Glazed Pecans

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups pecans (about 6 ounces)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Stir pecans and oil in medium bowl to coat. Mix sugar, cayenne, and salt in small bowl, then add to pecan mixture and toss to coat. Scatter coated pecans on prepared baking sheet. Bake until pecans are brown and crisp, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to rack and cool completely. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)  Makes 1 1/2 cups.

From Bon Appetit, December 2002

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Sauteed Cabbage and Apples

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into slices
  • 1 crisp apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, sliced
  • 1/4 small head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the apple and cook for 1 minute. Add the cabbage, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring, until the cabbage is tender.

This is great served with potato pierogies and sour cream.

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Buttery Pappardelle With Mushrooms

  • ¾ pound pappardelle
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • ½ small sugar pumpkin (about 1½ pounds)—peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces [may substitute butternut, acorn, or hubbard squash]
  • 3 thyme sprigs, plus 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 2½ ounces parmesan, grated (⅔ cup)

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, five minutes. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Add the mushrooms and 1 tsp thyme leaves and cook until mushrooms are slightly browned and onions are soft, about 12 more minutes. Transfer to a plate; reserve the skillet.

Add the pumpkin, thyme sprigs, and 2 tablespoons butter to the reserved skillet, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is browned and very soft, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the onion, mushrooms, pumpkin, thyme leaves, pecorino, the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and toss to coat (adding more cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce).

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Pecan Sandies

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped pecans
Additional confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add water and vanilla; mix well. Gradually add flour; fold in pecans. Roll dough into a log that is 1-inch in diameter, wrap with cling-wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. When chilled, unwrap log and slice into thick slices. Preheat oven to 300°. Place on ungreased baking sheets and bake 20-25 minutes or until bottom edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. When cool, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Yield: about 5 dozen.

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Ginger Cookies

  • 70g butter
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamon (8 pods, seeds removed and finely ground in mortar & pestle)
  • 225g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 free-range egg, yolk only
  • around 2 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter a baking tray.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses.
Add to the mixture the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamon, both gingers, clove, salt, and egg yolk. (To add a bit of heat, grind in a pinch or two of black pepper)
Beat in a couple of tablespoons of milk and then bring it all together to form a dough.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface to the thickness of a coin. Cut into your desired shapes.
Lay the cookies on the buttered baking tray and bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Combine a tablespoon of powdered sugar and the juice of one lemon for a quick icing. Or you could sprinkle with powdered sugar, or try this sugar cookie icing. Ice with a pattern of your choosing.


I made ginger cookie butterflies for my sister (loves butterflies) and the memorial for her husband (ate a lot of ginger snaps).

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Beet and Walnut Salad


All prepped to bring to a friend’s house for dinner.

Salad (amounts depend on the number of people you are serving):

  • Cooked beets, peeled, cut into cubes
  • Toasted walnuts
  • Goat cheese, crumbled
  • Oranges, sectioned (save the juice that drips off for the dressing)
  • Plum, diced (optional)
  • Baby lettuce mix


  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together the vinegar, oj, olive oil, mustard, maple syrup, tarragon, 1 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and set aside.

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Royal Icing for Decorating Cookies


Makes a lot of thick, fluffy icing. This would be good for assembling a gingerbread house. It is difficult to pipe neatly thinning.


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