Category Archives: Recipes
May 17 is World Baking Day. One of the simplest things to bake is a cookie. One of my favorites is Spicy Oatmeal Crisps from myrecipes.com. I have found when I make these that the dough should be refrigerated for about an hour to keep them from spreading too thin.
Spicy Oatmeal Crisps
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, combine:
- 3/4 c. flour
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. allspice
- 1/2 t. nutmeg
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 t. cloves
- 1/4 t. black pepper
- In a large bowl, mix together:
- 1 c. packed brown sugar
- 5 T. butter, softened
- 1 t. vanilla
- Add large egg to butter-sugar mixture.
- Add flour mixture plus 1/2 c. oats.
- Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto lined cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes or until crisp. Cool on plan 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Then cool completely on wire racks.
May is National Salad Month so here’s a simple, hearty salad to celebrate.
Crunchy Chickpea Spinach Salad
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1/2 of large lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
Heat olive oil over medium to high heat. Add chickpeas and allow to sizzle, stirring occasionally. Squeeze the juice of the 1/2 lemon over the chickpeas and continue cooking about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and remove from heat. Combine with spinach, hard boiled eggs, and feta cheese toss well and serve.
Beverage Day is a day to celebrate whatever your favorite beverage is. Whether enjoyed in solitude or in the company of good friends, a favorite beverage can be comforting or bring us joy.
People who know me well, know that coffee is my favorite beverage. While I typically drink it black, it’s sometimes fun to dress it up. Here’s a recipe I’ve been wanting to try for a while. And it’s my new favorite drink!
- 6 cups water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cinnamon (I used a handful of cinnamon sticks)
- 2 whole cloves
- 1/2 cup regular grind coffee
- 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- whipped cream
Heat water, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves to boiling in a Dutch oven, stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir in coffee and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in chocolate syrup and vanilla; remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes for coffee grinds to settle. Strain coffee into a coffee server or individual cups, discarding grounds. Serve topped with whipped cream.
April 12 is National Grilled Cheese Day, a day set aside to enjoy simple cheesy goodness. To celebrate, make your favorite version. Here are some of my favorite combinations:
- Asparagus and Parmesan on French bread,
- Roasted red pepper and Monterrey jack on whole grain,
- Tomato, basil and mozzarella on rye, or
- Apple and Gouda on sour dough.
Let your appetite and creativity to go wild.
April 6 is National Caramel Popcorn Day. I very openly admit I have very little self-control in regard to some food — and caramel popcorn most definitely falls into that category. I will eat it until it is all gone, no matter how much is on hand; so it’s just easier not to keep any on hand. However, since today is a day where it’s officially okay to eat it, I’ll force myself to do so. Here’s a recipe I tried from cooks.com. It’s dangerously easy and dangerously delicious.
Easy Caramel Popcorn
- 3 qts. popped corn (3 oz. unpopped kernels)
- 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 c. corn syrup
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
March 26 through April 1 is National Cleaning Week. A good way to save money and help the environment is to make your own cleaning products. I’ve been making my own laundry and dishwashing detergent for a while and I’ve found the following recipes to be the most effective.
Powdered Laundry Detergent
Mix together and stir for 5 minutes:
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda)
- 1 grated bar of soap – you can use your soap of choice but I usually make a double batch with 1 bar of laundry soap like Fels Naphta and 1 bar of bath soap like Ivory
Powdered Dishwashing Detergent
- 5 packets unsweetened lemonade drink mix
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1/2 cup Kosher salt
Store both products in air tight containers and use 1 tablespoon per load.
March is National Caffeine Awareness Month and March 20 through 26 is American Chocolate Week. Caffeine and chocolate naturally go together, so what better way to celebrate than baking some chocolate muffins with espresso?
With that in mind, I dove into a new-to-me-recipe. But let’s face it, sometimes we try things that don’t work. In this case, the recipe did not work to the extent that I won’t even link to it here. As I was putting ingredients together, I realized the ratios were WAY off. I looked back to the original recipe upon which the variation I was trying was based and adjusted a few things. What I got was a bunch of totally bland cupcakes (you can try to fool yourself and call them muffins, but they’re cupcakes) with neither strong chocolate nor strong coffee flavor.
Not one to waste food, I decided to see if I could make a Kahlua glaze that could save the day. Those who know me well know I do not like icing, so that’s really saying something. The glaze was quite good and a nice accidental discovery that I’ll add to my recipe file. Plus, it gives us a way to celebrate National Cocktail Day. Win-win!
Simple Kahlua Glaze
Whisk together to desired consistency:
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons Kahlua
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Have fun in the kitchen!
March 19 is National Chocolate Caramel Day. What a classic combination of flavors. I love to keep it simple and drizzle a little chocolate and caramel sauce on a plain cheesecake… or strawberries… or German chocolate cake… or in coffee… or… Well, you get the idea. It’s okay to indulge once in a while, so go out and enjoy all the flavors of life!
Yours in good taste,
March is National Peanut Month and one of the best ways I can think to celebrate is to make some honey peanut butter cookies. This recipe is from the 1963 edition of the Betty Crocker Best Cooky Book. These have recently made it into the rotation of my Christmas cooky bake-athon.
Honey Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (I like chunky so you get some actual peanuts in the cookies)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use sea salt when I bake)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Thoroughly mix butter, peanut butter, sugar, honey and egg. In a separate bowl, sift together remaining ingredients; stir into creamy mixture.
Roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place 3 inches apart on parchment lined cooky sheet. Flatten in a crisscross style with a fork dipped in sugar. Bake 10 to 12 minutes (they won’t brown much and should be just set). Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.
Happy World Pistachio Day!
Pistachios are one of my favorite nuts and one of my favorite desserts involves pistachios. This is a variation of the pistachio dream dessert that my Aunt Jan made. This version is what Bob Ross might call a happy accident. Instead of the traditional three layers, the first two were accidentally combined. The results were delish and this is the version that lived on at every Thanksgiving and Christmas my family held together while my grandmother was alive.
Aunt Jan’s Awesome Pistachio Dessert
For the crust:
- Cut together
- 1 1/2 c.flour
- 1/2 c. chilled butter, cubed
- 1/4 c. walnuts or pecans
- Press into 13 x 9 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely.
For the pistachio layer:
- Beat together until smooth
- 1 8-oz. package cream cheese
- 1/4 c. milk
- Add and beat together until slightly thickened (about 2 minutes)
- 2 3/4 c. milk
- 2 packages of pistachio instant pudding
- Spread immediately over cooled crust.
For top layer, spread 1 8-0z. container of prepared whipped topping. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
Serves: 1 if I’m present 😉