Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pumpkin Cookies

I've been on the lookout for a good pumpkin cookie recipe, because a) pumpkin is delicious and b) so are cookies. Last year I made some pumpkin cookies that were sketchy at best, but I knew the combination of pumpkin + cookie could be a magical thing. So! Heather sent this recipe in, and says, "These cookies are super yummy. We made them over and over and over again last fall. I searched high and low for egg free with my son's allergies and ended up finding the best pumpkin cookie recipe I've tasted:

Egg Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
Yields: 48 servings
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup shortening, butter, or margarine
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Cream the sugar, shortening, pumpkin and vanilla together. Mix until light and well combined.
  3. Mix the flour, baking soda and ground cinnamon in separate bowl.
  4. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop by teaspoons onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 12 to 15 minutes or until set. Let cookies cool on a rack.
Nutrition facts (per serving):Calories (kcal) 146 Protein 1.5g Cals from Protein 3% Total Fat 6.5g Cals from Fat 38% Carbohydrates 21.6g Cals from Carbohydrates 56% Fiber 1g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 75mg."

Original recipe possibly from

So, in the name of science (and this blog), I made the cookies Saturday evening. And lo, they were good. Special bonus: the lack of egg meant I didn't have to feel anxious about eating copious amounts of cookie dough. Therefore, I did. These cookies are good, did I say that? They're incredibly moist. And yummy.


For the record, if you guys send me something without a photo, and then I make the item and post a photo of it and it looks ALL WRONG, and you think, "OH GEEZ, WHAT DID SHE DO?" then, um. Just let me know if I wrecked it, and then we can all make fun of my cooking skills.

Edit: If you're into cookies and ice cream, perhaps consider this. OH MY GOSH. So good.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Autumnal Soup

The emails, they have been coming in! I've got to keep things straight for everybody's collective sanity, and will be using a tag system for organization, unless it becomes Too Out of Control. Also! Before I forget! When you send me an email with an idea/recipe/whatever, could you please let me know if you want to be linked or have your name up or if you want to be mysteriously anonymous? I want to be all appropriate, you know?

Also, I'd love to have photos, so if you have photos go ahead and send them in!

And, if you have New Year's or Christmas things to share now, feel free to go ahead. You certainly don't have to wait until December. Always be prepared, right?

Okay, now that that is all over with, I think I'll start this blog off with a soup recipe. It's still technically September, but it's definitely starting to feel fall-ish and we're going to drag out Halloween decorations this weekend. This is Swistle's Autumnal Soup Recipe, and for me, one of the best things about the change to cool weather is a yummy, cozy, warm bowl of soup. It's the kick-off! Soup!

Swistle's Autumnal Soup
  • 1 pound or so of ground beef or ground turkey (I use ground turkey, which at our store comes in 1.3 pound packages, and I use the whole package)
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I like Contadina)
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce (I like Contadina)
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 16 oz package frozen mixed vegetables (I like Birdseye classic blend: carrots, beans, peas, corn)
  • 8 oz frozen broccoli (I like to thaw it a little and then snip it with kitchen scissors into smaller pieces)
  • 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup mix
  • 2 t. salt (or to taste--I love love love salt so maybe start with less than I use)
  • 1 t. crushed red pepper (optional, for spicier soup)
Swistle says, "Fry up the ground meat and drain off as much grease as you can. Put the meat into a big pan--at least 6 quart or you'll be a sorry, sorry cook later on. Add everything else and stir it. Heat to boiling, then reduce it to a simmer and cover it. Let it simmer for half an hour, stirring it occasionally if you feel like it. It's okay to eat right away, but I think it's better reheated the next day.

Delicious accompaniment: garlic toast.

One thing I like about this recipe is that it's flexible. You don't have to use broccoli and classic-blend vegetables, you can instead use up the little half packages of vegetables nobody liked as side dishes, or fresh vegetables that are in danger of going bad in the fridge, or a bag of Italian blend vegetables if you're feeling really wild and crazy. One summer William grew some green bean vines but didn't want to eat the green beans, so I snipped some up into my soup every time I made it. Oooh, and lima beans are good.

It freezes GREAT.

Incidentally, if you do Weight Watchers Core Plan, this soup is a freebie. Well, unless you get all tight about how many grains of that 1 tsp. of sugar are in each portion."

I hope you have a lovely, fallish, soup-licious weekend!

Edit: I made the soup tonight (with slightly different vegetables) and it was really good! Here's a photo:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Here We Go


This is the first post in our new, shiny, holiday tip-sharing blog. I'm super excited, and you guys need to send me lots of emails with tips and questions. And links! Exciting links! So we can steal good ideas from each other! Or "share the love," for those of us who don't want to technically take part in holiday idea theft.

I hope to update every few days, and I also hope this will be a fun, helpful resource to make your Christmas or Halloween or Arbor Day bright.

Send post ideas, advice, or general holiday nonsense to k a r a m a r i e at gmail dot com.