January 30, 2011


I have the BEST sugar cookie recipe. It's Kenny's sisters. It's my kids favorite sugar cookie. They beg me to make these sugar cookies. I have tried many sugar cookie recipes and I will have to agree, this one is the best. It's full of flavor, and it melts in your mouth. I have tasted many sugar cookies that just feel flat in the flavor department, but not this one. Buttery, rich, with a hint of vanilla.

I do need to warn you that this dough is quite soft. You will want to work fast when rolling it out, because if you work with it too much, it will get sticky and become hard to work with.

Don't let me scare you, if my 12yr old daughter can handle this dough, I am sure you can too.

Sugar Cookies
1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 1/4-1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 drop lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn syrup

Cream together sugars and butter. On low speed gradually add the vegetable oil. Cream until smooth.

Ok, you should add eggs one at a time. That's what the printable directions say to do. I was feeling hyper and in a hurry so I added the eggs and vanilla all together and mixed until creamed together.

In separate mixing bowl or large measuring cup, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar. Gradually add to the butter mixture.

Mix on medium for approximately 5 minutes. If dough seems too sticky add an additional 1/4 cup flour. Dough tends to be soft, so restrain yourself from wanting to add even more flour.

Separate into 2-4 sections, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum 2 hours. I refrigerated mine over night.

Dig through your cookie cutters and find the appropriate cutter for the holiday. I have a whole bucket of cookies cutters. Thanks to my garage sale loving Aunt who has made quite a collection for me with her finds. Thanks Aunt Barb.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove a section of dough from frig and generously dust counter top with flour.

Make sure you give your dough a flip so that it is covered with flour on both sides. This dough is very tender and as it starts to warm up will get sticky and hard to handle. So you kind of need to move fast....or at least not at snail speed.

Roll dough out to about 1/4 inch.

If dough starts to crack....

just give it a pat with your fingers and that will make it feel better.

Cut out the chosen shapes. You might want to use a spatula to transfer dough to lined baking sheets. Place them at least 2" apart on sheet, giving them room to grow while baking.

Bake for 8-10 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Don't over bake. Cookies will poof up a bit, but you don't want them to brown on top, just barely browned around the bottom edge.

Now squish your dough back into a ball and start over until dough is used up. If dough feels like it has gotten too sticky, toss in a zip-loc bag and put back in frig, grab the next section of dough. This dough freezes well too. Freeze in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Take out of freezer and let rest on counter for 15 minutes or so before rolling out to cut cookies.

Here you can see the pan on the left I gave cookies enough space and the pan on the right got a little bit too cozy with each other.

Now it's time to ice your cookies. Oh I am a master at this. As you can see from the cookie that looks like it encountered a drive by shooting. YIKES!

I am not even going to attempt to tell you how to decorate a cookie. Because I stink at it. So if you want to make some really beautiful artsy cool cookies then go see I am Baker.

Because here are mine above, and hers below.

BAh hahahaha BAhAHAH ahaha HA!

I know it's hysterical that I even attempted to show you my decorated cookies.

Look at that. Perfect-A-mundo!

And these she did for a wedding.

And these so detailed, and romantic.

And these were done by a 41 year old lacking in the department of cookie decorating skills.

Egads. My kids did a better job at decorating than me.

I will say these cookies are, in the words of my father, scrump-dilly-icious! So whether you have a knack for decorating or not, I can promise you they will taste delicious. I actually left half of mine unfrosted. They are great for dunking.

I love you Amanda, but can I just say...you stink! I mean that in love. How do you do these cookies with little whipper snappers running here and there, and then one on the way. The patience of Job, I tell ya!

I am Baker has a gift, a true talent, plus she is one of the nicest people I know.

GO check out her site to see her beautiful creations and incredibly delicious sweet treats!


post signature

January 28, 2011

CUPCAKES by Design!

Today I was blessed to meet a new friend. Jennifer. She has a cupcake business in my town. Or in the big city near my town. Grand Rapids. Cupcakes by Design. Have you heard of them?

Are you from Grand Rapids or the surrounding area? If so you need to high tale your fanny on over to Knapp Corner and get yourself a treat! They deliver too! Anywhere in the surrounding area that is. Sorry, my out of town peeps......Jennifer is working on shipping.

She brought me a beautiful box of cupcakes. I took every fiber of my being not to open up that box right in the middle of Panera Bread Co. and take a bite out of each one of the cupcakes she brought me. You see I love my children and I knew if I did that, they would be very, very disappointed in me. Not surprised at all.... but disappointed.

Jennifer has a blog too! We have a mutual friend, who got us together. She knew that we would have alot to talk about. She was right! Of course we talked about blogging, and food, and blogging, and food, and well family....I felt like we could have talked for hours.

I asked Jennifer if I could blog about her cupcakes...or even be a guest blogger on her blog. She said YES! I think she was a little worried that I might not like her cupcakes. She wanted to make she I was under no obligation...if I didn't like the cupcakes. "If you don't like them no problem, no hard feelings...yadayadayada..."

I thought I would try and wait until my kiddos got home from school to open the box. But it kept yelling my name. I tried leaving the room. Then I vacuumed. I couldn't take it anymore!

