Thursday, December 31, 2009

French Dinner for French Class

I had mentioned in mid-December that I was going to accompany my youngest daughter Drama Queen to a dinner with her French class. Now a question: have you ever had to ride on a school bus with 30 loud, obnoxious, squealing teenager during rush hour when you suffer from a little bit of anxiety? AND you cannot have a cocktail until you have ridden said bus (with those same teenagers) back to school and drive the 20 miles to your own home and pop the cork on the wine?

Thank goodness the food was good.

I'm a little disappointed as I don't have the names of the dishes. I asked the woman in charge of our group (78 total) but she said it is a special dinner they only put on for French classes coming in for their field trips. DQ had the menu but it was on the back of the permission slip that she needed to turn back in. It was $25 a person-probably wasted a bit on DQ, but I enjoyed almost all of it.

Chez Daniel

Here are Drama Queen and myself

This is the first time I had ever tried French Onion soup. Very good, a little salty

Starting on the upper left was the potato dish. I was really disappointed in this. I love potatoes-all forms except potato salad. I think it had fennel and dill in it-not a fan of either and those flavors overpowered the dish. Next to that is the chicken. It was good, but it was chicken. It had a creamy sauce over it. There is the baguette, then the beef dish. This was awesome. It was bite size pieces in a sauce with wine, onions and mushrooms. I hate mushroom and picked them out, but this beef melted in your mouth and I could pick them out. Then the salad. It was good, but again it was leaves of different types of lettuce. My daughter found it quite funny that they didn't have French a French restaurant. Then she found out that they don't really have that type of dressing there, they use more of a vinaigrette. French is the only type that she likes.

This one got a little bright. It was some type of pastry shell that was stuffed with ice cream and covered with chocolate sauce on one side and strawberry sauce on the other. It was frozen solid. The pastry shells were hard as bricks even after letting them sit awhile and were flavorless. I hate strawberries (unless it is in my cocktail) and ice cream and tried to scrape it off. Didn't work, so only ate the chocolate side. I was hoping for something a little more from the dessert.
All in all it was a nice dinner and some place I would have never had the chance to visit since my Dude stays out of the Twin Cities as much as he can and he would never go for a restaurant like this.

And the wine was awfully darn good once I got it in my belly.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Whatcha get?

So, what did everyone get for Christmas/Hanukkah gifts? I only read about what Emily at Sugar Plum got and we got the same gift. What about the rest of you?

This is what I did with both my gifts

Any ideas?

I got a Canon Macro lens.........

and a deshadow box. Neither came with instructions. Well the lens had a small sheet included in the box, but I need "Camera Instructions for Dummies"

My eldest daughter and I went to a couple antique shops yesterday. I was looking for Pyrex, but my favorite shop in town (that had a lot of Pyrex) closed. The other shop didn't have much and the stuff they had wasn't in any pattern I was interested in. But I have mentioned how I love cookbooks. I especially love ones from the 50's and 60's. This one was published in 1964, a couple years before I was born. It was in really good shape and only $1.75, so I had to take it home.

Here is the yellow bowl I bought at the Cooks on Crocus Hill shop I showed on my post about Whole Foods. It is small-maybe holds 2 cups. I really have no plan for it. I just loved the color and the shape.
My daughter's bought me the "Julie and Julia" DVD, so I watched that the other night. I just love that movie. It made me laugh, made me wipe away a few tears and has been making me sing "Lobsta Killa" around the kitchen.
So, I would love to hear what you got.
And who is making resolutions?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


It started out so promising

Pretty sugars and sprinkles

And then this

This is why I hate cutout cookies

And my cat is now climbing the tree
Today my in-laws called with an update on Howie PET scan, not great news but not terrible news-and I told my MIL that the cookies didn't turn out. She asked if I made them on the insulated cookie sheets and I said yes, and she said other people had problems on those pans. She uses regular 20 year old sheets. I only have dark regular 4-sided sheets for other things. I will need to find some shiny, 4-sided sheets to try.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Top Secret Recipe

