Three years old!

By Coleen

Reminiscing as my son turns 3 years old.


Three years old. About 40 inches tall! And just over 37 pounds. At birth, he was 19 inches long, and just under 6 pounds.

  • Three favorite snacks: cheese, dried cranberries, yogurt
  • Three favorite meals: mac and cheese; chicken nuggets; quesadillas
  • Three favorite books: Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat; Curious George and the Puppies; Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? 
  • Three favorite TV shows: Thomas the Tank Engine; Sesame Street; Berenstain Bears
  • Three favorite toys: Thomas the Tank Engine Take and Play sets; Melissa and Doug jigsaw puzzles; Matchbox cars
  •  Three accomplishments: Just about potty trained!; Can count to 10 in Spanish; Can complete a 20-piece jigsaw puzzle by himself

We celebrated his birthday with a Sesame Street-themed friends-and-family party.


The Elmo cake is Annie’s Eats Spiced Pumpkin Layer cake, frosted and filled with Sweetapolita’s Swiss meringue buttercream. The Cookie Monster cake is Confections of a Foodie Bride’s Vanilla Bean cake, frosted and filled with Cooks’ Illustrated Easy Vanilla Buttercream, as seen on The Way the Cookie Crumbles.

I made the character faces by printing out line drawings on cardstock and cutting them out. Then I rolled out fondant (red for Elmo’s face; blue for Cookie’s face; white for the eyes, black for the pupils and mouths, and orange for Elmo’s nose), and traced around the cardstock with a paring knife. Super easy, and Liam loved it.


We also had a little “Cookie Monster Buffet” with five different kinds of cookies:

I also made Oscar’s Trashcan Dirt Pudding cups (chocolate pudding topped with chocolate graham cracker crumbs) that were a huge hit with kids and adults alike!

He received lots of fun gifts, and was still talking about his birthday party days later! Thanks to all our family and friends who celebrated with us!

Riesling-Brined Turkey #OXOTurkeyDay

By Coleen

Wow your Thanksgiving guests with this juicy, flavorful turkey. OXO will choose one winner to receive several tools to make hosting Thanksgiving easier!

Riesling-Brined Turkey #OXOTurkeyDay by @TheRedheadBaker

It’s getting to be my favorite time of year. It kicks off on Thanksgiving Day. For the past two years, I’ve hosted Thanksgiving dinner (last year, for Dave’s family; this year, for my family).

I love the aromas, the Thanksgiving Day Parade, spending time with family, the FEAST, the leftovers … and the anticipation of Christmas!

Riesling-Brined Turkey #OXOTurkeyDay by @TheRedheadBaker

I first brined a turkey several years ago, and absolutely loved the results. A “brine” is a salty solution, and you refrigerate the turkey in the salty liquid for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours. Salt actually breaks down the muscle fibers of the meat, so if you brine too long, the meat can actually become mushy. Not tasty.

Salt also draws liquid out of the meat. Now, you may be confused, because I just said that brining keeps the turkey juicy. Well, the liquid flows back into the turkey while brining, taking with it whatever flavorings (in this case, Riesling, cider, allspice, orange peel and sage) are in the brine.

Riesling-Brined Turkey #OXOTurkeyDay by @TheRedheadBaker

I also got to team up with OXO and test out some of their kitchen tools that make hosting Thanksgiving easier: a covered butter dish, a baster, a 2-cup fat separator cup, and my favorites: a twine dispenser, and a turkey lifter. The covered twine dispenser keeps the twine clean (no more worrying about handling raw meat, then handling twine) and has a nifty (removable!) cutter.

Riesling-Brined Turkey #OXOTurkeyDay by @TheRedheadBaker

Have you ever had trouble getting your holiday turkey out of the roasting pan? Worried about it slipping out of your rubber oven-safe gloves as you lift it? This simple tool makes getting your turkey from roasting pan to serving platter so easy. Simply hook the turkey, position the prongs on either side of the breast bone, and lift up to 24 pounds!

And OXO is giving away one set of all five tools to one lucky winner! Simply scroll to the end of this post to enter to win!

