Orange Almond Biscotti

I love biscotti. I mean, I REALLY love biscotti, that crispy little “breakfast cookie” I dunk unceremoniously and without apology into my steaming, hot cup of morning coffee. Ahhhh…simple pleasures! You will love the taste of these Orange Almond Biscotti!Orange Almond Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I found this biscotti recipe online and they were a snap to make. These Italian cookies are slightly less “hard” than some of the other “hard as a brick and need to see my dentist afterwards” biscotti recipes. A good flavor combination of orange and chocolate makes these one of my “go to” biscotti recipes.

I’ve made them many times, and have given many plates of them as gifts to my unsuspecting good friends and neighbors; they are always a hit.

Orange Almond Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I dip the bottoms of the baked and cooled biscotti into melted semi-sweet chocolate and place on waxed paper to harden the chocolate. Then I drizzle some of the melted chocolate over the top of the biscotti to finish them off.

Orange Almond Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Here is a photo of the last batch I made…hope you enjoy these, too!

Orange Almond Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Orange Almond Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Orange Almond Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: http://bakingbites.com/2011/10/orange-almond-biscotti/ 

Orange Almond Biscotti
 
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These orange flavored almond biscotti are perfect Italian cookies to munch on, especially when paired with a strong cup of coffee! Yum!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ Tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup sliced almonds, toasted (cook in skillet, stir constantly on low,. 2-3 minutes)
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh orange zest (from approx. 2 oranges)
To make chocolate glaze for bottoms of biscotti and drizzle glaze:
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar till fully mixed and light. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the egg white and vanilla extract.
  4. With the mixer on a slow speed, gradually add in the flour mixture, blending just until flour is fully mixed in. Stir in the orange zest and the toasted almonds.
  5. Divide the dough in half. With lightly floured hands, shape one half of the dough into a "log", about 2½ inches high and 8-10 inches long (log should be fairly narrow) on the prepared cookie sheet (dough will be sticky, so make sure you flour your hands to work with the dough). Prepare the other half of the dough in the same manner, but make sure to use another parchment-lined cookie sheet, as the dough will "spread a bit".
  6. Place the cookie sheets in the oven and bake for 30 minutes (or until the biscotti are dark golden and set. The biscotti should spring back slightly when lightly pressed in the center. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Allow the dough logs to cool on a wire rack for approximately 20 minutes, then slice into cookies ½-3/4 inch thick, using a sharp knife. Arrange the biscotti upright on baking sheets. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. Put biscotti back into oven a second time and bake for 20-25 minutes, until they are lightly browned on the sides and slightly crisp. The top and bottom of the biscotti should be relatively dark. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. If you want to dip the bottom of the biscotti or drizzle them with chocolate: Melt 1 cup chocolate chips (or more, as needed) in a microwave-safe bowl with 1 T. vegetable shortening in the microwave for approx. 1 to 1½ minutes, stirring every 30 seconds so the chocolate doesn't burn, till smooth).
  9. When biscotti have cooled completely, I dip the bottom of the biscotti (or "paint" on the chocolate using a pastry brush) in melted semi-sweet chocolate , then place on parchment paper or foil until chocolate has hardened. Then I drizzle the chocolate on top of the biscotti. I usually end up using a pastry brush to brush the melted chocolate onto the bottom of the biscotti and a honey dipper to drizzle the glaze over the top of the biscotti. Set the biscotti aside and let the chocolate complete harden, then store finished biscotti in an airtight container till you're ready to dunk 'em in your coffee. Enjoy!

 

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Candied Orange, Cinnamon & Clove Spiced Pecans

Every year my mom orders and generously mails us several pounds of fresh-picked and shelled pecans she gets from a pecan farm in Texas.  I almost always make Candied Orange, Cinnamon & Clove Spiced Pecans with some of them at Christmas time!Candied Orange, Cinnamon & Clove Spiced Pecans / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

What a great treat it is to open the box we receive each Fall, and see bags and bags of harvested, shelled pecans that were hanging on a tree (minding their own business) just a few days before.

