Peppermint Meltaways for Your Cookie Platter


I've always been a fan of peppermint, the aroma of it and the sweet taste, as in these wonderful cookies!



You also might favor the fresh smell of peppermint, but did you know there are some amazing health benefits of it...

Ancient Egyptians used peppermint ~ dried peppermint leaves were discovered in pyramids that carbon dated to 1,000 BC.

The Romans grew mint and peppermint in their gardens for its medicinal purposes, particularly as a digestive aid.  They also used the mints as a ground cover, especially between stepping stone pathways.  They enjoyed the fragrant aroma the plants produced that greeted guests as they entered a courtyard and home.

As early as the mid-19th century, peppermint candies in all forms were a popular European sweet treat.  When European settlers came to America, they found that the American Indians were already aware of the importance of mint; they were growing different species of mint, native to North America.

Peppermint has always been considered a medicinal cure for various ailments, mostly digestive; however there were many other uses prescribed for this special plant, such as:  hiccups, nausea, flatulence, heartburn, bad breath, as well as indigestion.  

Which leads to this great little cookie for the holidays...

Peppermint meltaways ~ yes, they really melt in your mouth!  After one bite, you'll realize why they're labeled meltaways.  They're texture is creamy, unlike any other cookie.  





If you're looking for some sweet satisfying melt-in-your-mouth cookies to share this season, look no further than this recipe, it's a winner...

These delicate peppermint morsels look special on any holiday cookie platter! 


Yield: About 30 cookies

Peppermint Meltaways

They're festive and pretty and will melt in your mouth!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

    • FROSTING:
    • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 2 tablespoons 2% milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
    • 2 to 3 drops red food coloring, optional
    • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

Instructions:




Cookie dough:
In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in extract. In another bowl, whisk flour and cornstarch; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes or until firm enough to handle.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Shape dough into 1-in. balls; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 9-11 minutes or until bottoms are light brown.
Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting:
In a small bowl, beat butter until creamy.
Beat in milk, extract and, if desired, food coloring. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies.
Store in an airtight container.

Note:

The cornstarch in cookies gives it tenderness, that melt in your mouth effect.





Enjoy!


'Tis Cookie Season ~~~ Spicy Crinkle Cookies


’Tis the season, bags of flour, sticks of butter and jars of spices on the counters, with cookie tins ready to be packed. 

 
Every year at this time, I make a plethora of Christmas cookies ~ last year the tally was 51 dozen.  Cookies for my family, and cookies to share with neighbors, friends, and more.

They’re holiday cookies in one way or another, there isn’t a chocolate chip cookie in the bunch.

Generally, they’re dainty two or three-bite cookies in a variety of shapes with a dab of jam or frosting.  Some are nut-filled, or rolled in coconut, some are topped with crushed peppermint.  Maybe they are cut-out cookies or cookies filled with some sort of chocolate candy or dipped in white chocolate or dark chocolate; the possibilities are endless...


In other words,  Christmas cookies are not an ordinary cookie.  They’re made in a variety of colors and ingredients, they must hold their shape well, keep well, and most importantly, they must taste good.  

That’s the segue way to this good sparkling cookie, spicy, chewy and filled with good flavor...

SPICY CRINKLE COOKIES
Printable recipe

Ingredients:
¾ cup shortening
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup molasses
2¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup coarse turbinado or sparkling sugar

Method:
Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft and creamy; gradually add brown sugar, and beat well.
Add egg and molasses, mixing well.
Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; add flour mixture to shortening mixture, mixing well.
Cover; chill 2 hours.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls, and roll in sugar.
Place 2” apart on lightly greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes.
Remove cookies to wire racks to cool.

Enjoy!


Harvest Apple Salad


I've always liked Waldorf salad, and then I came across this recipe.  Fresh chopped apples, dried cherries, cubes of cheddar cheese, and a sprinkling of nuts, all folded in a tangy sour cream sauce.  



This recipe is adapted from a Chicago Tribune recipe of long ago.  The tartness of Granny Smith apples mingling with the sweet crisp taste of Honeycrisp apples is a flavorful combination or, use your favorite apple.  Substitute dried cranberries or raisins for cherries, if you like. And add coarsely chopped pecans or walnut in place of the nut topping.  The possibilities go on and on...

Mom's Oyster Dressing for Thanksgiving


I’ve posted this before and I'll say it again:  “I would be run out of town if I didn’t serve this for Thanksgiving dinner."


Mom always made this dish at holiday time, for as long as I can remember ~ it's tradition and remains a favorite when I make it now.  If you love oysters, this is for you:  layers of a couple of pints of oysters with the liquor, Club crackers, lots of butter, half and half, salt and pepper, baked till bubbly and browned.  


