Saturday, November 6, 2010

Two Pumpkins Cookies for the Price of One!

In my opinion, pumpkin is delicious. So in the last few weeks, I made two different kinds of pumpkin cookies. One was an old recipe from Real Simple and one was from JoytheBaker. Both were yummy, but this time my vote goes to Real Simple. Reasons being, I am not really a soft cookie kind of gal and secondly, I don't want my pumpkin flavor to be overpowered by sweetness. I found the cookie from Joy was a bit too sweet (maybe it was the addition of butterscotch chips) and just too soft. But do not be put off by these large cookies, the crowd went wild for these and did not take my side on either the sweetness or softness factors. So, you be the judge.

Enjoy the season and my your fall be filled with cider, pumpkin, and love.

Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches
From: Real Simple November 2007

They look like min-hamburgers, don't they?
I have wanted to try this recipe for a long time and finally did thanks to the extra pumpkin in the fridge and a impromptu party. People enjoyed them, making me wish I made a double-batch.

3 Tbsp unsalted butter; room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup cream cheese; room temperature
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Heat over to 350 degrees

Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in an electric mixer until smooth. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, and egg and beat until combined.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar/butter mixture and beat on medium-low speed until fully Incorporated.

Spoon heaping tablespoons of the mixture 2 inches apart (about 9 on a pan) onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake until puffed and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Clean the mixer, as the cookies bake, and beat the cream cheese, heavy cream, and confectioners' sugar until smooth and spreadable.

Spread the flat sides of the half cooled cookies with the cream and top with the remaining cookies.

*Jenny note: I use apple pie spice because that's all I had, no complaints here. Secondly, I used a cookie scooper to make the cookies and they came out a little more perfect and less organic then if I used just a regular spoon. Just so you know. Lastly, I dusted mine with powdered sugar for looks.*

Makes 12 cookie sandwiches.

Super Soft Pumpkin Cookies
From: Joy the Baker

Ok so people liked these, but I think they look like aliens, were SUPER soft, and SUPER sweet. If you're into any of those things (aliens included) you may love these. The recipe is linked above to JoytheBaker. She's awesome and you should read her blog and make her food. Yummy stuff ladies and gents.

Hope this finds you well!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Court!

Today is my dear friend Courtney's birthday! We are just one day a part and I love her so much! This girl has been such a gift of laughter, joy, and fun in my life! We have done so many fun things together; led WL camp together, gone on spring break together, traveled together, and just had really good times. She is one I will always carry in my heart.
Happy Birthday, my dear friend!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Suz!

Happiest Birthday to my dear friend, Susan! What better way to come back from a 3 week blog lull than to celebrate Suz? She is a wonderful woman of God, compassionate friend, and strong presence. She is bright, warm, and caring. All in all, Susan is simply great. 
Happy Birthday my far away friend!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Music on a Monday

This week is the Pygmalion Festival in the great C-U. I was thinking out some of my favorite people I have seen at this festival and Andrew Bird came to mind. Now, if your name is Courtney and you went to this Pygmalion show with me and Mr. S, then you would remember it as an emotional day to say the least, but I have seen him other times and I was in a much better emotional state.

Andrew Bird is an Illinois-native and is a true musician. He has an incredible, fluid voice and is probably the best whistler in the musical world. He has a fascinating style and is a one-man band, playing violin, guitar, banjo, harmonica, and bevy of other strange instruments he brings with him. This Windy City man is interesting, haunting, and takes you from the loud world we often are a part of and brings you into a quiet state of swelling sound.

Check him out.

