Everything cookies have been my favorite cookies for as long as I can remember having a favorite cookie. They are crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and have so many wonderful flavors of toasted nuts, oatmeal, coconut, raisins, and chocolate.
On another note, it's nice to be back at it again. I like the routine of being back to normal after a long Christmas break. When we came home from break, they were still installing a new kitchen, laundry room, and kitchen nook/butler's pantry floor (which is awesome!), but we are just now getting the house put back together. Plus our 5 year old and myself have been really sick with the flu over the past two weeks and my husband had sinus surgery this week. We are all so so glad to be getting back to "normal".
Here is glimpse into our kitchen nook where we have been eating off of the card table while sorting through everything that was piled into the dining room while the floors were done. Tonight was our first night eating in the dining room again and it was nice to be back to our usual dinner routine. The floors do look beautiful though and it forced us to go through more stuff and organize (two boxes of donations and two boxes of trash from today's work). This little kitchen nook is usually an art/homework room for the boys and they are glad to get it back. I also do most of my food photography in this little kitchen nook...So glad to get back to normal!
This is the butler's pantry across from the kitchen nook. I really did have this counter cleaned off this week which lasted for about half a day. You pass through here to get from the kitchen to the dining room so it's kind of a hallway too. I love the extra storage from the butler's pantry.
More on getting back to "normal"...I know that in our house full of boys that our normal may be a little chaotic to some. Sure it's full of adventure, dirt-SO MUCH DIRT, laughter, and LOTS of NOISE, but I'll take our glorious chaos because I know that someday when the house is quiet I'll miss the joy that came with the chaos.
Speaking of Joy...These M & M Everything cookies will bring some Joy. They are perfect for gift giving, although you better make a double batch if you have a sweet tooth.
I used red and green M & M's for Christmas. Wouldn't these be pretty with red M & M's for Valentine's Day or spring M & M's for Easter? One more note...you might be tempted to skip toasting the nuts, but don't, it takes the flavor to a whole new level.
1 ¼ cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. milk
1-2 cups chocolate chips*
1 cup quick or old fashioned oats
½ cup raisins
½ cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped
½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup M & M's chocolate candies
1. Toast nuts on a small un-greased pan in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.
2. Turn oven temperature up to 375 degrees.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
4. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture and milk. Stir in chocolate chips, oats, raisins, nuts, coconut, and M & M's candies.
5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto parchment lined baking sheets.
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are crisp but centers are still soft. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
*I use less chocolate chips when adding M & M's, but if you are a chocolate lover, go all out.
Makes about 3 dozen.
My favorite cookie scoop makes perfect cookies every time. I got this Nordic Ware cookie scoop in my Christmas stocking one year.
Mashed potato soup has been a favorite in our house for years. I started making this several years ago when I had some leftover mashed potatoes to use. We love it so much that now I puposely make extra mashed potatoes just so that I can make mashed potato soup.
You don't need a whole pound of bacon for this recipe, but I always cook a whole pound because my boys LOVE bacon, like really LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE bacon. This is a great use of leftover mashed potatoes. It is quick to make from start to finish and it is thick and hearty. Great for warming up on cold winter nights.
So next time you have some leftover mashed potatoes, make this delicious mashed potato soup and enjoy every creamy, bacony bite.
Maybe it's the weather...it is literally freezing here in Southern Kentucky and has been below freezing all week or maybe it's because I am nursing and always feel famished, either way I have been craving hearty and filling meals like this savory slightly sweet Butternut Squash and Sausage Casserole.
A friend of ours gave us a huge butternut squash last week so I have been coming up with creative ways to use it and this butternut squash and sausage casserole has been our favorite so far.
This is about a quarter section of our butternut squash. It was amazingly huge! I peeled, sliced and then cubed about 2 pounds squash for this dish.
I love the combination of butternut squash, sausage, sweet onion, garlic, and spinach. This casserole is hearty, fresh and delicious. Our whole family loved it including our boys.
