Monday, February 24, 2020

The Best Sugar Cookies


 Please come and join me for my birthday and share some tea and the Best Sugar Cookies.


 My friend Rosie, gifted me this gorgeous Royal Albert Purple Violet teacup, that she had saved her money, and bought for her late mother years ago, when Rosie was just a young girl.  I was honored to receive this teacup, because I knew how much it meant to Rosie, and she knew that I would lovingly care for it.  When I told Rosie that violets are my birth month flower, she was so surprised and thrilled.

 This gifted February teacup is always special to use during my birth month. 

 My late Aunt Kitty painted this teacup, along with the matching luncheon plate, as a bridal shower gift.  I have a set of six different designs, and they are just so special to me.  I keep the plates on display in plate racks, on either side of my hutch.

Click on the link where you can find the recipe for the Best Sugar Cookies.

 

  We celebrated my birthday a day early at my youngest son and daughter-in-law's with most of my family there.  Don't you love how Hayden is looking at me?  She kept singing "Happy Birthday" to me!  When it was time to leave, she said, "Don't go!"  It's so nice to be loved.


I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, February 17, 2020

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

 This Chocolate Molten Lava Cake is one of my very favorite desserts ever!  The recipe only makes four, which is a perfect amount for a small crowd.  You won't be sorry if you make these.  Just be sure to not over bake!

 This darling teacup is a favorite of my granddaughter, Harper, when she spends the night.  It was a gift from my friend, Marsha, at The Better Baker.




Yield: 4
Author:

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

Once I made this cake years ago, I never tried to find another Chocolate Molten Lava Cake to replace it. It's so good! The recipe is so simple, but so impressive. 

ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. (4 oz.)  Semi-Sweet Chocolate (I weighed out 4 ounces of chocolate chips, which is what I had on hand)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (my addition)
  • 6 Tbsp. flour

instructions:

How to cook Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Butter 4  custard cups or ramekins; place on baking sheet.
  3. Microwave chocolate and butter in medium microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until butter is melted; whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Add whole eggs and egg yolks; mix well. Add vanilla.  Stir in flour. Spoon into prepared cups.
  4. Bake 13 - 14 min. or until edges of desserts are firm but centers are still soft.   Do not over bake, or you'll lose the molten center!  Let stand 1 min. Carefully run knife around cakes to loosen; invert into dessert plates. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream

NOTES:

You can make these ahead and just cover and put in the fridge, until ready to bake. Kraft says that they're good for one day ahead, but I've kept them in the fridge longer and they are fine. The important part is to let them sit at room temperature for one hour before baking. I've been known to put an unbaked one in some warm water to speed up the process!
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I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, February 10, 2020

Tea Party Time

 We have a group of friends that met at a Fitness center, and even though some have left, we continue to meet monthly for lunches.  We started off at restaurants, six years ago, but our group is so large, that we have them in peoples' homes in order to mingle and visit.  Everyone brings something, and we celebrate the birthdays of the month.  I volunteered to have a Valentine Tea/Birthday party at my house.  Helpers buy the paper products, cups and utensils, and stay to help with clean up. 


 My dining table has two leaves, and I could seat 14 here.  I set my mixture of teacups at every setting.

 This table for 8 was set in my kitchen.  I used a pink, cozy throw for my table covering.  The pretty strawberry mat under the teapot arrangement was handmade by a sweet friend. 

 This table for 6 was set up in my family room on a folding table that my daughter brought over for me, along with 11 chairs.  Another friend brought 6 more chairs over.  I bought the flowers at Trader Joe's and arranged them in teapots. 

 This was our dessert table.  The chocolate crepes were divine, and filled with a creamy vanilla filling.  We had chicken salad croissants, pimento and egg salad finger sandwiches, ham salad, and so many wonderful dishes.  With 28 people attending, you can imagine the array of good food!!




