Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ginger Snap Cookies

I have talked about my Brass Sisters before. I love these ladies like they were my own aunts. They have the most excellent recipes, including the one that I made last night.

Jeff has been out of town on a business trip for a month. Well, he came home on the weekends, but it's been a long, lonely month. He was coming home around 11pm last night, and I thought it'd be nice to have homemade treats for him. Since I am making my pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust on Thanksgiving, I thought that I should get a jump on the crust by making gingersnap cookies. They came out great, the house smelled great and Jeff was thrilled! Hope you enjoy them!

2 cups flour
2 t ginger
1 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3/4 c butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
1/4 c molasses
1/4 c ginger jam or orange marmalade (I didn't have this, so I used my homemade and canned apple butter)*
sugar for rolling cookies

Combine flour, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Cream butter and sugar in your Kitchenaid mixer. Add egg. Beat in molasses and jam. Add dry ingredients until well blended.

Chill the dough for about an hour or until firm enough to be handled. With gloved or floured hands, make little balls** out of the dough. Roll each ball in sugar and put on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes.

*I tried to half the recipe but accidentally added the full 1/4 c of molasses and apple butter, thus necessitating retromixing. It turned out fine, even though stuff was mixed out of order. What can I say? I had taken a nap and my contact lenses were foggy.

** I said "balls"

Friday, November 20, 2009

8 things every Michigan Lady Food Blogger should do...

Okay, so you have started a food blog and you have joined the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers....what to do now?

  1. Become familiar with how google groups work.   As much as I'd like to be able to help everyone learn how to use google groups, I'm afraid I won't have time to be able to help you right away.  If you have a question you can't figure out on your own, you can send it to me at momskitchen at comcast dot net. I'll try to get to it as soon as I can.
  2. Check out the old posts of MLFB on our google group page.  Fun stuff!  That's the best way to get to know everyone and to catch up on our latest discussion. 
  3. Introduce yourself to the group.  Tell us your first name, your blog's URL, and where you live to start.   After that, please tell us anything more you'd like to share.
  4. Attend a gathering!  One of the best things about MLFB is our get togethers.  The food is always fantastic and it's great to meet the author of a food blog that you've admired.
  5. Host a gathering!  Themed potlucks, educational opportunities, group cooking ventures are always popular.   There's certain to be someone that wants to do what you would like to do.
  6. Author something for our group blog, which is If you'd like to be added to our group blog, email kimbayer at gmail dot com.
  7. Add yourself to our MLFB map.   Click edit and place a marker on your location.  Title it with your blog's URL.
  8. Invite a Michigan woman food blogging friend to join us
More questions?  Check out the Michigan Lady Food Blogger FAQs.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Michigan Lady Food Blogger FAQ

Who are the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers?
We are a group of over 50 women that live in Michigan that blog about food.

How did the MLFB get started?
Our history can be found here.

What does the MLFB do?
We have an active google group where we talk about food, writing about food, share advice about cooking (and life) and we occasionally get together for various cooking, potlucks, holiday cookie exchanges, etc.  We read each others blogs, we comment on each others blogs, we inspire each other.

Why is the group only for women? There's lots of great food blogs written by men.
Yes, there are! Men we know often do attend our events. Early on, the group decided they wanted it to be a group made of women food bloggers.

I live in California/Arizona/Florida/Etc. Can I join the MLFB?
Since our group likes to meet face to face throughout the year, we like to keep it local. We do have a few members that have moved away and continued to be a part of our circle, but the group works well because we actually meet in person fairly often.

What is required to join the MLFB?
It's easy to join! To join, women need to live in Michigan and have a food blog. We don't care if your blog is totally about food, but it should include posts about food on occasion.

I don't have a food blog yet, but I am going to start one soon. Can I still join?
It's easy to start a blog.  We want to help you get started by motivating you to take that first step. Today is the day....start that blog!  There are many blogging tools out there, this one is written on Google's Blogger.  It's super's how to get started on Blogger.   Start that blog!  Then join us.

How do I join the MLFB?
Add your email address to the box on the right.  Upon joining, you will be asked where you live in Michigan and what your blog's URL.   Google groups work best when you have a google's free and you can use your own email address.  You don't need to have a gmail account.  Here's how you can learn more about google groups.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Slow Food Huron Valley's Local Harvest Cook-Off

Cook up a soup/stew, main dish, or dessert with local ingredients and you could be a ribbon winner at Slow Food Huron Valley's Local Harvest Cook-Off on Sunday, November 8th from 3 - 5 p.m. at the Chelsea Fairgrounds Community Building.

This family event is a wonderful opportunity to share your cooking prowess and support for all things local, as well as enjoy what will assuredly be a delicious potluck.

Old Pine Farm and Tantre Farm have helped to organize this potluck, contest and recipe swap, and in addition to the food and judging, there will be music, prizes and great, family fun. Alber Orchards is also a sponsor for this event. Chef Alex Young of Zingerman's Roadhouse, Corbett Day, Lenawee County Culinary Arts Dept head/chef, and Natalie Marble, owner of Ann Arbor Cooks cooking school (and fellow contributor) will be the Cook-Off judges, and prizes will include jams and local produce, among other goodies.

You could go home a blue ribbon winner by putting together a dish with as many local ingredients as possible in the following categories:

- Soup/stew
- Meat main dish
- Vegetarian main dish
- Vegetable side dish/salad
- Dessert/bread

Please bring: your dish to pass, your place settings, and 30 copies of your recipe to swap. Slow Food Huron Valley is also making this an opportunity to benefit Food Gatherers - so please consider bringing also nutritious non-perishable food or a check for Food Gatherers (which will be eligible for a Michigan Tax Credit).

Deadline for entry in the cook-off judging: 3:15pm.
Chelsea Fairgrounds location: 20501 Old US 12 (at Old Manchester Rd.)

All photos by Jennifer Shikes Haines.

I'm Jennifer Shikes Haines and my blog is a2eatwrite. Please contact me at: Jenshaines at gmail dot com.