Old-Fashioned Gingersnaps 

I’m not sure if it’s the holidays that’s turning me into a cookie monster or my pregnancy but sure enough I’ve been making them and also eating them when I shouldn’t. Mostly right before bed and a couple after lunch, too! This recipe called out to me from a cookbook I bought at an antique store. It’s really simple and I have all the ingredients in my pantry. Man, these were nice and chewy!

Old-Fashioned Gingersnaps

  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • Granulated sugar

Mix and sift flour and next 3 ingredients. Sift again twice and return to sifter. Beat shortening until creamy. Add the 1 cup of sugar gradually, continuing to beat. Beat in egg and molasses. Sift 1/4 of the flour mixture over the molasses mixture and stir to blend well. Repeat until all flour mixture is added.

Put dough in refrigerator to chill or allow to remain overnight. Remove from refrigerator. Form teaspoons of dough into small balls about the size of a walnut. Roll balls in granulated sugar. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for twelve minutes or until tops are slightly rounded, crackly and light brown. Remove from sheets and cool on racks. Makes about four dozen cookies.

I’m extremely anxious to start our holiday traveling. The kids and I have been stuck inside the house for far too long and we are ready to get out and about and see family! Hope everyone has a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Texas Sugar Cookies!

dsc04043Howdy Y’all!

Yesterday, the kids and I (mostly me) made some Christmas sugar cookies with sugar cookie icing. This year was my first year to make rolled out sugar cookies with the kids and it was a delight but not very pretty! Truthfully, I haven’t had much practice decorating sugar cookies or even making and rolling them out but the recipe I followed was a little bit fool-proof and I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to make some sugar cookies with icing at home.  Bristol mostly licked the sprinkles from her hand and helped mix (or should I say lick) the icing! Bradley on the other hand was napping the whole time we made them but don’t think he didn’t help eat them later.

This recipe is from a HEB magazine I received for free with my groceries.

Texas Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder

Instructions:
1. Using a handmixer or countertop mixer, cream butter and sugar together.
2. Add eggs one at a time and beat into creamed butter and sugar. Add vanilla and beat until mixture is smooth.
3. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and combine thoroughly to form a smooth dough.
4. Chill for 1 hour before baking.
5. When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 350°F. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and bake until golden brown (about 9-12 minutes, depending on size and shape of cookie cutters used.)
6. Frost with prepared frosting or Sugar Cookie Icing.

Sugar Cookie Icing

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. whole milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:
1. In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar,salt, milk, corn syrup, almond extract, and vanilla extract.
2. Whisk until icing is smooth and glossy, adding more corn syrup if icing is too thin.

Serves: 24

Tips and Hints below!!

Our cookies weren’t professional by all means! I only had two cookie cutters, a gingerbread man and Christmas tree! I made white icing, green icing and used sprinkles to decorate with also! I plan on making more cookies and buying more cookie cutters before Christmas is here. These were very fun to make and I’m trying not to eat them all haha!

  1. I had to add a little water to the cookie dough to get it into a smooth ball. I just added by the teaspoon until it all came together in my mixer.
  2. I chilled overnight. You definitely don’t want to under chill  and then your dough is too sticky to handle and sticking to the surface! 2 hours is perfect.
  3. Make sure you roll out evenly. Dip cookie cutters into flour so it doesn’t stick to the dough and is easier to cut out.
  4. Rotate cookie sheet in oven about halfway through baking time.
  5. I had to add a little more milk to my icing to get it smooth and whiskable. I don’t think whiskable is a word. You DON’T want the icing to be too thin, so only add a little milk at a time.
  6. I would say an ideal consistency for the icing is when you lift up your whisk the icing falls down and dissolves back into the bowl about 5 seconds later. Remember, if you’re adding food coloring make sure the icing is a bit thicker so you don’t thin it too much with the food coloring that is added.
  7. Put a small zip lock bag into a coffee mug and pour the icing inside to make a piping bag to ice your cookies. Cut a little bit off the tip!

Happy Holidays! 

