Wednesday, February 27, 2008

sweet & sour meatballs...

meatballs (click for recipe)
cooked rice

*sweet & sour sauce*

3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Place the sugar, vinegar, water, soy sauce, ketchup and cornstarch in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir continuously until the mixture has thickened.
Again with the meatballs! Hey, I promised recipes for your freezer full of meatballs...and I will deliver (you have made them...right?) I'm not going to say that this is my all-time favorite sweet & sour sauce. It's good, just not my fav. I like sweet & sour sauces that call for pineapple juice instead of sugar, I just couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. Anyways, there were no complaints from the judging recipients (my family)...the only comlpaint was that one of my kids wants to know why dad's dinner plate is always photographed, not his.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

mac & cheese...

2 cups dry elbow macaroni
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 cups milk
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 slices bread, made into crumbs
1 Tbsp melted butter

Cook pasta in water about 8-10 min until tender, but still a little firm. Drain. In a medium saucepan cook onion in butter on med heat until translucent. Stir in flour, salt & pepper and cook & stir about 1 min. Add milk all at once, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over med heat until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until melted. Add macaroni to cheese sauce (or vice versa). Put in a greased baking dish. Add bread crumbs and drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 min.

This is no boxed mac & cheese! This one is for the adults...but the kiddies will love it, too...bonus! I use dried, minced onions (I do that in a lot of recipes) that way you get the flavor, but the kids don't even know it's there. As far as the amount of the dried really only need a large pinch...vague, huh? For the cheese...I'm not too much of an ingredient snob...but on this one, since it is the main ingredient, use a good one. I like Tillamook (sharp or medium cheddar). If you have less mouths to feed than I do, you can easily cut this recipe in half. Try this about comfort food!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

french dip sandwiches...

chuck roast (any size)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic; minced
1-2 cans beef broth
minced onion
seasoned salt
provolone cheese
1 envelope onion soup mix
1-2 beef bouillon cubes

Heat (med heat) olive oil in med pan. Add garlic. Brown all sides of roast; approx. 1 min per side. Place in slow cooker. Add minced onion, salt & beef broth. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove meat from slow cooker, cover with foil, and let rest 10 min. Shred with a fork. Heat soup mix according to pkg directions with bouillon cubes. Place desired amount of meat on roll, add a little cheese and set under broiler until cheese is melted. Serve with soup on the side for dipping.

*roasted cauliflower *

1 head cauliflower
olive oil

Cut cauliflower into florets. Place all ingredients on a baking sheet and toss with hands to combine. Roast in 4oo degree oven 10-15 min. until fork tender (depends on size of florets and desired tenderness). Turn once or twice during cooking.

My kids do not like pot roast...???? Something about all of the meat & veggies cooked together served with gravy is not appealing to any of them...I don't get it. BUT, they will eat/devour these sandwiches. So, we all get what we want! You can use any cut of roast, and cook it whatever way you like to cook roast. I just chose the no fail/easy route. I bought little hard rolls for these...they are the perfect size for kids, and then the adults can have as many sandwiches as they want. I toasted the rolls a tiny bit under the broiler first (soggy bread thing). You may even be able to buy "au jus" (the dipping liquid) pre made, or a packet mix...the soup worked really well, though. If your little people don't like the onion bits in the soup, they can be easily spooned out.
If you have a small number of eaters in your house, just cut the meat in half before cooking and freeze one half for another time.
And as far as the cauliflower is concerned...YUM! I am pretty much convinced that ANY vegetable roasted with a little olive oil, salt and pepper is fabulous! It gets all brown & crunchy on the outside...I don't see anything wrong with that!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


1 lb ground beef
minced onion (I use dried)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can red enchilada sauce
8-10 flour tortillas

Brown ground beef with onion; drain out any fat. Add 1/2 of the enchilada sauce and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Cook over low just until cheese is melted. Spoon meat into center of tortillas (a line down the center) and roll up. Place in a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Cover with remaining enchilada sauce and remaining cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees 20-25 min.

