Monday, August 2, 2010

Jam Cake

This is my Granny Kitty's recipe. As I made it (for Mom's birthday...a long standing tradition) the other day, I tasted the batter (as every good cook does!) and had to stop and thank the Lord for the wonder of his creation. Yes, the batter is that good. And the cake doesn't disappoint either! I also asked him to give a special hug to Granny for ever introducing us to this wonder!

The original recipe called for a frosting of some sort, but our family just uses more jam and pecans as the frosting. Also, I believe the recipe is written based off of my Granny's oral directions. So, they're a bit rough, but you get the idea!

Jam Cake
1 tsp soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup jam (I recommend blackberry!)
1 cup butter, softened
2 cup sugar
3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 well beaten eggs
pinch of salt
1 cup nuts

Preheat oven to 350. Grease, line with parchment paper, and grease again 3 8 inch round cake pans.
Put soda in buttermilk.
Mix wet ingredients together. Mix dry ingredients together. Add dry to wet, alternating with buttermilk mixture. Fold in nuts.
Pour into prepared cake pans.
Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
Let cakes cool before transferring onto cake stand.
Use additional jam in between cake layers and on top. If desired (which it always is) add additional nuts on top.

Alice Springs Chicken

This is a recipe from Outback Steakhouse. I first had it (homemade) my junior year of college, spring break, DC. Oh, good memories! Anyhow, it's delicious and beautiful- great for guests, but also for a special treat for the family on a regular old night! This is definitely family approved!

Alice Springs Chicken

Grilled chicken breasts
Honey Mustard sauce (recipe below)
Bacon- crisp
Sliced mushrooms (optional, always optional!)
Colby jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Place hot-off-of-the-grill chicken in a 13x9 dish. Coat with honey mustard sauce. Top with mushrooms, slices of bacon, and cheese. Heat in oven until cheese is melted. Use extra honey mustard sauce for dipping.
*Can top with chives.

Honey Mustard sauce
1/2 cup honey mustard dressing
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light karo
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Mix together and enjoy!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Coca Cola Cupcakes and Frosting

I'm always on a hunt for a good cupcake recipe. I found this one at I made these for Eli's 3rd birthday. They were SO delicious! Moist and everything a good chocolate cupcake should be! They are really really good cold!

Coca Cola Cupcakes and Frosting
Part 1
1 cup coca cola
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup powdered cocoa
22 large marshmallows

Part 2
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 325. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. These cupcakes work best with the silver metallic liners.

Part 1
In a small saucepan mix cola, butter, oil and cocoa. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and add marshmallows. Place lid on saucepan and leave until marshmallows begin to melt. Stir well.

Part 2
Mix flour, sugar, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well.
Combine Part 1 and 2. Spoon cupcake batter into cupcake pan until they are 1/2 to 2/3 full.
Bake at 325 for approximately 25 minutes.
Cool cupcakes before frosting.

Coca Cola Frosting
1/4 cup powdered cocoa
6 Tbsp coca cola
1/2 cup butter
3 and 3/4 cup powdered sugar (or 1 lb box)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium saucepan, mix together cocoa, cola, and butter. Heat over medium heat until melted then bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, pecans and vanilla. Stir until blended well.
Let frosting cool until still enough to frost cupcakes.

Apple-Cinnamon Muffins with Strudel Topping

Had a bunch of apples that needed using...and Food Network's website is a good friend. This recipe is from Emeril and had several good reviews. It brought a little bit of fall to a very hot summer day. And, the kids love helping me make muffins!

Apple-Cinnamon Muffins with Strudel Topping

1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 c sour cream or buttermilk
4 Tbsp melted butter
1 c brown sugar
1 c peeled, cored, and chopped apple
1/2 c chopped walnuts...I used pecans

1/4 cup, plus 1 Tbsp finely chopped walnuts...or pecans
1/4 cup, plus 1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 375. Grease muffin pan.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In a smaller bowl, whisk eggs, sour cream, and butter. Add sugar. Mix just until incorporated.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix just enough.
Fold in apples and nuts.
Fill muffin tin 2/3 full.
Make strudel by combing all ingredients. Spoon 1 Tbsp of topping per muffin.
Bake until inserted tooth pick comes out clean. About 25 minutes.
Recipe says it makes 12 muffins, but it made 17 for me!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cowboy Cookies

I found this recipe last year on I've thought about them many times. And, finally, decided this was the week to make them! Perfect for the guys to take camping and for the girls to eat at the pool! Enjoy!

