Saturday, December 31

No Recipe, No Rules but Sufficiently Worthy

  Anybody out there feel like they are in a "rut"? You love God, family, home and country but somehow the sound of your own voice inside of your head drives you slightly nuts. Am I alone here? Anybody? Well I do. At times.
  I've said it before, I lead a small life, sufficiently worthy, but small. Sufficiently worthy...what's that? It's sad is what it is! It means that I meet the requirements of a Christian, wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece and friend. No more. No less. And if I'm going to be totally honest here there are times when I'm not even that. I don't quite reach that mark I have set in my brain. I think it's my mother's fault. I'm pretty sure she is the one that set such a high mark in my mind that I can't quite get there. FYI: This is a compliment. My mom's the best.  But isn't it always the mother's fault? 
  Truly, for the most part life is GOOD here at Porter South. We all take care of our routines sufficiently which keeps the cogs turning and our sails in place. But what if I wanted my sails full of wind, living life to the fullest, the largest instead of just meeting my quota? Do I live the life I lead because I enjoy the security of my mundane rut or because I am afraid of change or have a fear of failure? There is a Ronda way back in there somewhere buried beneath years of kids, commitments and the daily grind. She has been praying and seeking God's perfect will for the answer to "What's next Lord? The kids are gone and no longer need me, there's only so much cleaning one woman can what's next?" She hasn't found the answer yet. While continuing her daily routine, the rut, she is still in search for the answer to her question.  Ever ready to fight her way out to fulfill that part of her that thinks, wishes, hopes, and dreams of living a life that is LARGE.
  Now you may ask yourself WHAT in the world does that have to do with a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of tomato soup. I have no idea...just is after all NewYear's Eve. This sandwich is my favorite go to "it's cold, I don't feel good, Greg's working late" meal. I could eat this everyday. I believe that's considered a rut? Doesn't matter, I love it anyway. So here it recipe, no rules...this is how I make a grilled cheese sandwich.
Things You Will Need:
-2 slices of your favorite bread
-spreadable butter or margarine
-2-3 slices of your favorite cheese, I use Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Gruyere or Swiss and your old fashioned gonna kill you early American Processed Cheese
-4-5 slices of lunch meat, I use Oscar Mayer's Smoked's extremely thin
-Poppy seeds
-Garlic powder
  In my T-Fal non-stick skillet I lay my ham out for two reasons:1. It makes the ham hot which aids in melting the cheese and 2. It just tastes better...what can I say, it's true. While it is warming up butter the bread, move the ham out of the way and lay down your first piece of bread, top it with 1 piece of cheese and all of your warm ham. Sprinkle poppy seeds and garlic powder over the ham and top that with your remaining cheese, 1 or 2 slices..whatever you prefer, and second piece of buttered bread. Grill until golden and and the cheese is melted. It is very rich. Mr. P and I usually split a sandwich. We eat this with good old fashioned Campbell's Tomato soup. FYI, in the bottom of our cups I crumble up Cabot's Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese. I LOVE THIS CHEESE!! Then I pour the oh so hot soup over said cheese. Oh the joys of Winter, a bless-ed warm house, someone to love, someone to snuggle with and the utter bliss of comfort food!
*Get creative. You can add anything to this sandwich and it would be yummy. Avocado thinly sliced with bacon, Peaches (I happen to love this combo), apple, basil-tomato and mozzarella cheese...if it sounds good try it, you just might like it.

  Mr. P is in a state of heavy sleep. He is the only one that knows where my pictures are on the computer. I will post pictures or slide show tomorrow.

Thursday, December 29

Sesame Street, Motherhood and Hobo Hamburgers

I have been extremely fortunate as a wife and mother to stay at home and take care of my babies. Well they used to be babies,  now they are 23 and 16. Choosing to become a stay at home mom was a difficult decision to make. What was I going to do all day? How would I deal with these little people all by myself? How was I going to make it through an entire day with no adult conversation? Could I possibly watch one more episode of Sesame Street without running down the street stark raving mad? Can WE financially make this decision fly? I question everything, not one of my better qualities. 

