Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

Makes 4 servings.

1 3 1/2- 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces (I used thawed frozen chicken breasts... works just fine)
1 yellow onion, cut into 1 inch wedges
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 T olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 T maple syrup
6 sprigs of fresh thyme

Heat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Arrange the chicken, onion, and sweet potatoes in a 9X13 baking dish. Drizzle the oil over the chicken and vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Drizzle with maple syrup and top with the sprigs of thyme. Roast, stirring the vegetables once, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Even when made with cheaper ingredients (I mean, I don't have kosher salt or even a whole chicken lying around) this dish is delicious and impressive. Thyme is expensive but Seasonal Savory works as well. I used the extra thyme I purchased for the lime and thyme potato salad (posted previously) and served it all with fresh green beans a la bellz. You'll love it. Great for fall.



Bake: 350 Makes: 36

½ c. butter
1 ½ c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
2 ½ c flour
½ t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
½ pint sour cream

Cream butter, sugar eggs and vanilla- alternately add sour cream and dry ingredients. Hand stir to gently fold in sour cream until smooth. Drop T. dough on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Cool on rack and frost with vanilla butter cream frosting.

*Something funny about this recipe, when grandma wrote it for me, she wrote down different instructions (which have been modified to fit modern ovens). Because of her little oven, she has the cookies baking at 425 for 10 minutes. You’re welcome to give it a try, especially if you have a 50+ year old oven. These were my favorite cookies of ALL TIME when I was young and they continue to be my favorite still! Grandma was the best dessert maker in the world!


Lemon Zucchini Cookies

oven: 350, yields: 40 small cookies

3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 t. lemon zest
1 c. zucchini shredded
1/2 c. walnuts chopped (optional, very optional)
Lemon Drizzle Frosting
1 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 T. lemon juice

In large bowl blend butter and sugar together, add egg and mix until well blended. Stir in flour slowly and gradually until it is mixed all the way in. Add lemon zest, zucchini (and nuts if you have to). Drop by rounded teaspoons on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 F for 10 - 12 minutes, or until very lightly browned. While still warm drizzle with Lemon Frosting (mix powdered sugar and lemon juice together). Cool on rack.

This is a good little recipe to have when the zucchini season is ripe (and you already made some zucchini bread).


Better Banana Bread

three ingredients make this banana bread better than any other i've tasted: brown sugar, butter, and yogurt.

2 cups flour (whole wheat is best but all-purpose is fine)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 very ripe, soft, brown-speckled large bananas (or 4 medium)
6 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips (optional)

1. preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan. whisk flour, sugar, soda, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. if you're making the bread with nuts or chocolate chips whisk them into the dry mixture as well. set aside.
2. cut the butter into several pieces and melt, then let slightly cool.
3. in a medium bowl, mash the bananas very well. add the butter, yogurt, eggs and vanilla mixing with the whisk after each added ingredient.
4. gently fold wet mixture into dry mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula just until incorporated. scrape batter into greased loaf pan. bake for 50-55 minutes or until an instered toothpick comes out clean.
5. remove bread from pan and allow it to cool on a rack or cloth. enjoy!


Pumpkin Doughnuts - Long Live Autumn!

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Spiced sugar
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
Canola oil (for deep-frying)

Powdered Sugar Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
Whipping cream

For spiced sugar:Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl to blend.

For doughnuts:Whisk first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (mixture will be grainy). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin in 4 additions. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.
Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out 1/3 of dough on floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.
Using 1-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.
Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches. Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 365°F to 370°F. Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely.

For powdered sugar glaze:Whisk powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons whipping cream to blend. Whisk in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to form medium thick glaze. Can be made up to 3 hours ahead. Add doughnut holes to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat. Spread doughnuts on 1 side with Powdered Sugar Glaze. Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.


Lime & Thyme Potato Salad

4 c. red potato cubes
1/3 c. mayo
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 t. lime zest
Juice of 1 lime
1 T. fresh thyme
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Potatoes can be peeled, or left unpeeled- imagine that! Cube potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes. Test for softness & sound. Take off heat & run cold water into pan until cooler & let sit for a couple of minutes. In separate bowl, while potatoes cook, mix everything else together. Add potatoes, coat. Keep in fridge. If salad seems too stiff after chilling, stir in a splash of milk. Enjoy and smell up the goodness!

Em's Mac & Cheese

1 - 1 1/2 lb. shell noodles
2 c. cream
2 c. sharp cheddar shredded
2c. monterey jack shredded
3 T. butter
bread crumbs

Put cream in saucepan over low heat (you'll be fine Ash, the cream won't burn). After the cream has warmed up a bit, add cheese, stir with a wisk until melted. At the same time cook noodles. Take cheese off off heat while draining noodles. Stir in butter after draining. Mix cheese & noodles in 9x13 baking pan. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Bake for 40 minutes at 350. Enjoy for days after!! Add a little milk and breadcrumbs when warming up.

Lemon Green Beans

Good Side Dish for (above posted) Mac & Cheese:
1 lb. green beans
Juice on 1/2 lemon
Lemon zest 1/2 lemon 2 T.
Olive oil
2 t. salt

Cook beans for 5 -6 minutes. Shock cool in ice water. In serving bowl, mix juice, zest, oil & salt together. Add green beans. Fridge at least 20 minutes. Add salt right before serving.


Corn Cilantro Salad

1 bag frozen corn (thawed but not cooked)
1 large crisp tomato (diced)
1 bunch cilantro (chopped)
1/3 bottle Italian dressing

Let frozen corn thaw. Add tomato and cilantro. Mix in Italian dressing. Eat and enjoy!



A boxed mix may be convenient, but these brownies from scratch are quick and superb (not to mention, real).

1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 (glass) pan.

2. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder together in a small bowl, set aside.

3. Cut each stick of butter into six pieces and melt in a medium bowl. Stir in brown sugar until combined and heat an additional 30 seconds to further dissolve the sugar.

4. Blend cocoa powder into melted butter and sugar with electric mixer until completely incorporated. Add eggs and vanilla and blend very well, then add flour mixture and blend until a thick, smooth batter forms.

5. Spread into greased pan pan and bake 28 - 30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and after 5 minutes loosen edges with a butter knife; this helps prevent brownies from sinking in the center as they cool. Let brownies cool at least an hour, completely if possible.

6. Frost with a thin layer of chocolate frosting (use the recipe on the back on the Hershey’s Baking Cocoa but cut recipe by 3/4) or peppermint frosting, if desired.

Mix in 2 cups of chocolate or white chocolate chips or marshmallows after most of the flour is incorporated.