Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Easy Valentine's Day Cookies

Valentine's Day will be here before we know it, so I wanted to find some fun and easy cookie recipes. My family and I love celebrating the day with the kids, and themed treats are a big part of it.

I remember when I was young and Valentine's Day always seemed to me to be about romantic love. And of course romantic love is wonderful, but I really like how it has become more of a day about all kinds of love. No one is left out and everyone is made to feel special. That's the best kind of day for sure!

These cookies are some of the easiest I've ever made, and they taste so good. They are actually sort of like a cookie and donut combination. They are soft in the inside, and the glaze gives them a perfect sweetness.

This recipe makes 18 cookies but can easily be doubled. My granddaughter wants us to make them for her preschool Valentine's Day party, and I think that's a great idea!

Do make sure that the glaze is completely dry before you take them off the rack so that the sprinkles are set.

Recipe for Easy Valentine's Day Cookies


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For Glaze:

1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons milk

sprinkles of choice for decoration


 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and eggs until blended. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until just combined.

  • With floured hands, roll rounded tablespoons of the dough into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. Bake until puffed and the bottoms are pale golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

  • Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, and 4 tablespoons milk.

  • Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and set on rack, sprinkle on decoration. Let cookies set until glaze is dry, about 20 minutes.

  • Makes 18 cookies.

    Another great thing about this recipe besides it's great taste is how easily it can adapt to any holiday or season. Just change the color of the glaze with food coloring, and the sprinkles to match the occasion.


    Monday, January 25, 2016

    Ultimate Valentine's Day Round-Up

    Love is in the air! Valentine's Day is around the corner and the Social Fabric Community has put together the Ultimate Valentine's Day Round-Up to help you prepare for the season of love. From tutorials to crafts to delicious recipes, we have something for everyone. We dare you not to fall in love with these ideas!


    Friendly Valentine Candy Jar - Creative Ramblings
    Valentine Felt Envelopes - Good Morning Loretta
    Valentine's Day Candy Filled Mason Jar - Savvy Saving Couple
    Valentine's Day Love Bug Craft - Maryland Momma's Rambles
    Last-Minute Quick, Cute Cut-Out Cards - Our Daily Craft
    DIY Heart Shaped Massage Bars - Thriftanista in the City 
    Valentine Memo Chalkboard - Southern Couture 
    Valentine's Day Chalkboard Decoration - Pretty in Pigment
    Flower Vase Craft - Polka Dotted Blue Jay 
    No-Sew Ribbon Embellished Cocktail Napkins -  Atta Girl Says
    Macaroni Art Lace Hearts - ABCs and Garden Peas
    Cupid's Arrow Valentine's Day Favors - Home. Made. Interest.
    Hand Lettered Valentine Notecards - One Artsy Mama
    Instagram Magnetic Bookmarks - Happy Go Lucky Blog
    Birdseed Heart Valentines - Made with Happy
    Valentine's Day Burlap Wreath - The Farm Girl Gabs
    Cute Flower Valentines for Kids - Love, Jaime
    DIY Valentine Flower Corsage - Suburban Wife, City Life 
    DIY Valentine's Snowglobes - Woods of Bell Trees
    Valentine Envelop Chair Backers - 2Paws Designs
    Reversible Valentine's Day/St. Patrick's Day Banner - Fearlessly Creative Mammas
    Mini Bubblegum Machine Valentines - Bubbly Nature Creations
    DIY Button Heart Picture Collage - Our Piece of Earth
    Kids' Valentine's Day Gift with FREE Printable - A Cowboy's Life
     Easy Mesh and Ribbon Valentine's Day Wreath - My Pinterventures 
    Snickerdoodle Sugar Scrub Recipe - Sunny Sweet Days
    Valentine's Day Verse on Burlap - Life with Captain Fussybuckets
    12 Days of Romance Scavenger Hunt - The Mama Zone
    Candy Kiss Ring - So TIPical Me
    Valentine's Day Hand Print Craft - As Cute as a Bug's Ear
    How to Make a Valentine's Day Ribbon Banner - Aprons and Stilletos
    Date Night with a Romantic Treasure Hunt - The TipToe Fairy
    Chalkboard Gift Box - Organized Island
    Easy Valentines Felt Pillow Cover - Creative Southern Home
    Polar Fleece Ruffle Heart Wreath - Joy's Life
    Making A Valentine's Day Rag Wreath with Fabric Scraps - Third Stop on the Right
    Washi Tape Bubble Valentines - Moneywise Moms
    Homemade Candles in 5 Easy Steps - Lemon Peony
    DIY Felt Ornaments for Valentine's Day - 3 Little Greenwoods
    Butterfly Valentine's Day Craft - Sarah in the Suburbs
    Epsom Salt DIY Valentine Candles - A Day in the Motherhood
    I "DOVE" You Printable with Candy - Newlywed Survival 
    Rainbow Heart PomPom Garland - Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Wishes
    Valentine's Day Printed Burlap Subway - Occasionally Crafty
    Pom Pom Cupcakes Valentine Craft - Cute as a Fox
    Valentine's Wooden Door Hanger - We Got the Funk 
    Hearts Aplenty: Valentine's Day DIY Decor - Woman in Real Life
    Love Letters Simple Valentine's Day Craft - Craving Some Creativity 
    Valentine's Day Coffee Cup Sleeve - Craving Cynchronicity 
    How to Make a Great Loves Print - My Sweet Sanity
    Cross Stitch Heart Pillow - Cutesy Crafts
    Free Valentine's Day Cards Kids Can Make - Happy and Blessed Home


