Thursday, December 20, 2007

Swedish Heirloom Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups almonds, ground
powdered sugar, to roll cookies in after they are baked

Cream shortening and butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Add 1 cup powdered sugar and salt and mix well.

Stir in flour.

Add water, vanilla, and almonds, stirring well.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls (I use a round plastic spoon like the kind you get with soup-to-go from a Chinese restaurant).

Place on ungreased cookie sheets.

Press down lightly on dough with bottom of glass or measuring cup. This insures even cookies.

Bake at 325° for 12 minutes or until done.

Dredge warm cookies in powdered sugar. Or do like I do and put the powdered sugar in a ziplock bag and add cookies. Shake well.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mushroom Canapes

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (I use Mozzarella cheese)
2-ounces canned mushroom pieces and stems, drained
1/2 of a 2.8-ounce can french-fried onion rings
1 loaf (8-ounce) party rye or pumpernickel bread

In a bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, cheese, mushrooms, and onion rings. Spread on lightly toasted party rye or pumpernickel. Place the canapes on a baking sheet and broil until the topping is bubbly.

These are great when you're in the mood for something light before dinner.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mustard Museum?

Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, is home to the largest mustard museum in the world, housing 1,493 different varieties from Argentina to Switzerland and 48 of the U.S. states. Of yellow mustard alone, the museum has about 200 varieties.


Scallops are considered the safest shellfish to eat raw. Most of the danger in eating raw shellfish stems from the fact that shellfish filter large amounts of sea water to obtain nutrients. Toxins, bacteria, and viruses tend to accumulate in this filtration apparatus. The filtration apparatus in scallops is, however, discarded; only the scallop's abductor muscle, where few toxins accumulate, is eaten.

Personally I prefer mine cooked in white wine.

Scallops in White Wine

1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup shallots, minced
1 lb bay scallops
3/4 cup white wine
1 Tbs lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add scallops; sauté 30 seconds.

Add white wine; cover and cook 2–3 minutes until scallops turn opaque. Remove scallops from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving wine mixture in pan.

Add lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper to wine mixture, simmer for 2 minutes, until sauce is reduced by about one half.

Return scallops to sauce and cook just until heated through.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 Cup of creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup of oil
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons of water

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork dipped in water. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

I know several peanut butter freaks who say these are the best ever peanut butter cookies in the whole univers.

Holiday Cookies

Every year I bake cookies to give out as presents. I start my baking after Thanksgiving and freeze them. A few days before Xmas, I let them thaw out and put them in tins or plastic gift bags.

Since I have little time, I sort of cheat with the basic recipe:

A box of yellow cake mix
2 eggs
and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
a dash of vanilla extract

you choice of additives:

almond extract
chocolate chips
butterscotch chips

Drop them by spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 F until slightly golden. ( I bake mine for 11 minutes because I like them soft not crunchy)

For butter flavor, I used the butter cake mix.

And last year, I made chocolate cookies from chocolate cake mix and lemon cookies from lemon cake mix.

I put sprinkles on them so they look festive.

And they are delicious.

Survey says...

You will get fewer cavities if you eat a bag of candy in one sitting and then brush your teeth than if you slowly eat the candy a piece at a time all day.

I don't think a sugar high or an aching stomach is worth it though!

Chili Powder

Although the combination of chile peppers and oregano for seasoning has been traced to the ancient Aztecs, the present blend is said to be the invention of early Texans. Chili powder today is typically a blend of dried chiles, garlic powder, red peppers, oregano, and cumin.

It can spice up any dish. I add it to my scrambled eggs, in my 15 bean soup, to hamburgers...the list goes on. Chili powder isn't just for chili, my friends.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Love Affair to Remember

Sage and Pork are in a torrid love affair. When I cook pork, I mainly use rubbing sage as the meat rub. It adds a flavor that can't go wrong.

And another lover of sage is cornbread. Add a touch of sage to the mix... and a teaspoon of sugar for a more sweeter tasting cornbread.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Curry is a spice I like to use sparinly in some dishes. The powder form I use is very mild and gives a little thrill to boring dishes like scrambled eggs/omelets, lentils and shrimp. I've added it to chicken as well.

In the next few posts, I will add a few of my own sweet recipes that include curry.

Tater Jokes

Why did the potato cross the road?
He saw a fork up ahead.

How do you describe an angry potato?
Boiling Mad.

Why didn't the mother potato want her daughter to marry the famous newscaster?
Because he was a commontater.

Why wouldn't the reporter leave the mashed potatoes alone?
He desperately wanted a scoop.

What do you say to an angry 300-pound baked potato?
Anything, just butter him up.

What does a British potato say when it thinks something is wonderful?
It's mashing!

What do you call a baby potato?
A small fry!

Lemon Joke

A woman went to a Florida lemon grove to apply for a job, but the foreman thought she seemed way too qualified for the position. "Do you even have any actual experience picking lemons?" he asked.

"Well, I think I do." she replied. "I've been divorced three times."

St. Amand

St. Amand of Maastricht is the patron saint of beer and wine sellers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Toffee is made by boiling together brown sugar, butter, and vinegar.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Slow Cooker : Lemon Chicken

Slow cookers and crock pots are great when you don't have time to slave over the stove but still want a great homey meal. On Sunday mornings, right after cooking a tasty breakfast I toss this recipe in the slow cooker and by early evening or sooner it's ready.

