When life gives you lemons… Make delicious, buttery cookies! Every year, a bunch of the women on my dad’s side of the family get together for a cookie exchange. We all bake a dozen cookies for every person in attendance and then we exchange our cookies that we made. We also decorate cut out cookies and pretzels, and we usually do a small gift exchange. It’s a gay ol’ time with the fam! I am always overjoyed for this event, until it’s 3 am and I’m on my kitchen floor waiting for the last batch of cookies to come out of the oven. It never fails. I got started early this year though, so instead of waiting for the cookies to get out of the oven at 3 am, I was glazing the cookies. Progress. However, I must say, it was well worth it. Not only did I get 13 dozen different kinds of cookies that I didn’t have to bake, I had a lot of these yummy lemon meltaways leftover, all to myself!
Lemon Meltaway Butter Cookies
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (packed – about 2 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch or arrowroot
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest for garnish if desired
- In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add ½ cup of confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Gently blend on low until incorporated, scraping down sides with a spatula as needed.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and salt. Whisk together.
- Add the flour, in four batches, to the creamed butter and lemon mixture. Blend on medium low until incorporated.
- Place the cookie dough in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- To bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop a level spoonful of dough using a 1-inch cookie scoop. Roll each into a tight ball and place two inches apart on the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Press each dough ball to the desired thickness using the bottom of a flat glass covered with a small piece of wax paper.
- Bake for 13 minutes at 350 degrees until lightly browned around the edges. Slide the parchment paper onto a wire rack to cool.
- Repeat with a new piece of parchment paper placed on a cooled cookie sheet. Cool cookies completely before glazing.
To make the glaze,
- Mix together 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add more lemon juice or sugar as needed to reach desired consistency. Garnish with lemon zest if desired.
- Allow the glaze to fully set then store cookies in a cool place or refrigerator.
Tis the season to make my favorite salads and casseroles. I love the holidays because they give me all the reasons to cook delicious food. Last weekend, I had my first family Christmas of the year. My family isn’t they type to get together for a few hours and then send everyone home. We like to have get-togethers that last an entire weekend, or more, and as a homegrown, Wisconsin family, we naturally drink a lot of drinks and eat a lot of food. So, Friday night, everyone brought a dish to pass and we had a big ol’ pot luck. I’ve been on a kick with making this salad and I knew it’d be a hit with my family (I was right). My grandma told me it was delicious, and wasn’t just because I’m her favorite grandchild.
Bacon Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- 2 bunches of broccoli
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 pound bacon (fried and chopped)
- ½ medium red onion (finely chopped)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sugar
- 5 Tbs red wine vinegar
- Fry bacon until desired crispness. Drain from grease, let cool, and chop into small pieces.
- Cut stems off broccoli and cauliflower. Break into small pieces and combine in a large bowl.
- Add chopped bacon, onions, and cheese to broccoli/cauliflower mixture.
- In a small bowl, combine mayo, sugar, and vinegar. Mix well.
- Pour mayonnaise mixture over the other salad ingredients and toss until everything is evenly coated.
- Refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor.
Today, I am sharing with you, my favorite low-carb dish to make and eat. This Egg Roll in a Bowl dish is, hands-down, THE BEST. I often make this on a Monday and eat it all week long because it heats up to taste even better than when it’s initially made. Use this recipe as a general guideline, and add in whatever ingredients you see fit. I like my meals to be more meat-heavy, so I do one pound of meat to half a head of cabbage, but you could use an entire head if you want more veggies. Personally, I would consider this, but I don’t own a pan large enough to cook the whole head of cabbage (college student life). Drop a comment and let me know how you like this meal, what you add, or what you do differently.
Egg Roll in a Bowl
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 5 green onions, sliced on a bias (white and green parts)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp Sriracha, more to taste
- ½ head of cabbage
- 3 soy sauce
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the garlic, onion, and white portion of the green onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the ground pork, ground ginger, sea salt, black pepper and Sriracha. Sauté until the pork is cooked through.
- Add the cabbage and soy sauce. Sauté until the cabbage is tender.
- Top with green onions and sesame seeds before serving.
