America’s Best Sugar Cookies
1½ cups (3 sticks) salted butter softened at room temperature, not in the microwave
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
5 cups all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar for dusting the counter and rolling pin
Cream Cheese Frosting:
½ cup (1 stick) salted butter softened at room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese softened at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1. With a hand mixer on low, cream the softened butter and sugar together until it is smooth
and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time to the butter mixture still beating on low speed.
Add vanilla. Gradually add the flour and baking powder. Make sure that all the flour is mixed
into the dough.
2. Gather the dough together and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for 1-2 hours to stiffen
up the dough. (Very important step.) When the dough has been chilled for the allotted
time, preheat your oven to 400°.
3. Divide the dough into thirds. Generously sprinkle powdered sugar (not flour) onto a
clean counter top and begin rolling the dough with a rolling pin. Roll one third at a time.
Make sure to add some powdered sugar to your rolling pin and to the top of the dough
to prevent it from sticking. (Keep adding a little powdered sugar as needed throughout this
4. Roll the dough to ½ inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes and set them
on an ungreased cookie sheet. Make sure there is at least 1 inch between each cookie.
5. Position the rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 400°. Bake for 6 to 8 min.
depending on the size of your cookies. If you have extra large cookies they will need
to cook for 8 min. DO NOT over bake. They may not look done, but they are.
Let them cool a bit before removing them from the pan.
6. Chill in the refrigerator before frosting or serving. This helps the cookies to be moist and
Cream Cheese Frosting
7. In a small bowl with an electric hand-held mixer, mix butter and cream cheese until soft. Add
vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add powder sugar, one cup at a time. (I use 4½ cups.) Beat until
smooth. Add your favorite food coloring if desired.
Blondy’s Strawberry Pie
1 cooled 9 inch pie crust
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup + 1 T. corn starch
Add 2 cups cold water
1/2 cup white corn syrup
Bring all to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 10-15 min.
Add 3 oz. strawberry jello. Stir. Cool.
Pile the strawberries in the cooled pie crust.
Pour the strawberry sauce over the berries. Place uncovered in the fridge
and let set up for a couple of hours.
Serve with whip cream…
4 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cups ice
Garnish with a slice of lime or a sprig of fresh mint In a blender mix the juice, milk, sugar and water until well blended.
Blend in the ice on medium speed. Serve in small cups or glasses as desired.
Great with any Italian dish! Great for dessert or on a summer day.
2 Tablespoons butter
3¾ cups zucchini squash, peeled and cubed
3 cups chicken broth
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
½ cup Half and Half
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
1. Clean, chop and cook onion in butter until soft and transparent but not browned.
2. Wash, peel and cube zucchini into about 2 inch pieces. Combine onion, zucchini and chicken broth in large saucepan.
Bring to boil, simmer 15 min. or until squash is tender. Add seasonings.
3. Using a blender or an immersion blender, puree mixture until smooth. Return to saucepan if using a blender.
Add Half and Half and adjust seasoning to taste. Reheat but do not boil.
4. Serve hot, garnished with grated cheddar cheese. Serve with: fresh tomatoes with olive oil and capers.
Variations: Pepper Jack Cheese or Colby Jack Cheese to garnish.
Upholstery in Kitchen
We love upholstery in the kitchen!! The kitchen is where we spend most of our time in a day! A great way to make a kitchen cozier and inviting is to have an upholstered furniture piece. Even if you have a small space, putting a little chair or a small bench…..whatever fits your space and style! You will be surprised how often you and others will use it. I promise it will become one of your favorite spots in your house!! XO
Bake the hamburger buns ahead of time
Cook bacon ahead of time.
1 pound hamburger, 80/15 mix, to make 12 slider-size 2-inch round hamburger patties
Fresh ground black pepper
3 slices bacon
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
1½ Tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 heaping Tablespoon chili sauce
4 teaspoons sweet BBQ sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sweet pickle juice
12 Slider Buns, 2½ inches round. (Hamburger bun recipe Half/Wheat, Half /White page 253)
½ cup Colby or Jack Cheese, grated
¼ cup arugula (optional)
1. Form the sliders into 2 inch patties. Season both sides generously with coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper.
2. Preheat the oven to 425°. Place the bacon on a small baking sheet and bake for 10 min. Drizzle the bacon with maple syrup and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake 10 min. more. Remove the bacon to paper towels to soak up the extra grease.
3. Make the sauce: In a small bowl put the mayonnaise, chili sauce, sweet BBQ sauce, Worcestershire and sweet pickle juice. Mix. Set aside.
4. When the bacon is cool, stack them and cut into 4 equal pieces. You will have 12 small pieces of bacon. Set aside.
5. Turn the oven to broil. Place patties on a broiler pan or in a black iron skillet. Broil the sliders on the middle oven rack for 5 min., turn and place a piece of bacon on top, a teaspoon of grated cheese on top of the bacon. Broil until cooked through about another 4 min. Remove.
6. Cut the slider buns almost all the way through. Lay out on a baking sheet. Quickly run the buns under the broiler and toast until light brown.
7. Put a dab of sauce on the bottom bun and then a hamburger patty. Top with a piece of arugula and serve immediately. Serve with: Potato Chips; Warm Orzo Salad with Chicken page 259, Spinach Salad page 265. Variations: Grill the Sliders instead of broiling. Instead of making your own buns use my French Baguette page 242. Cut 2-inch rounds, 1 inch thick. Use Blue Cheese dressing on page 264 in place of the hamburger sauce or just sprinkle on dry blue cheese. Add chopped sautéed mushrooms and Gruyere cheese. Sauté some mushrooms, add a little Gruyere cheese to the mushrooms until it melts and spoon a little on each Slider. Add Grilled Onions to the Slider: Melt 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add very thin slices of 1 red onion or 1 yellow onion. Cook slowly 15 to 20 min. stirring occasionally until the onions are caramelized. Sprinkle with coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Mini Sliders for a party: Cut the hamburger bun dough 1½ inches round. Make the hamburger 1 inch round.