Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Meltaways

This is one I'm definitely adding to my plate of goodies this year! A cookie that literally melts in your mouth. I first tasted it about 3 years ago - a coworker shared it with us and it was an office favorite.


½ lb butter, creamed
¾ C. cornstarch (yes, that is correct 3/4 cup!)
1/3 C powdered sugar
1 C flour

Mix together and beat until creamy. Roll (flour on hands helps) in round teaspoons. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Frost with:
1 tsp vanilla, 3 oz cream cheese (or substitute with butter), 1 c powdered sugar (add food coloring if desired). Dip top of cookies into frosting. Makes about 4 dozen.

You don't want to overcook these cookies - and they don't burn so pull them out as soon as the time is up. Also, I frost them when they are cool and using an icing bag might be the best trick because they are so fragile. Whenever I touch them to frost them, a few end up breaking, of course they go directly to my mouth, so I don't mind, but . . .

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cranberry Nut Dessert

A coworker shared this recipe with me a few years back and it's one I love! There's a perfect balance between the tartness of the cranberries; the sweet, almond-flavored bread; and the crunchy walnuts. This is a super-quick and easy recipe.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Whipped cream or ice cream, optional

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add cranberries and nuts; toss to coat. Stir in the butter, eggs and extract (mixture will be very thick if using frozen berries). Spread into a greased 9-in. pie plate (I just use a round cake pan). Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

* I've never seen frozen cranberries stocked in a grocery store. I like to buy an extra bag or two and freeze them so that when you can't find them, I can still make this yummy treat to brighten the long, less-festive days of January. The cranberries freeze and keep very well.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Darling Aprons Free Giveaway

I just found out about a free giveaway for these darling aprons (or a kit to make your own) at Epicurean Style. If I wore this while cooking my Thanksgiving Turkey, I wouldn't feel so tired after a long day! SOOOO Cute!

Click here and leave a comment before November 30th at midnight and you could be the lucky winner!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Platanos Fritos (Fried Plantain)

This is a dish that I've loved from the first time I tried it on a road trip to California with my friend, Christine. We ate at a little Salvadorean restaurant and I fell in love. Luckily, Armando loves this dish as well and it's a popular one in Honduras.

If the plantain is at the perfect ripeness (overripe on my scale), it's the perfect sweet (but not too sweet). Then, the salty contrast of the refried black beans and Mexican sour cream on top makes it to die for!

First, find really ripe (but not bruised) plantains.

Fry on low-medium heat until golden brown on all sides. You don't want the plantain to be crispy, just softened and cooked.

Split each plantain down the middle. Fill with refried black beans. Serve warm with drizzles of Mexican sour cream on top.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup)

I received a delightful email from a friend the other day with an attached 478-page recipe book full of restaurant recipes - anything from A&W's Onion Rings to York Peppermint Patties and everything in-between. I quickly scrolled to the O section.

Olive Garden.

Zuppa Toscana.

Been dying to try it for well over a year now.

Finally, I put the obscure ingredients (not really - just the kale) on a grocery list and sent Armando for the goods.

It turned out DELICIOUS! I would highly recommend this recipe.


3/4 cup onions, diced 1/8 inch
1 slice bacon, 1/4-inch diced
1 1/4 tsp garlic cloves, minced
1 ounce chicken boullion
1 quart water
2 medium potatoes, cut in half length-wise then cut in 1/4 inch slices (do not peel)
2 cups cavallo greens (kale can be substituted), cut in half, then sliced into 1/16-inch strips
1 1/2 cups sausage link - spicy, pre-cooked, cut in half-length-wise, then cut at an angle into 1/2-inch slices
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Place sausage link onto sheet pan and bak in 300 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until done.

Place onions and bacon into 3 to 4 quart sauce pan and cook onions over medium heat until onions are almost clear. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add chicken bouillon, water and potatoes, bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients then simmer for 5 more minutes and serve.

Recipe courtesy Insider's Recipes Master Edition.

**These are just some changes I made or would make to the recipe next time.
  • I substituted the sausage link (yuck) for ground sausage. This time I used regular. Armando claimed it lacked any kick. I now have a pound of frozen HOT ground sausage in the freezer waiting for the next time I try the recipe.
  • I used the kale. It worked perfect.
  • This recipe calls for heavy whipping cream. I don't think it needs it. Milk would suffice.
If you'd like a copy of this recipe book, just leave me a comment along with your email address and I'll send it to you.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Great Grandmother's Homemade Ice Cream


2 quarts milk

1 quart cream

4 eggs, beaten

2 2/3 C sugar

6 junket tablets* dissolved in cold water

2 tblsp vanilla (the real stuff is better)

Heat the first four ingredients to warm (like a baby’s milk). DO NOT OVERHEAT. Add vanilla and put in refrigerator to cool. Add junket tablets and set until the thickness of gravy. Put into ice cream freezer and freeze.

