Thursday, March 31, 2016

Asparagus and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts and Rice

We cheated tonight. A while back we bought some asparagus and cheese stuffed chicken breasts from Sprouts. We had them frozen and defrosted them for dinner tonight. We actually meant to cook them last night, but they took forever to defrost..which is why we threw together the shepherd's pie last night and it turned out a little haphazard. Anyways, since these were previously frozen, we decided to marinate them in lemon juice and white wine (chardonnay) to make sure that they wouldn't be too dry. The rice was just made following directions on the box, and it's the brown rice with flax seeds and mung beans we made in the previous weeks - it seems addicting, the little flax seeds are just so yummy in the rice! Also, rice blends are just simply more exciting than regular old white rice!

Stuffed Chicken Breast and Rice

Stuffed Chicken Breasts out of the oven!


2 Asparagus and Jack Cheese stuffed chicken breasts
wine and lemon juice for marinating (optional - but makes it more tender and juicy)


1. Cook chicken at 375 F for about 40 minutes or until done.
2. Cook rice
3. Serve!

What we liked:

Easy dinner :) This took us 10 minutes to just throw all together. The chicken was nice and moist.

What we didn't like:

That we didn't make the chicken from scratch. We cheated. BUT we have a good excuse, we bought the chicken when Alona's leg was broken and thought we'd need to have easy dinners on hand. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

He was still enthralled with his mac and cheese from earlier today so had a large plate of that for dinner as well. 

Next time:

Make the chicken ourselves!!!

Mac and Cheese

Kaspian LOVES mac and cheese. We have tried making it from the box and in little microwaveable bowls, and it just doesn't seem that edible to real people. Even Kaspian only eats a few spoons of it usually and then stops. Yet, he keeps requesting it. So, we're on a quest to find easy but edible mac and cheese.
We made it from this recipe for lunch today: . It actually turned out quite good. It was very easy to make. We made the sauce while the pasta was cooking and that worked out really well. The whole process took about 20 minutes.

Kaspian may like the mac and cheese because he helps make it. He adds the pasta to the boiling water, and then adds the cheese packet. Even for this pasta, he insisted on adding the cheese packet, but that didn't seem to affect anything but the color of the sauce :) The amount of sauce we made could have used more pasta, but it's not bad to have extra cheesy sauce!

Actually good mac and cheese!


1 (8 ounce) box elbow macaroni
1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8 minutes. Drain.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour, salt, and pepper until smooth, about 5 minutes. Slowly pour milk into butter-flour mixture while continuously stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Add Cheddar cheese to milk mixture and stir until cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes.
3. Fold macaroni into cheese sauce until coated.

What we liked:

Easy, quick, and actually good mac and cheese.

What we didn't like:

Kaspian pouring the fake cheese packet..but there was no stopping him!

What Kaspian thought about it:

HE LOVED IT. He ate two bowls for lunch and a large helping for dinner. 

Next time:

No changes, the recipe is great. 

Shepherd's Pie fail...

Last night we made a shepherd's pie that didn't have enough mashed it kinda turned into shepherd's pie soup/mush. It was still good...just not as originally expected. We only had about a pound of mashed potatoes left over from something last week. We froze it, and defrosted it for this, and we also used way more veggies, which is perhaps why this turned out more soup-y and less pie-y. We also used our smaller rice cooker/steamer/slow cooker combo, which is smaller and gets much hotter, but it may also not cook as well - which may also be the reason we ended up with "mush".

Here's the original recipe we tried to go for:


2 lbs mashed potatoes
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 lb frozen mixed vegetables


1. In a skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil.
2. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds longer. Add beef, increase heat to medium-high and cook, breaking up chunks, until meat is cooked through and beginning to brown, 8 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire, thyme and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. In a small cup, whisk cornstarch with 1 cup water. Add to skillet and cook, stirring, until liquid thickens slightly. Remove from heat; transfer to slow cooker.
3. Layer vegetables on top of meat; top with potatoes. Cover, turn slow cooker to low and cook for 3 hours.

What we liked:

It actually still tasted really good. We had a warm meal after Kaspian's swim lesson!

What we didn't like:

It failed as a shepherd's pie and turned into mush. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

He was very sad there were no mashed potatoes for dinner. 

