Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Best Ever Chocolate Cutout Cookies

from all

This will take up to 2.5 hours so please plan accordingly.

1-1/2 C all purpose flour
3/4 C butter, softened
3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/4 C white sugar
1-1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/8 tsp salt

Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg.
Gradually stir in sifted ingredients to form a soft dough.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces, flatten in saran wrap and refrigerate 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 in thick. Cut into shapes. The dough will be very sticky. Add more flour as needed. Place cookies 1 1/2 in apart on cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to wire rack.
Ice or decorate.
Makes 3 dozen cookies

Hazelnut Ice Cream

This is my all time favorite ice cream. While in Austria- Yuko and I pretty much survived on it.

1/2 C hazelnuts
6 egg yolks, beaten
2 C half & half
1 C heavy cream
2/3 C sugar
1 tbsp hazelnut liquor or 1/2 tsp vanilla

Toast hazelnuts @ 325 for 10 minutes. Place in towel and rub together to remove skins. Grind nuts until fine and they release oils.
In a double boiler, mix half & half and nuts. Simmer 15 minutes. Whisk sugar into eggs. Whisk small amount of hot mixture into eggs and return all to pan. Cook stirring constantly until custard coats the back of your spoon.
Place the pan in cold water. Stir in cream and liquor. Remove from cold water and chill overnight or a few hours in the refrigerator. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Makes 2 qts

Chocolate Amaretto Ice Cream

I love to make ice cream- this is one of my favs!

2-2/3 C milk
3 eggs
1/2 C cocoa
1-1/3 C sugar
2/3 C lt. corn syrup
2-2/3 C whipping cream
1 C amaretto

In sauce pan, combine 1/2 milk, cocoa, corn syrup and bring to a boil over med heat. Stir constantly.
Let cool.
Beat eggs until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar.
Add cocoa mixture.
Stir in remaining 1/2 milk, cream and amaretto; blending well.
Chill overnight or several hours.
Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Makes 2 qts.

Pecan Pie

From "Mama Dip's Kitchen"

1 stick butter
3 eggs, beaten
1 C sugar
1 C pecans, chopped
1 C Karo syrup
1 unbaked 9 in pie crust

Preheat oven to 350.

In a sauce pan, melt butter. Mix sugar and corn syrup. Cook over med heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Stir in eggs, mix well. Stir in pecans. Pour into pie shell. Bake 1 hour or until firm.

Pumpkin Roll

From my good friend Stephanie Ryan of (see my TTD photos there)
Below is her recipe in her words- verbatim.

Pumpkin Roll
What? Like those of you that know me couldn't guess this… come on now. For the others that don't know what Pumpkin Roll is- boy, have you been missing out. Imagine rolling pumpkin bread around cheesecake filling. Mouth watering yet? I thought it might. My family has been making this for generations to the point it's expected to be there on Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, my merriment of fall gift to all of you is the recipe. Planning on being a dinner guest this Thanksgiving and want to impress? Make this. They may even pull you aside and tell you it's better than Grandma's Pumpkin Pie. It's been known to happen…

What you need:
3 Lg. Eggs
¾ C Sugar
2/3 C Canned Pumpkin
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
¾ C Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
2 Tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. Ginger (optional)
½ tsp. Nutmeg (optional)

8oz Cream Cheese
1 C Powdered Sugar
4 Tbsp. Butter
½ tsp. vanilla

1. Beat eggs and sugar until thick
2. Add in pumpkin and lemon juice.
3. Quickly add with minimal mixing the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger and nutmeg.
4. Spread batter into a 15" x 10" x 1" that has been wax papered in the bottom, then sprayed with cooking oil. YOU MUST SPRAY WITH COOKING OIL OR IT WILL DEFINITELY STICK!!
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 min. (cake will pull away from sides)
6. Flip the cake over a piece of waxed paper that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Don't over do it or the sugar will make the cake sticky and gooey.
7. Peel off the wax paper that was used during baking.
8. Let cool for 10 min.
9. Roll up and refrigerate in waxed paper. (Want to make a bunch for later? Freeze the rolled cake w/o filling and use it later!)
10. Mix filling.
11. Unroll cake and Spread filling evenly.
12. Re-Roll
13. Wrap and refrigerate until use.
14. Use a long string of wax dental floss to cut roll (wrap around roll as though you're tying it at the top. When you pull it will make a clean cut and not squish it like a knife.)

