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Sparkling Summertime Cocktails

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, July 15, 2017



With Summer in full swing, we have put together a list of some of our favorite cocktails using our sparkling water! These are super easy to make and are sure to be a hit at your next BBQ or Summer get-together!




Sparkling Cojito

Ingredients:

1 bunch fresh mint, keep a few sprigs to the side for garnish
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
4 limes juiced
3 cups coconut rum
1 liter Saratoga Sparkling Water
Ice
Lime wedges for garnish


Directions:

  1. In a large pitcher, combine the mint, sugar, and water, and muddle. Add the lime juice and rum, and stir to combine. Fill the pitcher with ice and add the seltzer.
  2. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with a sprig of mint and a lime wedge.


Bayard Fizz

Ingredients:

2 oz. Gin

1 tbsp. Maraschino Liqueur

1 tbsp. Lime Juice

1 tsp. Raspberry Syrup

Saratoga Sparkling Water


Directions:

  1. Shake with ice and strain over ice cubes in a highball glass.
  2. Fill with sparkling water and garnish with fresh raspberries.


Cucumber Gin Fiz

Ingredients:

Ice
2 Inch piece of cucumber diced, plus some for garnish
4 Sprigs dill finely chopped, plus 2 for garnish
2 Wedges lime, plus more to garnish
Saratoga Sparkling Water
4 oz (4 shots) Gin


Directions:

  1. In a cocktail shaker muddle cucumber, dill and lime.
  2. Add gin & ice.
  3. Shake well and strain into a glass filled with ice.
  4. Top off with sparkling water and give a quick stir.
  5. Spritz with lime and top with a sprig of dill & or a slice of cucumber.


Tequila Limeade

Ingredients:

2 oz. white tequila

4 oz. limeade

4-5 mint leaves

Saratoga Sparkling Water

lime slices


Directions:

  1. Add the mint leaves, tequila, limeade and crushed ice to a cocktail shaker and shake well, breaking up the mint leaves.
  2. Strain into a high-ball glass filled with crushed ice and lime slices.
  3. Top with sparkling water.


Citrus Spritzer

Ingredients:

1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc

1 lime sliced

1 blood orange sliced

1 tangerine sliced

12 ounces Saratoga Sparkling Water


Directions:

Combine the wine and fruit in the bottom of each pitcher, and top off with soda.  Add ice and stir!




Sparkling Lemon Martini

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces lemon vodka

2 ounces fresh lemon juice

Pinch sugar

2 ounces Saratoga Sparkling Water

1 lemon wedge

Sugar for rimming


Directions:

  1. Rim the top of a martini glass with the lemon wedge. And dip into sugar to coat. Set aside.
  2. In a shaker, add the lemon vodka, lemon juice, sugar, and a handful of ice. Shake for 15 seconds.
  3. Strain into martini glass, leaving the ice in the shaker. Top with sparkling water.

Our Favorite BBQ Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Friday, June 09, 2017

(Photo: @bigbarbecue on Twitter)


Starting tomorrow and running through the weekend is one of our favorite events of the year, The 15th Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party! Held in Madison Square Park in New York City, this is a charity event that benefits the Madison Square Park Conservancy. In past years, more than 17 barbecue pitmasters were in attendance serving up some of the best BBQ in the country, making this one of the country’s premiere barbecue events! The event is free to attend and food is sold by the plate. This event has had over 125,000 visitors in the past, so lines can be long. However, the food is well worth the wait! In honor of the event, we thought we would share with you some of our favorite Summer BBQ and grilling recipes. We hope you enjoy the weekend!

Bruschetta Chicken


Ingredients:

4 tbsp. oil

Juice of 1 lemon, divided

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness

3 Roma tomatoes, diced

4 slices provolone

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine oil, juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tablespoons), 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and Italian seasoning and whisk to combine. Transfer to a large re-sealable bag along with chicken. Seal and chill, 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer chicken to a preheated grill and discard excess marinade. Grill chicken over medium-high heat until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes on each side.
  3. Combine diced tomatoes and remaining juice from ½ lemon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. While chicken is still on grill, top each breast with 1 slice Provolone and cover grill until cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Top chicken with tomato mixture and serve.

Campfire Potatoes



Ingredients:

2 lb. mini Yukon gold potatoes, quartered

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried oregano

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 c. shredded mozzarella

1 c. freshly grated Parmesan

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high, or preheat the oven to 425º.
  2. Cut 4 large pieces of foil about 10” long. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil, garlic powder, and oregano and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide potatoes between foil pieces, then fold the foil packets crosswise to completely cover the potatoes. Roll the top and bottom edges to seal them closed.
  4. Place foil packets on the grill and cook until just cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan on top of the potatoes and reseal the foil packet. Cook until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
  6. Top with parsley and red pepper flakes and serve warm.


