mendhi inspired spice cookies

i love these mendhi-inspired spiced cookies! they’re so pretty i almost wouldn’t want to eat them though…

the story behind these cookies is really cute too – they’re from the blog sprinkle bakes, and the blogger made them for a friend who was going through a rough time.  she wanted to make something with a personal touch, so she decorated the cookies with mendhi designs – something she and her friend had always been really interested in.  plus, the designs themselves have meanings so you can pick a design symbolic of peace or luck as an added touch.

if you happen to have a hand shaped cookie cutter, that’s great, but i think it’s even cooler that you can trace your own hand :)

story
after rolling the dough a little thinner, lay the template on the dough and cut around it with a sharp knife. transfer hands to parchment lined cookie sheet.  with the back of your knife make lines between the fingers, being careful not to cut all the way through (so they don’t break off).

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after baking the cookies (instructions below), you’re ready for embellishment!  use a fine-tipped artist’s brush and a little brown/black gel food coloring.

hands

template story

ingredients:

3 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
½ cup molasses
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

instructions:

– blend ingredients together in large bowl, using electric mixer.  gather dough into ball, divide in half. form each half into a ball and flatten into a disk.

– preheat oven to 350 degrees

– line baking sheets with parchment paper

– roll out dough between two sheets of waxed paper to about ¼ inch thickness.  cut out cookies and transfer to baking sheets, spacing one inch apart

– bake one sheet at a time until cookies are firm on top and slightly darker around edges, taking up to 12 minutes.  cool completely on rack.

enjoy!

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source.

dew drop smoothie

following my spring playlist…i want to be sitting on a beach right now, with one of these. it’s so close i can taste it…

ingredients:
-2 cups honey dew melon
-1 cup watermelon
-1 kiwi
-10 ice cubes
directions:
place all said ingredients into a blender. blend the ingredients until the ice is thoroughly ground up.
prep-time: 5 minutes yields: 2-3 servings

recipe; image.

eggs with love

how cute is this for a valentine’s day breakfast?!

instructions:

heat up a pan with a little bit of oil. set your cooker to a low heat or you will burn the eggs. place your heart shaped cookie cutter in to the center of the pan, with the smooth side down or you might end up scratching the pan.

crack an egg and pour it in to the center of the cookie cutter. a bit of egg will probably slip under the cutter so hold it down to ensure that most of it doesn’t.

use a spatula to remove any excess egg from the outside of the cookie cutter. remove the cookie cutter and let the egg cook for a few more seconds before removing it with the spatula.

you can use this same method for heart-shaped pancakes too!

source.

knedliky

it looks like bread, but its actually knedliky, czech bread dumplings that are one of the country’s most popular side dishes…so to go along with our prague theme, i thought i’d share a recipe for it with you! they’re usually served with pork and sauerkraut, but they’re probably good with just about anything.  wanna make some? here’s how:

ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk, or as needed
4 cups dry white bread cubes

directions:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center, and pour in the eggs and 1 cup of milk. Stir to blend, and add enough additional milk to make a moist battery dough, not like pancake batter. Use a sturdy wooden spoon to beat the dough at least 200 strokes, rolling it over and over in the bowl until smooth and an occasional bubble appears on the surface. Add the dry white bread cubes, and stir into the dough until they disappear.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the dough onto a cheesecloth or white cotton cloth, and form into a loaf shape. Wrap the cloth around the loaf, and tie the ends.
  3. Place the loaf into the boiling water, and cook for 45 minutes, turning the loaf over about half way through. Remove from the water, unwrap, and cover with a tea towel. Let stand for 10 minutes and then slice.

hot chocolate with a twist

it’s been really, really cold in philly lately…and i’ve been craving some hot chocolate.  i found a couple of alternative hot chocolate recipes that sound sooo good i can’t wait to try them…

spiced hot chocolate

ingredients:

  • 6 cups skim milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

directions:

heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat until lukewarm; stir the cocoa powder and sugar into the warmed milk until dissolved. add the vanilla, cinnamon, chili powder, nutmeg, and cloves. heat another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

– original recipe yields 6 cups

maple hot chocolate

ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 large marshmallows

in a large saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa and salt. stir in hot water and butter; bring to a boil. add the milk, maple flavoring, vanilla and 8 marshmallows. heat through, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows are melted. ladle into mugs and top each with a marshmallow.

