Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ladies night

We have a monthly get together that we used to call Bunco or as the husbands call it....Drunko. I think we might have to change the name of our group though since we don't actually play very much.  I get to host once a year and have tons of fun trying new recipes on my friends.

We had the Costco Kirkland Margarita (Courtesy of the DC Costco that sells liquor) and lots of wine.  I am going to need to go visit Costco in DC again soon to pick up some more margaritas.  They were refreshing and delicious.

I tried three new recipes this year.  Potato skins, Goat cheese with blackberry and honey and Zucchini pizza bites.  All delicious in my opinion.  Hope you enjoy trying them.

Goat Cheese with Blackberry and Honey
Adapted from: Foodie with Family


1 small artisan loaf
Goat cheese
fresh blackberries
mild honey

1.  Slice the bread thinly.  I tried for 1/4 inch.  Crisp in the oven for 3-4 min each side in the oven at 350 degrees.
2. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a plate.  Place a slice of goat cheese on each round.  Top with a blackberry and drizzle with some honey. I tried 3 types of goat cheese - plain, herb crusted and sweet cranberries.

Easy Potato Skins
From: Iheartnaptime

4 large baking potatoes (washed)
3 TB butter, melted
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 1/2- 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
7 slices bacon -cooked and crumbled

1.  Pre-heat oven to 400°. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2.  Wash potatoes and then cut the ends of the potatoes off and discard. Next cut the rest of the potatoes into approximately 1/3 inch slices.
3.  Brush both sides and edges of the potatoes with butter and sprinkle with salt. Place on the foil covered pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned. Turn potatoes onto the opposite side after about 15 minutes, to brown the other side.
4.  When potatoes are done, top with cheese, bacon and green onions. Continue baking for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese in

Zucchini Pizza Bites
From: thecomfortofcooking

2 large zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
Nonstick cooking spray
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
1/4 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
1/4 cup mini pepperoni pieces, optional
Italian seasoning, for sprinkling

1.  Spray cookie sheet, then spray both sides of zucchini rounds lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil or grill the zucchini rounds (I used a grill pan set to medium-high) for 2 minutes on each side.
2.  Place cooked zucchini rounds on a large lined baking sheet. Top with small amounts of sauce, cheese and pepperoni pieces, if desired. Broil for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted, careful not to burn. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and serve warm.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Looking back at my "resolutions" for this year....Meatless meals.  This is one of my favorites.  I love the spinach and cheese combo and for some reason I don't think one roll has a huge number of carbs so I consider this good skinny food to eat when I'm watching my carb intake.  I didn't change anything from the recipe.  If you like diet friendly meals you should check out the Skinnytaste site. I try a ton of recipes and haven't found one I don't like yet!

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

From: Skinnytaste

9 lasagna noodles, cooked
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
15 oz fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt and fresh pepper
32 oz tomato sauce
1 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each roll with mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer: S'mores Cookies

If you are like my kids, you were eagerly awaiting the kick off to summer and more importantly the POOL HAS BEEN NOW OPEN - and I'm late posting this blog post ;)   I spent Friday evening making sure that members of our pool would be able to to enter without issue.  My duties do extend to membership although not by choice.  We kicked off the beginning to summer with the traditional Ice Cream Social.  The new Social team did a fabulous job of making sure all had ice cream and toppings.  For me summer means grilling out and cocktails at the pool.  I've posted a few recipes we enjoyed this weekend.  Unfortunately we didn't get pictures of them all since we were too hungry!  The S'mores cookies are fabulous chewy cookies that can be enjoyed all year long!  The only thing I think would make them better would be ice cream!

We BBQ'd at the pool on Sunday and enjoyed Peruvian Chicken AND Grilled Kielbasa with Sauerkraut and home made honey mustard - Recipes in another post.  Tonight...we are having a rib cook off.  My contribution - competition beware is Cherry Cola Glazed ribs.  Pictures of that to come.

S’mores Cookies
Makes 3+ dozen
Recipe from: The Girl Who Ate Everything

11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ½ cups flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.
4. Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight
5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper. I used two jelly roll pans.
6. Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching).
7. Place 1 tablespoon of dough on each graham cracker.
8. Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey’s bar pieces on to the top.
9. Bake for an additional 5 – 7 minutes or more if your cookies are thicker.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Whipped Roasted Cauliflower and Onion Soup

Days like this past weekend make you want to stay indoors and have soup.  Unfortunately I was under the weather and had to order soup to be delivered, but this is a great alternative to the non-sick people.  This also helps contribute to my new year's resolution of veggie meals! I didn't post a picture here, because let's be real....soup is not really picture friendly! I changed the recipe a bit from Reboot from Joe by adding more broth.  It was a bit too chunky for me and didn't smooth in my vitamix until I added the full 4 cups of stock. Enjoy!

