Brown Sugar Butter Thumprint Cookies

One of the kinds of cookies I just got done gets rave reviews every time.


1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp. skim milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
jam or preserves

In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the sugars with the butter and blend in the egg, milk, and vanilla.

In another large bowl, stir the flour, baking soda and salt together. Add the butter mixture and stir until smooth. (In warm weather only, cover and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until the dough is firm enough to handle).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets. Shape the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place onto the prepared sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or just until browned at the edges.

When the cookies are done, remove from the oven and immediately make the "thumbprint" indentation in the top of each cookie. Remove cookies to cool on a wire rack until completely cooled.

Once cooled, use a teaspoon to add the jam or preserves into each thumbprint.

Per cookie (without the jam): 73.8 calories, 25% calories from fat, 2 g fat, 9.63 mg cholesterol, 23.9 mg sodium, 0.16 g dietary fiber.From Light and Easy Baking by Beatrice Ojakangas

Soft Cranberry Cookies

It's that time of year, the time for tons and tons of Christmas cookies.  This is yet another recipe that I've modified to make my own.  The original called for raisins, but I decided to use Craisins instead, for that Christmas feel.  This is so simple and quick, with minimal clean up.

Yield:  36 cookies

1 (18 oz) vanilla spice cake mix
2 c quick cooking oats
1 c applesauce
1 egg
2 Tbsp light margarine, melted
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 c Craisins

Combine first six ingredients in a mixing bowl, stir until well blended.  Stir in Craisins.  Drop by tablespoonfuls (I used my Pampered Chef large cookie scoop) 2 inches apart onto baking sheets that have been lightly greased or sprayed.  Bake at 375 for 10-13 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.  Cool on wire racks.

Spicy Rice with Almonds

I have been craving the crispy orange chicken rice bowl from Applebee's, but it'll be a very long time before I have it again, if ever.  The amount of fat, calories, and sodium in it is astronomical.  But I've been craving the crunch of the rice and almonds.  So going on that craving, I came up with this.

2 c chicken stock
1 c long grain rice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
garlic powder
onion powder
1 c slivered almonds, toasted

In a saucepan, heat the stock, sauces and spices to a boil.  Add the rice, cover, and lower heat to a simmer for 15 minutes, or until all liquid is gone.

While the rice is cooking, toast the almonds.  To do this, heat a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray over high heat.  Add the almonds.  Stir constantly to keep from burning until golden brown.  When the liquid is gone from the rice, stir in the almonds.

Tangy Chicken Fingers

My daughter requested chicken fingers tonight for dinner, and I try to mix it up a little with the flavor as I do not deep fry. They turned out really good.

1 lb chicken tenders (unbreaded)
2 c seasoned panko breadcrumbs
2 c wheat germ
1 c french dressing
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 400.  Place tin foil on a cookie sheet (I used a stoneware bar pan).  Spray with nonstick spray. Dip tender in beaten egg, then dip into wheat germ.  Dip into french dressing, then into the breadcrumbs.  Repeat until all are done.  Bake for 20 minutes or until tenders are no longer pink inside.

Pumpkin Drop Cookies

I found this in an old Taste of Home magazine, and totally made it my own because I didn't have the right ingredients.  It says it should make 11 dozen, but I'm guessing those are half-dollar size cookies.  Mine are much bigger, so we're talking more like 36 cookies.  So here it is--my version.

1/2 c butter-flavored shortening
2 c brown sugar
1/2 an envelope of vanilla pudding
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
3 c all-purpose flour
3 c oats
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves

In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugar.  Beat in the pumpkin, eggs and milk.  In another large bowl, combine the flour, pudding, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice and cloves.  Gradually add to creamed mixture.  Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheet. 

Bake at 375 for 14 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

**I did three different variations of this also:  plain, sprinkled with shaved chocolate, and with added raisins. 

Honey Corn Muffins

I made these very easy muffins today for the first time, courtesy of Cafe Oklahoma by the Junior Service League of Midwest City, OK.  They turned out very good; moist and flavorful.  As with every recipe I try, it never comes out the way the recipe says it will...this recipe says it makes 1 dozen muffins.  It would easily make 18.  I don't know, because I ran out of papers after the first dozen and ended up using my mini muffin pan.  The recipe says to bake the muffins for 20-22 minutes, but with my recent overbaking of things due to the recipes, I left them (full size) in there for 15.  They were perfectly done.  The mini muffins only required 10 minutes. 

They are not overly sweet, as you might think.  Next time I think I will try maple syrup...

