Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Betty's Frosted Sugar Cookies

These are the most wonderful frosted sugar cookies I have ever had. And believe me, I have tried many many different ones because they are my most favorite cookie ever. The recipe I use is from my dear friend's mom. I have been eating these since high school! That is a really long time! My friend's mom would make them at Christmas time and other special occasions and I loved going to her house when she had made them.
Betty's Frosted Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Cream together butter and sugar til light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in vanilla. Stir together dry ingredients; gradually adding to creamed mixture. Chill dough thorough (3-4 hours).
On well floured surface, roll dough 1/8" thick, cut and bake on ungreased cookie sheet in 375 degree oven for 6-8 minutes. Frost with powdered sugar frosting. Betty didn't give me a recipe -- just keep adding a little bit of milk to powdered sugar until it is spreadable consistency. Betty adds 1/2 stick of cream cheese to help with texture (and taste)!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Wow! Sooooo yummy AND sooooo easy, too!!
Rinse and pat dry the freshest salmon filet (with skin) you can find. Cut in half. (Or if you want A LOT of lox, just get two equally sized filets.) Mix equal parts kosher salt and sugar (try 1/4 cup of each to start) add about 1 tbsp crushed black peppercorns. Spread a very generous amount of the salt/sugar/peppercorn mixture onto one filet. Add very generous amount of fresh dill on top of that and then spread some more salt/sugar/peppercorn mixture over the dill. Lay the second half of the salmon on top (flesh side down) on top of the other. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in glass baking dish. Place another heavy glass baking dish on top and weigh it down with anything heavy -- I used a full bottle of vegetable oil and a full jar of vinegar. Place in refrigerator for 48 hours, turning over every 12 hours. After the 48 hours are up, remove the plastic wrap and wipe off all of the dill and salt/sugar/peppercorn mixture with a paper towel. Slice very very thin on a bias (make sure you have a very sharp knife). . . VOILA! Serve with crackers (or bagels, or baguette slices), cream cheese, capers, red onion, etc. Wasn't that easy?! And how much money do you save by making it yourself? Lots.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cranberry Margaritas

Rod and I made these Thanksgiving day for our guests. They were a big hit!

Makes 4 margaritas:

3/4 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh frozen cranberries
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup tequila (or more or less depending on how strong you want them)
1/4 cup Grand Marnier

Blend all together in blender. Enjoy!

Now we have to come up with a signature cocktail for New Year's Eve as we are hosting a mini McFaddenFest! I'll keep you posted. . .

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Most Amazingly Easy Toffee Recipe

The other day, my good friend, Jennifer, came over and we baked all afternoon. It was so much fun to spend time with her AND make tasty treats at the same time. Our favorite sweet treat we made was the Butter Toffee. I have OD'ed on this for the past two nights. It will be gone before I can even give any away for Christmas treats!

Pasta with Pancetta, Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomatoes

We made this last night. Rod was supposed to be out of town until today, but called me in the afternoon and said he'd be home in a little bit. I was very excited, but started to panic because I hadn't been to the store this week. I had to whip something up for dinner with what we had in the fridge. It just so happened that we had asparagus and bacon. Hmmmm. . . I thought PASTA! Rod surprised me and said he had stopped and got some pancetta. I would've made this with bacon, but pancetta is even better! Perfect.

4 slices of pancetta, cut into cubes
about 1 cup fresh asparagus, sliced into 1 inch slices
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, sliced very thin
1/4 cup white wine (we used pinot grigio)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese
salt/pepper to taste
4 oz. penne pasta noodles

Get your pot of water for the pasta boiling, because this is really quick dish to cook up. Boil pasta. While pasta is cooking, saute pancetta over medium-high heat until crispy. Drain on paper towel and put aside. Pour off excess fat from pan, keeping about 1 to 2 tsp for sauteeing the rest of the ingredients. Add garlic and shallots to pan, saute until starting to brown. Add asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes and pancetta and salt and pepper. Saute until asparagus until almost to desired doneness. Add white wine and reduce. Add cream and reduce. Remove from heat. Mix in pasta noodles. Serve with grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!!!