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Tag Archives | Halloween

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Old fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies decorated with colorful M&M’s and loaded with chocolate chips and nuts.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Chemistry lesson

Are you a thin and crispy or soft and cakey chocolate chip cookie lover? I drive down the middle of the road on this one, right on the double lines. This cookie is not too thin and crispy and not too thick and cakey.

Chocolate Chip CookiesHere’s a little cookie chemistry. Butter melts more quickly than shortening so all-butter cookies spread thin and bake crispier. All-shortening cookies stay puffy and more rounded. The molasses in brown sugar makes the dough a softer texture so go all brown for cakey. Use one egg per 3 dozen batch for thin and crispy or 2 eggs for more cakelike cookies.

At the end of the day if there’s not enough flour, cookie dough will still spread when baked. The dough should be fairly thick and spoonable no matter how you want your cookies to turn out. My personal fave has some quick oatmeal for flavor and composition. What about yours?

You may also enjoy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter M&M Cookies, Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies, Broiled S’mores, Zucchini Nut Sandwich Rounds, Chocolate ‘Cinnful’ Cookies, Frosted Maple Spice Cookies, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, Icebox Butter Cookies, Jam Thumbprints and Peanut Butter Chocolate Buttons.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Crockpot Cinnamon Applesauce
2011 AniversaRecipe – Frosted Maple Spice Cookies

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 10-12 Minutes per batch | Yield: 3 Dozen | Level: Easy

Sorting M&M's

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, 6 oz
  • 1 12-oz pkg M&M’s, orange, red and brown candies
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, optional

Special Equipment – mixer, baking sheet

1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat the baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Adding Chocolate Chips2 Combine, flour, oats, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3 Beat butter, shortening, brown sugar and granulated sugar with a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy.

4 Add eggs and vanilla, then beat to combine.

5 Add 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time beating after each addition. If it gets too thick for the mixer, stir in the last portion.

6 Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired.
Decorating Dough
7 Drop dough by 1 rounded tablespoon 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Slightly flatten and place a few M&M’s on the top. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

8 Let stand for a minute or so then remove to a cooling rack.
Cookies Cooling
Use quick oats, not instant oats.

Drop dough with a small ice cream scoop to make even sized cookies.

Eat these warm out of the oven or cool and store in an airtight container and serve the next day.

Sorting M&M'sI love to make these cookies with colorful chocolate covered candies. Choose the color combinations you love or decorate the top with all of them. The photos have a Fall and Halloween theme but you could make other color combinations for different holidays and seasons.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange M&M’s for another cup of chocolate chips.
  • Exchange quick oats for rolled oats.

Inspiration – Helen Horton

Cook with Sauces
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Written by
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: October 27, 2013

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Frosted Maple Spice Cookies

Trunk-or-Treat happens tonight at my church. First there is a party with a pumpkin carving contest, cake walk, dancing, games, costume parade etc… Then the car trunks are lined up around the parking lot trunk open and decorated, or not. The kids trek from car to car in their garb sweeping in a cache of candy. I’m parting with my Frosted Maple Spice Cookies stowed in small cellophane bags. I love trunk-or-treating because I can give

away home baked confections and know they’ll pass the parents’ scrutiny. These marvelous Maple Spice cookies are filled with Fall flavors. The sauce is a creamy maple frosting with an apricot blush in honor of Halloween. I hope the children and grown-ups enjoy these cookie creations.

Prep Time: 25 Minutes | Cook Time: 45 Minutes | Yield: 3 dozen | Difficulty: Easy

The Sauce-Frosting
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Milk
2 tsp Butter, softened
Orange Food Coloring

The Rest-Cookies
1 ½ cups Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp freshly Ground Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, softened
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 egg

Preparation Instructions
1. Whisk together flour, soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves.

2. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter with a stand or hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp maple syrup and egg then beat until well blended.

3. Gradually add the flour mixture until just combined.

4. Drop 1 rounded tablespoon 2 inches apart onto a lightly sprayed baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes. Cool on pan for 5 minutes then place on a wire rack.

5. Combine powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, milk and butter stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add food coloring and stir. Frost cookies and serve.



Dish Designer
• Exchange milk for Half and Half for a richer frosting.
• Exchange dark brown for light brown sugar.
• Exchange orange food coloring for any desired color.

Inspiration—Cooking Light
sauces over under and through

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Halloween Traditions

When I was a kid we could go trick-or-treating around the neighborhood with some cautioned freedom. My family lived in a San Fernando Valley burb where we knew most families on the street. Mild coatless weather, we dressed in an array of homemade costumes to ring doorbells and collect sugar treasures. Upon return home, Dad and Mom enforced a sharing ritual. The rule assured everyone would wind up with the same quantity of candy.

