Pantry Party

I have decided to retire the Pantry Party.

I may start another round up in the future, or if anyone wants to team together to start one, that would be fun!

Pantry Party had a great run though and I hope everyone had the opportunity to explore the depths of your pantries!

Top 8 for 2013

This has been a long, busy, rewarding year for me. I graduated law school, I took the bar exam, I passed the bar exam . . . I have nearly met the goals I was striving for all along. All I need now is a job that actually pays me.

The Law Student’s Cookbook has not been my main priority this last year due to overwhelming stresses to meet these goals. But, I no longer am a law school student. The Law Student’s Cookbook will continue with its name though, because while I may not be in school anymore, I will truly be a student of the law as long as I continue to practice it. It grows, it changes, it shrinks . . . It’s constantly changing.

Anyway, despite the slowness of this blog this year, I’m sharing my top 8 most viewed recipes for the year. Some are actually last year’s recipes, but they were still viewed a lot this year.

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Food ‘n Flix: Elf Roundup

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The last Food ‘n Flix of 2013 has ended. What does that mean? It means there’s a ton more movies for us to watch in 2014! And I even got the post up before the 31st. Impressive? Maybe. But I realized if I didn’t get it up before NYE, this wouldn’t be up until sometime in the new year.

I was very excited for this month’s movie. I picked Elf, the story of Buddy the Elf, who learns he’s human and comes to NYC from the North Pole to meet his dad – a man on the naughty list. Buddy has a hard time fitting in at first, but in the end, his elf-charm helps save Christmas.

I was looking forward to Christmas treats. I am so happy with the results! Unlike some movies, Elf took some creativity (unless you wanted to make pasta with maple syrup or something.) I love seeing where everyone took this month’s movie.

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The first Elf recipe this month came from Caroline at Caroline Makes . . . Well, what did Caroline Make? Caroline made a Chocolate Yule Log! Though it seems she also considered the spaghetti scene (well, hardly considered it . . .) Caroline put her foot down to spaghetti with candy and made this festive holiday bake for a local bake sale. I love that not only was it tied in to the Christmas theme of the movie, but this treat went to benefit the Save the Children organization.

Ramen

The next Elf-based dish comes from Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Camilla shared this Holiday Hijinx Ramen. Though Camilla did consider making a dish from one of the four elf food groups, which if you don’t know include: candy, candy corn, candy canes, and syrup. Camilla decided to take a different approach though and decided to make Jovie’s bowl of ramen that she was eating when she saw Buddy on the news. Very different than ramen with the dried spice packet, Camilla made a flavorful bowl of soup that looks perfect for a cold winter’s day!

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As host of this movie, I wanted to make something so Christmas-y that Buddy the elf would be my best friend. I decided to make Sugar Plums. Not only did this month’s movie let me rewatch my favorite Christmas movie (which is tied in first place with The Santa Clause,) but I also learned what a sugar plum really is. Sugar plums are balls of dried fruit and nuts with honey, rolled in powdered sugar. Buddy made several comments about sugar plums throughout the movie, so it seemed fitting.

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The next treat for Buddy comes from Debra at Eliot’s Eats. Debra shared a plate of Dulce de Leche White Chocolate Chip Cookies suited for any elf. This is a perfect plate of cookies to leave out for Santa (or just to eat.) I think Buddy would give two thumbs up after sampling two, three, or four of them himself.

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The next Elf-inspired-goodie comes from Heather at girlichef. Heather made a cocktail which she called the Angry Elf Cocktail! Heather’s inspiration comes from Buddy’s mishap with a businessman who also is a midget. Oh Buddy . . . This cocktail looks so creamy and alcoholic. I could use one over here!

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Our last recipe this month comes from Deb at Kahaki Kitchen. Deb made Fudge Puppies (or more appropriately Fudge Buddies.) Elf inspired Deb to open up a very colorful cookbook called Sprinkles! It appears on all fronts that this was a cookbook designed for elves. These little waffles have chocolate and sprinkles on them! And they have whipped cream on them! Buddy would definitely be thrilled if this was served to him for breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner even. Buddy would be thrilled!

