Quick Recipes and Easy

In the Kitchen

Cooking and family recipes were always something huge in my family. I was raised in a home where my family taught me to do a lot of cooking, which quickly became one of my favorite things to do. Through the years, my mother’s and grandmother’s kitchen were filled with scrumptious treats and groups of people collaborating in the kitchen. Below, are a few recipes I’m pleased to share.

As a child, these cookies were always abundant in our kitchen during the holidays.

Aunt Colleen’s Cookies

1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour (add more if dough seems too thin)
finely chopped pecans or almonds (optional)
strawberry or apricot jam

Beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add sugar, vanilla, almond extract, and flour while blending well. Chill dough 2 to 4 hours. Roll dough into small balls, then roll in the chopped nuts, if using; place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Make an indention in the middle of each cookie and fill with jam. Bake at 300° for about 25 to 35 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned on the bottom. Normally, I don’t use the nuts in these cookies, but I’ve had them both ways and they are tasty!

If you like mushrooms, this is a delectable appetizer!

Lexi’s Stuffed Mushroom Caps

12-14 large fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped green onion (scallions)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup or 1 oz. of crumbled bleu (blue) cheese
1/3 cup fine dry Italian bread crumbs
Few dashes of salt & pepper
Few dashes of crushed red pepper

Remove stems from mushrooms; chop stems. Cook stems and green onion in butter until tender. Add cheese, 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Fill mushroom crowns with mixture; sprinkle remaining crumbs. Bake in 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.

Trust me when I say that I was never a huge artichoke fan, but this is super yummy. Also, it’s fabulous to serve at a holiday get together because it’s simple:

Lexi’s Baked Spinach & Artichoke Dip:

1 package frozen chopped spinach
1 small jar of marinated artichoke hearts
1 small container of sour cream (8oz)
1 package of soft cream cheese (8oz)
1 package of shredded Italian blend cheeses
Few dashes of dried red pepper flakes
Few dashes of garlic powder

i.e. Mozzarella/Asiago/Parmesan. Every grocery store usually carries a mix blend of Italian shredded cheeses.

Preparation & Final Touches:
In a bowl mix thawed spinach, drained artichoke hearts, sour cream, spices, and cream cheese. Place the mixture into a casserole dish and top with the shredded cheese. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for approximately 25/30 minutes. Serve warm with tortilla chips, or slices of very lightly toasted French/Italian bread.

Lexi is an author on Writing.Com/which Writing.Com/which is a site for Writing.Com/ Creative Writing.

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