• Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

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    If you love snickerdoodles, you will LOVE these brown butter snickerdoodles!!!  Yes, they are that good, and I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a better snickerdoodle.  Warning: these cookies will be requested by everyone and will be devoured quickly! :)

    Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 1/2 c. AP flour
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
    • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
    • 1 c. unsalted butter, sliced
    • 1 1/4 c. brown sugar
    • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp. plain Greek yogurt
    • Rolling cookies:
    • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
    • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

    Instructions:

    1. In a medium bowl, Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
    2. To brown the butter, heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Add the sliced butter, whisking frequently. Continue to cook the butter until melted. The butter will start to foam and browned specks will begin to form at the bottom of the pan. The butter should have a nutty aroma. Watch the butter carefully because it can go from brown to burnt quickly. Remove butter from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
    3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown butter and sugars. Mix until blended and smooth. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt and mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
    4. Form the dough in a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can chill the dough overnight.
    5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls.
    6. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls on a large baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Make sure the cookies are about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the cookie tops with sea salt.
    7. Bake the cookies 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. The centers will still be soft. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, or until set. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

    Brown Butter Snickerdoodles:

    5star

  • Baked Honey Chicken

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    OMG this baked honey chicken is sooooo good!!!!!!!  Like serve to company good.  Like tastes better than takeout good.  Everyone loves it!

    Serve with hot rice or with Fried Rice.

    Recipe from The Recipe Critic.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 chicken breasts, cut up
    • 1 c. cornstarch
    • 3 eggs
    • salt and pepper
    • ¼ c. oil
    • Sauce:
    • ¾ c. honey
    • ¾ c. soy sauce
    • ½ c. ketchup
    • ½ c. brown sugar
    • ½ c. rice wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp. sesame oil
    • 1 tsp. minced garlic
    • 1 TBSP cornstarch

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 325*. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
    2. In 2 separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture.
    3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.
    4. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, and cornstarch. Pour over chicken and bake for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
    5. I stirred the chicken every 15 minutes so that it coated them in the sauce.

    Baked Honey Chicken:

    5star

  • Ellie’s Lasagna

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    Steve and I both love lasagna and baked ziti.  Sadly, our children are less than thrilled with either option, so I never make it.  We were at a team dinner (pot luck style) and Ellie said she “loved Coach Anita’s curly lasagna.”  Ellie proclaiming that she “loves” anything pasta is a miracle, so as soon as I got home I emailed Coach Anita for her recipe.

    We discovered that both kids love spiral pasta, and they don’t like baked pasta if it’s too cheesy.  Score!

    Ellie ate it up the first night, but the leftovers went  untouched. Sigh. At least she ate it the first night.

    Ingredients:

    • 16 oz. spiral pasta
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 8 oz. – 16 oz sausage (depending on how much meat you like)
    • 45 oz. jar of pasta sauce
    • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 8 oz. ricotta
    • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350*
    2. Cook pasta (under cook it because it will continue cooking in the oven).
    3. Saute the onion, then add the garlic; then add the sausage and cook through.
    4. Add 1/2 of the jar of sauce to the skillet with the sausage and add the Italian seasoning, and stir to combine; then add the pasta and mix to combine.
    5. In a 9/13 baking dish, add 1/2 of the remaining sauce to the bottom of the dish; then add the pasta mixture to the baking dish; dollop spoonfuls of ricotta into pockets throughout the casserole; then top with the remaining sauce.
    6. Cover with foil (if you like crunchy top noodles don’t cover) and bake for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly. At the end of cooking add the mozzarella cheese and return the dish to the oven but turn the oven off and let the cheese melt.

    Ellie’s Lasagna:

    5star

     

     

  • Chicken Posole

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    This Posole is so easy to make and so good.  Ellie, the pickiest of pickiest eaters ate this dish and she proclaimed it delicious and 5 star worthy!  Wow!!  She did ask “what is that mushy vegetable?”  I told her corn because she “tried” hominy a few days ago and said she didn’t like it, but she liked the “corn” in the Posole.  So in our house we had chicken and corn soup. ;)

    Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, April 2014

    Ingredients:

    • 10 canned tomatillos
    • 1 bunch of cilantro
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 2 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 c. chopped onion
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 3 chicken breast halves, cut up in bite size pieces
    • 6-7 c. chicken broth
    • 2 cans hominy, drained
    • Limes, quartered

    Directions:

    1. Combine tomatillos through black pepper in food processor, and process until almost smooth.
    2. Heat a soup pot oven over medium high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion and cook for 4 minutes; then add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
    3. Add the chicken and saute until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink.
    4. Add the tomatillo mixture, broth, and hominy and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through.
    5. Serve with limes.

