Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crispy Chicken Nuggets w/Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Here's a great, basic dinner "snack" everyone will enjoy.  Chicken Nuggets made healthy!  Baked, not fried with a wonderful homemade honey mustard dipping sauce (or serve it with the dip of your choice.....BBQ sauce or ranch dressing, maybe?)

As long as you have some thawed chicken on hand, this can come together quickly and easily for a casual meal.  I served mine with coleslaw and some roasted red potatoes.


1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/8 tsp salt
dash black pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp milk
30 butter crackers (Ritz, Town House, etc), crushed

Cut chicken into 1 1/2" pieces.  In a plastic bag, combine flour, parsley flakes, poultry seasoning, S&P.  Add chicken pieces, a few at a time, to the flour mixture.  Close the bag and shake to coat chicken.  Set chicken aside.

In a bowl, stir together egg and milk.  In a second bowl, place your crushed crackers.  Dip coated chicken, a few at a time, in the egg mixture and then roll in the crushed crackers to coat.  Place in a single layer on a large baking sheet (I lined mine with aluminum foil, then sprayed with cooking spray, for easier clean-up).  Bake in a preheated 425 oven for 10-12 minutes until chicken is no longer pink (for the last 2 minutes, I sprayed the tops of the nuggets with cooking spray and then turned on the broiler to give them a crispier, brown crust).


1/2 cup mayo
4 tsp Dijon mustard 
1 Tbsp honey

Whisk ingredients together.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I needed a simple whole-grain salad to go with some grilled fish and steamed broccoli tonight.  Quinoa is just about my favorite grain and I found this on  Perfect. I so often forget about feta and this was the perfect combination, and I just happened to have everything on hand.  For 2 main-coarse servings, you could add about one cup of cooked, cubed chicken and maybe add some crusty bread.  Could it get any better?


1/2 cup water
1/2 cube chicken bouillon (1 used 1/2 tsp chicken powder)
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1/4 small red onion, diced
1/4 large green pepper, diced (I also had some red pepper on hand which I diced)
2 Tbsp kalamata olives, diced (I use oil-cured olives)
2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp+ 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil

Bring the water, bouillon cubes, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan.  Stir in the quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, 15-20 minutes.  Scrape the quinoa into a large bowl.

Gently stir the onion, bell pepper, chives, feta, parsley, chives, and salt into the quinoa.  Drizzle with the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.  Stir until evenly mixed.  Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Southwestern Salad w/Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Here's a wonderful alternative to any southwestern/Mexican dish!  As much as I love Spanish rice and charro beans, sometimes nothing works as well as a green salad.  And this is definitely a winner.  This really isn't a recipe, just a suggestion as to what to add to your salad.  Use as much/little/none of each ingredient which works for you.


1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
1-2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
S&P to taste
1 clove (1 tsp) garlic, minced
1/2 tsp oregano

Whisk ingredients together.

Salad ingredients:

Romaine lettuce, chopped
grape tomatoes, halved
green onions, sliced
sweet peppers (any), green, red, and/or orange
black beans
sweet corn
pumpkin seeds
cojita cheese
tortilla strips (I find prepared strips in my produce department)

Mix salad ingredients in large bowl.  Dress with vinaigrette.  Enjoy!    


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Southwest Chicken Tortellini Chowder

I had some frozen tortellini in the freezer looking for a home the other day and I found a wonderful place for them.  It comes together quickly and easily and I always have everything on hand for it, except for the zucchini and squash.  I served it with a green southwestern style for a simple dinner.


3 cans chicken broth
3/4 cup bottled salsa
1 zucchini, chunked
1 yellow squash, chunked
1 pkg frozen or fresh tortellini
1 1/2 cup cooked, diced chicken
1 can evaporated milk
S&P to taste
fresh cilantro for garnish, optional

Combine broth, salsa, and vegetables and cook until almost done.  Add chicken and tortellini.  Lightly boil 3-5 minutes until tortellini and veggies are done and then stir in the can of milk.  Turn heat down, DO NOT BOIL once you have added the milk.  S&P to taste.  Garnish with cilantro if desired. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Maple Oatmeal Cookies

Yum.  Y-U-M yum.  And chewy.  Very chewy.  For those of you who know me, you know I don't have much of a sweet tooth.  But I gotta tell you, I could easily plow through a batch of these ooey-gooey-chewy treats.  Holy Smokes!  Are these things awesome!  Much chewier than a traditional lace cookie, I guess it's the maple syrup that brings these to a new level of awesomeness!!!  If you happen to have some honest-to-goodness maple syrup (Grade B is the Best) in your pantry, give these a try.....I promise you will not be disappointed.

