Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Angel Wing Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup cold butter, cubed
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
10 tablespoons Sugar, divided
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
Colored sugar, optional
Directions
In a large bowl, cut butter into flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the sour cream. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 6-8 times or until mixture holds together. Shape into four balls; flatten slightly. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Unwrap one ball. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar on waxed paper; coat all sides of ball with sugar. Roll into a 12-in. x 5-in. rectangle between two sheets of waxed paper. Remove top sheet of waxed paper. Sprinkle dough with 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Lightly mark a line down the center of the dough, making two 6-in. x 5-in. rectangles.
Starting with a short side, roll up jelly-roll style to the center mark; peel waxed paper away while rolling. Repeat with other short side. Wrap in plastic wrap; freeze for 30 minutes. Repeat three times.
Place remaining sugar or place colored sugar if desired on waxed paper. Unwrap one roll. Cut into 1/2-in. slices; dip each side into sugar. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 375° for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Turn cookies; bake 5-8 minutes longer. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: about 3 dozen.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sour Cream Drop Cookies
Yields: About 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
For the cookies:
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the glaze:
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
4 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, sour cream and vanilla together until well incorporated. Add in the flour, baking soda and baking powder until combined throughouly.  Chill the dough at least one hour before baking.
Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchement paper. Bake  at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. The cookies are done when they begin to brown on the bottom, although they may appear underdone on the top. Let cool before frosting.
To make the glaze: Melt the butter, then add the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Add the boiling water, one tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. The glaze should be thick enough to spread with a spoon, but not run down the sides of the cookies. The glaze will harden on the cookie as it cools.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Apple Pecan Gingerbread
Ingredients: 
5 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for greasing
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1-1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Firm cooking apple like Fuji or Gala apple, peeled, cored and chopped fine

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch loaf pan with butter.
In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, molasses, sugar, butter, vanilla and egg.
In a second large bowl, combine flour, ginger, baking soda and pecans. Add apples and toss well.
Stir flour mixture into molasses mixture and then spoon batter into pan. Bake until cooked through and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 45 – 50 minutes.
Let cool in pan for 30 minutes and then invert onto a plate and serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fugality and the Art of Spending Money

Origannly written Oct. 4, 2012

Being frugal is not about being cheap.  It's being economical, carefully spending and saving money so that a quality of life can be achieved. It's living better for less.

  Here is an example. Our refrigerator. It's way too small. It's hard to work with especially on holidays and harvest times. I've often wished for a second old refrigerator just to hold the drinks, harvest or the turkey that defrosting. But we've do with it. Oh did I say that the refrigerator is very old. It has scratches on the door. The gaskets are ripped. But we still made do. Then last weekend the little shelf that held up the meat/cheese door cracked off. Ok I guess now it's time to buy a new appliance.

I'm the family cook. I like to cook and the kitchen is my domain. I have much too small galley kitchen which makes it challenging to cook all the home-made from scratch meals that I do. I was planning to replace said appliance with one of similar size because I could not see giving up even a few inches of precious counter space for anything large. Walt and the rest of the family wanted one with an automatic ice/water dispenser. ( That would get us drinking more water - right?) So when Walt and went shopping at our locally owned applence store we first found a scratch and dent that seemed to fit the bill, only it was at the top of the dollar amount wewere willing to pay. A little bit bigger for me. I liked the layout and it had the water option Walt liked. We double check to see if there was anything cheaper. Not really, the others were more more apartment sized or had flimsey shallow trays in the dispenser. Then we say it. There on the wall near the big expensive models.  This one had closeout pricing that made it a real deal. Still it was hundreds more than the model we had almost decided on. We measured and measured again. Open and closed door multiple times. I even said that I would allow Walt to cut off three inches of my presious counter if we bought this.

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Do you see what we liked about this one? It's the seperate snack dawere.  With a houseful of young adult hungary and on differend schedules. It was getting hard to find something to eat among everything else I have there. Now there is a define snack and leftover section.                                                                                           ..

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Smells Like Grapefruit

It's right after breakfast. The house is quiet, everyone is at work or in school. Time for me to clean up the kitchen before starting my other chores. After clearing off the dishes I look for something to clean the breakfast counter. Today I break into my new batch of grapefruit/citrus cleaner.

Easy to make - this time of year. Stuff a quart jar with citus peels then fill with white vinegar. After a few days, stain and dilute 1:1 with water in a spray jar.  The vinegar is infused with a nice citus fragrence and the vinegar/citus combo is a great cleaner. Vinegar breaks down mold, grease, mineral  deposits and kills bacteria. Citus is a good de-greaser, freshner and stain remover. Try this homemade cleaner next time you're cleaning out the refrigerator.