Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve Shortcut Buns

I thought I would try this recipe this year. Who wants regular breakfast food for Christmas morning? The night before you prepare the recipe and let it rise overnight. Then when the presents are being opened you bake the rolls. The aroma was incredible! Just a little warning...it is so tempting to put more rolls in the bundt pan than what the recipe calls for...don't. It really looks sparse, but by morning the pan is filled to the brim with the risen dough.More rolls would have made it over flow and you can imagine the mess. This is definitely a keeper and new tradition in my home :)

Edited 1/21/08 Due to bad links, therefore I'll post the recipe here:

Christmas Eve Shortcut Buns
by Leanne Ely

20 unbaked frozen dinner rolls (Rhodes or Bridgeport are brands I have used)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

Lightly grease a 10-inch bundt cake pan. Place frozen rolls into the pan and sprinkle with brown sugar, the pudding mix and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over the top. If you don't have a bundt pan, you can use a muffin tin, but they turn out better in a bundt pan.

Cover with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight at room temperature to rise.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Turn rolls out onto a serving plate and dig in!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Aunt Louise's Butterscotch Cookies

This is an old family recipe. The recipe came from my father's Aunt Louise. Sliced very thin, they are so addictive...like potato chips...you can't have just one!

Here my recipe:
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 tsp. baking powder
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and portion into 4 logs, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate over night. Next day slice with a sharp knife very thin. Bake 350 degrees, 7 min on a greased cookie sheet. Remove from pans quickly and move to rack to cool.

Enjoy :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

All time favorite. Recipe found here.

Gingerbread Cookies

Another family favorite, done my short cut way of not rolling, but pressing out the cookies with a plastic cup (tupperware) with a bulls eye on the bottom.

Here's my recipe:
1 cup oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup molasses
2 eggs
6 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp.ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground allspice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets. In a large bowl, beat together oil, brown sugar,molasses, and eggs until fluffy. Add flour, baking soda,spices. beating until blended. Portion into two and wrap well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate to be used next day. Roll into 1 " balls and flatted with a cup dipped into sugar. Decorate with nonpareils or colored sugar. Bake 8 -12 minutes, until firm but not dark. Cool on racks.

Enjoy :)

Springerle Cookies

Springerle is my favorite of all the Christmas cookie I make. Springerle is a German anise flavored cookie. They should be chewy on the inside. With age they do get hard, but I still love them with a cup of tea. I don't do them the traditional way of rolling them out and using the special carved rolling pin. I know it's a poor excuse that I'm so lazy. I do have the special rolling pin that belonged to my great-grandmother. She immigrated here from Germany.
This is what the cookie should look like:
I use a cookie press with a duck impression on it instead of rolling out the dough. I portion the dough into 1 " balls and then use the cookie press to flatten them out.

Here's my recipe:
4 large eggs
1 lb. powdered sugar (confectioner's)
1 1/2 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. butter softened
1 1/2 tbsp. anise extract
pinch salt
1 tsp. baking powder
flour to make a stiff dough, about 4- 4 1/2 cups

Mix all ingredients together. Roll out on a floured surface. Use an equal amount of flour and confectioner's sugar to keep the dough from sticking. Use molded rolling pin and cut into squares or roll into balls and flatten with a cup or cookie press dipped into the flour/confectioner's sugar mixture. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Allow to dry overnight covered with towel. Bake next day in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.


Ginger Snaps

This is one of my family's favorite cookies. It's similar to the spiced up ginger cookies I have made before.

Here's my recipe:
1 1/3 cups canola oil
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking soda
6 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oil and sugar. Add eggs, beating well. Stir in molasses, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger. Shape into 1" ball. I use a small cookie (ice cream scoop about 1" in diameter) scoop and place on a ungreased cookie sheet. Do not flatten, they will flatten aft they cool. Bake 10 minutes. They will start to crack, but are puffed up. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on a rack.

To make these cookies special for Christmas I usually roll them in sugar before baking.