Spicy Grilled Shrimp



Ingredients:

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tsp. celery seed

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 tbsp. whole-grain mustard

2 lb. large easy-peel shrimp

2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced and 1 halved

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine oil, garlic, celery seed, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until garlic is golden, sizzling, and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Whisk in mustard and transfer to a bowl; cool completely.
  2. Add shrimp and sliced lemon to oil mixture. Season with salt and black pepper; toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  3. Heat grill to medium-high. Grill shrimp and lemon slices until lemons and shrimp are lightly charred and shrimp are just cooked through, 1 to 3 minutes per side.
  4. To serve, transfer to a platter and squeeze lemon halves over top.


Grilled Potato Salad



Ingredients:

3 lb. baby Yukon gold potatoes

Kosher salt

Black pepper

6 tbsp. olive oil, divided

6 slices center-cut bacon cut into 1/2 in. pieces

2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

1/4 c. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. firmly packed brown sugar

8 scallions

2 tbsp. fresh marjoram, plus more for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat grill to medium-high. Line a plate with paper towels.
  2. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold salted water by 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until easily pierced with a knife, 14 to 16 minutes. Drain and let cool. Transfer to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of oil.
  3. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to prepared plate with a slotted spoon.
  4. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings from skillet. Off the heat, add garlic, vinegar, and brown sugar to the drippings in the skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Whisk in remaining 4 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. Grill potatoes cut-side down until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Grill scallions, turning occasionally, until charred, 4 to 6 minutes. Chop scallions into 1-inch pieces.
  6. Add potatoes, scallions, and marjoram to bowl with dressing, and toss to coat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with marjoram. Serve immediately.

Beer Braised BBQ Pork Butt



Ingredients for Dry Rub:

2 tablespoons salt

About 40 grinds black pepper

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground mustard seed

12 ounces good ale or dark beer, such as Bass

4 cloves garlic, chopped

One 5-pound pork butt

Ingredients for BBQ Pork Butt:

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine rub ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Rub all over pork butt. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour and as long as overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Unwrap pork and place in a roasting pan with sides about 2 inches high. Cook 45 minutes until dark browned and even blackening in places. Remove from oven. Lower oven to 325 degrees F. Pour beer over the top and add chopped garlic around the pork. Cover tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil or twice with regular foil. Poke about 10 holes all over the top of the foil. Cook pork butt 2 1/2 hours longer until so tender that it comes away very easily from center bone.
  3. Place the meat on a plate and pour the pan juice into a saucepan.
  1. To the pan juices add the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer until reduced by half and thick, about 20 minutes.
  2. While the sauce is boiling down, pull apart the pork with 2 forks. Pour the sauce over the pulled pork and work through until fully absorbed.

Mother's Day Breakfast Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, May 13, 2017

(Hallmark ECards-Giphy.com)



Mother’s Day is tomorrow and what better way to pamper the most important woman in your life than breakfast in bed! We have put together a short list of some of our favorite delectable recipes for you to treat her with!



Banana Bread Pancakes

Ingredients:

2 c. all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1/2 c. finely chopped toasted pecans, plus more for serving

3 tbsp. packed brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/4 c. Buttermilk

1 c. mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium), plus slices for serving

2 large eggs

1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for griddle

pure maple syrup, for serving



Directions:

  1. Stir together flour, pecans, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, banana, eggs, and butter in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to buttermilk mixture and stir until just combined.
  2. Heat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat; butter. Pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake on griddle. Cook until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look dry, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook until plump and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Place pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet, and keep warm in a 175°F oven up to 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
  3. Serve with maple syrup, toasted pecans, and sliced bananas.


Spinach Ricotta Brunch Bake

Ingredients:

2 sheets puff pastry thawed

6 eggs beaten

1 cup ricotta cheese

A dash hot sauce

1 cup spinach chopped

6 slices bacon cooked, chopped

1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded

1 medium red bell pepper chopped



Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray.
  2. Unfold pastry sheets and roll out one sheet to 11-inch square; set aside. Roll out remaining sheet to 12-inch square; use to line the bottom and side of the prepared spring form pan.
  3. Reserve 1 tbsp. eggs. Mix remaining eggs with ricotta, hot sauce and spinach. Layer half each of the bacon, cheddar, ricotta mixture and peppers in crust. Repeat layers.
  4. Cover with remaining pastry sheet; fold under edges of pastry, then tuck inside pan. Brush pastry with reserved egg. Cut slits in top crust.
  5. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 min. Run small knife around edge of pan to loosen crust before removing rim.


Easy Eggs in Clouds

Ingredients:

4 eggs

1/4 cup grated pecorino-romano

1/4 cup chopped chives

1/4 cup crumbled bacon

Pepper



Directions:

  1. Separate eggs, putting whites in 1 large bowl and yolks in 4 separate small bowls.
  2. Whip whites until stiff peaks form.
  3. Fold in cheese, chives and bacon.
  4. Spoon into 4 mounds on parchment-lined baking sheet; make a deep well in center of each.
  5. Bake at 450 degrees for 3 minutes, then and 1 yolk to each well; season with pepper. Bake until yolks are just set, 2 to 3 minutes.


