Tasty Tuesday – Rolled Sugar Cookies

As we approach the holidays, I wanted to share an excellent basic recipe for cookies that anyone who has made simple drop cookies (like chocolate-chip cookies) can make without much fuss.  It does, however, require a cookie cutter; I invite you over to my post at the Torquere Press today for my post, “Christmas Cookies – A Cautionary Tale.”

Here, without further ado, is the recipe:

Cookie Baking 101:  Rolled Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 C butter (anyone that tells you to use margarine in cookies should be shot) (just sayin’)
1 C sugar
1 egg
1/4 C milk
1/2 t vanilla (do NOT use “Vanillin.”  This is an artificial flavor.  Buy real vanilla.  You’ll thank me.)
2 1/4 C flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground mace or cake spice

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  the world’s best cake spice is from The Spice House.  Check it out.  You won’t be sorry.

Directions

  1. Soften the butter.  Either let it stand at room temperature or beat it with an electric mixer until creamy.  Do not let it become too soft or melt.
  2. In a mixer bowl (I love to use ceramic bowls for this but any large bowl will do), cream together the butter and sugar.  Wooden spoons are very helpful for this purpose or you can use your handy dandy electric mixer again.  (Just don’t go nuts with the sugar or it’ll splash everywhere.)  (Ask me how I know this.)
  3. Add the egg, the milk, and the vanilla; beat well.
  4. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and mace or cake spice.
  5. Add to creamed mixture and beat until blended.
  6. Divide dough in half.
  7. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, 191 C.
  9. On a lightly-floured surface, roll each half of dough to 1/8 inch thickness.
  10. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.  (You can use an overturned glass if you aren’t fortunate enough to have cookie cutters; you can really go nuts with fancy shapes if that’s your thing.  You can find them on the internet, second-hand stores, and antique shops.)
  11. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until golden.
  12. Remove from cookie sheet with metal spatula.  Cool on wire rack.

Yield: about 4.5 dozen.

Join our other Tasty Tuesday Compatriots!

Nancy Lauzon brings us Headless Chicken Soup!

Selena Robins whips up a Fun Fabulous Focaccia Feast!

A Taurusless Tasty Tuesday

Yes, I know.  Tauruses and food go together like cats and catnip.  Would I disappoint?  Would I stay up too late and forget to post a recipe for my faithful readers?

Moving right along, then, to share with you my other compatriots’ offerings, who did not stay up too late, who did not forget to type or post, and who are lovely human beings galloping into the void of fast food to bring us real food and real conversation!

Without further ado, then, I bring you…  TASTY TUESDAY!

PG Forte rings in the season right with “Pumpkin Martini.”  Say, YUM!

Nancy Lauzon brings us something as American as Apple Pie.  Or… “Spaghetti Pie.” (Which is extra fun since she’s from Canada.  I just adopted her as an honorary countrywoman.  Or she adopted me.  Or we adopted each other.  There was an adoption going on.)

Selena Robins wonders, “So, How Does One Eat a Taco?

Please stop by and peruse these wonderful choices and be sure to tell ’em, the Tauruses sent ya!

A Taurusless Tasty Tuesday

I know, I know, what’s a Taurus without food?  Sadly, she is me, again this week.  My pals do not disappoint, and have cooked up some come-hither comestibles to please even the most discerning of palates.  Please stop by and give them some love.  Tell ’em the Tauruses sent you!

Pumpkin Spice Cake (yum!!!) by Pg Forte

Pizzeria by Nancy Lauzon

Honey, I Shrunk the Dinner (Love the title) by Selena Robins

Taurusless Tasty Tuesday

I know, I know, Tauruses love food.

They also love sleep, ergo this is aTaurusless Tasty Tuesday – but my compatriots do not disappoint!  Check out these awesome entries (and I love the Mars Bars idea, I totally have to try that).

