Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Better Than Swig Sugar Cookies

Many of you have seen the recipe for Swig sugar cookies going around on pinterest. If not, if you live in St. George Utah you've probably tried some Swig sugar cookies. It's the happenin place right now. They aren't my favorite cookies though. Sure they're good, and sure they're trendy. However, I realized I like my sugar cookies nice and fluffy with some yummy cream cheese frosting. Again, this is the recipe my mom gave to me. Everyone usually likes them. You can make them for every holiday.

1 cup Crisco
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream together Crisco and sugar. Add eggs and mix thoroughly. Add the milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients until combined. The dough shouldn't be sticky.

There are a couple of different ways you can make the cookies. You can roll them out and use the cookie cutters. I do this for every holiday. I usually make different colors of frosting for the different holidays and then decorate them.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.


you can make them look like Swig's. You'll want to put the dough in the fridge for about 10 minutes if you want to make them look like Swig's. This way the dough will be the right consistency to make the cracked edges.

Then you'll roll the dough into balls a little bit smaller than golf balls. Place on a cookie sheet. Grab a bowl and pour some sugar in it. Get a drinking glass. Dip the bottom of the dipping glass in the dough mixture to get it sticky, then in the sugar. Press down on the ball to flatten edges.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Let cool before frosting. You can use any frosting to make these. Most of the time I just use canned frosting. But when I'm feeling extra motivated I make this:

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup of butter, softended
8 oz cream cheese
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add more powdered sugar as needed to make it creamy.  

Saturday, April 6, 2013

"Healthier" Chicken Alfredo Bake

Ok, so there's still some unhealthier ingredients in here, but it's a lighter version and it's filled with some veggies. My husband has had to go gluten free so the pasta here is also gluten free, along with everything on the recipe. The original recipe was totally vegan, but we didn't go that extreme. 
1 box of gluten free pasta (or regular if you'd like)
1 cucumber
1 green or red bell pepper (the red would be a nice addition to the color)
olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Italian seasoning to taste
1/2 cup cooked chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons gluten free flour (or regular)
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vinegar (any type)

Cook pasta just under al dente, according to package directions. If you over cook it, it becomes soggy and mushy and not as good. Meanwhile, peel, slice, and halve the cucumber. Chop the pepper into bite size pieces. Heat oil on a skillet medium high heat and add garlic, vegetables, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning until the vegetables are nice and crisp. Just a couple minutes. Set aside.
When pasta is done drain it well and drizzle with some olive oil before combining sauce and vegetables.
To make the sauce:
Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the flour until it's a paste. Slowly add the milk in. Add the parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and nutmeg. Turn the heat down and stir until it thickens.
Turn the heat off and add the vegetables, chicken, and pasta. Stir to coat. Pour in a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. When finished, top with parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.
You could also add a bread crumb and parmesan cheese topping to make it yummier. Just melt a couple tablespoons of butter and combine about a cup of bread crumbs (gluten free or not) and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. It would make it nice and crispy on top, but wouldn't help with being healthy ;)

Caramel Apple Snicker Salad

I had this at a BBQ before and I had no idea what it was. It was one of the best dessert recipes I have ever had! It would also be good for a dessert to serve for a girls night or bunco group! So easy to make ahead. I know many people make it, but not everyone has the recipe. I found this one on pinterest HERE and loved it!

5 oz box of dry vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup milk
1 tub of cool whip
4 snickers bars, chopped
4 green apples, chopped
Caramel Ice Cream Sauce

Mix pudding mix, milk, and cool whip together. Add the snickers and apples. Top with caramel sauce. Refrigerate for an hour or so.

Pasta Salad - Ranch Style

I love BBQ's when spring and summer hit! I also like to try new recipes to take to potluck ones too. This is another salad recipe I found in a Betty Crocker cookbook. You can also change it up to add your own vegetables too. I added a few extra.

1 Suddenly Salad Bacon and Ranch Mix
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 cup ranch
Vegetables of your choice
I used:
1 1/2 cups broccoli
1 red bell pepper sliced into bite sized strips
1 small cucumber sliced then halved
4 green onions chopped
1/2 cup carrots sliced

Boil some water in a saucepan and pour the pasta into the boiling water. Cook for 12 minutes (according to the package). Stir it occasionally. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. In a bowl combine the seasoning mix, ranch, and dill weed. Add pasta and all vegetables. Toss to coat. Refrigerate until it's time to serve.

So simple and a perfect addition to any BBQ!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mexican Pasta Salad

Whenever I have a BBQ to go to and I need to bring something, this is it! I always get asked for the recipe from at least one person too. I got the recipe from a Betty Crocker cook book and changed it just a little bit.

Boxed pasta salad mix. I use Betty Crocker's Suddenly Salad.
3 tablespoons cold water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
4 cups of torn romaine lettuce (this one is optional)
1 1/2 cups Mexican blend cheese
2 roma tomatoes chopped
1 can olives, sliced
1/2 bag of tortilla strips

Cook pasta according to box directions. Meanwhile, combine seasoning mix from the box, water, oil, and cumin. After the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the seasoning along with the beans and corn. Toss to coat.
Place the lettuce in a serving bowl on the bottom. Add the pasta mixture. Sprinkle with tomatoes and cheese and olives. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, add the tortilla strips and toss everything together.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Homemade Crescent Rolls

These rolls are made almost weekly in my family. My husband said the bread is what sealed the deal on our marriage ;) Super easy to make. Perfect to add to any meal.
First, make the dough

2 cups heated milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
4 1/2 -5 cups flour
2 teaspoons yeast

If you have a bread maker just put the ingredients in the bread maker in that order on the dough setting. If not just use a mixer. Melt the butter in the milk. Pour milk into mixer. Add sugar and salt. Slowly add half of the flour. Add the yeast and the rest of the flour. Knead for 5-10 minutes. Dough should be soft. Cover and let stand for 10-30 minutes. The longer they stand, the fluffier they are.

Then follow these steps:

After the rolls have risen, cook in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Just after getting out of the oven, use a basting brush to spread butter over hot rolls.



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