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.