Lemon Meltaway Butter Cookies

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest for garnish if desired

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add ½ cup of confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. 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.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and salt. Whisk together.
  4. Add the flour, in four batches, to the creamed butter and lemon mixture. Blend on medium low until incorporated.
  5. Place the cookie dough in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. To bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. 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.
  8. Press each dough ball to the desired thickness using the bottom of a flat glass covered with a small piece of wax paper.
  9. Bake for 13 minutes at 350 degrees until lightly browned around the edges. Slide the parchment paper onto a wire rack to cool.
  10. Repeat with a new piece of parchment paper placed on a cooled cookie sheet. Cool cookies completely before glazing.

To make the glaze,

  1. 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.
  2. Allow the glaze to fully set then store cookies in a cool place or refrigerator.

 

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Bacon Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

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

Ingredients

  • 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

 

Directions

  1. Fry bacon until desired crispness. Drain from grease, let cool, and chop into small pieces.
  2. Cut stems off broccoli and cauliflower. Break into small pieces and combine in a large bowl.
  3. Add chopped bacon, onions, and cheese to broccoli/cauliflower mixture.
  4. In a small bowl, combine mayo, sugar, and vinegar. Mix well.
  5. Pour mayonnaise mixture over the other salad ingredients and toss until everything is evenly coated.
  6. Refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor.

 

Egg Roll in a Bowl

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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

  1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add the garlic, onion, and white portion of the green onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the ground pork, ground ginger, sea salt, black pepper and Sriracha. Sauté until the pork is cooked through.
  4. Add the cabbage and soy sauce. Sauté until the cabbage is tender.
  5. Top with green onions and sesame seeds before serving.

 

Iced Oatmeal Cookies

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons warm water

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place rolled oats in a food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds until coarse.
  3. Mix oats with flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugars.
  5. Add in eggs one at a time then vanilla extract.
  6. Gradually add in flour mixture until combined.
  7. Roll dough into 2 tablespoon size balls and place on baking sheet spacing about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the bottoms begin to brown.
  9. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the glaze

  1. Mix confectioners’ sugar, milk, and water together in a medium bowl.
  2. Quickly dip tops of cookies into glaze and let excess drip off.
  3. Place back on wire rack until glaze sets.
  4. Store cookies in an airtight container.

 

Buffalo Chicken Dip

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

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Garnish
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions (or more to taste)

Directions

  1. Melt the cream cheese and mozzarella in a medium frying pan or pot, over low heat.
  2. Stir in the Buffalo sauce, then add the shredded chicken.
  3. 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.
  4. Top with scallions.
  5. Makes about 3 1/2 cups with approximately 5 tbsp of dip per serving.

 

Magnificently Meaty Chili

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

Ingredients

  • 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

 

Directions

  1. Brown ground beef in large skillet.
  2. Transfer beef to a large pot.
  3. Sauté peppers and onions over medium-low heat.
  4. While the pepper/onion mixture is sautéing, add tomatoes (with juice) to the pot of ground beef, along with all your spices. Mix well.
  5. Once the peppers and onions are slightly softened, add them to the pot and mix together.
  6. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour.
  7. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

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

Ingredients

The Muffin:

  • 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

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350o. Line muffin tin with liners.
  2. 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.
  3. Stire together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Drop 1 tablespoon onto the top of each muffin.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Store in refrigerator or freeze muffins!