Thursday, December 17, 2009

classic gingerbread boy cookies...

1 cup butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. In a mixer cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in molasses and egg. Cover and chill for at least one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment or silpat. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and place 1-2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 min. Let cool. Decorate. Store in an airtight container.

These are soft, chewy and have just the right amount of spice to make the perfect gingerbread cookie. This would be a fun weekend project with the kids! You can go as detailed or as simple (like I did) as you like with the decorating. I personally love cinnamon red hots on my gingerbread cookies...I didn't have any, though. Still delicious!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

snowball cookies...

1 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

powdered sugar (for rolling cookies in)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Add flour and salt and stir to combine. Fold in chopped nuts.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Placed on greased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 min. Remove from oven and roll in powdered sugar while still warm. Roll in sugar again when cool.

I believe the real name for these is wedding cookies. I've never had or seen these at a wedding. We call them snowball cookies. That is what they look like, after all...
Again, a very easy recipe. You do have to plan ahead a little and take your butter out of the fridge early in the day (as with any cookie recipe...this step really does make a HUGE difference.)
Santa will love them!!! So will you.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

peppermint bon bon cookies...

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup butter (room temp)

1/2 cup shortening

1 egg (room temp)

1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

red food coloring

1/2 cup crushed candy canes

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Combine crushed candy canes and granutlated sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Cream powdered sugar, butter, shortening, egg and extracts. Add flour and salt. Mix until combined. Divide dough in half of the dough (making it as pink or as red as you like). Use a Tablespoon to measure out dough and roll into bon bons. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8-9 min.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with candy canes while hot. Let cool completely.

Twelve days and counting...
If you are looking for a new cookie this year, look no further. These little morsels are full of peppermint goodness and can be popped right in your mouth...what's not to love?!?
These are a must every Christmas at our house. These are one of the cookies we leave for Santa because they are his (and Mrs. C's favorite!!) They come together quickly which is always a bonus...especially at this time of year, and they are yum-my.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

pan cookie bars...

1/2 cup butter
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 cup chocolate chips


1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and peanut butter and mix well. Stir in soda, salt, flour and oatmeal. Press into a 9x13 in baking pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Bake 20-25 min or until golden brown. Remove from oven and drizzle with icing.
Cool completely. Cut into squared and serve.

These were a different twist on the usual pan bars. They were so quick and easy to throw together and they disappeared quickly!
Put on your June Cleaver pearls and whip these up for a great after school snack (after the vacuuming is done, of course!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

apple cider donut holes...

2 red apples (I used Honeycrisp)
2 1/2 cups apple cider
3 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 Tbsp shortening
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Core and chop apples (do not peel). Combine with 1 1/2 cups cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and cook until softened, about 8 min. Uncover and continue cooking until the apples are tender and the cider is almost completely reduced, about 5 min. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth. Measure the sauce; you should have 1 cup. (Boil to reduce further, if necessary) Let cool.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

Beat 2/3 cup sugar and the shortening in another bowl with a mixer on medium speed until sandy. Beat in the egg and yolk, then gradually mix in the applesauce, scraping the bowl. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and vanilla, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix to a sticky dough; do not overmix.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper (I used my silpat on a baking sheet and covered with plastic wrap) and pat into a 7x11 inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Mix remaining cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.

Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a deep fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Cut the chilled dough with a 1 inch cutter (or just cut into small pieces and roll into balls)
Slip 3-4 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.
Roll in cinnamon sugar. Serve warm or at room temp.

I debated for a long time (a good month) whether or not to make these. I had never made donuts before, and was intimidated. Plus, I was turned off by the thought of grease splattering all over my kitchen.
I have to say...I am so glad I made them!!!
It seems like a bit of a process, but really is very easy. The biggest trick was to keep the dough very cold. I even stuck it in my freezer for a few min in between frying. As for the splattering didn't happen. Bummer. That means I'll just have to make them again. And again. And again.
At least again next Halloween!
Recipe from the Food Network magazine (Sept- Oct issue)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

apple cider donut holes...

**recipe to come**

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

candy corn pizza...

1 pre made pizza crust
pizza sauce
grated cheddar cheese
grated mozzarella cheese

Bake according to crust instructions.

