Friday, August 21, 2009

Strawberry Walnut Streusel Cookies

I must say, sending sweets every week has made me quite popular with Walter's co-workers.

Strawberry Walnut Streusel Cookies

These cookies came from the Reader's Digest 1,001 Cookie Recipes cookbook. I altered the recipe a bit because I found that it didn't quite suit me normally. I had to add about 1/4 cup more flour to the dough to make it stiff enough to roll, and the streusel topping was a bit bland, so I added more cinnamon and some sugar. After my changes, these cookies were quite good.

For the streusel:
-2/3 cup all-purpose flour
-1 Tablespoon finely ground almonds (I used walnuts, hence the name)
-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/3 cup butter, cut up
I also used 1 Tablespoon sugar and an additional 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

For the cookies:
-1 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1 1/4 cup)
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-2/3 cup butter, cut up
-2/3 cup ricotta cheese
-1 Tablespoon vanilla sugar (For this, I just used 1 teaspoon vanilla with 1 Tablespoon sugar)
-1/3 cup strawberry preserves

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Prepare streusel: Combine flour, walnuts, cinnamon, and sugar in a small bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
3. For the cookies, sift flour and salt into a medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Stir in ricotta, vanilla, and sugar to form a stiff dough. Form dough into disc and chill for thiry minutes.
5. Roll dough to thickness of 1/4 inch and cut into 2 1/2 inch shapes. Place on cookie sheet 1 inch apart.
6. Heat strawberry preserves over low heat until thin. Spread over each cookie. Top with streusel.
7. Bake cookies for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are golden and the edges are beginning to brown. Cool on wire racks. Sprinkle with more cinnamon and sugar if desired.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mexican Pasta Bake

More casseroles!

Mexican Pasta Bake

This casserole, that I found here at, was fantastic. I made a few changes. For example, the pasta I used was a gem I found at Hy-Vee:

I also used ground beef instead of chicken and added crumbled Doritos, among other things. It was FANTASTIC. Walter loved it, and it will definitely be made again. Still not beautiful, but prettier than the last and still delicious. I will post the recipe as I made it, not as it was originally done.

-1 3/4 cups chili pepper linguine
-1 26-ounce jar medium chunky salsa
-1 10.5-ounce can of refried beans
-1/3 cup sliced green onions
-2 1.25-ounce packages Taco Seasoning Mix
-1 cup sour cream
-1.5 pounds ground beef
-1 cup nacho cheese Doritos, broken into crumbs
-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease 2-quart baking dish.
2. Brown ground beef and cook pasta.
3. Combine taco seasoning, salsa, refried beans, and green onions in medium bowl.
4. Spread 1 cup salsa mixture on bottom of prepared baking dish. Top with pasta.
5. Spread sour cream over pasta. Top with Doritos.
6. Combine remaining tomato mixture and ground beef and spoon over Doritos. Top with cheese.
7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Potato Pizza Casserole

Look, look! An entry that's about cooking rather than baking!

Walter likes to take his lunch to work, so I have been working on trying different recipes that will reheat well. This is my first casserole, but it probably won't be my last (especially now that I am no longer lactose intolerant).

Last week, Hy-Vee had a sale on mozzarella--buy one 8-ounce ball, get one free. I couldn't pass that up.

Potato Pizza Casserole

I found this recipe here at AllRecipes. It was not a pretty dish, but it tasted fine. It was a little bland, but it will definitely be made again.

-1 pound ground beef
-1 small onion, chopped
-salt and pepper to taste
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-5 cups peeled and thinly sliced potatoes (I used 1 26-ounce bag of shredded hash browns)
-1 3-ounce package chopped pepperoni (I used 1 5-ounce bag of Hormel mini pepperonis)
-1 10.75-ounce can condensed tomato soup
-1 10.75-ounce can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
-1/2 cup milk
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
-1/2 teaspoon brown sugar (I ommitted)
-8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (I used 16 ounces crumbled)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Brown ground beef with onions. Drain grease. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
3. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the tomato soup, Cheddar cheese soup, and milk. Season with oregano, Italian seasoning, and brown sugar. Mix well, and cook until heated through.
4. Spread the sliced potatoes (or hash browns) in a layer on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread the ground beef and onion over the potatoes. Place slices of pepperoni over the ground beef. Pour sauce over other ingredients. (I mixed ingredients together after this until the sauce was combined over everything. If using sliced potatoes, this would not work as well).
5. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil, sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Banana Walnut Chocolate-Chunk Cookies

I bought some walnuts recently, and I don't remember why, so I am using them for things until I remember.

Banana Walnut Chocolate-Chunk Cookies

This recipe was in Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook, which I am loving so far. The cookies were perfect--moist, not too banana-y, not too chocolatey. I loved them and ate four before they got sent to Walter's office.

-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used all-purpose flour for both measurements)
-1 teaspoon coarse salt
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-3/4 cup butter, room temperature
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
-1 egg
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 banana)
-1 cup rolled oats
-8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks
-1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Whisk together flour(s), salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
4. Add egg and vanilla to butter mixture and mix until combined. Add banana.
5. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix just until combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chunks, and walnuts.
6. Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets about two inches apart. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes or until golden brown and just set. Cool on wire racks.