Enjoy :)

Sugar Cookies

This recipe is for cookie-cutter sugar cookies. I'm lazy and instead of rolling out the dough and using my cookie cutters, I developed an easy way to make them. I use one of those small (about an inch in diameter) ice cream scoops to portion out the dough and then I use a small plastic (tupperware) cup that has the bulls eye on the bottom to flatten out the cookies. No rolling necessary.

Here's my recipe:

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
5 1/2 cups flour
5 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Combine both mixtures and stir thoroughly. Divide into two portions, wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. Roll out on floured board. (I used the cookie scoop, tumbler dipped in sugar to flatten...no extra flour) . I decorate the cookies with colored sugar and m&m's before baking. (If desired you can frost the cookies after baking.) Bake on a lightly grease cookie sheet at 350 degrees until slightly golden about 10 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Monday, December 17, 2007


Yesterday I made the first of many different types of Christmas cookies for our family's Christmas...a double batch of pizzelles. A little package of pizelles makes wonderful gift. My recipe comes from my Villaware Pizzelle iron instruction book, but I found a website that has the same recipe. The only thing I do differently is that I use 2 tsp. of anise extract. If you don't like anise, you can just use vanilla. We love the anise flavored cookies and I must say it certainly makes my house smell good. Next on the docket is chocolate chip cookies and gingersnaps, which I have written about previously on my blog.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lasagna Soup

Last night I tried the Lasagna Soup recipe from Janice's blog. It's definitely a keeper in my house! Everyone enjoyed it and I know I'll be making it again and again. I altered the recipe a tad. In the store I couldn't find the mafalda pasta. I used Pastene's mafaldine 5 instead. I also couldn't find a 10 3/4 can of tomato sauce so I used the same sized can as the stewed tomatoes. Then we used shredded mozzarella. I also added about a can's worth of extra water. The soup is really delicious! This is definitely a soup you can serve to company. Enjoy :)

P.S. Janice always has great recipes on her blog. She also has a blog dedicated to her recipes. Her chicken and gravy recipe has become a staple in my house. We have had it with or without green beans. We like it best served over rice. I have made it so many times now that I can't even tell you. It's great with leftover cooked chicken or even turkey. I make it with leftover store-bought rotisserie chicken, as well as chicken cooked in my crockpot. When I use the crockpot chicken I use the broth that forms in the cooking process. How do I cook my chicken in the crockpot you ask? Well I buy a big roasting chicken (I have a large crockpot). Wash and dry the chicken well and put into a dry crockpot. I season the chicken with salt (Kosher), garlic powder, and onion powder and some butter or margarine. Cook on high for 1 hour then turn to low and cook all day until the chicken falls apart. Refrigerate the broth that forms and remove the fat after it gels. This is the best chicken to use in recipes calling for cooked chicken like chicken pie, chicken in gravy, chicken enchiladas, chicken salad, chicken soup etc.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Grilled Pizza

Summer time is the best time to make homemade pizza. At least it is in my house when we make grilled pizza. Now mind you these are not the prettiest pizzas you will ever see, but they sure taste good. Nice and crispy!!!

I make pizza dough in my bread machine. The recipe is the one that came with the machine. The only thing I do differently is that I use half all-purpose flour and half white whole wheat flour.

Then for the sauce I use a can of crushed tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of oregano and 1 clove of garlic crushed.

For the cheese you can use mozzarella, provolone, cheddar or any other cheese you enjoy. As far as I'm concerned the sky's the limit! Top with your favorite toppings.

This website has the best tutorial for the ins and outs of how to actually go about grilling the pizzas.

Try it, it's easy and delicious :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Ginger Scones

A few days ago I tried another one of the recipes from the Martha Show. Ginger Scones with cardamom. Click here for the recipe. They turned out great.
I made them without the aid of a food processor and they came out just fine. I didn't use the parchment paper as was suggested and it was quite difficult scubbing my cookie sheet. The egg wash really cooks on the pan and it is a bear to remove. I used ground cardamom and not the pods. Next time I probably would increase the cardamom to 1 teaspoon since I did not use the pods. I love cardamom. Another thing I would like to try is adding raisins instead of the ginger for something different!

