Christmas Cookies!

My mom and I had our very first Christmas cookie bake-a-thon!  After nine different varieties, 550 cookies and 8 hours I would say it was a sweet success!  Hope you can find a recipe to enjoy this holiday season.  Time to spread some sweetness and love!


No Bake Peanut Butter Truffles, Peanut Butter Stars, Molasses, Peppermint, Coconut Date Balls, Pistachio-Cherry, and Almond Crescents. 


Charlee just kicked up a leg and monitored the mess

I caught Trey sneaking a cookie in the garage
The cookie recipes are below:
I start with my classics (always a hit): Aunt Pam’s Molasses Cookies and The Best Ever Peanut Butter Kisses
No Bake Peanut Butter Truffles
Serves 80 (1 truffle each).
| Source: Hy-Vee Seasons Holiday 2012.
All you need:
1/2 c. Hy-Vee butter
2 c. Hy-Vee creamy peanut butter
3 c. finely crushed Hy-Vee toasted rice cereal (about 10 cups uncrushed)*
2 c. Hy-Vee powdered sugar
1 (24 ounce) package almond bark
All you do:
In a large microwave-proof bowl, melt butter on high power for about 60 seconds in microwave. Stir in peanut butter until smooth. Mix in crushed cereal and powdered sugar. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes or until well-chilled.
Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper. Roll cereal mixture into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Chill in refrigerator for 1-1/2 hours or in freezer for 30 minutes.
In a medium microwave-proof bowl, melt half the almond bark according to microwave directions on package. Keeping one baking sheet chilled, use a fork to dip balls from one baking sheet in melted almond bark to coat, shaking off any excess. Place coated balls on cooling rack set over waxed paper. Repeat with remaining almond bark and cereal balls. Let cool until coating is hardened. Carefully remove truffles with spatula. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
*For best results, pulse cereal in batches in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

Dipped Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Serves 56 (1 cookie each)
| Source: Hy-Vee Seasons Holiday 2012.
All you need:
1/2 c. Hy-Vee butter, softened
1 c. Hy-Vee granulated sugar
1 Hy-Vee large egg
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 1/4 c. Hy-Vee all-purpose flour
1/2 c. Hy-Vee baking cocoa
1/4 tsp Hy-Vee baking soda
1/4 tsp Hy-Vee baking powder
1/4 tsp Hy-Vee salt
2 (11 ounce each) packages white chocolate chips
1/2 c. crushed peppermint candies (about 16)
All you do:
In a large bowl beat butter with electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar; beat until well mixed. Beat in egg and peppermint extract.
In a small bowl stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Divide dough in half. On plastic wrap, shape each half into a 7-inch long log. Roll up in plastic wrap and tuck under ends. Freeze at least 45 minutes or refrigerate at least 1-1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap and cut logs into 1/4-inch slices. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown on bottom. Cool.
Melt white chocolate according to package directions, being very careful not to overheat as this will cause chocolate to be very thick. Dip cookies into melted chocolate, scraping off excess on side of bowl. Place on waxed paper. Immediately sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies. Cool until firm. Store in a covered container at room temperature or in refrigerator.

Pistachio-Cherry Jumbles
Serves 36 (1 cookie each)| Source: Hy-Vee Seasons Holiday 2012.
All you need:
1 1/2 c. Hy-Vee flour
1 (3.4 oz) box Hy-Vee pistachio pudding mix
1/2 c. Hy-Vee sugar
1 tsp Hy-Vee baking powder
1/4 tsp Hy-Vee salt
1/2 c. Hy-Vee unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 tbsp Hy-Vee vegetable oil
2 Hy-Vee large eggs
1/2 c. Hy-Vee skim milk
3/4 c. Hy-Vee roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
2/3 c. Hy-Vee dried cherries or cranberries, chopped
All you do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, stir flour, pudding mix, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in butter, oil, eggs and milk until smooth. Stir in pistachios and cherries.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden.

Merry Christmas!
Until next time…
Look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

All I want for Christmas

Is snow!  Although I traditionally do not care for the fluffy wet stuff I do not mind it anytime prior to mid February.  There is CC skiing to be done and snowmen to be built. 

So here is the new Christmas cookie recipe I added to the lin up this year…drum roll please…
Peanut Butter Chocolate Kissed Pretzels
I found the recipe on Pinterest from a site called Sweet Peas Kitchen
Ingredients:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
Pretzels
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions:
Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat peanut butter and butter until combined. Scrape down bowl, add sugars and beat until combined. You should be able to roll the mixture into balls without sticking to your hands. If needed, add more powdered sugar until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll. Roll the mixture into small balls, about 1 teaspoon of mixture for each ball, and place on prepared baking sheet. Sandwich the balls between two pretzels and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat. Dip each pretzel bite halfway into the melted chocolate and place on the prepared baking sheet. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate is set.

Jesus Christ is born!  Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
See you next year!

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Well…not really, no snow and it was in the 50’s last week with thunderstorms.  Well if the weather wont cooperate the kitchen will!  There’s not too much healthiness going on with this post…just a lot of joy…Christmas joy!  I do appreciate making and tasting good Holiday treats so here are a couple I like to share. You may have seen on last year’s Tis the Season post!

