Thursday, April 30, 2009

Editors note: Sorry about the frequent template changes. The last one was just a little too busy and I had a hard time reading the blue type. Hope this one works better. If anyone has suggestions for the layout, please pass them along.

Spice Cookies with Dip

This is a delicious Holiday themed cookie, but I like it all year long.

1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger and Cloves
3/4 tsp salt.
Addition sugar for rolling.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Add molasses; mix well.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Mix well and then add to creamed
mixture. Shape into small balls and roll in sugar. Bake 375ยบ for 6-7 minutes. Cool for 2 min. before removing to wire rack.

Pumpkin butter/Dip
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger, cloves and nutmeg
1 1 /2 cup pumpkin (one reg. sized can)
Combine the sugars, water and spices in a 1 qt glass container. Mix well and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Stir. Add pumpkin and mix well. Microwave on high 3-5 minutes. Let cool and then refrigerate. This keeps several weeks in refrigerator or can be frozen. - (Pumpkin butter)
For the cookie dip add to the pumpkin butter:
1 - 8 oz. pkg cream cheese
1 /3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla.
Mix well and then fold in - 1 - 8 oz. cool whip.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


4 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/4 c warm water
4 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c baking soda
2 c hot water
coarse kosher salt

dissolve yeast, sugar and water- 5-10 minutes. add flour, sugar, salt; knead 7-8 minutes (or 3-5 in mixer bowl with bread bar). coat dough with oil (1 tbl is plenty). proof til double (i force it in the oven, 20 minutes 100-120F). roll pretzels pencil thin (at least).
mix soda and hot water in shallow dish. dip pretzels in soda water, and shape onto greased baking sheet. (this is what gives them that beautiful brown color)
sprinkle with coarse salt.
bake 8 minutes 45oF.

makes 12 mall-sized pretzels, or 24 small.
best fresh, they get stale quickly, and if you store them air-tight for too long, the salt gets mushy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Elise's Granola bars

these are a huge hit at my house (and relatively healthy/high in fber & omega 3s--healthier than cookies at least)

in large mixing bowl combine:

1 c flour
4 c oatmeal (add another 1/2 c if you don't want nuts, chips, fruit, etc)
1/2 c milled flax
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

in microwaveable bowl melt:
1/3 c brown sugar
2/3 c marg/butter
1/2 c honey
(consider substituting maple syrup or molassas for part of this, haven't tried it yet, but sounds good)

stir well, then combine with dry ingredients. then add any or all of the following:

1-1 1/2 c mini choc chips (i use half mini m&m's)
1 c rough-chopped nuts (i like almonds)
1/2 c coconut (for chewiness)
1/2 c raisins

coat everything well. press into 9x13" pan and bake 20 minutes @ 325. after removing from oven, press down firmly (with large metal spoon) or they'll crumble. let cool at least 15 minutes, better if completely cool. cut and store or serve. (You were holding out on us so I swiped it from that other blog!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

baked chicken and pastini

1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1/2-inch cubes)
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice (i like italian flavored)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
salt & pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan

boil pasta about 5 minutes (in salted water). saute chicken in italian salad dressing (or just olive oil, but i like a little more flavor), add onion & garlic, cook til onion is transparent.
in large bowl combine everything except bread crumbs and parmesan. transfer to 8x8" baking dish, top with mixed bread crumbs and parmesan. bake about 30 minutes 400F.
serves about 3. easily doubled (9x13" or 2 qt casserole dish).