Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011 Fun

Cousins enjoying their visit with each other...

Always enjoy being silly with Uncle Rod...

Loving his TWO remote control cars for Christmas from Nana & Papa Roth and Uncle Rod & Aunt Chelsea!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Royal Icing

Royal Icing

4 Tablespoons meringue powder
1/2 cup water
1 lb powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup

1. Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy.
2. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine.
3. Add in the corn syrup. Increase speed to med-high and beat for 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. This icing is now ready for outlining or decorating cookies.

***To fill in your cookies with icing, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gingerbread Cookies

We made gingerbread figures today (boys, girls, snowmen, reindeer, elves). I think my favorite were the reindeer ones....we made one for each of the 8 reindeer and 1 for Rudolph.

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup molasses
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
5 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Line baking sheets with parchment.
2. Stir together the water and baking soda until dissolved. Stir in the molasses; set aside.
3. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy and combined.
4. Whisk together flour, salt and spices. Add to the butter mixture, and then add to the molasses mixture. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 350.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a floured cookie cutter and place on baking sheet. Freeze for 5 minutes before baking.
7. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling rack. Cool completely before decorating with royal icing.

Gingerbread cookies with Andrew

I let Andrew do most of the work making our gingerbread cookies this year. He wanted boys, girls, elves, reindeer and snowmen. He wanted to make sure we had enough for Mamu on our visit with her and enough for Uncle Rod & Aunt Chelsea for our visit with them. :) I think he really enjoyed this project. I however was reminded of how much I dislike cookie decorating - I rather just drop the dough by spoonfuls, bake and eat! :) Oh well....maybe cooking with Andrew will help me enjoy it more.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fudge with walnuts

Today I attempted making homemade fudge with walnuts. Can't believe how super easy it was to make...why haven't I made this before? Oh right...because I'm not a huge fan of chocolate. But my husband and son are! :) Next year I'll have to try some tips on how to cut into normal shapes :)

Fudge with Walnuts

1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups mini marshmallows
12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium. Once boiling, stir constantly for 4 mins. Remove from heat.
2. Stir in marshmallows, chocolate morsels, nuts and vanilla until the chocolate and marshmallows have melted.
3. Pour into foil-lined 8-inch square pan and refrigerate for 2 hours. Lift fudge from pan and remove foil. Bring fudge to room temperature for 30 mins, cut into pieces and serve or cover and refrigerate.

Source: adapted from my mom's mom

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Ships 2011

I've lived in Portland since I was 1 (minus my 5.5 years in Eugene) and I never knew that there was such a thing as "Christmas Ships". I guess every year for many, many years boat owner decorate their boats and float down the Columbia River. We enjoyed ohhhing and ahhhing over the many different styles. Andrew had a blast and I hope to see them again Christmas 2012.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

These cookies were SO good!!!! Everyone enjoyed them! I will definetely be making these again and again!

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup finely crushed hard peppermint candies or candy canes
additional powdered sugar for rolling

1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
3. Add egg yolk and beat until blended.
4. Add egg whites and extract and mix well.
5. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
6. Stir in peppermint candies.
7. Gather dough into a ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
8. Preheat oven to 350. Position rack in middle of oven.
9. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar and place on baking sheets.
10. Bake 10-12 minutes. Let cool 1 minute on baking sheet, then transfer to rack to cool completely.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Santa Claus Visit - 2011

Andrew: "Merry Christmas Santa. I want a train, please."
Santa: "Wow...not many kids say're a good boy. I think a train is likely this year."