Friday, December 28, 2012

A Glimpse of Christmas

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without cookies.
Sand Dabs
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup pecans, chopped
1.Cream butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
2.Whisk together flour and salt and add gradually to butter mixture.
3.Stir in pecans.
4.Chill if dough is too soft.
5.Form into small balls and place on ungreased baking sheets.
6.Bake at 400ยบ for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly brown.
7.Cool slightly and roll in powdered sugar.

 Snickerdoodles (adapted from Taste of Home)
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1.Beat butter and 1 cup of sugar until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.
2.Combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Gradually add to butter mixture.
3.In small bowl combine cinnamon and remaining sugar.
4.Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in cinnamon sugar.
5.Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes.

Orange Cookies (adapted from Your HomeBased Mom)
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ sticks butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 egg
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice.
1 ½ cup powdered sugar

1.Beat butter, sugar and 1 tablespoon orange zest until fluffy.
2.Add egg and extract. Mix until combined.
3.Add flour and baking soda until combined.
4.Spoon onto a ungreased cookie sheet.
5.Bake 350° about 15 minutes or lightly golden brown.
6.Once cooled, mix powdered sugar, juice and remaining orange zest together. Spread on cookies.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Are You Going to Scarborough Fair?

Are you goin' to Scarborough Fair? 
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there, 
she once was a true love of mine.

Great song but I'm talking about a new chicken recipe that uses...yes, you guessed it - parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

Scarborough Fair Chicken (adapted from Taste of the South's magazine)

¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon each fresh flat-leaf parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ lbs red potatoes, cut in half
2 or 3 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces 
½ onion, quartered
4 chicken legs
4 chicken thighs
½ teaspoon black pepper

1.In small bowl combine olive oil, herbs and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss half of the herb mixture with carrots and potatoes. Place in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Layer onions on top.
2.Place chicken on top of vegetables and brush with remaining herb mixture. Season with remaining salt and pepper.
3.Cover and bake at 400° until vegetables are tender and chicken is done, approximately 1 hour.
4.Let rest 10 minutes before serving.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Super Easy Dessert

For Thanksgiving this year, I tried a new and different kind of dessert. Instead of the usual sweet potato pie or coconut pie, I decided to try a new recipe from Trisha Yearwood's new show on the Food Network - Trisha's Southern Kitchen. It was so simple and an absolute hit.
 Skillet Almond Shortbread took about 15 minutes to prepare and 35 minutes later, it was baked and ready to be eaten. So simple, so easy and so delish!

Almond Shortbread (adapted from Trisha's Southern Kitchen)

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds with skins

1. Line a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with aluminum foil and spray the foil with cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, stir 1 1/2 cups of the sugar into the melted butter.
3. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
4. Add flour and salt and stir well.
5. Add almond extract and stir well.
6. Pour the batter into the skillet. Top with sliced almonds and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
7. Bake until slightly brown on top, about 35 minutes.
8. Cool the shortbread in the skillet. When cool, use the foil to lift the shortbread from the skillet; remove the foil before serving. 


Monday, November 05, 2012

Crispy Fall Morning

 There's a crisp bite in the air as fall begins to makes its presence known.

And on a crispy fall morning, I love biting into a warm buttery piece of toast slathered in Caramel Pear Butter. Yum, Yum!

Caramel Pear Butter (adapted from Isn't Everything in the Kitchen Trial and Error)

3 tablespoons apple juice
4 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
5 pounds pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 ¼ cup brown sugar
¾ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1. Combine apple juice and 3 tablespoons lemon juice in a large pot. Add pears  and toss to keep pears from turning brown.
2.Cook over medium heat until pears start to boil, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook about 20 minutes or until pears are tender. Stir every 5 minutes making pears do not scorch.
3.With a potato masher, mash pears leaving some chunks of pear.
4.Add remaining lemon juice and remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and stir to ensure sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened about an hour. Ladle into prepared jars, rings and lids. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


 Autumn breeze
changing leaves
colors red and gold
Autumn sounds
All around
Beauty to behold.

Nothing speaks autumn more than some delicious Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Glaze.

 Pumpkin Cake with Browned Butter Glaze (adapted Buns in My Oven)

1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 eggs
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Beat together all ingredients for the cake until well combined.
2. Add batter to bundt pan and bake 350° for 40-50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in the bundt pan before turning onto a cake platter to finish cooling. 

For the glaze:
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until browned, about 8 minutes.
2. Pour the butter into a small bowl and whisk in the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth.
3. Drizzle over the top of the cooled cake.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Where Do I Begin???

It has been quite a while since I last posted. In fact, it has been ....oh, my goodness....3 months! Wow....3 months??? Really?? In those three months, I have moved from working with middle school students

to working with these precious little ones.

Never dreamed I would be moved to an elementary school after spending 25 years in middle school, but I have loved every minute of the move.

So what have I been cooking lately? Glad you asked. 

Carrot Cake

2 ¼ cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 ¼ cups oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoons allspice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups carrots, finely shredded
1 cup coconut, shredded
8 ounces crushed pineapple
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup golden raisins

2 (8 oz) cream cheese
1½ teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter
4 to 5 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup milk

1.Mix together the first 10 ingredients.
2.Add the remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly.
3.Pour into 3 greased and floured round cake pans.
4.Bake 350° for 30 to 40 minutes or until done..
5.Mix together the icing ingredients and ice the cake after it cools completely.


Monday, July 16, 2012

How To Get Away From The Heat

I have found the perfect solution for escaping the southern heat wave.....

 Go on the most wonderful vacation....Alaska and be awed by God's creation!