Sunday, January 22, 2017

My Granny makes the BEST Cheesy Potato Salad

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Oh Boy, Potato Salad...

But not just any potato salad, this is the recipe that GLOWS at a church potluck along side several bowls of tater salad.  This is the one that made grandma a legend among the Church Basement Ladies.

It is the classic Yellow Mustard recipe, along with several "secret Ingredients" that you probably already have in your pantry (and a couple you may not).

First, the two items you may do not have, the cheeses.  That's right, not just one type (Cheddar), but I also dump in a tub of Blue Cheese Crumbles.  Adds just the right amount of "something, Something" to the dish.  Not a strong enough flavor to make you apologize to the blue cheese haters (yes, there are a few), just enough to add a terrific flavor that you don't need to identify.

But also, in addition to yellow mustard and mayo (the classics), i add a little bit of sour cream to add to the creaminess.  Toss in some chives and Paprika for color, some BBQ spices and sauce for flavor and you have upgraded the classic Potato Salad to the one that everyone hunts for.

I was serving up a Football party.  Sadly, the one and out repetition of the KC Chief's post season quest for another Super Bowl appearance became prophetic (we were robbed with that holding call in the 4th quarter, but I digress)... But these hit the buffet table just as the first quarter started and we settled in with all the optimism you could imagine.  I served up a KX Classic BBQ Spread, with ribs, brisket and more... Just screamed the need for Potato Salad as we grabbed a plate and moved on to making plans for a football game in February.... Sigh

Enjoy!

Keep scrolling down for this easy to follow recipe.  But first, take a look at one of the items on my want list... I of course already own a Kitchenaid brand stand mixer.  White goes with everything standard.  But I recently went to a friend's kitchen with all matching appliances in her signature color.  I have been pondering upgrading to the larger professional model and now see that it is indeed available in an incredible dark green color (as well as about a dozen other colors)... Jealous and plotting my upgrades...



And here's the recipe, just below the photo...


OK... Here's what I did...


Cheesy Potato Salad


Ingredients
  • 5 Pounds Red Skinned Potatoes, Large Dice, cooked until fork tender
  • 8 Ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese, freshly Grated
  • 1 Tub (4 OZ) Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • 4 Hard Cooked Eggs, Chopped
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, Chopped
  • 4 TBS Chopped Chives, divided, 3 TBS in mix, reserve 1 TBS for Garnish
  • 3 TBS Your favorite Spice Rub Mix, divided 2 TBS in the taters, 1 TBS as garnish
  • 3 TBS Yellow Mustard
  • 1-1/2 Cups Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 TBS Spicy BBQ Sauce of your Choice
Cooking Directions
  1. Cook the potatoes til just done.  While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the "sauce".  It needs to be ready to add to the potatoes while they are still hot..
  2. Combine all the other ingredients (be sure to reserve some of the spices as toppings/garnish) into your kitchenaid mixer and mix on low for about three minutes.
  3. While the potatoes are still warm, mix in about 1/4 of the potatoes and 1/4 of the goo in a large mixing bowl. Then add about 1/2 the remaining potatoes and goo, mix that layer, then the final layer.  Transfer to a serving dish and cover tightly with cling wrap.
  4. Cool in the refrigerator for at least three hours prior to serving, preferably over night for all the flavors to mix mingle and influence.
  5. Just prior to serving, garnish with chives and additional spices
  6. Serve Chilled and ENJOY!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Lemon Broccoli Pasta- Fast, Easy and DELICIOUS

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Oh Boy... pasta!

But not just any pasta.  I LOVE this simple FAST pasta.  Loaded with a delicious brown butter/Lemon sauce for plenty of flavor.  It is very appealing to vegetarians with the colorful broccoli and Spinach added.  In fact, I hosted a football tailgating party recently and served this up as a vegetarian option along side a table full of ribs. brisket and pulled pork.  This was wildly popular and was gobbled up by the veggie people along with the carnivores.

So. it may seem odd, nut this dish earned a spot on my ultimate Tailgate menu.  A good host offers something for everyone, and indeed; this dish performs on all levels.

The lemon butter sauce shines, but the hidden heat from a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes adds enough Oomph to the dish to please all.  I was serving up a Football party.  Sadly, the one and out repetition of the KC Chief's post season quest for another Super Bowl appearance became prophetic (we were robbed with that holding call in the 4th quarter, but I digress)... But these hit the buffet table just as the first quarter started and we settled in with all the optimism you could imagine.  I wanted something light and easy to serve , grab a plate and move on to making plans for a football game in February.... Sigh

BUT... Enjoy indeed.