Strawberry Sweet Rolls

Ingredients for Rolls:

1 tube crescent rolls

1 c. strawberry preserves

1 c. chopped strawberries

1 tbsp. melted butter

sugar (for sprinkling)

Ingredients for Glaze:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 tbsp. butter, softened

1 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tbsp. lemon juice



Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° and grease an 8"-x-8" baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, unroll dough and separate the sheet into 4 rectangles. Pinch the perforations to seal. Spread strawberry preserves onto each rectangle, then top with chopped strawberries. Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle and pinch edges to seal. Cut each roll into 4 to 5 slices. Place side by side, cut side up in baking pan.
  3. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
  4. For the glaze: In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth.
  1. Drizzle baked rolls with cream cheese glaze. Serve warm.


Blueberry Breakfast Braid

Ingredients:

6 tbsp. cream cheese, divided

1/4 c. sugar, divided (plus more for sprinkling)

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract, divided

2 c. (1 pt.) fresh or frozen blueberries

2 tbsp. cornstarch

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 8-oz. tube crescent dough

All-purpose flour, for work surface

Egg wash (1 beaten egg plus 1 tsp. milk)

1/4 c. sliced almonds

1/2 c. powdered sugar

2 tbsp. heavy cream



Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine 4 tablespoons cream cheese, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine blueberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
  3. Unroll the refrigerated crescent roll dough. If there are perforated edges, pinch the lines together to get rid of the cutouts. Lightly flour the dough, then roll it out slightly with a rolling pin to create a large rectangle.
  4. Spread the cream cheese mixture in the center of the dough, leaving about a 3” border on each side. Spread the blueberries over the cream cheese mixture. With a sharp paring knife (or kitchen shears), cut diagonal 1" strips along both sides of the dough border. Starting at the top of the dough, fold the strips over the blueberries, alternating sides to fold the left and right strips over one another. Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash, then sprinkle with sugar and almonds. Bake for 15 minutes, then let cool slightly.
  5. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons cream cheese, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar is evenly incorporated into the cream cheese. Whisk in the cream, adding more to loosen the glaze if necessary.
  6. Drizzle glaze over the pastry. Cut crosswise to serve.


Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts

Ingredients for Donuts:

1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 and 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

2 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 cup milk

Ingredients for Glaze:

1 and 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice, more if needed

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest



Directions for Donuts:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a doughnut pan; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the granulated sugar and lemon zest; mix together with your fingers until zest is evenly distributed in the sugar. Add in the melted butter and beat until combined. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon extract; beat well. Stir in milk.
  4. Add in the dry ingredients and gently fold the mixture together using a rubber spatula, stirring only until mixture is evenly combined.
  5. Spoon or pipe the thick batter into the molds of your prepared pan, filling each mold up 2/3 of the way. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until firm and lightly golden on the tops.
  6. Remove pan from oven and allow doughnuts to cool for at least 10 minutes in the tray before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Once cool, dip each doughnut in glaze.

Directions for Glaze:

  1. In a wide, shallow dish combine the sifted confectioners' sugar and milk; whisk to combine - the mixture will be a little clumpy at this point. Stir in the salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest; whisk smooth.

 


Spring Mocktail Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, April 29, 2017

(Photo: ohsodelicioso.com)


The season has come for picnic, barbecues and spring get-togethers! Every good soiree has a few different alcoholic drink options, but why not keep the non-drinkers in mind when planning what to serve? We have put together some of our favorite mocktail recipes for you!



Berry Spritzer


Ingredients:

A handful of organic berries

Fresh, organic mint leaves (no more than two sprigs)

Juice of 1 organic lime

2 tablespoons of agave, honey, or other sweetener (optional)

Club soda

Ice


Directions:

1. Muddle or purée the berries with the juice of one lime, the mint, and the optional sweetener.

2. Fill your glass with ice. Spoon your berry mixture over it. Then top it with club soda. Depending on how fruity you enjoy your drinks, you can reserve this for one mocktail or divide it between two.

3. Mix the spritzer using a cocktail shaker.

4. Serve with berry, lime, or mint garnishes.



Virgin Pina Colada


Ingredients:

2 frozen organic ripe bananas

1 cup fresh pineapple chunks (frozen will work if you cannot find fresh)

1 cup no sugar added organic pineapple juice

1/2 can organic coconut milk (full fat or light) – frozen into cubes

Coconut flakes for garnish

Fresh pineapple wedges for garnish


Directions:

Add all of the ingredients except the coconut flakes and pineapple wedges to your blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into 4 glasses, serve each topped with coconut flakes and garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge.