I have been a stay at home mom for 23 years now. That's a long time and to be sure there have been the highs and the lows, good days and bad. Let's face it, sometimes being a stay at home mom can be a thankless job. But I look at my children now and see how blessed I have been to stay here and watch them learn and grow. Words alone can’t express how rewarding and rough it can be. However, I would not trade all of my hugs, kisses and “I love yous” for any other job in the world.

So what did I do to fill the void? Other than taking care of the kids, Cooking and Decorating became my passions. The early 1990's brought cooking and decorating shows to television. something other than Sesame Street, yea! I became an avid reader of design and cook books. I was truly in my element, I had found my niche. There were days I would spend hours in the kitchen cooking an elaborate dinner. Over time things change and learning ways to cut time in the kitchen served my family well. The older our children became we began to find less and less time for dinner around the table. It seemed like we were always on the go and in different directions. 

This recipe for Hobo Hamburgers is an easy and quick dinner for a family on the go.  It is quick and easy to prepare, you can even assemble these little foil packets the night before and pop them in the oven when you come in from work the following day. Easy Peasy! I serve this with a green salad, and my husband and kids LOVE this meal. It truly is the definition of comfort food. 
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  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 2 teaspoons House Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 4 medium red potatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into strips
  • 4 slices bacon

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl combine ground beef, cracker crumbs, egg, lemon juice, cheese, green pepper and House Seasoning. Mix well. Shape into 4 patties.
  • Place each patty onto 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil (enough to cover and close). 
  • On each patty, place potato slices, onion slices, and carrots. Slice bacon in 1/2 and place both slices on top. 
  • Seal aluminum foil tightly and cook in a preheated 350 degree F oven for approximately 45 minutes.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
  *I have used saltine cracker crumbs as well as dried bread crumbs. For the cheese I use Cabot extra-sharp cheddar cheese, but you can use whatever you've got. Once my foil packets are finished cooking I drain off any excess fat before serving. If you have little ones that won't eat a full portion you can cut this recipe down to 1 pound ground beef and measure other ingredients accordingly. 

quick, easy, weeknight, family, meal, economical, beef. ground. potatoes, foil

Saturday, December 24

Laughter, Raisin Pie and Snugglin'!

What a wonderful day! A day spent with Greg and the kids. Baking pies, watching movies, playing games, puzzles!, wrapping last minute gifts and stopping long enough to enjoy the sound of my family laughing together. We are most definitely NOT a perfect family...we have our moments. I'm trying to learn and stop long enough to enjoy and appreciate my little family of four. I am NOT the most laid back person you will ever meet, I hate that about myself. Note to self: work on that. Lord help me become less tense and enjoy life. The life You have blessed me with! Today has just been a good day to stop and ponder over all of the things I have to be thankful for. God IS good! So this will be a short post today, I'm going to go and snuggle with E. She wants to watch A Christmas Carol w/ George C. Scott. Not my favorite version but visually beautiful. I might even have a piece of Raisin Pie!! Time spent with my daughter...does it get ANY better than this?

Raisin Pie ala Mom
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  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1 stick butter, room temp            
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. 
  • Add vinegar, mix. 
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating after each egg. 
  • Add all other ingredients and bake for 45 minutes or until set. 

Mary, a mother, kissed the face of God. Think about it! God "IN" man...isn't it just awe inspiring? We are blessed.

raisins, pecans, southern, Christmas, memories, love, Mom, tradition, family, pie

Friday, December 23

Christmas Dinner and Family Memories

Like other families on Christmas, our family shares a wonderful and traditional dinner together...buffet style. Just as Christmas Day would not be the same without all of our family around the dinner table, Christmas dinner would not be the same without our time tested menu. Starting with a spiral cut Ham as the center piece of our meal each family member brings their own signature dishes to our Christmas table. I thought I would share with you the recipes that we use EVERY year at Christmastime and also introduce to you my little family. They are the precious individuals that make our dinning experience so special. It's more than just Christmas Dinner. It's the joyous wonder of family memories! Never forget, "It's not what's on the Plates that matter, It's the loved ones in the Chairs."