Cream of Portobello Mushroom Soup

3/4 lbs portobello mushrooms
1 C half & half cream
1 sm onion
2 tbsp med- dry Sherry
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp chives; chopped
3 C beef and/or chicken broth
1/2 C chopped carrots

Quarter and thinly slice mushrooms and coarsly chop onions. (I added 1 garlic clove as well) In a heavy sauce pan, cook mushrooms and onion in butter over med heat; stirring occasionally, until softened and liquid evaporated.
Add broth (I use both) and cream. Simmer 15 minutes.
In a blender, puree 1/2 of mixture. Return to pan. Heat until hot. Stir in chives right before serving.

Makes 2 servings

Chicken Chili

1 lb. chicken breast, cooked and cubed
48 oz. jar norther beans; drained
24 oz. jar med. salsa; chunky
8 oz. grated monterey-jack cheese
1/2 C cream cheese
1 med onion; chopped
1 sm can chicken broth
1 tbsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together, cook in crock pot or stove top for 1-3 hours.

Recipe courtesy of Patty's Aunt Kathy :)
* I added cooked spaghetti to left-overs for a dinner a few nights later. Awesom.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

This recipe sounds scary because it's so long- don't be afraid- they are FAB!

1 C shortening
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
2 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground ginger
3-1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C canned pumpkin
1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 C all purpose flour
Dash salt
3/4 C milk
1 C shortening
2 C confectioner's sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger; add to creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin.
Drop by rounded tablespoon-fulls 2 in apart onto greased baking pans. Bake at 400 10-11 minutes (I did closer to 8) Cool on wire racks.

In a sauce pan, mix flour and salt, whisk in milk until smooth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. (will be paste-like) Cover and refrigerate until completely cooled.
In a small mixing bowl, beat shortening, confectioner's sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add chilled milk mixture; beat for 7 minutes on high until light and fluffy. Spread on the bottom of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies. Store in the refrigerator. YIELD: about 2 dozen.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS: 1 serv (1 ea) 340 cal, 17 g fat, 19 mg chol, 225 mg sodium, 44 g carb, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein

Recipe from

Monday, October 22, 2007

Five Star Moist Garlic Cheddar Chicken


This wonderfully moist dish gets rave reviews every time! Very garlicy- so be sure to have plenty of mints or gum on hand afterward. :D

4 chicken breasts, boneless/skinless
1/2 - 3/4 c bread crumbs
1/2 c shredded cheddar
1/3 c butter, melted
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp garlic powder
4 tsp grated parmasean
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350. In medium bowl, mix butter, garlic, garlic powder and seasoning salt.
In a second bowl, mix bread crumbs, cheddar and parmasean cheeses, and pepper. Dredge cleaned, dry chicken into butter then into bread crumb mixture. Place in greased baking dish. Bake covered for 15 minutes, uncover and bake 15 minutes more.

Suggestion: top with additional cheddar cheese in last 5 minutes.

Sally's Kahlua Fruit Dip

From Emily Deschine
This is a fabulously creamy dip for all kinds of fruit. It goes fast but makes a ton! Please, feel free to make it and enjoy for yourself!

1 c brown sugar
8 oz cream cheese- full fat, softened
8 oz sour cream
1/2 c Kahlua
1 tub (8oz) Cool Whip
1/2 - 3/4 c toffee bits

Cream first 4 ingredients together in mixer. Fold Cool Whip in with spatula. Place in serving dish, top with toffee bits just before serving. Serve with slice apples, strawberries, etc.


Nigella Lawson's Bagel Recipe

These bagels are the best I've ever tasted. Be sure to keep lots of butter and cream cheese on hand! These go quickly!

6 3/4 - 7 c bread flour, plus more as necessary for kneading
1 tbsp salt
1 pkg Rapid Rise yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil, plus more for greasing
2 1/4 c warm water, plus more as needed
2 tbsp malt or sugar for poaching
2-3 baking sheets, oiled or greased (do not use cooking spray)

1. Combine flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl. In separate container, add sugar and oil to the water. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid, mixing to a dough with a spatula or wooden spoon. **

2. Knead the dough either by hand or with dough hook, try to add more flour if you can. The dough is better dryer than wet. It will be stiff and hard to work. Even with a dough hook, kneading takes 10 minutes.