Watermelon Strawberry Cooler


Ingredients:

4 cups cubed watermelon

1 cup hulled strawberries

1/2 peeled lime (or juice from 1/2 lime)

2 teaspoons chia seeds

6 mint leaves, plus more for garnish

Ice (optional)


Directions:

  1. 1. Blend the watermelon, strawberries, and lime until smooth. Strain through a sieve, pushing the juice through with a spatula. Discard the solids.
  2. 2. Mix the chia seeds into the juice and refrigerate for about 15 minutes to let the chia seeds swell.
  3. 3. Muddle 3 mint leaves in the bottom of each glass. Fill glasses with ice (optional). Stir the juice to break up the chia seeds, pour into glasses, and serve.


Lavender Lemonade


Ingredients:

6 cups water, divided

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

3 Tbsp dried lavender

2 cups lemon juice

Lemon slices and lavender petals for garnish

Blue or purple food coloring (optional)


Directions:

  1. 1. Over medium heat, combine two cups of water and sugar, bringing to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Turn off of the heat and stir in agave nectar and lavender.
  2. 2. Allow mixture to steep for 2 hours (less if you want less of a lavender taste). Strain the liquid, pressing the lavender down to make sure you get all of those juices into your mixture!
  3. 3. In a large pitcher, combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, lavender mixture and water.
  4. 4. Feel free to add a couple drops of blue or purple food coloring if you want more color than the lavender provides. Serve over ice.


Non-Alcoholic Sangria


Ingredients:

2 cups boiling water

2 black tea bags (or 2 teaspoons loose-leaf tea in an infuser; decaf tea is fine)

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup sugar

3 cups pomegranate juice

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 medium orange, sliced into thin rounds

1 medium lemon, sliced into thin rounds

1 medium lime, sliced into thin rounds

1 medium apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

3 cups Sparkling Saratoga Water

 

 

Directions:

  1. 1. Pour the boiling water over tea bags and cinnamon sticks and steep for 5 minutes. Discard tea bags and stir in sugar to dissolve.
  2. 2. In a large jar or pitcher, combine tea, cinnamon sticks, pomegranate juice, orange juice, orange, lemon, lime, and apple. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight.
  3. 3. Just before serving, stir in sparkling water. Serve in glasses over ice.

 


Irish Recipes for St. Patrick's Day!

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, March 11, 2017

(Photo by Kelly McCombs)



St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and you don’t need to be Irish to celebrate, although many say that everyone is at least a little Irish on the holiday! St. Patrick’s Day is a day to cook delicious authentic cuisine and beverages, and have fun with family, friends and co-workers. We have a feeling you’ll feel the luck of the Irish with these recipes below. Remember to enjoy and drink responsibly! 



Irish Soda Bread

A meal in Ireland is not complete without traditional Irish Soda Bread. This recipe is easy and only takes about an hour to make. The finished product is soft loaf filled with raisins. Slather a layer of butter on a slice and you’ll be the happiest one in the room!



Irish Coffee

While this may seem like something you can only have in the morning time, this strong coffee cocktail can be had any time of the day. My favorite time to make this is as an after dinner drink. Irish coffee can be deceiving…it packs a punch!



Shephard's Pie

This delicious casserole is seen on many Irish menus, though some say it originally came from England. Regardless, this is a super easy and popular meal to make for St. Patrick’s Day!



The Irish Cocktail

A simple name for a drink that has been around since 1888. You can’t have a St. Patrick’s Day cocktail recipe without a little whiskey!



Irish Beef Stew

One of the best meals I had while in Ireland, was a hearty beef stew made with Guinness at a small pub in the coastal town of Doolin. Enjoying this meal, while listening to spirited Irishmen play some local music, made for some long lasting memories. This recipe is the closest one I’ve found to replicate that stew!


Healthy Recipes To Get Summer-time Ready!

Kelly McCombs - Friday, February 24, 2017

(Photo: fannetasticfood.com)

We have had some absolutely gorgeous weather here in NY the last few days, which has made us realize that Spring is right around the corner! It’s time to come out of that winter hibernation! We have put together a yummy list of some of our favorite healthy recipes to help kick start some healthy eating habits, to get you Summer-time ready!




Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry

Ingredients:

3 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2-3 T olive oil

1 can of tomato paste

2 cans of chickpeas

1 can of coconut milk

2 cups vegetable broth

5-6 oz spinach, washed and torn from stems

2 cups chopped onion

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 T chopped fresh ginger

1 handful cilantro

1 t cumin seeds

1 t coriander seeds

2 T olive or other oil

1 t ground turmeric

1 t garam masala

1 pinch ground cinnamon


Directions:

  1. Toss sweet potatoes in 2-3T oil and roast at 350F until soft. Blend until very smooth with the broth and coconut milk in a high speed blender or food processor.
  2. Heat 2T oil in a large pan and add the cumin and coriander seeds, toasting until just fragrant.
  3. Add the onion, turmeric, and garam masala and sauté for a few minutes until translucent, then add the ginger and garlic, cooking for another 3-4 mins.
  4. Add the chickpeas and sauté for 2-3 mins, then pour the sweet potato mixture into the pan. Add the tomato paste, spinach and cilantro.
  5. Cook until heated through. 


