Fruit Cookies

My sister Tracy brought these cookies to Christmas, and they were delicious! She didn’t use nuts or raisins but followed the rest of the recipe. Enjoy!

2 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. (2 sticks) butter
1 c. each of following dried fruit:  Raisins, cranberries, blueberries, and cherries
2 c. oats
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped walnuts

Combine flour, baking soda and salt.  In large bowl, melt butter, add sugar, beaten eggs, and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients, fruit and walnuts.  Roll and flatten cookie dough (not all the way!) onto parchment paper.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until done. Yum!!!

Kristin Cookies

My great friend Kristin is one of my all-time favorite cooks, and last night, she went with me to see another one of my all-time favorite cooks, Deb Perelman of the Smitten Kitchen blog. When I need a recipe, you’ll often find me searching Smitten Kitchen, so when Deb released a new cookbook, I rushed over to Book People to hear her speak.

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Continue reading “Kristin Cookies”

Complicated Green Chili Shredded Chicken

I hope you can follow this recipe. It’s so complicated, so please. Focus.

4-6 chicken breasts
1 jar HEB That Green Sauce
Lime to taste
Salt to taste

Put the chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Top with sauce. Cook for 7-8 hours on low, then shred with a fork. If you’re feeling saucy, squeeze a lime or two on and give it a sprinkle of salt before serving. Use it for tacos with the Cilantro Yogurt Sauce on this website, and some queso fresco if you like. Or on a taco salad. It’s worth the effort, we promise! 🙂

Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Oh how I love this recipe. It’s so versatile and I’d say dangerous if it wasn’t so darn healthy! It all mixes up in a food processor and will make any Mexican dish better. You could even use it as a salad dressing. Or one could sit and eat it for breakfast with chips. Hypothetically.  It would be a great topping for chicken or fish tacos, along with some queso fresco. Please make it and tell us if you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it.

1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno seeded
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
juice of 1 lime
kosher salt

Mix all ingredients in a food processor and taste for salt. Eat with a spoon like nobody’s watching!

Frankenstein Bars

I saw the cutest recipe for Frankenstein Bars this weekend. We were on the way home from Six Flags (side note: you could not PAY me to go to their nighttime Fright Fest, where they pump in fog everywhere so their scary employees can jump out and get ya. No Thank You.).

But I digress.

I was reading the news  (People magazine) and thought just maybe I could pull off these cute bars.
Continue reading “Frankenstein Bars”

Sweet Potato Yum Yum Casserole

This is our mom’s sweet potato recipe. It’s sweet and rich, perfect for the holidays!
 
Base ingredients:
3 c canned sweet potatoes, drained
8 oz (1 cup)  evaporated milk
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t vanilla
6 T. (3/4 stick) butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 eggs
 
Topping ingredients:
6 T. (3/4 stick) butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1 c crushed corn flakes
1 c chopped pecans
 
Mix the base ingredients with a mixer or food processor until smooth. Put in a 9×13″ (or slightly smaller) Pyrex dish that has been sprayed with Pam. 
 
Next, mix the topping ingredients, and spread on the hot sweet potatoes and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. 
Serve hot and enjoy!

Lemon ‘Swig’ Sugar Cookies

When my friend Molly shows up to a youth baseball practice with cookies in a cellophane bag,  tied with a ribbon…I knew it was going to be good!  

These cookies are a perfect mix of sugar, lemon, and goodness.  The texture is buttery and smooth.  The frosting compliments the cookie better than most.  Can you say hello Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting?    

Thank you Molly,  for sharing your mad baking skills and friendship with me!  To our lemon loving friends,  it’s not too late to bake these for a special teacher or friend.  Follow the directions closely, leaving thicker than normal and also baking a short amount of time.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1¼ cup sugar (plus ¼ cup reserved)
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ t cream of tarter
  • 1 t salt
  • 5½ cups flour
  • Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
  • softened
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 t lemon zest
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  1. Get ready to enjoy these scrumptious cookies!
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, vegetable oil, sugar (1¼ C), powdered sugar, and water. Add in lemon juice and lemon zest.. Add in eggs.
  4. Slowly add in flour mixture until combined. Roll the dough into golf sized balls and place onto a non stick cookie sheet.
  5. To give the cookies their signature rough edge, dip the bottom of a glass into the reserved ¼ cup sugar and press onto the cookie ball to flatten the cookie. You still want the cookie to be thicker so don’t press them to thin.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the bottom is lightly brown. The cookies stay soft so do not over bake.

To make the lemon cream cheese frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar. Beat until creamy.

Cinnamon and Sugar Sweet Rolls

I admit it.  Baking with yeast takes it up a notch.  The Easter Bunny prepared this yummy treat for our family.  When a recipe can be started the night before, I am all in.   Cinnamon and sugar is a win win.  Add a serving of bacon or sausage, done and done. High Five!  These were made with love for my boys.   I can only hope that sharing this recipe brings sweetness to your life.

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INGREDIENTS

Dough:
    • 4 1/2 cups (22.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
    • 1/3 cup (2.5 ounces) granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 4 large eggs (7 ounces)
    • 1 1/4 cup hot water
    • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, melted
Filling:
    • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup (3,75 ounces) granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Glaze:
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed
  • Splash of vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl (to allow for about 7-8 cups of dough to double in bulk), whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  2. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and pour them into the well. Use the same measuring cup for the hot water. Pour it around the edges of the well (not directly on the eggs) and then add the melted butter to the bowl. Use a large spoon to mix the ingredients together until a soft, rather wet dough is formed. It won’t look like traditional cinnamon roll dough; it will be much softer and it’s ok if it looks a bit lumpy. Magic happens overnight, I promise.
  3. Cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for 8-10 hours.
  4. Using about 1/4 – 1/3 cup flour (more or less), dust a clean countertop. Lightly punch down the chilled dough and roll it out on the floured counter to a long, skinny rectangle (about 24-inches long and 7 or 8-inches wide).
  5. Spread the 4 tablespoons melted butter on the rectangle. It will solidify and be easier to work with as you spread it on the chilly rectangle of dough. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and spread it on top of the butter, lightly pressing it in.
  6. Fold one long edge of the rectangle up to meet the other long edge so the dough is folded in half. Use a pizza cutter or knife and cut the dough into 1-inch strips. With each strip, hold an end in each hand and twist it up several times and roll it around the center into a circle (see pictures below for a visual). Place on a large, rimmed baking sheet (11X17-inch) lined with parchment paper (about 12 per tray).
  7. Cover the trays with greased, plastic wrap and let the rolls rise until puffy and doubled, an hour or so.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12-14 minutes until just barely golden on top (don’t overbake or they’ll be dry).
  9. For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla. Add more milk as needed until the glaze is thick but pourable. Let the rolls cool for 5 or so minutes before drizzling with glaze.

This recipe came from a friend of a friend and then from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, which has many fabulous recipes.  (thanks Mandy for the find!)

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies

cookiesThis recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, a blog I love so much I bought her cookbook. Some people say Ina Garten’s recipes are fail proof; I guess you could say Deb Perlman is my Ina. I made these cookies for the first time for my cookie party, which is a commitment. But they worked great, and I frosted them the exact same way as my sugar cookies, and they were a nice change of pace! 

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup lightly salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Baked BBQ Chicken

This recipe is outstanding.  Bragging rights for the best and easiest BBQ chicken start here. The extra step in marinating before baking makes it all worthwhile.  I never knew baked chicken could be so yummy.  The smoked paprika gives the chicken a subtle smoky flavor.  If you don’t have that ingredient, invest now…..as we use it in the delicious fish tacos featured on this website as well.  The perfect tenderness of the chicken comes from marinating in four simple ingredients.  Enjoy!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed
3 T. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 t. smoked paprika
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 t kosher salt
pepper to taste
BBQ sauce

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees.

Place the chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag and pound out until flattened to 1/2 inch.  I do this one breast at a time. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, smoke paprika, and garlic and place in a large Ziploc bag with all of the chicken breasts.  Marinate for a couple of hours.

Remove the chicken from the Ziploc bag and placed in a glass casserole dish.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes and then brush with BBQ sauce.  Brush with more sauce every 5 minutes for an additional 20 minutes.

I am sure that this chicken would be equally as good cooked on the grill!