Aunt Pam’s Gingersnap Cookies
Ingredients:

2 C flour – I used about 1/2 white whole wheat flour
1/2 T ground ginger
1 T fresh grated ginger is the secret ingredient
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c molasses
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
sugar for bowl
Instructions:
Measure flour, ginger, soda, cinnamon, and salt into sifter. Cream butter until soft and gradually add sugar. Beat in egg and molasses. Sift dry ingredients over creamed mixture, blend well. Form mixture unto balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart (they spread quite a bit). Bake at 350F 12-15 minutes or until they are slightly browned, rounded, and cracked on top. Cool thoroughly before storing.

Benefits of ginger:
Ginger aids in relieving nausea. Ginger has an anti-inflammatory effect and aids in muscle recovery……your excuse for having a cookie post workout 😉

Peanut Butter Chocolate Kisses
Ingredients:

1 3/4 c. flour – I used about 1/2 white whole wheat flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter + I tend to use slightly more (maybe 1/4c) to make doughy cookies
1 egg
2 tbsp. skim milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Instructions:
Combine ingredients. Roll into balls, roll balls in sugar. Bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Top with chocolate kiss immediately upon removal from oven. Place in hot oven for 2 more minutes (don’t forget about them!!!) This helps glue the kiss to the cookie.

This year I added a new cookie to the line up…you’ll have to check back to get the recipe!

What’s your favorite holiday cookie?

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Holiday Celebrations and Cuisine


For Christmas Eve I prepared this salad and dressing. It brought cheer to everyone’s taste buds.
Spinach and Red Pear Salad
with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Salad:
Organic baby spinach
1/4 sliced red onion
sprinkle 0f blueberries (optional)
1 red pear, sliced into pieces
toasted walnuts
blue cheese
Dressing:
1/2 C pomegranate juice
3 T sugar, could try honey
3 T balsamic vinegar
1 T canola oil
1 tsp grated orange rind
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or jar and whisk/shake together until blended.
calories for 3 T serving of dressing: 96grams

Quinoa, Couscous and Cranberries (recipe another day)


Mom made these feta, tomato, and cucumber kabobs for NYE. So light and delish!
Just soak the tomatoes and cucumber in a little olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette and viola…a super easy appetizer!
Dad splurged and surprised Mom with an edible arrangement….I loved the chocolate covered granny smith apples!
Christmas at the Schwertfeger’s
the kids sharing the Christmas story before presents, so we can all remember what it is truly about

Anna sporting her Hawkeye jersey, complete with shoulder pads
Christmas at the Boisen’s
Emmerson, Peyton, and their cousin Isla (far left)

Peyton passing out the presents

Emmerson scored on the ISU gear!

and Ironman/triathlon swag!

Peyton shows off her gifts….
and other people’s gifts

Some attire from myself and Baby S.
Two things that I hold dear to my heart….veggies and the Cyclones!
NYE at the Schwertfeger’s
with the Boisens and the Browns
fun games, good food, great company
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

‘Tis the Season part 2

It’s Christmas week!

To celebrate, J and I have treated ourselves to little indulgences such as dinner at Cafe Dodici in Washington, IA.
and cross country skiing out at Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City

don’t worry, I was uber cautious not to fall

and of course, another batch of Christmas cheer
Uncle Bob’s Cookies
recipe from my Grandma’s kitchen in 1955
Ingredients & Instructions:
1 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 C butter
Beat well.
Add in
2 eggs
1 t Watkins vanilla
2 1/2 C flour – I with 1/2 white whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
Mix well.
Add in
2 C oatmeal
2 C coconut
chocolate chips, M&M’s, butterscotch chips -whatever gets your jingle on.
Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes.
So so good!
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

‘Tis the Season…

For cookies!
So this isn’t exactly a “healthy” recipe post, but it is a yummy one!
Sunday I got into the baking mode and set out to share some holiday spirit by whipping up J and I’s favorite Christmas cookies.
A key to keeping your health in check….sharing with others!

Aunt Pam’s Gingersnap Cookies
Ingredients:
2 C flour – I used about 1/2 white whole wheat flour
1 T ground ginger
fresh grated ginger is the secret ingredient, I added about 1 tsp – may add more next time for a stronger flavor
2 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c molasses
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
sugar for bowl
Instructions:
Measure flour, ginger, soda, cinnamon, and salt into sifter. Cream butter until soft and gradually add sugar. Beat in egg and molasses. Sift dry ingredients over creamed mixture, blend well. Form mixture unto balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on uncreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake at 350F 12-15 minutes or until they are slightly browned, rounded, and cracked on top. Cool thoroughly before storing.

Benefits of ginger:
Ginger aids in relieving nausea…these would have been great about 5 months ago when I was going through first trimester queasiness.
Ginger also has an anti-inflammatory effect and aids in muscle recovery……your excuse for having a cookie post workout.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
1 3/4 c. flour – I used about 1/2 white whole wheat flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter – I tend to use slightly more (maybe 1/4c) to make moister cookies
1 egg
2 tbsp. skim milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Instructions:
Combine ingredients. Roll into balls, roll balls in sugar. Bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Top with chocolate kiss immediately upon removal from oven. Place in hot oven for 2 more minutes (don’t forget about them!!!) This helps glue the kiss to the cookie.

What’s your favorite holiday cookie?

Until next time….
spread some JOY
and look good, feel good, do good…
https://davissportsnutrition.com/