Monthly Archives: December 2011

Raspberry Preserves Thumbprint Cookies

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I love, love, love, love these cookies! I only make them at Christmas time and I don’t know why, because they are so stinkin’ delicious! I made a batch of these over the weekend and my Star said, “you sure you want to make them now? You still have two weeks till Christmas.” “Yes, I said, I don’t want to bake all the cookies in one weekend.” “Oh, well they might not last” he said. I really didn’t believe that he would eat them all. Well, I was wrong as they are almost completely gone. He is actually sitting here now with the cookie tin next to him chowing down! I guess I will be making another batch of these. πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 oz. sweetened flaked coconut
Raspberry preserves (or your favorite jam, jelly)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla.

Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured surface and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into balls. Dip each ball into the egg wash and roll it in coconut. I like to add a few to the egg wash instead of doing one at a time, much easier.

Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Press a light indentation into the top of each with your finer.

Drop 1/4 teaspoon of preserves into each indentation.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and have at it! πŸ™‚

Chinese Pizza with Ginger Dipping Sauce

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This recipe we found at The Food Network and I am so glad that we did! I haven’t had these in years! This was a favorite snack of mine at my hometown local Chinese Restaurant, The Full Ho and I have yet to find them again. Some people call them Chinese Pancakes or Scallion Pancakes, but I know them by Chinese Pizza. When I came across this recipe, I knew immediately that we had to make them. They came out tasting exactly like the ones from Full Ho. Yay!!! Doing the happy dance! πŸ™‚

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup ginger dipping sauce, recipe to follow
Directions
In a bowl, sift flour. Slowly add water in a steady stream while mixing with a wooden spoon. Keep adding water until a ball is formed. Let ball of dough relax for about 30 minutes and cover with damp cloth.

On a floured surface, roll out dough into a thin rectangle.

Brush on oil mixture, cover with scallion and season with salt and pepper.

Carefully roll dough. This part is a little tricky and sticky. Make sure you have enough flour on your surface.

Cut into 4 pieces. Take one piece and twist 3 times.

Make a spiral out of this and roll again and flatten to achieve a 5 to 6 inch pancake.

In a hot non-stick pan, coat with some of the leftover sesame and canola oil and pan sear both sides until golden brown.

Place on plate covered with a paper towel. Place a paper towel over each pizza to absorb the oil.

Cut into pizza slices and serve immediately with dipping sauce.

GINGER DIPPING SAUCE:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
Combine all ingredients.

Simply delicious!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

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Tonight was our first attempt at making Chinese food. This recipe was amazing, better than take out! It does take some time, but it is definitely worth the work. The flavor of the sauce is incredible and the texture of the chicken is wonderful. We were all just smacking our lips with this one. Nom nom nom!

For the Chicken:
3-4 boneless,skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, slightly beaten
ΒΌ cup canola or vegetable oil

For the Sauce:
ΒΎ cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
Β½ cup vinegar (preferably rice or white)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Working in two batches, toss the chicken pieces in cornstarch and then coat with the egg.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat and again in two batches, brown the chicken, turning it so that all sides are browned.

Place the chicken in a single layer in a 9Γ—13 baking dish. Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and pour evenly over the chicken. Turn the chicken to ensure each piece is coated.

Bake for 1 hour, turning the chicken every 15 minutes.

Recipe adapted from http://www.browneyedbaker.com/

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

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Yes, another Buffalo Chicken recipe and it is a casserole dish! I love making casseroles. They are so simple and provide you with plenty of leftovers. It was a hit with my Star and said “you must make this again.”

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts (seasoned with salt, pepper & any other seasonings you may like)
1/2 box of penne or any type of pasta
1 cup + 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
4 oz cream cheese
2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese (or you could use blue cheese)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 stick melted butter
1 tablespoon dried parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Begin by cooking pasta according to the directions on the package.

Bake chicken in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the juices run clear. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.

Shred chicken with fork.

Preheat a large skillet. Add the chicken, 1 cup of buffalo sauce and let it simmer.

Put milk in a sauce pan and warm at a low temperature until little bubbles form around the edges (make sure not to boil the milk).

Once milk is warm, add the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the cream cheese and the other 1/2 cup of buffalo sauce to the milk and whisk until smooth.

Spray 9 x 13 casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Pour 1/2 of the cooked pasta into the dish

Add the chicken

Top with remaining pasta and pour milk mixture over chicken and noodles, then top with shredded cheese

In a small bowl mix parsley, bread crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over top and bake for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Turkey Stromboli

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This recipe we created last year with our leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner.  Truly one of my favorite recipes!

We made this recipe with Pillsbury Pie Crust, which makes for a nice flaky breading and we also made it with pizza dough, which gave it more of a true stromboli flavor (if you know what I mean, just more doughier). We loved them both! Another great idea would be to add some leftover vegetables, like corn, peas, or even some mashed potatoes. We actually made a few of these last year and put them in the freezer.

Ingredients:

1 Pillsbury Pie crust or pizza dough

Leftover turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degree

Roll out pie crust (or pizza dough)

Layer turkey

Spoon stuffing and cranberry sauce over turkey

Roll dough over mixture and tuck/pinch in ends and make a few slits on top with a knife

Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes til golden brown.

We like to heat up some leftover gravy and add it on top. YUMMY!