Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Cookies - Part One

Gooey Butter Cookies


8-ounce cream cheese; softened
1/2-cup butter; softened
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 - 18.5 ounce package yellow cake mix
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl cream together the cream cheese and butter.  Stir in the egg and vanilla.
Add the cake mix and stir until well blended.
Roll into 1" balls and then roll the balls in the powdered sugar.
Place 1-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet (use parchment paper).

Bake for 10-13 minutes.

Remove immediately from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Chocolate Snowballs

1 1/4 cups butter; softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted peanuts
sifted powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, gradually add granulated sugar and vanilla; beating well.

Combine flour, cocoa, salt, and nuts; gradually add to butter mixture; beating until well blended.

Portion dough by teaspoonfuls and roll into balls; place on ungreased baking sheets (I always use parchment paper).

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Roll warm cookies in sifted powdered sugar.
Almond Macaroons

One 8-ounce can of almond paste
1-cup of sugar
2 large egg whites at room temperature
36 red or green candied cherries OR whole almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a food processor or the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the almond paste and sugar.  Process or beat until well blended.
Add the egg whites and process or blend until very smooth
Scoop up one tablespoon of the batter and lightly roll it into a ball.  Dampen your fingertips with cool water if necessary to prevent sticking.
Place on a prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining batter, placing the balls about 
1-inch apart on the baking sheets.  Push a candied cherry or almond into the top of each cookie.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned.  Let cool briefly on the baking sheets.
With a thin metal spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe

(Recipe may be halved):
2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. soda
2 cups sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal**
24 oz. chocolate chips
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)

** Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.
Peppermint Crescents

1-cup butter; softened
1 2/3-cup powdered sugar; divided
1 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of milk
Hard peppermint candies; crushed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add 2/3 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract, and salt; beating well.
Gradually add flour; beating until well blended.
Divide dough into 3 portions - divide each portion into 12 pieces.
Roll each piece into a 2-inch log, curving ends to form a crescent.  
Place crescents 2-inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool for 5-minutes.  Carefully roll warm cookies in sifted powdered sugar.
Cool completely on wire racks.

Stir together milk, remaining 1-cup powdered sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon extract until smooth.  Drizzle cookies with the icing and sprinkle with crushed candies; gently pressing.

Mrs. Field's Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2-cups flour
1/2-teaspoons baking soda
1/4-teaspoon salt
1-cup dark brown sugar
1/2-cup white sugar
1-cup salted butter; softened
2 large eggs
2-teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-cups (12-ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
Mix well with a wire whisk and set aside.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, blend sugars at medium speed.  Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips; blending at low speed just until mixed.  
Do not over mix.

Drop by rounded Tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I always use parchment paper); 2-inches apart. 

Bake for 22-24 minutes or until golden brown.

Transfer cookies immediately to a cook surface with a spatula upon removing from the oven.
Crescent Cookies (from the kitchen of Jeanette Niles)

2-cups butter
1-cup confectioner's sugar
2-teaspoon vanilla
2-cups chopped nuts
4-cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and blend in sugar.  Add vanilla, flour, and nuts.

Take by spoonful and roll into a crescent shape and place on parchment paper.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Allow to cool for 3-4 minutes and then roll in powdered sugar.

Never store these cookies in a tupperware type container, only store in tins.

Giant Colorful Candy Cookies

1-cup brown sugar
3/4-cup white sugar
1-cup butter; softened
2 eggs
3/4-teaspoon salt
1-teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2-cups flour
3/4-teaspoon baking soda
2-cups M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat sugars, butter, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed.
Stir in flour, salt, and baking soda.  
Stir in candies.

Drop by cup fulls (1/4 cup each) 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper).  
Flatten dough slightly with a fork.

Bake for 11 to 14 minutes or until edges are light brown. 

Cool for 3-4 minutes.
Peanut Blossoms  (from Nana's kitchen)

1 3/4-cup flour 1/2-cup sugar
1/2-cup brown sugar 1-teaspoon baking soda
1/2-teaspoon salt 1/2-cup butter
1/2-cup peanut butter 2-Tablespoons milk
1-teaspoon vanilla 1 egg
some extra white sugar in a bowl
48 hershey's chocolate kisses

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.  In a large bowl combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, butter, peanut butter, milk, vanilla, and egg.  Beat at lowest speed until stiff dough forms.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in white sugar.  Place balls 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets (I always use parchment paper).  

