Pumpkin Pie Spice Cut-Out Cookies

There’s a Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episode with the teaching lesson “it’s okay to make mistakes” in which Daniel and Prince Wednesday bake trolley cookies with Baker Aker.

We watched that episode one morning and decided to bake some cookies! With Treat taking a long nap, Firecracker and I were able to do some baking together.

I immediately went into the cupboard and pulled out The Gourmet Cookie Book and started skimming through to see what we could make with what was in my pantry.

I decided on Bizcochitos (Anise Cookies). Except that I didn’t have aniseed or lard. Which is why this recipe title is not Anise Cookies! I substituted vegetable shortening for the lard and decided to prepare for the season by using pumpkin pie spice. This recipe from December 1978 didn’t mention how to store the cookie dough, but I found it easiest to roll out if it were chilled, so I kept the portion I wasn’t rolling out in the refrigerator.

We used a train cookie cutter as is only natural with a train obsessed toddler in the house. He was more than happy to be my little model when it came time to photograph the cookies. In fact, the words, “I help” came out of his mouth as he held up a cookie and took a bite. Only a food blogger’s kid! I love him.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Cut-Out Cookies (toddler) | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Depending on your cookie cutter size, this recipe will make 5-6 dozen cookies.

The recipe says to, and I quote! “store them in an airtight container for 5 days before serving.” Yeah, right! These cookies didn’t even last five days on my counter.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Cut-Out Cookies


  • 1 C vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 C flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C water
  • cinnamon sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and pumpkin pie spice, mixing until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt. Add to the stand mixer, beat until combined. Add up to 1/4 C water until dough is smooth.
  4. Roll dough out to 1/8″ thickness. Cut out cookies with cookie cutters and place on baking sheets. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.
  5. Bake 12-15 minutes until lightly golden. Remove cookies to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is adapted from The Gourmet Cookie Book*

Pumpkin Pie Spice Cut-Out Cookies | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

SRC: Double Chocolate Cookies


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.

It’s actually a miracle I’m even posting with The Secret Recipe Club today! We moved to California from Ohio last month and I felt quite confident that skipping out of April’s SRC reveal day would be the only break necessary to get through the travel.

I had no problem selecting and making my dish for today’s reveal, but I did have a problem blogging it! We got the keys to our new home April 16th, moved in April 18th, and received delivery of our goods on April 19th. I’m supposed to get internet installed today. Hopefully that happens. It’ll be a while before I get a chance to stop by and check out all of the other SRC posts today, but you can see them via the link at the bottom of my post.

Everything I’ve been doing has been via mobile, except for the rare occurrences when I was able to get away from the boys and sit at a coffee shop with wifi. I actually never left the house, if I had to drive, without my computer so I could at least type up blog posts (this one included) in Word so that when I did get a moment of internet bliss I could quickly and efficiently schedule some posts!

We met a few of our neighbors after moving in and one of them generously and thoughtfully brought over a 6 pack of beers from local breweries that he put together. I knew I’d be searching through my assigned blog, Dessert Before Dinner written by Stephanie, for a thank you treat. The Jalapeno Beer Cheese Bread caught my eye, but it was another SRC post. I knew everyone loves cookies so I decided on her White Chocolate Chunk Chocolate Cookies. I put most of the cookies in a large mason jar and tied it with a bow. It’s a good thing I did, too, because I found these cookies to be insanely addictive. I definitely broke my “only two cookies at a time” rule and even sneaked one for breakfast the following morning.

Double Chocolate Cookies for Secret Recipe Club from Sew You Think You Can Cook (1)

This recipe makes 18-20 cookies.