    Valentine Cupcakes - Home Maid Simple 
    Valentine's Day Cakes - Charleston Crafted
    Red Velvet Pudding Cups - Mostly Homemade Mom
    Blood Orange Panna Cotta - Mooshu Jenne
    Candy Cane Chocolate Hearts - Drugstore Divas
    Cranberry Bliss Bars - Swanky Recipes
    Valentine Rice Crispy Treats - Midwestern Moms
    Chocolate Valentine Sandies - Cindy's Recipes and Writings
    M&M’s® Red Velvet Brownies - Julie is Coco and Cocoa
    Nutella Filled Conversation Hearts - A Million Moments
    Conversation Hearts Martini - JVKOM Chronicles
    Valentine's Day S'mores Dip - Our Mini Family
    M&M’s® Red Velvet Blondies - The NYC Talon
    Valentine's Day Cheesecake Brownies - West of the Loop
    Red Velvet Cheesecakes - Houseful of Nicholes
    Chocolate Kiss Valentine's Day Cookies - Moscato Mom
    Chocolate and Candy Valentine Popcorn - Made by a Princess
    Easy Valentine's Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies - Janine Huldie
    Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe - Scrappy Geek
    Coeur a la Creme with Raspberry Sauce - Graceful Order
    Love Dipped Wafers - Sparkles to Sprinkles
    Valentine's Day Bento Lunch - Diana Rambles
    "Blackened" Seafood Medley for a Low-Calorie Valentine's Dinner - Broken TeePee
    Sweet Salty Fudge - Foody Schmoody Blog
    Valentine's Day Covered Pretzels - Texas Type A Mom
    Valentine's Popcorn - Mommy's Bundle
    The Easiest Valentine's Day Fudge Recipe - Young at Heart Mommy
    Valentine's Day Butter Cookies - Ilona's Passion
    Valentine's Day Blondies - Saving You Dinero
    Super Healthy Pomegranate-Cranberry-Almond Smoothie - Easy Cooking with Molly 
    Brownie Cut-outs - Tramplingrose
    Puppy Valentine's Day Cookies - Staying Close to Home
    Valentine OREO Brownie Bar Recipe - As Mom Sees It
    Strawberry-Vanilla Ice Cream Pie - Johanny's Kitchen
    Strawberry Filled Chocolate Cake - Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
    Chocolate Raspberry Truffles - Food Lovin Family
    Honey Bee My Valentine Cakes - I Don't Have Time for That
    Red Velvet Valentine's Day Parfaits - Living a Sunshine Life
    Homemade Strawberry Syrup - Day by Day in Our World
    Cranberry Hootycreek Cookies - Momma DJane
    Red Velvet Donuts - Frugal Family Tree
    Strawberry Mocha Granola - Strength & Sunshine
    Red Velvet Mini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - Tales of a Ranting Ginger
    Chocolate Shot Glasses - The Bewitchin' Kitchen
    Chocolate Pretzel Kisses - Just 2 Sisters
    Valentine's Candy Bark - Life with the Crust cut off
    Chocolate Kiss Shooter! - Housewives of Frederick County
    Super Simple Valentine's Day Candy Hearts - My Real Food Family
    Easy Strawberry Crinkle Cookies - Meatloaf & Melodrama
    3 Ingredient Strawberry Brownies - Fun Things to Do in Central Mass
    Nutella Baked Brie - Basil and Bubbly 
    Easy Cupid Crinkles - Creative Southern Home
    Valentine's Day Edible Tic Tac Toe Game - A Frugal Friend
    Valentine's Day Ombre Sweet Treat - Tastefully Frugal 
    Party How to Throw a Budget Friendly Valentine's Day Party - Amber Nicole Blogs
    Valentine's Day Party for Tweens - Soiree Event Design
    Love is in the Air Valentine Table - Not Just a Mommy
    Valentine's Day Tea Party - The Peanuts Gang