MAPLE OATMEAL COOKIES (makes about 4 dozen)

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup flour
1 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup pure maple sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 with racks in upper and lower thirds.  In a medium bowl, stir together oats, flour, salt, and baking soda.    In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on high until pale and fluffy, 3 minutes.  Beat in maple syrup, egg, vanilla, and 1/4 cup water scraping down bowl as needed.  With mixer on low, beat in oat mixture in 2 additions until just combined.

Drop dough in measured teaspoonfuls (mine were 10 grams each), 2" apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake until edges are golden, about 11 minutes, rotating sheets  halfway through.  Let cookies cool on sheets until set, about 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Shrimp Fajita Quesadillas

Oh my!  What a surprise these were!  It was a last minute dinner choice for movie night.  I wanted something light enough that we would still be able to enjoy popcorn later.  Didn't quite work out that way.  These were surprisingly very filling and oh so good!  I had some frozen whole-wheat tortillas in the freezer that worked perfectly.  Will definitely be back on the table!


4 large tortillas
8 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 oz mild red enchilada sauce
1/2 small onion, chopped large (about 3/4")
1/2 red pepper, chopped large (about 3/4")
1/2  green pepper, chopped large (about 3/4")
1 cup cheese (I used Monterey Jack)
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

Pour red sauce over shrimp.  Set aside.

Heat skillet over medium-high to high heat and add olive oil.  Cook vegetables over high heat until they start to get brown/black.  Remove from skillet and set aside.

Return skillet to medium-high heat, then dump in the shrimp and sauce.  Cook, stirring only occasionally, until shrimp is opaque.  Add in a little water if the sauce gets dry.  Remove from skillet and chop into bite-sized pieces.

In a separate skillet or griddle, heat butter.  Place a tortilla in the skillet, then layer on ingredients: cheese, vegetables, and shrimp.  Top with a little more cheese and a second tortilla.  Cook on both sides, adding butter before flipping to the other side so the tortilla isn't overly dry.  Remove from skillet and slice into wedges.  Serve with rice, beans, salsa, sour cream, guacamole-whatever you'd like!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Asian Side Salad Dressing

I don't do quite as much Asian cooking as I used to, but I just love it.  And sometimes I'll do an entree which just needs a bit of extra Asian flavor.  This is it.  If you've ever been to a Japanese restaurant or sushi bar, this dressing is the mainstay of an Americanized-Japanese salad.  Simply shredded iceberg lettuce with maybe some grated carrots and cabbage, topped with this dressing.  I found my perfect recipe in an old "Moosewood" cookbook (a famed vegetarian restaurant out of Ithaca, New York).  I can count on this recipe whenever I'm looking for a simple side dish for an Asian entree.

ASIAN SIDE SALAD DRESSING (makes about 1 cup)

1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 medium onion, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
1/2 medium carrot, grated (about 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger root
1/4 tsp powdered mustard
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp apple cider or apple juice (I used flavored-vodka......I use vodka to keep my freshly-peeled ginger in either vodka or white wine.....I was taught that you can keep ginger in either of these alcohols for, well, just about forever, and they will in turn flavor the alcohol which adds a depth of flavor to your stir fry or whatever you need liquid in to flavor a ginger dish)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
S&P to taste

In a food processor or blender, whirl the garlic, onion, carrot, and ginger for about 30 seconds.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the S&P, and process until thickened.  Stir in the S&P to taste.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Frig/Freezer/Kitchen Sink Chili and Cornbread

Whew!!!!  We finally got some winter temps this weekend in Chattanooga and I was finally able to make some chili!!!  First batch this winter!  I was so excited.  I'm sorry, but I just can't make/eat chili when it's blue skies, sunshine, and 50+ degrees outside.  But I was also on a mission to try to start thinning out my frig and freezer, so decided to concoct a chili recipe using what I had on hand.  Oh they joys of chili!!!  You absolutely don't need a "recipe" to come up with a wonderful, winter meal.  And instead of making a cast-iron skillet of cornbread, I pulled out my cast iron corn-muffin dish and made MY favorite cornbread recipe (out of Joy of Cooking).

Of course, this recipe is ABSOLUTELY negotiable.  Use what you have and what you like.  This is a guideline for myself.  It just happened to turn out wonderfully!


