Saturday, October 30, 2010

Roll Out Cookies

I absolutely love these cookies. Our family does not call them sugar cookies like most families do, we call them Roll Out cookies because, you know, you roll them out. My mother who was a wonderful cook gave me this recipe and she got it from her mother who got it from her mother. Yep, it's been in our family for generations. I claim it! It's mine and few dozen other family members. We are glad to share but just remember, they are Roll Out cookies NOT sugar cookies:)

This dough is so easy to work with and so yummy. If you are a dough eater, try something. For some reason, the dough that has not been rolled out tastes different than the dough that has been worked. Try it and see if it's in my head or not. The rolled dough is sweeter!

Roll out the dough not too thick but not too thin. I usually roll them a little thinner than a quarter inch-give or take!

These cookies are wonderful anytime of year but I have to say that frosted orange as a jack-o-lantern or green as a Christmas tree makes them taste best of all!

The recipe says to bake for 7 minutes. I adjusted the recipe to that time because if you bake them too long, they are just hard. Depending on your oven you might need to adjust the time too. I bake them so they look not browned on top and sides and barely brown on the bottom. What ever your oven bakes like, DO NOT overbake!!!:)

These cookies are fun for fat little hands and fingers to decorate. The best part is licking the knife with the frosting on.


These cookies are just about the best thing I have ever eaten. They make any and all holidays special. We all love them and I think after you try them you will love them too. Happy Halloween!!!

Roll Out Cookies

1 cup shortening 7 cups flour
2 cups sugar 2 tsp. soda
2 eggs 4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk 2 tsp salt
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream the shortening and sugar together and then add eggs one at a time beating well after each. Add the milk alternately with the dry ingredients stirring that last 3 cups of flour into the dough with a spoon. Roll out and cut into shapes. Bake at 350* for 7 minutes. Do Not Over bake. Frost and enjoy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread and Trifle:)

I decided to try this recipe so I could try the trifle recipe that I posted below. It is good. I might have baked it a little too long because the edges are a little hard. It's good though and it worked well in the trifle.

Here are the ingredients. It actually worked up really fast. You just throw all the wet ingredients into the bowl and mix and then add the dry ingredients. Easy!

It makes three large loaves!

This bread actually is very good. It is a little dense but I like it that way. You could make it without the chocolate chips but I love pumpkin and chocolate together. You can eat it plain or make it into something more wonderful like the pumpkin bread trifle recipe below. Have fun:)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

• 3 cups white sugar
• 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 2/3 cup water
• 4 eggs
• 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 1 pound size coffee cans, or three 9x5 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Blend in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Fill cans 1/2 to 3/4 full.
3. Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool on wire racks before removing from cans or pans.


I saw this little Trifle on Studio 5 and thought, "umm, maybe I should give it a try", so here it is. It is super easy and so yummy. It just screams autumn:) It is very rich so be careful. I think you could use any pumpkin bread or cake but I just went ahead and used the bread that I had made. I hope you take the time to try it. Good Luck!

Pumpkin Bread Trifle

• 1 loaf Pumpkin bread, cubed
• Caramel ice cream topping
• Toffee bits
• 1 qt. heavy whipping cream beaten with 1 ½ c. brown sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla

Create trifle by layering above ingredients. Start by placing half of the pumpkin bread cubes in the bottom of the trifle dish. Drizzle caramel sauce over the pumpkin bread. Next, sprinkle toffee bits over the bread and caramel. Spread a generous layer of the whipped topping over the pumpkin bread. Repeat all of the above for the second layer. Garnish as desired

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pasta e Fagioli

I love soup. Natalie loved soup. This is a recipe that is supposedly close to Olive Garden's Pasta E Fagioli. It is super easy and the recipe says to use a crock pot. That will be wonderful on a cold snowy day but I didn't put that much fore thought into my menu today so I just made the exact same recipe on the stove top and it worked like a dream. Needless to say this recipe is just YUM!

Most of the ingredients I had in my food storage. I did have to buy a can a white beans but everything (except the onion, carrots, & celery) else came from my freezer and off my shelves. That is so cool!

After I browned the burger, (You might want to use more than the recipe calls for if you or those you live with are carnivores)I did as Rachel Ray says, put all the ingredients into the hottub and let them cook until the carrots and celery were almost tender. Then I added the pasta. I also added a little more pasta and a little water to off set the absorption. I didn't have any Tabasco sauce so I sprinkled in a very small amount (not even 1/8 tsp) of Cayenne pepper.

This soup is amazing and so so easy. I topped it off with shredded parmesean cheese and served it with biscuits. I would use French Bread or better yet, garlic bread next time. I will make this recipe again and again. It has become one of my new favorites in just one taste. I think it would be great in the crock pot but it worked just great on the stovetop. I hope you will try it and let us know if you like it or not.

Pasta Fagioli

--1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
--1/2 large red onion, chopped
--1 cup carrots, chopped
--2 celery stalks, sliced
--2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (and juice)
--1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
--1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
--4 cups beef broth (check label for gluten!)
--1 jar (16.5 oz) pasta sauce
--2 tsp oregano
--1 T Tabasco sauce
--1/2 tsp salt
--1/4 tsp black pepper
--1/2 cup dry pasta, to add at end of cooking time (I used TJ's brown rice fusilli)

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart or larger crockpot, or cut the recipe in half. This makes a lot.

