Maraschino shortbread cookies



These must be made using a mixer. Hand mixing will just not work. Also, the butter needs to be completely soft yet not melted. These cookies will not turn out correctly with melted or cold butter. I am also always a fan of being able to bake a whole lot of cookies on one sheet pan in 15 minutes. That alone makes these super cookies to make.


1 cup flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 jar maraschino cherries

2/3 cup salted butter – room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a mixer, cream the butter powdered sugar and cornstarch. Add in the salt. Roll 1 tablespoon sized balls. Place them about 1 inch apart on parchment paper. Indent the center of each cookie using a finger tip. Place 1 cherry of top of each cookie. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Do not allow them to brown. Best eaten when completely cool.








The ultimate fluffy pancakes



This makes about 6-8 pancakes.

1 1/2 cups flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 cups milk

3 tablespoons melted butter
Mix the egg and milk in one bowl. In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Stir after adding little bits to prevent lumps.

When mixed fully, stir in the melted butter.

Cook on a 350 degree griddle. Use a non-stick spray or butter to prevent sticking. Flip once the first side has bubbles that open and it looks like this.



3 pepper casserole – stuffed peppers


This meal cooks in about 45 minutes. It is a one pan meal so it does not require much clean up. It tastes best if made the morning before eating or even the day before. It warms really well in the oven.


1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 large green bell pepper, diced

2 large sweet banana peppers, sliced into rings

1 large jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced

1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 cups beef broth OR 1 1/2 cups water with 2 teaspoons bouillon

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes


In a large skillet, saute the ground beef until fully cooked. Break it into small pieces as it cooks. Add the garlic and onion. Saute another 3-5 minutes. Add the peppers, cook another 3-5 minutes.


Add the uncooked rice. Saute another 5 minutes stirring often. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, paprika, thyme, black pepper, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil. Stir. Cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to low or just above (maintain a slow simmer). Simmer for 25-30 minutes. Do not lift lid and stir while cooking unless it appears that the water has all disappeared.


After 25 minutes, lift lid and fluff. Test the rice to make sure it is tender. If it is not, cook another 3-5 minutes and add water if needed. When finished, remove the lid and allow it to sit without stirring much for 5-10 minutes. Stirring too much when just cooked with cause the rice to become mushy.

Place the mixture in a prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese (optional). At this point, either move to the oven or refrigerate.


Bake in a 350 degree oven covered for 30 minutes.



Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies


1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 stick butter, softened

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cup flour

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a mixer, combine peanut butter and butter until fluffy. Add the egg, then vanilla, then milk. Add the sugars. Next add the baking soda and baking powder. Finally add the flour. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Roll into 1-2 tablespoon amounts. Do not flatten. Place each 2-3 inches apart. Bake 11-12 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes prior to removing from pan.



Chocolate chip muffins


2 eggs beaten

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup butter melted

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Combine all the dry ingredients. In a separate combine eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry ingredients without over mixing. Bake in a prepared pan in a 375 degree oven for 13-15 minutes.


Angel biscuits

These are the ultimate southern style biscuits that are perfect for a large covering of sausage gravy. They are dense but fluffy all at the same time.




3 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 package quick rise yeast

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup water – warm to 110 degrees

melted butter


Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Heat the water and buttermilk to 110-120 degrees. Add the yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Add the yeast mixture and oil to the dry ingredients and mix well. Kneed for 4-6 minutes. Cover and let rise for 10-30 minutes. Divide the dough into 1/2 cup portions. Roll into circles. Place with edges touching in a greased 9×13 baking dish. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18-25 minutes. Brush the tops with melted butter when removing from the oven.





Green chili hash browns



This turns out thin and crispy, not thick and soft as some varieties do.


1/2 package frozen hash browns

4 beaten eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 cup pepper jack cheese

2 4 ounce cans mild green chilies – undrained

1 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 or 11×13 baking dish. Mix the eggs, mild, cheese, green chilies and salt. Fold in the frozen potatoes.

Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-60 minutes (depending on how crispy you like the potatoes).




Garlic and rosemary Focaccia


4 cups flour

1 3/4 cup warm water – 110 degrees

1 packet instant yeast – 2 1/4 teaspoons

1 tablespoon salt

3/4 cup olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary  – 1 extra large sprig – divided

Himalayan salt for topping


Mix together the flour, yeast, sugar, 1 tablespoon rosemary, garlic powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in the warm water and 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Mix using the dough hook for 5-6 minutes. Cover the bowel with plastic wrap and place in a warm place or bread proof oven setting for 2 hours. It will double in size.


Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup of the olive oil on a baking sheet or cookie pan. Press the dough into the baking sheet and make sure it fills all to the edges. Poke small holes in the bread using your finger tip – this will help keep it in place. Cover and allow the bread to rise for another 60 minutes.

Sprinkle the top with rosemary and Himalayan salt. Remove the plastic wrap. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.


Broccoli cheese casserole


WOW! This is definitely a grown up version of a comfort food I loved as a kid. As I have already said, I do not like Velveeta or cheese whiz (which many of these recipes have). This packs a ton of flavor with real cheese ingredients. It is not dry and not over wet. It is really as perfect combination. It is a also a great way to use leftover rice.


1 leek, cleaned and trimmed white parts only

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 shallot, diced

1 large head fresh broccoli, trimmed

4 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon mustard powder

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups cooked white rice – leftover works great

2 cups milk

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, diced small or shredded

3 tablespoons cream cheese

1/2 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed


Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the broccoli florets. Boil 3-5 minutes. Drain well and allow to drain in a strainer while preparing the rest so that all of the water is removed.


In a saucepan, melt the butter and cook the onion, shallot, and leek for 5-10 minutes or until soft but not caramelized. Add the dry mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir well.

Add the flour. Mix well. Slowly add in the milk stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Cook while stirring 2-3 minutes. Add in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Stir constantly until melted. Remove from the heat.


In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, rice, and cheese sauce. Mix fully. Pour this into a prepared 8×10 casserole pan. Top with the crushed Ritz crackers. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until top is just browned.




Grandma Mullich’s Cheesecake


No spring form pan? Don’t want to mess with baking in a water bath? No problem.

While this is not a super tall New York style cheesecake, it compares with any small bakery style cheesecakes that are typically frozen. This is MUCH better. Use any topping that you choose… fruit, snickers bars, whipped cream, nothing…. you choose.


1 graham cracker crust

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 large eggs – yolks and whites divided

1/3 cup sour cream

2 tablespoon powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind – optional


In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy on high speed.

Add in the sweetened milk. Add in the yolks of 2 eggs. Add the sour cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon rind, and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the beaten egg whites into the cream cheese mixture. Pour this mixture into the crumb crust.

Bake in 300 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until center is set to a finger touch. Cool completely before adding any toppings. It is best to cool and refrigerate overnight before serving.