Oh and P.S., he looks and talks like my friend, Stephe. I have always wondered if they are one of those long-lost brother stories you see on 60 Minutes. Hmmm...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Music on a Monday

This is Ray. I love him. Not like I love my husband, but I love him. He has music that can speak to my soul. I listen to him when I am happy or sad, on my birthday or worst day, rainy or sunny, and so many days and times in between. Ray is a man who sings from his soul and has a voice that is unlike many others. I discovered him on a soundtrack (A Lot Like Love) and instantly want to hear more from him. I remember listening to the soundtrack with my dear friend, Liz and then going out and buying his full album, Trouble. This was his debut and he has put out 2 other albums and recently an album with his bluegrass band, The Pariah Dogs. I have them all and had Mike and I not both fallen in love with Red Right Ankle by The Decemberists, I would have gone with a Ray song for our wedding dance.

Ray LaMontagne is such a wonderful and talented musician. Check out his albums Trouble, Till the Sun Goes Black, Gossip in the Grain, and most recently God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise. The first three are just him and beautifully painful and the album with The Pariah Dogs is more upbeat and bluegrass.

Check out him out for sure and tell him I sent you :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Three things I think are cool.

1. I think my banana-blueberry muffins are cool.

I found these muffins on tastespotting from a blog called Sweet Tooth. She said that these muffins "might actually make an appropriate and semi-healthy breakfast". The thoughts that went through my brain were, "I like to bake, I like to eat, but I'm on a diet. These may fit meet all the following criteria and still satisfy my belly." So off to the store I  and my students went (As a sidenote, I teach high school students with moderate to severe disabilities and we go into the community. Why not purchase some of your own items while these guys do the same? It only seems fair).

These have bananas and blueberries, whole-wheat flour, wheat germ (or flax seed), and all these other good for you things. The muffins are dense enough to last you through the morning, but still cakey so you'll actually want to eat it. The banana flavor was a bit pronounced, but I didn't mind that. I think they brought a nice amount of moistness to the muffin, that otherwise would have been missed. I also liked that they had a little bit of all purpose flour in them because sometimes too much whole wheat flour leaves your food feeling crumbly and dry. Overall these are winners and my whole family liked them :)

Her recipe says it makes 12, but I squeezed out 18, but from looking at her photos I think I skimped on filling the muffin tins. Oh well! It made for even distribution amongst the sibs, as they are the only ones who can regularly eat carbs.

Hit up Sweet Tooth for the recipe and note that I didn't have my wheat germ with me, so I used ground flax seed (I was at the 'rents house). They still had a heartiness and nice fiber content. So make these and start your day off right with a "semi-healthy" breakfast.

2. I think these cards are cool.
I went to Michael's yesterday because Mr. S wanted to play Madden at Best Buy. I asked to be dropped off, so I could meander through a craft store. Luckily, I had enough time to make it all the way to the $1 bins. I found these funny cards and bought several packs, but much to my surprise they are half-off! So, I bought 7 packs of 8 cards for $3.50. That was a bargain and these are hilarious. 
3. I think my cat is cool.
Those of you cat-haters out there need not apply because my cat is cool. She is funny looking, fluffy, and so adorable. She loves spring and fall because we can leave the door open and there is no worries of air conditioning or heat. This is her, enjoy.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cooking on a Saturday

This is one of my favorite times of year. As teachers, we are hopeful and ready to begin "the best year yet", the weather is beautiful (windows open, yes please!), and I have a renewed sense of purpose and excitement. I just love the late summer/early fall and I think it loves me back.

In celebration of my good feelings, I made a few things this morning/afternoon to enjoy throughout the week. Make one if you are in need of good vibes, or already have them, these are yummy treats for both states of mind and body.

Really Easy Hummus
Adapted from The Best Recipe and The Moosewood Cookbook

2 cans of chickpeas (low sodium, usually organic)
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 cup tahini (usually cheapest at ethnic grocers)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 of a bunch of cilantro
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
lemon juice, to taste

Put all of this into a blender or food processor, mix it up until you like the consistency and taste. If it is too thick or not blending well, add a little water, start with 1/4 cup and go from there.

Note to you: This makes a lot of hummus, so if it's just you or you don't want a ton cut this in half.

