Monday, December 29, 2014

Jalapeno Popper Dip

1 (4 oz.) jar of jalapenos, diced
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup real bacon bits
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Mix sour cream and cream cheese together until smooth. Stir in bacon, shredded cheddar, jalapenos, and bread crumbs until well combined. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Best served with Ritz crackers.

My brother came into town this past Monday to spend the night with us while he was on vacation. Per usual, I knew that I would have some good snacky foods on hand to partake in while he was here. I was going to make the Hot Bacon and Swiss Dip, and then realized that we haven't tried a new recipe in FOREVER! So I scrolled through the thousands of recipes that I have pinned, and came across this one. I will be honest, I didn't measure the cheese, bacon, or jalapenos. I stuck with the cream cheese and sour cream measurements, and then added from there. We love things spicy in this house, so on top of the jalapenos, I added some jalapeno powder to the mix. Deeeeeelicous!!!! I made the dip again when my in-laws came over the other night, and it was a huge hit. My other brother came into town today and as soon as he tasted it he asked for the recipe. So, that being said, you need to try this dip! It is absolutely wonderful! Definitely a good one to make during football season!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Chess Pie

For the crust:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg

Mix by hand until it forms a dough, then press into a 9x13-inch pan.

For the pie:
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 box powdered sugar (reserving 3 Tbsp. for later)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together with a mixer. Pour evenly on top of dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Once coo, sprinkle with reserved powdered sugar.

Several of the recipes that we love so much in our family have come from people that my Mom used to work with. This being one of them, it is truly a rich and delicious dessert, and it almost resembles (to me) Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. This is a perfect dish to take to a pot luck or luncheon, because even though it is SO incredible, it's kind of hard to finish on your own! Serve this warm with some homemade vanilla ice cream, and you will have yourself the perfect dessert!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Momma's Lasagna

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 Tbsp. basil
1 (16 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
10 oz. lasagna noodles
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 cups cottage cheese
2 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. salt
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced very thin

Brown meat slowly, spoon off excess fat. Add next five ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook noodles according to package directions. In separate bowl, combine parmesan cheese, eggs, pepper, cottage cheese, parsley, and salt. Place half of the cooked noodles on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish; spread half of the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles, then top with half of the meat sauce. Repeat layers. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, putting mozzarella on top about 10-15 minutes before done. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

There is something about lasagna that is so comforting. What I love about the dish is that it is truly so easy to make it into your own creation, and there are so many different versions! I have tried several, but I have to say that my favorite is just the good ol' classic. This recipe has been in my family since before I came along, and it is, to this day, one of the most requested recipes my Mom makes when we all go to Tennessee to visit. To me, this is the best lasagna I've ever had. It may be because I've eaten it for YEARS, but nonetheless, it is delicious! I suggest leaving the crushed tomatoes chunky, instead of mashing them to a pulp, or even getting a can of whole tomatoes and crushing them yourself. Trust me, it's amazing!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding

1 dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts (glazed)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs

Butter-Rum Icing:
1 oz. rum flavoring (you can use real rum if you would like)
1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar

Cube doughnuts and place in large bowl. Pour sweetened condensed milk over doughnuts, stirring slowly until each piece is lightly coated. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, cinnamon, and salt. Pour over doughnut chunks; stir until evenly distributed and set aside. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow coating to be absorbed. Bake in oven safe dish at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until slightly crisp on top. While pudding is baking, make icing by melting butter in microwave-safe bowl; add rum and stir well. Slowly whisk in powdered sugar, working out any lumps. Pour over hot bread pudding and serve.

So it's been a while since we've posted, but we are so happy to be back! Vann saw this recipe posted on Facebook one day, and he decided to Google it and save it. Turns out, they got a dozen free doughnuts at his work the other day, and it was the perfect time to make it. Holy. Moly. This stuff is delicious! He whipped it up in no time, and the whole house smelled wonderful while it baked (I love the smell of cinnamon!). Be prepared to have a HUGE glass of milk (or your favorite dessert beverage) at the ready, because you are definitely going to need it! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Death By Chocolate