This is a Halloween dinner favorite at our house! For the non pizza lovers (is there really such a thing??) you can omit the sauce and just make cheese bread.
My kids love that it is a change from the norm.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

best, big, fat, chewey chocolate chip cookies...

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
Bake for no longer than 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

*If you don't have unsalted butter, just use salted butter, but use MILK chocolate chips instead.

I have a "thing" for cookies. I recently just discovered this. After giving it some thought, I realized that if I am going to indulge in a is definitely going to be a cookie. Preferably a chocolate chip cookie. When my cute friend, Ali gave me this recipe it was love at first read. Something about the "drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time..." just spoke to me. Big time. These are delicious. I've made them several times...I should know! Try them.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

spicy cauliflower poppers...

1 head cauliflower
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp course salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut cauliflower florets into {good sized} bite-sized pieces. Place all ingredients in a large zip bag and toss to coat. Spread on prepared baking sheet and bake until tender, but not mushy, stirring halfway through, about 10 min.

I love vegetables, but get so tired of the steamed version. These were a nice change from the usual...
I made this as a side to go along with Mexican food. It was yummy. My kids thought it was too spicy, so adjust the chili powder and pepper to your liking. You could, if you feel like being a little naughty, add a little melted butter to the bag when coating with the spices. I mean, anything bad with melted butter???

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

homemade twix bars...

1 ¼ c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter; room temp

½ c. butter
½ c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
½ c. sweetened condensed milk

Crumble crust ingredients together. Pack into 9x9 inch pan that has been sprayed, lined with foil and sprayed again. Bake on 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Combine caramel ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly as it burns easily. Remove from heat. Stir with spoon slowly until it shows signs of thickening. Pour over crust and let cool a little.

Top layer:
Melt approximately 1-2 c. chocolate chips with 1 tsp shortening over low heat or in the microwave. Pour over caramel layer and spread carefully. Chill. Cut into bars.
In the world of world of treats...there is nothing better than chocolate and caramel. Add a cookie crust and this girl is in HEAVEN!
This bad boys did not disappoint. They are relatively quick and easy to put together. The only thing that takes extra attention is cooking the caramel. It will scorch if you stop stirring it during the cooking process.
Next time I will make them with milk chocolate. Yes, there will definitely be a next time.
recipe from A Cup of Sugar

Friday, August 28, 2009

citrus grilled flank steak...

1 pound lean flank steak
1 medium garlic clove, peeled and minced
juice of half a lime
1/8 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Combine marinade ingredients. Pour over steak in a large zip bag and rub marinade into steak. Place in fridge for 2-4 hours.
Grill on med high heat on grill until desired doneness. Remove steak and let rest, covered with foil for 15 min before slicing. Drizzle with fresh lime juice, if desired.

Easy and delicious.
This marinade is so full of flavor with so few ingredients. If you wanted to give it a southwest flare, you could add a little chili powder and cumin to the marinade.

Monday, August 24, 2009

banana sour cream cake with cinnamon icing...

1/3 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 med)
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla. Add bananas and mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, stirring just until combined. Stir in walnuts. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with cinnamon icing.

2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk (plus a little to thin out)
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Thin with additional milk to get to drizzling consistency.

We have a tradition at our house of enjoying a "first day of school" cake every year. Just when I think my kids have forgotten about it (or don't care) I start getting asked what kind of cake it will be this year. I love it!
The sour cream in this recipe makes the cake so moist, and the icing just takes it over the top. This was like banana bread supreme!
The bonus for me was that I actually made a cake from scratch that didn't bubble over in my oven. Really, this is an accomplishment for me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

chicken teriyaki foil dinners...

chicken tenders (2-3 per person)
carrots; sliced
green onion; sliced
sugar snap peas
salt & pepper
teriyaki sauce (I used Yoshida's)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Tear as many foil squares as you need (one per person), and go a little larger than you might think on these. On each square place 2-3 chicken tenders and season with salt and pepper. Add a handful of sliced carrots, onions & sugar snap peas and drizzle with teriyaki sauce. Bring two sides of foil together and wrap tightly, repeat with remaining foil. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 min.