Red Flannel FTW by Pg Forte

Lentil and Sausage Soup by Moira Keith

Men are from Mars Bars by Nancy Lauzon

Dinner a La Leftovers by Selena Robins

Tasty Tuesday – The Allure of Ice

Ice cream.  Licking.  The two go together like long, slow kisses that last for three days.  (Thank you Bull Durham and Kevin Costner for that particular bit of yumminess.)

Where was I?

Oh, right.  Ice cream.

I can’t have it.

~howl~

So what’s my alternative?  You’re gonna love this.  It’s not exactly a sexy recipe, but I have a good imagination and this is Tasty Tuesday, so I’ll tell you how to make this sexy.  I mean, come on.  There’s honey, and frozen berries, and…

But I digress.

Okay.  Go get a bowl.

No, not one of those pansy tiny little ice cream lispy bowls, I mean a real bowl, like a real man, something with some roundness to it that you can really get your hands around, like a woman with a real set of non-plastic boobs.  You know what I mean.

If you don’t know what I mean, close the computer and go find a date first.  Then come back when you’ve had some fun and this will make a lot more sense.

Okay, what were we talking about?

Hey, how’d that get in here?  We’ll never get to the recipe if you keep distracting me like this.

Ice cream. But I can’t have it!  Why are we talking about ice cream?

Ice cream alternatives!  Right.  Got it. Jeez.  Somebody needs to make some coffee; Noony’s brain is mush.

Bowl.  Get a bowl.  You have your bowl?  Good.  Now get a spoon.  A real spoon, not a child’s spoon or a tiny spoon.  You have a big mouth, get a big spoon.

Go to your freezer and get out your favorite frozen fruit. What??  You don’t have any frozen fruit?  GO TO TRADER JOE’S RIGHT NOW!  If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s, or it’s not open, then go to your grocery store and wander to the frozen section.  They have whole bags of things like blueberries, mangoes, cherries, and berry medlies.  I’ve even seen frozen melon balls and grapes which sounded so odd, I had to try it (and, for the record, it was odd, but good).

Go to your fridge and get out the Greek-style yogurt. Haven’t got any? Don’t you shop for food? Sheesh. Okay.  Go back to Trader Joe’s or your grocery store and go to the yogurt section.  (Hint: it’s by the milk.)  If you are fortunate enough to have a Trader Joe’s, then try their store brand Greek-style yogurt; if not, the Fage brand is awesome.

If you don’t have either one, then try a good, plain yogurt and bring that home, pour it into a strainer lined with cheese cloth, and put a bowl under it in the fridge to drain.  The resulting liquid can be thrown out and the thick yogurt left behind is strained yogurt.  Poof.  That’s how it’s made.

Why’s it cool?  It’s thick and creamy, like ice cream. (Ah, see where I’m going with this?) Put your fruit in your bowl, and use your big spoon to ladle yogurt on top.  Go get your honey and drizzle a bunch on top, and sprinkle some Cake Spice on top of that.

This dish is healthy enough you can have it for breakfast.  If you use 0% fat yogurt, it’s even Weight Watchers friendly.  It tastes enough like ice cream that it’s like having ice cream every day for breakfast.

Join the other Tasty Tuesday authors for some more Tasty fun:

I Heart NY Cheesecake by PG Forte

Just a little Devilishly Sweet Red Velvet Cookies! by Moira Keith

I died and went to Italy by Nancy Lauzon

Soups On by Selena Robins

Tasty Tuesday: Romance Is In the Mayonnaise

Anticipation makes the sex better. There’s a lot to be said for a good “quickie,” but one shouldn’t overlook the power of seduction and foreplay. And foreplay doesn’t just mean the tongue, the hands, or massage. Sometimes, foreplay is literally the play that comes before.

When you have your next date night, and if you don’t have a date night scheduled, best get on that right away, plan to make a special dinner for your lover. If you’re fortunate enough to have more than one lover at the same time, then simply multiply the recipe for the mouths you’re feeding. Bonus tip: if your lover works outside the home, make enough to pack for lunch the next work day. Talk about afterglow. Make them remember you with every bite.