12 oz ground turkey breast
4 oz hot Italian sausage
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
1-2 tsp (cloves) garlic, minced
2 cup gazpacho (I made some at the end of summer, this was leftovers)
1/4 cup pico de gallo (again, left over from Super Bowl appetizers)
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
8 oz tomato paste
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
6 oz tomato juice
1 (14.5 oz) light red kidney beans

Heat a large pot.  Spray with vegetable pan spray.  Add onions and peppers until tender.  Add garlic.  Add sausage and crumble, stirring until almost cooked.  Add ground turkey breast.  When meat is cooked,  add gazpacho, pico de gallo, chili powder, cumin, tomato paste, and salt.  Cook until consistency is what you like.  Add cilantro and kidney beans, add tomato juice if you need to thin it out.  

Garnish with cheddar or jack (or pepper jack cheese).  Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread.

SOUTHERN CORNBREAD (one 8" square pan or 12 muffins, or about 16 cornsticks, from "Joy of Cooking")

Preheat oven to 450.  Grease a heavy 9" oven-proof skillet (I use cast iron), or an 8" square glass baking dish with:

1 Tbsp bacon fat, lard, oil, or vegetable shortening

Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl:

1 1/4 cup cornmeal, preferably stone-ground white
(1 Tbsp sugar with yellow cornmeal)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Whisk until foamy in another bowl:

2 large eggs

Whisk in:

2 cups buttermilk

Add to the dry ingredients and whisk just until blended.  Place the skillet or pan in the oven and heat until the fat smokes.  Pour in the batter all at once.

Bake until the top is browned and the center feels firm when pressed, 20-25 minutes.  Serve immediately from the pan, cut into wedges or squares.  Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to freeze for wonderful leftovers. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Beef and Broccoli

We're not big beef eaters, but maybe once or twice a year I'll get a craving for a beef dish.  I ran across this recipe and, having some broccoli on hand, thought I'd try this.  It's just what I was looking for.  An extra plus was that I was able to get everything ready during my lunch hour (marinated the beef, made the sauce, readied the garlic and ginger), and simply put it together in a matter of minutes at dinner time.  Serve with jasmine rice for a simple one-dish dinner.

BEEF AND BROCCOLI (serves 4-5)

1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp chicken broth
5 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp cornstarch

Beef and Broccoli:
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 pounds flank steak, cut into 2" strips with the grain, then sliced across the grain into 1/8" slices
6 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
1" fresh ginger, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
1 tsp vegetable oil, plus extra for cooking
1 1/4 pounds bite-sized broccoli florets
1/3 cup water
3 medium scallions, sliced 1/2" thick on diagonal, optional

In a medium bowl, combine beef and soy sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour.  Meanwhile, whisk the sauce ingredients together in a liquid measure or small bowl.  In another small bowl, combine garlic, ginger, and 1 tsp oil.  Set aside.

Heat 1-2 tsp oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat until hot and rippling.  Add half of the beef to the skillet and break up clumps, cook, without stirring, for 1 minute, then stir and cook until beef is browned around edges and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes.  Don't overcook the meat, cook until just barely cooked through so the meat stays tender.  Transfer beef to a medium bowl and cover with aluminum foil.  Heat another 1-2 tsp oil in the skillet and repeat with remaining beef.

Add 1 Tbsp oil to now-empty skillet; heat until rippling and hot.  Add broccoli and cook 30 seconds; add water, cover pan, and lower heat to medium.  Stream broccoli until crisp-tender, now more than 2 minutes.  Push the broccoli to the sides of the skillet and add the garlic/ginger mixture.  Cook, mashing the mixture with a spoon, until fragrant, about 15-30 seconds.  Stir the mixture into the broccoli.  Add the beef back to the skillet and toss to combine.  Whisk the sauce to recombine and add to the skillet.  Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and evenly distributed, about 1-2 minutes.  

Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with scallions, and serve over rice.  

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hot Pizza Dip Bites

Another great and easy Super Bowl appetizer, or an appetizer or any occasion.  The mix can be made ahead and then simply bake the wonton shells, fill, and heat.  These bites can also be made in a shallow baking dish as more of a dip versus finger food.  I've included instructions for that variation below the recipe.  Also, feel free to tailor toppings to your tastes.  The sky's the limit when it comes to pizza.

