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May 31, 2011

Cheesy Spinach Scramble

It seems like recently I haven't had time to do much grocery shopping (not to mention that its a task I despise), so we've been having a lot of "pantry" meals.  I've actually come to really love these!  Its challenging for me to come up with something edible from the measly food stuffs in my kitchen.
Here is one I created that my family adored and I've actually made a couple times since.
(Sorry about the poor photo quality, they looked good on the camera, but the reality kinda blows)

Cheesy Spinach Scramble
2 medium size potatoes, cooked, peeled and cut into chunks
(left over baked potatoes or canned potatoes work wonderfully)
5 eggs, well beaten
1/2 c. milk
1 c. cottage cheese
2-3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 of a 10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 c. cooked, diced ham (optional)
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat.  Add cut potatoes to the pan, stirring the potatoes to coat them with the melted butter.  Cook until the potatoes are hot.  Add in the spinach and ham, stirring to break up and distribute through the potatoes.
In a separate bowl combine the beaten eggs, milk, cottage cheese and salt & pepper. 
Pour the egg mix over the potatoes and stir until eggs are cooked (like scrambled eggs). 
 Remove from heat, sprinkle the scrambled mix with the mozzarella cheese, then cover and let stand 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

 That's all it took!  This was a really good dish that would be wonderful for breakfast or lunch as well.  Adding some fresh fruit as a side dish would make this a complete meal.
Another great idea is serving with salsa or hot sauce.
Oh, and sorry about the very poor quality photos.  I don't have any idea why they were so blurry, they didn't look like that on the camera, I swear!

May 24, 2011

Billy Goat Cookies

I have been sorting through my mom's recipes, trying to organize them and create an easier storage system.
This has turned out to be such fun!  We have run across recipes that bring back memories from my childhood, and laughed over some of the disasters we both remember.
But the really great thing about this endeavor are the treasures I have uncovered some REALLY OLD recipes that belonged to my grandmother, her sister and friends, and some long lost recipes belonging to Aunt Peg!
So many of the recipes I have gone through are simply fun to read.  The cooking styles and descriptions are sometimes confusing or really old school, and is giving me some challenges in deciphering everything, but I love it!
These Billy Goat Cookies are one of the recipes that had belonged to my grandmother Iola.  My mother (who is 75) remembers her mom making these when she was a little girl!  We don't know how these cookies came to be called Billy Goats but just following this old recipe handwritten by my grandma was sheer joy.
The original recipe in my grandma's handwriting.  Obviously well used.  I love her short hand directions!
Billy Goat Cookies
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. melted shortening
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 c. warm water
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
3-4 c. flour
2 c. chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or raisins
(or a combination of the 3-whatever your family would like)
Preheat oven to 350 degree's.
In a large mixing bowl combine the brown sugar and melted shortening.  Beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.  Add eggs 1 at a time, and beat well after each addition.
In a measuring cup combine the warm water and baking soda.  Stir until the soda is dissolved. Add to the sugar mixture.  Beat again until well combined.  The batter will be very thin.

Add the vanilla and the pinch of salt.
Add the flour to the batter about 1 cup at a time, and mix well after each addition. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough.  Stir in chocolate chips, nuts and raisins.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake for 13-15 min.
Cool on wire rack and store in a covered container.

 As you may be able to tell, I only used chocolate chips in my cookies. We aren't fans of nuts or raisins...

May 18, 2011


I've skipped a couple of the states (working alphabetically) in Our Cookie Nation Series because some of the recipes' ingredients are seasonal so I will have to make them later in the year, and thus we have arrived at Delaware & Pennsylvania!
This cookie, my family loved.  Of course we already love pizzelles (Italian wafer cookies), so we were excited to try this, and it met our expectations!
Grade: A
3 eggs (room temperature)
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Preheat a pizzelle iron.
In a large bowl, bead the eggs and sugar until thick.  Stir in the melted butter and vanilla.  Sift together the flour and baking powder and blend into the batter until smooth.
Lightly brush your pizzelle iron with vegetable oil.  Drop about 1 Tbsp. of batter onto each circle, close the iron and cook 20-45 seconds (depending on your iron).
Carefully remove the cookies from the iron, cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
You can sprinkle the cookie while warm with a cinnamon sugar mix, or powdered sugar when the cookie is completely cool.
For chocolate pizzelles:  add 1/4 c. cocoa sifted together with the flour and baking powder.  Add an additional 1/4 c. sugar and 1/4 tsp. baking powder. The iron may require extra oil for the chocolate version.
Batter is very thick

Note:  I found the batter to be very thick, and I know from my experience I get a thinner, crispier cookie if my batter is thinner, so I added 3-4 Tbsp. of water to my mix.
Recipe source:

May 14, 2011

CONNECTICUT- Italian Cookies 1

Finally I have another installment in my 50 States Cookie project. Connecticut's most searched for cookie was this recipe.
This was a very simple cookie to make, and simple is always good, right?
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.  Mix in the eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine the flour an baking powder; stir into creamed sugar.  Blend well.
Divide dough into walnut sized portion.  Roll each piece into a rope and then shape into a loop. (This is where I got confused.  The picture that accompanies this recipe doesn't match the directions, so I went with my own idea.)
Place cookies 2" apart on greased or parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake for 8-10 min until firm and golden at the edges.
I chose this ribbon design for breast cancer awareness

The original recipe doesn't call for frosting (and truly the photo that accompanies the recipe doesn't match the directions),  but I really think the cookie needed something else.  Its a great tasting cookie, but is a bit dry and a little bland without some kind of frosting or maybe a chocolate drizzle.
I was too lazy to make frosting, so I used 1/2 a container of purchased frosting, microwaved it for 15 seconds, stirred well, and then drizzled over the cookie.  As the frosting cools it sets back this shortcut!

May 8, 2011

Lighter Boston Cream Pie

This recipe just recently landed in my email inbox, and the minute I saw the photo I knew it was going to be something I had to make.  I even posted the recipe link on my facebook page hoping one of my friends would make it and bring it over to me-LOL!
It's a 5 ingredient recipe-FABULOUS!
1 prepared round angel food cake
1 (1.0 oz.) box JELL-O sugar free vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 c. cold fat-free milk (I used 1%)
1 c. thawed lite whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), divided
1 square semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped

Slice the angel food cake horizontally into 3 layers.
Beat the pudding mix and milk in a medium size bowl for 2 minutes.  Stir in 1/2 c. whipped topping.  Chill for 15-20 minutes until thickened.
Place 1st layer of angel food cake on your serving plate, and spread 1/2 of the pudding mix over the cake.  Place the second layer on top of the 1st layer and spread the remaining pudding mix on top.  Place the 3rd layer of cake on top.
Prepare glaze by melting the the square of baking chocolate and the remaining 1/2 c. whipped topping in a bowl in the microwave.  Use 20 second increments to melt the chocolate, stirring in between each time until chocolate is completely melted and whipped topping is combined.  Spread over the top layer of angel food cake.

Refrigerate for 1 hour, then remove from fridge 30 min. before serving.

NOTE:  Next time I make this dessert (and there will be a next time) I am going to double the ingredients for the chocolate glaze.  We just wanted more.  And just as an additional note, we did not wait the 30 minutes after I removed the cake from the fridge...who can wait that long?   It tasted great and looked ok too!

Recipe source: