I’m thinking cookies

Every year, I bake dozens and dozens of cookies for the holidays. I used to host a cookie swap party and invited 20 or more ladies. We would all go home with five or six dozen cookies of ten or fifteen different varieties. In addition to that, I have always baked “goodie bags” for our close friends and the kids’ teachers.  I fill them with all sorts of baked treats.

I like to show my love that way.

It’s all my grandma’s fault. She taught me, as any good Italian grandma should, that the way to show love is to cook for people.

But, I digress.

As part of this baking bonanza, I try to find at least one new cookie recipe to add to my repertoire each year.  I scour cookbooks and online recipe sites looking for something that has a high yield, low component cost, and doesn’t require hours of effort and toil on my part. Not as easy as you might think, given that most holiday cookie recipes are the sort that are designed to “wow” people with their finished product.

I’m all about “wow-ing” people with the flavors, not the fancy icing or cutouts.  But that is just me.

So, I’m starting to ponder what my new cookie recipe will be this year.

I’ve been looking at some websites –image

MyRecipes.com offers a cookie countdown with a new cookie recipe every day in November.

This Mudslide cookie looks really good and reminds me of a “chocolate chewy” recipe I used to adore from a local bakery where I grew up.

FoodNetwork.com also offers a daily cookie recipe but I think it doesn’t begin until December 1st (or maybe after Thanksgiving).  This one you can subscribe to receive in your email as well.

AllRecipes.com also has a wealth of cookie recipes. I love the fact that I can read all the reviews (written by normal cooks like you and me) and then see any adaptations people have made. I like the feeling of empowerment I get to “tweak” a recipe myself and see how things turn out.

They have even identified their top cookie recipes in one place to make it easy to pick one out.

This year, I’m thinking about biscotti.  I made some years ago and they were a big hit. I have a few Weight Watchers biscotti recipes and I may dig those out and make some more.  I think those would be fun to make with my junior bakers’ assistance. 

Taste of Home also has a great cookie section. I love their recipes because they are submitted by “normal” people, too, and are usually just awesome. These Sour Cream biscotti sound pretty good – and like something you could use as a base and add other ingredients to for different versions.

I’m also a huge fan of the traditional butter cookie and the shortbread cookie, but I’ve never made those myself. I may have to dig up a recipe to try there, too.

What are your plans for holiday baking? Do you bake cookies?

Any good recipes to share?

I am planning to share some of my favorite cookie recipes in the next few weeks, so if you have any plans for baking yourself and want to try something new, you may want to check these out.

If you have any cookie favorites, send the recipes on over! I'd love to share yours with everyone, too!

Enhanced by Zemanta

A recipe for you

Happy Friday to you all!

I haven’t shared any new recipes this week, so I thought I’d give you a treat today and post a new one. It’s not new to me, it’s a well-loved family favorite, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared it on the blog before.

This came to me through some of my past Weight Watchers friends.  It can be WW friendly very easily by using ground turkey and low-fat cheese in the recipe. I’ve tried making it low carb before by substituting sweet potato for the baking potato but that wasn’t very well received by the family. Sweet potato is too mushy when baked and the sweet flavor didn’t meld very well with the spiciness of the cumin and chili powder. Oh well. Lesson learned.

This is a great make-ahead recipe and it also freezes well and doubles well. So if you are a fan of making 2 while you’re making one, this is a great candidate. You could serve one for dinner tonight and freeze the other one for dinner on another night.  I’ve also doubled it before to serve to a large crowd.

I usually serve with salsa and sour cream to top the casserole. Other than that, I don’t think it really needs much else. It’s just yummy all by itself.

I hope you enjoy.

You can access the recipe for printing from here.

Mexican Potato Casserole 

Hearty and delicious recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Yields: 8 Servings   


1 teaspoon Olive oil
1 pound Ground beef or ground turkey
2 medium Bell pepper diced
1 medium Onion diced
1 can Diced tomatoes (I use mild Rotel or Del Monte Diced Tomatoes with Chilies)
2 cups Mexican blend cheese shredded 
1 can black beans
Chili powder 
1 tablespoon Minced garlic 
Salt/pepper to taste 
2 large Baking potatoes


Preheat oven to 350.
Using a mandolin, slice potatoes on the bias (diagonal) into thin slices (about 1/8" thick). Set aside.
Brown meat in skillet with olive oil, seasoning with Houston House Seasoning, chili powder and cumin.
Add onion & bell pepper and cook until vegetables begin to soften.
Mix in tomatoes and season to taste.
Cook 5-6 minutes.
In a greased 13×9 casserole dish, layer potatoes and meat mixture, adding cheese between layers.
Top final layer with cheese.
Bake 40-50 minutes, covered. Bake additional 10 minutes uncovered to brown cheese if desired.
Serve with salsa & sour cream for topping.

Enhanced by Zemanta