Here are some archived recipes from the previous website, enjoy!
(use the Find feature in your browser if you're looking for something specific in the recipes below)
BEST CHRISTMAS COOKIE EVER
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! IF YOU'RE BUSY BAKING THIS WEEKEND YOU'LL WANT TO MAKE THESE ANDES MINT COOKIES (One of the recipes in my book ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS) They are the best cookie on the planet (okay, next to those little rolled out frosted Christmas tree cookies.) Happy Baking and Merry Christmas!
ANDES MINT COOKIES
3/4 cup butter
2 Tb. water
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 - 3 boxes Andes creme de m
These cookies will put you in touch with your inner Martha Stewart!
In a large, heavy saucepan over low heat, cook butter, sugar and water until butter is melted. Remove from heat, add the chocolate chips and stir until completely melted.Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and let stand 10 minutes to cool slightly. Add eggs and beat at high speed. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, beating just until blended. (Actually, you can do all this by hand and it works fine, too.) Chill dough one hour for easier handling. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two cookie sheets with tin foil Roll dough into small (about 1 inch) balls and set 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake 12 - 13 minutes (no longer - cookies will crisp up as they cool). Top each with an Andes mint. Allow mints to soften, then swirl over top. Remove from cookie sheets and cool. Makes about 80. These little fat bombs contain 90 calories each, but they're worth every one!
It's cookie exchange day in the neighborhood and so I thought I'd share one of my favorite recipes from ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS, given to me years ago by my friend Anne Bates. She was a wonderful woman and a great friend and I still miss her. Every year she'd make up a package of these for my daughter and me to enjoy. I think you'll enjoy them, too!
1 cup sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 Tb water
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup gumdrops, cut into small pieces
approximately 1 1/2 cup flaked coconut
Heat oven to 350. Cream shortening, sugars, egg, water and vanilla together in a large bowl. Sift in flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add coconut, oats and gumdrops. Shape mixture into walnut-sized balls; if desired, roll in coconut. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12 - 15 minutes. (Makes about 3 dozen cookies - less for me cuz I roll the balls a little bigger.) Yum!
Fun and festive gumdrop cookies
CHOCOLATE MINT PIE
In honor of the release of ANGEL LANE, I'm sharing one of my favorite recipes from the book. I think you'll love it!
single baked pie crust (you can use a prepared crust or make from scratch) or prepared chocolate crumb crust
1 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
4 ounces (squares) unsweetened chocolate, melted
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Using mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add melted chocolate and blend well. Mix in eggs, one at a time, then flavorings. Pour mixture into shell and freeze until solid. (Let thaw slightly before serving for easier cutting) Can be served with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, peppermint candy, or coconut.
Serves 8 (although because this pie is so rich you can cut the pieces smaller and serve more people)
| Comments (0)
Wednesday, August 26. 2009
MOM'S APPLE CRISP
I love this recipe and make it every September. Apple Crisp for dessert means fall is here!
2 or 3 large apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
Butter a large pie pan and arrange apple slices on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Work together sugar, flour, and butter until crumbly. Spread over apples and bake in moderate (350) oven about 30 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.
In honor of LOVE IN BLOOM (and because many of you have asked) here is my lavender cookie recipe. (If ever there was a reason to plant lavender in your flower beds, this is it!)
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 - 2 tsp dried lavender buds
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and extract. Mix dry ingredients and sift into bowl gradually and mix well. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to wire racks.
SHEILA'S PINK LEMONADE MARTINI
1/2 cup lemonade
1 shot gin
1 shot Grenadine.
Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice, then and pour into a fancy martini glass. Perfect for a summer girlfriends party!
LAVENDER ICED TEA
It's time for another new entry in honor of my new book LOVE IN BLOOM. If you receive my newsletter you may remember this one from last year. If you don't receive my newsletter, see what you're missing!
This is a lovely drink on a cool summer day.
2 quarts water
3 tea bags (black tea)
sugar (I use anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 cup - you can vary according to taste)
1 tsp dried lavender buds (that lavender in your garden should be doing something now!), rolled in palms or fingers and crushed to release flavor
Bring water to a boil and throw in tea bags. Add lavender and sugar and stir, then set on back of stove to steep. You can remove the tea bags whenever you think the drink is strong enough for you. When it's cool, strain out the lavender and put in a pitcher, then store in fridge. If serving in a pitcher, garnish with a couple of stalks from your lavender plant.