Enjoy :)

Edited 12/17/07 Since the link to the Martha Stewart website is a dead link a new search for the recipe was fruitless I am posting the recipe that was originally published on Martha's website date unknown.

Small World Coffee's Ginger Scones with Cardamom


Serving: Makes 12 scones

  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 Teaspoon cardamom pods, crushed and inner seeds ground
  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 Cup crystallized ginger, chopped in 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3/4 Cup sour cream
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, the bowl of a food processor, or in a large bowl, and mix by hand. Sift ground cardamom seeds into mixture; stir to combine. Add butter and mix until crumbly.
  3. Add ginger, sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 egg. Mix, blend, or pulse, just until combined; do not overmix.
  4. Form 1/3 cup dough into a ball or use a large ice cream scoop, and place dough on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing scones about 2 inches apart.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together remaining egg with a dash of water. Brush scones with egg mixture and sprinkle evenly with remaining 4 teaspoons sugar. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Friday, April 6, 2007

1-2-3-4 Cupcakes

Here are the cupcakes I made for my boys for Easter! I used my mother's recipe for "1-2-3-4 Cake". My boys will always have very fond memories of the cakes my mother would bring them. She was an expert at making this delicious cake with a fudge frosting. She perfected the frosting and it was just fabulous. I have yet to be successful with the fudge frosting. It always sets too fast for me and it becomes one large un-spreadable mess. I really wish I knew her secret.

For today's cupcakes I just used Wilton's buttercream frosting and sprinkled them with rainbow jimmies or sprinkles.

1-2-3-4 Cake

1 cup shortening or butter, margarine (I use canola oil)
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream shortening, sugar, add eggs, beat well. Add flour and baking powder mixed well alternately with milk. Add vanilla.

Bake in a 9 x 11" pan 350° for 30 minutes.
Cupcakes: 18-19 large cupcakes 350° for 25 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Here's a fabulous recipe for "SWEET CHILI-GLAZED CHICKEN WINGS" . Just made this for dinner today and I highly recommend it.
g-girl posted a link to this recipe recently and it sounded so good I had to try it. I'm not a big chicken wing person, but thought I would try this one as I'm always looking for something new. The recipe can be found here.

I incorporated a few modifications - I didn't use the cilantro, but substituted chopped green onions. Although the recipe called for 2 pounds of chicken wings, I used 3 1/2 pounds instead, adjusting the ingredients more or less to the increase in wings, but I didn't increase the amount of glaze and there was more than enough for the dish. We finished every last wing...they were incredibly delicious. It was noted in the comments in the recipe link that these were restaurant quality wings and I have to agree...finger licking good as they are messy to eat, but boy are they good!! I also want to note that it does take more like an hour to thicken the glaze instead of the 20 minutes, so judge accordingly and allow time for that.This recipe is definitely a keeper in my house!

Enjoy :)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Chocolate Tea Bread

Chocolate Tea Bread is one of my families favorite snacks. You can enjoy this bread as is, drizzle with glaze or sprinkle with powdered sugar. This easy recipe makes 2 breads.

1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
2/3 cup water
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour (or 2 cups all-purpose + 1 cup whole wheat white)
2/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (12 oz. = 1 package)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts ( optional)

Glaze (optional)
1/2 cup confectioner's (powdered) suar
1 - 2 tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt

Preheat oven 350°. In a large mixing bowl combine applesauce, oil, eggs water, and sugar. Beat well. Combine dry ingredients and add to applesauce mixture. Beat well. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into 2 greased 9X5X3" loaf pans. Bake 350° for 60-70 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing and then finish cooling on a wire rack. Leave as is or drizzle with glaze or just sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Banana Nut Cake

Do you have ripe bananas that no one wants to eat? Here's a way to use them up and not waste them (bananas can be frozen) The following is a yummy and easy recipe for a delicious banana cake.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour*
(*or 1 1/2 cup all purpose + 1 cup whole wheat white)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup canola oil
1 2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 large ripe bananas - mashed
2/3 cup of buttermilk*
(*or 2/3 cup milk + 1 tbsp vinegar = instead of buttermilk)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°. Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside. Cream together the oil, sugar and eggs. Add bananas. Then add flour mixture + buttermilk alternating them, starting with flour mixture, then the buttermilk and finally end with flour. Mix thoroughly. Fold in 2/3 cup chopped walnuts. Pour batter into greased 13 x9 x 2" pan. Bake 350° for 35 minutes. Cool.

