Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick or Treat Cookies with Molly

Happy Halloween!

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, mostly just because I love an excuse to dress up in a costume without people thinking I've totally lost my mind. Despite being busy today, I absolutely didn't want to let it pass me by without doing something for it, and when I stumbled upon the recipe for trick or treat cookies from Not, I knew I had my winner.

This definitely isn't a historical recipe, but it's still a lot of fun if you're looking for a creative way to serve sugar cookies, and can easily be adapted to fit any holiday or celebration's theme!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cracker Jacks with Kailey

So let's root, root, root for the Red Sox...

I have mentioned before that I'm from New England, so it probably shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who pays attention to sports at all to know that I probably at least distantly care about the World Series. To be honest, while I haven't been a religious follower of baseball since the Sox traded my favorite player back in 2004, I've been a member of the Church of Boston since infancy. My dad seriously considered naming me "Wade" if I was a boy after the Red Sox's then third baseman Wade Boggs, and apparently, the first baseball game I ever watched as an infant was a Red Sox versus Yankees game, and I started crying once the Yankees came out on the field.

There was a lot of debate over what I should make in honor of the Red Sox making it to the World Series for the third time in my lifetime, and although we talked about nachos and clam chowder and trying to recreate the sausage sandwiches my dad like getting when we're at Fenway, eventually, we decided to go with Cracker Jacks.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Marie-Grace and Cécile's Jambalaya

A wildly anticipated dinner from some surprising new additions!

I had thought that Rebecca would be the last doll I added to my collection for quite a while, unless by some miracle, I found a high paying job that let me have enough flexibility to grab an Addy, or I stumbled upon one at a thrift store, or inherited one from someone who didn't want to keep theirs anymore, for whatever reason. So when my mom informed me that she'd sort of had an impulse purchase "for the sake of the blog", I assumed she meant she'd bought a crazy new piece of kitchen equipment. Imagine my surprise when she revealed that she had managed to snag a Marie-Grace and Cécile at an incredibly good price thanks to a deal from the TODAY Show! They got here a few weeks ago, and we've all been eagerly awaiting a good time to feature them on the blog.

This isn't because we were struggling to come up with something to feature with them, but just because scheduling kind of prevented us from being able to do what we wanted. As soon as we knew they were coming, my dad and I wanted to make jambalaya, and this was the first weekend everyone was around to do it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Emily's Shepherd's Pie

Another good dish to feed a crowd!

Tonight's dinner developed in an interesting way. Originally, I thought I was just making dinner for my family and a friend, and then my brother took me up on my semi-serious offer to invite one of his friends over, so she and her mom came while my original guest unfortunately had to cancel. I'm always nervous when I make something new for people I've never fed before or haven't seen in a while - I figure my immediate family and the usual suspects of the extended crowd will be more forgiving if it turns out to be a disaster.

Fortunately, things went more or less smoothly, partially because I had a very helpful sous chef and a guest photographer for a couple of the shots. There was still a bit of a slip up, but nothing that made the dish irredeemably bad. In fact, I'm looking forward to having some of the left overs for lunch tomorrow, and passing the rest along to my grandparents!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Felicity and Molly

A timeless American classic!

I love homemade macaroni and cheese. It's hands down my favorite thing to eat, and was always something I requested my mom make when I was home from school on break. Recently, I discovered how to make it myself, and thus it was only a matter of time before it wound up on the blog. The first time I tried it, it was a rousing success, and since I was free and my mom didn't have anything in particular planned, I decided to make it for dinner last night. Unfortunately, this time around there were quite a few more speed bumps, but ultimately, much to my relief, things did turn out alright.

Now, your first question is probably why is this a dish presented by Molly and Felicity of all people? Shouldn't it just be Molly, or Kit, or maybe even Julie taking charge here? Read on to find out what's going on!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kirsten's Fall Spiced Apple Oatmeal

Be careful not to burn yourself!

You know those days where after everything slows down, you sort of just feel like you've been hit by a truck? I have had one of those days. Equal parts stressful and fun (okay... a lot more fun than stressful, but still busy!), I was ready to kick back and take it easy instead of coming up with something complicated for dinner.

So, while this is definitely a breakfast dish, it might have been my dinner tonight.

And by "might have", I mean it definitely was. No regrets.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kaya's Bison Burgers, with a Berry and Pine Nut Salad

A simple, tasty and healthy meal!

