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

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Chocolate Banana Honey Muffins

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I seem to associate We Should Cocoa with muffins or something. Last month I made Nigella’s chocolate muffins. This month the theme for this chocolate challenge is honey. The challenge was to make a chocolate recipe using honey somehow.

These muffins are yummy. They are very banana-centric. I like having the honey be the sugar substitute. When I ate the muffin I could hardly tell there was no sugar added to them (well.. except for the sugar in my chocolate chips at least.)

Now my only question is will I make a muffin for We Should Cocoa again next month?

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Chocolate Banana Honey Muffins
(source)

Ingredients
3 bananas, mashed
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp skim milk
1 egg
1 egg white
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325. In a large bowl mix together the banana, honey, yogurt, and vanilla. Once well mixed add in the milk, egg, and egg white and mix well.

2. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

3. Place cupcake liners into a cupcake tin. Scoop the batter evenly into the cupcake tins. Bake for 20 minutes.

* makes 12 muffins
* besides We Should Cocoa, this recipe is shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday

Honey-Mustard Chicken and Mustard Mashed Potatoes

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This is the last meal of my 25th year being on the earth. Tomorrow is my 26th birthday. How do I celebrate my birthday? Do I get a cake? Do I spend the day doing lots of fun things? No, no. I get to write a 5,000 word essay. As of this moment, at 10:46 p.m. I have 546 words written. I have to turn in this 5,000 word essay Monday night. I will be doing a lot of writing tomorrow.

But don’t get me wrong. I haven’t entirely been procrastinating. I wrote a 10 page paper today. I started it last night (after trying to type it all day but only getting a few words typed, I went to bed.) I just managed to stack the worst finals schedule ever this semester. I’ll be done by mid-next week. Then I have hearings at work. I’m really looking forward to my break and baking cookies.

The honey I used in this recipe was from my September Foodie Penpal box. We finally finished off the other honey we had in the house, so it was time to make use of the honey from Sara! The combination of the sweet honey and the savory mustard, bacon, chicken, and mushrooms was perfect.

Also, who would have thought of putting mustard in mashed potatoes? It’s delicious. I’m giving you both recipes.

Honey-Mustard Chicken
(source)

Ingredients
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp light corn syrup
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tbsp dried onion flakes
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 slices of bacon, cut in half
1 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 350. Rub the chicken breasts with salt and garlic powder. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet. Brown for 4 minutes on each side.

2. Combine the mustard, honey, corn syrup, mayonnaise, and dried onion flakes. Remove half of the sauce and set aside.

3. Place the browned chicken in a baking dish sprayed with Pam. Top with honey-mustard sauce. Place bacon slice on top of each piece of chicken. Toss mushrooms over the chicken and cover the whole dish with cheese.

4. Bake for 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the bacon is crunchy. Serve with reserved honey-mustard sauce.

* serves 2

Mustard Mashed Potatoes
(source)

Ingredients
3 medium red potatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp margarine
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes, until tender.

2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in with the potatoes and mash until smooth.

* serves 2

* shared with Sweet Treats & Swanky Stuff Saturday and Weekend Cooking

Shrimp in Jalapeno Lemon Cream Sauce

This is my first food post here on the new home of The Law Student’s Cookbook. One of the things about being a law student is the necessity of ease. My life is so hectic and crazy, that sometimes I just need things to be simple. While blogger has done me good for the length of me using it, I found that wordpress is definitely more customizable. And this customization is so easily accomplished. Literally, it’s as simple as pushing a few buttons instead of having to understand some sort of coding that I used to know, but has been replaced in my head with information about evidence, wills and trusts, and capital punishment law. None of that is very useful to running a blog that looks the way I want it to.

Anyway – this dish was very tasty. I have never made a spicy cream sauce before and I never would have considered mixing all these flavors together before. It came out better than I had expected, to be honest.

Shrimp in Jalapeno Lemon Cream Sauce

Ingredients
2 lbs peeled and deveined shrimp
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Brummel&Brown yogurt spread
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 green onions, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
1 tbsp honey
1/3 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Place the shrimp in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and 1 tbsp of the yogurt spread.

3. Cook the shrimp until they are no longer translucent, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp and set aside.

4. Add the green onions and garlic and cook for one minute. Add the lemon juice, jalapeno, and honey and stir for another minute. Add the chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Allow the liquid to reduce for a couple of minutes until thick.

5. Place the cream in a cup and combine with 3 tbsp of the hot liquid. Stir well. Pour the cream mixture into the skillet with the rest of the liquid. Allow the cream to a come to a foam. Add 1 tbsp of the Brummel&Brown spread. Add the shrimp and any juice from the plate back in with the sauce. Stir to coat and heat for about a minute.

6. Serve over noodles or rice.

* serves 4
* 474 calories per serving
* the noodles (or rice) are not included in the calorie calculation