Monthly Archives: December 2013

Standards

Bacon Tomato Cups

For as long as I can remember, we have had what I would call ‘Christmas Standards’. A green Frasier Fir (real), red ribbons, my great-grandmother’s candy and the same holiday snacks every year. It’s just what you do…I saw a card once that said it best, “Christmas is weird…what other time of year do you sit in front of a dead tree in the living room and eat candy out of your socks”.

The Christmas of 1989 was a doozie. That was the year mother went rogue. Mother’s favorite colors have always been shades of pinks and peaches. I should have seen it coming a few weeks earlier on that Thanksgiving evening when mother, Nana and I went to see Steel Magnolias and there it was on the big screen, Shelby planning her wedding in shades “blush and bashful”.

A few weeks later, Christmas break was beginning and as mother drove us home from school she told us that there was a surprise waiting at home. I ran in the door, so excited for the surprise! I turned the corner into the living room and dropped to my knees. There it was…that 7 foot Frasier Fir…flocked. A white tree, peach ribbon and pink accents. Oh, the drama ensued, as only a 14 year girl can deliver, proclaiming that a Christmas tree was supposed to be green with red ribbons. 

After the shock of the tree wore off, Christmas continued and so did the rest of our standards.  Of course we weren’t exactly staring at a dead tree in the living room and eating candy out of socks. That year we enjoyed my great-grandmother’s candy and our favorite snacks sitting there…staring at that peaches and cream tree.

I normally wouldn’t use canned biscuits for anything but these are a ‘Christmas Standard’, trust me…I don’t mess with standards.

Bacon Tomato Cups
Bite-sized bacon, tomato and cheese appetizer baked in a biscuit crust.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 - 12 oz package package center cut bacon
  2. 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  3. 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  4. 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  5. 1/2 cup swiss cheese, finely shredded
  6. 1/2 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise (I never use anything else but Hellman's)
  7. 1 - 10 count can flaky layer biscuits (must be the flaky kind)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop and fry bacon until crispy then transfer to paper towel lined plate.
  3. Seed and chop tomato into a small dice.
  4. Finely chop onion.
  5. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, cheeses, bacon and mayonnaise then set aside.
  6. Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick spray. This recipe makes about 2 dozen cups.
  7. Peel apart the flaky layer biscuits into thirds. Only peeling in half is too thick so do your best to peel into thirds.
  8. Line each muffin cup with the biscuit layer.
  9. Spoon tomato mixture into the biscuit cups.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  11. Let cool slightly and remove from muffin pan.
  12. These are good served hot or at room temperature.
https://lolleighcooks.com/

Bacon

Tomatoes and onion

Chopped tomatoes and onion

Hellman's Mayo Bacon mixture

Flaky layer biscuits

Biscuit cup

Filled biscuit cup

Bacon Tomato Cups

These are delicious! Everytime I serve them or take them to a party, I’m always asked to share the recipe. They aren’t exactly on the light side but they are a ‘Christmas Standard’.

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I’d love for you to follow along! 

 

The Famous (not Amos) Cookie

I often believe that people are born with a eccentricity or as Nana would say, “flair” and when this “flair” is recognized and cultivated in a loving way it leads to great things. Growing up, one of my best friends had a younger brother, during sleepovers he would appear on the rooftop, outside her window waving his tiger tail…the tiger tail pinned to his clothes…that he wore all over town. Today, he is well known for his fabulous personality and a go to source for style.

My “flair” begin to show when I was five. This was when HBO first started as a brown box on top of the TV. It played only two movies which you changed with the switch on top of the box and there the whole thing began, Urban Cowboy. Day in and day out, I sat on the arm of sofa pretending to ride that mechanical bull. As the year went on so did my “flair”, I would only wear jeans, a plaid, ruffle shirt and cowboy boots…everyday, all day. My dad told me he was going on a business trip to Houston and I begged him to bring me a Gilley’s tank top. That year, my photo with Santa featured yours truly dressed like Sissy (Debra Winger). 

On Friday nights, my parents would settle in to watch Dallas and I would sit on the stairs, peering through the railing and watch Pam go to work at ‘The Store’ in that little red Mercedes. One Christmas, when I was in college, I asked for Sue Ellen glasses. She drank her cocktails out of tall skinny glasses, it was fabulous. Some would say this was a fascination more than “flair” but it grew. I loved all things Texas, Dallas, Southfork, Neiman Marcus, Gilley’s and Urban Cowboy, which to this day I can recite line by line.

So I followed my flair and after college, moved to Texas. It was like seeing the ocean for the first time, magic! I soaked it up and cultivated my “flair”. I made friends that I still consider family, learned about true Texas food and made my trips to ‘The Store’, of course only in Texas could Neiman Marcus be referred to as ‘The Store’. Texans take pride in being bigger and better in everything they do. So, in the biggest, best store why would you not find the most perfect cookie? 

Here’s my version of the Neiman Marcus cookie:

The Famous (not Amos) Cookie
My version of the Neiman Marcus cookie. Oatmeal, pecans, dark and semi-sweet chocolate.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup oatmeal, coarsely ground
  3. 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  6. 3/4 cup sugar
  7. 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 tsp vanilla
  10. 1 tsp espresso powder
  11. 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  12. 1 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips
  13. 1 cup pecan pieces
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine flour, coarsely ground oatmeal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, use a mixer, to cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in two eggs, vanilla and espresso powder.
  3. Pour the dry ingredient mixture into the wet ingredients and gently mix until ingredients are combined.
  4. Stir in pecan pieces and chocolate chips.
  5. Place dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up the dough.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Form about a one inch ball for each cookies and place on cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 12-14 minutes. I like a softer cookie so I take them out around 12 minutes. If you like a crunchier cookie just bake a bit longer.
  9. Transfer baked cookies onto a wire rack to cool.
Notes
  1. Chilling the dough makes a bit thicker cookie and they seem to hold their shape better. I always use parchment paper for cookie baking. It helps the bottom of the cookie from getting too brown and clean-up is way easier!
https://lolleighcooks.com/
 Oatmeal

butter and sugars

Mixing

Espresso Powder

Ghirardelli Chocolate

Chocolate chips and pecans

cookie dough

baking sheet with parchment paper

Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

 And one last thing…

It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? I’ve been working on updating lolleighcooks! It seems when you go through major life changes, you want everything to look different…brighter and better. There’s still some work to be done here, well really everywhere, but I just couldn’t wait to get back to cooking, writing and reconnecting with my roots. Take a look around, read about me, the hilariously true stories and really good food (that is most of the time on the healthy side).

Take a gander, if you missed the latest…The Pie To End All Pies

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