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.  Immediately top each cookie with 1 candy kiss, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around the edges.  Remove from cookie sheets.
Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 1/4-cups Flour 1-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon salt 1-cup butter
3/4-cup white sugar 3/4-cup brown sugar
2-eggs 12-ounces chocolate chips
1-teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
Add eggs, one at a time until completely blended.
Add flour mixture gradually; blend well.
Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.
Monster Cookies (from the kitchen of Lorinda S.)

1/2 cup margarine
12-ounce jar of creamy peanut butter
1-cup brown sugar
1-cup white sugar
2-teaspoons baking soda
1-teaspoon salt
3 eggs
4 1/2-cups rolled oats (NOT instant)
1-cup M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cream butter and peanut butter.  Add sugar; blend well.  
Add eggs, baking soda, and salt; mix well.
Stir in rolled oats and M&M's.

Drop by teaspoonful on ungreased cookie sheet (I always use parchment paper)

These are an absolute favorite among all of my children, their friends, my nieces and nephews, as well as all of my cousin's children.  (adults like them too)
Peanut Butter Cookies (from Nana's Kitchen)

2 1/2 Cups Flour 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda 1 Cup Butter
1 teaspoon baking powder 1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup Sugar 1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees

Mix all dry ingredients; set aside.

Cream butter and peanut butter together.  Add brown sugar and then eggs; mix well.
Add remaining ingredients; blend well.

Roll into balls and press gently with a fork.  (to avoid the fork from sticking to the dough, dip the fork into a glass of hot water each time)

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Super Easy Crockpot Turkey Breast

1 5-6 lb. Turkey Breast
1-2 Tablespoons Vegetable OR Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Season Salt

Place FROZEN breast in refrigerator overnight. It will still be frozen almost solid in the morning when you take it out, but that's okay. Place the turkey in your crockpot, drizzle oil over the breast and using hands; rub oil all over. Sprinkle with seasoning all over.

Cook on low for 8 hours. If you are cooking a fully thawed breast, 6-7 hours will be enough.

Do not overcook.

For those who are interested, this has a Weight Watchers point value of 2.5 points per 3 ounce serving (assuming you remove the skin)

Amazing Chili (Tanya's GREAT recipe)

I have searched high and low for a chili recipe for years.  This is by far the very best chili recipe I have ever made.  

4 stalks celery, chopped (I do NOT add this either - seems odd to me)
3 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 T vegetable oil
2 pounds ground beef
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
2 cups water
6 T chili powder
1 t salt
dash of pepper
1 (16oz) can kidney beans, undrained (i do NOT add these - don't like beans)

Condiments: shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, diced onions, tortilla chips (optional) - my kids LOVE to put Fritos on top.

Saute first 5 ingredients in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Add ground beef and brown, stirring until meat crumbles. Drain meat well.

Add tomato sauce and next 5 ingredients to beef mixture; stir well. Bring to a boil; reduce heat amd simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes or to desired consistency. Add beans during the last 15 minutes. Serve with condiments, if desired. Yield: 10 cups.

Fruity Chicken (Slow-Cooker Recipe)

1/2-cup crushed pineapple
2-tablespoons lemon juice OR the juice of 1/2 lemon
2-tablespoons soy sauce
3-mashed peaches
1-whole chicken; cut up

Spray crockpot with non-stick spray.

Mix pineapple, lemon juice, soy sauce, and peaches in a large bowl.  Dip chicken in the sauce and place in crockpot.  

Cover with remaining sauce.

Cook on LOW for 6 - 8 hours.

White Chip Pumpkin Spice Cake

1 package spice cake mix
3 large eggs
1 cup Libby's 100% pure pumpkin (remember can holds MORE than one cup)
2/3 cup (5 fl. oz. can) Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup (6 oz.) Nestle Toll House Premier White Morsels

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan.

Combine cake mix, eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vegetable oil in a large mixing bowl.  Beat at low speed until moistened.  Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes; stir in morsels.  pour into prepared Bundt pan.  

