Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Chewy Sugar Cookies

Christmas time is here and at my house that means lots of holiday baking.  There is something about baking during the holidays that is extra special.  Sharing with family and friends, co workers, cookie exchanges, enjoying the treats you ban yourself from all year -  just to name a few.

This recipe is for a delicious chewy sugar cookie. It is a drop cookie.  The dough consists of your traditional cookie ingredients plus cream cheese.  The  dough a little softer so you have to handle the dough gently and briefly.    The result is a sweet tender sugar cookie.

Chewy Sugar Cookies
From Cook's Country Magazine


2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat over to 350 degrees.  Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.
2. Place 1 1/2 cups sugar and cream cheese in large bowl.  Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in shallow dish and set aside.  Pour melted butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later).  Whisk in oil until incorporated.  Add egg, milk, and vanilla and whisk until smooth.  Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft, homogeneous dough forms.
3. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each.  Using your hands, roll dough into balls.  Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on prepared sheets, 12 balls per sheet.  Using bottom of drinking glass, flatten balls to 2 inches in diameter.  Sprinkle top of cookies evenly with 4 teaspoons of sugar remaining in shallow dish ( 2 teaspoons per sheet); discard any remaining sugar.
4. Bake cookies 1 sheet at a time until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through  baking.  Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.  Let cookies cool completely before serving.

Makes 24 cookies

Monday, December 3, 2018


It is that time of year again.  Christmas baking time which translates to lots and lots of  cookies.  The first cookies of the season I seem to make are Snickerdoodles.  I just love them and when I find recipe for them I need to make it.  This recipe is no exception.

I love the soft chewy texture of Snickerdoodles with a slight crisp edge.  The overall light cinnamon sugar flavor of the cookie makes it the quintessential Christmas Cookie.  A truly delicious cookie in my opinion.

Pioneer Woman
Prep: 15 Minutes Level: Easy
Cook: 9 Minutes Serves: 20

2-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Cream Of Tartar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 teaspoons Salt
1 cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
1-3/4 cup Granulated Sugar, Divided
2 Large Eggs
1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and 1 ½ cups sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3–5 minutes. Then beat in eggs and scrape the bowl. Turn mixer on low and slowly add flour mixture until well combined.

Mix remaining ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Use a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop to measure out dough balls. Roll each ball in your hands to even them out, then roll in cinnamon sugar to thoroughly coat.

Place the balls on prepared baking sheets, 2 ½ inches apart. Bake for 8–9 minutes, until just barley golden around the edges. Cool for several minutes on the baking sheets before moving.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Gnocchi Gratin With Ham

On busy days, I usually do a casserole of some sort.   They are great  - you just need to assemble and pop in the oven.   You can also make the dish ahead of time and when you are ready to bake pop it in the oven.

This recipe is very easy to make and is a crowd pleaser.  I love the taste the Gruyere cheese adds to the recipe.  The gnocchi is a nice change from your everyday pasta bake. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

Gnocchi Gratin With Ham
From Southern Living


 1 (16-oz.) pkg. potato gnocchi
 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
 1 pound ham steak, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
 2 cups whole milk
 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
 4 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (about 1 cup)
 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divide

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook potato gnocchi according to package directions; drain and transfer to a large bowl.
2. Melt 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add ham and cook, stirring often, until ham is lightly browned and any moisture has evaporated, 5 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer ham to bowl with gnocchi. Wipe Dutch oven clean.
3. Melt 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter in Dutch oven over medium-high. Whisk in all-purpose flour. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in whole milk, and bring to a boil; whisk vigorously to work out any lumps.
4.Whisk in kosher salt and black pepper. Remove from heat, and slowly whisk in shredded Gruyère cheese and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, until melted. Pour cheese sauce over ham and gnocchi.
5.Transfer mixture to a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 11-x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese on top, and bake in preheated oven until bubbly and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve warm.

Serves 4-6

Friday, November 9, 2018

Crispy Boneless Breaded Pork Chops - Air Fryer

I tried out my new Air Fryer the other day.    I have read and heard great things about Air Fryers.   Needless to say, I was excited to try it out.  For the first recipe, I made some Crispy Boneless Bread Pork Chops.  This is a very easy recipe to make and the Pork Chops came out moist on the inside and crispy on the outside!  Made in the air fryer  they took just 12 minutes to cook.    

Crispy Boneless Breaded Pork Chops
From Skinny Taste

Special Equipment:  Air Fryer

olive oil spray
6 (3/4-inch thick) center cut boneless pork chops, fat trimmed (5 oz each)
kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup panko crumbs (check labels for GF)
1/3 cup crushed cornflakes crumbs
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (omit for vegetarian)
1 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp black pepper

Preheat the air fryer to 400F for 12 minutes and lightly spray the basket with oil.
Season pork chops on both sides with 1/2 tsp kosher salt.
Combine panko, cornflake crumbs, parmesan cheese, 3/4 tsp kosher salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and black pepper in a large shallow bowl.
Place the beaten egg in another. Dip the pork into the egg, then crumb mixture.
When the air fryer is ready, place 3 of the chops into the prepared basket and spritz the top with oil.
Cook 12 minutes turning half way, spritzing both sides with oil. Set aside and repeat with the remaining pork chops.