Adapted from: Reboot with Joe

1 medium head cauliflower
1 medium white onion
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. fresh or dried thyme
1/2 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups vegetable stock


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. Roughly chop the cauliflower and dice onion into 1 inch/2.5 cm. pieces.
  3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spread cauliflower and onion evenly. Drizzle with olive oil, thyme, nutmeg and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper and toss everything to coat.
  4. Bake for about 35-45 minutes, tossing halfway through, until they are fully roasted and lightly browned on the edges.
  5. Allow cauliflower and onions to cool slightly. For chunky soup, reserve 1 cup roasted mixture in separate bowl.
  6. When the cauliflower is cool to touch, using a blender, food processor or immersion blender, add cauliflower and onions. Add 1/2 broth and process until smooth. Add additional broth until soup is at desired thickness.
  7. Add puree to medium saucepan and warm.
  8. Serve warm. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits

Instant grits!  Sacrilege to those from the South.  I've never made grits.  Yes, I know hard to believe.  I can't believe how easy it was and tasted delish.  The hardest part was peeling the shrimp.  OH wait.  My husband did the grocery shopping and he splurged on the already peeled shrimp.  I know there was a reason I married him.  The shrimp in the picture are 31-40. I prefer a bit larger of a shrimp, but I can't complain.  I didn't do the grocery shopping!! From start to finish I think this mean took 15 mins.  The teenager wasn't a fan of the grits, but the lemony garlic flavoring of the shrimp really added to the light cheesy flavor of the grits.  I will definitely be making this dish again.

Adapted from: Food Network Magazine

3/4 cup instant grits
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus wedges for serving

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, covered. Uncover and slowly whisk in the grits, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne, if using, and cook, tossing, until the shrimp are pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons water, the lemon juice and parsley; stir to coat the shrimp with the sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Divide the grits among four bowls and top with the shrimp and sauce. Serve with lemon wedges.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cincinnati Chili

Football post season is in full swing. Playoffs today.  One must have football food.  I was in the mood for chili and cornbread.  I typically go for my healthy turkey chili.  The family does not like it that much due to the healthy part.  It has turkey - duh - mushrooms, peppers, jalapeños,  beans.  Anyway, we are a big fan of Cincinnati chili at Hard Times Cafe.  This recipe I tried to follow, but when I got to the Food Network's version of unsweetened chocolate...I didn't have any.  Why would I have not sweet chocolate??  Anyway, I tried to counter with 1/4 a Hershey's bar, but the cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce had too much sour.  Hence another 1/4 of the Hershey's bar.  The flavor of the chili is complex, sweet with a hint of spice.  We may have it again for Super Bowl.  Enjoy!

Adapted from:  Food Network

Complex, sweet with a hint of spice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 6-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 Hershey's chocolate bar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground pepper
12 ounces cooked spaghett
1 19-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound grated cheddar cheese

1.  Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and the garlic and cook until soft, stirring, about 5 minutes. 
2.  Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the beef and cook the mixture, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt.
3.  Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bay leaf and 1 1/2 cups water; simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thicker. Add the chocolate, vinegar and Worcestershire and cook until the mixture is thickened but still soupy, about 15 more minutes.  Add the kidney beans and then simmer for 15 more minutes.  
4.  Discard the bay leaf and season the chili with the freshly ground pepper. Divide the spaghetti among bowls and top with chopped onion and cheddar. Serve with cornbread.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cookie Exchange

I've never been to a cookie exchange.  My friends I talk about doing a cookie exchange every year. Things get busy and we always just bail.  This year, thanks to Paula, she whipped our butts into the sprit and we not only had a cookie exchange, but I think it was fabulous.  The cookies everyone brought were so delicious it was hard to just nibble and not gobble up all the cookies before even taking them home.  When I did arrive home, I had little fingers that were waiting to see what they could grab before I put them away. Thanks Paula for a wonderful time.  We enjoyed these cookies--maybe a bit too much!  This will by far be the longest post ever.

Cookies included:
Raspberry Coconut cookie
Almost a Candy Bar
White Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Cookies
Dark Chocolate-Espresso Shortbread
Peanut Blossoms
Adriana’s Macaroons
Paula’s Iced Oatmeal Cookies
Denise’s Chocolate Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Haystacks
Nancie’s Colonial Gingersnaps
Sophia’s Velvet Cookies(trees)
Spritz Cookies
Sugar Cookie Window Panes

If I could figure out how to link them to the ones below I would!  But alas I am still a novice.  Enjoy these recipes even though the season is over!