Keep scrolling down for this easy to follow recipe.

But first, for any big deal party (like a Chef's appearance in a post season football game),  What a great way to display those appetizers on this three tiered food tray.  Make your party planning something special for the eyes as well as the taste buds.  Your food deserves it.



And as I said, keep scrolling down for this easy to follow recipe...


OK... Here's what I did...

Lemon Broccoli Pasta

Ingredients
  • 1 Pound Bow Toe Pasta
  • 1-1/2 Pound Fresh Broccoli, Trimmed to bite size
  • 2 Cups Fresh Spinach
  • 4 TBS Butter
  • 2 Cloves garlic, mashed and minced
  • 1 Large Lemon, Zested and Juiced
  • Plus an additional Lemon, cut into chunks for garnish
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 Cup fresh Parmesan
  • Plus an additional  couple TBS sprinkled on top as garnish
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. Prepare pasta according to directions on the box.  Except, cook for one minute less to insure al Dente texture
  2. When the pasta has cooked the correct time, drain the pasta and return to pot.  Add the spinach and stir to mix.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes so the spinach wilts from the hot pasta.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet melt the 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat...Add the minced garlic and crushed red pepper and saute for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  4. Turn off the heat and add 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and the lemon zest. Add the lemon butter to the pasta and stir.
  5. Stir in 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese. Add a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Garnish with additional Parmesan Cheese and the lemon chunks
  7. Serve Warm and ENJOY!

Friday, January 20, 2017

My Granny Makes the World's Best Deviled Eggs

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OH BOY, Deviled Eggs...

But not just any deviled eggs.  These are the deviled eggs of your youth.  The ones your Granny made.  Sweet and creamy "goo", with hints of the tangy pickle brine from Dill Pickles.

I dressed 'em up a bit with a piece of that dill pickle for a bit of crunch in the texture.

Then for a bit of garnish, I added a sprinkle of a red spice mix (in this case, a Cajun mix).  this adds a slight extra flavor, as well as the color for presentation.  If you don't want to have the extra flavor added, use a sprinkle of paprika.  still a bit of additional flavor, but not as strong.

And where there is a red garnish, a green garnish for a contrasting look  makes for one beautiful plate.

And as with all things, Granny was right, her classic recipes are a classic for a reason, DELICIOUS!

I was serving up a Football party.  Sadly, the one and out repetition of the KC Chief's post season quest for another Super Bowl appearance became prophetic (we were robbed with that holding call in the 4th quarter, but I digress)... But these hit the appetizer tray as my guests arrived with all the optimism you could imagine.  I wanted something they could grab a napkin, grab a couple of and move on to making plans for a football game in February.

And just possibly, I knew we would need a little comfort food... Granny's Deviled Eggs to take us back to a simpler time.  Sigh.

Enjoy!


 OK... Here's what I did...

DEVILED EGGS - PERFECT Granny's
"Old School" Recipe

Ingredients
  • 12 Large Eggs, Hard-Boiled and Peeled (I always make at least 14-15 eggs just in case some do not peel well... Then I make Egg Salad from the leftovers).  Follow the Blue Letter Link for an Easy to Follow Photo Essay on how to peel a dozen eggs beautifully!
  • 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Cup Minced Dill pickle
  • 2 TBS Yellow Mustard
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Fresh Ground Black pepper
  • Sprinkle of your favorite BBQ Rub for Garnish
  • Lemon Juice as needed to get a smooth consistency (for Piping, not to thick, not too liquid)
  • 24 Small pieces of Dill Pickles for Garnish
  • Sprinkle of Red Spice Mix (I like to use a lightly seasoned Cajun Mix, taco also works or simple Paprika)
Cooking Directions
  1. First to make the Eggs... Place the eggs in a LARGE Saucepan (or two), single layer. Fill the saucepan with cold water a couple of inches above the eggs. Place the pan uncovered under medium high heat and bring to boil. Cover the pan and remove from heat. Let the eggs sit covered in the water for 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the water from the pan, immediately fill with cold water. Gently tap each egg on a counter to crack and put them back in the cold water. Peel eggs under cold running water.
  3. Once all eggs are peeled, slice each lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place them in a small bowl. Arrange the white parts attractively, ready to fill.
  4. In that small bowl, Add the Mayo, Pickle , Mustard, Salt and Pepper to the Egg Yolks and BBQ Rub until creamy. You will need to smash the egg yolks to get the mix creamy. Add additional Pickle relish liquid or Lemon Juice if the mixture needs to be smoother.  Add carefully, the yolk goo gets too wet and the piping look will not hold.
  5. Transfer the yolk mixture into a piping bag with a large star tip. NOTE: the piped look only works if the yolks are very creamy (you may want to transfer to a food processor to get best results). Otherwise the piping tips will clog. And be sure to use that large star tip.
  6. Fill the hollow of each egg . Garnish with sprinkles of Paprika and top with a small slice of Sweet Pickle. This helps keep the plastic wrap covering from pressing into the star pattern look of the yolk mix. Store loosely covered with cling wrap.
  7. Serve chilled and ENJOY!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip Appetizers BItes