I got this fabulous idea from Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe. However, when I went to get the recipe my internet was down so I had to make do. I have no doubt that Melanie's recipe is fabulous (as all of her recipes are!!) but this was delicious, as well. We really loved it and will definitely be making it again soon. It was so quick and easy. I just steamed a pot of rice to go along with it and we had a delicious dinner. (And just like Melanie's kids...mine loved having their own little foil packets on their plates)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

chocolate peanut butter cupcakes...

24 chocolate cupcakes (made from scratch or a mix)

peanut butter frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 Tbsp butter; room temp
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup heavy cream or milk

Place first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and mix on medium low speed until creamy. Add the cream or milk and beat on high speed until light and smooth.

I wish I could say that I made the cupcakes from scratch. I can say that I attempted to make a fabulous "from scratch" recipe, but they bombed. That's another story for another day...
This recipe is of course, another Barefoot Contessa winner (if you don't have any of her cookbooks, go buy one...or ALL of them!) It is amazing. Top the cupcakes with chopped peanuts or crushed up peanut butter cups and oh my!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

cake & ice cream {updated}...

chocolate cake
vanilla bean ice cream; melted
fresh raspberries

Let ice cream soften to liquid state. Pour a small (or large!) amount of ice cream on the bottom of dish. Top with a slice of cake and sprinkle with fresh red raspberries.

Cake & ice you've never had it before. This is a dessert idea from the amazing Barefoot Contessa. Ina, I love you.
I will admit I was a little skeptical of this dessert at first. Shame on me. The cake just soaks up the ice cream and that combined with the tartness of the berries is just delicious. Take away the paper plates and this would make quite an elegant after dinner offering.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

omelet for two..or four..or six...

1/4 lb good thick-cut bacon (I used 8 slices precooked)
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup medium diced potatoes (I used red potatoes)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp minced jalapeno pepper (I left this out)
5 extra-large eggs (I used 3 whole and 2 egg whites)
2 Tbsp milk or cream (I used milk)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions
4 oz extra sharp cheddar , diced (I used 1 cup grated)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the bacon in 1-inch pieces. Cook the bacon in an 8-inch ovenproof saute pan over medium low heat for 5-7 min, stirring occasionally, until browned. Drain the bacon on paper towels and discard the fat from the pan. (If using the precooked bacon omit this step. Warm it in the microwave, cut into 1-inch pieces and set aside.) Add the butter to the pan, then add the potato and onion. Cook over medium low heat for about 10 min, tossing occasionally, until the onion starts to brown and the potato is tender but firm. Add the jalapeno and cook for 30 seconds.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together with a fork. Stir in the green onions and cheddar. When the potato is cooked, add the bacon to the pan, spreading evenly and pour over the egg mixture. Place the pan in the oven for 15-20 min, until omelet puffs and the eggs are almost cooked in the center. Sprinkle with a little grated cheddar and bake for another minute. Serve hot directly from the pan.

Thank you, thank you Ina. This made a delicious dinner...for all six of us! If you are reeaallly hungry then possible this could be shared by two people, but 1/4 of it really is filling. I LOVED it. Mine only took 15 min (maybe even a little less) so check it after about the 12 min mark. I served it with french toast cups, and it was a great meal for the entire family. One of my most favorite things about this recipe is that all of the ingredients are things I usually have on hand. I loved that I was able to make something this wonderful as a last minute dinner.

Friday, July 31, 2009

farmstand produce...

...makes me happy!!
I have big plans for the raspberries & corn, the rest will just be for munching.
My favorite produce stand never disappoints. This is just a small portion of what I wanted to purchase. Unfortuantely, farmstands do not make my kids as happy as they make me so I'll be taking another trip back there tomorrow (alone) for the best looking green beans I have ever seen, red potatoes, watermelon & peaches.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


focaccia or ciabatta bread
1/2 pound salami
1/2 pound prosciutto
1/2 pound provolone cheese
olive oil

I found a loaf of focaccia bread at the bakery and cut it into six portions. You could also use the individual ciabatta rolls (really, whatever works!) Place sliced provolone on each half and meat in the middle. I only used mustard with the salami. Place sandwich together and brush with olive oil. Place on preheated panini press or grill and press down. Cook until cheese is melted and bread is crisp.
I don't have a panini press, but I do have a George Foreman and it worked perfectly. You could get really creative with paninis and make them according to your own taste. A fresh mozzarella, tomato & basil would be fantastic. Adding a little pear or arugula to the provolone and prosciutto would also be great. I wish I had been thinking more clearly and I would have sprinkled a little rosemary on the cheese. That's because this was a last minute dinner and I just started throwing stuff together. Not bad for "one of those nights!"
I served them with some fresh berries and some Italian pickled vegetables. These will be taking the place of a standard grilled cheese. The whole family loved them!
And let me just mention that the cheese that melts on the grill and gets all crusty is one of the BEST parts.

