This recipe is from Not So Humble Pie. I tried this back in 2015 as a cookie to share, but it was a minor disaster because I didn’t follow the directions. The cookies spread out ridiculously, they were so thin and fragile that you had to eat them standing right there over the cooling racks. They were not at all good for sharing. But the flavor. Oh, the flavor. In 2016 I decided to give them another go because I still remembered how delicious they were. That time I weighed the dry ingredients, and used the exact ingredients listed in Not So Humble’s recipe. I didn’t try to convert the measurements from UK to USA. Success! If you do not have a kitchen scale, then please proceed at your own peril. These are refrigerator cookies and are among the easiest type of cookie to make. 

  • Ingredients
  • 1-1/3 cup butter (11 oz.)
  • 12 oz. sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 8 oz. bread flour
  • 8 oz. cake flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 Egg white, whipped lightly with a fork
  • Decorative or sugar crystals

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Mix in bread flour, cake flour, salt, and cardamom. Divide into two or three portions and roll each portion into a “log” of about 1-1/2″ to 2″. Wrap each log in waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. I leave mine for an hour or more. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once chilled to quite firm, brush each dough log with egg white and roll the log in decorative sugar. Cut each log into slices of 1/4″ and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. They should be lightly browned and will be a crunchy cookie.

I do these cookies in batches, only taking one log out of the refrigerator at a time. I think part of the spreading problem has to do with the chill on the cookie dough. Keep it cold. Rolling in sugar has its own challenges, the logs are hand-rolled and therefore uneven, so don’t really roll flat against the pan where the decorative sugar is spread. I sprinkle the sugar over them as I roll. You’ll end up with a mess on your hands, and the egg white tends to dissolve the decorative sugar if you touch it, but if you handle the logs as little as possible after the egg white has been brushed on, it’s fine. Then I pop the remainder of the roll back in the refrigerator until I’m ready for it. Keep the dough cold! And lastly, I make mine about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter because they’re seriously addictive and maybe whole-cookie bites into your mouth keep you from eating too many. Maybe. Merry Christmas!

 Anchorage True Value Hardware had their annual “Ladies Night” last week. What a great marketing ploy! No parking spaces remained. My husband drove my daughter and I in the car, and then picked us up when it was over two hours later. There were hundreds of women lining the aisles of paint supplies, power tools, housewares, and Christmas decorations, all waiting to get their card stamped at each guest-table for an entry into the grand prize drawing of a barbecue grill worth hundreds of dollars. The store also drew tickets for gift baskets valued at $200 to $400 every fifteen minutes, like clockwork. Since we arrived wearing the requisite ugly sweater and/or Aloha shirt, we were each issued an additional door prize ticket. The guest tables sprinkled throughout the store were mostly food-related, ranging from Shagi’s Sauces to Great Alaska Pizza Company. They gave us each a sample and then stamped our card. Bummer, but we didn’t win anything.

Of course, browsing led to buying and I purchased a set of tart pans. I’ve been wanting some since the whole gluten-free issue entered my life, because there are so many tart recipes that use almond flour and don’t require a rolling pin. I do own a rolling pin and I do use it to roll out bread dough and crush graham crackers, but that’s the extent of it. I still can’t make a pie crust. Anyway, the whole tart thing became something I was wanting to try. The pictures won’t be great, but I need to get this down so I can remember what and how I did this. It turned out so much better than I expected!

HOW TO DO IT

You will need a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom. My tart pans are not coated with a non-stick finish and since this was my first foray into tart-making, I was a little freaked out about having a mess all stuck to the pan. I sprayed the pan. In retrospect I may not have had to do that, but it didn’t hurt anything.

For the crust recipe I used Shiny Cooking’s walnut-oat pie crust. I followed her instructions precisely and it could not have turned out any better. 

  • Crust Ingredients
  • 1-1/3 cups gluten-free rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 cup walnuts (do not chop them yet)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle the oats in a round cake pan and place in the preheated oven. Sprinkle the walnuts in another round cake pan and also place in the preheated oven. Shake the pans around every once in awhile until the walnuts release their fragrance and start turning brown. Watch carefully as you do not want them too brown or scorched. The walnuts will be done soonest, about 8 minutes. Remove walnuts from the oven. Let them cool a couple minutes and then rough chop with a knife. The oats take longer to toast, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven just as they start turning golden.

