Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pecan Tea Cookies

I've always loved these little melt in your mouth holiday treats, especially with hot cocoa!

2 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 + powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter - softened
2 TBSP honey
1 tsp bourbon or orange juice

In a medium bowl sift together flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and salt - whisk in pecans. In a separate large bowl, beat butter and honey with an electric mixer until light and fluffy - about 3 minutes. Mix in bourbon or orange juice just until combined. Add flour mixture and beat just until combined. Form dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic - chill for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll dough into 1 - 1 1/2 inch balls and place on cooking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly brown around the edges, about 20-25 minutes, rotating baking sheets about half way through.
Transfer cookies to a plate or wire rack and let cool completely. Roll in powdered sugar or sift over the top.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Italian Meatloaf

I've heard so many stories of horrible meatloaf that I just never bothered making it. Then I got a request and decided it was time to face another food fear.
It turned out awesome! Not dry at all and so flavorful. And the leftover sandwiches are fantastic!

2 lbs ground beef
3 eggs - beaten
2 TBSP + olive oil
1 medium onion - diced
1/2 red bell pepper - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 tsp sage
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 + tsp italian seasoning
2 tsp parsley
1 cup breadcrumbs - i used italian
6-10 small red potatoes cup into quarters

1/3 cup ketchup
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a sided baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Mix potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and some Italian seasoning. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine beef, olive oil and eggs. Saute onion, garlic and red pepper over medium heat just until tender. When cooled, add to meat mixture. In a separate bowl combine bread crumbs and dry seasonings - add to meat. Form into a slightly flattened loaf and place on lined baking sheet, arranging potatoes around it.

Whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard and Worcestershire and use to top loaf.

Bake 50-70 minutes. Cut into middle of loaf to make sure it is done.

**Allergy-free substitutions:
Breadcrumbs - EnerG breadcrumbs or homemade GF breadcrumbs
Eggs - 3 heaping TBSP ground chia/flax mixed with 9 TBSP water
Garlic - omit

Bacon Wrapped Venison Tenderloin

I used venison but you can use any sort of pork or beef tenderloin also.

1-2 fresh tenderloins
6-10 slices fatty pepper bacon - sliced in half
steak seasoning
olive oil
*Sliced pickled Jalapenos (optional)

Turn oven on to broil. Drizzle a non stick, sided baking sheet with olive oil.
Cut tenderloins into 1 inch slices, season with salt, pepper and steak seasoning. Wrap each piece with a half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.*Top with Jalapeno. Arrange on baking sheet and lightly drizzle again with olive oil.

Broil for 8-10 minutes or until ends of tenderloin pieces are cooked.