Next time:

Use pearl onions. We love pearl onions. Definitely use more mashed potatoes and maybe less veggies. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


This is an easy, simple, go to dinner recipe. When we went to Japan we loved their miso soup that we found in little cafes at every corner. The little ramen shops were about the size of our kitchen, and that included their kitchen and seating/eating area, which was more like bar seating with barstools surrounding a counter behind which the ramen was made. Anyways, we tried to re-create their ramen at home. It's not as good as the Japan ramen, but it's good and quick and easy. We are still looking for the perfect noodles to use. We have bought an assortment of noodles at our local international market - Talin Market - and are trying to see which noodles we like best.

This recipe is very adjustable to your tastes. The amounts below are our favorites but everything can be adjusted up and down to your liking!


Kaspian's First Helping (he requested soup)


Ingredients (for 2):

Noodles (Any kind of Raman noodles, we have used the super cheap top raman noodles all the way to fresh refrigerated Asian noodels)
2 Tablespoons Miso Paste
1 Can Chicken Stock
1 Tablespoon Tahini
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Dash of Dashi
2 Chives


1) Boil water in a pan for the noodles.
2) While the water boils, heat another pan over medium high heat with the chicken stock.
3) Add the Miso paste to the stock and stir until dissolved.
4) Add in the Soy sauce and Dashi to the stock
5) Let boil for a few minutes.
6) By this time the water pan should be boiling, Add the noodles and cook according the Raman package instructions (Every noodle package seems to be different!)
7) Add the Tahini into the chicken stock mixture and reduce heat to low until the noodles are done.
8)  When the noodles are done, drain the water and pour the noodles into the stock/miso mixture.
9) Top with chives and serve! 

What we liked:

Quick and Easy dinner. 

What we didn't like:

Nothing, it was good. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

He LOVED the noodles AND the soup. He even asked for seconds and third. He usually does not like soup, but miso - he loves. 

Next time:

Try different noodles. We have "nests" and "wavy" noodles to try next. 

Forgotten Cookies

Alona loves meringues. These cookies combine meringues with chocolate AND nuts AND cherries. What can be better?! Here's the original recipe: These cookies are absolutely amazing. We have made them a few times and they are super easy and quick to make. (We usually have no patience to wait the 8+ hours.. they are gone before then). The cardamom really adds a unique flavor to the cookies. We do not have vanilla paste, so we just substitute vanilla extract and that seems to work. This time we made the recipe with Kirkland brand cherries and that seems to work better than the drier cherries from Sprouts. Nick didn't even notice the cherries in the cookies this time, whereas previous times he said they were too tart and actually liked the batch without cherries altogether. Also, we use eggs from our chickens, so they whip up extra good compared to the store bought ones. We haven't even had store bought eggs in over a year.
This recipe seems very versatile and adjustable, where you can take out an ingredient you don't like (cherries, nuts, or chocolate).

the inside of the delicious cookie

Out of the oven!

Going into the oven! 
All ingredients added


2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup dried cherries


1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar at medium speed until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. With the machine on, gradually add the sugar. Add the vanilla extract and cardamom and beat at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.
3. Using a spatula, scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl and fold in the chocolate chips, pecans and cherries.
4. Using 2 spoons, drop 2-inch balls of the meringue mixture onto a large foil-lined baking sheet.
5. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the cookies in for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.

What we liked:

The meringue cookies are delicous!!!

What we didn't like:

Nothing, it was all great, but from previous experience, make sure the cherries are not too tart and dry. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

It's not chocolate, so he did not deem it worthy of his attention. 

Next time:

No Changes Needed. 

Menu Week 6

Just kidding. There is no menu this week. This week is going to be a little strange. We are a little disorganized as we went out of town for Easter and thus did not do our usual planning and shopping this weekend for next week. :) We had Easter lunch at Inn of the Mountain Gods in Ruidoso. The buffet lunch was really amazing and delicious. Kaspian enjoyed their strawberries and cheese (apparently the best options at the buffet in the eyes of a three year old).
This week we plan on just winging it and making what comes to mind each day. We will go back to planning next week! Sorry Everyone!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Pecan Crusted Tilapia with Garlic Whipped Potatoes and Asparagus