    Easy Valentine's Printables - I am the Maven®
    Printable Valentine's Day Lunch Box Notes and Coupons - Gluesticks Blog
    "I Love You Like" Valentine's Free Printable - C'mon Get Crafty
    4 Free Valentine's Day Coloring Pages - Saving More than Me
    Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt Clues - Mom on the Side
    Valentine Gift for Kids {Free Printable} - Fun on a Dime
    Crayon Valentines Printable - Mom's Messy Miracles
    Tic Tac Toe XOXO Valentine with Free Printable - Housewife Eclectic
    Valentine's Day Activities for Kids - Simple Living Mama
     2 Free Printable Valentines (Owls) - Altamonte Family
     Love is in the Air Valentine Card - Making of a Mom
     Matchstick Valentine Free Printable - Frenchie
     Valentine's Day Lunch Box Notes & Jokes - Coupons are Great
     I "Wheelie" Like You Car Valentine Printable - Artsy Momma


    Valentine's Day Guide - The Ranting Latina! 
    24 Frugal Valentine's Ideas - Real: The Kitchen and Beyond
    7 Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day - Downshifting PRO
    5 Perfect Valentine's Day Gifts for Bloggers - That Chic Mom
    Top 5 Romantic Restaurants to Eat at in East Greenwhich, Rhode Island - Mama Luvs Books
    Other War Room Movie Night - A Beautiful Exchange
    Pairing Chocolate with Wine & Spirits - In Good Taste
    Valentine's Day Make-up Tutorial - Glam Hungry Mom 
    Valentine's Day Dinner at Home - Natasha Byrd

    Can you feel the love tonight with all these great Valentine's Day inspired activities?


    One Pot Cookbook Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup Recipe

    If I could, and money were no object, I would totally buy all of my favorite cookbooks. My kids tell me that I can find all the recipes I want online, and that is true to some extent. But nothing takes the place of holding a beautiful book in your hands, and using it to cook from.

    Part of wanting to share more ways to be frugal on the blog this year, I wanted to say that I didn't buy the Martha Stewart Living One Pot Cookbook, but borrowed it from the library. I love my local library and it really does save me from buying so many books that I want to read. Or if it's a cookbook, books that I want to make the inspiring recipes that are in them.

    I definitely encourage you to visit the library, check out books, and also see what kinds of special programs they offer, usually from senior programs all the way to toddler story hour. The library is often overlooked as a great resource for saving money.

    I really like the ease of one pot cooking, it makes everything so much simpler, and cleanup is a breeze. This book is filled with delicious recipes that you can make in your Dutch oven, slow cooker, skillet, stockpot, and pressure cooker.

    I use my Dutch oven all the time, especially to make soups and stews. It's been very chilly and rainy this winter, so we have had a big pot of soup for dinner a couple of times a week. There is just something so comforting to me about making and having homemade soup on a cold night. And I love that most of the soup recipes that I make are usually enough to have a bowl left over for lunch the next day.

    The combination of Italian sausage, sweet potatoes and kale might seem a little unusual but they all blended together deliciously in this recipe. I followed the recipe pretty closely, but changed the shell pasta to small elbows, and used a little extra olive oil instead of just one tablespoon.

    But I guarantee this soup is a keeper, and one that I know I'll be making again soon. I added big pieces of hot corn bread with butter, and it made a great dinner for us all.