Salmon with Lemon Mustard Dill Sauce

Ingredients for Salmon:

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

4 salmon fillets, patted dry with paper towels

Ingredients for Dill Sauce:

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

¼ cup plain whole milk yogurt

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Directions:

  1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a baking dish and mix well. Add the salmon, turning to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 6 hours.
  2. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Place salmon (skin side down) in a foil-lined baking dish with sides. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Top cooked salmon with sauce and salt and pepper to taste; serve with brown rice and the vegetable of your choice.



Wild Rice Salad

Ingredients:

1/2 cup wild rice (any rice works, timing will vary accordingly)

14 oz. block extra firm tofu

2 tsp. coconut oil

2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari

fresh ground pepper

1 heaping cup thinly sliced carrots

3/4 cup cooked, shelled, organic edamame

3 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

handful of Chopped Cilantro or Pea Sprouts


Dressing:

2 Tbsp. white miso

2 Tbsp. agave nectar or brown rice syrup

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 1/2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1 shallot, minced

Juice of half an Orange


Directions:

  1. Rinse the wild rice. Bring two cups water to a boil. Add the rice, turn the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about 35-40 minutes), adding a bit more water if necessary to finish cooking.
  2. Wrap the tofu between a few layers of paper towel or a dish cloth and set it aside to drain for 10-15 minutes. Cut it into a 1/2'' dice. Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat and add the tofu and sauté for about five minutes. Sprinkle the soy sauce and a few grinds of fresh pepper over the top and sauté another few minutes until the edges are browned. Turn off heat and set aside.
  3. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the rice, tofu, sliced carrots, edamame. Toss everything with the dressing. Add the sesame seeds and cilantro and give it another toss. Serve room temperature or chilled.



Italian Chicken and Veggies

Ingredients:

2 small chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup bell peppers, sliced or chopped

1 small zucchini, sliced

½ cup tomatoes sliced into large chunks

½ cup onion, sliced or chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder or fresh minced garlic

1 teaspoon paprika (optional)

salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.
  3. Cut and lay out 2 12x12 inch squares of aluminum foil on a sheet pan. Place half the mixture on each foil and gently fold the foil around ingredients to form a tight seal.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with a side of rice or noodles.



Shakshuka

Ingredients:

1 tablespoons olive oil

5-6 eggs

½ medium brown or white onion, peeled and diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped

4 cups ripe diced tomatoes, or 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of sugar (optional, to taste)

Salt and pepper (to taste)


Directions:

  1. Dice the onions and garlic and sauté them on a deep, large pan.
  2. Dice the tomatoes and peppers (make sure to fully core the middle and the seeds). Sauté the bell peppers for 5-7 minutes until soft and add the tomatoes.
  3. Add tomato paste and stir until thickened. Add salt and pepper. Add in paprika and/or cayenne for as much spice as you like.
  4. Once thick, crack in the eggs one by one, making sure to space them out evenly. Cover the pan and allow the mixture to simmer and condense for 8-12 minutes, depending on how cooked you prefer your eggs.
  5. Once the eggs are cooked, the shakshuka is ready to be served with traditional challah bread and shared.

Sweets For Your Sweetie!

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, February 11, 2017

(Photo: kevinandamanda.com)



Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and now is the time to start planning out the day! Most people will buy store-bought candy or pastries for their loved one. Why not kick it up a notch and earn some extra points by making something from scratch! Here is a list of some of our favorite sweets for your Sweetie!



Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownies


Ingredients:

1 box (18.25 oz) red velvet cake mix

1 cup butter, divided

2 eggs

1 package (about 36) whole Oreos

1 bag (11.5 oz) milk chocolate chips (about 1.5 cups)

1 bag (12 oz) mini chocolate chips (about 1.5 cups)

1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy whipping cream


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil and coat with cooking spray. Beat together cake mix, 1/2 cup melted butter, and 2 eggs until fully combined and smooth. Press into the bottom of prepared pan and bake for 15-18 mins, until just set.
  2. 2. Crush whole Oreos in a sealed bag. Stir together with remaining 1/2 cup melted butter and mix well. Pour over baked red velvet brownies and gently press down in an even layer.
  3. 3. Place the milk chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a low boil, then pour over chips. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk together until completely smooth and thick. Pour over Oreo layer. Top with mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 30-45 mins to allow chocolate ganache to set up. Cut into bars and serve.

Chocolate Lava Cake


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup butter

3 eggs

3 egg yolks

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Powdered sugar


Directions:

  1. 1. Using the 2 tablespoons butter, grease six 8- to 10-ounce ramekins, souffle dishes or custard cups. Place ramekins in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside.
  2. 2. In a heavy small saucepan, combine chocolate and the 3/4 cup butter. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Remove pan from heat; set aside.
  3. 3. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Fold one-third of the chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Fold remaining chocolate mixture and flour into egg mixture. Spoon about 2/3 cup batter into each prepared ramekin, dividing evenly.
  4. 4. Bake in a 425 degree F oven about 12 minutes or until cake edges feel firm. Cool in ramekins on a wire rack for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a knife, loosen cake from sides of ramekins. Invert onto dessert plates. Sift with powdered sugar. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint leaves if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.