Baked Bananas with Cinnamon and Chocolate 

  
This little treat right here, let me tell ya, is a nice dessert or afternoon snack to indulge in. I have never baked a banana in my life nor did I ever think it would be worth it until today. Baked bananas are amazing. Enough said. 

This can serve 1 or 2 people depending if you want a whole banana or just half. Duh, you want a whole one. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 banana, sliced in half lengthwise 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Honey or brown sugar 
  • 2 oz Melted semi-sweet or dark chocolate 

Instructions: 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F. 
  2. Slice a banana in half lengthwise and put on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil that’s sprayed with cooking spray or rubbed with oil.   
  3. Sprinkle on the cinnamon. However much your heart desires. 
  4. Take some brown sugar or honey and drizzle a little on the top of the banana. You don’t need a lot as the banana is already sweet.   
  5.  Put in the oven for 20 minutes.   
  6. Melt some chocolate in a microwaveable bowl in 10-15 second intervals making sure the chocolate doesn’t burn. Stir between each interval. 
  7. When the bananas are done, let cool for a couple of minutes and use a spatula to put on a plate. Serve with some melted chocolate drizzled over the banana. 

This is a semi-healthy dessert or snack especially if you use dark chocolate. Unlike me, I used ganache which is chocolate mixed with heavy cream. You can also make ganache too if you like. 

                1/4 cup heavy cream

                 1/2 cup chocolate

Heat the cream on the stove top until almost boiling. Pour the hot cream in a bowl with the chocolate and cover immediately. After 5 minutes, stir until silky and incorporated. 

  

Enjoy! 

A No Bother Way to Eat Kale 

  
This is hardly a recipe. More of an illustration of what I’ve been munching on lately as a side dish to many meals. As a girl who has only tossed Kale into a juicer(a long with other ingredients) thinking I was going to transform into a superhuman after drinking a cup of this green elixir, was sadly disappointed in how yucky it turned out to be. Although at the time, I was trying to convince myself it was delicious and healthy for me. Kale is in fact healthy for me and I knew I needed to try and find some way to get it inside my body somehow that was a bit more agreeable. One day, I did the unthinkable. I threw the chopped kale in a broken down, oily, iron skillet that my grandmother gave me and I cooked the leafy greens on a fairly high heat until it was crispy, both from being fried in the olive oil and still crisp from not being too soggy and over cooked. I salted the kale, sprinkled some black pepper on, and served it along side my lunch. To my greatest surprise it was very satisfying and easy to eat. What a simple way to make kale or eat any leafy green. Sautéed in a cast iron skillet, preferably one your grandmother gave you, with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Kale is rich in vitamins A and C and has some protein and fatty acids, I believe. It’s a superfood and it will keep you full. I now keep chopped kale in a ziplock bag so it’s always available to cook when I need it to serve with lunch or dinner. No fuss! The more I eat sautéed leafy greens, the more I want them. Might I also add that a bundle of kale at the grocery store is 98 cents where I live. This lasts me a couple of days so it’s a fairly cheap option for a side dish. 

  
Sautéed Kale

Ingredients: 

  • Fresh Kale, chopped(2 cups serves 2 people) 
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil 
  • Salt (a pinch or two) 
  • Pepper 



Directions:

  1. Chop and rinse the fresh kale. Pat dry with a paper towel or dry cloth.  
  2. Add a tablespoon or two, depending on how much kale you’re cooking to a heavy bottomed skillet(cast iron is what I use) and heat to a medium high heat. When the pan is hot, throw in the kale and salt and pepper it immediately. Salt goes a long way with leafy greens so just a pinch or so. Let it cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to get crispy from the oil. I don’t like to cook mine for too long. The fresher the better. 
  3. When it starts to wilt a bit, turn off the heat and move off the burner. 
  4. Serve alongside a main dish for lunch or dinner. 

Cook the kale to whatever doneness you fancy. I like mine still crisp from freshness and not too wilted. Swiss chard is also a good alternative cooked like this. I haven’t tried any other greens cooked like this but collard greens might be worth a shot. Anyone have experience with collard greens? 

