Monday, December 19, 2011

Festive Cream Cheese Cookies

I made the festive cream cheese cookies for the Junior League Holiday party.  They require a bit of prep work, but otherwise are easy to make.  The dough needs to be refrigerated or frozen prior to baking, so I made and rolled the dough the night before.  All that was left to do the day of was roll the dough in red and green sugar, slice, and bake.
I found the recommended baking time of 15-18 minutes to be a few minutes too long, so keep an eye on them.  My cookies were ready to take out of the oven after 12-13 minutes.
These cookies taste great with a cup of tea or coffee.  I'm sure Santa would love them! 

Thanks Martha!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Carrot Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing

These cupcakes were made to bring to the Junior League Christmas Party, and they were such a hit! They are such a great alternative to your average store-bought cupcakes because they definitely have that homemade taste. The ingredients in these cupcakes, like fresh shredded carrots and crushed pineapple, make them taste delicious and fresh! And I like to say that they're extra-healthy because they have carrots and fruit in them.

The icing is the perfect compliment to the cupcakes because white chocolate makes everything taste a little better. Next time I may add a little color to the icing, or maybe sprinkle some crushed peppermint on top!

Thanks Shannon!

Almond Cookies

The new members hosted a Holiday Party this past weekend and I made a batch of Almond Cookies to bring along! This cookie recipe is pretty traditional and includes many ingredients you probably already have (baking soda, flour, sugar, etc.). I loved mixing up this recipe and my husband loved the spoonful of dough I saved for him (hooray for no raw eggs in this one!).

It includes a recipe for icing, too, which you can make any color. I chose red and green for obvious reasons. :) Happy holidays!

Thank you Shannon!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Both Joanna and Martha made this recipe and I wanted to share both of their thoughts about this delicious recipe:

From Joanna:
Last week I made the delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to bring in as a treat for my office.  I stuck pretty close to the recipe, though I did omit the oats and added in a pinch of nutmeg for some extra fall flavor.  The recipe was very easy to follow and the results were fantastic!  I recommend eating your cookie with a big cold glass of milk!

From Martha:
I made the chocolate chip pumpkin cookies for a surprise baby shower for one of my coworkers last week.  Mom-to-be has been enjoying all things pumpkin during her pregnancy, so these were perfect! 

One thing to note is that this recipe makes a lot of cookies.  The recipe notes that the yield is 8 1/2 dozen and I found that to be the case, even though I tend to end up with fewer (but bigger) cookies than called for in recipes when I bake.  Use the biggest bowl you have to mix the dough if you are going to make a full batch.  I could have make a half batch for the shower (we had about 20 people) with plenty of cookies to spare.  I actually ended up taking the rest of the cookies to a Christmas cookie exchange party the next night, so it all worked out. 

 The pumpkin makes these cookies very moist and the chocolate chips add just the right amount of sweetness.  A lot of people at the shower complimented me on the cookies and the cookies were a favorite at the cookie exchange. Another good recipe from A Thyme to Celebrate! 

Crunchy Cranberry Pie

My office always has a luncheon the day before Thanksgiving, so I took the opportunity to make something from A Thyme to Celebrate to share with my coworkers.  I decided on crunchy cranberry pie, because I love cranberries and I cannot resist buying the fresh ones that are in stores around this time of year.

I don't have a food processor (and I recently broke my blender while trying to use it as a food processor), so I chopped the cranberries by hand.  I'd say it only added 5 minutes to my prep time at most. Other than that, the preparation was straightforward and did not take much time.   I used a deep dish pie shell just to make sure the filling would fit.  

This pie was beautiful and tasted delicious.  Needless to say, my coworkers happily ate the whole thing.  My only complaint is that the pie fell apart when it was cut, but no one really seemed to mind.  I plan to add this into my rotation of fall/Thanksgiving desserts.   

Thanks for sharing Martha!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Market Days

Thank you Market Days for allowing us to sell our cookbooks at your event!!

League members volunteered to sell Pepsi products at Market Days this past weekend. We also passed out samples of our Very Best Blonde Brownies. Everyone loved the samples :)

Tomato Sauce

I rarely buy tomato sauce from the grocery store anymore because homemade sauce is really easy to make, I usually already have everything I need to make it, and it tastes SO MUCH BETTER than store-bought sauce.  I was in a pasta mood, so I thought I would try A Thyme to Celebrate's tomato sauce and serve it over pasta for dinner. 
 I made a few changes from the original recipe.  I substituted diced tomatoes for half of the crushed because I had a surplus of canned diced tomatoes in my cabinet.  This made the sauce a bit chunkier than it would have been otherwise.  I also opted for fresh basil instead of the Italian seasoning.  I added the basil to the pot with the rest of the seasonings.  I let it simmer on low for a good portion of the afternoon.  
This sauce has a great kick to it from the red pepper.  I ended up making chicken parmesan with it and it was fantastic!  The sauce tasted even better the next day.  I froze the leftover sauce for a future pasta/Italian night and I can't wait to use it!