Riesling-Brined Turkey #OXOTurkeyDay
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
  • 2 quarts water, divided
  • ¾ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp whole allspice
  • 2 (8-inch) strips of orange peel
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 8 to 10 fresh sage leaves, torn in half
  • 1 quart apple cider, plus another cup for basting
  • 1 750 mL bottle dry Riesling
  • 10 pound turkey
  • 2 to 4 tbsp soft unsalted butter
  1. Pour two cups of the water into a large stockpot. Add the kosher salt, allspice, orange peel and bay leaves. Heat just until bubbles begin to form at the edge of the pot, and cook at a simmer for 5 minutes, until the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
  2. Add the torn sage leaves, remaining water, apple cider and Riesling to the pot and stir well.
  3. Place a brining inside a Dutch oven or other large, deep pot. Fold the top down around the sides of the pot. Remove and reserve the giblets and neck from the turkey, and place inside the brining bag. Carefully pour the brine over the turkey, and seal the brining bag, removing as much air as possible. Place the pot containing the bagged turkey on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Leave for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours.
  4. Remove the turkey from the brine; discard the brine. Pat the turkey dry, inside and out, with paper towels.
  5. Line a roasting pan with paper towels, and place the turkey in the pan. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the paper towels from the roasting pan. Slide your fingers between the skin and the flesh of the turkey to separate. Rub the butter over the flesh, under the skin of the turkey.
  7. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes, and baste with a quarter-cup of the cider. Roast another 30 minutes, and baste with another quarter cup of the cider. Repeat two more times. If the turkey skin starts to get too dark, tent the turkey loosely with tin foil. Continue roasting until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg (but not near the bone) reads 155 degrees. Remove the turkey from the oven, and let rest on the counter for 30 minutes (carryover cooking will bring the turkey up to the FDA-approved temperature of 165 degrees).
  8. Carve the turkey and serve.

Recipe inspired by Martha Stewart

Lightened Up Eggnog #SundaySupper

By Coleen

Holiday season, with large dinners, rich desserts and drinks, is upon us. Save calories without sacrificing flavor with this lightened-up eggnog!

Lightened-Up Eggnog #SundaySupper by @TheRedheadBaker

It’s here: holiday season. Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinner, cookie swaps, Christmas parties … Eating healthy? See you after New Year’s!

But wait! Today’s #SundaySupper is all about lightening up holiday food. One of my favorite holiday indulgences is egg nog. It’s basically a custard (meaning lots of whole milk, cream, sugar and eggs), flavored with nutmeg and alcohol, usually brandy or rum. One 8-ounce cup can set you back 225 to almost 350 calories!

Lightened-Up Eggnog #SundaySupper by @TheRedheadBaker

The lightened-up eggnog still has dairy, and it still has eggs. But I used fat-free half-and-half and fat-free sweetened condensed milk. The condensed milk, along with a small spoonful of flour, helps thicken up the mixture, so we can use fewer (calorie-heavy) egg yolks. Since the condensed milk is sweetened, we don’t need additional sugar. In the end, it’s about half the calories of full-fat eggnog.

This mixture isn’t quite as thick as the full-fat version. But the flavor is definitely there. We also save some extra calories by pouring a 6-ounce cup instead of an 8-ounce cup.

If you want to make this recipe kid-friendly (without the alcohol), you can replace the brandy with 3/4 of a teaspoon of brandy or rum extract.

Lightened-Up Eggnog #SundaySupper by @TheRedheadBaker

5.0 from 2 reviews
Lightened Up Eggnog #SundaySupper
Serves: 4 (6-ounce) beverages
  • 1¾ cups fat-free half-and-half
  • ¼ cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • ½ tbsp (1½ tsp) all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ tsp freshly-grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Yolk of one large egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp brandy or rum
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  1. Place the half-and-half, condensed milk, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk constantly until the mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Once the dairy mixture boils, gradually pour about a third of the mixture over the egg yolk, whisking constantly. Once fully whisked, pour the egg/dairy mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat. Whisk until the mixture boils again, and cook for a minute. If the mixture bubbles up to the top of the saucepan, briefly pull it off the burner so it doesn't bubble over. You may need to do this a few times.
  3. After it cooks for a minute, pour the eggnog into a pitcher or tall container. Stir in the brandy or rum and the vanilla. Let cool at room temperature for about half an hour, then place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  4. Pour 6 ounces into a mug or glass, garnish with a little freshly grated nutmeg and serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 ounces Calories: 146 Fat: 3 g Carbohydrates: 23 g Sugar: 18 g Protein: 6 g

Nutrition data calculated with MyFitnessPal recipe calculator.

Don’t forget to check the other #SundaySupper lightened-up holiday recipes! 


