Cinnamon Browned Butter Icing (for Spiced Sugar Cookies)

Rolling out fall spiced sugar cookie dough

The other day I ran across a recipe for spiced cookies. I thought… mmmmm those sound good. Problem was, they called for 3/4 of a cup of butter. I hate when recipes make me cut a stick of butter up like that and don’t finish it off. Silly I know, but true no less.

So I continued on my day and ran across another recipe for spiced cookies, this time it used 3 sticks of butter (1 1/2 cups). Okay, so that’s better. But truth be told, I prefer to use my butter in even numbers. I’m totally weird.

All day for 2 days I’d randomly look back at these recipes thinking, boy they sound good but the butter amounts are bugging me. Finally, I decided to make the batch that used 1-1/2 cups butter, but possibly use the seasonings in the smaller batch. They were different after all. So I pulled 3 sticks of butter out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. Then I went back to staring at the recipes at hand. Both of them. That’s when it hit me… It’s just a sugar cookie recipe that they are doctoring up with spices… why not use the sugar cookie recipe that is my own unique one?

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Raising Money for Christmas {Last Three Months of the Year}

It’s no surprise that I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I do. I can’t hide that fact. Some people ask why I like it so much. This is kind of hard to put into words but I’ll try. There is something so magical around the time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is something in the air. The air is crisp, which it is also known I hate cold weather, but that time of year you know you need snow so that Santa can deliver his presents. Duh!

But there is a spirit among people. Yes, a lot of people are stressed out by Christmas and they say that the suicide rate is up around this time of year, but there are a lot of happy people around this time of year. They are out and about shopping for just the perfect present for their loved ones and friends. There is Christmas lights and Christmas music and little kids getting so excited that Santa will visit.

That is the thing though… Little kids get extremely excited about the thought of Santa visiting. Some little kids though are sad at this time of the year. Their family is going through some struggle and the thought of Christmas is far from their mind. That’s where Santa’s helpers come in to play.

There are organizations that are working year round to make sure that every little kid knows what Christmas is and knows that they aren’t forgotten. Santa’s helpers run fundraisers and ring bells, and everything else to raise money for presents for those deserving little kids.

I’m sure we all know this, right? So why am I discussing this? Well, because the last few years I have been working with one of those organizations. I have been volunteering my time to help raise money. To help raise awareness. All little kids are deserving all year round, but I want them to know my favorite time of year and have fond memories of it just like I have.

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Strawberry Birthday Cake

A slice of Strawberry cake sitting on a plate with the rest of the cake sitting on the cake plate behind it.

Today is my daddy’s birthday! Happy Birthday, daddy! I’m not sure though, that a birthday on a Monday is much fun. First off, I’m not sure of many people who like Monday’s… and secondly… read the first statement. Poor Monday does get a pretty bad rap… I wonder if people who Monday is their Saturday/Sunday hate Monday as bad as the rest of most of the world… Just a thought that has absolutely NOTHING to do with my daddy’s birthday.

Eggs

Abug and I have spent a lot of the summer learning (her not me, I’ve been teaching) how to bake. I’ve kind of created a monster really. Whoops. She wakes up a lot of mornings and asks what we are going to bake today. Haha. So I knew that she needed to bake Papa a birthday cake. I set out to decide what kind of birthday cake we were going to bake him. Little did I know, she had her own agenda. I finally decided upon a Cinnamon Roll Cake, but she changed my plans.

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Milk and Cookies Cupcakes

So I have created a little bit of a monster at my house… a baking monster that is. My little one absolutely LOVES to bake. Every morning she wakes up, looks at me, and asks, what are we going to bake today mommy? Can I let you in on a little secret? I absolutely LOVE it. I always hope she wants to continue to bake/cook with mommy!

These cupcakes… I didn’t really have high hopes for them to be honest. I wasn’t sure about the milk on top (look at the last picture). I wasn’t sure about the cookie. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure about the sweetened condensed milk in the cupcake and icing. A lot of people would probably think these would be the best, but I was quite worried…

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Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes seem to be a staple in a lot of people’s repertoire. Growing up, I really only thought that they came out of a box or premade from the store. And I can tell you I hated scalloped potatoes. They were horrible pieces of cardboard, sorry to the boxed brands out there. And the premade stuff from the store… yuck! I seriously hated scalloped potatoes. Until one day…

One day I went to a friends house. There for a while, we went to a friends house multiple times per week. And one night she made us dinner. She said she was making scalloped potatoes. Oh gosh, I rolled my eyes trying not to let her see my huge distaste for scalloped potatoes. Like the good dinner guest, I took a scoop and went and sat down. I planned on eating those scalloped potatoes first so that I could mask the taste with the rest of the food she made.

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Gus’s Mac and Cheeseburger

A couple weekends ago Abug wanted a new book. We decided we were going to go to town and get a new book. We asked what kind of book she wanted. Her answer: A Princess Book.  That day she came home with 3 books. A princess book, another book, and a Princess Cookbook. WHAT?!?! Yup, it exists. It’s called the Disney Princess Cookbook. After she picked out a few books, we went over to the cookbook section to browse. I saw this book and on the cover are three princesses. I figured it was a kids book in the wrong section, but when I picked it up, sure enough, it was a princess cookbook.

I’ve always been a huge proponent of learning to cook early. I got Tbug in the kitchen with me to the point at a young age I could sit in the kitchen, and actually turn her loose. I would just monitor the recipe to make sure she didn’t forget something.

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Greek Ravioli Skillet

Greek Ravioli Skillet. A perfect combination of salty and pasta. The combination of pasta, beef, Feta cheese, and Kalamata olives come together with zucchini, Basil, and tomato sauce to create a perfect Greek dish.

I mentioned yesterday that 9/11 holds a special, weird, place in my heart. Three different events happened on that day to just kind of leave me in tears. Losing my grandma was extremely difficult for me. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents (both sets, all 4 of them) growing up. Both my parents worked, so for many summers, I stayed with one or the other set of grandparents. Losing my first grandparent was difficult. You have no idea. I was in my early 20’s so I was lucky, some people don’t even get to meet their grandparents. I was extremely lucky.

So, what does that have to do with Greek Ravioli Pasta? Good question.Well… My grandma was half Greek. Her father actually came through Ellis Island. Once upon a time I went to New York City and did all the touristy things, including touring Ellis Island. That was CRAZY the things they went through coming through there. WOW! My great-grandpa died when my grandma was 5 years old. He got pneumonia a couple years before penicillin was invented. Had he gotten it after, he would have probably been saved, maybe anyway. Who really, truly knows.

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