Hello everyone! I hope this new year brings you much happiness. I’ve been taking it so easy these days that I almost missed posting a recipe for this month! I made these shortbread cookies for part of my annual holiday cookies and fudge gift boxes last month. But you don’t need a special occasion to make these. Any day is a good day for cookies! This recipe makes 24 cookies.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 sticks butter (softened to room temperature)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl (mix together until creamy.)
- Add flour 1 cup at a time until all of the flour is well incorporated with the butter and sugar.
- Mix in white chocolate, cranberries and macadamia nuts. The dough will be very thick.
- Form 1 1/2 inch balls (flatten them if you wish) and place them on cookies sheets. NOTE: These cookies do not expand so you can place them about one inch apart.
- Bake for 10 minutes (for moist center) or until you see the edges turning brown. Cook 12 minutes if you like a harder shortbread cookie.
- Let cool on cookie racks and store in air tight containers.
Do you need a quick side dish or even a main entree? Here’s a recipe even my vegetarian friends can eat. The sauce is not quite an Alfredo Sauce but has most the elements of one. I love how everything is cooked in one pot, because I like to cook, but I hate to clean up.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup milk
- 8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Melt butter in large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook stirring frequently, until fragrant; about 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in chicken/vegetable broth, milk and fettuccine.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer. Stir occasionally until pasta is cooked through, about 18 to 20 minutes.
- Stir in Parmesan cheese. Add more milk if mixture is too thick; or more cheese if too thin.
- Add Kosher salt and fresh cracked blck pepper to taste and garnish with chopped parsley.
- Serve immediately.
Do you need to make a large batch of cookies? Do you like dark, semi-sweet and white chocolate chips? Have I got a recipe for you. Toss those ready made cookie dough tubes. You can make your own triple chocolate chip cookies from scratch. These cookies will have a crispy bottom and a soft center. Just the right amount of chewy and crispy.
Now you may be looking over the recipe ingredients and are thinking that’s a lot of sugar and butter! Just remember this recipe will make 5 dozen cookies or more depending on how generous you scoop your dough. That’s 60+ cookies! Feel free to share with your family, friends, and neighbors. Just don’t forget to save some for yourself!
- 3 sticks of salted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Prepare baking sheets using a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add vanilla extract and eggs. Beat until light and fluffy.
- Stir in flour and baking soda until mixed well. If using an electric mixer, stop at this time.
- Stir in the chocolate chips using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.
- On your prepared baking sheets, drop cookie dough by tablespoonfuls or using a cookie scoop.
- Bake 10 minutes or until the cookies are light brown. The centers will be soft. Cool for a minute before transferring cookies to a cooling rack to completely cool.
What’s that? Healthy? I know most my baked goodies aren’t considered healthy. But surprise! I am actually sharing a healthy recipe with you. Well, mostly healthy. I used all purpose flour since I did not have whole wheat flour in my pantry. Be sure to fill your muffin tins to the top as these muffins do not rise very much. You can see how squat mine are. Oh well. It’s always good to learn something new. This recipe yields 12 muffins. (Or 16, if you didn’t fill your muffin tins all the way like I did. Oops.)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 carrots shredded or grated
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (all purpose flour works too)
- 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup raisins
- 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Prepare muffin/cupcake tin by greasing with baking spray.
- In a large bowl whisk eggs until light and fluffy.
- Add the sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and whisk again until mixture is smooth.
- Pour in the maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract. Beat the mixture again until smooth.
- Add the shredded/grated carrots, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and raisins over the wet batter. Using a rubber spatula to fold the wet and dry ingredients together just until combined.
- Portion the batter evenly into your prepared 12 cup muffin tin.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until the muffins have risen and set.
- Beat the cream cheese in a small bowl until smooth.
- Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and lemon juice and beat again until the mixture is well combined.
- Once the muffins have cooled add a dollop of frosting on top of muffins.
- Optional: garnish with grated carrots.
Tired of the same old beef stew recipe? Then change it up by making Japanese curry beef instead. It’s basically a beef stew with a curry kick. I stuck with the medium hot S&B Golden Curry brand. If I had brought home the “hot” level one, my son would have protested. Japanese curry roux is not all that spicy compared to the Indian curry powders I have used in my chicken curry. For my vegetarian friends like Sue T., skip the beef and just add more potatoes, carrots and onions to make a hearty vegetable curry. Serve with a side of rice and your tummy will be thanking you.
- 1 pound beef (cut for stew)
- 2 white or yellow onions
- 2 carrots
- 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 box curry roux (4 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
- Cut vegetables into bite size pieces. (About the same size as your beef stew meat.)
- Heat oil and brown meat in a Dutch Oven or large lidded pot over high heat. Take meat out when the sides of the beef are seared, but not cooked through.
- In the same pot, lower heat to medium high and fry the onions for 5 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes, then the beef.
- Add water to the pot. After the water boils, skim the fat and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 45-50 minutes until the meat becomes tender.
- Now add the curry roux blocks into the pot. Stir well so the pieces of the roux dissolves.
- Once the roux has dissolved, stir in apricot jam, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and optional curry powder.
- Let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Serve with a side of rice.
This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.
It’s asparagus season here in California. I find myself buying asparagus every shopping trip now. But instead of making my usual grilled asparagus as a side dish, I wanted to add it into the main dish. If you love making quick dinners like I do then you are going to love this. Also, this recipe only requires a few ingredients which makes this even simpler. I have another variation of this dish ( Asparagus Beef ) where you make your own sauce, however this one is using a premade black bean garlic sauce which cuts the time in half and does the work for you. This serves 2-4 depending on your portions.
- 12 ounce sirloin or flank steak, sliced into thin strips
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for cooking, separated into 2 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 pound of asparagus, sliced into thirds
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 2-3 tablespoons black bean and garlic sauce (found at local grocery stores in your international aisle or Asian markets)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (this offsets the sharpness of the black bean sauce)
- 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
- Add beef strips to a bowl. Then add cornstarch, grated garlic and ginger. Mix well and set aside.
- Heat up wok or skillet on high heat. Swirl in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to coat wok or skillet.
- Quickly spread the beef slices around the pan in an even layer. Let it sear for 15-30 seconds without stirring. Then give it a quick stir to sear the other side. The meat should be browned and no sticking should happen if you got the pan hot enough. Take the meat out of the pan and set aside.
- Keep the wok/skillet on high heat and add one tablespoon oil.
- Add in asparagus and onions.
- Stir for about 10 seconds and cover, leaving the heat on high. Let it cook for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the cover. Add the beef back to the pan.
- Add the black bean and garlic sauce paste, sugar and beef stock. Stir to mix well.
- Let beef and vegetables continue to cook with the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until asparagus is cooked tender.
- Plate with jasmine rice and serve immediately.
Hello everyone! It’s officially the holiday season once again. It’s also my favorite time of the year for baking and cooking. I thought I’d start off with something really easy to make. Sugared cranberries are great for garnishing your desserts or dessert trays or even as a sweet and sour treat all on it’s own.
- 3 cups granulated sugar divided (2 cups & 1 cup)
- 2 cups water
- 1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
- Combine 2 cups of sugar with the 2 cups water in a small sauce pan. Heat over low heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Do not bring to a boil!
- Remove from heat as soon as sugar is dissolved.
- In a large bowl, add cranberries. Top with the sugar syrup you just made and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight is best.
- After your cranberries have soaked, drain off syrup completely and allow to sit in strainer for at least 15 minutes.
- Pour remaining 1 cup of sugar in a gallon Ziploc bag. Add cranberries and shake until all cranberries have been well coated.
- Empty contents of bag onto a wire rack (with pan or foil underneath to catch excess sugar.)
- Let cranberries dry for at least an hour.
- Store in refrigerator until ready to use as garnish.
Do you need a quick and easy side dish to take to an office party or family gathering? I’m almost embarrassed to share this recipe because it’s really so simple and all the flavor comes from a store bought pesto sauce. But, hey you had to cook the pasta and cut up everything yourself.
- 1 pound rainbow rotini pasta (or whatever shape of your choice)
- 8 ounces cubed Colby Jack or Mozzarella cheese
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 8 ounces grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3.8 ounce can of sliced black olives, drained
- 3/4-1 cup pesto or Italian dressing of your choice
- 8 ounces hard salami cubes (this is optional. I didn’t have any on hand but it tastes wonderful in the salad.)
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Chill in ice bath and remove once pasta is cool.
- While pasta is cooking, cut up cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, and salami if using.
- Add all ingredients into a large bowl and stir in pesto. Mix well.
- Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes or overnight for the next day.
I know. Egg salad. Not much of a recipe. But I always like to put a little “extra love” into my recipes. So this is not just plain old chopped eggs and mayonnaise. It is MY version of an egg salad sandwich. And there is no mustard in this recipe. Why? Well, because I just don’t like mustard. But feel free to substitute it for the caesar salad dressing if you prefer. This will be posting around Easter. So maybe you have some extra hard boiled eggs you need to use?
- 6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 1 spear kosher dill pickle, diced (one quarter of a whole kosher dill pickle)
- 1-2 tablespoons red onions, diced
- 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon caesar salad dressing
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 15 minutes.
- While eggs are cooking, dice celery, pickle, onion and romaine lettuce. Add to a bowl.
- After eggs have sat in the saucepan for 15 minutes, remove the eggs from the hot water. Let eggs cool. Then peel and chop eggs.
- Add your chopped eggs into the bowl with prepared vegetables.
- Then add mayonnaise, caesar salad dressing, salt, pepper and paprika.
- Stir to combine. You may serve now or place bowl (covered) in your refrigerator to chill before eating.
- Use your favorite type of bread to make the sandwich and serve with fruit on the side. Enjoy!
- Makes 4-6 sandwiches depending how much you like to stuff them. 🙂
I’m all about quick, easy and one pot dinners. Here’s a recipe for all you busy people out there that want a home cooked meal but don’t have the time or energy to spend more than 30 minutes making it. This is a fun take on chicken and rice. Except we are using orzo pasta instead of rice. For my vegetarian friends out there, feel free to omit the chicken, substitute vegetable stock and add more veggies to this recipe.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt, pepper and garlic powder to season chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 ounces sliced baby bella or cremini mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 2 1/4 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- Parmesan or Romano grated cheese for garnish
- Italian parsley for garnish
- Sprinkle liberally both sides of chicken breasts with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Heat large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add olive oil and butter. Heat until bubbly.
- Sear chicken for 2-3 minutes per side until a nice crust forms. (chicken will not be cooked through but will continue cooking with the orzo.)
- Remove seared chicken to a plate.
- Add mushrooms to hot skillet and saute until cooked about 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium.
- Add garlic and orzo to pan and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add chicken stock, cream and spinach.
- Place chicken into orzo mixture.
- Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 F degrees.
- Top with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese and Italian parsley leaves.
Makes 4 servings.