Here’s how the prescribed procedure played out. We kids sat cross-legged in a large circle on the living room floor and dumped our candy into our own pile in front of us. We were allotted a few minutes to quickly segregate the best loved candy from the ‘not so much’ loved candy. The best candy was strictly guarded in a pile right in front of us. We hand-bulldozed the ‘not so much’ candy into a community pot in the center. Then turn-taking began. Going clockwise around the circle, each person could take one piece of candy from either their own hoard or from the community pot. We each ended up with even amounts but we’d also kept the best fruits of our trick-or-treat labors.

Do you have a Halloween memory to share? Perhaps you may enjoy a few holiday recipes and start some new traditions. Try my Three Sisters Baked Sugar Pumpkins (10/13/2011) for your Halloween dinner. Cook up an easy pot of caramel (10/23/2011) touched with anise and black food coloring for lovely Licorice Caramels. Bake off some circular Spider Web Sugar Cookies (10/25/11) and decorate with slithery spider webs or Frosted Maple Spice Cookies (10/29/11).
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Spider Web Sugar Cookies

Soft sugar cookies with spider web designs will jazz up your Halloween party. My first try at designing spider webs on circle cookie tops proved to be more difficult than I thought. I frosted the cookies with melted chocolate and let it set. I made 3-4 concentric circles with white frosting. Then I tried to draw a toothpick through the circles to make the web and it didn’t work so well. I needed to make the design while the frosting was still wet so I made another go at it. Using some bright funky colors and a different frosting, I had a little more success and fun the second time around. Check out the black and white first try photo.

Prep Time: 35 Minutes | Cook Time: 18 Minutes | Yield: 1 ½ dozen 3 1/2 –inch cookies | Difficulty: Easy

The Sauce-Royal Frosting
2 large Egg Whites
2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
3 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted

The Rest-Cookies
3 ¼ cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Powdered Sugar, for rolling dough

Preparation Instructions
1.  Sift together the flour, salt and soda and set aside.

2.  In a mixer combine the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat for 3 minutes until creamy, fluffy and light in color. Add sour cream and mix until blended.

3.  Gradually add flour mixture beating until combined.

4.  Shape into 2 disks and wrap tightly with plastic. Chill for 2 hours.

5.  Sprinkle work surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar. Take out 1 disk at a time and roll out to 1/4-inch using more powdered sugar on the top as needed. Cut into shapes with a round cookie cutter. Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Let set for 2 minutes then move to a cooling rack.

6.  Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the egg whites and lemon juice until slightly frothy, about 30 seconds.

7.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

8.  Divide in 2-4 small bowls and add food coloring. Frost without delay. Store any leftovers in an air tight container as it will harden when exposed to air.

Spider Web Design
9.  Working with 3 or 4 at a time, frost cookies with one color of your choice.

10.  Place a contrasting color of frosting in a small zipper bag and cut a very small hole off one tip. Beginning in the middle, draw a spiral design. Drag a toothpick from the center to the edge then the edge to the center making 6 to 8 lines. Let set and serve.

Dish Designer
• Exchange funky colors for black, white and gray or your preference.

Inspiration—Cara Rigby, Alton Brown, Joy of Baking and Sweetopia.
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Licorice Caramels

Homemade candies for Halloween trump the commercial ones. Don’t you just love the homemade candies in pint size baskets at the checkout of specialty shops? I’ve been tempted by them at bookstores, antique shops, bakeries, gift and museum shops and variety stores. They range from hand dipped dark or milk chocolates to nut clusters and mints or fresh sugar and licorice caramels. Dig deep in your change viagra home delivery pocket for a delectable morsel of sweet home cooked goodness because they cost from one to several dollars apiece. For a fraction of the cost, here is an easy licorice caramel recipe that you won’t have to baby for an hour over a hot stove, but tastes like it. A gourmet Halloween treat for guests; make up a batch for your ghosts, goblins and ghouls.

Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 18 Minutes | Yield: 12 dozen | Difficulty: Easy

The Sauce
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups Sugar
2 sticks of Butter
1 ½ cups White canadian pharmacy order online Corn Syrup
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Anise Oil
Black Food Coloring ;)

Preparation Instructions
1. In a large heavy pot, add sweetened condensed milk, sugar, butter, white corn syrup and salt. The storing viagra mixture expands and bubbles as it cooks so use a larger pot than normal. Cook stirring constantly to 234 degrees sildenafil 20 mg price or soft ball stage, about 15-18 canadian cialis minutes.