Appetizer or starter

Main Dishes

Side Dishes


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Pumpkin Graham Cracker Mummies

By Coleen

Scare up some Halloween fun with these homemade graham crackers, subtly flavored with pumpkin and spice, dressed up with royal icing and black candy chips!

Pumpkin Graham Cracker Mummies #Halloween by @TheRedheadBaker

Happy Halloween, readers!

For the past several months, I’ve been posting about recipes that I made for Liam’s daycare class Snack Share. Now that Liam has “graduated” to the transitional preschool room, they continue to invite parents to send in snacks to share with the class each week.

In addition, we’re invited to send in snacks for special occasions like Halloween. They prefer that the snacks be on the healthier side, which I understand, but being a baker, can be challenging sometimes. When I searched for kid-friendly Halloween snacks, a lot of what came up was decorated cookies and cupcakes.

Pumpkin Graham Cracker Mummies #Halloween by @TheRedheadBaker

But you know what? There’s no reason you can’t decorate other foods! True, graham crackers aren’t as healthy as kale chips, but really? I can just imagine the face on my son if you put kale chips in front of him.

But they’ve got whole wheat flour, and these crackers have pumpkin (lots of fiber and healthy vitamins). The amount of sugar (in the crackers, anyway) and fat is minimal.

As far as the decorating goes, it’s very easy, even a beginner can do it. Just go back and forth and a bit diagonally. When piping, remember to apply even pressure, and when you’re ready to stop, release pressure, then pull the tip back from the cracker. I use Wilton’s Candy Chip Sprinkles as the eyes (the bottle is “rainbow,” I just used the black ones), but Wilton also makes mini candy eyeballs (don’t wait until the night before Halloween to buy them, they will be sold out — ask me how I know!), or you could use mini M&M’s, or pipe with melted Wilton Candy Melts.

Pumpkin Graham Cracker Mummies #Halloween by @TheRedheadBaker

Pumpkin Graham Cracker Mummies
Serves: 36 (3-inch) crackers
For the crackers
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp allspice
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cups all-purpose flour
For the icing mummy wrappings and eyes
  • 8 ounces confectioners sugar
  • 1½ tbsp meringue powder
  • 2½ warm water
  • Wilton Candy Chip Sprinkles (or Wilton Candy Eyes, or other small, round brown or black candies, or a handful black candy melts, melted)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, pumpkin, egg, and sugar until smooth and creamy.
  2. Beat in the honey and the molasses.
  3. Dissolve the baking soda in the water and add to the butter mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, spices and salt. Add to the butter mixture in the stand mixer bowl, and stir on low speed until fully combined. The dough should form a ball and not feel sticky. If it does, add more whole wheat flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough is manageable.
  5. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, cover tightly and chill at least one hour, up to 24 hours.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Break into 2 pieces.
  7. Liberally dust a clean work surface with flour, and roll one of the pieces of dough out to ⅛th of an inch thickness. Use a floured gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut as many crackers as you can. Carefully transfer to the prepared cookie sheet, and combine the scraps into a disc and set aside.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes. While the crackers are baking, roll out the second piece of cracker dough, cutting shapes and placing them on the second sheet. Continue baking and cutting until the dough is gone. When crackers are done baking, transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
  9. Store the baked crackers in a sealed zip-top bag until ready to decorate, if not doing it as soon as they are cool.
  10. Make the icing: place the confectioners sugar, meringue powder and water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment on medium speed for about 7 minutes.
  11. Scrape the icing into a piping bag fitted with a #45 tip, and pipe the icing back and forth across each cracker to look like mummy wrappings. Ice three or four crackers, then place two black candy chip sprinkles in the head area to look like eyes (don't ice all the crackers at once, then go back and try to apply the eyes, because the icing will have set and the eyes won't stick).
  12. If you prefer, you can melt a handful of black Wilton Candy Melts. Scrape the melted candy into a small piping bag fitted with a #1 tip, and pipe two dots on the head for eyes. Let the crackers sit at room temperature about another hour to fully set, then seal in a zip-top bag to store.

Graham cracker recipe slightly adapted from Cupcake Project

Pumpkin Graham Cracker Mummies #Halloween by @TheRedheadBaker

White Chocolate Funfetti Popcorn Balls

By Coleen

Can’t decide between sweet and salty? These white chocolate funfetti popcorn balls will satisfy both cravings!

