Easy gingersnap cookies

gingersnaps
Friendsgiving celebrations usually call for a potluck. And when you’re the one who gets assigned the dessert, you don’t mess around. That’s why I pulled together a small batch of these ginger zingers to serve with my husband’s ridiculously good pumpkin ice cream for a recent shindig with friends.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups  flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 7 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Combine your flour, ginger, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Then, in a larger bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, butter, and brown sugar and beat with a mixer at low speed until well blended. Add the honey, vanilla, and egg to your sugar mixture and continue to beat. Now you’re gonna add that initial flour mixture, beating it all together. It will be granular, but well blended. Cover your dough with some plastic warp and freeze for at least half an hour.

Pour your remaining 1/4 cup of sugar onto a small plate and set aside. Lightly coat your hands in cooking spray and go ahead and shape that dough into 1-inch balls. You should end up with about 24-30 gumball-sized balls of dough. Then you’ll roll each ball around in your plate of sugar and place each one a few inches inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake these babies at 350° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool, serve and enjoy with ice cream. If you’re into that.

3-ingredient breakfast meatballs

breakfast meatballs
I brought these into work recently for of a “breakfast narrative” — which a very ad agency way of saying “let’s eat and share stories.” (It’s what we do.) After a colleague tasted them and described them as a “religious experience,” I figured I may as well share the love. There’s nothing to ’em, really.  And since I like ’em spicy, I opted for a spicy sage sausage meatball. Triple threat. Yes, please.

Ingredients:

2 lb Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage, uncooked
5 cups Bisquick baking mix
2 lb shredded cheddar cheese

The type of sausage you choose is all up to you, but here’s how it went down in my kitchen: Add 1 pound of Jimmy Dean sage sausage and 1 pound of Jimmy Dean hot sausage to a large bowl along with the Bisquick and cheese.  Knead it all together like you’re makin’ a meatloaf. Once it’s all gelled together nicely, start rolling out your meatballs (about the size of a golf ball) and place them on a non-stick baking sheet.

Pop ’em in the oven for 25 minutes at 350. Makes 70.
(Yeah, you read that right, so you might wanna cut this in half.)

Cherry tomato Caprese salad

saladAs a fan and frequenter of potluck celebrations, I like to have a few go-to recipe options in my back pocket. Of course this concept works especially well during that window of time about two hours before an event when I realize that I have no olive oil, for example, and then must proceed to the grocery store on the day before Easter. You know eggsactly what I mean.

This sweet and juicy vegetarian dish was a welcome addition to a spread of Franklin Barbecue’s brisket, ribs and smoked turkey at a recent meeting o’ the meats among South Austin’s finest carnivores.

Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
1 pint cherry tomatoes (color’s up to you)
8 ounces of fresh mini mozzarella balls, or “pearls” if you will
10 small basil leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise. Add the tomato halves, along with the cheese to a medium bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the top. Chop the basil neatly and add to taste, along with salt and pepper. (The mozzarella balls I chose came already swimming in some herb-infused olive oil, so I went ahead and substituted that for the 4 tablespoons mentioned above. You do what you gotta do though.) Toss ingredients together and enjoy alongside your main dish or as an entree.

Spicy Sriracha deviled eggs

eggs

I present my contribution to the Super Bowl grub last Sunday. These beauties are also a prime go-to for any pot luck or afternoon snack attack. This is a slightly altered version of The Pioneer Woman’s recipe — adapted to suit my higher heat tolerance. (Un poquito mas picoso, por favor.)

Sriracha Deviled Eggs
Makes about 24, unless you’re a taste-as-you-go kinda gal like me. Then, you might end up with 17. (Treat yo self.)

Ingredients
1 dozen hard-boiled eggs (peeled, sliced open longways, and yolks removed)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoons Sriracha
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Pepper to taste
chives, chopped (optional)

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the yolks with the mayonnaise and Sriracha. Then add the vinegar and pepper. Mash it together until the mixture is pretty smooth. There may still be some small yolky clumps, but pay no mind. Either spoon the filling into the egg halves, or get fancy and use a piping bag, like me. Then, if you’re feeling festive, top each egg with a couple of chives and dot with Sriracha.

Giving peas a chance

purple hull peas

My New Year’s holiday has been marked by the inclusion of traditional Mexican
bunuelos” for as long as I can remember. There were always tamales — and often enough brisket for 17 of your first cousins. But after an evening of sparklers, black snakes and  pop-pop snappers in the driveway,  those delicious discs of fried dough dusted with cinnamon and sugar beat any Roman candle by a long shot.

This year, however,  I opted to partake in the Southern institution of black-eyed peas in the form of a lovely dip, via The Pioneer Woman. Obviously. Tip: Don’t wait until 3 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to secure said peas from grocery store. As expected, the shelf that’s usually lined with the little buggers was barren, so I called up some purple hull peas from the bench. To those who partook in the peas: I apologize in advance if you do not fulfill your New Year’s resolutions as a result of my substitution. Here’s the recipe. Easy peasy. 

¡Feliz Año Nuevo 2014!