Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Red-Plaid Cookies

These were a little tricky. The picture that was on the recipe had circle cookies, and I imagine they were supposed to come out square, but, I guess I didn't do them right... =) I kinda like the rectangular shape though. And, they were yummy! 


  • 1 cup butter, softened - I used unsalted.
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • Red paste food coloring

1. In a mixer, beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in the flour.
2. Divide dough in half. Tint one portion of the dough with red food coloring. Knead in coloring until it is well distributed throughout dough. Leave other portion of dough plain. 
3. Shape each dough portion into a rectangular log that is 6 inches long and 2 inches wide. Wrap each log in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill until dough is very firm (at least 2 hours). With a sharp knife cut each long lengthwise into four slices. (From each color of dough, you will have 4 pieces that are each 6 inches long and 2 inches wide.) 
4. Stack 4 pieces of dough together, alternating colors. (You will have 2 rectangular logs, each with 4 layers.) Press dough together to seal layers. Wrap logs in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm. 
5. Using a sharp knife, cut each log lengthwise into 4 strips. (Each strip will have 4 layers in alternating colors.) Stack 4 strips of dough together, alternating colors, for a plaid effect. Trim edges to straighten. Wrap the 2 logs in waxed paper or clear plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes until firm.
6. Preheat oven to 350. Cut logs crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. (For round cookies, cut slices into rounds using a 2-inch round cutter.) Place slices 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. 
7. Bake in preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are light brown. Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack; cool. Makes 48. 

TO STORE: Place cookies in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 

Recipe Source: Better Homes & Gardens Christmas Cookies 2003 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Green Beans with Bacon

I know what you're probably thinking. Green beans = healthy, boring food. NOT these. I can imagine these aren't the healthiest being all the bacon and bacon fat, BUT they are the best green beans I've ever had. I wouldn't make em without the bacon. NO WAY! The key to them being really good is getting really fresh green beans. They are always a hit, and both of my parents have requested they be at every holiday table. I always make too much so I have leftovers. =) They are that good. Promise. You have to try them!

  • 1/8 pound slab bacon, diced
  • 1/2 onion, minced - I use regular ole yellow/Vidalia.
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed - I snap the ends off.
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes - More or less for your taste, but this much does make it kinda spicy.
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper
1. In a large deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until golden. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate. 
2. Add the onion to the skillet, and cook, stirring, until softened.
3. Add the beans, pepper flakes, and salt; saute over moderately high heat, stirring, for 2 minutes.
4. Add the boiling water and cover the skillet immediately. Steam the beans, shaking the skillet occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until just tender.
5. Add the butter, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss until combined. 
6. Sprinkle with the bacon, and serve.

Recipe Source: Georgia Downard via FoodNetwork.com