I used to make chicken enchiladas, but I didn't like how time consuming and/or fattening they were...(very creamy and cheesy...yum) One day my husband requested enchiladas with "that red sauce." I tried it, and haven't made the chicken enchiladas since. Nothing against chicken enchiladas...I think they are quite good...this recipe is just much easier, and well liked by my family. The sauce pictured is my favorite brand for this. I can't remember how many ounces this can is...I just know it is the medium sized can. Sorry if that is confusing...There really isn't an exact amount on how much sauce you need to use...just make sure there is enough to make the meat saucy, and enough to cover the enchiladas. I serve them with a little sour cream, and refried beans or black beans on the side.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

rustic apple tart...


1 cup flour

2 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 pound (1 stick) very cold butter, diced

2 tablespoons ice water


1 1/2 pounds baking apples (3 large)

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) cold butter, diced

For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough becomes a solid mass. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into a circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet.
For the filling, peel, core, and cut the apples into chunks. Toss the chunks with the lemon juice. Cover the tart dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the butter and combine until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle.
Bake the tart for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This is FABULOUS!! Another winner from Ina. The pastry crust is amazingly delicious. Yum, yum, yum...

If you do not have a food processor, a pastry cutter, or even two forks will do the job. The most important part is that the butter and water have to be cold. It is what makes the pastry flakey and not too dense. I actually did this a little different than the recipe suggests...I combined all of the filling ingredients together with the apples, and just dotted the top with a little butter, instead of making it a crumb topping. Either way, you can not go wrong with this baby. Have I mentioned how good it is? (If you look closely at the photo you can see the bubbly goodness...)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


premade pizza crust dough
pizza toppings
pizza sauce
Seriously...could this be any easier? All you need to do is flatten/roll out the pizza dough to desired size (a little flour on the counter helps this process along) Cut into rectangles...this part is up to you, I got 4 small-med sized pieces out of one pkg of dough and 2 x-tra large out of the other pkg. Put pizza toppings (not sauce) in the center of each rectangle and fold it in half, creasing/pinching edges together. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake according to pizza dough baking directions, or until golden brown. Serve with pizza sauce on the side.
My kids love these!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

meatball subs...

hoagie rolls
spaghetti sauce

provolone cheese

Warm meatballs in spaghetti sauce over med heat until warmed through. Place 4-5 meatballs with sauce on a hoagie roll. Put provolone cheese over meatballs and broil until melted.

Remember those meatballs? It's time to put them to use. This is such a great dinner for a busy weeknight. Just pull the meatballs out of the freezer (as many as you need) and defrost in the microwave. My kids loved this dinner. The only thing I didn't do that I will do next time is toast the haogie roll a little under the broiler (just barely) before adding the meat & sauce. The bread was a little soggy...good, but soggy.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

norwegian rice cream...

¾ cup uncooked rice
1 tsp salt
4 cups milk
½ cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 pint cream, whipped and sweetened
Cook rice in salt and milk in double boiler 1 ½ hours. Add sugar and almond extract. Chill 24 hours. Add whipped cream.

Raspberry Sauce:
1 cup water
1 pkg frozen raspberries (blend and strain out seeds)
Water (enough to make 3 cups juice)
3 Tbsp cornstarch
Sugar, enough to sweeten
Cook, stirring until thickened

This is a tribute to my sweet little Norwegian Grandma who used to make this for us when we were little kids (along with tubed caviar over eggs on can thank me for sharing this recipe...)

This is my Grandma's original recipe. I did not cook the rice in a double boiler for 1 1/2 hours. I just cooked it in my med saucepan over low heat. You will need to stir it often so the milk doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan. I also added twice as much rice as this recipe calls for. It just added more body, and once I added the whipped cream I was glad I added more rice. This is a very rich dessert. If you do not like almond extract, just use vanilla. The almond really is what makes this a Scandinavian recipe. And the raspberry sauce...YUM!! This would make a delicious ice cream topping. I left mine a little on the tart side to counteract the richness of the cream, and it was fabulous!

Glede seg over, nyte!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

rib eye steak, buttermilk mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli, chocolate pie...