We've never made pecan crusted tilapia before, but none of the recipes we saw were exactly what we wanted. So, we made up our own way to make it. It turned out really good, but it really needs this Golden Rum Butter Sauce ( to complete it. Without the sauce, the fish turns out a little dry.
We also made two different types of asparagus to see which one is better. We made Asparagus with garlic and balsamic reduction (not so good). This turned out kinda blah. Here is the recipe: We will not repeat it below as it did not turn out very good.
The other asparagus we made was Asparagus with bacon and shallots. This turned out really excellent and is probably the best way to eat asparagus. Here is the original recipe: The mustard and maple syrup went surprisingly well with the asparagus.
Served, with the bacon asparagus

With the Balsamic/Garlic Asparagus

Asparagus with Bacon and Shallots

Asparagus with garlic and balsamic reduction

Golden Rum Butter Sauce

"Pecan-ed" tilapia

Asparagus with the butter and shallot sauce

Asparagus Sauce


Pecan Crusted Tilapia:

2 Tilapia fillets, thawed
1/4 cup of pecans chopped in a Magic Bullet (or similar)
1 egg, whisked
1/4 cup of corn starch
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

Garlic Whipped Mashed Potatoes: 

6 golden yukon yellow potatoes
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon garlic powder to taste
1 teaspoon salt to taste


1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed
Cooking spray
2 center-cut bacon slices
2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
3 tablespoons unsalted chicken stock
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Golden Rum Butter Sauce: 

3 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Dredge each piece of fish in cornstarch, then egg, then the pecans.
2. Heat up a pan with oil and butter
3. Cook fish until done about 6 to 7 minutes per side, depending on the cut of fish. The pecans seem to make an insulating layer, so more heat is required than non-pecan-coated pan fried fish.

Mashed Potatoes: 
1. Steam the potatoes for 30 minutes
2. In a stand mixer, whip together all ingredients

1. Steam Asparagus for 8 minutes
2. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Remove from pan; crumble. Add shallots; cook 30 seconds. Add chicken stock, vinegar, mustard, and maple syrup; cook 1 minute. Drizzle over asparagus. Sprinkle with salt and crumbled bacon.

Golden Rum Butter Sauce: 
1. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat; add shallot and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until shallot is tender. Reduce heat to low, and slowly whisk in rum, next 4 ingredients, and remaining 2 Tbsp. butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute; serve warm.

What we liked:

The fish turned out really good and the sauce was perfect with it. It would not have been the same without the fish. Tonight's dinner required a lot of coordination and both of us cooking at the same time. We steamed the asparagus first, then the potatoes. While Nick was making the fish, Alona made the sauces for the asparagus dishes, the mashed potatoes and the golden rum butter sauce. It was fun cooking together and making up the fish recipe. 

What we didn't like:

The balsamic asparagus was not very good, especially in comparison with the bacon shallot one. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

He wanted bacon and mashed potatoes only. No suspicious fish or asparagus for him. 

Next time:

No modifications that we can think of at this time. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry

This has been the best asian recipe we have ever made. The sauce came out perfect and actually thickened (first time! yay!) Most of the time, the sauce just stays watery, but this time it was the perfect consistency. The veggies were excellent. We pre-steamed the asparagus though, to make sure it was cooked as we do not like crunchy asparagus. We also added some green onions and because we did not have farro we made brown rice with flax seeds. This recipe would also be great with some regular white rice. The sauce is very tasty and would go good with almost any rice. We also did not have any basil, but we don't think this recipe needed it. The basil might have made it too vietnamese cuisine, and this recipe really doesn't need it.


Closer look at the result 
Veggies with the sauce added

Veggies before sauce addition

Shrimp Cooked


2 cups brown rice/flax seed mixture
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups water and/or chicken stock
3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup vertically sliced onion
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup asparagus, diagonally cut into 1-inch pieces
2 stems of green onions cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1/2 cup water


1. Cook in rice cooker with "white rice" setting - brown rice with flax seeds (or just white rice if you'd prefer) with 2 tablespoons butter and 4 cups liquid (we used chicken stock and water to total 4 cups).
2. Steam asparagus for 8 minutes until tender.  
3. Combine soy sauce and crushed red pepper in a bowl. Stir in cornstarch with a whisk until smooth.
3. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; swirl to coat. Add ginger, shrimp, and garlic; stir-fry 3 minutes. Remove shrimp mixture from pan. Return pan to high heat; add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Add onion, bell pepper, green onions and asparagus; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add soy sauce mixture, stock, and 1/2 cup water to pan; bring to a boil. Stir in shrimp mixture; cook 1 minute. Serve with the rice

What we liked:

This was easily the best asian food recipe we have made. The sauce was perfect and the veggies and shrimp complemented the rice very well. It was also very fast and simple to make. 

