Tuesday, December 27, 2011


If simple soups are my food theme for Winter, then the title of this post is my home theme for the new year. (The real challenge being to remain organized for more than two weeks.) 

I posted a link on the FB page to some free, printable labels on the Better Homes & Gardens website, but there are a lot of freebies to be had out there. Printed some onto 2"x4" address label stickers and labeled all of the basement toy bins:

Printed some out onto regular paper and self-laminated them with packing tape on both sides. Punched holes and tied to art supply baskets in the kitchen:

And inside:

Now there's no excuse for finding this stuff stashed under the covers in my bed. Right?

Organized 2012, here I come.

Maple Roasted Potato & Rosemary Soup

I hope you are all enjoying a relaxing holiday with your families. Our Christmas was quiet and blessed. We didn't travel, we aren't entertaining. We cooked our big meal on Christmas Eve, so the big day was spent Skyping with family and setting up Legos.

We've also been enjoying a lot of glazed ham leftovers. Josh handled the ham, and the glaze and resulting gravy were nothing short of spectacular! Maple syrup and homemade orange marmalade were involved. He will have to do a post on it one day. Perhaps when he sits down to do that Thanksgiving post.

*cough cough*

I have decided that simple, satisfying, fortifying soups = my theme for the rest of Winter. And this one I made last week, was a doozy: Incredibly simple, but with delicately nuanced flavors to keep it interesting. Everyone had seconds.

There is no dairy in this potato soup. And it could easily go vegetarian/vegan with a flavorful vegetable stock substituted for the chicken stock.

Oh yeah! Take note: Maple Roasted Potatoes are officially the Way To Go. Next time you're roasting red potatoes as a dinner side, try it this way. Add some chopped rosemary after they come out of the oven, if you want. Delicious! Or, if you're serving home fries with a big weekend breakfast or brunch, leave out the rosemary and dish out alongside your scrambled eggs or omelette... You know how you soak up leftover maple syrup with whatever is left on you plate when you're eating breakfast out? These taste like that. Only better.

This color means they're done.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate Teacher Gifts

Or co-worker gifts, or neighbor gifts, or hostess gifts...

It's not too late! 

This was a quick trip to the craft store for us, a little tracing, cutting and gluing. Very kid-friendly, at least for ages 6 and up, if you want to get your kid into making their own teacher gifts. I must confess I just went ahead and made these wile Ingrid was in school yesterday. She helped with the labels, though. 

Now, before you go thinking how awesome I am... You should know: I did not get around to gifting Malcolm's preschool teachers this year. Whoops. And I've given them something handmade for the past 3 years, too. But I'm thinking I may just cook some of this up, after school starts back in January. I've got the jars and leftover craft supplies for packaging. (I also have plenty of ingredients to make more hot chocolate mix. I just want an excuse to make peppermint hot fudge sauce.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What do you think?

Are the new blog adjustments showing up okay? Got rid of the background images because I thought they were a little distracting. And I used a highly-rated, free-to-download photo editing program, not unlike Photoshop -- though much simpler and, um... freer, to make my header. I may fancy it up a bit when time allows*. Here is a link to the program I used. Still lots to learn...

*Having said (or blogged) that out loud, though, we can be pretty sure time will not allow. So, I hope you like it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Garam Masala Chicken Tenders w/ Sweet Curry Dipping Sauce

Putting my Garam Masala obsession to good use! 

I made these last week, after talking to my mom on the phone... She mentioned seeing this, which she thought we might like. In it, Bobby Deen makes one of his mother's recipes a little bit more healthy. We are indeed shrimp fans around here, but I had chicken tenders on hand. (They were on sale. If you're watching your budget like we do, just buy breasts and slice your own tenders, or carve up a whole chicken if you are so brave and inclined.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Meatless Monday

Making this tonight, and I can't wait! Will post a pic later on tonight tomorrow:

Seriously good. I snagged the recipe from this blog here, and it was a big hit! It could also use chicken, and I think that would be fantastic, but we used veggie broth and omitted the bird. We didn't miss it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Take a minute and "like" And the Dish on Facebook, for worthwhile recipe, craft and gardening links, and some other sometimes interesting stuff :-).

If I get enough "likes," I may do a give-away... Have I mentioned how many little knitting projects I've got going?

Peanut Butter Balls

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hand warmers?

Don't mind if I do:
Image from The Purl Bee
Against my better judgement. Just cast-on my umpteenth project...

Maple Pecan Brittle

Christmas candy time!

It's no secret I love pecans. Preferably Texas ones. I will, however, keep it a secret how much of a batch of this I can consume before anyone else has a chance to try it...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Malcolm's Oatmeal Scones

Most Sunday mornings, Josh makes omelets or crepes, but this morning we had just one egg in the fridge. What to do?

Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen Almond-Apricot Oatmeal Scones.

These are Malcolm's scones because they're adapted to reflect how we dress up his oatmeal for breakfast, during the week (minus the half & half). Also because he made them! He's been WAY into cooking lately. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pumpkin-Sage Pizza Crust

Been working on this one for a while, and finally seemed to have gotten it right, last night. (It's awesome.) 

FIRST of all, though... A few things I've learned about how to get the most out of almost any homemade pizza crust at home:

1. HOT oven. 500 degrees F.
2. HOT baking stone. If you don't have a baking stone (even though you should), you can also use an over-turned baking sheet. Preheat the stone (or sheet) along with the oven.
3. Oven rack needs to be in the top-third of the oven. For me, that's the second to the highest position.

These steps help you to simulate a wood-fired pizza oven at home. It's not the same as your favorite pizza joint, but it does get a pretty good showing out of your vastly inferior home oven.

Once you've rolled out the dough --on a very well-floured surface, make sure the toppings are all lined up and ready to go. Carefully remove the hot stone or sheet from the oven; lightly fold the crust in half, twice; transfer to the stone or sheet and unfold. QUICKLY brush the top with a little olive oil, then add your toppings and pop it back in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Calling all Homesick Texans

I love her gift guides. (Though I sort of wish she'd kept the TX pecans a secret.) And I would also add Adams Extract brand Adams Best Vanilla -- nothing compares*.

*hint hint, Mom ;-)