HOT PIZZA DIP BITES (makes about 24 pizza bites)

8 oz cream cheese, light or regular, softened
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove freshly minced garlic
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup pizza sauce or good marinara sauce
3 oz finely chopped pepperoni (I used turkey pepperoni)
24 square wonton wrappers

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a small bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, oregano, basil, and garlic.  Lightly grease a mini-muffin tin pan with cooking spray and press one wonton wrapper gently into the muffin tin, carefully but firmly pressing it into the sides of the cups.  Bake the wonton wrappers for 4-6 minutes, until lightly browned (mine took closer to 8 want to make sure the bottoms are slightly crispy, or they will be chewy when ingredients are added).  Remove the pan from the oven and keep the wonton wrappers in the mini cups.

Dollop a teaspoon or two of the cream cheese mixture into the bottom of each wonton cup.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top of the cream cheese mixture.  Top with a teaspoon or so of the pizza sauce.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and chopped pepperoni.  Bake for 10 more minutes until the filling is bubbly and wonton edges are golden brown.  Serve warm!

To make this into a dip: spread the cream cheese mixture into the bottom of a 9" shallow oven-proof dish.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, then 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese over the cream cheese mixture.  Spread the pizza sauce over the cheeses.  Sprinkle with remaining cheeses.  Top with pepperoni and other veggies or pizza toppings of your choice.  Bake until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips, baguette slices, or crackers.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sweetheart Peanut Blossoms

This is the traditional peanut butter cookie with what would normally be topped with a Hershey's Kiss.  But with Valentine's Day just next week, I opted for the Dove heart-shaped milk chocolate candy.  Always good.

SWEETHEART PEANUT BLOSSOMS (makes about 3 dozen)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 package heart-shaped chocolates

Cream butter and sugars.  Add egg and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients.  (At this point, I prefer to chill my cookie dough, preferably overnight).  Roll into balls (I weigh mine out at 20 grams each).  Place on baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper.  Bake 8-10 minutes at 375.  Press the heart-shaped chocolate gently into each cookie.  Bake 1-3 minutes longer.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Revamped 7-Layer (now 5) Dip

Do you remember that 7-layer dip from oh, I don't know, maybe the 60's?  Refried beans, tortilla chips, etc?  Well, this is that dip, only updated to the 21st century.  This was Jim's favorite Super Bowl treat, so not only is it tasty, you can make everything the day ahead and then just put it together before serving.  I love recipes that let you do the bulk of the work ahead of time, in case you need that extra time.  And on top of it all, it makes a really nice presentation.  And simply serve it with your favorite tortilla chips.

Do not let the ingredient list scare you.  Again, each layer can be made separately and kept refrigerated until ready to put together.


Tomato Layer:
4 large tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped fine
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
2 green onions, finely minced
2 Tbsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
1/8 tsp salt

Guacamole Layer:
2 green onions, sliced thinly, green and white parts separated
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp lime juice
3 small or 2 large avocados, pitted, peeled, and chopped
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste

Black Bean Layer:
1 (16 oz) can black beans, drained but not rinsed
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
2 tsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt

Sour Cream Layer:
1 1/2 cups sour cream (regular or light)
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Cheese Layer:
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Tortilla chips, for serving

For the tomato layer, in a medium bowl combine tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, minced green onions, and lime juice.  Stir in salt and let stand until tomatoes begin to soften, about 30 minutes.  Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer or colander and discard the liquid.  Set aside.

For the guacamole, in a small bowl combine the white parts of the green onions, jalapeno, garlic, and lime juice.  Let sit for 30 minutes.  Add 2/3 of the avocado to the bowl with the jalapeno mixture and mash with a potato masher until smooth.  Gently fold remaining avocado into mashed avocado mixture.  Gently stir in the green parts of the green onions and cilantro.  Season with salt.  Set aside.

Pulse black beans, garlic, and remaining lime juice, chili powder, and remaining salt in a food processor until mixture resembles a chunky paste.  Transfer to a glass 8x8 or 9x9" dish or similar-sized bowl, spreading into an even layer.  Quickly rinse and wipe out the food processor and pulse the sour cream, 1 cup pepper jack cheese and 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese until smooth.  Dollop the sour cream mixture on top of the black bean layer, smoothing to the edges in an even layer.

Sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese.  Spread guacamole over cheese and top with tomato mixture.  Sprinkle with additional green onions, if desired, and serve with tortilla chips.  The dip can be tightly covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip

I ran across this recipe during the holidays.  I had happened to buy a bag of cranberries after Christmas when they were on sale and still had them in the freezer.  Decided to make this as one of my Super Bowl Sunday appetizers.  And are they addictive!!!  In fact, this was my lunch today.  I had to make myself stop eating this stuff!!!  

So next fall, keep an eye out for fresh cranberries and tuck this recipe away until then.  I served this with Wheat Thins (reduced fat).  You won't be sorry.