 Elizabeth Morganne Porter

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 This dish is one of E's favorites. Baked Corn is not new to our table, we have been baking and eating this for years. Elizabeth has now taken over the task of preparing our beloved corn.

  • 1 can corn, drained 
  • 1 can cream-style corn
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 stick of butter/margarine melted
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. flour

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients well, pour into a round baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes. We double this recipe when our whole family gets together. Pour into a 13x9 inch glass baking dish. Stand Back! This will soon become a favorite of your family's as well.  

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What my sister can do with a can of green beans is near to miraculous! My strictly no "green" eating child will even eat these green beans. 


  • 6 cans of whole green beans
  • 6 pieces of thick cut bacon
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 6 chicken bouillon
  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  •  salt to taste

Fry the bacon in a stock pot that is big enough to hold the green beans. Add onion and saute on medium-high heat until tender. Add garlic and saute, watch the do not want your garlic to brown. Add butter, bouillon, green beans, freshly cracked pepper to the stock pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, turn   heat to low and simmer for at least 2 hours, assuring that the green beans soak up all of that scrumptious broth!! 


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Mom and Dad bought  
sorghum syrup on the side of the road years ago. You know the comes in a silver looking paint can. The older the syrup became the better our sweet potatoes turned out! If all I had on Christmas Day was Mom's glazed Ham and candied sweet potatoes, I  would be one happy woman!


  • 8-9 good sized sweet potatoes,

roasted until soft; peel off the skin
  • 1 cup sorghum syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 sticks of butter 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  Using a large shallow oven proof dish, arrange potatoes in a single layer. Combine all other ingredients in a jar or bowl. Microwave on high until bubbly; pour mixture over potatoes. Place in a 350 degree oven and cook for 45 minutes. We cook ours longer...the stickier the better! I must tell you when I think of a classic cook I think of women like my mother. She cooks by taste. You can't do that when you bake, but cooking is a whole other story. For her sweet potatoes she keeps throwing goodies in the jar until it taste wonderful! Between the two of us, this was the closest recipe we could figure out that would do her sweet potatoes justice. When we came to the honey and how much to add mom said, "Oh, I didn't have any honey in the pantry. I found 6 leftover packets of honey from Popeye's Chicken that I threw in the jar!" Now is that a cook or WHAT! 

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This recipe has been in our family longer than I would like to admit. Mainly because I am the only family member to have ever cooked this wonderful side dish! I have never had a recipe only "guesstimations". You need to know how many people you will be serving. I know for my little family of four I use 3 yellow crook-necked squash and one good size zucchini. When you go to purchase the squash/zucchini just keep in mind a 2 to 1 ratio. It doesn't have to be precise, believe me it will taste wonderful! This version of the recipe will serve 10-12 people.

  • 8-9 good sized yellow crook necked squash
  • 4 large zucchini
  • 1 white onion, sliced not diced
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
  • 5 chicken bouillon squares

Using a vegetable peeler lightly peel the squash and zucchini. Slice all, set aside. Slice the onion and place in a pot large enough to hold all of the veggies. Add the butter and bouillon. In an alternating fashion add the squash and zucchini to your pot, cover with lid. Cook over medium-high heat. Keep pot covered. When it begins to sizzle, around 5 minutes, stir well and re-cover pot with lid. Stir often. Make sure to re-cover the pot each time you stir. It takes very little time to cook, maybe an additional 10-15 minutes until very tender.

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My grandmother, Little Gran was the Deviled Egg aficionado in our family. It didn't matter if we were eating Christmas dinner or hamburgers in the backyard, all of the kids...big and little alike ....demanded LG's Deviled Eggs. She passed away earlier this year at the age of 92 and the baton has been passed to Ann. 

