Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Cake

This recipe is from one of my MOPS friends. We moms like easy, yummy recipes! I am sending the email she sent to us in its entirety.

Some of you asked for the recipe for the bunt cake I brought to brunch on Wednesday. It's super easy.

Start with your basic Yellow Cake Mix. I just happened to use the Pillsbury Moist Supreme Yellow Cake this time because it was on sale.

What you want to do is follow the directions on the box (eggs, oil or butter etc.) EXCEPT substitute Dry Sherry as your liquid instead of water. I bought the Fairbanks brand of Dry Sherry. Toss in a 1 tsp of NUTMEG, mix and bake as directed.

After the cake is cooled dust it with some powdered sugar and you are done.

I don't know where my mom got this recipe but she's been making this cake for holiday parties since I can remember.

I'm happy to share it with all of you.

Jackie (Lorenzo) Cox

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gingerbread Men
Gingerbread Men:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup unsulphured molasses (To prevent the molasses from sticking to the measuring cup, spray with a non stick vegetable spray.)
Confectioners Frosting:
2 cups confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons milk or light cream
Gingerbread Men: In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture beating until incorporated. Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside while you roll out the dough.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Use a gingerbread cutter to cut out the cookies. With an offset spatula lift the cut out cookies onto the baking sheet, placing the cookies about 1 inch apart. If you are hanging the cookies or using as gift tags, make a hole at the top of the cookies with a straw or end of a wooden skewer.
Bake for about 8 - 12 minutes depending on the size of the cookies. Small ones will take about 8 minutes, larger cookies will take about 12 minutes. They are done when they are firm and the edges are just beginning to brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for about 1 minutes. When they are firm enough to move, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
If desired, you can press raisins, currants, or candies into the dough for eyes and buttons while the cookies are still warm. Otherwise, confectioners frosting can be used to decorate the cookies. You can also use the icing as a glue to attach candies, raisins, and sprinkles.
Confectioners Frosting: In an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth and well blended. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beater. Add the milk and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add a little more milk if too dry. Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and decorate the gingerbread men as desired.
Tint portions of frosting with desired food color. Makes about 3 dozen cookies depending on the size of cookie cutter used.
Store in an airtight container.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Maple-Braised Butternut Squash with Fresh Thyme

This one was a smash hit at Thanksgiving this year. Straight outta Bon Appetit made by the loving hands of Brittany Lyons.

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1 3- to 3 1/2-pound butternut squash, cut lengthwise in half, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon (or more) black pepper

Braising (sautéing, then cooking low and slow in a bit of liquid) is most often associated with meat, but it's also a great way to cook veggies. FIbrous vegetables like butternut squash are the perfect candidate for braining. The braising liquid infuses the squash with flavor and makes it very tender.

Melt butter in heavy large deep skillet over high heat. Add squash; sauté 1 minute. Add broth, syrup, thyme, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until squash is almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer squash to large bowl. Boil liquid in skillet until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Return squash to skillet. Cook until tender, turning occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with more pepper, if desired.

Nutritional Information
One serving contains:
Calories (kcal) 177.2
% Calories from Fat 43.2
Fat (g) 8.5
Saturated Fat (g) 5.4
Cholesterol (mg) 23.3
Carbohydrates (g) 25.6
Dietary Fiber (g) 2.9
Total Sugars (g) 11.2
Net Carbs (g) 22.7
Protein (g) 2.0
Sodium (mg) 174.1

Corn Mushroom Bake

I almost didn't make this recipe this Thanksgiving. What I didn't do was double the recipe as I usually do... and people complained when it was gone! Won't make that mistake again! This dish can made ahead and baked before serving. It's super easy and really good!

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can (17 oz) cream style corn
3 oz cream cheese, chopped
1/2 tsp onion salt
1 can (17 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (4 oz) mushroom stems and pieces (optional)
1/2 cup Swiss cheeses, shredded
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs (about a slice of bread, crumbled)
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted

In a pan combine flour and cream style corn. Add cream cheese and onion slat. Place over low heat and stir until the cream cheese melts. Add whole kernel corn, mushrooms and Swiss cheese, stirring until cheese is melted.

Transfer mixture to a casserole dish.

Combine bread crumbs and butter and put on top of corm mixture.

