Category Archives: Recipes

Christmas Cookies to the Rescue!

One of my favorite childhood memories is filled with love, laughter, and FOOD! Cookies, to be specific…

I would be my mothers helper as she whipped up batch after batch of sugary goodness. She would set the dozens of different types of cookies out in the living room on old family silver tiers, trays, bowls, and more. It was hypnotizing to walk into the room and see all of the different cookies, colors, and smells. I never knew which one to feast my eyes (and fingers!) on. The decision was tough.

Once I moved out, we attempted to bake cookies together once again, but it seems like father time always got in the way. This year, I’m feeling a little nostalgic in the spirit of the holidays, so I’ve been on a baking spree this week. Many people have asked for the recipes, so here they are! All 26 of them!

Katie’s Christmas Cookies 2010
(Click to download PDF)

    Eggnog Cookies with Eggnog Icing
    Ginger Molasses Cookies
    Spicy Gingersnap Cookies
    Spiced Orange Cranberry Bars
    Apple Cranberry Crumble Tart
    Peanut Butter Balls (buckeyes)
    Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
    Thumbprint Cookies
    Lime Meltaways
    Pecan Tassies
    Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps
    Rum Cake
    Rugelach
    Raspberry Pinwheel Cookies
    Russian Tea Cakes
    Lemon Drop Cookies
    Slice and Bake Lemon Gems
    Snickerdoodles
    Classic Sugar Cookies
    Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies
    Peanut Butter Blossoms
    Rosemary Honey Shortbread Cookies
    Chocolate Rum Balls
    Peppermint Oreos
    Kolachy
    Eggnong Cookies (a lighter version)

Feel free to download the PDF and share with your friends and family. I hope some of them make it to your plate for Santa or dessert tray this year!

I’ve also been asked about my favorite Christmas Cookie. It’s my favorite cookie all year round. Hands down, the Russian Tea Cake wins by a mile in this category. I’m attached to my heritage, and this cookie is part of that. It is a cookie that any Russian, rich or poor, could afford to make. Having time for tea with a chip of cinnamon and a few tea cakes is customary. Some substitute honey cookies instead of the tea cakes, but I say that’s for the birds! Bring on the powdered sugar mess!

New to the list this year is the Lime Meltaway. I found it on Foodgawker.com and had to make them. The cookies taste a lot like the key lime meltaways you can buy at Florida tourist shops and the airport, only much lighter.

I’d love to hear what’s on YOUR baking list this season!

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Recipe: Hot Reuben Dip

One day when I had to whip up a quick crowd pleaser for a party, I went to one of my favorite sandwiches – The Reuben. I love to turn favorite sandwiches into easy-to-make dips, and the Hot Reuben Dip is my go-to dish.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs shredded corned beef
1- 8oz package cream cheese
1 14 oz bottle of thousand island dressing
2 packages of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package (or box) of rye bread squares, crackers, or triscuits

Procedure:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Briefly microwave cream cheese until soft
3. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix
4. Spread evenly into an 8″x8″ square pan
5. Cook until bubbly and slightly brown on top – about 30-45 minutes depending on oven.

Serve warm with rye bread squares or crackers.

I like creamy dips, so I generously use the thousand island dressing. Feel free to use more or less depending on taste. I’ve added 1 cup of mayonnaise to the mix before cooking to lessen the dressing taste depending on the audience.

This is also a great dip to serve in a rye or wheat bread bowl.


BLT Dip

Here’s a recipe I haven’t made in sometime, but it’s always a Superbowl Party hit!

BLT DIP

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup torn lettuce
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp Old Bay *optional

Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, Old Bay in small bowl. Spread onto serving plate. Top with lettuce, cooked bacon, plum tomatoes, green onions, and cheddar cheese. Chill until serving. Serve with bagel chips,
tortilla chips, breadsticks, or crackers for dipping.

*I throw in the Old Bay for an extra little kick! Add as much as you like.


Zucchini Bread

I LOVE zucchini bread! It’s sweet and savory nature, coupled with a soft bread is one of many comfort foods. As a child, I remember my mother making this all of the time and taking it to work as gifts for her fellow teachers. Often times, it was hard for me to keep my sticky fingers out of the batter because of it’s ooey gooey goodness!

