Thursday, January 26, 2012


My daughter is in a Spanish class in her High School.  Today they had a fiesta, and the students were asked to bring an authentic Mexican dish with a recipe.  So I hit the Internet and started looking.  I of course wanted something I could make without driving 20 miles to the grocery store. My search took me to a hot chocolate type of drink. As I was trying to convince my daughter that she wanted to take this to the fiesta I noticed the Bunuelos. They are eaten typically in the morning with the hot drink as a breakfast.  Mexican Bunuelos are rolled flat and fried, sometimes with a hole in the center, and sometime they are just fried tortillas covered in cinnamon sugar.  These round Bunuelos are more typical of the Columbian variety, however Colombian Bunuelos are not usually sweet.  They are more savory and contain feta cheese.  Since I do not like feta cheese, and prefer the Mexican variety, I combined the 2 and made the sweet Mexican Bunuelos in the easier Colombian method.  It is a little like a deep fried cream puff rolled in cinnamon sugar.  They turned out delicious and my daughter really liked them.  This might be something we make again.


1C. Water
2 T. Butter or Margarine
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 T. Sugar
1 C. Flour
2 Eggs
Cinnamon Sugar

Bring water, butter, salt and sugar to a boil. Rapidly stir in all the flour until dough forms a ball.  Remove from heat.  Stir in eggs one at a time.  Dough will appear glossy.  Using a spoon or a cookie scoop (which is what I used) drop dough into hot oil and fry.

Dough will sink, and then as it cooks it will float. 
Leave in the oil until they are a nice shade of brown all over.
Remove from oil and cover with cinnamon sugar. I just put mine into a baggie and shook it up.  This recipe made 15 Bunuelos.

Have you ever had Bunuelos before?  Let me know what you think!  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sugar Cookies

Last night my daughter "reminded" me that she needed cookies for a Church activity tonight.  To be honest, I don't recall the orginal conversation, but that really is no surprise to me. I seem to have developed selective hearing.  I am surprised however that I  selectively tuned out a conversation about food.  No worries.  I do cookies really well.  These were a lot easier to figure out than the "surprise" fiesta my older daughter needs authentic mexican food for tomorrow.  Anyway...back to the cookies.  I mixed the dough last night
 and by 9:30 this morning I had these.....

Here is my favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe. 
 It is from my trusty Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.

Sugar Cookies

1/3 C. Margarine or Butter softened
1/3 C. Shortening
2 C. Flour
1 Egg
3/4 C. Sugar
1 T. Milk
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Vanilla
Dash Salt (about 1/8 tsp.)

Blend together butter and shortening.  Add the egg and the sugar and mix.  Add the milk, vanilla, salt, and baking powder and mix.  Add the flour and mix well.  Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.  Take the chilled dough and roll 1/3 inch - 1/2 inch thick.  Cut with cookie cutter and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with colored sugar sprinkles. Bake 375* 8-10 minutes - until edges are lightly browned.  Makes about 15 large cookies.

As you can see from the picture that I roll my sugar cookie dough thick.  This makes a big soft cookie. I have rolled it thinner before but I honestly think it changes the flavor of the cookie. These thick big sugar cookies with sprinkles instead of frosting are my favorite way to eat these.

Hope you like them ~ let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Egg Rolls

Egg Rolls are by far my most requested recipe from my friends.  I don't blame them.  Who can resist these delicious crispy fried egg rolls?  This batch may seem like it makes a lot but honestly my family can go through almost the whole thing in one meal.  My husband is lucky if he has any leftovers for work the next day.  I have tried to make them go further by serving rice with them, but no one eats the rice, just the egg rolls.  So I have given up on side dishes when I make these.  The egg rolls are the meal.  I will take you step by step through how these are done. If I go too fast don't worry. 
 I will give you a complete recipe at the end!
I made mine today with Ground Turkey.
  You can use chicken or beef if you want.
Next I put in 2 packages of Chinese Seasonings.  One savory (stir fry) and one spicy (General Tsos Chicken) I have to say that I do prefer them with 2 spicy ones but mostly I use one of each.  You can pick your favorite...
it's not rocket science!
Put those with the meat and mix them together.
Next I used 2 bags of Cole Slaw Mix.
I ran it through a food processor so it looked like this.
I mixed everything together and my meat mixture looked like this.  Now, sometime you can get a really moist mixture of meat.  Mine was perfect today, however there has been times I have needed to drain some juice off of the mix. I really think it all depends on how moist your cabbage mix is.