Up until this time, I had never made this ice cream without it being devoured within minutes. It froze up very well in the freezer and we enjoyed it for weeks afterwards. It's especially delicious with fresh fruit on top. If you serve it right when it has finished in the freezer, it melts almost immediately. Either way, it's delicious, but I prefer hard ice cream.

*Junket tablets are gelatin tablets made to thicken ice cream. All growing up we could find them at Smith's. I couldn't find them there. I found them at Albertson's. Some have said they found them at Wal-mart.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Citrus Drink

It's warming up outside, so we're keeping cool with this . . . I know it just looks like a normal glass of lemonade or limeade, but really, this drink is bursting with all the citrus fruits you can think of!

That's right, if you look close, it has grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime!

I used about this much fruit. If you don't want to count it was:

2 grapefruits
1 orange (would have used more if I had them)
2 limes
2 lemons
I juiced out all the juice and pulp I could get out of the fruit into a pitcher. I also added a little bit of fresh lemon and lime zest from the leftover rinds.

Then I added almost a cup of sugar (YIKES!) I do this a little at a time so I can taste test as I go.
Then I filled the pitcher with lots of ice and water. (I added the ice so it would be cold right away).

And ta-da a delicious, refreshing, summer drink.
Credit goes to my sister-in-law, Ana, who made something similar for me 3 summers ago and I just remembered it today. Thanks, Ana!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Watermelon Popsicles

There's not a better way to welcome summer than with a batch of Watermelon Popsicles. Here's how we do ours:

Slice up about 1/2 seedless watermelon
Fill blender about 3/4 full with watermelon
Add a little sugar and water. I start with about 2-4 tablespoons of sugar and sweeten it to taste from that point depending on how sweet the watermelon is and how much water I add.

Freeze the watermelon juice in popsicle containers and enjoy. Drink the rest of the juice as a refreshing summer beverage. We drink watermelon juice almost all summer long!

Here are some other fruits to try with the same recipe:

Cantaloupe Popsicles
Pineapple Popsicles

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Taquitos Salad Dinner

I think this has to be one of my favorite dinners. Chances are if you know me, you've had this while dining at my house. I learned it a few years ago from a dear friend who, two years ago today, passed on. So in honor of Caro, her famous taquitos, Honduran-style!


Frozen Taquitos (small, large, chicken, or beef - anything works) *I prefer the smaller ones cause they are crispier.

1/2 head cabbage, very finely shredded (this is a latin art that takes a lot of practice - the closer to paper-thin it is, the better)
3-4 roma tomatoes
1 cucumber
1/2 to 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
juice from 1 lime
salt & pepper to taste

1 tbsp butter or olive oil
1/4-1/2 onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
1 can tomato sauce
chicken boullion, dissolved in a little water
cumin, to taste
brown sugar, to taste
Queso Seco (Dry Cheese in Mexican Cheese Section or you can use Parmesan)

Prepare salad - finely chop cabbage and add diced tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro. Mix well and add salt, pepper and lime juice to taste. Set aside and prepare sauce while taquitos are cooking in the oven.

Sauce Prep - Finely chop onion and garlic. Saute in butter. Add tomato sauce and boullion mixture and bring to a boil. Add cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. Add a little brown sugar and dissolve.

Assemble Taquito Salad and sprinkle with Queso Seco (Dry Cheese). Serve warm.

P.S. Sorry to all of you who must have exact measurements. The sauce for this is a little different every time. If you live close, I'd be happy to demonstrate it for you some day.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Several months after I asked for crockpot recipes from friends, I'm finally following up and posting some I received. Here's one from my dear friend, Emily, who is an excellent cook. I have yet to try it, but maybe if I post it here, I will make it some day soon!

Emily's notes:

I got this recipe out of the December 07 issue of "Better Homes and Gardens" and I made it for Lukas for Valentine's Day. It was delicious! A very good blend of spices....made the house smell wonderful.