    Chicken Posole:

    5star

  • Peach (and Blueberry) Pie

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    I discovered I had a freezer full of peaches that I needed to use up, which worked out great for my “research” finding the best pie crust!  I didn’t have quite enough peaches so I threw in some blueberries.  I love almond extract with the peaches….so good!

    Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking.

    Ingredients:

    • Recipe of No Fail Pie Crust
    • 5-7 c. ripe but firm peaches (add other fruit like blueberries if you don’t have enough)
    • 1 lemon, juiced(about 3 TBSP)
    • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
    • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 to 1 c. sugar (depending on how sweet the peaches are…start with a 1/2, taste, and add more if necessary)
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 3 TBSP butter, cut into small pieces
    • 2 TBSP sugar for sprinkling top
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 400*
    2. Peel and cut the peaches into 1/4-inch thick slices (you should have about 7 cups) and toss with the lemon juice and almond extract in a large bowl. Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt in another bowl, making sure there are no lumps. Stir the flour mixture into the peaches and mix well. Let the filling stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to thicken slightly.
    3. Pour the filling into the bottom crust and dot with the pieces of butter. Top with the  crust. Crimp the edges to seal; then cut a few slits in the top crust for steam to escape; then sprinkle top of crust with sugar.
    4. Put pie plate on a baking dish to catch the drips; then place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 400*, then reduce the oven temperature to 350* and bake 30 minutes longer, or until thick juices are bubbling through the vents in the crust. If crust gets too dark, place foil around the edges and continue cooking.  Cool completely (or almost completely) on a rack.
    Peach (and Blueberry) Pie:
    5star
  • No Fail Pie Crust

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    I thought I found the perfect pie crust, but I found one that is even closer to Grandma’s pie crust.  This recipe will replace all pie crust recipes.  I will look no further.  This is it folks…happy dance!!!!

    Recipe from Michelle’s Tasty Creations.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 c. all purpose flour
    • ½ c. butter, unsalted, cold and cut into cubes
    • ½ c. butter flavored Crisco, cold, cut into cubes
    • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
    • 1 TBSP sugar
    • ⅓ – ½ c. ice water

    Directions:

    1. In a bowl mix the flour, sugar, and salt.
    2. Add the cubed butter and shortening and using a pastry blender cut into the flour until it’s the size of small peas.
    3. Add the ice water (removing the ice first and discard) a little at a time and using a knife or your clean hands lightly mix until the mixture sticks together in a ball.  It should be neither wet nor dry but a happy medium.
    4. Place two discs of dough into plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.
    5. To roll out the pie crust, place a small amount of flour on a piece of parchment on the counter and roll from the center outward.  Turning the crust continuously so you get an even (ish) circle.  Note ~ When rolling this dough out there will be bits of butter and shortening in the dough.  This makes it flaky.
    6. Using your rolling pin, roll the dough right up on the pin and transfer to pie dish.
    7. Turn edges under a little bit and crimp for a fluted edge.
    8. Makes a two crust pie.

    No Fail Pie Crust:

    5star

     

     

  • Apple Crumb Pie

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    If you like apple pie and if you like crumb topping, you’ll love this apple crumb pie!  This pie will have its place at our Thanksgiving feasts.

    Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 recipe of No Fail Pie Crust (or make a full recipe and make tarts with the leftover crust….yum!)
    • 6 c. apples (Fuji, Jazz, Braeburn, Granny Smith mix), sliced ¼ inch thick
    • 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
    • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
    • 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

    Crumb Topping:

    • 1 c. all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 c. packed light or dark brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 8 TBSP (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces

    Directions:

    1. Make the pie crust according to directions, roll it out into a 9-inch pie plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before filling with the apples.
    2. Preheat the oven to 375*. Peel, core and slice all the apples to about 1/4-inch thick. It doesn’t have to be exact – just try to get them all about the same thickness so the apples cook evenly.
    3. Toss the apples in a bowl with the lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the apple mixture to the chilled crust.
    4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the butter pieces and cut in with a fork, your fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture is coarsely combined and makes a streusel-like consistency.
    5. Lightly press the crumb mixture on top of the apples. Place the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes until the apples are tender and the crust is golden brown. If the crust edges are getting too dark during the last 30 minutes of baking, you can cover them with foil for the remainder of baking.
    6. Serve warm or at room temperature. This pie is delicious with a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

    Apple Crumb Pie:

    5star

  • Apple Pie Perfection!

