Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Candy Cane Fudge with Chocolate

Cooking spray
Candy Cane Fudge
3 c. white chips
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
8 crushed candy canes (normal sized ones)
2/3 c. mini chocolate chips
extra crushed candy cane for the top

Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray.

Combine the white chips with the sweetened condensed milk in a sauce pan over medium low heat. Stir frequently until chips are melted. Remove from heat and stir in the extract and crushed candy canes.

Fudge with the Chocolate
Spread evenly into prepared pan. Quickly top with chocolate chips, and gently swirl into the fudge with a knife. Top with the extra crushed candy cane. Chill for 3 hours. Cut into bars and serve. Store in the refrigerator.

Delicious!

Here's a link to where I found the recipe: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/11/13/candy-cane-chocolate-swirl-fudge/

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Burgers Lafayette Sauce

2 cooked hamburgers
2 toasted hamburger buns
cheese, optional

Sauce:
1/2 an onion, chopped
Sauce
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. salt
dash cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
black pepper, as much as you like
1/4 c. ketchup

Saute onion in butter, about 5 minutes. Add all of the sauce ingredients to the pan. Simmer about 20 minutes.

Place cooked burgers in the pan with the sauce; reduce heat as low as it will go. Cover and let steep for about 10 minutes.

Place meat on a bun and put a spoonful of extra sauce on top. Add cheese if you like (I did!). Recipe is easily doubled or tripled if you want to make more hamburgers. Delightful sauce. I meant to add a picture of the final burger, but... I forgot and ate it. =) Maybe next time because I will definitely be making this sauce again.

Original recipe courtesy of Charlaine Harris


Friday, December 7, 2012

Salmon Potato Chowder

1/2 lb. red potatoes, diced
Corn, onion, garlic, and spices
4-5 strips of bacon, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 can corn, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
thyme, basil, chives, to taste
dash or two of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
3 c. milk
2/3 c. cream
1 - 1 1/2 lbs. salmon fillet, skin discarded and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp. lemon juice

Salmon cooking
Boil the potatoes until just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain in a colander, then set aside.

Cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 5-8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve the bacon grease.

In a large pot, cook the onion in the bacon grease until tender. Add the corn, minced garlic, and all spices, and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Ready to eat!
Add the milk and cream and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium, then add the potatoes and salmon, stirring occasionally until the salmon is cooked, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, cook for 2-3 more minutes. Serve hot and sprinkle the crispy bacon on top!

Here is a link to the original recipe I adapted: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Salmon-Chowder-238699

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Honey Cashew Chicken with Sriracha

1 lb. chicken, cubed
2 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
Chicken and vegetables
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 onion, chopped
2 red peppers, deribbed and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce
1/2 c. cashews
hot rice

With the sauce added
Put the cubed chicken in a large bowl. Mix the cornstarch, salt, and pepper together, then pour over the chicken. Stir to coat the chicken. Set aside.

Heat the oils in a large skillet. Add the chicken, and saute about 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add the onion, red peppers, and garlic to the skillet. Cook another 3-5 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sriracha.

Dinner is ready!
Add the cashews to the skillet. Pour the prepared sauce into the skillet. Stir to coat. Turn the heat to high for a minute or two for the sauce to thicken. Serve over hot rice. Feel free to add more sriracha to the top!

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://barefeetinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2012/11/sriracha-honey-cashew-chicken.html

Pasta with Mushroom Shrimp Swiss Cheese Sauce

1/2 lb. pasta
1/2 lb shrimp, devained and shelled
1 small can mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
3/4 c. milk
black pepper
few dashes of garlic powder
dash or two of oregano
2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 - 3/4 c. Swiss cheese, shredded (depends on how much you want!)

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, cook the shrimp and mushrooms in a large skillet with the butter over medium heat. Cook about 5 minutes. Add the flour to the skillet, and let it get bubbly (about 30 seconds), then stir in the milk. Add the seasonings. Turn up the heat just a little, and stir constantly for a minute. When the milk has thickened, turn off the heat and add the cheeses. Stir until they are melted in.

