Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate & Walnuts

Oatmeal is good for you, right? So these Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate & Walnuts are really really good for you……

Okay maybe not – but these cookies are swoonworthy – and definitely packed with flavor.  I like that they use old-fashioned oats – I think they hold up better, they don’t “dissolve” into the cookie – which means a better oatmeal-cookie-texture.

Use semi-sweet chips if you prefer, but I’m a dark chocolate fan for sure.  They get a little crunchy and a little soft – great for lunchboxes, holiday gifts or dunking…or all three. I have a 3/4″ cookie scoop, and although it’s technically a uni-tasker – its a must-have in my kitchen.  Using teaspoons to put cookies on a tray is old-school – and it works fine, but I never had look ending up with uniform size cookies.

I hope you like these – they’re so much better than oatmeal raisin cookies – which are gross – and just one reason to have trust issues.  Raisins are ick.

Sausage & Potato Soup with Kale Recipe

This sausage & potato soup with kale recipe that started as a copycat recipe of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana.  I do things a bit differently – I dont use heavy cream, or the spinach or escarole they put in their version, I use Kale.  It stands up to heat better, therefore the soup reheats and freezes like a dream.  Also – I despise cooked spinach.  Gross.

I also use evaporated milk in most soups instead of cream – because it doesn’t tend to break & curdle as easily as most regular/refrigerated milk products do.  If you have a parmesan rind laying around – add it – the flavor is amazing – but remember that its salty – so adjust your salting habits as you go.  We had this with our favorite crusty bread, that my 15yo made the other day.  So. Good.

Swedish Spritz Cookie Recipe

These tasty butter cookies are a holiday tradition in our home.  While you can dye and color the dough to make green trees or whatever you like, I prefer the plain sugar cookies with sprinkles and redhots as decoration.
You need a cookie press for this recipe.  You could roll them in logs and refrigerate and slice, but it’s just not the same. cookie-press I got my cookie press on Amazon.com – It’s the OXO Good Grips Cookie Press and it works well – it works BEST if the cookie sheets are really cold, but that’s not really practical when you’re baking dozens at a time – just be patient and understand that the dough consistency is directly related to how the cookies come out of the gun and onto the sheet – don’t be afraid to chill the dough down if things just get a bit too soft.

Colored sugar and red hots for tree stars or holly berries are my favorite decorations – but you can do absolutely whatever you like!

Enjoy!

Yummy Pecan Pie with Bourbon

So – bourbon isnt a huge, major ingredient in this pie – but its an important one.  I didnt realize I liked pecan pie until I tried this version WITH bourbon.  Without it just tastes like sugared nut pie….don’t ask me why … I’m sure Alton Brown has some scientific reason complete with chemical reaction as to why that is.

I made this for Thanksgiving dessert, served it with homemade Vanilla Bourbon Whipped Cream and it was DIVINE!  Actually I could probably just eat the whipped cream for dinner – forget the turkey.

Also – no lie – I buy pie crust.  It’s probably the best storebought shortcut out there, makes getting a pie in the oven a breeze, and doesnt taste much different than anything I could make myself – and making & rolling out pie dough is a pain in the ass and MESSY.  No thanks.

Chorizo & Black Bean Smothered Burrito Recipe

I’m a fan of throwing something together that’s tasty, flavorful and – most importantly – fast!  If you cook ahead like I try to, having browned chorizo & onion in the freezer or fridge means a quick and easy dinner is about 20 minutes away, depending upon how you decide to use your treasures.

I made this up thinking about flavors I like together, what was on sale, and what would not put us into poultry overload the night before thanksgiving – everyone here loved it.  Use green or red enchilada sauce – canned or homemade – you pick.  I’d even swirl them together if you were trying to stretch.  Adding leftover cooked potatoes to this would be tasty as well!  Enjoy!

Chewy & Spicy Ginger Cookies

I love ginger cookies – not the dense, tasteless gingerbread men with the too-sweet frosting – I like ginger/spice cookies that are not as sweet and taste great with a hot cup of coffee – dunked of course.  This recipe is pretty tasty and has A LOT of spices in it – hopefully you have this in your cabinet and you aren’t running out the buy a spice just to make these cookies – but remember old spices are not bold spices – so when in doubt throw it out.

These also freeze and transport really well – so ship them to a loved one this holiday 🙂

Amish Cookie Recipe

These are a much requested cookie in our house. Todd likes them with Pecans as well as Walnuts – so choose whichever you like.  They freeze, transport and mail quite well.  They don’t get super brown – so don’t overbake waiting for them to brown up!

In some cookies, it is okay to substitute margarine – but these just dont taste or turn out the same if you do substitute.  They’re not bad, just not as good…so use the real stuff.

Southwestern Breakfast Casserole

NO BREAD!  Prep ahead as this one sits overnight – you don’t HAVE to let it sit – but if your potatoes are still frozen when you put it in the oven, plan on a bit of extra baking time.

I really don’t like soggy bread bake things – including french toast – so finding a breakfast casserole recipe was a bit difficult.  I made this one out of a few different recipes – with an end goal of being able to eat it on it’s own with a slice of toast – or wrapping it up in a warm tortilla for a breakfast burrito!  You can add fresh peppers, jalapeños, etc – whatever works for your palate.  Leave out the beans, use regular breakfast sausage instead of chorizo – this recipe is very flexible! Enjoy!

Butter Dip Biscuits Recipe

So this recipe went around Facebook and I tried it – and then realized that I had to tweak it because a) I don’t keep buttermilk in the house; and b) it needed salt.  These are Todd and Aerik’s favorite biscuit and they are yummy fresh and plain, under your favorite sausage gravy, or with a bit of butter and jam.  Just the perfect, simple and delicious side to any meal, weekend or week night.