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1st Annual Gingerbread House

Gingerbread house building is our new holiday tradition.  Even though it is a misuse of “food,” making a giant mess while building was fun!  We were inspired to try out our building skills because we discovered a gingerbread house competition on another blog.  If we win we would receive The Gingerbread Architect and In the Sweet Kitchen.  These two books would help us improve our skills for our new annual tradition.  Please, please, please go vote for our humble gingerbread house on movita beaucoup between Tuesday, December 20 and Thursday, December 22!!

Happy Holidays!!


Beer Bread

Potlucks are always full of rich, sweet, and gluttonous dishes. I decided that I didn’t want to bring anything in a crock pot or dessert like. Luckily, I knew one of my co-workers was bringing chili. Hmm, what goes with chili, bread!

This bread turns out to be thick, hearty, and easy to make! There’s no waiting for yeast, just mixing and baking. So easy and quick that I made this bread twice on Sunday. Of course, I needed to make a batch and taste it before bringing it to the pot luck. By the way we ate 1/2 a loaf in one day.

Everyone at the pot luck liked the bread too. My favorite part of making the bread was being able to use home-brew, and spent grains from a recent brew. The only thing I would change, is to make this bread more often.


  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup spent grain
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 12 oz dark beer (I used Moo Stout)


Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9” x 5″ loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, grain, baking powder, and salt.

Pour in honey, oil and beer, beating until a stiff batter is formed.

Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Enjoy!

Johnny Cakes

A few weeks ago we were watching a show that was set on the East Coast and they were enjoying breakfast at a small diner. Many of the diners were happily eating Johnny Cakes, a simple type of pancake that is made primarily from cornmeal. They talked about the slight crunch of the cake as one bites it and how Johnny Cakes are a very traditional food in New England. I did a little research and discovered the legend of the Johnny Cake. Supposedly, American Indians helped the starving Pilgrims by teaching them how to grind and cook corn. Thus, this breakfast staple was born.

This past Sunday morning was very relaxed and a perfect day for making Johnny Cakes. The cakes took a little while to cook but sipping coffee distracted me from the wait. They were tasty and had the crunch but the middle never really set up. Maybe the mushiness was from using stone ground yellow corn instead of white corn or maybe the batter was too thick. We will make these again with a few minor adjustments.


  • 1 cup stoneground cornmeal
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ~ 1/2 cup milk

Mix cornmeal and boiling water, let sit for 10 minutes. Then mix in milk, until the consistency is similar to mash potatoes.

Heat cast iron pan with butter and spoon mixture onto pan. It should spread out thin, cook 6-11 minutes each side or until golden brown. Serve with butter and maple syrup. Enjoy!

Ghost Pudding

Ok, I know this is a bit late but these ghosts are too cute! I just had to share. The best part is that they tasted yummy! This really wasn’t too difficult to make, even after roasting a pumpkin. I don’t know how I cooked/baked before my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Oh wait, I do remember, I didn’t do as much cooking/baking with lots of mixing!

I made these for a work party and I am happy I did. They were a bit difficult to transport but the ones that survived were a hit. I haven’t yet, but I want to just make the pudding…num, num.


  • 1 packet gelatin
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks (reserve 2 whites)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cups pumpkin puree


  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cus sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • tube of black gel frosting

First, in a medium bowl add ~1 tbs of warm water and the packet of gelatin. Next, in a double boiler or your stainless steel mixing bowl over a small pot of boiling water combine all other pudding ingredients and cook till it simmers, about 12-17 minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon. Then pour into 3-4 ounce cups and refrigerate for 4-8 hours.

Just before the pudding sets up make the topping. Wash your stainless steel mixing bowl or double boiler and get some water boiling again. Briefly mix all topping ingredients (except black gel frosting) and then cook over boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. Then get that mixing bowl on the mixer with a whisk attachment and whisk for ~5 minutes or until stiff peaks form.

Get your small containers of pudding out of the fridge and begin to shape the topping on top. Do your best to make them look like ghosts. I accomplished this by swirling a knife around the top. Lastly, add black eyes. Enjoy!

Happy Halloween!!

Pumpkin Cookies

Fall is wonderful. I love the abundance of fall squashes, especially pumpkins. Roasting pumpkins on a weekend afternoon is a wonderful way to warm up the house. Oh, and then I roast the seeds with some olive oil and salt and they are delicious. Roasting the pumpkin and seeds is an easy process. First, wash and cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out pulp and reserve the seeds. Heat the oven to 350 and then place the pumpkin halves cut side down in a dish/pan with ~1/4″ of water. Depending on size roast for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Allow to cool a bit and then scoop pumpkin into a strainer and let rest for about an hour. You want to set the pumpkin in a strainer to allow excess water to drain from the pumpkin. Next, puree and the pumpkin mash is ready to use in all your favorite recipes. Oh yeah, back to the seeds. Separate them from the stringy part of the pumpkin and rinse. Let them dry a bit and heat the oven to 325. Toss seeds with olive oil and salt, and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Now on to the cookies. To be honest I am not a frosting fan. This is probably because most frosting others use is the store bought kind that is full of crap. I am a bit of a food snob and believe food should be as natural as possible. Is the frosting in these cookies super healthy, well no, but I can pronounce every ingredient. 🙂 These cookies are almost cake/cookie and I say that because of the nice soft texture they have. Once, you top them with the creamy, dreamy frosting you will wonder why you haven’t made these before. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Cookies


2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1-3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 cup pumpkin purée

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla


1/2 cup butter, softened

1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon cinnamon

For the cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt; set aside.

In your mixer bowl cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the pumpkin, egg and vanilla until smooth.  Mix in the dry ingredients until blended.

Scoop the batter onto greased baking sheets and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the cookies spring back when you gently press the tops.  Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

In your clean mixer bowl, beat together the remaining 1/2 cup butter and the cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until fluffy.  Spread on top of the cooled cookies.

For best results, store these cookies in the fridge and let them come to room temperature before serving.

Banana & Yogurt Dog Treats


                           Roscoe                                                                       Riley

Last winter I made a ton of dog treats. When making home brew we always have a lot of spent grain from the mash so I use it in dog treats. Well, I have been a little lazy and haven’t been saving any grains from our recent brews but now that it is cooler out I wanted to have the oven on for awhile. When making dog treats it is important to keep them in the oven for an hour or two to make sure they get nice and crunchy. I got the idea to make these yummy smelling banana and yogurt treats from the fancy dog food brand Blue.

The other day I picked up a couple over ripe bananas at the co-op because they seemed to be the perfect fit for my treat recipe. Besides the bananas we had everything else at home. I used regular sized cookie cutters and ended up with 50 treats! The batter smelled so good that I almost tasted it, and I could have, but they were for the dogs.

Banana & Yogurt Dog Treats

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 3 cups flour
  • Mix all ingredients well and then roll out and cut out any shape. Pre-heat oven to 325. Bake for 12 minutes, turn treats, bake 12 more minutes. Then lower oven temperature to 200 and leave for 1-1/2 to 2 hours to harden.