I use lots of these pecans for my holiday baking, but love to set some aside to make this recipe for candied pecans, which (besides being oh-so-yummy) are great to give in gift bags to friends at Christmas! The wonderful flavors of orange, cinnamon and cloves combine to make this treat one of my personal favorites! I don’t remember where I got this little recipe card many years ago, but I DO remember the smile it brought to our faces the first time we tried them. I hope you enjoy them, as well. Here’s how easy it is to make them:

Spread pecans on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake @ 275 degrees for 10 minutes.
In a saucepan, combine sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Bring to a boil and then boil for 2 minutes longer.  Remove pan from heat, and stir in pecans. Mix well, until pecans are fully coated.  Using a slotted spoon, remove nuts and place on waxed paper or aluminum foil, trying to keep the pecans separated from each other (I use a fork to help separate).  Let the pecans dry for several hours (or until dry to the touch), then break up any of the pecans that are “stuck” to each other. That’s it!

Candied Orange, Cinnamon & Clove Spiced Pecans / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Have a great day! Sure hope you will have the opportunity to make these absolutely delicious treats!

Candied Orange, Cinnamon & Clove Spiced Pecans / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Original Recipe Source: Unknown

Candied Orange, Cinnamon & Clove Spiced Pecans
 
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Candied pecans...coated with orange, cinnamon and cloves! Great for munching or for gift-giving!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Candy
Serves: 4½ cups
Ingredients
  • 3 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup prepared orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
Directions
  1. Spread pecans on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  2. Bake pecans @ 275 degrees for 10 minutes.
  3. In a saucepan, combine sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Bring to a boil and then boil for 2 minutes longer.
  4. Remove pan from heat, and stir in pecans. Mix well.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, remove nuts and place on waxed paper or aluminum foil, trying to keep the pecans separated from each other (I use a fork to help separate).
  6. Let the pecans dry for several hours (or until dry to the touch), then break up any of the pecans that are "stuck" to each other.
  7. Store the pecans in a covered container to keep them at their peak freshness. This recipe makes approximately 4½ cups. Enjoy!

 

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Mom’s Famous Cream Cheese Ball

I love holidays, and all the happy memories associated with them. A lot of my holiday memories revolve around simple, delicious meals with family and friends. Mom’s Famous Cream Cheese Ball is an appetizer I’ve prepared for many years (35+), and is always a hit.Mom's Famous Cream Cheese Ball / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Looking for an easy, delicious appetizer? Try Mom's Famous Cream Cheese Ball, with red and green bell peppers, green onions and chopped pecans!

My Mom got this recipe from a friend at church over 30 years ago, and has passed the recipe (and the “serving it at the holidays” tradition) down to her daughters. It is so easy to prepare, and with only a few ingredients like green and red bell peppers, green onions and pecans, is easy on the wallet.

I usually make it the day before it is served.  I think the “good-flavor elves” work the flavors into the cheese ball even better that way. This cheese ball can be served with any kind of cracker. Let it sit out 30-45 minutes before serving, so the cheese can soften up a bit (it’s easier to spread on a cracker that way).

Mom's Famous Cream Cheese Ball / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
You’re going to be surprised how easy and delicious it is! It is such a family tradition of ours, and is usually the first thing our grown sons head straight to, when I make it! Enjoy!

Mom's Famous Cream Cheese Ball / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
If you are looking for other appetizer recipes, perhaps you would want to check out my recipes for Classic Bruschetta, Mexican Layer Dip, Crostini with Figs, Gorgonzola, Honey and Walnuts, or perhaps Sun-Dried Tomato and Kalamata Olive Bruschetta?
Mom's Famous Cream Cheese Ball / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Have a great day!
Mom's Famous Cream Cheese Ball / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: My Mom

Mom's Famous Cream Cheese Ball
 
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A delicious appetizer, made with cream cheese, green onions, pecans, red and green peppers.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: Many
Ingredients
  • 2 packages. cream cheese, at room temp
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I use pecans)
  • 2 individual stalks green onion, sliced (green stem and white part)
  • ¼ cup chopped green pepper
  • ¼ cup red pepper
Directions
  1. Place all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. I use a fork to "mash" the ingredients together (a fork helps to blend the veggies and nuts into the cream cheese).
  2. Once completely blended, I "mold" the cheese into the shape I want to serve it in. To do this, you take plastic wrap, drape a small bowl (whatever shape you choose to use) and completely cover it with plastic wrap with the sides overlapping and hanging over the bowl several inches on each side. Then I use a spoon to "mold" the cream cheese mixture into the bowl, being sure to push the mixture into every part of the bowl and packing it down.
  3. Once packed into the bowl, make sure you level off the top part of the cheese as flat as you can (this will end up being the bottom of the cheese ball, and you want it lay flat). Wrap the excess plastic wrap completely over the top of the cheese, so it is sealed completely.
  4. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours, in order for the flavors to come together.
  5. When ready to serve, unwrap the plastic and invert the cheese ball onto serving platter. Grab a serving knife and serve with the crackers of your choice. Enjoy!

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Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

My husband and I love pizza! We adore Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza…it’s so amazing!Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

While there isn’t too much that is healthy in a slice or two of a good one, occasionally we just want the sheer cheesiness (new word) and oozy goodness of hot pizza. Nine times out of ten we just order a pizza from our favorite place, or I will throw together a homemade one, if the mood hits.

However…sometimes you just have a craving for a humongous deep-dish pizza. You know, the kind that can feed a small village or two. That kind. I started searching online for the basics of a good deep-dish pizza and came upon this one. It sounded pretty easy, and I knew I could add a few things to personalize it for our taste buds to be delighted.

The results were fantastic! Stuffed FULL of goodies, this pizza came out of our oven just screaming to be devoured. Hot, cheesy, and full of flavor…yes, yes, yes! I sure hope you enjoy this. I know we did.

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This pizza takes a bit of prep time (for dough to rise, etc., but I know you will LOVE the finished product…absolutely delicious!  C’mon…you KNOW you want a big ol’ bite of this pizza…can you smell it? Ooooooh!

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Adapted From: http://www.seededatthetable.com/2011/01/24/chicago-style-deep-dish-pizza/

 

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza
 
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Packed with flavor, this Chicago-Stule Deep dish Pizza is sure to please!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
For the dough:
  • 1½ cups + 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1⅛ teaspoon. instant yeast
  • ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons water, at room temperature
  • 1½ Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon. olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
For the sauce:
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon. dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite-diced tomatoes
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1½ teaspoons olive oil
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
For the filling and topping:
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped or sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 links Italian sausage, cooked (spicy or sweet, w/casing removed and crumbled, cooked in skillet)
  • ½ cup pepperoni slices
  • ¼ oz. grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 TBSP)
  • 4 thin slices provolone cheese
  • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (approx. 2 cups)
Directions
  1. Make the dough: Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, until well blended. Attach the dough hook and mix in the water and melted butter on low speed for 1-2 minutes. Scrape dough down from sides of bowl, as needed. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until dough is glossy and smooth (approx. 3-4 minutes)
  2. Coat a medium bowl with 1 tsp. of the olive oil. Transfer the dough to bowl, turning once to coat with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size (approx. 45-60 minutes)
  3. Once dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured, dry work surface and roll it into an 8x6 inch rectangle. To laminate the dough, spread the softened butter over the surface, leaving a ½ inch border around the edge.
  4. Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. With the seam side down, flatten the cylinder into a 9x2 inch rectangle, then fold into thirds like a business letter. Pinch the seams to form a ball, and return dough to oiled bowl.
  5. Cover tightly again with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator for 40-50 minutes till it has risen quite a bit. (not doubled, but close)
  6. Prepare the sauce: In medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  7. Stir in the onion, mushrooms, green pepper, oregano, and salt. Saute until the liquid has nearly evaporated and the onion is golden brown, stirring often, about 3-5 minutes.
  8. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30-45 seconds.
  9. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar, then increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture just to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until reduced to about 1¼ cups (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in basil and oil.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 9 inch round cake pan with olive oil.
  12. To assemble and make pizza: Move the dough to a dry, lightly floured work surface and roll out into a 13 inch disk, about ¼ inch thick. Fold in half and carefully transfer the dough to the pan. Unfold, and lightly press the dough to line the bottom of the pan and 1 inch up the sides of the pan. If the dough resists stretching, wait 5 minutes before trying again.
  13. Sprinkle 1½ cups of the shredded mozzarella over the surface of the dough. Then layer ½ of the sauce over the cheese. Next layer is the sausage and pepperoni. Then add the other ½ of the sauce on top of the meat. Top with the remaining ½ cup of shredded mozzarella, the provolone slices, and the Parmesan cheese. I also sprinkle the top with a a bit more dried oregano.
  14. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes (mine took 25), until the crust is golden brown. Remove pizza from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing (trust me on this...holds together better this way).
Notes
This recipe may seem a bit labor intensive, but if you brown the Italian sausage, and cook the sauce during the "rising" times of the dough, it really isn't so much. The hardest part really is just waiting for the dough to rise...and for that FIRST TASTE! I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

