Monday, November 30, 2009

Orange Dream Cookies

1 c. butter softened
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. grated orange rind
2 t. orange extract
2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 c. white chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugars, eggs, extract and orange rind together. Combine flour, soda, and salt and then slowly add into mixing bowl with other ingredients. Mix in the chocolate chips at the end with a wooden spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Recipe from Laurel at Ducks in a Row

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pasta Cubana

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups mild salsa
1 can (16 oz.) black beans, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 medium-sized zucchini, trimmed and sliced into 1/4-inch half-moons
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 pound pasta (not the whole box)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with the salt and pepper. Add to skillet and cook for 5 minutes, until lightly browned.
Stir in the salsa, beans, and cumin. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and garlic and simmer 5 minutes.
While sauce is simmering, cook pasta following package directions. Drain and toss with sauce. Serve immediately. Serves 6

(I used cooked rotisserie chicken, just debone it and spiral wholewheat pasta)

Texas Caviar`

3 cans black eyed peas (do not drain)
1 red onion , chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 can green chilis (do not drain)
3 Tbsp. garlic (with juice)
3 avocados, chopped
1/4 - 1/3 bottle Italian Dressing
1 can jalapenos (optional)

Mix together and sit overnight. Serve with scoop tortilla chips. The best dip ever!

* Recipe from Shauna Brady

Cat's English Toffee

--2 sticks of Salted Sweet Cream Butter (MUST be salted, or the toffee will separate -- it's happened to me before, stinks!)
--1 cup of sugar
--1/4 cup water
--Chocolate bar or chocolate chips -- I prefer the Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips
--Chopped pecans (optional, but I always use them)


Rub cookie sheet with one of the sticks of butter to prevent sticking. Put the butter in a frying pan and melt. Add sugar and water. Keep stirring until golden brown.
Now you are going to pour it onto the cookie sheet. Let sit for a few minutes until slightly hard. BE CAREFUL, the pan gets hot really fast!
While still warm, sprinkle the chocolate chips onto it, or break up chocolate bar and put the pieces on top.
When the chocolate melts spread it around with a butter knife, covering the whole thing. Add the pecans if desired while chocolate is still melted soft so they stick nice.

IMPORTANT: Now this is the step that makes the toffee the best. Put the whole sheet into the fridge until the chocolate is hardened. This takes 2-3 hours. For some reason the coolness of the fridge makes the toffee set in a softer, cruncher way that makes it fabulous!

When it is cooled completely, the toffee will look light yellowish-gold in color.

Pull out of fridge and break up with a butter knife. It can be stored on the counter or in the fridge, it doesn't matter.

* Recipe from 4 Nuts in a Nutshell

Easy Holiday Potpourri

Oranges (or little clementines)
cinnamon sticks
whole cloves

Peel an orange or two and allow the peels to dry (you'll use the peels only, not the fruit itself). Put all three ingredients in a pot and cover them with water, then simmer on the stove. Sit back and wait for you house to smell amazing.

* Recipe from Buzzings of a Queen Bee

Pudding No Bake Cookies

2 1/4 cups sugar
2 TBSP butter (or margarine) yes only 2
6 oz. evaporated milk
4 oz. butterscotch instant pudding (the small box)
3 1/2 cups oats

Chocolate version: use peanut butter instead of butter, and use chocolate pudding instead of butterscotch.

LOW-CAL version: use sugar free-fat-free pudding and fat-free evaporated milk.

Combine sugar, butter, milk, and pudding mix in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in oats. Cool for 15 minutes. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.

I put them in the fridge for a few minutes or let them sit on the counter for several minutes until hardened in cookie form.

*recipe from My Little Gems