Saturday, November 20, 2010

Yummy Fall Cookies

I found this recipe from King Arthur Flour. I know, surprise surprise.
I wanted to find a good Gingersnap cookie for my friend who is super sick with her pregnancy. I remembered that ginger helped me get through the yucky parts and wanted to try to help her.

They are amazing, yucky pregnant or not.
And yes, she was able to keep them down. Good sign.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Creme together:
3/4 cup vegetable shortening (butter can be substituted)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda

Then add:
1 large egg
1/3 cup molasses
Mix well.

1-2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves (I have also used allspice in place of the cloves with excellent results)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/3 cups KAF unbleached all purpose flour

Mix well. It will be a slightly stiff dough.

Form dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. If you have a teaspoon cookie scoop great, if not use a teaspoon and form the dough in your hands.

Mix together 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture to evenly coat them. Then place on baking sheet.
I use parchment paper on my baking stone. Perfect cookies every time. (cookies, pizza, biscuits, breads, etc. etc. Can you tell I use mine a ton?)

KAF has a stone that is similar to mine.
I got mine from Shar's kitchen store in Arizona years ago. It looks like this.

Bake for 11 minutes and let cool on cookie rack.

Then enjoy the fall spice of these
amazing cookies.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The kids ate it!

I don't know about you, but there are many meals I make where I get at least one or more "Mom do I have to eat this?"

It is so nice when I make something and I hear "Can I have some more? This is good. Can you make this again?"

This happened the other night.

I got the recipes from my friend Traci and my Aunt in Utah.Thanks so much to both of you for making this a "thanks mom" kind of night.

First, Porkypine Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup dry rice ( I used regular )
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp onion (dry or fresh)
Salt & Pepper
(I also added my secret savory spice blend, if you have a favorite blend, add a little, maybe a teaspoon)

Blend the ground beef, spices and rice together and form golfball or fist size balls.

My Aunt's recipe says to place in a baking dish,
Pour 1 can of tomato soup mixed with 1/2 cup water over the meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

I'm not a bake for hours kinda girl. I love my pressure cooker. This is the one I have and use all the time.
I put my meatballs in, covered them with the soup and set the pressure cooker at high for 8 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally, which takes about 20 minutes, and you're done.
The best thing about this pressure cooker is that you don't have to baby sit it. Set it and walk away. Done!

Next, Pumpkin (or Squash) Risotto
1 medium sugar pie pumpkin (butternut squash is ok)
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt

Peel and seed pumpkin. Cut into cubes. Rub with 2 T olive oil and season lightly with kosher salt. Spread on sheet pan and roast in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until soft but not mushy.

After pumpkin or squash is cooked combine the following:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion diced
3 ribs celery diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 cups Arborio rice (short grain rice OK)
6+ cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Heat oil over medium heat in large stockpot. Add onions, celery, and garlic and cook until slightly translucent. Add rice, stir well and allow rice to 'toast' slightly. Begin adding stock 1/2 cup at a time until it is all absorbed into rice. Rice should be creamy, but not too soft when finished. (About 20-25 min) Stir in roasted pumpkin cubes and reduce heat to low. Fold in butter and place in serving dishes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

You should know that the Risotto recipe makes a LOT! It fed my family of 7 for more than one night. If there is just a few of you, half the recipe.

It's some work to put this together, but the "Thanks Mom" is so worth it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A perfect combination

Here's the next recipe from my King Arthur Flour addiction. It definitely ranks up there with my husbands Top 5 of favorite candy/desserts. I asked him if it was #1 but he said it would be unfair to the others so he won't pick.

Peanut Butter Squares

1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
3/4 cups butter (one and a half sticks)

In a large microwavable bowl, melt PB and butter together.

Stir in 1 tsp vanilla extract

You need 2 cups graham cracker crumbs. I put 2 packages (the bricks of grahams) in the blender to get the crumbs. It was the perfect amount.

Add the graham cracker crumbs and
3 cups confectioners' sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir well.

Spread into a 9x13 inchpan. The recipe says to line it with parchment paper first to make removal easier. I used a shallow pie pan for mine and still got excellent results.

To press the bars down, lay a piece of plastic over the top then use another pan to press the bars flat. So quick and easy.

Now for the Chocolate:

In a glass 2 cup measuring cup, put 2 cups chocolate chips and 2 Tablespoons shortening in and place in microwave. Heat for 1 minute, stirring afterwards to smooth the chocolate. You may need to heat for another 30 seconds or so to get the chocolate smooth and creamy.

When chocolate is ready, smooth across the peanut butter bars. Place in fridge or freezer to set the bars.

It's cold enough here, I just put the pan in my garage for about an hour.
Cut into 1 inch squares and Enjoy!

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