2. Remove from heat and stir in the anise oil and black food coloring. Pour into a 9×14 inch baking pan lined with parchment and sprayed with cooking spray. Cool to room temperature.

3. Cut into bite size pieces, about 1” square and wrap in 5”x5” candy wrappers or plastic wrap cut in squares.

viagraonline-canadapharmacyrx ;) Black Food Coloring—Use either 8-10 drops of liquid black food coloring or enough gel or paste to darken the caramel to a charcoal shade. It will darken little as it cools. Purchase coloring and best online cialis pharmacy generic cialis 5 mg reviews anise oil at a cake decorating shop.

Dish Designer
• For sugar caramels, exchange anise oil for vanilla and omit the black food coloring.
• For apple caramels, exchange the anise oil for apple flavoring and omit viagra for less the black food coloring.

Inspiration— Marissa McMurray, a friend of mine who helped me make my first batch and shared a multiple generation family recipe.
sauces canadian cialis over under and through

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Three Sisters Baked Sugar Pumpkins

Like French Mirepoix, Italian Soffritto and Creole Holy Trinity; Native Americans have their own trifecta of ingredients. Known as ‘Three Sisters’, it’s the combination of corn, beans and squash. On my first attempt at stuffed pumpkin, I steered away from the frequent ground beef and cream of something soup. The Three Sisters combination kept calling. Could it be because I actually have three sisters?

Since pumpkin is squash, I wanted to create a dish with corn and beans. This sauce is more a filling than a stuffing. It combines a savory sausage meat mixture with, you guessed it, beans and corn plus tomatoes, aromatics and seasonings. And here is the other variation; it’s baked in individual sugar pumpkins.

Sugar, or pie pumpkins, range in size from about 4” to 12” in diameter. They are naturally a little sweeter, more like acorn or butternut squash. Since the large Jack-o-lantern varieties are more fibrous and bland, sugar pumpkins produce the perfect vessel for baked squash dinner. Once the pumpkins are baked to silky softness, you can eat the filling and scoop out morsels of the squash with each bite. Perfect for a chili day especially the week of Halloween, it’s an upgrade from the condensed soup meat sauce of traditional stuffed pumpkins.

This recipe makes a delicious hearty soup so make a double batch for dinner tomorrow and save the rest for the holiday. After a couple of days in the fridge or freezer, the flavors meld even more. On Halloween the kids can help clean and fill the pumpkins for an easy holiday dinner tradition. Individual pumpkins make serving fun. Enjoy my Three Sisters Baked Sugar Pumpkins for your holiday celebration.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 2 Hours 20 Minutes | Yield: 6 servings | Difficulty: Easy

The Sauce
2 lbs ground Country Sausage ;)
2 medium Onions, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 cups Chicken Broth
2 15-oz cans Light Red Kidney Beans, drained
2 cups frozen Corn
1 29-oz can Diced Tomatoes
2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper

The Rest
6 1 ¾ to 2 lbs sugar or pie pumpkins

Preparation Instructions
1.  In a large pot, brown the sausage on medium high heat about 6-8 minutes or until pink is gone. Drain fat.

2.  Add onions and garlic then continue cooking on medium heat until soft, about 6-8 minutes.

3.  Add chicken broth and deglaze the pan.

4.  Add beans, corn, tomatoes, cumin, crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper stirring to combine. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 1 hour stirring occasionally to marry the flavors. Adjust salt and pepper.

5.  In the meantime, clean the pumpkins. Cut the lid off at an angle so when it’s set back on it doesn’t fall into the cavity. Clean out the seeds and fibers.

6.  Fill each pumpkin with meat mixture leaving at least 1-inch of space at the top. Put the lid on and place on a baking sheet lined with foil.

7.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 1 hour or until the pumpkin is tender.

8.  Serve each individual pumpkin on a plate with slices of crusty bread on the side.

;) Sausage—To increase the fresh flavor and reduce the fat, click to use my recipe for homemade sausage in this dish.

Dish Designer
• Exchange light red kidney beans for dark red kidney or white beans such as great northern or cannellini.
• Add more crushed red pepper for extra heat or omit for mild flavor.
• Exchange frozen corn for 1-2 ears of fresh corn cut off the cob.
• Exchange individual pumpkins for a larger 10”-12” sugar pumpkin but increase the cooking time depending on the size.
• Exchange the filling for your favorite chili.
sauces over under and through

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