Double Chocolate Cookies


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C flour
  • 1/4 C + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 C white chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and both sugars until fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the stand mixer and mix until combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips until evenly distributed in the dough.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto two baking sheets. Bake 10-13 minutes. Allow cookies to cool 5 minutes on the pan before removing to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is adapted from Stephanie at http://dessert-before-dinner.blogspot.com/2011/07/white-chocolate-chunk-chocolate-cookies.html*

Double Chocolate Cookies for #SecretRecipeClub from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)

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

SRC: Cappuccino Crinkle Cookies


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 Cook with Sara. To say I enjoyed this blog written by a fellow Midwesterner is an understatement. My secret Pinterest board has over 20 recipes on it, from Cherry Bread and Pineapple Sorbet to Creamy Brussels Sprouts Dip and Beef and Asparagus Stir Fry. I couldn’t decide if I wanted breakfast, dinner, a snack, or dessert. Everything looked so good! Not to mention Sara cooks with every day ingredients, making my decision process that much more difficult.

And that’s before I even got through her entire recipe index! While I was perusing Sara’s blog I received a request for cookies. My husband will be graduating with his Masters Degree in Systems Engineering this week! The spouse organization wanted to provide cookies to all of the professors who helped support our husbands. Of course I signed up to help out! But what to bake? I have two separate cookie cookbooks but it seemed like a much better idea to see what Sara had cooking in the blogosphere. I was on the hunt to try and empty out my carton of cocoa powder before the move next week. These Cappuccino Crinkle Cookies were just the ticket! I just had to wait for naptime to bake them and photograph them because there’s no way my toddler needs a chocolate cookie filled with caffeine! But do you know who does need cookies studded with caffeine? Parents and teachers!

This recipe makes approximately 30 cookies.

Cappuccino Crinkle Cookies


  • 1/3 C butter, at room temperature
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 2/3 C cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 C buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C sugar, for rolling


  1. In the bowl of  a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, bet the butter until smooth. Mix in the brown sugar, cocoa powder, espresso, baking soda, and cinnamon. Beat until combined.
  2. Add in the egg whites and buttermilk until fully incorporated. Add in the flour until the dough comes together.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Place sugar in a bowl. Drop heaping teaspoons of cookie dough into the sugar. Roll the dough into balls and then roll the balls in the sugar again. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 8-11 minutes until the edges are firm and the cookies have crackled. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is adapted from Sara at http://cookwithsara.blogspot.com/2012/06/cappuccino-crinkles.html*

cappuccino crinkle cookies for Secret Recipe Club from Sew You Think You Can Cook

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

#SRC: Pot o’ Gold Cookies


Good morning and welcome to another edition of The Secret Recipe Club. For a little “behind the scenes” information, The Secret Recipe Club (SRC) is divided into four group. Each group posts on a different Monday of the month. I am in Group C and always post on the 3rd Monday of the month. Which meant that during those special months with five Mondays there’d be a week without any fun reveal day! So now, on the 5th Monday of the month there is a themed reveal and it’s a “free for all,” which means that there aren’t any group restrictions. I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the other bloggers in the club.

Who would have thought that February would ever have 5 Mondays in it!? Happy Leap Day, everyone! As it’s the last day of February the Secret Recipe Club is looking into March for inspiration. Leprechauns and Bunnies was the assignment as St. Patrick’s Day has to share its month with Easter  this year.

I don’t think I could have asked for a better assignment this month! Making Memories with your Kids has an incredible index of holiday foods and crafts. Erin is a single mom to two kids who are most definitely making memories together through baking and crafting. Her blog is such a great resource of ideas!

Her sloppy Joe baskets would work for either holiday, really. Erin made them as “Easter baskets” but they could easily be a “pot of gold,” too.

While I don’t care much for St. Patrick’s Day (especially now that I don’t live near Kate anymore) I decided to make her Pot o’ Gold Cookies instead of her Chocolate Peep Sugar Cookies simply because the former were simple and used ingredients I already had. I did take some liberty in forming a few as Easter eggs and decorating with purple sprinkles, but you’ll notice they’re not photographed. They weren’t very pretty; to make them like Easter eggs definitely use white chocolate instead!