LOVE IN BLOOM... DIRT CAKE
2 packages double stuffed Oreos, crushed
1/4 cup butter
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
3 1/2 cups milk
2 31/2 oz packages instant vanilla pudding
1 12 oz container Cool Whip
1 new 8 inch plastic flower pot
1 new little gardening spade
Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar and set aside. Mix together the milk, pudding and Cool Whip. Gradually add to the cream cheese mixture. Line the bottom of your pot with foil. Place 1 1/2 inches of crumbs on the bottom, then spread with cream cheese/pudding mixture. Alternate cream cheese/pudding mixture and crumbs, ending with crumbs on top. Refrigerate for 2 1/2 hours (or overnight). Put flowers, garden shovel, and gummy worms on top and serve.
MORE RECIPES FROM THE BIKINIS
Diet Cabbage Soup (This will last you for up to a week, depending on how many times a day you eat it.)
1 head green cabbage, finely shredded or chopped
2 large onions, chopped
16-28 oz canned tomatoes, chopped with juices
2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
4 celery sticks with leaves, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 can green beans, cut
1 tsp garlic
black pepper to taste
(also a tsp salt and a tsp of sugar – the recipe doesn't call for it but I need it!)
chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro
Put all prepared ingredients in a big soup pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium and boil gently for 10 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until all the veggies are soft. Stir in black pepper and herbs.
Pasta free Lasagna (serves 9)
1 lb lean ground beef
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp crushed oregano leaves
½ to 1 tsp basil
½ tsp salt
1 12 oz carton cottage cheese
½ cup Romano cheese
1 ½ lb zucchini, cut lengthwise in ¼ inch slices
1 Tb. Flour
1 4 oz pack mozzarella cheese, grated.
Cook meat in large skillet until brown and drain. Stir in tomato sauce and seasonings. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until mixture is consistency of spaghetti sauce (about 10 minutes.) Spray a 9X9X2 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Mix cottage cheese, ¼ cup Romano cheese and egg. Layer half the zucchini, flour, cottage cheese mixture, meat and mozzarella, then repeat. Sprinkle remaining Romano cheese on top. Bake uncovered 45 minutes at 350. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.
SHEILA'S SURE FIRE DIET TIPS
AS THE BIKINIS LEARNED, IT'S SO MUCH EASIER TO DIET WHEN YOU'VE GOT YOUR GIRLFRIENDS HELPING YOU. WHY NOT FORM YOUR OWN DIET CLUB?
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED.
Make it easy. If you have to work a second job preparing your food every day, your resolutions to improve your diet will go out the window. Buy pre-measured, pre-fixed menus like Lean Cuisine or Jenny Craig. Pre-cut your salad veggies and bake up a batch of chicken breasts on the weekend for the week ahead so you have something healthful and ready to use in the fridge every day. Buy salad in the bag.
Have a mantra or canned pep talk you can recite in the face of food temptation. In BIKINI SEASON one character regularly reminds the others that nothing tastes like thin feels.
Pick a form of exercise that suits your personality and preferences so you will enjoy and stick to it. For example, if you're a social person, don't take up some solitary form of exercise. And if you value alone time, don't take an aerobics class. That path leads to boredom, which leads to exercise mutiny.
Put up your diet shield when going into dangerous social settings. Eat something substantial before that big party so you won't arrive ravenous. Scope out the food table and pre-select what you will eat. Shrimp. Yes. Veggie Platter. Yes. Chocolate cake? Stay away from that end of the table.
Give yourself an occasional treat. You're really changing life habits, not dieting. Diet is a four-letter word and if you diet you will feel deprived and binge. That little (LITTLE) weekly treat will help you be good the rest of the week.
Get support. Overeating is not a problem to conquer alone. Find family or friends who will support and encourage you and keep you on the road to good health. Create a diet club.
Put your money where your mouth is. Set aside a chunk of money with which to reward yourself if you meet your diet goals by a certain date. If you do, you get a diet bonus. If you don't, the money goes to charity.