To start of 2010, I made zucchini bread Dec 31, 2009 to enjoy and celebrate into the new year.

Zucchini Bread Recipe:

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread


1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 beaten egg (let rest for 30 minutes)
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup freshly juiced apply juice (optional, only use juiced apple, not store-bought apple juice)
1 sliced apple, in halves

Grease bottom of bread pan

Combine dry ingredients in bowl, set asside
Combine wet ingredients, add zucchini
Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened
Transfer mixture to bread pan
Lay sliced apples on top for decoration

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes (or until toothpick test is clean)

Cool for 10 mins in pan, remove from pan and cool for additional 60 minutes.

So good!

So good!


Enjoy hot out of the oven, as dessert, or for breakfast.

Make extra – it goes fast!!

TIP: Drop into toaster for a few seconds until slightly toasty and add a pat of butter for savory goodness.


Salute to 2009

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve checked in here. My life has been slightly nuts the past 4 months – lots of changes.

2009 was a year of great achievements for me. In June I moved from my social media position to a much bigger opportunity within the same company. Since June, I’ve been handling marketing and communications for the company. The opportunities presented to me in the past six months have been amazing. I’m (now) 33 years old and have meet some of the areas most influential business leaders, growing both professionally and personally.

I can’t wait for what this job has for me in 2010!

I loaded up with classes this year (9 classes total!!). I’ll be taking it a little easier in 2010 – hopefully 7 classes.. I’m due for a break, but I am so close, I can’t take a full break right now. I want to be done, already!
I didn’t have a favorite class this year, but I am happy to have my 7th statistics requirement under my belt, advanced finance, and business ethics all behind me!

In December, my health slipped a bit with a few hospitalizations due to internal bleeding. I’m still working with doctors to figure out what’s wrong – not sure what’s causing the bleeding nor how to stop the bleeding. Next week I have a few procedures scheduled to hopefully find the source and fix it. *fingers crossed*

The holidays were great, as always. No one ended up with a black eye, everyone left with the same number of teeth they came with, and everyone’s car left in the same condition *whew*!

I spent Christmas Eve with my mom, as always. It was nice to have dinner with John, Doug and my mom. One of the treasures I’ve inherited from my dear mother is a love of cooking. More on this in a minute.. As is tradition, we had bacon-wrapped BBQ shrimp – a family favorite. Instead of the normal cheesy potato gratin, we had butternut squash risotto. While there is absolutely NO replacement for mom’s cheesy potato gratin, the butternut squash was equally as delicious! And we had salad, bread, and wine / ice tea. Doug and John always compete to see who can add the most sugar to the tea and still drink it – John’s 5 for 5! He’s a sugary tea fanatic.

After dinner, we watched The Hangover! I laugh more every time I watch it!

Christmas Day is usually spent with Doug’s parents. This year, the holidays were at his parents and like every year – we had lots of food, family, and stories to share. It was nice to see all the little kids, and see others growing up and becoming adults.

Me and Doug

Me and Doug, New Years Eve 2009

My birthday, New Years Eve, was great! Greg and Christina came up for dinner at G&M (YUMMY crab cakes!) and then headed to a local bar for drinks where Steve and Angela met us. We had a great time chatting, celebrating, and watching Pastrana set a new world record.

So what’s all this about?
Well, I wanted to give a quick summary of 2009 – I know, lots more happened than just at the holidays.. I’ll do better in 2010. But I also wanted to note what to expect in 2010.

One of the things I enjoy every holiday year is spending time with family and enjoying family recipes. Mom and I went to our cousin’s house after Christmas and they had some of my favorite family recipes that have been in our family for generations. That made me think about my heritage, family traditions, and how I can continue to carry on the traditions.

In 2010, I am going to share some of my family traditions, recipes, and my attempt at making some of those recipes. I hope to squeeze in stories of my family, too – there are nuts in every family, and mine is no different!

Cheers to 2010! Here’s to good health, good food, and making family traditions!

What are you going to do in 2010 that’s different from years past?