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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Dec 30, 2014

Scottish Shortbread

Another first - I have never made shortbread.  Mainly because I do not prefer it - usually.  Apparently, this is because I do not prefer commercially prepared shortbread.  Recipe number three on the LHJ Favorite Christmas Cookies was shortbread.  It is wonderful - and wonderfully easy.  I made it easier by purchasing three non stick foil pans and using one of my own that I buttered with an empty butter wrapper.

2 Cups Unsalted butter, softened
1 Cup Sugar
5 Cups All Purpose Flour

Heat oven to 275 degrees.  Grease four 8 inch square pans, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in flour 1 cup at a time until well mixed.  Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and pat each evenly into the bottom of a pan.  If you only have two pans, refrigerate half of the dough until the first batch is baked.  With tines of a fork, prick dough all over to prevent bubbles.  Bake for 1 hour until pale and golden - NOT brown.  Cool in pans 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool completely.

Dec 29, 2014

Pretzels, Beer Mustard and Chicken

I found Beer Mustard at our local grocer.  I had chicken breast on hand, and pretzels.  SOOOO - split the breast in half (butterfly style) coated them, browned and baked them.  YUM.

You'll need -

2 large chicken breast, butterflied completely in half.
2 Tbl Cup Beer Mustard - I used Sierra Nevada Porter and Spicy Brown Mustard, you can use whichever you like, they have 3.
1 cup crushed pretzels placed in a large, shallow bowl.
2 Tbl Butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Melt 1 Tbl butter in a pan large enough to hold 2 pieces of chicken.

Place 1/2 Tbl of mustard on one side of the chicken, rub to coat.  Place mustard side down in pretzels.

Rub top with another 1/2 Tbl mustard, flip and coat with pretzels.  Repeat with a second piece of chicken.  Place both in hot, buttered pan.

Cook 2 minutes per side and then placing in an oven safe pan. Repeat with remaining 2 pieces of chicken.  Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until 165 degrees.

Dec 16, 2014

Joe Froggers

Ladies Home Journal ceased publication this year.  Not long after, my mother in law found a cookie insert from December of 1980.  I am slowly working my way through in homage to LHJ.  This week, Joe Froggers (tweaked, of course).

1/2 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Sugar
4 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Tsp Ginger
1/2 Tsp Clove
1/2 Tsp AllSpice
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1/2 Cup Molasses
1/2 Cup Corn Syrup
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Dark Rum
3 Tbl HOT Water

In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until fluffy.  Add salt and spices then gradually add flour to the creamed mixture.  Combine Molasses, Corn Syrup and Baking Soda.  Pour into mixer and blend until well mixed.  Combine rum and water, pour into mixture and continue to beat at low speed until well mixed.  Cover and chill at least two hours.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with silicone mats, parchment OR non stick foil.  Divide dough into quarters, working with one quarter at a time while the remaining dough is refrigerated.  Flour your work surface and roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick for a soft cookie, 1/8 for a crisp cookie.  Cut into 4 inch circles. Transfer to cookie sheets and bake 15 minutes.

Cool on pan 2 to 3 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Dec 15, 2014

Pineapple Upside Down Cakes - for 1

I enjoy the American Profile magazine insert that is in the weekly paper.  Sadly, there was a notice this week that American profile is going a different direction and will not be available to our paper any more.  In this last episode, the include a recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cakeletts.  That was the basis for the following.

12 Maraschino Cherries
8 Ounce Crushed Pineapple
1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
8.5 Ounce Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 Large Egg
1/3 Cup Sour Cream
1/3 Cup Greek Yogurt

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray muffin tins with oil.  Place a maraschino cherry in each.

Mix together pineapple and brown sugar, divide over cherries. Mix together muffin mix, egg, sour cream and yogurt.  Spoon over the pineapple.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cakes are set.  Flip onto a serving dish.

Dec 14, 2014

Meat Loaf Sauce

Hubby LOVES meat loaf - he prefers a red sauce on top.  His grandmother's recipes, posted here before, do not include the topping I use.  Simple enough - mix the following and spoon over the meat loaf before baking.

3/4 Cup Ketchup
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar

Dec 7, 2014

Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

Recently, I tried a Molasses Sugar Cookie for the first time.  My niece has a great recipe that I will share, if she doesn't mind.  In the mean time, I had 1/2 cup of pumpkin in the refrigerator left over from making Creme Brûlée, so Pumpkin Molasses Cookies seemed to be a great idea.  Hubby thought so - he said he liked them better than the ones he used to eat with his Pop Pop.

1/2 Cup Butter, Softened
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1/4 Cup Molasses
1 Large Egg
1 Tsp Vanilla
2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Ginger
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 1/3 Cup Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
Sugar for rolling

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the pumpkin, molasses, egg and vanilla - mix until well combined.  Add the cinnamon, salt and ginger, mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine Flour and Baking Soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients and mix until combined.  Put in a small bowl, cover tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, up to 24.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner, parchment or non stick foil.  Place about a cup of sugar in a small bowl.  Drop balls of dough into sugar and roll to coat then place on the pan.  Bake for about 12 minutes until they start to get crinkly.  Remove from oven, leave on pan for 1 to 2 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.