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Oh Boy... Jalapeno Poppers!!!

But not just any poppers, these are more of a cheese dip with all of the ingredients in a Jalapeno Popper.  Making these in a dip form lets you serve them for a crowd easier.  You can make one big ball (Better yet, in the shape of a football, decorated with sliced cheese for the sewn seam of the ball and sprinkles of Panko bread crumbs to get the color right).  I chose to make pre-dipped Fritos brand scoops.

I was serving up a Football party.  Sadly, the one and out repetition of the KC Chief's post season quest for another Super Bowl appearance became prophetic (we were robbed with that holding call in the 4th quarter, but I digress)... But these hit the appetizer tray as my guests arrived with all the optimism you could imagine.  I wanted something they could grab a napkin, grab a couple of and move on to making plans for a football game in February.

Hand held cheese dip seemed perfect!

And it indeed was!  Everybody loved these.

Keep scrolling down for this easy to follow recipe.

But first, for any big deal party (like a Chef's appearance in a post season football game),  What a great way to display those appetizers on this three tiered food tray.  Make your party planning something special for the eyes as well as the taste buds.  Your food deserves it.



And as I said, keep scrolling down for this easy to follow recipe...


OK... Here's what I did...

Bacon Jalapeno Popper
Cheese Dip Bites 

Ingredients
  • 1 Pound Bacon, chopped and browned to just crispy 
  • 2 Bricks (16 Ounces) Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 TBS Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup (about 4-5) Minced Jalapenos 
  • 1/2 Cup Green Onions, Chopped small, green and white parts
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Bag Fritos brand Scoops
Cooking Directions
  1. Cook your bacon (oven method, in frying pan as you like).  Once cooked, chop to tiny pieces, drain on paper towels
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using th paddle attachment, mix the Cream Cheese with the Mayonaisse until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the Minced Jalapenos, Cheddar Cheese, Garlic Powder and Green Onions.
  4. Continue to mix with the stand mixer until well combined, another couple of minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for an additional minute.
  5. Lay out the Fritos Scoops on a serving dish.  Scoop 1 rounded teaspoon of the fip into each scoop.  
  6. Roll each filled scoop onto the Bacon bits to coat the top.
  7. Wrap loosely in cling wrap.  Store in the fridge until ready to serve
  8. Serve with Chilled and ENJOY!
Jalapeno Popper
Cheese Dip Bites 


Same as above... BUT, leave out the bacon.  Roll in toasted Panko brand Bread Crumbs (I like the Italian version) instead of the bacon,

When serving at a party, I like to reserve some of the dip to make a few bites for my Vegetarian friends.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"Damn it's Cold Outside" an ADULT Nutella Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream

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Oh Boy Hot Chocolate....

But not just any hot chocolate, this is a simple, fast version, only 2 ingredients (not counting the whipped cream that I will get to in a second), comes together in minutes and is LOADED with the unique flavors of that Hazelnut infused Chocolate spread... The legendary Nutella!

BUT WAIT... There's even MORE...

WHISKEY and CINNAMON SCHNAPPS!  That's right, the kiddee vesion of hot chocolate gets a Jack Daniel's upgrade.  Add a little seasonal Cinnamon and you have something really warming to your heart and soul!

I did top this off with a dollop of fresh made whipped cream.  Believe it or not, but there is a recipe for a better whipped cream (see below).  Just a little sweeter, and best of all, just a little bit stiffer, with a secret ingredient that makes the whipped cream more stable, making it stay that beautiful consistency longer, even when left out on the counter for an hour or more.