4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
3 lb. meaty chicken pieces (breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks), skinned
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
14-oz. can chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Hot cooked couscous
Pine nuts, toasted
Fresh cilantro (optional)

In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker place carrots and onions. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add to cooker; top chicken with raisins and apricots. In bowl whisk broth, tomato paste, flour, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Add to cooker. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 6 1/2 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Serve in bowls with couscous. Sprinkle with nuts. Garnish with cilantro.

The only variation I would make to this recipe is to add the raisins and apricots halfway or later in the cooking process as opposed to the beginning with the chicken. They were somewhat leeched of color and flavor and I would have preferred them to be more chewy. Also, I used chopped macadamian nuts instead of pinenuts because pinenuts were $6.99 for a small bag at my local grocery store. However, I did see pinenuts later at Wal-mart for a lot cheaper (still expensive though). Don't forget the cilantro...the cilantro adds a nice fresh flavor to this dish!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Summer Shrimp Salad

It's been awhile since I've posted. I decided that the "What's cooking at Daisy's" blog title had to go. My new and improved, "Daisy Cooks, [sometimes]" seems to fit better. I do cook. And a lot more often than you'll see proof of here. So when I actually take a sec to photograph the food and then have another minute to post, I will. For now, here's a little inspiration for a summer salad that I LOVE. If you don't like seafood, stop here.

Summer Shrimp Salad

1 pkg pasta (I usually use shell, but didn't have any this time)
1 lb salad shrimp, cooked and deveined, with tail off
1 cucumber
3-4 roma tomatoes
3/4 c mayonnaise (honestly I've never measured the mayo & ketchup)
1/3 c ketchup
salt & pepper to taste

Boil pasta 'til well done. Let cool. (When I'm in a hurry, I run cold water over it). Rinse shrimp. Cut cucumbers and tomatoes into slices and fourths. Mix with pasta and shrimp. In a separate bowl, mix mayo and ketchup with salt and pepper. Add to pasta, shrimp, and veggies. Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Project Crock Pot - Tried & True!

I have a friend who recently married and has instantly become the mother of three beautiful children. So, she's gone from being single and eating simple to needing to provide healthy, delicious meals for her family of five. She asked me the other day for some of my crock pot recipes and I told her I'd send her some. The more I've thought about it, the more I've thought I have a lot of other friends out there that surely have their best crock pot recipes they'd be willing to share. So, I'm calling for just one crock pot recipe from each of you that read this. The only requisite is that it has to be a recipe that you have tried and is a no-fail recipe. If you have a secret to make it turn out "just right," PLEASE share! And if you have a picture, you know I love pictures, so pass that along too.

Email all recipes to:


Crock Pot Black Beans

So here's my first tried & true Crock Pot recipe! (I know it's against my personal ethics to post a recipe without a picture so I'll add one, next time I make this recipe.)

Since I'm married to a Honduran and my daughter has gone to a Guatemalan babysitter since she was practically born, I live in a house where beans and rice to my husband and daughter are like creamy garlic mashed potatoes for me. They love them. They could eat them daily. They don't, but sometimes it's close. So here's what I have come up with for black beans. It's so easy. And they love it. And it makes me feel like I'm providing something healthy for my family.

2 c dry black beans
a clove or three of garlic
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp cumin

Sort and rinse 2 cups (1 small bag) of black beans. Fill crock pot about half full (or a little more) with water. Add black beans, salt and cumin. Peel garlic and smash with hand. Add garlic to water. Stir. Cover. Cook for about 8 hours on high (Crock post temperatures vary).

*Note: When I'm in a big hurry, I don't even add any garlic or cumin - the water and salt are sufficient. These are delicious served with warm rice, vegetables and a meat dish. Armando likes them for breakfast with eggs. He'd eat them every meal if he could.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Snowball Cookies

I know most people love their chocolate chip cookies, but if I had to choose my favorite cookie, I honestly think this would be it! It's my grandmother Leann's snowball cookie recipe. Sometimes I've heard other people refer to them as Mexican Wedding Cookies. Either way, whatever you want to call them, they are DELICIOUS!


1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup ground walnuts
a small bowl of powdered sugar

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add vanilla, flour, and walnuts. Roll into one inch balls and bake for 30 minutes at 300 F.

Roll in a bowl of powdered sugar when they are hot out of the oven.

After rolling all of the cookies, roll them in the sugar once again for a second coat.

