Monday, November 29, 2010

Robertson Christmas Cookies!

I make these every year and give them as gifts. They're a beautifully jarred cookie mix that are a cinch to assemble and best of all, you can find all the ingredients are Costco, which is more cost effective than just going to your grocery store! I'm posting this because my sister-in law Brianna requested the recipe so here you go my dearest!

Robertson Christmas Cookies
5/8 cup all-purpose flour **note that 5/8 Cup = 1/2 Cup plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Layer the ingredients in a 1 quart or 1 liter jar, in the order listed.
2. Attach a tag with the following instructions: Christmas Cookies 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. 2. In a medium bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until fluffy. Add the entire jar of ingredients, and mix together by hand until well blended. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. 3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Cool on baking sheets, or remove to cool on wire racks.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Well it is only heaven if you like mushrooms, Camembert, and puff pastry. I looooooOOoooOOOoove all three so it is one of my heavens. This would be a great "impress the in laws(or future in laws!)and bring to a Holiday gathering" snack. Or if you're like me, you'll probably make it this weekend while watching movies and drinking lots of wine. No judging.

Three Mushroom and Camembert Cheese Puff Strudel

4 teaspoons Olive Oil, Divided
1 whole Large Shallot, Minced
4 ounces, weight Portobello Mushrooms, Thinly Sliced
4 ounces, weight Crimini Mushrooms, Thinly Sliced
4 ounces, weight Shiitake Mushrooms, Thinly Sliced
½ teaspoons Kosher Salt, Or To Taste
½ teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper, Or To Taste
2 teaspoons Chopped Fresh Thyme
1 whole Sheet Puff Pastry, Defrosted
3-½ ounces, weight Camembert Cheese, Thinly Sliced
1 whole Egg White, Lightly Whisked

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add shallot and saute until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 2 additional teaspoons olive oil and stir in thinly sliced portobello, crimini, and shiitake mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are tender and just starting to turn brown. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in minced fresh thyme leaves.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll defrosted sheet of puff pastry into a 9- by 12-inch rectangle. Lay slices of Camembert cheese down the middle third of the puff pastry, leaving one third of puff pastry free on each side of the cheese. Spoon the mushroom mixture evenly over the cheese. Fold one-third of puff pastry over the mushrooms to cover it. Using a small, sharp knife, cut the remaining third of the puff pastry into 1/2-inch strips. Brush the pastry that is folded over with egg white. Fold one strip on either end to seal the strudel. Lay the remaining strips in decorative X pattern along the top of the strudel. Brush with egg white and let rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Transfer the strudel to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until the puff pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch slices. Serve.

This can serve 6(or 1...remember no judgement)

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Blossom Cookies

Because I love you, and I love pumpkin spice anything!!

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Blossom Cookies

For the cookie dough:
¼ cups Butter, Softened
¾ cups Granulated Sugar
1 whole Egg
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1-¼ cup All-purpose, Unbleached Flour
¼ teaspoons Cream Of Tartar
¼ teaspoons Baking Soda
¼ teaspoons Salt
For the orange sugar:
¼ cups Granulated Sugar
5 drops Yellow Food Coloring
1 drop Red Food Coloring
3 dashes Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)
For assembly:
24 whole Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses(where have these been all my life?? and WHY am I JUST now finding out about them??)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For orange sugar: In a small plastic container with a tight fitting lid, pour in sugar and drop food coloring over the top. Close container with the lid and shake vigorously until sugar turns orange. Mix in pumpkin spice if using. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Whip in egg and vanilla until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Slowly stir in remaining ingredients until combined. Set aside. Using a cookie scoop, drop cookie dough into orange sugar and roll around lightly to coat.Place on un-greased cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes or until bottoms are just barely starting to brown. While cookies bake, unwrap Hershey kisses.

Remove cookies from baking sheet immediately and place on a cooling rack. Press a Hershey kiss into the center of each warm cookie. Cool and serve. Or just serve warm!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Qunioa Salad with Peaches

Simple, healthy, and interesting way to use quinoa! What is quinoa? Though not technically a grain, quinoa can substitute for nearly any grain in cooking. Actually the seed of a leafy plant, quinoa’s relatives include spinach, beets and Swiss chard. Due to its delicate taste and rich amounts of protein, iron, potassium and other vitamins and minerals, it is quite popular. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and is easily digested.

1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 sliced ripe peach

1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add uncooked quinoa. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Cool quinoa slightly.

2. Stir in peppers, onions, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, honey, pepper and peach

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Thighs

I looooove sweet & spicy combinations! This was delicious and I served it with some yummy peach quinoa.

2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Cooking spray
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.

3. Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

Honey Bun Cake

Remember Little Debbie Honey Buns? This cake is really similar in flavor and it is delicious!! I brought it to a BBQ and everybody just RAVED about it. The best part is that it is incredibly EASY!!

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, oil, eggs and sour cream. Stir by hand approximately 50 strokes, or until most large lumps are gone. Pour half of the batter into an ungreased 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the batter in the cake pan. Spoon the other half of the batter into the cake pan, covering the brown sugar and cinnamon. Twirl the cake with a butter knife or icing knife until it looks like a honey bun (or whatever design you want to make).
3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Frost cake while it is still fairly hot. Serve warm.
4. To Make the frosting: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dad's Birthday Dinner

My stepmom put me in charge of my Dad's birthday dinner this year. I was kind of nervous but really excited to get back in the kitchen. I'm pretty sure I get my foodieness (yup I just made up another word)from him. We have similar tastes in things we like and don't(neither of us like ketchup, which is pretty uncommon). Anyway so when I was planning it, Toni(stepmomma) has said she wanted prime steaks and she'd buy them(YAY!) so I just needed to plan the supporting characters. what goes good with an excellent steak? Anything from the Morton's Steak Bible cookbook, that's what. So I did a Morton's style dinner for MUCH less than you'd pay going out. Here's the menu I made and the recipes!

Shrimp Alexander with Buerre Blanc
Main Course
Prime sirloin steaks(these were GIANORMOUS and I got them from Costco)
steamed asparagus
crash hot potatoes
Raspberry Cream Pie

Shrimp Alexander

1 box panko breadcrumbs
5 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced shallot
2 teaspoons chopped fresh curly-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
-Combine all ingredients, you can keep it in an airtight container and bread just about anything you want as well. These breadcrumbs are EXCELLENT!

18 fresh large shrimp (8/11 count OR as large as you can find I used 16/18), shells on
1 cup melted butter
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups beurre blanc (recipe included below)
3 lemons, halved, for garnish
-Preheat the oven to 450. Peel the shrimp but leave the tail shell intact. Devein and rinse well. Cut open the shrimp along the vein line approximately two-thirds of the way through the shrimp.
-Dip a shrimp in the warm clarified butter and let the butter drip off the shrimp. Dip the shrimp in the breadcrumbs and press so that it is completely coated. Put the shrimp on a cutting board, cut side down, and press to flatten and form a base. Bring the tail over the shrimp and insert the point between the tail fins into the thick end of the shrimp. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
-Set each shrimp cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Top with remaining butter. Bake shrimp for 12 to 13 minutes, or until cooked through and the bread crumbs are crisp and lightly brown
-Spoon 1/4 cup of beurre blanc on each plate. Top with three shrimp and garnish with a lemon half.

1 teaspoon clarified butter or olive oil
1 large shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter(I used salted butter & just left the salt, below out), softened
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground white pepper
-In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it softens without coloring.
-Add the wine, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the wine reduces and the liquid coats the bottom of the pan. Add the cream and simmer, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until reduced by half.
-Reduce the heat to low and begin adding the butter, a tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition. Do not allow the cream to boil once the butter is added.
-Remove mixture from heat and whisk in the lemon juice, salt and white pepper. Using an immersion blender, pulse the mix for 30-45 seconds. Strain the mixture to remove the shallots.

Crash Hot Potatoes

this serves 6, you can tailor it to fit you.
12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste
Rosemary (or Other Herbs Of Choice) To Taste

Preparation Instructions
-Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.
-On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.
-With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.
-Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)
-Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Raspberry Cream Pie

25 whole Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
1 cup (generous) Raspberries
3 Tablespoons Sugar
2 containers (6 Ounce Each) Raspberry Yogurt
1 package (3.4 Ounce) Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Extra Raspberries For Garnish

Preparation Instructions
-To make the crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crust cookies in a food processor (or smash in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin). Stir in melted butter until all combined. Pour into a regular pie pan and press crumbs all over the pan and up the sides. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes—just long enough for it to set. Cool crust completely.
-Place raspberries on a plate or in an empty pan. Smash them with a fork, then sprinkle on 3 tablespoons of sugar. Stir together and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
-In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine raspberry yogurt with the instant vanilla pudding mix (just the powder itself.) Beat on low until combined, about 1 minute. Pour in heavy cream and whip on low for 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Turn mixer on medium-high speed and beat for two minutes, or until mixture is thick.
-Turn off mixer, then fold in raspberries until just combined. Pour into cooled pie pan and spread evenly. Freeze for two hours, or until very firm.

oh and by the way, my little bro Tyler grilled the steaks and I just plain old steamed the asparagus.