Bake uncovered for 40 minutes at 350 degrees until top started to bubble and brown.

Cranberry Chutney

I make this chutney every Thanksgiving now. The first time I made it was under the instruction of Ryan's mom who had the recipe one Thanksgiving. Since then, I've been credited with the dish. This is a great alternative to the cranberry sauce from the can... though Ryan still insists on having that served as well! I also always add more almonds than the recipe calls for.

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 c slivered almonds, toasted
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic

Toast almonds in a pan on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently. Set aside.

In a heavy, 3 quart saucepan, dissolve sugar in 1 cup water over medium high heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, allow to come to a boil.

Add remaining ingredients and boil slowly. Stir occasionally until mixture thickens. Let cool to set more.

Chutney can be stored int he refrigerator for up to one month.

Fudge Brownies

Alyssa's preschool always needs brownies for those kiddos with nut allergies and homemade is the best way to go. This recipe came from my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer Instructions and Recipes book... they are pretty yummy!

1 cup margarine or butter, softened, divided
4 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Melt 1/2 c butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, set aside to cool.

Mix remaining 1/2 cup butter, sugar and vanilla with a mixer. Add eggs one at a time.

Add cooled chocolate mixture and mix again, scarping bowl. Add the remaining ingredients until well blended.

Pour into a greased and floured 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. Cool in pan on wire rack and cut.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Schoolhouse Chicken Soup

Here's a recipe from a blog that I visit from time-to-time ( I haven't tried it yet, but I will!

*Schoolhouse Chicken Soup*

In a large skillet, heat:
3 T. olive oil


8-10 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
lots of celery, thinly sliced (up to an entire head)
as much garlic as you can stand to mince, at least 4 cloves

Saute til sweaty and onion is transparent.

Transfer to a big stockpot.


2 boxes chicken stock (the large size)
6-8 frozen boneless chicken breasts
1 T. salt

Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover. When chicken is cooked through, turn off the flame and let cool slightly. Fish the chicken pieces out and shred or slice them. Taste the broth and maybe dress it up with the juice of half a lemon and a slug of tamari sauce.

Bring the broth back to a boil, and dump in a large bag of egg noodles. When cooked, add the chicken back, and serve with lots of pepper. I made this yesterday and fed fifteen people! This recipe works for *you*.

Use 4-5 cloves of garlic in your vegetables. After you've sauteed to the point of transparency in your onions, add 2 t. cumin and 1 t. chili powder. When you add the broth, add a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies.

Instead of choosing noodles or dumplings for the starch, stir in 1-2 cans of rinsed black or white beans and add some frozen corn, heating til it's cooked through.

Serve with any of these delights: shredded cheese, sour cream, lime wedges, crushed tortilla chips, or salsa.

The Best Lasagna

I (Naomi) found this in Wondertime magazine... this recipe has been well received! so yummy!

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey (or cooked chicken, Italian sausage, seafood, andouille, etc.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
26 0 28 oz (about 3 cups) pasta sauce
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp red wine (optional)
1 c chicken stock
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp white wine (optional)
12 oz (3 cups) freshly grated mozzarella
9 to 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups cooked, well-drained broccoli, spinach, peas or other vegetables (optional)
1 c (about 4 oz) freshly grates parmesan

Heat oven to 400 degree. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Thoroughly cook ground beef in garlic and herbs in a large skillet, stirring frequently and breaking up meat. Stir in pasta sauce and bring to a simmer about 2 minutes. Season to taste and add the red wine, if using. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add cream cheese, turn heat to low and whisk until smooth, about 6 minutes Season to taste and add white wine, if using.

Line bottom of pan with lasagna noodles and spoon half the meat sauce into the pan as evenly as possible. Sprinkle 1 cup grated mozzarella over meat mixture. Top with 3 to 4 lasagna noodles.

Add vegetables, if using, then pour cream cheese sauce over them. Cover with another cup of mozzarella. Top with 3 to 4 lasagna noodles.

Spoon remaining meat mixture over noodles as evenly as possible and top with the rest of the mozzarella and the grated parmesan.

Bake until brown and bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes (longer if you chilled lasagna in advance). Let cool for 10 - 15 minutes to cut well.

Holiday French Toast

I've had this recipe so long that I can't remember where I got it. I also only made it for the first time this week. I don't know what took me so long! It's a relatively easy recipe and can be made the night before. The best thing is how wonderful the house smells while it bakes!