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And with that, 2013 is pretty much over. I was really happy to see so many entries despite this generally being a busy month for people. I’m glad there was still some time to indulge in a movie and make something in the kitchen based on it. And I hope that everyone joins for the first movie of 2014! We’ll be watching The Breakfast Club, hosted by Eliot’s Eats. Check her blog the first of the year for instructions on how to join!

Christmas Dinner 2013

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Though my 12 days of cookies may have fallen into oblivion (though I do have some cookies to share in the next few days that I did end up making,) December always for me is a month of cooking. I made cookies for Matt’s family for Christmas, I made my doggy chicken jerky, and I made my dad homemade barbecue sauce in two different flavors.

What always becomes a cooking marathon though, is Christmas Day. Some families go BIG and invite everyone they know for Christmas. My family is the opposite. My parents moved to California from Ohio in the ’80s and because none of our extended family is around, we tend to keep it small. We go for fancy meals instead of meals that serve a lot of people. Christmas is always a time that my mom and I spend the whole day in the kitchen, making sure we make our meal perfect.

This was another year of perfection.

Rather than share the recipes, I’m linking you to the recipes we followed.

2013 Christmas Menu in Pictures

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The star of the show was a beautiful Beef Wellington. My mom’s made Beef Wellington in the past, but we followed a new recipe this year. It was my first time ever making one. This dish took all day, but it was worth every second it took making it. The beef tenderloin was so juicy and tender, having cooked with the pate, mushrooms, and proscuitto wrapped tightly around it. Though my taste buds would have enjoyed eating all 3-lbs of the tenderloin, this is so rich that one slice was all the rest of my body could handle.

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As a side dish we had Mushroom & Leek Bread Pudding from the cookbook that can do no wrong. I gave my mom Barefoot Contessa Foolproof last year for Christmas. She cooks out of the cookbook a lot and has told me everything in it is divine and flavorful and yet, easy to make. We decided to make this bread pudding and it hit the mark.

We also made Roasted Brussels Sprouts, but I did not take a picture of those. We seasoned them with salt and pepper and tossed them in some olive oil and roasted them. Though simple, this decadent meal needed a simple veggie.

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To put an end to our Christmas meal, we had Vanilla Roasted Pears with vanilla ice cream. The fruit dessert was a great end to the meal. My aunt had sent us pears for Christmas. This was a great way to use them. They were so soft and delicious.

What did you have for Christmas this year?

* This recipe is being shared with Full Plate Thursday

Sugar Plums

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My 12 Days of Cookies sort of fell apart. Baking cookies every night and going to work is hard. Even without my trial (it got continued,) I just had a severe shortage of energy. I plan this weekend though to get all those cookies baked.

Anyway, before my energy died, I made these: sugar plums.

Buddy the Elf

As you may know, this month for Food ‘n Flix, I’m the host. I picked the movie Elf, to share my love of Christmas. Entries are due on the 29th of this month, so you still have time to participate!

I have two favorite Christmas movies: The Santa Clause and Elf. Elf is the story of Buddy the elf. Or rather, Buddy the human raised as an elf. Buddy leaves the North Pole to find his biological father. An elf is New York is quite the spectacle! Buddy has some trouble adjusting, as his father has a similar problem accepting his human-sized-elf-son. Buddy’s excitement to meet his father is not matched. His father is embarrassed by what appears to be a mentally unstable adult.

I can’t wait to see my dad! We’re going to go ice skating and eat sugar plums!

Now for a moment of honesty. I never knew what a sugar plum was. I heard this quote and I was like, “Okay, sugar plums, I’m on it.” I googled and expected to find sugary plums. I never knew that sugar plums were actually no-bake cookie balls filled with nuts and dried fruit. These went over really well in my house though. When I was making them I was visiting my mom. She really enjoys dried fruits, so this was perfect.

Just for a note too – the longer they sit in your fridge, the more delicious they taste because the flavors start to meld together. Expect more cookie posts coming soon, to a blog near you!

