Best Potato Soup

Chop onion, fry in 1-2 tbsp butter until starting to look clear. Add pepper and garlic powder to taste (1 tbsp garlic, 1 tsp pepper for me)
Add 3 quarts of water and 2.5# of washed, quartered potatoes.
Boil uncovered until potatoes are soft.
Purée with immersion blender.
Add 1Q milk, or to taste/appropriate consistency. Cook until warm and serve.

This was so good, and so easy, I couldn’t not share. Improvised soup ahoy!

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Not Football Cookies

We wanted to make football cookies for our micro party last night, but a cranky sick baby meant that they didn’t get frosted, and few got eaten (they’re ok but not great without the frosting).
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So today Jr Baker and I made some cream cheese cookie icing and decorated the footballs and helmets:

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I only used 3 cups of powdered sugar, and we left the almond extract out of the cookie dough, but otherwise did these exactly as written. Half the dough is still in the fridge, and about half the frosting, and will probably become Valentine cookies.

Lemon-lime Creme Truffles (with rainbow sprinkles)

A *very* long time ago, Ariel taught me to make Lime Cremes. We made them in ice cube trays, and they were ginormously huge, and neon green, and awesome. And, a few weeks ago, there was a Dr Seuss-themed baby shower for my baby sister, who is going to have a baby (!!!) and I couldn’t go. (Because I also have a baby, and he’s made it quite clear that he’s done with time zone changes and sleeping in places that are Not His Bed and Also Not Mommy’s Arms for a while.)

So the Jr Baker and I made chocolates for the party, in bright yellow and green.

We started with a disappointment. Ghiardelli, I am Very Disappointed in you.
These “chips” contain NO CHOCOLATE AT ALL:
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The grape Jello you see there didn’t go into the final product, because the color was too dull. We’ll come back to that ganache later, it did get used for something fun.

Anyway, the project at hand:
Cream in the pot, add the not-chocolate chips (good chocolate might have been wasted, anyway, it gets combined with Jello.) and the Jello powder. Amuse the preschooler with the magic as the white powder turns pretty colors. I added some lemon extract to the lemon, which might have been a mistake as that ganache was much sticker. It might also not have mattered, and I may have had a tiny bit more cream in the lemon. If I’d had more “white chips”, or some real white chocolate, I’d have added a teeny bit more to the ganache:
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The next day, we scooped out bits of the ganache and rolled it into two-color balls. I’d hoped to roll it out into sheets and make spirals, but the lemon was much too soft.
Lemon-Lime cremes
Lemon-Lime cremes

I walked over to Ariel’s house to buy some Guittard white chocolate from Dark Matter Chocolate Laboratory, because there was no way the “white chips” would temper properly. We dipped the rolled ganache balls into that, and Jr Baker insisted that they needed sprinkles:
Lemon-Lime cremes
Lemon lime cremes

The final product:
Lemon lime cremes

Since I had some extra tempered white chocolate, I used the ice cube tray I got for Christmas, and some ancient but still delicious home-made cinnamon extract to make some little candies:
Lemon lime cremes
Lemon lime cremes
If I hadn’t been so lazy pouring in the chocolate, and had scraped the mould, I think these would have been perfect little penguins with minimal trimming. As it was, they tasted *awesome*.

Drive By Holiday Crafts Post

I spent a lot more time making things than writing about them this December, but I’m quite proud of some of them, so here’s a quick rundown:

I knit a hat for a Ravelry swap:
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http://www.ravelry.com/projects/khas/old-fashioned-stocking-hats

I knit a hat for my sister, for our first family Secret Santa:
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/khas/hat-shaped-hat

We made mini gingerbread houses with real gingerbread (rather than gingerbread cookies) and then I made a big one, too:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/katsniffen/11282994094/
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I made Christmas fish ornaments for a Ravelry swap, but failed to take a picture.

I made cinnamon dough cookie ornaments, and then painted them with my Jr Assistant for stocking stuffers. She really liked signing her name on the back of them:
Cinnamon Ornaments
Cinnamon Ornaments
(I was really pleased with the baby-wearing one. That one stayed on our tree)