Sunday, June 12, 2016

Basic 'Swig' Sugar Cookie

I can't remember when I first heard about Swig - but it was definitely after the fact. As in everyone else knew about them and loved them. I heard about them when I started hearing about Dirty Coke's last year and then I heard about the cookies. 

By the time that I heard about them last year there were Swig locations outside of St. George so Don and I went and and got Dirty Coke's and the pink swig sugar cookies. They were good, huge, but good. Just in case you were confused by that last statement - this is goofy, but I like smaller cookies. I'd rather eat 2 smaller cookies than one large cookie, but that's just me, ha! :) Apparently the current version of cookies are different from when they originally started serving them in St. George. The one that everyone initially fell in love with. Not to say that people don't still love their cookies - they're just a different recipe now. All the pictures I had seen of them previously had cracked edges etc and when I went to Swig they were clean edges and I had read in a couple of places that they didn't taste like they did before. 

And that made me curious to try the 'original.' Or at least try a cookie recipe based off of the original. I looked up recipes for 'swig' cookies - and I found a TON. Like I said, late to the bandwagon.  I'm going to say this right off. I've never been the biggest fan of sugar cookies. Something about the texture? But I like 'swig' style sugar cookies. They're kind of like a cross between a sugar cookie and shortbread? But I'd say they're less finicky to make than shortbread cookies. I like them. 

I've seen quite a few adaptations that have made lemon or lime ones, even chocolate versions. I'm listing the version that I like that I found on Vintage Revivals, which is probably the most popular one out there. There is a note on the original recipe to link instead of copy - I'm all for that, I love her site. As a home decor junkie I'm a big fan. Here is the link

I am still going to copy out the recipe because there is an adaptation of adding a little vanilla, which I'll be honest I don't always add, but I like the reminder to maybe put it in. I also wanted to separate out the wet and dry ingredients. I accidentally added the powdered sugar with the dry ingredients once and it did not turn out as well as when you mix it with the wet - the dough was super crumbly. I just need the visual reminder to put it with dry ingredients. I ended up relisting out the ingredients in the order I like to add them as I'm putting everything together. As well, it's not listed (anywhere that I could find?) how many cookies the recipe makes. I don't have a cookie scoop, I'm making them by hand so it's helpful to know how many I'm making, also because I prefer smaller cookie portions. 

As I was looking around I also found this version by Garnish and Glaze which with the adaptation of the vanilla ends up being pretty much the same recipe. So here is a link to that recipe as well. She also mixes the dough the same way I do as well, butter and sugars first before adding the other wet ingredients. 

I did notice at the bottom of the Vintage Revivals recipe that there's was a link to another recipe it was adapted from. I checked it out and it was the same recipe for the cookie portion of it. I did want to mention that and link as well, just in case. I'm not listing a frosting recipe just yet and that's simply because I haven't found one that I'm in love with. I need to experiment with a few others before I commit to one. But FYI, the 'original' recipe calls for a sour cream frosting. 

  • 1 cup butter - room temp, soft
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp water - on recipes with flavored variations I've seen this replaced with lemon or lime juice and then adding the zest of one lemon or lime
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 5½ cups of flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp salt - sometimes I half this or leave it out because I use salted butter
  1. Cream butter and sugar together. Mix in eggs, oil and water. Add powdered sugar and  mix until smooth. 
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in another bowl and add a cup or so of dry ingredients at a time into the wet ingredients. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  4. Form into balls and flatten with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar (and a teensy bit of salt if you like - that's from Vintage Revivals, I don't always do it because of the whole salted butter thing)
  5. Bake for 7 - 12 min. This will vary depending on how chewy you want the inside of the cookie. The longer the bake time the dryer the cookie. 

NOTE: Makes 3 dozen cookies 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Drop Biscuits

This recipe is straight up from JOY of Cooking which is pretty much the encyclopedia of cooking. Seriously. When we first got this we played a game where we had to think of an ingredient or some crazy food we had heard of and then check to see if there was a recipe for it. And there was one every single time. It's a beast. There are no pictures but there is so much information that it's really helpful to have. We like these biscuits because we don't always have Bisquick and these are almost just as quick and we always have all the ingredients on hand. And every now and then we get cravings for biscuits and gravy and these are perfect for that. Also there is note that these can be bland on their own due to the fact they are made with oil instead of butter or shortening. 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F
  2. Sift the first 3 ingredients into a bowl. 
  3. Add wet all at once and stir with a fork until the dough readily leaves the sides of the bowl. 
  4. Drop dough in desired size onto ungreased baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10 -12 minutes.
NOTE:  The original recipe states this makes 24, one and 1/2 inch biscuits. We like bigger biscuits so this makes 6 for us. You can double the recipe for a full dozen which works out well because we like cooking it in muffin tins. It just makes for consistent sizing and you get a nice outer crust.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Classic Waffles

So we got ourselves a Belgian waffle maker for Christmas this year, and it is fabulous!!! We love it! After we made our first ones we knew we'd be getting a LOT of use out of it. There was a recipe that was included in the instruction booklet for our Presto FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker (just in case you were wondering what waffle iron we had) that we've used every time and they turn out really really well. I think probably a little doughier than you'd get from a mix? But it's still definitely a batter. I used to prefer pancakes growing up, but after these, I don't think I'll ever want a pancake again! :) 



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  1. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Whisk wet ingredients in medium bowl. Whisk milk mixture into dry ingredients just until dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. 
  2. Preheat waffle maker. Pour 3/4 - 1 cup onto the center of bottom grid. Close top and flip waffle maker. Bake until brown, about 4 minutes. 