 

 

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Mom’s Old-Fashioned Fudge

When I was growing up, my Mom always made this fudge recipe at Christmas.Mom's Old-Fashioned Fudge  She would put pieces on plates and give them to our friends and neighbors. We always had plenty left over, so our family could enjoy Mom’s Old-Fashioned Fudge through the season.Mom's Old-Fashioned Fudge / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Creamy old-fashioned chocolate fudge with pecans... just the way Mom makes it for the holidays!

I don’t even know where she got the recipe from (she calls it “See’s Fudge”), but I do know it’s been made by my Mom for at least 45 years. Now it is my tradition, passed from one generation to the next.

I have been making this absolutely DELICIOUS fudge every Christmas for as long as I can remember (that’s a loooong time, folks), and still LOVE the memories it brings to mind, and the calories it brings to my tummy!

Mom's Old-Fashioned Fudge / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Making and giving away homemade goodies at Christmas is part of my heritage…it’s just what I love to do!

The recipe is fairly easy… ingredients are cooked, mixed together, then spread onto a cookie sheet and refrigerated until firm.  Once firm, the fudge is cut into small bites of creamy chocolate deliciousness!

Mom's Old-Fashioned Fudge / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Mom's Old-Fashioned Fudge / The Grateful Girl Cooks!This recipe makes a lot of fudge…plenty to have around to nibble on, to serve friends who pop in for a quick visit, or to give away with your Christmas goodies to neighbors and friends. I sure hope you will give it a try…it’s DELICIOUS! Enjoy!

Mom's Old-Fashioned Fudge / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: My Mom

Mom's Old-Fashioned Fudge
 
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Who doesn't love fudge at Christmas? Here's my Mom's Old-Fashioned Fudge recipe...used for over 50 years!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: A couple pounds of fudge
Ingredients
  • 2 pkgs. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 8 oz. jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts (I use pecans)
  • ½ lb. butter (or margarine, if you desire- I use butter-2 cubes)
  • 1 large can of evaporated milk (regular sized-don't use the dinky one)
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
Directions
  1. Place the first five ingredients (chips, marshmallow creme, vanilla, nuts and butter) in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, add the evaporated milk and the sugar. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil; once it reaches a full, rolling boil, cook for 9½ minutes, stirring to be sure it doesn't boil over the top of the pan.
  3. Once the 9½ minutes is up, remove the pan from the heat and quickly pour this HOT mixture into the ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir thoroughly (this is good for your biceps!) until the butter and the chocolate chips are all melted and blended smooth.
  4. Pour the contents of the bowl onto a BUTTERED (rub a bit of butter on the bottom and sides) 9x13 cookie sheet. Spread fudge mixture out to fill cookie sheet completely.
  5. Refrigerate for several hours till firm, then cut into small squares. Keep refrigerated. Enjoy!

 

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Swedish Pancakes

I found this recipe for Swedish Pancakes online a couple of years ago, and it quickly became a favorite to fix when we have out of town guests staying in our home.Swedish Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The original recipe calls for Lingonberry jam (which is the true Swedish way to serve these), but since I pick fresh raspberries each summer at a local berry farm, then make my own jam, I always seem to have plenty of jam around, and we LOVE these with the fresh taste of raspberries (good old Pacific Northwest raspberries).

Once you “master” the cooking technique, these will be easy peasy. Really. They are always a big hit with our guests (and my always hungry husband). I hope you enjoy them, as well! Ya, you betcha! (said with a Swedish accent, of course). Here’s a picture of the last batch I made…yum.

Swedish Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Swedish Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: http://www.alaskafromscratch.com/2012/03/10/swedish-pancakes/

Swedish Pancakes
 
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A delicious breakfast treat! Thin Swedish pancakes and raspberry jam. Enjoy these!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12 crepes
Ingredients
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 TBSP. sour cream
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 TBSP granulated sugar
  • Oil, for the skillet
  • Raspberry Jam (or jam of your choice), for serving
  • Melted butter, for serving
  • Powdered sugar, for a dusting on top of the cooked crepes
Directions
  1. In a blender, blend eggs, milk and sour cream together.
  2. Add flour, salt, and sugar to the blender. Blend until completely smooth. The batter will be thin and pourable.
  3. Heat a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. With a pastry brush, oil the pan with about a teaspoon of oil (you may need to add more later).
  4. When the pan and the oil are hot, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the center of the pan. Quickly, but gently lift and swirl the pan to spread the batter to the edges. The batter should sizzle some in the oil if the pan is hot enough. Cook about 60-90 seconds, until the bottom begins to turn golden, then carefully flip the thin pancake over. Cook another 30-60 seconds until the other side begins to brown. Remove from skillet. Fold in half, then in half again to make a triangle. Set the pancake aside and repeat with remaining batter.
  5. To Serve: Place folded Swedish pancakes onto plates. Lightly brush melted butter onto tops, then dust with sifted powdered sugar, and put a generous dollop of Raspberry jam in the middle. Enjoy!

 

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Toll House Pie

I just HAD to post this recipe for Toll House Pie.  It is officially the most requested pie recipe in our home. It is the one food item requested for every Birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Millard Fillmore’s Birthday…well…you get the idea. Our two sons are grown men and they STILL request this for their birthdays. That makes this mom’s heart happy.Toll House Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I received this “gift” of a recipe from a friend named Cindi who I used to sing with in a church choir in Southern CA over 30 years ago. I’m sure she had noooo idea that it would become one of my most worn out recipe cards. It is such an easy recipe – and what a keeper!

Toll House Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Enjoy a slice of this pie (filled with chocolate chips, pecans, brown sugar, etc.) that is decadent, rich, and sweet enough to put hair on your chest!

Toll House Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Toll House Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Toll House Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Grab a fork and take a nice, big bite! Hope you enjoy it.

Toll House Pie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Original Recipe Source: Cindi Carlisle Wilcox (over 30 years ago)

Toll House Pie
 
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Easy to prepare, rich and decadent pie, filled with chocolate chips and pecans!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup butter, melted (then cooled to room temp)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar (light or dark-I usually use dark)
  • ½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (I always use pecans)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 6 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (plus additional chips if you want to swirl some on top of baked pie for decorative look)
  • 1 pie crust (either buy one or make your own...I always make my own)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in large mixing bowl.
  3. Pour mixture into an unbaked pie crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool down on a wire rack.
  4. If desired, melt ¼ cup chocolate chips in a double boiler and decoratively swirl the melted chocolate over the top of the baked, and cooled pie.
Notes
Original Recipe Source: unknown. I was given the recipe by my friend Cindi Carlisle Wilcox years and years and years ago!

 


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Mom’s Old-Fashioned Chili

On a cold, wintry day nothing tastes as good as a big bowl of Mom’s Old-Fashioned Chili…just the way my Mom always made it for us growing up. The tradition continues, and I’ve been using this family recipe for evuhhhhh! So easy. So GOOD! I think you’ll like it, too.Mom's Old-Fashioned Chili / the Grateful Girl Cooks!

The awesome part is that if you simply omit the meat it is a totally vegetarian or vegan meal. I know this amazing tidbit because I’ve tried it (we have two vegetarians and a vegan in our family) and they loved it, too. So…grab the ingredients, a wooden spoon, knife, cutting board, a big stockpot (or crock pot) and get ready to say “Thank You, JB’s Mom!!!!!!”

I make this chili year-round, but it is especially good when it is COLD outside. I’ve even left the meat out of this recipe to make a completely vegetarian chili when family members come over for dinner…and it is wonderful!

Mom's Old-Fashioned Chili / the Grateful Girl Cooks!
I can almost smell it cooking away on the stove…yum!

Mom's Old-Fashioned Chili / the Grateful Girl Cooks!
Sure hope you enjoy it!

Mom's Old-Fashioned Chili / the Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mom's Old-Fashioned Chili
 
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Nothing like a hot bowl of homemade chili on a cold day to warm the soul!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1½ lbs. ground beef
  • 1 large brown onion, chopped (go ahead and have yourself a little cry)
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large (big, fat one)and 1 small can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 large can chili beans (or 2 regular sized)
  • 1 can kidney beans (14.5 oz.)
  • 1 can black beans (14.5 oz.)
  • 1 can pinto beans (14.5 oz.)
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 TBSP. chili powder
  • 1½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 2-3 tsp. salt (more or less, to taste)
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small can tomato paste (I've also used tomato sauce when out of tomato paste)
Directions
  1. In skillet, brown ground beef, chopped onion and green pepper. Drain off grease.
  2. If you are using a crock pot: Put the browned meat mixture in crockpot; add the rest of the ingredients...(cook on low for 6 hours)
  3. If cooking in a large pot on the stove top, add the browned meat mixture to the rest of the ingredients; simmer (uncovered) for about an hour and a half.
  4. When ready to serve, garnish each serving with grated cheese, a small dollop of sour cream and a sprig of cilantro (optional).
Notes
This recipe makes a large pot of soup. It will freeze well.

 

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Dipped Gingersnaps

This is one of my all-time favorite “go-to” cookie recipes: Dipped Gingersnaps! I ALWAYS make them at Christmas to give away to family and friends, but I also end up making them year-round because they are so easy and delicious! Dipped Gingersnaps / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Chewy gingersnap molasses cookies, dipped in white and/or semi-sweet chocolate glaze are cookies your family will love!

These cookies are actually soft and chewy, so I’ve never really figured out why that have the word “snap” in them. Rather than waste any brain cells trying to figure it out, I’ve found it best to just go with it. I feel I’m better for it.

This recipe makes approximately 14 dozen cookies, but never fear…you can easily half the recipe, if you’re not planning to feed an entire village, or eat them all by yourself. These cookies also freeze very well, so I usually make the whole batch at once and then freeze some for another time. The ginger flavor permeates these delicious cookies, and if you choose to dip them in white chocolate icing or drizzle them with glaze, you won’t be sorry!

I usually dip half of the cookie in a white chocolate icing, but they can also be drizzled with a light powdered sugar glaze or semi- sweet or white chocolate glaze, as seen in the photos below. Both instructions and ingredients are included in the printable recipe (below).

Dipped Gingersnaps / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Dipped Gingersnaps / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

You can even dipped them in white chocolate, then give the kids some colorful sprinkles to add!

Dipped Gingersnaps / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

However you choose to decorate these delicious cookies, you will LOVE how they taste, and how easy they are to make!  Hope you will give them a try.

Dipped Gingersnaps / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe adapted from: Laura Kimball, via Taste of Home Magazine