I used frozen chopped spinach because I had it on hand, but you could easily use a few handfuls of fresh spinach instead. We loved the fresh mozzarella topping which melted beautifully and gave a rich yet balanced flavor, but you could use shredded swiss or another favorite cheese.
Butternut Squash and Sausage Casserole
1 lb. mild ground sausage
2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. thyme
10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained or several handfuls fresh spinach
1/4 cup cooking sherry
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cocktail size balls
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Microwave peeled and cubed butternut squash for 3 to 4 minutes to partially tenderize.
3. Cook sausage, onion, garlic, and thyme over medium high heat until sausage is browned.
4. Add cooking sherry to skillet and scrape up any browned bits (which add more flavor). (Sausage mixture should still be in skillet.)
5. Stir in spinach and butternut squash.
6. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Top with fresh mozzarella balls.
8. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until squash is fork tender and cheese has melted. Use an ovenproof skillet like a 12" iron skillet. If you don't have an ovenproof skillet, simply transfer to a large greased casserole dish or a 9 X 13 inch pan before baking.
Old Fashioned Cream Pie is one of the first recipes I posted on Home Ec @ Home a little over six years ago. It is one of the most popular recipes on the site so when I made it at Thanksgiving this year, I decided it was high time to update this post with new photos.
I found this recipe several years ago in a Harvest Holiday Cookbook my Mom gave me from The Sidney Daily News in Sidney, OH. It was submitted by Mary Morrison. There is a restaurant in Sidney called The Spot to Eat which serves an amazing Old Fashion Cream Pie. I don't know if it is the same recipe or not, but it sure is good. When President Bush came through Sidney during his campaign, he made sure to stop at The Spot.
This is one of my favorite recipes for cream pie because it is both delicious and pretty simple. You make the pie filling on the stove and then pour it into an unbaked pie shell and bake in the oven. If you want to make a pretty trim like the leaf trim in these pictures, cut any extra dough with small cookie cutters and layer around the edges .
Old Fashioned Cream Pie would make a lovely addition to your Christmas dessert menu!
Look at that creamy rich delicious pie filling with just a touch of nutmeg sprinkled on top.
I usually make this recipe with my Aunt Carol's Never Fail Pie Crust. This recipe makes two pies so it is great for a crowd. It is really sweet and is especially good with some whipped cream. You can easily halve the recipe to make a single pie if two pies would be too much for your group.
Aunt Carol's Never Fail Pie Crust
I now use real butter instead of shortening in this pie crust recipe because butter is a healthier fat. All Butter Never Fail Pie Crust I haven't tried it with lard yet, but plan on it, since lard should give a nice flaky crust. Let me know if you try it.
3 cups flour
1 1/4 cup shortening
1 tsp. salt
1 egg, well beaten
5 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1. Cut shortening, flour, and salt to coarse crumbs.
2. Combine egg, vinegar, and water. Pour liquid into flour mixture all at one time.
3. Blend with a spoon just until all the flour is moistened.
4. Roll 1/2 of the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Fold flattened dough in half and then in half again so that it can be easily lifted into the pie pan. Lift the dough into the pan and unfold so that it covers the pie pan.
5. Press the dough into the pan and trim and shape the edges.
Repeat with the extra ball of dough or freeze for future use. You will need two pie crusts for Old Fashioned Cream Pie (unless you halve the recipe).
Old Fashioned Cream Pie
2 cups sugar
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
5 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 pint 1/2 and 1/2
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 unbaked pie crusts (recipe above)
Nutmeg (I grate whole nutmeg directly onto the pie)
1. In a large pot, warm cream and 1/2 & 1/2.
2. Add butter and let melt.
3. Premix sugar and cornstarch. Add to warm mixture.
4. Cook until thick, stirring constantly (This will take a few minutes. It will thicken, but will be thinner than pudding-it will still be pourable).
5. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Pour filling into pie crusts and sprinkle with nutmeg.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Makes 2 pies.
Cool to room temperature then refrigerate. This is perfect with whipped cream.
