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Oatmeal Lace

Nothing fancies up a Christmas party like a little lace!  These delicate crispy confections are the perfect blend of cookie and candy.  Eat up!

Oatmeal Lace
makes 6 dozen

  • 1 1/3 c. butter, melted
  • 3 c. rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • parchment paper

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowls, combine oats, sugar, brown sugar, flour and salt.  Add melted butter, egg, and vanilla extract.  Mix until blended.

Line baking sheets in parchment paper.  Drop rounded tsps of batter 3 inches apart on parchment.  Bake for 5-8 minutes until lightly browned on edges.  Remove from oven.  Allow to cool for 1 minute.  Place tray in freezer for 5 minutes until cookies harden.

Place cookies in an air tight container and store in refrigerator or freezer.



Heirloom Maple Meltaways

Have you ever wondered if you would have had what it took to survive out on the homestead? Well, imagine yourself stoking the wood fire in your log cabin kitchen stove. You’re preparing to make your holiday cookies. You go to gather your ingredients. You may have fresh cream butter you just whipped up from your morning milking.  But, oh, no! Where is your processed granulated sugar? You forgot to plant a crop of sugar beats! Where is your Mexican vanilla, not to mention your cream of tartar?

Well, never fear. Here is a recipe, with only just 4 ingredients you would probably have in your food stuffs: butter, maple syrup, flour and salt. If you want to be real old timey, you can grind some wheat berries to get fresh milled flour. (A coffee grinder works well if you don’t have a flour mill). So get out your gingham apron and enjoy a taste of the good ol’ days.

Heirloom Maple Meltaways


  • 2 cups flour-whole wheat pastry flour works great!
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Cream butter and maple syrup. Mix flour and salt. Mix together with butter.

On a cookie sheet lined with parchment , drop dough balls by the tablespoonful 2 inches apart. If you want, top with a whole shelled nut.

Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Keep cookies chilled for best texture. They can get crumbly at room temperature.

Holiday Baking 2012 Cookie List

Its that time of year again.  With two little trouble makers underfoot, I’ve decided to keep my holiday baking as simple as possible without skimping an the amount.  I’ve focused on choosing my favorite easy cookies.  We’ve got our aprons on and our holiday baking list ready to go.  We’ve got a pantry full of flour, sugar, cinnamon and chocolate!  So lets get baking.  Here’s our list of cookies for this year.  Also, check out our holiday cookie archivefor more inspiration!

  1. Heirloom Maple Meltaways
  2. Cranberry Lemon Sandwiches
  3. Oatmeal Lace
  4. Dark Rummies
  5. Pfefferneuse
  6. Anise Puffs
  7. Choco-gingersnaps
  8. Palmiers
  9. Mudballs**
  10. Marshmellow Wreaths
Lets have some fun!
**I use the same recipe to make the mudballs as the eyeballs, but just use plain semi sweet chocolate instead of the white chocolate and the decorations.  However, you could use white and dye a few different colors, like red and green and make colored christmas bulbs.


Forkable Favorites: Cheesy Onion Casserole

Cheesy onion casserole is always a favorite every Thanksgiving, so we’re digging back in our archives to re-feature this recipe.  For more great Thanksgiving recipes and tips, check out our Thanksgiving thread.

This dish is so delicious the left overs are always fought over.  No Thanksgiving is complete without a casserole and this one is literally as easy to make as it is to eat!

Cheesy Onion Casserole

  • 2-3 Tbs butter or margarine
  • 3 large sweet onions or 4 medium white or yellow onions
  • 2 c. shredded Swiss cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted**
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 8 or so slices of French bread

Slice onions. Know any tricks not to cry while cutting onions? I whistle which works pretty well, but you need a lot of onions for this recipe. Check out the comments on the original post for some great tear saving tips!

Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat, and add onions. Saute onions until clear, a little brown is ok. In a shallow 2 qt. casserole pan, layer onions, 2/3 of cheese and pepper to taste.

In a sauce pan, heat soup, milk, and soy sauce, stirring to blend. Pour soup mixture in a casserole and stir gently to mix. Top with bread slices. Bake at 350 uncovered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, top of bread should be nice and toasted.

Push bread slices under the sauce and top with the remaining cheese.  Bake for 15 more minutes and you are done!

Sooo good!

**You can make this vegetarian by substituting cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken.

For more great

Bavarian Apple Kuchen

If you multiply the deliciousness of this cake times the easiness of its preparation your calculator will explode (or your head if you’re really good at math.)  Just try it and see.  I DARE YOU.

Bavarian Apple Kuchen
serves 12

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. veg oil
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 c. apples peeled and sliced.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with oil until creamy.  Add sugar, vanilla, flour, cinnamon, soda and salt. Mix well.  Batter will be stiff.  Fold in apples.  Pour in a greased 9×13 pan. Bake for 40-60 minutes until center tests done with a toothpick.


Acorn Squash Custard In A Half Shell

Nothing hits the spot on a crisp autumnal day like pumpkin pie. However, sometimes you don’t have a pumpkin, you’ve got a squash. And sometimes, you’re lazy and don’t feel like making pie. So, here’s a way to skip the pastry and get right down to business. Squash custard in a half shell.

Acorn Squash Custard in Half Shell

  • 2 c. roasted squash (about 3 large acorn squash)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 c. milk

Cut squash in half and scoop out as much squash from shell as possible.  Place in roasting pan and roast at 400 degrees for 30-60 minutes.

Using a food processor or mixer, process squash until smooth.  Add sugar, eggs, spices, and milk and process until smooth.

Pour custard mixture into squash shells. If you have extra, you can just pour into baking ramekins. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.  Turn temperature down to 350.  Bake for additional 30 minutes or so until the centers test clean with a toothpick.