This recipe may be a joke to post because it is so easy but it’s a good concept. 

  

Have a fun Saturday 🤗🤗🤗

I Heart Sunday

Today is a beautiful day. The windows are open and the smell of fresh air, citrus -because i’ll show you what i’m cooking up today, and a “cozy nights” candle that I have burning are all the beautiful aromas that are swirling around the house this afternoon. It’s also Valentines day- woohoo! We celebrated Valentines day with Bristol and Bradley yesterday but Bristol got to eat her pink cupcake I made for her today

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Also, some exciting news for us is that we finally got a new lens for our camera–yessssss! The lens we had for the Sony camera has been broke ever since Bradley was born so we have not been able to use our camera for a good seven months. Now, I can take better photos of my kiddos and of course, take more pictures of food. I enjoy taking pictures of my kids and food–I just LOVE IT!! Hopefully this means I will be posting more recipes because I do like to have good pictures for you guys on the blog:).

What’s everyone cooking today?! I made poached eggs with toast for breakfast which is what I usually do on Sunday’s. Bronson had menudo from Hidalgo’s, his favorite. For lunch I experimented with a spaghetti recipe that consists of olive oil, lemon juice, and Parmesan. It was very….different. Bronson wasn’t very fond of the pasta so he thought adding hot sauce to this lemony, cheesy, pasta dish would make it taste better but I think it may have done the opposite.  I’m also experimenting with an orange cake that I ADORE. I’m baking it again today which I made it last Sunday (hehe) and the original recipe calls for almond meal but i’m going to try and use flour instead and see if it’s the same moist and lovely cake. Surely, it will come out and I can post a blog about this recipe because this cake is the most moist orange cake I’ve ever eaten!  I like our Sunday’s to be spent with good food and quality family time.To me, eating with family is so important and makes for great bonding time. Although Bradley can’t eat yet, Bristol eats enough for the both of them.

DSC03149
A lemony pasta with lots of Parmesan 
DSC03205
Orange cake with orange glaze. 

 

UPDATE* I made the cake with all purpose flour instead of almond meal and it wasn’t as pleasant as it is with almond meal. The flour definitely makes it more cakey and less moist and sweet. It’s still a nice cake. I added an orange glaze on top of this one but you don’t have to add the orange glaze when you make the recipe with almond meal.

You can find the original recipe here. You can also find the lemon pasta recipe here.

As you can tell, i’m a big fan of Rachel Roddy and her simple recipes. I can’t get enough.

I also can’t get enough of my hunk of a handsome son,

DSC03201
Bradley

Happy Valentines Day!

 

 

Black Eyed Pea and Sausage Cornbread 

So, it’s about that time for the Super Bowl. Everyone is wondering what dishes to make, what food to bring, or just what the heck they’re  going to pig out on and make themselves miserable with on Sunday! As I laid here trying to come up with an impressive recipe to put on my blog for the Super Bowl, I  just couldn’t think of anything. Actually, wings, chips and dips, some BBQ, and desserts like brownies or cookies kept coming to me. Nothin’ fancy. That’s what I want when I’m watching the Super Bowl (errr the commercials). 

You know what’s really good? Black Eyed Pea Corn Bread. Have you ever had it? I first had it on New Years Eve when a friend Alicia made it for all of us and swore that it was so freaking good. Well turns out, she was absolutely right. The dish only lasted an hour and it was gone. Of course, it was past midnight and we had gone through a lot of champagne so that really stirred up an appetite for all of us ha! Seriously guys, this recipe is a hit. I asked her if I could put it on my blog and she said YES! THANKS ALICIA!! I originally wanted to make a post about this recipe right after the New Years because it uses black eyed peas but it just never happened. I blame my children lol. 

Luckily, this would be PERFECT to make for the Super Bowl. Take it to a party, or make it a long with all the others foods you’re serving. This dish will get demolished no matter what. Also, this is a great dish to make on Saturdays or Sunday’s and then continue snacking on all day long and then all week long because you will make it again and again—okay settle down.  