Rowr.

So. Lessee. What can we make that will make them think of us under the fluorescent lights of the office, or wherever they are the next day.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces boneless chicken breast, skinned
  • 6 T dry white wine

If I meant cooking wine, I’d’ve said cooking wine. If you have any of that abominous stuff in your fridge, throw it out right now and go to Trader Joe’s or your local liquor supplier and get yourself a good, inexpensive Chardonnay.

If you can’t use alcohol, then use chicken broth.

If you don’t have chicken broth, go get some. You can buy it in the can or in an aseptic package that will stay in your fridge and keep for a week or two. It’s useful in cooking – cook your rice with it, or make mashed potatoes from scratch. Even warm up a cup like tea in the microwave when you have the munchies but don’t want to pack on the pounds. It’s satisfying since it’s protein and satisfies the urge for salt. Yum.

It occurs to me that I’m using abbreviations. Here’s a quick lexicon:

  • T = Tablespoon
  • t = teaspon
  • C = Cup (8 fluid oz)

Okay, now where was I? If you keep interrupting like this, we’ll never get to dinner. Sheesh.

  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 t honey

You can use sugar, but honey is just as sweet and better for you. Try all the different varieties out there, don’t just assume orange blossom is the only kind you can have. Pine honey is lovely, and there are a bunch of others out there.

  • 2 small cloves garlic minced or pressed in a garlic press
  • 0.5 t curry powder – if you can, get yours from The Spice House. This place is amazing. Once you try it, you won’t go back to supermarket, dried-out spices. Trust me.
  • Dash of ground pepper

If you don’t have peppercorns in a grinder, go out and get a grinder and some peppercorns (Spice House has lovely ones). You can get grinders anywhere from Target to fancy cooking stores like Sur la Table or Williams Sonoma. Fresh pepper is worth it.

  • 1 t cornstarch
  • 2 T cooking oil – anything will do, but high quality extra-Virgin olive is yummy
  • 2 C broccoli flowerets
  • 4 green onions (scallions), cut into ½ inch or 1 centimeter pieces)
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • 1 C cooked rice with 1t of turmeric (also get from Spice House); I like California Hinode Brown Rice but any cooked rice will work; cook it in 2 C of broth instead of water

Directions

Using a rice maker or pot, cook the rice according to the directions on the package, using chicken broth instead of water. While it’s cooking, prepare the chicken, below.

Cut chicken into thin strips and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine wine or broth, lemon juice, honey, garlic, curry powder, and pepper. Whisk well to blend.

Add chicken to bowl, rubbing the chicken and making sure it gets coated by the liquid.

Let chicken stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes in the marinade.

Drain chicken, reserving marinade. If needed, add enough broth to make ½ C liquid. Stir in cornstarch, set aside.

Preheat a medium skillet over high heat, then add oil.

Stir-fry broccoli and green onions in hot oil about 90 seconds or until crisp-tender. Remove from skillet.

Add chicken to skillet. Stir-fry about 2 minutes or until tender.

Push chicken from the center of the skillet and return the vegetables. Stir in the cornstarch mixture.

Cook about 1 more minute, stirring constantly, until heated through.

Remove from heat and stir in the mayonnaise.

Add the turmeric to the rice and stir well. Serve rice in small bowls or plates, and spoon the chicken and vegetables over the top.

For dessert, use your imagination. Bonus tip: soak the rice pot in hot, soapy water. TRUST me. You’ll be glad in the morning when you don’t have a gelatinous concrete mixture in your pot or rice maker.

Join the Other Tasty Tuesday Participants

Come on and visit the other Tasty Tuesday participants for some sexy, simple recipes to help revitalize your kitchen time. Enjoy!

Inspiration Cake by Pg Forte

Sometimes you feel like a nut… by Selena Robins

Taurusless Tasty Tuesday!

I know, I know; Tauruses and food ought to be a perfect mix.  But after a full three days of being on the committee to run the conference is exhausting!  Go figure.