1 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter, melted
3 tsp ground cinnamon (divided 2 tsp, 1 tsp)
3 tart apples (Granny Smith), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 c dried cranberries or raisins (optional)
1 loaf Italian or French bread, cut into 1 inch slices
6 large eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Combine brown sugar, butter and 1 tsp cinnamon in a 13x9 inch baking dish.

Add apples and cranberries/raisins: toss and coat well. Spread apple mixture evenly over bottom of baking dish.

Arrange slices of bread on top.

Mix eggs, milk. vanilla and remaining 2 tsp of cinnamon until well blended. Pour mixture over bread, soaking bread completely.

Cover and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours/

Bake, covered with aluminum foil, in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Uncover and bake 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.

Serve warm.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gooseneck Squash

We had so much squash this summer! My dear, sweet husband planted one too many squash plants this summer... we had summer squash, zuccini squash AND gooseneck squash. SO many squash, so little time! Didn't try the dessert squash, but the Yellow Squash Casserole was pretty good.

Yellow Squash Dessert

1 lrg. yellow goose neck squash - peeled, seeded, cubed
water - to cover
3/4 stick margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbls. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 lrg. eggs
12 oz. can evaporated milk
whipped cream - to top

-Place squash in large saucepan and cover with water.
-Boil for 20 minutes, or until tender.
-Drain and mash with an electric mixer.
-Add margarine, sugar, vanilla, salt, flour, eggs, and milk to squash and mix well.
-Pour mixture into a buttered 9" X 13" casserole dish.
-Bake in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until slightly golden brown and a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
-Serve slightly warm with whipped cream.

Yellow Squash Casserole
4 cups sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped onion
35 buttery round crackers, crushed
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Place squash and onion in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in a small amount of water. Cover, and cook until squash is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well, and place in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, mix together cracker crumbs and cheese. Stir half of the cracker mixture into the cooked squash and onions. In a small bowl, mix together eggs and milk, then add to squash mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup melted butter, and season with salt and pepper. Spread into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cracker mixture, and dot with 2 tablespoons butter.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


This recipe is taken from the My First Little House Books, My Little House Cookbook.

Makes about 20 small pancakes, 15 faces, or 6 full people.

1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp maple syrup

Put dry ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until mixed.

Ask a grown-up to help you melt the 2 tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Mix the melted butter, egg, buttermilk and 2 tbsp maple syrup together in a small bowl. Add to fry ingredients. Whisk together until the mixture has almost no lumps.

ASk a grown-up to help you cook the pancakes. Add just enough oil or butter to cover the pan evenly. Pour the shapes into the pan over medium heat. Add more shapes, leaving room for ht batter to expand. Once the tops bubble, slip the spatula underneath and look to see if its brown. Flip and cook half as long as the first.

Serve with butter, maple syrup, strawberry jam or your own choice of toppings.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sherm's Pomegranate Sangria

1 bottle Red Wine (White)
2 Cups Pomegranate Juice (White Grape Juice)
1/2 Cup Brandy
1/2 Cup Triple Sec
1/4 Apricot Schnapps
1 Large Orange, sliced
1 Green Apple, diced
1 Cup Red Grapes, sliced in halves (Green Grapes)

Combine all ingredients in pitcher, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to 48 hours hours before serving. Serve over ice.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 - 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening, soft (we use butter flavored Crisco)
2 eggs
2 3/4 c flour
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, shortening and eggs**. Stir in flour, Cream of Tartar and baking soda. Chill dough about one hour.

Mix together 2 tsp cinnamon and 2 Tbsp sugar into a small bowl.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls, about the size of a walnut. Then roll into the sugar and cinnamon mixture and place on cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

** Optional - we like to add 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp maple extract to egg mixture.

Also, you make substitute 2 tsp of baking powder for the Cream of Tartar and baking soda required for this recipe.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sugar Cookies

This recipe comes from the family cookbook of Julie Lugo Cerra. We made them for teacher appreciation day at Hannah's preschool and were very well received!

