Cracked Sugar Cookies

I don’t know how it happened, but my little man will be ONE this week!

In introducing foods I was careful to avoid too much sugar and overly processed, salty foods. Those restrictions were laxed the closer he kept getting to one.

At 10 1/2 months I decided it might be a good idea to introduce him to sweets prior to the big day. The last thing we need is for the birthday boy to get sick from his cake. (If he even eats any of it!)

We started with pancakes (no syrup). A huge hit.

cracked sugar cookiesI then decided to make cookies! He really liked these cookies! In fact, after having a taste, I couldn’t go grab myself a cookie without him practically begging for a bite. And who can blame him? These cracked sugar cookies should come with a warning label – they are addicting!! They’re almost-thin, chewy cookies with a touch of salt that keeps you coming back for “just one more.”

This recipe makes 24-30 cookies.

Cracked Sugar Cookies


  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1 C sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 C flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, shortening, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg and beat until combined. Mix in the vanilla extract, flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt until a stiff dough is formed.
  3. Roll dough into balls, about the size of a golf ball. Roll in sugar and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake 9-11 minutes, until just golden. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is adapted from Nicole at*

Cracked Sugar Cookies | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Japanese Curry

Can you go to the grocery store without a plan?

I can’t.

I have to have a list.

And to have a list I have to have a menu plan for the week.

Sometimes I can be too lazy to menu plan so I reach for the nearest cookbook or magazine. In this instance it was the January/February 2014 edition of Food Network Magazine. I looked at the photographic recipe index near the front of the magazine in search for a stir fry. I found Japanese Beef Curry.

IMG_5204It’s not really a fit for Stir Fry Day Friday though. The beef is thinly sliced and stir fried but the substance behind this dish is really the vegetable concoction – a side dish that reminded me so much of pot pie while it was simmering away that that’s exactly what I did with the leftovers the next night! I divided the leftovers into three ramekins (the smaller one was for the little man who loved the flavorful veggies), covered them with crescent roll dough, and baked them at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until the crust is cooked through and the filling bubbly.

I don’t have curry powder so I looked up the components that typically go in curry powder and adjusted the amounts (as I didn’t need 10 C worth). If you have curry powder, feel free to substitute 2 tbsp for all starred ingredients in the recipe.

This was the first time either of us have had a turnip so I wanted to make sure I could pick it out – I diced the turnip smaller than the potatoes so I could tell the difference. I’m not sure I could really tell you what a turnip tastes like because there’s so much flavor in the “soup”, but I loved the smell of it when preparing it – a fresh and earthy scent.

The recipe below is only for the side dish. If desired, serve alongside stir fried steak and rice or turn into pot pies for a flavorful twist on comfort food.

Japanese Curry


  • 3 tbsp butter, divided use
  • 1 turnip, peeled and diced
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp corriander*
  • 1 tsp cumin*
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric*
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 tsp pepper*
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger*
  • pinch red pepper flakes*
  • 1/4 tsp dried mustard*
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • 1 C mixed frozen vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans, corn, etc)
  • 1 tsp sugar

*If you have it, substitute 2 tbsp curry powder for asterisked ingredients


  1. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add turnips, potatoes, and onion. Season with salt. Cook until softened and remove to a plate.
  2. In a small bowl combine asterisked ingredients.
  3. Melt remaining butter in the same dutch oven used in Step 1. Whisk in spice mixture (or curry powder, if using) and flour until a paste is created. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until smooth. Return the veggies from Step 1 to the pot and add in the frozen veggies and sugar.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes. Uncover and cook another 5 minutes. Season to taste with S+P.

Japanese Curry | Sew You Think you Can Cook

A BBQ Potluck

This month a smaller than normal group got together for some barbecue food. Due to scheduling conflicts with the neighborhood clubhouse we had to meet on a Thursday instead of a Tuesday. It’s also travel season now that school’s out. But that didn’t stop us from having some fantastic food!

BBQ potluck

Here is a sampling of the recipes brought to the BBQ potluck:

I am really excited for our meeting in a couple of weeks when we’re having breakfast!!

    SRC: French Onion Dip


    It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the Secret Recipe Club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

    This month I was assigned the blog Palatable Pastime. Sue is the writer, photographer, and cook behind Palatable Pastime. She lives with her husband and cats in Cincinnati, not too far from where we’re currently located – I’ll definitely have to check out her restaurant reviews! I’ve actually been to a couple of these locations already! Small world.

    Sue’s recipe index actually changed formats during the few days I was perusing her site. She now has “galleries” that are links to her Pinterest boards. It’s actually really pretty clever – go check it out!

    I saved over ten contenders to make this month including Bang Bang Tacos, Chinese Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce, and German Sauerkraut Balls. I will be making her Blueberry Kumquat Infused Water for my husband, too, as he has a love for kumquats but we never know what to do with them.