Serve the sauce over the cooked pasta. Enjoy!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Texas Style Lemon Chicken

Chicken cooking
3 large chicken breasts, cut into thick strips
1/2 c. butter, divided
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. Italian seasoning (basil, thyme, oregano)
juice from 1 lemon

Melt 1/4 c. butter in skillet until bubbly. Mix all the seasonings together in a small bowl. Place chicken strips on a plate and season one side with 1/2 of the seasoning mixture. Place chicken seasoned side down in the skillet. Cook on medium heat about 5 minutes.

Dinner is ready, with a side of veggies
Squeeze half of lemon juice in skillet over chicken. Turn chicken over. Season other side with the remaining seasoning. Add the rest of the butter and lemon juice. Cover and cook another 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.

I served the chicken over rice, and drizzled quite a bit of the sauce over both. Definitely making this again.

Original recipe courtesy of Stephanie Schmaljohann

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chili Cheese Dip

The amount is easily halved if you don't want to make too much. And I again did not measure the spices very accurately, so go by what tastes good.


2 cans No Bean Chili (I used Nalley's)
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
4-5 cilantro sprigs, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cumin
10 - 12 drops Chipotle Tabasco
A lot of cracked black pepper


Add all the ingredients to a crock pot; stir together, mashing up the cream cheese a bit. Set on low for 2 hours. Stir every half hour or so. Serve warm with tortilla chips. It's a great dip for a party!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Eggnog bread with chocolate chips

Before baking
2 1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. eggnog
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a bread pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and sugar. Make a well in the middle.

In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then mix in the eggnog, melted butter, and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan. Sprinkle the top with the mini chocolate chips. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Mmmmm...

Cool slightly before removing to a wire rack.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.roxanashomebaking.com/eggnog-chocolate-bread-recipe/

Friday, November 2, 2012

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Got this recipe from good ol' Betty Crocker: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/mint-chocolate-chip-cookies/22bebeda-ea36-441a-9909-ae78409d6da6

17.5 oz. bag Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. mint extract (which is different from peppermint)
8 drops green food coloring
1 egg
1 c. creme de menthe baking chips
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix together cookie mix, butter, extract, food coloring, and egg. Beat until soft dough forms. Stir in the chips.


Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes. Let cool then remove to a wire rack.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Peppermint Patty Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Cooking spray
First layer in the pan
1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed down
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips
12 oz. bag of York Peppermint Patties (you will use all of them, so don't eat any beforehand like I did; I was short two. Whoops!)

Peppermint patty layer
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray an 11x7 or 11.5x8 inch baking pan* with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips until combined, but do not overmix.

Out of the oven!
Press down 1/2 of the cookie dough into the prepared pan. Unwrap all the peppermint patties, and layer them on top of the cookie dough layer. Then add the remaining cookie dough over the top of the peppermint patties, pressing down to make a top layer of cookie dough. Bake 35-40 minutes or until the cookie dough is baked through and the edges start to brown.

Allow the cookie bars to cool completely (about 1 hour). If you do not, you will have a gooey mess. After the bars cool completely, cut into bars. You can reheat individual bars in the microwave as you serve them because they taste really good warm. =)

Mmmmm...
*Using an 8x8 inch pan will cause the bars to overflow. Using 13x9 makes the layers too thin, so don't use those.

And props to Sally who came up with the recipe: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/10/28/peppermint-patty-chocolate-chip-cookie-bars-2/

Monday, October 22, 2012

Slow Cooked Pork Ribs in BBQ Sauce

1 c. ketchup
1 c. tomato sauce
1/4 c. water
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
Slow cooking pork
2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. chipotle tabasco sauce
1/4 c. canola oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 lbs. boneless pork ribs

Place all the ingredients minus the pork ribs in the crock pot. Stir it all together, then add the ribs, making sure the ribs are coated in the sauce. Cook on high 6-8 hours - until the pork just breaks apart. I served it over white rice with a side of vegetables. Delicious. Very easy recipe.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.michellestastycreations.blogspot.com/2012/01/crock-pot-country-pork-ribs.html

Monday, October 15, 2012

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Sauce

3 Tbsp. butter, separated
Spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz. bag of baby spinach
13-15 oz. artichokes, drained and halved
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 c. milk
Dash or two of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
Several dashes of red pepper flakes
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
12 oz. cooked pasta (like penne)
Seasoned breadcrumbs, for topping

Sauce
Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a skillet or pan. Add the garlic and spinach. Stir until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Remove spinach and garlic from the pan, set aside.

