Pecan Sandras

As any great baker will know, it is always exciting to try a new recipe.  Though they might not turn out correctly the first time or taste the way you thought it would, experimentation is the key to finding those great “go-to” recipes.   Over the holiday, I tried a few new cookie recipes, two of which were from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl and Griffith Day.  I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the treats that I made and that the recipes were easy to follow.  I will go as far to suggest that you pick this book up ASAP.  Don’t forget that our favorite QVC host, David Venable, endorses this book on ITKWD as well.  I made some minor adjustments to the size of the cookie but other than that, the recipes were fantastic.  Pecan Sandras are to die for and lucky for you I’m sharing the recipe (FYI Sadie enjoyed these as well).

IMG_0213

Ingredients

2 sticks butter unsalted, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 1/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups pecans

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.  Line two cookies sheets with parchment or use a Silpat.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt on medium speed.  If you are using salted butter, simply omit the salt or just add a smaller amount.  You can taste the batter after you add the flour to see if you need to make any adjustment.  Turn the speed to low and add the flour slowly.  Add the pecans and mix until just incorporated.  Do not overmix as the batter will get tough.

Finish mixing by hand to make sure all the bits of flour and butter are combined.  Use a small scoop to form the cookies.  I prefer about a one inch ball.  Place it on the prepared cookie sheet and then flatten the cookie slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake the cookie for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.  The cookies should be lightly golden when done.  Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Once the cookies are cool enough to handle, smother them in confectioners’ sugar.  They are simply delectable and ready for tasting!  Who knows?…they might be perfect for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day!

Advertisements

Food Trends in My Kitchen: Chia Seeds

As you may or may not know, I am a rather picky eater. That was just the understatement of the century. I’m the pickiest eater I know. I’ll own it, I know it’s obnoxious and annoying and within my control. There are always improvements to be made.

Anywho, that tangent was supposed to bring us to the idea that I’m not the most receptive eater when it comes to new ingredients. This month, however, in the spirit of the new year, I’ve tried to incorporate a couple new/different foods into my regular routine. One of my new faves: chia seeds.

chia seeds

I know, I’m late to get on this bandwagon, but better late than never! I’ve dabbled with them previously, but I’m definitely starting to eat them on the regular these days.

Chia seeds are a funny thing. I have thrown them into granola bar recipes in the past, and they came out quite well. I flipped on the TV while I was getting dressed for work the other day, and the first thing I saw was Dr. Oz telling me to put a tablespoon of chia seeds into water for a quick snack to satisfy hunger. I am always hungry so this intrigued me. Then later that same day, I saw a quick video on the internet about several super foods and their benefits, and chia seeds were first on the list because they help burn fat. Sign me up!

So that was a long way to say that I bought some chia seeds and have started adding them to my oatmeal, or putting them in water for a quick afternoon snack to hold me over to dinner. They get a slightly weird gelatinous texture when they are submerged in water, but they have no taste so you can add them to anything really. Since I’ve only started eating them regularly a couple weeks ago, so I can’t brag about any specific ways they have changed my life, but I’ll keep you posted!

Here’s the play by play of my oatmeal assembly:

Chia seeds on top, mixed in, then some almond butter and walnuts and it's a meal!
Chia seeds on top, mixed in, then some almond butter and walnuts and it’s a meal!

What new/different food has found it’s way into your pantry lately?

The Grammys: Pretty and Crazy

You can’t really do a “best and worst” dressed for the Grammys because it’s usually a lot more creative in the clothes department than the average awards show. So I went with “pretty and crazy” because I don’t want to judge the crazy outfits, I just want to identify them so you can draw your own conclusions. (all the pics come from People.com as usual)

Pretty

Colbie Caillat: This beach girl cleans up pretty good. It’s a tad formal for the Grammys, but when it works, it works!

ColbieCaillat

Ciara: For a pregnant woman, I like that she picked something a little interesting but still flattering. Sometimes she can be a little extra fashion forward, but this look strikes a balance between fashion and glamour.

Ciara

Chrissy Teigen: Another good choice in gold. Nothing too original, but I think she does look fabulous.

ChristineTeigen

Crazy

Zendaya: This is just strange. Usually, she’s a little sleeker and more modern, but this one is a miss.

Zendaya

Katy Perry: I guess Katy Perry was trying to be a little whimsical with this, but it has musical notes on it… It’s a little obvious. She reminds me of the school teacher from the Magic School Bus who dressed according to the lesson plan.

KatyPerry

Sara Bareilles: I don’t think this overly offensive but it’s not a good look. Between the high-low hem and the feathers it’s just a little too weird.

SaraBareilles

Cute Couple Alert!

Pink and Carey Hart looked super cute!

CareyandPink