Thank you Martha! :)

Pumpkin Roll

On the range of level of skill required to make a dessert, the pumpkin cream cheese roll would probably fall into the intermediate category. In terms of putting the ingredients together properly so that it tastes good, it's very easy, but making it pretty is a little more difficult!
 The batter is simple with few ingredients and bakes very quickly. I was concerned about it falilng apart when I tried to roll it up, but I was pleasantly surprised when it held up beautifully!  I encountered a challenge with rolling it up into the elegant pinwhell shape that these types of roll cakes are supposed to have.  I think I will have more success next time if I use a  larger baking sheet so that the cake comes out a bit thinner and less ungainly to roll up.  It's also possible that it would have looked prettier if I had used less of the cream cheese filling, but it was so delicious when I tested it that I just couldn't stand to part with any of it :)
I think this dish would be a very elegant choice for a fall brunch to go with coffee. The finished product is very similar in flavor to a carrot cake, only less sweet.

Thanks Brittany O'Connor!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Olive Muffin Puffs

Thank you Shannon Reeves for making this appetizer for us. Here's Shannon's recap:

 I decided to make the Olive Muffin Puffs for our cookbook committee meeting last Thursday evening.

These appetizers are absolutely perfect for a get-together, since you can make the topping ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready for it. After the topping is mixed up, it takes about 10 minutes to complete, so it's super-simple to make ahead and finish right before your guests arrive.

This particular recipe does have some "adventurous" ingredients in it - mayo, olives and scallions, which I know picky people sometimes pass up, but I absolutely loved it and it seemed like a hit at the JLT Cookbook Committee, too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chocolate Chip Dip

The title alone sounds delicious!! A special thank you to Joanna Bonfati for providing the pictures and write up for this recipe :) 
This recipe was super simple to follow and easy to make.  During supper, I placed the butter and cream cheese on the counter to soften so I could make the dip after finishing our supper dishes.  I plopped the softened cream cheese and butter into my kitchenaid mixer and let them blend together until fluffy, which only took a few minutes.  Then I simply added the vanilla, confectioners' sugar and light brown sugar and blended again for a minute.  Finally, I added the miniature chocolate chips.  I deviated a bit from the recipe here and added the whole bag of chocolate chips, which may be chocolate overload, but hey, I'm seven months pregnant and it seemed like a great idea to me! 
 After mixing all ingredients, I placed the dip in a serving bowl and arranged my graham crackers around the bowl on a platter.  This dip is a great recipe to make ahead and store in the refrigerator!  Next time, I will probably try this as a cannoli filling - yum!  
Since this recipe is so good, the recipe is below:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 (6 ounce) package miniature chocolate chips
Beat the cream cheese and butter in a bowl until fluffy.  Add the vanilla, confectioners' sugar and brown sugar and beat until blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Serve as a dip with graham cracker sticks or as a filling for cannoli shells. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Special Apple Pie

Thank you to Shannon Reeves for telling us how simple & fun this recipe is! Take it away Shannon! :)

My husband and I got a call on Friday from an old friend, who said she'd be passing through Tallahassee and wanted to pop in and say hello. I always like to have a little something for guests who come by, but didn't have much time to prepare for this one! I flipped through the a Thyme to Celebrate cookbook and found the Special Apple Pie recipe. Perfect!

This traditional, cozy fall recipe is made with simple, common ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry (especially now, since it's such a fall-friendly recipe) It didn't take long to make, and made the house smell amazing when our guests arrived. Plus, I got to play 50s housewife and tie up my apron to make apple pie, which is always fun. ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

7 Layer Bar

Thank you Brittany O'Connor for making these bars and providing an excellent write up with some great tips! Be sure to read it below :)

The 7 layer bars are a quick and delicious dessert idea for a casual dinner (or in my case, BBQ).  When I first started putting them together, I made sure to pack the graham cracker crumbs in as tightly as possible with the melted butter to ensure that it formed a good solid crust. The amount of chocolate chips and peanut butter chips that the recipe calls for is slightly less than what comes in the standard size bags, so I went ahead and used the whole bag for both!  The sweetened condensed milk over the top cooks into a delicious almost caramel-like texture. It's the type of ingredient that really gives the dessert the "extra something" but your guests can't quite put their finger on what the ingredient is. 

The bars came out great, with one small issue to be aware of.  I left them to cool for several hours before attempting to cut them, which was not quite enough and proved slightly problematic.  The first bar I cut out of the corner did not come out in one piece when I attempted to cut it prior to my guests arriving.  So I popped the pan in the fridge before dinner and then the texture was great for cutting shortly thereafter when I tried again. This would be a perfect dessert for occasions where you need to make something ahead of time, because they get better with a little more time to set.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wine-Infused Mushrooms

A special thank you goes out to Martha Bademan for making this delicious appetizer! Martha had the following to say about this recipe:

Stuffed mushrooms are always a hit and I have never made them before, so I volunteered to make them for our cookbook committee meeting.  This recipe is very straightforward, but I only had about 30 minutes after work to get the mushrooms ready for our meeting.  So, I decided to remove the stems and prepare the filling the night before. The filling smelled so good while cooking on the stove!  I refrigerated the mushroom caps in a paper bag separate from the filling.
 The next day, I stuffed the mushroom caps and popped them in the oven for a few minutes before our meeting.  Everyone gobbled them up!  This would be an ideal hors d'oeuvre to make for a holiday party - delicious and easy to prepare ahead of time!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Red Apple Sangria

A big thank you goes out to Kristin Klein who made this delicious beverage for a cookbook committee meeting. Here is what Kristin had to say about it:

I volunteered to make the Red Apple Sangria for a JL meeting.  It was one of those perfect recipes that is so easy but looks impressive if you present it well.  I did all my mixing and measuring the night before, with the exception of the Lemon-Lime soda (since I did not want the sangria to be flat). 