1 (19.8 oz.) box fudge brownie mix
1/2 cup Kahlua
3 (3.5 oz.) boxes Jell-O chocolate mousse
8 Heath candy bars
1 (12 oz.) container whipped topping
Bake brownies according to package directions; cool. Punch holes in brownie with fork. Pour Kahlua over brownies and set aside. Make Jell-O chocolate pudding according to package directions. Break Heath bars into small pieces with a hammer. Crumble half of the soaked brownies and place in the bottom of a glass trifle dish. Cover with half of the candy, half of the mousse, and half of the whipped topping. Repeat layers with the remaining ingredients.
This is by far one of the best desserts ever. And so easy to make! It's really rich, but highly addictive. Just be prepared, because if you make this it won't last long!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The New Business

So while I was on maternity leave, I decided that I needed to find a way to bring in a little extra money. I did a some research, and stumbled upon string art. I thought, "What the heck?!", and Vann and I decided to give it a whirl! A few days later, we were up and running! Thanks to Facebook, we have been quite popular and are starting to get orders on a consistent basis! How awesome is that?!? We are trying to expand as best as we can, and day-by-day we are thinking of new ideas to help our small little business grow. We are Dragonfly Terrace, and we love what we do! We also make customizable coasters, which are beyond awesome, and they are such personal and unique gifts (picture below). If anyone is interested in ordering their own customizable piece, please send us an email at Or you can find us on Facebook at We can make anything you want, as big or small as you would like, with any number of colors! Prices for string art pieces vary by size and intricacy. Customizable coasters are $20 for a set of 4, plus $5.95 shipping. We truly love what we do, and we hope that you will become a part of this journey with us!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Spicy Sausage Pasta

1 Tbsp. olive oil
14 oz. smoked turkey sausage
1.5 cups diced onions
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 cups chicken broth (I used a 14.5 oz can)
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel tomatoes, not drained
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz. farafalle pasta
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions, optional

Add olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and onions  and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, salt, and pepper; stir. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions. Broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Yesterday I finally found the energy to make something for dinner. With little one due next month, I can't remember the last time I actually felt like getting into the kitchen and making something. My poor husband has been stuck eating out, or eating fast food, which isn't all that bad, but after a while it gets old, and I was starting to feel like a horrible wife! And mommy-to-be! I was determined to make something last night, and I am so glad that I decided to make this. It is a one pot meal, which is wonderful. Not only that, but it tasted absolutely amazing. Thanks again to Pinterest, we have now found another recipe that will be added to our regular rotation (once I feel like rotating again!). 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spicy Spaghetti

2 green peppers
2 cans tomato paste
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. basil leaves
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 pkg. pepperoni slices
1 pkg. meatballs

Cut up green peppers and cook in medium pot until soft. Add tomato paste, cooking until color becomes orange, then add crushed tomatoes and stir slowly. Add salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and garlic. Last, add meatballs and pepperoni to sauce. Let simmer for at least one hour.

I love this spaghetti! It doesn't have too much of a kick, but it has a heck of a lot of flavor. We actually went to Nashville this past weekend to see my parents, and when my Mom asked what we wanted for dinner Saturday night, the first thing I thought of was this spicy spaghetti. And it wasn't just the baby talking, either! It really is easy to throw together, and it makes the house smell incredible. Serve it with a salad and some garlic toast, and you have a truly incredible dinner.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from:

2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I prefer milk chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. In a mixer, combine butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop onto parchment-lined cookie sheets in 2 Tbsp. balls. Bake 11-14 minutes, or until light golden brown.

This is by far my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. They really do come out thick and chewy, and they don't taste like you just got the recipe from the back of a chocolate chip bag. Today was such a beautiful day, and it was about time I got in the kitchen and whipped up something quick and sweet. You can throw these together so fast, and they turn out wonderful every single time! Not only that, it finally gave me a chance to use one of the cookie scoops Vann gave me for Christmas!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Easy Breakfast Casserole

2 cups dry chicken flavored Stove Top Dressing
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sausage, browned, drained, and crumbled
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9x12 baking dish. Mix all ingredients together, then pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until set. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

I have never made a casserole on Christmas morning. I've seen a lot of people talk about it, and it was something that I have always wanted to do, but Vann and I alternate Christmas between Birmingham and Nashville each year, so we've never really been at home. This past Christmas we finally got to get up and enjoy the morning together and open our gifts before heading over to his Uncle's house to celebrate with the whole family. I was skeptical about the stuffing, but it turned out great! My taste buds have been a little off since I found out that we have a little bit on the way, so I'm hoping that next time I make this I will like bacon again so I can toss it in! This truly was easy to make, and once it was in the oven we were able to watch the Disney Parks Christmas Parade (which was perfectly fitting since this was our first married Christmas together, and we went to Disneyworld for our honeymoon!)!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Adapted From:

1 package (19 oz.) frozen cheese tortellini
2 cans tomato soup
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups half-and-half
1 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In a large pot, combine soup, broth, half-and-half, and seasonings. Heat over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tortellini to soup, then stir in cheese. Great served with grilled cheese sandwiches!