I revised the originally recipe to make it easier. The original recipe calls for flour and cornmeal and baking soda but I replaced that with jiffy boxes just to make it easier because I think that is what everyone is going for. 

You will need: 

  

  • 2 packages of jiffy cornmeal boxes
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk 
  • lb of breakfast sausage (I used maple) 
  • 1/3 cup chopped jalepenos (pickled) 
  • 3/4 cup whole kernel corn(I used frozen) 
  • 1 can black eyed peas or 1 cup, drained 
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Set oven to 350F. Brown the sausage in a skillet and then drain and set aside….

  

In the meantime, you can shred the cheddar… 

  

In a bowl, mix the packages of jiffy a long with the ingredients it calls for which is 1 egg and 1/3 cup of milk (use buttermilk instead) for every package. So 2 eggs and 2/3 cup of buttermilk. 

Next add the chopped japs, corn, drained black eyed peas, and sausage. Add 1 cup of the shredded cheddar and save the other cup for sprinkling on top. 

  

Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish, I used a 9×13 and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. 

Put into the oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until it’s set in the middle and a light golden brown on top. 

  

 

Marinara Monday 

Monday, I have a love/hate relationship with ya. Most Monday’s feel like a refreshing start to the week and I’m ready to get the day going and swing back into routine with the kids but I also wish we could have one more day with Bronson being home spending time with us! That’s life though. Seems like life is all about waking up and doing the same things over and over again. When you’re a stay at home mom, it’s easy to stay in your pajamas all day and not really get dressed up because you’re basically going to be home all day and not see anyone but your kids. I have realized that if I want to feel energetic and productive, then it’s best to change into an outfit first thing in the morning and make up the bed. It’s true. I’ve heard over and over all my life that making the bed in the morning will make you more successful and make you feel like you’ve already accomplished so much in the day and I am finally getting into the habit ha! My goal for the New Year is to be healthy and happy. That’s everyone’s goal right? Well it is mine whether it’s cliche or not! I want to exercise more, eat healthier, drink more water, drink less alcohol 😕😋. I also want to focus more on beauty. Beauty on the inside and beauty on the outside. Mostly on the outside… Haha I’m only kidding! I am trying to take more time at night and in the mornings to do a skin care routine and that’s not like me at ALL. I’m the girl who goes to sleep with her makeup on all the time and never cared about using sunscreen. The new me in 2016 cares about her skin! Anyways, I’m mostly rambling about New Years resolutions and routine but I do have a recipe for you! 

Today I made a batch of marinara sauce. I do this every so often and store half of it in the freezer and half in the fridge. I use it mostly in pasta dishes or spaghetti. Sometimes I will make homemade pizza and it’s good to use on that. Also, if you’re baking or grilling a chicken breast it’s good to top with marinara and mozzarella. This is a simple recipe but takes a while to simmer and then blend together. I’ve never made this with fresh tomatoes but it is on my to do list. I just use canned tomatoes and sauce and dried oregano. Like I said, this is a very practical recipe. 

Marinara Sauce:

  • 2   14 oz cans diced tomatoes 
  • 2  14 oz cans tomato sauce 
  • 2 tbs tomato paste (optional but does give a nicer flavor) 
  • 1 medium onion, rough chop
  • 2 cloves garlic, rough chop 
  • 1-2 tsp dried oregano (add fresh basil if you have it) 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Olive oil

Directions: 

Heat a sauce pot over medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Saute the onion for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften. I do want to add that you’re going to blend all of the ingredients together at the end so it doesn’t matter how pretty you cut the onion or garlic… 

  

After the onion has softened, add some dried oregano. I add a teaspoon at the beginning with the onion and then maybe another teaspoon when I’m simmering the marinara.

  

add the 2 tbs of tomato paste (optional) and let it cook for a minute until it starts to cook and brown a bit. 

  

If it starts to burn a little at the bottom, take it off the heat and add a little water to help clean the bottom of the pot. I think this adds extra flavor 😉. If it’s not burning then continue on to add the garlic. Cook for a couple seconds and now you can add the canned tomatoes and sauce. 

