Monday, December 28, 2009


On December 27th, we finally made our Christmas Dinner!

It was too bad we didn't have any gifts left-over to unwrap after such a wonderful meal.

I couldn't find a field roast to cook, so I opted for a quorn turk'y roast. I've always had good experience with other quorn products, so I figured it was a pretty safe bet.

& I figured right. James said something to the effect that the quorn roast was the closest to the "real thing" that he has ever had.

Unfortunately, I didn't read the directions very well, and failed to notice I should get a roast bag so I could get all the delicious flavors in there. So, instead I just mixed up herbs & olive oil and poured it over top, after poking lots and lots of holes in the outer wrapping. It didn't turn out half bad!

We baked sweet potatoes!

& the best part: apple-cranberry-"sausage" stuffing & vegetarian gravy! The gravy even started getting that little film over top of it like the real stuff!

Easy 4-Ingredient Vegetarian Gravy (from


2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp flour
1 cup homemade (if possible) vegetable stock
whole herbs- sprigs of thyme, bay leaves, rosemary


1. Heat oil over medium high heat. Sift in your flour evenly and stir. Cook the flour until a light tan color.
2. When your roux is a nice tan color, add your broth and spices. Cook, stirring constantly for 5-10 minutes or until thickened.
3. Remove your spices and season with salt and pepper.

Apple, Cranberry, Sausage Stuffing


3 cups cubed sourdough bread
10 ounces ground fake sausage (or, you can use real sausage?)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp chopped onion
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp chopped celery
Fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme (enough for your liking)
1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup vegetable stock
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degree C). Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.
2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
3. Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apples & dried cranberries.
4. Pack dressing loosely in buttered baking dish. Drizzle with stock & melted butter. Bake for 40 minutes.
5. Take stuffing out and drizzle with a little more butter. Cook about 20 minutes more, until top is is crisp & golden.

Food is awesome!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I've had a very etsy christmas!

James & I both purchased gifts on etsy, we've created some gifts & are in the processing of posting the extras on etsy, and finally, christmas night I created an etsy treasury list.

Am I a bit addicted? I think so...

I thought we needed more than just monster ornaments for the tree, so I bought a cute little wool bird from Melissa Sue.

For my boss, I bought this cute (nursing) necklace from Natural Kids Toys. Although she isn't pregnant or anything, I'm sure she'll love it & will probably end up pregnant again some day.

James got quite a few etsy gifts....a moped shot glass from Of Mine Design.

An elephant taxi from Bunny With a Toolbelt. (if you haven't checked her stuff out yet, you really should, like, right now!)

And finally some little monsters from Happycloud Thunderhead.

And I finally got my very own petit from Morning Lori (lori brown)! I've been eyeing these cute stuffed creatures for months now. I'm so stoked!

Finally, here's a link to the christmas night treasury list: midwest is best! (it's so true)

This christmas has been one of the best yet! Christmas dinners have consisted of mushroom ravioli, chinese food, and gumbo. We're making a "traditional" dinner tomorrow (stay tuned for how that turns out :\). I feel like I gave awesome gifts, received awesome gifts, and spent every penny (pretty) wisely. I'm happy that I made a few people's christmas' with handmade items. I pretty much had the best company ever (james & my girls).

I still have gifts to give out that I'm way excited about, and a christmas party to attend with my Origins girls. Cheers to the holiday not ending officially until January 3rd!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I'm feeling more holiday spirit this year than I have, well, ever.

I enjoyed searching out gifts, i enjoyed purchasing gifts, i enjoyed wrapping gifts! (much thanks to etsy for making this part most enjoyable! - although now I am hopelessly addicted to constantly checking the site to see what new things I can find.)

I wrote Christmas cards.

I'm excited to have a Christmas eve dinner planned with James including homemade apple stuffing, roasted veggies of some sort, and (hopefully) a field roast - which I keep hearing is the perfect thing for Christmas dinner.

I have a "tree" of sorts.

I even bought a Christmas ornament!

Are you feeling more holiday spirit this year than usual?

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I ran across this fantastic looking recipe over at shortly after realizing I was in need of some way to use up some cream cheese. It was just sitting there in my fridge begging to be used, and there were no bagels in sight!

Cream Cheese-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Filling

6-oz cream cheese, room temperature
2-oz white chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

(Make the cookie dough:)

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar until light. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed or by hand, blend in the flour mixture, stirring only until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Divide dough into two equal parts. Place each on a sheet of wax or parchment paper and shape into a log. Wrap in paper and chill logs for 1-2 hours, until firm.

(Make the cream cheese filling:)

1. Combine all filling ingredients in a medium bowl and mix at medium-high speed until smooth. Set aside.

(Assemble the cookies:)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray baking sheet with canola oil.

2. Remove dough logs from the fridge. (I suggest working with one at a time! If it's your first batch, I would even cut the logs in half so as to be able to work at your own speed - the dough is so much easier to shape and seal when cool.) Using a sharp knife, divide each log into eight even slices (total of 16 big slices of cookie dough).

3. Working with one piece of cookie dough at a time, flatten the dough into a 3-4-inch wide oval-ish shape between your palms. Place about 1 tbsp cream cheese filling in the center of the dough, then pinch the sides of the dough together to seal (they'll look like tiny calzones!) Work carefully so all the filling is sealed inside. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until cookies are golden brown around the edges. Cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 16 big cookies.

About halfway through the process, I came to realize I didn't have enough cream cheese to make the suggested amount of filling! Peanut butter to the rescue!

Fluffy Peanut Butter Filling

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1-2 tablespoons milk, or as needed
3/4 cups powdered sugar


1. Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer.

2. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk bit by bit until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is light, fluffy, and a light tan color. (The best frosting is made by just tasting as you go)