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
  • 1 good size spoonful of brown mustard
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Oscar Mayer real bacon bits
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • Kosher salt if needed, taste mixture before adding

Place eggs in large stock pot, cover with cold water and lid. Place over high heat. As soon as you hear the eggs boiling remove from heat, keeping lid in place. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Drain; place them in cold water, adding a few handfuls of ice to keep the eggs from continuing to cook. When cool, peel, half and put yolks into mixing bowl. Mix in all other ingredients except the green top of the diced onions and salt. Mix well, taste for salt adding if needed. Fill a zip lock bag with yolk mixture, cut off the corner and pipe filling into egg halves. Using the tops of the chopped green onions, sprinkle over eggs. Refrigerate until dinner....YUM!




Wednesday, December 21

Caramel Apple Muffins & All That Jazz!

Almost two months ago Jared came home for my birthday. With him came 4 Jazz apples. Have you heard of these apples? They were foreign to me until I found them in my new refrigerator, fruit bin bottom right. This is not the first time he has brought food to the house from his apartment and almost certainly I can count on the said food being healthy. Jared is a health nut, so when I found these apples I knew where they had come from. I am not a huge apple e-mails please. I do love fruit, but apples would not be my first choice. Shove a stick in one and wrap it up in caramel and I'm your girl! Not real sure where Jared picked up his views on healthy eating.
Jazz apples growing in New Zealand.
  The following conversation was my introduction to the Jazz Apple. I took the apples out of the fridge and put them on the kitchen counter. Jared comes in, stage left, and asks,"why are my apples not in the refrigerator where I left them?" Me, standing at the kitchen sink,..."Jared, I took them out because you should never leave apples in the fruit bin. They make all of the other fruit ripen too fast and spoil. I thought everyone knew that." Jared, in disbelief says,..."well these are Jazz Apples, I think they are different, they won't make the other fruit spoil." Me, getting irritated..."Jared an apple is an can it be any different?" He takes out his rather large pocket knife, I'll leave the knife story for another day, and he cut up one of his coveted Jazz apples and held it out for me to take. First bite, it's good. It's different tasting. I can't quite put my finger on what it is that tastes different. I take another bite, chew, chew, chew....hummmm I do believe it IS truly different from any other apple I have eaten....and it's GOOD!  Chewing, I look at the ceiling. Chewing, I look at the floor. I look anywhere that is not in the general direction of where Jared is standing. Okay so how do I get out of this gracefully?  Coughing I say,...."well son I do believe you are right, that is THE best apple I have ever eaten. Sorry." He turns to leave the kitchen and over his shoulder he throws out, "Yeah, right and All That Jazzzzz Mom." I almost choked on my apple. Really? What 23 year old knows the phrase "All That Jazz"?
   I must say they were great apples and quite frankly too good to bake in a muffin. We ate the apples and I used Romas for these muffins. When these muffins come out of the oven they are gone in under 30 minutes in my house. They are THE BEST muffins I bake, truly. Blue Ribbon winners. Read the recipe...just a bit more time intensive than other muffin recipes but well worth your time. Trying to impress your in-laws Christmas Morning?  This will do it! Good Luck and Enjoy!! 

Caramel-Apple Muffins
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  •  1 (3-pound) bag small apples   (12 to 14 apples)  
  •  2 cups sugar
  •  1 cup vegetable oil
  •  3 large eggs, lightly beaten  
  •  2 teaspoons vanilla extract  
  •  3 cups all-purpose flour  
  •  2 teaspoons ground cinnamon  
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt  
  •  2 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted and divided
  • Peel, core, and cut 4 apples into 24 (1/4-inch-thick) rings. Sauté apple rings, in batches, in a lightly greased skillet over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet, and place 1 apple ring in the bottom of each of 24 lightly greased muffin pan cups.
  • Peel and finely chop enough remaining apples to equal 3 cups. Set aside.
  • Stir together sugar and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add to sugar mixture, stirring just until blended. (Batter will be stiff.) Fold in finely chopped apples and 1 cup pecans.
  • Spoon batter evenly over apple rings in muffin pan cups, filling cups three-quarters full.
  • Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan, apple rings up, on a wire rack.
  • Press the handle of a wooden spoon gently into the center of each apple ring, forming a 1-inch-deep indentation in the muffins. Spoon warm Quick Caramel Frosting evenly over muffins, filling indentations. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans.

