Posts Tagged seasonal

Minted Cookies

While this recipe won’t help you mint your own coins, it will help you make delicious minty easy cookies. These Andes mint cookies have long been on my to do list, but due to the seasonal shortage of regular size Andes mints, placed on the back burner. But no more!

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With a nice gesture from an Olive Garden waitress, & cookie request from a missionary in need (more on them at a later date) I got the chance I was looking for.
So many of the recipes were mixed in Andes bits, not thumbprint style, & many were complicated more than I felt they needed to be. I ended up doing a Google picture search hoping I’d see the cookie for me. At last, I found a pretty cookie with a small ingredient list! Below is the recipe, with an important ingredient change.

Andes Minted Thumbprints

1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 egg
½ c oil
1 TBSP water (as needed)
12-15 Andes mints (or ¾ c Andes bits)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap & cut mints in half. **Keep handling of mints to a minimum as they’re prone to melting before necessary.
2. Mix cake mix, egg, & oil in a bowl. Here is where my problem with the original recipe started. They only used ⅓ c oil which left the mix very dry & crumbly, to the point you couldn’t roll dough together. I had to add oil & eventually a little water so the dough was thoroughly moistened & clumpy. If dough is still a little dry, add water. Dough should lightly clump & hold shape when pressed together.
3. On parchment lined cookie sheet, place 1 TBSP dough 1″ apart. A measuring spoon helps keep dough form. A flattened bottomed cookie is a good thing. Fill sheet. Applying light pressure, use your thumb to make an indentation on the top of each cookie.
4. Bake for 8 minutes, a maximum of 9. Do not over cook. Set your kitchen timer.
5. Finish scooping dough on second cookie sheet & indent cookies.
6. While still warm & on cookie sheet, place half an Andes on top of each indentation. If the indent isn’t deep enough, use the back of a spoon to press a slightly deeper hole. Let Andes melt. Test for swirling consistency, then swirl mint with handle of spoon.

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7. After swirling cool cookies on cooling rack for up to 2 hours. Store in an air tight container. If needing hardened Andes quicker, refrigerate for a few minutes until firm but not moist (watch condensation).

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In Abundance

It’s the first season in which the fresh fruits & vegetables you eat are more likely to come from down the road than Chile or my near neighbor Mexico.
Since everyone is craving sun, shade & less kitchen cook time I thought I would list the delicious fruits & veggies you can expect to be out for noshing.

Fruits
Apricots
Honeydews
Mangoes
Oranges
Limes/Lemons
Pineapples
Strawberries

(Perfect curd making season!)

Vegetables
Artichokes
Asparagus
Broccoli
Corn
Green Beans (snap your own)
Pea varieties
Lettuces
Spinach

All these tasty things explain why salads & oven less cooking becomes so prominent during the spring & summer.

Question: What local fruits and vegetables are you looking forward to this spring?

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TTT: Favorite Fall Edibles

I love this time of year! It just smells wonderful outside, the air is crisping, it’s cool in the mornings and glorious in the afternoon, nippy at night. There’s leaves turning colors, sweaters and scarves, rosy cheeks & food I look forward to every year…

The foods I most look forward to during this time of the year in least to most are:

5. Hot chocolate : while it’s not the season where I drink hot chocolate like water, it’s the reintroduction to my favorite seasonal drink. Sometimes I add mint, marshmellows, cinnamon or caramel, but plain jane still makes me happy.

4. Apples : what can’t you do with apples? A fruit available all year round, it’s best in the fall when the Yanks are so overrun they don’t know what to do with them so they ship them all south dirt cheap! Apple pie, fried apples, baked apple crisp, caramel apples, applesauce, apple butter, applesauce cakes, chicken salad, tarts, etc. There’s a reason that during sick season I’m pretty good off, that apple a day is no joke…

3. Sweet Potatoes : another thing floating around in boatloads during this time of the year & I do NOT meant that disgustingly syrupy concoction we Southerners call sweet potato casserole. Candied yams are not sweet potatoes. Learn the difference. I love sweet potato baked fries & subbing them into the savory meals. Sweet potatoes are much better for you than your basic russet & you can edit as you please! I’ll be trying an apricot & sweet potato pasty recipe I have in a few weeks!

2. Dressing : the only ‘dish’ food on the list for a reason. Every year at Thanksgiving a list goes out for food requests & without fail the only thing I request is dressing. It’s already on the list because it’s a staple, but I don’t care. I want my chicken dressing & all other things are second fiddle to my main love.

1. Pomegranates : My Fall Love. This tangy, juicy, time consuming, bleeding fruit is my seasonal love. It’s worth the peeling, it’s worth the stains & it’s at it’s cheapest these few wonderful months. Whether I’m eating them just like candy, decorating a trifle or baking with apples or other fruit, this powerful little juicy seed is my most demolished object. Hint: peel in a bowl of water to avoid stained fingers & allow the seeds to sink & the peel float. Strain, & drain. Store in an airtight container on a paper towel to keep from getting soggy.

Feel like I forgot your seasonal love? Post a comment below & tell me what you love about this season!

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