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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.

Apr 30, 2015

Brown Sugar Cookies

Like molasses cookies but have no molasses?  Try'll never know the difference.

1 1/2 Stick Salted Butter, Softened
1 1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 Large Egg
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add egg and beat well.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  Mix well.  Add to the butter mixture until well incorporated, scraping bowl well.

Use a 1 Tbl scoop to drop onto a cookie sheet lined with silicone mats OR non stick foil.  Place about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  If you like crispy cookies, cool on the cookie sheet.

Apr 29, 2015

Macaroon Bars

You don't get any easier than this bar recipe.  Make it as is or added chocolate and caramel drizzle after baking to make a Samoa like cookie bar.

3 1/2 Cups Sweetened Flake Coconut
1/2 Cup Finely Diced Almonds
14 Ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Tsp Almond Extract
8 Ounces Refrigerated Crescent Rolls

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking oil.  Line with parchment paper and spray again.

Sprinkle 1 cup coconut and diced almonds in the bottom of the pan.  Mix together condensed milk and almond extract, pour half over bottom of pan.

Unroll crescent roll and press into the pan, gently pinching the seams.  Top with remaining condensed milk then sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Bake until golden, about 35 minutes.  Cool completely, cut into bars and store in the refrigerator.

Apr 28, 2015

Peppery Chicken Rub

This has become one of my favorite ways to cook chicken wings, thighs, legs or quarters.  Excellent flavor with a bit of afterburn.  This coats about 3 lbs of chicken.

2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbl Hot Hungarian Paprika
1 Tsp Allspice
1 Tsp Cayenne
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Mccormick 5 Pepper Blend

Mix all of the above spices in a bowl.   Put chicken in a large bag, add spices, shake to coat.  Add 3 Tbl Olive Oil to the bag, shake again.  Let sit for at least an hour and up to 24.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place line a rimmed man with foil.  Place a rack in the pan and place chicken on rack in a single layer.

Bake until nicely browned and crisp and at least 165 degrees - 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Can also be cooked on the grill.

Apr 27, 2015

Pork and Potato Meatballs

I had some leftover scalloped potatoes and some ground pork.  Don't ask me why I thought of meatballs, but I am glad I did.  Goes well with peas.  Would work well with Au Gratin Potatoes, as well.

2 Tbl Dry Breadcrumbs
3/4 Cup Diced Scalloped Potatoes
1 Tsp Prepared Mustard of your Choice (I used Horseradish)
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
3/4 Lb Ground Pork
2 Tbl Butter
2 Tbl Flour
1 C Beef Stock
1 Cup Water

Mix breadcrumbs, potatoes, mustard, pepper and pork very well - form into balls.  Heat butter in a heavy skillet, add the meatballs and brown.  Remove meatballs from the pan.

Add beef stock and 2/3 cup water to the pan.  Return the meatballs to the pan, cover and cook on low for 20 minutes.  Remove meatballs to a platter.  Whisk together remaining water and flour, whisk into pan until thickened, pour over the meatballs and serve.

Apr 25, 2015

Chicken Parmesan Soup

Spring isn't very warm, and April Showers do bring May Flowers, so soup may still be in order.  This is made in a slow cooker and is wonderful.

1 Lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
1/2 Tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 Tsp Oregano
1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 Tsp Onion Powder
1/4 Tsp Basil
1 Jar Marinara
14.25 Ounces Petite Diced Tomatoes
32 Ounces Chicken Stock
3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Line a large slow cooker with a slow cooker liner.

Remove fat from chicken and place in slow cooker.  Add all other ingredients EXCEPT cheese.  Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.

Remove chicken and shred it, then stir it back into the soup along with the Parmesan Cheese.

Serve over your favorite pasta, quinoa, rice or just enjoy as is.

Apr 24, 2015

Pick Your Own Chocolate Brownies

Double Chocolate with Coconut?  Triple Chocolate Orange?  Double Chocolate Marshmallow?  The options are only limited by your imagination - and your extracts.

3/4 Cup Butter, Cubed
4 Ounces Unsweetened Chocolate, Chopped
3 Large Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Extract (Vanilla, Orange, Coconut - you choose)
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Topping (Heath Bars, Semisweet Chocolate Chips, Coconut - you choose)

In a microwave, melt butter and chocolate.  Stir until smooth.  Set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan with the butter wrappers, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugars.  Stir in chocolate mixture and extract.  Gradually add flour to chocolate mixture and pour into the baking dish.  Sprinkle with your topping.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely on a wire rack.

Apr 23, 2015

Balsamic Chicken

This chicken goes great with broccoli.

1 Lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Cutlets
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 Cup White Wine
1 Cup Chicken Stock
6 Ounces Sliced Mushrooms
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbl Butter
2 Tbl Balsamic Vinegar

Heat a lidded skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil and heat until it shimmers.

Salt and pepper chicken.  Dredge through the flour, shaking off excess, and put into hot oil.  Sear 3 minutes per side.  Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minutes.  Add the wine and stock, reduce slightly.  Reduce heat to low, add mushrooms to the pan and place chicken on top.  Cover and cook about 10 minutes.  Stir in butter, lemon and vinegar.  Continue cooking until the butter melts.

Apr 22, 2015

Hawaiian Chicken

Fresh Peppers and Pineapple in a sauce with chicken and rice.  Yum.

1 Lb Boneless Chicken Breast
2 Cups Chopped Bell Pepper
2 Cups Cubed Pineapple
18 Ounces Pineapple Juice
1/3 Tsp Ginger
1 Tbl Frank's Red Hot
1 Tbl Garlic Powder
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
1/3 Cup Ketchup
1/3 Cup Garlic Rice Vinegar
1/2 Cup Cold Water
2 Tbl Corn Starch
4 Cups Cooked Rice

In a small sauce pan, combine Juice, Ginger, Red Hot, Garlic, Brown Sugar, Soy Sauce, Ketchup and Vinegar.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Whisk together water and corn starch, add to sauce and stir until thickened.  Remove from heat.

Heat a large pan over medium heat.  Salt and pepper chicken.  Spray pan with oil, add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through.  Add red peppers and cook another two minutes.  Add pineapple and sauce to pan, stir to coat well.

Serve over pineapple.

Apr 21, 2015

Southwest Salad

Spring is here!  Fresh Vegetables Abound!  Time for salads

1 LB Flank Steak OR 1 Lb Chicken
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tbl Garlic Powder
2 Cups Corn
15 Ounce Black Beans, drained and rinsed
14.5 Ounce Can Petit Diced Tomatoes
2 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Oregano
1/2 Cup Ranch Dressing
1/2 Cup Salsa
Leaf Lettuce or Romaine

Heat a skillet over medium heat.  While heating, season steak or chicken with salt and garlic powder.  Spray pan with oil.  Add meat to pan and cook to desired doneness.  Remove from pan to rest.

While resting, stir together Corn, Beans, Tomatoes, Cumin and Oregano.

In another bowl, combine dressing and salsa.

Cut meat across the grain.

Fill bowls with spinach and lettuce.  Top with corn mixture, meat and dress with salsa mixture.  Enjoy!