NOTE: Makes 4 Waffles

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Shepherd's Pie

This is recipe is really nice coming into fall and winter. It's a comfort food that comes together pretty easily though there are quite a few steps involved. I've heard some people use instant mash potatoes to shorten prep time, but I've never tried it. Traditionally 'Sherpherd's Pie' is made with lamb, but that's not something we usually keep stocked... Someday we'd like to try it that way, but for now we just use ground beef. So I guess this is actually a recipe for 'Cottage Pie'?

This is an adaptation of a couple of different recipes that I think turned out really well. It was a combination of one recipe that fit in an 8x8, and another that fit in a 9x13. Our finished product fits somewhere in between those two, ha! You could put it in a 9x13 and it would be a little thin so you'd have to adjust the cooking time or add a little more of everything else. So this is just a starting place, easy to adjust for however much you want to end up with, just add more mashed potatoes, meat and vegetables. We ended up cooking this recipe in a 7x11 baking dish we had and it filled it completely. So Yummy!!!

  • 2-3 cups potatoes 
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp cream cheese - you could leave this out, but it does make the potatoes really thick and creamy, it's a nice touch if you've got it
  • 1/2 - 1 cup shredded cheese - half for mixing in potatoes, half for topping finished casserole
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups frozen vegetables thawed in water from boiling potatoes - use a mix of whatever you have on hand, peas, carrots, corn
  • 1 1/2 tsp oil - you could use vegetable or oil, whatever you prefer
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 3 heaping Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 can of low sodium beef broth - We used Swanson's 14.5 oz can, you could use a smaller can, just adjust the flour accordingly. You could also use regular sodium, I've just found it's harder to plan for that as you're seasoning your meat and you don't want it too salty. 
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still a little firm. About 15 min. Drain but keep water in pot, and mash. Mix in butter, cream cheese and half shredded cheese. Salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  2. Thaw frozen vegetables in potato water and set aside.
  3. Heat oil and butter in frying pan. Add onion and sweat until translucent. Add ground beef and cook until half way done. Add garlic, flour and cook until fragrant. Add Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and beef broth and bring to a boil. Continue simmering until thick. 
  4. Remove from heat and mix in thawed vegetables.
  5. Spread ground beef mixture in an even layer in bottom of baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
  6. Bake in oven preheated to 375 for 20 min. or until golden brown.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gingerbread-White Chocolate Blondies

This recipe is from Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook. We love it. Bought the cookbook awhile back from Costco around Christmastime when they have a ton of different cookbooks stocked. Hands down we use this recipe the most! Granted we have only tried a handful of them... It's almost like we found this one and stopped looking, ha! 

The first time we made these we were in Portland and it was for a Sunday dessert after dinner with our friends Paul & Wendy. Didn't realize how many the recipe made until after the fact so there were a ton of leftovers and we left them for them to keep. They decided it was too much for them and Paul ended up bringing them into where he and Don worked. People started coming in from other offices asking about them!

Anyhow, they are fabulous year round, but particularly around fall because of the spices. I usually end up cutting them into triangles because the spacing works out better for me. I cut them into rows of 4 and then 6 bars per row then into triangles to get the 4 dozen. They finish up quick because you don't have to form individual balls, just spread it all out and bake it!  

  • 2 3/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yoke
  • 1 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped best-quality white chocolate (10 oz)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 17" x 12" rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment cut to fit, and coat parchment. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  2. Beat butter and brown and granulated sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and yolk, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Stir in white chocolate.
  3. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake until edges are golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 2-inch squares or desired shape. Makes about 4 dozen.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Basic Burger Patties

This is an adaptation of this recipe on Allrecipes. It's a good basic burger recipe! Makes 6 burger patties.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (I've left this out on occasion and everything was still fine!) 
  • 1 small onion chopped or 1/2 large onion - anywhere between 1/4 to 1/2 cup (On occasion I'll also leave this out if I'm planning on putting red onion or grilled onion on top separately...)
  • 1 egg (Some people recommend halving or omitting the egg entirely, we've always done it with)
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  1. Preheat grill or frying pan. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and spices. Crumble in ground beef and mix together by hand.
  3. Form into 6 patties and cook until well done.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Simple Sauce for Crispy Pan-Fried Noodles

I recently discovered crispy noodles that I can make at home! Aaaand, I've started making them more often. It's kind of been a trial and error on finding a sauce that tastes right to me for it. Finally found this one on rasamalaysia which I guess was actually a guest post from another blogger, Taste Hong Kong. Either way the sauce was perfect for it, and at some point I do intend to do the full on recipe as is. Lately I've just been making the sauce plain and pouring it over the noodles. So yummy!

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup and 2 Tbsp water
  1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. 
  2. Bring to a boil stirring frequently, usually just boil it for a minute or two.
  3. Pour over noodles and enjoy!