*pan fried rib eye steak*

2 rib eye steaks
1 Tbsp Seasoned Salt
3 Tbsp Lemon Pepper
1 tsp salt
black pepper
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 Tbsp butter

Combine season salt, lemon pepper, salt & pepper (as much as you can stand). Rub onto both sides of steak. Heat a skillet on med high and add equal parts olive oil and butter, allow butter to brown a little. Place meat into hot skillet and cook 2-3 min, turn and cook another 2-3 min (for med rare.) Remove to a plate and cover with foil 10-15 min. (remember...the juices will run out if you cut into ANY meat too soon... result: dry meat)

*buttermilk mashed potatoes*

1 1/2 lbs boiling potatoes
1/4 cup milk
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 -1/2 cup buttermilk
salt & pepper

Cut potatoes into 1 1/2 in cubes. Boil until fork tender. Drain in collander and place back into hot pan on burner (burner should be off). This allows extra moisture to leave potatoes. While potatoes are boiling warm milk and butter in a small saucepan. Mash potatoes (either with a mixer or potato masher). Add milk/butter combination and mix until smooth. Add buttermilk to desired creaminess. Season with salt and pepper.

*roasted broccoli*

olive oil
salt & pepper
lemon wedges

Cut broccoli into florets. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 min (approx) or until broccoli is fork tender. Serve with a lemon wedge.

I know the way to my man's heart...meat and potatoes!! I got the general idea for this meal and the recipe for the rib eye (along with a few other recipes) from Pioneer Woman (she is amazing!) I knew it was a hit when he rolled his eyes and put his head back with each bite!! I'm not much of a steak person and I thought this was unbelievably good.

The mashed potatoes are fabulous! I chose not to peel my red potatoes, but you can do whatever you like. The buttermilk gives it a little bit of a tangy flavor, very subtle.
And the broccoli...oh the broccoli!! Try roasting it, you won't be disappointed. The little bit of lemon juice on the finished product just gave it a very fresh flavor. Yum!

don't go yet...

*angie pie*

2 oz semi sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1/4 lb butter; room temp

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp almond or vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 9in chocolate pie shell

Beat butter and powdered sugar until fluffy, blend in chocolate. Add eggs one at a time, beating each for 3 min (very important), add extract. Whip one cup cream and gently fold into chocolate mixture. Spread into crust. Refrigerate several hours. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Ok, this recipe calls for raw eggs...if you are pregnant, elderly, under two, or just grossed out by the thought...sorry! I googled ways to use uncooked eggs in recipes and found some good tips out there, I just didn't have time to make a back-up pie if it altered the outcome of the recipe. I've used egg beaters in other recipes with success, I just didn't here...I went with the fool proof way. Just make sure your eggs are fresh, and show no cracks.

Alright...I got this recipe from my cute sister in law...hence the name! We (my family) has worshipped her ever since the first time we tried it...some 15 years ago... (we love her for many other reasons, too!) When I make it I use almond and vanilla extract (one tsp of each), 2 tsp of almond extract is a little too strong for me, but that's just me. You can always just use vanilla and that is completely delicious, as well. Thanks Ang, it was the perfect ending to our dinner!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

frosted sugar cookies...

*sugar cookies*

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup butter
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt

Mix sugar, shortening/butter, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Chill dough for atleast one hour. Bake at 400 degrees on greased cookie sheet 6-8 min.

*buttercream frosting*

1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. milk
Food coloring (optional)

In large bowl, beat together sugar, butter, vanilla and milk until smooth. If necessary add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring. Mix everything well.

I {heart} sugar cookies! I wasn't going to, but I couldn't help myself. This my favorite sugar cookie recipe (I've tried a lot.) I undercook them just a little, I just take them out of the oven before any browning occurs. Ovens vary, so just watch the first batch after about 6 min. They will stay really soft and yummy. You can cut this recipe in half, but it's kind of like the meatballs...if you're going to do it, just make a lot!

So, if you have the time/desire tonight or tomorrow...whip up a batch for your family (yourself), your neighbors (yourself), your friends (yourself), the mailman (yourself), you get where I'm going with this!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

roast chicken...