Add another 1 Tbsp. butter to the same pan, and raise the heat to high. Add the artichokes, and stir around, about 1-2 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the pan, set aside.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the last Tbsp. of butter to the pan. When melted, add in the flour; whisk until combined. Pour in milk, whisk to combine. Let cook 3-5 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the parmesan, mozzarella, salt, pepper, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. Stir to melt the cheeses.

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Sauce
Add the artichokes to the sauce. Stir. Gently stir in the spinach and garlic. Add your cooked pasta to serving bowls. Pour the sauce on top. Toss to combine. Sprinkle each bowl with the breadcrumbs for crunch. So delicious!

Here's a link to the original recipe I adapted: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/10/spinach-artichoke-pasta/

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Bars:
2 c. flour
1 ½ c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cloves
4 eggs, beaten
15 oz. can pumpkin (or 2 c. pumpkin if you have the large can)
1 c. vegetable oil 

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter, softened
1tsp. vanilla
2 ¾ to 3 ¼ c. confectioners sugar


To make the bars: In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cloves. Stir in the eggs, pumpkin, and oil until combined. Spread in an ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 degree F for 20 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool for 2 hours on a wire rack. Spread with cream cheese frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in additional powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency. Cover and store frosted cake in the refrigerator. 

Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Frey

Sunday, October 7, 2012

White Chocolate Macadamia Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
1/2 c. macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Cream the butter and sugars together in a bowl. Beat in the egg, pumpkin, and vanilla. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix in the oats, chips, and nuts.

Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet one tablespoon at a time. Bake at 350 F for 8-14 minutes.

Here's a link to the original recipe: http://www.closetcooking.com/2010/11/pumpkin-white-chocolate-and-macadamia.html

Texas Roadhouse Rolls

Plan ahead... lots of resting and rising for the dough...

2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 c. milk, scalded then cooled to lukewarm
1/4 c. + 1/2 tsp. sugar, divided
3 1/2-4 c. flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted and slightly cooled, more for brushing
1 egg
1 tsp. salt

Dough rising
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with the 1/2 tsp. of sugar. Mix in the scalded milk, remaining sugar,  and about 1 1/2 c. of the flour. Mix thoroughly. Let stand about 10 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add melted butter, egg, and salt. Beat well. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough out on a slightly floured surface, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

While dough is resting, lightly grease a bowl. Set aside.

Knead dough until smooth, about 5-10 minutes. Place in the prepared bowl and turn over to coat both sides. Cover bowl and set in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size, about 1-1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Fold the rectangle in half, the short way, so it's now about 1 inch thick. Lightly roll to seal the sides together.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Rolls ready to bake
Cut the dough into rolls. There should be about 18-21 rolls, depending on how big you cut them. Place rolls on a greased baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise until double in size, about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Brush with melted butter. Serve with Cinnamon Honey Butter.

Here's a link to the original recipe: http://365daysofbaking.blogspot.com/2012/02/day-343-copycat-recipe-texas-roadhouse.html


Cinnamon Honey Butter

1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1/4 c. confectioners sugar
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon

In a small bowl, cream the butter until lightly whipped, about 30 seconds with a mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients, and beat until smooth on medium high speed, about 2-3 minutes. Serve with rolls or biscuits or toast or...

Try it with Texas Roadhouse Rolls

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chinese Stuffed Jalapenos

10 jalapeno peppers, halved the long way, de-seeded and de-ribbed
Sesame seeds 

Filling:
1/3 lb. raw ground pork
1 egg
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. bread crumbs

Sauce:
1 Tbsp. corn starch
3/4 c. cold water
1/3 c. soy sauce
2 tsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/8 tsp. garlic powder 


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Dust insides of jalapenos with corn starch.

