Snickerdoodles

MAB (1 of 1)Snickerdoodles are a good feeling cookie. I feel like everyone has a happy memory associated with these cookies. Whether it was splitting a bag of them at your school bake sale with your best friend, or opening a tin of these in a care package, snickerdoodles will bring a smile to your face. I have been making snickerdoodles for a very, very long time. I was even given photographic proof to share with you!

I can’t say my sense of style has changed much over the years. I still wear more flannels around the house than I care to admit, though I don’t have any in that color anymore (I wish I did!). My favorite apron for baking is also now yellow, and I wear my hair back instead of under a bonnet.

But anywhere, there I am making snickerdoodles while standing on a step stool so I can even reach the counter! So after years of experience, I can gaurantee this is the best recipe.

RECIPE: Snickerdoodles
Makes 4 Dozen Cookies

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF1202
Mixer
Spoon/Scoop
Bowl/Plate
Baking Sheet
Spatula
Cooling Racks
Shaker/Bowl
Oven heated to 375 degrees

INGREDIENTS: 
3 Cups Flour
1 Cup Margarine
1 1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons Sugars
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

1) In a small bowl or shake, combine the 2 Tablespoons sugars and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Set aside for later.
2) Place the room temperature margarine in a mixer, Cream it together with the sugar.
3) Beat in the eggs.
4) Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Beat until a dough is formed.
5) Using a spoon or cookie scoop, measure out equal pieces of dough.
6) Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture over a plate or bowl.


7) Roll the dough in your hands before rolling it through the cinnamon and sugar.
8) Place the dough on the cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.
9) Remove from the baking sheet and let cool completely before putting in an air tight container. DSCF1212

While this recipe makes 4 dozen cookies, I never seem to have four dozen cookies to put away. Its almost like some disappear every time I turn my back to the cooling rack. If the crumbs in my husband’s beard are any indicators, warm snickerdoodles are very good for secret snacking.

Cup o’Taco: Take Two

When I found a meal we both like, I sometimes enjoy modifying them to see how to improve them. This variation definitely has some pluses, but also reaffirmed some of the original recipe as well. For instance, adding green pepper? Taste buds gave those a big thumbs up! Switching to northern great beans? The taste bud panel came back with the request of returning to black beans.

RECIPE: Cup o’Taco: Take Two 
Makes 3-4 Servings   

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF1233
Cutting Board
Knife
Muffin Tin
Oven heated to 375
Pan
Spatula
Spoons

INGREDIENTS: 
Tortillas
Diced Tomatoes
Green Pepper
Cheddar Cheese
Great Northern Beans
Cayenne Pepper
Chili Pepper
Paprika
Dried Cilantro
Onion
Hot Peppers

DIRECTIONS:
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Place tortillas in the muffin tins to make the cups. Let them bake in the oven until it preheats to the correct temperature, and then let sit on the side.
2) In a cast iron pan, begin to cook together half a can of diced tomatoes, a can of Great Northern Beans, and some hot peppers.
3) Dice half an onion and add it to the beans.
4) Season the bean mixture with chili powder, cayenne, paprika, and a bit of cilantro.
5) Chop up the green pepper and shred the cheddar cheese.
6) Scoop some of the bean mixture into the bottom of each tortilla cup.
7) Top with some more diced tomatoes, the green pepper, and then the cheddar cheese.

8) Place back in the oven to bake until the cheese melts and the top edge of the tortillas begins to brown.
9) Remove from cups from the muffin pan, and serve right away with the option of salsa, hot sauce, or as is.
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These do reheat nicely for lunch the next day as well!

Pepperoni Pizza

We had to use the last of the pizza dough up at some point! We figured why not go back to basics and do a classic. Whats more all American than a Saturday night at home watching a movie on Netflix and eating a pepperoni pizza? We could have ordered out, but it is actual a lot faster around here to make it yourself. Here is our classic pepperoni pizza!

RECIPE: Pepperoni Pizza 
Makes 4 Big Slices   

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF1186
Cutting Board
Cheese Grater
Cast iron pans
Oven heated to 475 Degrees
Knife
Spoon

INGREDIENTS: 
Tomato Sauce
Onion
Pepperoni
Hot Peppers
Mozzarella
Pizza Dough

DIRECTIONS:
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In one pan, make up some tomato sauce. This one was a mix of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, and lots and lots of herbs. I add a little of the hot pepper juice to the mix to kick it up a notch.
2) Press the dough into a cast iron pan.
3) Shred the mozzarella and dice the onion.
4) Spoon sauce over the dough. DSCF1190
5) Sprinkle with cheese, arrange pepperoni, and sprinkle with onion. I decided at the last minute not to add the hot peppers to the top, but you can if you want!
6)  Bake the pizza in the oven until the crust browns and the cheese melts.
7) Remove and let cool for a minute before cutting and serving.

