"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?" - Kathleen Kelly (You've Got Mail)

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Best Pumpkin Cookies

Cookie Ingredients:
2 1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. white sugar
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients:
2 c. powdered sugar
3 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. melted buttter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 and grease cookie sheets. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice and set aside. Cream together butter, sugar, pumpkin, egg and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop onto prepared cookie sheets by tablespoonfuls. Bake for 12-15 minutes in preheated oven.
Once cookies are done prepare the glaze. Combine all the glaze ingredients until no clumps remain. If too thick for drizzling, add more milk. If too thin, add more powdered sugar. Drizzle over cooled cookies with a fork and allow to dry before serving.

These cookies have more of a cake or muffin texture then your traditional cookie. They are absolutely delicious! I'm not kidding when I say they're "the best"! They would be just as yummy without the glaze if you want to skip it. 

Adapted from allrecipes.com

Sunday, November 15, 2009

No Bake Cookies

2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1/2 c. chunky peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. quick cooking oats

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cocoa, milk and margarine. Bring to a boil (stirring occasionally) and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter until melted. Add the vanilla and oats and stir until well combined. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto wax paper or aluminum foil. Allow cookies to cool and dry for about 1 hour. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Chicken Parmesan

1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 chicken breasts, pounded 1/2 inch thick
1 egg, beaten
3/4 c. italian bread crumbs
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 pound spaghetti, cooked
1/2 26 oz. jar pasta sauce, heated

In a large skillet heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Place the egg in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and pepper. Dip the chicken breasts, one at a time in the egg and then in the bread crumb mixture. You can do it twice if you have leftover egg and crumbs. Once the butter and oil are melted and hot place the coated chicken in the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top and let it melt. Place the chicken on a bed of hot spaghetti and pour sauce over the chicken and pasta.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stuffed Shells

Oh how I love stuffed shells! This is by far my favorite way to make them. Sometimes I leave out the sausage or use ground beef or turkey instead...whatever's on hand!

Stuffed Shells

12 oz. box of jumbo shells
1/2 lb. ground sausage
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 c. cottage cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 c. grated parmesan cheese divided
1 egg
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
26 oz. jar pasta sauce

Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Once boiling add the shells and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, brown the sausage and drain off any grease. In a large bowl combine the sausage, ricotta, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan, egg, and all seasonings. Place 1/3 of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Once the shells are done boiling, strain and lay out to cool for a couple minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Spoon the cheese and sausage mixture into the shells and place in the pan on top of the sauce. Once all the shells are filled and in the pan, top with remaining sauce, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes, until cheese begins to brown. Makes 24 shells