I'm not joking when I say this is a top secret recipe. Ten years ago I had left my 8 to 5 job to stay home with the kids and work part time while they were in school. I had summers off and didn't start work until 8 and was home by 3:15. I was able to get them on the bus in the morning and be there when it dropped them off in the afternoon. It was a great job except that it didn't pay very well. Things were happening at Northwest Airlines and we knew that Dude's job might be either be gone or he would be earning a lot less than he did. We made the decision to have me go back to work full time and I was able to get back into the bank I had worked at before, so it was like going home. But while I worked at my part time job, I had the chance to taste these wonderful caramels. One of my co-workers brought them in at Christmas time for us to enjoy. Her daughter was a stay at home mom, but made these caramels every year to earn money to buy gifts for her kids. When I asked for the recipe she wouldn't give it up unless I swore that I wouldn't use it for the same purpose. I explained that I wanted to make them as gifts and not sell them. I also explained that I didn't know people in that town other than my cousin and my customers from the bank and I wasn't going to be calling them. I made these every year for our bake sale at church. That was deemed okay because I promised to never give out the recipe and it was a fundraiser. People pleaded with me for the recipe; I never gave in. Through the grapevine I have learned that this person no longer lives here. It is safe to give up the recipe. And you are the first ones to see it. The suspense is killing you I know. I'm eye rolling and laughing to myself just so you know. I laugh because there are so many caramel recipes in cookbooks and on the Internet, but I think because people were able to taste these and knew what they tasted like, they wanted this recipe.


1 can Sweetened condensed milk
1-1/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/4 cup sugar
1-1/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/4 cup corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla **

Prepare pan. Line a jelly roll pan with foil and butter it. Set aside while making candy.

Slowly melt all ingredients except vanilla. Stir constantly so it doesn't burn. Continue to cook until boiling and temp reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer. This process takes about 30 minutes. When candy reaches this temp, turn off heat and stir in vanilla. Mixture will bubble up. Immediately pour into prepare pan. Let it sit on counter for about an hour then cover a large cooling rack with waxed paper and set over the top of the jelly roll pan. Let pan sit on counter over night. The next day, spray the waxed paper with non-stick cooking spray and turn caramels over on it. Remove jelly roll pan and foil from caramels. Cut into small pieces and wrap in waxed paper squares. **the vanilla isn't in the original recipe. I added it as I like the flavor.

I made these early in the day on Christmas Eve and set out in the garage to cool down so I could cut some up for our neighbors-whose house we stopped at after church that night. She was giddy. I told her to hoard some for herself since she always shares the ones I give her. They really are that good.
I'm on the look out for a half-sheet higher sided pan. The only thing I don't like is that they are so thin because my jelly-roll pan is standard size. You don't want to make these in a cake pan though. They don't set up well, I believe because the sides are so high. Just trust me on that one.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Both ends of the Spectrum

Today was another first for me. I checked out Whole Foods Market. There isn't one near me so it was a trip up to the Twin Cities to find it. It is in the Summit-Grand Avenue area of St. Paul. This is the shi-shi area of St. Paul. Lots of money but trying to be hip and not look like we have money kind of place. Not like rich people in Beverly Hills kind of look-maybe like SoHo or the Tribecca area on NY. Lots of Audi's, Mercedes and Volvo's. My lowly Caddy barely fit in. But it is filled with beautiful old houses that have been restored to how they looked back at the turn of the century when many of them were built. When we moved to St. Paul in 1971 my parents could have bought a 3000 plus square foot house in that area for what they spent on our 1000 square foot house on the East side. It was not good neighborhood back then. It was home to drug dealers, shady dealings and the like. Sometime towards the end of the 70's people started moving in and cleaning it up and now you wouldn't be able to touch a small house for under probably $400,000.00. The houses shown at the bottom of this post would probably fall into the $600 to 800 thousand price range. And while I drooled over the 2 and 3 story beauties with original hardwood floors, banisters and built ins, I would not want the heating or cooling bills and most importantly-the property taxes. My BFF used to work for several lawyers and one lived on Summit. She had the most spectacular home. 3 stories, kitchen remodeled to professional grade, butlers pantry, HUGE formal dining and living areas, 6 bedrooms, 4 baths. The BFF would take me with each year to this lawyer's home for her Christmas party. Wow. That is all I can say. The party was catered with servers bringing you all the food and drink you wanted and it was decorated to the nines. But my friend also had to take care of personal business for the lawyers and 23 years ago the taxes were triple what we pay now for our home. I can only imagine them now. But the houses-ahhh, if I won the lottery, I might take a serious look!