Yield: I had enough to fill 30-35 little lettuce pieces
Author:

Filled Romaine Lettuce Appetizers

Filled Romaine Lettuce Appetizers

I saw this recipe on Jenna's blog and knew that it would be perfect for serving at a tea party. The ladies loved it!  I think using maple syrup in place of honey would be a good option, too.

ingredients:

  • 6-8 slices of bacon, cooked, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup Bleu Cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of pecans, toasted
  • a couple of squirts of honey to hold the mixture together
  • Romaine lettuce , cleaned and dried (I cut the tips off and used them, and cut the sides off the rib of the lettuce, to make the lettuce in small pieces).

instructions:

How to cook Filled Romaine Lettuce Appetizers

  1. Cook the bacon in the oven on parchment paper at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until it looks crispy.  Put on paper towels to drain, and then chop.  Set aside.
  2. Put the pecans on a paper plate  and toast them in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes.  Allow to cool and then chop.
  3. Mix the bacon, pecans, cheese, dried cranberries, and enough honey to hold the mixture together.  At this point you can refrigerate the mixture. 
  4. Fill the individual pieces with a scoop of the yummy cheese mixture. 
  5. This can sit out at room temperature for awhile. 
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Monday, February 3, 2020

My Favorite Casserole

 If I had to name my favorite casserole of all time, it would have to be this one!  I have been making this for too many years to remember.  The recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, and it's so simple, with easy ingredients.  In my Better Homes and Gardens Golden Treasury of Cooking cookbook, it states, "Hamburger Pie is the most popular recipe Better Homes and Gardens magazine has ever published." 



Yield: 4-6
Author:

My Favorite Casserole (Hamburger Pie)

My Favorite Casserole (Hamburger Pie)

I can always count on this casserole for pure comfort food, and it's so easy. Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best.  I've been making this casserole from when my four kids were little.  I know the recipe by heart.  I hope you try it!

ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (my addition)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper
  • 1 can cut green beans, drained
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 5 medium potatoes, cooked  (See NOTE)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or colby-jack cheese

instructions:

How to cook My Favorite Casserole (Hamburger Pie)

  1. In large skillet (or use a cast iron skillet), cook the meat and onion until meat is lightly browned and onion is tender.  Add the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Add salt and pepper.  Stir in drained green beans and soup.  Pour into a greased 1 and 1/2 quart casserole, or if using a cast  iron skillet, just leave the mixture in it. 
  2. Mash potatoes while hot; add milk and egg.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spoon in mounds over meat mixture. 
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  During the last 5 minutes, I had the cheese on top of the mashed potatoes to let it melt. 

NOTES:

If you don't feel like making mashed potatoes, make it easy on yourself, and buy a tub of pre-made mashed potatoes, and use those instead.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:
Meal Plan Monday

Monday, January 27, 2020

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies


I saw this recipe for the Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies on Lorrie's blog a long time ago, and have been wanting to make them ever since.  Lorrie has the most beautiful blog, which you can check out here.  I knew that these cookies would be perfect to take to some friends that moved into a new home, and also to a friend that is recovering from surgery. 

I did get to taste a cookie or two, and used my Rose Chintz teacup with some Cranberry Black tea that was in a set that my daughter gave me for Christmas.

This is my Winter sampler that I made several years ago. 

Lorrie actually chills the dough for the cookies and then forms them into balls, and uses a fork to press down on them before baking.  I decided to be lazy and formed the dough into rolls in order to slice and bake them. 




Yield: Depends on how thick the cookies are sliced
Author:

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

These little gems are the perfect tea time treat, and melt in your mouth!

ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (Lorrie calls this "icing sugar")
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

instructions:

How to cook Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat until light. Add the orange zest, vanilla, and cranberries.
  3. Add the flour and cornstarch and mix well.
  4. I formed the dough into two rolls and wrapped them in wax paper, and then chilled the rolls in the fridge. I then sliced the rolls into about 1/2" slices and placed them on parchment lined cookie sheets.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until pale golden around the edges. Let set on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

NOTES:

I also froze one of the rolls of dough and then put it in the fridge to thaw overnight before slicing and baking the next day.
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Monday, January 20, 2020

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

 I really can't get enough of the flavors of winter time, and decided to make my favorite cranberry orange nut bread. I always buy extra bags of cranberries to put in the freezer for when I need them. 