Eat up!

Tempting Treats To Terrify

::Halloween Food::

Its that time again this year.  If you’re looking for some disgustingly delicious delicacies to stuff your ghoulish guts this Halloween, don’t forget to check out our Halloween Archive for some great last minute Halloween food ideas!

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled green tomatoes are sooooo good.  A serious party pleaser as well as gourmet garnish to spruce up your next hot dog night.  They are as easy to make as they are to eat.  Yum! Who doesn’t love pickles?  Enough talking, lets pickle.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

  • 10 lbs small green tomatoes
  • 5 c. vinegar
  • 5 c. water
  • 1/2 c. salt
  • garlic
  • mustard seed
  • dill seed
  • crushed red pepper

Prepare tomatoes: Wash and remove stems.  You may want to cut large tomatoes in halves or quarters.  I find its best to use small ones you can leave whole.

Prepare canner: Start enough water to cover your jars in canning pot.  It usually takes a while for this amount of water to boil, so I usually start this first thing.

Make brine: Add water, vinegar and salt to pot and bring to a boil.

Prepare jars: Wash and clean jars.  Heat up with hot water to temper jars for brine. (Don’t skip this step or you might have a bunch of broken glass all over when you add your brine.) Boil jar seals to prepare for sealing.

Stuff jars: Fill jars with spices and garlic

per pint jar (double for quarts):

  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp whole mustard
  • 1/2 tsp dill seed
  • 1 clove of garlic

Stuff jars as full as possible with tomatoes.  Make sure nothing is sticking up above rim of jar.

Add brine: Pour boiling brine into jars leaving half inch head space.  Wipe edges of jar to remove any materials which might impede lids from sealing.  Seal using boiled seal and screw on lid.  Screw lid on tight.

Process: Process in rapidly boiling water: pint jars for 5 minutes, quarts for 10.  Beginning timing when water in canner comes back to a rolling boil.  When time is up, remove from water and allow to cool on counter top.  Do not jostle jars as it can impede a proper seal.

Once jars are cooled and sealed, mark with contents and date.  Put in your pantry and feel good about a job well done!



Tomato Juice

Not only is homemade tomato juice awesome and delicious, its a great way to get rid of ulgy damaged tomatoes.  I usually make this last, after processing my whole tomatoes and marinara, so I can use any excess juice or scraps from the other tomatoes.  Nothing makes for an amazing spontaneous brunch party then a quick bloody mary with your own juice.  Let’s get juicy.

Tomato Juice

  • Tomatoes, juiced
  • optional: salt

Core tomatoes and remove any bruised or damaged bits.  Place tomatoes in a pot and simmer on the stove top for about 20-30 minutes to soften up and allow for easy juicing.  Pour into a food mill to remove skin and seeds. If you are lucky enough to have a juicer, you can just use that and skip the simmering step.  However, I would still suggest running the pulp waste through a food mill to get as much juice as you can out of the tomatoes.

Bring tomato juice back up to a boil.  If its a bit watery, you can cook it down until you get the flavor you want.  Salt to taste.

Wash enough glass canning jars needed for tomato juice.  Temper by dipping in the boiling water of your canning pot.  Sterilize canning lids in boiling water.

Pour tomato juice into hot jars Wipe edges of jar to remove any materials which might impede lids from sealing.  Top with sterilized canning lid and ring

Process in boiling water canner 15 minutes for pints and quarts.  Beginning timing when water in canner comes back to a rolling boil.  When time is up, remove from water and allow to cool on counter top.  Do not jostle jars as it can impede a proper seal.

Once jars are cooled and sealed, mark with contents and date.  Put in your pantry and feel good about a job well done!

Easy Roasted Marinara

Have a ready to go marinara in the pantry is one of the best time savers for an easy weeknight pasta dinner.  After spending an hour or two skinning tomatoes for canning my whole tomatoes, I very rarely have the patience to do any more putzy work.  I love my roasted marinara, because its super simple and requires very little work.  I just throw a bunch of cored tomatoes into a roasting pan with a few onions, garlic and a bit of spice and slow roast until nicely cooked. Blenderize into a sauce and then can.  EASY!  I’ve blogged about it before, but here’s my general recipe.

Easy Roasted Marinara

  • 10-20 lbs tomatoes
  • 2-3 onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • head of garlic, husks removed
  • 1-2 Tbs dried thyme
  • 1-2 Tbs dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Core tomatoes and remove any bruised or damaged areas.  Cut into large chunks.  Mix ingredients together in 1 or 2 large roasters. Lightly coat in oil.

Place in oven and roast 3-5 hours.  Mix occasionally.  I roast until excess tomato juice has been reduced and there is a light crust of blackened tomatoes/onions.  Remove from oven and allow to cool down enough to touch.

Start water boiling in your canning pot.  Heat enough water to cover jars 1″ when placed in canner.  Allow for water displacement of filled jars.

Using an immersion blender or a food processor, blend until you a desired consistency.  Season to taste. Bring marinara back up to a boil on stove top.

Wash enough clean glass jars for your marinara.  Dip in boiling water to temper glass for boiling marinara.  Sterilize canning lids in boiling water.  Pour marinara in jars leaving 1/2″ head space.  Wipe edges of jar to remove any materials which might impede lids from sealing. Remove air bubbles from jar. I usually use a chopstick. Top with sterilized canning lid and ring.

Process in boiling water canner. 40 minutes for pints. 45 minutes for quarts. Beginning timing when water in canner comes back to a rolling boil. When time is up, remove from water and allow to cool on counter top. Do not jostle jars as it can impede a proper seal.

Once jars are cooled and sealed, mark with contents and date. Put in your pantry and feel good about a job well done!

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