Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sour Cream Cookies

I just received word today that my aunt passed away. She was like a second mom to me and one of the things I remember most about her was her cookies at Christmas. They were wonderful. She generously shared her recipe with my mother so she and I could make Christmas cookies together. I continued that tradition with my daughter, always making those cookies at Christmas with her.

Here is a picture of my daughter decorating them when she was about three years old. Many times, I gave them as gifts. I will surely miss my aunt and as a tribute to her, I am posting her cookie recipe so everyone can enjoy them.

Sour Cream Cookies

6 C. flour
3 C. powdered sugar
1 t. salt
2 t. soda
3 T. vanilla
1 C. margarine
2 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 C. sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, powdered sugar, and soda. Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, margarine, and vanilla. Add sour cream and then gradually add the flour mixture a little at a time. The dough will become very thick. When ready, roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes.

Cool the cookies and then frost with your favorite icing and decorate with colored sugar or candy pieces.

Rest in piece, Aunt Hilma.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Thing or Two about Celery

When celery loses its crispness, place it in a pan of cool water with some raw potato slices for a few hours. When you remove the celery, it should be crisp again.

To help keep the odor to a minimum when cooking cabbage, put a stalk of celery in the pot to cook along with it.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Latte

The nearest Starbucks to where I live is an hour drive away. So, when I'm out shopping or on a business trip and see a Starbucks, I have to stop.

I do have my favorites, in the summer it's any flavor frappuccino. In the winter, it the Caramel Macchiato Latte and at Christmas I cannot pass up their Peppermint Mocha Twist. Actually, it's probably a good thing I am not near a Starbucks or I would be more over weight than I already am.

This Fall, I have been looking forward to their Pumpkin Spice Latte and this week, I had an out of town business meeting and knew I would be driving by a Starbucks. My plan was to stop and get one to drink for the drive back to my office. To my extreme disappointment, they were out of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. OMG, if they only knew how my mouth had watered all morning with the anticipation of that drink. How could Starbucks do that to me!! So, I ended up with my regular Caramel Macchiato and it was really good, but I am still craving that Pumpkin Spice Latte.

In a week, I have a three-day out of town business trip in a large city. There has to be Starbucks near the hotel and hopefully, I will get my Pumpkin Spice Latte, or I will be one unhappy lady.

I'm doing something a little different this week. I don't have a recipe of my own for the Latte, so I have posting a link to one for all of you to try. This is a Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe made in a slow cooker and from the ABC News' Good Morning America web site.

What are your favorite Starbucks drinks? Post your answer in the comments. Thanks and enjoy your drink.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sandwich making hint

In my opinion, there is nothing worse that soggy sandwich bread. I don't know how people can eat one of those Arby's sandwiches that you dip into the broth. My husband likes them, but not me. When I make a sandwich to take to work for lunch, I usually don't add tomatoes because they are the worse at making bread soggy. Sometimes, I don't add any dressing for the same reason, but then the sandwiches are too dry.

My solution is to spread a thin layer of butter or margarine on each piece of the bread or bun. This acts as a barrier to any liquid from the tomato, lettuce, or dressing. It works great. I took a turkey sub to work today for lunch and did just that. I had a nice dry, but fresh bun and a very enjoyable lunch.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Buttermilk biscuits

My first mistake this morning was looking for a recipe to post before eating breakfast. I was hungry before I started my search and now I am starved. I've always heard to refrain from grocery shopping while hungry. My advice to add to this is never, ever look through your recipes while hungry.

My second mistake is looking through my recipes while on a diet. Bread is one of my favorite foods that I have drastically reduced from my meals. I do allow myself an occasional Subway Sandwich to get my bread fix, but by reading over my biscuit recipe, my craving has started. Maybe subconsciously, my craving for bread had already started and that's why I decided to post my biscuit recipe. Either way, I've got to get something to eat for breakfast as soon as I get this posted.

Cold weather has hit my portion of the state and when that happens, we all want comfort food. (Did I mention I'm freezing right now?) What could be better than a hot, buttered, rich buttermilk biscuit? I don't just serve them for breakfast, I make a big batch and serve them at every meal. For instance, we're having guests over this evening and I plan on making a big pot of vegetable soup for our meal. While I'll probably have crackers out on a plate, I will also have a platter of biscuits for eat with the soup. I don't know if it's just me because my husband does not like this, but I love a good hot biscuit with a bowl of Denny Moore Beef Stew. No matter what you like to serve, here is a really good biscuit recipe to go with it.

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 to 1 c. of buttermilk
1/2 stick butter
2 c, flour
1/2 t, salt

In a large bowl, sift all dry ingredients together. Cut butter or shortening into the flour with finger tips until the consistency is like small peas.

Blend buttermilk a little at a time until all flour is moist and in center of bowl. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and kneed lightly till easy to work with not sticky.

Roll out and cut biscuits to your favorite size. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 450° F.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter and serve hot.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Smoke Detector Cooking

I think I have another story for my next Disaster cookbook, should I write another one. I set off our smoke detector while making supper Sunday evening. Actually, the meal wasn't a disaster, it just sounded like the house was burning down. Of course, the alarm went off just as my husband was getting home from work. I raced to the door to tell him he didn't need to call 911.
It all started because I wanted some KFC grilled chicken. Unfortunately, the nearest KFC is at least a 45 minute drive and I didn't have a car on Sunday. Instead, I search the internet for a recipe. I found one on the Top Secret Recipes web site, but you have to pay 99 cents for it. Being the thrifty person I am (read that as cheap), I refused to buy it. By the way, that is a great web site for recipes, if you want to pay for them. After that I made several attempts to find a recipe that I liked, I searched for grilled, baked, roasted, but didn't find anything that really appealed to me.

After about 30 minutes of searching (I am persistent), I decided to develop my own recipe. Well duh, I should have thought of that in the first place. After taking the battery out of the smoke detector to keep it from screaming, the chicken came out pretty good. The problem was that I used too much olive oil. I forgot how bad it smokes when it gets hot. If you try the recipe, you'll have to determine the amount of ingredients to use, everything is pretty much "to taste."

Roasted Chicken

1 chicken, cut up into pieces
olive oil
Mrs. Dash Original flavor seasoning

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with aluminum foil. You can also use a broiling pan, if you don't want the chicken baking in the grease. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place the pieces in the pan and brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash. Bake for 30 minutes and then turn over down to 350°. Do not turn chicken pieces over. Cook for an additional 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and cover pan with aluminum foil until it is time to serve.