Lime Doodles…………..

It’s Christmas cookie baking time! Yay!!!!!! I love making Christmas cookies and I will be posting several cookie recipes over the next few weeks. Today I made snicker doodles for a friend who has been begging me for cookies. As I was eating one……quality control, you know!…..I got to thinking how much I love the texture of the snickerdoodle, but not really a fan of the cinnamon. So I decided to play and experiment.

Ohhhhh, I am so happy with what I came up with…..a lime doodle. It’s the same dough as a snickerdoodle, but instead of rolling the dough balls in cinnamon sugar, I rolled them in a lime zest powdered sugar! They are so beautiful, so holiday-ish looking… they are dusted with snow. They are also melt in your mouth deliciousness.

I gotta tell ya……this one is a keeper and I will be making lots and lots of them to hand out as gifts.



Lime Doodles

1/2  cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup shortening
1  1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2  3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup powdered sugar
zest of 1 lime

Heat oven to 375. In large mixing bowl, with paddle, mix the butter, shortening, sugar and eggs till creamy and smooth. Add flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Mix just until combined. Add in vanilla. Scoop into 1″ balls. Roll dough balls in powdered sugar/lime mixture. Place on cooking sheet 3″ apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set.  Allow to cool on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with more of the powdered sugar.

Note: if you want a more intense lime flavor, add the zest to the cookie batter instead of the powdered sugar.
you could also use lemon zest instead of lime, if you prefer.

Pomegranate Margarita…….

Ok, so I know we usually associate margaritas with summer. But since this one has pomegranate juice, does it qualify as a holiday drink? I say yes! Recently I was at a Mexican restaurant. A lady sitting next to us ordered a pitcher of pomegranate margaritas. They looked so good. She offered me a taste! Wasn’t that nice? She probably saw me staring at the pitcher, drooling and felt sorry for me. Ha! Oh my, was it delicious. Naturally, I had to make some. In fact, I made my daughter and I some at Thanksgiving. Don’t get alarmed……my daughter is of drinking age. 🙂

This is a good drink. Not too sweet……refreshing….plus pomegranates are good for you. Aren’t they full of antioxidants? Well, anyway, it’s a festive looking drink and I happen to think its a good drink for the holidays. In moderation of course. Personally, I can only have one and I am ready for a nap.



Pomegranate Margarita

for one margarita

2 oz. good tequila
2 oz. pomegranate juice
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup **

Shake or mix all ingredients together. Pour over crushed ice or blend with ice if you like slushy margaritas.

** simple syrup is simply equal parts water and sugar, boiled and cooled.

Caramel Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes………………

I just can’t believe it’s Thanksgiving time. This year is zooming by. Thanksgiving dinner is my most favorite meal to prepare. All of the family favorite dishes….the aroma of turkey in the oven…..mmmm-mm-m. Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving dish? I sure do. It’s the sweet potatoes. Ahhh, yes. I love them. Everyone has their favorite way to prepare them. I usually do something pretty simple, but I am bored with the family recipe. So, I am changing it up! This  dish is delicious. It’s sinfully sweet and buttery. But remember, the calories don’t count at Thanksgiving! Right? The sauce that is mixed with the potatoes, is almost like caramel. I can’t even describe to you, just how rich and good this stuff is.

Now, if you are not a fan of marshmallow, you could aways top this dish with a streusel topping. But seriously folks, the marshmallow…….YUM. Crispy, gooey, sticky sweetness. So good.

I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!

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yam4 yam5

Caramel Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes

2 large sweet potatoes or yams
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tblsp. butter
1/2 cup mini marshmallows, plus more for topping
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tblsp. corn syrup

Heat oven to 425. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into cubes. Put the cubes onto a baking sheet. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil over the cubes. Sprinkle with salt and stir the cubes around, coating them with the oil. Spread out the cubes on the baking sheet and roast them for approx. 20 minutes, just until they barely done. Remove from oven and reduce oven temp to 350.
In a sauce pan, add the brown sugar, butter, marshmallows and corn syrup. Stir until marshmallows are melted. Set aside.

Place the roasted potato cubes into a baking dish, or individual dishes. Pour the sauce over the sweet potatoes and give it a stir. Top with marshmallows and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the marshmallows are toasty brown.



Brown Sugar Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Whip Frosting….

I have a favorite chocolate cake that is so good and requires no eggs. You just mix everything in the pan you are baking in….super simple. I wanted to make one recently, but realized I had no white sugar. So I made it with brown sugar. It had a deeper flavor and was super moist. I may just use the brown sugar from now on! This recipe makes a great cupcake too.

I happen to love this cake just plain, with no frosting. Yes, it’s that good….and rich….and intensely chocolate. But this time I frosted it with a favorite frosting of mine. It has a whippy, creamy, light texture, but not light in taste. It’s as rich and delicious as the cake. You can top it with fresh berries, or whatever you want!

Let’s make cake……

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chocake1  chockae1

Brown Sugar Chocolate Cake

1  1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 Tblsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
6 Tblsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tblsp. white vinegar
1 cup water or left over coffee (your cake will not taste like coffee. The coffee just enhances the chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a 8 x 8 ungreased baking pan, mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk. Add the oil, vinegar and water. Bake for 20-25 min. Test with a toothpick. Allow to cool completely. Frost.
Note: Makes 12 cupcakes and takes approx. 16 minutes.

So easy, right??

Chocolate Whip Frosting

1 small box of Jello INSTANT pudding mix (any flavor works, but I used chocolate)
1 container of Cool Whip
1 small container of heavy whipping cream

Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, beat everything in a mixing bowl until nice and fluffy. Spread on cooled cake, top with berries, chocolate curls, marshmallows, etc. Drizzle some melted chocolate on the berries.

Melted Chocolate

1/2 cup chopped semi sweet chocolate
1 – 2 tblsp. heavy cream or half and half

Place chocolate and cream in small bowl and heat in microwave just until chocolate is melted. DON’T burn it. Mix it well. Let it come to room temperature and drizzle on the cake.