What does this have to do with my post? Not much, except that this is where the WF Market was and after doing some shopping there, we meandered a few blocks east and looked at some stores and had some lunch. My impression of WF wasn't as great as I was expecting. I know lots of bloggers I follow love this store, but a lot of the brands they carry I can find in my big chain grocery store in their Organic food aisles. I did pick up some fresh baked Italian bread for some panini's this week, and I tried some grass-only fed ground beef. The web site says that the animals are treated humanely and processed with a measure of compassion. I'm not sure if that means they apologize to the animal before they, well, you know. Honestly the meat I get at our local butcher meets or exceeds that. They buy their cows and pigs from the local farmers and are processed on site so it is always fresh-and about half the price of WF. I know that is because of the middle man, but I would rather run 5 miles up the country road and get my fresh burger and bacon then have to drive 31 miles and pay double. I also know how they treat the animals as a family member worked there for 6 years-it isn't like the big slaughter houses. I also got my daughter some organic milk. She had tried it at the State Fair a couple of years ago and really liked it. Side note-she has been home a week and we have gone through 6 GALLONS OF MILK!! We also picked up a wheel of Brie cheese, some organic chips I like and some gravy. I know, I know-I'm suppose to make my own, but a lot of time I don't have time, don't feel like it or don't have drippings to do so. I found an organic brand at my local grocery store and they had it there on sale, so picked up a few for my hubby (I hate gravy). I think I will stick to my local store.

After picking up the groceries, we stopped to have lunch on Grand Avenue. There are lots of fun places, but Hermit Crab wanted only one thing-Chipotle. They don't have one in College Town. So we watched the fake blond women in their Mercedes park in a no parking zone to run into Starbucks and get their half caf, no foam soy latte. I really have no idea since I drink Folger's if I drink coffee and have never been in a Starbucks. But I have heard these terms on TV. After lunch we went into Pottery Barn. I love that store. The one at the Mall of America closed several years ago and it bummed me out. I could always find something fun that wasn't an arm and a leg. This store was cute, but small so it didn't have as much as the MOA store did. I did fall in love with a wooden rectangle farm table. At $1500 it was way out of my league. But it would have made me a happy camper. We also stopped at this store below, Cooks of Crocus Hill.
I buzzed through fast as I know my daughter doesn't share the thrill of pots and pans and servingware as I do. I did pick up a cute little bowl that is a butter yellow color. You know it had to come home with me!

The other end of the spectrum, you might be wondering what that is. We stopped at Aldi's on our way home to see what that hype was all about. Didn't impress me either. The milk was a little cheaper than at my regular store, but our grocery store puts it on sale every other week even cheaper than at Aldi's. The fruit snack were maybe a quarter cheaper, but when they go on sale and there is a coupon, still a better deal at my regular store. I did find that the potatoes were cheaper and the salad dressing was cheaper-but I have no idea if it is any good. It may not have been a deal if I don't like what it tastes like.

Bottom line-I'm sticking with my regular grocery store and my butcher.

Here are a couple of houses on Summit. My daughter was poo-pooing my request for her to take pictures while I pulled the car out so she could get in. She took 3 begrudgingly.

The one below was the one she wanted to live in

Living in the big city isn't for me anymore. Our roads get plowed much better than this! Plus there is little traffic, less crime and I don't have people taking pictures of my little home :)
Please know that I'm not picking on Whole Foods or anyone's choice to shop there. It just wasn't a good fit for me. Living in the middle of the country we are not as lucky as some to have fresh food markets offered to us year round-all of our stuff is shipped in other than summer at farmer's markets, so I have always had to shop at the big stores as that is all we have. We also have a nice food co-op in our town that is styled somewhat like a WF, but is quite small and doesn't have a bakery or meat counter but I have been able to find some things there that I can't find at regular grocery stores.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holy Fartballs!

