No-Spread Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

These are perfect for use with cookie cutters because, as the name suggests, they do not spread (duh). I always hated making sugar cookies because of the mess, but rolling out the dough between sheets of parchment paper is easy and mess-free! Thanks so much to the Baking A Moment blog for this recipe.

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Ingredients: 

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method: 

  1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar, just until smooth and combined.  Mix in the eggs and vanilla until incorporated.  Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt, and mix on medium low speed (you may need to crank up the speed a little if the thick dough seems like it’s burning out the mixer’s motor).  The mixture will seem very dry and sandy at first, but after 3 to 5 minutes in the mixer it will gather itself into a ball and pull away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper, to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut into shapes, and bake for 9 to 12 minutes.  Cool completely, then decorate with royal icing.

Royal Icing: 

  • 3 ¾ cups/1 pound/454 grams confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Food coloring, as needed
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Whisk until stiff and glossy.
  2. To tint the frosting, divide into small bowls. Cover the ones you aren’t using with plastic wrap; the frosting dries out very quickly. Use a rubber spatula to stir in desired food coloring. Though not necessary, it makes life easier if you make two versions of each color — one that is thick to pipe the outline on the cookie, and one that is thinned out slightly with a little water to flood the outline.
  3. Transfer frosting to piping bags fitted with very small round tips (sizes 1 to 2 work best). Pipe frosting onto cooled cookies and let set, at least 2 hours. Or use a pastry of paint brush to decorate cookies with the frosting.

Chili Shrimp and Coconut Cornbread

Congrats to the winning entry from the 2017 National Cornbread Cook Off! I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe…

Ingredients:

For Coconut cornbread:
1 package (7 oz.) Martha White Sweet Yellow Cornbread & Muffin Mix
1 Large Egg
1/2 cup Canned coconut milk
1 tablespoon Water
1/4 cup Unsweetened coconut flakes
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/2 tablespoon Unsalted butter, melted

For Chili Shrimp:
24 Frozen medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail removed and thawed
1 tablespoon Grated fresh garlic
1 tablespoon Grated fresh ginger
2 Large scallions
3/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Sriracha tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon Soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
3/4 teaspoon Crushed red pepper
1/16 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Black pepper
1 Large Egg, beaten
1/2 tablespoon Cornstarch
1 tablespoon Water
4 slices Bacon

Method:

  1. Make coconut cornbread. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 egg, coconut milk, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of water and cornbread & muffin mix. Mix in coconut flakes until well blended. Use the lid of the Lodge Cast Iron 3.2-quart Combo Cooker as a skillet. Spread the melted butter on the bottom of the lid and spread the cornbread mixture evenly. Bake in preheated 400 degrees F oven for 19-21 minutes until golden brown and a tooth pick inserted in center of the cornbread comes out clean.
  2. While the cornbread is baking, make chili shrimp. In a small bowl, mix together
    sriracha tomato ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, crushed red pepper, 1/16 teaspoon of salt
    and black pepper.
  3. Heat the 3.2-quart Lodge Cast Iron Combo Cooker over medium heat. Chop bacon,
    add the bacon to the cooker and cook stirring constantly until the fat is rendered and bacon is almost crisp. Add garlic and ginger to the cooker. Cook stirring constantly until fragrant. Add shrimp to the cooker and cook stirring constantly until shrimp turn opaque. Stir in the sriracha tomato ketchup mixture and 3/4 cup of water. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  4. Cut out the stem end of scallions and chop scallions. In a small bowl, mix together
    cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water.
  5. After 5 minutes, add the scallions to the cooker and stir to combine. Then add the
    cornstarch mixture to the cooker and stir until thickened. Stir in the beaten egg until egg is fluffy, not over cooked.
  6. When the coconut cornbread has baked, remove the lid from the oven, cut the
    coconut cornbread into four and place on each individual serving platter. Put the chili shrimp over the top equally.