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 25 minutes; invert onto wire rack or cake plate to cool completely.  Drizzle half of glaze over the cake; serve with remaining glaze.

White Chip Cinnamon Glaze
Heat 3-Tablespoons Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk in a small, heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat, just to a boil; remove from heat.  Add 1 cup Nestle toll house premier morsels; stir until smooth.  Stir in 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Taffy Apple Salad

2 cups diced apples
1 large can pineapple tidbits (save juice)
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 egg; beaten
1-1/2 tablespoons vinegar
12 oz. cool whip
1-1/2 cups peanuts without skins

Mix pineapple and marshmallows in a large bowl and refrigerate.

In a saucepan, mix juice, flour, sugar, egg and vinegar.  Cook until thick and let cool.

Mix cooked mixture with cool whip, add to large bowl and stir in apples and nuts.


(yes, it really does taste like taffy apples)

Cranberry Pork Roast (Slow - Cooker Recipe)

3-4 lb. Pork Roast
Salt to Taste
Pepper to Taste
1-cup ground or finely chopped cranberries
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. grated orange peel
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper.  Place in slow cooker.
Combine remaining ingredients and pour over roast.
Cover.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gluten Free Burgers

½ lb ground Turkey

½ lb lean ground pork

1 tbsp Herbes De Provence* (choose organic/gluten free)

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Sauce ¼ cup Dijon Mustard**(choose organic/gluten free)

2 tbsp light brown sugar

2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce***(lee & perrins claims to be gluten free)

Combine mustard, sugar and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl, mixing until smooth. In a large bowl combine the turkey, pork and spices, mixing thoroughly. You can make two large patties or four small ones, depending on your appetite. Patties can be grilled on a barbeque for 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until they reach 170 degrees internal temperature. You can also cook on an indoor electric grill. When patties are almost done, with about 3 minutes to go, brush them with the sauce mixture. Reserve the remainder to put over your patties.

Cut-the-Fat Cauliflower-Mashed Potatoes


Four to six Idaho russet potatoes
One head of cauliflower
1/3 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
One to two cloves of garlic
Some fresh scallions, snipped into pieces
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste


Boil potatoes and steam cauliflower separately.
Put hot potatoes and cauliflower in a large bowl, mash together.
Add the rest of the ingredients, except the scallions, and beat until desired consistency.
Add snipped scallions and mix together, heat up in microwave, if necessary.

Chicken and Rice Casserole (A Paula Deen Recipe)

2 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
3 cup diced cooked chicken
2 14 1/2 ounce cans green beans, drained and rinsed
1 8 ounce can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 4 ounce jar pimentos
1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed cream of celery soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 6 ounce box long-grain wild rice, cooked according to package directions
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 pinch salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat butter or oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.

Add all remaining ingredients to bowl and mix together until thoroughly combined.

Pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Paula's Loaded Oatmeal Cookies (A Paula Deen Recipe)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one or more cookie sheets. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until mixture is light in color. Add buttermilk. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in oatmeal, raisins, walnuts, and vanilla, blending well. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with Brown Butter Icing.

Yield: About 5 dozen cookies
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 12 to 15 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy

Brown Butter Icing
1/2 cup butter
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons of water

In a small saucepan heat 1/2 cup butter over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in 3 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in enough water (3 to 4 tablespoons) to make an icing of drizzling consistency. Drizzle on warm cookies.

Yield: Enough to ice 5 dozen cookies
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy

Recipes courtesy Paula Deen

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese (a Paula Deen Recipe)

2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8 ounce box isn't quite 2 cups)
2 1/2 cup (about 10-ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Ease of Preparation: Easy

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Teriyaki Flank Steak

3/4 cup wine
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2-1/4 pounds beef flank steak
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In a large resealable plastic bag, mix the wine, soy sauce, olive oil, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and pepper. Place steak in the bag, seal, and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.
Remove steaks from the bag, and discard marinade. Place steaks on the grill and cook 6 to 8 minutes per side, to your desired degree of doneness. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C) for rare. Allow the steaks to sit about 5 minutes before slicing against the grain, and serving.

Pork Chops on Rice (Gluten - Free Recipe)


6 pork chops
1 1/3 c pre-cooked rice
1 can GF chicken soup
1 c of orange juice


Brown pork chops. Place rice in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Pour orange juice over rice and arrange chops on top of that. Pour GF chicken soup OR broth over the chops.

