Thursday, September 18, 2008

my oh my meringues! By: Little Momma.

Before we were hit with the outskirts of Gustav and Ike, I had a few visions of egg whites dancing through my head.
I decided to act on it! (Before the humidity struck and rained on my picnic! Yuck.)

The secret? Room temp egg whites.


Then I made a make-shift pastry bag (because I am all about the McGyver way.) and did my thang.

Aren't they so cute, like little soldiers lined up row by row.

The hardest part is waiting. (3 whole hours people, but--- it's worth the wait. Trust me.)
The perfect little treat. No fat, just fun.
Magic Meringues

-3 egg whites at room temp.
-1/4 t cream of tartar
-3/4 C sugar
-1 t vanilla
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, tin foil, or silpats. Beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Increase speed to high and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar beating until stiff peaks form. Mix in extract and food coloring (if desired)..Spoon meringue into pastry bag. Pipe desired shapes. Bake for 3 hours or until dry and crisp. Cool on baking sheets. Store in airtight container at room temperature. Can be made the day ahead.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

somewhere over the rainbow- By: Little Momma and Company.

I am so addicted to color! Anything bright and cheery makes me so happy and always catches my wandering eye.
If you love color too, you will adore these divine cookies. They feed both your tummy and your need for a little vivid eye candy! Their name "Play dough cookies" gives you a great feel for what the dough looks like.

They are a breeze to make, just take four small pieces of dough and roll it all into one uniform ball like this:
Think back to when you were in kindergarten and would make play dough snakes. Grab inspiration from that, and roll it lengthwise-- creating a 12 inch rope. Coil, and place on a baking sheet.
In 8 minutes, your cookies will be done!
Aren't they pretty! The colors are so bright. They are sure to cheer up any gloomy day!

Play Dough Cookies
3/4 C butter
3 ounces cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
2 and 3/4 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
assorted food coloring (gel or paste works best)

1. In a bowl cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

2. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir until soft dough forms. Divide dough into Fourths. Tint each with a different food coloring. Wrap in plastic and chill for two hours. (I stuck it in the freezer for 15 minutes because I hate to wait!)

3. Preheat oven to 350. Shape colors into 3/4 inch balls. For each cookie place one pink, one orange, one green, and one blue ball together and roll to make one giant ball. Roll into a 12 inch long snake, and then starting at one end coil roll to make a cookie. Place cookies 2 to 3 inches apart on greased cookie sheet to allow for spreading.

4. Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and store in an airtight container.Enjoy!

If you liked this post, you'll love Little Momma & Company!

easy as pie. By- Little Momma

When I saw the movie Waitress, I really fell in love. I loved the whole premise of being a pie maker in a pie restaurant. I loved that she named her pies after life experiences. And well, I just really love pie... so I decided to host a Waitress Pie Party!

I invited a bunch of my baking friends over, with the promise from them to bring their most fabulous pie creation. (and think of a creative name for it!)
My entry was called "sour-sweetie pie" and was just Martha Stewarts Lemon Curd poured into a store bought crust. I guess I could have gone the extra mile and made something from scratch, but I didn't feel like dealing with graham cracker crumbs AND host a party. Next time.
You know there's a party if you see a:

All of the pies looked so divine. But, soon it was time for judging and of course-- time to cut into our pretty creations.
While we watched our movie, I had each guest taste all of the pies and vote on their favorite. Winner received a homemade apron!

Have you had a food-themed party?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Guest Blogger- Little Momma & co.

I like to keep the little hands around my house busy. It's better that way!
I have always wanted to make those baked crayon biscuits that I remember from my childhood. A few weeks ago, we hit our plethora of dinky used crayon nubs and decided to consolidate.
First we had to:

and then:
Set your oven to 350 and:Keep an eye on them though, take them out as soon as they melt!
Then, let them cool and:

Aren't they pretty?

And then of course,

Perfect for little hands!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Guest Blogger- Little Momma & co.

