Author Archives: dixieskitchen

Mini Strawberry Santas

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Mini Strawberry Santas

Not a very professional job decorating these cuties.  But I think they will eat pretty good tomorrow for my luncheon and cookies exchange.

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate sprinkles

Cut the hulled-side strawberries so they can stand up on a plate.  Slice the tip off each strawberry to make the “hat”; set aside.

Beat cream and confectioners’ sugar in a glass or metal bowl until soft peaks form.  Lift your beater or whisk straight up; the whipped cream will form soft mounds.

Spoon a large dollop of whipped cream on top of strawberry base for the ‘face’ and ‘beard’.  Set the ‘hat’ atop the ‘face’.  Add a dot of whipped cream, using a toothpick, on top of the ‘hat’ for the ‘pom-pom’ and  2 dots on the strawberry base for ‘buttons’.  Place 2 sprinkles on the ‘face’ for ‘eyes’.

Note:  I used Cool Whip for these santas.

“Our willingness to seek reconciliation with others shows God’s heart to them.”

 

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Danish Butter Cookies

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Danish Butter Cookies

These icebox cookies are great to make ahead.  Make them up into logs, put them in the frig and cut them off whenever you need some cookies.  Decorate them any way you want or eat them plain.  Yum!!

  • 2 cups butter (1 pound), softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups flour

Beat butter, sugar, cream of tartar and salt in mixing bowl until combined.  Add egg, beat until well combined.  Beat in as much flour as you can, then stir in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough. (I used 4 1/2 cups.)  Divide dough into thirds.  Shape into logs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 9 inches long; wrap and chill until firm, 1 to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut rolls into 1/4 inch slices and arrange 1 inch apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with decorating sugar (if using).  Bake until bottoms and edges are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Makes about 7 dozen cookies.

“Linger in God’s Word and you’ll find stories of faith.”

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

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Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

This recipe makes enough gravy for a 12 to 14 pound turkey, with leftovers.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Reserved turkey neck and giblets, minus the liver
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or turkey broth if you have it)
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat and brown giblets (minus the liver) and neck for 5 minutes.  Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Turn heat to high, add chicken broth, scrape pan bottom, and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low, add herbs, and simmer for about 30 minutes, skimming if needed.

Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer.  Discard solids.  Broth can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for 2 days.

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in flour.  Cook, whisking constantly, until honey-colored and fragrant, about 4 minutes.

Bring reserved turkey broth to simmer and add to pan, a little at a time, whisking constantly.  Simmer gravy, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Set aside, covered, until turkey is done.  (Gravy can be refrigerated, covered, for 1 day.)

Scrape up bits in roasting pan and pour drippings into fat separator.  Reheat gravy over medium heat until bubbling.  Add defatted drippings.  Simmer for 2 minutes until the gravy thickens.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve with turkey.

Makes about 6 cups.

“God gives us the power and the privilege to enjoy the rewards of doing things His way.”

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo / Pancetta and Peas

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Spaghetti Squash Alfredo / Pancetta and Peas

If you have never tried spaghetti squash, you owe it to yourself to try it.  I love it, my husband not so much.

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs.)
  • 4 oz. pancetta, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Halve and seed the spaghetti squash.  The easiest way to cook it is in the microwave.  Place squash cut sides down in a microwave safe baking dish.  Fill the dish with about 1 inch of water.  Microwave on high for about 12 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.  Cooking time depends on the size of the squash and individual microwaves.  Let cool for about 15 minutes, or until squash is cool enough to handle.

If you would prefer to bake it.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Turn squash cut sides down on a baking sheet.  Bake for about 40 minutes until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.  Let cool for about 15 minutes, or until squash is cool enough to handle. With fork, scrape out the spaghetti like strands and prepare as desired.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 6 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon; set aside.  Add the shallot and thyme to the skillet and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until mostly evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the peas and parmesan.  Continue cooking until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 1 more minute.  Remove from the heat.

