Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Paradise Bakery-style Sugar Cookies

I can't remember where I first saw this recipe. When you want sugar cookies without the hassle of chilling, rolling, cutting, and frosting, these are the answer. (Eva likes them with jimmies; I like them with sugar crystals.)

1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups shortening
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg, beaten
4 1/3 cups cake flour*
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
sugar, for decorating

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and shortening using an electric mixer.
Mix on slow speed 30 seconds, then scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.

Slowly add vanilla and egg while mixing.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, mixing on slow speed until just blended. Do not overmix.

Scoop with an ice-cream scoop and roll in sugar.
Place directly on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with palm of hand.

Bake at 375° for 9-10 minutes. Cookies are done when small cracks appear and are pale golden. Ideally, the edges do not brown.

*very important! The cake flour, in addition to not overmixing, gives these cookies their tender, crumbly texture.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema

{photo courtesy}

I first had this dish when we were at the Outer Banks with my family last summer. I recreated it from memory, and it was good. But this week Jessie directed me to the actual recipe (Cooking Light, 2006) and I made it again. This is officially one of my new favorite meals, and Marc and Max really like it as well.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 tacos)


1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets (I used tilapia)
Cooking spray
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas (I used more, because we like to double them up)
2 cups shredded cabbage

Preheat oven to 425°.

To prepare crema, combine the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

To prepare tacos, combine cumin and next 5 ingredients (through garlic powder) in a small bowl; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over both sides of fish. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place fish in a bowl; break into pieces with a fork. Heat tortillas according to package directions (I spray them with Pam, sprinkle them with salt, and warm them in a small skillet). Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each with 1/4 cup cabbage and 1 tablespoon crema.