Friday, December 23, 2016

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

I am always up for a good sugar cookie recipe. I found this recipe here and pretty much made as directed in the recipe. The only thing I did different was smash the balls of cookie dough just a little before baking... they didn't spread much and I wanted a slightly flatter cookie so they would look a little like snow balls. I was giving these as neighbor treats along with some key lime truffles. I made a tag that said "have a ball this Christmas"! These cookies are a tender, chewy cookie with a lovely butter cream frosting on top. You can add food coloring or any color of sprinkles. YUM!

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:
Cookies:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2teaspoon baking soda
1/2teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar 
package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg 
2 teaspoons vanilla

Frosting:

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
2-1/2 to 4 tablespoons milk 
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt
food colors, as desired
candy sprinkles, as desired

Directions 


  • Heat oven to 350°F. In small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  • In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, cream cheese and 1/2 cup softened butter with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until fluffy; scrape side of bowl. Beat in egg just until smooth. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. On low speed, beat flour mixture into sugar mixture until well blended. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  • Shape dough into 60 (1-inch) balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Slightly press dough balls so they don't bake so puffy. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are set. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat powdered sugar, 1/4 cup softened butter, 2 to 4 tablespoons milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla , and a dash of salt with electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. If frosting is too stiff to spread, add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. Tint with food color. Using knife, spread slightly less than 1 teaspoon frosting on each cooled cookie; top with sprinkles. Store covered in airtight container at room temperature

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Best Homemade White Bread EVER

I LOVE home made bread... especially still warm from the oven slathered in butter..... yum! This recipe was on Facebook and it looked too good not to try. I had a good recipe for white bread that I thought I'd never find better but my goodness this recipe is awesome. I love homemade bread that's soft and not too crumbly, but still has a good chewy crust and this was it. I have always rubbed butter over my loaves of bread after they cool about five minutes... that is what makes them shiny. This bread also makes great toast ...especially with Jam. Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Homemade Bread
click here for recipe site
Ingredients:
2 cups warm water
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 TB sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 Tablespoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
5-7 cups of bread flour, white or wheat will work too (can use more if needed) all purpose flour is ok to use too.. that's what I had
1 TB shortening--to grease loaf pans (I use non-stick cooking spray)
1 TB butter (to top bread)

Directions
1. Place the yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Pour the warm water (not too hot) over the yeast mixture and let it sit for 15-20 minutes, or until nice and bubbly.
2. Combine melted butter, sugar, evaporated milk and salt into a large mixing bowl. When your yeast mixture is ready add them together and mix.
3. If you are using a stand mixer put on your bread hook and then pour in 3 cups of flour. If not you can stir/kneed it as well. Then add in 1 cup of flour at a time and mix. When you get to 5 cups of flour in the bowl, add in 1/2 cup more of flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides. You'll know it's ready when your fingers no longer stick to the dough.
4. Then cover the ball of dough and sides of the bowl with shortening and cover the bowl with a warm towel. Set by the window and allow it it rise (approx 1.5 hours). When it has risen over the bowl punch it down and place on a floured surface.
5. Kneed the dough for 2-3 minutes.
6. Cut dough into two pieces and roll them out into a rectangle. Roll the dough up and place into 2 greased bread pans.
7. Let the bread rise again, and when it looks like a good loaf of bread place them in the oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. When the bread is done, cool for 5 minutes then rub the top with butter and remove onto a cooling rack.
Enjoy!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Banana Pancakes with Peanut Butter Maple Syrup

I never said I was the best photographer... and of course I chose the ugliest pancake for myself and the rest were eaten by the time I took a picture so excuse the photo above. But boy oh boy were these the best Banana Pancakes ever! I love the Peanut Butter maple syrup on them too and of course.... bacon on the side. The syrup kind of reminds me of those peanut butter rice krispie treats we love. I think I'll make these over the holidays for my company.... Yummo!!!

