Category Archives: Food

Weekly Wrap up: Christmas Cookies

In my life this week…

First of all I am again been nominated for the Homeschool Blog Awards in the category of Best Homeschooling Dad Blog. I would appreciate your votes. You can vote once per day, per device at the link below.


We made Christmas ornaments this week. The first came from Pinterest. It looked simple, cool, and cheap it turned out to be an utter failure. It failed to the point that I wonder if the original image is real. Pinterest came to our rescue and the emergency search brought up a great pin that certainly worked and fortunately we had everything in house.

The first pin, Beautiful right.

Acrylic Paint Christmas Bulbs

Do these look the same?
Do these look the same?

Our attempts. Basically shaking does nothing. My attempt to thin the paint failed. Margaret resorted to painting the outside. We added more and more paint turning the bulbs to make patterns. Those ones still haven’t dried. Just don’t bother it is not worth the frustration.

Margaret's Painted Bulb
Margaret’s Painted Bulb

The second was simply cutting and stuffing garland into the bulbs. We found that multiple small pieces worked best for us. The garlands were from back when I worked in an office and decorated said office.

Tinsel Christmas Bulbs

Tinsel Glass Ornaments
Tinsel Glass Ornaments

I’m Cleaning…

Not happening this week due to baking! Yummy

In our homeschool this week…

Ian Hour of Code
Ian Hour of Code

The biggest thing for us this week was the hour of code. The older two continued to work on their Javascript Khan Academy course. Ian did the Frozen Hour of code. He needed me to read him the instructions but other than that he did quite well. He moved on and did the Angry Birds one as well. That one I wasn’t around to help him with but he still figured it out.

We are Reading…

Margaret has started reading Divergent at Philip’s prodding. Hopefully this will get her into reading longer books. She is more than capable but tends to read books that she can finish in a day.

I’m Cooking…

I have been busy doing all my Christmas baking. I have finished five of the six recipes that I have planned. My wife has three that she will do next week and then we are all done. I might need to make seconds of some given that I am providing a cookie tray for Christmas dinner.

Almond Orange Cinnamon Biscotti
Almond Orange Cinnamon Biscotti

I have made Almond Orange Cinnamon Biscotti which I just wrote a post on. I used to make it all the time in university. I also made Chocolate Chip Biscotti from Chef Michael Smith’s website. Coming across that recipes is want made me think of the other one from years ago.

Chocolate Crinkles Christmas Cookies
Chocolate Crinkles

I also made Chocolate Crinkle cookies. Those I will need to make more of…

Somewhere in the minimizing of this year I found a recipe for what I call Walnut Bells but on the recipe they are called Christmas Cookies. I will be posting the recipe next week.

Chocolate Star Christmas Cookies (Gluten Free)

The Chocolate Stars which are some of my favorites are made.

Cinnamon Stars - Christmas - Swiss - Gluten Free

The final cookies to be made are the Cinnamon Stars and those are going to have to wait until Monday. I am not going to have time this weekend and the little time we do have will go towards my wife making her cookies.

Linking up at:

Summer-Edition photo newboardblogbutton_zps5c91eaf8.png

Almond Orange Cinnamon Biscotti

I used to make this recipe all the time back in university and somehow it ended up being put aside for years. Then recently a recipe for chocolate chip biscotti ended up on my Facebook and I remember this recipe. It took me a while to find particularly since it was actually two recipes that I had modified and merged together.

Almond Orange Cinnamon Biscotti
Almond Orange Cinnamon Biscotti

Almond Orange Cinnamon Biscotti
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Italian
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup toasted slivered almonds
  1. Set oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar.
  3. Beat in eggs, vanilla and orange zest.
  4. Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat to combine.
  6. Add the toasted almond slivers and beat until just conbined.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or butter the sheet.
  8. Form into two logs about ¾ of an inch thick and as wide as you like your biscotti. I got for betweeen 3 and 4 inches. The wider it is the lest pieces you get in the end.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes.
  10. Take out and let cool enough for you to cut, 10-15 minutes.
  11. Cut into slices about ½ inch thick.
  12. Place slices cut side down on the cookie sheet.
  13. Bake 12 minutes. Turn over and bake another 12 minutes.

It is funny how our memories work. For me this recipe takes me back to my university days and the people there that particularly liked this recipe. For me this will always go with a large mug of hot chocolate and a cold winter night. This isn’t on my Favorite Six Christmas Cookies from last year but it should be.

Home School Blog Awards…

I have been nominated in the Homeschooling Dad category and would appreciate your votes. While you are there check out all the other wonderful blogs.

Linking up at…

Man Pleasing Chicken Pinterest Recipe Review

The recipe came to me from Iowa Girl Eats via the pin at the bottom. Overall this recipe got thumbs up from everyone in the family and will be made again. I can also say that it is ‘Wife Pleasing Chicken’ based on her reserving the two leftover servings for her lunches.

I made a couple of alterations based on what I had in the house. First I never buy chicken breasts anymore so I used boneless skinless chicken thighs I had in the freezer. Second I don’t pound thin unless I absolutely have to. I fried them well and kept them in a 350 oven while I finished up. Third my mother who taught me to cook always subbed onion for scallion so I have never bought a scallion. I put in one small onion chopped fine. That brings me to change #4, I am serving five and my 12y old is starting to get his teenage bottomless pit of a stomach. I doubled the recipe so that onion would be 1/2 an onion in a single batch.

Chicken Spinach Mushrooms in Cream Sauce over Spaghetti
Chicken Spinach Mushrooms in Cream Sauce over Spaghetti

I served it over spaghetti since at first glance the sauce was alfredo based. When I actually made the recipe I realized that there was no garlic in so I wouldn’t call it alfredo. That is the one change that the family agreed on. Next time we will add some garlic. I would put in 2-3 cloves in her batch size and 5-6 in mine.

On the time side I took me longer that the 30 minutes partially because the chicken and the bacon was frozen and partially from me doubling the recipe. It took me three rounds in the frying pan to cook all my chicken. If everything was thawed and I was only doing a single batch I could probably do it in 30 but it would be close.

Overall this is going to be made again and again. Everyone liked it and my wife loved it. I should also say that I loved it too. The plate pictured is mine at and I didn’t leave anything on the plate.