If you want to bake up a scrumptious Snickerdoodle cookie with that classic soft and chewy texture, there are a couple of tips to get you the best results. First, don’t skimp on the cream of tartar. That’s what gives the Snickerdoodle that twist of tanginess. (If you don’t have it, go buy a nice fresh bottle. You may be making these a lot!) Next, whisking the butter and sugar together for a long time is important because it whips air into the cookie dough, which helps make them soft and chewy. So whisk for at least 5 minutes until light and super fluffy. (Christina Tosi, cookbook author and owner of the award-winning Milk Bar Bakery says that under-whisking the butter and sugar is the biggest mistake home cooks make.) Then, don’t over bake the cookies. You want that chewy center. Finally, roll the dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture twice. The topping here is just as important as the batter. So now, go gather up your room temperature butter, eggs and the rest of the ingredients, because, a day without a Snickerdoodle is just plain crummy!
Meatloaf with Sweet & Savory Sauce
I’ve never been a picky eater. But meatloaf was not one of my favorites, even though the dish has withstood the test of time as a favorite comfort food. Well, what a difference one recipe can make! I went from never giving meatloaf a second thought to maybe thinking about it a little too much. These days I can’t get enough of this special recipe that makes meatloaf so very flavorful and moist. What secrets does this variation hold? There are several. First, the two cups of whole milk that the breadcrumbs happily soak in. That alone gives the meatloaf a rich and ultra moist texture. Second, sautéing the sweet yellow onion adds to the moisture plus gives the loaf a slight natural sweetness. Then the sauce that gets brushed over the top before baking gives this meatloaf a hint of spice, a bit of heat from the dry mustard and sweetness from the brown sugar. All in all, this is a wonderful meal for the family, especially when paired with mashed potatoes, gnocchi, pasta or just some charred crusty French bread. This quote from Bon Appetite magazine summed up meatloaf the best: “Meatloaf in its many iterations and guises was often a sort of culinary scrap heap, a refuge for leftovers, in the spirit of many casseroles and of shepherd’s pie. It was a way to stretch protein. It was a way to use up excess vegetables. It was a ragtag orchestra of ingredients on the verge of expiration. And it made music more uplifting than anyone could have anticipated.” This recipe is definitely music to my ears and a brand new one woman fan favorite!
Marinated Chicken Caprese
A beautiful plate of sliced tomatoes, Buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil drizzled with a rich balsamic reduction was always a mainstay on our Italian table growing up. You have come to know and love it as Caprese or Insalata Caprese. (Have you ever noticed that this dish reflects the colors of the Italian flag?) Besides being a delicious and light salad or appetizer, Caprese is as versatile as a dish gets. So much so, that you’ll now find it in many variations and combinations with other foods. The Marinated Chicken Caprese is the perfect example and is sure to be a new favorite for you and your family! You can make the pesto and balsamic reduction from scratch or use store bought. The Chicken Caprese also answers that age-old pesky question; How can I come up with new ways to cook Chicken? Well, maybe I can help you at least for this week!
Dulce de Leche Cupcakes
It’s a Latin American favorite that the western world has embraced as its own. Dulce de Leche, a thick and sugary caramel-like sauce made by slowly heating sweet milk, has found its way into just about every dessert and beverage we love. Here is a rich and delicious cupcake made with homemade Dulce de Leche that’s incorporated in the batter as well as the frosting. Enjoy!
Cinnamon Laced Beef Chili
This week the word is Brrrrr! That means it’s time to pull out your favorite chili recipe, grab a Dutch oven and get cookin! This yummy dish makes the cold weather almost welcome, and there isn’t a finer bowl of winter comfort food than homemade chili! This particular recipe has a fabulous twist—cinnamon sticks, which adds a subtle earthiness to the dish.(You’ll find many award-winning chili recipes have added cinnamon to the mix!) I’ve partnered with La Mesa RV to travel our great state, looking for fun adventures and cooking delicious dishes in all sorts of RV’s, and this week, it was time for a hot bowl of spicy beef and chiles! Grab a bowl full and devour!
Crockpot Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Apple Bacon Slaw
Thank you Irving Naxon, for inventing the Crock Pot. Your cooking wonder found a place in our kitchens in 1940 when you won the patent for it, and we’ve never given it up. In fact, slow cooking is as popular as ever, especially when it produces such delicious meals like the Crockpot Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Apple Bacon Slaw. (Perfect for next day pork sandwiches!) Also, if you ever wanted to know a bit about the iconic Crock Pot, here’s an excerpt from a Huffington Post article:
“Naxon called his devise the Naxon Beanery. He said his mother, Tamara Nachumsohn, inspired him. She had told him stories about a bean-based stew she used to make in her village bakery at home in Lithuania. The stew, known as cholent, is a traditional Jewish dish that cooks all day. It’s rooted in the Jewish Sabbath, the day of rest in which observant Jews aren’t supposed to work. The stew goes on the heat before sundown Friday night, when the Sabbath begins, and cook all the way until the end of Saturday services the next day. As the ovens were turned off for the Sabbath, the pot of cholent would be put in the oven, and that slow residual heat over the course of the 24 hours would be enough to cook the cholent.”
Naxon sold his design to Rival Manufacturing the 70’s, which rebranded his Beanery as the Crock Pot. It was marketed toward working mothers with the slogan, “Cooks all day while the cook’s away,”
Check out my How To Video for the Crockpot Glazed Pork Tenderloin here!