Bake covered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Spicy Beef and Macaroni (Gluten-Free Recipe)


1 lb ground beef
2 c water
1 medium onion, diced
2 c GF elbow macaroni
1 green pepper, diced
1 c GF barbecue sauce
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


In a deep skillet, brown the meat. Add the diced onion and green pepper; cook until tender. Stir in water, macaroni and barbecue sauce.

Cover and simmer until macaroni is tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in or top with cheese.

Baked Chicken Supreme (Gluten-Free Recipes)


1 frying chicken ( about 1 1/2 lbs) skinned
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 c scallions, chopped
1 c GF chicken stock
1 t tarragon
1/2 c margarine or butter
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 t paprika
1 t salt


In 1/4 c of margarine, brown chicken on both sides with garlic and paprika. Remove from pan. Add rest of margarine and sauté mushrooms, onions and green pepper. Return chicken to pan. Add chicken stock, tarragon, tomatoes and salt. Simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Serve over rice.

Home Fries

4 large unpeeled Idaho potatoes (about 10 ounces each), well scrubbed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 medium shallots, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
Heat oven to 375°F. Halve potatoes lengthwise and place, cut side up, directly on the oven rack. Roast until entire cut surface of potatoes has a golden-brown crust and the tip of a paring knife easily pierces the undersides, about 45 minutes. Let potatoes cool until they are easy to handle, then cut into large dice (you should have about 8 cups).
Melt butter with oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. When mixture foams, add bell pepper and shallots. Cook until vegetables are softened and edges are beginning to color, about 3 minutes.
Add potatoes, tossing to coat, and cook until heated through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Turn them only once or twice so that they have a chance to get crisp. Liberally season with salt and pepper, and toss with parsley.

Vegan Mocha Chip Muffins

Mocha Chip Muffins
Makes: 12 muffins
I use powdered instant coffee because I think its coffee flavor remains truer than that of fresh-brewed coffee. If you don’t have any instant coffee, just use an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder and have a chocolate–chocolate chip muffin.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons soy yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 12-muffin tin.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix in the instant coffee powder.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy milk, oil, yogurt, and vanilla.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, we use Earth Balance
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer
Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes.
Add the vanilla and soy milk, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.

Variation:Cookies ‘n’ Cream Frosting (pictured): Stir into frosting 1/2 cup (about 5 cookies; mash first, then measure) of finely mashed vegan chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies, like Newman-O’s. Frost cupcakes generously, and top each cupcake with half of a sandwich cookie.

Vegan Cupcakes

I have heard more and more about these and everyone has had rave reviews. Can't hurt to try now can it?

1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK).
Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Variation:Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes (pictured): Mix into cupcake batter 1 cup (about 10 cookies; chop first, then measure) of coarsely chopped vegan chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies, like Newman-O’s. Bake as directed.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Chocolate Cake In A Mug

1 coffee mug
4 Tbsp. cake flour (plain, not self-rising)
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 egg
3 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. oil
Small splash of vanilla
3 Tbsp. chocolate chips, optional

Add dry ingredients to mug, mix well with a fork. Add egg, mix thoroughly. Pour in milk and oil and vanilla, mix well.
Add chips, if using.

Place mug in microwave, and cook for three minutes on 1000 watts. Cake will rise over top of mug--do not be alarmed! Allow to cool a little; tip onto a plate if desired. Eat! (This can serve two if you want to feel slightly more virtuous.)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Taffy Apple Salad

Yet another recipe for all those yummy apples you'll pick this fall.

2-cups diced apples
1 large can pineapple tidbits (save juice)
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 egg; beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar
12 ounces Cool Whip
1 1/2 cups peanuts without skins

Mix pineapple and marshmallows in a large bowl and refrigerate.

In a saucepan, mix juice, flour, sugar, egg, and vinegar. Cook until thick and let cool.

Mix cooked mixture with cool whip, add to large bowl and stir in apples and nuts.

Refrigerate several hours to combine flavors.

YES, this really does taste like Taffy Apples.