This soup really hit the spot. And on a cold night, it is absolutely perfect! I had considered doubling the recipe and then convinced myself not to. Next time, I'm doubling it! Vann ended up going back for thirds! Mind you, that is major compliments to the chef, and I'm so glad that he did, but I had about half a cup left for lunch the next day. Oh, and while we are speaking about leftovers, this soup is wonderful leftover. Leftovers are reason enough to double the recipe! Truly a great dish, especially on a chilly winter night.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Penne Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes

2 cups dry penne pasta
8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
2 cups Italian four-cheese blend
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
5 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding sun-dried tomatoes during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Meanwhile, combine evaporated milk, cheeses, basil, garlic powder, and pepper in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Combine with pasta and sun-dried tomatoes until pasta is well-coated.

I will be the first to admit that this is not the original recipe. If you take out the mozzarella, sharp cheddar, and shredded Parmesan, then you will have the recipe that I started with. But here's the kicker... I didn't like it. It was ok, but it just wasn't what I was looking for. It needed a little "umph" in my opinion. And "umph" is what I gave it! Once I put my twist on it, we both thought it was absolutely delicious! Feel free to make it however you want (Of course. I won't be standing in your kitchen telling you "no!") and then add to it from there. This got 5 stars on the website that it was posted on, so it may have just been us! But this is the Marshall way of making it, and that's what we are sticking to! I took the leftovers to work today (the ultimate test), and shared it with a co-worker (major props to me, by the way, for sharing food!), and she absolutely loved it. I asked her if she wanted the recipe, and she said only if it included all of the things I added to it. So, I think I did pretty good! You may want to add a few shakes of salt to it as well (again, up to you). But altogether this is now a recipe success!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies

Adapted from:

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 sticks butter, cold and cut into chunks
1 egg
3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour and baking powder and set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the eggs and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined. The dough will be crumbly. Knead together as you scoop it out of the bowl to combine well. Place on floured surface. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick, then cut into shapes. Place shapes on cookie sheet, and place in freezer for 10 minutes before baking. Bake until just done (for the cookies above, I only had to cook for 6 minutes). Make sure not to over bake.

These are by far the best sugar cookie I have ever tasted. They are easy to work with, and they are so soft and delicious. It is my go-to cookie recipe when I want to be creative and decorate. The royal icing that goes along with this recipe is superb! Bridget does an incredible job decorating cookies, and I encourage everyone to go take a look at her page (! So very talented. I have quickly learned that whenever I make these cookies, I really need to just double the recipe so Vann and I can have a whole batch all to ourselves! The cookies above are ones that I made for our nephew's 1st birthday party. The theme was Sesame Street. I saw these cookies cutters and I knew that I had to make them for his birthday! The set also came with Oscar the Grouch and Ernie, but these 2 cookies alone took 5 different colors, and making the other 2 would have been a bit overwhelming given the time that I had to do them (thanks, work). By the way, the cookie cutters that I used for these are truly incredible. I've done a bit of perusing to see if there are any more like these, and I was tickled pink to find out that there are TONS! Hellllo, Santa! If you get a wild hair and want to try an amazing sugar cookie, give these a try. I promise that you will never look back!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Creamy Succa

1 (29 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (10 oz.) can original Rotel, well drained
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
Basil, to taste
Sugar, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste

In a medium pot, add tomato sauce and Rotel. Season with basil, sugar, and garlic powder (like you are making a regular pasta sauce). Once it is at the desired taste, add cream cheese. Stir until melted. Add heavy whipping cream, using more, if needed, to reach desired consistency and taste. Next add a few shakes of Parmesan cheese over the top of the sauce, along with the mozzarella cheese and minced garlic. Continue to taste and add spices, as needed, to reach desired taste.