Place the rough-chopped walnuts and the oats into a food processor with the brown sugar and salt. Whir (is that even a word?) until it’s all very fine. Slowly pour the melted butter in through the top of the food processor while the mixture is whirring. When the mixture is mostly sticking together remove from food processor. 

I took a pinch at a time of the dough and, starting on the sides, pressed the dough into the tart pan. I tried to fill every crevice all the way to the top of the sides. Try to be careful when pressing dough into that space where the removable bottom meets the side-ring. Removing the bottom may be a bit tricky if you get dough beneath it.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes. The crust should be just turning brown. Mine took about 17 minutes. Set on a rack to cool. Let it cool completely before messing with it any more.

Have a plate ready to put the tart crust on. There’s science involved in the pan removal. As it cools, the crust contracts or the metal expands . . . one of those things happen, so you should be able to see that the crust is no longer tight up against the pan. Gingerly push up beneath the center bottom so that the sides fall downward. Now very, very carefully remove the bottom. I found I had to run my thumbnail along the edge in order to loosen it, I had a tiny amount of dough between the bottom and the sides. It wasn’t a big deal. Again carefully, set the crust on the prepared plate. Whew! You did it!

Now, onto the filling. This is the easy part. I used this super simple recipe from Dinner with Julie.

  • Lingonberry curd filling ingredients
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen lingonberries (may substitute cranberries)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1/2 cup butter cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs AND 2 egg yolks

In a saucepan, mix together lingons, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir over medium heat until the lingons are soft and the skins start to pop. Remove from heat and pour through a sieve (scrape down the saucepan and set it aside, you’ll need it again in a few minutes). Press the mixture through the sieve so that you get as much pulp as possible. Discard the solids, or use for a different purpose. Immediately stir the butter into the strained juice. Stir occasionally until all the butter is melted. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolks. Whisk constantly over medium heat until the curd becomes bubbly and thick. 

Remove from heat. You can strain the curd if you don’t want any little bits of lemon zest or egg in it, but that’s one step too far for me. I stirred the curd off the heat for a few minutes so that it wouldn’t be too hot when I poured it into my crust which I was still freaking out about, sure that some horrible thing would happen to crack my crust or cause it to get soggy. None of that happened. It was simply perfect. But this is what I did and how I did it. Let the tart cool at room temperature. It is ready to serve once cooled. I made mine one day ahead and then stowed it in the refrigerator over night. Still perfect. 

Fudge14

This recipe was given to me as a Christmas gift from Lorna Dingledy, a good friend of my mother, at Christmas 1969. In the package was everything needed to make the recipe. Her directions were spelled out step-by-step. You can see the actual recipe here, but I’m going to re-write it for easier reading. The reason I like this fudge recipe best is that it’s really smooth, not at all grainy.

Fudge1

Be prepared that this makes a lot! Have a good plan for sharing. The number and size of your pans depends upon how thick you want each piece of fudge to be. I use a 13×9″ and a 10×15″. Make sure to butter your pans or line them with parchment paper. What a marvel parchment paper is!

Ingredients:

36 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
32 regular-size marshmallows
1/2# butter (2 sticks)
1-3/4 cups evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk)
4-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional-I do not use them)

Put the chocolate chips in a bowl and set aside. Count out 32 marshmallows onto wax paper and set aside. Open the butter to have it ready. If the butter is cold, try to rough chop it so it melts more quickly.

Fudge4

In a large saucepan stir together evaporated milk and sugar. Bring to a boil and, stirring frequently, let it boil for exactly seven minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately add the marshmallows and butter. Stir until those are all melted. Stir in the chocolate chips and mix thoroughly. It will be quite thick. Add the chopped nuts if you decided to use them.

 

Spoon the warm fudge into the prepared pans. Smooth the tops. Let cool. Cover and keep in a cool place for 24 hours. Cut into pieces and serve. This fudge keeps very well for a long time. I leave it out on the counter, but I’m in a cold climate and that may not work as well where you are. I’ve also found that it freezes well. This is a LOT of fudge. And it is so, so yummy!