White Chip Pumpkin Spice Cake

1-Package Spice Cake Mix
3-Large Eggs
1-Cup Libby's 100% pure Pumpkin (remember that the can holds more than one cup)
2/3 cup (5-fl. oz. can) Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup (6-ounces) Nestle Toll House Premier White Morsels

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt Pan.

Combine cake mix, eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vegetable oil in large mixing bowl. Beat at low speed until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in morsels. Pour into prepared bundt pan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 25-minutes; invert onto wire rack or cake plate to cool completely. Drizzle half of glaze over the cake; serve with remaining glaze.

White Chip Cinnamon Glaze:
heat 3 Tablespoons nestle evaporated milk in a small, heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat, just to a boil; remove from heat. Add 1-cup (6-ounces) nestle tollhouse premier white morsels; stir until smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1-1/2 pounds of Brussels Sprouts
3-Tablespoons good olive oil
3/4-teaspoons kosher salt
1/2-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut off the ends of the brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer them to a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp outside and tender inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the brussels sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt and serve hot.

Maple Glazed Pork Chops



4 (3/4-inch thick) bone in pork loin chops
1/4-teaspoon salt
1/4-teaspoon course ground black pepper

Maple Glaze:

3/4-cup maple syrup
2-Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2-Tablespoons Ketchup
2-Tablespoons Prepared Mustard
1-Tablespoon Worcestershire

Grilling Directions:
Rub both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper.
In a small saucepan, combine all glaze ingredients; mix well.
Bring glaze ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly; set aside.

When ready to grill, place pork chops on gas grill over medium heat. Cook 15 minutes; turning once.

Brush pork chops with glaze. Cook an additional 10-minutes or until pork chops are no longer pink in center, turning once and brushing frequently with glaze.

Bring any remaining glaze to a boil; serve with pork chops.

Peppered Ribeye Steaks


2-Tablespoon Oil
1/2-teaspoon Paprika
1/2-teaspoon pepper
1/4-teaspoon salt
1/4-teaspoon garlic powder
1/4-teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1/8-teaspoon dried oregano
1/8-teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8-teaspoon ground cumin
1/8-teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients and brush on the steaks. I like to let marinade 24 hours in the fridge. Grill and enjoy.

These are super yummy and full of flavor!

Oven Fried Pork Chops

4 - 3/4-inch thick bone-in pork loin chops
1 large egg; beaten
2-Tablespoons Pineapple Juice
1-Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/2-Cup italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1/2-teaspoon ground ginger
1/4-teaspoon paprika
1/4-teaspoon garlic powder
1-Tablespoons butter; melted

Trim fat from pork chops. Combine egg, pineapple juice and soy sauce i a shallow bowl, and whisk gently.
Combine breadcrumbs and next 3 ingredients (in another bowl). Dip chops in egg mixture, and dredge in breadcrumbs.

Place chops on a rack in a greased roasting pan. Drizzle butter over pork chops. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes;
turn and bake 25 more minutes or until done.

Broccoli Cole Slaw

2 Bags (3-ounce) Ramen Noodle Soup in Oriental Flavor (other flavors will work too)
3/4 stick of butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 bags (12-ounce) broccoli cole slaw
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Chopped Green Onions (for garnish)

Dressing Mix:
3/4 cup Canola Oil
1/4 cup brown or white sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 ramen noodle seasoning packet

Put ramen noodles in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin while melting butter in a large skillet over low/medium heat. Add the crushed noodles and slivered almonds to the skillet and saute, stirring occasionally (keep temperature at low/medium heat) Meanwhile mix together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Place the shredded broccoli into bowl and toss with the noodles, almonds, and sunflower seeds. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
Garnish with chopped green onions.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Quick Apple Pancake

During the Fall and Winter I LOVE to have wonderful breakfasts on the weekend. It's a great way to gather the family in the morning and relax and talk about our plans for the upcoming day. This recipe is one of our favorites AND it provides a great
use for those apples you'll be gathering while apple-picking this fall.