I would first like to say that I love succa. I learned from the best, and I have to say that I feel quite confident that I make a kick butt pasta sauce. Last night when I got home, I decided that I wanted to have pasta for dinner, but I didn't feel like getting back out just to go purchase sauce. So I decided to throw something together to see what I could make. At first I was just going to make a plain succa. Then as I continued to make it, I wished that I had some alfredo sauce to add to it as well. Typically not something we have on hand, so I was a little bummed. And then a light went off. We had cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, and heavy whipping cream. The perfect storm! So little by little I added everything, and ended up with this amazing creation. Vann brought home some AWESOME cheese sticks he made at work (thank you Domino's!), and it turned into the perfect meal! I apologize for not having exact measurements for the spices, but that's just not how I roll. I add and adjust as needed until it's the way we like it. And I usually don't add Rotel to our sauce, but it was all that I had, and it actually worked perfectly! It added just the right kick. I took the sauce to work today and it was just as incredible as it was last night. I would suggest not serving this sauce over regular spaghetti. It tasted great, but it just didn't grab on to the goodness as much as I had hoped. Next time I make this, I will either use elbow, macaroni, or rotini noodles. Something to really get ahold of the tastiness! This is a great spin on the already amazing succa! (Pronounced soo-ka, for those who were wondering) :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Buttercream Icing

Adapted from: Recipe # 69633

1 cup butter
1 cup Crisco
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. meringue powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. creme bouquet (optional)
3 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream (more or less depending on the consistency you desire)

Cream butter and shortening until fluffy. Add sugar, meringue powder, and cream, continuing to mix until well blended. Add salt, flavorings, and more whipping cream, if needed, to reach desired consistency. Separate and color with gel food coloring (this keeps the consistency the same).

I love this icing! I have tried many buttercream icings throughout my 25 years of life, and I have to say that this one is my favorite. Being homemade has something to do with it, as I have the ability to make it the consistency what I want. I personally love a thick buttercream, one that I can decorate with and it will stick and hold its shape well. If you find that 3 Tbsp. just isn't enough, feel free to add more (I would add 1 Tbsp., or less, at a time. It's better to be safe than sorry!). I find that it worked perfectly, because I also add the creme bouquet, which changes the consistency a little bit as well. I have only made this buttercream for the White Almond Sour Cream Cake, but I am SURE that it would pair well with just about anything. Chocolate cake, red velvet cake, a shoe.... seriously, it's that delicious. I made these cupcakes for my boss's daughter's birthday, and there was still a ton of batter and icing left over, so Vann had the pleasure of making the rest of these while I was at my parents' house, and he was like a kid in a candy shop. And I have to say he did a really great job! Very proud of the hubs :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

White Almond Sour Cream Cake

Adapted from:

2 (18 oz.) boxes white cake mix
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 2/3 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. almond extract
2 cups sour cream
8 large egg whites

Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together with a wire whisk. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into greased and floured cake pans, filling each pan a little over half full. Lightly tap cake pans on counter to bring bubbles to top. Bake at 325 degrees until cakes test done. (If making cupcakes, fill each cupcake liner a little over half full and bake until very lightly brown, or until cakes test done.)

I love this cake. So much. It tastes amazing and it is so easy to throw together. It makes 2 large cakes, but it makes a ton of cupcakes. If anyone ever wants a cake or some cupcakes for anything, this is my go-to recipe. The first time I ever tried this recipe was for my Dad's surprise 70th birthday party. Ever since then it has been requested often, and most importantly, it is loved by everyone who has ever tried it. I like to add creme bouquet to the batter, because I also add that to the buttercream, and it makes them both to die for. You can typically find it at a local bakery shop (there is one in Brentwood that sells it...and Almond Emulsion. Both are very wise picks). However, if you do not have it, don't sweat. It will still be oh so good! I have the butter cream icing recipe soon to follow that pairs tremendously with this cake. It is wonderful!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

Adapted from: Recipe # 37336

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder

Mix mayonnaise, cheese, and seasonings. Place chicken in a baking dish, and spread mixture evenly over chicken. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