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Old Fashion Butter Cake

This is the type of cake your grandparents would have served guests when they came over for dinner and a game of cribbage. So I decided to make one for when we had company! I was told it was the freshest tasting cake they have ever tasted!  The frosting recipe is one of my favorites. It is a recipe that was introduced to my great-nana by her day help. No lie, every homemade birthday cake that I can remember has used this recipe for the frosting!

Though be careful, cake pans are known to bite when you aren’t looking!

RECIPE: Old Fashion Butter Cake
Makes a two layer Cake   

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF1211
Mixer
Spatula
Frosting Knife
Oven set to 375
Scale & Bowl
Whisk
Sauce Pan
2 Round Cake Pans
Cooling Racks

INGREDIENTS Cake: 
12 oz Butter
13 oz Sugar
2/3 teaspoon Salt
7.5 oz EggsDSCF1224
15 oz Flour
3 3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
15 oz Milk
0.25 oz Vanilla Extract
Crisco
Extra Flour

INGREDIENTS Frosting: 
1 cup Milk
5 Tablespoons Flour
1 cup White Sugar
1 cup Crisco
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of Salt

DIRECTIONS:
1) 
In the mixer, cream together the sugar, butter, and salt until fluffy.
2) Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
3) Combine the flour and baking powder. Slowly add into the mixer, alternating with the milk until a nice batter is formed.
4) Grease and flour your cake pans, before filling with the batter.


DSCF12225) Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
6) Flip the cakes onto cooling racks, and let cool. This is when the cake pan bite me, so be sure to watch yourself! (See my Instagram feed for a picture of that soon to be scar!)
7) When the cake is cooling, begin heating the milk for the frosting in a sauce pan.
8) Slowly whisk in the flour, continuing to whisk continuously as the mixture thickens to prevent clumps from forming.
9) Let the milk mixture cool.
10) In the cleaned mixer, add the sugar, Crisco, vanilla, and salt.
11) Pour in the cooled milk mixture and begin beating on level 8 for 5 to 8 minutes.
12) Place a large layer of frosting on top of the first cake, and then place the second cake gently on top.

DSCF123013) Frost the top of the cake and the sides with a hearty portion of frosting. There should be just enough frosting for this cake.
14) If desired, this frosting goes really well with coconut, which you can sprinkle on top.
15) Slice and serve. If there is leftover cake, it will keep for longer than you think.DSCF1232

Our cake lasted five days of sharing slices after dinner, and the frosting was still  soft and delicious.

Sloppy Tony

I couldn’t decide if we wanted sloppy joes or meatball subs. So I figured we could combine the two into a somewhat Italian version of the sloppy joes. The best part of this recipe is that about 4 oz of ground beef makes a little over 2 sandwiches on jumbo buns!

RECIPE: Sloppy Tony
Makes 2.5 Servings   

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF1248
Cutting Board
Knife
Cast iron pan
Oven set to 350 degrees
Baking Sheet
Spatula

INGREDIENTS: 
Green Pepper
Tomato Sauce
Ground Beef
Mozzarella Cheese
Hamburger Buns

DIRECTIONS:
1) 
In a cast iron pan, begin browning up the ground beef.
2) Chop up the entire green pepper into somewhat small pieces, but not too small. Add it to the beef.


DSCF12583) Pour the tomato sauce over the mixture, stir and cook through.
4) Slice the mozzarella cheese.
5) Lay the buns open on a baking sheet.
6) Let the buns cook in the oven just a bit to the point right before they are toasted.
7) Top the buns with the filling, and then a layer of mozzarella cheese.
8) Put the sandwiches in the oven until the cheese melts.

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Drunken Stew

This is probably one of my favorite cheats/hacks that I use for making a good meat and potato stew. Instead of defrosting some of my stock, or getting a box of broth at the store, the base for this stew is beer. Good beer, bad beer, dark beer, light beer…okay, well now I’m sounding like a Doctor Seuss Book for adults. The point is, no matter what kind of beer you have, this recipe will work. This time I used a Corona Light because we had one left over from a get together.