White Chocolate Funfetti Popcorn Balls by @TheRedheadBaker

Sometimes I crave sweet; sometimes I crave salty. It took me a long time to try combining sweet AND salty (Ina’s Salted Caramel Brownies, anyone??), but once I finally did, I don’t know why I held out so long!

Popcorn by itself can be a low-calorie, filling snack if you don’t smother it in melted butter, but what fun is that? Sometimes, when you can’t decide between sweet or salty, you just need popcorn smothered in chocolate.

White Chocolate Funfetti Popcorn Balls by @TheRedheadBaker

Years ago, I worked for an upscale catering company. We did most of the prep cooking and baking in our on-site kitchens, but did the finishing at the party, which was usually held in someone’s (large) house. Like when the founder of a certain diet-food home-delivery service decided throw a party for 300 of his closest friends, just because it was October.

One of the dessert-type snacks on our menu was white chocolate popcorn balls. These are so deliciously addictive, and fun for adults and kids alike. You can customize them for any kind of theme by using colored candy melts instead, or use white chocolate, but use red and green sprinkles for Christmas, pastel for Easter, whatever works!

On a scale of clean to messy, these fall somewhere between Rice Krispie Treats (a little messy) and homemade marshmallows (whoa, messy!). It looks like way too much chocolate-to-popcorn ratio, but trust, you need a lot of chocolate to hold the balls together. Too little, and they will fall apart. Use a large cookie or ice cream scoop to make the balls a consistent size, and serve in decorative cupcake liners! If you wanted to, you could also insert a wooden lollipop stick into each ball, then set the chocolate in the refrigerator.

White Chocolate Funfetti Popcorn Balls by @TheRedheadBaker

White Chocolate Funfetti Popcorn Balls
Chocolate chips (also known as morsels) contain
Serves: 12 popcorn balls
  • 1 regular size bag popcorn (salted is fine, but look for one with no butter flavor)
  • 12 ounces good quality white chocolate, melted but still warm
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of sprinkles
  1. Line a 12-well cupcake tin with plastic wrap. Set aside.
  2. Pop the popcorn according to the instructions on the bag, erring on the side of underpopping to avoid scorching.
  3. Pour the popped popcorn into a large bowl. Pour the melted white chocolate over top, and quickly, using a spatula or your hands, toss to coat *all* of the popcorn with the chocolate.
  4. Quickly scoop balls of the popcorn mixture, and press each ball into one of the plastic-lined cupcake wells. Scatter a pinch of sprinkles over top, and gently press into the popcorn ball.
  5. Once all of the balls are formed, place the cupcake tin in the fridge to help the white chocolate set. Then remove each ball from the plastic to a cupcake liner and serve!

Inspired by Peachtree & Ward catering

Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars

By Coleen

Pumpkin and warm spices are tossed with rolled oats, flax seed, cranberries and white chocolate in these seasonally-flavored granola bars!

Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars by @TheRedheadBaker

Oh, pumpkin. Is there any form you can take that I won’t like (except Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Creme Brulee Latte — that is WAY too sweet for me)? In addition, pumpkin season also means fall, which means scarf-weather. Hoodie weather. Riding boots weather. Halloween. Thanksgiving.

When Roxana from Roxana’s Home Baking announced Pumpkin Day, it didn’t even take a split second for me to sign up. Choosing a recipe, however, took a little bit longer. I was thinking about all the pumpkin things that I like to eat (donuts — made them already; pie — made that already; etc.), and it dawned on me that I’ve never seen commercially-made pumpkin spice granola bars when the onslaught of pumpkin-flavored things arrive at grocery stores.

Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars by @TheRedheadBaker

These bars are so super simple to make. They’re also super customizable. Don’t like (or can’t find) wheat germ? Leave it out. Use chocolate chips instead of white chocolate. Omit the dried fruit; add in nuts instead, if you prefer.

Simply toss the dry ingredients in one bowl, whisk the wet ingredients in another bowl. Fold the two together, press into a pan, and bake!

I tried cutting my granola bars with a pizza cutter, and they were a bit too thick for that to work well. Instead, use a sharp chef’s knife or bread knife.

Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars by @TheRedheadBaker

White Chocolate Funfetti Popcorn Balls
Serves: 12 (4-inch by 2-inch) bars
  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp wheat germ
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1½ cups white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  1. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over two sides of the pan. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the rolled oats, cinnamon, ginger, ginger, cloves, allspice, salt, flax seeds, wheat germ, cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the canola oil, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, honey and maple syrup. Pour over the dry ingredients, and fold together until all of the ingredients are well-coated.
  4. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Pull the pan out of the oven and press down again with a flat spatula. Place back in the oven for another 30 minutes.
  6. Once fully baked, place the pan on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes. Then pull the granola out of the pan by the parchment "handles" and cool on the wire rack completely. Then use a sharp knife to cut into bars.

Slightly adapted from Oh Sweet Basil

Don’t forget to check out these other delicious pumpkin recipes!

Minted: a Review

By Coleen


As most of you probably know, this food blog is a hobby for me. My career is in graphic design, more specifically, print design. I love printed things. As much as I love my Kindle, I will never give up paper copies of books. I still send printed party invitations. And my favorite? Christmas cards. Yeah, I know, it’s only October. Some years, I don’t have a particular photo in mind that I want to use, and I browse designs in search of inspiration for a photo to take.

The Redhead Baker 2013 Christmas Card

Our 2013 Christmas card, photos by April Zeigler Photography

I was recently contacted by to do a review of their site. I was familiar with Minted’s Christmas card designs, but I had never clicked around the rest of their site. One thing I’d never realized until Minted contacted me is that the site is a compilation of designs by various artists.

In addition to holiday cards, they also offer invitations (wedding, shower, birthday parties, etc.), stationery, printed planners and address books, business cards, party decorations, and home decor. Look at this adorable choo-choo train birthday party invitation! It’s too bad Liam wanted Sesame Street for his party theme this year.

Some themes even have whole party packages: if you order three or more items from the same theme, you save 15% on each item. Options include cupcake toppers, circle garland, table signs, party crowns and more!

I love their business card options, too. Each is customizable with your company logo, and even your company colors. I’m seriously considering ordering these for my blog, for networking purposes:

minted business card

Almost all invitations are available in rectangles, rounded-corner rectangles, or scalloped edges. Some are even available as tag shapes! This option is great for Christmas cards. Thread some string through the hole in the top, and they can easily become part of your Christmas decor!

As with most online sites, if you create an account, you can save your favorite designs to quickly find them later. Some of my other favorite features of Minted:

  1. Just about all of their designs are customizable: whether it’s the wording, the color, the shape, or even the card orientation, you can make any design uniquely yours.
  2. I love that if I find a design that I really like, if I click on the designer’s name, I can see more designs by that artist, and even read a short bio about the artist.
  3. Want to take advantage of a sale or coupon code, but you don’t have a photo ready yet? No problem. You can complete your order and upload your photo later.
  4. If you have a photo you want to use, you can upload it, and “test it out” in any of Minted’s designs before you buy.
  5. Another feature if you already know what photo you want to use: go the filter bar, and click “see more filters,” then you can choose to only view designs that match the orientation of your photo!
  6. You can make special requests — need a blemish removed? Colors adjusted? Note that in the “special requests” box, and a designer will get in touch with you to complete your request. Some special requests may incur additional costs.
  7. Minted’s blog! Design contests, in-depth conversations with their independent artists, even recipes! I added them to my Feedly reader.
  8. Minted partners with Plant-It 2020, a non-profit organization founded by the late folk singer John Denver that plants indigenous tree seedlings in non-logging sites. Minted will contribute to planting 100,000 trees from 10/1/14 through 9/30/15, and number that represents roughly 7 times the amount of tree material used to print their products.

Some of my favorite 2014 designs:


To get updates or coupon codes, subscribe to their email list, or follow Minted on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook!

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post with a credit for use on All opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way. 

Shrimp Fried Rice #SundaySupper

By Coleen

Eating tasty food at home doesn’t have to be expensive! This homemade shrimp fried rice costs just $2.30 per serving!

Shrimp Fried Rice #SundaySupper

Today’s #SundaySupper is all about eating on a budget. Even though the economy is (slowly) rebounding, many people (myself included) need watch their finances carefully. But eating inexpensively doesn’t have to mean instant ramen.

This homemade version of shrimp fried rice costs just $2.30 per serving, and tastes even better than take-out. It’s primarily a rice dish, and the shrimp is stretched by chopping it, so it appears that the dish contains more than it really does. You could bulk this up even more by adding more veggies, like peas or

Shrimp Fried Rice #SundaySupper

The least expensive kind of shrimp is the kind that is sold with the peel on, and the vein still inside. These take quite a bit effort to prepare for cooking, since you’ll need to slit open each shrimp and remove the vein. The most expensive shrimps are the peeled, deveined, cooked shrimp.