As you can clearly see, I decided to pair this chicken with the oh so delicious creamy garlic pasta we had the other night. The chicken really does melt in your mouth, and it tastes so good. I will admit that the combination of the pasta and the chicken was a little too much for me as far as salt goes (both had Parmesan). However, the chicken alone with some veggies and dinner rolls would make for an awesome dinner. I mixed everything together in the casserole dish, threw the chicken in, then mixed it all up. The only thing I will try next time is maybe cooking the chicken on a roasting pan to separate the grease from the chicken (it was still delicious, I'm not gonna lie!). This would make for a perfect throw together meal, pop it in the oven, and forget about it for 45 minutes. That is my kind of meal!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Creamy Garlic Pasta

Adapted from:

2 tsp. olive oil
4 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb. angel hair pasta
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. parsley (recipe called for fresh, but we just used dried. It was still super tasty)

In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic; cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the butter and allow to melt. Next, add chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Raise to high heat and let it come to a boil. Once stock is a rolling boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reduce heat to medium low; add cheese, stirring until melted. Remove pot completely from heat, then add heavy cream and parsley, mixing until well combined. Serve immediately.

Aaaaand once again I found this recipe on Pinterest. Shocked? Me either. But it's true, and that seems to be quite the trend lately. I have about 600 recipes that I want to try on Pinterest alone. Add that to the other recipes on different websites that I have on my "to try" list, and I would probably have to whip up at least 5 a day to knock out my over-zealous recipe list. It's a doable goal if we were millionaires, and we could just stay at home all day and cook. Of course then we wouldn't be living in an apartment.... I'd have a kick butt kitchen, to say the least. But the reality is that we work. A lot. And we do live in a wonderful apartment, but the kitchen is a little smaller than I desire (my dream kitchen would be GIGANTIC. With self-cleaning pots and dishes. Ha! :) ). And it's rare that I have the time, and the energy, to whip up a good meal nowadays. That's what makes THIS recipe so freaking awesome. It is a one pot meal. ONE POT! That's all it takes! This was creamy and delicious. I doubled it, and I thought it may be too much, but it was perfect. We had enough for dinner last night, lunch today, and dinner again tonight. Wise decision for a busy little family like ours :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Soft Sugar Cookies

Adapted from:

For the Cookies:
3 & 1/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup salted butter, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract

For the Icing:
1/2 cup shortening
1 lb. (4 cups) powdered sugar
Pinch salt
6 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Dash almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper (I just used a nonstick cookie sheet. Parchment paper is never nice to me). Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, shortening, and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and extract, beating until well combined. On low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Measure out the dough in 2 Tbsp. chunks and roll in a ball; place on cookie sheet 2" apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies look done but are still soft.

For the icing: Beat shortening, powdered sugar, and salt on low speed until combined. Slowly add in milk and extracts until well combined. Tint as desired.

I love She makes beautiful cookies, and she has other great recipes, too! I was browsing her blog when I saw this recipe for soft sugar cookies. Though her pictures could probably make you even want to eat a shoe, I saw these and knew that I wanted to try them. Well, Vann and I's 6 month anniversary is tomorrow (yay!!!!), so I decided that I wanted to make him something sweet :) I just took 6 of these puppies up to his work for him to snack on throughout the day, and he had already eaten one before he got inside. The almond extract adds a nice dimension to these cookies, and the mixture of shortening and butter make these cookies to die for. They are so soft, and the frosting is just delicious, especially with the hint of almond (I'm a sucker for almond flavoring). These will definitely be added to my permanent cookbook. They were easy to make, and they are better than anything you could ever get in a store!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Crockpot Italian Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (we used the tenderloins)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 packet Zesty Italian Dressing seasoning
2 cans cream of chicken soup
Pasta of your choice (rotini really works great, but I'm sure any pasta would do!)

Put all ingredients, except pasta, in a crockpot. Cook on low for 4 hours. Add milk to reach desired consistency, or if sauce is too thick. Serve over pasta.

This recipe has only five ingredients, and it will knock your socks off! We absolutely loved it! I know the picture doesn't look too appealing, but trust me, it's DELICIOUS! I chose not to add any milk to the sauce and left it good and thick, and I believe that was a very wise decision. It was quick, easy, and it was downright great comfort food. It was truly a great filling meal that was so inexpensive. We typically have a couple cans of cream of chicken soup, cream cheese, and chicken on hand. And because of this recipe, Vann and I will make sure we have different salad dressing packets available as well! Best of all, it took less than a minute to throw everything in the crockpot, and then all we had to do was cook the pasta once it was close to being done. You can't ask for anything better than that!