Austrian Raspberry Shortbread ~

I love shortbread and this recipe is even lighter than any I have tried before.  After you make the shortbread, you roll it into  four long snake like logs and freeze it overnight.  Then when you want to bake a batch of them, you feed each log through the feed tube of your food processor to grate it.  This process makes the shortbread as light and airy.  You can use any flavor preserve you prefer, it doesn't need to be raspberry.  They are fabulous with apricot as well.  The recipe originated from Gale Gand, who is a wonderful pastry chef.  She was on the Food Network briefly and I used to  enjoy her show.

Prep the dough up to a month before and leave them in the freezer if you wish.  This makes a delicious and easy bar for the Holiday season or just any day you want a little treat.

Enjoy ~


  • 1 pound (4 sticks) butter softened at room temperature
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raspberry jam, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter until soft and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and mix well.
In a medium bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter/egg yolk mixture and mix just until incorporated and the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and form into 2 balls. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and freeze at least 2 hours or overnight, or as long as a month.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove 1 ball of dough from the freezer and coarsely grate the frozen dough into the bottom of a 9 by 12-inch baking pan or a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Make sure the surface is covered evenly with shreds of dough. With a spoon or spatula, spread the jam over the surface, to within 1/2-inch of the edge all the way around. Remove the remaining dough from the freezer and coarsely grate it over the entire surface. Bake until light golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. As soon as the shortbread comes out of the oven, dust with confectioners' sugar. Cool on a wire rack, then cut in the pan with a serrated knife.



Chocolate Dipped Macaroons ~

It's that time of year again, lots of baking around the house. 

I love anything with coconut in it, and add dark chocolate and it's a double yum for me.  These cookies are so good, it's almost dangerous to have in the house.  Mine went from the cooling rack into the freezer, just to make sure their safety for the Holidays.

And just so you know, these cookies are super easy to make.  One important criteria when I bake.  Enjoy ~

Adapted from Closet Cooking - my changes are marked with an *

3 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup of sugar
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
*1/8 tsp. kosher salt
2 ounces dark chocolate (shaved)* I used 6 ounces and melted it with a teaspoon of grapeseed oil in the microwave

1. Mix the egg whites, vanilla, sugar, salt and coconut in a bowl.
2. Spoon the batter onto a parchment paper lined baking pan with 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons of batter per cookie.
3. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until lightly golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
4. Let cool for 20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a double boiler and dip the macaroons in the chocolate or drizzle the chocolate on the macaroons.  Place dipped cookies on a baking rack and refrigerate to store.  They also freeze wonderfully.

Christmas tree 2012. 


Organic Red Quinoa ~ Trader Joe's

I really love this product, it reaches all of my expectations.
Delicious, easy to make and low fat.  How great is that?  Well not that all of my recipes are low fat.  In fact, very few of them really are low fat.  But, quinoa is one of my go to sides when I want to keep down the calorie count and enjoy my meal. 

Trader Joe's Organic Red Quinoa is sold on the dry goods shelf.  Is there really a dry goods shelf any longer?  ;)   I must be dating myself.  Anyway, the directions say to add 1 cup of dried, rinsed quinoa to 2 cups of water.  I add a teaspoon of butter and a teaspoon of salt.  I also cut down on the water and only put in 1&1/2 cups.  Bring to a boil, place a lid on the pan and turn it to low.  It may say medium low, but either will do.  If after 15-20 minutes you have extra water in the pan just drain it and let sit on the stove with the burner turned off for about 15 minuts.  I added 2 stalks of fresh green onion and a quarter cup of chopped, fresh cilantro.  It's delicious, just yummy! 

Oh, I have no affliation with Trader Joe's either.  I am just a consumer who likes a good product and thought I'd share this one.

Give it a try and enjoy ~


There are a few things I like about Winter ~

Roasting vegetables...  Endless possibilites and so easy.  Did I say delicious too?  Well, they are very.  The vegetables get carmelized, tender and sweet. 

Only 3 ingredients too.

Salt, pepper and olive oil.  Just be sure to have them about the same size in your roasting pan.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.  Toss with salt, pepper and olive oil.  Place in the oven for 15 minutes.  Take the vegetables out of the oven and turn them over.  Place back in the oven for 15 minutes more.

And you get deliciousness every time.  See?  Oh how I adore fennel and potatoes together.... yum ~


Chinese broccoli... the leaves get nice and crispy too.

You can roast any vegetable you want or like, but the smaller the vegetable the less time in the oven.  Asparagus is about 10 minutes on one side and about 5 minutes on the second.  So adjust your time and you'll have perfectly easy and delicious vegetables. 

Yup, I like some things about Winter.....



Lemongrass Coconut Noodle Soup w/ Cilantro Lime Oil ~

December 1st, brought us snow.  Not a storm, but just a messy, frigid day.  A nice day to stay inside and make soup for extra warmth.  I adapted this soup from The Little Fig.

8oz. of ,rice noodles, or thin vermicelli, cooked and drained, set aside.  Toss with a tablespoon of oil and set aside.

Make Cilantro Lime Oil and set aside, recipe below.

8 oz. of chopped mushrooms, I used cremini
2 large leeks, white and light green parts, sliced length wise and chopped
1 large stalk of lemongrass, woody parts discarded and chopped finely
1 can of coconut milk
1 jalepeno chili pepper, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. of ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
4 cups of chicken stock, low sodium
1 tablespoon grapeseed or vegetable oil

In a large dutch oven, heat oil on medium.  Add leeks and cook for a couple of minutes, while stirring.  Add garlic, lemongrass, mushrooms, cumin, coriander, jalepeno and saute on medium for 2 minutes.  Stir.  Add coconut milk and chicken stock, bring to a boil.  Turn down and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn stovetop off and add cooked noodles, stir.  Ladle in bowls, drizzle with Cilantro Lime oil and serve.

Cilantro Lime Oil
1 bunch of cilantro, stems removed and chopped
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 lime, zested
1 tablespoon of kosher salt

Serves 4 nicely.  Other than chopping, this is a very easy soup.  Very mild flavors.

Enjoy ~