Second note to you: Try out different herbs and add-ins to spice this up. I usually make this with scallions and parsley, but this time did cilantro and extra lemon. What about some jalapenos? red peppers? sun-dried tomatoes? Try the base ingredients and then go from there.

Angel Food Cake
Found in Everyday Food Magazine

1 cup cake flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 tsp salt
12 large egg whites (room temperature)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Sift flour and salt into a bowl and set aside.
3. With a mixer, preferably a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on med-high for 1 minute until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
4. Continue to beat while adding sugar gradually and beat until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
5. Sift the flour and salt over the egg white mixture. While turning the bowl, fold the flour into the egg whites by slicing your rubber spatula through the center and coming up the side. Continue until all the flour is fully combined.
6. Spoon the batter into an angel food cake pan, ungreased, and smooth the top. Run a knife through the batter to pop any bubbles.
7. Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Cool while inverted, after 1 hour run a knife around the pan to release the cake and unmold.
9. Eat and enjoy with some fruit and whipped cream (make your own, take my word for it).

Another note to you: This is not a particularly easy recipe, but when you make your first 'perfect' angel food cake, you will be so proud of all your hard work and skill. Be proud of your mad baking skills, girlfriend.
My cake with spiced whipped cream.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, Liz!

My dear friend, Liz, is celebrating her birthday today! She and I have taken so many silly pictures together over the years and that is one of the things I love most about her. She brings light and laughter to my life and the lives of so many others as well. She is a wonderful friend and some one I will always carry in my heart no matter how close or far away we are. Loveyou LizFay.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday, Egg Day

I made an egg casserole today. It was good and I don't even like eggs.

I got up early today in order to be getting ready for the school year and promptly went to the Farmer's Market. The zucchinis looked good so I got a couple. I then used some tomatoes we received from a student's family and I made a zucchini-tomato and basil egg casserole found at Simply Recipes. She's a great cook and I truly enjoy her story and food. This casserole was not too egg-y tasting, could have been the 4 egg whites and 2 whole eggs I used, and had a delicious amount of veggies. I grated two zucchinis with a potato peeler, cubed 5 tomatoes, and used 15 leaves of basil. Instead of the grated parm, I used the green canister version (you know the kind) and it was still lovely. This tasty treat was consumed by Mike, Brendan, and myself and it meets the abs diet powerfoods guidelines. That was another very happy aspect!

As a sidenote- Mike, Brendan, Bob, and Tom are all playing with our friends Elsinore at their CD release show TONIGHT at the Canopy Club. Come out and support a great local band, my husband, and our friends. Oh and if you can't be there buy their album, it's great and Mike and I are on it.

Second sidenote- Two posts in two days?! I know, I really like blogging and should/will do more. It is good for the soul to do things you like.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Snack for you & Friend for me.

Snack for you
Friend for me

I truly enjoy eating. As you can see from the roundness of my face, it is a true joy. That being said, Mr. S and I are trying (I'm trying my best, he is doing) to follow the abs diet by the editor of Men's Health, David Zinczenko. So, I am now truly banished from making and eating (just that combination) many a foods that have led to such a roundness in said face. But I love to cook and bake, what is a girl to do???

I make food for other people, take one small taste, and give it away. The small bite thing is a bummer, but making other people happy is a major plus, so it's kinda a win-win (according to my head, my stomach is another question).

I made this snack, Ultimate Snack Mix, for the secretaries at my new school. I wasn't necessarily trying to bribe them, but more butter them up, in both senses of the phrase. I found this recipe in the back of a Christmas Cookie magazine from 2007. I bought the magazine during my first year of teaching in Chicago when we were having a cookie exchange. I didn't know what to make, so I bought this in Jewel hoping to find inspiration. I went with an Ohio classic, the buckeye, but not without burning chocolate in my microwave first. Ever burnt chocolate in your microwave or anywhere for that matter? No? Well don't try it, it smells soooo bad and lingers for days. Anywho, I went through the magazine, pulled out the recipes that I liked and filed them away in the green book of magazine recipes. This one I tried subsequently after and have loved it ever since.

