Game Day Cookies

gameday cookies

Getting ready for Game Day!!

Anyone who truly knows me, knows I am not a baker.  I don’t enjoy measuring.  I don’t  like flour in my hair. I don’t appreciate my hand mixer mocking me with spewing creamed butter and sugar out of the bowl and into my face.  It’s just not a pretty sight when I try to bake.  But…  I wanted to come up with something cute and clever this year – as well as delicious!  Now, when I think of things that are “delicious” I tend to think of sugary, salty, chocolatey and nutty things.  Basically any dessert that has those 4 components, I will take out the mixer, the flour, the butter, the sugar…   I will come out of the kitchen looking my worst, but who cares when you have all that yumminess to eat?

sugarsaltnut

Since I don’t bake – or even pretend to – I came up with the easy idea of putting 2 of my favorite things together: sugar cookies and a candy bar. I decided I had to do “something” to make them look as good as they taste – and with the “Big Game” coming up, I figured I’d go along with the football craze.  And.. Viola! Perfect ending to any party!  (or just a regular weeknight dessert. or amazing mid-day snack. heck, I’d even have one for breakfast…)

candy&cookies

Recipe:

1 package Sugar Cookie Mix – bake according to package (can’t get easier than that)

2 regular sized candy bars (your choice! It’s fun to experiment!) – chopped

White Icing – (buy a tube… make it really easy for yourself!)

Prepare cookie dough as per directions.  Use cookie cutter or stencil as cut outs. Bake cookies as directed.  (I find baking on parchment paper is always best…  side note: its hard to burn things on parchment )  Halfway through baking time, remove cookies from oven and place chopped pieces of candy on each cookie.  Return to oven and continue baking until edges are golden.  Remove and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes.  Place cookies on rack and continue to cool.  When completely cooled down, drizzle white icing.

Portuguese Peasant Soup

SAM_0089

Homemade soup is the perfect comfort food… but when it’s your grandmother’s recipe the word “comfort” is brought to a whole other level;  childhood memories are thought of fondly, people from your past are missed greatly and the charm of remembering beautiful details are priceless.

As I’m writing this post I can almost hear my grandmother in her thick portuguese accent saying “Oh no! Not that recipe! It’s a soup for when produce and meat are slim, when things are tight. Not a soup for company!”  But I disagree… It’s the perfect soup on a winter day, either with just family or when neighbors stop by.  Soups don’t have to be exquisite to be delicious; they sometimes just have to be what you have on hand and made with love and the yumminess just follows.

As I prepared this meal , my mind would occassionally wander to the “old days” – the days when my cousins and I would run around my grandmothers kitchen as she stood at the stove cooking for her family; the laughter that filled her house on Sunday afternoons when we were all together; the smell of chorizo being cooked in almost every meal…  some of these memories made me laugh and others brought tears to my eyes knowing how blessed I’ve been to be surrounded by great love that brought about great food.  I fully believe I am the cook and the foodie that I am because of my beautiful grandmother…

PORTUGUESE PEASANT SOUP

1/2 yellow onion – chopped

2 TBS olive oil

salt & pepper

1 full link Chorizo sausage (pork-garlic sausage) – sliced thinly

2 russet potatoes – cut into bite sized pieces

2 cups string beans – trimmed and cut in half

handful of grape tomatoes – cut in half

1/2 bunch Kale – washed, trimmed and ripped into bite sized pieces

6 cups stock (chicken, bone or vegetable)

In soup pot, heat oil and saute onions with salt pepper on low heat until softened (about 10 – 15 mintues)  Add chorizo and stir – let “cook” for 5 minutes while stirring occassionally.  Add the potatoes, string beans and tomatoes. Stir.  Add broth and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  Lower heat to simmer – cover pot halfway (to vent) for about 30 minutes.  Remove cover and pierce some of the potatoes to see if they are softened.  If they need to be cooked more, raise the heat to medium and stir every once in awhile until soft.  Add the kale and stir until wilted.   Serve with hearty bread (if you can find Portuguese Bread or Rolls, even better!) and a quick salad of Arugula sprinkled with fresh lemon juice and drizzled with olive oil.  Serves 6