What we didn't like:

Nothing, it was great. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

He wanted some rice, but that was as far as he would go with this dish. Dinosaur chicken nuggets are way more appealing. 

Next time:

No change. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Skillet Chicken With Roasted Potatoes and Carrots

This recipe looked so good on the picture. In reality, it did not turn out quite as expected. The sauce was incredibly delicious and Nick's favorite consistency of sauce.
However, the recipe seemed un-necessarily complicated and the carrots and potatoes did not cook all the way in the time alloted. We ended up simmering everything in the sauce an extra ten minutes to get everything cooked all the way.
The sauce though, more than makes up for the rest of the recipe and we will definitely keep the recipe for the sauce but might alter the other parts.
Here is the original recipe:

Simmering for another 10 minutes 

Delicious, delicious sauce

Chicken and Veggies out of the oven waiting for sauce


1 tablespoon olive oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
8 ounces baby carrots
8 ounces small red potatoes, halved
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
8 thin lemon slices, seeds removed
1 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
3/4 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley


1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes or until golden brown. Turn and cook 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Place carrots and potatoes, cut side down, in pan; sprinkle with thyme. Place pan in oven; bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Return chicken to pan; top with lemon slices. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Place chicken and vegetables on a plate.

3. Combine 1/2 cup milk, flour, and rind in a bowl. Return pan to medium-high heat (do not wipe out pan). Add flour mixture, remaining 1 cup milk, and stock to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and vegetables to pan. Sprinkle with parsley.

What we liked:

The sauce! It was incredible. The perfect consistency and flavor. 

What we didn't like:

The process. The carrots and potatoes did not get cooked all the way. The shuffling of items to and from the pan seems excessive and un-necessary. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

He ate a couple of raw carrots, but was not really hungry as he ate some blini that Alona's grandmother made not too long before dinner. 

Next time:

Keep the sauce, but make some pasta and fry up cubed chicken to go with it. 

Menu Week 5

This is going to be an unusual week. We had leftovers yesterday - so no fun recipes to report.
The plan for this week is
- Skillet Chicken
- Shrimp Stir Fry
- Beef and Potato Kabobs

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Decadent Chocolate Ganache Cake

We made the most rich and chocolaty cake we have every had today. This cake is covered in ridiculous amounts of chocolate ganache! It was delicious but maybe a little too chocolaty (we didn't think that was possible).  The original recipe is here: As you can see, ours did not quite turn out like their picture. We suspect this is because we used real chocolate instead of the Hershey/Tollhouse/Nestle baking chips that have an oil/wax to stabilize them.

Completed Cake - DRENCHED in chocolate

Inside of the cake

Cake slice


Unsalted butter, for greasing
3 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
9 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups hot brewed coffee
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 pounds semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup hot brewed coffee
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


1) Preheat the oven to 350° and position the racks in the center and lower thirds. Butter three 9-by-2-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.
2) In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate with the coffee and vanilla and let stand for 2 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is melted. In another medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil until pale yellow, then whisk in the sour cream. Gradually whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth.
3) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the 3 cups of flour with the sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix well. At medium speed, beat in the wet ingredients in 3 batches until just incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and beat until the batter is smooth.
4) Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Gently tap the pans on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean; shift the pans halfway through baking. Let the cakes cool completely, then carefully invert onto a rack and peel off the parchment.

1) In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, butter, sugar and salt just to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Stir in the coffee and vanilla. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally.

2) Transfer 1 cake to a plate. Spoon one-fourth of the ganache on top and spread in an even layer. Top with another cake and one-fourth of the ganache. Cover with the third cake and spread the remaining ganache over the top and side 
of the cake; decoratively swirl the ganache on top. 

What we liked:

It was oh so good! It was so rich and satisfied everyone's chocolate need!