Mix all the ingredients for the filling together in a bowl. Fill jalapenos with a heaping amount of the filling mixture.

Place on cookie sheet, bake for 20 minutes or until meat is browned on top and cooked through.

To make the sauce: Simmer all ingredients over med-low heat until sauce thickens. Spread sauce over cooked jalapenos. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Raspberry and White Chocolate Cookies

1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. caster (baker's) sugar
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. white chocolate chips (I prefer real white chocolate chips to the vanilla or just white chips, but that's because there is no good substitute for pure white chocolate)
1 c. raspberries, frozen, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or wax paper. Set aside.

Take your raspberries out of the freezer about 15 minutes before using them (So basically when you're getting your ingredients out and starting everything; you don't want them to thaw too much).

Melt the butter in the microwave. Pour into a large bowl. Add both sugars to the bowl. Mix well.

Add in the vanilla, baking soda, egg, and flour. Stir until just combined. Don't over stir.

Add in the white chocolate. Mix well. Add in the raspberries. Mix well.

Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop out the dough and place on the baking sheets, about 2-3 inches apart. Press down the tops of the cookies slightly (and gently).

Bake 12-16 minutes, until the tops of the cookies start turning a golden brown. Let cool on the sheets a few minutes, then remove to a wire cooling rack. Enjoy!

Here's a link to the original recipe I adapted: http://www.anniesnoms.com/2012/09/raspberry-and-white-chocolate-cookies.html



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Scotch Eggs

4 hard boiled eggs, room temperature
8 oz. sausage (Jimmy Dean is always good!), divided into 4 equal parts (about 2 oz. each)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Uncooked
3/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
pepper (lots!)
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 c. cornflakes, crushed
oil, for deep frying

Wrap each sausage section around each hard boiled egg. Make sure the egg is completely covered with the sausage.

Add the lightly beaten egg to a shallow bowl. Add the flour, salt, pepper, and dry mustard to another shallow bowl. Add the crushed cornflakes to a third shallow bowl.

Cookin' up the Scotch Eggs
In a deep skillet, add enough oil to coat the bottom and a little up the sides. Turn heat to medium-high.

Take your sausage wrapped eggs, and one at a time dip first in the beaten egg, then coat in the flour mixture, then back in the raw egg, then roll in the cornflakes. Then put each ball into the oil. Make sure the whole ball gets cooked. Just roll to a different side every minute or so until each ball is a golden brown color. Don't burn them! Serve hot.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pumpkin Scones

Scones:
2 c. flour
7 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
6 Tbsp. cold butter
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
3-4Tbsp. half and half
1 egg

Confectioners Sugar Glaze:
1 c. confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp. milk 

Spiced Glaze:
1 c. + 3 Tbsp. confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
dash of ginger

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper; set aside.

To make the scones: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Using a cheese grater, grate in the cold butter. Mix until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined (adding more half and half if the dough is too dry).

Form dough into a ball. Pat out onto a lightly floured surface, forming into a 1 inch thick rectangle. Using a knife dipped in flour, cut the dough into 3 equal parts. Cut each portion into 4 triangular pieces. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake 13-16 minutes, or until light brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

To make the sugar glaze: In a small bowl, mix the ingredients together until smooth. When the scones are cooled, use a pastry brush to brush on the glaze. You can do several coats. Allow to firm.

To make the spiced glaze: In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Spread over each scone and allow to firm before serving.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://bourbonnatrixbakes.blogspot.com/2011/10/pumpkin-scones.html


Coconut Curry Chicken

*Plan ahead... needs to chill.