Peanut Butter Truffles


Ingredients:

3/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

8 ounces chocolate-flavored candy coating


Directions:

  1. 1. In a heavy small saucepan, bring whipping cream just to boiling. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, stirring until combined. Add chocolate pieces, stirring until melted and smooth. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Cover and chill about 1 hour or until firm.
  2. 2. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Use a spoon or a small cookie scoop to shape truffle mixture into 1-inch balls. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cover and freeze 30 minutes or until firm.
  3. 3. In a heavy small saucepan, melt candy coating over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Using a fork, quickly dip truffles, one at a time, into coating. Draw the fork across the rim of the saucepan to remove excess coating. Return truffles to baking sheet. Let stand 30 minutes or until coating is set.
  4. 4. Store truffles tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.

Easy Mini Cherry Pies


Ingredients:

1 box Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Pie Crust, softened as directed on box

1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling

1 egg

1 tablespoon water


Directions:

  1. 1. Heat oven to 400°F. Unroll pie crusts; use rolling pin to slightly roll dough out.
  2. 2. Use 3-inch diameter round cutter to cut 12 circles from dough. Use small heart-shaped cutter to cut 12 hearts from remaining dough, rerolling scraps as needed.
  3. 3. Press circles into 12 ungreased regular-size muffin cups; fill with pie filling. Top each with heart-shaped cutout.
  4. 4. In small bowl, beat egg and water. Brush over crust on each.
  5. 5. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.


Cookie Dough Trifle


Ingredients:

Cookie Dough

1 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 c. brown sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

3 1/4 c. crushed graham crackers

1/3 c. milk

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/3 c. mini chocolate chips


Whipped Cream Layer

2 pkg. Cool Whip, thawed

1 c. mini chocolate chips

8 chocolate chip cookies


Chocolate Pudding Layer

2 (3.4 oz.) boxes instant chocolate pudding mix

4 c. cold milk


Directions:

  1. 1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in graham crackers, salt, and milk. Fold in chocolate chips. Crumble and pour 1/3 of the mixture into the bottom of a trifle dish.
  2. 2. Make the whipped cream layer: Mix chocolate chips and Cool Whip. Pour 1/3 of the mixture on top of the cookie dough in the trifle dish. Top whipped cream layer with a layer of chocolate chip cookies.
  3. 3. Make chocolate pudding layer: Combine pudding mixes and milk, whisking until granules have dissolved. Let pudding has set, 5 minutes, then pour 1/3 of the mixture on top of the cookies, smoothing to create an even layer.
  4. 4. Repeat layers until you've reached the top of the dish.
  5. 5. Cover the entire trifle with remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, to soften the cookie layers. Top with chocolate chips and crumbled cookie pieces before serving.

Big Game Day Snacks!

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, February 04, 2017

                                                                                (Photo by Becky Luigart-Stayner)

Have you been looking for some delicious and easy snacks to serve tomorrow for the big game? You’ve come to the right place! We have compiled a list of some of our favorite snacks to have while watching football!


Cheesy Pretzel Twists


Ingredients:

1 can biscuit dough

8 cheddar cheese sticks

4 c. water

1/4 c. baking soda

1 large egg, beaten

Coarse sea salt for sprinkling


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  2. 2. Place cheese sticks on the tray and freeze for 30 minutes.
  3. 3. Cut each biscuit dough in half and roll into a long strip. Wrap tightly around each frozen cheese stick so that no cheese is exposed. Pinch to seal the edges. Repeat with the remaining cheese sticks and dough.
  4. 4.In a medium saucepan, combine water and baking soda. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Drop in wrapped cheese sticks and let cook for 1 minute, remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to baking sheet, making sure the pretzels aren't touching.
  5. 5. Brush beaten egg over each pretzel. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Garlic Bread Pizza Dip


Ingredients:

2 c. shredded mozzarella

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. ricotta

1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan

1 tbsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

1 can refrigerated biscuits (such as Pillsbury Grands)

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp. Freshly Chopped Parsley

1/4 c. pizza sauce or marinara


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Make dip: In a large bowl combine mozzarella, cream cheese, ricotta, 1/4 cup Parmesan, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes and season with salt. Stir to combine.
  2. 2. Halve biscuits and roll into balls. Place in skillet in a ring. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, and parsley. Brush on biscuits.
  3. 3. Place dip inside of ring and spoon over marinara. Top with remaining 3/4 cups mozzarella and mini pepperoni. Sprinkle remaining tablespoon Parmesan all over.
  4. 4. Bake until biscuits are golden and cheese is melty, about 30 minutes. (Brush biscuits with more olive oil halfway through if necessary.)