But we’re not going to leave you hanging! Two of our Guerrilla Gals are hosting Tasty Tuesdays for you and have gone above and beyond to bring you sexy, tasty morsels. Please stop by and share the love. Tell ’em the Tauruses sent you!

Suicide Chicken Wings by Nancy Lauzon

Antioxidant Little Pricks by Selena Robins

Simple Stuffed Figs by PG Forte

A Taurusless Tasty Tuesday!

Sadly, the Tauruses are recipe-less for Tasty Tuesday. In our defense, Rachel is coming for a visit and we have the Third Annual In the Trenches with the Writer Conference this weekend.  But my fellow Guerrilla Gals don’t disappoint and have filled in with their recipes in our absence. Stop by and tell ’em the Tauruses sent you!

The Sexy Spellcaster by PG Forte

A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin; Sausage and Peppers by Moira Keith

Sinful Cinnamon Pinwheels by Nancy Lauzon

Pesto Making Season by Selena Robins

Enjoy!

Tasty Tuesday – The Quickie

Photo by Jason Trommetter via Picasa
The Quickie

Let’s face it. Sometimes, there’s just not time for all the preparation, the toys, the sensual build-up, the foreplay, the main event, the follow-up, the afterglow, the cleanup, and the nap.  Sometimes, it’s gotta be now.

For those moments, I like to have a few tried-and-true recipes in my back pocket that I can throw in a pan to feed myself and my hungry partner.

After all, we must keep up our energy.

So.  What to do?

This isn’t a recipe, in the strict sense of the word.  More, it’s a trip into the kitchen with Noony, which may or may not be a good thing. Come along with me and find out.  You’ll be glad you did – and we’ll be done in a jiffy!

Collect chicken parts (doesn’t really matter which, but I like chicken breasts), enough for you and a partner.  (It goes without saying that these are things you should buy and keep in your freezer as a staple item.)  If you need to thaw your chicken, do so in the microwave.

Now hold it.  Do not use the fancy “defrost chicken” setting on the stupid thing.  You’re a chef, not an automaton.  Put the chicken on a plate, put the plate in the microwave, and then put it on 3 minutes at 50 per cent power.  Period.

No, don’t argue with me.  TRUST the Noony.

If the chicken is thawed enough to cut, you’re done.  If not, hit it for another 2 minutes on 50% power.  Then put it on a cutting board and use your best, sharp chef’s knife.

Wait.  You don’t have a chef’s knife?

Go buy one.  Right now.  You need a good, sharp knife in your kitchen.  Come back and finish the recipe when you’ve got your knife.

Wait!  Put the chicken in the fridge first.  What, you want your cats to eat it?

Okay.  Take your knife, and if it’s brand new, WASH IT IN HOT SOAPY WATER.  You don’t want the gathering of whatzits in your food, do you?  Didn’t think so.  Sheesh!  We’ll be at this all night if you keep interrupting me.

Cut the chicken into one-inch strips, about two inches long.  An inch is 2.54 centimeters, you can do the math.  It’s good for you.  Makes you hungry.

Where was I?  Oh, right.  Chicken.

Get out a skillet.  Put some oil in the skillet.  What kind of oil?  I don’t know, what’s your favorite?  I like olive or roasted sesame.  How much?  Enough, I say!  Enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  Coat it, silly, not fill it!  Pour a dollop about 2 inches in diameter and let it spread around the pan.

Cut up some onions, or scallions, or leeks.  Something oniony.  Put that in the oil and saute them.  Then plop the chicken into the pan.  Take some fresh broccoli flowers, or snap peas, or something yummy and green, and put that in too.  If you don’t have fresh, then put some frozen vegies in there.  Trader Joe’s carries frozen artichokes – OMG!  LOFF!  If you use frozen, put the veggies in first, let them thaw and steam and stuff, then put the chicken in.

While the chicken is busy sizzling, splash some wine on it.  White wine is good.  If you bought cooking wine, throw it out.  It’s garbage.  What makes it cooking wine is they add salt to it.  Blarg!  Gross.  Use a wine you’d like to drink.  If you don’t know what to buy, get a Chardonnay.

