Monday, May 21, 2018

Brittany's Royal Frosting for Cookie Decorating

Brittany said: "This royal glaze icing is what I use for all my sugar cookies now. It is shiny and pretty but it dries faster. And it’s not hard like royal icing it still tastes yummy. My new favorite icing for pretty sugar cookies."

Melissa's favorite chocolate chip cookies


  • 3 1/2 cups flour 
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 3/4 tsp salt 
  • 1 1/4 cups real unsalted butter 
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar 
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar 2 large eggs 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 oz bag of Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips or other quality chocolate chips, 11.5 . 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine and set aside. Using paddle attachment on mixer, cream butter and sugars together just until blended. Add eggs, one a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Put mixer on low speed, and add in dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in chocolate chips by hand gently. It's best to make bigger cookies for the right texture - so I would recommend using 4 Tablespoon size scoop to form your cookies. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes. I like mine to look a little undercooked in the middle, then let them finish cooking on the cookie sheet for a few minutes while they cool. Then move them to a cookie rack or plate to keep cooling. If you are freezing these cookies: Form into balls, and freeze on a cookie sheet. After frozen remove and add to a ziploc freezer bag. They will last for about a month in the freezer. To bake just take out and bake as directed, adding a few extra minutes of baking time.

Notes from Brittany: This is the chocolate chip cookie recipe that Melissa found. I cook mine for 14 mins and they turned out perfect. I also used salted butter and did not add any salt to the recipe. 

Cashew Chicken

We enjoy this meal!

  • 1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar 
  • 1 Tablespoon Packed Brown Sugar 
  • 2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil 
  • 6 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, Cut Into Small Cubes 
  • Kosher Salt To Taste 
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic 
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Ginger 
  • 1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Chopped 
  • 1/4 cup Sherry Or Chicken Broth 
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch 
  • 1/2 cup Drained Canned Water Chestnuts, Coarsley Chopped 
  • 1 cup Unsalted Cashews (be Sure To Use Unsalted) 
  • 2 whole Green Onions, Thinly Sliced 
  • Cooked Rice Or Noodles, For Serving (if Desired) 
In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Set aside. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat and add the chicken in a single layer. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt, then leave it alone for at least a couple of minutes to give the chicken a chance to brown. When the chicken has turned golden, stir it around so that it can brown on all sides. Throw in the garlic and ginger and stir to combine. Stir in the bell pepper and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes. While the pan is still hot, pour in the sherry. Stir it around, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen all the flavorful bits. Turn the heat to medium-low and pour in the sauce mixture, then mix the cornstarch with 1/4 cup water to make a slurry and pour it in. Stir the sauce for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken, then add the water chestnuts and cashews and stir to coat everything with the sauce, adding a splash of water if the sauce is too thick. Finally, sprinkle on the green onions. Serve with cooked rice or noodles.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Brittany's Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet


  • 3 small or 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1.5 T ground cumin
  • 1 T. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

1. In a large case iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute and then add ground turkey. Use a wooden spoon to break apart meat and continue cooking approximately 8 minutes until browned. 

2. Add cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir well to incorporate. 

3. Add onion and bell pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add diced sweet potato and water. Stir and cover with a lid for approximately 6-8 minutes until the sweet potatoes soften. Add additional water during this process if needed to keep the meat from drying out. 

4. Remove lid and add additional salt and pepper if needed.  Top with shredded mozzarella and allow it to melt. Remove skillet from heat and garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.


Yum! Melissa shared this breadstick recipe with me. They are light and fluffy and easy and my family loved them!


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105 - 110 degrees F°) 
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast 
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • seasonings to taste

In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand-mixer, add warm water, instant yeast, sugar and salt. Stir to combine (using the dough hook if in the stand-mixer) Add 2 cups flour and mix well. Gradually add in the rest of the flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and sticks to your finger a little bit. (Remember to only add up to 4 cups flour total. Adding too much flour will make the breadsticks too dense and not soft.) Cover bowl and allow to rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Remove dough from bowl and place on a clean and lightly-floured surface. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray. Roll dough into a large rectangle, about 1-inch thick, and cut into 12 strips with a pizza cutter. Roll out each piece of dough into a long rope then twist. Place dough twist onto prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of dough, placing side by side on baking sheet. Cover and let rest 30 minutes to rise again until doubled.

Preheat oven to 425° F. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden-brown. Remove from oven and rub a 1/2 stick of butter over the warm breadsticks. Sprinkle tops evenly with Trader Joe's "Everything But the Bagel Seasoning" or top with Parmesan and garlic salt or the seasonings of your choice. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Balsamic Pork

Mmmmmm ....we made this with the Parmesan rolls, garlic and Parmesan mashed potatoes and a green salad for a recent church event. This pork is really delicious!!


  • 2 T. McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinaigrette 
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • (1) 3 lb. boneless pork roast
Place the pork roast in a slow cooker.  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low all day, 8-10 hours. Shred and serve. 

Parmesan Rolls

For a recent church activity, we made these rolls with Balsamic Pork, Parmesan mashed potatoes, and a green salad. It was DELICIOUS!

  • 1 package Rhodes Rolls
  • 1-2 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 - 2 c. Parmesan Cheese
Roll a frozen Rhodes Roll in melted butter until its all covered and slightly soft (thawed on the outside). Then roll in the Parmesan cheese, rolling the soft part firmly so that cheese gets embedded in the dough completely covering the roll generously. Then rise and cook according to the Rhodes Rolls package.