Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies

I have two favorite types of cookies, snickerdoodle and molasses. Hmmm  I just love how  chewy they are…when made correctly. This is a no fail recipe for snickerdoodle cookies as long as you don’t cook them too long. They are easy to make and can be made a day or 2 in advance and are still delightfully chewy.

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½ Cup butter, softened

½ Cup Shortening

1 ½ Cup White Sugar

2 large Eggs

3 tsp Vanilla extract

2 ¾ Cup All-Purpose Flour

2 tsp Cream of Tarter

1 tsp Baking Soda

¼ tsp Salt

2 TBS White Sugar

2 TBS Ground Cinnamon


Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Cream together Butter, Shortening, and 1 ½ Cup Sugar. Beat for about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Mix in the Eggs, one at a time, and Vanilla.

Step 4: In a separate bowl, mix together Flour, Cream of Tarter, Baking Soda, and Salt. Then mix into Butter mixture but only mix long enough to get everything incorporated, anything longer will make the cookies lose their chewiness.

Step 5: In a small bowl, mix together the 2 TBS Sugar and the 2 TBS Cinnamon.

Step 6: Roll the dough into about 2 inch balls then roll in Cinnamon Sugar mixture.

Step 7: Place dough balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and cook for 8 minutes…and ONLY 8 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet immediately and place on cooling rack.

This recipe doubles well.

July 31, 2010. Tags: , . Dessert. 3 comments.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Ahhhh, nothing gets me going in the morning quite like a delightful refreshing smoothie. Starbucks has those strawberry banana Vivano smoothies which I love so much but  sometimes I don’t have the time in the morning or I don’t want to shell out the money for something I could easily make at home. These are super healthy and give you the kick start you need for a productive day.

Makes: 1 large smoothie


1- 6oz container of any flavor yogurt

1 Large Banana

2 Cups Frozen Strawberries

1 Cup Milk


Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. If you like your smoothies a little thicker put less milk in and if you like them pretty liquid-y then put more milk in. Can’t get much easier than that!

July 19, 2010. Tags: , , , . Beverages, Breakfast. 2 comments.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

We all need a stand-by recipe for mashed potatoes. This is mine. I like that it doesn’t use butter because butter adds a lot of calories and I seriously don’t think it needs it. The sour cream alone makes it incredible creamy! Try it out and let me know what you think. If you really really love the taste of garlic, go ahead and add another clove when you add the sour cream.

Original Recipe by Goodies & Guests

Serves: 3-4 people


3 Russet Potatoes

4 Cloves Garlic (plus 1 more if you want a strong garlic taste)

½ Cup Sour Cream

2 tsp Salt + more to taste


Step 1: Set a large pot to boil over high heat.

Step 2: Peel potatoes and cut them into 1.5” cubes.

Step 3: Once the water starts to boil, put the potato cubes, 4 garlic cloves, and 2 tsp salt in the water and bring back to a boil.

Step 4: Turn the heat down so the water is simmering and let simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until potato pieces far apart easily when pierced with fork. Turn off stovetop

Step 5: Drain the potatoes and put back on the still warm stovetop (it’s ok if you lose a lot of the garlic when you drain the potatoes, you’ve already gotten a lot of great flavor as it boiled). Mash potatoes thoroughly with potato masher then add sour cream and extra salt to taste (plus the extra clove of garlic if you want the garlic taste to be less subtle).

Step 6: For added presentation, sprinkle with a little paprika on top and serve immediately.

These go great with grilled marinated chicken, or microwaved artichokes.

July 14, 2010. Tags: , . Dinner, Pasta & Rice. 2 comments.

Strong Jello Shots

Confession: I think Jello shots are awesome! They can be the perfect pizzaz a get-together needs…sometimes. Now, let me get something straight… I do not condone over-drinking nor do my husband and I host parties for people to get trashed at…however I have found that most of the people I make jello shots for, get just as excited when they see them as I get when I make them.