*herb roasted chicken*

1 5lb (approx) whole chicken fryer
1 onion
fresh herbs (whatever you like)
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
salt & pepper

Rinse chicken thoroughly with water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season inside with salt & pepper. Stuff with onion and herbs. Rub chicken with butter or olive oil (all over...for even browning) and season with salt & pepper. Tuck wings under chicken body. Place in lightly greased roasting pan and roast at 425 degrees for 60-90 min. (depending on size of chicken) Chicken should be cooked to 180 degrees on thermometer (test around wing & thigh), you can also tell it's done if the juices run clear with no pink color, and the leg moves back and forth easily. Remove from pan and let rest about 15-20 min (all of the juice runs out if you don't do this...aka...dry chicken).

This is such a hit at my house. My boys eat this like ravenous carnivores! I got the idea for this a few years ago from Barefoot Contessa (my idol), but I've tweaked it according to our tastes. This is sooooo very good when stuffed with lemon and thyme or garlic & onions & herbs, etc. I used rosemary this time, but seriously I add different combinations each time I cook it. I always thought roasting a whole chicken would be quite the undertaking, but it really is fast & easy. I know, I know, you can buy great rotisserie chickens, but give this a'll be so proud of yourself!

Monday, February 11, 2008

bon bons...

*bon bons*

1 box red velvet cake mix
1 can cream cheese frosting
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
wax paper

Bake cake according to pkg directions in 9x13 pan and let cool completely. Break cake up in a large bowl (use a fork to break it up completely, with no lumps.) Mix in cream cheese frosting; start with a spoon, finish with your hands. Roll in to ping pong ball size and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Cool in fridge for several hours. They can be put in the freezer if you want to speed it up. Roll in melted chocolate bark. Store at room temp in an air tight container.

4 out of 5 people surveyed really liked these...I was the one who thought they were just ok. I think these would be phenomenal with chocolate cake and chocolate frosting. I would even add a little vanilla extract or even mint extract (my sisters suggestion...yum!) to counteract the canned frosting taste. Whatever cake mix you choose, use the coordinating frosting. The Red Velvet cake mix looked great for these, but really had little flavor. I went to three stores to find the Red Velvet cake mix and finally found one at Albertsons (just a little f.y.i.) Overall, they were a relatively easy, and different treat to make, and would make a great gift for Valentines Day!
recipe adapted from Bakerella

Saturday, February 9, 2008

meatballs 101...

If you're going to make might as well just make a lot!


4 lb Lean ground beef
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup dry Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup worchestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine all ingredients. Blend well. Shape mixture into 1-1/2" balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 25-30 minutes until brown. Remove immediately and drain on paper towels. When cooled put into ziploc bags. Freeze and use within 3 months. Makes about 80 meatballs.

Take the phone off the hook, put the kids in front of the tv (what?) and dive into this little project!
This is such a great recipe. A tip on freezing them is to line them up (after baked and cooled) on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for about an hour. Once they are frozen, put in plastic bags and store in freezer. This is called "flash freezing" (are you impressed that I knew the technical term?..I kind of am). This is so they don't freeze in a giant clump and makes it easier to use as many as you want at one time.I love that I can freeze them and have something for a quick dinner. In the upcoming weeks I will post recipe ideas to use these little babies up. Oh, and they taste goooood! As long as I had a few meatballs on hand...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

muffins...& more muffins...

*banana spice muffins*

3 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup shortening

2 eggs

1 cup milk

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup dried banana chips

Lightly grease 12 muffin cups. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. In a different bowl, cream together sugar and shortening, then add eggs and mix. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full, top with broken banana chips. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Alright, so this muffin batter is really just a vehicle for whatever kind of muffin additions you are attracted to...blueberry, cranberry (dried), spice, chocolate chip (yum!!), etc. You can play around with the spices: removing, adding to, adding vanilla or orange zest (again, yum!!)...whatever! This muffin batter really is a winner in my book. They look like professional muffins when they come out of the oven. They freeze really well, too. I actually got about 18 muffins after adding the bananas.