  

Mix and bring to a simmer. Set to a low simmer and continue cooking for 30 minutes on low. You do not want to burn the bottom but just keep it at a gentle bubble. 

You can add some more oregano if you like, I would add an extra 1/2 tsp or 1 tsp to the pot.

After it has simmered for awhile, turn off the heat and let the sauce cool for a good while. You do not want this stuff really hot when you are blending it. 

I use my stick blender because it’s the best! 

  

If you don’t have this awesome device then you can easily transport the sauce to an actual blender, not all at once, do it in batches, and blend it that way. After it’s blended then add a little salt, about a teaspoon. 

I store this in a container to keep in my fridge. It usually keeps for a couple weeks if not longer in the fridge. I’ll put the rest in a zip lock bag to store in the freezer for backup! 

  

Bread, honey, and cheese 

Just wanted to share a little breakfast or snack idea I’ve been munching on lately. I was browsing at recipes on a website that had several old Middle English recipes on it (Link is below if you’re into that sort of thing) and one that jumped out at me was a recipe for toasted white bread, boiled honey mixed with spices like cinnamon, ginger, and a couple others I wouldn’t have in my cabinet, and pine nuts on top.  So easy right? Seems like they were eating so fancy back then! While I didn’t have pine nuts to put on the toast I did have some crumbled blue cheese and I know that pairs well with honey. 

  
Perfect late breakfast. 

The website I was browsing is http://www.godecookery.com 

Lasagna Soup 

I always make the same ol’ soup or warm meal that is nice to enjoy in colder weather. Usually it’s taco soup, roast beef or… I can’t really think of anything else ha. I’ve decided I’m going to make a lot more soup this winter. Soup is so warming and hearty. It’s everything you need in one pot. One pot meals are the best I tell ya. The best. 

I tried out a lasagna soup today for lunch and it’s a winner. I’ll definitely make this again because it’s pretty dang easy and delicious. Bronson really enjoyed it and had two servings. Lately since Bronson has been on Christmas break, I have been cooking at lunchtime and we usually eat it again for supper. I love doing this because it means I don’t have to cook for dinner and clean up a huge mess. Tonight we will probably heat up this soup and have some bread to go with it. Salad would be perfect with this also! 

Lasagna Soup 

  

Ingredients: 

  • lb of ground beef (or turkey or sausage) 
  • 1/2 lb of cooked pasta (I chose macaroni) 
  • 2 -14 oz cans of diced tomatoes 
  • 3 tbs tomato paste 
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes 
  • 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 3/4 cup cottage cheese 
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan(and more for garnish) 
  • Shredded mozzarella  
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder 

Instructions: 

Brown the meat in a soup pot with the chopped onion. Drain half of the fat and leave the other half in with the meat and onions. Season the meat with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Add the tsp of oregano, red pepper flakes (I only added 1/2 tsp but add more for more spice) and then add the tomato paste and stir over medium heat. Add the garlic. Cook for a minute or so until you can smell the paste starting to cook. Add the cans of tomatoes. 

  

Now add the broth and bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 15-20 minutes on medium-low. In the meantime, cook your pasta. After the pot has been simmering for awhile, add the cooked pasta. 

  

You can use whatever pasta you have or desire. If you only have spaghetti then break up the spaghetti and use that. I enjoyed the macaroni or I think rotini would be good too. 

Stir and turn off heat. 

Add 3/4 cup of cottage cheese. You could use ricotta as well. I would add only 1/2 a cup and see if that’s enough ricotta. I added 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan and then seasoned the pot with salt until it tasted like perfection. 

Top the bowl off with Mozzarella and Parmesan. I would say the shredded Mozzarella on top is crucial. It’s what really makes it taste like lasagna. It’s still delicious without it but I love the Mozzarella in this soup.  

 

Even Bristol liked it… 

  

Hope you try out this recipe and let me know what you think! I’m also needing some delicious soup recipes to try out because like I said, I’m definitely going to make a lot more soup this winter. So send me some favorite soup recipes please :).