Everyone of you brings joy to my life in a special way.

This is a special Thanksgiving for me 
Although I have lived here in United States for 12 years.
This year I am an American! 
We need to be thankful and not only for today that we live in a country that is free...
that we are given the freedom of religion,
the freedom of speech,

May each and everyone of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Maple Leaf Creme Cookies

A while back I had found some Dare Maple Leaf Creme Cookies in the local store
They brought memories of my childhood.
As I was eating them, my mind went to making my own.

First I had to find a recipes... so onto the web to search.
I found a recipe from Food shed that looked good as they said that they were imported to New England,
 I knew that the author knew how they tasted...
Great a recipe, now onto finding maple leaf cookie cutters...
I searched high and low in our area but couldn't find any, found every other kind of leaf but not maple leaf.
So I ended up making flower cookies instead of maple leaf...

Maple Leaf Cream Cookies
adapted from  Food Shed
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla

In bowl mix flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg.  Set aside.  In separate bowl mix butter and brown sugar until fluffy, scraping sides down.  Mix in maple syrup, once mixed well add egg and vanilla and continue to mix, scraping sides.  Mix in dry ingredients on low until everything just comes together.  Form into a ball and chill in fridge for at least 2 hours or over night.
 Once chilled, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick and using cookie cutter, cut out shapes.  Place parchment paper or liner on cookie sheet and place cut out cookies on the cookie sheet, 1 inch apart.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 7-9 minutes, or until golden brown colour.  Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack.  Once cooled arrange cookies according to size and frost the bottom cookie, lying the other cookie on top.

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 cups icing (powdered) sugar
1/4 cup milk

Whip butter until soft, add about 1/2 cup icing sugar and continue to whip.  Add maple syrup and milk.  Add icing sugar until the frosting becomes stiff but spreadable.  You may have to add more icing sugar or milk to make it spreadable without being watery.


Gingerbread House Competition at the Daily Dish

Have you ever made a Gingerbread House?
Is it part of your Christmas Tradition to make one and display it?

picture taken from the web.

Did you know that Gingerbread was brought to Europe in 992 by an Armenian monk?
He lived in France for 7 years where he taught Gingerbread cooking.
Sweden first saw Gingerbread in the 13th century when it was brought by the German immigrants.
Swedish nuns baked gingerbread to ease indigestion.

Nuremberg, Germany is the gingerbread capitol of the world
The story of Hansel and Gretel written by the The Brothers Grimm made
 gingerbread houses even more popular.

In Bergen, Norway, a city of gingerbread houses has been made since 1991 before Christmas.
It is free for any child under the age of 12 to make a house with the help of their parents.
This is a great tradition.  

Gingerbread houses are usually made of a harder German gingerbread,
and is often made before Christmas by constructing the house and covering it with candies and icing.

The Daily Dish is starting an 
annual Gingerbread House Competition.
You will be able to submit your gingerbread houses
 from November 21st through December 31st.
You do not have to be a blogger to submit.  
If you are not a blogger, ignore the URL on the link.
You only need to fill out the boxes with your name or the name of your gingerbread house
and  your email address
Link up at the bottom of the page where you see the blue frog...
Have fun and I can't wait to see what your gingerbread house looks like....
I am thinking I am going to make one this year.
information for this post came from: Gingerbread - Wikipedia

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mock Cuban Lunch Chocolate Bars

Do you remember the Cuban Lunch Chocolate Bar?
If you are Canadian you might remember it....
I loved them..
A large bar with thick chocolate that crunches in each bite.. full of peanuts.
It makes my mouth water just thinking about it...

I am not even sure that you can buy them anymore...
But you can make them with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, peanutbutter chips, 
ripple chips and peanuts..
YES! I said ripple chips...

I have been trying very hard not to make anything with peanuts
so I had though Almond Butter would taste good in them...
I couldn't find any Almond Butter, instead I found the next best thing..
Caramel Almond Spread
and is it good... If you haven't tried it you need too...  

Mock Cuban Lunch Chocolate Bars 
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups butterscotch chips
1 cup caramel almond spread
1 1/2 cups rippled chips - crushed
1 cup macadamia nuts - broken into small pieces

Place chocolate and butterscotch chips and caramel almond spread into a microwave save bowl.  Microwave until chips are melted.  Stir.  Add ripple chips and macadamia nuts and stir until thoroughly mixed.  Drop by spoonfuls into baking cups... you can use either miniature baking cups or regular size.  Place in refrigerator until chilled.  Enjoy.