 

Spicy Indian Chicken Thighs

I’m always a huge fan of chicken thighs – they’re cheap, create their own juicy broth, and are hard to screw up. This recipe, from The Wednesday Chef, originally called for bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. I found that the best part of this cut of chicken thighs is that the skin gets really crispy in the oven. Unfortunately, with this recipe I’ve found that the thick spice paste prevents the skin from getting crispy, and really you just end up with rubbery skin. So, I changed it to boneless skinless chicken thighs. Feel free to revert back to the original (or use any other cut of chicken, really).

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Ingredients:

8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded
Juice and zest of 1 whole lemon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander

Method:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put chicken thighs in a bowl. Mince/grate garlic, ginger and pepper. Toss with all remaining ingredients or put in a small food processor, and grind to a paste.

Rub mixture thoroughly into chicken and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. At this point, you can cover, and refrigerate for up to a day.

Put thighs in a roasting pan. Roast for 45 minutes or until done. (I’ve not tried it, but these would probably be really delicious grilled, too.)

Serve with couscous or basmati rice and a dallop of yogurt. Cilantro optional as garnish.

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Chicken Salad Veronique

As per usual, this recipe is adapted from an Ina Garten recipe (here). It’s highly adaptable if you like more tarragon, less grapes, etc. but is perfectly delicious as described below. Keeps well in the fridge in a sealed container for several days. Serve on a croissant sandwich, atop lettuce, or topping crostini (my favorite).

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Ingredients:

  • 4 (boneless skinless) chicken breasts (or, just roast a whole chicken)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 cup small-­diced celery (2 stalks)
  • 1 cup green grapes, cut in ½
  • 1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts or almonds), toasted and chopped

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside until cool.

When the chicken is cool, shred with two forks (or dice, if you prefer). Place the chicken in a bowl; add the mayonnaise, tarragon leaves, celery, grapes, and pecans. Toss to combine, season with s&p, taste, and adjust seasonings.

Chill and serve.

Szechuan Lambchops with Cilantro Chimichurri

HUGE flavor! Fun to make, impressive to serve, and delicious to eat. Good for a crowd or just as a weeknight dinner. Serve with couscous.

Adapted from THIS recipe.

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Lamb Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • racks lambchops, frenched (can sub other cuts of lamb – adjust cooking time accordingly) 
  • tablespoons cumin
  • tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns
  • tablespoons salt
  • tablespoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)

Method:

Mix soy sauce, oil, vinegar, and garlic. Cut lamb into 6 equal pieces and marinate for 6 to 8 hours.

Heat grill. Mix cumin, peppercorns, and coriander. Mix with salt and chili and sprinkle liberally over lamb. Grill until temperature reaches 140, let rest about 5 minutes, then slice each piece in half. Serve with Cilantro Chimichurri.

Cilantro Chimichurri:

  • 1cup cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • tablespoons jalapeño (seeds removed), chopped
  • tablespoons rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Blend all ingredients through rice vinegar, then drizzle in oil with the machine running. Season to taste with salt.

Chicken Pot Pie

A warm and comforting classic that is SO much better when made from scratch.

chickenpotpie

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken, cooked and shredded/chopped (about 2 breasts)
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup milk or cream
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley (sub fresh if available)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme (sub fresh if available)
  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust
  • 1 egg

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Set the pie crust out to come to room temp (if using the refrigerated kind).

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, and onion. Sautée until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle over the flour, and cook until the flour has been incorporated into the butter and has started to brown slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened. Add the peas, chicken, milk, celery salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, and thyme. Stir to combine and cook until thickened, adding more milk if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Lightly grease an 8″x8″ baking dish (or other dish about that size – you can even just use the same cast iron skillet you cooked everything in!). Pour in the pot pie filling, and top with the pie crust. Whisk the egg until frothy and brush on top of the pie crust. Cut several slits for steam to escape, and sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Place in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the pie crust is browned. Cool slightly, and serve.

Notes:

  • Rice makes a great side with this pot pie, as it provides an excellent medium for sopping up the delicious filling.
  • You don’t have to use a pie crust as the topping – biscuits, crushed crackers, puff pastry, and crescent rolls all make nice toppings, too.
  • If you’re tight on time, just substitute frozen veggies for fresh. My grocery store (and probably yours, too) sells a nice mix of frozen carrots, peas, corn, and lima beans that is just delicious in this recipe. Simply make the roux first (butter, flour, broth) and then add the veggies with the chicken.

