Monday, December 29, 2008

Raspberry and Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

OH MY! Are these little things divine! I made these for a cookie exchange and had to make another batch for the family. They are simply sinful!

Raspberry and Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 1/2 teaspoons milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar until smooth. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Mix in flour until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place on un-greased cookie sheets. Make a small hole in the center of each ball, using your thumb and finger, and fill the hole with preserves.
3. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Let cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet.
4. In a medium bowl, mix together the confectioners' sugar, 3/4 teaspoon almond extract, and milk until smooth. Drizzle lightly over warm cookies.

Peas With Mushrooms (& Terragon Corn)

This side dish has been a family favorite for years. I comes from a recipe book "House Specialties" by Deanna House . I love her book because it is full of delicious recipes that use every day ingredients. Peas with Mushrooms has been a tried and true favorite. I made this for a Christmas family dinner on Sunday and it was a total hit. I also made Tarragon Corn which is another Deanna House recipe we love. Both recipes are made in the microwave for convenience but are easily made on the stove. Either way they are delicious!

Peas with Mushrooms
2 Tbs butter or Margarine
6 green onions, chopped
1 8oz can mushrooms, drained ( or 8oz fresh mushrooms, chopped and sauted)
2 10oz pkgs frozen peas
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp basil leaves, crushed
½ tsp salt

In a 2 quart microwave-safe casserole dish, place butter and green onions. Microwave on full power, covered for 2 minutes. Stir onions and add mushrooms, frozen peas, sugar and basil. Microwave on full power, covered, 10 – 12 minutes, stirring twice. Add salt. Serve piping hot.

Tarragon Corn
1 10oz pkg. frozen cut corn ( I use a 16oz bag)
¼ c sliced green onions
1 Tbs butter or margarine
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp tarragon
Dash of pepper

In a 1 quart microwave- safe casserole combine all ingredients and cover with a lid or plastic wrap that is vented. Microwave on full power for 5-6 minutes or until corn is tender and sauce is bubbly, stirring once or twice.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Italian Soup

More commonly known as Zuppa Toscana at Olive Garden, this soup is delish! My sweet friend Carmen shared the recipe with me, and it is a family favorite, especially on a cold day. By making it at home you can control how spicy you like it. They serve it really spicy at Olive garden, so I make it more mild for my family. I also use baby red potatoes since they hold their shape a little better than russet potatoes, but it really is up to you what you prefer. Enjoy!
Italian Soup
1 lb. roll Bob Evans Italian Sausage -or your favorite flavor
1 yellow onion- diced
1 small bag baby red potatoes- sliced
1 bunch of kale
3-4 cans chicken broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp garlic
Dash of hot red pepper flakes- to taste
Parmesan cheese- grated
Crumbled bacon- optional
Slice baby red potatoes and cook in soup pot with chicken broth. Wash Kale and slice leafy part off the stems (discard stems). Cut up leafy part and put in pot with chicken broth,Saute onion and crumbled sausage and cook through. add to soup and simmer for about 15 minutes till kale is softened and potatoes are done. Stir in 1/3 cup heavy cream, and red pepper flakes.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon.

Porter Rockwell Salsa

While visiting my parents in Palmyra, NY on Thanksgiving, my mom made this delicious salsa! Thank you to Sister Weston, another site missionary, that shared it with her. My mom doubled the recipe and it was gone in no time. I plan on making it this weekend to go with some Honey Lime Enchiladas. Oooh, I can't wait!

Porter Rockwell Salsa
2 cups frozen petite corn- thawed
1- 15oz can black beans - drained
1 diced avocado
2/3 cup green onion diced
2 diced Roma tomatoes
1/3 - 2/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic- minced
1-2 tsp hot sauce - to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2-1 tsp salt - to taste
1/2-1 tsp lime juice
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp olive oil

Mix together and chill. directions say to allow to marinade for 1-2 hours. We couldn't wait and ate it fresh and it was delicious!