Know your biggest temptation hour and keep your hands and mouth busy. If you get snack cravings at the office, keep sugar free gum in your desk drawer for a quick fix for your taste buds and some chewing action. If you tend to snack in front of the TV at night, make sure you have something to do while you're watching Grey's Anatomy, like knitting. Dance along when you're watching Dancing with the Stars.
Pick your friends carefully. According to an article in the New York Times (July 26, 2007), our friends can influence our eating habits. According to this article researchers found that people who were overweight had close friends who were also overweight. If one friend became obese, the other had a 171 percent increased chance of also becoming obese. Chose friends who want to develop and keep healthful lifestyles and you'll increase your own chances of success for a more healthful lifestyle.
Never give up; never give in. Persistence is what wins the diet war.
February, Lovin' All Month Long
Here it is again, February, the month of Valentines and chocolates (on sale for half price after the 14th, ladies!), flowers, fun, and Presidents Day sales. For many of us it's also the month of snow. There's nothing nicer than being tucked inside with a good book on a wintry day, and if you're looking for a good book I hope you'll pick up a copy of my friend Susan Wiggs's new book, SNOWFALL AT WILLOW LAKE, another installment on her popular Lake Shore Chronicles. Good reading!
And, while you're reading, have a little something chocolate to eat. Here's a fun Valentine Recipe, -Double Chocolate Fondue:
2 Tb half and half
1 Tb butter
2 Tb chocolate liquer
8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped.
In a small saucepan bring half and half, butter, and 1 Tb. of the liquer to simmering. Remove from heat; whisk in chocolate until melted. Whisk in remaining liquer (if necessary, add a little more liquer to make dipping consistency). Transfer the chocolate to a small fondue pot. Serve with fresh strawberries, angel food cake, pound cake or sliced bananas... or all of the above!
No, I haven't donned lederhosen and camped out in a beer tent. But I have been celebrating October by harvesting fall food. My husband and I donned our grubbies, went into the woods, and harvested mushrooms. And lived to tell of it! (This, by the way, is not something you do without taking an expert with you. You do want to live to go into the forest again.) And today I took a break from the computer and picked some wild huckleberries. Most of these will go into the freezer for pies. But a few will find their way into some homemade muffins. You might not have access to wild huckleberries, but you may have some blueberries in your freezer, and those work great, too. So, if freshly baked muffins sound good to you, here's my recipe:
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 3/4 cup flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 to 1 cup berries
Cream shortening and sugar, then add the egg. Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with milk. (Actually, if you're in a hurry, stir in the baking powder and salt to creamed ingredients before adding flour. This mixes it in just fine and saves having to sift.) Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Makes anywhere from 10 to a dozen, depending on how big you're making the muffins.
Here's to drinking lemonade on the front porch with a friend, to being a kid again and running through the sprinklers, to smelling the roses (unless, like me, you have deer who eat them before you can get so much as a whiff). Here's to summer. It goes so fast. We get so busy and we don't even see it leaving. Maybe you can build in a day to stop and remember that the sun is shining, relax at the lake or beach or your local pool with a good book. My friend Susan Wiggs's Dockside is the perfect summer read. This is a good time to be canning, making freezer jam, and baking goodies with all those zucchini that like to take over the garden. Here's a recipe you might enjoy.
CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
1 cup oil
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sour milk (or regular milk with a teaspoon of cider vinegar added)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
4 Tb. cocoa
2 cups peeled and grated zucchini
Sift dry ingredients. Mix together sugar, vanila, eggs, and oil. Then add milk, zucchini, and dry ingredients and mix. Put in a 9X13 inch baking pan and sprinkle with a handful of chocolate chips. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. (Actually, I think I bake this at 350 for half an hour).
This is a nice, moist cake that freezes well.
Happy Fourth of July
For those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest, this is the date when summer really begins. Up until then we can count on having more rain at our picnics than we do ants. And some parts of the country will still be dealing with seriously heavy rains over the holiday. Condolences to you. For those of us who will be in a festive mood and are planning picnics, here's my favorite for the family picnic.
2 1/2 cups crushed ptezels (shake in a colander to remove excess salt)
3 Tb powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
Mix the above then press into a 9 X 13 inch pan and bake for ten minutes at 350.