Next I took 2 packs of egg roll wrappers and counted them to be sure
 I knew how many wrappers there were.
I scooped the meat mixture into the same # of wrappers I had. 
 Today I made 40 Egg Rolls.
I set up a work station that looked like this. 
 Meat, a dish of water, wrappers, and wax paper.
Then I got busy rolling.  Place a ball of meat in a corner of one wrapper.
Fold the corner over and shape the meat out into a log.
 Tightly roll the log.
And fold in the sides.
Put some water on the corner and sides that are not wrapped yet.
And roll it shut! You may need to hold the corner for a second to get it to stick.
Keep going until you get them all done.
  Place them seam side down on wax paper.
Fry them in a pan of hot vegetable oil.  Start with the seam side down.
Then flip them over when they are brown on the bottom.
Looks delicious...right?  That meat just steams inside of the egg rolls so the outside is crispy and the inside is soft.  Delicious.  My family will eat them plain, dip them in ranch dressing, or Chinese mustard, or use my homemade sweet and sour sauce like I made tonight.

Egg Rolls
1 lb. defrosted meat - your choice - beef, turkey, chicken...etc.
2 (16 oz.) bags Cole Slaw Mix
2 pks. Chinese Seasoning
2 pks. Egg Roll Wrappers
Vegetable Oil.
Mix meat, and seasoning. Grind Cole Slaw Mix in food processor and mix into meat.  Spoon meat mixture into egg roll wrapper and roll shut.  Fry in Oil.  Makes about 40.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
2 2/3 C. Water
1/4 C. White Vinegar
2 T. Corn Starch
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1/4 C. Soy Sauce
Combine ingredients into a sauce pan and whisk together.  Bring to a boil and simmer until thick.

I love comments...tell me what you think!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Comfort Food

Comfort food comes in all forms.  I think we all have our favorite comfort food, but I am able to find comfort in all kinds of food.  Today was a bad day.  Not for me, I had a pretty good day, but when my kids got home from school it was obvious that for some of them it was a bad day.  I had intended to blog about the amazing dinner I made tonight.  It was so good, and reminded me of a spicy penne pasta that I had ordered not long ago from River City Grill in Sterling.  Briefly I will tell you about that dinner - but sorry no pictures because I was distracted by the bad day my kids had. 

I made a white sauce with butter, flour, and milk....but in that sauce I put onion, garlic, pepper, season salt, HOT salt, sun dried tomato and garlic pesto, green chilies, and smoked sausage.  I tossed in some penne pasta and it was amazing.  So glad I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.....but as I was cooking dinner I was distracted thinking about what I could do to treat my girls.

I grabbed a box of brownie mix and got to work.  I put a pan of brownies in to cook while we were eating dinner.  Once those brownies came out I put the extremely warm brownie into a dessert cup.  On top I put a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some chocolate sauce, and some leftover frozen Andes Mints pieces on top.  Now as I type this I hear one of my girls singing to herself.  Mission accomplished.  A little comfort food can really
 change your outlook on things. 

What is your favorite comfort food?

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Have you ever had Spritz cookies?  These little buttery soft cookies are always a big hit around my house.   At Christmas time I make little green Christmas trees like this ~
But other times of the year I just make little cookies like the ones I made today. I have this wonderful old cookie press.  This used to be my Granny's. It came with lots of little shaped molds that you can press the cookie dough through, but admittedly I have only  use the tree and the one I used today.  This is my Granny's press and the shape I used today~
I have actually used that shape as a guide to cut designs in the top of pie crust. Those swirls make a beautiful top on the pie.  I love this cookie press and I am confident that I will never try one of the new fancy ones they make now days.  In fact I have seen another press like this in an antique store and I just might buy it to have a back up - that is how much I love this little kitchen toy.  After you make your spritz dough you fill the press and start putting them on your cookie sheet.  It looks like this~
 These cookies are best with some colored sugar on top.  Today I used red.
 I put it on the cookies before I bake them.
And once they are done cooking they look like this~
The recipe made about 5 dozen cookies and they are super fast to make.  If you ever stumble on a cookie press I highly recommend that you pick it up!  Now, for those of you who do not own a cookie press, you can still give this recipe a try, you can use a cookie stamp, like one of these~
Or you can just make your Spritz like you do a peanut butter cookie and make some marks with a fork or a potato masher (which is what I like to use) I hope you give Spritz a try! I use the recipe (for the most part) from my Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. Here is what I do~


1 1/2 C. Butter or Margarine softened
3 1/2 C. Flour
1 C. Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Vanilla

Cream together butter, sugar and egg.  If you are adding food coloring to your cookie, then do that now.  Today I did use a little yellow in my cookies. Add baking powder and vanilla and mix.  Add flour and mix.  Fill your cookie press and put your cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet.  If you are using another method then roll your cookies in balls or use a cookie scoop. Sprinkle with colored sugar.  Bake at 375* for 8-10 minutes.   Makes about 5 dozen cookies when using a cookie press.  

Let me know what you think of this recipe and if you gave it a try!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ham and Potato Soup

Several years ago my husband and I were traveling through Utah and we stopped at my brother's home for a visit.  Steve's wife LoriAnne had a big hot pot of Ham and Potato Soup on the stove.  It was honestly the best ham and potato soup I had eaten.  She was kind enough to share the recipe with me and I have been making it ever since.  While my version is not exactly like LoriAnne's, it is still delicious and we eat it often, especially on cold snowy days like today.  Here is my version of the soup, with the closest measurements my non measuring cooking can give you.

