Pumpkin Snickerdoodles!!!

If you have ever had a  Snickerdoodle you know they are yummy cookies with just the right touch of cinnamon and spice to them!!!   I started thinking about things to do with pumpkin when I was brainstorming Fall recipes and I thought "Pumpkin Snickerdooles" would be interesting!!!  

I love the 'pumpkin spice' craze we have seen the last few years in the foodie world!   The lattes and frappes, breads, cookies, cakes pies, all of it works for me!!!  However, as I have  told you before, I cook for picky eaters and pumpkin is not on the top of their 'likes' list, so I have to disguise it and make it extra tasty for them to eat it.   These "Pumpkin Snickerdoodles" passed the test and Mr. Sweet Tea even saw the can of pumpkin on the counter and questioned what I was putting it in.   He said something about why did you have to mess those up with that pumpkin and he would pass on those!!!   Well, let me tell you, he ate more "Pumpkin Snickerdoodles" than anybody!!! 

These are really yummy!!  They are a soft cookie with just the right amount of spice that is not overwhelming! 

Here is what you will need:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1  1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick aluminum foil.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer.   Add in the pumpkin, egg, spices and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture gradually and mix well until a dough forms.

Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes before making the cookies!

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.  Scoop the chilled cookie dough and roll into a ball about the size of a small walnut.  Roll in the sugar and cinnamon mixture!

Place on the cookie sheets about an inch apart.  Slightly flatten the cookies.   The bottom of a glass is perfect for this.  Don't flatten them too much, just a little.  Then sprinkle each one with a little more of the sugar mixture.    Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 11 to 13 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing with a spatula to a plate!

Serve immediately!!!  These are so delicious!!!  

Fried Cucumbers!


I have had so many cucumbers this year, so I am using them in every way possible.  I mean there are only so many salads you can eat!    It has been said we will bread and fry anything in the south and it will be good!!!  That's almost the truth!!!   Why not fried cucumbers then?   We fry squash, okra, green tomatoes, pickles, why not cucumbers?    They are delicious!!!   If you have never tried them, they are less tart than fried green tomatoes and lighter in flavor than squash, but they are yummy!! ! 

4-5 medium size cucumbers
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour (self rising or plain, doesn't matter)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Cajun seasoning (I use Tony Chachere's) optional
oil for frying

Slice the cucumbers, unpeeled, in about 1/4 inch slices.  Pour buttermilk over them and let them stand a few minutes.   Mix the cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper.   Dredge the slices of cucumber in the mixture until well coated.  

Heat the deep fryer or about 2-3 inches of oil in a deep pan to 350 degrees.  Carefully drop the cucumber slices into the fryer in batches.  You will probably have 2 to 3 batches depending on the size of the fryer.  Let them cook for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Flip them over once to be sure they brown on both sides. 

 Remove to a paper towel lined plate.  I like to sprinkle lightly with Cajun seasoning at this point, but that is optional. Serve these immediately.  They are best when right out of the fryer!

These are so good dipped in Mississippi Comeback Sauce!!!

Mexican Lasagna!!!

I love any type of Mexican cuisine, so this recipe was definitely a winner for me!!!  Surprisingly, my picky eaters also loved it!   This is a good recipe for feeding  a crowd, because it makes a lot and it's also great that you can assemble it all a day ahead of time!!!    This one can also be adapted to the tastes of your family.   I just let everyone garnish their own serving with the toppings they enjoy!!!  

Here is what you will need:

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. ground chuck or ground beef
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 (1 oz.) pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1  (10 oz.) can Rotel
2  (10 oz.) cans enchilada sauce
9 large burrito size flour tortillas
2 cups frozen corn 
3 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

sour cream
sliced ripe olives
sliced green olives
sliced green onions
diced tomatoes
jalapeno pepper rings
chopped cilantro

Brown the ground chuck with the diced onion in a large skillet.  Drain any excess grease.  Add the taco seasoning and water, stir to blend.  Add salt, pepper, Rotel tomatoes, and corn.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer.  This doesn't need to cook long, because you will be baking it.

Spray a 9" x 13 " baking dish with nonstick spray.  Spread 1/2 can of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Lay 3 of the flour tortillas over the sauce. They will overlap and that is fine.  Spread  1 cup of each cheese over all and then 1/3 of the meat sauce.

Continue building the layers as you would for lasagna until all of the ingredients are used. 

 On the last layer finish the top with 1 cup each of the cheeses!    Place uncovered in a preheated 375 degree oven.    Bake for 25 -30 minutes.  

The cheese should be browned and bubbly!!!

Cut it in squares and set out the garnishes so everyone can top their own with what they like!!!  This is always a big hit when I serve it!!!