Friday, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Yes, I stole this picture. These are amazing! I ate a dozen for dinner tonight (and then took a dozen Tums). That was a bad idea. But if you can manage to just eat 1 or 2, you'll be fine. 

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For Rolling:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside. 
2. In another mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until combined. Mix in egg yolk, then mix in pumpkin and vanilla extract. With the mixer, gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Keep covered in the fridge for at least 45 minutes. 
3. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Scoop dough into about a 2 Tbsp sized ball, forming a ball with your hands, of course. Toss ball of dough in the cinnamon and sugar mixture until covered. Then place on a baking sheet, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. 
4. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Do not under bake. They're still gross hours later. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hamburger Soup

A classic from the Woods Cross cookbook. That thing was published in 1988! Aaron and Lori weren't even born! I went into panic mode today when I realized it's not in any of the cookbooks we've made together and it's not on this website (well, now it is). Just in case your copy of the Woods Cross cookbook is disintegrating or you don't even have one to begin with, here you go. This soup reminds me of home and the old days. :)

1 lb. hamburger

2 c. diced carrots

2 c. diced potatoes

1 c. diced celery

2 T. parsley, chopped fine

1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt (I used 2 cloves fresh garlic)

1 tsp. sugar

2 1/2 c. tomato juice

1/2 c. beef broth

1 T. tomato paste

1 large bay leaf

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

5 c. water

3 1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 c. pearl barley

Brown the hamburger until almost all the pink is gone, drain. Add onions and garlic to the hamburger and cook until onions are translucent. Transfer meat mixture to a large soup pot. Add the rest of the ingredients to the soup pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for at least one hour. Stir occasionally. Before serving, remove bay leaf. (I made a few changes out of necessity, but it ended up making the soup taste even better so I included my changes. Also, I never have pearl barley.)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Chicken and Bacon Fettuccine Alfredo

This recipe is in the first Sisters' Cookbook as "Judy's Fettuccine." I added some stuff. I have to admit I was totally sweating when I finished making this. It's one of those recipes where you have to time everything just right. I think the end result is worth it, though. (Btw, Judy was my co-worker at the COB. Remember Judy?!)


1 lb. bacon, cooked until crisp, drained and crumbled

3 eggs, beaten

1/4 c. butter

1/4 c. snipped, fresh parsley

1 c. heavy cream

1 lb. fettuccine noodles, cooked al dente, drained

1 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (I used a Costco rotisserie chicken - as always)

6-8 mini bella mushrooms, chopped and sauteed in butter (optional) (Allyn)


Heat an oven-safe serving dish at 250 degrees while you're cooking.

Heat cream in a small saucepan until just warm. Remove from heat and add beaten eggs. Whisk together until smooth.

Take the serving dish out of the oven and put the butter in it. When the butter has melted, add the drained pasta and toss. Pour egg-cream mixture over buttered pasta and toss until it's well coated. Add bacon, chicken, mushrooms, and Parmesan cheese, then toss together. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and pepper. Serve immediately. (I used a coated cast iron braising pan with a nice tight lid. The pasta stayed warm and saucy. It was surprisingly good when warmed up for lunch the next day, too. I've had bad luck with alfredo making it as leftovers.)

Greasy Tacos

You can stop putting off making Cilantro Lime Rice, because here are the greasy tacos to go with it. Chef Mo helped me with the shells.


1 lb. ground beef mixed with 1 pkg taco seasoning mix

Canola Oil

Corn Taco Shells (we're using white corn shells here)

Shredded Colby Jack Cheese (about a cup)


Heat a griddle at 250 degrees. Pour a tablespoon of canola oil on the warmed griddle and spread it with a paper towel or a spatula. Place taco shells on the griddle and cook for about one minute. Turn the shells and sprinkle a little shredded cheese onto each shell. Put a small amount of taco meat on one half of the shell on top of the melting cheese. Fold each taco in half (still on the griddle) and press down with the flat of the spatula until it sticks, about 10 seconds. Remove tacos from griddle and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve with Cilantro Lime Rice, guacamole, and sour cream.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cilantro Lime Rice

I copied my friend Jenny's recipe for "greasy tacos" from memory last night and I needed a good side to go with them. Kristi emailed me this recipe (that she got from our friend, Shannon) for Cafe Rio's Cilantro Lime Rice. All that is too much information (I want to give credit where credit is due) - all you need to know is this rice is amazing. I'll post the recipe for tacos next time we do them. Which might be as soon as tomorrow. So good! (I cut the recipe in half for our family and that's how I've posted it here. We had so much left over even though everyone but Colin had seconds.) This would be great with so many dishes!


4 cups of water
4 cubes of chicken bullion
1 tsp. cumin
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
6 green onions, chopped
1 T. butter
6 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
2 cups rice, uncooked
1 10-oz. can of green enchilada sauce
2-3 limes, cut in quarters to make them easy to squeeze over the rice


Heat water, add all ingredients except rice and enchilada sauce. Bring to a boil. Add rice and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes. Add enchilada sauce and serve. (Serve with individual quarters of lime.)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Dip

It's only three ingredients, but does everyone else forget if it's garlic salt or garlic powder or onion salt or onion powder? Just me? Well - now you'll have it right here to look up. Every time.

1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese

8 oz. sour cream

1+ tsp. onion salt

Cream ingredients together and chill before serving. (And taste before putting the beaters in the dishwasher.)
Oh, and here's what we really use it for, right?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Italian Stuffed Shells

Remember these?! They were in the Woods Cross Cookbook. One of the first dishes I ever mastered. Easy and always delicious. I took a lot of photos because I have a new lens and cute helpers.


1 12-oz. box Jumbo Shells

1 lb. Italian sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)

8 oz. cream cheese (softened a little)

8 oz. sour cream

2 c. grated cheese (mozzarella should be one of the cheeses, but you can use any combination beyond that)

1 jar pasta sauce (I used Newman's Own Sockarooni this time)

If you have this kind of helper, you'll also need a second box of Jumbo Shells. (Poor Colin! He took the box off the counter not knowing it was open. I always buy two of everything, so I had another box of shells in the pantry.) He just saw this picture and said, "Sorry, Mom." :)


Boil the shells (about half the box, 18 to 22 shells) in salted water for 8 minutes (the directions say 10 minutes, but I like them a little more firm before putting them in the oven). Drain the shells and rinse with cold water. Set aside. 

Cook the sausage, drain.

In a mixing bowl, combined softened cream cheese, sour cream, sausage, and grated cheeses. Use a hand mixer to mix them all together.
Line the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish with a couple of spoonfuls of pasta sauce.
Fill the pasta shells with a heaping spoonful of the cream cheese mixture.
Place the filled shells in the prepared baking dish.
Cover the filled shells with remaining pasta sauce and a few handfuls of cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes uncovered. Enjoy watching ALL your kids eat this. Miraculous.

We like to have this kind of dish with some easy garlic toast. I get the mini Italian bread loaves from Costco (any artisan bread will work), slice them up, spread garlic and herb butter on them, and broil in the oven for three minutes. I get the garlic and herb butter from Costco too. It comes in tubs like the spreadable margarine.