Once chips and spread are melted, add rippled chips and nuts
stir until thoroughly mixed.
drop into baking cups and chill
Caramel Almond Spread 

 So easy to make and a great gift idea.  Christmas is coming you may want to think of putting this on your baking list...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday ~ Coffee Party

It is a coffee party!
and to more specific...
It's a Don Tomas Coffee Party!
Foodie Friends Friday  members were given
one pound of this robust flavour coffee
to use and review.

to read my review go here

My creations that I made with Don Tomas Coffee
Palpitation Cupcakes with Chocolate Espresso Coffee
Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Salted Caramel Mocha Latte

This week three random winners 
will receive a pound of this great tasting coffee...
Remember to fill out the rafflecopter to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out all the hosts for their reviews and creations:

Foodie Friends Friday
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Marlys at This and That
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Lindsey at Family Food Finds
Michelle at  From Calculus to Cupcakes
Cynthia at Feeding Big
Jodie at Binomial Baker
R Dawn at Spatulas on Parade
Angie at A lil Country Sugar
Jutta at HungryLittleGirl
Cindy at Cindy's Recipes and Writings: :

To see last week winners ~ go Here
20% off coupon for
Don Tomas Coffee
Also check out the Daily Dish you go to e-magazine.
It has something for everyone.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Foodie Friends Friday Winners!

Last week we had a great Thanksgiving Party
with lots of great recipes.
Thanks to all who shared their recipes.
I am going to have fun checking them out.

Last week winners:
Top 3 Voted
Feeding Big ~ Cranberry Orange Muffins
Cozycakes Cottages ~ Simple Scottish Shortbread
Adorned Well ~ Cinnamon Honey Butter

Most Clicked
Cozycakes Cottages ~ Simple Scottish Shortbread
Recipe Roundup ~ Bikini Tanned Turkey
Feeding Big ~ Cranberry Orange Muffin

Sponsor Winners

Host Favorite
Foodie Friends Friday
Go Here for your button.
This week's host favorite goes to 
Axiom At Home for  Candied Ginger
I love this recipe as we eat lots of Candied Ginger and I never thought of making it myself.
My husband grew up with it and uses it when he feels ill ~ colds, upset stomache.
I also like to eat it just like candy.

picture courtesy of Axiom At Home

This week we are having a coffee party.
Three lucky winners will receive
coffee from Don Tomas Coffee.
And if you don't win... great news
You can get your own wonderful coffee from Don Thomas Coffee
for 20% off through January.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Palpitation Cupcakes and a Coffee Review

A while back I was lucky enough to be able to receive coffee from Don Tomas Coffee to use and review.  I was so excited when I received it and when I opened the box, the aroma was so wonderful and I envisioned so many things to make with it.  I don't drink much coffee anymore but this coffee tasted so wonderful... It had a great robust taste that left no after taste and even when made strong, which is the way I like it, it was great tasting with no after taste.

Light Roast
Heritage Roast ~ courtesy of Don Tomas Coffee

After reading about the company and how they harvested the coffee beans and also helped the community I was very impressed.  Don Tomas Coffee is a family operated business that produce high quality coffee beans in Nicaragua.  With this they have also invested in building a healthy community. They have built a school, medical center and a place of worship to help their employees.  Another awesome thing about this company is that they have a fundraising program,  your school/organization will keep 25% of all internet proceeds and 30% of all other proceeds.  That sounds good to me and if you are planning on doing some fundraising this may be a good place to start for you.

During my review of this coffee, I served it for company and all that drank enjoyed the robust taste.  I also made a couple of specialty coffees with this coffee and loved them. Here are the recipes for these specialty coffees:  Pumpkin Spice Latte and Salted Caramel Mocha Latte.  Another recipe that I made was my Palpitation cupcakes... The reason I am calling them Palpitation cupcakes is that I used espresso strong coffee to make them.  I used 6 heaping tablespoons of  coffee to 1.5 cups of water to make the coffee.  The cupcakes alone weren't that strong but the frosting gave me palpitation when I tasted it alone. Together they were downright delicious... The review I got for this recipes were" thumbs up".  Everyone liked them and didn't think that the coffee was too strong but just right.