Quick Caramel Sauce: 
  •  2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  •  1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar  
  •  1/2 cup butter
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Place all ingredients in a heavy 3-quart saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture reaches a pudding-like thickness. Remove from heat.
  • Quick Caramel-Pecan Frosting: Prepare Quick Caramel Frosting as directed; remove from heat, and stir in 1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans.


Tuesday, December 20

Eatin' Cuties!

Cutie Clementines
If you have spent anytime reading my blog you already know I love citrus fruit. Pardon me though, I don't think you know at what level my love for citrus fruit is really on. Like, did you know that I eat one or two really large grapefruits everyday? Now you could say, "Well she is eating all of that grapefruit to help her lose weight". Have you seen me lately? That is NOT why I eat grapefruit. I truly have a passion for ALL things tart. At all times there are lemons, limes, oranges, clementines, and grapefruit in the house. Grapefruit must be Rio Star...OH...just the best! And the clementines..oh well....
Greg's artwork.
  ...Have you tried the clementines? They're the Cuties! I love that name. Sort of like the Kewpie Dolls from the 20's and 30's. I am hooked on the Cutie Clementines. When you take your first bite there is this total explosion of flavor all at once. Divine I tell you. Then you chew and it just keeps getting better. One is NOT enough, slightly addictive they can be, so watch out. The Cuties are a comin'!
  Seeing as how I am the LAST person that should hand out dieting advice, you can stop reading at this point if you like. Those of you that are just desperate enough to stick with me I have only one small tip for you. If you have numerous parties to attend this Christmas and New Year's Eve, you will be consuming more calories than normal. That's just a given,  we are AWARE! On the days that you have a party to attend drink as much water as you can and substitute a meal with a small piece of fruit or salad. DO NOT skip it. I don't even have to be with you to know what will happen if you skip a meal, because I have done the same thing! You will be really hungry and all of those luscious "little" hor devours will look harmless enough until they start calling your name. It happens. We're human. Think water. Think small salad. Think fruit. If all else fails you will be so full of water you know where your time will be spent at that party....and it won't be over the buffet table! Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!
Merry, Merry!

One Crazy Weekend: A Cat, A Concert and A Cookie Party!

A crazy, hectic weekend was had by all in the Porter Family! It was exceedingly busy and physically tiring. Packed full of  wonderful new memories that will be filed away in our minds to enjoy another day. We hit the ground running this past Friday and barely looked up until yesterday afternoon.

Elizabeth hosted her annual Christmas Cookie Decorating Party. This was E's 5th year to host this particular party. We all have our assignments. I am the baker and general overseer at this sugar loaded shindig.  Greg is the chauffeur and sanitation duty officer, he takes out the trash, and if Jared  happens to be home he eats what has been left behind. Ha! Yeah right! Like that never happens! I love listening to the girls laughing and talking about their teachers, boys.."Oh man did you see that awesome-looking new guy on the Fear Factor?", talk of the latest fashions, the top forty and the latest drama  unfolding at school, "did you hear about ___and___? They broke up again. That's like the 3rd time", "well I knew it wouldn't last", "they fought all of the time".  They do all of this while decorating their cookies and singing along with the Christmas music that's playing on the stereo. They are fantastic at multi-tasking!! In years past the girls have gone out caroling in our neighborhood.

On occasion they have been given money {which they LOVE}, hot cocoa, candy and more cookies. The girls have even played Santa's Helpers for the little old man around the corner who dresses up like Santa Claus. Our neighborhood really does Christmas proud.  Ninety percent of the houses here in our little corner of the world are covered in Christmas lights, from the chimney tops all the way down to the side walks. We actually have "traffic" in the neighborhood every weekend in December. Cars, limos and even buses, it's really insane! The girls enjoy walking around looking at lights, singing and generally being silly. Do you remember being 16? This year they dressed up and went to the all night Walmart to find some amusement. Don't ask. 