This tasty treat has lots of yummy carbs, golden raisins, worcestershire sauce, and garam masala! So good! Here's the recipe.

Ultimate Snack Mix: Fitness Magazine, Christmas Cookie 2007 (really?! Fitness magazine?!)

1.5 cups Rice Chex
1.5 cups Wheat Chex
1 cup pretzels, any shape
1 cup coarsely broken sesame rice crackers (instead I used Wasa crackers)
1 cup coarsely broken whole-wheat crackers
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, lightly salted
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 1/4 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup golden raisins

1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Combine the first 6 ingredients in one bowl. Combine all the remaining ingredients except raisins in another bowl.
3. Pour the wet mixture over the cereal mixture.
4. Coat a roasting pan with spray and lay the now coated mixture on the pan in a single layer.
5. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring twice.
6. Cool on a wire rack and stir in raisins.

So now you got a snack and I get a friend. This is my friend, Emily, and her boyfriend, Scott. Emily was a TA in my classroom this year and we have become fast friends. Emily is so very smart and kind and I have loved spending this year with her. She is leaving our great town to go to grad school in St. Louis, so one day she can be an audiologist and better yet, Dr. Love. She is a lifer in my book and while it makes me sad that she is leaving, I know we have developed the kind of friendship that will last over distance, lost time, and phone calls. Best of luck and I will miss you my dear friend.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Why I love food.

I love food. You must know it by now and if not, well there it is.
Food is truly the way to my heart.

Food is many things to many people, but to me, food is home.

Food can actually bring you home. 

And it can make you feel like you're home.

Food brings people together that are making a home for themselves,

And it can also comfort those who are lost and without a home.

Food is for celebrating birthdays and holidays,

And for welcoming newest additions to the world!

Food brings the sense that you are in a safe place and space, to be who you want to be.

Food is home.
Home is where the heart is.

"When I speak of home I speak of the place where - in default of a better- those I love are gathered together; and if that place were a gypsy's tent, or a barn, I should call it by the same good nae notwithstanding." -Dickens

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


So I have a lot to tell you about (food, travel, life), but 6:50 am on a school morning isn't the time.

But, I found this and it made me think of my friend, Liz. She is so crafty and cool! She could totally make this mobile and will probably do so at sometime. Love her.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. I am really excited for spring break! We're going to Portland, OR and I cannot wait to see a new place, smell different air, and see a fabulous new city!

2. I have been on a granola kick lately. I made crunchy granola bars two weeks ago for my staff and last week I made chewy granola bars for the LOST watchers. Chewy is the way to go and I am almost always a crunchy texture fan. Try them out, you won't be disappointed!

3. I went to Chicago for a day this past weekend for a class at UIC and dinner with some friends. I love that city and NEED to get there more, it will be good for my soul.

4. My family is coming this weekend for a BIG harp recital. I am really looking forward to seeing them because I have been thinking about them a ton lately. I went through some of our wedding photos tonight and it makes me so joyful seeing my parents so happy together and with friends that day. Weddings are cool because they aren't just about the bride and groom but can be such a great day for so many others.

5. I'm running a 5k in Cincy in a couple of weeks and I am way out of shape. Dad, think KHS soccer open fields. It's not good!

6. I was invited to a book club by my friend and school speech pathologist, Melissa. I feel like that was a prayer being answered.

7. Speaking of prayers, while "running" today I was listening to Regina Spektor's album "Far". Listen to the lyrics of the song "Laughing With". It made me want to pray more, be less wish-washy in my faith, and look to God in good and bad. Music touches my soul.