Cream together:

1/2 c butter or shortening
1/2 c other shortening (oil or solid)
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sugar
1 egg


2 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp lemon or almond extract

After well mixed, drop by the teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets. Dip the bottom of a glass in granulated sugar, press cookie, dip in sugar again and repeat for each cookie.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spinach Strawberry Salad

I asked someone for this recipe years ago and make it all the time when strawberries are in season. I just saw a friend who I haven't seen in years and Danielle remembers me making it for her baby shower.

Toss together in a bowl:
2 bunches of fresh spinach, washed, dried and torn
1 pint strawberries, washed, dried and sliced

For dressing whisk together:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp onion flakes
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Paprika

Add dressing to taste and toss together

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mexican Casserole

Back my work days, we'd have an office pot luck from time to time. This casserole was brought in by one of the executives and I asked for the recipe. I've been making it myself ever since.

1 1/2 c crushed tortilla chips
1 lb shredded chicken
1 16 oz can pinto beans, drained
1 16 oz can red kidney beans, drained
1 16 oz can corn, drained
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup salsa
1 c chopped red onion
1 green pepper, diced
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
6 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
6 oz Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 in pan. Scatter crushed chips on the bottom of the pan. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except cheeses and mix well. Scoop half the mixture evenly over the chips. Sprinkle half the amount of each cheese on top. Add the rest of the chicken mixture evenly and top with the rest of the cheeses. Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Top with sour cream, chopped tomatoes and cilantro.

I use different kinds of salsa and press my garlic. Often I make the chicken mixture the night before.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Creamed Tomato Bisque

Had this yummy bisque at my friend, Kerry's house. She's vegan and substituted the necessary ingredients and it was awesome.

1/4 lb butter or margarine
1 c chopped celery
1 c onion
1/2 c chopped carrots
1/3 c all-purpose flour
2 (1 lb, 12 oz) cans whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp basil
1 tsp marjoram
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken broth
1 pint (2 cups) whipping cream
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/ tsp white pepper
salt to taste

Melt butter or margarine in a large saucepan. Saute celery, onion and carrots until tender. Stir in flour. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes, sugar, basil, marjoram, bay leaf and chicken broth. Cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf. Puree 1/3 of the mixture at a time in a blender. Add cream, paprika, curry powder and pepper. Stir to blend. Add salt to taste. Serve hot or cold. May be refrigerated several days or frozen. Makes 8 servings.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mac 'N Cheese

One of the best Mac'N Cheese I've ever had! (Naomi), but my girls don't like it!

yield: Makes 20 servings
active time: 35 min
total time: 1 1/4 hr
The toasted crumbs on top have a cheesy crispness, and the pasta beneath is creamy and rich. Kids will appreciate the individual servings, but... more ›

For topping
• 1/2 stick unsalted butter
• 2 cups panko (coarse Japanese bread crumbs) or 3 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 6 slices firm white sandwich bread)
• 1/4 pound coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups)
• 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

For macaroni and sauce
• 1 stick unsalted butter
• 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 5 cups whole milk
• 1 pound coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (6 cups)
• 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
• 1 pound elbow macaroni
print a shopping list for this recipe

Make topping:
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
Melt butter, then stir together with panko and topping cheeses in a bowl until combined well.
Make sauce:
Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in flour. Cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes, then whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in cheeses, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Grate nutmeg (3 grates). Remove from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper.
Make Macaroni:
Cook macaroni in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 4 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain macaroni in a colander. Stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water, and sauce in a large bowl. Transfer to 2 buttered 2-quart shallow baking dishes.
Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bake until golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cooks' notes: · Topping can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
· Half of dish can be baked in 10 (6- to 8-ounce) ramekins for children (with remaining half baked in a 2-quart baking dish for adults).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Doris' Bean Bake

1 pound bacon – cut up, browned, drained
3 onions – chopped and sautéed with bacon
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. pressed garlic
½ Tbsp. dry mustard
½ cup vinegar

Simmer all together 15 minutes.

Then add:
1 can kidney beans
1 can green lima beans
2 cans butter beans
1 large can B & M Beans

Bake 1 hour at 350o or put in crock pot
and cook all day.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hot Artichoke Dip

1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped up
1 cup mayonnaise
1 pkg feta cheese (optional)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together and spoon into a baking dish. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Top with chopped tomato and sliced green onions, if desired.

Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips or crackers.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Taco Chicken Nacho Love (Raeanne's recipe)

Taco Chicken Nacho Love
(I don’t know what it’s really called!)
A friend in Seattle made this for me once, and it has become one of my favorites! I made it for a crowd last weekend at my Son’s birthday party and it was a hit. (you can double the amounts to fit your crowd).

2-3 chicken breasts – boneless, skinless
1 can Mexican stewed tomatoes with juice
1 packet taco seasoning mix
Put that in the crock pot on low for 4 hours (or until the chicken falls apart)
Shred the chicken in the pot, add 1 can black beans – rinsed and drained, and about 2 cups frozen corn. Stir and let it go in the crock pot for at least one more half hour to make sure every thing is warm.
Pile chips in your bowl, top with the chicken love, cheese, sour cream… you name it! It’s awesome and so easy!
Left-overs makes great quesadillas

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tomorrow's Chocolate Chip Cookies

From "Perfection? Hint: It's Warm and Has a Secret," an article by David Leite which appeared in the July 9, 2008 issue of the New York Times. Recipe adapted from Jacques Torres
Makes 1-1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies

Time: 45 minutes, plus at least 24 hours for chilling
  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8-1/2 ounces) cake flour
  • 1-2/3 cups (8-1/2 ounces) bread flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2-1/2 sticks (1-1/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • 1-1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
  • Sea salt
1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds.

3. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

5. Scoop 6 3-1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate (; Valrhona féves (oval-shaped chocolate pieces) are available at Whole Foods.

Visit, David's James Beard award-winning Web site for more of his articles and recipes.

The secret is letting the dough rest in your fridge for 24-36 hours. There’s a whole scientific explanation as to why this makes better cookies – it has to do with the allowing the dough to fully soak in the eggs, which makes for a dryer dough and a cookie that gets brown more evenly. It also changes the taste of the cookie. Check out this article for the full explanation. It’s actually really interesting:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Auntie Ann's Royal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 9 doz. cookies

4 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. shortening (plain)
1 c. shortening (butter flavored)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. squeezed orange juice
2 T. finely grated orange peel
4 eggs
2 c. pecans
1 pkg. chocolate chips (12 oz.)

Combine flour, soda, and salt. Set aside. In separate bowl, combine sugars, shortening, vanilla and juice. Beat until mixture is creamy. Beat in eggs. Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips, nuts, and grated orange peel. Refrigerate dough several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly grease insulated cookie sheet (wipe off excess). Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool 2-3 minutes before removing from sheet.

Marcy Rice's Chicken Tortilla Soup

Makes about 8 servings. Great for a crowd.

3 cans chicken broth (14 ½ oz. cans)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 T uncooked rice
1 lg. tomato, chopped
½ c. chopped onion
¼ c. finely chopped cilantro
tortilla chips
½ c. shredded cheese

Heat chicken broth to boiling.
Add chicken and cook until opaque.
Remove chicken and cut into bite-size pieces. (Marcy chops chicken before cooking) Add rice and cook 15 min. or until tender.
Return chicken to the broth.
Just before serving, stir in tomato, onion and cilantro.
2 ½ tsp. tobasco green pepper sauce (or 1 T chili powder)
Crush chips into bowl.
Pour soup over chips.
Top with cheese, avocado or guacamole, and sour cream.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fresh Apple Cake

Submitted by Brittany Lyons (2009): This recipe belongs to my Grandma Faye who passed away last year - she was an amazing cook.


1 cup cooking oil
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Mix all the ingredients except apples and nuts. Add apples and nuts last. Bake in a 9x13x2 oblong pan for 50 minutes at 325 degrees.


1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 stick butter

Mix together in a saucepan and boil for 3-4 minutes. Beat and cool. Add 1 tsp of vanilla. Pour over cake while still warm.

*special notes - 1. cook icing exactly right or it will be too thin or too thick

Brittany's Granola

Recipe provided by Brittany Lyons

Makes 16 cups

4 cups toasted whole grain cereal (such as Muesli)
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup dried blueberries
1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 275. Mix cereal, oats, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts in large bowl. Bring honey and oil just to boil in small saucepan; drizzle over cereal mixture and toss to coat evenly. Spread mixture onto large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and dry, stirring every 15 minutes, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Scatter dried fruit over. Sprinkle cinnamon over and toss to incorporate evenly. Cool granola completely in pan on rack, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping.