Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Cookie Exchange

December 12, 2012

Heather Brooks Karatz

Grinch Cookies-Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
6 to 8 drops green food color
1 egg
1 package Andes Mints
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in chopped Andes Mints (I used a huge knife again because it’s fun) and chocolate chips.
2. Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. If your oven runs hot (like I learned mine does) then check them at 6 minutes! Cool for about 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Store tightly covered at room temperature after you eat one or two so that you don’t eat them all at once.

Heather Brooks Karatz

Pumpkin Magic Bars

 Makes one 8×8 pan | Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Create a foil sling with a 1 inch over hang.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 16 whole crackers)
8 tablespoons butter
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
11 oz. golden delicious apples, shredded (about 2 regular size apples)
11/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup salted almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine graham crackers and butter and stir until well blended. Press mixture onto bottom of pan
Combine sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and stir until well combined. Pour mixture over graham cracker crust.
Peel and core apples. Use the large side of the grating box to shred the apples. Layer shredded apples on the sweetened sweetened condensed milk. Sprinkle on chocolate chips, followed by the almonds and then finish by sprinkling coconut on top.
Place assembled pan in the oven and bake for about 35-45 minutes. Let cool in pan completely and then transfer finished pan to the refrigerator to chill before cutting.

Kelli Mattison

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie Treats

Recipe by Our Best Bites


1 10.5 ounce bag peppermint mini marshmallows*
4 tablespoons real butter, plus extra to butter pan
5-6 cups rice krispie style cereal (I like mine a little more marshmallowy)
3 tablespoons semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
3 tablespoons white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided
a few drops (about 1/8 teaspoon) peppermint extract
2-3 medium sized candycanes, crushed

*In place of the peppermint marshmallows, use regular marshmallows and add about 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract to melted marshmallow mixture. Or more to taste, I’m guessing on the amount.

Line a 9×13 pan with foil and lightly butter bottom and about 1 inch up sides.

Melt butter in a very large bowl in the microwave. Add marshmallows and stir to coat. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. (You can do that whole process on the stovetop as well.) Add rice krispie cereal and stir to evenly combine. With buttered hands, press mixture into prepared pan.

Place white chocolate chips and 1/4 teaspoon oil in a small bowl. Heat in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Repeat same process with semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips and add a few drops of peppermint extract. Drizzle both chocolates on top of rice krispie treats and sprinkle candy canes on top. Let sit until chocolate is set, place pan in fridge to speed process along. Cut into squares and eat up.

Kelli Mattison

Rolo Pretzel bites

1 bag Rolos
1 bag Round Mini Pretzels
1 bag Christmas M&M's

Put 1 Rolo on to of 1 pretzel. Bake at 200 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and put a M&M on top. Easy :)

Alex Moore


Time: 1 hour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup boiling water
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
1 teaspoon light corn syrup.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray, or line with parchment paper.

In large mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter. Mix by machine or hand until fluffy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla and lemon extracts, and mix until smooth.

In medium bowl, combine cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until mixed. Add dry mixture to the wet in batches, stirring well after each addition. Using a soup spoon, place heaping spoonfuls of the dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake until edges begin to brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.

Place confectioners' sugar in large mixing bowl. Gradually stir in enough boiling water to the sugar to make a thick, spreadable mixture.

Put half the frosting in the top half of a double-boiler. Add the chocolate and corn syrup, and set over simmering water. Warm the mixture, stirring, until chocolate is melted and frosting is smooth. Turn off the heat, but leave chocolate frosting over hot water to keep it spreadable. With a brush, coat half of the top of each cookie with chocolate frosting, and the other half with white frosting. Let dry, and store in an airtight container.
Yield: 2 dozen large cookies.

Alex Moore
Alex's Grandma Paula's Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 sticks margarine plus 1/2 cup shortening (best at room temperature)
1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar (really pack the cups tight)
mix the above ingredients together
Add 3 eggs and stir again
Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons  vanilla (stir)
Add 3 cups flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons  soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder     Mix these dry ingredients together and add to the sugar, butter and egg mixture.
3/4 teaspoon salt
Add 3 scant cups of 1 minute oatmeal and mix well
Add 1 package of semi sweet chocolate chips then mix.  12 ounce pkg.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-11-or 12 minutes depending on how hot your oven runs.

Note: A scant cup is one I fill full then shake out a little.

If your cookies seem gooey your butter mixture was too warm or your cup of oatmeal was too scant.

I like to take cookies out when slightly brown, and if you think they don't look done let them cool some on the cookie sheet.

Meg Miller

Snicker-Chip-Doodle Cookies 16-20 cookies

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup toffee chips
1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon for dipping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, mixing well until combine, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix until dough comes together. Add in milk. If dough is still crumbly, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Fold in chocolate and toffee.. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a bowl combine remaining sugar and cinnamon. Remove dough from fridge and roll into big 1 1/2 inch balls. Dip in cinnamon sugar mixture and place on baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Michelle Fitzgerald

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Recipe: Giada De Laurentiis



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.
Michelle Fitzgerald

Kolackys (a traditional eastern European cookie)

1 lb. margarine (4 sticks)
1-8oz. cream cheese
3 Cups sifted flour
1 egg yolk
Powdered sugar
Pie filling (choose whatever flavor you like--my fav is apricot but good luck finding it in an NYC grocery store!)
Soften margarine and cream cheese, blend together with egg yolk.
Slowly add flour until blended thoroughly - roll into ball, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate 3 hours or longer.
Roll out dough on floured counter (also flour rolling pin) - cut with floured glass and put on cookie sheet.
Drop SMALL amount of filling in center (filling spreads!!)
BAKE 350 degrees approx. 15 minutes - When cooled sprinkle with powder sugar

Libbey Baker Baumgarten (Recipes to come)

Gingerbread Men

Amy Packo (Recipes to come)

Ginger Molasses Cookies with Black Cardamom

Our First Meeting

November 6th, 2012


Today we had our first cooking club and wow are we off to an amazing start! Today we each made an appetizer, had wine and cheese and were able to get acquainted with each other.


Michelle made:


White Bean Dip


1 15oz. can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper


Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with pita chips

Megan made:

Stuffed Tomatoes with Gruyere

8 large ripe tomatoes
3 cups white breadcrumbs
1/2 cup organic milk
2 organic eggs, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs
5 tablespoons gruyere cheese, grated
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Remove a slice from the top of each tomato and scoop out the pulp.
Season the insides of the tomatoes with salt and freshly ground black pepper and arrange in a greased baking dish.
To make the stuffing, combine the white breadcrumbs with the milk and eggs in a bowl, and add the garlic, herbs, and onion. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Fill the insides of the tomatoes.
Sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs and Gruyère, and drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent burning. Bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

Alex made:

Puff Pastry stuffed with Fig Jam and Camembert

1 sheet of defrosted Puff Pastry dough
¾ Jar of Fig Jam
½ wheel of Camembert

1 Egg

Preheat Oven to 375°

Dust your counter top with flour
Flour your rolling pin and the top of the Puff Pastry
Roll out 1 sheet of the Puff Pastry dough
Spread approx ¾ jar of Fig Jam over the Puff Pastry
Cut the Camembert in small squares
Section off the Puff Pastry into small squares and add a square of Camembert
Fold the Pastry around the Camembert
Place each Pastry into a cupcake tin lined with parchment paper
Scramble 1 egg in a bowl to create an egg wash, dust the top of each Puff Pastry
Cook on 375° for approx 30 minutes
Serve Warm

 Additional Photos:




More to come in December when we have our Holiday Cookie Exchange!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hurricane Sandy! What did you cook?

Post by Alexandra Moore:

Hey hey! Over the weekend and during Hurricane Sandy I put my cooking skills to good use and made a Carrot Celery Root Puree and Braised Short Ribs for my boyfriend and one of my besties Lindsay! Find the YUMMY recipes here!

Here is the recipe for the:

Carrot Celery Root Puree

Recipe Courtesy Claire Robinson
Watch on Youtube here:
Prep Time:25 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 extra-large or 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 celery roots, 1 pound each, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups good quality vegetable stock


Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan with a lid over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until just beginning to turn golden about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery root and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the stock, and enough water to just cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until vegetables are fork tender, about 30 minutes.

Drain the vegetables in a colander set over a bowl to reserve the cooking liquid. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Puree until very smooth, adding cooking liquid, as needed, to reach the desired consistency. Taste and season again, if necessary. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm.

Cook's Note: This can be made the day before and slowly reheated.

Here is the recipe for the:

Braised Short Ribs


Cooking Time: 3-4 hours

Serves: 4

Ingredients and Cooking Steps
  • 4-5 lbs grass fed short ribs
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • fresh rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and whole black peppercorns
  • bacon grease

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large oven safe pot or preferably cast iron french oven, saute onion, garlic, celery, and carrots in bacon fat (I use a hefty amount to keep the ketogenic effect and of course to enhance the flavor) until onion carmelizes. Add and sweat tomato paste for about 2 min. Fold tomato paste into onion mixture. Let mixture cook another 2-3 minutes. Add red wine to pot and deglaze, scooping up any brown bits. Place short ribs in pot and add beef stock, fresh herbs, peppercorns and bay leaves. Cover, and place in preheated oven. Braise for 3-3 1/2 hours, turning short ribs every 30 minutes. Remove from oven and strain braising liquid to make a sauce. Serve with oven roasted asparagus (brussel sprouts work as well) and bacon.

FastPaleo Note: This recipe would also work well in a crockpot for 6 – 8 hours.

Article can be found at Fast Paleo:
URL to article:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Welcome fellow chefs!

We are so excited to kick off our monthly cooking club on November 6th! Once you have selected your recipe, please email one of us so we can share the menu for the night. We hope this blog will be a great resource for us to share recipes and our plans for the next meeting. Please feel free to email us new recipes as you try them at home, we would love to share them with the group between meetings. We will have 6 members attending each meeting, so be sure to prepare accordingly. In the event of leftovers, we will divide all of the courses between members. In order to keep things easy, please bring your own "doggie bag" to each meeting. The first meeting we hope to discuss the logistics of the club, so start thinking! Our thoughts for December include a cookie exchange and holiday sweets, so start pinning some holiday favorites. We look forward to wining and dining with you in just a few short weeks. Happy recipe hunting!!! :)