Cowboy Cookies

1 1/3 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c oats
3/4 c M&M's
3/4 c chocolate chips
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1/3 to 1/2 c pecans

Mix dry ingredients together.

1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 c butter, slightly melted
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well. {Mixture will appear very's ok!}
Roll into balls.
Bake for 10 minutes at 350.

The only question is to share or not?!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

My aunt sent me this recipe- it's from Southern Living. My uncle has decided it's his favorite soup. Chris really liked it (especially as leftovers!). It makes a ton- would be great to take to another family with a loaf of french bread.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

1 Tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
3 c cooked chicken
3 14.5-oz can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of mushroom
8-oz spaghetti noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces
7 ribs celery, diced
6 medium carrots, shredded or diced
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp lemon rind
2 c milk
2 c cheddar cheese

In Dutch oven or large stock pot, melt butter. Add onion, saute.
Stir in chicken and next 9 ingredients. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in milk. Return to simmer until incorporated.
Serve with cheese.

No-knead Chocolate and Coconut Rolls

Ok. These are fantastic. I have visions of me eating all of these- only stopping to enjoy a swig of coffee! It does take some prep time, so plan accordingly!

No-Knead Chocolate and Coconut Rolls

4 c flour
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 c milk
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c butter
2 eggs
1 13-oz jar Nutella (!!!)
1 c coconut
1 recipe of icing (below)

In a large bowl, combine 2 c flour and yeast.
In a small saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter, and 1/2 tsp salt just until warm and butter almost melts.
Add milk mixture and eggs to flour mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds.
Beat on medium for 3 minutes. Stir in remaining flour.
Cover- let rise for 45-60 minutes. Dough should double.
Turn dough on flour covered surface. Cover and set for 10 minutes.
Grease large baking sheet.
Roll dough into 12x9 rectangle.
Spread 2/3 cup Nutella on dough- leaving 1/2 inch on a long side without. Sprinkle coconut. Roll up dough, beginning on long side. Pinch dough seams. Slice into 9 pieces.
Arrange on baking sheet 2 inches apart. Cover and let rise to double in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes.
Drizzle with icing. Use remaining Nutella and 2-3 Tbsp milk. Stir until desired consistency.

These could easily be cut into many more smaller rolls. You can also sprinkle coconut on top of the drizzle. Enjoy!

Bananaberry Muffins

This recipe is from I'm trying to patiently wait for my bananas to ripen so I can whip these up! Yum!

Bananaberry Muffins

2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sugar
1/3 c butter, room temperature
2 eggs
2 mashed, ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1 c blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tin with baking cups.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar with wire whisk.
Add butter, eggs, bananas and vanilla.
Mix on low until just combined.
Fold in blueberries.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Serve warm with butter!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fruit Pizza

This is a crowd pleaser! You can make it the long way with all the fruit...or substitute it for pie filling! It's still very tasty and can cut down on a lot of prep time. Which, I'm doing today since my children are very needy at this present moment!

Fruit Pizza

2 rolls sugar cookie dough

Spread dough on greased cookie sheet. Bake according to directions on package, approximately 12 minutes. Cool and cover til use.

2 8-oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Mix and spread over cookie.

Topping ideas:
Bananas, strawberries, pineapple tidbits, kiwi, blueberries (and any other fruit you can think of!)

Keep refrigerated until use!

Strawberry Punch

This punch was served at our wedding. It's delicious!

Strawberry Punch

6 oz strawberry Jell-O
2 c hot water
1 c sugar
4 c cold water
1 10-oz can frozen strawberries
1 16 or 20-oz pineapple juice
3/4 c lemon juice
2 2-liters Sprite or 7 Up

Combine Jell-O, hot water and sugar. Stir until dissolved.
Add strawberries, lemon juice, cold water, and pineapple juice. Freeze until ready to use.
Thaw for 1 hour. Slush with knife or potato masher.
Add Sprite.
Serves 25.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Banana Split Cake

Words do not describe this dessert. I crave it in the early spring/summer. I thought I was crazy because I do get a serious hankering (???) for this. And, then, come to find out it was my great-great uncle CC's favorite dessert! My Mom remembers her mom carrying it out on the back porch to serve it to the family when he visited! Isn't that fantastic?! That's what baking is all about. That's what family is all about. And, I love this recipe!