Ham and Potato Soup

Dice about 4 C. of potatoes and put them in a big pot with enough water to cover them

Season to taste with salt, and pepper, and for me I like to also use my favorite Tastefully Simple Season Salt, you do what you like.  You can also add onion, or garlic, be adventurous!

Cook those potatoes about half way and add 1 lb. Diced Ham, and 1 full can of Corn - don't drain it, just pour it in with the juice and all.

Once the potatoes finish cooking pour in about 2 C. of milk and bring the soup back up to a boil. If the 2 C. of milk does not look like enough for your family then add more.

Make a slurry of cornstarch and cold water to thicken up your soup and quickly stir it in.  Add about 1 T. Parsley Flakes - or less if you want and the soup is ready!

Since I needed to make dinner early today I put this in my crock pot to keep it warm until dinner

This is a very flexible recipe, trust your instincts and adapt it to what your family enjoys!

Let me know what you think of this recipe and if you try it!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Deep Dish Pizza

Tonight when dinner time rolled around I was REALLY hungry.  I suppose that might have something to do with the fact that I spent the afternoon watching TV shows like "Sandwich Paradise" and "Extreme Pig-Outs".  I really wanted a pan pizza from Pizza Hut, but I decided to cook at home for the following reasons.  1-It is sooo much cheaper to cook at home, 2- The closest Pizza Hut to where I live is 20+ miles away, and 3- I am still in my pajamas. That's right, don't you judge me, we have all had those days where we have done absolutely nothing. In fact today I could barely manage to make pancakes correctly, but that is a story I shared on Facebook, so I will not repeat it here. Anyway my extreme hunger at dinner time led me to create a Deep Dish Meatball and Pepperoni Pizza.  I started by digging out the cast iron.  I don't really like to cook with cast iron, but my husband, who has taste buds that can be compared to the Princess and the Pea story, really likes the way his food tastes when cooked in cast iron, so it is because of him that I actually had these pans.  I pre-heated the oven to 425* and brushed the pans with olive oil.

Using a Pizza Crust recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cook book I mixed together 3 C. Flour, 1 T. Yeast, 2 T. Sugar,  1/4 tsp. Salt, 2 T. Oil, and 1 C. warm water. I rolled it out into a circle and pressed it into my pans.  Then I poked holes in the crust.  They may be hard to see in this picture
 but trust me, they are there.

Then I mixed a full bag of Italian Style Meatballs (cut into quarters), a bag of Mini Pepperoni pieces, about 4 ounces of pizza sauce and a 4 oz can of tomato sauce.  I put that into the crust.  It looked like this....

I took an 8 oz block of Mozzarella Cheese and grated it, or more like shredded it, and topped the pizza....

Actually I should say Pizzas because I was making 2 of them with this recipe.  So...into the oven they went.

They baked at 425* for 30-35 minutes. 

And we didn't waste any time cutting into these delicious pizzas!

So dinner tonight was delicious! I only wish my photo quality was better
 for you to really see how good this looked. 

Let me know what you think of this recipe and if you tried it!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chocolate Crinkles

I love to bake cookies.  Actually it is something that I am able to do really really well.  On New Year's  Eve I had a friend ask me if I knew how to make Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. Of course I can make Chocolate Crinkles - well with a little help from my Better Homes and Garden's Cook Book!
 So this post is for her.  (Along with a plate of cookies)
First I creamed together eggs, and sugar

Then I added 4 oz. of Semi Sweet Chocolate that I melted in a double boiler...Don't get excited here, my microwave broke this morning, hence the double boiler. The recipe calls for unsweetened chocolate but I did not have that, so I used semi - sweet

If you don't have this kind of Chocolate in a baking block you can substitute the 4 oz with 3/4 C. Cocoa Powder and 3T. Oil - in addition to the oil that the recipe already calls for.  SO.....I added the chocolate and the oil

Then I added the baking powder, vanilla, and flour

And then the cookie dough went into the fridge.  You need to cool this down for 1 1/2 - 2 hours before you are able to make the cookies.  Once the dough was ready I used my mini cookie scoop.  It holds 1 T. of batter.  I dropped the scoops into powdered Sugar

And put them on an ungreased cookie sheet

And baked them at 375* for 10 minutes

Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Crinkles
3 Eggs
1 1/2 C. Sugar
4 squares (4 oz) melted unsweetened Chocolate
1/2 C. Oil
2 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tsp. Vanilla
2C. Flour
Powdered Sugar (about 1-1 1/2 cups)

Follow my steps above ~ I was able to get 4 dozen cookies from this recipe.
2 dozen to give away to a couple friends and 2 dozen to keep at home!

Let me know what you think of this recipe...Did you try it?