Guacamole


Ingredients:

5 avocados, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 16-ounce bag tortilla chips


Directions:

  1. 1. In a large bowl, combine the avocados, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
  2. 2. Stir well. Serve with the tortilla chips.

Sausage Sliders


Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and black pepper

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed (about 4 cups)

1 pound sweet Italian sausage

12 small rolls, split


Directions:

  1. 1. Heat broiler. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. 2. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. 3. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. 4. Add the spinach and cook, tossing, until the spinach is just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. 5. Remove the sausage from their casings and form into twelve ½-inch-thick patties. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet and broil until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  6. 6. Form sandwiches with the rolls, sausage patties, and vegetable mixture.

Loaded Nachos


Ingredients:

2 tsp. olive oil

3/4 lb. fresh chorizo, casings removed

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 (15-ounce) can Black Beans, rinsed

8 oz. Tortilla chips

10 oz. sharp Cheddar or pepper Jack cheese, grated (about 2.5 cups)

1/2 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded

3/4 c. Fresh salsa

1 avocado, chopped

fresh cilantro

pickled jalapenos

sour cream


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. 2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo, onion, and garlic and cook, breaking chorizo into pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in beans and cook until warm, 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. 3. Spread chips on prepared pan. Spoon chorizo mixture over chips and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and chips are toasted, 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. 4. Serve topped with lettuce, salsa, avocado, cilantro, jalapeños, and sour cream.

Holiday Cocktail Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Friday, December 23, 2016

(Photo from delish.com)

Since Christmas is just around the corner, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite Holiday inspired cocktails, and even one mocktail for the kids or those who prefer not to drink. Make these for your friends and family when they come over for the holiday festivities. They are sure to please!

Hot Buttered Rum
Ingredients

BUTTERED RUM BATTER
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. vanilla ice cream, softened
2 tsp. cinnamon

RUM DRINK
2 c. apple cider
1 c. rum

Directions
1. Make the Buttered Rum Batter: In a mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in ice cream and cinnamon, then spoon into a large mason jar or Tupperware container. Store in freezer until mostly hardened, about 2 hours (or store there until you’re ready to serve drinks).

2. Make the Drinks: In a large saucepan, heat cider until boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and pour into a pitcher or easy-to-serve container.

3. Place about 2 tbsp of the buttered rum batter into each mug. Fill about 1/3 of the way up with rum, then top with hot apple cider. Stir and serve.


Classic Eggnog
Ingredients

2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
1/3 c. bourbon or rum (optional)
Whipped cream, for serving

Directions

1. Combine milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat. Slowly bring mixture to a low boil.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar until yolks are pale in color. Slowly add hot milk mixture to egg yolks in batches to temper the eggs and whisk until combined.
3. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat until slightly thick (and coats the back of a spoon) but does not boil.
4. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream and, if using, booze.
5. Refrigerate until chilled.
6. When ready to serve, garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon.

Holiday Mule
Ingredients

1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz unsweetened cranberry juice
1 1/2 oz gin or vodka
2 oz chilled ginger beer
1 rosemary sprig
orange slice, for garnish
sugared cranberries, for garnish

Directions

1. Combine simple syrup, cranberry juice, and gin. 
2. Pour over ice and top with ginger beer. 
3. Serve garnished with rosemary, orange wedge and sugared cranberries, if desired.

Jingle Juice
Ingredients

CITRUS SUGAR:
1½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon

PUNCH:
¾ cup Citrus Sugar
1 cup lime juice
1 cup lemon juice
2 cups orange juice
1 cup grapefruit juice
1 cup mango nectar
1 cup pineapple juice
3¾ cups Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
2¼ cup Grand Marnier
1½ cups Amaretto
3 cups sparkling water
orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit slices, frozen cranberries for garnish

Directions

1. Make the citrus sugar by combining the sugar, zests, ginger and cinnamon. Rub the zest between your fingers to release the oils. Let sit at room temperature for 4 hours or up to a a few days in an airtight container.
2. Peel the skins off of the fruit and juice.
3. Make the punch by adding the sugar to the bottom of the punch bowl. Pour in the juice and stir to start to dissolve the sugar. Pour in the alcohol.
4. Garnish with frozen cranberries and fruit slices.

Pomegranate Margaritas
Ingredients

1 can frozen limeade concentrate
2 c. water
3½ c. gold tequila
2 c. pomegranate juice
1 c. Triple Sec
5 limes
Ice cubes for serving
1 c. fresh pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)

Directions

1. In large pitcher, combine limeade and water until well blended. Stir in tequila, pomegranate juice, and triple sec.
2. Cut each lime crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick wheels; cut a slit in each wheel, from center to edge. To serve, place ice cubes and a few pomegranate seeds in each glass; place a lime wheel on rim.