If you are an aspiring food photographer, you should check out Tasty food Photography (affiliate link below). Reading this ebook helped transform the way I photograph food. Below is the original photo I used in this post six years ago. As you can see, this book really helped me with my food photography skills.
We love Slow Cooker Spaghetti & Meatballs. This recipe has been on the blog since 2012 so when I made this for dinner the other night, I decided it was time for some new photos to liven it up a bit. I didn't even have a pinnable photo on the post (gasp) and knew nothing about food photography way back then so it was time.
Even though you all have Thanksgiving on the mind ( I do too), this is a great recipe to stash away for after the holiday. You can throw this together in about half an hour, cook on low all day, then enjoy hearty, delicious, warming Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner. Busy night, no worries...you've got the most amazing sauce and meatballs slowly simmering in your kitchen.
You will love this Spaghetti and Meatballs. The sauce is exceptional with red wine enhancing the rich flavor. And since it simmers in the slow cooker, all you have to do at dinner time is cook some spaghetti noodles and make a salad. And if you have extra time, make a batch of bread machine bread sticks or bread machine breadsticks without a bread machine. They are amazing and better than any we have had in a restaurant.
SAUCE & SPAGHETTI
If you are into food photography and need some help improving your food styling and photography skills, I cannot recommend Tasty Food Photography (affiliate link below) enough. I learned a wealth of knowledge from this ebook. See my old post photo from 2012 compared to my new photos. Update: this new photo was accepted by foodgawker!
I have been wanting to update this post with new and improved photos for at least a month and set a goal of doing this before Halloween. But, reality is ... I am snuggling, nursing, diapering, and loving our newborn son and sometimes, make that most of the time, any spare minutes are better used sneaking in a quick nap.
I am way better at posting pictures on instagram than to any other social media sites so if you want to see our baby boy, you can see pics here.
So the good thing about this recipe as with most cookie dough recipes, is you can refrigerate or freeze the dough. So if you make the dough and then (like me) don't have to time to bake it for say 3 or 4 days, you can refrigerate or freeze it and then bake it later when you have time. This might be how most of my fall baking goes, if at all.
These aren't difficult to make, I just have a busier life than normal right now with a newborn. My students used to make these in my foods classes and they always loved them. And that was before I knew about the merits of browned butter icing and how it takes these cookies from really good to rock your world amazing!
To make browned butter, you simply melt the butter on the stovetop until it turns a light brown color and smells fragrant with a caramely slightly nutty scent. The cookies are not that sweet on their own so the sweet caramely buttery icing compliments them well.
Enjoy these perfect little fall confectionary gems!
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 Tbsp. grated orange peel
Mix in next:
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake in 375 degree F oven for 8 to 11 minutes. Let cool, then glaze tops of cookies.
Browned Butter Glaze:
1/2 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 to 2 Tbsp. milk
Heat butter on stove over medium heat until browned. You will smell a caramely, slightly nutty scent when it is ready. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla, then milk until smooth.
Glaze cookies after they have cooled a few minutes. Top each cookie with a pecan.
The glaze will harden quickly, so don’t make the glaze until after all of the cookies have baked.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Linking up at Lou Lou Girls, Create with Joy, Share the Wealth, Dream, Create, Inspire
I have pretty much hit the point of this pregnancy where cooking is super limited. I have made a few simple things this week like BLT’s and grilled cheese, but I just can't do anything more than that right now.
I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I have plenty of recipes and photos that I haven’t published yet. Good because I have some things to work on while I rest and wait for baby’s arrival. Bad because why on earth does it take me so long to write about and publish recipes? One of my recipes I still haven’t blogged is a year and a half old. I guess I need to focus a lot more.
Although, as I mentioned in this post, blogging is not the most important thing in my life. I try to put God and family first which means I might have an amazing dinner on the table, but I might not get the recipe written and edited for several months. So even though I would love to get more traffic from posting recipes more frequently, I run a one-woman blog (no paid team here) and a household with 3, almost 4 beautiful children. My husband is amazing and somehow finds time to read to the kids almost everyday, play with them everyday, help with homework, etc., but it’s still a lot for this busy, pregnant, tired, Mama.