Serves 6

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Slow Cooker Korean Beef

Another great recipe for your slow cooker that is easy and delicious.  Flank steak is cut into strips and coated with cornstarch.   The steak is cooked in a sauce for 5 hours composed of sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce,  beef befog, brown sugar, onion and red pepper flakes.  Once the beef is cooked through and tender, I served it over rice.  You can garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, if you wish.

Slow Cooker Korean Beef
The Recipe Critic

1 ½ pounds Flank Steak
¼ cups cornstarch
2 tablespoons Sesame Oil
½ teaspoons mince Garlic, Cloves
½ cups Soy Sauce
½ cup beef broth
¾ cups Brown Sugar
¼ cup onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
sesame seeds and green onions, for garnish
Cut flank steak into thin strips. In a ziplock bag add flank steak pieces and cornstarch. Shake to coat.
Add sesame oil, minced garlic, soy sauce, beef broth, brown sugar, onion, and red pepper flakes to the slow cooker. Stir ingredients. Add coated flank steak and stir again until coated in the sauce.
Cook for high 2-3 hours or on low 4-5 hours until cooked throughout and tender. Can serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

Serves 4

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Scoma's Lazy Man Cioppino

I love Scoma's Restaurant in San Francisco.  When I eat there, I usually order their Lazy Man Cioppino. A delicious Fish Stew in a tasty tomato base broth.  I was very excited when I found Scoma's recipe for their Lazy Man's Cioppino on the web.

Half the fun of making this stew is shopping for the ingredients.  The kids and I head down to our local Whole Foods market and pick up the fish, wine,  veggies and clam juice.  We also pick up some bread to toast up to dip in the broth and clean up our bowl.

This recipe came together very nicely.  You first start by sautéing the garlic and then add the chopped onion.  Add the wine,  followed by the fresh herbs.  Add your favorite tomato sauce, bring to a boil and add the fish.  Once the fish is cooked, add the crab meat, clam juice, and seasoning.  Heat through and serve.

A bowl of a delicious and hearty stew awaits your family and/or friends.  Enjoy.


From Scoma's

(Serves 4 – 6 people)
Prep time: 30-45 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
2 cups fish stock or clam juice
6 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
1 lb rock cod cut into 1″ cubes
1.5 lbs Manila clams
12oz prawns (deveined and peeled)
1 lb cooked crab meat
8oz bay shrimp
12oz scallops
Salt and pepper
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook garlic for one minute.
  • Add the onions and let them sweat for two or three minutes.
  • Turn heat to high and add the wine to deglaze. Cook for 2-3 minutes (or until reduced in half) then reduce heat to medium.
  • Add fresh oregano and basil.
  • Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil.
  • Slowly add fish, shellfish, and shrimp meat.
  • Bring the cioppino back to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until all the seafood is cooked.
  • Add cooked crab meat.
  • Thin the cioppino to your liking with fish stock or clam juice.
  • Adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper.
  • Serve in a large bowl with fresh sourdough bread and enjoy!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur is one of those delectable sandwiches you will always remember eating.  My first one was at The French Pastry Shop in the La Fonda hotel in Santa Fe, NM.  Fast forward many years and I found the perfect recipe for one of the best Croque Monsieur sandwiches ever.  This recipe is from Cook's Country magazine and it is sandwich worth savoring.

Croque Monsieur
From Cook's Country


8 slices hearty white sandwich bread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
12 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest deli ham
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (1 cup)

Mornay Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg

1. For The Sandwiches:  Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray.
2. Brush bread on both sides with melted butter and place on prepared sheet.  Bake until light golden brown on top, about 10 minutes.  Remove sheet from oven and flip slices.  Return to oven and bake until golden brown on second side, about 3 minutes.  Reserve 4 slices for sandwich tops; evenly space remaining 4 slices on sheet.
3. For The Mornay Sauce:  Melt butter in small saucepan oven medium heat.  Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in milk and bring to boil.  Once boiling remove from heat and quickly whisk in Gruyere, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg until smooth.
4. Spread 1 tablespoon Mornay on each slice of toast on sheet.  Then, folding ham slices over themselves multiple times so they bunch up, divide ham every among slices of toast.   Spread 2 tablespoon Mornay on 1 side of each reserved slice of toast and place slices Mornay side down on top of ham.
5. Spread 2 tablespoons Mornay evenly over top of each sandwich, making sure to completely cover toast, including edges (exposed edges can burn under broiler).  Sprinkle sandwiches with  Parmesan, followed by Gruyere.
6. Bake until cheese on top of sandwiches is melted, about 5 minutes.  Turn on broiler and broil until cheese bubbles across tops of sandwiches and edges are spotty brown, about 5 minutes.   Serve.

Make 4 sandwiches.