Forming Pot O' Gold Cookies with Grandma  Sew You Think You Can Cook

These shortbread cookies were a huge hit! My mother-in-law helped make them and showed Firecracker how to roll the dough into balls. He wasn’t particularly interested and instead preferred to “Hulk smash” the balls. Until he discovered the deliciousness of the dough! It’s egg-free so I had no problems with letting him try it, though once I realized he was eating it I had to clear most off of his table to prevent a sugar rush!

If I hadn’t put these cookies in a bag they wouldn’t have lasted through the evening. They’re addicting! Luckily the “impenetrable” barrier of a resealable bag (and a trip to Graeter’s ice cream) kept them safe so I could share them with friends.

Pot O’ Gold Cookies


  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/4 C flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 C milk chocolate chips
  • yellow or gold sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, and almond extract. Mix in the flour until it starts to combine. Turn dough out onto a flat surface and knead until smooth and combined.
  3. Roll dough into 1″ balls. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 11 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden. Allow cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheet.
  4. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. Spoon chocolate over the cookies and top with sprinkles. Allow chocolate to set before serving.

*This recipe is adapted from Erin at http://makingmemorieswithyourkids.com/2015/03/pot-of-gold-meltaway-cookies/*

Pot O' Gold Cookies for Secret Recipe Club from Sew You Think You Can Cook

I didn’t wait for the chocolate to set before photographing… Firecracker doesn’t like sticky things, he wasn’t quite sure what to do!

Pot O' Gold Cookies, not yet set  Sew You Think You Can Cook

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

#FreshTastyValentines: Tangerine Hatch Chile Sherbet

LogoIt’s the fifth day of #FreshTastyValentines, a blogging event headed up by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

This event is the third opportunity I’ve had to work with Not Ketchup. I have enjoyed each product of theirs I’ve tried to date. I have used Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup in a chicken salad and the Cherry Chipotle flavor in slow cooker baked beans (which is my husband’s all time favorite recipe I’ve created). When they announced their newest flavor I couldn’t wait to give it a try. Just as I expected, it was sweet, tart, and smoky. And bonus – there isn’t any added sugar!

64b31-not2bketchupHonestly, I was going to turn it into a barbecue sauce for some baby back ribs, but when I posted my “thank you” on Instagram Erika (mastermind behind Not Ketchup) said, “your recipes are always delicious can’t wait to see what you come up with!” I felt the pressure to think outside of the box. And so I did.

You can’t have Valentine’s day without dessert. But instead of chocolate, I have something out of the box for you. A sherbet made with Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup! By happy coincidence, I’m currently watching Unique Sweets on Cooking Channel and the episode is about savory desserts. Aiko Pops in Denver is featured for creating popcicles by combine fruits and veggies. I have a feeling my recipe just might be trendy, people! My frozen treat gets brightness from tangerine juice, smoothness from milk, and some smokiness from the Not Ketchup. It’s a dessert that borders on the edge of savory. That’s why I paired it with a different kind of smokey sweet flavor – cookies made with honey and oats.

Tangerine Hatch Chile Sherbet


  • 1 1/2 C tangerine juice
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C cold milk


  1. Place tangerine juice, sugar, Not Ketchup, lemon juice, and vanilla in a blender. Blend until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the cold milk.
  2. Place sherbet base in the refrigerator until it reaches 40 degrees F, at least an hour.
  3. Pour sherbet base into an ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.

*This recipe is modified from Alton Brown at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/orange-sherbet-recipe.html*

Low-fat Tangerine Oaties


  • 3/4 C honey
  • 1/2 C tangerine juice
  • 1 C old fashioned oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 C flour
  • 1/2 C loosely packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda


  1. In a small saucepan, combine honey and juice over medium heat. Cook until mixture is thicken and syrupy, about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, and sugar.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the baking soda into 1 tbsp boiling water. Add to the dry ingredients. Add the honey mixture to the dough and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 2″ between each cookie as they will spread.
  6. Bake cookies for 11 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheets. Note: Cookies will be sticky. Store them in an air tight container with wax paper between the layers.