    I ended up making French Onion Dip. It’s been on my “list” for a while and I had some potato chips in my pantry. I don’t ever have potato chips on hand, but last month when my mom was here we binge watched Once Upon a Time and enjoyed some chips and dip. I still had some dip in my fridge when she left so I had to buy another bag of chips. Then I ran out of dip. You could see how this could turn into a very dangerous unhealthy shopping cycle. Instead I decided I’d make my own dip – but it never happened. Thank you, Sue, for finally getting me to do it!

    I halved the recipe because my husband was out of town for work and I really didn’t need 4-6 servings of dip just for myself… because I would eat it all… I also had to substitute very finely diced scallions instead of wonderful chives because the two stores I stopped at didn’t have any! Hey, Ohio, who’s buying all the chives?!

    This dip was so simple and inexpensive to make, I’ll definitely be whipping up another batch as soon as I can get my hands on some chives!

    French Onion Dip


    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
    • 1/2 C softened cream cheese
    • 1/2 C sour cream
    • 1/8 C mayonnaise
    • 1 tbsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp minced garlic (I used 1/2 tsp Gourmet Garden garlic paste)
    • dash of Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp white pepper
    • 1 tbsp chopped chives


    1. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook onions until tender and slightly caramelized.
    2. In a bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, onion powder, garlic, Worcestershire, S+P with a hand mixer. Mix until smooth. (It’s important your ingredients be at room temperature for even mixing. You could also do this in a food processor if you preferred.)
    3. Fold in the onions from Step 1 and the chives, reserving some for garnish.
    4. Place dip in the fridge and serve chilled.

    *This recipe is adapted from Sue at*

    French Onion Dip | Sew You Think You Can Cook

    To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

    CIC: Pineapple and Rosemary


    I was so happy when the votes were in for this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge. It was a close battle but pineapple edged out zucchini.

    CIC ingredientsI know I already made a lemonade this year, but can you really have too many flavor options for summer’s perfect beverage!? I decided to make a simple syrup with the rosemary, puree some fresh pineapple, and add in freshly squeezed lemon juice.

    I actually didn’t make the simple syrup strong enough which is why you see 2-4 sprigs listed in my ingredients; I used 2 sprigs but would venture to say you could double that amount. To get more rosemary flavor in my lemonade I served fresh sprigs in the glasses, because if you smell the rosemary while you drink it you still get that flavor. I then threw in a few more sprigs in the pitcher in the fridge and after just a few hours the rosemary flavor was there.

    An Original Recipe

    Pineapple Rosemary Lemonade


    • 1/2 C sugar
    • 4 C water, divided use
    • 2-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
    • 2 – 2 1/2 C fresh cubed pineapple
    • 1 C fresh lemon juice (from 7-8 lemons)


    1. In a small saucepan over medium heat dissolve sugar in 1 C water with the fresh rosemary sprigs. Remove from heat once sugar is dissolved and let cool. Remove rosemary.
    2. Place pineapple in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the pineapple puree (this takes time). You should get 3/4 C pineapple juice (measure from the liquid line, not the foam line).
    3. Return pineapple juice to the blender along with the simple syrup, lemon juice, and 3 C water. Blend just to combine. Serve cold with additional rosemary sprigs for garnish.

    Pineapple Rosemary Lemonade | Sew You Think You Can Cook

    To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.

    Baked Onion Rings and Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce

    Sunday is Father’s Day and if the dads in your life are anything like mine are and they buy themselves everything they want forget about the tie and make them dinner instead!

    Last Father’s Day we were wondering if our little man would be arriving on this special day – he didn’t. I decided to make a meal fit for a Father regardless – baby back ribs with Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce and oven baked onion rings. Yes, I have been sitting on this recipe for a year!

    Baked Onion Rings


    • 2 sweet onions, cut in slices
    • 1 qt buttermilk
    • 4 egg whites
    • 1 C panko
    • 3/4 C cornmeal
    • 2/3 C flour (whole wheat or AP)
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 1/2 tsp paprika


    1. Place onion rings in a casserole dish and cover with buttermilk. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
    2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    3. In a shallow bowl beat egg whites. In another shallow bowl mix together panko, cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, and paprika.
    4. Shake buttermilk off the onions and coat in the egg whites then the breadcrumb mixture. Place on prepared baking sheets in a single layer. Spray onion rings with cooking spray.
    5. Bake 15 minutes. Flip onion rings and bake another 15 minutes, or until desired crispiness is achieved.

    *This recipe is adapted from Sally at*

    Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce


    • 4 tbsp butter
    • 1 sweet onion, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 can (12 oz) Dr. Pepper
    • 1 C ketchup
    • 1/2 C dark brown sugar
    • 1/2 C apple cider vinegar
    • 1/3 C Worcestershire sauce
    • 3 tbsp tomato paste
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 1 tsp Kosher salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper


    1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat melt butter. Saute onions until translucent. Add in garlic and cook another 60 seconds.
    2. Add Dr. Pepper, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire, tomato paste, chili powder, S+P. Whisk. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
    3. Allow sauce to cool slightly and puree with an immersion blender. Cool completely. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

    *This recipe is adapted from Danelle at*

    ribs and rings

    What are you making for Father’s Day? I’m not sure yet what I want to do – please leave me some ideas!