I missed my blogoversary! December 18th it was a year. Huh, go figure. I should have had a special post full of hindsight of the past year and how I have grown as a blogger. Yeah, that doesn't sound like me. It should have been a post full of alcohol and chocolate-that is how I roll.

Thanks for hanging out with me and sharing stories and recipes and tips with me. It has been great.

Here is to the next 365 days....well, minus the 8 I am overdue, which would really make it 357, but I think 2010 is a leap year, so that would be 358.....oy, I have a headache. Where is that bottle of vino and the Dove chocolate?

It wasn't Pizza but it was pretty darn good

Juggling the Christmas holidays have been a constant guilt inducing week for me since I was 14. I always felt I should be here or there, but never where I was on that given day. My parents divorced that year and I then became the all too familiar child shuttling back and forth. I lived with my Dad but would spend some nights at my Mom's. She only moved about a mile away and when I was almost 18 I moved in with her. The only thing that saved all of our sanity is that when my parents were married, we had Christmas Eve with my Mom's parents and my siblings and Christmas Day we went to my Dad's parents. This was continued after the divorce. After I was older and out of school, I would sometimes spend Christmas Day with my boyfriend's family (they were a bit more normal than mine), sometimes with my Mom and my one sister and others with my Dad and step mom. Then I met my husband. Throw another family into the mix. But we were able to work this out too. Two of my siblings were married with kids, my other sister had stepchildren and I was going to be married soon. We decided to move our family gathering out towards New Years so they could be with their kids and there wouldn't be so much traveling in bad weather that we always seem to get at Christmas here in MN. Dude and I now spent Christmas Eve with my Dad and Sue, Christmas Day with his family and right around New Years with my Mom and siblings. Our Christmas Eve tradition became pizza. We would go out for dinner early in the day and go to my childhood home and open gifts. It was nice and quiet. The next day at Dude's house? Freaking crazy! They would all talk at once and would rip open presents and you didn't know who gave what to who. It took several years for me to not have a panic attack at the madness.
Now that Dad and Sue have retired to Florida, we can't have a tradition. We did it on our own for a couple years, but the places in our town are family owned (many by the same family, different members) and we couldn't find places open when we were done with work, so we started eating at home. The last two years we did fondue and the kids kind of complained. This year I made lasagne. And you know what? Both of them asked where the fondue was! What?? I can't win for losing! I told them we would fondue for New Years!
Hermit Crab took some photos of the tree and decorations.

It was a good day capped off with 10:00 service at church singing most of my favorite songs and good will spread to everyone. After church we stopped at the neighbor's house for a nightcap and spent 2 hours. Came home and played domino's until 3:30 and turned in at 4:00. Youngest went to bed when we got home, so she was raring to go at 8:30. At least it was daylight-not so long ago they were out at the tree at 5:00, so I should be thankful. Good thing for naps!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Frying the bird, or There is Butter in my eye

We bought a turkey deep fryer 2 years ago when it was our turn to host Dude's family for Christmas. There are 4 kids in his family (and mine, but that is neither here nor there) and we rotate hosting Christmas in our homes. 2007 was the last time we agreed to host and last year we didn't get together with his family over the holidays. It isn't that we are anti-family; we just wanted to start creating our own memories and traditions with Hermit Crab and Drama Queen. We meet with my family after the new year begins so we can all be with our own families, and his family does a family fun night in January-good enough for us. Dude's parents are snow birds, so I have suggested time and time again that we do it in October before H and J leave for Florida, but that never flew with certain people in his family. So we just said "No" last year. This year his parents are home since his Dad is battling cancer and needs to go in for scans and checks and meds. We invited his parents here for the 23rd but we are going to get hammered with snow and we all felt it best that they did not make the 3 hour trip down. We bought a turkey with the thought that they would be here to share it with us, and even though they couldn't come, we still deep fried that sucker tonight. Not without some issues, as people on Facebook know. We have always bought an injecting marinade to use on the bird. We couldn't find one in any store so I tried to make one. When Dude came in and found me swearing about my injector missing again and he made a not so funny joke about me misplacing things, I almost stabbed him with the part I found. He was trying to make a needle work on the plunger it didn't belong to. He stabbed the bird, possibly hit a bone, and squeezed. Butter.Everywhere. On the fridge, on the stove, on the floor, on the cat, on my sweatshirt. And in my left eye. I love butter as much as the next person, but not particularly in my eye. We did get the bird in the fryer and I went to work on the spuds. I got the recipe off of Food Network and it is from Rachael Ray. I remember her doing these on 30 Minute Meals. They are similar to the Crash potatoes on Pioneer Woman.

