Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spicy Oatmeal Cookies

     Well the Memorial weekend is upon us. The weather of course is not cooperating. It is going to be cold and rainy most of the weekend. I'm hoping that I can get a bonfire in sometime in between the rain.

    I guess it's a good weekend to do some cooking. I might as well especially since the whole crew is here. I will be busy cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes that's good and sometimes it can be a lot of work. If the weather is nice I don't mind grilling outside, but that might be a challenge this holiday weekend. It also helps if I can make things up ahead of time so I don't have to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is enjoying themselves.

     I did make some cookies this week. They are an old favorite of my families. I originally got the recipe from my son's daycare provider. He just graduated from college two weeks ago so this recipe has been around for some time. I'm sure they don't remember these cookies because it has been ages since I have actually made them.

     I will probably make some more this weekend and use them to make some ice cream sandwiches. I think they would be perfect for that. These cookies have coconut in them and molasses. Both ingredients are a must in this recipe. The cookies are super soft and chewy, so keep them in an air tight container to keep them fresh.

Spicy Oatmeal Cookies
1 C margarine
1 t salt
2 t cinnamon 
2 t vanilla
2 T Molasses
2 C sugar
2 eggs
2 C flour
1 1/2 t soda
2 C oatmeal
1 C coconut
1 C chopped nuts (optional)

Blend shortening, salt, vanilla, molasses, cinnamon, sugar and eggs. Sift and blend flour and soda. Add remaining ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet allowing room to spread out. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lemon Sugar Cookies

     Well today is suppose to be a 90 degree day here in Minnesota. And with that on my mind I was in the mood for a treat that was summery. I knew I wanted to make some type of cookie, but I just wasn't sure what kind.

     Now I didn't want to make chocolate chip, or oatmeal. I needed something that was sweet but tasted light and spoke the words summer. This took a lot of searching on the internet, especially on pinterest.

     I found some sugar cookie recipes, but I wanted something with a lemon flavor. I found a few lemon sugar cookies, but I am a stickler for soft sugar cookies. I just hate the crunchy, crumbly type. There were a few out there. None to my complete liking so I did a little modifying of sorts and came up with this recipe.

     I've always read to put cornstarch in your cookies and it will make them soft. I know this works with the lofthouse type of cookie, so I thought why not try it. I also added 100 percent lemon juice to this recipe too.

     These cookies are very soft and very lemony. I am tempted to add some vanilla ice cream between two to make ice cream sandwiches. That would be perfect on a hot day.

     These cookies are very easy to make and don't take much time at all either. Give them a try and enjoy the taste of summer.

Soft Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

3 C all purpose flour
2 t cornstarch
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 t lemon extract
2 t lemon juice
1/2 C sugar for rolling cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl combine flour, cornstarch, soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In a medium bowl beat butter and sugar with a mixer until smooth and fluffy.
Add the egg, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon juice.
Gradually add the flour mixture and combine well.
Roll the dough into balls and then roll in the sugar. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies cool on pan for 2 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.
Store cookies in an air tight container to retain freshness.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Salmon with Pecan-Honey Sauce

     I've been trying to eat less red meat these days. It seems that I'm eating chicken and fish mainly, but heavy on the chicken.  Now don't get me wrong I love chicken. It's easy to make and so versatile. Sometimes though I need to mix it up a bit.

     I have been trying to make shrimp a little bit more and I have been eating cod too. Although the cod I've been eating is a lightly breaded cod that one simply bakes in the oven. It's good though and we've used it to make fish tacos which were amazing.

     One of my other favorites is salmon. We always buy our salmon fillets at Sam's Club. It is the best salmon and so fresh. I have never been disappointed.

     One of my favorite ways to make salmon is to use this recipe I got from Simple & Delicious. It is also very easy to make. The original recipe has it being fried in a frying pan, but I have also cooked it on the grill. I am going to attach the original recipe, but don't be afraid to make the salmon on the grill.

Salmon with Pecan-Honey Sauce
      Make sure your salmon fillets are not too large. If they are too large they will not cook as evenly and you'll end up with uncooked salmon in the middle. I've learned this the hard way. Now I always make sure my fillets are a nice portion size.

     The recipe calls for toasted pecans, but I never toast them. I just chop up some pecans and toss them in the sauce while it cooks. I also melt the butter first then I add the honey and pecans and let it cook. Enjoy!

Salmon with Pecan-Honey Sauce
6 salmon fillets (6 oz each)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 C vegetable oil
3/4 C butter, divided
1 C coarsely chopped pecans toasted
1 C honey

Sprinkle salmon with salt & pepper. In a large skillet, cook salmon in oil and 6 Tablespoons for 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
     Meanwhile in a small saucepan, cook pecans and honey in remaining butter over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with salmon.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Chocolate Pudding Dump Cake

     I must confess that I am an addict. A chocolate addict. I will eat or drink just about anything that is chocolate. I really do not turn away anything that has chocolate in it .

     I buy coffee creamer that is chocolate. I keep a stash of small chocolate bars on hand at all times. I buy chewy granola bars either with chocolate chips in it or covered with chocolate. My cereal is chocolate for heavens sake!

     Just about everyone knows of my love of brownies, preferably with chocolate frosting on top. I use to always buy the Little Debbie brownies so I could easily get my fix. Now I keep a box of brownies on hand at all times so I can make a pan when ever I have the urge, or should I say need.

      Yeah, there's nothing like eating something chocolatey when you are bummed or stressed out. For some reason it just makes a girl feel good all over. I never feel guilty either about eating chocolate. It just defeats the purpose.

     I came across this cake on Pinterest called Chocolate Pudding Dump Cake. The picture looked amazing and it looked very quick and easy to make so I decided to give it a try.

Chocolate Pudding Dump Cake
     So here I was baking at 9:30 at night this chocolate dump cake. No one but me and the dogs were home and so I thought why not! I was sure that others would appreciate my effort once they tasted it.

     All my ingredients amazingly came from Aldis so this is a really cheap chocolate fix for anyone. I'm going to have some of this tonight with a scoop of ice cream on top drizzled with either caramel sauce or chocolate sauce. All of these are from Aldis too.

     So give this one a try. You'll be glad that you did.

Chocolate Pudding Dump Cake

1 chocolate boxed cake mix
1 small package of chocolate pudding
1 1/2 C milk
1 1/2 C (large handful) Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the pudding with the milk using an electric mixer. Add the cake mix and mix with mixer well to combine. The batter will be thick.
Spread batter into a greased 9X13 inch pan. Sprinkle chips on top.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until edges pull away from sides.
Allow to cool slightly before cutting.