Chicken in the marinade
2 lbs. chicken, cubed
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
14 oz. can coconut milk
1 Tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. coriander
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
black pepper (lots)
large dash of garlic powder
1 tsp. sriracha chili sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure the chicken is fully coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Curry over white rice
When the chicken has marinated, remove to a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, then let simmer until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has reduced (I added more pepper at this stage because pepper is so good). Serve curry over hot white rice.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://thecafesucrefarine.blogspot.com/2012/08/coconut-lime-chicken-kabobs.html

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sugar Cookies & Icing

*Plan ahead... need to chill

1 1/2 c. butter
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
4 tsp. vanilla
5 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt

Icing
1 c. confectioners sugar
2 tsp. milk
2 tsp. corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla
assorted food coloring 

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Mix butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla thoroughly. Blend in flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

When the dough is chilled, roll 1/4" thick, cut (in whatever shape you want), and bake for 7 minutes.

To make the icing: In a small bowl, combine sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in the corn syrup and vanilla until icing is smooth and glossy. If it's too thick, add a bit more corn syrup.

Divide into 2 or 3 separate small bowls, and add the food colorings until it's the color you want. Brush the icing onto the cookies using a pastry brush or just use a butter knife. Eat and enjoy!

If you'd like to ice these cookies with buttercream icing instead, here is a link to my recipe: http://trinitywolf3.blogspot.com/2013/02/buttercream-icing.html

Sugar Cookie recipe courtesy of Jill Johnson

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 c. carrots, thinly sliced
1 tsp. dried marjoram
salt and pepper to taste
1 box Near East Long Grain & Wild Rice with flavor packet
2 Tbsp flour
4 c. chicken broth
3 c. water
3/4 c. heavy cream (maybe a dash or two more)
1/4 c. milk
2 small chicken breasts, chopped and cooked
several large dashes coriander
dash of garlic powder
small dash of red pepper flakes

In a large saucepan, add some olive oil, the red onion, carrots, marjoram, salt, pepper, and the flavor packet. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the wild rice, stir. Then add the flour, make sure it gets stirred around. Then add the chicken broth and water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, add the cream and milk to a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until hot. Add to the soup mixture along with the cooked chicken, coriander, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 20-25 more minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Serve immediately.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://carriesexperimentalkitchen.blogspot.com/2011/11/copycat-recipe-week-day-2-panera.html

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

Really easy recipe!

Dinner is ready!
2 chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 c. dry bread crumbs
1 tsp. dried basil
dash or two of coriander
dash or two of oregano
lots of black pepper
2/3 c. Parmesan, shaved

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8x8 glass baking dish, then set aside.

In a shallow bowl, mix the olive oil and garlic. In a separate shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs and spices. Dip each chicken breast into the oil mixture, then in the bread crumbs mixture. Arrange the chicken in the greased dish. Top with any remaining bread crumbs mixture. Drizzle with any of the leftover oil mixture. Top with the shaved Parmesan.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, depending on how thick your chicken is. Just make sure it is not pink inside! This chicken was delicious and was really simple! I served it with a side of sauteed zucchini.

Here is a link to the recipe I adapted: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-garlic-parmesan-chicken/detail.aspx?src=ShareOnFacebook&recipeID=55860

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce

Onion, Garlic, and Vodka
1 lb. pasta (I used farfalle)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. butter, divided
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 c. vodka
16 oz. tomato sauce
thyme, basil, coriander to taste (I used a bit more thyme than the other two)
1 c. heavy cream
large pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
lots of cracked black pepper
Parmesan, shredded

Sauce with the cream just added
Cook the pasta according to package directions.

While your pasta is cooking, saute the onion in 2 Tbsp. of the butter and olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. After about 3 minutes, add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vodka (be very careful if you use a gas stove). Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and spices. Taste to see if you want to add a bit more of the spices. Stir and reduce the heat to low. I let this cook on low about 5-6 minutes, just so the flavors can percolate.

Pour in the heavy cream, stir, then turn the heat to the lowest setting. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Then stir in the 1 remaining Tbsp. of butter. When it has melted, add the cooked (and drained) pasta to the sauce. Make sure all of it is coated. Add the parmesan to each dished up serving.
Sauce with the pasta added

Here is a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/penne-alla-vodka-recipe/index.html. Can't go wrong with The Pioneer Woman!

*Note: Adding cooked zucchini to this might taste really good. I think I will try that next time!