Smashed Potatoes, Jacques Pepin style

3 pounds baby Gold Yukon potatoes (I used a tri-color baby spud pack)
3 cups chicken broth
3 TBSP butter
salt and pepper

Place potatoes in a deep skillet that has a lid. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the chicken broth in pan until halfway up the sides of the potatoes, about 3 cups. Cover and cook until almost tender, 5 to 8 minutes (my stove doesn't have jet power, so it took my normal stove about 12 minutes. Remove lid and continue to cook until the broth has evaporated, another 6 to 7 minutes. When the liquid is pretty much gone, smoosh the spud with the back of a spoon to flatten, but don't squish the dickens out of it-just flatten a bit. Cook for a couple minutes on each side until they have a golden crust. Check seasoning and re-salt and pepper if necessary.

Holy cow these were awesome! Our kids wouldn't touch the purple potatoes. Okay, more for me!

After Dude went and cleaned the fryer and watched a movie with Drama Queen, he comes upstairs and says "Oh no, we forgot photos!" I told him I took shots of the left overs!

If I don't post again before Christmas, please have a happy holiday. I know I said it the other day, but had time to post more, so I'm just telling ya again-Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Air "Fried" Chicken and Roasted potatoes

At 3 I still had no idea what we were doing for dinner. I had gone to the grocery store to get stuff for dinner for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday-but forgot about Tuesday. Poor Tuesday-got no respect. I went downstairs to the freezer to pull out the ham for Friday and ground beef for lasagna on Christmas Eve, when I saw a package of chicken. Poultry Tuesday!

I thawed it part way through and pulled out my Easy bake oven, to which Hermit Crab exclaimed "What is that???"

I pulled out the booklet that came with the oven and found Air Fried Chicken. It was for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but I had a family pack which had the pieces with skin and bones still attached. I just added cooking time to the recipe and changed out the breading from corn flakes to panko bread crumbs and changed regular mustard to Dijon, and added poultry seasoning.

Air "Fried" Chicken

1 cut up chicken
1 cup mayo
3 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP poultry seasoning
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 tsp paprika

Stir mayo, mustard and poultry seasoning into a bowl until combined. In a pie plate, combine bread crumbs and paprika. Brush chicken with creamy mixture. Roll in the crumbs. Place in NuWave oven on rack. Set for 20 minutes. At end of 20 minutes, flip chicken and set for 20 more minutes. Insert thermometer to check temp. If not up to temp, turn back on for 5 minutes.

I had a value pack chicken, so I had too many pieces to fit in the Easy bake, so I baked the rest in the oven. It turned out the same as the NuWave chicken did, only took a little longer since it wasn't totally thawed. I ended up baking it at 400 degrees for about an hour along with the roasted potatoes.

Roasted Potatoes

5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered, then cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 envelope of onion soup mix

Place all ingredients into a plastic zip top baggie. Shake and squeeze to completely cover potatoes with oil and soup mix. Spread in an even layer in a shallow roasting pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring and flipping potatoes over every 15 minutes, until fork tender.

I lowered the oven temp for the chicken, and just cooked the spuds longer.