I am hoping to bring you several of the recipes I have been working on for the past year in the near future, but if it takes longer, then it takes longer.
As Doris Day so beautifully sang,
Que sera, sera
On with the recipe…
We love love love this Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo. It’s a real treat in our house. I make it with just ¼ tsp. hot paprika so that it isn’t too spicy for the boys. They love it! My husband on the other hand, adds hot sauce and really enjoys it with a little more kick. It is mildly spicy as is, which is plenty spicy for the boys and I, but if you want more kick to it simply add more hot paprika, cayenne, maybe a ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, or like my hubby add some hot sauce. Either way, it’s delicious and if you like gumbo, you will love this recipe.
I use raw shrimp when making this gumbo so I don’t risk over-cooking the shrimp and giving them an undesirable texture. You will see raw and cooked shrimp in the grocery store. Choose the raw shrimp and it will cook up perfectly.
I know beer might seem a little unusual in a gumbo recipe, but it accentuates the delicious flavor of the broth and gives more depth to the gumbo. You can’t taste the beer, but it combines with the other ingredients to create an amazing meld of flavors. If you are adverse to cooking with alcohol, simply substitute broth for the beer. You could use beef or chicken broth, whatever you have on hand.
Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
1 lb. medium or large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
Fresh ground salt and pepper
½ tsp. dried thyme
6 garlic cloves, minced or 3 tsp. jarred minced garlic
4 T. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 to 2 bell peppers, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
4 T. flour
1 T. ketchup
¼ to ½ tsp. hot paprika (depending on how spicy you want it)
¼ tsp. cayenne
1 C. fresh tomato, diced
6 oz. smoked andouille sausage or bacon chicken sausage, sliced into ½ inch rounds
4 ½ C. chicken broth
1 ½ C. beer
1 C. fresh or frozen okra, sliced into rounds
Cooked rice for serving
1. Season shrimp with salt, pepper, dried thyme, and 1 clove garlic minced or ½ tsp. jarred minced garlic. Set aside and refrigerate until needed.
2. Heat a heavy large pot to medium-high on the stove. Add the olive oil. Then add onion, bell peppers, and celery and stir-fry until golden brown. Sprinkle in flour and stir. Continue to cook for about 5 more minutes until this mixture is lightly browned. Add ketchup, hot paprika, cayenne, and the rest of the garlic. Cook and stir for another minute, then add tomatoes and sausage cooking for a couple of more minutes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
3. Stir in broth and beer. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 25 minutes.
4. Add okra and cook for about 5 more minutes. Then add shrimp and heat until shrimp curls and turns white.
5. Scoop rice into bowls then add gumbo. Enjoy!
Heavily adapted from Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Sausage.
This post was sponsored by Premama as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. #DrinkPremama #IC #ad
As most of you know, I am currently pregnant and anticipating the birth of our fourth child very soon. In the beginning of this pregnancy I experienced a lot of morning sickness. In fact for the first three to four months, I could get sick anytime of day. I unfortunately lost a lot of prenatal vitamins due to being sick all of the time. I even tried taking them at night, but could still get sick after taking them. I wish I would have had Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink Mix since it is easier to take for women who experience morning sickness. It is also easier for those who have trouble swallowing pills.
I have been craving juice and fruit pretty much this entire pregnancy so it easy to remember to take Premama Essentials + DHA with my juice every morning. I keep my Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink Mix on the window sill above the kitchen sink and mix it with a big glass of orange juice every morning.
It is both delicious and an easy way to take prenatal vitamins.
On a recent trip to Meijer, I found the whole collection of Premama Vitamin Drink Mixes in the vitamin section under the home health sign located near the pharmacy.
You can find all five varieties of Premama Vitamin Drink Mixes at Meijer.
I trust Premama products to provide the necessary vitamins and DHA for my growing baby. They contain folic acid levels similar to many prescription prenatal vitamins, and equal to, or greater than most leading nonprescription brands. They contain Omega-3 fatty acids and non-constipating iron often found only in prescription prenatal vitamins.