Sugar Plums
(source)

Ingredients
1 cup whole almonds
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp grated orange zest
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Arrange the almonds on a baking sheet. Toast for 10 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Once cool, chop finely.

2. Combine the honey, orange zest, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl. Then add the apricots, dates, and almonds. Mix together well.

3. Pinch off rounded teaspoon size balls of the mixture and roll into balls. The mixture is very sticky, so keeping your hands wet will allow easier rolling. Roll the balls in powdered sugar. Place on a baking sheet with wax paper. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator. After an hour place in airtight containers. They can last for up to a month kept refrigerated.

* makes 3 dozen
* besides Food ‘n Flix, this recipe is being shared with Weekend Cooking

Vanilla Chai Snickerdoodles

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On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . a batch of vanilla chai snickerdoodle cookies!

I first saw this recipe last Christmas on Pamela’s Heavenly Treats who was participating in the cookie swap. I’m visiting my parents for the week plus trial planning plus Christmas shopping plus Christmas cookie baking. This is the opposite of a relaxing weekend.

But these cookies made for a nice dessert to a busy day.

Vanilla Chai Snickerdoodles

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the egg and vanilla.

3. In a small bowl combine all the spices. In a larger bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and salt. Add half of the mixed spices to the flour. Set the remaining spices aside.

4. Slowly combine the flour to the butter mixture.

5. Combine the 2 tbsp sugar with the leftover spices.

6. Once combined, roll the dough into 1 tbsp balls. Roll each ball into the sugar/spice mixture. Place on a greased baking sheet. Press each ball down with a fork.

7. Bake for 12 minutes.

* makes 2 dozen cookies
* shared with Weekend Cooking

Ginger Cookies

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After my last post with the chocolate cookies, I realized Christmas is 12 days away. As I said in the last post, cookie season has begun. To celebrate, I’m celebrating the 12 Days of Cookies.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . . ginger cookies!

I hope I actually keep up on this 12 days of cookies. I do sort of have a trial scheduled for next Wednesday which could entirely throw a wrench into this plan, but we shall see if the trial even goes forward. Half of me hope it does, the other half hopes it doesn’t. And the reason I hope it doesn’t has nothing to do with nerves, I swear.

But if there’s a trial my 12 days of cookies might turn into 10 days of cookies or something – but we shall see. The life of a lawyer? Haha. It’s weird to say that.

Anyway, these cookies were delightful. Or rather, they are delightful. Trust me, I haven’t eaten all 32 I got out of the dough {yet.}

Ginger Cookies
(from here)

Ingredients
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar

Directions

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and the butter. Then add the egg and molasses and mix together, until well combined.

2. In another bowl, mix together the salt, flour, baking soda, ground cloves, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon. Once mixed, pour the dry mixture slowly into the butter mixture, stirring until well combined.

3. Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Watch a Christmas movie.

4. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Roll them in the 1/2 cup of sugar. Place the cookie dough balls on a greased baking sheet.  Gently press them down with the palm of your hand.

5. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Allow to cool and remove from the baking sheet.

* makes about 32 cookies
* shared with #FoodieFriday & Foodie Friday

Double Chocolate Dream Cookies

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Cookie season has arrived! December is always my favorite time of year. It’s my birthday. It’s Christmas. I get candy. I get cookies. I don’t like how cold it’s been, but life can be a compromise sometime.

I participated in Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap hosted by White Lights on Wednesday, {i love} my disorganized life, and Real Housemoms. The swap changed a bit from last year, but was just as fun. Last year we mailed our partners a handwritten copy of our recipe. This year it was all done electronically. While receiving snail mail is fun, it was a lot easier to receive the recipe via my computer rather than twiddling my thumbs until the mailman decided to drop it off.

Last year for the swap I made Pink Peppermint Chip Cookies. This year I also received a recipe for “chip” cookies – but for a very different cookie: chocolate chocolate chip – oh yeah!

This year Amy from My Little-One Room Schoolhouse is my partner. So, let’s thank her for the recipe!