 My sweet friend, Michele, sent me this teacup and matching plate last year, and I just love them for winter time.

 My sweet sister sent me this charming teapot years ago.  Isn't it pretty?

 My lady vase that sits on my sink counter, always makes me smile.  She's sporting a real pin cone and faux greenery.

 Here's what I actually have on my coffee table for January.  My sis gave me the pine one candle holder years ago, too.





Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

Yield: 1 large loaf or 4 mini loaves
Author:

This bread is so moist and scrumptious! I like making mini loaves for gifting to friends.

ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • zest of 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen , coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts

instructions:

How to cook Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. 
  3. Stir in the orange juice, oil, orange zest, and egg.  Mix until well blended. Stir in the cranberries and nuts.
  4. Spoon into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. (I actually used 4 mini loaf pans).
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes for the large loaf, and check the mini loaves around 25 minutes, making sure that a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling completely on a wire rack.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Monday, January 13, 2020

Instant Pot Chicken White Bean Rosemary Soup

I've been under the weather and this soup tasted so good!  Lucky for me that I had made several soups this past week when I did feel good, and had them stocked in the fridge.  I served this soup with my Rosemary Bread. 



Yield: 8 large
Author:

Instant Pot Chicken White Bean Rosemary Soup

Instant Pot Chicken White Bean Rosemary Soup

This soup is great on a Winter's day!

ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (see NOTE)
  • 1 pound great northern beans, rinsed, and soaked overnight, and then drained
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock (see NOTE)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken

instructions:

How to cook Instant Pot Chicken White Bean Rosemary Soup

  1. Tie two pairs of rosemary together with kitchen twine.  Set aside.
  2. Add the oil, garlic, onion, carrots and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and two rosemary sprigs into the IP.  Using the saute' feature, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the beans to the IP.  Stir to coat with the rosemary infused oil.
  4. Add water, chicken stock, bay leaf and red pepper flakes to the beans.
  5. Stir well to combine.
  6. Secure the lid on the IP, and making sure that the steam release valve is in the "sealing" position, use the soup feature and cook the beans for 7 minutes.
  7. When the time is up, turn off the IP, and let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes, then manually release and remaining pressure .
  8. Once the pressure is released, and the valve is down, remove the lid.  Stir in the red wine vinegar and the chopped cooked chicken.
  9. Wait 5 minutes and serve with crusty bread. 

NOTES:

If you're not using low-sodium chicken stock, reduce the amount of kosher salt.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Monday, January 6, 2020

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Please join me for a delicious piece of this coffee cake.  I needed to take a coffee cake to a ladies church group, this past Saturday.  We had about 12 ladies in attendance, and I had enough for two ladies to take some home, and I  had plenty to take  home, too. 




I love sipping tea from my Johnson Bros The Ice House, Friendly Village teacup.

This darling Goebel sledding pair was given to me from my beloved dad, back in the late 1970's.  I always bring them out in January.





Yield: I say 16-20+, although Ina says 8-10!
Author:

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I took this coffee cake to a ladies church group and it was well received.  It served around 12 ladies, and I gave some away and had some to bring home. Individual slicesreheat wonderfully in the microwave.

ingredients:

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature (I used salted butter, and omitted the salt, below)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs at room temperature (I used 3 large)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour  (or use 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour  + 1/4 cup cornstarch)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I omitted)
  • For the streusel:
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (I omitted)
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (I used salted butter)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, (I used pecans), optional
  • For the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup

instructions:

How to cook Sour Cream Coffee Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees .  Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan (I used a bundt pan).
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.
  3. For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts (pecans), if desired.
  4.  * See NOTE, below.  Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes ( start checking the cake at 40 minutes.  Mine took about 45 minutes), until a cake tester comes out clean. 
  5. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. Whisk the confectioners' sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.

NOTES:

Since I used a bundt pan, I sprinkled about 3/4 cup streusel on first, then added half the batter, and spread it evenly, then added the rest of the streusel and the remainder of the batter.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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