Dec 24, 2008

Easy Sugar Cookies

from Susan Cheney's old blue cook book

2 cups flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter (1 cube)
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond

Chill dough before rolling out

Dec 19, 2008

German Pancakes

This fluffy pancake should be eaten as soon as it comes out of the oven!

* 1 cup milk
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 6 large eggs
* Dash salt
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 4 tablespoons butter or margarine

Topping (see below)

Preheat oven to 400ยบ F. Mix milk, flour, eggs, salt, and vanilla in a blender until smooth. Melt 1 tablespoon butter or margarine in each of four 9” pie pans in oven. Remove pans as soon as butter melts and tilt to grease entire pan.

Divide batter into each of the four pie pans. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. The edges will puff up, and the pancake will form a well in the center. Remove from oven when golden and serve immediately.

Serves 4


* 1 (10 ounce) box frozen raspberries, slightly thawed
* 1 (20 ounce) can chunk pineapple, drained
* 4 bananas sliced
* ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
* 1 (8 ounce) container dairy sour cream

Spoon raspberries, pineapple, and bananas into the center of pancake. Sprinkle with brown sugar and top with sour cream.

Dec 13, 2008

Warm Chicken & Spinach Sandwiches

Greg and I made these sandwiches for a little holiday open house we hosted last night. They were delicious.

1 dozen small ciabatta rolls
1 c Fontina cheese, grated
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped shallots (or onions)
3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
2 cups shredded roast chicken (one deli rotisserie chicken deboned)
5 oz baby spinach
Olive oil
Whole grain mustard

Heat oven to 400.

Chicken Mixture:
While oven is heating, saute mushrooms with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 4 minutes. Add shallots and garlic and saute for another 3 minutes. Add chicken and saute for another 2 minutes until heated through. Set chicken mixture aside.

Saute spinach in the same skillet used for the chicken mixture, about 2 minutes until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Drain if necessary.

Assemble Rolls:
Cut 12 sheets of foil, each large enough to completely wrap one ciabatta roll. Slice ciabatta rolls and pull some bread out of each half to form slightly hollow centers. Place each open roll on a piece of foil. Drizzle olive oil lightly over both halves of open rolls. Spread whole grain mustard on one half of each roll. Sprinkle Fontina cheese over mustard.

Spoon chicken mixture onto each roll and top with spinach. Sprinkle more cheese over spinach and close each roll. Wrap each sandwich tightly in foil and bake about 20 minutes.

Chocolate Peppermint Pie

I created this recipe as a smaller batch variation on an old favorite.

Pre-made Oreo cookie pie crust
8 oz container Cool Whip, thawed in the refrigerator
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 small pkg instant chocolate pudding
1-1/2 c milk
9 candy canes
1 2 oz chocolate bar

Layer 1:
Whip cream cheese until soft. Stir in powdered sugar and 1/2 of Cool Whip carton. Crush 6 candy canes (about 1/2 cup crushed) and stir into cream cheese mixture. Spread in the bottom of the Oreo crust.

Layer 2:
Mix package of chocolate pudding with milk until smooth and thick. Pour over cream cheese layer.

Layer 3:
Spread remaining half of Cool Whip container over chocolate layer. Chill pie overnight or several hours.

Chocolate Christmas Garnishes:
Trace some Christmas cookie cutters onto paper. I didn't have Christmas cookie cutters, so I found some Christmas silhouette images online and printed them out so that the printed images were about three inches tall. Lay plastic wrap over paper with shapes on the counter.

Melt chocolate bar in double boiler. Pour melted chocolate into a plastic sandwich bag. Cut a very small piece off of bag corner to make a frosting tip. Use the chocolate to trace the Christmas shapes on the plastic wrap. You could also freehand the shapes, but I'm not that good. I sprinkled some very finely crushed candy canes on some of the the chocolate pieces to make them sparkle. Let the chocolate shapes cool completely.

Crush 3 more candy canes. Sprinkle crushed candy canes over the top Cool Whip layer of the pie just before serving. Slice pie, and place a chocolate shape vertically in the cream.

Easy Cranberry Sauce

Greg and I have made this easy recipe several times this season.

12 oz fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon crystalized or candied ginger, chopped
1/2 to 1 cup sugar (according to taste)

Heat over to 450. Finely chop ginger and combine with cranberries. Place mixture on two layers of aluminum foil. Fold and crimp foil tightly to make a sealed packet. Place directly on over rack and cook for 30 minutes. Remove cranberries from foil and stir with sugar to taste.