Banana Pancakes with Peanut Butter Maple Syrup
adapted from Once upon a chef

For Pancakes
  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • small, over-ripe banana, peeled (the browner, the better)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons low fat milk
  • large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract (or more.... LOVE vanilla)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • For the Syrup
  • 1 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter

Instructions:
Make the syrup first. I am guessing at the amount I used.... I poured my maple syrup in a small saucepan. Heat until warm then add your  peanut butter and whisk until smooth... you can add more syrup or more peanut butter according to you taste. Keep warm while you make the pancakes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mash the banana with a fork until almost smooth. Whisk in the eggs, then add the milk and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Pour the banana mixture and the melted butter into the flour mixture. Fold the batter gently with a rubber spatula until just blended; do not over-mix. The batter will be thick and lumpy.
Set a griddle or non-stick pan over medium heat until hot. Put a pad of butter and one tablespoon vegetable oil onto the griddle, and swirl it around. (Or spray with non-stick cooking spray like I do)
Drop the batter by 1/4-cupfuls onto the griddle, spacing the pancakes about 2 inches apart. Cook until a few holes form on top of each pancake and the underside is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until the bottom is golden brown and the top is puffed, 1 to 2 minutes more. Using the spatula, transfer the pancakes to a serving plate.
Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve the pancakes while still hot with Peanut Butter maple syrup.
ENJOY!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Best Ever Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


I LOVE  pumpkin chocolate chip cookies... nothing says 'Autumn time' like a warm pumpkin chocolate chip cookie still warm from the oven don't you agree? I have been looking for a recipe that was awesome for these cookies... I have posted some but some are too spongy... others are too dry.. This one was just perfect. Try adding a 1/2 cup cinnamon chips along with the chocolate chips for additional yumminess! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Cooking classy
Yield: About 30 cookies
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup  vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup  milk chocolate chips
  •  Optional: try adding 1/2 cup cinnamon chips along with the chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together granulated sugar, brown sugar and vegetable oil until combined. Mix in egg and vanilla then blend in pumpkin puree. With mixer on low speed, slowly add in flour mixture and mix just until nearly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed (batter will be pretty wet).
  •  With a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips while folding batter to evenly combined. Drop dough 2 Tbsp (either using a medium cookie dough scoop or using two spoons) at a time onto baking sheets lined with Silcone liners or parchment paper, spacing cookies two inches apart. Bake in preheated oven about 10 to 12 minutes until cookies are nearly set (you don't want to pull them out before they are done or they'll taste raw, not a cookie you want to under-bake. The top layer of the cookie should be cooked through). 
  • Allow to cool several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Store in a single layer in an airtight container . (I think they are best when eaten still slightly warm)... soft pillowy cookies! Enjoy!


Saturday, October 15, 2016

No Churn Peanut Butter Ripple Ice Cream

Oh my heavens this is good..... and easy. I found this recipe here and had to give it a try. I have been wanting to make a rich creamy homemade ice cream for a while. I borrowed my parents ice cream make this summer and made a root beer ice cream but man after getting the ice, the ingredients and then letting in churn and churn and then still having to freeze for a couple of hours before eating, this recipe seemed like heaven. AND it was!! So rich and creamy and perfect. I did have to top mine with chopped dry roasted peanuts.... I love ice cream and nuts.... but that's optional. Go ahead... give this one a try. You won't be sorry.

No Churn Peanut Butter Ripple Ice Cream
Ingredients
6 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter, divided
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons peanut butter chips
2 cups (16 ounces) heavy cream
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
1 In a medium size saucepan, combine 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the creamy peanut butter and peanut butter chips. Heat over low heat until completely melted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool a bit.
2 In a large bowl using a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and remaining 2 Tablespoons of the peanut butter on high speed until smooth and thick (about 3-4 minutes).

3 Spoon ⅓ of the ice cream into the bottom of a freezer-safe container or bowl (I prefer a loaf pan). Layer half of the melted peanut butter chips evenly over the ice cream, using a spatula to spread it around. Spoon another ⅓ of the ice cream on top of the peanut butter layer, and repeat layering with remaining melted peanut butter chips and ⅓ of the ice cream. Submerge a butter knife into the container and run it up and down the length of the container to "swirl" the peanut butter. Cover tightly and freeze overnight, or at least 8 hours. Ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Puff Pastry Tarts

I love baking... I love autumn time and the fruits that are available at the grocery stores and farmers markets. I especially LOVE the smell of fall baking... Yum!! I haven't baked with puff pastry much but Alton Brown had a Good Eats episode on puff pastry and showed this recipe. I tweaked it a little but the original recipe is here. Enjoy!!

Puff Pastry Tarts
Ingredients:
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
Sugar, for dusting (I used cinnamon sugar)
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced into wedges

1 ripe peach, peeled, and thinly sliced into wedges
1 ripe plum, thinly sliced into wedges
Apricot or peach  jam

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. After puff pastry has thawed, place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Unfold, and cut into 3 even strips. Move so they are a couple of inches apart.
I used a mandolin to cut my apple slices, just have them thin as possible. The peaches and plums I had slightly thicker. 
Poke pastry sheets with a fork down the center but leave about a 1/2 inch on the sides un-poked to provide an outlet for steam. Sprinkle pastry with sugar (or cinnamon sugar) and arrange apple slices an plum / peach slices on top.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Poke the crust; if it feels soft it needs more time in the oven.
Microwave some apricot jam for 30 seconds. When the tarts come out of the oven dab (don't brush) the jam on the tarts. Cool tarts at least 4 hours and seal in a resealable plastic bag. Serve at room temperature or heat in the microwave and top with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
Enjoy

Best Bacon Jam ever!