    #BundtBakers: Lemons

    4ae7b-bundtbakerspostThis month #BundtBakers is celebrating the end of spring by baking bundts with lemons as the theme. I really love this theme as my biggest “issue” with dessert is that it can be too rich and heavy, but the use of lemons (and citrus) makes cake feel light and bright. Perfect for the upcoming summer season. A big thank you to Anne of From My Sweet Heart for hosting this month.

    I know I’ve said this before but this cake might be my favorite one. It’s so bright, light, and addicting! The tart lemon glaze I made in lieu of frosting gives it that “one more bite” quality. I decided on a glaze so as to not hide the beautiful design of my awesome star bundt pan! There is one person who wasn’t interested in my cake though – the 11 month old in my house. I thought it’d be a good idea to slowly introduce him to sugar so he doesn’t get sick on his birthday. I’ve given him a couple bites of cookie – which he loved – but this cake didn’t pique his interest at all! We offered it a couple of times and he simply turned his head and pushed the fork away. The kid doesn’t know what he’s missing!

    crossfit babyAs much as I would have loved to eat that entire cake by myself I thought it would be smarter to share the love. With people who earned the extra calories! The first Friday of every month my husband’s Crossfit gym invites family members to watch the workout and join in a potluck. We came home with just two pieces of cake left – and had we stayed a little bit longer my plate would’ve been just crumbs.

    Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake with Tart Lemon Glaze


    • 1/3 C room temperature vegetable shortening
    • 2/3 C vegetable oil
    • 2 tsp lemon extract
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 eggs
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • 1 1/4 C flour
    • 1 1/2 C cake flour
    • 1 1/2 C sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 C buttermilk
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 3/4 C powdered sugar (you could increase this amount depending on juiciness of lemon and desired tartness of glaze)


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heavily grease bundt pan.
    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together shortening, oil, and both extracts. Add in eggs, one at at time. Mix in the lemon zest.
    3. In a large bowl sift together both flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    4. Switch stand mixer attachment from the whisk to the paddle. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the stand mixer and mix until combined. Add half of the buttermilk and mix until combined. Repeat with another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the buttermilk, and finishing with the last of the dry ingredients.
    5. Pour batter into greased bundt pan. Bake 50 – 55 minute, until a cake tester comes out cleanly. Allow cake to cool in the pan.
    6. Make the glaze: Whisk together lemon juice and powdered sugar. Pour over cake before serving.

    *The cake recipe is adapted from Barry at*

    Lemon Buttermilk Bundt with Tart Lemon Glaze for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

    And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:

    Bee’s Knees Lemon Honey Bundt from Food Lust People Love

    Blueberry-Lemon Breakfast Bundt from Cali’s Cuisine

    Bundt Cake de Limón from La Mejor Manera de Hacer

    Eggless Lemon Bundt Cake from Seduce Your Tastebuds

    Extra Lemon Bundt Cake from Los Chatos Chefs

    Lavender Lemon Cake from Magnolia Days

    Lemon & Lime Cheese Bundt Cake from Un Mordisco Un Pecado

    Lemon Apple Upside Down Bundt Cake from Simply Veggies

    Lemon Basil Bundt Cake from Tartacadabra

    Lemon Bundt Cake from Recipes, Food and Cooking

    Lemon Confetti Bundt Cake from Our Good Life

    Lemon Curd Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze from I Love Bundt Cakes

    Lemon Honey Bundt Cake from Brunch with Joy

    Lemon Marble Bundt Cake from Jenny and Sweets

    Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake from Liv for Cake

    Lemon Poppy Seeds Bundt Cake from La Cocina de Aisha

    Lemon Poppyseed Bundt from A Day in the Life on the Farm

    Lemon Rhubarb Bundt Cake from From Gate to Plate

    Lemon Ricotta and Poppyseed Bundt Cake from Spice Roots

    Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake from Love and Confections

    Lemon-Cranberry Poppyseed Bundt Cake from Take A Bite Out of Boca

    Mini Limoncello Bundts from Living the Gourmet

    Pink Lemon Pound Cake from Making Miracles

    Pink Lemonade Bundt from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner

    Rhubarb Pound Cake Bundt with Lemon Glaze from Brooklyn Homemaker

    Soft Lemon Rosemary Bread from Passion Kneaded

    Spring Strawberry Lemon Bundt Cake from Adventures in All Things Food

    Strawberry Lemonade Bundt Cake from Baking and Creating with Avril

    Sweet Lemon Bundt with Blackberry Glaze from From My Sweet Heart

    All recipes and photographs can be found on our individual blogs, on our Pinterest board, and the #bundtbakers homepage.