RECIPE: Drunken Stew 
Makes 3-4 Servings   

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF1175
Cutting Board
Knife
Pot/Cast iron pan
Spoon

INGREDIENTS: 
Sausage or Brats
Baby Carrots
Potatoes
Beer
Mustard Powder
Sage
Rosemary
Garlic Powder

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF11781) 
In a hot pan, brown and cook the sausage about half way.
2) Chop up the baby carrots and potatoes. Throw them into the pot to start cooking.
3) Pour a bottle of beer over all the vegetables.
4) Remove and chop up the sausage. Toss it back in with some mustard powder, sage, rosemary, and garlic powder. (Or whatever herbs taste good with your beer)
5) Cook the vegetables and sausage until the potatoes are soft and you start salivating based on the smell.
6) Serve hot in a bowl. It does reheat well if you have leftovers.

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Inverted Hot Wing Calzone

Time to use some of the pizza dough in the fridge. I think because we used sour dough starter in it, the dough just got better with time! Seriously though, this pizza dough has me contemplating making a batch every weekend to use throughout the week. But anyway, we decided to use some of the delicious dough to make a calzone. When talking about ingredients, my husband wanted to make one filled with chicken, cheese, and lots of hot sauce. I took his idea, and then inverted it.

RECIPE: Inverted How Wing Calzone
Makes 2-3 Servings   

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF1148
Baking sheet
Oven Heated to 475 Degrees
Cutting board
Cast iron pans
Spatula
Knife
Food Processor
Jar or Bowl
Spoon

INGREDIENTS: 
Pizza Dough
4 oz Mozzarella Cheese
Hot Sauce
3 Cloves garlic
Garlic Oil
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
Carrot
Celery
1/2 Onion
Mayo
Milk
Apple Cider Vinegar
Parsley
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Paprika

DIRECTIONS:
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In a food processor, cut up the onion into tiny pieces. Add to a warm pan on the stove.
2) Use the food processor to dice up 1 large carrots and 3-4 stalks of celery. Add them to the onion on the stove.
3) Stir and cook until soft.
4) Slice up the mozzarella and dice the garlic cloves. Put both to the side.
5) In a hot cast iron pan, add some garlic oil and sear the chicken thighs on each side.
6) Remove the partially cooked thighs, cut them into smaller chunks and return them to the cast iron pan. DSCF1151
7) In a jar or bowl, make some homemade ranch dressing. Start with a largish scoop of mayo. Heavily season it with with garlic powder, onion powder, and lots of parsley. Then just add the smallest dash of paprika. Stir in a splash or two of apple cider vinegar for flavor. Taste and adjust as necessary, and when the flavor is right, use a bit of milk to thin it out to your desired consistency.
DSCF11528) Pour some of the ranch dressing over the cooking chicken. I reapplied the ranch to the chicken twice.
9) Spread the dough out on a baking pan.
10) Take the jar of ranch dressing and just spread a layer of it across all of the dough.
11) Lay down the cooked vegetables on half of the dough.
12) Place the chicken evenly across all the vegetables, and then add a layer of mozzarella over the chicken.
13)  Fold the dough over, press to seal, and place it in the hot oven.


14) Take a bottle of hot sauce and use it to deglaze the pan you cooked the chicken in (though with how fatty the chicken thighs are, it isn’t as much deglazing as it is mixing). This process adds subtle herb chicken and ranch undertones to the hot sauce
15) Add the diced garlic to the hot sauce, and let cook over low heat until the calzone is done.


16) When the calzone is golden brown and cooked through, remove from oven. Let it rest while you pour the hot sauce into a bowl.
17) Slice the calzone or serve it as is. Be sure to dunk it in the hot sauce as you eat it though! We just cut it in half to share, and dug in! Double dipping was completely allowed. DSCF1164I can guarantee you won’t find a calzone like this at your local pizza joint. It is absolutely, unbelievable, finger licking good!

Breakfast for Dinner

Bagel Sandwiches, parfaits, what else could you want for dinner? or breakfast if you want to be boring about it.

RECIPE: Breakfast for Dinner
Makes 2 Servings

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF1167
Pan
Knife
Bowl
Fork
Spatula
Broiler
Spoon
Sundae Glasses

INGREDIENTS: 
Egg Whites
Canned Peppers
Cheddar Cheese
Hot Sauce
Bagels
Vanilla Yogurt
Wheat Germ
Pear Butter

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF11691) 
In a bowl, fork together the egg whites and peppers.
2) Slice the bagels in half and place under the broiler to begin toasting.
3) slice some cheddar cheese and let it melt over the bagel halves in the oven.
4) Scramble the eggs in the pan and then serve on the bagels with a touch of hot sauce.
5) In a sundae glass, layer vanilla yogurt with homemade pear butter and wheat germ. Nice thick layers are the best.
6) Serve and enjoy! The parfait was honestly the best part of the entire dinner, at least to me.