Dinner is: Iron-Skillet Roast Chicken with Acorn Squash, Red Onions and Bacon


How can anyone resist good crisp skin on chicken?  If it’s not crispy, it’s just simply a sad chicken...


Hello, crispy chicken with roasted vegetables and smokey bacon!  Here's a one-pan meal that’s bursting with flavor!

Spicy Roasted Pork Tenderloin



Here’s the scoop:  
crispy on the outside, 
juicy and tender on the inside, 
packed with savory spices!  



Pork tenderloin is great ~ it's healthfully lean and reasonably priced at our local Jewel grocery store, making it affordable for a meal any day, and it's hard to mess up. 

9th Blogiversary and Even More Potatoes!



I’m an impulsive sort of person at times.  Knowing me, Bill, thought this blog would be a passing whim that wouldn’t make it a couple of months…


And here I am ~ still at it, 9 years later!


Fresh Green Beans Cooked to Death with Bacon


I know the trendy sophisticated way is to barely cook green beans so that they have some crunch to them while maintaining their brilliant green emerald-like color.  That’s not my way for an old-fashioned down-home side dish of garden fresh green beans in my kitchen...


I grew up in Louisville ~ I learned to cook fresh green beans the Southern way ~ slow-cooked to death, usually with bacon drippings, a ham hock or bacon like this recipe.  We all know the saying, “bacon makes everything better!”  Pour a little chicken broth in with the seasonings, for a perfect side dish.


Bubba's Oven-fried Cod



This is good and crunchy fish, minus all the fat. 

Bubba just vacationed in London recently and almost had his fill of fish and chips ~ he loved the meal!   Traditionally, fish and chips are served wrapped in paper to soak up all the grease, probably not a good thing.  


Back at home now, to cut the grease and calories, Bubba coats the cod in a corn meal and Parmesan breading and bakes it.  In his cooking, he goes heavy on the spices and seasonings, adjust to your taste. 

Lightened up Chicken Parmesan


I love the Italian-American classic, Chicken Parmesan ~ breaded, then fried and smothered in mozzarella cheese and served alongside a plate of pasta.  



This recipe is sort of like it, just lightened-up.


SAVORY BUTTERMILK CORNBREAD

 
Remember the old 
Southern saying, 
“If there’s sugar in the cornbread, 
there’s a Yankee  
in the kitchen!” 
My trusty iron skillet is older than dirt

If you’re looking for a sweet cornbread, you won’t find it here; in my way of thinking, real cornbread is not sweetThis is southern-style corn bread, plenty of buttermilk and sour cream, and not a touch of sugar.  This is some tasty cornbread ~ just ask Bubba...

The Best Salmon I Have Ever Baked!


Bill told me way back when, that he was part of the "I really don't like salmon" crowd.  Those were fighting words to me, and I was determined ~ and on a mission ~ to change his mind.  I figured he had a bad encounter with salmon once, just like I did many years ago with a catfish dinner at Mammoth Cave, when I cut into the fish and fat streamed out of it.  

I've been off on a long journey over the years for the best salmon recipe, and I'm sure I finally found it:  I'm just not sure though how I acquired this great recipe.  




Salmon has a great strong flavor and it's meatier than most fish. This rich, tender, flaky, and nutrient dense salmon gets slathered with a savory flavorful Dijon mustard sauce, then baked at a high temperature to perfection for our taste buds.

Slow Cooker Pork Loin with Gravy!



The star of this recipe is the gravy, it’s so delicious, it’s liquid comfort!




Here’s another good Trisha Yearwood recipe, from her grand comfort food cookbook, Home Cooking.  I’ve tried many of her recipes and haven’t been let down once...  

End of Summer Potato Salad


I’m fighting the feeling of sunny summertime ending ~ the gradually shortening days of fall returning ~ adjusting to spending more time indoors.  We’re still cooking on the grill and making summer sides, like this dish, for a while yet.  




Potato salad is so versatile, but this one with dill pickles, juice and all, is a favorite for us.  Its loaded with crunchy dill pickles, in a snappy dill pickle juice infused dressing.  This potato salad makes dill pickles the star of the dish!

Easy, But Different, Peach Cobbler


A bushel and a peck ~ that’s how much we love fresh peaches here!


I knew it was time for 'summer-time comfort food' last Saturday when a bounty of great looking Michigan peaches was on display at the farmers’ market!

Great Summertime Fresh Rustic Tomato Tart



This is a tasty meatless 
main dish, side dish, 
or even an enjoyable appetizer, 
using oval-shaped plum tomatoes.
 
The rustic look, for sure!
I use plum tomatoes more in winter-time cooking, when regular tomatoes are out of season, or whenever I make a dish in which I don’t want excess moisture.  They’re the thick-walled tomato that’s synonymous with Italy... 


Spicy Garlic-Lime Shrimp with Grits


Remember what Bubba Gump said?

"Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. 
You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, 
bake it, sauté it. 
There's uh, shrimp-kabobs, 
shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. 
Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried."



And then there's this dish that has all the right ingredients: ~ Spicy Garlic-Lime Shrimp!

Homemade Refrigerator Dill Pickles


Once you make your own dill pickles, you'll wonder why you ever bought them at the grocery store!

 
My pickles!


What wasn't to like about Aunt Bee from The Andy Griffith Show?  Remember her, and the "Pickle Story" episode from way back in the early 60’s?   (Most of you probably weren't even born then!)

Grilled Pork Chops with Spice Paste


Take a dry rub, add moisture and you have a paste.  The moisture component can be beer, honey, cider vinegar, bourbon, wine, molasses, or it can simply be vegetable oil, as in this recipe...




I would not have thought something as easy as a little paste spread on meat would work so well to create such tasty chops; it was a delicious surprise!

Memories with a Honolulu Cocktail



The best vacation ever, for me, was when Bill and I went to Hawaii!




I love Hawaii, I love everything about it!  

I'm Back with this Perfect Pineapple Butter Cake


 
Ok, so I know I said I was done with my blog, but evidently it was something I truly looked forward to doing, and apparently just needed a little break from it to recharge ~   after doing it for almost 9 years ~ I missed the whole process.  In other words, I missed being a part of the community. 



I thought about you all more than once, and wondered what great travel adventure or tip I missed.  And, what if I missed your fabulous recipe…

After Almost 9 Years, it's So Long with a Corn Salad Recipe


It has been almost 9 years, since October 2009, that I started this blog.  That's a lot of posts and I've reached the point where it has become a chore for me, so it's time to say so long.

It has been a great journey, I've learned a lot from all of you over the years and thank you all very much for your support of Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner!  I'm leaving you with a great summer recipe that I hope you'll try...


It’s looks like fiesta time when you serve this spicy corn salad for your crowd! 

Cornmeal-Crusted Lake Perch


Bill Jr., (Bubba here) just returned from vacationing in the United Kingdom and had more than one meal of fish and chips in England.  

In his words, the fish was the best, "Awesome! Crunchy, tender and tasty."  The Brits choice of fish is cod and haddock, with him liking haddock more.

I'd be the first to order fish and chips at a pub anywhere, but we all know that at home it can turn into a "grease-feast!"


 
That is, unless it's made in an air fryer! 

Tortellini Salad with Asiago, Peas and Proscuitto


Tortellini was a new food to me when we moved here to the Chicago area years ago ~ it was absolutely love at first bite!


The legend of tortellini is a little amusing: 

Baked Lime-Mustard Salmon



I adore salmon ~ unfortunately I'm the only one here who feels that adoration.  Salmon is one of the most widely loved varieties of seafood in the world.  Fresh, canned or smoked, it makes me happy when I enjoy a meal of it...



Eating two or three servings a week of salmon is a good way to improve your health, with it being  a healthy tasty alternative to chicken, beef and pork.  It’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and protein.  Plus providing iron, niacin, zinc, Vitamins B6 and B12, and a whole host of other ingredients essential for good health. 

Breaded Pork Loin Chops in the Air Fryer


Who knows what season it is here, a/c one day, heat the next, it's chilly and stormy and not grilling weather...


Yes, that's Kraft M&C

So that means air fryer ~ here's another meat that is great when cooked in the air fryer! Pork chops make for a tasty family meal with easy clean-up when made in the air fryer. I've said it before how much I like this small appliance.

Delicious Chicken with Lemon-Wine Sauce



FYI:  Don't be eating your chicken with a fork in Gainesville, Georgia, the 'Chicken Capital of the World', it's against the law.   And by the way, Honest Abe was an honest-to-goodness foodie.*  He even did his own grocery shopping!  Abe could eat four score and seven corn cakes; and, speaking of chicken, chicken fricassee was one of the only two dishes the Lincolns were known to have eaten at dinner in the 1850's, the other was corned beef.




It's no wonder that chicken appears as a staple in practically every culture’s cuisine ~ it can easily be flavored and prepared in many ways ~ roasted, grilled, poached, broiled, in stews, potpies and soups ~ with a plethora of sauces, toppings and seasonings, such as...

Cajun Shrimp and Crabmeat Étouffée, a Taste of NOLA!



Bring a taste of The Big Easy
to your dinner table with this
delicious spicy dish!


 
French for “smothered,” étouffee (ay-too-fay) is one of the tastiest dishes of Southern Louisiana cuisine.  It's a classic New Orleans dish that sounds fancy, and one that you should try if you haven't.