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    Apple pie…just like Grandma’s…I just love apple pie!  The search is over…this is the best apple pie!

    Ingredients:

    • No Fail Pie Crust
    • 6-8 c. apples (Fuji, Jazz, Braeburn, Granny Smith mix), sliced ¼ inch thick
    • ¾ c. sugar
    • 3 TBSP all purpose flour
    • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
    • ½ tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp. salt
    • 1 TBSP butter, cut into small pieces
    • 2 tsp. sugar
    • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 425*.
    2. Combine apples through salt in a large bowl.  Let stand for at least 15 minutes, stirring several times, so the apples soften slightly.
    3. Pour mixture into the bottom of the crust and gently level with the back of a spoon.
    4. Top with butter.
    5. Brush the overhanging edge of the bottom crust with cold water.  Cover with the top crust, then seal the edge, trim, and crimp or flute.  Cut steam vents in the top crust and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
    6. Bake for 30 minutes with a baking sheet underneath.  After 30 minutes, reduce temperature and bake until fruit feels just tender when a knife is poked through the vents, about 30 to 45 more minutes.  For the filling to thicken, the pie must cook on a rack for 3 to 4 hours.

    Apple Pie:

    5star

  • Perfect Pie Crust

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    In my opinion, my Grandmother makes the best pies in the whole wide world…I’m not kidding!  Her crust is flaky and buttery and delicious.  I’ve seen her make pies, so I’ve always had an idea of what goes into it, but I never could get it just right, because in true Grandma form, she has no recipe…she makes it by feel.

    This is the perfect pie crust.  I. am. not. kidding.  It’s just like Grandma’s.

    Recipe from the November 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine.

    Ingredients:

    • 12 TBSP very cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
    • 3 c. all-purpose flour
    • 1 TBSP sugar
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/3 c. very cold vegetable shortening
    • 1/2 c. ice water

    Directions:

    1. Cut the butter in 1/2 inch dice and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture.
    2. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix
    3. Add the butter and shortening.  Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas.  With the machine running, pour ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball.
    4. Dump onto a floured board and roll into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (if refrigerate longer be sure to let it warm up a bit before you try and roll the dough out).
    5. Cut the dough in half.  Roll each piece on a well floured board into a circle at least 1 inch larger than the pie pan, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough so it doesn’t stick to the board. You should see bits of butter int he dough.  Fold the dough in half, ease it into the pie pan without stretching at all an unfold to fit the pan.
    6. With a small paring knife, cut the dough 1 inch larger around the pan.  Fold the ed under and crimp the edge with either your fingers or the tines of a fork.
    7. Makes 2 (9-11 inch) crusts.

    Perfect Pie Crust:

    5star

     

  • Crockpot Steak and Black Bean Chili

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    Oh how we love this chili, and by we I mean all 4 of us!  Even the pickiest, who generally won’t eat chili, ate this up (granted she just ate the big chunks of steak, but at least she ate it rather than turning her nose up)!

    This is a true Crockpot chili, and I love that this dish actually cooks all day.  Start it in the morning and 8-10 hours later, dinner is ready!  Definitely can’t beat that for a busy weeknight delicious and hearty dinner.

    Serve with Grandma Clark’s cornbread.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 lbs. boneless beef cubes, for stew
    • 2 heaping tsp. chili powder
    • 1 heaping tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 heaping tsp. ground cumin
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 large green pepper, chopped
    • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans
    • 2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans chili-style chopped tomatoes
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • sour cream
    • shredded cheddar cheese

    Directions:

    1. Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes.
    2. Place beef in slow cooker and turn it on low.
    3. Sprinkle the chili powder, garlic powder and cumin over the meat.
    4. Add onion and green pepper.
    5. Drain and rinse the cans of beans and add them to the slow cooker.
    6. Add tomatoes and sugar.
    7. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
    8. Uncover and sir in the tomato paste.
    9. Season with salt and pepper
    10. Garnish with sour cream and cheddar cheese

    Crockpot Steak and Black Bean Chili:

    5star