What we didn't like:

The cake was too tall! We couldn't cut it and serve in one go. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

We thought he would love this cake as he love all things chocolate, but we bought a jar of jelly beans for the first time in his life today and he only had eyes for the green, blue and orange jelly beans! Did you know that jelly beans can be transported in matchbox cars - this makes them extra awesome (both the cars and the jelly beans).

Next time:

Make it two layers instead of 3 and maybe try to use the waxy baking chocolate chips (ugh! Not sure if we can make that sacrifice). Another option might be to use a little bit less of heavy cream to see if that will thicken up the ganache.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Chicken with Lemon Caper Sauce

This is one of Alona's favorite dishes. We had it at a restaurant one time and it is similar to chicken piccata at some restaurants. Alona asked Nick to replicate it at home after trying it somewhere (can't remember where) and after making it a couple of dozen times, we think it's pretty close to being perfect. The chicken can be substituted with shrimp and it turns out possibly even better (depending on what you feel like that night!). Depending on the brand of capers, you might have to adjust the amount as some brands are stronger than others. We like to buy our capers at Cafe Istanbul as they have really reasonable prices and usually always have a large jar of them. Local supermarkets normally only sell small jars (only enough for one recipe) and at much higher prices.

Alona likes lots of capers and sauce

Nick prefers less sauce on his

Pasta in the sauce pan

Cooked pasta

Sauce almost done!

Sauce cooking

Cooked chicken


8 oz angel hair pasta
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 large chicken breast
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 tablespoons garlic and herb seasoning
4 tablespoons capers
1 shallot, chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice


1. Boil water in a pan and add the pasta
2. Cut the chicken into thin strips. (Nick cuts them diagonally at 45 degrees)
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet
4. When the butter stops bubbling add the chicken strips to the pan. Sprinkle the garlic and herb seasoning on the chicken as it cooks.
5. Cook the chicken for 2 minutes a side until golden brown.
6. Remove the the chicken from the skillet and place on a plate or bowl (cover to keep warm)
7. Add the white wine to the skillet to de-glaze the pan. Be sure to scrape up all the brown bits.
8. Add the shallot to the pan and cook for a few minutes until the wine reduces by half.
9. Add the lemon juice, chicken stock, and 2 tablespoons of butter and chopped garlic to the pan and cook until reduced by half.
10. Finally add the capers and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to warm the capers.
11. Put the pasta and chicken into the sauce, and then serve!  

What we liked:

This dish is easy, and the sauce is perfect and light with a lot of lemon flavor. 

What we didn't like:

Nothing, it is good.

What Kaspian thought about it:

Kaspian loves the pasta and capers. He does not like the meat or the sauce. We usually reserve some un-sauced pasta for him and sprinkle it with capers. When he was smaller, he thought the capers were peas. 

Next time:

No Change

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Super Soft Sugar Cookies

You know those "Lofthouse" brand cookies you buy at the store? Those that are super soft and sweet and good? With the sprinkles?! We made them. And they were SOOO good!
This recipe made a ton of cookies, though we needed to double the frosting for all the cookies. The dough is EXTREMELY sticky. This is the second time we made them. The first time, we had all the ingredients and the dough was less sticky. This time, we did not have the cream cheese (Alona forgot to read the ingredients before making the cookies) and we just ended up making them with sour cream. Making them with just sour cream actually turned out better, after we got past the super frustrating part of adding a LOT more flour to make the dough the correct consistency. The dough was so sticky with the initial proportions that it was impossible to roll it out, much less cut out shapes. Even with refrigerating and attempting to freeze them. Using parchment paper and making sure these don't over cook is very important to maintaining their softness.
Here is the original recipe for these cookies:
Kaspian loves the cookies and cutting out shapes. And he loves the color green. And he always gets to pick the frosting color. So, our cookies, are usually frosted green. We had to make a second batch though, so blue was acceptable as a secondary color.
These turned out very easter-y with the pastel colored frosting. And we had some easter sprinkles to go along with them. These cookies are very soft and taste even better than the lofthouse cookies from the store.

Also, these are the only sugar cookies that Nick actually likes. Kaspian and Alona get to have fun cutting out cookie shapes, and Nick actually gets to enjoy the taste, so everyone wins with these!

Finished cookies

Blue cookies

More blue!