 I first got introduced to Bacon Jam at a cute little cafe in Dayton, Washington. I ordered a smoked turkey panini that had bacon jam on it and was hooked! I found this recipe while searching for a good one on line and it's amazing! I made panini's on focaccia bread with smoked turkey, provolone cheese, thin sliced tomatoes, lettuce and the bread was spread with a garlic aioli, and of course this bacon jam--see the picture at the bottom.  You gotta try it! The next day I made grilled hamburgers and we put this on those too! So delicious! This reminds me of a good baked bean taste... only without the beans. Enjoy!

Best Bacon Jam
original recipe found here
Makes: 2 cups
INGREDIENTS
1 lb. thick cut bacon
2 extra large sweet onions, quartered and thickly sliced
½ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup strong brewed coffee
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


Cut the bacon into half inch slices and add to a large frying pan. Don't worry if the bacon pieces stick together, they will come apart as they cook. Cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the bacon is cooked but still quite chewy. A few crispy bit are ok.
Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings and reserve for another use.
Add the onions to the pan and cook for about 8-10 minutes then reduce the heat to low. Add sugar and stir. Continue to cook until the onions have caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the coffee, ½ cup of water and the reserved bacon and increase the heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring about every five minutes, until the onions are thick and jam-like, about 30 minutes.
 Remove from heat and stir through the balsamic. Taste for seasoning and salt if necessary.
Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week. Bring back to room temperature before serving. There will be little spots of white fat when you take it out of the fridge. As the jam comes to room temperature, these will disappear.
LOVE this stuff!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Smoky Shrimp and Corn Chowder




I love soup and chowders in the Fall... when the air starts to get that chilliness to it, Soup just hits the spot. I saw this on a cooking show on PBS and had to give it try. 

Smoky Shrimp and Corn Chowder

I bought frozen shrimp which I let thaw out in the refrigerator. Then I washed and shelled it. I husked 3 ears of corn. This I put on my Traeger smoker, which I had set to 275 degrees. I set my shrimp on a vegetable grill tray that I sprayed with a non stick cooking spray. I put the tray in the smoker along with my husked and rinsed corn on the cob. I let this smoke for 30 minutes.
1 pound smoked large shrimp (smoked for 30 to 60 minutes at 300 degrees F)
        •       2 ears corn,  smoked with shrimp
2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots or 1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 leeks, trimmed, thoroughly washed, shaken dry, and thinly sliced
4 red new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
                1 Tablespoon flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken or fish stock, preferably homemade
1 cup heavy cream
After the corn and shrimp are smoked; set aside to cool.
Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan. Add the shallots and leeks and cook over medium heat until soft and translucent, 3 minutes, stirring often.
 Increase the heat to high and add the potatoes, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook until the potatoes are browned and crisp, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the flour and season well with salt and pepper. Cook another minute. 
 Stir in the chicken stock and simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. 
While the potatoes are cooking, chop the smoked shrimp into bite size pieces and cut the corn off the cob. Add to the chowder along with the cream and simmer until the soup is richly flavored, 5 to 10 minutes more. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. 

 Ladle the chowder into bowls and serve with crusty french bread.

Tips: I boiled by shrimp shells in the chicken broth while the shrimp and corn were smoking. Then I strained it and used that broth in my soup instead of regular chicken broth. 
I also made a white sauce with the heavy cream, like you do for macaroni and cheese only without the cheese. Then I added to the soup when it says to add the cream. This just makes a thicker chowder like soup. Feel free to just use cream if you like. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Grilled Mushroom and Zucchini Carbonara


I love pasta.... most anything made with pasta is delicious! I saw this recipe on the internet, on Facebook maybe? or pinterest? It was made with Asparagus and mushrooms, but since asparagus season was mostly over and my garden was springing forth with zucchini... I substituted.  Love a good Carbonara pasta and this was yummy for sure! Enjoy with a side salad and Crusty french bread or bread sticks!