    Recipe for Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup


    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1 large yellow onion, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
    2 sweet potatoes (1 pound total), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    2 cups water
    3/4 cup small pasta shells
    4 cups coarsely chopped mixed leafy greens, such as kale and Swiss chard
    freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving


    In a stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes.
    Add sweet potatoes, broth, and water; bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook 3 minutes less than package directions recommend. Reduce to a simmer, add greens, and cook until pasta is tender and greens are wilted, 4 minutes.
    Serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

    Serves 6.

    So look for Martha Stewart Living One Pot Cookbook at your local library. It's filled with so many great recipes, the ones that you will want to cook on your own cold night for a yummy, comfort food kind of dinner.


    Thursday, January 21, 2016

    Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

    Seattle has been living up to it's rainy reputation for the last few days. I love living here, and I really do love the rain, but even I can get a little down when it just goes on for days.

    But one thing that always makes me feel better is getting in the kitchen and baking up something for my family to enjoy. Cookies are always welcome, and when my grandchildren get home from a long day at school, it's always a nice surprise for them.

    I love being a Nana who bakes treats, and hopefully that is something they will always remember about me.

    My granddaughter Ashley is only four but she is already my baking buddy in the kitchen. When we get ready to bake something, she'll ask if we need brown sugar, baking powder, the spatula? She makes me laugh because she's already familiar with what we need for baking.

    And Ashley did help me with this very easy and delicious recipe for these cookies. They are soft and chewy, and filled with milk chocolate and chopped walnuts. If you don't want nuts in your cookies, you can leave them out, but they do add so much flavor.

    These are the perfect cookies for a milk and cookies kind of afterschool snack. But grownups love them too!!

    Recipe for Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies


    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
    • ⅔ cup sugar
    • 2 eggs, large
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
    • 2¾ cups flour
    • 11.5 ounces milk chocolate chips
    • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Beat butter, brown sugar, and sugar with hand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes until mixture is very fluffy and turns lighter in color
    3. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and baking soda for 1 minute on low speed. Scrape the sides of bowl as needed.
    4. Gradually mix in flour just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
    5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until golden around the edges - about 11 to 13 minutes.
    6. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
    Makes about 30 cookies.


    Tuesday, January 19, 2016

    Big Game Day Fun and A Recipe For Spicy Beef Nachos

    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameDayGlory #CollectiveBias

    Football season is a big deal in my family. We all love cheering for our favorite teams, some good natured team rivalry, and the chance to spend a Sunday together before getting back to our busy workweeks.

    Nothing makes me happier that to see my grownup kids and their families having a good time with each other. Football might be all about the game for some, but for me, it's a great way to spend time with those I love.

    My family loves to eat of course, and my recipe for Spicy Beef Nachos is one that I make all the time. Made with ground beef, TOSTITOS® Medium Chunky Salsa, and TOSTITOS® chips, it packs a spicy punch that is just so good.

    Food and football just go so naturally together, and makes for a great day of delicious fun.

    I've found that the easiest way to entertain on football Sundays is to put everything out on the table and let everyone eat and drink what they want when they want it. We make big platters of the nachos so everyone can help themselves, and they go quick!!

    Along with the nachos, I like to include some of our favorite snacks like SNICKERS® Minis and Skittles®. These candies are long time family favorites, and I know by now to buy the big bags of them so there's plenty to go around. My kids might be adults but they still love their candy.

    Since I love Pepsi™, it's always in the pantry and makes a great choice to go along with our nachos. When I'm doing my shopping at Walmart, it's super easy to pick up anything I might need for our family game watching.

    For my recipe for Spicy Beef Nachos, I always get the TOSTITOS® Scoops Party Size. They are just like a tiny cup that you fill with the ground beef, and are the perfect size. Look for them and the regular TOSTITOS® in the chip aisle.

    If you're a football and snack lover, have you ever thought about building your own snack stadium? It's a great way to have some fun, and you can share a photo of your own snack stadium on Instagram using #gamedayglorysweepstakes. Go here for recipes and snack stadium ideas.

    You can also vote for your favorite snack stadium to enter the #gamedayglorysweepstakes for a chance to win a $100 Walmart eGift card or Xbox One.