Brown the meat on the stovetop, and drain well. Let it cool a bit.

Chop up the carrots, onion, and celery. Add it to the empty crockpot.
Drain and rinse the beans, and add them. Add the whole cans of tomatoes, and the pasta sauce. Add the beef broth. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, and Tobasco sauce. Stir in your meat.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the 1/2 cup of dry pasta.

Cover and cook for another hour on low, or until the pasta is tender. It will swell quite a bit.

Serve with a bit of parmesan cheese if you have it

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Potatoes Gratin Dauphinoise

I have been wanting to make Potatoes Gratin Dauphinoise for over a year now and just never have done it. I really had high expectations because the recipe blog I took it from made it look so heavenly. I went a little nuts with the garlic. No one will want to be around us for the next few days. I am a salt-a-holic and these definately were more mild than I like. So here are the photos and the recipe follows. Maybe you will want to try them. Maybe you will experiment with them. Let me know if doll this recipe up.

There aren't very many ingredients in this recipe. Just a very few. These are the players!

Make the slices about an 1/8 of an inch thick!

As you slice the potatoes, slide them into a bowl of cold water until ready to use. Make sure you dry them well before you layer in the pan.

Layer with the butter and garlic. (you could probably use a little garlic powder instead of the real stuff if you prefer)

Ready for the oven. Make sure to cover with foil for the first 30 minutes!

Out of the oven. I left them in the oven a little longer because I wanted the brown on top. I even used the broiler a little bit.

The finished product. Serve them with any meat that you might have. They are on the fancy side and would be good for a nice dinner. The potatoes were good but not really what I was hoping for. I love food that has more flavor and these seemed on the mild side (except for the garlic). I am not sure if I will make them again or not but I'm glad I made them once. Maybe you will like them better than I did.

Potatoes Gratin Dauphinoise
Source: Williams-Sonoma Vegetable
Serves 4.

5 large russet potatoes, about 2 1/2 lb total weight, peeled (I actually used 2 1/2 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes)
3-5 cloves garlic, chopped, plus 1 clove, halved (optional)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons at room temperature
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Cut the potatoes crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices. Slide the potatoes slices as you cut them to a large bowl with cold water (enough to cover all the potatoes when you are done). Let the potatoes soak for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Center a rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat it to 325 degrees F. Place a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any drips. Rub the bottom and sides of a 2-qt baking dish with the halved garlic clove (if you are using it), then butter the dish with 2 tablespoons of the room temperature butter.

Drain the potato slices and dry them well with a clean kitchen towel. Cut the 4 tablespoons of butter into small pieces. Arrange a layer of the potato slices in the baking dish, sprinkle with some salt and pepper, then dot with pieces of butter, and add a light scattering of the chopped garlic, if using. Repeat the layering until all the potatoes are used, seasoning each layer as you go along. Reserve some of the butter for the top of the gratin. The potatoes should reach no higher than within 1/2-inch of the rim of the dish. Pour the cream evenly over the potatoes. Dot bits of butter across the top and sprinkle the top with some salt and pepper.

Cover the gratin with foil and bake until the potatoes are translucent and the cream is bubbling, 30-40 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is crusty and the potatoes are completely tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes more. If it seems dry, baste the top occasionally with the liquid in the dish. Serve at once, directly from the baking dish. You can sprinkle the gratin with chopped fresh parsley right before serving, if desired.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Spice Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Spice Caramel Apple Cupcakes are a yummy addition to your fall cooking. I thought that October would be the perfect time to make something using apples. I love apple crisp any cool autumn evening but thought I would try these little morsels of yumminess! I hope you will try them. I liked them. If you didn't want cupcakes,
I'm sure you could bake them in a small cake pan of some kind.

The Main Ingredients!

Shred the apples! I did this first and soaked them in water and lemon juice until I had everything else stirred together. Make sure you drain them well!

I mixed everything together except the apples. I added them last.

Fill the cupcake liners to about 2/3 full

Bake until golden brown!

Swirl the frosting on by putting the frosting into a gallon size zip-loc bag. Cut a small piece off the corner and squeeze the frosting out in a circular motion. So fun and so so easy:)

These turned out really good. If you like spice and apple you will like this. I think the frosting was a little too sweet with the syrup in it. I might try just using maple flavoring instead. Good luck!

Spice Carmel Apple Cupcakes

1 box of spice cake mix (I used Ducan Hines)
3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup Caramel topping
1 granny smith apple peeled and grated
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
Directions: Put all ingredients into a large bowl and either mix by hand or use a mixer until well blended. Bake cupcakes with liners in a muffin pan at 350 degrees for 22 min or until tooth pick comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in pan for about 10 min. then turn out onto a wire rack, and let cool completely before frosting.
1 1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup butter
2 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp.vanilla paste or extract
2 T milk
Directions: soften butter and add the rest of ingredients. Turn on mixer and beat until well combined.