Grilled Mushroom and Zucchini CarbonaraServes 6 to 8Total Time: 50 minute

INGREDIENTS:
2 Zucchini, sliced into bite size pieces
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound dry spaghetti
4 large eggs
6 slices bacon,  cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Parmesan, grated
Salt and Pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS
Preheat  your outdoor grill and turn to medium heat
Place the zucchini and mushrooms into a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss gently to evenly coat. Spray a grill tray for veggies with a non stick cooking spray. Place tray on the grill and spread your prepped zucchini and mushrooms over it. Close grill lid and let cook for 10 - 15 minutes until crunchy tender. Stir every 5 minutes so they cook evenly.
While the vegetables are roasting, bring 6 quarts of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, add the bacon to a large sauté pan and cook over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden and crispy, and most of the fat has rendered off. Turn off the heat and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, Parmesan and a generous amount of the pepper until well-combined, set aside.
Return the sauté pan to medium heat. Add the garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add ¼ cup of the reserved cooking liquid to the sauté pan. Toss in the spaghetti and heat for a few minutes until the bubbling has subsided and much of the water has evaporated.

Temper the egg mixture by whisking about 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water into it. 
Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg mixture to the pasta while quickly stirring. Continue stirring until the egg mixture has thickened, adding additional cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick.
Season with black pepper and salt to taste. Gently toss the spaghetti with the grilled zucchini and mushrooms, and serve immediately. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.  

NOTE
Stirring while mixing the eggs and pasta is very important! If the pasta and eggs are not mixed quickly enough, the eggs will scramble and the sauce won’t be creamy. It helps to temper the egg mixture with the pasta water before stirring into your pasta.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Veggie Saute

I love a good stir fry kind of dish. I have been trying to eat healthier lately and love putting quinoa in with my rice ... I make 1 cup rice cooked according to package directions and 1 cup quinoa cooked according to package directions them stir them together before serving. Love the little pop quinoa gives each  bite. I watched a "good eats" episode one day and they were cooking with oils... one kind Alton Brown used was sesame oil! LOVE the stuff but a little goes a long way, so when he did this recipe on his show I had to give it a try. BUT I tweaked it just a titch and paired it with my asian meatball recipe (click here for the meatball recipe) and served over my rice and quinoa mixture. Delicious!

Veggie Saute
adapted from Alton Brown's Vegetable Saute recipe

Ingredients:
4 teaspoons sesame oil (found with the other asian foods on the asian aisle)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon minced ginger (love the stuff you can get already minced in a tube)
8 to 10 baby carrots,  julienned (or you can cheat and buy the already julienned carrots and use 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground Black pepper
2 cups sugar snap peas
half of a bag of Cabbage / cole slaw mix (I like the tri-colored kind, it had carrots and purple cabbage too)
2  or 3 green onions, chopped (both the white and green parts)
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar (found in the asian aisle)
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro (*or you can use the chopped in the tube if you like--see note below)

Directions:
Place the Sesame oil in a large skillet and heat on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and julienned carrots and sauce for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper while they cook. Next add the sugar snap peas and cook for another minute. Next comes the cabbage / cole slaw mix and the green onions, continue to sauce for another minute or two.
Remove the skillet from the heat and drizzle the rice vinegar over the mixture. Toss to combine.
Now you can garnish with chopped Cilantro.
I served mine on a mixture of Rice and quinoa and topped with my hoisin meatballs and sauce.
Enjoy!

**If you are using the Cilantro in the tube, add with the cabbage and green onions so it gets mixed around with everything.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Chicken and Artichoke Parmesan Casserole


I always love trying out new recipes, I got my latest food network magazine and this recipe was in it and of course I had to try it. I tweaked it here and there for my tastes and with what I had on hand.  You can find the original recipe here I also am trying to eat healthier since losing 25 pounds so I served this on spaghetti squash. To do that preheat your oven to 350 and cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or so until tender when poked with a fork. Turn over and cook a couple of minutes longer. Remove from oven and shred with a fork.  Yummy! 
Chicken and Artichoke Parmesan Casserole
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 10 -ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/4 to 1/2 cup sliced roasted red bell peppers (that you buy in the jar)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 28 -ounce can crushed tomatoes, 
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken (skin removed)
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped, (I used 1 heaping Tablespoon of the minced Basil in the tube you can find in the produce section at Walmart)
1 small container Ricotta cheese 
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup Panko crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cooked spaghetti or spaghetti squash for serving.