Sometimes, I just crave a good chinese meal.
But, beyond stir-fry-- I have never attempted anything else.
I found a little Asian market in my town that has inspired me to try new things. I love to go there and just marvel at all the unusual and beautifually packaged ingredients.
I started small, wonton wrappers and fresh ginger-neither of which I had tried previous.
Not too intimidating. Right?
A friend of mine passed this wonton soup recipe along to me and my family adores it. And funny enough, it's even better the SECOND day!
Wonton Soup
For the soup:
5 C chicken broth
2 C water
4 thin slices of fresh ginger
5 bok choy leaves (not being a huge fan of bok choy, I substituted thinly sliced mushrooms and carrots.)
For the wontons:
1/2 lb. ground pork
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 Tb. fresh minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced ( I used 3 cloves. I like garlic.)
1 Tb. plus 1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1/4 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cornstarch
35-40 wonton wrappers
Combine the broth, water and ginger slices. Cover and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let it sit. Wash the bok choy and cut into thin slices, set aside.
Combine all ingredients for the wontons, except the wrappers. Mix well (I used my hands). Remove wontons from their package but keep covered so they don't dry out. To assemble the wontons: with your finger, wet all 4 edges of the wrapper. Put a teaspoon of the filling in the center and fold it over to look like a triangle. Make sure edges are sealed no air is left inside. Take the two bottom corners and pinch them together with a little water. Put finished wontons on a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap until you are ready to use them.
Bring your broth back to a boil. Add the wontons a few at a time, keeping the broth at a low boil. Cook for 7 minutes. Open a wonton to make sure the meat is cooked through. Add the bok choy and cook for another 3 minutes. Add pepper to taste. When serving, remove the sliced of ginger from the broth and discard.
I don't know about you, but my favorite part of a Chinese meal is the end. (Well, that and the chopsticks.)
I love a good fortune cookie.
I have wanted to make fortune cookies for YEARS and never felt like I could do it. They were intimidating to me.
Folding something that was already so delicate and paper thin. It sounded too tedious.
But, one day I decided to try, and found out that it wasn't so hard after all!

Nothing, ABSOLUTELY nothing bad can come from sugar and egg whites.

They were so easy, I even decided to share!
In fact, the only problem that I encountered with these cookies were the fact that they disappear quickly!-- They even kept my boys busy. I cut out dozens of little paper strips and let them make the fortunes. They don't write too well yet, so I was so smitten with the little kitty cat picture I found in one of mine!
Good Fortune Cookies

2 egg whites
1/3 C sugar
4 T melted butter, cooled.
1/2 C flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 t almond extract
1/2 t lemon extract
fortune strips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet thoroughly.Whip the egg whites until light and foamy. Blend in sugar and continue to beat to soft peaks.Pour in butter, flour, salt, and extracts; mix well until combined. Drop a tablespoon full onto the prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a spoon, spread batter into a very thin 3 inch round. Just bake 2 or 3 at a time, they harden fast. Bake for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the edges are a light golden brown.

Remove the cookies with a spatula. Lay a fortune in the lower middle of the cookie and gingerly (they are hot!) fold in half to make a semi circle. Bend the edges up toward each other to make a crescent. Cool in a muffin tin to maintain shape until crisp. Repeat with remaining batter.
They're easy!

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

guest blogger- Little Momma and Company.

I've been feeling the fall-bug lately. I am dying to shoo the tail end of summertime weather out the door and unpack my cozy big sweaters.
I needed a little true-blue autumn flavor in my house the other day, so I decided to make these:

Ohhhhhhh, the aroma that just waifed from the kitchen was so divine.

They were the perfect:

A great way to start the day.

Invite fall to breakfast and make some of these for your family!

Gingerbread Waffles
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter, plus some to butter the iron
whipped cream or fresh fruits

Preheat waffle iron. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar until fluffy, then beat in pumpkin, milk, molasses and melted butter. Stir the wet into dry until just moist. Do not over stir the waffle batter. Brush the iron with a little melted butter and cook 4 waffles, 4 sections each. Serve with toppings of choice.

I'm always a sucker for a cheap craft. (I've got to keep those little hands busy!) The boys and I thought that this was right up our alley!
First, we collected some rocks. Who doesn't have extra rocks? Then we:

After that, we drew faces on them with a black marker and crafted stems with some green ric rac (but paper, ribbon, or even green paint would do.)

I thought they looked so cute all lined up together. These would be great lining a walkway or in a garden.

One thing is for sure, they made us get ready for one of our favorite holidays!

Only 48 more days!


Do you like these ideas? You can find more at Little Momma & Co. Click here to come and visit us!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Winner Is:

First of all, thank to everyone who voted!

The three finalist who did not win, get a $20 Target Gift Card!

The Winner of the $100 Williams Sonoma Gift card and the digital camera is: