Soft Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies

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I found the recipe for these yummy cookies at Two Peas and Their Pod. They are so good!

Ingredients:

½ cup of butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies
½ cup of pumpkin puree
¼ cup of molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ⅓ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Method-

1. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the pumpkin, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract, mix until combined.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Refrigerate cookie dough for one hour. The dough can remain in the refrigerator for up to three days.

3. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place about 1/3 cup sugar in a small bowl. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in sugar until well coated and place on prepared baking sheet– 2 inches apart. Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until cookies look cracked and set at the edges. The cookies will still be soft. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes after removing them from the oven, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Cookie Monster’s Famous Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe

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Cookie Monster

When Ally and James were little we collected a series of Sesame Street books from the grocery store. There was a new one each week for several weeks. At the time I thought this was the best sugar cookie recipe ever! I always used to go and get Volume 1 off the shelf when I made them. Then suddenly we didn’t have the books anymore and I couldn’t remember what had happened to them. I didn’t have a copy of the recipe either because the book was always so handy.  It may have been in the box of toys we lost when we moved from Clayton to Houston in 1996. The one that Kristina’s Treehouse and all the vintage Barbies were in. Or we could have donated them somewhere, forgetting about the recipe.

Anyway, I did not have a copy of the recipe and every time I went to make sugar cookies I missed this recipe! I do love the the sugar cookie recipe Allyson shared from her aunt, Melinda Colton. So today I clicked on a link to a chocolate chip cookie recipe on The Kitchn website (Yep, that’s how they spell it) and when I got to the bottom of the recipe I was interested in I saw these words, “So You Know: Cookie Monster’s Famous Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe.” And I actually got a bit excited as I clicked on the link, thinking, “Could it really be THE recipe after all these years.” Sure enough, there is an actual image of the page from the book! It is the recipe! Here is the recipe including The Kitchn’s tips for baking since they weren’t included in the book.

Ingredients-

3/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Equipment-

Medium-sized mixing bowl
Measuring cup and spoons
A fork

Instructions-

1. Put 3/4 cup of butter or margarine (that’s a stick and a half) into your mixing bowl. (I would make this in my Kitchen Aid)

2. Measure 1 cup of sugar.

3. Pour sugar over butter.

4. With fork, squash butter and sugar together until they are blended.

5. Crack shells of two eggs and pour eggs over mixture in bowl.

6. Measure 1 teaspoon vanilla and pour over mixture.

7. With fork, blend everything in the bowl together.

8. Measure 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and pour over mixture in bowl.

9. Measure 1 teaspoon baking powder and sprinkle over flour.

10. Measure 1 teaspoon of salt and sprinkle over flour and baking powder.

11. Mix everything together either with the fork or with your hands.

12. Put dough in icebox to chill (at least one hour)

There are no instructions for baking from this print, but a quick search for others’ experiences with the recipe and recommendations say to roll out cookies 1/4 inch thick, sprinkle with sugar, and bake at 400 degrees.

Posted in Comfort Food, Cookies, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Genie Grandma’s Sugar Cookies

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So be warned…I have only made this recipe once and they turned out very dry, as in they were little Hockey Pucks! Now, that could be attributed to my poor cooking skills when I was in my twenties or it could be that they were never very good. I remember grandma telling me that the recipe was for drop cookies and she just added more flour.

I loved these cookies when I was young. Grandma made them only for Christmas and Easter and kept them until they were gone in a white Tupperware container.

Here is her recipe in her handwriting-

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Posted in Comfort Food, Cookies, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Melinda Colton’s Sugar Cookies

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Cream Together:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1-8 ounce package cream cheese

Add:
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Chill dough for one hour. Roll out and cut with cookie cutters. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Posted in Cookies, Institute Treats | Leave a comment

Toffee Dip for Apples

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This is a wonderful fall treat…I love it with apples!

Ingredients-

1-8 oz package cream cheese
1/2 package Heath Bits (or you can chop up English Toffee bars instead)
1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar (depends on how sweet you like it)

I put everything in the bowl of my stand mixer and use the paddle attachment to combine everything. (I’m lazy like that) A great dip for sliced apples, pretzel rods or graham cracker sticks.

Posted in Autumn, Desserts | Leave a comment

Greek Panzanella

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From “Aunt” Laura–

Olive oil
1 small French bread cut into 1-inch cubes (I used La  Brea Rosemary
Bread from Costco)
Kosher salt
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and cubed
1 red bell pepper, large diced
1 yellow bell pepper, large diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved  (i just threw in a handful or two)
1/2 red onion, sliced in half rounds(i used like 1/4 of an onion)
1/2 pound feta cheese, cut in 1/2-inch cubes (i didn’t use that much,
i just got the already crumbled in a little container)
1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted

For the vinaigrette:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Directions
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread cubes
and sprinkle with salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing
frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until nicely browned. Add more olive
oil as needed.
Place the cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, tomatoes and red onion
in a large bowl.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard,
vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper in a small bowl. While still
whisking, add the olive oil and make an emulsion. (i just put mine in
the blender)  Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Add the feta,
olives and bread cubes and mix together lightly. Set aside for 30
minutes for the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.

Posted in Salads | Leave a comment

Balsamic Barbecue Sauce

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Another yummy recipe from “Aunt” Laura…

1/2 C. balsamic vinegar
3/4 C. ketchup
1/3 C. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, either pressed or minced
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. dijon mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Combine and simmer on stove 15-20 minutes until somewhat thick. Baste
and serve with chicken or steak. I’ve also used it on pork chops and
it’s great!

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Tri-color Orzo Salad

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This salad recipe is from “Aunt” Laura.

1 pound orzo pasta
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus another 1/4 cup
2 cups fresh arugula, about 3 ounces (I usually use more than that, maybe 3 or 4 cups, and I use baby spinach or even a spring mix, whatever I have or is easy to find)
3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (I use feta cheese)
1/2 cup dried cherries (I just use craisins and I always put in more than a half cup more like a whole cup)
12 fresh basil leaves, cut up small
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (I used walnuts, but I’ve used pine nuts
before too, and I usually just dump them in until I think there is
enough, so probably more than 1/4 c.)
4Tbs Fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Bring a large pot of salted (must be generously salted) water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Drain water. Add 2 tbs of olive oil and mix. Then spread out on a large cookie sheet to cool.

In small bowl whisk remaining olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper together.

I usually make this salad in the morning, and add the orzo, half of the lemon dressing mix, the craisins, basil, mix it all. Then I chop up the nuts, feta and spinach and put them on the top but don’t stir them in. Before serving I stir in the rest of the ingredients and add the rest of the dressing. I do it like this because the craisins kind of soak up some of the dressing and get plump and the basil kind of flavors everything but I don’t want the spinach and walnuts getting soggy.

THEN, I usually add a couple of spoonfuls of my Balsamic BBQ sauce, but if you don’t add it the salad is still good.

*** We usually have this along with BBQ Chicken or Steak that I use a Balsamic BBQ sauce on, and most of the time I put some of the sauce from the meat on the salad. The salad I brought to your house had probably 3 Tbs of this sauce on it.  I think the salad tastes better with it, but it’s really good without it too.

Posted in Pasta, Salads | Leave a comment

Apple Pumpkin Muffins

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Fall is in the air…somedays! These sound yummy…

Ingredients-

Muffin batter-
2 1/2 cup flour
2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cup finely chopped apples

Streusel Topping-
2 /3 cup flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Method-
Whisk the flour, sugar, soda, salt and spices together and set aside. Then combine the eggs, pumpkin and oil together. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Gently fold in the chopped apples. Using 1/4 measuring cup or scoop fill muffin cups. Mix all the streusel ingredients together until well combined and crumbly. Sprinkle the streusel on top of each muffin and light press it down so it will stick. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes and test with a toothpick.

Posted in Autumn, Breakfast, Muffins | Leave a comment

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad

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This past weekend we were in Washington for Megan’s wedding. After the ceremony we had a fabulous dinner! Best wedding food ever! Megan and Tyler hired a guy who has a BBQ food truck. Only it’s not really a truck, it’s a really awesome trailer. It was real Texas barbecue and the sides were the best ever. We all really liked the Red, White and Blue potato salad. I spent a little time on the internet searching for a recipe and this one sounds like it might come close.

Ingredients-

  • 2 lbs very small red potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 package of bacon cooked to a crisp and roughly chopped
  • 5 ounces of blue cheese
  • ½ cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

Method-

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium heat.
  2. Chop the red potatoes into 1 inch cubes, place into the boiling water, add in the sea salt. Boil for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the potatoes into a strainer to drain out all the water.  Allow to potatoes to cool to room temperature. Once cooled add the bacon, cheese, green onion and celery.
  4. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, salt, and onion powder. Stir to combine. Add to the potatoes and stir until completely coated.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!
  6. Can be stored in refrigerator in a sealed container, you may need to add more mayonnaise mixture to the salad as it will soak into the potatoes over time.
Posted in Salads, Side Dishes | Leave a comment