Frost with your favorite white frosting. I used Wilton's Buttercream. I used about 1/2 the recipe.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Earthquake Cake (from Elaine's kitchen to yours)

My blogging friend Missy (missysknittingmess.blogspot.com) sent me her friend Elaine's recipe for Earthquake Cake.

I have not tried it yet, but it is on my to-do-list!

This cake recipe sounds like it would make a really delicious cake, but not diet food! According to the recipe" it looks more like a volcano while it's baking then an earthquake after it's done baking." Very cool!

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Self Frosting Cupcakes

Today I made these Self Fosting Cupcakes for my boys as a Valentine's Day treat. I have been wanting to try these for a long time now. The recipe is very easy and you use Nutella as the self frosting part. Delicious! Very tasty :)
Click here for the recipe.
Enjoy :)

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Nanie's Apple Bread

This is my mother-in-law's recipe for Apple Bread. I have tried many apple bread recipes in the past but none compare to Nanie's. This easy recipe makes two loaves. The resulting bread is moist, sweet and the crust on the first day is a cross between crunchy and chewy.

3 cups all-purpose flour*
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups sugar
2 cups shredded peeled apple (2 large)
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease two, 8x4x2 inch loaf pans ( I line mine with wax paper and grease again). In a large bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

In another mixing bowl combine sugar, apples, oil, and egg. Mix well. Add apple mixture to dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened. Batter should be lumpy. Fold in nuts.

Spoon batter into the two prepared pans. Bake in a 350º oven 55 - 60 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan (and remove wax paper). Continue to cool on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight.

* ( I use 1 1/2 c of all purpose + 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat white)

Enjoy :)

Friday, February 2, 2007

No Knead Bread

I love watching the Martha Stewart Show, but don't get to view it during the day. I tape the show and watch it while I knit at night. Last week I saw this bread being made and I was intrigued and yesterday I decide to give it a try. I had to plan ahead though and mixed up the dough at 7 pm the night before. The picture on the left is what I ended up with. I used corn meal on the outside of the loaf. This is a extremely easy recipe from the Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. ...not for spontaneous baking though because you need 12 - 18 hours to rise. Once the dough( gets bubbly) is ready you bake it in a dutch oven preheated to 500º, uncovering the last 15 minutes. You can find the recipe for this No Knead Bread on the New York Times website. If you like artisan type bread with hard chewy crust you'll love this one. My family loved it. I hid away a couple of slices for me to toast for my lunch today and it was absolutely wonderful. Reminds me in a way of Thomas's English muffins...only crunchier. Give it a try...I think you'll like it :) and I'll be making more in the future. I wonder how it would come out using whole wheat flour?...I see another experiment in my future!

4/12/07 I had to edit this post because it was brought to my attention that the Martha Stewart Website recipe link no longer worked! I searched the new site but could no longer find the recipe. (Funny, I was able to do a search and I could easily find Courtney's hummus recipe!)A subsequent search on google led me to this New York Times recipe which is the same as the original published on Martha. Thanks Frances for letting me know about this problem. I really appreciate the info, because bad or broken links are one of my pet peeves!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Chicken Pot Pie

This is a wonderful recipe to use left over chicken meat. I frequently cook a large chicken in my crock pot and then use the left over chicken for a pie. My family loves this recipe!

