Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Best we not blink!  Every time we do, our weather changes!  After enjoying grilled seafood almost every evening last week, I now welcome the heat from my oven while preparing dinner.  This is great timing to bake/freeze special treats for Easter!  Our temps are no longer in the low 80°F's! 

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies with a hint of Nutmeg are delicious!  I prefer to use unsalted Butter, but Margarine may also be used.  However, I find that the dough made with butter is much easier to work with.  The soft, light, tasty cookies are made in a 2 step process.  On Day One prep the dough and wrap it in plastic wrap and then in foil.  It needs to be chilled overnight.  On Day 2 locate your fave holiday cookie cutters and rolling pin.  Yes, colored sugars, too. 

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies - printable recipe card

Oven: 375°F
Yield: About 5 dozen cookies, depending on size

4 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Cup unsalted Butter, softened
1 and 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Sour Cream (can be Fat Free)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Colored Sugars for Decorating

Day 1-
  1. In large bowl with electric mixer beat Butter and Sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add Egg, beat.
  3. Add in Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Nutmeg.
  4. While beating on Low, slowly add Flour, 1 Cup at a time.
  5. Add in Vanilla and Sour Cream. Beat on Medium until well combined. Dough will be stiff.
  6. Remove dough from bowl and place on plastic wrap, wrap dough.
  7. Place wrapped dough on aluminum foil and wrap well.
  8. Refrigerate overnight.
Day 2-
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Unwrap dough and cut into four parts.
  3. On well floured surface, roll dough to 1/4" thickness. Use cookie cutters.
  4. Place cookies on pan/sheet 1" apart. (Maybe 12 cookies to a sheet.)
  5. Sprinkle with colored sugars.
  6. Bake 10 - 11 Minutes in 375°F oven. Bottom of cookies will be a light golden brown.
  7. Remove with spatula to wire cooling racks.
  8. When cool store in airtight containers.
 **These cookies also freeze very well.  After cooling I stack them in Ziploc Freezer Bags and into the freezer they go!

***Any leftover dough make for very special "Initial Cookies"!  Ropes are made from the leftover dough. The first letter of each family member's name is shaped and placed on the cookie sheet. Each letter is 2"-3".  Usually this cookie is saved - to be eaten last.  :)

If you are looking for a special dessert to please everyone in your family - bake these Sour Cream Sugar Cookies!  They are soft, light and scrumptious!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

~Luck of the Irish~

The Little Guy's Bib
Such a FuN week!  The outside grill has been working for 4 straight evenings!  It's time to bake and enjoy the Irish Soda Bread!  The St. Patrick's Day bib is finished for the Little Guy!  It's a real toss up which ranks as Numero No!  That cute bright green bib just may win out!  It's great that Jo-Ann's is now nearby, because the day it opened in February, I purchased the most festive holiday fabric for a bib!  I envisioned my grandson's holiday bib...  The cotton backside and Double Fold Bias tape are Kelly Green.  A small piece of Velcro works well as a fastener.  Previously, I had purchased the Butterick pattern #4533.  After lining it with fusible fleece, the parallel line quilting finished it off.  The fabric was washed before sewing and again after I finished, so it's ready to wear on St. Patrick's Day

A definite St. Patrick's Day edible favorite is the Irish Soda Bread my blog friend, Carol had shared about 4 years ago (Charli and Me).  This treat came from the Will O'Glenn Irish Bread & Breakfast in Glenn, MI.  Butter, Buttermilk and filled with Raisins!  Also...no Eggs!  Yum!  It is baked in a pie plate and is absolutely delicious! 

I've adapted the recipe by melting and cooling the Butter before using.  One year I was working too quickly and melted it.  It was an error that came out great!  The dough is less sticky to work with, so I now always melt/cool the Butter in this recipe.    

Ready for the oven!
Now, I bake this bread every year for our March 17 breakfast.  After cooling, I wrap it in GladWrap and then in foil.  After breakfast, any extra slices can be wrapped and stored in the freezer for another scrumptious breakfast!  Yum!  Definitely leave a few slices out for "grazing"!
Deliciously filled with Raisins!
Irish Soda Bread
Oven:  400°F, then lowered to 375°F.
Total Baking Time:  45 Minutes


1 and 1/2 Cups Raisins
1 Cup Boiling Water
*   *   *   *
1 stick Butter - I use unsalted.
2 and 1/2 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
5 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Cup Buttermilk, can be Low Fat/Fat Free

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray a 8" or 9" Pyrex Pie Plate with PAM.
  3. In a small bowl combine Raisins and boiling Water.  Let sit while preparing dough.
  4. Melt Butter.  Cool.
  5. In larger bowl, combine Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder & Sugar.
  6. Add melted Butter to dry ingredients, stir in.
  7. Add Buttermilk, stir.
  8. Add drained Raisins.  Stir.
  9. Shape dough into a ball after placing into pie plate.  Dough will be sticky.
  10. Bake 15 Minutes at 400°F.
  11. Lower oven to 375°F.  Bake 30 Minutes longer.
  12. Remove the bread from pie plate and cool on rack.
  13. After cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
  14. Wait at least 5 hours before cutting into slices and eating.
I cut the bread into slices and place in two sealed Ziploc Bags.  Extra slices do freeze well.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's Time...

