About these ads
RSS Feed

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sweet Potato Cookies


I was assigned to Saundra’s blog, Famished Fish, Finicky Shark, for the Secret Recipe Club’s Cookie Carnival. I found her recipe for Sweet Potato Cookies just after having bought a bunch of sweet potatoes on sale. I adore sweet potatoes and love baking with them (and eating them baked, and in stew, and in a casserole, and even raw cut into sticks….try it before you make that face). So sweet potato cookies – I was all over it.

What impressed me about this recipe is not only does it have sweet potatoes, which is totally unique and fun, but Saundra came up with this recipe herself.  There was no link to credit her recipe elsewhere, and I have to admit, I was skeptical. Seriously, who makes a recipe for something like sweet potato cookies and gets it right the first time?! Did she really just say “oh, I’ll throw this butter in here and add some sugars and flour and sweet potato and other sundry and various awesomnesses,” and then shazam! There was magic? Apparently so, because I went a-Googling and could find no recipe like hers anywhere. Um, Saundra? You’s be amazin’.  If I tried to do some shazam’ing like you did, there would have been a big sha-THUD and  no zam to be found.

So I should have left well enough alone because as we already know, Saundra is the amazing one, but I didn’t have enough butterscotch chips so I did some tinkering.  I will say I LOVED this base cookie recipe sans chips. So much love.  I could have just eaten the entire batch of dough by itself. Like wow.  It’s soft and tender and not very cakey like I’d expected.  Perhaps because I didn’t make her recipe according the original ingredients, I would have preferred this without any chips at all and just the glaze.  Both of them made it too sweet.  So make your choice, I would either go with her original recipe, or make mine with the glaze but leave out the chips.

I sent these to some friends in the mail along with my award winning chocolate chip cookies and fudge brownies, and one friend’s husband chose these as his favorite of all three so even being oversweet, they are pretty darn good to outrank two of the best things I make!  Thanks for sharing this fun and delicious recipe, Saundra!

Sweet Potato Cookies

1 ½ cups sweet potato puree
¾ cup unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup butterscotch chips (optional)
2/3 cup cinnamon chips (optional)

Glaze
¼ cup unsalted butter
Two dashes of salt (I forgot this so I added some salt flakes on top)
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats; set aside.

To make the sweet potato puree, peel a large sweet potato or two medium and cut into chunks. Cover with water in a saucepan and boil until very tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain and measure out 1 ½ cups- if you have extra, set it aside for another use. Mash with a fork in a mixing bowl along with the butter to melt it into the potatoes.

Add the salt, pumpkin pie spice, and the sugars. Beat for several minutes until lightened and fluffy. Add the baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla, beating until well combined. Ad the flour and stir it in. When nearly mixed, add the chips and stir until incorporated.

Using a small cookie scoop, place the cookies evenly spaced apart on prepared cookie sheet and press down with fingers to flatten slightly. Bake for 8 minutes, or until they are starting to puff but still look ever so slightly underdone. Allow to cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely-they will be very soft. Repeat with remaining dough.

To make the glaze, melt the butter in a small saucepan and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the solids separate and turn a deep brown and the butter turns golden. Stir in the sugar and vanilla until as mixed as you can get it, smashing out lumps, then add cream a teaspoon at a time until you get your desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled cookies or put in a Ziploc bag, snip the corner, and squeeze over the cookies.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Recipe source: Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Be sure to check out the other Cookie Carnival cookies for some Christmas baking inspirations – just click the linky frog below!

Joshua’s First Year

Posted on

Everyone says that time flies when you have kids, and it’s oh so true. I can’t believe Joshua is already one year old! My newborn baby that seemed unaware of everything around him, that stayed in one place and slept and ate and pooped and cried all the time, is now the happiest walking, baby-talking, little boy with a personality and sense of humor.  He has started getting so tickled about things like Jessie jumping up to catch treats mid-air, Mommy doing things like trying to crawl through a tunnel, and those crazy little belly laughs are just. The best.

I spent a lot of time compiling short clips of his first year into a short video for you guys and those of you who know about his special number (three) will be tickled to know that without me planning it or noticing until I had saved it, the movie turned out to be three minutes and thirty three seconds long. Go figure. :)

I probably had about 5 hours worth of video footage so you can imagine the work I put into this to cut it down to just three and a half minutes. Oh yes, and I used my own voice for the song. :)  I’m really pleased with how it turned out and I hope you enjoy it.  This little boy is just the light of our lives.