*This recipe is modified from Cookies*

Tangerine Hatch Chile Sherbet for #FreshTastyValentines from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more Valentine’s recipes today:

Thank you to #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for providing bloggers with samples and products to use for #FreshTastyValentines recipe development without additional compensation. All opinions stated are those of the bloggers.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

#IntnlCookies: Mantecaditos

When I decided to join this International Cookie Exchange, hosted by Sarah of Curious Cuisiniere and Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, I first thought of doing a Polish cookie. I had my mom in town for a couple of weeks after the birth of my baby boy so going Polish was a no-brainer. Turns out that particular cookie was already claimed. (I shared my Kolaczki last weekend.)

I decided to then search for a recipe from my dad’s side – the Dominican Republic. The only thing I could find was a coconut cookie which was off limits to me. My dad spent his high school years in Puerto Rico so I figured I’d search for some Puerto Rican cookies instead. There were a few more varieties available and I was drawn towards mantecaditos.

But which version? I found a couple of recipes that used almond flour or ground almonds, but the recipe that used all-purpose flour and almond extract definitely won out; hey, no need to hit the grocery store!

These cookies were familiar, though I’d never had them before. The flaky cookie reminded me almost of a shortbread and almond extract flavor really came through the buttery cookie. My little man really liked these cookies – he was standing at the counter begging for more.

My mom and I thought baking cookies would be a fun way to get my little man involved in the kitchen. I brought his little table into the kitchen, gave him a little cookie dough, and a small bowl of sprinkles. To say he made a mess was an understatement, but he was happy and “contained” throughout the entire baking process. mantecaditos (baby) | sew you think you can cook



  • 1/2 C vegetable shortening
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/8 C sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 C flour
  • sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until combined. Add the almond extract. Alternate adding the egg yolks and flour, mixing until combined.
  3. Roll dough into balls and press flat and create a well. Pour sprinkles in the well.
  4. Bake 8 – 12 minutes.

*This recipe is adapted from Melisa at http://warmtoastymuffins.com/2013/10/23/mantecaditos-puerto-rican-cookies/*

Mantecaditos for #IntlCookies from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Here’s the #IntnlCookies Tray…
listed in alphabetical order of the cookies’ country of origin

You can follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #IntnlCookies, and you can find these great recipes and more cookies from around the world on the International Cookie Exchange Pinterest Board.

#Cookielicious Exchange Party

It’s that time of year

When the world falls in love

Every song you hear

Seems to say….

bake some cookies!

The opening lyrics are to The Christmas Waltz, a not as popular holiday song that was my first ever solo in middle school and a song that I hold dear.

But seriously, it’s that time of year for holiday parties and cookie exchanges and who better to have a cookie exchange than a wonderful group of food bloggers?! Today’s particular cookie exchange is with the Sunday Supper Movement. Be sure to scroll past my recipe for an incredible selection of cookie recipes to brighten your holiday season.

After the birth of my baby boy my mom was here for a couple weeks helping me adjust to life with two children. It was then that we decided to bake cookies, one of the culinary tasks my mom enjoys doing. We picked something of Polish origin – kolaczki. Mom remembers having these jam filled cookies as a kid. While the majority of the recipes online show a “rolled” cookie, Mom remembers having them as more of the typical “thumbprint” cookie. We decided to try the rolled cookie form – only 5 held their shape, so we made small circles from the remaining dough.

This recipe makes 4-5 dozen cookies.



  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 C flour
  • jam for filling
  • powdered sugar for rolling
  • sugar for rolling


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the flour, one cup at a time, and mix until incorporated. Refrigerate dough at least one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
  3. Combine equal parts powdered sugar and sugar for rolling the cookie dough.
  4. For rolled form: Roll dough out to 1/6″ thickness, cut into 2×2″ squares, place jam diagonally down the center, fold two opposing corners over the filling. For thumbprint form: Make small balls from the dough and roll in the sugar mixture. Press flat and create a well for the jam.
  5. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets. Bake 15 – 20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.
  6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

*This recipe is adapted from Barbara at http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/polishdesserts/r/kolaczki.htm*

Kolaczki for #Cookielicious Exchange Party from Sew You Think You Can Cook #SundaySupper

Plus, 20 Cookie Baking Tips and Holiday Cookie recipes from Sunday Supper

8387592742_f6164fd5a8_oJoin the #SundaySupper #Cookielicious Exhange Party conversation on twitter on Tuesday December 1st! Our chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Black & White Cookies

I have two cookbooks dedicated solely to cookies yet I never really think to make them! It’s not until an event pops up that requires cookies to be made that I remember I have these books.

