Monday, November 22, 2010

Just Around the Corner

I can smell the turkey already, can’t you?  In my pre-Thanksgiving planning, today’s task is to decide on some cute place cards to add to the table.  I’m looking for something on the simple side, and hopefully something that my 9 year old could help with.  This morning I did a quick search for some Thanksgiving place card ideas and thought I would share my top five.   Do you have ideas?  Leave a comment with a link (or email me with your link) – I’d love to see!
A simple leaf.  Idea found here
Can’t go wrong with a lovely leaf.  Simple is good!

Paper pumpkin idea from Passionately Artistic
I like the paper strips idea and I love that there’s a chocolate surprise hidden inside.

20071123_1357Cute pilgrim hat idea from My Insanity
This cute hat caught my eye first this morning, but I’m not sure I’m in the mood to track down black party cups.

I love finding free printables – this one is from Design Evolution
I love the graphic print of the yellow.  I could tweak the color to more of a green, and then tie each leaf to a pear.  This is definitely an option if I get short on time.


and finally, this one is a whole Thanksgiving kit that you can download (free!) and customize.  I love the Thanksgiving activity page.  These cute downloadables are from Paper Glitter.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Today’s Find

On my once-a-month trip through Costco today I spotted this:

Several years ago when we lived in California, Panera was one of our favorite lunch spots.  Alas, Panera has yet to open a location here in Utah.  This Broccoli Cheddar Soup was one of Mr. Dinner’s on Me’s favorites.  He’d order the soup in a bread bowl and if I wanted a taste I had to get it quick before it disappeared.

Once we returned to Utah, I had to find a way to satisfy our craving for this soup.  After doing some research online, I found a clone recipe – a pretty close clone too.

I was so excited to find this soup today (and I hope Costco starts carrying some of Panera’s other soups.)  I tried it tonight for dinner with some slices of crusty bread.  Oh so perfect for a fall dinner.

Now just a note:  I will always prefer to make my own food from scratch rather than buying pre-made stuff like this.  However, there are nights (we all have them, right?) where if I want a hot meal then pre-made soup is a great option!  The package came with two tubs, we ate one and froze one for another busy night.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Look at these cute little ghosts!  Oh man I wish I would have seen these BEFORE Halloween.  Dang.  Now I just have to remember to do these for next year.  Thanks for the cute idea Chris!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Shortbread Candy Bars

As promised, here is a recipe that will come in handy now that we all have bowls of candy (a.k.a. bribery ammunition) stashed somewhere in our homes.

This recipe is found on the last page of this month’s Everyday Food mini-mag (October 2010).  It’s also found online here.

First of all, has anyone else already tried this recipe?  I made one batch of the shortbread dough last night and tasted it before baking and found it to be incredibly salty.  Ew.  I tossed it out and started over this afternoon.  Instead of the 1 1/4 tsp of coarse salt I added a scant 1/4 tsp of regular salt and it was so much better.  I even think it would be fine without any salt at all.  My other shortbread recipes do not call for salt.
So here is the recipe (my reduced salt version):

Shortbread Candy Bars
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp regular salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (using the spoon/level method)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups assorted roughly chopped candy bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar and salt on medium-high until light and fluffy (3 minutes).  With mixer on low, add flour in three additions and beat until combined (dough will be crumbly).

Press dough evenly into an 8-inch square baking dish.  Bake until golden brown and firm, 30-35 minutes.  (My pan was a little smaller than 8-inches and took about 38 minutes to bake.)


While shortbread bakes, chop your candy.  I used M&Ms:

Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups:

and Snickers:

When the shortbread is done, pull it out of the oven.  Scatter chocolate chips on top of shortbread.  Bake an additional 1 to 2 minutes until chips are soft.  With the back of a spoon, spread chocolate evenly over shortbread.

Scatter candies over top (I sprinkled the candies into their own rows, but you could also scatter them on all willy-nilly if you so choose.  I’m sure it will be just  as chocolatey and delicious.)

Let cool for 30 minutes.  Refrigerate briefly (mine took another 15 minutes) to set chocolate, then cut into 16 bars.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.