Strawberry Orange Smoothies
1. C. frozen strawberries (I freeze fresh strawberries for a few hours prior to blending.)
1/2 C. orange juice
1 packet Premama Vitamin Drink Mix
To make these delicious strawberry orange prenatal vitamin smoothies simply blend all ingredients in the blender.
Enter to win a Premama sample and $5 coupon by completing two social media actions before September 29th! Choose between Premama Lactation or Premama Fertility.
Use the Premama store locator to find a retailer near you.
Last week my doctor told me I had to slow down and reduce my activities in order to keep baby in a few more weeks. I am not on bed rest, but I have to slow things down a bit which means no more walking the boys to school and no more lifting. I am listening to my body and resting throughout the day as needed and have now made it to 34 weeks. We are feeling good about this progress and will continue to rest and pray and thank God for his blessings for our growing family.
After an entire 3-day weekend of restaurants and take-out, we really needed a light home-cooked meal. And I needed an easy meal that I could throw together quickly without much effort. I planned on making a modified version of my balsamic grilled chicken, strawberry and feta salad. Modified because we still have to buy a new grill after our recent move so I was going to cook the chicken in the skillet. Then I decided to go a more savory route and make crispy Italian chicken instead.
I used the same idea to bread and fry the chicken cutlets as when I have made Italian Chicken strips. This is so simple you really don't even need a recipe.
Crispy Italian Chicken Salad: Serves 4
4 Chicken breast cutlets (these are thinner than regular boneless chicken breasts)
rich milk or cream
Italian flavored panko crumbs
salt and/or pepper
olive or coconut oil or a mix of both
1. Make three bowls for dipping the chicken before cooking. In the first bowl mix some flour with a little salt and/or pepper. In the second bowl pour in some milk or cream (about a cup). Put some Italian flavored panko crumbs in the third bowl.
2. Heat about 1/4 inch of olive oil or coconut oil (I mix both) in a skillet (I use my trusty old iron skillet.) at medium heat. Dip each chicken strip first into the flour mixture, then into the milk, then into the panko crumbs. Place in the hot oil and fry until golden brown on each side. The chicken will take a few minutes to cook on each side, but cutlets cook faster than thicker breasts. You can test the chicken with a meat thermometer if you have trouble knowing when it is done. When you cut through the meat it should be white when cooked through.
1 large head red leaf lettuce, torn into pieces
1 (8 oz.) ball fresh mozzarella, cut up
2 tomatoes, chunked
Balsamic vinegar glaze or your favorite salad dressing
Layer salad ingredients topping each salad with sliced crispy Italian chicken. Enjoy this simple and delicious meal.
My boys don't usually leave any bananas lying around to ripen for banana bread, but what a treat it is when they do. Waking up to a fresh loaf of banana bread makes my day. Plus, it is so easy to slice and serve with deli meats and cheeses for a fast school morning breakfast.
Truly moist and delicious...each bite has just the right amount of sweetness.
Like any busy Mom, I like feeding my family homemade food, but I also like simplicity in the kitchen. I make this banana bread batter in one bowl to save myself time both cooking and doing dishes. For more time saving and delicious recipes see my slow cooker recipes.
1 1/2 C. (about 3) bananas, mashed
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. honey
1 3/4 C. flour (I use 1/4 C. rice flour and 1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a loaf pan.
2. With a wooden spoon mix bananas, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
3. Next stir in the sugars and honey.
4. Lastly, stir in the rest of the ingredients, stirring until combined. Batter will be thick.
5. Pour batter into pan and bake for 50-55 minutes until golden brown.
6. Cool on a wire rack, then remove from pan. Let bread cool completely before slicing.
Want to learn more about the health benefits of bananas? Read 24 Science backed health benefits of bananas.
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science (Home Economics) Teacher turned work at home Mom, bringing you family friendly, homemade recipes and homemaking tips to simplify your life. Join me on my homemaking and mothering journey.
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