8. Speaking of music, my brother's fabulous girlfriend, Stephanie, has a harp recital on Sunday at 5:30 in Smith Hall. If you're in Champaign and read this blog (small pool, I know), come. She is amazing and is just a cool girl! I would love for her to be my other sister :)

9. My current and only sister is cool. You should meet her.

10. My students are frickin' hillarious!

Bryan: Coming in from extra recess "Go to Mrs. S's room?"
Mrs. S: "Yes, but walk safely please."
Bryan: "Ok. Where my packpack?"
Mrs. S: "In your classroom"
Bryan: turns to Ms. Love, TA and wonderful person, "Ms. Love, get my packpack (flicks hand)"
Ms. Love: "Ummm ok" and sulks off
Mrs. S: looks at Bryan in SHOCK
Bryan: "Mrs. S, where my packpack? Ms. Love get it?"
Mrs. S: "So it seems, Bryan, so it seems."

Definitely not the most funny example of my day to day interactions, but that made me laugh today. While adults make me crabby and feel bad about myself, these kids will always make me smile. I truly am grateful for getting to work with kids everyday. They are the salt of this earth and the light of my life.

Good week dear friends.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Catch-Up

Here are three items I have made within the last month.

1. Chocolate Mint Patty Cupcakes
I made these for our neighbors, Joel and Sarah, as well as Mike's co-workers. It was a recipe from the Food Network magazine and the flavors were modeled after a York Peppermint Patty. The cupcakes were moist and tasty. The making of the peppermint patty was so interesting. If my high school chemistry class was like this, I would have done WAY better! You put some ingredients into your mixer and all of a sudden they become tasty and edible playdough. So cool! Then I drizzled the chocolate glaze on top instead of making a chocolate disk (by instead, I mean I couldn't figure out how to make that work). P.S. Mikes co-worker, Besset, thought I put a York on top of the cupcake, that was an awesome compliment because I made them :)
2. Lime Meltaways
Martha and Me Cookie #16
For: Susan and Matt McAndrew

My dear friend Susan has been an acquaintance through YL, Bible Study friend, roommate, bridesmaid, and best friend. She is such a wonderful woman of God, loyal, smart, and kind. She is a kindred spirit in so many ways. Oh and I love her husband because he is a wonderful man and great friend. He is good to Suz and she is good to him. I just love them.

Susan is from Florida, so citrus flavors remind me of her. These cookies just said "Suz" to me. They were light, sweet, and tasty. I think I overmixed them, thus making them a little more cumbly than expected. That made them tough to roll into a log and consequently cut into pretty rounds. Luckily, you douse these in powdered sugar making any imperfections better. I was so glad to send these to the McA's in North Carolina as a special surprise and a congrats to Matt for rocking the DAT.
Can't wait until we can celebrate our very own
Dr. Matthew McAndrew DDS!

3. Cream Puffs with Lemon Cream
I saw these on, a website Court turned me on to. They looked good and wanted a reason to make them. Luckily, we had an impromptu birthday dinner/party for our friend Brendan on Friday and I made these bad-boys. They were sooo good! They were light, not too sweet, and had a slight hint of lemon. Brendan said the lemon made them and I would agree.

Happy Birthday to our friend Brendan,
such a funny dude and great friend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


February 18- My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

"Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step."

Saturday, February 13, 2010


This is my favorite picture of my best friend, Katie, and I. We were leaving for college weeks after this and had just cried in Fazoli's talking about being away from each other. I remember so clearly wanting to soak up our time together. She is a woman of integrity, faith, love, and joy. We met in 7th grade (thanks to GS) and became better friends as time went on. Today, I am proud to say we have survived high school, college (apart), marriage, and beginning careers. In short, she means the world to me.

The Lord has blessed my life with so many amazing friends; women and men that inspire me daily to be better, love more, and laugh lots. I am reminded that God is good when I look at the love my friends show me. Friends, I love you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. Mike and I bought a new car! We bought a 2010 Mazda5. It has 6 seats, hatch, sliding doors, and is much nicer/more reliable. We are really excited and feel blessed to have made some financial decisions that have allowed us to make this feasible.