I went with the middle-of-the-road shrimp: deveined, but raw. It’s quick work to pull the peels and tails off, and they cook so quickly, that this meal would be perfect for a busy weeknight. They were on sale at my local grocery store for $12.99 per pound, but since they are sold loose behind the seafood counter, I could get as many or as few as I wanted.

The remaining ingredients are found in nearly every pantry or refrigerator. And if they aren’t, they’re quite inexpensive to buy.

Shrimp Fried Rice #SundaySupper

4.7 from 3 reviews
Shrimp Fried Rice #SundaySupper
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • ½ lb (about 8) extra-large (also known as 16-20) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 scallions, sliced, white and light green parts only, divided
  1. Cook the rice according to package directions, omitting fat and salt. Once cooked, set aside.
  2. In a deep skillet or wok, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink and opaque. Remove from the skillet with tongs to a cutting board, and roughly chop.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, and saute for a minute, stirring frequently. Add the carrot to the pan and saute another 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the rice and stir to break up any clumps and incorporate with the vegetables. Add the egg and cook another minute or so, stirring constantly. Add the soy sauce and about ⅔ of the scallions and stir to incorporate.
  4. Scoop one quarter of the mixture per person onto a plate, and garnish with the remaining scallions.

Recipe by Food Network

Don’t forget to check out the other budget-friendly #SundaySupper recipes!
Scrumptious Mains (Breakfast and Dinner)

Scrumptious Mains (Breakfast and Dinner)

Corn and Cherry Pepper Quesadillas

By Coleen

These corn and mild cherry pepper quesadillas are a take on elotes — a Mexican street food of corn on the cob, rubbed with chili, a squeeze of lime, and coated in cheese. 

Corn and Cherry Pepper Quesadillas by @TheRedheadBaker #vegetarian #WeeknightMeal #CLBlogger

Earlier this month, I threw a Mexican fiesta in honor of Dave’s birthday. We had a taco bar (seasoned ground beef; chipotle honey lime pulled pork; and sweet potato, black bean and corn), two kinds of empanadas, queso dip, guacamole, tortilla chips, Mexican tomato salad, and Mexican corn salad. Oh, and margarita cupcakes, Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes, and churro cupcakes. Oh, the churro cupcakes …

Anyway, the corn salad (Cooking Light’s play on Mexcian Street Corn) was really delicious, and was gobbled up really quickly. It was so simple to make, too, though we did omit the mayo, because I’m just NOT a mayo person.

Corn and Cherry Pepper Quesadillas by @TheRedheadBaker #vegetarian #WeeknightMeal #CLBlogger

I wanted to make something like that again, but not in the same way. One way that I’m able to get Liam to eat dinner with us (and eat what we eat) is to make quesadillas. The corn salad was super easy to adapt to a quesadilla.

I wanted to add some extra flavor and Mexican flair, so I added a couple of diced cherry pepper. Cherry peppers are also called pimiento peppers, and are one of the mildest varieties of peppers. Give these quesadillas a quick spritz of lime juice before serving!

Corn and Cherry Pepper Quesadillas by @TheRedheadBaker #vegetarian #WeeknightMeal #CLBlogger

Corn and Cherry Pepper Quesadillas
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 cherry peppers, seeds and membranes removed, diced
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp snipped chives
  • 4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded monterey jack or colby cheese
  • ½ cup Cotija or ricotta salata cheese, crumbled
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  1. Heat 1 tsp of the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn and diced peppers, season with the chili powder and salt, and saute for three to five minutes, until the corn is warmed and the peppers are just beginning to soften. Transfer the corn and peppers into a bowl and add the chives. Toss to combine.
  2. Wipe out the skillet and return to the burner over medium heat. Use a pastry brush to spread the oil evenly over the skillet. Add a tortilla, and spread ½ cup of the corn-pepper filling over one side of the tortilla. Sprinkle ½ cup of the shredded cheese and 2 tbsp of the crumbled cheese over top. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling, and press down. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bottom of the tortilla is crispy and beginning to brown. Carefully flip the quesadilla over, and cook until the second side is crispy and lightly browned.
  3. Transfer to a cutting board and use a pizza cutter to cut into 3 or 4 wedges. Squeeze the juice of one lime quarter over the wedges.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the remaining tortillas and filling. Serve the quesadillas with your favorite Mexican accompaniments.