Scrape squash strands with a fork and add along with the pancetta to the sauce.  Return to medium heat and cook, stirring, until combined, about 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

“Our surprising God often shows His presence when we least expect Him.”

Pumpkin Pancakes

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Pumpkin Pancakes

These are so yummy!  This is a really quick and easy recipe to make.  You can heat up your griddle while your batter is resting.

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not mix)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar.  Add rest of ingredients and mix just enough to combine.  Let rest for about 15 minutes.

Heat griddle to 350 degrees or frying pan over medium high heat.  Lightly oil.  (I didn’t).  Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/3 to 1/2 cup for each pancake, depending on the size of pancake you want.

I made 12 (fairly thick) 5-inch pancakes out of this recipe.  If you like thinner pancakes, add a little more milk.

“Fear can paralyze but faith propels us to follow God.”

 

Caramel Apple Pie Cookies

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Caramel Apple Pie Cookies

These cute little cookies are so good!  They were a little messy to make, and a little time consuming, but very much worth it.  Next time I make them, I am going to change a few things.  I will not put so much caramel on and not so much apples on and I think they will be a little easier to work with.

  • 1 package refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 jar caramel sauce
  • 1 can apple pie filling
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle a little flour on a clean work surface or on a piece of parchment paper.  Roll out the dough just a little bit to slightly increase the surface area.

Spread a “thin” film of caramel sauce over the crust.  (I put too much on.)

Chop up the apple pie pieces so they’re smaller.  (I put a knife in the can and chopped them up.)  Spread some of the apple pie mixture over the caramel sauce.  Don’t use quite the whole can.  (I used too much here also.)

Sprinkle a little flour on your clean work surface and again, roll out the dough very slightly.  Use either a pastry cutter or a knife to cut a bunch of strips about 1/2 inch wide.

Using the strips, make a lattice over the top of the pie.

Get out a round cookie cutter and cut out the caramel pie cookies.  I used a 2 3/4-inch cookie cutter, I ended up with 14 cookies.  I didn’t have a 3-inch cookie cutter, but if you use that size, you will end up with 12 cookies.  Use a thin spatula to carefully transfer the cookies over to the non-stick baking sheet.  (I put parchment paper on my baking sheet for easier clean-up.)

Brush a little of the egg across the strips on the cookies.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.

And don’t forget to bake up all those luscious leftover scraps, too!  (If you’ve used parchment, it is easy to transfer over on to your baking sheet.)

“The prayer of the feeblest saint…is a terror to Satan”

 

 

 

Shrimp Scampi Mac and Cheese

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Shrimp Scampi Mac and Cheese

This was soooo good!  I love shrimp scampi and I love mac and cheese.  This is just a little twist on the two.  You could definitely taste a little spice in it from the red pepper flakes, which I liked.  But if you don’t want any spice, leave out the red pepper flakes.

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I used 2 teaspoons dried.)
  • 1 pound medium pasta shells
  • 2 1/2 cups half and half
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 oz. shredded Italian cheese blend (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet over medium heat until foamy but not brown.  Stir in the panko, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the panko is golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley; set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions.  Strain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.  Set aside.

Heat the half and half in a large saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer.  Continue simmering until the half and half is reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes.  Add the cream cheese and cook, stirring, until melted.  Whisk in the Italian cheese blend until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.  Turn off the heat and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Stir in the garlic and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Pour in the wine and reduce until the alcohol smell is no longer present and the sauce is a nice golden color, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the shrimp and lemon zest and cook, stirring, until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 2 minutes; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside.

Add the pasta and shrimp mixture to the cheese sauce and stir to combine.  Stir in some of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce, if needed.  Season to taste with salt, if needed.  Spoon the hot mac and cheese into bowls and sprinkle with the parsley panko.

Makes 4 – 6 servings.

“God is everywhere, is available every time, and listens always.”