    Game Day Glory Sweepstakes

    My nachos are all about the spicy! I love spicy foods, and I season the meat with taco seasoning, hot sauce, and TOSTITOS® Medium Chunky Salsa. If you don't like your meat super spicy, don't add the hot sauce.

    Start out by browning one pound of ground beef and half a chopped onion. Pour off the grease and add taco seasoning, hot sauce, and chunky salsa, and simmer for 10 minutes. Sometimes I'll make a double batch of the meat and put half of it in the freezer. This is a great way to be party ready, or just have the cooked meat on hand for tacos, burritos, or other meals.

    When the meat is done, arrange the scoops on a platter, and spoon the meat into the scoops. You can top it with different ingredients of your choice. I love the classic lettuce, tomatoes, a three cheese shredded mix, and with a big helping of sour cream, which tones down the spicy beef a little.

    Nachos are such an easy meal to put together, and a real favorite for me and my family while watching the game. It's all about making it simple in the kitchen so that you can enjoy sharing the time with family and friends.

    Recipe for Spicy Beef Nachos


    1 pound ground beef
    1/2 onion, chopped
    1 package taco seasoning
    1/2 cup TOSTITOS® Medium Chunky Salsa
    4 tablespoons hot sauce
    1 bag finely shredded lettuce
    2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped small
    1 bag Mexican 3-cheese blend
    1 container sour cream
    1 bag TOSTITOS® Scoops Party Size


    Place ground beef in a large frying pan and break up with a spoon. Add onion, and cook on medium heat until meat and onion are well browned.
    Turn heat to low, stir in taco seasoning, salsa, and hot sauce. Let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
    Place scoops on a platter and fill with meat. Add lettuce, tomato, and sprinkle on blended cheese. Add sour cream on top of each nacho and serve.

    Serves 6-8.

    I found these cute little football shaped bowls for less than a dollar each, and they help make the table look more festive. Perfect for holding those SNICKERS® Minis and Skittles® that we all enjoy during the game.

    You can find all of these products in the aisles at your local Walmart. I enjoy shopping for family favorite products that lets me make entertaining everyone simple and delicious.

    I'm always a little bit sad to see football season end. I love my team, and it's so surprising to me how much I have learned to enjoy the game. I never really cared about football until my kids started wanting to get together to watch it.

    But now the fun, the food, and my family make game watching season one of my favorite times of the year.

    How about you, do you enjoy watching the game with family or friends? And if you do, do you have a favorite game day meal or snack that you'd like to share with me?

    Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear about your recipe. And go here for more recipes and great game day ideas.

    Go Team!!


    Friday, January 15, 2016

    LEGO FRIENDS: Girlz 4 Life Blu-ray And Lego Set Giveaway #Girlz4Life

    *Warner Bros. Home Video provided me with some of the materials I used in this Blog Post/Giveaway. The opinions I share are my own.*

    I have been happy to see the inclusion of a girls line into the world of LEGO. Having a son I do not have girly toys and such around the house but my sister who has two boys and a girl does. I can totally see my niece being into these LEGO Friends Girlz for Life characters. They teach about the values of friendship, wear fashionable outfits and have fun music to rock out to.

    Join Olivia, Stephanie, Emma, Mia and Andrea, as they learn about friendship, fame and pop star fun in Heartlake City.
    The girls’ friendships are tested when mega pop star Livi comes to Heartlake City. When our friends’ hit song “Girlz” is stolen by Livi’s manager, it’s time for a cunning plan.
    As the girls try to tell Livi the truth about her latest hit single, they all learn that fame isn’t everything and sometimes friendship is the most precious thing in the world.

    Own LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE on digital HD 1/19 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD 2/2
    Also be sure to visit the official L2M website to stay updated with all things L2M!

    Your kids will LOVE the LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE blog app: 

    • Grab your pop star microphone because it’s sing-along night! Click the play button to watch the special sing-along music video for Girlz by L2M. 
    • Listen to the song High Tops by L2M and click to watch the “Meet L2M” video that introduces the next girl-pop power sensation. 
    • Download the “Girlz 4 Life” Activity Pack and to unlock your inner pop star! Kit includes Selfie props, a “Spot the Difference” game, making the Band DIY pop star instruments, Friendship Card and more! 
    • Click on LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE Blu-ray Combo Pack for a link where the film can be purchased!