Now, try to be a lady and refrain from eating the whole plate in one sitting. It's difficult!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Shrimp and Mussel Pasta Skillet

This is a recipe I came across online and decided to make for our New Years Dinner this year. It was a delicious way to start out the new year before we thought about any serious dieting resolutions.


1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
20 (26/30 count) shrimp, tail on
28 mussels
20 (20/30 count) scallops
28 kalamata olives
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
20 baby broccoli florets
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons white wine (substituted with chicken broth)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
20 ounces orechiette pasta, cooked al dente
4 tablespoons minced fresh basil
8 ounces shredded Parmesan


Heat olive oil in saute pan. Saute all the seafood for about 2 minutes.

Add olives, tomatoes, and broccoli. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Deglaze the pan with white wine and lemon juice.

Add hot, cooked pasta and finish with the fresh basil and cheese.

It says it serves 4. I'd say that's 4 VERY LARGE plates! We had way too much leftovers. I'd probably halve the recipe next time.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tortilla Soup - Warm Up - South of the Border Style

After reviewing my last several blog entries, I realized why I can't seem to kick those last few pregnancy pounds - too many sweets! So, finally, here's a recipe for a refreshing dish - one that will warm you up in the winter, but isn't so wintry you couldn't make it in the summer with all the fresh ingredients you throw on top. A friend of mine shared this with me - she's been learning some authentic latin food recipes from a woman named Olga. A shout out to Olga for sharing such a delicious dish and for letting me pass it on!


Whole Chicken
1 Celery Stalk
2 Cans Garbanzo Beans
1/4-1/2 Cup Oil
12 Corn Tortillas
1 White Onion
Cilantro Bunch
1 Avocado
1 Can Chipotle Chilies (in Adobo Sauce)
Mexican Oregano
3 1/2 tsp. Salt
6 Cloves Garlic


1. Prepare Chicken:
In LARGE pan, bring 12-14 cups water to boil (Depending on how big your pan is). Add 1/4 whole white onion and 6 garlic cloves (Peeled and Smashed)-Leave big so you can remove later. Rinse whole chicken (Must have bones in it-That's how it gets it's flavor) and place in pan. Boil covered for about 40 minutes. Add 2 tsp. salt. Smash Mexican Oregano in hand (for more flavor), and then add to pan. Continue cooking and drain fat with spoon (You can always tell where the fat is, because it won't be boiling in that place and it just looks dirty and not clear). Add 1 1/2 tsp. more salt. Cook chicken for a minimum of 1 1/2 hours total time or until the chicken doesn't come back at you when you poke it with a fork. When the chicken is fully cooked, remove chicken, onions, and garlic. Discard Onions and Garlic. De bone, skin, and shred chicken.

2. Chop Celery and place in pan with chicken broth from the chicken. Add Garbanzo beans-bring to a boil. While they are cooking, prepare corn tortillas by heating oil in pan (cook on "7"). Cut tortillas in short very thin strips. Fry tortillas until crunchy. Cut in small pieces-onion, cilantro and avocado.

3. Assemble in bowls in this order; First broth, then tortilla chips, onion & cilantro, avocado, and last a spoonful of chipotle sauce.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thanksgiving Cranberries

by Verlin Ammon

Okay, so it has been way too long since I've posted any recipes and I've been kindly reminded by a few of you readers. So, here's to a new start. I do have a few past dishes I've made and just haven't got to putting on so I'll be back-tracking for the next little while.

This is a delicious dish that my friend Corrie's mom shared with me way back in my Colorado days (1999). I've been craving it since the holiday season began and didn't get to making it until after New Years, but as long as it's cold outside and there's still snow on the ground, I think it's still okay to enjoy all the holiday/winter recipes I didn't get to during the busy season.

Combine the following in a mixing bowl:

3 c peeled/diced apples
2 c fresh cranberries (rinsed)
2 Tblsp flour
1 c. sugar
3/4 c chopped pecans (*I added walnuts because I didn't have pecans on hand)

Mix and put in 8x8 buttered casserole dish.

Turn the other way while little fingers try to snag an apple or two.


Mix and sprinkle across apple/cranberry mixture:

**3 pkg instant oatmeal (cinnamon & spice flavor)
1/2 c flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c melted butter

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (or longer . . . when it bubbles around the edges - depends on altitude). Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

**I didn't have packages of instant oatmeal, so I substituted 3/4 c oatmeal, 3/4 tsp cinannamon, 3/4 tsp nutmeg and it turned out delicious.