Tuesday, December 4, 2007


When I was a kid my parents didn't have a vcr or cable television. So when shows like How the Grinch Stole Christmas or The Wizard of Oz came on, it was quite an event in our house. We couldn't record it to watch it over and over, nor could we catch it on a TBS week long marathon. Back then, if you missed it, you were just out of luck. You had to wait a whole year to see it again. It was a big deal in our family. Momma would either make popcorn or fried pies. Or sometimes she would make cookies--either oatmeal or snickerdoodles--and Angie and I would get to lick the beaters.

So when A Charlie Brown Christmas came on TV last night, I got out the ingredients and my electric mixer and the boys helped me make some snickerdoodles. And some memories of their own.

Big pup: Can I have one of those? (pointing to the beaters on the mixer)
Me: Well, if you're not worried about salmonella, you can.
Big pup: I'm not!
Little pup: I'm not, either!
Me: Okay, go ahead.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a mixing bowl beat the butter with a mixer for 30 seconds. Add the cup of sugar and baking soda. Beat till combined. Beat in egg and vanilla till combined. Then beat in flour till combined. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll balls in cinnamon-sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Let cool. But not too much. They're best warm.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Paula Deen's Grilled Apple, Bacon, and Cheddar Sandwich with Roasted Red Onion Mayo

Okay, I realize that to call this simply a grilled cheese sandwich is a bit like calling Multi BIS/Ch. Chudrinka's Dance In The Wind SDX by the name Breezy. But that's a really long name for a sandwich. Even it's acronym, PD's GABCSRROM, doesn't work. So, grilled cheese it is. Albeit a more flavorful, filling, delicious grown up version of your basic grilled cheese sandwich that Big pup lives on. But whatever you call it, it is heavenly.

2 slices thick cut sourdough or another hearty bread (I used wheat)
4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked crisp
4 slices of cheddar cheese
1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored, sliced thin
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup of mayo
salt and pepper

Toss onion, oil, salt and pepper together on small rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove, let cool. Transfer to a blender, add mayo and pulse till smooth and creamy.

Heat skillet over medium heat. Spread 1 slice of bread with red onion mayo, top with 2 slices of cheddar, then the bacon, next the apple slices, the rest of the cheddar, finishing with another slice of bread that's been slathered with red onion mayo. Butter the outside of each slice of bread and add to the hot skillet. It's easier to build this sandwich in the skillet.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Greek Spinach Bake

Now it's time for one of Little pup's favorite side dishes. He's such a good eater. Spinach, fish, fruit, froglegs. He eats just about anything. The other day he ate a whole can of corn for lunch. We call it "Dora Corn" because there's a huge picture of Dora the Explorer on the label. Genius! Thank you Green Giant! Now can someone please put a picture of cellulite on tubs of Cool Whip because I'm having some trouble losing these last 5 pounds. Okay, grab a pen and paper, here's the recipe:

3 eggs
2 - 10 oz boxes of frozen spinach (thaw, squeeze out excess water but leave a little moisture)
8 oz reduced fat feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp dill
2 tsp minced garlic

In a medium bowl, beat eggs with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish that's been coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, uncovered. If I have any on hand I'll sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top before it goes in the oven.

And, you know, spinach is very good for you. It's high in folic acid which plays an important role in preventing heart disease, stroke, and ensuring proper fetal development (I'm looking at you, Kristina!). Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Peanut Butter Sauce

Anyone looking for a good peanut butter sauce to serve over chicken? I was. Until I came across this one from the lid of a Smucker's peanut butter jar. I had to make a couple of changes to suit our tastes and now it's WD's favorite dish.

1/3 cup natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
red pepper flakes (I use one of the packets that Pizza Hut gives you when you order takeout)

Mix it all up until it's nice and creamy then pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. WD eats it like gravy. It's that good. The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup of water. Way too runny, but you could certainly add more than the 2 TBS I use to make it thinner. The original recipe also calls for 1 tsp of sugar but given my affair with Dr. Agatston I decided to omit it and it still tastes great. Try it!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Perfect Hot Chocolate

Today I share one of my greatest discoveries: the perfect, the ultimate, the best hot chocolate recipe ever. Last winter, I was fed up with all of the mixes sold in the grocery stores. They tasted weak, watery, and had absolutely no flavor. After doing some research online I came across a recipe from Jeffrey Steingarten's book It Must've Been Something I Ate. It sounded good and looked easy enough so I gave it a try. And....wow! It's just....wow! So good. You know that feeling you get when you see Shepard Smith on Fox News? That inexplicable giggle like a school girl giddiness? No? Really? Well, trust me, you'll never go back to Swiss Miss again.

2 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder, loosely packed
1 3.5 oz dark chocolate bar, chopped (I used Dove chocolate and a mini chopper)

In a 2 quart saucepan, stir together milk, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add chocolate and cocoa. Whisk until dissolved. Put into blender for 30 seconds. Heaven.