Four words.


I knew when I pick up this "Red Hot Mama" cupcake that there was trouble. It was heavy. Heavy is good. It means moist. Dense. I like moist cake.

Now for the real test of the taste buds. AAAahahahhhh, the clouds parted and the angels sang. This is one seriously good little cake.

This cupcake deservse few more words...Dangerous. Delicious. Moist. Delectably Delightful. DANG that was good. Can't eat just one. Does that tell you how I feel about your cupcakes Jennifer???!!!

Oh did I say YUMMY?

The hounds came home from school and it was like watching a Discovery Channel show where the lions pounce on a zebra and rip it to shreds. It was not pretty.

I told Jennifer...she's the owner of Cupcakes by Design, if I hadn't said that already, that I'm doing a "Week of LUV" on my blog.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!!! FEBRUARY 6-11 I am doing a whole week of GIVEAWAYS!!!

I mentioned that...and she asked if she could give away a dozen Cupcakes...if you like them that is no pressure? Well, I tried them and I say "HECK yes I'll giveaway some Cupcakes by Design!!!!" One catch you will have to be in the surrounding Grand Rapids, Michigan area, for this giveaway. Sorry...please no tears I hate to make people cry. Stay tuned for my "Week of LUV" . And next week I'm going to share with you some luvy dovey type recipes....something to get the ol' romantic juices flowing.

CONFESSION: I used to hate Valentines Day. It's a Hallmark holiday right? I looked at it as another day to set yourself up to be disappointed, and spend unnecessary green backs. But now I look at it as a break from the winter blues. An opportunity to show my family how much I love them by cooking some fun "love" themed food, or maybe just their favorites. I don't get my hopes up anymore for a house full of flowers, or a romantic getaway...or who's foolin' who....even one of those giant candy Kisses, I take what I can get baby. I learned a long time ago...it ain't what you get it's what you GIVE....that philosophy makes Valentines Day enjoyable for me. Actually that philosophy makes life enjoyable not just V-Day.

Go check out Cupcake by Designs blog. There is a really funny commercial on there and they are doing a GIVEAWAY right now. You can win the cupcake of the month for a whole year! Oh my. That's a good one.

Go pay my new friend Jennifer a visit. Treat yourself to something yummy. With something like 30+ flavors you might need to treat yourself twice!

Tell her Strawberry Cake sent you!

post signature

January 27, 2011

Chicken Caesar Wrap

My daughter ordered this Chicken Caesar Wrap at a restaurant near us. After she had it, she obsessed about it for days. She is her mothers daughter, you know. She kept whining, and begging can we go back to Big O's and get me another one of those Chicken Caesar Wraps? "Oh, sure fine daughter, I will just drop everything to go downtown to a restaurant that has no parking and get you your much wanted Chicken Caesar Wrap."


Bratsky. She's is a lovely girl. Mostly well mannered. Unless you consider hormones, and the fact that the planets are orbiting around her cranium.

What was on that thing?, I asked. "Chicken, lettuce, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing." she answered.

How hard could it be to make?

Not hard.

Now, I too am addicted and obsessing over eating a Chicken Caesar Wrap everyday. But, I bet these are better than anything you can buy in a restaurant with metered parking.

Here's what you will need:
1 Chicken Breast, grilled, boiled, roasted or however you like it cooked
4 leaves Romaine Lettuce
1-2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tablespoon shredded Carrots optional
1-2 tablespoons bottled Caesar Salad Dressing
2 Flour Tortillas, or Flat-out Sun Dried Tomato Flat Breads

Yields: 2 sandwiches

Either one works fantastically. The flour tortilla rolls up better if you have warmed it first for about 15 seconds between damp paper towels in microwave.

Cook up your chicken what ever way you prefer. I have this handy dandy grill pan that I LUV! I season the chicken breasts with season salt and grill them for 5 minutes or so on each side.

I love the nutty crunch of shredded carrots on a sandwich. My daughter does not. So you can make the call on the carrots. To carrot or not to carrot? That's the question.

Caesar Salad Dressing...don't be caught without it! I love Brianna's brand of Salad Dressings. They are magnifico.

Slice or shred the chicken.



Shredded Carrots....for eagle vision.


No sandwich is complete with out cheese.

Almost there...

You be the judge on how much dressing to use. I personally am a whacko for condiments.

So this is what I do: generously drizzle dressing on sandwich, then pour a puddle on the plate and dip sandwich in salad dressing before every bite.

Unlike my husband who's rabbit tendencies leave no room for condiments of any sort.

Thing of beauty.

Now for the wrap technique. Try to contain most of filling in the lettuce...

then fold one side of flat-bread over.

Keep the roll going, nice and tight.

Stick a toothpick in each side and cut on a diagonal down the middle. Giving the consumer the feel that they did indeed pay $7.95 plus parking for this sandwich. Which my lovely daughter thinks makes things taste better.

OOOmPapaMouMou! This is so very delicious.

Easy to make the night before and wrap up for lunches too!

Have you obsessed over a certain food lately?

Check out Quit Eating Out's Saturday Swap to find more yumm-a-licious food to obsess over!

Do tell!

post signature