Sunday 13 June 2021

Snickerdoodles Cookies





  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick salted butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
  • 1 and 1/3 cup (267g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk (room temp)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375°F.
Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats

Make the topping:

Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

Make the cookies: 

Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening, and granulated sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 different parts. The dough will be thick.  *you can add a tablespoon or two of water if needed.

Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of cookie dough each.  Roll the dough balls in cinnamon-sugar topping.  Arrange 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.

Bake cookies for 10 minutes. The cookies will be very puffy and soft. When they are just out of the oven, lightly press down on them with the back of a fork to help flatten them out. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Chicken Cacciatore a la Louise a la Nancy



 Chicken Cacciatore a la Louise a la Nancy

(Serves 4 – or 2 hungry people)


8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 TBSP of your favorite dry bbq spice (optional)

1 rib celery, fine dice

2 carrots, peeled, and then cut into ribbons with carrot peeler

1/2 med sized yellow or white onion, finely diced

2 jalapenos, finely diced (optional – also optional to include ribs and seeds for more heat)

3 garlic cloves, finely diced

½ c white wine (or apple juice)

1 c diced cherry tomatoes

½ c chicken stock

1 orange – juiced and  1 TBSP orange zest 

3 TBSP butter

1 lb spaghettini or angel hair

3 TBSP olive oil, separated

Salt and pepper

Grated parmesan cheese


Two options for cooking chicken:  My preferred method is to sprinkle all sides with dry BBQ spice and BBQ to get a nice char.   If you don’t have a fave BBQ spice you can use salt and pepper.   If not using BBQ, you can place large heavy bottom non-stick skillet on stove and heat it to medium high heat.  Add 1 TBSP olive oil (once heated) and then add chicken with the ‘pretty’ side down.  Brown well (5-7 minutes) and turn over and cook 2-3 minutes.  It’s ok if the chicken is not fully cooked as you will finish in the sauce.  Remove chicken from skillet.


In same pan, and still on medium-high heat, add the second TBSP of olive oil and celery, onion, carrot.  Brown slightly (3-4 minutes) and add garlic and jalapenos (if using).  Saute another minute (don’t brown the garlic!) and add the white wine to de-glaze the pan.  Let the white wine simmer about 8-10 minutes on medium heat.   Add cherry tomatoes, chicken stock, and orange juice and zest.  Simmer on medium low for 5 minutes; add 1 TBSP butter and melt into sauce.  Add back the chicken and simmer on low heat.


Cook pasta according to package directions, but reduce cooking time by 1-2 minutes.  Reserve a cup of the pasta water and drain.  Add the past back to the pot with 2 TBSP butter and ¾ c of the sauce from the chicken.  Stir until combined and butter is melted, about 2 minutes.


Plate the pasta high on a serving plate.  Top with two pieces of chicken and spoon some sauce on top.  Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and drizzle each plate with the last TBSP of evoo.


Saturday 16 May 2020

Best Biscuits EVER

·         Dough:
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 heaping tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening (I use butter flavoured crisco or unsalted butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups milk
·         Filling - if using dough for cinnamon rolls :

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4  cup cinnamon
·         Optional glaze:
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk
·        Instructions - preheat oven to 400 degrees

1.    Mix the dry ingredients -- flour, baking powder, salt and white sugar -- with your hands, on a large wooden board.
2.    Add ½ cup shortening (or butter – your choice – and make sure it’s at room temperature) and blend it into the flour with your hands until crumbly - like frozen peas - don't be afraid if there are little lumps - this will create the layers and texture
3.    Crack the egg into a 2 cup measuring cup and add whole milk to fill to 2 cups and beat in the measuring cup until well mixed.  Make a well in centre of the flour and add almost all of the milk/egg mixture.  Leave a TBSP or so in the cup.
4.    With a fork – scrape all the flour into the milk and combine until all the flour is absorbed and you have the dough nicely combined.   Don't over work the dough - just barely mixed. 
5.    Sprinkle a little flour onto your counter and form the dough into a ball and place on the floured surface.   Dough will be quite sticky - sprinkle with flour
6.    Sprinkle a bit of flour on the dough and on your rolling pin and gently roll out until about 1 inch thick square.  Using a bench scraper, fold the dough over itself and roll out to one inch thick square again.  Repeat this 4 times;  this creates the flaky layers in your biscuits.
7.  Roll to 1 inch thick and cut into biscuits.  You can use a round metal cookie cutter with a sharp edge or a pizza cutter to form into triangles.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet, 1 inch apart, and brush with remaining milk/egg mixture and bake for 8 minutes, turn the pan around, and bake for a further 8 minutes.  If they seem to be a little brown at the turning point, reduce oven to 375.  Some ovens are hotter than others!

To use this dough for cinnamon rolls - 

1.  At step 7  = roll dough to a rectangle 1/2 inch thick - make sure there's lots of flour under the dough on the board.
2.    Brush about 1/4 c melted butter over the surface - you can use more or less to your preference. Sprinkle the brown sugar all over the dough and right to the edges.  Sprinkle cinnamon over the complete surface. 
3.  Roll up the dough from the long end away from you toward you, like a long jelly roll.
4.  With a serrated bread knife, cut your slices about ¾ inch thick and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  
5.  Bake for 8 minutes, turn the pan around, and bake for a further 8 minutes.  If they seem to be a little brown at the turning point, reduce oven to 375.  Some ovens are hotter than others!

Cinnamon rolls - to glaze or not to glaze?   I am a no... but if you must.....
o     3 tablespoons of soft butter
o     2 tsp vanilla
o     About 2 cups of icing sugar
o     A little bit of milk

Combine ingredients in a bowl -should be like a honey or syrup consistency.  Drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls.