Author Archives: samanthamaxwellphoto

I’ve moved!

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Just realized people still read this blog occasionally, so wanted to update you all that I’ve moved to Blogger! You can find me at littlebitsofhome.blogspot.com. I wanted a fresh start at blogging with a focus on all things related to the home, not just cooking. Check it out! 🙂

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

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This fall, my neighbor Jessica (Hey Jessica!!!) brought me a bag of these pumpkin muffins. They were so good, I promptly ate half the bag then tried to finagle them into my Weight Watchers daily point allowance. Haha!  These muffins are the most moist muffins I’ve ever made! They’re pumpkiny, have lots of chocolate chips, and are a cinch to make. Can’t get much better than that! 🙂

Here’s my neighbor, giver of wonderful muffins…and Oreo Balls, which is another story that ends with me stuffing my face. Haha! I’m so thankful to have her as my neighbor and friend!


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3 tsp cinnamon

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

3 eggs

2 heaping cups canned pumpkin

12 oz chocolate chips

Directions:

Mix together and bake at 350 degrees for 15-30 mins. Mine only took about 15 minutes, so just watch them and pull them out as soon as your toothpick comes out clean. This recipe makes a ton! I had 2 dozen regular muffins and 24 mini muffins from one batch. Be prepared to share!

Soft Christmas Sugar Cookies

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UPDATE: I’ve moved to littlebitsofhome.blogspot.com! Find more recipes and other home projects there! 

I am super picky about my Christmas sugar cookies. I don’t like really crispy, crunchy cookies and I don’t like for them to taste like you used a lot of flour when rolling them out. Told you I was picky! I found this recipe last year on allrecipes.com and love it! The cookies are soft, but not so fragile they fall apart when you pick them up and they have a nice buttery taste. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

3 cups all purpose flour (plus a little extra on the side for rolling)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup margarine, softened

1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together then set aside. In a large bowl, cream together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients until fully absorbed.  Cover dough and chill for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line sheets with parchment paper (works great!). On a clean, floured surface, roll out small portions of chilled dough to 1/3 inch thickness. You will need to work some flour into the dough, but don’t over do it. Just keep your rolling pin and your surface lightly floured and gently roll out. I only ran my rolling pin over the dough a couple times. Cut out shapes using floured cookie cutters.

Bake 6-8 minutes in preheated oven until middle of cookie is set and no longer wet/shiny looking. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

I used Bridget at Bakeat350’s icing recipe to decorate with. Check out all her awesome cookies!

Linking up to TheLarsonLingo’s cookie exchange! Love Mel’s blog!!!

Tater Tot Soup

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This recipe was originally called “Cheesy Potato Soup”, but when my husband found out how it was made, he renamed it to “Tater Tot Soup”. Kinda gives my cheater secret away, but it’s cute. 😉

This is such an easy potato soup recipe and is my cool weather quickie meal. It makes a ton, so you won’t have to cook the next day!

Tater Tot Soup

One bag of frozen tater tots (32oz) or 12 hashbrown patties
2 cans chicken broth
1 stick butter or margarine
6 slices American cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup green onions, sliced with tops
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups sour cream
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Real bacon bits

In a large pot, combine tater tots and broth over medium heat until combined and the tater tots are crumbled. Add remaining ingredients except the bacon. Stir well, then cover and cook on low for 20 minutes or until hot. Do not boil. Garnish with bacon bits and extra shredded cheese (if desired). Enjoy!

Makes about 10-12 servings.

Recipe adapted from: http://megduerksen.typepad.com/photos/recipes/sc002b1470.html

Saucy Peppersteak

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Here is a quick recipe for peppersteak. The recipe calls for fresh peppers and onion, but if I’m short on time or peppers are way too expensive at the store, I’ll substitute the fresh peppers and onion for a bag of frozen pepper and onion stir-fry mix. If you choose to do this, the directions stay pretty much the same. The only tweaks I’d suggest is to simply coat your pan with cooking spray instead of using olive oil. You may also need to drain off any extra water the veggies make from thawing as they stir-fry. Enjoy!

Saucy Peppersteak

2 tsp olive oil
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips (If not available, use another green or red)
1 small  onion, cut into strips
1 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak, well trimmed, cut into strips
2 cloves  garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbsp.  lite soy sauce
1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce (I love Honey BBQ or Original. Try out different kinds to suit your taste.)

2 cups  hot, cooked rice

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add bell peppers and onions; cook and stir 6-8 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Transfer to large bowl; cover to keep warm.

Add meat, garlic and black pepper to skillet; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add soy sauce; cook 1 minute or until meat is done. Stir in barbecue sauce and return vegetables to the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Serve over rice.

Recipe slightly adapted from the Kraft website. Original recipe: Saucy Peppersteak