Saturday was a joy....E had a Deb event. The girls were asked to meet and greet people that were coming in for the Symphony's Christmas Concert. If you have a daughter you already know these kinds of events are a family effort. It is not just an evenings obligation to be met by E. It was more like mom and dad putting on a full scale Broadway musical! I spent the majority of the day sewing flowers on her formal. Then she had to get the big hair to go along with the big make-up, mani-pedi and then  we helped her in to her formal.

By the time we left for the symphony hall I was warm. I'm a mother, Elizabeth's mom, she is a sweet and giving young lady who just happens to be a Debutante this year. We have enjoyed her Deb year so far. Looking forward to the Cotillion and presentation of all these beautiful young ladies. All of our efforts with the Deb program have been well worth our time. The girls looked beautiful and the music was a much needed boost of Christmas Spirit. The evening was magical and we all had a wonderful time. 

Sunday is ALWAYS busy around here, church, lunch and of course a Sunday nap. Jared happened to be home...cookies were ALL gone at this point. He had to work from 12 am to 8 am on Monday so he headed back to Denton in the middle of the night. To our surprise he decided to come back home after work instead of  going to his apartment. He was home by the time E left for school Monday morning. I love it when he is home.

 We finally found ourselves settled back into our usual routine. It's raining this morning and that's no fun. There are pies to bake and candy to make, gifts to be bought and wrapped, stockings to be stuffed and not a lot of time left. Greg and I are SO ready to sit back and enjoy just know what I mean? Being with each other, being with our kids, being with our family and friends. Just enjoy being still for awhile. How do you type the sound of a sigh? Christmas. Visiting. Laughing. Reminiscing. Playing. Loving. Being. So bring it on I say....the P's are ready!

Here is the cookie recipe I use for E's Cookie Parties. It's Martha's. They make THE best base for royal icing. I have tried many recipes over the years and I find this one to be sturdy, crisp on the outside and tender in the middle, and not too sweet. You really don't want a sweet cookie, 
Royal icing is  sweet enough on it's own. This cookie makes the perfect pairing for icing.
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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Royal Icing, assorted candies, sprinkles, or colored sugars for decorating
  • In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. 
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. 
  • With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; mix until combined.
  • Divide dough in half; flatten into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic; place in fridge until firm, at least 20 minutes, or place in a resealable plastic bag, and freeze up to 3 months (thaw in refrigerator overnight).
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment. 
  • Remove one dough disk; let stand 5 minutes. 
  • Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheets.  
  • Re-roll scraps; cut shapes. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Bake, rotating halfway through, until edges are golden, 8 to 10 minutes (depending on size). You do not want them brown.
  • Cool completely on wire racks. 
  • Ice cookies. Let the icing harden, about 20 minutes, before stacking.
To make icing Royal Icing: Sift 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar into a small bowl. Whisk in 3 to 4 tablespoons milk, water, or lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If too thin, whisk in more sugar; if too thick, add more liquid. Divide into small bowls and add food coloring. I use Wilton's cake icing color.       


  • I use Betty Crocker's Cookie Icing for the basic colors. NOT cake icing..there is a difference. Cookie icing hardens, cake icing does not. I do however make the icing for the colors you won't find in the, hot pink, turquoise and so on. It saves me huge amounts of time and stress. BC's icing actually tastes as good or better than Martha's and less messy! I don't skip the cookies though. Using a roll of store bought sugar cookie dough will lead to disappointment. They do not hold their defined shapes. Just my opinion, do as you wish and ENJOY!
  • Best if you pop your cut cookie dough  straight into the oven from the fridge. 
  • I usually always triple this recipe, freezing the dough not used. I pull it out to make Cookie Hearts for Valentine's Day. One less thing to take care of in February!! 

Here they are on their way to the all-night Walmart, with Mr.P in tow. I blissfully took a hot shower and went to bed! Girls Just Want To Have Fun!!!