Friday, July 31, 2009
Pecan Pie Cookies
Adapted from Land O' Lakes Butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all cookie ingredients except flour and baking powder in large bowl.
Beat at medium speed until creamy.
Reduce speed to low; add flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed.
Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Make indentation in each cookie with thumb; rotate thumb to hollow out slightly.
Combine all filling ingredients
in small bowl;
fill each cookie with 1 rounded teaspoon filling.
Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.
These cookies can be made ahead and stored in the freezer up to 3 months. Place cookies in containers with tight-fitting lids, separating layers with waxed paper.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Spinach and Artichoke in Puff Pastry
Adapted from Southern Living November 2000
Makes 4 dozen
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 (17.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry
Drain spinach well, by placing in a clean dish towel and twisting each end of the towel.
Stir together spinach, artichoke hearts, and next 5 ingredients.
Thaw puff pastry at room temperature 30 minutes. Unfold pastry, and place on a lightly floured surface or heavy-duty plastic wrap. Spread one-half spinach mixture evenly over pastry sheet, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
Roll up pastry,
pressing to seal seam;
wrap in heavy-duty plastic wrap.
Repeat procedure with remaining pastry and spinach mixture. Freeze 30 minutes; cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. (Rolls may be frozen up to 3 months.)
Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Other Food and Decor:
Baby Button Cookies in Cellophane bags with matching stickers for the favors
Monday, July 27, 2009
Adapted from Nestle
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter, (not all-natural)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 3 3/4 cups (16-oz. box) powdered sugar
- 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
LINE baking sheets with wax paper.
BEAT peanut butter and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar until mixture holds together and is moistened.
Shape into 1-inch balls; place on prepared baking sheets. Freeze for 1 hour.
MELT morsels and shortening in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted.
leaving a small portion of the center uncovered.
Shake off excess chocolate and scrape bottom of candy on side of bowl.
Return to baking sheets; refrigerate until chocolate is set. Store in covered container in refrigerator.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Prosciutto and Olive Pasta Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light August 2004
2 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups uncooked bowtie
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped prosciutto (about 1 ounce)
- 2 tablespoons chopped pitted black olives
Combine the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl,
stirring well with a whisk; set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain. Add pasta, parsley, and remaining ingredients to vinegar mixture; toss well to coat. Cover and chill.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living 2009
- 12 jumbo shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled and deveined, tails intact
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 8 ounces dried chorizo, cut on the bias into sixteen 1-inch pieces
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Toss shrimp, garlic, oil, and lime juice in a large baking dish. Cover, and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, soak 8 wooden skewers in water. Or use metal skewers like me and skip this step.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Thread 3 shrimp and 2 slices chorizo onto each skewer, alternating pieces.
Season with salt. Grill until shrimp are opaque and chorizo is slightly softened, about 3 minutes per side.Serve the grilled skewers.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
But her lack of interference didn't mean she wasn't still extremely upset about what she overheard. She understood kids could be mean, but it took on a whole new meaning when someone was directing that animosity toward her own offspring. She was devastated. She called me to report the situation and then she called my parents. We tried to comfort her; however we did little to calm her frustration. As she lay down to sleep that night her husband explained that it would be OK. He told a story of how when he was the same age as Scout some of the kids at his school used to pick on each other as well and it rarely had any type of lasting effect. She asked brokenheartedly, "Well did anyone ever tell you that they hated you?" To which Robbie responded, "No, but they used to tell me that my Daddy ate leeks." What?!? She couldn't help but laugh which was exactly what she needed after her evening of worrying. Although the insult seemed to pale in comparison to the one her son had suffered, it made her realize that tomorrow was another day and that her son would be just fine.
Creamy Artichoke Soup
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, white part only, washed well and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish
Heat olive oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and the garlic and stir.
Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
Add the artichokes, stock, salt, and pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender,
about 20 minutes.
Using a handheld immersion blender, or in a blender in batches*, puree the soup.
Add the 2 tablespoons mascarpone and blend again to combine. In a small bowl, stir the remaining 1/3 cup mascarpone to soften.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Dollop the top of each of the soups with a spoonful of the softened mascarpone cheese and top the cheese with chives.
* When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Chicken, Mushroom and Fontina Quesadillas
Adapted from Cooking Light July 2009
4 servings (serving size: 1/2 quesadilla)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup presliced cremini (baby portobellos) mushrooms
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 (10-inch) whole wheat tortillas
- 1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces), i used a rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup arugula or baby spinach
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Fontina cheese
- Cooking spray
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add cremini mushrooms, sliced onion, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic, and sauté 30 seconds.
Add vinegar; cook 30 seconds or until liquid almost evaporates.
2. Arrange half of mushroom mixture over half of each tortilla.
Top each tortilla with 1/2 cup chicken, 1/2 cup arugula,
and 1/4 cup cheese;
fold tortillas in half.
3. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel. Heat pan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add tortillas to pan, two at a time.
Place a heavy skillet on top of tortillas; cook 2 minutes on each side or until crisp.