Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rainbow Shortbread Cookies

Ok, folks, confession time: I LOVE RAINBOWS.  Heck, just browse my pinterest page.  Most of the food is rainbow colored from the super awesome foodie site,  Now when I was young (and still today) I was a tomboy.  Making mud-balls covered in sand filled my day when hunting for rocks and gems didn't.  Oh, and when I could get away with it, I would pelt my sister with the mud balls.  She was such a girly girl, and she was disgusted by the mere sight and would flee from the little muddy things.  HAHA.  As a lot of girls, however, I still LOVED Rainbow Brite, Barbies and other girly things.  I particularly have always been drawn to rainbows, though.  Maybe it reminds my subconscious that God is watching and smiling at me (even though rainbows look like frowns)  It doesn't bother me that the homosexual community uses the rainbow as their calling card.  Go for it!  Rainbows are awesome, and represent happiness and another word for happiness is gay, right?  At least it used to be.  Ok, so on to the recipe.  I love shortbread cookies. Kinda like a sugar cookie minus most of the sugar, and add more butter, and take away the eggs.  Ok, not like one at all, but the dough looks the same. They're buttery, pillowy little bites of deliciousness. 

Makes approx 21 cookies.
8oz butter flavored Crisco/vegetable shortening
2 Tbsp water
2c ap flour
1/2c powdered sugar
1/2tsp baking POWDER
1tsp vanilla
a pinch of salt
Gel foodcoloring

Preheat oven to 325
In one bowl, combine all ingredients.  There is no need to cream shortening and sugar together.  With a stand mixer, add all ingredients to bowl and blend on lowest speed until creamy and smooth.
Divide dough evenly (as well as you can) into 6 small balls and place into their own individual bowls.  You will make red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.  Add as much food coloring to get the dough to a dark pastel of each color.  It will darken slightly in the oven.
Refrigerate the colored dough while your oven preheats, or for about 15 minutes.  Take out and place wazed paper or parchment paper down on your counter.  Starting with red, roll out long snake-like tubes and line them up.  Do you remember the order a rainbow goes in?  Do you know Roy G Biv?  Well, it's Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, then Purple (represents indigo and violet).
Now, gently roll it on top of itself to create a large tube of all 6 colors, a tube about the size of the store bought sugar cookies you can get.  Wrap in the parchment and freeze for about an hour or two to harden a bit.  When ready, pull out of freezer and slice cookies with a SUPER SHARP knife.  I used a santoku knife.  Make each cookie about 1/2 an inch thick and place 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. You can use an ungreased pan, but you really want the ease of the paper.

Bake for 20 minutes, rotating halfway after 10 minutes, especially if your oven is spotty like mine!
Let cool on pan for about 10 minutes and then remove to cooling rack.  You know the rest..... Eat! Enjoy!

PS: If you know me, you probably know that I rarely have time to grab my good camera, so you are getting crappy photos from my iPhone, which would NORMALLY be good, but my auto focus is broken, so sorry for the blurrrrrrrrrrrr
PPS: For more fun, take the separated dough and add different flavors to them, like lemon to the yellow, almond to the red or orange, etc.  Just be sure to use only like 1/8tsp and that the flavors won't conflict with each other.  Alternatively, you could just add 1tsp of your favorite extract in stead of vanilla :)

Beefy Mac Casserole

I was stumped.  I had no clue what to feed the kids (or myself and hubby) so I took a recipe I liked the backbone of, then made it my own.  Here she blows:

1lb ground beef
1c chopped onions and green peppers
Cavender's Greek Seasoning - Salt free (you can use your fav spice blend)
1 10 3/4oz can of Tomato Soup
1 10 3/4oz can if Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 15oz can diced tomatoes (I used one with garlic and onion in it)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed/minced fresh garlic
1 tsp minced basil, fresh.
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Several dashes of hot sauce
8oz elbow macaroni pasta
8-12oz shredded mozzarella cheese (2-3 cups)

Preheat oven to 350degrees Fahrenheit.
In a 4 quart dutch oven, fill pan with water and a teaspoon salt and boil.  Add macaroni and cook til almost al dente (usually about 2 minutes before the lesser time it asks to fully cook -- mine said 8-10 minutes, so I boiled for 6) .  Drain and set aside.
In a 12 inch skillet, brown meat, onions and peppers.  Add about 1/2 tsp or more (to taste) of Cavenders to meat and pepper mixture.  When meat is cooked through, drain and add back to pan. Pour undrained can of tomatoes, tomato soup, and mushroom soup, salt, basil & garlic and stir to combine.  Let it come to a boil and lower heat to a simmer, and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  At this point, you may add the Worcestershire and hot sauce.  My estimate on the hot sauce is about a tsp. Stir to combine.  Once the 10 minutes has passed, dump your pasta in the mix and combine.  Add 1 cup mozzarella and stir. Pour into a 9x13" pan and top with remaining 1-2 cups (based on how cheesy you want it!) of cheese and place in oven, uncovered for about 30 minutes or until desired crunchiness/brownness is achieved on the cheese.  Let cool and serve!  Enjoy!