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 beaten egg
1 cup powdered sugar
8 oz Cool Whip
dash of lemon juice
Beat the cream cheese, then add egg and powdered sugar. Fold in Cool Whip and lemon juice. Spread on crust and chill.
2 packages (3 oz) of strawberry flavored Jello
2 (10 oz) packages frozen strawberries (If you want to be red, white and blue, throw in some blueberries)
Dissolve the Jello in boiling water. Add fruit, still partiallly frozen. Let thicken a little, then pour over previous layers and chill until firm.
What fun would summer be without all those seasonal goodies we love! To kick summer off, why not have a recipe exchange party? Get your friends to bring copies of a favorite recipe for an appetizer, dessert or cookie. You provide the punch. Here are three of my favorites.
SHEILA'S MOCHA RUM SHAKE
2 ice cream scoops of vanilla ice cream
2 Tb chocolate powder like Nestle's Quick
2 tsp instant coffee (or a shot of espresso)
1 cup milk
½ of a small sample bottle (50 ML) light rum
Mix all of the above in a milk shake maker or blender until blended.
Serves two (which means you can double the recipe for four and only use one of those little sample bottles from the liquor store
2 8 oz containers of fruit flavored fruit yogurt
1 9 oz tub of Cool Whip or other non dairy whipped topping
1 graham cracker crust
Mix yogurt and Cool Whip and pour into crust. Freeze until firm (about 4 hours or overnight). Remove from freezer thirty minutes before serving.
APPLE BERRY PUNCH
2 cups apple juice
1 quart cranberry juice
2 quarts 7-Up or ginger ale
Mix and serve in a punch bowl. If you want you can float dollops of raspberry sherbet on top
Fall Soup Recipes
It's that time of year for fires and caramel apples and hot soup. So, here are a couple of recipes you might like to try to keep your family warm, full, and happy.
POLISH SAUSAGE AND POTATO SOUP (courtesy of Mary Samuelson)
2 Tb. butter or oil
1 lb Kielbasa sausage, sliced (can be reduced fat, all beef or turkey; all work fine)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery and leaves
4 cups sliced cabbage
2 cups sliced carrots
1 bay leaf
1/2 tps dried thyme
1 tsp salt
2 tsp beef boullion powder
2 Tb vinegar
6 1/2 cups water
3 cups cubed potatoes
Cook the sausage, onion, and celery until tender. Add the cabbage carrots, bay leaf, thyme, salt, boullion, vinegar, and water. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add the cubed potatoes and cook 20 minutes.
1 lb. hamburger
1 can kidney beans
1 can (or small package of frozen) corn
8 oz tomato sauce
1 pck taco seasoning mix
2 cups water (opt)
Brown hamburger and onion and drain grease. Put in soup pan with all the other ingredients and simmer at least one hour. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and corn chips.
Fun Fall Recipes
HAPPY FALL! We had the first fire in our wood stove a couple of days ago, and that was actually fun. (It's always fun before it becomes a necessity and you have to stoke the fire, clean the stove, dump the ashes, bring in the wood, etc.) In my newsletter I promised some fall recipes. The first one is from my friend and fellow writer Lorian. It's an old family recipe, and she says it goes great with applesauce. Don't over stir, Lorian cautions. Anyway, here it is:
Grandma's Soft Gingerbread
1 Cup Mary Jane's Molasses* 1 Cup boiling water
2 Cups heaped Flour
½ Cup Butter
1 teaspoon Soda
1 teaspoon Ginger
1 Tablespoon Sugar
½ teaspoon Salt
Stir butter and sugar together then rub it in the flour till fine. Add egg beaten, mix. Last, add boiling water stir. Batter will be thin.
Bake @ 350 degrees in an 8 x 8 square pan till tooth pick comes out clean.
To serve, cut into 9 squares. Remove each square and cut in half. Place bottom half on a serving dish cover with freshly made apple sauce ,(My grandmother used desert bowls and had the apple sauce and whip cream in matching larger bowls), put the other half on top, dollop with more applesauce and top with whip cream,or if you have to,Cool Whip.