Raspberry Coconut Cookie

From: Taste of Home
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam

1.  In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, water and extract. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in coconut (dough will be sticky).
2.  Set aside 2/3 cup dough; roll remaining dough into 1-in. balls. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make a 3/8-in.-deep indentation in the center of each ball. Fill each with 1/2 teaspoon jam.
3.  Cover jam with a teaspoonful of reserved dough; seal and reshape into a ball. Repeat.
4.  Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes 30 cookies

Almost a Candy bar

From: Taste of Home
1 tube (16-1/2 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
4 chewy s'mores granola bars, chopped
1 package (10 to 11 ounces) butterscotch chips
2-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1-1/2 cups miniature pretzels
1 package (10 ounces) peanut butter chips
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips

1. Let dough stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften. In a large bowl, combine dough and granola bars. Press into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
2.  Sprinkle with butterscotch chips and marshmallows. Bake 3-4 minutes longer or until marshmallows begin to brown.
3.  Arrange pretzels over the top. In a small saucepan, melt the peanut butter chips, corn syrup and butter; spoon over bars.
4.  In a microwave, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Spread or drizzle over bars. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm before cutting. Cut into 1.5 " squares.  Makes approximately 6-7 dozen.

White Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Cookies

From: Washington post 

Makes : 72 COOKIES
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine kosher salt
1 pound unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups skin-on (unsalted) almonds, lightly toasted, then coarsely chopped (see NOTE: may substitute nuts of your choice)
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup dried sour cherries, coarsely chopped

MAKE AHEAD: The dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days. The cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.

1.  Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt onto a piece of wax paper or parchment paper.
2.  Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on low speed, then medium-high speed until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.
3.  Reduce the speed to low; add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition, then add the vanilla extract. Stop to scrape down the bowl.
4.  Gradually add the sifted flour mixture, beating on low speed to form a soft dough. Stir in the almonds, white chocolate chips and dried cherries until well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
5.  Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
6.  Use a generous tablespoon to scoop the dough onto the baking sheets, spacing them at least 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake two sheets at a time (upper and lower racks) for about 8 minutes, then rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom.
7.  Let the cookies sit on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before serving or storing. Repeat to use all of the dough.

NOTE: Spread the almonds on a baking sheet. Toast in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and slightly darkened in color.

Dark Chocolate-Espresso Shortbread

From: Oxmoor House JUNE 2007

Makes: 1 1/2 to 2 dozen

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour*
1/4 cup cornstarch*
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa*
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder (we tested with Café Bustello)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar*
3 ounces white chocolate baking bar (we tested with Ghirardelli)
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate baking bars
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside.
*sift these ingredients together

1.  Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. Stir in dry ingredients; beat just until blended.
2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. With flour on your hands, after measuring into 3 ~5.6 ounce each portions, form into a ball and then flatten.  Ends up being 1/4 thick.  You could probably form into a rectangle too.   Place 2 portions on opposite ends of 1 baking sheet. Place remaining portion on second baking sheet.
3. Cover dough portions with plastic wrap; gently press or roll each portion of dough into a 5 1/2" circle. Lightly score each round with a sharp knife into 6 or 8 wedges. She did 2 separate batches of cookies.  Each circle was divided into 10 instead of 8.  With 2 batches she used 4 ounces of chocolate for each kind. (total 2 Ghiradelli bars - 60% bittersweet & white)
4. Bake rounds at 325° for 23 minutes or until shortbread feels firm to the touch. Gently score each round again with a sharp knife. Slide parchment from baking sheets onto wire racks. Let shortbread cool completely on parchment. Cut shortbread into wedges along scored lines.
5.  Melt chocolate baking bars separately in small bowls in the microwave according to package directions. Partially dip wide end of each shortbread wedge in unsweetened chocolate. Place on a wax paper-lined jelly-roll pan, and freeze briefly to set chocolate. Then partially dip other half of wide end of each wedge in white chocolate. Freeze briefly to set white chocolate.


Makes 32 cookies
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 packed dark brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup unsweetened  shredded dried coconut
6 TBSP sesame seeds, toasted (toasting is optional)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Adjust the racks so they divide the oven into thirds.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2.  Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
3.  In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until smooth and well blended, about 1 minute. Add the egg and almond extract and mix until completely combined.  Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.  Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined, scraping the bowl if necessary to incorporate the dry ingredients.  Add the chocolate chips, coconut, and sesame seeds and mix on low speed until evenly distributed.  The dough should be smooth, dense and somewhat pliable.  (This dough benefits from resting in the fridge, covered, for 12-24 hours before baking.)
4.  Using a small ice cream scoop or table spoon measure, drop well-rounded balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
5.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time, just until the edges turn golden.
6.  When cool enough to handle, transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the cookies will keep for 2 to 3 days.

