Friday, December 15, 2017

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Mexican wedding cake cookies

It's cookie time!! I mean, it's always kind of cookie time, but now it's Christmas cookie time!! There are a lot of cookie recipes on this blog. A lot (over 40 as of now). I try to post at least one new cookie recipe for the holidays each year and so far I've been pretty successful with that. Somehow over the years, this classic Christmas cookie has escaped making it onto the blog. I made Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies previously using the same base recipe, but this is the classic version. This recipe comes from my great-grandmother. These were a cookie she made every year that I can remember. Although I know she didn't create them as Mexican Wedding Cakes and Russian Tea Cakes are super popular and very similar cookies that you'll find everywhere. My family has always made them with walnuts as I did with this recipe, but pecans would work well, too. The only change I make from hers is giving the walnuts a light toast before adding them to the dough to make them extra flavorful. These cookies definitely remind me of family and of being a kid at Christmas. My mom frequently made them as well when I was a kid and I always helped her with the holiday baking. I just love when food evokes memories. These photos also hold a couple nostalgia pieces - the cookie tray my brother and I used for Santa's cookies and a tablecloth that belonged to my Grandmother.

If you haven't tried these cookies, this is the year for you to add them to your cookie tray. They are super simple in both ingredients and effort, which is a bonus this time of year! This recipe will make about 2-1/2 dozen cookies.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Whole wheat squash & cranberry muffins

Hearty muffins full of winter squash puree, whole wheat flour, fresh cranberries, and warming spices are a delicious breakfast treat or snack with a steamy cup of coffee or tea. These are also a tasty muffin for toddlers. I've been working on some healthier muffins for my kids who are now 16 months old. They love things like pancakes and muffins, so I try to make them with overall less sugar and less oil/butter and to incorporate fruits and vegetables into them. I've posted many muffin recipes in the past including these banana spinach oat blender muffins and these applesauce barley infant cereal muffins for toddlers. Since our twins have been really loving cranberries lately, I bought up a few bags of fresh ones while they are available. I know I wanted to make them a muffin with some of the cranberries. And, since we have a bunch of winter squash, I thought that would make a nice seasonal combination. I based these muffins off of my pumpkin streusel muffins recipe. These muffins make a terrific breakfast with some scrambled eggs or they make a delicious portable snack. Let's just say they were a hit with all of us! Slightly sweet with a touch of spice and tangy pops of cranberry.

This recipe will make one dozen muffins. They are a festive addition to a holiday breakfast - fall or winter!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Turkey, sweet potato, & quinoa chili

Ground turkey, sweet potatoes, peppers, corn, beans, and quinoa all come together in this super hearty and healthy dish! This 'chili' is something I threw together once to use up some odds and ends of produce and it has turned into an almost weekly staple meal in our home now. It's full of so many good-for-you ingredients and is very hearty and flavorful. What I also love is that my 16 month old twins will eat it. Their least favorite part is probably the turkey, but they love sweet potatoes, corn, and beans, so they will usually eat everything else in it -- especially if I give them a bit of cheese or a dollop of sour cream. I swear I could put sour cream on pretty much anything and my son would gobble it up!

Another thing about this chili is that it is flexible. These are the ingredients and flavors I most commonly use, but you can switch them up with delicious results. For example -- use chicken or ground beef or extra beans instead of turkey; sub pinto beans for the black beans; green onions instead of red onions; poblano peppers instead of bell, butternut squash instead of sweet potato; vegetable broth or water in place of the chicken stock; add jalapeno or cayenne pepper for a kick (I would do this for just my husband and I, but not the toddlers)... This recipe will make about 6 servings. I like to serve it with grated cheddar or jack cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and even some corn chips if you have them.