3. Form the dough into a ball and put it into an oiled bowl, turning once to coat all around. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and leave to rise for 1 hour. Once dough is well risen, poke with finger to test; impression should remain.

4. Punch the dough down and knead again, divide into 3 pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a rope then cut each rope into 5 pieces. Roll each piece between the palms of your hands into a ball, then roll another rope; curling to form a ring. Seal the ends by overlapping ( I roll into a ball then poke and stretch hole into the center)

5. Put on a large pan of water to boil, when it boils, add malt or sugar.

6. Set the bagels on the baking sheets, cover with tea towels and leave for 20 minutes. Bagels should grow puffy. Preheat oven to 500 (or your oven's max temp.)

7. When the water is boiling, start poaching. Drop in a few bagels at a time. Boil for 1 minute on each side. Remove from water, place back on baking sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they're shiny and golden brown.

Makes 15 Bagels

** For flavored bagels, add ingredients at this stage.

Super Quick Pizza Dough

This is seriously the easiest pizza dough. I've never ever ever had a mishap with it. I've even doubled it and it's been perfect every time. You can play with the sugar content a little, but I like mine a little sweeter to satisfy that Sweet & Salty craving.

1 pkg Quick Rise Yeast
1 tbsp Cooking Oil
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 c Hot Water (120-130 degrees f)
2 1/2 c Flour

Preheat oven to 425.
In a large bowl- (I use my dough hook and mixer, so mixing bowl) mix yeast and brown sugar *into hot water, let set a minute or so. Stir in oil and flour; form dough into ball, kneading until all mixed and dough is elastic. Cover with tea towel and place on heating stove or in warm, dry place. Let raise 15 minutes, or until doubled. Punch down the center of the dough and move it to a floured surface. Kneed until dough is no longer sticky, but smooth and elastic. Form into a ball, smoothing the rough edges under (I took my dough handling ques from the Flat is Beautiful episode of Good Eats!) Stretch on pizza pan or stone, leave 5 minutes to raise again.
Top with favorite sauce, cheese and toppings.
Bake 15- 20 minutes.

* for an herbed crust, omit sugar and add herbs to flour mixture.
^you can also use this for bread sticks or calzones.

Adapted from

Biggest Best Fluffy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oh yes, these truly are the best... period.

2 C All Purpose Flour

1/2 C White Sugar
1 C packed, Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
3/4 C Unsalted Butter, melted
2 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line cookie sheets. Sift together; flour, baking soda and salt.
In mixing bowl, cream together; butter (melted) brown and white sugars. Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy. Slowly, mix in sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop dough 1/4 cup full at a time onto baking sheets. (I make lg tbsp size) Bake 15-17 minutes (10-13) or until edges are slightly toasted.
Cool on baking sheets 1 minute then transfer to wire racks to cool.

**** To keep the cookies from flatening, I use 2 pans and while one is cooking the other is chilling in the freezer. Always use cold cookie sheets! :D

B's Pulled Pork Sandwiches

4 Servings

These pulled pork sandwiches are the BEST I've had- ever. So tender and juicy.

1 2 1/2- 3lb Pork Shoulder Roast
1 12 oz can Root Beer (NOT diet)
2 med Onions - wedged
Your favorite BBQ sauce
4 Whole Wheat Buns Cheddar Cheese for topping
Cole Slaw (optional)

1/2 c Brown Sugar
2 tsp Garlic, minced
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
1/16 tsp Chili Powder
1/16 tsp Celery Salt
Salt and pepper
Trim fat from roast. Salt and pepper. Brown on each side. While browning, combine all of ingredients under "rub" -mix well. Once meat is browned, cover each side with the rub. Let set 20 minutes. Add Rootbeer and onions to slow cooker. Add roast and excess rub. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Once cooked, transfer roast and onions to cutting board or serving plate and shred with 2 forks. Toss in favorite BBQ sauce. Pile buns high with pulled pork, onions and cheese. For a "traditional" southern style, add cole slaw to sandwich as well. Enjoy!

Garlic Dill Potatoes (Boston Market Copy-cat)

Serves 6

12 med Redskin Potatoes
4 1/2 tbsp Butter, melted
1 1/2 tbsp Dill
3 tsp Garlic, minced
3/8 tsp Salt

Cut potatoes into wedges. Boil until just barely done. Drain. Combine melted butter, dill, garlic & salt in small bowl. Return potatoes to pan, pour garlic butter over potatoes and mix well. Add additional salt to taste.