Christmas, cookies, and cheesy shrimp rice…Toast


I hope that everyone has had a wonderful Christmas so far. Christmas was wonderful in our house this year and I got lots of socks. Yippee! Here a few recipes that I have tried out over the past few weeks.  

Black Bean Dip                 dscf04062

1 can of black beans

1 can of chickpeas olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 lemon ; squeezed



**If I have peppers in the fridge then I usually throw a slice of two in for flavor

Put all of the ingredients in the food processor and add oil as needed to make the dip come together. This recipe can also be halved depending on the size of the food processor.


Quick and Easy Macadamia Macaroons “Faux Macroons”


1 7oz package of Baker’s Angel Flake coconut

1 cup of chopped macadamias

1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 sleeve saltine crackers ; finely crushed

3 egg whites

**optional chocolate to drizzle over the top

  • Preheat oven to 350 and toast coconut and macadamias for approximately 10 minutes. Cool
  • Combine milk and vanilla in bowl.
  • Add in crackers and coconut mixture.
  • In another bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  • Add egg to other mixture and stir until just well mixed.
  • Drop onto lightly greased cookie sheets and bake for 12 – 14 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown.
  • Immediately remove from cookie sheet to cool.
  • Do not overbake or else you won’t be able to remove the cookies form the sheet.

I started a new tradition over the last few years and I make homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas Eve to eat on Christmas morning. While it does take some effort, the recipe is pretty simple except that it requires a lot of time to let the dough rise.

Cinnamon Rolls

1/4 cup warm water (100 – 110)

1 (1/4 oz) envelope yeast

3/4 cup sugar , divided

2 1/2 to 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

3/4 cup of warm milk (100 – 110)

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg , lightly beaten

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • Stir together 1/4 cup warm water, yeast, and 1/4 cup sugar and let stand 5 minutes.
  • Combine yeast mixture, 1 3/4 cups flour, milk, salt, egg, and shortening in a large mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed with and electric mixer until well blended. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
  • Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Place in a well greased bow, turning to grease top.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 1dscf0415/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
  • Punch down dough, and cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  • Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and roll dough to a 15×9 rectangle. Spread with butter and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and cinnamon. ** I like to mix the cinnamon and sugar together and I usually use more cinnamon than the recipe calls for. You can also use the premixed cinnamon sugar if you have it.

For icing I mix one stick of butter, 2 oz of cream cheese, and 2 cups of powdered sugar. It’s the best icing out there!

My biggest baking project was a fruit torte with pastry cream and fresh strawberries. It was very yummy! I would recommend making it on the same day you plan to serve it and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to serve the torte. Also you can top it with any fruit you want. It is made of three different recipes so enjoy.

Sweet Tart Pastry (Also a good pie crust)

1 1/2 cups flour

This is after pulsing the butter and before the egg. My food processor is too small to put everything into it!

This is after pulsing the butter and before the egg. My food processor is too small to put everything into it!



pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of sugar

10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter; cut into chunks

1 egg

**This recipe says to use a food processor, which makes it a lot easier to mix, but if you don’t have one then you can mix the dough my hand with and old fashioned pastry blender. It just take more effort and time.


  • Combine flour, salt, and sugar in food processor and pulse once of
    Rolling dough on a floor tile is difficult!

    Rolling dough on a floor tile is difficult!

     twice to get is mixed.


  • Add butter all at once and process.
  • Add egg and process again.
  • Put mixture in bowl and add 3 tablespoons of ice water and form into ball with hands
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze 10 minutes.
  • Roll and then place in pastry dish and pierce.
  • Bake at 350 until golden brown.



***With any extra dough you can makedscf0412 little tea biscuits. I usually just cut them into squares, but since it was Christmas I decided to be a bit festive with the left overs!


The next steps are to make the cream filling and then a simple syrup which is what makes the torte shiny.

Creme Pastissiere (French Pastry Cream)

2/3 cups sugar

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

pinch of starch

3 or 4 egg yolks

2 cups of cream, half-half, or whole milk

1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons unsalted butter; softened


  • This is the most critical part.

    This is the most critical part.

    In saucepan combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt.

  • Mix together yolks and cream
  • Stir cream-egg mixture into flour mixture over medium heat.
  • Whisk until mixture thickens and boils (approx 10 minutes)
  • Stir in butter and vanilla.
  • Cool; if storing overnight then cover with plastic wrap to keep skin from forming.

Simple Syrup


1/2 lemon squeezed

Bring to a boil and brush over fruit on top of torte to give a shiny appearance. 

And finally the final product!


Very Very Delicious!

Very Very Delicious!




Well, I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and if you have any amazing recipes from your holiday cooking please let me know what they are and I would love to try them out. I’m leaving for Japan in 2 days, but I hope to have lots of stories once I return and if I get a chance to get on the computer while I’m gone I will try to give a small update. In the meantime, check out the links on the side of my page for things I will be doing and seeing in Japan. Until later have a wonderful time trying out new recipes!


1 Comment

Filed under Appetizers, Breads, Cookies, holidays, Pies

One response to “Christmas, cookies, and cheesy shrimp rice…Toast

  1. Cindy Marshall

    Your dad took over the reins when you left and hosted a “gumbo cooking lesson.” I still can beat him any day of the week in a cornbread cook off@

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