2 cups cooked chicken
1 package Knorr Leek Soup mix
1 1/2 tbs flour
3 cups water
6 small (or 3 large) new potatoes cut in cubes
2 large carrots sliced
1 cup frozen peas or green beans
1/2 recipe pie crust (I save and freeze scraps leftover from pies previously baked)

In a 5 quart dutch oven add soup mix and flour to 3 cups cold water . Mix well using a whisk. Bring to a boil stirring frequently over medium high heat. Add potatoes, carrots and frozen peas or beans. Reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally. Cook 15 minutes until mixture is thick and vegetables are tender. Remove from heat, add cooked chicken. Pour mixture in a casserole dish and top with pie crust. Bake in a 350º oven for 1 hour or until pie crust is browned.

Enjoy :)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Weathertop Farm's Chewy Almond-Cherry Bar's

I found this recipe for Chewy Almond-Cherry Bars on Rohanknitter's blog Weathertop Farm. These bars are delicious! If you like almond macaroons...you'll like these even better! Thanks, Rohanknitter, for postng the recipe!

Courtney's Hummus

This is Courtney Thorne-Smith's recipe for hummus that I saw last year on the Martha Show. Ever since I found the recipe I keep making it. I love it. Very easy to make...you do need a food processor and it tastes so good on toasted syrian or pita bread. This would also make a good dip and it's heathy...a good source of protein! The recipe can be found on the Martha Stewart website. Enjoy :)

(edited 3/30/08 Martha Stewart website keeps moving their pages around causing bad links...therefore I have copied the recipe here for future reference)

Makes about 2 cups
2 cans (15-ounce) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and salt; pulse to combine. With processor running, drizzle in oil until desired consistency.

First published: July 2006

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ang's "Brunswick Stew"

My knitting blog friend, Ang, ( angelaraeknits) sent me this recipe for her family's recipe for "Brunswick Stew". I have not tried the recipe, but it most certainly is on my to-do-list. Looks yummy and great for a cold winter's night, even though it's a southern recipe! I love soups/stews :) There are certainly lots of fabulous cooks in the south and I feel honored to have Ang share her recipe with me/us. Thanks, Ang!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Delicious Shiny Brownies

This is a very easy one bowl brownie recipe...no electric mixer needed. Before I could take a picture two brownies disappeared! They really are very good :)
4 squares of unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup oil
1 lb box ( 4 1/2 cups) confectioner's sugar
4 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour (I used 1 cup all purpose + 3/4 cup white whole wheat)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

In a large bowl melt chocolate in microwave on high 2 1/2 minutes. Add oil and eggs beat well. Add confectioner's sugar mixing well. Add all remaining ingredients, adding nuts lastly. Bake in a greased (Pam) 13 X 9 pan, 350º for 25 - 30 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hakucho's Vegetable Beef Soup

This is my all time my favorite comfort food. Great for a cold winter's night served with homemade rolls :)
1 1/2 pounds beef chuck shoulder steak (Londonbroil) cut up in small pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 chopped onions
1 can crushed tomatoes (Tuttorosso with basil)
1 packet Lipton onion soup mix
5 cups of boiling water
1 can corn including juice
1 bag frozen green beans
4 carrots sliced
5 potatoes cut up
1/2 box elbow macaroni - cooked separately

Brown beef pieces in large soup pot in olive oil over medium heat. Add onions. Cook a few more minutes, then add crushed tomatoes. Add soup mix and boiling water. Add corn, carrots, then green beans. Last add potatoes and simmer until vegetables are tender. Just before serving add the cooked macaroni.

Enjoy :)

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Julie's Banana Bread

This is my favorite recipe for banana bread. A friend gave me this recipe many many years ago. Extremely easy to make...just throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. No electric mixer needed. It freezes well, too.

1/2 cup oil
2 eggs beaten
2 cups flour ( I use 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat white)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup sugar
3 ripe bananas mashed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In one bowl combine all ingredients. Bake in a greased ( I line the greased (PAM) pan with waxpaper and grease again) loaf pan at 350° for 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Enjoy :)


Welcome to my kitchen. I love to cook and bake. This is the place I've created to share my favorite recipes and experiments with the new ones I find.