-original recipe yields 4 servings

if you try either of these let me know how it is!

thanksgiving leftover pizza

i’m a vegetarian so i really don’t get too into the whole thanksgiving meal, and i never have the problem of figuring out what to do with lots of leftover turkey, stuffing, etc…but i found this recipe for thanksgiving leftover pizza on savoryreviews.com that sounds really good- even to me. here’s a recipe to give you an idea, but really this is something you can be creative with and come up with your own recipe!

thanksgiving leftover pizza
• 1 biscuit dough (or use store bought pizza crust)
• 1 cup leftover gravy – plus a little extra for drizzling
• 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
• 1 cup leftover stuffing
• 1 cup leftover turkey
• 1 cup cheddar cheese
• 1 cup leftover cranberry sauce
– pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
– in a bowl combine biscuit ingredients and form a dough. next turn the dough out onto a pizza pan. since biscuit dough is fragile and sticky, it is best not to use a pizza peel and stone. form a pizza dough.
– bake the dough for 5-7 minutes, until it starts to get a little firm.
– remove the dough from the oven and coat with the gravy or cranberry sauce- your choice!
– spoon the potatoes, turkey and stuffing onto the pizza. spread it out evenly over the whole pizza.
– top with the cheese (again, optional, and use whatever kind of cheese you like).
– bake in the preheated oven for 12-18 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
– remove the pizza from the oven and let cool for a minute before cutting. serve with a side of gravy for dipping or with dollops of cranberry sauce.

– enjoy!

meeshie’s banana bread

another employee here at the home office shared this recipe – her all time favorite, which is her mom’s banana bread recipe. it is affectionately titled “meeshie’s banana bread” (her name is michele, nicknamed meeshie).

meeshie’s banana bread
1/2 cup soft butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 or 4 medium bananas)
1 tbsp milk
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
in a large bowl cream butter, vanilla, and sugar until light and fluffy. beat in eggs. in a separate bowl mash together bananas and milk. in yet another bowl combine remaining dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda). blend dry ingredients into creamed mixture alternately with the bananas.
for bread fill greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. bake on 350 for 1 hr 10 mins.
for muffins fill cupcake wrappers 2/3rds to 3/4ths the way up. bake on 350 for 18-22 mins. (makes about 24 muffins)
let cool ten minutes then turn out of pans and let cool completely.
enjoy!

pumpkin pancakes

a friend told me about these pumpkin pancakes and they sound like an awesome breakfast for a fall morning!
prep time – 20 min
cook time – 20 min
recipe makes approx. 12 pancakes
ingredients:
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 3 tablespoons brown sugar
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon ground allspice
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 1/2 cups milk
– 1 cup pumpkin puree
– 1 egg
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 2 tablespoons vinegar
directions:
– In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
– heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. brown on both sides and serve hot.
enjoy!

apple dumplins

hi all,
one of our planners thought you may like to try your hand at making her apple dumplings! here’s the recipe below…
dumpling pastry:
4 cups flour
2 cups shortening
1 cup ice cold water
1 teaspoon salt
4 large apples, peeled and cored
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon **NOTE: she indicates in her recipe that it says to spoon in 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon – yet the total cinnamon amount in the ingredients list is 2 tsp. so she only put in 1/2 tsp for each of the apples to equal 2 tsp…
preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
lightly grease a cake pan.
prepare dumpling pastry. roll the pastry into a rectangle, 10 by 8 inches. cut into 4 (4-inch squares) with pastry cutter or knife. place apple on each square. spoon 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon into the center of each apple. moisten corners, pinching edges of pastry to seal. brush with slightly beaten egg and sprinkle with additional sugar. bake 30 minutes or until crust is golden and apples are tender.

i missed out when she brought them into work, but the consensus is/was they were delicious!!!!!