There was a service event at church calling for homemade cookies. I searched through my Pinterest boards and found a couple of recipes that intrigued me, but when it came time to bake them I realized I didn’t have all of the ingredients as I’d thought, and then I continued reading and didn’t have time to chill the dough long enough either. So I opened up The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe from Each Year 1941-2009 on a mission to find a recipe that would make at least 2 dozen cookies, could be made quickly, and with what I had on hand. The recipe I chose is from December 2005.

Black and White Cookies are, according to the cookbook, somewhat of a favorite in NYC. I’ve never had the classic half black half white cookie so I can’t confirm that these tasted like the real deal or not. I know they don’t look like the real deal though because I don’t have the talent or patience to frost 28 cookies, so I used piping bags and went wild.

Mini Black and White Cookies

Ingredients for cookies:

  • 7 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 C flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for icing:

  • 2 3/4 C powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-6 tbsp water
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 baking sheets.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In another bowl or glass, whisk the buttermilk and vanilla.
  5. Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients to the butter, beginning and ending with the dry.
  6. Place spoonfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheet and bake 6-8 minutes, rotating pans halfway. The cookies are done when they’ve puffed and the edges are a pale gold. Allow cookies to cool on a cooling rack.
  7. Make the icings: Whisk together the powdered sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 2 tbsp water. Add more water if needed. Divide icing in half and stir the cocoa powder into one half.
  8. Frost the cooled cookies: Classically they are half white and half black. If you pipe like I did you can get away with a half batch of icings.

*This recipe is adapted from The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe from Each Year 1941-2009*

Black and White Cookies | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

An Orange Potluck Party

Instead of choosing a Fall or Halloween theme for our October potluck, we decided to broaden the category a little bit by going with “orange.” Anything orange in color, containing an orange ingredient, or using the flavor of orange was fair game. Understandably our menu contained a lot of pumpkin and squash.

I brought sweet potato chili. This chili recipe was inspired by my October CLUE assignment Eliot’s Eats. I made quite a few changes to Debra’s recipe, the main one being that I added ground beef to make a hearty chili versus something a little “soupier.” I swapped out the beans for adzuki beans, used crushed tomatoes instead of diced, removed the kale, and forgot about the orange zest.

I first made this chili as football grub when some friends came over. I needed something gluten and lactose free and chili seemed like the perfect solution. And it was a huge hit! Everyone went back for seconds and there wasn’t anything left the next day. Top your chili with tortilla chips and cheese, if desired.

I thought it’d be a perfect fit for our themed potluck and easily transportable in a slow cooker. Be sure to read past my recipe for the amazing collection of “orange” foods. We had a spectacular turn out of over two dozen friends.

Sweet Potato Chili


  • 2/3 C dried adzuki beans
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided use
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp chili powder, divided use
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 C peeled and diced sweet potato
  • 2 – 2 1/2 C broth (I’ve used both chicken and vegetable)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp finely diced chipotle in adobo
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley


  1. Soak beans for 1-2 hours. Rinse. Cover with water by 2″. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered 50-60 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef in 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Season with 1/2 tsp chili powder, S+P. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook onion in 1 tbsp vegetable oil until tender. Add 1/2 tsp minced garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the diced sweet potatoes and cook for 2 minutes, allowing them to get some color. Add 1 1/2 C broth and the cooked beans. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered.
  4. To the chili, add the crushed tomatoes, 1 chipotle in adobo, 1/2 tsp chili powder, coriander, parsley, S+P. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked ground beef to the pot. Add 1/2 – 1 C more broth and simmer until the beans are completely tender, approximately 30 minutes. (Note: If you want a meatier chili, cook uncovered. If you want more liquid cook partially covered, and add more broth as needed.)

