Friday, February 18, 2011

Winter Break in New England......

Queen of the Kitchen is
Out on the Mountain this week......

It's School Winter Break in New England. And for most, it's skiing .that ranks #1 for their destination vacation. I've been told that years ago , they made winter break just for that fact. The ski areas are packed and loaded with lots of children. And snowboarding seems to be popular with the teen crowd. And it looks like lots of fun!

My boys are having lots of fun!
And they hate the fact that they can't quit school and
ski everyday. What a life that would be.....

We ski Gunstock Mountain, which is just 80 miles up the highway.
A family friendly mountain, where everybody knows your name.

For Christmas our family received season passes.
And we all have equipment, courtesy of the SwapShop.
So if we pack snacks and lunch, it makes the trip
very cheap. Just the cost of gas!

And the 6 year old can't get enough!
He has even become the grest snowboarder.

And who doesn't just love the view of
Lake Winnipesaukee...New Hampshire's Gold Area

This is midway down the mountain.
I think the view is breathtaking....
Wouldn't you agree?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops

When it comes to chocolate and oatmeal cookies what comes to mind are the no-bakes I used to make as a teenager, (remember those?).
I never thought about making them in a baked form. But boy...... were they delish! These are super easy to make. And all you have to do is refridge before baking. This is a good cookie dough to keep on hand to bake off as needed.

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or read Bake With Us, as Caroline and Claire picked it this week. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Who doesn't love vintage Valentines?
I used to be a collector, back in the day.
Now I just keep them in plastic in storage
and bring them out for the holiday.
You can copy them and use them to give out or for scrapbooking.

This one is one of my favorites...

The colors on this are fun!

Or how about this little boy blue....

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hooked on Valentine Baking....

I bet you can guess what I'm hooked on this Friday.....Hearts and Chocolate...of course! What better way to spend my Friday before Valentine's Day, then passing out these wonderful baked goods to Teachers, Friends, and Family.

I have spent the last 24 hours baking up these delectable treats, such as Pecan Sable Hearts dipped in Chocolate

Or how about what I call, Hugs and Kisses....

Made with the great Peace Cookie Dough.

Or my all time go to Cut-Out Sugar Cookie....

So dear reader, are you baking up anything for
your Valentine?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bourbon Bread Pudding with Chocolate

Doesn't get any better than this! I love Bread Pudding...with Bourbon and Chocolate all the Better!! Yummy! Brad pudding is so easy to put together, especially if you can find some nice , cheap day old bread at the market. And you can switch it up any way you want to. I took Dorie's recipe and added chocolate and coconut. And of course a little caramel on the top.
Sharon from Simply Southern is this week’s hostess. Hop on over to her blog for the recipe and see the other bread puddings by clicking over to the Leave-Your-Link post on the TWD page!
We give this 5 glasses of milk,
for utter goodness!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A little Sweet Schrafft History....with Schrafft Butterscotch Cookies

Schrafft's was a candy and chocolate company based in Sullivan Square, Charlestown, Massachusetts. The famous Schrafft's neon sign is a significant landmark in Boston, although the former factory it sits above, constructed in 1928, is now redeveloped for business accommodation, they still have the sign up and going.

One of my current patients, who is 100 years old actually worked at Schrafft for 23 years before getting married. She said she was almost 14 the summer she went to work there, and they offered her a job in the chocolate room if she wouls stay on full time. She said the money was so good she could not tuen it down, and quit school right then. She loved working there. They would sell the secounds to the employees for 5 pounds for 50 cents....BARGAIN! I love hearing tales from her about the things that would go on in the factory.

Although they were famous for their chocolate, Schrafft's expanded to form a restaurant chain, not around Boston, but in the NYC area. These eateries became very popular with the New York elite.

In an interview in The Times in 2004, Mr. Shattuck’s great-grandson Frank M. Shattuck said of the chain’s clientele: “Everyone wore hats and handmade suits. And if you were a lady, it was safe to sit at the soda fountain and drink gin from a teacup.”

Schrafft's was founded by candy maker, William F. Schrafft in 1861, he actually lived in my town. Then it was developed more by Frank Shattuck in Boston in 1898. By 1915, they had nine stores in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn, and one in Syracuse, NY as well as the facility in Boston. They had grown to 22 stores in 1923, 42 stores in 1934, and 55 stores in 1968.

Ownership of the company changed hands several times thereafter until 1984, when all company operations were closed. Now this older building is used as offices for various healthcare companies, including the company I volunteer with, Beacon Hospice. Funny how Beacon is located where my patient worked for so long.

So, now for those cookies pictured above....It is said that Schraffts was famous for a butterscotch-pecan cookie, that they would serve right along with their ice cream. Marion Cunningham, renowned as the woman who wrote the contemporary revision of “The Fanny Farmer Baking book,”(My first Baking Book), revealed this recipe in her column in the San Francisco Chronicle.
She noted that “many New Yorkers have such fond memories of Schrafft’s large, crisp cookies … particularly the butterscotch cookies with ground pecans, which seem to have been an all-time favorite." So here it is, done just as is, but I prefered to sandwich them with cream cheese frosting. Alone, they are great with tea....


7 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
7 tablespoons of shortening
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans
**Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking sheets.
**Combine the butter and shortening in a bowl and beat for a few seconds.
**Add the sugar and beat until creamy.
**Add the egg, dry milk, and vanilla, and beat until light.
**Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir with a fork to mix and lighten.
**Add the flour mixture to the shortening mixture and blend well.
**Stir in the pecans and mix well.
**Roll into a ball and place 2 inches apart onto the baking sheet, flatten with the bottom of a glass.
**Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday's Chipster-Topped Brownies

It's a rewind for me this week. I put a long day in at work on Tuesday, and now Wednesday is full of snow , snow, snow!!! These are really tasty so enjoy!

Chipster-Topped Brownies...Yummy!

It was a decadent week for TWD, with Beth of Supplicious choosing Dorie's Chipster-Topped Brownies as the recipe. The brownie layer of these bars was so chocolaty, and the cookie crunch on top gave a nice texture to this yummy dessert. It was super easy to make, if your organized and have items on hand. This would be an awesome dessert warmed up , with a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

A tip I took from others, was to prebake the brownie layer for 15 minutes at 350 degrees before adding on the chocolate chip batter. Bake that for 20 minutes, then cover with foil and bake another 10. That is a total of 45 minutes, which a found to be sufficient. Dorie has you baking for 60 minutes.......

Check out the recipe here,
And give it a try,
They are Delish!!!