Cooking: Koolaid Play dough

I remember when I was little missing pre-school. I was so sad my mom made me purple play dough. It was the best stuff ever.

I decided to pass it on to LiLi. Only I found a different recipe then what my mom used. This particular recipe uses Koolaid. It’s wonderful, because it has a really nice smell, unlike most play doughs. It also gets softer the more you knead and play with it. And it doesn’t stain the counter, your clothes, or hands when you make it. Plus the colors are really cute…why doesn’t Play-doh make cuter colors? Obviously, you can use any flavor you want. I went to the store the other day and bought every Koolaid flavor they had (which consisted of eight). Today LiLi picked Pink Lemonade.

The recipe is simple:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 pkt. Koolaid
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup boiling water

Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Stir in oil. Add water and stir with fork until dough-like. When cool enough, knead until smooth. If still to sticky, feel free to add more flour.


Store in a ziplock (or airtight container) so it won’t dry out.

Cooking: White Chocolate Truffle Pecan Drop Cookies

These are my favorite cookies of all time. I don’t know what it is about them…possibly the fact that the toasted pecans meld so beautifully with the other ingredients. Or, that there are obscenely large chunks of white chocolate truffles that give them an almost reflective quality that every “chip” cookie should have, in my humble opinion. They are decadent. When Don found out that I was giving these away he gave me a look that was so confused…as if he couldn’t fathom why I would do that to him. Seriously, they’re so, so good. You know what? I’ll just let them speak for themselves. Make them!! Here’s some incentive:

Here’s the recipe, and do yourself a favor and toast the pecans. There’s nothing in this world like the smell of toasted pecans. It should be illegal. Besides, when you toast nuts, it releases their flavor. Flavor is always good.


  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (I used salted butter, they turned out fine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temp (if you forget, you can still use one out of the fridge, but your cookies won’t have as much volume. Try putting the egg in a warm cup of water for a while.)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (see Note)
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate truffle (preferably Lindt, in bar form)

Note: to toast pecans, place on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. When they start smelling like they’re done, they’re done. It’s easy to burn these babies.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl cream the butter with the sugars until smooth, about two minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in the pecans and white chocolate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes,or until lightly golden. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Then inhale. I won’t tell if you do, I’m pretty sure I ate at least half a dozen.

Cooking: Classic Gingerbread

This recipe will allow to you make a house and at least a dozen and a half cookies as well. It takes some elbow grease to get the flour kneaded in, but the finished product is soft enough to be extremely tempting, but firm enough to construct a house out of.


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1-1/3 cups molasses
4 eggs
8 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 egg whites


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the molasses and eggs. Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, baking soda, salt, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger; beat into the molasses mixture. Gradually stir in the remaining flour by hand to form a stiff dough. Divide dough into 2 pieces.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place pieces 1 inch apart onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar and cream of tartar. Blend in egg whites. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is thick and stiff. Keep covered with a moist cloth and plastic wrap until ready to decorate.