Trisha's Potato Salad - Simply the Best!


Sometimes, 
simple is the best way to go 
when it comes to recipes!


When I'm not pressed for time, I like to try more complicated recipes containing a wide variety of ingredients ~ and, I especially like it when they turn out good and delicious.

But, we're definitely not into nouvelle cuisine here. It makes me think of Julia Child's quote, "If it's beautifully arranged on the plate ~ you know someone's fingers have been all over it." It always looks like a still-life painting to me and is too pretty to consume.

That's why I wanted to try Trisha Yearwood's potato salad recipe. It's basic down-home goodness!

Impossibly Easy French Apple Dessert Squares



Apples and cinnamon, oh my! 



This is a really close cousin to Dutch apple pie, actually maybe more like a crisp, and  there’s no crust to roll out!  French apple dessert has a buttery crust, and is packed with apples, cinnamon and nutmeg.  

Tasty Sour Cream Skillet Cornbread


Take a guess...

what's more American than

apple pie.


It's cornbread, of course!

The English brought apple pie to our shores, but the Powhatan Indians taught the early immigrants how to parch, grind, and then mix the corn with boiling water to make "johnny cakes." 

Light and Crispy Fried Catfish a la Air Fryer


It was love at first bite when I started cooking with my air fryer about a year ago, and it continues to amaze me how easy it is to operate and how delicious and crisp the food is.

I’ve made a variety of foods in it from a whole chicken to vegetables to frozen french fries.  Food cooks faster in it, browns better and crisps up on the outside perfectly.


This time I air fried catfish.  Panko, the light and crispy Japanese bread crumbs, is one of the secrets to creating crispy catfish in the air fryer.  I have also used cornmeal instead of Panko and the results are just as delicious and crispy.  Substitute your favorite herbs and spices for the seafood seasoning to vary the fish. 

Baked Chili-Lime Chicken Kabobs


It may be Spring according to the calendar, but by looking around outside now, it's still Winter for sure ~ thanks to the sleet/snow/wind combo over the weekend, we have another 3" snow on the ground yet again...




Because of the above, it's not grilling season here yet, so our chicken kabobs came from the oven.

CREAMED ASPARAGUS and EGGS OVER TOAST


Spring is on hold for yet another day here; what's with this chilly 26°with snow on the ground, and it's still coming down...

Whatever, it's that time of year ~ Springtime! ~ and asparagus is popping up all over, especially at the grocery store!




Most of the time, Bill and I like it steamed with a little salt and pepper, nothing more or roasted.  Then other times, that all takes a back seat to my creamed asparagus. 

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops


  
This recipe takes pork chops to a whole new level!


The crispy Parmesan crust makes these pork chops tender, juicy ~ you’d never know they’re baked, not fried!

Turn Your Easter Ham into a Lighter Ham Tetrazzini!


When Easter's over, wow those around your dinner table with this tasty ham dish!




I’ve made Turkey Tetrazzini from time to time, but this slightly adapted recipe from Cooking Light, replacing turkey with ham, caught my eye.  It’s filled with the same great tetrazzini flavors and is easy to make also, however, it’s that touch of horseradish that takes it up a notch!

Homemade Banana Crumb Muffins



Use up your ripe bananas with this

banana muffin recipe!




Speaking of muffins ~ remember the Seinfeld episode, “The Muffin Tops?"

Tilapia Piccata-Style over Parsley and Tomato Orzo


Tilapia Piccata is a spin on the traditional 
Italian dish of 
veal or chicken piccata.


The history of the "piccata" dish is a bit confusing, but many believe it to be of American design, most likely by Italian-American immigrants during the 1930's.  Piccatas today are generally made with veal, but here in the U.S., chicken prevails. 

Mouthwatering Creamy Ritz Chicken Bake



Chicken never tasted quite so good!



This dish is comforting, delicious, rich and buttery with tender bites of chicken ~ a recipe that’s in about any community or church cookbook, and surprisingly, there are a minimum of variations from one recipe to the next.

Chicken Fajitas, About the Easiest You Will Ever Make!



These could very well be the easiest

~ and maybe the tastiest fajitas ~
you'll ever make!




They are so good and super simple to make, thanks to Perdue Short Cuts, Grilled Fajita-style Chicken! 



You know,

nobody can ever

cook as good as

your Mama.

~ Paula Deen


You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook
You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook

DINNER PARTY

DINNER PARTY
Jules-Alexandre Grun

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ᴍɪɴɴɪᴇ❣ 14 ʏᴇᴀʀs...

ᴍɪɴɴɪᴇ❣ 14 ʏᴇᴀʀs...
May 5, 2004...

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May 5, 2004 – Dec 16, 2014

THIS BLOG LAUNCHED OCTOBER 29, 2009

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