Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mom's Sugar Cookies

A simple recipe that's really tasty and perfect for the holidays.

Cream together until light and fluffy:
1 cup softened butter
1 cup canola oil
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar

Add 2 eggs and 2 tsp of vanilla and combine well

Mix together the following and add to the above:
4 cups unsifted flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

Make balls in your hand, roll in sugar and then press down with a pretty patterned glass (I used and antique crystal sugar bowl). Bake at 350 for about 11 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on a cookie sheet.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Roasted Corn Orzo Salad

It's been awhile I know but I've been busy and cooking has been hit or miss. Here's a good orzo salad I made gluten free for a party.

1 TBLS coconut oil
3 minced garlic cloves
9 oz bag of frozen corn thawed, or fresh corn if it's the season
1 pint of small tomatoes, cherry or plum
1/2 lb of orzo pasta (I used Papardelle's gluten free lemon chive), cooked and cooled
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced

1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBLS red wine vinegar
1 TBLS lemon juice
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Place ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.

Crumbled feta cheese (totally optional), it's for sprinkling on top

Heat your oil, add garlic and stir around for about 3 minutes, then add your corn and stir around for about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Meanwhile in a bowl combine your drained orzo, tomatoes and basil and still well. Add the garlic corn mixture and toss.

Pour your dressing over the top and stir well, serve at room temperature.

Adapted from Simply Inspire

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes Servings: 4
Shrimp served in a lemony, garlicky and buttery sauce over a bed of light and fresh zucchini noodles, aka zoodles; a lighter take on shrimp scampi.

            1 tablespoon olive oil
            2 tablespoons butter
            1 pound (16-24) shrimp, shelled and deveined
            4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
            1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
            1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth or shrimp broth (I use white wine)
            1 TBLS lemon juice
            3 medium zucchini, cut into noodles (use a spiralizer or mandolin)
            salt and pepper to taste
            1 teaspoon lemon zest
1  Heat the oil and melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat until frothing, add the shrimp, cook for 2 minutes, flip, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute before setting the shrimp aside.
2  Add the white wine and lemon juice to the pan, deglaze it, simmer for 2 minutes, add the zucchini noodles and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes, before seasoning with salt and pepper, adding the shrimp and lemon zest, tossing everything and removing from the heat.
3  Enjoy immediately! Revised from Closet Cooking

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Smoked Salmon Crostini

As far as I am concerned, the day of Thanksgiving begins the holiday season. This is a good appetizer that travels well to gatherings and is really yummy.

What you need and what to do:

Take the following and combine and refrigerate for one hour:
1/2 tsp ground fennel
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 TBLS olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh dill
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1-1/2 TBLS fresh lemon juice
1 TSP ground black pepper
3/4 lb cold smoked salmon, mashed up with a fork

Slice a French baguette in 1/2 inch slices, you can toast them if you want, I did not. Spread a layer of Alouette light garlic and herb spreadable cheese on the baguette, then top with some of the salmon mixture and garnish with dill sprig. Mine made about 30. That's it, and it's pretty. Happy holidays! Adapted from Cooking Light

Thursday, October 29, 2015

White Chicken Chili

What you need and what to do:
3-15 ounce cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
cups chopped cooked chicken
cups chopped red peppers (2 medium)
cup chopped onion (1 large)
fresh jalapeño chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 TBLS ground cumin
cloves garlic, minced
teaspoon salt, more to taste at serving
2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
3 1/2 
cups chicken broth
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
Broken tortilla chips (optional), or a fresh served tortilla

In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine drained beans, cooked chicken, sweet peppers, onion, jalapeño peppers, cumin, garlic, salt, and oregano. Pour broth over mixture in cooker. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4-5 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-4 hours. Your crock pot may differ, it's done when the peppers and the onion are cooked.

