Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cookies For Days.

Look at me! 3 posts in under a week?! I'm on a roll!! Woooooooooooooo Hoooooooooo! Anyway, it's getting to be that time again in Southern California where a bathing suit is really the only suitable (yes I did that on purpose) thingto wear for 3 months. All I ever want to eat in the summer is fruit. Its so hot out that anything more than that sounds gross. I wanted to try a light-weight fluffy and fruity kind of cookie that isn't too heavy or buttery like my usual shortbread. I found a recipe for orange zest cookies- afterall citrus is my favorite. WARNING: This particular recipe yields a loooooooooooot of cookies (seriously).

You will need:

2 cups white sugar

1 cup shortening (I used butter)

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

2 tablespoons grated orange zest
Combine sugar with your butter (or shortening if you choose) in a LARGE - trust me, I had to swap out mixing bowls half way through- bowl.

I had to get down n dirty (not literally, my hands were clean!) and use my hands for a lot of this recipe because i coughstilldonthaveamixercough and a wooden spoon wasn't cuttin it.
Add 2 eggs, vanilla, orange juice and zest.
Add your sour cream. Let me tell you, the sour cream makes ALL the difference when it comes to these guys, it makes them super light weight and delish!
Set mixture aside. Combine baking powder, soda and your 5 (YES 5) cups of flour. Sift through and add to wet mixture slowly. \
Just a quick peek at the GIANT mess I made in my kitchen today from doing this. My poor computer (thats where the recipe was and you cant see all the flour on the ground)
Grease up as many cooking sheets as you have and use a teaspoon to drop the dough onto the sheet. Bake at 375 or until golden on bottom. I found myself cooking them for more like 12-13 minutes.
Remember my Olive? I brought in a diner chair so she could see better. She sat there the whole time, even with dough and various objects flying through the air.
Once the cookies are cooled, you can frost them. For the frosting you'll need.

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
* If I were you I would double that recipe, I ran out.**
Combine everything together until it is "spreadable".
And frost away! You will have lots and lots of cookies, about 6 dozen to be exact.
I wasnt jokin!

Friday, April 23, 2010


I have two things coming up that I will be needing some pretty great recipes for:

1. My parental units will be here (Hannah too) and we're gonna do a little backyard BBQ action so they can meet friends they havent met and my Dad hasn't seen our house yet. The same night is my dear friend Andy's birthday so we're probably combining the two into one. I have recipes for a good BBQ but thought I would try some new things! Does anyone have:
  • A chicken marinade
  • Spring/Summer type salad
  • Great group-friendly dessert (no chocolate plz!)
  • A fun cocktail
2. A girl I work with is having a birthday next week/one of my friends accepted a new position at a different company. Both in the same week, I'd like to bring in some treats for a farewell/birthday. (I have a lot going on in the coming weeks!) So if anyone has another group/work friendly dessert that would be great! I'm thinking something along the lines of cheesecake bites?


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stuffed Peppers 101

It's strange how your taste buds change over time, isn't it? I used to think bell peppers were gross and never ate them (I still have issues with green ones). I discovered about a year ago that sauteed or cooked yellow, red and orange peppers were actually tasty! Ryan requested stuffed peppers so I made them last week as a side to our steaks. I realize that steaks dont really go that well with this recipe, but that's what I wanted to eat. Compromise, right?

This recipe isn't veggie friendly because it requires chicken stock but if you used vegetable stock it would work out just fine!

You will need:

1 (28-ounce) can Italian tomatoes

2 zucchini, grated (I diced- didnt grate)

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (Left this out, didn't want it to be too overwhelming)

1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for sprinkling

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

6 sweet bell peppers (red or yellow) (I did 4 not 6)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and bring chicken broth to a boil in small sauce pan. Meanwhile, combine zucchini, cheese, olive oil, and tomatoes- a 14oz can is PLENTY if you're only doing 4 peppers.
Once your stock is to a rolling boil, pour in orzo pasta. Cook for only 4 minutes (you don't want it to be done all the way) drain and combine with mixture.
Slice the tops off and core your peppers. Be sure to not leave any seeds in, kids!
If they dont stand on their own, slice a very thin layer off the bottom.
Take your leftover chicken stock and fill a baking dish about an inch full with the stock. Pile mixture into peppers and place in baking dish.
COVER with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, uncover and sprinkle leftover cheese over each pepper. Continue cooking, uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.
Let cool for a few minutes before serving. I should have cooked mine for a few minutes longer so they were crispier on the top. Live n learn!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Easter Brunching.

Ugh. I am so sorry for taking a million years to post somethin' on here. But have no fear, I'm still cooking away! Last week we had some of our lovely friends over for a little Easter brunch.

The menu:

Spring veg frittata
Roasted fingerling potatoes with lemon/dill sauce
Spring mix salad with citrus dressing
Fresh berries
Blueberry mojito-ish cocktail (DELISH)

For the frittata you will need:

12 large eggs
1 1/2 cup lowfat milk
2 cups red bell pepper
1 1/2 cup onion
2 cups summer squash (yellow)
2 cups zucchini
2 cups broccoli
Salt and pepper to taste
I figured you could probably add goat cheese into this and it would be delicious as well.

Chop all your veggies and toss in a large OVEN SAFE skillet with about a tablespoon olive oil. Sautee until the onions are transparent. About 8 minutes. Meanwhile- preheat the oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, milk and salt & pepper.
(Don't mind my cell phone)

Whisk together until a light yellow color and all yolk and whites are combined.
Pour mixture over top of vegetables (IN SKILLET) and gently mix together.

Cook over medium heat until the sides are set (no longer liquid). Put entire skillet in oven for 20-30 minutes until slightly crispy around the edges and firm.

For potatoes:

1 lb fingerling potatoes
1 tablespoon (more or less) dry dill
Juice of 1 lemon

Roast potatoes on a well oiled baking sheet (TRUST ME- they will stick!) at 375 degrees for about 35-40 minutes.

Once they're done, remove from oven and season with dill, lemon and a bit more olive oil.

For the mojito punch, I didn't make it, my Andy did. I don't know EXACTLY what he did, but I remember seeing mint leaves, 1 bag frozen blueberries, 1 bottle sparkling limeade (TJs) and a bottle of Bacardi.

Isn't it pretty?

I have 2 more updates to post, hopefully this weekend. One of which is from my trip to Arizona. That may or may not have  been a month ago. Oopsy.