Yield 1 dozen

1 c yellow cornmeal
1 c milk
1/4 c sour cream
1 egg
1/4 c honey
1/3 c butter, melted
1/3 c sugar
1 1/4 c flour
1 Tbsp baking powder

Heat oven to 400.  Beat together first seven ingredients until blended.  In separate bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.  Add to batter.  Stir until well blended, but do not overmix.  Divide batter between 12 paper-lined muffin cups.  Bake 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Turkey Meatballs over Bowties

This is something I came up with early on after my gastric bypass.  I've been trying to find new and interesting ways to use ground meats, as they sit the best with me at this point.  This was a definite winner all around.

1 box bowtie pasta

1 lb ground turkey
2 eggs
1 c panko breadcrumbs
1 c shredded monterey jack/colby cheese mix
1/4 c milk
sprinkle of wheat germ
Seasoning to taste:
black pepper
garlic powder

1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cube non- or lowfat cream cheese
3/4 c milk
1 c white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients for the meatballs, roll into desired size balls.  Add a dash of extra virgin olive oil to a skillet, heat to medium-high.  Brown all sides of the meatballs, remove to a paper towel to drain any excess grease.

Still over med-high heat, add the wine to the skillet to deglaze.  Once deglazed, add the onions, sprinkling with salt and pepper.  Cook until onions start to soften.  Add the milk, bring to a slow boil.  Melt the cream cheese into the milk and onions.  Stir in the meatballs.

Simmer while bowties are cooking to finish cooking the meatballs.  Serve meatballs and sauce over bowties.

Cinnamon Pumpkin Bars

Another pumpkin recipe I made today, this one courtesy of Light & Easy Baking by Beatrice Oiakangas.  I am not sure why they are called bars, because it came out more like a cake...extremely moist and so good I didn't even make the cream cheese frosting (recipe will follow below).  You'd never know this is a "light" recipe.

Makes 24 bars
114 calories, 2.56 g fat, 0.32 g dietary fiber per bar

1 c canned pumpkin
1 large egg
1 c sugar
1/4 c canola oil
1/2 c nonfat sour cream
1 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly coat a 13x9-inch pan with nonstick spray.  Line the bottom with wax paper or parchment paper and spray again.

In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, egg, sugar, oil, and sour cream.  In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Mix until well blended, add to the bowl of wet ingredients.  Mix well.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Bake 25-30* minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched.  Place pan on wire rack to cool.
*25 minutes was perfect for me.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz fat free cream cheese, at room temperature
1 3/4 c confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese.  Add the sugar and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  When the bars are cooled, spread with the frosting.  Cut into bars to serve.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Courtesy of

I found that the oven temperature specified in this recipe is too high.  My cookies baked faster and browned too much, so either lower the temp. or bake for less time.  I found 10 minutes was about right at 400 degrees, but the recipe calls for 15 minutes.  It's your call.

Makes 2 dozen cookies

1 c pumpkin
1 c sugar
1 3/4 c rolled oats
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 c flour
3/4 c shortening**
1 c raisins
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

** I used the Crisco butter flavor shortening sticks specifically for baking

Preheat oven to 400.

Stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

Add and mix in the shortening.  Stir until crumbly. 

Stir in egg, pumpkin, oats and raisins.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Note:  cookies will not spread as they bake.

Bake for 15 minutes, immediately remove to cooling rack.

Individual Meat Loaves

This is a recipe I developed a few ways.  First, I've been making a lot of meatballs lately, and wanted something different.  Second, I didn't have time to bake one big meatloaf.  Lastly, my mother-in-law makes what she calls "little cheddar meat loaves"...these are different and vastly larger, but it gave me the idea to do it this way.  My husband and both kids loved them.

Makes 6 large loaves

1 lb. ground chicken
1 lb. ground pork (the lowest fat you can find)
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
3/4 sleeve of saltines, crushed
1 1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
spices to taste:
black pepper
Italian seasoning
garlic powder
onion powder
dash of salt

Heat oven to 400.  Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray.

Combine all ingredients, mix well.  Take a handful once mixed and make it into a loaf shape.  Place on cookie sheet, repeat.

Squirt desired amount of ketchup onto the top of each loaf, spread with a spoon.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until done.

And Another Thing...

Also, when I am making things up as I go, I rarely use actual measurements.  I will try to guesstimate what I used, or say "to taste", meaning however you like it.


Welcome to my blog...what will be a collection of recipes that I make up as well as recipes from others that I have tried and enjoyed.

Unless otherwise noted, the recipe is something I have created.  If I have used another's recipe, or modified one, I will make a notation of where the original recipe came from.

I hope you find my recipes interesting enough to try for yourself.