*cinnamon bran muffins*

3 cups All-Bran cereal (original)

1 cup boiling water

2 cups buttermilk

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup oil

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

Combine dry ingredients, set aside. In large mixing bowl pour boiling water over cereal and mix until cereal has absorbed water and is a little mushy. Add remaining wet ingredients and mix well. Add dry ingredients a little at a time until combined. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 min. or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

OK, the coolest part about these muffins is that the batter can be stored in the fridge and the muffins can be microwaved, yes, microwaved a few at a time. The first pic (of the 1/2 eaten muffin is a microwaved one). I know it sounds weird, but it totally works. Here's how:

double up two muffin papers and fill 1/2 full with batter. Microwave for about 35 sec. for one muffin, and 45-50 seconds for 2-3 miffins. Take note...microwaves vary, so test this out a couple of times. If it doesn't work the first 2-3 times, don't swear, just try again. The tops of the muffins will be bubbling slightly, and may even be a little doughy in spots, but they will set up if you leave them alone for a minute. If the microwave thing doesn't work for you...just bake them. These will freeze well, also. ( Thanks to my sister-in-law for the recipe!)

In case you were wondering how I justify all of this baking...

...I have very lucky friends and neighbors!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

baked penne pasta...& buttery herb bread...

*baked penne pasta*

12 oz penne
1 jar pasta sauce
1 lb ground beef
mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese

cook pasta for about 6-7 min (so there is still a bite to it), meanwhile brown ground beef. Add pasta sauce. When pasta is done, drain and add to meat sauce. Put in greased 9x13 pan and top with cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 25 min. Remove foil and bake a few min more.

ok...the real star of this meal is the bread. If you start having chest pains while reading the recipe, that is's still worth a try! The original recipe called for twice as much butter as I used...I just couldn't bring myself to do it. However, if your thighs are smaller than mine and you don't easily succomb to guilt...go for it.

*buttery herb bread*

1 stick of salted butter
1 loaf of french bread
parsley, thyme, rosemary (fresh and chopped)
use one type of herb, use all, use none, it really is good with or without

cut bread in half, lengthwise. Spread 4 Tbsp of butter on each half (original recipe calls for 8 Tbsp on each half.) Place on baking sheet and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 min. (The butter should be melted and soaking into the bread...yum, but not too much color on bread.) Then put bread under the broiler for 3-5 min until butter browns and bread is nicely toasted. Sprinkle with herbs (if desired), slice and serve.

OK, seriously, this is soooo good. If it helps, the richness of the butter prevents you from eating too much. Before adding garlic, try it as is. There is something about all of that lucious butter browning that adds plenty of flavor.

Hey, I never said this blog would have light recipes...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

angel hair pasta with chicken...

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
12 oz angel hair pasta
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Season chicken with salt & pepper and cook in 1 Tbsp olive oil over med heat about 5 min, or until cooked through. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towel. Heat remaining oil in same skillet; cook carrots about 4 min. Meanwhile cook pasta according to pkg directions. Add broccoli and garlic to skillet and cook for 2-3 min. longer. Add chicken , broth and cheese to skillet and simmer for 4 min. Drain pasta & top with chicken & vegetable mixture.
My husband thought the pasta needed some sort of sauce...the lack of sauce was exactly the reason I liked it. If you like a little flavor in your pasta you could certainly cook it in a little chicken broth. It would also be great with lemon pepper. Overall, it is a great, healthy dinner and it would make a fabulous lunch (if you ever actually get to eat anything besides someone's leftover pb&j or a few bites of mac & cheese...)

Monday, February 4, 2008

rice bowls...

chicken breasts
equal parts terriyaki sauce & fat free italian dressing
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
*combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag & marinade over night
*roast or grill chicken, put over steamed brown or white rice, add steamed veggies (broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, etc), add a little more terriyaki sauce and/or soy sauce
this marinaded chicken is great grilled or roasted served with any is really versatile and very healthy!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

coconut macaroons...

If you love someone who loves coconut...make them macaroons for Valentines Day!

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a samll ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (watch closely), until golden brown. Cool.
*These cookies are very easy to make, but anything with egg whites can be a little tempermental. Avoid baking these if there is a lot of humidity in the air. I highly recommend baking them on parchment lined baking sheet, or a silicon liner. If you are not using either of those, grease your baking sheet well and gently remove the cookies as soon as they come out of the oven to a cooling rack. If you are so inclined, a little drizzle of chocolate on top would not offend the recipient!
They really are worth the effort!!