Palpitation Cupcakes with Chocolate Espresso Frosting

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup eggnog
1/2 cup strong coffee (made mine 6 tbsp ground coffee /1.5 cup water)
1 1/2 cups flour 
1 tsp soda
2 tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla 

Beat butter, sugar and egg together until mixed.  Mix in eggnog and coffee.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Add vanilla and mix well.  Line muffin tin with cupcake holders and fill 3/4. (I was able to make 14 cupcakes).  Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick comes clean, approximately 20 -25 minutes.  Cool, once cool, apply frosting (recipe below).

Chocolate Espresso Buttercream Frosting
3 tbsp soft butter
1 oz melted chocolate
1/8 cup strong coffee (6  tbsp ground coffee/1.5 cup water)
1/8 cup milk
2-3 cups powdered sugar ( I used just a little less then 3 cups)

Beat butter until soft, add chocolate and continue to beat.  Add 2.5 cups powdered sugar and beat until well mixed.  Add liquids and continue to beat for a couple of minutes.  Adding more powdered sugar until is a stiff consistency.  

You may need to eat these with milk.

This weekend on Foodie Friends Friday
we will be having a Coffee Celebration 
You don't want to miss an opportunity of winning some great coffee...

In case you don't win any but still want to try this coffee go to Don Tomas Coffee and use Coupon Code ~ FOODIEFRIENDS for 20% off through January.

This recipe and article was sponsored by Don Tomas Coffee.  I was given a pound of coffee to taste and review.  The opinion of the coffee was mine and what I observed by the friends that I served it to.

Never Fail Pie Crust that you can freeze

The holiday season is just about upon us 
and we are all busy thinking of what we are going to prepare.
Pies are one thing that I think most of us make
and who wants to use store bought crusts?

Homemade is much better better
but can I make my own?
Yes, anyone can and here is an easy recipe that never fails.
And the great thing about it
You can make 6 single crusts and freeze them.
So you can make this ahead, freeze it 
then bring it out, thaw out the crust and make your pies...
What can be more simpler?

Never Fail Pastry
5 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups lard or shortening
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tbsp vinegar
Water to equal one cup with egg and vinegar

Which to use ~ I use 1 cup Crisco shortening and 1 cup lard
Tenderflake lard ~ I buy in Canada and import.
first 4 ingredients mixed until crumbly
1.  Mix first 4 ingredients ~ flour, baking powder, salt, and lard or shortening; Mix together with hands or pastry cutter until crumbly.  I use my hands and mix these ingredients together.

2.  Add 1 egg slightly beaten and 1 tbsp vinegar in 1 cup measuring cup.  Add water until cup is full and pour in center of  the flour/lard mixture.

pour egg, vinegar and water mixture into center of flour mixture
3.  Mix all together until dough holds together.  I again use my hand to mix this together and then fold the dough until it holds together.  Divide into 6 equal portions.  At this point you can freeze the dough.

divide into 6 equal portions.
ready to go into the freezer
4.  To freeze wrap each portion in plastic wrap.  I usually use 2 layers and then place in freezer bags.  When ready to use take out of freezer and thaw until dough is pliable and ready to use.

* If using dough when you first make it.  It is easier to roll out if you chill the dough first.  I chill it for about an hour or two. 

I hope that this recipe works for you.
I have never had it fail.
One tip is not to over work your pastry dough.
Mix the dough only until it holds.

Linked up to these great parties:  Saturday Dishes Pies & Cobbler

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday Thanksgiving Party

Are you ready for another great party?
And I am also excited to see what recipes will be linked.
The Theme for this week is Thanksgiving
and as this is my first Thanksgiving as an American
I am really looking forward to see what 
a true American eats on Thanksgiving... as long as it isn't
sweet potatoes ~~ Sorry I just don't like them.. And I have tried.

We also have some great giveaways...
So remember to fill out the rafflecopter...
If you would like to see what happened last week
 which recipes were  voted top 3 and most clicks
and who won the giveaway.. 
Go Here

Now onto this week party

Foodie Friends Friday
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Marlys at This and That
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Lindsey at Family Food Finds
Michelle at  From Calculus to Cupcakes
Cynthia at Feeding Big
Jodie at Binomial Baker
R Dawn at Spatulas on Parade
Angie at A lil Country Sugar
Jutta at HungryLittleGirl
Ericka at Chef PickyKid and Me
Cindy at Cindy's Recipes and Writings: : 

Please link your recipe back to Foodie Friend Friday
and to the blog you posted from
also would if you link from my blog, I would love it if you would leave me a comment
so I can send a personal thank you!

Thank you

Come back next week for our Coffee Party