Elderflower Champagne Punch

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Ingredients:

1 (750-ml) bottle Brut champagne or dry sparkling wine, chilled
1 cup of elderflower liqueur, like St. Germain
1 (12-ounce) can of club soda or seltzer water, chilled
1 cup sliced strawberries

Method:

In a large punch bowl or pitcher, combine all of the ingredients and stir. Add ice (if using a punch bowl, definitely use an ice ring – instructions here). Pour into glasses and scoop a few strawberries into each glass.

Notes:

  • The recipe can be made without the club soda, but cut the elderflower liqueur by 1/4 cup.
  • The strawberries can be removed completely or you can substitute other fresh berries, sliced peaches, or other fresh fruit.
  • To make just one cocktail, combine 1 ounce of elderflower liqueur and 3 ounces of chilled Champagne with a few sliced strawberries.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn blog.

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Quick Yeast Rolls

Fairly quick, very easy, and yields delicious, soft dinner rolls. They’re slightly sweet, and remind me of (less sweet) King’s Hawaiian Rolls.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons shortening (plus more for greasing the pan)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the shortening, sugar, and hot water. Allow to cool until lukewarm, and mix in the yeast until dissolved. Mix in the egg, salt, and flour. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size (about 30 min – 1 hour).
  2. Grease a pie plate (or cake pan) with shorting. Divide the dough into about 8 rolls, arrange in plate, and allow to rise again until doubled in size (about 30 min).
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  4. Bake for 12-14 minutes in the preheated oven.
  5. (optional) brush with melted butter before serving.

 

Fluffy Rice and Chicken

A 1970s classic from my mom’s Betty Crocker recipe box she mailed away for in high school and has been cooking from since. This is one of her favorites.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (of course)
  • 1 soup can of milk
  • 3/4 cup rice (uncooked)
  • 1 can (4 oz) of mushrooms (can sub fresh)
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 2 chicken breasts, halved (you can really use whatever pieces of chicken you like)

Method:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together mushroom soup and milk; reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture. Combine remaining soup, rice, mushrooms (including liquid), and half the onion soup mix.

Pour into an ungreased baking dish. Place chicken breasts on top. Pour reserved soup mixture over chicken, and sprinkle with remaining onion mix. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Serves 4

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Crispy Catfish with Kale-Farro Salad & Warm Grape Relish

Another delicious recipe from Blue Apron.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Catfish Fillets
  • ½ Cup Semi-Pearled Farro
  • 4 Ounces Thomcord Grapes
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Bunch Kale
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Bunch Rosemary
  • 3 Tablespoons Almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

Method:

  1. Cook the farro: Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the farro and cook, uncovered, 16 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.
  2. Prepare the ingredients: While the farro cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove and discard the kale stems; roughly chop the leaves. Peel and mince the garlic. Pick the rosemary leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Remove and discard any stems from the grapes. Roughly chop the almonds. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon.
  3. Cook the kale: While the farro continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the kale and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add ½ cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the kale has wilted and the water has cooked off; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan.
  4. Fry the rosemary & make the grape relish: In the same pan, heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Once hot enough that a pinch of rosemary sizzles immediately when added, add the rosemary in a single layer. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until pale green and slightly crispy. Leaving the oil in the pan, using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried rosemary to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt and pepper. Add the grapes to the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Turn off the heat. Stir in the almonds and the juice of 2 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl. Rinse and wipe out the pan.
  5. Coat & cook the catfish: Place the flour on a plate. Pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Thoroughly coat in the flour (tapping off any excess). In the same pan, melt the butter on medium-high until hot. Add the coated fillets and cook 5 to 6 minutes on the first side, or until browned. Flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from heat.
  6. Make the salad and plate your dish: While the catfish cooks, add the cooked kale, lemon zest and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges to the pot of cooked farro. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the salad and cooked catfish fillets between 2 dishes. Top the fillets with the grape relish. Garnish with the fried rosemary. Enjoy!

 

COOK TIME

35-45mins

MAKES

2 Servings

NUTRITION

Est. 800 calories