2. Don Juan turned 21 last week! I am proud to call this wonderful man my brother.

3. This is an awesome blog/website. What a fun and positive idea!

4. Our friends, Elsinore, have put out a new EP. You can hear Mike on trumpet and moi on track 5 with Ryan's wife. Jody. What a fun experience, great friends, and wonderful musicians!

5. I made two more Martha cookies in the last two weeks.
Cookie #14 Cappuccino-Chocolate Bites
For: Katharine Fettig and Jamie Icenogle (student-teacher last semester and this semester)

The LBS-1 program is very stressful and I thought both Ms. F and Ms. I could use a little pick-me-up. These yummy little guys had espresso in them and were sandwiched around a delicious milk chocolate ganache. I think I might try the milk chocolate ganache as a frosting. Yum! While the star cutter was a bad choice, these are winners.

Cookie #15 Dried Cranberry Shortbread Hearts
For: Julie for Valentine's Day

I made these for a care package for Jules (Hope she doesn't read this before it gets there). They are sweet, crumbly, and just plain delicious. I used my heart cutter for that little touch and because Martha did too. I will definitely be making them again!

6. Mike played in the Great Cover-Up here in Champaign. He played with both the Mike Ingram Band and Kayla Brown. See the videos of him playing with Kayla here.

7. My students make me laugh, cry, smile, and feel special. That cry of "Mrs. S!" with a hug is unmatched by anything else.

8. Mike has been excited since December to do our taxes; he would make Susan proud!

9. BroomBowl 2010 happened last weekend and we had a great time! Stephanie joined Don, Mike, and I on our trip to meet mom and dad in Bridgeman, MI. We played some broomball on the more frozen pond. Some how Steph and I got mildly injured and Don and Mike came home only sore. Hmmm...

10. My cats are the cutest! They have smushy faces and fluffy fur.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mini-cheesecake love

For Christmas, Mike got me a mini-cheesecake pan. It looks like a mini-muffin pan, but has removable bottoms. I used my new cookbook (Thanks Tom&Sandy!), I Heart Cheesecake, to make my mom a special little treat. She LOVES lemons! So, I made her mini creamy lemon cheesecakes with a graham cracker crust and lemon spiked whipped cream. They were dreamy, just like my husband.

Creamy Lemon Cheesecake (found in I Heart Cheesecake)
adapted for the mini pan

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar

Place crumbs in a mixing bowl and add butter and sugar, mix well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lemon Filling:
24 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon extract
1/2 cup sour cream
4 ounces frozen concentrated lemonade, thawed
1 teaspoon lemon peel, finely grated

In your electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Add eggs and yolk one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and lemon extracts, mix well. Stir in sour cream, lemonade, and lemon peel.

1. Place 1 tablespoon of the crust into each cup and pack down with the spoon.
2. Pour the filling into the prepared crusts.
3. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.
4. Let cool completely.
5. Remove from the pan easily by using a wooden spoon and lifting gently.
6. Keep in an air tight container and top with sweetened whipped cream prior to serving.

Note: You might want to cut this by a third so you don't have a million mini-cheesecakes. If you're into that kind of thing.

Buffalo=cold & sweet

A photo diary of our trip to Buffalo for Christmas. Gracious hosts, lots of laughs, good eats, and many cat-urdays. We'll be back soon.

Gone so long.

I'm sorry I have neglected you for this last month. Here are so photos of my recent cooking adventures.

Much love and more attention.

Clockwise from top left: decorated gingerbread cookies; white chocolate-pumpkin cheesecake;thumbprints cooking; crispy potatoes; cauliflower-goat cheese gratin; chocolate thumbprint (Martha #11); decorated gingerbread house; chocolate fudge pie; double chocolate brownies (Martha #12); pecan tassies (Martha #13)