Hermit Crab-hates to get her picture taken

Drama Queen-always ready for a close up, goofy face or not
Dude and Tofu
Off to go wake up Hermit Crab so we can bake cookies.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Peanut Butter Blossoms and Peanut Butter Cups

These are our favorite Christmas cookies. I did post these last year. I tried to hyperlink, so we will see if it works. These go the fastest in the cookie jar!
We will baking these again tomorrow since Hermit Crab is home and she missed the first round of cookies.....and Drama Queen ate a dozen and a half within 27 hours. We will need to make a double batch so we all get one or two.
We are supposed to have a very large snow storm slash blizzard here in Minnesota starting tomorrow night, with the bulk of it on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I am very glad that we are staying home. We will enjoy ham, mashed spuds, corn, green beans and rolls all while watching the snow and playing one of the new games we bought. Probably watch a new movie that Santa brought too.
I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. May the season fill you with love, peace and hope. I feel very blessed to have you all in my cyber world!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Linzer Bars

This is another new cookie/bar for me. I have seen Linzer cookies on many cookie trays at church bake sales and have heard that they are a bit of work, with the cutting the cookies, spreading, topping with the cut-out cookie, etc. When I was looking through a cookbook my Mom had picked up at a garage sale many years ago, I saw these bars. All the flavor with a lot less work!
They were Dude's favorite I think. He probably ate a quarter of the pan himself.

Linzer Bars

1-1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp grated lemon peel
2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 cup whole almonds, ground **
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup raspberry preserves
Powdered sugar

**Due to one person's allergies, I left out the almonds and added almond extract instead

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 baking pan. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and lemon peel until well blended. Stir in flour, almonds (extract) and cinnamon until well blended.

Press 2 cups dough onto bottom of prepared pan. Spread preserves over crust. Press remaining dough, small amounts at a time, evenly over preserves.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar; cut into bars

I quick option for when you really want that cookie, but don't have time for the real deal!

My baby is home!

Hermit Crab is home from college for 3 whole weeks! Can't wait to bake some cookies and hang out.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lunch with Pat

My neighbor Pat-well, I can't say enough good things about her. We met at church. She is old enough to be my Mother. She makes me laugh all the time. She is insightful. She is funny. She is naughty sometimes. She is a great neighbor and an even better friend.

We try to go out to lunch once a month to catch up and just chat. This week, I invited her over to lunch at our place to try a new wine that we bought when we went up to see Hermit Crab at college over Thanksgiving weekend. I had made a turkey breast in my "easy bake oven" on Monday for dinner and we used the leftovers to make panini's. Pat brought a salad and some from scratch mac and cheese. I made sandwiches, had some cranberries and opened the Mead. It was so good.
Melty Cheddar and Havarti

Thick, tender turkey breast, with cheese, mayo, and Dijon mustard

Dude's plate with salad and mac and cheese.
We were all stuffed and rather sleepy afterwards. After Drama Queen got home from work, we went to town to drop off the carpet cleaner we rented, bought some Christmas gifts and stopped and had dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants. It was a fun day filled with people I love and great food! What more could a girl ask for?
I will post about the wine soon. The photos I took of the bottle didn't float my boat, so I need to try some more in the daylight hours.
Time to wrap the presents!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Snowballs, or Mexican Wedding Cakes, or Russian Tea cakes, or ......

This is another first for me. I have never made these before, but know that people love these on cookie trays. I think I made them too big; no one complained, but comparing in my mind to other trays I have seen, these looked pretty large. The boys at work could still get the whole thing in their mouths in one shot, so I'm not too concerned.

Snowballs from Good Housekeeping Home for the Holidays

1 cup toasted pecans

1-3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 cup butter, softened and cut into 16 pieces

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In food processor with knife blade attached, process the pecans and 1/4 cup powdered sugar until nuts are finely chopped. Add butter and vanilla and process until smooth, scraping down sides of processor bowl with rubber spatula. Add flour and process until dough comes together.

With floured hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 1-1/2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until bottoms are lightly browned and tops are very golden light brown, 20 to 22 minutes. With wide spatula, transfer cookies to cooling racks. Place remaining 1-1/2 cup powdered sugar in pie plate. While cookies are still slightly warm, roll in powdered sugar. Place back on cooling rack to cool completely. When cooled completely, roll in powdered sugar again.

Hermit Crab will be home on Friday and I'm so excited to see her! She says she is looking forward to coming home, but I think most of that is due to high school friends also being home for the holidays and no more finals! It will be nice to have my whole family back under the same roof for a couple weeks and she is making a list of things she would like me to cook for her. Good thing I will have 12 days off in a row!