I love chocolate chips and I love chocolate cookies, so this is seriously the combination of two wonderful things. I did have some problems though. I have two cookie sheets. One is thicker than the other. The cookies that baked on my thin sheet just went . . . flat. :( The cookies that were baked on the thicker sheet fluffed up more and were definitely better. I’m sure it had to do with how the heat was reacting to the cookies, but this is the first time I’ve noticed such a visible difference between my baking sheets.

And with that, cookie season has begun! Let’s see what cookies this season brings.

XMAS Cookie Recipe Swap

Double Chocolate Dream Cookies

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

Directions

1. Mix flour, cocoa, soda and salt together.  Set aside.

2. In another bowl, cream butter and sugars together.  Add eggs and vanilla.

3. Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Drop spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool completely.  Do not overbake.  Center may appear not to be done, but will set as cookies cool.

Because I don’t own my own domain and WordPress for some reason hates linkys, please click here to see all the other cookies shared!

Pantry Party December 2013

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Welcome to a round up featuring recipes you cook with ingredients found in your pantry. On the 1st of each month (or when I get around to it.) I’ll announce the pantry party challenge of the month.  All you need to do is cook something based on the theme with at least one ingredient found in your pantry. Have some pasta? Some jelly? Some sauce? Flour? Sugar? Canned foods? We all have stuff pushed in our pantries that get forgotten about, so now is the time to make use of these otherwise forgotten foods.

On the 29th of each month I will post the round-up, with all the recipes and links to your blogs showcasing your contribution to the party.

I hope you’ll join me and explore your pantries!

How to Participate:

1. Visit The Law Student’s Cookbook on the 1st of each month to find out the Pantry Challenge Theme of the month.

2. Cook up something delicious based on the theme for the month with at least one ingredient found in your pantry.

3. Post the recipe on your blog. You can submit more than one recipe in a month if you wish, but all recipes must be current. If you don’t have a blog, you can still participate! Just send me an email with a write-up of your recipe, a picture, and any other information. I’ll make a post with recipes from readers who participated.

4. You must link to the announcement post for the given month in your blog post. If you wish, you can also use the graphic above in your post or sidebar (which you can find here.)

5. Email your recipes to elizabeth@crabtech.net no later than the 28th of each month. In the email include:

* Your name

* Your blog name

* Permalink to the blog post

* A photo of your recipe or permission to pull one from the post

6. On the 29th of each month visit The Law Student’s Cookbook for the recipe round up!

The theme for December is CAKES.
December is my birthday month. Celebrate for me and make a cake! Flour is easy to come by in the pantry . . . but what else is in there?

Announcing Food ‘n Flix for December: Elf

My favorite month is December. My reason is that I love the holidays. I love Christmas. I love Christmas trees. I love snow (well, not really, and I don’t live anywhere where it snows .  . . but I like the look of snow.) I love Santa. I love cookies. I love hot chocolate. I love Christmas and therefore, I love December. I love Christmas for everything commercial plus more. I love the spending time with friends and family and taking a chance to show those you love you appreciate them.

Basically, it makes perfect sense why I picked this month’s movie. If I could come back as anything in a future life, I would hope it would be an elf.

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Though I wouldn’t consider Elf to particularly be a foodie movie, there are some food scenes in it. And really, I think the theme of the movie (Christmas and elves and whatnot) can inspire dishes in and of itself. Let’s see what you have this month!

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN FOOD N’ FLIX:

1. Watch the chosen film (Elf). Using the film as your inspiration, use your culinary skills to create something.

2. Post about it on your blog with a link back to this post and post a link to Food ‘n Flix. You can use the Food ‘n Flix logo if you wish!

3. Your post must be current (during the month of December). The post may be linked to other events. The more the merrier!

4. Have fun with it!

5. Email me at elizabeth@crabtech.net by the deadline and include the following:
a. Your Name
b. Your Blog’s Name an URL
c. The name of your dish and the permalink to the specific post you’re submitting
d. Attach a photo of your dish (or give me permission to pull one from your post)
e. Indicate “Food ‘n Flix” in the subject line of your email

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: December 29, 2013
I will try to have the post up on December 31st!