Peanut Blossoms

From: King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion
Makes 4 dozen cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for coating the dough
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 TBSP milk
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
48 chocolate kisses (7 ounces)

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets
2.  In a large bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter together until well blended.  Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy.  Add the egg, milk, baking soda, salt and vanilla and beat well.  Gradually mix in the flour.
3.  Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and roll them in granulated sugar.  Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets.
4. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, until they are a very light golden brown.  Remove them from the oven and immediately place one chocolate kiss atop each cookie, gently pressing it in.  Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Adriana’s Macaroons

1lb Almond Paste*
13 oz sugar (you can use between 12- 14 oz depending on how sweet you like them)
4 room temperature egg whites. (Do NOT use egg whites from a carton.  Use only fresh egg whites.)    

1.  Preheat oven to 325.  Mix all ingredients together 
2.  Spoon out ½ tablespoon size cookies 2 “ apart onto parchment lined baking sheets.  (or pipe out of pastry bag).  Use a damp finger to smooth out tops of cookies.
3.  Bake for ~ 15 minutes on top shelf.  Rotate pan once to ensure even cooking.  Watch them carefully because they can burn easily.

Note: I buy almond paste in 7lb cans from  Once opened I break up into 1lb blocks, wrap and freeze.  Good to split a can with a friend. :) 

Paula’s Iced Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup soften butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 cups quick oats

1.  Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, honey and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients (except oats) and then add to butter mixture.  Stir in quick oats.
2.  Drop by rounded tsp on ungreased cookie sheets
3.  Bake at 350 for 6-7 minutes
4.  Cool on wire racks.
5.  Mix 1 ½ cups powdered sugar with 3 tbsp milk and drizzle over cooled cookies.  Let icing set for several hours before storing.   You can add food coloring to dress these up.

Denise’s Chocolate Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Haystacks

2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
Waxed paper

1.  In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil, the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls, until cooled and hardened.

Nancie’s Colonial Gingersnaps

1 ½ c. solid vegetable shortening* 
2 c. sugar
½ c. dark molasses
2 eggs
4 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
2 t. ground cloves
2 t. ground ginger (double the ginger for stronger ginger flavor)

1.  Mix first 4 ingredients and then add the remaining ingredients to create a sticky dough.  Refrigerate dough in an air-tight container.  
2.  When dough is chilled, roll into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter.  Roll the balls in granulated sugar and then again in your hands to remove excess sugar.  
3.  Place 2 inches apart on a lightly greased sheet or sheet covered with parchment paper.  Bake at 350 for 8 minutes for a chewy cookie.  This recipe makes about 6 dozen cookies.

*(You can use Crisco, but I prefer Earth Balance Natural Shortening.  It’s available in most natural food stores such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Markets.)

Rachel's snickerdoodle cookies

½ cup each butter and shortening, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1.  Beat butter, shortening, sugar and eggs together until creamy. 
2.  Add cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Beat until smooth. 
3.  Add flour and mix well.
4.  Chilling overnight is preferred; otherwise at least two hours.

3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

5.  Combine topping ingredients in small, shallow bowl. After chilling, roll out to 1/4-inch thick in between sheets of plastic wrap and cut out desired shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheets, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and refrigerate 30 minutes.

6.  Preheat oven to 375F and position a rack in the middle. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until golden brown. 

Sophia’s Velvet Cookies(trees)

3/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1.  preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.  cream the shortening and add the sugar slowly
3. stir in the peanut butter, egg and extracts
4.  sift flour, baking powder and salt
5.  gradually add dr
y ingredients to creamed mixture
6.  fill a cookie press and form into desired shapes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
7.  bake 10-12 minutes. should make 7 doz

Spritz Cookies

1 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2.25 cups sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon lemon extract

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. cream the shortening
3. gradually add sugar and cream well.
4. beat in the egg and extract
5. gradually add the flour, sifted with the salt and baking powder
6. fill a cookie press and form into desired shapes onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
7. bake for 10-12 minutes. should make about 6 doz.

Sugar Cookie Window Panes

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup shortening
2 cups flour
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt

Oven 375 degrees
1. Cream butter and shortening.
2. Add the egg, sugar, milk baking powder, vanilla, salt, and half the flour. mix to thoroughly combine. 
3. Beat in remaining flour. Divide the dough in half. Cover and chill for three hours. 
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time 1/8 inch thick.
5. Cut into shapes and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. 
6. Cut out little shapes in the cookie centers and fill with finely crushed hard candy.
7. Bake for 7-8 minutes until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned.
8. Cool on aluminum foil.