Love, V

About these ads

My man-baby

Posted on

I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since my last blog post. I guess I’m overdue for an update of some sort, though I’m unfortunately not ready to share any recipes. The only food I’ve photographed lately has been at night with the flash on, and do you really want a recipe for something like this?

good pork chops, bad photoDidn’t think so. :P

But I’ve taken plenty of cute baby photos! Although I don’t know if I can even call him a baby any more.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to wake up tomorrow and he’ll be graduating high school, he’s growing so fast.

I took his 9-month photos myself in September to save money, since we didn’t have any (lol), and I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out.  Here are my favorites.

Yes, he’s standing now. Not walking yet, but maybe soon.

We also switched to cloth diapers a couple months ago. It’s going great!

My little Tom Sawyer.

He is seriously the happiest baby, ever.

And possibly the cutest. Not that I’m biased at all. ;)

It has been so long since my last baby update, I’m not even sure all his advancements since then. He’s got three teeth now, and looks like soon will be four. He’s crawling everywhere like a little speed demon.  He loves to take off squealing, like he expects me to chase him, so of course I do. It’s so funny. He’s pulling up on everything and has been for a while. At the beginning of October he was 21 lb, 5 oz and 28 1/2 inches tall. Crazy he’s almost grown a foot in less than a year.

Anyway, here are some more recent pics – he’s now 10 1/2 months old. Where has the time gone? I guess it flies when you’re having fun, and I’m having the time of my life. :)

Look who started Sunday School!

Last month we stayed with Den’s parents for a week – he and little man got their jam on while we were there. It’s crazy how fast kids learn – he already knows how to strum and you should see him go up to Den’s guitar and strum it, then start boppin’ up and down, dancing to his own music. Hilarious!

Oh and the necklace – it’s a Baltic amber necklace and is supposed to help with teething pain. For us, it made a big difference. The amber releases an oil into the blood stream simply by being in contact with skin, and the kind of oil it is helps with pain. Crazy, huh?

Our little KU fan.

And so it begins…

Baby’s first bacon.

Seriously. Happiest. Baby. Ever.

17 weeks: reasons it rocks to be pregnant

Posted on

I really love being pregnant.  At least I do for now.  :)  I might be singing a different tune come 38 weeks.

Top 10 reasons it rocks to be pregnant:

1. No period. Duh.

2.  It means you’re going to have a baby. Duh.

3.  People will give you maternity clothes or loan them to you when they find out you’re pregnant.  Unlike when you suddenly gain weight and have nothing to wear, when you’re pregnant you suddenly find yourself rich in new clothing without having to spend much.  Loves.

4.  You finally have an excuse for your pot belly.

5.  You no longer have to suck it in to look good.  Somehow you can look even better if you pooch your stomach out even further.  Awesome.

6.  Your boobs get huge(r).  Duh.

7.  In many cases (mine included) your hair gets thicker and shinier, and nails grow faster and get stronger.

8. You need 500 extra calories a day.  Yay for more food!

9. You’re not supposed to lift heavy things.  Which means you can get out of lifting heavy things when helping your sister move. Sweet.

10.  Your husband is so grateful for you doing all the hard baby-making work that he will do nice things for you like rubbing your tired feet at night before bed. *happy sigh*

“For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him.” Hannah ~ 1 Samuel 1:27

Just so happy right now. :)

Taking a break

Posted on

Just wanted to let you know that I’m on a break and hope to be back next week or by Monday, the 18th, at the latest as that is reveal day for Group C (my group, the best group ;)) of The Secret Recipe Club.

In the mean time, I’ve updated my “Current Favorites” on my side bar with some romantic yumminess that might inspire you for Valentine’s Day.  I’ve already got my meal planned, how about you?

Much love and see you soon! :)

Barley with Butternut Squash, Apple & Onion

Posted on

This is one of the “meals” (it’s really a side dish but I like to eat it as a meal) I’ve been making for years and usually resurrect come fall/winter.  My family absolutely loves it too, even my little nephew (or at least he did at 4 years old, the last time he ate it)!  I appreciate delicious vegetarian meals that satisfy me and this one fits the bill fo sho. The combination of the creamy squash, chewy barley, crisp red pepper & apple, and the contrasting savories and sweetness–it’s all just magic to me.  And I guess if a four year old boy will relish something that only contains unrecognizable healthy ingredients, it is pretty magical.