Top each serving with cheese and/or tortilla chips or a fresh tortilla on the side.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pike's Peak Spiked Apple Crisp

In 1978, The Junior League of Denver put out a cookbook called Colorado Cache. My first copy literally fell apart and a friend in Leadville was kind enough to send me her copy which she said she never used. Well, it remains one of my favorite books and this recipe comes from there, slightly adapted. 
I made it gluten free for a dinner we were going to but you can put white flour in it if you so desire.

Preheat your oven to 350, and grease a 2-quart casserole.
In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour (I used gluten free oat flour), 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 cup butter cut in small pieces. Use a pastry blender to make it crumbly.

Peel and slice 5 cups apples, use a more tart apple such as a Granny Smith or Jonathan. Arrange the slices in the casserole.
Pour over this, one shot glass of Amaretto and one shot glass of Grand Marnier (I mixed them together first)
Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of grated orange rind and 2 tsps of grated lemon rind on top and then lightly sprinkle cinnamon over that.

Spread the four, sugar mixture over the apples, then sprinkle about 1/2 cup chopped walnuts over that. Bake for about 1 hour or until it's brown on top and the apples are cooked. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sausage and apple stuffed acorn squash

I love squash season, all kinds of squash. This is a good recipe, and filling. Full of flavor. Yum. Oh, no need for the little mozzarella I threw on the top (as seen in the picture) because I had a bit in the frig. Doesn't need it. At all. I made only 1 squash cut in two for the two of us, double to feed 4. I served it with a spinach salad. P.S. I think this would be a great stuffing for a roast chicken or turkey.

1 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp ground sage, divided
3/4 lb hot Italian sausage links, casings removed (I used Mulay's)
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped (use a more tart apple like a Granny Smith)
1/4 cup plain panko crumbs (or gluten free crumbs)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese + a sprinkle for the top
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the melted butter, garlic, and 1/4 tsp sage. Brush the inside and outside of each squash with the butter mix. Place the squash on a cookie sheet, cut side up, and roast for 50-60 minutes, or until fork tender.

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage. When the sausage is browned, remove it from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate, set aside. To the skillet add the onions, celery, and mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Add the apples and cook for another 2 minutes.

Return the sausage to the skillet then remove from heat. Season with 1/4 tsp sage, salt, and pepper. Stir in the panko and parmesan. Sprinkle top with a bit of parmesan.

Divide the stuffing evenly among the squash halves, you may have a bit leftover. Return to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 395 calories; 15.8 g. fat; 113 mg. cholesterol; 413 mg. sodium; 45.3 g. carbohydrate; 5.5 g. fiber; 23 g. protein
Adapted from

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Our hometown community dinner

There is just something about having dinner with 2,500 people, there just is. Buena Vista had their 2nd Annual BV Strong Community Dinner on Main Street last night. Wow...It takes a strong community to pull together in adversity, realize we really have something special here, and then to go on to celebrate. 

This year, I understand that thanks go to so many including the BVSCD Planning Team: Brian Yates, Lisa Yates, Leslie Quilico, Amie Urbine, Brett Wingo, JayMac Davenport, Ross Kontz, Brandon Tattershall, Ritchie Molitor, Chris Gaston, Amber Gaston, Micah Salazar, Cindi Foreman, Mary Chupp.

Several others helped with the details. The meat and rolls were prepared by Frontier Ranch and the BVSD Demon Cafe. The chairs (including some that came from local-Salida and BV rental companies either donated or discounted), and the tables were donated from ALL over the community. 

Many groups came out to help set up, deliver items, serve food, and do the breakdown and clean up INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO the BVHS football and volleyball teams and the cheerleaders, students from The Link School, and many individual students and adults who just showed up to make it happen. The unofficial count was close to 3000 folks in attendance!

Now that’s teamwork…and community…and love. The Lettucehead had the pleasure of hosting two tables and really my ONLY regret is that I didn't get to visit enough. Oh well, there's always NEXT YEAR! And if I know these people, this is a tradition that will live on and on and on.