Lemon Chicken

1 lemon (I have used a large lime)
1 Whole roasting chicken (to fit slow cooker)
1/2 Cup of Hone (optional) (I use it)
1/2 Cup of fresh orange or lemon juice
( use orange juice-keeps the dish from being too lemony)

Rinse, clean and dry chicken. (Make sure you remove the giblet pack)/
Pierce the lemon with a fork and place in the chicken cavity.
Place chicken in the cooker.
Combine honey with orange or lemon juice and pour over the chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 8 Hours or until tender.
Serves 6-8, depending on the size of the chicken.

Mirepoix (Mirh-PWAH)

Mirepoix is a culinary combination of onions, carrots and celery (and herbs) sauteed in butter or oil. A common ratio of ingredients is 2 parts onion, 1 part carrot and 1 part celery.

I add Mirepoix to my black beans, my lentils, and stews/soups. Often I deglaze the pan with red or white wine depending on the meat choice.

A note on sauteeing--I sprinkle the veg mix with salt. It brings out the moisture in the vegetables, especially the onions. I let them sit without stirring until the water evaporates. Then I quickly sautee, adding any dried herb that is required for the recipe.


I usually cook lentils at least twice a month. The Wikipedia says "Apart from a high level of proteins, lentils also contain dietary fiber, vitamin B1, and minerals. Red (or pink) lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils (11% rather than 31%). Health magazine has selected lentils as one of the five healthiest foods. Lentils are often mixed with grains, such as rice, which results in a complete protein dish."

They have a short cooking time, so make sure you remember this or you'll have mush.

Some trivia: The optical lens is so named after the lentil (Latin: lens), whose shape it resembles.

Monday, October 8, 2007

My Cheating Heart....Brownies

I sometimes cheat when I make brownies. Since I am usually so busy making other tastier foods, I use a brownie mix, mainly the double chocolate blends. But I like to 'doctor' it up. This weekend, I made raspberry chocolate brownies by adding raspberry/chocolate swirls to the mix.

It turned out so yummy that Al ate half the brownies.

The only problem I had was that the brownies seemed to stick to the pan more than usual. I think the chips had a lot to do with it. So if you decide to use chips, make sure you remove the brownies from their pan while they are still warm.

A Baker's Pun

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Boiled Egg Don't

During my college years, I hated to cook. It was easier to order a pizza or dine out, mainly on Chinese food. But one day I wanted to make a tuna salad sandwich. I always make mine with tuna, mayo, a dab of ranch dressing, pickle relish, minced garlic and chipped up hard boiled eggs.

I remember forgetting to check the time on the eggs when they first started to boil. I estimated how long it had been and took them off the burner. Waited for them to cool and unshelled one of them and sliced it to find that the yellow wasn't as done as I liked. I put it aside and thought to myself, 'I don't want to boil the other one any more." I was very hungry and wanted it NOW. So I unshelled the last one and placed it in the mircowave. I programmed the cook cycle for 15 seconds...and after 5, the damn egg exploded.

Talk about a mess... took me an hour to clean it.

So remember this...don't try to microwave a soft boiled egg.

~ ~ ~ ~
For tips on boiling eggs visit wikipedia

Thursday, October 4, 2007


There are more than 15,000 different varieties of rice.

Kiwi Chicken

This isn't the original recipe. When I first use a new recipe, I follow it to a tee. If I think it could use a bit of tweaking I jot down notes, and use them the next time I cook. Once I perfect the recipe, I write it down in a notebook that has 'I am my own evil twin' on the cover. Yes, food and humor go together.

For this recipe, I baked the chicken in a large *seasoned cast-iron frying pan. You can use a dutch oven or a casserole dish, whatever your choice in baking containers, just remember that the cooking time may vary from the one I post.

Kiwi Chicken


6 skinless chicken thighs.
6 cloves of garlic, halved with green sprout removed or a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste
2 ripened kiwi
splash of white wine ( or chicken broth)

Salt & Pepper the chicken thighs. Place in a dutch oven. Place garlic on and around the thighs. Peel and slice the kiwi, placing the slices on the chicken. Add a splash white wine or more to taste. Cook at 350 F 45-50 minutes until chicken is done. Be careful not to overcook.
~ ~ ~

I used chicken thighs. I skinned them and removed as much fat as I could. Then I salt and pepper to my particular liking. The frying pan holds 6 to 7 thighs. After placing the thighs, I put halved cloves of garlic around them. Make sure that there are no sprouts in the cloves. When cooked the sprouts are very bitter.

Most kiwi at the grocery store or market is firm to touch. If I plan to use one in a recipe, I let it ripen for a week until it gives a little when pressed. This makes the kiwi a bit sweeter and tastier. Don't be shy with the fruit. Use it generously in this dish.

As for the wine, I use white Rhine for cooking. It doesn't overpower dishes. I am generous with my splashes. But I cover the bottom of the frying pan but not the chicken.
*seasoned means to coat the cast-iron item in cooking oil and bake it in a hot oven. I'll make a post about this later.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sex you up, baby!

In the Middle Ages, chicken soup was believed to be an aphrodisiac.

Cooking Sherrie welcomes YOU

My blogging friend Robert suggested I start a cooking blog because I am forever and a day writing about what I cook on the weekends.

So here goes... you'll find thoughts, memories, triva and jokes about cooking with Sherrie.

Thanks for dropping by.