Monday, June 7, 2010

Soft lemonade Cookies

Soft Lemonade Cookies

These cookies were my favorite thing from Kevin's change of command reception. They were delicious. When I tried the first batch, I thought they'd be fabulous with lemoncello icing. I need to dig that recipe up and give it a try.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 can (6 ozs) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed and divided
Additional sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3, Combine flour and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with 1/3 c of lemonade concentrate, beating well after each addition.
4. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 in apart onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
5. Remove to wire racks. Brush warm cookies with remaining lemonade concentrate; sprinkle with sugar and let cool.

Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/2 cup raspberry jam
3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup vanilla or white chips

Preheat over to 375 degrees
1. In a large mixing bowl (I used my KitchenAid mixer), cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
2. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Beat in melted chocolate and raspberries.
4. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in white chocolate chips.
5. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 in apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
6. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares

1 3/4 cups crushed graham crackers (about 28 crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 packages (8 ozs each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Crust: In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs, sugar and butter; press onto the bottom of a foil lined 11 in X 7 in baking dish. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl (I used my KitchenAid mixer for this), beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
3. Add eggs, beat on low speed just until combined.
4.Pour cream cheese mixture into baking dish and spread evenly.
5. Drizzle jam evenly over the filling. Cut through filling with a knife to swirl the jam.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour, then refrigerate overnight.
7. Let stand at room temperature before slicing. Cut into even squares of the desired size.

Slow Cooking Dinner: Lemon Pepper Ribs

Kevin has been bugging me for a while to make Ribs- which is problematic because I emphatically do not like commercial BBQ sauce. He likes his ribs SMOTHERED in BBQ sauce.

I might have found a compromise. Country Style bone in beef ribs were on sale today at the commissary for 1.29/lb so I picked up two packs of about 4 lbs each. This is my first Rib experiment. It isn't ready yet, but the house sure smells good.

Lemon Pepper Ribs

4 lbs beef or pork ribs
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp black pepper
juice of lemons


1. Cut the ribs to fit your stoneware.
2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Rub the ribs with the dry mixture, covering all sides.
3. Put the ribs into the slow cooker. If you have extra seasoning, sprinkle it on top.
4. Juice lemons onto the ribs.
5. Cover and Cook on low for 7 to 10 hours, or on high for about 5 hours.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Slow Cooking Dinner: Sausage and Vegetable Medley

4 cups vegetables (I had broccoli, cauliflower, celery and carrots)
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 potatoes cubed
6 fully cooked sausage links
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup white wine
1 large handful baby spinach

*With a 4 qt slow cooker
1. Cut the vegetables into 2 inch cubes and place at the bottom of your slow cooker.
2. Slice the sausage and add on top.
3. Pour in the broth and wine.
4. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours.
5. Add a handful of baby spinach and turn to high for 15 minutes before serving.

**This has got to be one of the easiest dishes I make- and it's yummy. Today, I used Johnsonville's New Orlean's Spicy Smoked Sausage(it was on sale last week at the commissary!). I've really like Chicken and Apple Andouille and Italian sausage in the past. For kids, I would do a sweeter sausage. I used Bloom, a wonderful, not super sweet Riesling- since that's what I had on hand. Typically, a drier wine would be used but I use whatever I have in the wine fridge with positive results.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Slow Rise Baking: Pizza Dough

There is nothing better than homemade pizza. I love mine with olive oil, fresh sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil. Grilling it as an extra crispness to the crust.

3 cups unbleached All Purpose White Flour
Generous 1 1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp instant, fast rising or bread machine yeast
Scant 1 1/2 cups ice water
1 tbsp olive oil

First Rise:
1. In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, salt and yeast.
2. Vigorously stir in the water, scraping down the sides, just until thoroughly blended.
3. Stir in olive oil until evenly incorporated.
*If the mixture is too dry to mix, add in just enough water to facilitate mixing, as the dough should be firm. If the dough is soft, stir in enough flour to firm it.
4. Brush the top with olive oil, and cover bowl with plastic wrap.
Dough can be refrigerated for up to 10 hours before rising at cool room temperature for 4 to 12 hours.

Second Rise:
1. Stir the dough to deflate it.
2. Divide it in half using oiled kitchen shears. The dough portions can be used immediately, refrigerated for up to 12 hour, or frozen wrapped airtight for up to 1 month.
Each half makes one pizza.

20 minutes before baking time, place a rack on the lowest slot of the oven. Preheat to 500 degrees. Place a rimless baking sheet(or rimmed upside down)on the lowest rack.

1. Place dough portion on a oiled pizza pan or large sheet of spray coated baking parchment. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, then press and stretch the dough into an 11 1/2 to 12 inch round with oiled fingertips. If it is resistant and springs back, let it rest for a few minutes before continuing. Push dough outwards to slightly build up and thicken edges. Tent with non-stick spray coated foil and let rise for 25-45 minutes depending on whether you prefer a thin, slightly dense crust or a lighter, medium-thick one.

2. Place pizza pan with dough on the preheated baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until dough begins to firm and puff up.

3. Remove from oven and spread the sauce to within 1/3" of the edge all around. Apply whatever toppings you would like. Return to the oven and bake until the top is bubbly and the edge is puffy and nicely browned, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes before serving.

This got RAVE reviews from the husband..although for the future, he can easily eat a whole one by himself. I'll need to make more than one in order to have the leftovers that are so delicious.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken

I love rotisserie style chicken. But I hate buying it at the grocery store. One- it's always so salty. Two- I can buy whole chicken quite a bit cheaper. This recipe made it a lot easier to prepare at home because I don't have to watch it. This is one of the single most versatile dishes I make. I use this chicken to add to sauces, soups, sandwiches and salads. I make it at least once a week on a day that I'm not using the crockpot for dinner.

Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken

1 4-5 lb whole chicken
2 to 3 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 whole garlic cloves
1 onion, quartered


1. Using a 6 quart slow cooker, skin the chicken and remove the neck and innards from the cavity.

2. In a bowl, combine the salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme, Italian seasoning, cayenne and black pepper. Rub the mix all over the bird, inside and out. If desired, shove garlic cloves and onion quarters inside the bird. Place chicken breast side down into the slow cooker. Do not add water.

3. Cover and cook on high for four to five hours or on low for 8 hours. The meat is done when it is fully cooked and has reached the desired tenderness.