Recipe: Mincemeat Cookies

These cookies are moist and cake-like. You might need to call them spiced raisin cookies because lots of people don’t like mincemeat without even knowing what it is!

3 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. orange peel
1 C. shortening
1 1/2 C. sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 C. prepared mincemeat (from jar)

Sift flour, salt, soda, and spices.
Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and continue beating.
Gradually add flour mixture.
Stir in mincemeat and mix thoroughly.
Drop by teaspoonful about 2″ apart on greased sheet.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 12 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.

Optionally glaze with mixture of powdered sugar and orange or lemon juice.

Recipe: Pecan Balls

These started out as walnut crescents, but now I make them with pecans from the trees in my yard. Walnuts work, too, but pecans are easier for me. And crescents were too hard to make, so balls it is.

1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. shortening
1/3 C. sugar
2 tsp. water
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1/2 C. chopped nuts
Confectioner’s sugar

Cream butter, shortening, and sugar. Mix in water and vanilla, then flour and nuts.
Chill 3-4 hours.
Roll into medium size balls. Cookies will not spread so can space close together.
Bake a 325 on ungreased cookie sheet for 15 minutes.
Roll in confectioner’s sugar when removed from oven.
Cool on wire rack.
Yield: approx. 4 dozen

Recipe: Beacon Hill Cookies

These delicate chocolate meringue cookies were traditional at Christmas at my house. There is nothing Christmassy about them except this was the only season when my mom ever made them. Yield is only 2 dozen and it doesn’t double well, so if you want more (and you will), you’ll need to make a second batch.

1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 egg whites
1/2 C. white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp white vinegar
3/4 C. chopped nuts

Melt chocolate in microwave. Be careful not to let it cook!
Beat egg whites with dash of salt until foamy.
Gradually add 1/2 C. sugar, beating well.
Beat until stiff peaks form (this takes a while).
Beat in vanilla and vinegar, then fold in chocolate and nuts.
Drop by teaspoonfuls on greased sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Be careful when transferring, as cookies are very fragile.

Recipe: Molasses Cookies

This recipe dates to my college days and came from my roommate. I think of her every time I make them.

1/2 C. margarine
1 C. white sugar
1/2 C. dark molasses
1 large egg
2 1/2 C. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon

Cream margarine, sugar, and molasses. Add egg and cream.
Sift dry ingredients together and gradually add to molasses mixture.
Chill dough for several hours. Can keep in fridge for several days if needed.

Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts. Roll balls in extra granulated sugar and lightly flatten with the bottom of a glass before baking.
Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 9 minutes in 375 degree oven. Cool on wire rack.

Crockpot Mushroom Risotto

I’ve been playing with recipes for risotto and concocted something I really like based on Farah’s recipe over at Cooking Jar. I made a few changes but nothing huge – reduced butter from 4 TB to 3 TB, added a large sprig of fresh thyme, used reduced-sodium broth instead of regular, and doubled the parmesan cheese. Oh, and I steamed frozen peas to add instead of using canned. Actually, I added peas and carrots because that’s what was in the freezer, but that wasn’t planned.

Oh, and I made this in my new 4-qt Crockpot. Perfect size!
Makes 8 servings.

Calculated at MyFitnessPal


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 8 oz. portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot/ 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 3/4 cups Arborio rice
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup peas (frozen peas, steamed)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


  1. Melt the butter and cook mushrooms, shallots and garlic over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until mushrooms have browned and liquid has evaporated
  2. Add in rice, stirring to coat for 2 minutes
  3. Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray and add rice mixture
  4. Pour in broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add sprig of thyme.
  5. Stir to combine and cook on high for 1 hour 30 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed
  6. Once it’s cooked, remove thyme. Stir in peas and cheese and mix well
  7. Dish and serve hot