Welcome Fellow Food Enthusiasts

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Aunt Julianne's Sugar Cookies

My aunt shared this recipe with me while I was in college, and it's the only sugar cookie I've made ever since. Unfortunately, after making over 200 of them this week, I forgot to take a picture of the final product. Here's my blog on making them last year though, and you can kind of see what they looked like (I wish my mother had been in town this year to help with frosting them, especially since I made twice as many this year.) But I took plenty of pictures as I made them. And since everyone has their own favorite recipes, I thought I'd share secrets about what I think makes these ones so good.

First of all, everything is at room temperature. I set the butter out all night, and day depending on when I make the dough. The eggs and the sour cream I set out for 1-2 hours.

I cook so much that I keep my flour and sugar in these wonderful storage containers. I also bought the screw-on lids (so much easier than the tough push-on lids.) And then, I always sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together to mix the dry ingredients. I don't have an expensive sifter. I use the wire strainer that costs $1 at the dollar store. Works great!

I love this attachment for my KitchenAid for when I'm adding in the dry ingredients. The one my mother has is a one piece unit. Now they sell them as a two piece, put together unit - not quite as effective because there is space where the flour can escape, but still helpful.

Also, though I mix all my wet ingredients with the regular mixer attachment, before I add the dry ingredients, I switch to the kneader attachment. It really keeps everything mixed well, including the bottom of the bowl (you know how sometimes you find unmixed ingredients at the bottom? Icky!)

Also, I like the dough to be sticky - here's my hand after I took a batch out of the mixing bowl. I don't like to add too much flour because then the cookies are dry. (also, I don't use a lot of flour on my rolling mat, nor do I set cut dough on flour, I set it on wax paper.)

So, because it's sticky, I always refrigerate the dough overnight. This way when I roll out the dough to cut it, it's not sticky. So here are my dough balls ready for the fridge.

And finally, here's the recipe:

My Aunt Julianne's Sugar Cookies

Wet Ingredients
1 c Butter (softened to room temperature)

3 Eggs (room temperature)

1½ c Sugar

2t Vanilla

1 c Sour Cream (room temperature
*Mix well until creamy*

Dry Ingredients

5½ c Flour (again, its OK if its little sticky)

2t Baking Powder

1t Baking Soda

¼ t Salt

*Sift together in separate bowl*

**Add dry to wet and mix **

**Separate and roll dough into balls, wrap in plastic wrap, or put in bowls. Refrigerate (I prefer overnight, but recommend at least two hours.)

**Roll dough out to desired thickness. (About ¼” for large cookies, ½” for small. The dough will rise.) Cut into shapes. And place on greased cookie sheet.

**Bake at 350 for 8 minutes for small cookies, 9-10 minutes for large cookies (just before the edges go brown.) Remove immediately from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

**They stay the softest if after 10 minutes of air cooling they are placed in paper bags. set wax paper between rows to avoid sticking. Or after completely cooling, store in refrigerator or freezer.

**Frost after cooled. I made cream cheese frosting this year for the cookies. I didn't add as much sugar though since the cookies are so sweet.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

baked chicken {or turkey} meatballs.

i found this recipe on smitten kitchen, which is my favorite food blog. some of the recipes are a little too fancy for me, but i love to look at her gorgeous pictures of food!! check it out. oh and the meatballs turned out great! i'm sure you could use the same recipe with ground beef if you're not into ground poultry :)

3 slices italian bread, torn into small bits {1 cup}
1/3 cup milk
3 oz sliced pancetta, finely chopped {can be substituted with canadian bacon}
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 large egg
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb ground chicken or turkey
2 Tbsp tomato paste, divided
3 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

preheat oven to 400. soak bread in milk in a small bowl until softened, about 4 minutes.

cook pancetta, onion, and garlic in one Tbsp olive oil with 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper in a large skillet over medium heat until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. cool slightly.

squeeze bread to remove excess milk, then discard milk. lightly beat egg in a large bowl, then combine with chicken {or turkey} 1 Tbsp tomato paste, pancetta mixture, bread & parsley. form 12 {large} meatballs and arrange in a 9x13 baking dish.

stir together remaining Tbsps of tomato paste and olive oil. brush over meatballs, then bake until meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes.

i served them with pasta & marinara sauce. yuuummm!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Taco Ring

This is a Pampered Chef's recipe, but I tweaked it a tiny bit. To see the original recipe you can go here.


1 lb. ground beef
1\4 cup ketchup
1 cup salsa
1-2 cups cheese
1 tomato, diced
olives (optional)
2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
Parmesan Cheese

How To:

Cook your ground beef in a large skillet until no longer pink. (I added a little pepper to my beef.)
Add your ketchup and stir until coated (you may need a little more until it is entirely coated)
Add your salsa (again, add more or less according your preference) and grated cheese.
Let the mixture melt together on low heat for about ten minutes.
{make sure the cheese is almost all the way melted together, it is better if it is a little gooey}

Meanwhile, open crescent rolls and arrange triangles in a circle onto a cooking stone (or a round pizza pan) with the wide ends overlapping in the center and the points toward the outside.

Take your beef mixture and put a spoonful or so of the beef onto the widest end of the triangle.

Sprinkle tomatoes, extra cheese and olives over the mixture, and then take the points of the triangles and pull over and tuck under the wide end toward the center of the ring.

Pour a light coating of parmesan cheese over the ring right before baking.

375 for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

This is yummy with extra salsa, guacamole and sour cream to dip it in.

The ketchup part might throw you off a bit, but I promise, it is so, so good!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

easy sweet and sour chicken

chicken breasts
1 part sweet chili sauce
1 part grape jelly

cook in crock pot on low for 5 hours or until done. shred chicken and put over rice. YUM!

i usually use this recipe when making meatballs but i decided to give this a try, it was DELICIOUS and super easy. the bast part is you can cook it for 2 or 10. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Two Mustard Chicken

Betty Crocker has done it again. :) This recipe comes from the Best Chicken edition. Makes for some moist, succulent chicken. And is super easy.

1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup coarse-grained mustard
1/4 cup honey
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 1/2 pounds)
fresh thyme, if desired

(i kinda half the ingredients...)

Heat oven to 375. Grease rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches. Mix mustards and honey; spread on both sides of chicken. Place in pan.

Bake uncovered for 25 to 35 minutes or until juice is no longer pink when center of thickest pieces are cut. Garnish with thyme.

TIP: the one thing I would say is keep checking on the chicken once it's been in the oven for 20 minutes. The worst thing ever is dry chicken. Blah. Don't let it cook too long. Everybody's chicken breasts and ovens are different!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sweet and Spicy Turkey Chili


1 lb ground turkey
1 can stewed tomatoes mexican style
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can green chilis
1 can tomato sauce
2 cans kidney beans (slightly drained)
1 can black beans (slightly drained)
1 small yellow onion-diced
1 small red pepper- diced
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic
2 teaspoon chili powder
1\2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Brown your ground turkey and put in your crock pot.

Saute onion and red pepper for a few minutes just to get the the flavors mixed together and the veggies slightly softened. Add to crock pot

Add the rest of your ingredients, mix well and turn crock pot on high for 4-6 hours

{with the seasonings you can add more or less depending on your taste preference, I also added a few shakes of chili flakes to mine!}

Cornbread Tip:

When making a box of Jiffy Corn Bread, try omitting the milk and instead using a half can of creamed corn. It makes the bread super moist and a little sweet!