*This recipe is modified from Debra at http://eliotseats.com/2012/03/01/black-bean-and-sweet-potato-chili/*

Sweet Potato Chili | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Here are the other recipes brought to the orange potluck:

  • Orange Julius: Mix 1 can (12 oz) frozen OJ concentrate, 2 C milk, 2 C water, 1/2 C sugar, 2 tsp vanilla. Add approximately 16 ice cubes and blend until smooth.
  • Pumpkin Spice Lattehttp://thrivinghomeblog.com/2013/09/crock-pot-pumpkin-spiced-latte/
  • Buffalo Chicken Diphttps://www.franksredhot.com/recipes/print/?re=re1242-1
  • 12 Recipes for an Orange Themed Potluck | Sew You Think You Can CookMacaroni and Cheese: Cook 1 lb pasta, drain, and set aside. In skillet, cook 1/2 onion (diced) and 2 tsp minced garlic in 2 tbsp veg oil until tender. In a large pot add 4 tbsp butter, 1 C milk, 1/4 lb Velveeta cheese until melted. Add in pasta, onions and garlic, and 2 C shredded cheese until mixed completely.
  • Gnocchi with Squash, Spinach, and Prosciutto: Cook 1 lb gnocchi according to package instructions, reserve 1/2 C cooking water, drain and return to pot. In a large skillet, cook 6 slices chopped prosciutto in 1 tbsp butter, transfer to paper towel lined plate. Add 3 tbsp butter to same skillet and brown 1 1/2 lb cubed butternut squash 4 min, add 2 tbsp fresh thyme and cook 30 sec, deglaze pan with 1/2 C white wine until reduced by half, add 1 C chicken broth and cook 4 min until thickened. Add squash, 4 oz baby spinach, and cooked prosciutto to gnocchi, adding reserved pasta water as needed.
  • Carrot Pudding: Boil 5 lb peeled and chopped carrots until tender, drain, and mash. Cream 1 C melted butter, 1 C sugar, 1 C brown sugar and add to carrots. Mix in 2 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp ginger, 1 tbsp nutmeg, 1 tsp ground cloves, 6 eggs, 1 heaping tbsp baking powder, and 1 tbsp vanilla. Pour into a 9×13″ casserole dish and bake 1 hr at 350 deg F.
  • Sweet Potato and Orange Puree with Almond Streusel: Make Streusel: Combine 1/3 C flour, 1/3 C whole almonds, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp paprika, 1/2 cold cubed stick butter; refrigerate at least 1 hr. Make Puree: Mix together 4 lb worth cooked peeled sweet potatoes, 1/3 C OJ, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp room temperature butter, 1 1/2 tsp orange zest; place in 9×13″ casserole dish, top with streusel, bake 40 min at 400 deg F.
  • Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells with Sage Browned Butterhttp://www.melskitchencafe.com/butternut-squash-stuffed-shells-with-sage-browned-butter/
  • Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookieshttp://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/09/oatmeal-pumpkin-cookies/
  • Met in your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies: Beat 2 C butter until fluffy, mix in 2 C sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg until combined, add 2 eggs and 2 tsp vanilla until combined, mix in 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin, slowly add 4 C flour until combined. Drop spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet and bake 10-12 min at 350 deg F. Make icing: Beat together 1/2 C butter, 1 pg (8 oz) softened cream cheese, 3 3/4 C powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla. Frost baked cookies. Garnish wish cinnamon.
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Barshttp://roxanashomebaking.com/pumpkin-cheesecake-bars-recipe/

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 http://www.heatovento350.com/2013/09/cracked-sugar-cookies.html*

Cracked Sugar Cookies | Sew You Think You Can Cook