Recipe: Ginger Spice Cookies

I participated in a cookie exchange about a week ago and made some delicious cookies, so I wanted to share the recipe with you all. Since I’m a part of the Junior League of Denver, I went straight to the new JLD cookbook, Colorado Classique (released in 2009), to get a holiday cookie recipe. After you are done, put these on a pretty plate or tin and give them as a hostess gift! They are guaranteed to love them!

Ginger Spice Cookies

1 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
1 egg
3 tbsp. molasses
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
sugar for rolling

Glaze

1 1/2 c.  powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. water
1 1/2 tsps. lemon juice

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, cream 1 cup sugar with butter for three minutes or until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and molasses. In a separate medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and blend well. Fill a shallow bowl with sugar. Break off walnut-size pieces of dough and roll into balls. Roll balls in sugar and arrange on greased baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer cookies to racks to cool.

Meanwhile, make glaze. Combine powdered sugar with water and stir until smooth. Stir in lemon juice. Drizzle glaze over cookies, or dip half of cookie tip in glaze.

Nutrition Information: 97 calories, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 14 mg cholesterol, 87 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrates, 10 g sugars, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein.

Yield: 40 cookies.

Recipe from the Junior League of Denver Colorado Classique Cookbook.

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How to Make a Holiday Wreath

After going up with my boyfriend’s family to cut down our Christmas tree, I decided to make my own wreath instead of going out to buy one. And since I’ve been getting a lot of compliments as far as how I did it, I thought I’d share it all with you! I found an easy step-by-step guide from eHow.

Things you will need:

  • Ribbon
  • Wire Wreath Frame (I used a 18″ frame)
  • #24 Floral/Paddle Wire
  • Shears
  • Pine cones
  • Scissors
  • Decorative ornaments, berries, etc.

1. Gather 6-8 inch trimmings from your tree or other greens found right outside your home. The tip ends of the branches work best.

2. Use a wire wreath fame or make your own from a wire coat hanger (I used a wire wreath frame that I bought at Michael’s for $2.99).

3. Attached #24 floral/paddle wire anywhere along the wire wreath frame. Tie is to the frame at that point and keep unspooling it and wrapping as you go around the frame with the bundles of greens.

4. Select several of the trimmings and place them together in a bunch with the stems at one end.

5. Place this bundle on top of the frame where the floral wire is connected.

6. Hold the bundle in place and wrap the floral wire around the bundle and frame.

7. Wrap the floral wire around the bundle a second time and then pull it tight. Make sure to leave the wire attached to the frame.

8. Gather another bundle and place it so that the leaves overlap the first bunch and cover the stems, making sure they face the same direction.

9. Continue overlapping the bunches and wiring them to the frame until you complete the circle.

10. Add pine cones by twisting a new piece of wire around the base of the cone, leaving a tail of 8-10 inches. Tie the wired cone’s tail to the wreath. (I was lucky in that I had pine cones already on the branches)

11. Lift the first bundle that you wired onto the frame and tuck the last bundle under it.

12. Twist the wire tightly around the last bundle. Knot the wire onto the frame, leaving 1-inch of wire with which to hang the wreath.

13. Trim the wire with scissors or shears when you are finished.

Tips:

  • Buy or make a bright red bow and attach it with wire to the top of your wreath.
  • These can make wonderful hostess gifts during the holiday party season.
  • You can do all of this for less than $10!

My homemade Christmas wreath hanging on our front door!


GOOD LUCK!

Happy Holidays!

I haven’t been on here in awhile, ok, a long while. But, I’m here now! (I promise to get better!)

It’s hard to believe the holidays are here and 2011 is coming to a close. Most people know that the holidays are my favorite time of the year. I swear sometimes I feel like a little kid, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It really is the most wonderful time of the year! It’s a time to be around the people that you love the most. I love everything about it – decorating the tree, the Christmas music (I can’t stop listening to it), lights, finding the perfect gifts for all those who mean the most to me, baking cookies, delicious food, family traditions, holiday parties, and just being around all my family and favorite friends. What is your favorite part of the holidays? What does it all mean to you? I’d love to hear!

Stay tuned for more posts on holiday fun! Happy Friday!

I’M AN AUNT!

I’m proud to announce the birth of my first nephew, Luke Daniel, on Sept. 15, 2011.  He’s pretty much the cutest baby on earth. He weighed 7 lbs, 3oz. and is 20 inches long. I can’t wait to spoil the little guy!!

Recipe: Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle

Just made this for dinner the other night and it was delish! I halved the recipe so that we could have leftovers for lunch the next day. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle

1 3/4 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1 tsp salt, divided

3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided

Cooking spray

20 oz uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)

1 tbsp butter

3 garlic cloves

1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided (I used skim milk)

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 (3.5 oz) jar commercial pesto (about 1/3 cup)

3/4 c half-and-half (I used fat-free)

2 c (8 oz) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, divided

4 c halved grape tomatoes (about 2 pints)

1/2 c chopped fresh basil

Preparation

1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

2. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes or until done, turning after 6 minutes. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch pieces; keep warm.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in colander ovre a bowl, reserving 1/4 c cooking liquid. Place pasta in large bowl.

4. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Combine 1/2 c milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in pesto. Gradually add remaining 1 c milk and half-and-half, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 8 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 c reserved cooking liquid, remaining 3/4 tsp salt, remaining 1/2 tsp pepper and 1 c cheese; stir until cheese melts.

5. Add chicken and sauce to pasta, tossing well to coat. Add tomatoes and basil; toss gently. Sprinkle with remaining 1 c cheese. Serve immediately!

*Recipe courtesy of MyRecipes.com

(Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 2 cups pasta and 1 1/2 tbsp cheese) 508 calories, 38.3 g protein, 16.7 grams total fat, 50.7 g carbohydrate, 81 mgs cholesterol, 781 mg sodium)

Toast to Friendship

In March, I entered the Korbel Mimosa Girls Getaway contest where I was to submit a “toast” to my girlfriends. The grand prize winner received a VIP trip package to the Korbel Winery with five of her best girlfriends. Eight finalists were chosen by the Korbel team and featured on their Web site. Although I wasn’t selected as the grand prize winner, I was one of the finalists and was awarded with a pretty fabulous Korbel spa robe. Don’t get me wrong, the trip would have been wonderful, but I entered this contest because I wanted to show how much my friendships mean to me. To me I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for and I meant every word to them in my toast. My friend, Meredith, said it best, “Friendships come and go, but good friends, they’re always in your life.” You all know who you are, and I am truly grateful for each and every one of you.

There’s a Little Kid in All of Us

A couple weeks ago, I went to Canvas and Cocktails with my good friend, Meredith. This is my second time doing this (see my post, ‘Hello 2011…’ for my first experience at C&C), and I must say, it was a blast. Whether you are artistic or haven’t painted since elementary or middle school (like me), it’s a great outlet if you’ve had a long day and need to de-stress or if you just want to revert back to being a kid and have fun with friends.  An instructor walks everyone through a step-by-step process on how to create the featured nights painting all while you sip on a glass of wine or mimosa. I was pleasantly surprised at what I ended up creating and had a great time with a good friend. You can never be too old to paint… after all, there’s a little kid in all of us!

Ta da!

Meredith and I with our finished pieces