Crispy Goodness!

Ok – anyone who knows me knows I never liked baking. To me it’s monotonous and boring.  However, over the last year, I find myself ok with it.  It’ not a “chore”, per say, anymore.  I’ve cookie1 been trying to scratch cook and bake more, knowing preservatives and processed foods are not good for you.  So if the family wants cookies, I have chosen to make them.

I have to say that these are bakery quality and quite delicious.  I did not put the sea salt on top not having any.  However, I did use a couple handfuls of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips which were a perfect addition.  This is definitely and do-over and it was very quick to make.



Thin and Crisp Oatmeal Cookies with Sea Salt (adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon saltcookie2
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, but still cool
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • Flaked Sea Salt to sprinkle on top before baking (optional)
  • A couple handfuls of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, or raisins, or nuts (optional)


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or use Silpat baking pads. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in medium bowl.  Beat butter and sugars at medium-low speed, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute longer. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl again. Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats and mix until well incorporated and then add in your chocolate, nuts, raisins, etc. Give dough final stir with spatula to ensure no flour pockets remain.  Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 tablespoons, then roll between palms into balls. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart, 8 dough balls per sheet. Using fingertips, gently press ball to 3/4-inch thickness.  Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are deep golden brown, edges are crisp, 13 to 16 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely on sheet.



rumcakeAll my brother wants for his birthday is this cake.  He cuts it in several pieces and freezes it, eating it a little at a time over several months.  It is a very rich, moist “boozy” cake.  Perfect for the holidays!  Enjoy!

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 18 1/2 oz. package yellow cake mix
1 3 3/4 oz. pkg. Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding and Pie filling
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup Wesson oil
1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum
1/4-pound butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan, or 12 cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan. Mix all cake ingredients together. Pour batter over nuts. Bake 1 hour. Cool. Invert cake onto a serving plate. FOR GLAZE: melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the water and sugar. Boil five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in the rum. Prick all over the top of the cake. Drizzle and smooth glaze evenly over top and sides. Allow the cake to absorb the glaze completely. Repeat until glaze is used up. Have waxed paper underneath and continue to scoop up the glaze and add it until the cake is saturated.


Source: Bacardi Party Book

Let’s NOT Talk Turkey II…

I was out of town last week, so I didn’t get around to posting more side dish recipes for the biggest “food” day of the year.  So here are a few more of my favorites.

This first one, Baked Spiced Butternut Squash with Apples and Maple Syrup, was published in Bon Appétit, 1998.  Growing up on a farm, we had an abundance of squash from the garden and apples from a local orchard. Tired of the same ol’ way of preparing squash, this is a nice change using the two ingredients.  And for all those who don’t like sweet taters (can’t imagine who doesn’t…but I’m sure there are a few out there) it is a nice replacement for that traditional Turkey Day dish.

Baked Spiced Butternut Squash with Apples and Maple Syrup (Bon Appétit, 1998)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt

3 small butternut squashes, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices

4 6-ounce Granny Smith apples, peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Stir butter, maple syrup and apple juice in small saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts. Increase heat and boil until mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in cinnamon, allspice and salt.

Arrange 1/3 of squash slices in prepared dish. Top with half of apple slices, then 1/3 of squash slices. Arrange remaining slices of squash and apple atop, alternating squash and apple slices and overlapping slightly. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Pour maple syrup mixture over. Cover baking dish tightly with foil.

Bake casserole until squash is almost tender, about 50 minutes. Uncover and bake until squash is tender, basting occasionally with syrup, about 20 minutes longer. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with foil and refrigerate. Re-warm, covered, in 350°F oven about 25 minutes, or microwave on high about 8 minutes.) Spoon syrup from dish over vegetables and serve.


Now…if butter is forbidden in your diet – this is not the recipe for you.  But, if you are like me, and butter is a staple, you iz gonna like it!  This is just a basic stuffing recipe – add whatever else you like.  I’m a simple gal and like it just the way it is.

Ma’s Basic Buttery Onion Stuffing

1 bag unseasoned bread cubes

2 large sweet onions diced

1 – 3 sticks of butter

Chicken stock

1 ½ tbsp. Bells Poultry Seasoning

Giblets – cooked and chopped (optional)

Salt & Pepper to taste.

Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 glass casserole dish with butter.  Preheat oven to 350 F-degrees.  Sauté onions with 1 stick of butter until carmelized.  Add giblets until heated through.  In a large bowl, combine bread cubes and Bells poultry seasoning.  Melt remaining butter and add to bread cubes along with the onion mixture and salt/pepper.  Mix well.*  Add enough chicken stock to moisten, but not to the point where it gets mushy.  Mix well – place in casserole dish, dot with butter.  Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes.  At this point, remove foil and bake until golden brown on top for about another 15 minutes.

(*At this point, you can refrigerate overnight and finish the next day.)


Here’s one more for ya – I don’t make it every year – but if I’m in a bind and have a big crowd coming over – it’s an easy, crowd-pleasing dish.  It’s so easy to double this.  This recipe is provided from Jiffy® mixes…

Corn Souffle

1 can whole corn, drained
1 can cream corn
1 stick butter
1 Jiffy® corn muffin mix
1 (8 oz.) container of sour cream

Mix all ingredients together. Grease dish with butter. Pour corn mixture into dish. Bake at 350 F degrees for 1 hour.

Enjoy and have a Happy Thanksgiving! I’m outta town again next week…