Friday, December 9, 2011

December 9, 2011

Friday again...where does each week go? Around our house we are busy singing Christmas carols, looking each morning for Harry, our Elf on the Shelf, and opening Advent Calendars. We are armpit deep in the Christmas season, and loving every minute of it! We aren't traveling for the holidays this year, but are making the season special by doing lots of great things as a family - screening the Muppets movie, seeing the Holiday Light Show in town, going to the winter train exhibit at the botanic garden.

Today our family activity Advent Calendar told us to make a batch of cookies for dessert. I must say, there was a little underlying reason for this particular activity...I am attending a Christmas Cookie exchange later this month and am looking for a great cookie to bring. Well, I may have found the recipe I'll be making for the exchange! My usual helpers (the biggest and littlest monkey) helped me make Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies. Talk about yum!!! I still may try out a few other new cookie recipes (luckily I have Book Club next week and can use those ladies as taste testers), and I'll let you know what I finally settle on for the exchnage.

This week also continued the pantry clean out. I had some whole grain mustard, as well as a small amount of cornflakes. I found two great dinner recipes to share this week using those ingredients. Baked Crab Cakes uses corn flakes as an outside coating. These crab cakes had a fantastic flavor, and really no filler. It was nice to bake the crab cakes and not fry or saute them in oil. Ryan was quite surprised to have crab cakes for dinner on a Tuesday night!

The second "keeper" dinner recipe used the whole grain mustard that has been in the pantry for a while with no clear use in sight. I used it in the pork and mustard sauce recipe which we all enjoyed immensely! The original recipe only called for 2 cups of noodles, but next time I make it I will likely make more - my kids love egg noodles! So, depending on who is at your dinner table and how much they like (or love) egg noodles, make anywhere between 2 and 3 cups. I was a little skeptical, to be honest, as I am not a huge mustard fan. I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this dinner, but I was surprised and loved the flavor! And it was a cinch to put together. It only calls for a few ingredients, and is so quick to cook. In the time it takes to make the egg noodles you'll have the rest of the dish pulled together. This is a great and easy weeknight meal, but absolutely can be served to dinner quests as well.

Not sure what is on the meal plan for this coming week...perhaps another batch of cookies, and a few other dishes made with pantry ingredients on hand, we'll have to see! Have a great week!

New Recipes
Baked Crab Cakes
Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies
Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce

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