Green Frosted with Sprinkles

Just out of the oven

Cooling on the rack

Just out of the oven still on baking sheets

Still on Cookie Sheets

This was too sticky to roll out - had to add more flour

Ball of dough ready to refrigerate


For the Cookies:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting (or until correct consistency)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
seasonal sprinkles (optional)

For the Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioner''s sugar
4 tablespoons heavy cream


1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, with paddle attachment fixed, cream together the sugar and butter. 3. One at a time, crack each egg separately into the bowl. Mix to combine.
4. Once incorporated, add the vanilla extract and sour cream. Beat again to combine until all of the ingredients come together.
5. In 1/2 cup increments add the dry ingredients into the wet until you have added it all. Mix until everything comes together and a soft dough forms. It should be sticky, but slightly firm. If it''s too "runny" add a tablespoon more of flour at a time until you get this consistency. Dump the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and cover. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
6. Once your dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
7. SUPER Generously flour a work surface, unwrap your dough and place onto the floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with more flour. Taking a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4 of an inch thick. Cut shapes out of your dough with a cookie cutter. Once you have cut as many shapes as possible, place the shapes onto your prepared baking sheets.
8. Bake at 425 degrees F for 6-7 minutes until they begin to brown slightly around the edges and feel slightly firm to the touch. Remove from oven and immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool COMPLETELY.
9. While your cookies are cooling, prepare you buttercream frosting. In the bowl of your stand mixer, with paddle attachment fixed, cream the butter until soft and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and mix again to combine. In 1/2 cup increments, while the mixer is on it's lowest speed, add the confectioner's sugar until it is all incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 30 seconds until fluffy. Add in the heavy cream and beat again for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy once again.
10. Once cool, frost the cookies with the buttercream frosting. Sprinkle with sprinkles (if desired). Once the buttercream has set, transfer to an airtight container where the cookies will keep for about a week. 

What we liked:


What we didn't like:

Nick doesn't like sprinkles. He's lame and does not enjoy fun.

What Kaspian thought about it:

HE LOVES COOKIES. Kaspian says eat them with sprinkles, without sprinkles, or with frosting or without and he loves green. 

Next time:

No changes. Keep in mind to add more flour at the beginning. 

Tuna with Herb-Roasted Vegetables and Olives

We love tuna. Sushi tuna, fresh tuna, canned tuna. Yum! This recipe looked very different from all other tuna salads we've had as those are usually very creamy and mayo loaded. This recipe is very light and very good. It was refreshing. The carrots, surprisingly, provided a sweet flavor to the dish. The potatoes, we chose baby potatoes, were perfectly roasted and as always - so very good with rosemary. The rosemary bush we planted last fall (attempt #6 at a live rosemary bush) made it through winter and looks like it will survive and grant us wonderful rosemary for our recipes!
Also, olives can be overpowering in recipes sometimes, but for this one they were perfect. We did use a little more parsley though. The only thing that this recipe might benefit from is perhaps a very very light vinaigrette, maybe just an olive oil and salt drizzle.
This recipe comes from the most recent edition of the Costco Kirkland Magazine. I am unable to find a link for it online.
Note: we cooked the potatoes and carrots for 45 minutes, then turned the oven off and left the veggies in there to keep warm until we were ready to mix it in with the rest of the salad. This worked out wonderfully.

Close up in the serving dish 
All mixed in the serving dish!


1 lb (approx) of baby potatoes, washed
4 medium carrots cut into 1/2 inch - thicker end sliced in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 7-ounce can Kirkland Signature Solid White Albacore Tuna in water, drained and flaked
1/2 cup sliced green olives - we used pimento stuffed ones
1/2 bunch of chopped parsley, optional 


1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes and carrots with oil to coat and sprinkle with salt. Arrange in a single layer and baked until tender and golden, about 45 minutes total. (Do step 3 after about 20 minutes!)
3. Midway through cooking add rosemary and stir to distribute.  
4. Remove from oven and stir in tuna and olives. Toss with parsley if desired. 

What we liked:

Very easy and good and warm. It was a very different style of tuna salad. It was light and surprisingly tasty. 

What we didn't like:

It was a little dry.

What Kaspian thought about it:

It did not warrant his attention. He had pepperoni and cheese and one of the potatoes (ones that didn't touch the parsley!)

Next time:

Might try experimenting with a very light oil vinaigrette.