1/4-cup margarine
1/2-cup sugar
1/4-teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2-cups apples; peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2-teaspoon cinnamon

1-cup Complete Pancake Mix (any brand will do)
1/2-teaspoon cinnamon
1/4-teaspoon nutmeg
3/4-cup water
1-teaspoon vanilla

1-Tablespoon Sugar
1/4-teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9-inch pie pan, melt margarine in oven. Stir in apples, 1/2-cup sugar, 1/2-teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4-teaspoon nutmeg.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-minutes

In a medium bowl, blend all batter ingredients and pour evenly over the cooked apples in the 9-inch pie pan.

In a small bowl combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter.

Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let stand 2-minutes and invert onto a serving plate.

Cut into wedges and serve.

Pork Roast With Spiced Apples


1-teaspoon salt
1/2-teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 boneless rolled pork loin roast (approximately 4 to 5 pounds)

Spiced Apples:
1/4-cup honey
1/2-cup water
1-Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/2-teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4-teaspoon ground ginger
1/4-teaspoon ground nutmeg
2-medium apples; peeled, cored, and sliced

Combine salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon; rub over roast. Place roast fat side up on a rack, in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer. Bake, uncovered at 325 degrees for 2-2 1/2 hours or until thermometer registers 160 degrees. Cover and let stand 15 minutes before slicing. In a medium skillet, combine the first 6 spiced apple ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until slightly thickened. Add apples, simmer uncovered until apples are just tender, stirring gently. Serve with sliced pork roast.

*both the pork roast and the apples will freeze nicely. Freeze separately in airtight freezer containers.

Provides 8-10 servings


This recipe has been passed down to me by one of my mother's oldest friends who always made everything from scratch and raised 5 children on a very meager salary. She is a woman I have always admired. Please forgive the way this recipe is written out, I've never bothered to separate it all out and have always left it just as she gave it to me.

Take 2-Egss and beat lightly
Add 1/3-cup of Sugar until creamy
Add 1/4-cup melted shortening OR oil
Add 1/4-cup of milk

Mix 1 3/4-cup flour in with 3/4-teaspoon cream of tartar
add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
add 1/8 teaspoon salt
add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix the egg mixture with the dry ingredients to incorporate, but don't over handle.

Pull off pieces of dough the size of a walnut. Roll into a finger shape.

Lay them out on a floured pastry cloth OR a floured board

Fry in deep fat which has been heated to 365 degrees until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels.

Roll in thin confectioner's sugar and water mixture.

Old-Fashioned Corn Bread (a.k.a. Earlene's Spider Bread)

1-Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Sugar
2-teaspoons Baking Powder
1-teaspoon Salt
1/2-teaspoon Baking Soda
2/3-Cup Yellow Corn Meal
1/4-Cup Bacon Drippings (or Butter, etc.)
1-Cup Buttermilk

In a bowl, mix together the first six ingredients.

About 1/2 hour before serving, start heating the oven to 400 degrees.

Melt grease in a skillet.

Beat together eggs and stir in buttermilk and dry ingredients.

Add hot grease to this mixture.

Pour into cast iron skillet.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated 400 degree oven or until nicely browned.

Can be served in the skillet if you like.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

That's Some Yummy Chicken!

Tonight for dinner I again experimented. Goodness my family loves being my guinea pigs (not!). I took chicken breasts and marinated them for about 24 hours in South Beach Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing. They were absolutely delightful and the entire family loved them.

I made Rice-A-Roni's Chicken and Garlic flavor Rice and it wasn't so good. Not sure if it was the combination or just the rice, but I'm thinking it was the rice. We had green beans and pineapple with it as well and overall it was such a wonderful meal. Just the perfect ending to our super hot day today.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Chicken Enchilada Casserole (slow-cooker recipe)


1 Onion; Chopped
1 Garlic Clove; minced
1 Tablespoon Oil (I prefer Olive Oil)
1-10 ounce can Enchilada Sauce
1-8 ounce can Tomato Sauce
salt to taste
pepper to taste
8 corn tortillas
3 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves; cooked and cubed
1-11 ounce can Mexicorn; drained
3/4 lb. cheddar cheese; grated
1-2.25 ounce can sliced black olives; drained

Saute onion and garlic in oil in a saucepan. Stir in enchilada sauce and tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Place two tortillas in the bottom of the slow-cooker. Layer one-third chicken on top. Top with one-third sauce mixture, one third mexicorn, one third cheese, and one third black olives.

Repeat layers 2 more times. Top with 2 tortillas.

Cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Monday Meal Planning

due to many circumstances beyond my control, last week's menu wasn't completely carried out as planned. Here is the menu for this week.

Eating out - Mama's sick and everyone's at the fest

Balsamic Chicken and Garlic Rice and Green Beans

Enchiladas and Spanish Rice

Spaghetti and garlic bread

Pizza Night

Pepper Steak and Brown Rice

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

A Martha Stewart Recipe


Makes about 4 dozen.

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm and cut into chunks
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream
2 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped walnut or pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; and set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add sour cream, and beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Fold in chocolate and nuts.
Drop dough in mounds (2 level tablespoons each) at least 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets (as you work, chill any remaining dough until ready to bake).
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are golden brown but still soft to the touch, 15 to 16 minutes (chilled dough will take longer). Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Well, apparently I've completely forgotten to post my Monday Menu.

Here's a quick overview.

Monday - BLT's

Tuesday - Chipotle Chicken, Rice, and Corn

Wednesday - Beef & Salsa Burritos (home-made)

Thursday - Spaghetti

Friday - Fest Night

Saturday - Birthday Party

Sunday - Fest Night

Monday - Fest Night

As you can see, it's an easy cooking week for me. Tuesday will really kick off healthier eating, so I've got to do some real planning. I hope to post my Beef and Salsa Burrito recipe tomorrow - it's sooo yummy and super simple.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Meal Planning

Here is my meal plan for the week.

Jerk Chicken on the grill, rice, pineapple, and green beans with lemon sherbet for dessert

Nana's Goulash with Noodles with brownies for dessert

Lorinda's Famous Pepper Steak with White Rice and homemade ice-cream for dessert

Salsa Burritos and Mexican Rice, Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes for Dessert

Pizza Night

Burgers on the grill, french fries, Corn on the Cob and Lemon Bars for dessert

George Washington’s Cranberry Pudding

George Washington’s Cranberry Pudding
(serves 6 to 8)

2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/3 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 cups cranberries, cut in half

Combine eggs, sugar, salt and molasses. In a separate container, put 2 teaspoons of soda in 1/3 cup boiling water. Add to egg mixture. Stir in flour and cranberries. Steam in a buttered rice steamer for 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm with the following sauce.


2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup half and half

Melt butter. Add sugar and half and half and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Mamie’s Million Dollar Fudge Recipe

Mamie’s Million Dollar Fudge Recipe

4 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 tall can evaporated milk
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bits
12 ounces German-sweet chocolate
1 pint marshmallow cream
2 cups nuts
Boil the sugar, salt, butter, evaporated milk together for six minutes.
Put chocolate bits and German chocolate, marshmallow cream and nutmeats in a bowl. Pour the boiling syrup over the ingredients. Beat until chocolate is all melted, then pour in pan. Let stand a few hours before cutting.
Remember it is better the second day. Store in tin box.

Berry Bliss Cake

3/4 cup cold milk
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
1 pkg. (10.75 oz.) frozen pound cake
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cups mixed raspberries and sliced strawberries
1/4 cup blackberries

ADD milk to dry pudding mix in medium bowl. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping.
CUT cake horizontally into three layers; brush with juice. Place bottom layer on serving plate; top with 3/4 cup of the berries, half of the pudding mixture and middle cake layer. Repeat layers of berries and pudding mixture; cover with top cake layer. Top with 1/2 cup whipped topping and the remaining berries; cover loosely with foil.
REFRIGERATE at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Quick Lemon-Berry Trifle

2-1/2 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling, or any other flavor
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
4 cups mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries), divided
42 NILLA Wafers

POUR milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Gently stir in 1-1/2 cups of the whipped topping. Reserve 1/4 cup of the berries; set aside.
ARRANGE 21 of the wafers on bottom and up side of 2-1/2-qt. serving bowl. Spoon one-third of the pudding mixture into prepared bowl; cover with half of the remaining berries. Top with layers of half of the remaining pudding mixture, remaining 21 wafers and remaining berries. Cover with layers of the remaining pudding mixture, remaining 1/2 cup whipped topping and reserved 1/4 cup berries. Cover with plastic wrap.
REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Angel Lush