Fudge13

ChickenPotPie

I like to use the recipe from twopeasandtheirpod.com. Growing up, one of my favorite meals was those little chicken pot pies that were bought frozen and then baked. I would flip mine upside down into a bowl and dive in. So much salty, salty goodness. But now I’ve found that making my own is better!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1-3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups shredded chicken (or leftover turkey)
1 cup frozen peas
Pastry for a two-crust pie
1 egg, beaten

Melt butter in large skillet and saute onion, carrot, and celery until tender. Stir in garlic and continue to saute until garlic is fragrant, about a minute. Stir in flour, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper. Let saute until flour is well incorporated and bubbly. Stir in chicken broth and heavy cream. Continue stirring until it boils, then reduce heat and let it simmer until it is thick, about 10 minutes.

ChickenPotPie1

Once it is thick, remove from heat and stir in chicken and peas. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

ChickenPotPie2

Set one pastry into 9″ pie plate. Spoon in the filling. Cut slits into the second pastry and then place it on top of filling, pinching the edges with the bottom crust to seal as best as possible. Brush beaten egg across the crust to give it that lovely golden color. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until you see the filling bubble through the top pastry slits.

Note: I don’t usually have cooked chicken or turkey, so I cook it in water with onions, celery, and/or carrots. Then I use that liquid for the broth called for in the recipe and the chicken for the shredded chicken.

Once again I’m reaching into Preserving by Oded Schwartz (Dorling Kindersley, 1996). What an amazing and wonderful book. Mostly I wanted to remember how I did this, where I got the recipe. I haven’t tried these yet, but I did can three pints. They look good.

OliveOilPickle1OliveOilPickle2OliveOilPickle3

So I heard a local radio guy go on a rant about what a dirty trick it was to use dill pickle relish instead of sweet pickle relish in potato salad and/or tuna salad. I have to say that I agree with him. I never expect that sour pickle flavor in those dishes. His rant was on my mind the entire time I was making this dill pickle relish. I had so much cucumber though, what else could I do! I won’t be using it in potato salad or tuna salad, that’s for sure. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. Here is the recipe just in case I come up with some fantastical use for it this winter and need to do it again next fall.

The recipe comes from cottageatthecrossroads.com. I made half of her recipe and it was four pints. I used half-pint jars. It was very simple to make. Here is how I did it.

DillPickleRelish

Ingredients:

4 lbs. cucumbers, chopped
1/4 cup canning/pickling salt
1 tsp. ground turmeric
2 cups water
1-1/4 cups onions, chopped
1/4 cup (SCANT) sugar
1 Tbsp. dill seeds
2 cups white vinegar

In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, working in batches, finely chop the cucumbers, transferring them to a large glass bowl. Sprinkle with salt and turmeric and mix with hands. Add water, cover, and let stand for 2 hours. Drain through a XXX and rinse with cool water. Fill the glass bowl with water and place the cucumber in it again, then drain through the XXX again. Using your hands, squeeze out as much water as you can.

Prepare your canner, jars, and lids.

Process the onions in the food processor so that they are finely chopped, like the cucumber. Place them into a large pot. Stir in the cucumber, sugar, dill seeds, and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick and vegetables are heated through, about 10 minutes.

Ladle hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch of head space. Run a table knife around the jars to remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary, by adding more hot relish. Wipe the jar rims and screw lids onto jars.

Process in hot water bath canner for 15 minutes. Makes four pints.

 

GreenTomatoSalsaVerde

So, this is now my favorite green tomato recipe. I found it at MontanaHomesteader.com. I was making so many pickle-type things yesterday, it’s hard to keep it all straight.

This recipe makes about three pints. I water-bath canned two pints and then used the remainder for dinner. I had some leftover Cuban-style pork roast, so I layered a few corn tortillas, salsa verde, meat, and cheese. Then another layer of tortillas, salsa verde, and cheese. Baked for 35 minutes and delish!!

Ingredients:

7 cups green tomatoes, cored and rough chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed, chopped
2 cups onion, rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro
1 tsp. salt

In batches, run the green tomatoes through a food processor fitted with the S-blade so that it’s very small pieces. Be careful not to over-process into mush. Place green tomatoes into a very large pan. Now run the jalapeño peppers, onion and garlic through the food processor and add to the pan. Stir in lime juice. Bring to a boil and let simmer for ten minutes. Stir in cilantro and salt. Remove from heat.

