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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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!

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.

Healthy Breakfast Muffins

I would put these muffins in the category of “too healthy to be good.” But they are good! They are easy too, and made with things that are usually on hand. I make them quite often, even for company! (PS For the ultimate in convenience, you can even find pre-shredded carrots near the baby carrots in the grocery store!)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or 3/4 cup all-purpose and 1/2 cup wheat)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins*
1/4 cup chopped dates*
1/4 cup cranberries* (or any dried fruit works!)
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup skim milk
4 medium carrots, shredded
1 medium ripe banana, mashed

*if the raisins, dates or cranberries are tough, soak them in water for 10 minutes or so to soften.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt until there are no lumps. Stir in oats, raisins, dates, and cranberries. Add oil, egg, milk, carrots and banana and stir until just blended.

Fill each muffin cup with one ice cream scoop of batter; it will be thick. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. To store, freeze or keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Best BBQ Burger

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this recipe before. I made it about 10 times last summer. Everyone loves them and can’t figure out why. But I know the secret ingredient – a delicious, sweet barbecue sauce you mix in with the hamburger. You can make the sauce and even mix up the patties beforehand, and just throw them on the grill when you’re ready to eat. Because my family believes in living life to the fullest, we make them as sliders and serve them on delicious, sweet Hawaiian rolls. Enjoy!

SAUCE:
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/8 teaspoon pepper

BURGERS:
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
6 hamburger buns, split
Toppings of your choice

In a small saucepan, combine the first 10 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Set aside 1 cup barbecue sauce to serve with burgers.

In a large bowl, combine the egg, oats, 1/4 cup of the remaining barbecue sauce, onion salt, garlic salt, pepper and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into six patties.

Grill, covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160°, basting with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes. Serve on buns with toppings of your choice and reserved barbecue sauce. Yield: 6 servings.

Blender Salsa

This is a great recipe from our good friends Jeremy and Shelly, a salsa with a secret ingredient of Chili Pequin. It is so delicious, quick and perfect for any gathering (or a weekend at the beach)!

8-10 (or more if you like it hot!) dried Chili Pequin (sometimes called Chili Pepin; these come in cello pack of a handful. They are small like peas.)
One bunch green onions, chopped
One bunch cilantro
1 T. minced garlic
2 cans stewed tomatoes
Salt/pepper to taste 

Place chilis in the blender, and whir them up so there aren’t any big chunks. You may have to give it a shake to get them up into the blades.

Add all the items, starting with green of the green onions, cilantro, minced garlic, then both cans of stewed tomatoes. Blend for about 10 seconds, and it will look like a delicious salsa margarita.

Taste, and add salt as needed, re-blending until it is all blended and tastes just right.