Soft Molasses Cookies

Soft Molasses Cookies

1/2 c. solid vegetable shortening (I was actually out of shortening, so we just used butter instead, and it still turned out great!)
1 ½ c. sugar
1/2 c. molasses
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 ¼ tsp. baking soda
2 ¼ tsp. ground ginger
1 ½ tsp. ground cloves
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

In large bowl, cream together butter, shortening and sugar until light colored and fluffy. Beat in molasses and eggs. Set mixture aside. In another bowl, combine flour, salt, soda, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Blend thoroughly with whisk. Gradually mix flour mixture into creamed ingredients until blended and smooth. Roll dough into 1 ½” balls. Dip tops in granulated sugar. Place in greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Dip ½ of cookie in white almond bark or white chocolate. Place on waxed paper after dipping until cooled and chocolate is set. Store in tightly covered container. Makes about 3 dozen.


Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (18 ounce) jar peanut butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped peanuts

In a large bowl, cream butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, yolks, and vanilla; mix until fluffy. Stir in peanut butter. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture. Finally, stir in the peanuts. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
Roll dough into walnut sized balls. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and flatten slightly with a fork. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookies should look dry on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to cool completely on a rack. These cookies taste great when slightly undercooked.

Hot Lime Chicken Soup

6 cups chicken broth
6 slices (1/4 inch thick) gingerroot
3 jalapeno peppers , cored, seeded and minced
6 T. sliced green onion (white and green parts)
6 T. chopped cilantro (* divided)
3 t. nam pla (fish sauce) - OR soy sauce
6 T. fresh lime juice (*divided)
3 boneless chicken breasts (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
Salt (I accidentally omitted the salt - maybe that was it!!)
Ground white pepper

3 C. Cooked rice (I used brown rice)

Combine chicken broth, gingerroot, jalapeno peppers, green onion, 1/2 the cilantro, nam pla, and 1/2 of the lime juice in stock pot. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Spoon out and discard ginger slices. Add remaining 3 T. lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide rice between bowls. Ladle soup and sprinkle with remaining cilantro. Serve hot. (I should have turned up the heat a bit before serving!!)


Bacon Tomato Capellini

2 packages (16 Oz. Package) Bacon, Naturally Flavored
½ cups Bacon Grease, From The Bacon You're Cooking
2 cans (28 Oz. Cans) Diced Tomatoes, Nothing Added
½ cups Chopped Fresh Basil
2 cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced
1 bunch Chopped Green Onions
2 teaspoons Salt, Optional
1 box (16 Oz. Box) Capellini Or Angel Hair Pasta
Fry bacon in a large frying pan, making sure it’s cooked thoroughly but not too crispy. Drain cooked bacon on paper towels, but don’t throw away the grease in the pan! You want to reserve 1/2 cup bacon grease. Dump the rest of the bacon grease out, then put the skillet back on the stove without cleaning it. Trust me. When the bacon is cool, use your fingers to tear it into small pieces. (Please, don’t ever use store bought bacon bits in this recipe.) Set your cooked, crumbled bacon aside.
Now, open your tomato cans and dump them into a large bowl. Throw in the chopped fresh basil and stir. You want to be able to see the basil, distributed evenly in the tomatoes, so if you have to add more, you can. Set this bowl aside and let the flavors mingle while you do the next step.

Dice your garlic, and chop your green onions. Pour your 1/2 cup of bacon grease back into the skillet and heat it to medium. Throw in and saute your garlic and onions. When they’re getting a nice tan from the color of the bacon grease, add your bacon. On low heat, saute the bacon together with the garlic and onions for around ten minutes. When you start getting high from the smell in your kitchen, pour in the bowl of tomatoes and basil. Stir together really well, bring to a boil and then cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, cook your pasta according the directions on the package. Drain noodles and set aside. Right before serving, in a very large bowl, add the bacon/tomato sauce to the noodles and mix well.


Murphy's Hot Hamburger

1 pound Ground Beef
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
5 Tablespoons Flour
2 cans (14 Oz. Can) Beef Broth OR 4 Cups Water With Beef Bouillon
5 whole Large Potatoes
1 Tablespoon Oil, Or As Needed
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Slice potatoes into fries. Place on a large baking sheet. Pour about 1 tablespoon of oil over the fries and toss with fingers to coat evenly. Sprinkle fries with seasoning of choice. I use seasoned salt. Place in the oven. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until golden and crispy.