Directions:
Preheat the broiler.
 Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the artichokes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted red bell pepper slices, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is soft, about 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper to the skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken and basil; season with salt.
Dollop the ricotta cheese over the chicken artichoke mixture in the skillet by teaspoons full. Use as much as you like. I used about 1/2 of a small container.
Combine the two breadcrumbs together with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle the crumbs over the chicken mixture and top with the grated parmesan.
Transfer the skillet to the broiler and cook until the breadcrumbs are browned and the cheese is bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool, 5 minutes. Served over Cooked Spaghetti or if you like cooked Spaghetti Squash. Enjoy!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Cravin' Craisin Cookies

One day while grocery shopping at a local market, they had some awesome oatmeal raisin, cranberry cookies... and of course me and my hubby had to get one. They were the best ever cookies I had eaten in a long time. So of course I had to try to make them at home.... came across a recipe that was close and I tweaked it just a bit. Yes!! these are my new favorite oatmeal raisin cranberry cookies. Delicious! These have become my new Scrabble treat to take to my parents. Enjoy!

Craving' Craisin Cookies
  1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking oats, powderize 1 cup in blender or food processor-Leave the other         cup whole
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup golden raisins and 1 cup craisins, chopped in food processor-not too fine, but not whole
Directions
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, maple syrup and vanilla; beat well.
2. Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the raisins and craisins. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto parchment paper lined baking sheets.
3. Bake at 350° for 9-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks. 

Yield: about 5 dozen.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Hoisin Lime Glazed Salmon with roasted Vegetables

I have been wanted to try cooking with fish more. Which is hard to do living in Idaho, but I found some great fillets at Walmart of all places. I love Hoisin sauce.... so of course I had try this recipe. I tweaked it a bit but it turned out delicious. Enjoy!

HOISIN LIME GLAZED SALMON WITH MIXED VEGETABLES
INGREDIENTS
1 and ¼ lbs of salmon fillet, all in one piece
4 cups fresh mixed vegetables, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces (I used bell peppers, onions, green beans, carrots and broccoli)
Cooking spray
Kosher salt and pepper
½ cup soy sauce
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup hoisin sauce
1 Tablespoon minced ginger ( the kind in the tube in most produce departments)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
Coconut rice to serve on the side (recipe here, I didn’t add the beans for this recipe- just leave out)

INSTRUCTIONS
1 Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, ginger, garlic, lime juice and sesame oil in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Once the sauce comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce has started to thicken. Set the sauce aside.
2 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil, coat with cooking spray. Place the salmon fillet on one side of the pan; season the salmon with salt and pepper and lightly brush with the hoisin glaze. On the other side of the pan, place the mixed vegetables. Spread the vegetables out into one even layer. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and spray them with cooking spray. If you need to you can also put the salmon and veggies on separate baking sheets. 

3 Bake in the oven for 8 minutes, then turn the oven to broil and broil for 8 minutes. You made need an additional 1 or 2 minutes depending on how big you cut your veggies and how thick the salmon is. Remove the pan from the oven and brush more glaze over the salmon. Drizzle glaze over the vegetables to taste and then toss to coat. Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve the salmon and vegetables with coconut rice, and any extra glaze on the side for dipping or drizzling

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fruit Salsa

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and have wanted to try it out for a while. Last weekend I decided to give it a go... So YUMMY! If you are going to make a brunch this is a perfect treat/ appetizer / beginner......while you are cooking eggs or frittata or whatever you want for brunch. Loved it. You can put any fruit you want in it or add to what I put in it. I might try adding kiwi or melon next time. Yum!

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Crisps
3 10-inch Tortilla Chips (or use about 1 tortilla per person)
Cinnamon Sugar
Cooking spray

1 apple ( I like Pink Lady apples)
1 lime (you can use lemon if you like, I just had a lime)
1 cup strawberries, rinsed and the stems cut off
1 cup raspberries, rinsed and drained
2-3 Tablespoons Raspberry Jam

First, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Next spray your tortillas with cooking spray. Using a pizza cutter slice tortillas  into strips then diagonal wedges about 2 inches long. Place on your prepared baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Turn tortilla strips over and sprinkle this side with cinnamon sugar as well. 
Bake for about 8 to 11 minutes until lightly browned and crisp.

While your Crisps are baking: Zest your lime into a large bowl. 
Next slice your apple into large chunks and place in a food processor. Pulse about 10 times or until apple is finely diced. Add to your zest in bowl and squeeze the juice from the lime into the bowl, toss with apple. Next add your strawberries and raspberries to the processor and pulse again about 10 times or until berries are about the same size as the apple. Add to the bowl with the apple along with 2 Tablespoons Raspberry Jam. Stir to combine. Taste, if you need more jam or a pinch of sugar add at this point. 
Serve with warm cinnamon crisps and enjoy!