It's been cold outside recently... Snow, ice... conditions perfect for a warm blanket, overstuffed chair, a good book and a cup of Hot Chocolate.  Why not make the cup something special?  This will warm your soul after that walk gets shoveled!

Enjoy.  Keep scrolling down for the easy to follow recipe for the adult chocolate, as well as the whipped cream secret.  Pssst... It sure does help if you have a stand mixer...



Keep scrolling, recipe just below this photo...


OK, Here's What I Did...

"Damn it's Cold Outside" an ADULT Nutella Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream

Ingredients
  • 1-1/3 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Nutella
  • 1 Ounce Jack Damiel's Whiskey
  • 1 Ounce Cinnamon Schnapps
  • FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
    1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp white Karo Corn Syrup
Mixing Directions
  1. Over low heat, in  a small pot, mix the milk and the Nutella,  Stir until combined
  2. Heat until there is a steam coming from the pot without boiling the milk.
  3. FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
    Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the whipping cream.
  4. Using the whisk attachment, Start the mixer on slow, adding speed every 20 seconds until you reach the 4th setting.  
  5. Continue to whisk until there is the beginning of a stiff consistency.  While the whisk is running, add the powdered sugar, continue whisking for 30 seconds.  
  6. Next, with the whisk still running, drizzle the corn syrup into the whipped cream for abother 30 seconds.  By now you should have very thick stiff whipped cream.  Store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.
  7. Pour the Hot Nutella Chocolate in a cup.  Add the Schnapps and Whiskey and stir to mix.
  8. Add a dollop of whipped cream 
  9. Serve Hot and ENJOY!
And take a look at yesterday's post for the Nutella Hot Chocolate recipe for the kiddies,
Making bartending at home fun and affordable.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Nutella Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream

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Oh Boy Hot Chocolate....

But not just any hot chocolate, this is a simple, fast version, only 2 ingredients (not counting the whipped cream that I will get to in a second), comes together in minutes and is LOADED with the unique flavors of that Hazelnut infused Chocolate spread... The legendary Nutella!

I did to[ this off with a dollop of fresh made whipped cream.  Believe it or not, but there is a recipe for a better whipped cream (see below).  Just a little sweeter, and best of all, just a little bit stiffer, with a secret ingredient that makes the whipped cream more stable, making it stay that beautiful consistency longer, even when left out on the counter for an hour or more.

It's been cold outside recently... Snow, ice... conditions perfect for a warm blanket, overstuffed chair, a good book and a cup of Hot Chocolate.  Why not make the cup something special?

Enjoy.  Keep scrolling down for the easy to follow recipe for the chocolate, as well as the whipped cream secret.  Pssst... It sure does help if you have a stand mixer...



Keep scrolling, recipe just below this photo...


OK, Here's What I Did...

Nutella Hot Chocolate
with Whipped Cream

Ingredients
  • 1-1/3 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Nutella
  • FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
    1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp white Karo Corn Syrup
Mixing Directions
  1. Over low heat, in  a small pot, mix the milk and the Nutella,  Stir until combined
  2. Heat until there is a steam coming from the pot without boiling the milk.
  3. FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
    Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the whipping cream.
  4. Using the whisk attachment, Start the mixer on slow, adding speed every 20 seconds until you reach the 4th setting.  
  5. Continue to whisk until there is the beginning of a stiff consistency.  While the whisk is running, add the powdered sugar, continue whisking for 30 seconds.  
  6. Next, with the whisk still running, drizzle the corn syrup into the whipped cream for abother 30 seconds.  By now you should have very thick stiff whipped cream.  Store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.
  7. Pour the Hot Nutella Chocolate in a cup, add a dollop of whipped cream 
  8. Serve Hot and ENJOY!
And coming soon, recipes for a More Adult version, the Damn it's Cold Outside", Making bartending at home fun and affordable.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Chili and Tots - EASY Tater Tot One Skillet Upgrade

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OH BOY, CHILI!

But not just any Chili Recipe, this is incredibly easy, serves up in a casserole form and all topped off with a layer of crunchy cheesy, tasty Tater Tots

  • The recipe is made in a single skillet.  No need to get the kitchen filled with dishes.
  • Comes together fast... Except for cooking time, this takes less than 20 minutes of hands on work.
  • LOADED with plenty of Beans (healthy), vegetables (Well, Onions, healthy as well)!
  • A Kid friendly Tater Tot upgrade.  Look for sales and stock up on these handy frozen wonders.  Topped with crispy crunchy layer of Tater Tots (Kids LOVE this recipe)
  • A layer of Gooey Cheesy goodness throughout and for garnish on the top
  • You can make this the night before, for an easy "pop in the oven" lunch.
Really... What's not to love... And tastes great as well!