Inspired by Cooking Light

Pumpkin Cut-Out Cookies with Cinnamon Frosting

By Coleen

To help raise money for Cookies for Kids Cancer, I’ve partnered with OXO and made these pumpkin cut-out cookies, iced in cinnamon cream cheese frosting!

Pumpkin Cut-Out Cookies with Cinnamon Frosting #OXOGoodCookies

This year marks the fourth year that OXO has partnered with Cookies for Kids Cancer, a 501(c)3 non-profit that raises funds for research into new treatments for pediatric cancer. Cookies for Kids Cancer was started by two OXO employees after their son was diagnosed with pediatric cancer.

I’m thrilled to partner with OXO for this #OXOGoodCookies campaign. I’ve been a fan of OXO tools for years — longer than I’ve been blogging. If you see the following symbol on any OXO cooking tools, you’ll know that for each one purchased, OXO will donate 25 cents to Cookies for Kids Cancer, up to $100,000! Need some new kitchen gear? Here’s a list of where to find specially-marked kitchen gear to benefit Cookies for Kids Cancer.

Cookies for Kids Cancer sticker on select OXO products

So, on to the cookies. Delicious pumpkin cookies. Covered in cinnamon cream cheese frosting. These took some trial and error. Pumpkin puree makes things soft and moist, which is exactly what you DON’T want in a cut-out cookie recipe.

The resulting cookie has a subtle pumpkin flavor, since adding more pumpkin to up the flavor ante resulted in cookie dough that was impossible to work with. Still, it’s a very pleasant, warmly-spiced pumpkin flavor. I had a really hard time not eating the cookies before I photographed them. They’re not soft, but they’re not crisp — they’re somewhere in the middle.

Pumpkin Cut-Out Cookies with Cinnamon Frosting #OXOGoodCookies

I refrigerated my dough for two days, just out of convenience. Rolling the cold dough is hard, so you could let it warm up for about five minutes, but if you let it warm up TOO much, your dough will be too soft and sticky, and your cookies won’t hold their shape.

The yield for this recipe will vary depending on the size of the cookie cutter you use. The cookies pictured are about 3 1/4 inches in diamater. A smaller cookie cutter will yield more cookies. If you do use a smaller cookie cutter, don’t forget to reduce the baking time!

Pumpkin Cut-Out Cookies with Cinnamon Frosting #OXOGoodCookies

Pumpkin Cut-Out Cookies with Cinnamon Frosting
Serves: 18 large cookies
For the cookies:
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing:
  • 2 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg until evenly mixed and aerated. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl.
  4. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla, and beat until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the bowl.
  5. Gradually add the flour-spice mixture to the dough, mixing on low just until combined.
  6. Place two pieces of plastic wrap on a clean surface. Divide the dough between the two pieces. Shape each into a ball, then flatten into a disc, and wrap in the plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 48 hours.
  7. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness (thinner if using a small cookie cutter). Cut shapes with a cookie cutter and carefully transfer the cookies to the baking sheet using a small offset spatula.
  8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes for large (~3 inch) cookies, less for smaller cookies, just until cookies begin to brown along the bottom edge.
  9. While cookies are baking, gather scraps into a ball and flatten into a disc and allow to rest in the refrigerator. Pull out the second dough disc and repeat rolling and cutting, resting in the fridge while baking and rolling the first disc of dough, until you can't get any more cookies from the remaining dough.
  10. Allow cookies to cool for a minute or two on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. While cookies are cooling, in a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter. Add the cinnamon, vanilla and powdered sugar, and beat on low speed at first until all the sugar is absorbed, then on medium-high until fluffy. Add heavy cream and beat until absorbed. If icing is too thick, add more heavy cream, a teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.
  12. Store in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator, stacking between sheets of parchment or wax paper.

Cookie recipe adapted from Glorious Treats

Pumpkin Cut-Out Cookies with Cinnamon Frosting #OXOGoodCookies

You can find OXO & Cookies for Kids’ Cancer on social media 

Twitter: @OXO / @Cookies4Kids

Instagram: @OXO / @Cookies4Kids

Facebook: /

Pinterest: /

*In 2014, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through specially marked baking tools, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by OXO to benefit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. I was not compensated monetarily, but did receive free baking tools.