Sunday, January 31, 2010


I made a ton of these last night-- for a wedding Mike and I are going to today- and a bunch for ourselves. I've always liked them.

The recipe for just one batch--

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsps cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp gran. sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, eggs, vanilla. Blend flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt. Shape dough into balls. Mix 2 tbsp sug. and cinn. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 min. or until set, but not too hard. Remove immediately from sheets to cool.

Friday, January 29, 2010

crock pot chicken jumbalaya

6 boneless, skinless chicken breats, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 lb kielbasa
1 can tomatoes, undrained (I added two)
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cajun seasoning- I made my own with cayenne pepper, oregano, salt, pepper and paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery (I used 3)

Put everything in crock pot and turn on low for 7 hours.

We served this tasty dish with short grain brown rice, bread and spinach salad. I was afraid the jumbalaya might be too spicy for the kids, but they all liked it (we had some friends over).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

corn & kielbasa chowder


corn and kielbasa chowder

8 ounces kielbasa, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 onions, finely chopped
(I also added about three stalks of celery, chopped)
1 tablespoon butter
1 14.5-ounce can chicken broth
1 large baking potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup half-and-half
1 1-pound bag frozen corn, thawed
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh dill, for garnish

Heat a deep skillet or a wide 4- to 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the kielbasa and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the onions and butter to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and potato and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the half-and-half and corn and cook, stirring, until heated through. Using a blender or food processor, puree 1 cup chowder until smooth. Stir the puree back into the chowder along with the browned kielbasa and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the dill.

Monday, January 18, 2010

chocolate chip oatmeal muffins

I found the recipe at They reminded me of the vegan chocolate chip cookies my sister and I used to make. Really good.

chocolate chip oatmeal muffins

1/2 cup butter or margarine (I used non-dairy earth-balance)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Combine dry ingredients; add alternately with applesauce to the creamed mixture. Stir in oats and chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.

Friday, January 8, 2010

salmon chowder

I love cooking hot soups on frigid snow days. It's been snowing for days straight now, with short let-ups here and there, but I'm tired of being home bound. I refuse to go out in this mess with the kids. Anyway, tonight, we had delicious salmon chowder, served with bread, salad and french beans. Here's the recipe. I haven't decided what to make for dessert yet, but I've decided we need something yummy to celebrate Mike finishing his very last day at Intel today. Congratulations, love!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas Present Granola

A few years ago around Christmas we were visiting my parents' neighbors and their house had a wonderful baking smell. When I asked what it was, she gave me a small bag of her homemade granola. I snacked on it all afternoon and ended up calling her a few hours later asking for the recipe. I brought it back this season and used it as as easy-to-ship Christmas present as well as a stocking stuffer and had a few requests for the recipe. At the risk of giving away my secrets, here goes...

7 c. rolled oats
1 c. wheat germ
1 heaping cup brown sugar
6 cups nuts (I usually use a variation of walnuts, pecans, and sometimes almonds)
2 cups sunflower seeds (optional)
1/2 cup flax seeds

Mix together in a very large bowl.

In a glass measuring cup, mix 3/4 cup oil with 1 1/3 cup water and heat (covered!) in microwave for 3-5 minutes on high. Add 2 tsp. vanilla and pour over dry ingredients. (This may sound obvious, but the oil/water is hot! Be careful, especially if you have little "helpers") Spread mixture into 2 well-greased jelly roll pans. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Leave in oven until dry, possibly bake for 1/2 hour more if necessary. If desired add coconut, dried cranberries, or other fun mix-ins after baking.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

chili with vegetables

We had this chili last night, and it was tasty. I kind of went from a recipe, but I mostly made it up as I went along. It's all approximate- as it always is around here.

2 med carrots
2 celery stalks
1 large onion
a few garlic cloves
1 zucchini
1/2 cup white cooking wine
2-3 jars diced tomatoes
1/3 jar of steak sauce
6-8 slices bacon
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
*(I just eyed all of these and tasted, added more accordingly)
*chili powder
*red pepper (cayenne)
quite a few kidney beans- I added almost half of a 3-lb can.
*fresh parsley

Add first eight ingredients to large pot and let simmer for a while until all of the veggies are tender. While they are simmering, cook bacon in a large skillet. Add bacon to veggie mixture. Cook the ground beef in the bacon drippings (I had to drain quite a bit of grease first). Add to veg. mixture along with seasonings and let cook for a while so all of the flavors can blend together. Add beans and parsley and serve. We put cheddar on ours and served with a little bread. Really good for a super-cold day.