Easy to follow recipe below, keep scrolling down.

But I wanted to share a fantastic gift I received... If you don't have one, I highly recommend one of these HEAVY pre-seasoned cast irn skillets.  Large enough to cook most anything.  Pre- Seasoned means the skillet comes ready to cook in.  None of the intimidating tasks that need to be done with a non seasoned skillet... Love this and worth every penny.  And remember Amazon ships free on orders over $25!



Keep scrolling down, recipe below.


 OK, Here's What I Did...

Chili and Tots

Ingredients
  • 1 pound Hamburger
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 1 Can (15 Ounces) Chili Beans
  • 1 Can (15 Ounces) Tomato Sauce
    (Pizza Sauce or Pasta Sauce)
  • 2 TBS Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Cups Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Cup additional Cheddar Cheese for topping
  • 2 Pounds Frozen Tater Tots
Cooking Directions
  1. In a very large skillet, Brown Hamburger on medium high heat, breaking up the meat. Once cooked through, add the diced onion and saute with the hamburger for 5 minutes.   Drain the rendered fat from the skillet.. 
  2. Add the seasonings, Chili powder, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder and Red Pepper Flakes.  Stir to evenly mix and evenly flatten the meat in the bottom of the skillet.
  3. Evenly sprinkle 2 cups of cheese over the hamburger
  4. Layer top with frozen tater tots. If not baking right away, cover tightly with foil and chill in fridge until the next morning.
  5. When ready to bake, set oven to 350F with rack on middle position. Once oven reaches 350F, place casserole in oven for about 35 minutes.
    Top with additional 1 cup cheese,
    Bake another 5-10 minutes or until sides are bubbling and top is golden brown. Let rest at room temp 10 minutes, and serve.
  6. Serve Hot and ENJOY!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The French Chef in America - Julia Child's Second Act - Audio Book review

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Oh Boy... A Book to read!

And what a Book... But first, recently I was asked by the good folks at Blogging for Books to review this book.  The book was free, but the opinions are all mine...

And another note... Those same good folks  at Blogging for Books offered to send me an Audible CD Version of the book.  I am trying to increase my cardio so i have started a daily walking workout (10K steps a day).  I LOVED the audio book, made the miles and steps and hours fly by!  SO even though I may talk about the book, really i am talking about the audio version... unabridged of course.

And my opinion... I LOVED THIS BOOK.

The French Chef in America: Julia Child's Second Act is such a fun read (listen).  If you are a fan of food, recipes or cooking shows, you have a special place in your heart for the legendary Julia Child.  A few years ago, Julia's legend was popularized with half of a Bio Pic, Julie and Julia.  That picture, along with Julia Child's own Biography,  My Life in France; has given us plenty of stories of Julia's early years.  This is indeed, the second chapter of her story.  the story of her years after she was published.

I especially enjoyed the emphasis om her husband, Paul Child.  Her sounding board, souz chef, photographer, dish washer and encourager that made her life possible.

The book picks up with Julia's early appearances on TV.  Continues through the early success, her break with her original collaborators, her numerous reinventions to stay relevant, as well as several behind the scenes stories of her down time.  Who wouldn't want that life!

But of course, with great fun stories, there are the wrinkles as well.  Most heart breaking is the loss of her beloved husband following his slow journey to the oblivion of dementia.  The way she balances her professional image with that private hell is the makings of an expanded story... But I digress.

Here's what the publisher has to say... "Julia Child is synonymous with French cooking, but her legacy runs much deeper. Now, her great-nephew and My Life in France coauthor vividly recounts the myriad ways in which she profoundly shaped how we eat today. He shows us Child in the aftermath of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, suddenly finding herself America's first lady of French food and under considerable pressure to embrace her new mantle. We see her dealing with difficult colleagues and the challenges of fame, ultimately using her newfound celebrity to create what would become a totally new type of food television. Every bit as entertaining, inspiring, and delectable as My Life in France, The French Chef in America uncovers Julia Child beyond her French chef persona and reveals her second act to have been as groundbreaking and adventurous as her first.".

Love the stories and could not recommend the book more.

Here's links for The Audio version, the Hardcover version and the rest of Julia's pop culture bios...