I will be posting a recipe at some point for normal jello shots but these particular ones are especially strong. They taste strong and they are strong SO KNOW YOUR GUESTS. (Probably not the thing to serve at a baby shower. A bridal shower or bachelorette party is a whole other story though…)

If you’re wondering why I went on the hunt for a strong jello shot in the first place, here you go: sometimes I feel like jello shots are too thick and too weak. They can taste so overly sugary and be nearly impossible to get out of the cup…THIS started my search for a less thick and stronger jello shot. My search lead me to this site and boy oh boy I was a happy camper. So here’s how it goes…it you want to know all the science behind everything, check out the site, it’s very informative, but if not… just take my word for it. You don’t actually have to do 2 cups of liquid per 3 oz box, you can actually do almost 3 cups liquid (which cuts down the sugariness of the shot) yet the mixture still gels just fine. And because you’re adding more liquid (more alcohol), the result is a stronger taste.

NOTE: These do take longer to gel up than normal jello and if they sit out for a long time, they will start to un-gel. Also, the alcohol taste is fairly strong SO KNOW YOUR GUESTS! If they’re prone to over-consuming, you might want to try something else because these little suckers can really sneak up on you and the last thing you want is some embarrassed guest throwing up in your favorite basil plant.


1-3oz box any flavor Jello

4 oz (1/2 Cup) Boiling Water

Up to 19 oz of 80-proof alcohol but I recommend using only 16 oz (if you’re using less proof then you must use less alcohol)

25- 3 oz plastic Dixie Cups


Step 1: Bring water to a boil (I usually put more in a pan than 4 oz because it’ll lose a little volume due to steam).

Step 2: Place jello packet in a heat safe bowl (preferably with a spout for easy pouring later) and add boiling water to mixture and whisk THOROUGHLY!

Step 3: Let sit a minute then add the alcohol, continuing to whisk thoroughly to get the gelatin incorporated.

Step 4: Pour into 3 oz plastic Dixie cups.

Step 5: Let sit for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Advice: Get creative with your colors and flavors. If you’re throwing a St. Patty’s day party, use lime flavor (green color)! If you’re doing something for the 4th of July, use red, white, and blue. If you’re throwing a welcome to summer party, then use watermelon flavor and coconut rum or tropical fusion jello with citron vodka!  You get the idea. If you ever need any advice just e-mail or comment me and I’ll brain storm with you.

July 13, 2010. Tags: , . Beverages, Recipes. 20 comments.

Chicken Caesar Panini

I’ve mentioned this before, but my favorite kitchen appliance is my Panini press. Not only can you make amazing sandwiches and desserts on it but you can also grill other things as well (like the cooked chicken for the recipe could easily be cooked on the Panini press, shrimp, veggies…) without going into the scorching Arizona summer heat. Well, when we first got married, the only salad my husband liked was Caesar salad, so it’s what I ended up making a lot for dinner. We would go through quite a lot of salad dressing and I was always trying new and different brands of Caesar dressing. One day I found Brianna’s Home Style Caesar Dressing with Asiago Cheese… I don’t know what it is about it, but the only thing better than this dressing is real homemade (and not to dis anybody, but I’ll bet it’s even better than some homemade kinds). My husband is a highschool English teacher and the topic of deconstructing narratives often comes up in normal everyday conversation, which got me thinking that I could deconstruct a Caesar salad and make a Caesar Panini! We add avocado and tomato because we love it that way and usually add both to our Caesar salads…but you, by all means, don’t have to since they aren’t traditionally in Caesar salad!

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Original Recipe by Goodies & Guests

Makes: 2 Sandwiches


4 Slices of sturdy bread (sourdough or whatever is your favorite)

6 slices of Bacon, cooked & crumbled (click here to see how to cook it in the oven)

1 Chicken Breast, cooked & shredded (try using this grilled marinated chicken)

1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese

4 TBS Caesar Dressing (I highly recommend Brianna’s Home Style Caesar with asiago cheese)

1 Avocado, thinly sliced (optional)

1 Tomato, de-seeded and thinly sliced (optional) Click here to see how to easily de-seed a tomato.


Step 1: Take your 4 slices of bread and spread 1 TBS of the Caesar dressing on each slice.

Step 2: If you’re using avocado and/or tomato, put these on top of the bottom slice of bread.

Step 3: Next put ½ of the shredded chicken breast on each sandwich and the bacon on top of the chicken.

Step 4: Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top, close the lid and place on the Panini press for 4-5 minutes, or until the bread is toasty golden and the cheese is melting.

Step 5: Cut in half and serve.

July 12, 2010. Tags: , , , . Lunch, Recipes. 4 comments.

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