Dipped Gingersnaps
 
Prep time
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A delicious dipped gingersnap, bursting with the flavors of ginger and molasses!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Serves: 14 dozen
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 TBSP. ground ginger (powder)
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Additional sugar
For dipped cookies:
  • 2 pkgs. (12 oz. each) vanilla baking chips
  • ¼ cup shortening (Crisco)
For drizzle-glaze cookies:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tsp. warm water (or more till glaze is slightly thin)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and oil; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in molasses.
  3. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix this very well.
  4. Shape dough into ¾ inch balls (roll the dough between both hands to form a ball) and then roll the cookie ball in sugar (approx ⅓ cup, more or less) in a small bowl.
  5. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookie springs back when touched lightly. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool.
  7. When completely cooled, you can either dip the cookies or drizzle a thin glaze over them...whatever you prefer. ENJOY!
  8. For dipping: Melt the vanilla chips with shortening in a small pan over low heat. Dip the cookies half way into the mixture, shake or let the excess drip off. Place on waxed paper or foil-lined baking sheets to harden.
  9. For drizzle-glazing: In small bowl, mix powdered sugar, vanilla and warm water till you have a slightly thin glaze, adding more sugar to thicken or a touch more water to thin. Place cookies on foil to catch the glaze that might run off the cookies. Drizzle the glaze on top of cookies. Let harden.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Dipped Gingersnaps / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Chewy gingersnap molasses cookies, dipped in white and/or semi-sweet chocolate glaze are cookies your family will love!

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Fried Chicken, Spicy Mayo and Slaw Sandwich

So here’s the story… my friend gave me a subscription to Bon Appétit magazine last year. My husband was looking through one of the issues and came upon this recipe for a Fried Chicken , Spicy Mayo and Slaw Sandwich.Fried Chicken, Spicy Mayo and Slaw Sandwich / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Being the nice guy that he is, he hinted mentioned to me (of course rather casually) that it sure sounded good, and was wondering if I thought I could make this recipe.

Fried Chicken, Spicy Mayo and Slaw Sandwich / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Fried Chicken, Spicy Mayo and Slaw Sandwich / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Fried Chicken, Spicy Mayo & Slaw Sandwich / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

So I did. End of story. Did you enjoy it? Actually, it was fairly easy, and really tastes GOOD! Seriously good. the sandwich was easy to prepare, and the taste was unexpectedly wonderful! My husband and I LOVED it and I have prepared it a few times since then. Hope you will give it a try…I think you will really like  this delicious sndwich.

Fried Chicken, Spicy Mayo & Slaw Sandwich / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/fried-chicken-sandwiches-with-slaw-and-spicy-mayo

Fried Chicken, Spicy Mayo and Slaw Sandwich
 
Prep time
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Delicious chicken sandwich, paired with a spicy mayo and jalapeno coleslaw.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the Spicy Mayo and Slaw:
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise (can use regular mayo too, of course)
  • 1 Tablespoon Louisiana-style hot pepper sauce
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 4 C. thinly sliced green cabbage
  • ½ cup Bread and Butter pickle slices, plus ¼ cup pickle juice from jar
For Fried Chicken and Assembly:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt (plus more for later)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 - 8 oz. chicken breasts, cut in half crosswise
  • Vegetable or Peanut oil
  • 4 sandwich rolls (I used Kaiser rolls)
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature (I used regular...whatever!)
Directions
  1. Make the slaw: Mix garlic and mayo in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate. In a separate bowl, toss remaining ingredients to combine. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. To make chicken: In a small bowl, whisk flour, black pepper and salt. Set aside.
  3. Into another shallow bowl, pour the buttermilk.
  4. Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. Then dip the chicken in the buttermilk, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. (Messy, but are you having fun yet?) Then dredge the chicken again in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. Set chicken onto a piece of foil while you coat the other three pieces.
  5. Pour the oil into a large, heavy skillet to a depth of ½ inch. Place the deep-fry thermometer into the oil so that the bulb is submerged. Heat over medium heat until the thermometer registers 350 degrees.
  6. Carefully place the 4 chicken breasts in hot oil. Fry chicken until golden brown and cooked through (approximately 3-4 minutes per side). When done, remove chicken and transfer to a wire rack. Season with additional salt to taste.
  7. Spread the cut sides of the rolls with butter. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Working in batches, grill the rolls, butter-side down, till lightly browned and crisp (about 1 minute).
  8. To "build" the sandwich: Spread the bottom of the toasted sandwich roll with ¼ of the spicy mayo. Then add the chicken breast, followed by ¼ of the cabbage slaw. Slap a roll top on that bad boy, take a big old bite and then say "YUM!"
Notes
You will need a deep-fry thermometer for this recipe.

 

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