 

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Anchovy Pizza

Have you ever watched Futurama? Well, Fry, he’s one of the main characters, talks about how anchovies were his favorite pizza topping of all time. In facts, he spends a bunch of money to buy the last known container of anchovies on earth in order to make pizza for his friends. After watching the episode for the 100th millionth time, my husband and I realized that neither of us had tried anchovy pizza before. With no time like the present, we made some amazing pizza dough and created our own anchovy pizza.

RECIPE: Anchovy Pizza
Makes 3 Pizzas  

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF1136
Mixer
Scale
Bowl
Knife
Cutting Board
Pan
Spatula
Grater
Pizza Stone
Oven heated to 475
Pizza Paddle

INGREDIENTS: 
.63 oz Garlic Olive Oil
9 oz Sour Dough Starter
1 lb 3 oz FlourDSCF1140
.25 oz Sugar
.5 Salt
8 oz Water
.75 oz Yeast
4 oz Mozzarella
Anchovies
Onion
Garlic
Basil
Sage
Tomato Paste
Vodka
Oregano
Paprika
Parmesan Cheese

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF11391) 
In the mixer, combine the sour dough starter, flour, and garlic oil. Beat until combined.
2) Add the salt, sugar, water, and yeast, and beat until a dough is formed.
3) Remove the dough from the bowl, grease with a little garlic oil and place back in the bowl to let rise for 2-3 hours in a slightly warm oven (Or in a warm part of your house).
4) Dice 3-4 cloves of garlic and chop up about a 1/4 to 1/2 of an onion. Add these to a cast iron pan.
5) Add two cans of tomato paste to the onion and garlic. Use some vodka to thin it out.
6) Season the sauce with oregano, basil, sage, and a bit of paprika. DSCF1144
7) Separate the dough into three parts. Put the other two parts into bags and place in the fridge.
8) Shape your dough into the size pizza you want. Top with the tomato sauce.
9) Grate the cheese and add it over the sauce.
10) Slice a few rings of onion, and add them to the pizza.
11)  Place the anchovies on the pizza like wheel spokes, allowing for maximum anchovy per slice ratio.
12) Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before placing in the oven.
13) Bake on the pizza stone until the crust cooks and the cheese is browned.
14) Remove from the oven, let cool for a minute, and then slice and serve.

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Ends up that my husband loves anchovy pizza, I do not. Luckily, I was able to cut myself a slice or two after discovering that fact from between the anchovies.This was perhaps our best pizza dough ever! The mix of the garlic oil and sour dough starter was unbelievable.

Dessert Time

Sometimes you just want to make a nice dessert, but you don’t really have all the ingredients for a fancy dessert. Here is my favorite way to cheat your way to a great dessert using the leftover bits on your cabinet and fridge. The parts themselves were very tasty, and the sum of the parts was absolutely amazing.

RECIPE: Dessert Time
Makes 3-4 Servings

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF1089
Muffin Tin
Bowl
Spoon
Mixer
Microwave
Bowl
Spoon
Oven heat to 350
Knife

DSCF1101INGREDIENTS:
Heavy Cream
Banana
Chocolate Chips
Margarine
Crisco
Vanilla
Sugar Cookie Dough


DIRECTIONS:

DSCF10911) 
Turn the muffin tin upside down. Grease the bottom of the pan well with Crisco.
2) Place a chunk of the leftover cookie dough that’s been sitting in your freezer for a few weeks on top of the upside down muffin tin.
3) Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until done.
4) Let the cookie cups cool before slowly twisting them gently off the pan. DSCF1103
5) Take the half used container of heavy cream, pour most of it into a mixing bowl. Add a splash of vanilla. Beat on high until the heavy cream becomes whipped cream.
6) In a bowl, add the last of the jar of chocolate chips, a teaspoon full of butter, and a bit of vanilla.
7) Microwave the bowl a few seconds at a time, and then stir to combine it into a melted mixture. Add the last bit of heavy cream to the bowl and stir it in.
8) Slice the banana into pieces.


9) In the cookie bowls, scoop in some of the chocolate mixture that I like to think of as a poor man’s ganache. Top with some sliced bananas, then a big dollop of whip cream, and then a banana on top with a touch of sugar for decoration.
10) Serve, and save the extra materials to make more desserts another night.

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