1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Reduced Calorie Pudding & Pie Filling
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP LITE or COOL WHIP Sugar Free Whipped Topping
1 pkg. (10 oz.) round angel food cake
10 fresh strawberries

MIX pineapple and dry pudding mix in medium bowl. Gently stir in whipped topping.
CUT cake horizontally into three layers. Place bottom cake layer, cut-side up, on serving plate; top with one-third of the pudding mixture. Repeat layers two times.
REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour. Top with berries just before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Wave Your Flag Cheesecake

1 qt. strawberries, divided
1-1/2 cups boiling water
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Brand Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
Ice cubes
1 cup cold water
1 pkg. (10.75 oz.) pound cake, cut into 10 slices
1-1/3 cups blueberries, divided
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed

SLICE 1 cup of the strawberries; set aside. Halve the remaining 3 cups strawberries; set aside. Stir boiling water into dry gelatin mixes in large bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add enough ice to cold water to measure 2 cups. Add to gelatin; stir until ice is completely melted. Refrigerate 5 min. or until gelatin is slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites).
MEANWHILE, line bottom of 13x9-inch dish with cake slices. Add sliced strawberries and 1 cup of the blueberries to thickened gelatin; stir gently. Spoon over cake slices. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set.
BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with wire whisk or electric mixer until well blended; gently stir in whipped topping. Spread over gelatin. Arrange strawberry halves on cream cheese mixture to resemble the stripes of a flag. Arrange remaining 1/3 cup blueberries on cream cheese mixture for the stars. Store any leftover dessert in refrigerator.

Skillet Chicken Salad

Skillet Chicken Salad (from L. Simms)

3-chicken breasts; cut into 3 x 1/2” strips
1/4-teaspoon salt
1/4-teaspoon black pepper
1/4-cup chopped celery
1/4-cup chopped green onions
1/4-cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3-cup sour cream
1/3-cup mayonnaise
1/2-teaspoon mustard seed
1-Tablespoon Country Dijon Mustard

In a 10-inch skilled, melt 1-Tablespoon of butter/margarine; stir in chicken, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until chicken is browned and fork tender.

Stir in remaining ingredients, cook until warmed through.

Place chicken on lettuce leaves with cherry tomato garnish.

Serve with apple slices, green grapes, and fresh croissants.

Waldorf Chicken Salad

Waldorf Chicken Salad (from L. Simms)

2-cups; chopped, cooked chicken or turkey
1/2-cup; chopped apples
1/4-cup; chopped celery
1/4-cup; chopped walnuts
1/3-cup mayo
1-teaspoon lemon juice
1/8-teaspoon salt
8-slices of raisin bread
leaf lettuce

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except bread and lettuce; mix well.

Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to blend flavors. Divide filling mixture between 4 bread slices. Place lettuce leaf on top of filling; top with remaining bread slice.

California Chicken (slow cooker recipe)

California Chicken (slow-cooker recipe)

3 lb. Chicken; Quartered
1-cup orange juice
1/3-cup chili sauce
2-Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1-Tablespoon Molasses
1-teaspoon Dry Mustard
1-teaspoon Garlic Salt
2-Tablespoons Chopped Green Peppers
1-13.5 ounce can of Mandarin Oranges

1. Arrange chicken in slow cooker

2. In a separate bowl, combine juice, chili sauce, molasses, dry mustard, and garlic salt. Pour over chicken.

3. Cover; cook on low8-9 hours.

4. Stir in Green Peppers and Mandarin Oranges; heat for an additional 30 minutes

Old - Fashioned Cupcakes

Old-Fashioned Cupcakes
(Paula Deen Best Dishes)

1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Old Fashioned Frosting, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.
Combine in a bowl both flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix on low speed until combined for about 3 minutes. Add in cubed butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
Add eggs 1 at a time until combined. Slowly add milk and vanilla to batter until completely mixed scraping down the bowl as you mix.
Scoop batter into baking cups filling about 2/3 full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
Cool and decorate with Old Fashioned Frosting.

Old-Fashioned Frosting:
2 sticks butter, room temperature
8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or other flavoring

Cream softened butter and add 4 cups sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat with paddle attachment until smooth gradually add the rest of sugar to reach frosting consistency*.
*Cook's Note: Add more sugar to get this consistency.