Friday, December 16, 2016

Russian Tea Cookies


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream butter and vanilla until smooth. Combine the 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar and flour; stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Mix in the chopped walnuts. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When cool, roll in remaining confectioners' sugar. I also like to roll mine in the sugar a second time.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Cream Cheese Icing


3 ounces of cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp of butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar


  • Mix cream cheese, butter, and vanilla
  • Slowly add powdered sugar a little bit a t a time until mixed
  • Beat in milk a little at a time until reaching spreading consistency

Cinnamon Rolls


4 1/2 - 4 3/4 cups of flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup of milk
1 cup mashed, cooked potato
1/3 cup butter, diced
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 cup butter, softened


Using a stand mixer:
  • Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast
  • In a medium saucepan on medium heat combine milk, mashed potato, 1/3 cup of butter, sugar, and salt until warm (120F to 130F) and the butter almost melts
  • Add to flour mixture along with eggs
  • Beat on high speed for 3 minutes
  • With dough hook, mix in the remaining flour
  • Knead with the dough hook for 3 minutes until it is smooth and elastic
Let rise 45 - 60 minutes until double in size (Check with the two finger test: Gently press two fingers into the surface of the dough. If the indentations remain, the dough has risen enough. If not, let it go another 15 minutes, then recheck.)
  • Punch down dough and then turn out onto a lightly floured surface
  • Cover and let rise 10 minutes
  • Lightly grease a 9x13 pan
  • Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon filling
  • Roll dough into a 18x12 rectangle (18 inches long, 12 inches high)
  • Spread the butter generously over the dough
  • Sprinkle the filling generously over the dough
  • Roll up so you have a 18 inch long roll
  • Pinch the seams to seal
  • Cut into 12 rolls and arrange in the greased pan
Let rise 30 minutes (At this point they can be refrigerated overnight for the next morning. Cover with greased saran wrap. Let stand for 30 minutes prior to baking.)
  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and done in the center
  • Cool to warm and serve with icing
From: Better Homes and Gardens Cook's Secrets

Pie Crust


1 cup of salted butter, diced and frozen
1 1/4 cup of flour
1/4** cup of very cold almost frozen water


  • Add flour and butter to a food processor 
  • Using the blade attachment, pulse until mixture resembles course crumbs
  • Slowly add water, a little at a time until it holds together
  • Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 4 hours
  • Roll out on a floured surface. The key to this is to not overwork it. Handle and roll as little as possible.
Makes one 9 inch shell

*note* you can use it right away, but it is much more buttery and flaky if chilled.
** Depending on moisture, you may need more or less than this. Watch the dough.



1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/4 sugar
2 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400F
  • Mix together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. 
  • Add butter, sugar, vanilla, and the egg until mixed
  • In a separate bowl, mix 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon
  • Roll dough into balls (ping pong sized) and roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture
  • Bake for 8 - 10 minutes

Cookie Glaze


Powdered Sugar
2 - 3 tsp milk
1 tsp lemon
1 tsp vanilla

Sugar Cookies


1 cup of butter (room temp)
1/2 cup shortening
2 cup of sugar
4 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
5 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt


  • Mix the butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon well. 
  • In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients and then add them slowly to main batter. Dough will be stiff.
  • Chill several hours in the fridge
  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Roll out thin (1/8") and cut into shapes on a floured surface (can use a flour/sugar mix)
  • Bake 6-8 minutes

Butter Pecan Turtle Cookies



2  cups of flour
1/2  cup of butter (room temp)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup pecan halves

Carmel Layer:

2/3  cup butter
1/2  cup packed brown sugar


1  cup milk chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350F.
To make the crust:
  • In a small bowl, mix the flour, butter, and brown sugar until the mixture holds together. 
  • Pat into a 9x13 un-greased pan
  • Spread pecans over the crust
To make the caramel:
  • In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar and butter. 
  • Cook over medium high heat until it boils
  • Boil 1 minute
Pour  caramel over the crust. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until bubbly (after 15 minutes watch carefully). Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let the chips melt and then swirl the chocolate over the entire surface.

Cool completely, and cut into bars.

Zuppa Toscana


  • 1 lb ground Italian Sausage
  • 5 cups of chicken broth
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 large potatoes, sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  1. Brown sausage in your soup pot and drain the fat.
  2. Add chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
  3. Place potatoes and garlic in the pot.
  4. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  7. Turn to low heat.
  8. Add kale and cream.
  9. Heat through and serve.

Adapted from:

Chicken a la King


2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey 
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can of milk
1 cup of chicken broth
1 bag of frozen mixed viggies
Cooked rice


  • Cook chicken in olive oil over medium heat until cooked. DO NOT DRAIN. Use the liquid from the chicken to make the rue.
  • In the same pot, stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Stir in milk and broth. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in frozen veggies; cook until hot. If it is too thick add more chicken broth. Serve over rice.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 4 cups (24 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  1. In a large bowl, beat peanut butter and butter until blended; gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Stir in cereal. Shape into 1-in. balls. Refrigerate until chilled.
  2. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and 1/4 cup shortening; stir until smooth. Dip balls into chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on a waxed paper-lined pan. Let stand until set.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Buttery Pie Crust

Enough for two shells or one top & bottom:

2 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of ice water (must be cold almost frozen)
1 cup of diced frozen butter
**1/2 teaspoon of salt if the butter is unsalted otherwise omit

Put the flour and butter in the food processor and pulse until fine crumbs are made. Transfer into a bowl and add one or two teaspoons of ice water, stirring with a fork, until it forms a ball. *Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours. Half the dough and roll out, taking care not to over work the dough.

*This worked without refrigerating it as well, but it is flakier if you do it.