Banana Split Cake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter (do not use whipped margarine)
1/4 cup sugar

Mix together and press into 13x9x2 baking dish (glass works best). Chill for 1 hour.

2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter, softened

Cream together and spread over crust. Chill for 1 hour.

4-5 ripe bananas, sliced
fresh strawberries, sliced
1 16-oz can crushed pineapple, drained
Cool Whip
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped

Layer the toppings over the filling in the order listed. Refrigerate.

Sour Cream Pound Cake

I emailed this to a friend tonight and decided it needed a place on the ole blog. My Mom makes this a lot. As the note on the recipe I have says (from Mom), "I am famous for this cake." So funny! But, it is seriously delicious and beautiful. All things a good pound cake should be.

Sour Cream Pound Cake

1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups flour, sifted
1/4 tsp soda
1 8-oz sour cream (or buttermilk or sour milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice

Cream butter; gradually add sugar.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine flour and soda; add to creamed mixture, alternating with sour cream. Mix well.
Stir in flavorings.
Pour batter into a greased, floured 10" tube pan.
Bake 350 for 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Cool 10 minutes in pan and invert on cake plate.
*Bakes well in two loaf pans and freezes well.

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

I found this recipe in the latest Vera Bradley, how can it not be fantastic?! I made it for a family dinner and it was a big hit. Lots of chopping...but it's colorful and very tasty!

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

2 sticks butter
3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch celery, chopped
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
3 cups corn
2 lbs shrimp
5 Idaho potatoes, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 sweet red pepper, diced
16oz chicken broth
3 cups water
2 quarts 1/2 and 1/2 (yikes!)
8 tsp corn starch

In stock pot, melt butter. Add celery, onion, and pepper. Saute until tender.
Add next 4 ingredients.
Add potatoes, corn, water, and broth. Cook until potatoes are tender.
Add shrimp. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add 1/2 and 1/2. Cook for 5 minutes.
Mix corn starch and 1/2 cup COLD water.
Add slowly to soup, continue stirring.
Cook and thicken for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lemon Yogurt Cake

This is a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. It's delicious. The size of the cake is more of a loaf than a regular cake size. Perfect for a brunch or to take to a loved one. But, the intense lemon flavor is like non other I've ever made. It's fantastic! So good with coffee!

Lemon Yogurt Cake

1 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup yogurt
1 1/3 cup sugar, divided
3 eggs
2 tsp lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup veg oil
1/3 cup lemon juice

1 cup powder sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 loaf pan. Line with parchment paper, grease and flour again.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
Whisk together yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.
Slowly whisk dry ingredients into yogurt mixture.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in vegetable oil until incorporated. May take a few minutes.
Pour in pan. Bake for 50 minutes.
Cook 1/3 c lemon juice and 1/3 c sugar until clear. Set aside.
Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes. Place on sheet pan or serving dish. Pour lemon sugar mix over warm cake. Cool completely.
Combine powder sugar and lemon juice. Pour over cake.

This recipe had several comments on the Food Network website. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out great. Remember, do not use a mixer, just a whisk and rubber spatula.

This is the perfect dessert for the lemon lover in your life! I will definitely be making this again!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

This is a good recipe - not too lemony. I would recommend adding more lemon zest or lemon juice to enhance the flavor, if you want.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temp
1 tsp lemon zest
2/3 c sugar
2 eggs, at room temp
4 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 c milk

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
With mixer cream butter, zest, and 2/3 cup sugar; about 2 minutes.
Add eggs. Stir in seeds.
Fold in flour in 3 parts, alternate with milk in 2 parts. Mix until just combined.
Bake for 25 minutes.

Here's a basic topping for them -
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

Melt butter and sugar together. Add cream and vanilla.
Spoon over warm muffins.

*Some things to add more lemon flavor are to use 1/2 cup lemon yogurt instead of milk and to add lemon juice or extract.