Ladle it into pint jars, top with lids, and water-bath process for ten minutes. Voila!

Gueritos6

I had something approximating this at a Mexican restaurant in Palm Springs a few years ago. I came up with my own way to make them, without using rice as a filler. There is no set recipe, just a description. They are a super-delicious snack.

On this day I used six yellow chiles, (these are no longer than your index finger and very mild), 3/4 lb. of raw shrimp (any size), grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar). That’s it for ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the “core” of the chiles, then cut a slit down each chile, and remove the seeds. This is the most tricky part of the whole process.

Gueritos

Make a shrimp paste using about 2/3 of the shrimp. I use a small food processor. Hand-chop a few more of the shrimp into pieces and stir the pieces into the shrimp paste. Then stir in grated cheese.

Gueritos1

Use a teaspoon as a tool to stuff each chile.

Gueritos3

Place stuffed chiles on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

Gueritos5I don’t add any dips when serving mine, but I’ve heard that soy sauce or mayonnaise can be used to dip your gueritos in.

CucumberMintJam1I have a glut of cucumbers and we can only eat so many pickles. Since I do prepare lamb chops pretty frequently, this jam may be a good accompaniment to that and other meats. It also would taste amazing with cream cheese or brie on salty crackers. Oh, yeah!

I started with a recipe found at Homespun Seasonal Living, but then branched way off to do my own thing.

I am not a canning expert. Please remember that as I tell you how I did this. I have made a lot of jams and jellies in my life. This is how I do it, right or wrong.

Ingredients:

6 cups cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and rough chopped
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup cider vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 envelope of Certo liquid pectin
Few drops of green food coloring, if necessary
4-5 Tbsp. finely sliced fresh mint leaves

Run the cucumbers through a food processor using the S-Blade, just a few pulses should do. Don’t make your cucumber pieces too small. Place the processed cucumbers into a large pan. Stir in lemon juice, vinegar, and sugar.

Sterilize 8 half-pint jars. Heat lids in water. Cut open the envelope of Certo and place the envelope upright in one of the jars for easy access when needed. Get a ladle ready, as well as your canning funnel if you have one.

All set up? Okay, heat the cucumber mixture over high heat until it comes to a rolling boil. Let it boil for one minute. Turn off the heat and immediately stir in the Certo. Continue stirring while you quickly add green food coloring, if needed, and the mint.

Ladle the jam into the jars. Remove the lids from hot water. Wipe off the jar rims and screw the lids on tightly. Invert the jars. Let them sit upside down for at least 30 minutes. Shake the jars around over the course of the next few hours, every so often, to try and get the pieces evenly distributed throughout the jars.

Notes: I found that there was no foam, so this did not require skimming. Easy! I used lemon cucumbers for 2/3 of the cucumbers and regular green cucumbers for the other third. I didn’t realize the color would matter as much as it did, so I added green food coloring at the end. It’s really nice looking. I used a mix of half-pint and quarter-pint jars. This didn’t set well until the next day. Be patient. And I had a few tablespoons extra, so I’ve tasted it and deem it GOOD! It was great with brie!

CucumberMintJam2

 

Bran-OatMuffins1

I’ve made these for years and years. I don’t remember where the recipe came from. They are super simple to make and take no time at all. Many times I combine the dry ingredients in a bowl the night before, prepare the muffin pan with papers, and set my oven to come on at 375 degrees fifteen minutes before my morning wake-up alarm goes off. Then in the morning I add the three wet ingredients, distribute the batter into the prepared pan, pop them into the oven to bake while I shower, and have a tasty breakfast all ready for the day.

I’ve probably used every kind of dried fruit imaginable in these, and quite a few different frozen fruits, too. Today’s batch I threw in a handful of dried cranberries and a handful of frozen lingonberries. Yum!

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup bran cereal FLAKES (NOT All-Bran)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
Optional: handfuls of dried, frozen or fresh fruit

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin by greasing or using paper liners. I use liners for easy clean-up. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a small bowl stir together the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Stir until just combined. Batter will be thick and lumpy. Fold in optional fruit. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-23 minutes, until they spring back when lightly touched. Makes 12. These freeze very well.

Bran-OatMuffins2