Over the weekend, we had our first real snowfall here in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. What a better way to celebrate than with some delicious cookies. As a broke college student, I refuse to turn my heat above 65 degrees, so to counter the chilly temperatures in my apartment I BAKE! This weekend it was these delicious Iced Oatmeal Cookies. They’re easy and buttery. I would say that they are the perfect sweet treat to enjoy when it’s snowy outside, but you still need a snack that tastes like fall.
Iced Oatmeal Cookies
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.
- Place rolled oats in a food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds until coarse.
- Mix oats with flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugars.
- Add in eggs one at a time then vanilla extract.
- Gradually add in flour mixture until combined.
- Roll dough into 2 tablespoon size balls and place on baking sheet spacing about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the bottoms begin to brown.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the glaze
- Mix confectioners’ sugar, milk, and water together in a medium bowl.
- Quickly dip tops of cookies into glaze and let excess drip off.
- Place back on wire rack until glaze sets.
- Store cookies in an airtight container.
It’s important to have some easy recipes in your bag of tricks. I’ve been having to do a lot of cooking for work parties and gatherings with friends, and for these events, I enjoy making a good dip! I have a few dips that I make pretty frequently, but this one might just be my favorite. It’s full of spicy, warm, cheesy, deliciousness, and it’s proven to please!
Buffalo Chicken Dip
- 3 cups shredded chicken (rotisserie or cooked chicken breast)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup Franks Buffalo Sauce
- 1/2 cup creamy Ranch salad dressing (good quality like Lighthouse)
- 2 tbsp chopped green onions
- 2 tbsp chopped green onions (or more to taste)
- Melt the cream cheese and mozzarella in a medium frying pan or pot, over low heat.
- Stir in the Buffalo sauce, then add the shredded chicken.
- Add the ranch dressing and green onions, stirring until incorporated. Heat until the mixture is hot. Place in a warmed serving dish or in a small appetizer sized crock pot.
- Top with scallions.
- Makes about 3 1/2 cups with approximately 5 tbsp of dip per serving.
Some people think I’m odd…because I don’t like noodles in my chili. And various other reasons. I love meat and I like it to be the star of my chili; I don’t need any bland noodles around trying to steal the show, so I just leave them out. I also decided to leave out the beans and make it a low-carb chili, making it MAGNIFICENTLY MEATY and deliciously spicy. It’s also super easy and it freezes nicely! Enjoy!
Magnificently Meaty Chili
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 white onion
- ¼ jalapeno peppers
- 2 Tbs minced garlic
- 1 – 15 oz can chili seasoned tomatoes
- 1 – 10 oz can tomatoes with green chilis
- 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbs chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- Brown ground beef in large skillet.
- Transfer beef to a large pot.
- Sauté peppers and onions over medium-low heat.
- While the pepper/onion mixture is sautéing, add tomatoes (with juice) to the pot of ground beef, along with all your spices. Mix well.
- Once the peppers and onions are slightly softened, add them to the pot and mix together.
- Simmer over low heat for 1 hour.
- Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.
Summer will always be my favorite season, but Fall might be my favorite food season. I absolutely love all things pumpkin, caramel, and apple – the staples of all good fall treats. I spend most of my year waiting for the cans of pumpkin to be back on the shelves and the spooky movies to be back on tv. I don’t love the cold weather rolling in, but if I can warm up by baking I can usually make it through. So, I’m here to share this delicious recipe with you! Stay in, pull on a sweater and your favorite wool socks, and cook up this sweet treat. I guarantee it won’t disappoint!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
- 1 C sugar
- 1/3 C vegetable oil
- 1 C pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- ¼ C milk
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 C sifted all-purpose flour
The Cream Cheese Filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ C sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350o. Line muffin tin with liners.
- Sir pumkin puree, oil, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Do not use a mixer. Stir in the eggs, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda. Stir in 1 cup of flour, then stir in milk, then stir in remaining 1 cup of flour. Divide evenly among muffin tin. Fill each liner ½ full.
- Stire together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Drop 1 tablespoon onto the top of each muffin.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Store in refrigerator or freeze muffins!