Kaya has been my most difficult doll to find recipes and recipe ideas for, mostly because most of the foods she eats are native to the Pacific Northwest, and I live on the other side of the country. The other issue is that while the Nez Perce diet in 1764 was very restricted by location, there's less possible authentic historic variation, and a limited number of ways you can interpret the dishes in a more modern way, if only because there are simply less ingredients to work with compared to say Rebecca or Felicity, as they both came from cultures that relied more heavily on trade and urban centers for ingredients, and Kaya's doesn't. This isn't to say that there was no trade going on between the Nez Perce and other cultural groups, but it's obviously easier to transport food quickly with things like railroads and more modern ships.

This has meant that finding ways to get her represented on the blog have required a little more creativity and brainpower than some of my other dolls, which is fine by me. It's kind of fun to work without a recipe, or to find ones that have a connection to Kaya without being immediately obvious. Each part of this dinner has some connection to the foods she would have eaten, while putting an East Coast, modern spin on it, because there's just no way I'd be able to get my hands on some of the authentic ingredients.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Felicity's Brunswick Stew, Spoon Bread and Apple Pie, straight from Colonial Williamsburg!

A great fall meal that will definitely feed a crowd!

One of the things that's really encouraged me to keep up with this blog and make sure I'm doing a couple posts a month is how enthusiastic my friends and family have been in wanting to try out another cool new recipe. Case in point, my aunt and uncle were stopping by for the day on their way back home, and when I asked if they were interested in trying something that would be featured on the blog, they responded with an enthusiastic yes! As it turned out, we were also joined by my grandparents, my mother's brother and his family, plus my cousin's friend, so I had a full house to feed and have been cooking almost all day. I definitely have a greater appreciation for how difficult it is to organize a big dinner after starting this blog!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Rebecca's Homemade Bagels

Or, the reason why we might never eat store bought bagels again.

I've been asked a couple times why I decided to feature bagels on my blog this week. Honestly, it's a good question. October is one of the best months for coming up with really creative and fun treats with a Halloween theme, and it's the first month I really consider it legitimate to eat pumpkin flavored everything. I've already found a lot of other recipes I want to try to cram in, and add in the fact that I still want to try to represent everyone equally, finding a chance to fit everything I want to do into 31 days is a little difficult.

But I went with bagels because - aside from being the main course in Rebecca's school lunch set - I was really just curious to see if they were easy to make at home. I like bagels, but I'm not always in the mood to get one while I'm out running errands, and I don't love the store bought frozen ones you pop in the toaster and reheat. I figured I might as well see how difficult they were to make from scratch, because if I could come up with something better, maybe I'd have a better way to enjoy eating them at home.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Emily's Lemon Tart

Happy (belated) birthday, Emily!

As I mentioned in my snickerdoodle post, September 29th was Emily Bennett's 80th birthday. Emily has been one of my favorite American Girl characters for quite some time, and even though I couldn't do anything for her earlier in the week, I didn't want her birthday to slip by unnoticed, especially considering (as anyone who's read Happy Birthday, Molly! knows) thanks to war shortages, she hasn't been able to really celebrate her birthday with a proper party since she was five years old. Molly offers to let her share her birthday, which they decide should be a proper English tea party, and promptly gets annoyed when she finds out that a proper English tea party isn't much like an American birthday party at all.

When the topic of what the main treat would be during a tea party, Emily suggests a lemon tart, which Molly turns down in favor of the chocolate cake she's been wanting all year. Since this is Emily's birthday, and I don't have war rations to work with, we're making a lemon tart in her honor.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Kit's Afternoon Luncheon: Recipes from Kit's Cooking Studio!

Two great sandwiches, cookies and a milkshake to finish it off!

When I was in elementary school, we discovered that a new house was being built right next door to ours - although I should point out that where I grew up, "right next too" really means "several yards through the woods". My mom told me that one of the people living there would be a girl who was a few years older than me, and as soon as I heard that, I really hoped we could be friends. I got very lucky, and we've been friends basically since the day we met.

When we were younger, we'd often get together and play with our American Girl dolls, and she's got a daughter who got her first doll two years ago. I thought they'd be fun people to invite over to try out some new blog recipes, and they came over yesterday for lunch! Dolly - the kiddo's American Girl Doll - came too and got to hang out with my cousin's Kit. We all had a really nice time, and had a chance to try out a bunch of new recipes that I can definitely recommend trying out for yourself.