A wonderful sight!
to heat the outdoor grill!!!  Definitely my kind of week!  My lavender crocuses are blooming beyond their boundaries in our front yard - into the grass.  That sure brings a  :-) .  Our outdoor temperature read 68°F on Thursday!  Grilled Sockeye Salmon tastes divine in March!  It did not take long to venture over to the Big Y our grocery store to purchase "wild caught" Sockeye Salmon!  It's easy to prepare!  It's quick and it's definitely Yummy!

Grilled Sockeye Salmon

Grilled Sockeye Salmon
  • Spray grilling basket (container) with PAM.
  • Heat grill.
  1. On a large dish pour about 2 TBS. Olive Oil.
  2. Sprinkle a little Paprika on top.
  3. Rinse a Salmon Fillet in running cold water, place on the Olive Oil/Paprika.
  4. Turn the fish over to coat the skin side.
  5. Place the Salmon Fillet in grilling basket on grill.
  6. Half way through, turn over and grill the other side.
  7. Enjoy!
  • The amount of needed grilling time depends on the size of the piece of Salmon and the grill.
  • A 1 lb. piece requires 5 – 7 minutes on each side.

*****Note: With our grill we usually grill each side 7 minutes. The 1 lb. fillet is usually thick.

During the colder months I do bake Salmon, but we prefer Grilled Sockeye Salmon.  Seafood is GREAT! 


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!!!

The Lorax
Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, MA.  He wrote so many wonderful stories for children (of all ages) using the name Dr. Seuss!  Dr. Seuss' inspiration for his stories came from Springfield! 

Every time I walk onto the grounds of the Springfield MuseumsThe Lorax greets me.  He stands seriously ...staring. 

At the opposite end of the grassy green, across from the G.W.V. Smith Museum, the gigantic bronze statues of Horton the Elephant, and Thing 1 and Thing 2 (to name a few) are within the area of the bronze statue of Dr. Seuss as he sits with The Cat in the Hat ... contemplating.  It is really cool to view!
Dr. Seuss with Cat in the Hat
Often I've thought of taking photos.  I never bring my camera.  However, on Monday afternoon after my Springfield History Docent lecture in the Museum of Springfield History, I ventured over to the Memorial Sculpture Garden and snapped photos.

Looking at the bronze statue of Sam-I-Am with Green Eggs and Ham reminded me of the Green Scrambled Eggs I served my sons for breakfast - so many years ago celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday!  They tasted ... like Scrambled Eggs, but they were green.  Normally, I do not add food coloring to anything, but that one day I did.  For years I've used Egg Whites + Whole Eggs when making Scrambled Eggs.  Two Egg Whites = 1 Whole Egg, when baking.     

Scrambled Eggs

For each Breakfast portion I use 1 whole Egg + 2 Eggs Whites.  (There is less cholesterol going on here.) 

  1. Place needed amount of Eggs + Egg Whites in bowl. 
  2. Add 2 Tablespoon Milk to the Egg Mixture in the bowl.  (I use Soy Milk.)
  3. Beat with fork. 
  4. I also add 2 cut up slices of American Cheese for that "Oh, so cheesy flavor." 
  5. Pour into skillet and stir over Medium Heat, until done. 
  6. Enjoy! 
The Quadrangle (Springfield Museums) is one of my fave places.  History and Art are so fascinating!  This is where I get my weekly, and sometimes more, dose of Culture!

Rolls Royce were made in Springfield, MA for a period of time.  Breck ShampooAbsorbine Jr., The Indian Moto(r)cycles,  and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary all have Springfield roots!  The Duryea Automobile and Good Housekeeping Magazine, too.  James Naismith invented the FuN sport of Basketball at Springfield College - the Basketball Hall of Fame is located here in Springfield.  :)  The list goes on ... and on!

It's FuN to think about and read Theodor Seuss Geisel's stories - especially this week!  What is your favorite Dr. Seuss Book?  Mine is Green Eggs and Ham