    Enter to win Girlz 4 Life Blu-ray And Lego Set in Rafflecopter form below:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    *Limited to US residents 18 years old and above. Giveaway starts January 15, 2016 and ends on January 25, 2016 at 12:01 am EST. Winner will be emailed and has 48 hours to respond before another winner is selected. I was not paid for this giveaway or post. The opinions on this item are 100% mine and may vary from others. The sponsor is responsible for providing the prize.

    **Each household is only eligible to win LEGO FRIENDS: Girlz 4 Life Blu-ray & LEGO FRIENDS: Pop Star Dressing Room Kit via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


    Raspberry Clafoutis Recipe From Food52 Baking Cookbook

    One of the things I wanted to do this year was to try new recipes from my cookbooks. I have a slight addiction to buying them, and it seems silly to not actually cook from them, and instead find recipes online. Of course, the internet is a great resource for this, but for me, nothing beats actually holding that book in my hands and seeing it on my shelves.

    One of the books I bought so far this year is Food52 Baking. It's a great little cookbook filled with 60 easy to make desserts and treats. I love a cookbook that when I'm looking through it, I'll see recipes that I know I can attempt and hopefully succeed at.

    When I first saw this recipe for Raspberry Clafoutis, I was thinking I wouldn't be trying it. A French word in the title alone is enough to stop me cold. And this recipe is like a flan, and I haven't had much luck making that dessert.

    But when I read the recipe, it was very simple to make so I decided to give it a try. And I'm so glad I did because it turned out so delicious. It's very smooth and creamy, and the raspberries give it a little tartness that blends beautifully with the sweet.

    Recipe for Raspberry Clafoutis


    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1 cup half-and-half
    2 eggs
    1 egg yolk
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
    Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush a 9-inch ceramic pie plate or casserole dish with the melted butter.
    In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, egg yolk, sugar and almond extract. Add the flour and whisk just until smooth, being careful not to overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and scatter the raspberries evenly over the top.
    Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the Clafoutis is just set and the surface is golden brown. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm. 

    Serves 6.

    You could also pour the mixture into ramekins to make individual desserts, which I'm going to do next time I make this. I can also see using other kinds of berries with this, as the Clafoutis is a delicious base that would adapt to it.



    Friday, January 1, 2016

    Happy New Year and A Recipe For Molasses Cookies

    Happy New Year everyone!! I'm sitting here typing this on New Year's morning, the Rose Parade is on, and I'm drinking a delicious second cup of coffee. Very simple pleasures, but I've certainly learned through the years that finding a little bit of happiness in each day is essential to our wellbeing and peace of mind.

    This past year has brought some new things and situations into my life, all of which have been blessings and that I'm most grateful for. And I'm so grateful to still have this blog and the many opportunities it's brought to my daughters and myself through the years. I don't make New Year's resolutions much anymore, but if I were going to, it would be to get back to more serious blogging.

    I love blogging and I want 2016 to be a great year here at Frugal Family Tree, and to be able to share more personal stories, more recipes, and new things that we discover.

    Yesterday, my granddaughter Ashley and I had the urge to bake something yummy, so we baked these easy Molasses Cookies. I'd been meaning to bake them before Christmas but just didn't get around to it.

    My mother used to bake molasses cookies all the time and though this isn't her recipe, it does come close to being almost as great tasting as hers. This is a simple recipe that is good to make with the kids as it involves rolling the dough into balls, and pretty much feels like playing with play dough.

    Recipe for Molasses Cookies


    3/4 cup butter, melted
    1 cup white sugar plus extra for rolling on the cookies
    1 egg
    1/4 cup molasses, light unsulphured
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground ginger


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, 1 cup sugar, and egg on medium speed until smooth. Stir in the molasses.
    In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger, then add it into the molasses mixture and mix thoroughly.
    Roll the dough into small balls, about a tablespoon's worth, and then roll them in the extra white sugar.
    Place cookies on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart and bake for 12-13 minutes or until tops are cracked. Place cookies on a wire rack and let cool completely.

    This recipe will make about 30 cookies.

    So here's to 2016, and I hope it's a happy, healthy, and loving new year for us all. And have a cookie, because it's the little things in life that add up to a happy one.

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