Dog Bisquits

This may appear to be a strange recipe to post, but my kids love to make these...and to give them to their canine cousins! We cut them out with any cookie cutters. The favorites are ducks and bone shaped ones. If you google for a recipe, you'll find several varieties. This is a simple one - I usually have the ingredients in my pantry.

Dog Bisquits

2 c flour
2 c whole wheat flour
2 c boiling water
4 beef bouillon cubes
3 Tbsp oil
1 tsp baking powder

Dissolve the bouillon cubes in the boiling water. Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients.
Roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Let treats set out overnight to dry out. These can also be frozen.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chicken Dijon - sorta

While browsing my January 2010 Southern Living this recipe caught my attention. I had all the ingredients and the picture looked lovely. Ok, well. It looked nothing like the picture, but oh my! It is delicious. It's sorta like the recipe because I had to make some changes. And, honestly, I'm not sure SL got the right servings. The original recipe called for 6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Well, I used 3 and not sure it could take more. Anyhow, just wanted to give clarity.

Chicken Dijon - a la Miss Kitty Cooks

3 chicken breasts
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp butter
1 medium-sized red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 medium-sized sweet onion, cubed (I didn't have this, so I added a small can of chopped mushrooms instead)
1 (14 1/2-oz) can chicken broth
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp dijon mustard (I didn't have this, so I used horseradish mustard instead)

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
Melt butter in a large skillet over med-high heat; add chicken, and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from skillet; add bell pepper and onion, and cook, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables get tender. Return chicken to skillet. (I cubed the chicken. And, at this point, it will not be cooked all the way through!)
Whisk together broth and next 2 ingredients, and pour over chicken.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until chicken is done.

The magazine mentioned serving it with mashed potatoes. I think wild rice would be good with it. I served it with scalloped potatoes (recipe is on blog). I also think it would make a fantastic filling to a grilled sandwich, kinda Quizno's style. Enjoy!

Scalloped Potatoes

It's a bit eerie how good these taste...especially with such few ingredients. The nutmeg gives the potatoes a deep, almost smoked flavor. Eli had two helpings!

Scalloped Potatoes

1 clove garlic, smashed
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 1/4 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly
2 cups half-and-half
1 Tbsp salt
black pepper
pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8x8x2 dish with Pam (or butter!). {I sprinkled garlic powder in the bottom}
In a medium saucepan, combine butter, garlic, potatoes, half-and-half, salt, pepper to taste, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to med-high, and cook, stirring, until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish.
Bake the potatoes, basting occasionally, until lightly browned and bubbly, about 1 hour. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

*I saw on a comment of this recipe that someone put half of the potatoes in the dish, topped them with thawed and strained spinach and ham. Then, added the rest of the potatoes. After cooking, they added cheese and broiled until melted and bubbly. I think this would be a delicious version! {although, I would use turkey or chicken}

Best Brownies

A good friend of mine gave me a Hershey's Classic Recipes cookbook a few Christmas' back. When you need a good and quick dessert, it's always a blessing to find you have the ingredients in your pantry!
These are classic brownies that deliver every time! The frosting is really good, but optional.

Best Brownies

1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch square pan.
Stir together butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs; beat well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool and frost.

Creamy Brownie Frosting

3 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
3 Tbsp cocoa
1 Tbsp light corn syrup or honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 Tbsp milk

Beat butter, cocoa, corn syrup, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and milk; beat to spreading consistency.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Apple Dumplings

This recipe is from the Pioneer Woman herself. And, it was her mother's recipe. Do I need to say more?
These are super easy to make, they smell delicous, they look amazing, and your guests will gush with complements...with their mouths full! Get busy! Make these! Now!

Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 8 slices each
2 cans crescent rolls
1 stick butter (the original recipe calls for 2, but 1 is all you need)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
cinnamon, to taste
1 can (12oz) Mountain Dew (I use Sprite)

Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a greased 13X9 dish.
Melt butter, gradually add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
Serve with ice cream, and scoop some of the sweet sauce from the pan on top.

This dessert has an amazing deep apple taste. It just might top apple pie in my book.

As the PW says: WARNING: Prepare this dish at your own risk. It is beyond imaginable.

Pear-Raspberry Heart Pies

I haven't made these...yet! This recipe was in my January Martha Stewart magazine. {I looked for a pic online, but the recipe isn't on her website. Ugh. Not a user-friendly place.} Anyhow, it makes super cute individual heart pies. And, the filling is the perfect red/pink color. I'll make it a point to take a picture when I make them! Who needs the web?

Pear-Raspberry Heart Pies
Makes 10

For the pastry
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp ice water

For the filling
2 firm, ripe pears (Anjou, Bartlett), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup fresh raspberries, coarsley chopped
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 Tbsp heavy cream, for egg wash
Sanding sugar for sprinkling

1. Make the pastry: Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 5 seconds.
2. Evenly drizzle ice water over mixture. Pulse until mixture just begins to hold together, about 10 seconds. Turn out dough onto plastic wrap, and wrap. Shape into a disk. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight.
3. Make the filling: Toss pears with lemon juice. Melt butter in a medium skillet over med-high heat. Add pears, and toss to coat. Cook, adding sugar a little at a time, until pears begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in nutmeg. Transfer to a bowl, and mix in raspberries.
4. Divide dough in half, and roll out each piece to 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350. Drain pear-raspberry filling in a sieve. Cut out 20 hearts from dough unsing a 4-inch cutter, transferring them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly brush rims of half the hearts with egg wash, and top each with 4 heaping teaspoons filling. Top with remaining hearts, and gently press around sids to seal.
6. Brush pie tops with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ultimate Beef Stew

Back in August 2008 I was walking (b/c I was pregnant with Abi Jean) on a treadmill at work, watching the Food Network. Tyler Florence had me so into this dish that I went back upstairs to my cube, turned my computer on, and printed the recipe. It's only now, January 2010 that I've gotten around to making it. I've talked about it. Thought about it. And, today, tasted it. It does not disappoint. This ain't your Mama's beef stew. It's fancy and flavorful enough to serve to guests. And, it helps that Chris licked his bowl!

Ultimate Beef Stew

1/4 cup EVOO
3 Tbsp butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 to 3 pounds beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bottle good quality red wine (or, since I have no clue what this means, 1 bottle of Great Value cooking red wine)
8 fresh thyme sprigs
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 orange, zest removed in 3 (1-inch) strips
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups beef stock
9 small new potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in 1/2
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups frozen pearl onions, a large handful
1 pound white mushrooms, cut in 1/2
1/2 pound garden peas frozen or fresh

Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat wiht the oil and butter.
While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed beef with some salt and pepper and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan, you might have to work in batches. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve.
Add the wine to the pan and bring up ot a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wood spoon being sure to loosen up all those tasty bits. Once the wine has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, smashed garlic, orange zest strips, ground cloves, freshly ground black pepper and salt, bay leaves and beef stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours.
After 2 hours add potatoes, carrots, pearl onions, and mushrooms, along with a pinch of sugar to balance the acid from the wine. Turn the heat up and bring to a simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Add the frozen peas during the last minute of cooking. Season with salt and pepper, remove the thyme sprigs.
To serve, place the soup in a bowl, top with parsley, sprinkle with olive oil and add a dollop of Horseradish Sour Cream. Right before serving add a slice of peasant bread, half submerged in the soup.

Horseradish Sour Cream
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
Olive oil
Chives, finely chopped

Combine sour cream, horseradish, and a drizzle of olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dollop to the stew and top with chives.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

I'm considering making these for Abi's 1st birthday party! They're from a Martha Stewart magazine and the picture is delicious.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

12 ounce strawberries, hulled and cup into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
3 ounces (6 Tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar.
Whish together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 Tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl.
Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
Using a 1 1/2 inch icecream scoop, or Tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheet lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 1 day.
Makes about 3 dozen.

Impossible Pumpkin Pie

This is a Weight Watchers recipe...but you wouldn't know it by how good it is!

Impossible Pumpkin Pie

1 15-oz can pumpkin pie filling
1/2 cup lowfat bisquick
1 cup evaporated skim milk
2 egg whites
1/2 cup splenda
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix and beat together.
Pour into a 9" pie pan.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Makes 6 servings. 3 points each.