This Valentine season I curated packages of homemade goodies to hand out to some of my favorite people. Last night I baked, crafted and sipped on a little red wine while watching Netflix. Let's just say I was in my personal heaven! Ryan was out of town on business which meant I was left alone to do all things girly ;).
The red velvet cookie recipe I found on the box of red velvet cake mix. Instead of making the mix true to the cake instructions you add the cake mix, two eggs, six tablespoons of melted butter and two tablespoons of lemon juice. (I omitted the lemon juice, and the cookies came out great).
I added white chocolate chips to my cookie batter mixture. During this step, you can get creative. Add your favorite chocolate chip, sprinkles, nuts or candy. You can also keep it simple and just bake the red velvet cookie mixture by itself.
Once the cookie dough is mixed, use a spoon or your hands to roll the dough into small balls. Place on a cookie sheet.
Insider Tip: to prep your cookie sheet pan, line the pan with foil and spray Pam or spread your personal choice of oil (olive, coconut, vegetable or even butter). Once the cookies are done baking, clean up is simple, just toss the foil and you are done!
Get Your Craft On
To package the cookies I used the following craft items:
Step 1 - From patterned craft paper cut out hearts and squares.
Step 2 - Use a glue stick to apply your cut out pieces to the paper bags.
Step 3 - Fill with your favorite goodies.
Step 4 - Roll the top of the bag, fold and secure with wasabi tape.
Step 5 - Hand them out to your fav peeps and love ones.
Have a great Valentine's Day and make sure to spread some love!
Tin & Twine
Yesterday, I posted my chayote squash recipe I hope you all get a chance to try it with your favorite meat and starch in the coming weeks! I wanted to share what we cooked alongside this delectable vegetable. Ryan and I have been trying to stick to just having meat and vegetables for dinner, but plan ground turkey can get repetitive and dull. We gave our turkey the kick it needed with chipotle pepper sauce and smokey chipotle grilling salt, both of which can be picked up at William Sonoma.
When it comes to cooking, I'm not one to follow a recipe to the T. Instead, I make it my own, which typically results in me adding a bunch of crushed red pepper to make the dish SPICY! I encourage you to make this recipe your own. Turkey is perfect for soaking up any flavor you apply to it. Use what you have on hand, whether it's a BBQ rub or sauce I'm sure whatever you through in the skillet with the turkey will taste amazing!
Lately, we have been adding a fried egg to almost every dinner. So if your feeling egg-tra ambitious fry up an egg and add it to your plate. I topped the mesquite turkey, chayote squash and fried egg with some parsley and red pepper flakes.
No dinner is complete without an adult beverage. Faithful to my roots I chose a cold Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Grab your go-to drink, cheers your roomie, sweetie or feline friend and enjoy this easy and delectable dish!
Has anyone else come across this odd looking squash in the veggie aisle? I'd seen it a couple of times while picking up my usual suspects (broccoli, kale, green beans and asparagus). The chayote squash is an edible plant belonging to the gourd, melon, cucumber and squash families. To me it looks like a prickly pear and definitely has a sweet squash like taste.
I decided to pick a few up and give this vegetable a try. I wanted to keep it simple for my first attempt, so I opted to sauté the squash with a few other ingredients. To start, I rinsed off the the squash then sliced it in half. When you cut it open you will notice a small seed like pocket. I chose to cut around the center and discarded those pieces. Next, I chopped the slices into small block pieces and set it aside.
To add flavor to the squash I chopped half an onion, diced a handful of mushrooms, included a touch of minced garlic and sprinkled a pinch of salt and pepper.
When all my prep work was done I swiveled some olive oil around in a hot skillet and added the squash, onion, mushroom, garlic and salt and pepper to the pan.
I let this cook for about 20 minutes making sure to stir the ingredients every few minutes to avoid burning. After 20 minutes the squash should be soft to bite into. I recommend trying a few pieces before serving.
Shannon McAlister, traveler, crafter, maker, cook, planner and doer.