In a mixing bowl, mix hamburger, garlic, seasoned salt, onion powder and salt and pepper. Mix well with hands. Form 4 large patties. I like to make really rustic, greasy diner-style patties with no uniform shape. Place in a large preheated skillet over medium heat, preferably one with deep sides. Brown burgers on each side until done.

Remove burgers from the skillet and place on a plate covered in paper towels. Do not drain the grease. Add the flour a tablespoon at a time, stirring with a whisk. You have enough when the grease is all absorbed and the flour mixture gets thick and bubbly. Slowly add the broth a little at a time, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and allow to thicken.

To serve, place an ample amount of fries on the plate. Place a hamburger on top of the fries and cover it all amply in gravy. Enjoy!

Sage & Pecan Pork Tenderloin Cutlets

1 C red wind vinegar
5 Tbs seedless blackberry preserves
1/4 tsp salt
1 lb port tenderloin
3/4 C fine, dry breadcrumbs
1/2 C finely chopped pecans
2 tsp rubbed sage
2 large eggs, beaten
4 tsp olive oil

Bring vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to medium, and cook 6 minutes or until reduced my half.
Stir in blackberry preserves, and cook 5 minutes.
Stir in salt.

Remove silver layer skin from tenderloin, leaving a think layer of fat.
Cut port into 8 slices.
Place each pork slice between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and flatten to a 1/4 inch thickness.

Stir together breadcrumbs, pecans, and sage in a shallow bowl.

Dredge pork in breadcrumb mixture, dip in eggs, and dredge again in breadcrumb mixture.

Cook 4 port slices in 2 tsp hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over med heat 8 min or until done.
Turn every 2 minutes.
Repeat procedure with remaining pork and oil.
Drizzle with vinegar mixture.


Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks Salted Butter- at Room Temperature
1 cup White Granulated Sugar
⅔ cups Packed Light Brown Sugar
2 whole Large Eggs
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla
3-¼ cups All-purpose Flour
4 packages (1 Oz. Packets, NOT Sugar-free) Hot Chocolate Mix
1 teaspoon Salt
1-¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Each White, Milk, And Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, hot chocolate mix, salt and baking soda. Add to wet ingredients in 3 to 4 parts, making sure all is incorporated. Fold in chips. Chill the dough for an hour or so. Scoop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Texas Brisket

**This recipe takes 3 days**2 days to marinade the meat and 1 day to cook**

1 C Worcestershire
1 C red wine
1 C beef broth
juice from 1 lime
4 Tbs brown sugar
3 crushed garlic cloves

Seal and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.

Remove meat from marinade and season with salt and pepper.
Discard marinade.
Preheat oven to 450.
Place in hot oven and reduce heat to 250.
Cook for 10 hours.


Chicken and Avocado Soup

2 tsp olive oil

1 ½ C scallions, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, diced
5 C chicken broth
Pinch cumin
Pinch chili powder (optional)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
2 C shredded chicken breast
2 ripe Hass avocados, diced
½ C cilantro, chopped fine
4 lime wedges

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add 1 C of scallions and garlic. Sauté about 2 minutes then add tomatoes and sauté another minute, until soft. Add chicken broth, cumin chili powder, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Simmer, covered on low for about 15 minutes.

In four bowls, fill each with ½ c chicken, ½ avocado, remainder of scallions, and cilantro. Ladle 1 C chicken broth over the chicken and serve with a lime wedge


Baked Sweet Potato and Chili Fries

3 ½ lbs sweet potatoes (5-6 sweet potatoes)

2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp sea salt or ¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ C orange juice
3 ½ tsp chili powder
1 Tbs honey
1 8 oz carton sour cream
1/3 C snipped fresh cilantro

Pre heat oven to 450. Cut each unpeeled sweet potato into 1 in thick slices. In a large ziploc bag toss with oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange in 2 9X13 pans. In small bowl combine OJ, 3 tsp chili powder, honey. Set aside. Bake potatoes uncovered 25-30 min or until tender. Brushing 3 times with OJ mix and shaking pan occasionally. In another small bowl mix sour cream, cilantro, and remaining chili powder for dip.

*note*  I like to add more than the reccomended amout of chili to give my fries a little more kick.  Three tsp of chili powder give it a very subtle flavor.