             


Here's the legal stuff... "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review." But the review and opinions are 100% accurate and mine!".  Love this book and highly recommend it!

I am so thrilled to add this book to my library.  A terrific inspiration.

As a gift or a new reference book for yourself, this is a keeper.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Chocolate Monk - Let's have a Shot

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 OH BOY... Let's have a Shot!!!

But not just any Shot, this drink has the flavors of Chocolate Coffee, with hints of Hazelnut!  Really, what's not to love.

I am in the midst of getting ready for my annual Super Bowl party.  This year I want to add a couple of "Let's do Shots" Games, but I want to avoid the messy ugly shots of tequila or whiskey that normally goes with that phrase.  OK... Truth be Told, I am after drinks that the ladies will want to drink.

And by gosh, bu golly, this is more than one.  Simply delicious, dangerously so since you can not taste the booze at all.  Very much chocolate flavored, with enough hints of the other two liqueurs to make this special.

Only requires a three bottles of booze, makes this affordable for a home bar.  The Baileys and Kahlua belong in every home bar anyway, you may have a half a bottle of each already.  The Frangelico, the hazelnut flavor has such a pretty bottle you may want to keep that in your regular home bar as well.  Booze really does not spoil, so buy a bottle every now and then and in no time, you have a stocked bar.

Cheers and go team!  Keep scrolling down for this easy to follow recipe...

But first, here's spmething fun to add to my want list... Mason Jar Shot Glasses...




 OK, Here's What I Did...

The Chocolate Monk

Ingredients
  • 1 package (about 3) Oreos, Crushed to dust
  • 1/2 ounce Baileys
  • 1/2 Ounce Frangelico
  • 1/2 ounce Kahlua 
Mixing Directions
  1. These are best chilled... Either have frosted shot glasses ready from the freezer or stash the bottles in the fridge until ready to mix.
  2. Start with the Kahlua, it will settle to the bottom
  3. Add Baileys
  4. Add the Frangelico
  5. Allow to rest for a couple of minutes and you will see the separation of the Baileys and the other two.  Or start sipping
  6. Serve Chilled and ENJOY!
And coming soon, recipes for two more drinks, The Abbot's Dream and the Bananas in Paradise that use almost the same liqueurs. making bartending at home affordable.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Almond Meltaways Sugar Cookies - A Grown up Mature Delicious Cookie

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OH BOY Sugar Cookies!

But not just any sugar cookies, these are simply AMAZING!  Buttery soft and chewy with just a hint of crunchy texture on the edges.  But the real star of this cookie is the sweet creamy almond flavor in each cookie.  A delicious change of pace from the sugary sweet sugar cookies of your youth.

These are of course popular with the kids.

But they are really meant for grown-ups looking for that sweet treat you might want to share at a grown up get together.  I shared these with my wife's Book Club (well, wine drinking  club that sometimes talks about a book).  They were wildly popular with plenty of requests for the recipe.

And really, isn't that the best compliment.

Keep scrolling down for this easy to follow recipe.

But, one note... This recipe is visually best when you use large decorating crystal sugar for the topping.  Wilton makes a terrific "Sprinkle" that practically glows.  You can easily change the personality of your cookies by changing the color of the sprinkles.  I like using the white crystals for a clean look.  But of course a pretty Green color for a garden party would work fantastic.  just let your imagination run wild!

 

And keep scrolling down, here's the easy to follow recipe!


OK... Here's what I did...

Almond Meltaways 

Ingredients
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 TBS Mayonnaise
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup (2 Sticks) Butter, Softened to room temperature
  • 1-1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 3 tsp Almond Extract
  • Additional Decorator Sugar Crystals
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees,  Prepare a cookie sheet with nonstick parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients... Flour, Salt and Baking Powder
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, creamy together the butter and the sugar.  When light and fluffy, add the eggs and the Almond Extract
  4. Fold in the wet ingredients with the dry and continue to fold until fully combined into a dough.
  5. Working in batches, Roll the dough into 1 TBS Balls.
  6. Roll each ball in the decorator Crystal Sugar
  7.  Arrange on the cookie sheet.  Flatten each into thin discs.  I use the bottom of a coffee cup for this.  Keep a paper towel handy to dry the bottom after each press to avoid sticking.
  8. Bake for 8 minutes. The cookies will not look browned or cooked, but they are! Remove from oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
  9. Store in air tight container
  10. Serve with a Hot cup of Tea or Cold Mug of Milk and ENJOY!

FMP