What I Love This Week: Autumn Leaves

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This week I’m loving the colors of all the leaves as Massachusetts descends into autumn. I just adore the spookiness of the above photo that I took at 9:30 am this past Sunday morning. This weekend I had the pleasure of driving all over our little town to help my son with a project on local history. Since I didn’t grow up where I currently live all the history is new and interesting to me.

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Every day is new colors and I have certain trees that I always check-out on my way to work in the morning. I especially love a rainy day when the leaves are plastered to the sidewalk like a colorful mosaic.

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This photo is the view from my sister-in-law’s house. Even on a cloudy day the colors are glorious.

 

Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Disclaimer: There is no actual pumpkin in these cookies! I’m inspired to dig up a recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that a friend claims is her grandmother’s secret recipe.

Checking on my blog statistics for the last 30 days showed me that this recipe is my most popular one lately. I figured that I might as well republish to share with more people since it’s been four years since I first posted it.

Okay, that’s blowing my mind! This blog started out as a way to get my family to start trying out foods and it’s changed into so much more. In all actuality I had a plan to put together a family cookbook. In fact all my photos for the blog reside in a folder on my computer called “Cookbook 2009″ because I wanted to document as many family recipes as I could. It turned out that blogging was a lot easier that putting together a cookbook. I did publish one called Linc Can Cook as a fundraiser for my kids’ elementary school around the same time as I started this blog. We broke even on the project which means I didn’t actually raise funds with the cookbook.

I’m happy that Try It You Might Like It as a blog serves as a kind of legacy for my kids. One day I’ll compile it all into a keepsake for them because I believe that family recipes connect us all through the ages.

Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Spice Cookies

(from MarthaStewart.com)

  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 lb (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup molasses

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl; sift, and set aside.

(If you have an electric mixer you’ll want to use it but you don’t necessarily need it. My arm was sore from stirring but the cookies are just as good.) Combine butter and sugar. Beat, starting on low speed and increasing to high, until mixture is fluffy; scrape the sides of the bowl down once with a rubber spatula. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla; beat until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

Add molasses, and mix until just combined. Scrape sides of the bowl, and add dry ingredients. Mix until ingredients are just combined.

Transfer dough to a clean work surface. Roll the dough into four 1 1/2-inch-diameter logs. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 1 to 2 hours. (I made the dough last weekend and froze the dough. You don’t even need to thaw the dough before baking.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap, and slice each log into 3/8-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies crack slightly on the surface, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

When completely cool, decorate with easy creamy icing.

See how this makes LOTS of cookies and there are 4 more stacks of cookies behind those ones. I chose a recipe for icing from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book instead of the royal icing recommended on the Martha Stewart website.

Easy Creamy Icing

(adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book)

  • 3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp water

Blend sugar, salt and vanilla. Add water (adding more if necessary) until the icing is easy to spread. Place 1 teaspoon of icing on center of each cookie. With small icing spatula, spread icing with circular motion. Let icing set completely (2-3 hours) before stacking cookies.

What I Love This Week: Powell & Mahoney Limited Mojito Mix

 

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This week I’m loving this vintage original cocktail mixer for mojitos by Powell & Mahoney Limited. Mojitos are one of my favorite mixed drinks and this bottle of sunshine allows me to enjoy a mojito in less than 5 minutes. No muddling and no slicing of limes. Some days just require a mixed drink with dinner and this mixer has helped with that on more than one occasion. In case you are starting to think that I might be a lush I will also mention that a splash of this mixer in a cup of hot or cold peppermint tea also tastes divine.

I love that this is produced in New England and that the bottle has a pretty vintage design. Read more…

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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My son is in third grade this year and his teacher has implemented a weekly letter writing program. It involves a notebook where he writes a letter to us every Friday and over the course of the weekend I respond to his letter in the same notebook. Then I take the notebook and seal it in a baggy which he puts into his backpack. He gets to read the reply on Monday morning at school. His teacher says that reading the letters is a highlight of the week for the class. I promise that this story has something to do with cookies. I’m getting there. Read more…

What I Love This Week: Organic Turmeric Ginger Green Tea

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This week I’m loving Organic Turmeric Ginger Green Tea from The Republic of Tea. I picked this up because I’ve read good things about turmeric and because this is organic tea. From my first sip I was hooked. It’s got a bit of sweetness with natural honey flavor added. I’m a ginger-addict so the only thing that I was unsure about was the taste of turmeric. The packaging describes turmeric as having an unmistakable, earthy aroma but I couldn’t really identify it. Read more…

Cabbage & Mango Slaw

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Last week we hosted our extended family for taco night. If you need a menu for a diverse crowd, taco night is a way to please everyone. We’ve got anti-gluten, anti-meat, anti-veggies, anti-soy, anti-onion, anti-cheese and anti-spicy people in our family. Since tacos means assembling various ingredients the “anti” people can pick and choose what they want. I just lined up bowls with all the options and let everyone make their own tacos. Preparation couldn’t have been easier since I chopped everything in advance and had it all covered in the refrigerator. The only cooking I did after everyone arrived was frying up the ground beef and cooking some rice. It certainly made for a relaxing visit especially since we were drinking tequila sunrises most of the afternoon. Read more…

Fried Green Tomatoes for One

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If you are like me, you frequently prepare yourself a single-serving of vegetables because you continue to struggle with getting your family to eat vegetables. It’s pretty often that I make myself a big salad instead of what I’ve made for the rest of the family. I adore fried green tomatoes but no one else in my family does so I need to make just enough for me to enjoy. This recipe makes me so happy. Read more…

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