Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TWD Oatmeal Spice ShortBread

Since we don't drink coffee/espresso I was happy to see the Oatmeal Spice variation. This cookie mixed up quickly in the Kitchen Aid, butter is a beautiful thing when mixed for 3 minutes. It was a pretty simple shortbread recipe. The oatmeal added texture--maybe too much. I think next time I will use minute oats instead of old fashioned oats. The spices announced fall, there was snow on the high mountain tops today, the timing was perfect.

I love Dories method for 'rolling out' the cookies. A gallon bag works perfect, just allow plenty of time for the dough to chill. I used a ruler and pizza cutter for perfect shaped cookies.
This was a delicious shortbread/butter cookie. Thank you Donna for a great pick, check her blog for the complete recipe. The TWD site has many great baking blogs. Check them out.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Just Family!

Temple Square

Temple Square is always beautiful.

Bubble Fun

A treasure hunt ended in bubble guns for all. But Uncle Tadd had a better idea. Everyone loved an hour of bubbles!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Good Time Was Had By All (I Hope)

We had two wonderful weeks of family! It was good to visit with children and grandchildren, cousins were reacquainted and siblings enjoyed catching up. I would often recline in my chair (with a grandchild) and bask in the warmth of family!

We ate, laughed, hiked, fished, went bowling, visited the Aquarium and spent some time on Temple Square. The dishwasher ran several times a day, someone was always hungry or tired! 
Since this is mostly a food blog I will share some ideas that worked for feeding a crowd.
We are a family that enjoys good food, my children can cook so everyone helped. Kids (and adults) seem happier if they are well fed. So the week started with plans and lists. Greg and I went shopping before anyone arrived, the pantry was well stocked. I made a list of meals that I had all the ingredients for. Some of our meal choices were:

Homemade Pizza with fresh basil
Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches
Grilled cheese (we had a sliced cheese tray from Costco)
Quesadillas-we put a 2 lb brick of sharp cheddar thru the food processor, shredded cheese for several meals
Creamed Peas and Potatoes
Mexican Meat Mix, Fresh tortillas, Cilantro Lime Rice--this meal was a hit, we ate it twice!
Homemade Salsa and Chips and guacamole
Homemade Mac and Cheese with diced ham
My sweet 82 year old Mother made a delicious Roast Beef dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy, hot rolls and corn on the cob. Thank you Mom!
There was plenty of fresh fruit, cold cereal, yogurt, peanut butter and jam--no one was ever hungry.
Popsicles, yogurt pops and treats were available, upon Mother approval.

Life at the 'big house' was a little more intense we had 21 people for 3 days. Chore charts worked, everyone was willing to take their turn cooking and cleaning.
We enjoyed:
Rotisserie chicken, salad mix and rolls, fresh fruit all from Costco
Egg Muffins with Canadian Bacon, sliced cheese, fruit
Pita Sandwiches made with deli meat and veggies, chips and cottage cheese
Hawaiian Haystacks with lots of toppings
Barbecued Turkey and Twice Baked Potatoes
Breakfast Burritos with hash browns, sausages, scrambled egg all wrapped in a cooked tortilla.
Max spoke in church Sunday, after Sacrament Meeting we had brunch for about 50. Thanks to my children and their sweet companions for making this a success, we served:
Denver Omlet
Sunshine Casserole
Fresh Salsa
Fresh Fruit Salad
Banana Mini Muffins
Chocolate Milk

And a good time was had by all!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Welcome Home Elder Harris!

It has been an exciting week at the Harris House. Children have gathered from Idaho, Illinois, Texas and Nevada to welcome home the youngest member of the family. Elder Max has enjoyed serving 2 years in the Texas Dallas Mission. Max has had a great experience serving and sharing a message of hope and love. But, two years is a long time and we are glad to have him home.

We have spent the last few days together in a house that is big enough for 6 families. We have had a great time laughing, eating, visiting and just being together. We are happy and feel blessed to have such amazing children and grandchildren!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Creamed Potatoes and Peas

This meal just says Summer! Baby red potatoes freshly dug from the garden and peas shelled by a 4 year old taste the best. But of course you can purchase red potatoes and use frozen peas, it will still taste yummy! Thanks Candise for a delicious meal.

Creamed Potatoes and Peas
10-12  new red potatoes, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 can low sodium chicken broth
8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp thyme or fresh parsley--I would not use thyme again, use several tablespoons of fresh parsley instead
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth (from potatoes)
1 1/2 cup freshly shelled peas

Place diced potatoes in a 2 qt saucepan.  Add one can chicken broth, and enough water to cover the potatoes.  Bring to a full boil.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook bacon over medium heat.  When bacon is almost done add onion and cook until just tender.  Drain off fat, except 2 Tbsp.  Set bacon and onion aside.  In the 2 Tbsp of remaining bacon grease add flour, thyme, salt and pepper.  Stir for one minute.  Add cream, milk, and broth (drained from potatoes).  Stir until bubbly and thickened.  When slightly thickened add fresh peas and cook 6-8 minutes, adding broth (from potatoes) as needed to thin the sauce.  When peas are slightly tender add bacon, onions and potatoes to sauce.  Heat through.  Add broth to reach desired consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with fresh parsley and bacon. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

TWD Gingered Carrot Cookies

One great thing about being part of a baking group is trying recipes that you might otherwise overlook. This recipe just may have fit in that category. You are going to want this recipe! It is on page 162 of 'Baking From My Home To Yours', written by Dorie Greenspan. Our host this week is Natalia of gatti fili e farina, check her blog for the complete recipe.

This is a basic cookie recipe, cream butter and sugars, add vanilla and egg. From there it is anything but ordinary! Ginger and nutmeg add spice, carrots, toasted pecans and coconut add moisture, texture and flavor. The recipe called for raisins, I substituted some yummy chopped dates from King Arthur Flour. Everything combined to make one delicious cookie.

We ate a few (actually more than a few), shared a plate and still had plenty to stock the freezer for an upcoming family gathering. I think when I serve them I will add an orange cream cheese drizzle. This will be a beautiful, tasty addition to brunch. With all the carrots, dates, nuts etc. I think this cookie could count as a salad. Don't you love the way I justify eating cookies.