Ask Terri a cooking question

HOME | Cooking Basics | Kitchen Tools | Cooking Tips | Ingredients | Wine & Food | About Terri

« November 2014 | Main | January 2015 »

December 23, 2014

Nancy's Christmas cutout cookie recipe

This is another cookie recipe that was provided at our girl's scuba club cookie swap. We each brought 2 dozen of our favorite cookie to swap and at the end, we all went home with an abundant variety of new cookies on our tray.

Makes 24 cookies


Step 1:

1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 ounces cream cheese
one egg

Step 2:

2 cups plain all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients in step 1 together.

Sift together all ingredients in step 2.

Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine.

Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

Roll out cookies and cut into shapes. Decorate with colored sugar, candies and nuts. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes prior to baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until cookie dough sets.

To frost, allow to cool first.

Posted by terri at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)

Cream Cheese Brownie Cookies

Another favorite to add to my Christmas Cookie list. Thanks to the girl's scuba club, (we're called the TIPSEA MERMAIDS), for providing this recipe. It was yummy.

Makes 24


1 (19.5 ounce) brownie mix
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 egg
2 cups white or dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside

In bowl beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in egg and continue mixing until incorporated

Turn mixer to low and add in brownie mix until dough comes together. It will be very thick.

Stir in white chocolate chips

Using large cookie scoop, scoop dough onto lined pan and bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are set.

Transfer to wire rack to cool

Posted by terri at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2014

My Favorite Christmas cookies

My mom always baked cookies for the holidays and so did my husband's mom. He has his favorites and I have mine, now we have our favorites together. Every year I bake cookies adding a little of his and a little of mine to create sweet memories for us both.

I decided to extend this tradition and start one with my friends. For our annual Scuba diving club Christmas party, everyone was asked to bring 2 dozen of their favorite cookie for a cookie swap. It was a hit and now I have a few new favorite recipes.

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Nut Balls

Nancy's Christmas Cutout Cookie

Cream Cheese Brownie cookie

Posted by terri at 03:15 AM | Comments (0)

Bean and Lentil Stew with Sausage

Soup is perfect comfort food especially when it is cold and damp outside and you are feeling chilled to the bone and need to warm up your core.

I signed up at work to bring lentil soup to our annual fund raiser. I had recently cooked a pot of pinto beans for chili and had about 3 cups left so I decided to add that to the mix. When I looked at it, I thought it looked a little out of balance so I added Cannellini beans, a type of white bean. It all came together perfectly.

Serves 8


1 1/2 cup dried lentils
3 cups cooked pinto beans
1 (15 ounce) can Cannellini beans
32 ounces beef broth
mirepoix- 1 large onion, diced, 2 carrots, diced, 2 stalks celery, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small green pepper, diced
2 bay leaves
1 pound smoked turkey sausage
4-6 ounces ground pork sausage, cooked
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Heat oil in large sauté pan, add mirpoix ingredients and green pepper and cook until softened.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Pour in broth, add lentils and bay leaves. Bring to a low boil and cook for 20 minutes.

Add pinto beans and cannellini beans and continue to cook until lentils are tender.

Add sausages and cook until thickened into a rich stew about 45 minutes on medium heat.

Remove bay leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cooking Tips:
I used a smoked turkey sausage but any sausage will work
The key to a rich bean soup is to cook it until the broth thickens.

Posted by terri at 02:43 AM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2014

Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Beets and Snow Peas

I try not to brag but this salad was so good. I started with a base of fresh kale greens, prepackaged and ready to eat. Kale is a member of the cabbage family and packed with many vitamins and minerals especially vitamins A, C and Folic Acid. Then I added colorful roasted vegetables also packed with vitamins and minerals. The vinaigrette brought all the flavors together.

Serves 8


4 cups kale, torn into bite size pieces
1 small to medium butternut squash
3 small beets, any color (I used red)
1 1/2 cups snow peas
extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 cup sliced almonds, roasted

1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup mango juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Preheat oven 400 degrees F. To prepare the vegetables: Wash beets and butternut squash. Place on a roasting pan and roast until slightly tender, about 15-20 minutes; just long enough to make them easy to peel and slice. Remove and cool.

Peel and dice squash and beets into 1/4 inch pieces. Add snow peas and toss all with a good amount of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven until tender.

For the vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients except for the olive oil in a jar with lid. Shake to combine, slowly add in the oil and continue to combine by shaking until well blended.

To serve: Place kale in large salad bowl. Toss in roasted vegetables and almonds. Add vinaigrette and continue tossing to combine.

Posted by terri at 02:48 AM | Comments (0)