I also cut and added the fruit right before serving.  I did a variation on the recipe in the cookbook because I forgot to buy apple liqueur.  I substitued Triple Sec instead.  No one seemed to mind too much.  I also could not find cherries this time of year.  Next time, I will try to add Maraschino cherries.

For the record Kristin, I don't think anyone minded that you forgot the cherries or apple liquer! :) it was absolutely perfect!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

 There's just something about the smell of pumpkin & cinnamon in the oven that makes me so happy! Maybe it's the fact that Fall is finally here & I hope it's here to stay!

First thing you need to do is mix all of the dry ingredients together and make a well. The pumpkin mixture will go in the middle and fold together.

These muffins can be served plain or with cream cheese icing. Next time I want to fill the cream cheese icing in the middle. I think it'll be a nice surprise! 


Monday, September 26, 2011

Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

This past weekend was Super Saturday for the Fall new member class & the cookbook committee was excited to provide a few sample desserts to excite the new members about our cookbook!

I made Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes. Chocolate & Cheesecake all in one bite?! Perfection! There were very few ingrediants which made this recipe even more appealing to me.

Simply swirl the cheesecake/chocolate chip mixture into the chocolate cake mix and ...

.... waa laa! you have delicious cupcakes that will surely be a hit at your next party!!

Made by Emily Fulton

Thursday, September 8, 2011

ATTC Mentioned on a Blog!

We are very excited to announce that we were mentioned on a blog today!

Thank you, Dave Kempf, for the kind words of encouragement!

Click HERE to read our shout out, and to follow this wonderful blog!

 ~ Emily & Sarah

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cream Cheese Frosting

Who doesn't love cream cheese frosting?!

I have tried a few different frosting recipes before, but they would always turn out too runny or too thick - I could never get it just right. I could never get the ingredients quite right...

Well, lo and behold! I can now, officially, make delicious cream cheese frosting!

The recipe it so easy, and I have to admit - there is one unexpected ingredient that really makes it!

I was also very pleased with how it topped my cupcakes! For the first time - homemade frosting (that I made) didn't run off!

How can you get this amazing recipe you ask? Buy A Thyme to Celebrate today! Just in time to kick off FOOTBALL SEASON!

~ Sarah

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lemonade Cupcakes

These are like no other cupcake I have ever tasted! They are moist, tart, and just plain delicious!

Not a hard recipe at all - and the mixture goes a long way! I prepared the cupcakes for a Junior League meeting, but had so many that I also took a batch to my office, and still had leftovers to keep at home for the husband! (Who was quite grateful!)

What could smell better than cupcakes baking in the oven?! After they cooled, I decided to top them with homemade icing! YUM!

There you have it! Lemonade Cupcakes. Success!

~ Sarah

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Feta Black Bean Dip

This is a JLT favorite! And I mean a favorite - the Feta Black Bean Dip is at nearly every social event we have!

The recipe is just so easy, and it is always a crowd pleaser! I don't think I have met anyone who does not like the Feta Black Bean Dip.

Start with your base sauce - I will admit - it is quite unusual, but it just comes together perfectly! I would have never thought to mix these ingredients together... (and you will just have to buy the book to know those ingredients!)

Then, add your corn and black beans (*be sure to rinse them first*). Mix in your feta and such... And there you go! The perfect appetizer for any occasion!

This recipe makes quite a large amount, but it is so good - it will be eaten in no time flat. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and you will be the most popular guest at the party (or the most popular person in your house if you make it just because - like I did)!


~ Sarah

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Zucchini Nut Bread

Another contribution from Jill Hoover! She's becoming a regular, thanks Jill!

Jill prepared this Zucchini Nut Bread for an employee’s birthday breakfast. It says to bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes and she baked it for 1 hour and 10 minutes and suggests checking the bread after an hour to determine how much longer it needs to bake. She mentioned that chocolate chips would be a great addition to this bread and it was very easy to make.

Thanks again, Jill! This looks amazing!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sizzlin' Summer Salsa

A special thanks to Jill Hoover for making and submitting today's post!

I wanted to make a treat for my co-workers one day and browsed through the cookbook for ideas. I stumbled upon the Sizzlin' Summer Salsa recipe and decided this was different and easy.

My advice is to thoroughly drain & rinse all the canned goods, and it's guaranteed to be a hit! My co-workers and I snacked on it for 2 days because it made so much! : )

Looks great! Thanks again Jill!