Christmas Punch (Non-Alcoholic)
Ingredients

5 cups Tropical Punch
1 cup Cranberry Juice
1 cup Pineapple Juice
½ cup Lemon Juice
4-5 cups Ginger Ale
1 pint Raspberry Sherbet

Directions

1. Make sure all ingredients are chilled. 
2. Combine all juices into a large punch bowl.
3.Add ginger ale slowly to prevent too much fizz. 
4. Add scoops of raspberry sherbet & let sit for a few minutes. Serve with a ladle.

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We want to take this time to wish all of our wonderful viewers and customers a very happy Holiday and a Happy New Year! We hope you all enjoy the time spent with your loved ones!

Holiday Cookie Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, November 26, 2016

(Photo by midwestliving.com)


Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it is time to start thinking of new recipes to make for Holiday cookies! My friends and I always do a big cookie exchange amongst ourselves. To save time and money, it is always best to plan ahead and have your recipes on hand. Here are a few you might like to include!


Peppermint Sugar Cookies


Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 Tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Red gel paste food coloring


Directions:

1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.


2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat for 2 minutes on medium speed or until mixture is light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add egg and egg yolk; beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Beat in peppermint extract. Gradually add flour mixture beating on low speed just until combined.


3. Divide dough in half. Knead about 1/2 teaspoon gel paste food coloring into one of the dough portions (add more, if desired, for a deeper red color). Leave the remaining dough portion plain. If necessary, wrap and chill dough for at least 1 hour or until easy to handle.


4. Form dough into desired shape. For peppermint swirl cookies: Divide each red and plain dough portion in half for a total of four dough portions. Roll a red dough portion into an 8x6-inch rectangle on parchment or waxed paper. Pat or roll a plain dough portion into an 8x6-inch rectangle on paper. Use the paper and your hand to carefully invert the red dough rectangle on top of the plain dough rectangle; remove top layer of paper. Starting from a long side, roll up dough using bottom layer of paper to help lift and guide the roll. Pinch dough edges to seal; wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining red and plain doughs. Chill dough rolls for 1 to 2 hours or until dough is firm enough to slice. Unwrap dough rolls; reshape, if necessary. If desired, roll each of the dough rolls in red edible glitter or red coarse decorating sugar. Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, slice rolls crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Rotate roll while cutting to prevent flattening. For candy cane cookies: For each cookie, on a lightly floured surface, shape a 1/2-inch ball of plain cookie dough into a 5-inch rope. Repeat with a 1/2-inch ball (1 measuring teaspoon) of red cookie dough. Place the ropes side by side and twist together. Form into a cane shape.


5. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven until edges are set (9 to 10 minutes for swirl cookies; 6 to 8 minutes for candy cane cookies). Cool on cookie sheets on wire rack for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool.



Cookie 'N Cream Blossom Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. dark cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cornstarch
36 Hershey's Kisses Cookies 'n' Créme, unwrapped


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350º and line a cookie sheet with parchment. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.


2. Add egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.


3. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients, then add to wet ingredients and mix until combined.


4. Form level tablespoons of cookie dough into a ball and place onto prepared cookie sheet.


5. Bake until edges are set and centers look mostly set, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a Hershey’s Kiss into center of each.


6. Let cookies cool 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.



Sugar Cookies


Ingredients:

1 c. butter (no substitutions)
½ c. sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat butter and sugar until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and creamy. On low speed, beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in flour, baking powder, and salt until blended.


2. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten each piece into a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or until dough is firm enough to roll. (Or place dough in freezer 30 minutes.)


3. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll 1 piece of dough 1/8 inch thick. With floured 3-inch to 4-inch cookie cutters, cut dough into as many cookies as possible; wrap and refrigerate trimmings. Place cookies, 1 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet.


4. Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough and trimmings.


5. When cookies are cool, prepare Ornamental Frosting, if you like; use along with sugars and candies to decorate cookies. Set cookies aside to allow frosting to dry completely, about 1 hour. Store in tightly covered container (with waxed paper between layers if decorated) at room temperature up to 2 weeks, or in freezer up to 3 months.


Chocolate Volcano Cookies


Ingredients:

1 lb. confectioners' sugar
¾ c. unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp. salt
4 large egg whites
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1½ c. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.


2. In large bowl, whisk confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and salt. Add egg whites and vanilla and beat with wooden spoon until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Set dough aside 5 minutes. If your batter is too runny, cover and refrigerate 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.


3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until set and crackly. Let cool on cookie sheets 3 minutes; then, with spatula, carefully transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


Russian Tea Cakes


Ingredients:

1 cup butter or margarine, softened 
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar


Directions:

1. Heat oven to 400ºF.


2. Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla in large bowl. Stir in flour, nuts and salt until dough holds together.


3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.


4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool slightly on wire rack.


5. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar; cool on wire rack. Roll in powdered sugar again.


We hope you enjoy these delicious cookie recipes, and don't forget to share with your friends and family!





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