Here's to good food!

I am finally putting my tried and true family recipes here. Check out my old-time favorites as well as newly discovered ones.

I hope you'll find some recipes here that you enjoy cooking, and those you cook for will find them tasty and satisfying.
Are you looking for something special? Something quick and easy? You'll find it here somewhere.
Check in often to see what's cooking in Monterey!

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sparkling Gingersnaps

One of the PTA parents brought these cookies to a teacher workshop.   We all had to have the recipe!  Sometimes I make half the recipe; other times I freeze what I don't want to bake for another time.

4 cups flour                                          2 cups sugar

1 T baking soda                                    ½ cup butter
2 t cinnamon                                         1 cup shortening
1 t EACH: salt, ginger,                          ½ cup molasses
            and allspice                              2 eggs
      additional sugar for rolling (about ½ cup)

Combine dry ingredients in left-hand column; set aside.  Beat together ingredients in right-hand column until light and creamy.  Add dry ingredients.  At this point you can refrigerate to make handling easier or not.

            Form into 1-inch balls.  Roll in sugar.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10-13 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.

                                                                                    Makes 5-7 dozen

*Dough may be frozen for 2-3 weeks.  Defrost in refrigerator for 2-4 hours or until soft enough to handle.  Or cookies may be frozen.  Or make half the recipe.         

Mom's Granola

The original recipe for this came from Tom's Mom.  Keep what you like; take out what you don't.  Increase the amount of one thing, but decrease something else to keep the proportions about the same.

3 C oatmeal                                      
½ C sliced almonds
1 C chopped nuts
½ C coconut                                
¼ C sesame seeds*                             
½ C wheat germ*                               
2 tsp cinnamon
½  tsp nutmeg             

¼ C oil      
2 Tbsp grated orange/lemon rind ++
¼-½ C honey/maple syrup #  (depends on how sweet you want it)    
½ Tbsp molasses   
1 tsp vanilla extract   
½ tsp almond extract (optional)
To add after baking:  
1-2 C dried fruit such as cranberries, chopped dried pears, etc.

* Can be toasted at 350 for about 10 minutes. Stir so it won’t burn.  (Don’t brown too much because it will roast more as it bakes.)  Then turn oven down to 300 degrees.

++ Really adds a nice touch of brightening up the flavor
#  Can use any sweetener as part of this amount.

Combine dry ingredients.  Mix liquids and heat in microwave for 20-30 seconds if necessary.  Add to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Line 1 large (13x17)  or two (9x13) pans with foil and spray with oil.  Spread out in pan(s).  Bake for 30-40- minutes, stirring several times.  It will continue to brown slightly after removal from oven.
Cool and mix in dried fruit, if desired.  Makes about 6-7 cups.

Keeps several months in a tightly closed container or keep in freezer.