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Massachusetts, United States
I am a happily married 1st grade teacher who loves to eat!

An Apple for the Teacher

An Apple for the Teacher

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12.22.2011

Cookie Chaos

Success!



The SullyGirls Cookie Exchange produced massive amounts of holiday treats. Spice cookies, sugar cookies, drop cookies... there was just too much to list here on one page. But it was all delicious! I came home with two cookie tins stuffed to the brim. What to do with all these cookies? Well, I ate some and gave the rest to co-workers! It's a genius idea, really. I create miniature tins to send to Hub's bosses and my own at school. Hence, I look as if I've slaved away over a hot stove all day to bake 20 varieties of Christmas cookies when in reality I ate massive amounts of food, mingled with cousins and spent 2 hours helping my Great Aunt from her Assisted Living home to the party (despite the fact that it should only take 12 minutes door to door...). 

As always, I try to come away with one new recipe from any party I attend. I am going to surprise you all by saying that I did not come away from the Cookie Exchange with a cookie recipe. Instead, I picked my Aunt's brain about her delicious Squash puree! The secret? She purees a butternut squash and turnip mix. Genius! I am a big fan of turnip myself, though some find it to be too bland both in name and taste). Mixing the two root vegetables, now that is something that I have to try! 

I'll let you know how it goes. 

As for Christmas dinner, I promised to bring corn casserole and Pecan Pie. I am a traditionalist, but while searching for a good version I came across this baby - 



Deep Dish Pecan Pie! Now that looks dynamite. I think I will make one traditional, and one of these. I should stop now, I am getting too wild for my own good. Before long I'll be googling variations on Apple Pie, that's enough to Gramma Sully a heart attack.

3 days left!!

12.15.2011

Delight-mint!

Phew! These molasses peppermint cookies were super easy and SUPERBLY delicious!


They really epitomize all the tastes of the season - a gingerbread-like base and an icy peppermint frosting. I know it sounds like a funny combo, but it works!

Now this is a recipe that will be come a tradition in our house... despite the fact that Hubs dislikes mint... he'll just have to suck it up.

12.14.2011

Improv in the Kitch

Yikes! Those Samoas did not go as planned. I baked 5 dozen shortbread rounds... the photo does not convey their pure buttery deliciousness, but they do look pretty!



The next step in the recipe called for a caramel coconut mixture made from vanilla Kraft caramels. I've tried using Kraft caramels before. I didn't like them then, and I now know I don't like them now! Ugh, they have a grainy texture and a bad after taste. Ina Garten ruined me with her homemade salted caramels, after trying my hand at those, Kraft just doesn't cut it! I wish I could trade places with Jeffrey for a night so she could make me a batch before bed...

Wait, you're not getting the Food Network reference? If you're not a foodie, the only other reason you're reading this blog is because you are related to me, but hey, no complaints here! I love the Sully faithful.

Rather than tossing out all of those beautiful shortbread rounds, I improvised! I sliced and diced some baking chocolate and melted it in a double boiler (baker's secret - add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the melted chocolate to make it nice and shiny when it hardens!). I dipped each cookie in chocolate and sprinkled the top with crushed candy canes. Success!



I'll be whipping up 5 dozen more cookies tomorrow night, hopefully the Molasses Peppermint cookies will go more smoothly.... if not, I'll bring the dregs to my firsties. I'm telling you - those kids will eat anything.

12.11.2011

Yuletide Prioritizing

Yikes! Christmas is two weeks away! I've spent this past week ironing Christmas Pageant costumes for the firsties and wrapping their Christmas gifts - a copy of Snowmen at Christmas, so cute!


OF COURSE I give books as a gift. Even more important, I also give the gift of the ability to read, that is my job after all and I'll take all the credit for their mastery of short vowels this fall. Thank you very much.

On Tuesday night we perform the Nativity at the school Christmas Pageant. One problem, Mother Mary has a broken arm. I've tried my best to finagle (LOVE that word!) her costume to hide the injury as best I can, but instead of hiding it, I'm debating on maybe just bedazzling the sling instead. Now that is one way to make this pageant our own. The Nativity has been performed over 1 million times (a guess, but I'd be willing to put money on it), it's hard to make it original, but I can't imagine it has ever had a bedazzled, broken-armed Mary. Now that is innovative.

We did fit in a trip to Boston for Brunch on Charles Street and a walk through the Common. So beautiful even with the greenery faded until next Spring!



Despite a busy beginning of the week, Hubs and I have four Christmas parties to attend next weekend. I have numerous Yankee Swap presents to wrap by Friday, not to mention 5 dozen cookies to bake for the annual Cookie Exchange on Sunday! I'll be baking up a storm on Wednesday and Thursday, but I've done a little prepping so that the baking will go a little more smoothly!

I've crushed candy canes in preparation for my Molasses Peppermint cookies - a funny combination, I know, but absolutely delicious!

I found a copycat recipe for Girl Scout Samoas (now called Caramel DeLites in order to avoid any animosity from Samoans, though I have got to say, all of you Samoan people should be damn proud of any association with this delectable cookie). I tediously unwrapped 50 caramels and toasted a bag of flaked coconut tonight in preparation for this baking experiment.

Thanks to Mama Sully, I have a gorgeous container of Paperwhite bulbs sprouting in my kitchen. Next to cooking, gardening is my favorite hobby and it is so nice to be able to watch flowers bloom in the dead of winter. I'll be sure to post updates on their progress!