12 oz fresh cranberries
4-5 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup sugar (more or less to taste....I used the 1 cup)
1/2 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, regular or light (not non-fat)
Crackers, for serving

Pulse the cranberries in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped (alternately, you can do this task by hand).  Add the green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, sugar, cumin, lemon juice, and salt and pulse until the ingredients are well combined and finely chopped.  Transfer this mixture to a covered bowl or tupperware and refrigerate for 4 hours (or up to overnight) so the flavors have time to develop and the cranberries lose a bit of their tartness.

When ready to serve, spread the cream cheese in an even layer on a serving plate or a 9" pie dish.  Top with the cranberry jalapeno mixture, spreading evenly over the top of the cream cheese.

Refrigerate for up to an hour before serving.  It will need to be at at least room temp to make dipping easier.  Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

Whoopie Pies

This was one of my sweets for the Super Bowl party.  Whoopie Pies!  I'd always heard of them, but had ever had one.  I've been told that back in the days when people took their lunch in paper bags, with the food wrapped in waxed paper, they would top a piece of iced cake with a piece of non-iced cake.  These came out really well and although I'm not a big fan of icing, these really shined with that little extra sugar buzzI shaped these into ovals using my "wettened" fingertips,  the shape of a Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie.


1 devil's food cake mix
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 cup Coke or Dr. Pepper
1/2 cup of vegetable oil

Butter-Cream Filling
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 400.  In a mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, soda, spices, and oil.  Whip together 2-3 minutes.

On a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet, spoon butter in rounded mounds (I used both 2 Tbsp and 1/4 batter, depending upon how big you want the pies).  Bake for 8-10 minutes (depending on size).  Cool completely.

For the icing:
Mix powdered sugar and butter in mixing bowl.  Stir in vanilla and milk.  Beat until smooth and spreadable.  Scoop into a pastry or ziplock bag with the end cut with a 1/4" opening.  Pipe onto one side of one of the cakes.  Top with the other.

NOTE:  If you're going to decorate the top of the pie with some decoration like the football laces, spread the icing with a knife and put the remaining icing in a bag with a tiny corner cut out in order to write on the pies. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

I had bought a bag of lemons a few days ago and went on a bit of a baking spree to use them.  Another wonderful lemon-based recipe.  And that wonderful tiny "crunch" of the poppy seeds make it even better.

Scones have very little sugar, and since I was giving them out as gifts, I decided to make a glaze to sweeten them up a tad.  I simply mixed some sifted, powdered sugar with a bit of milk and some lemon zest and juice.

LEMON POPPY SEED SCONES (makes 8 scones)

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp poppy seed
zest of one lemon
1/3 cup firm butter (not margarine)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup milk
raw sugar

Preheat oven to 425.  Mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, poppy seeds, and lemon zest.  Cut in butter using pastry blender or crisscrossing knives, until mixture is the size of a small peas.  Mix lemon juice and milk.  Using a fork, slowl pour into flour mixture and stir gently untli ball forms.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly 10 times.  Pat or roll in 9" circle and place on cookie sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper.  Brush with milk and sprinkle with raw sugar (use granulated sugar if you don't have raw) and don't be  stingy with will need a bit of sweetness on the top.

Using a pizza cover, cut into 8 wedges but don't separate.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Carefully separate wedges.  Best served warm.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Oh yum!!!!   Melt in your mouth yum!!!!  I don't have a big sweet tooth, but even I indulged in a few of these goodies.

I'll list the recipe as I originally found it, but I did double-up the lemon zest and juice because I want to know there is lemon in these cookies.  Is that something to do with aging and your taste buds loosing a bit of their power?   Don't know.  Taste the dough and you decide to what extent you want the lemon flavor.  But if you enjoy citrus treats, do give these a try.

LEMON CRINKLE COOKIES (made about 2 1/2 dozen for me)

1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Line rimmed baking sheets with silpat liners, parchment, or lightly coat with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice and mix well, scraping down the sides as needed.  Add the dry ingredients (except the powdered sugar) and mix until just combined.  Place the powdered sugar on a large plate or shallow pie dish.  Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough (mine weighed 20 grams each) in the powdered sugar to coat.  Place on the prepared baking sheets, about 2" apart.

Bake the cookies 9-11 minutes (mine took 13-15 minutes).  The cookies will not be browned on the edges but they will have lost a bit of their shininess on top.  Don't overbake!  Cook the cookies on a cooking rack and store in an airtight container or eat immediately.