*Mary Jane's must be a Southern brand. I have never been able to find it. I use Jackrabbit Medium Molasses. You can try the dark and see if you like it.
AND HERE'S ONE MORE....
My mother-in-law gave me this recipe years ago. It's fabulous, moist on the inside a little crunch on the outside. And easy to make!
Mom's Fresh Apple Cake
Cream together 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cups cooking oil, 2 cups sugar. Then put in sifter and add: 3 cups flour, 1/2 tsp soda, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp cinnamon. Add a little bit at a time to the creamed mixture. Batter will be stiff. Add to batter 2 tsp vanilla, 3 cups chopped apples, 1 cup chopped nuts. Bake in tube or Bundt cake pan (greased and floured) for 1 1/4 hours at 325. Let cool completely before trying to take out of pan.
| Comments (0)
Fun For The Holidays
[ originally posted: December 1, 2005 ]
It seems most of us have no trouble filling our calendars during the holiday season, but if you're looking for some new ways to celebrate, here are some you might want to try:
PRESENT WRAPPING PARTY
This idea is courtesy of my old friend Shelley, who has made this one of her holiday traditions. Every December she collects great wrapping supplies, then invites her girlfriends to bring the goodies they've bought for their families and enjoy an evening of present wrapping together. A gourmet cook, Shelley serves the best in holiday treats and drinks, and provides a lovely atmosphere with lots of lit candles. If you're not a gourmet cook, don't let it stop you from trying this. Simple fare works great (wine and fondue or hot chocolate and cookies). Get your friends to bring some of their prettiest wrapping paper to share and pool your resources. You'll get your wrapping done and have a good time doing it!
This is a good way to have fun in the neighborhood. Send out advance notice to the people with whom you want to fa-la-la that you'll be coming by (give an approximate time) to, first, serenade them, then add them to your choir. (Guests need to R.S.V.P.) With each house on your party list you hit, your group will keep growing. Once you've sung to the last of your guests, sing your way back to your house for hot chocolate, hot buttered rum, and munchies.
HOLIDAY CHICK FLICK NIGHT
Here's a fun way to relax with your girlfriends over the holidays. Pick a couple of Christmas classics and have the girls over for an evening of relaxation and escapism. All you need for refreshments is some popcorn and eggnog and you're in business. Sheila's fav picks: The Family Man, It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol
Note: You can add extra meaning to any party by encouraging guests to bring an item of food to donate to your local food bank or toiletries for the nearest women's shelter.
Whether or not your Christmas is white, I hope it will be merrry and bright. Happy Holidays!
Things For Which We Can Be Thankful!
Yes, you've heard it before. There's always something for which to be thankful. Let's think about some of those things we often don't think about.
BEAUTY PRODUCTS: zitt medicine, wrinkle cream, cover-up, blush. Stop a moment and imagine your face without these little helpers. Actually, I'm going to pass on imagining my face. Halloween is over.
FEMININE HYGIENE: Imagine your world without tampons, sanitary napkins, Midol, and other monthly luxuries. Well, okay. Maybe we don't want to imagine that, either. That's a little scary.
CHOCOLATE: No, no. Let's not be imagining a world without that! If everything in your life is falling apart right now, maybe you can still be thankful for chocolate.
CLEARANCE SALES: Ah, the thrill of getting something for fifty percent off. The triumph of finding a steal at seventy-five percent off! We can always be thankful for bargains, can't we?
E-BAY: I found the most beautiful Christmas teapot for next to nothing. (Of course, we won't talk about the shipping cost.)
PEOPLE WHO CARE: What would we do without those people who care about us, who stand by us and encourage us? And, speaking of being thankful, maybe this would be a good time to give Hallmark some extra business and buy a cute card to send to someone who is special to you. If there is someone you are thankful to have in your life, let him or her know. It will make this season more special for both of you.
AND NOW, HOW ABOUT A RECIPE?
I love these cupcakes. I've made them several times and they're always a hit.
1 package spice cake mix
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup water
cream cheese or vanilla frosting
Directions: Blend cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and water in large bowl then beat on medium speed for two minutes. Pour batter into 24 lined paper-lined muffin cups. Fill ¾ full. Bake at 350 F for 16-21 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then remove to racks and cool completely. Then frost and decorate.