Monday, July 20, 2009

need a lunch/snack idea?...

My kids LOVE this kind of stuff.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

baked ham & cheese rolls...

2 Tbsp dried minced onions
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 stick melted butter (I used 1/2 a stick)
1 dozen dinner rolls
1/2 pound ham
1/2 pound thinly sliced Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 325°. In a small mixing bowl mix onion, mustard, poppy seeds, and melted butter. Leaving the dinner rolls intact, slice them open so that you have one solid top and bottom. Place the bottom half on a baking sheet or in a 9x13 inch baking pan, the pan size will depend on choice of rolls. Line the bottom half of the rolls with cheese slices and ham. Return the top part of the rolls and drizzle the butter mixture evenly over top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Now use a sharp knife and separate the little sandwiches. Serve immediately.

Note- These can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, may require 5 more minutes of baking. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds.

These little sandwiches were a hit. They came together quickly, and were full of flavor. I mean, butter BAKED right on top of a ham & cheese sandwich???YUM! The flavor from the onions and mustard were delicious, as well. The original recipe called for 1 Tablespoon of poppy seeds (which is what I used and is pictured above) but I think 1 teaspoon would suffice. Especially since my kids weren't thrilled about little black dots on their food...whatever.
These would be perfect for a bridal/baby shower. Crank up your ovens (I know, I's hot outside) You'll be glad you did.
Recipe adapted from Big Red Kitchen

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

patriotic mini pies...

pie filling

Roll out crust and cut circles out that are about 1 inch bigger than mini muffin cups. Press gently into muffin pans and crimp edges. Fill about 3/4 full with pie filling. Cut out stars with remaining dough and place on top of each pie. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake according to crust directions. Serve warm or at room temp.

Yes, I know...the 4th of July is over, but who says you can't celebrate all month??? Especially when you can do it with pie!
I made these for our 4th of July bbq and they were a hit! I used my favorite pie/tart crust recipe, and blueberry and apple for the fillings. For the apple I cut the apples pretty small and tossed with a little splash of lemon juice, a little sugar and cinnamon and a little flour to thicken it ( exact measurements here. I just winged it.) I did the same for the blueberry filling.
I made 24 mini pies. If you have filling and dough leftover you can always make a tart or turnovers.
For a more detailed (and entertaining) recipe go

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Greek pizza...

olive oil
diced red onion
diced english cucumber
chopped romaine lettuce
feta cheese
kalamata olives, pitted and halved
greek vinaigrette


Juice of 1 lemon
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Whisk to combine. Store in refrigerator.

Brush pitas with a little olive oil. Place on grill until a little crisp and grill lines are visible. Spread 1-2 tablespoons hummus on to each pita. Sprinkle with feta. Put back on grill just until warmed through. Sprinkle with the remaining inngredients and drizzle with a little vinaigrette.
I could eat Greek salad every day. Pile it all on to a pita, grill it, and you have yourself a winner!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

guilt free chicken alfredo...

2 cups low-fat milk (not skim)
1/3 cup (3 oz) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (room temp)
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
dash of grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp butter
2-3 garlic cloves
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
sliced, grilled chicken

Place milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender.
Process until smooth and set aside.In a non-stick sauce pan, melt butter on med-high heat and add garlic. Let the garlic saute for about 30 seconds, being sooo careful not to burn it. Then add milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more. It should be much thicker now. When it's nice and thick (it should look as thick as a normal alfredo sauce) remove the pan from the heat. Add the cheese, stir it up and then cover immediately. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing. Also, if you have leftovers in the fridge, the sauce will thicken almost into a solid. Just re-heat and add a little milk and it will be back to normal again.

This recipe (thanks to Our Best Bites) is phenomenal! I like the flavor of alfredo sauce, but it is way too rich for me in it's true form. This tastes EXACTLY like the alfredo sauce that we all know and love...minus the coat your tongue richness. The only thing I altered from the original recipe was that I added a little nutmeg (a must in cream sauces) and used a little less garlic. This would make an amazing pasta primavera if steamed vegetables were added.

Friday, June 19, 2009

frozen pie...

*Symphony pie*

1 giant milk chocolate Symphony bar
1 pre-made graham cracker crust (or 12 individual)
1 8oz tub cool whip
1/4 cup water

Break up candy bar into small pieces and melt with 1/4 cup water in microwave about 30 seconds. Let cool a little. Fold in cool whip and put in crust(s). Freeze for a couple of hours before serving. Delicious with fresh whipped cream or a little chocolate syrup drizzled over the top.

*Cookie dough pie*

1 pkg regular Chips Ahoy cookies (or Oreos, Nutter Butter, etc.)
1 8oz tub cool whip
chocolate syrup for drizzling

Put one layer of cookies (breaking to fit if necessary) in the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch pie pan. Spread 1/3 of cool whip over cookies. Repeat this two more times. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Freeze for 1-2 hours. Slice & serve.

Cake shmake. My boys wanted pie for their birthday! They each picked the kind they wanted and after some very easy assembly and a little freezer time the candles were on & we were good to go! The Symphony pie (recipe courtesy of Real Mom Kitchen!) is so rich and soooo good! The cookie dough pie was good, as well. The cookies soften from the cool whip...hence the name. (recipe from Big Red Kitchen)
Both of these are great for a cold Summer treat!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

chicken wrap...

whole wheat tortilla
light cream cheese
sliced grilled chicken
romaine lettuce
sliced cucumber
light balsamic vinaigrette

Spread a small amount of cream cheese on tortilla. Layer lettuce, romaine & cucumber and drizzle with vinaigrette.

Whenever I grill chicken for dinner I grill up a few extra pieces and keep them in the fridge for wraps, salads, pasta, etc. This makes a very healthy, filling lunch...and it's really tasty, too!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

lemon sunshine cookies...

1 cup butter; room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream (I used reduced fat)
2 eggs
1-2 Tbsp grated lemon zest
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
juice of one lemon

1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, cream together the margarine, sugar and sour cream until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in lemon zest and lemon juice. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into the sugar mixture, being careful not to over mix.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto lined or greased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. In a small bowl, stir together the melted margarine, confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon zest and juice. Add milk a little at a time until smooth consistency. Spread over cooled cookies.

We have had a rainy week. A very rainy, cold week. It doesn't help that it's the first week of Summer vacation, either. These cookies were a little pick-me-up. Let's be honest...when isn't a freshly baked cookie a pick-me-up??? To keep up with the lemon theme, and to use up a few more lemons, I made these little beauties. These may very well be in the running for my new favorite cookie. They have a very cake-like consistency, and the frosting just takes them over the top. I was pretty conservative with the amount of lemon juice I used. I wanted the lemon flavor to definitely be there without overpowering it. Bake some up this Summer. You'll LOVE them!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

lemon/garlic pasta...

3 Tbsp butter
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp fresh thyme; chopped
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 c cooked pasta (gemeli, linguine, etc)
2-3 grilled chicken breasts

Melt butter in a small pan. Add garlic and saute. Add lemon, pepper, thyme and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Add sauce to hot pasta and toss gently. Top with remaining cheese and grilled chicken and serve immediately.

When life gives you lemons...make and bake a lot of stuff with fresh lemon juice and zest...duh! This was another winner. Go easy on the garlic and lemon juice. Both come through with a very strong flavor when cooked this way. Unless you absolutely know you like a strong garlic flavor, start with one clove. For the lemon, I recommend starting with one Tbsp, taste it, and if you want a stronger lemon flavor then add more.
(1 cup pasta, 2 oz chicken=8pts)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

lemon bundt cake...

1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 cup lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage (7 UP or Sprite)

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk (more if needed to get to drizzle consistency)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix, then stir in the oil. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the soda.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool. For glaze combine powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

I love lemon anything. Pasta, cake, bars, etc. LOVE lemons. This cake was divine. It is very moist, very lemony and very delicious. This would be a perfect addition to any bbq this Summer!
More lemon recipes to come...!!
Recipe from