To this, add a splash of cranberry juice, some Worcester sauce, and a dab of hot mustard – Grey Poupon is good, or some seedy German kind that’s hard to pronounce.  Grab some nuts – any will do, peanuts or cashews are my favorite but mixed nuts work too.  Don’t forget your spices.  Wander your spice shelf and sprinkle some garlic powder, oregano, or Italian herb blend.  Sprinkle lots; don’t do this “one quarter teaspoon” nonsense.  That’s for the lowest common denominator of palate – i.e. people who can’t taste food.  Use some gumption!

Let all this simmer and shake and when the chicken is done (cut a piece and no more pink in the middle means done), serve with something ice-cold to drink.  Voila.

Then use your imagination for desert.  YUM!

Visit my other Tasty Tuesday compatriots:

Recipes from my Erotic Garden by Selena Robins

The Automatic Reboot by PG Forte

References

Photo of clock by Jason Trommetter, via Picasa, licensed under Creative Commons for non-commercial use.  Accessed from the following link: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-X-th-yedHGs/SL9jUtIkbqI/AAAAAAAADYs/RbND-obMa64/s512/DSC01994%2520%2528square%2529.JPG on Monday, August 13, 2012.

Tasty Tuesday – Aunt Noony’s Afterglow Dinner for Two

Let’s face it. Sometimes, sexy is about the passion and the heat, but sometimes it’s about the intimate, slow and sensual moments that happen between two people in the quiet spaces. For those times, it’s nice to have a few meals in your basket of tricks that you can whip up quickly, but that bring the two of you closer together.

Ingredients

2 pork chops, cut 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick
1/3 cup long grain white rice
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped apple
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or, if you have it, cake spice)
1/2 cup sliced apples

Directions

Trim the fat from the pork chops.

Cook the trimmings in a skillet until 2 tablespoons of fat accumulate; discard the trimmings.

I know, I know, pork fat isn’t super healthy. If you really don’t want to use it, then use olive oil.

I like using a CorningWare® pan, because it’s safe to use on the stove and it has a lid that fits. It’s deep enough that it can hold the entire recipe so I don’t have to use a different pan for different things; though I will say I like using my cast iron skillet for the first step.

Slowly brown the chops in hot fat; remove chops.

In same skillet, cook the rice and onion until the rice is golden, stirring constantly.

Stir in the broth and bring to a boil.

Stir in the chopped apple.

My husband loves Granny Smith apples because they’re tart; I like Gala apples because they’re still tart but a little sweeter. I recommend using a tart apple because they hold their form during baking. Any apples you would use for an apple pie or tart are good here.

Turn the mixture into a 6.5 x 6.5 x 2 inch (16.5 x 16.5 x 5.08 cm) baking dish; arrange chops on top.

Bake, covered, in 350° F (177° C) oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon or cake spice.

Brush the sliced apples with the mixture. Arrange around the chops.

I cheat here. Rather than just combining them in a bowl, I use a small cast iron skillet and melt the butter, then stir the spice into it. Once you’ve created a nice, well-blended butter and spice mixture, put the sliced apples into the skillet remove it from the heat. Stir the spiced butter over the apples, coating them completely. Then use a fork and arrange them over the pork, covering them in a thin layer. I then pour the remaining spiced butter over the pork and apples, drizzling all of it into the dish.

Bake, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until the applies and pork are tender.

Makes 2 servings.

The recipe can be doubled or quadrupled if you’re feeding more than two people. It is good for leftovers.

Chocolate Cherry Dream Pie by PG Forte

Devilishly Decadent Dip by Moira Keith

Stress-Free Layered Salad by Nancy Lauzon

Decadent Angel by Sloan McBride

Sexy Sassy Saucy by Selena Robins

Sweet & Sassy (Oriental) Chicken Wings – Fab For Any Gathering! by Renee Wildes