Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

A favorite of our father!  Easy, and memory invoking if you're a Porter. :)

4 C flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 C shortening (remember to add 2 T water if you use Crisco instead of butter!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 C canned milk (you can substitute canned coconut milk for a non dairy cookie)
1 T lemon juice
cinnamon and sugar mixed up

Mix it all up (I am a traditionalist when it comes to baking cookies so I still do the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and then add them to the mixed wet ingredients).

Drop the cookies by the spoonful onto a cooking sheet (greasing it wouldn't hurt, but isn't totally necessary).  Sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar and bake at 350 degrees F for close to 15 minutes. Between 10 and 15.  Edges will start to firm and may slightly brown.

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen medium sized cookies.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Was looking for a semi-healthy after school snack that is also filling enough for two teen boys.  This was so easy!  I was a little nervous about just dipping the dough in hot soda water, rather than boiling, which I had always seen before.  But they turned out better than any pretzels I have tried.  It made 48 nuggets.  We sprinkled some with salt, some with garlic salt.  I dipped some of the salted ones in butter and cinnamon sugar, but didn't dip all of them in butter.  Mitch made queso for dipping also.  Everything we tried was good.   No pictures--they didn't last long enough.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Candy Cane Cookies

These cookies are dry.  Eat with a glass of milk.  :)  But they're addictive.  They are OK un frosted, but much more palatable frosted.  They are something I grew up eating and for some reason I just love them!  They bring back memories of holidays.  Holidays where my Mom baked oodles of her cinnamon rolls.  I can still see them lined up on the counters in their foil sheets.  Every year.  I wanted to try these out (I still have the original 3x5 card with the typed recipe on it) to see what my family thought of them.  They agree.  They're dry.  But they're good, and addictive!

Here's the recipe.

Candy Cane Cookies

1 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup oats (I pulsed them in a food processor until they were finely ground because Joshua would see the oats and refuse to eat the cookies)
2 Tablespoons water

Beat butter and vanilla until creamy.  Add sugar gradually, beat until fluffy.  Add water.  Add flour and salt, mixing thoroughly.  Stir in oats.  Shape into canes (not as easy as it seems!)

Place on un greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 325 degrees F for about 20 minutes.  Cool and frost (just use your favorite frosting recipe).  Makes about 36 cookies.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Crock pot beef stroganoff

No pictures for this one.  Sorry.  I got this recipe from a friend of mine and it's the easiest, most delicious recipe I make in my crock pot.  Never fails.

When I see the word beef stroganoff I usually choke back my gag reflex.  I don't like the strong cream of mushroom flavor in most stroganoff.  I don't really like beef stroganoff at all, but she said this was so yummy I tried it.  It's wonderful.  Hearty.  Delicious.  Super duper easy.  So even if you're not a big stroganoff lover, I would highly encourage you to try this variation.

Crock Pot Stroganoff  serves 4-6

1 to 2 pounds beef stew chunks
1 can French Onion Soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Put that in your crock and cook on low 5-7 hours, stirring every couple of hours.

Serve over rice or pasta of your choice.

The meat is sooooooo tender it falls apart and melts in your mouth.

Cowboy cookies

These hail from my days working at Mark's Baked Goods and Sandwich Shop.  I made them so often while working there that when I went off to college I was able to write down the recipe from memory.  I don't sell them so I figure it's safe to share the recipe?  Linda didn't make anyone sign any non disclosure forms until after I'd already gotten married and didn't work there anymore.  You like that justification on my part?  Yes, I married an attorney.  Have to cover all my liability bases here.

Cowboy Cookies  makes about 3 to 3 1/2 doz depending on the size of your cookies

1 cup butter (room temp/softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
2 cups oats (old fashioned)
1 cup coconut
1/2 bag chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and sugars.  Add eggs one at a time and then add vanilla.  In a separate bowl mix together the salt, soda, flour and oats.  Add that dry mixture to the creamy butter mixture.  Add in the coconut and the chips until just combined.

Spoon large portions of the dough onto un greased cookie sheets.  I managed 12 cookies per sheet at the size I made them.  Remember, these are cowboy cookies, not bite size cookies!  :)

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.  The key is to not over cook them.  Bake until just golden at the edges.  Let cool on the sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.  Just a couple minutes.  If you over bake them they won't be chewy and delicious, they'll just be crispy and not so great.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Strawberry Pie

Baked Pie Shell

Cream filling:
8 oz cream cheese
1 Cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 regular size tub cool whip

Strawberry glaze

Directions:  Cream together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon juice.  Fold in cool whip.  Place cream filling in bottom of prepared pie shell.  Top with strawberries and glaze.

I always use a deep pie pan when I make this so I can pile it high.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Freezer meal: Crock pot Creamy Italian Chicken

This is an incredible recipe. I didn't freeze it, just made it fresh but I plan on making a couple to throw into the freezer for quick meals in the future! Again, I used the 1/3 less fat cream cheese and it turned out just fine.

Creamy Italian Chicken
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter cut into 1 inch cubes
1 package dry Italian salad dressing mix
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tablespoon minced onion

To freeze: place all ingredients into a gallon freezer bag.

To cook: thaw completely in fridge then cover and cook for 6-7 hours on LOW

Serve over rice or pasta

Add in ideas:
Frozen or fresh broccoli flourettes 45 minutes before finished cook time
Frozen peas 10 minutes before finished cook time
10 ounces frozen spinach (that has been thawed and squeezed dry) 10 minutes before finished cook time

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is an incredibly delicious recipe shared with me by a good friend. Wow. I do use the 1/3 less fat cream cheese and they turned out just fine. There are no eggs in this recipe so I was content to eat some batter too. :)

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups plus 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners. In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, melted butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until mostly incorporated but a few dry streaks remain. Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined and no dry streaks remain.

Roll the dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand (just barely press, you don't need to flatten it all the way). Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes until the edges are just barely golden brown. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Easy Peasey Delicious Potato Bread in about 2 hours

Yields two 9x5 loaves


2 1/4 c. warm water
2 tablespoons INSTANT yeast
1/4 c. honey or pure maple syrup
1/3 c. light olive oil
5 1/4 to 6 1/4 c. bread flour (I also use all purpose unbleached, but bread flour I think is better)
1 c. instant potato flakes
2 teaspoons salt


Grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans with solid vegetable shortening.

Pour 2 1/4 cups warm water into a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons yeast over the water.  Stir until yeast is dissolved.

Add 1/4 cup honey or syrup and 1/3 cup light olive oil to the yeast mixture.  Stir until well blended.

Before measuring your flour, sift through your flour bin with a fork several times. 

Add 1 cup potato flakes, 2 1/4 cup flour and 2 teaspoons salt to the yeast mixture.  Stir until mixture is thick and smooth.

Gradually add 2 cups of flour, stirring with a spoon.  The dough will stick together and pull away from the sides and the bottom of the bowl.  If it doesn't do this, add a little more flour until it does.  The dough will form a lump

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Measure 1 cup more flour.  Use only what is necessary to knead and shape the dough.  Lightly dust the work surface with flour, put dough on work surface and lightly dust the dough and begin to knead.  Knead for about 5 minutes, continuously dusting with flour as needed, until dough is smooth and elastic.

Divide dough into 2 equal pieces, shape into balls and let rest for 5 minutes.

Shape the dough into loaves and place in prepared pans.  Let rise until double...about 15-20 minutes.  Place them in the oven and back for 30-40 minutes until nicely browned on top.  Immediately take them out of the pans and let them cool on a wire rack.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Mac and Cheese

O.k., so this is my new winter comfort food.  Easy peasy and the kids love it too.  I also like that there are NO breadcrumbs on top.  That is the one thing I have never liked about homemade mac and cheese.  This is delish...try it on a chilly night with a salad.

  • 4 cups Dried Macaroni
  • 1 whole Egg Beaten
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 Stick Or 4 Tablespoons) Butter
  • 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 2-1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard, More If Desired
  • 1 pound Cheese, Grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • Optional Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme

Preparation Instructions

Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.

In a small bowl, beat egg.

In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.

Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.

Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.

Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.

Add in cheese and stir to melt.

Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.

Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.

Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.