Barley with Butternut Squash, Apple & Onion

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 cup uncooked barley
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups butternut squash, peeled & diced
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup sweet red pepper, diced
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup fat-free chicken or vegetable broth

Bring 3 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to a boil in a medium saucepan; add barley. Cover saucepan and simmer barley until tender, about 30 to 35 minutes; drain.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add squash and cook, stirring often, until it’s starting to soften–about five minutes. Add the onion and red pepper and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Stir in apple, garlic, thyme, black pepper and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring, until apple is almost tender, about 2 minutes; stir in broth, scraping bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Stir in cooked barley; toss over low heat to mix and coat. Remove from heat and serve.

Serves 4, about 1 cup per serving.

Per serving: 192 calories; 4.2 g fat; 0 g cholesterol; 37 g carbohydrate; 8 g fiber; 5 g protein; 5 Points Plus

Recipe source: WeightWatchers.com

Thankful Thursdays #96: Xena, The Warrior Princess


Xena: Warrior Princess

Oh yes that’s right.  I finally finally finally got myself a proper stand mixer.  A Breville BEM800XL Scraper Mixer Pro 5-Quart Die-Cast Stand Mixer to be exact! And oh yes, I really did name her Xena: Warrior Princess, because she is fierce and sexy.   Do you think I’m thankful and happy and ready to do a celebration tap dance on the rooftop? Well if you said yes to the former and no to the latter, then you’d be right!  But I’m even more thankful for the reason I received this mixer.

The Postcard Project Cookie Swap | veronicascornucopia.com

As you may know, I hosted a nation-wide cookie swap through my blog earlier this month.  Since I never did an an update, what you don’t know is that we had 72 participants and we swapped a total of 3,574 cookies.  Each person was only required to mail a dozen cookies to three people each (that’s 36 cookies per person) but we averaged more like 50 per person this year.  That is partly because our group just loves to bake and share generously, and partly because we had an extra incentive.

cookies-for-kids-cancer

One of our swappers, Marcia L., told us about Cookies for Kids Cancer, a nonprofit organization started by a mother of a young son who died of cancer to help raise money for pediatric cancer research and support families going through what she did with her own son.  The organization is geared to help you raise money for pediatric cancer by hosting bake sales and cookie swaps.

After learning about Glad’s matching program through which they would donate $1 per cookie swapped, I registered our swap and people went crazy with the swapping!  Marcia herself sent the most, with a total of 280.  She swapped with 15 people, and then volunteered as a “Cookie Angel” and sent cookies to a couple people who did not get their cookies.  She definitely was our star swapper, though we had many who went above and beyond (shout out to Eileen, Debbi, Shannon, Selby, Paula, Linda, Cynthia, Laurie, Eliza, Tamara, Sonya, Jessica, Jolie, Kathryn, Marlo, Kathleen, and Amber!), taking on extra matches and becoming cookie angels for those who got stuck with a dud swapper (thankfully we only had three this year, half as many as last year. Progress!).

After I counted our total and reported it to Glad, Marcia informed me of a perk for the hostess that I hadn’t been aware of when I signed up our swap.

Marcia reveals a bonus

I guess you can’t even tell I was excited can you? LOL!  Besides the wrong ill-fitting mixing bowl on my old mixer, it also had a beater that constantly fell out and had to be pushed back in.  In that video of Dennis making my birthday cake, if you fast forward to 1:52, you will hear the loose beater clacking against the other beater.  That went on for five minutes (Dennis thought that’s how it was supposed to sound-lol) and I gladly cut most of that footage.  So yes, to say I was thrilled is really an understatement.  I have wanted a proper mixer for no less than five years and just by doing something fun that helped pediatric cancer patients, I got my mixer.  Wow.

I’m so thankful for Marcia who told me about the Cookies for Kids Cancer organization.  I’m so thankful to all my swappers who did a little extra to help raise more money through our swap for pediatric cancer research.  And boy am I ever thankful to all the aforementioned people, Breville, and Cookies for Kids Cancer for making it possible for me to finally realize my dream of having a quality stand mixer.  I am so happy about this whole situation, it’s just a continuous circle of giving and helping!

Here’s a short video of me testing out my mixer for the first time and of course I initiated it with bread dough (I made my favorite Honey Oatmeal Bread). It handled it great and was so quiet, it didn’t even wake Dennis when I started it up at 3 am.  I’m a happy girl. :)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,498 other followers

%d bloggers like this: