And Lime Meltaways these are adequately named. They are crumbly and seriously melt in your mouth. I’ve been searching for more savory desserts, and these fit the bill. I ate five of them right away after they cooled (and then had a horrible stomach ache because these have a deceptive amount of butter).

The cookies are packed with butter and limed and coated in powdered sugar. Kevin of Closet Cooking explains it perfectly in his blog: “The initial hit of sweetness gives way to the buttery shortbread and then lime flavour comes through finishing off everything nicely.” I can’t add anything more than that. So, so delicious. It’s a strange mix of flavors, but it works.

Lime Meltaways from Closet Cooking

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 limes (zest)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups + 2 Tablespoons flour (225g)
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup powdered sugar

Cream the butter with 1/3 cup powdered sugar. Beat in the lime zest, lime juice and vanilla.

Mix the flour, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet.

Roll the dough out into a 1 1/4 inch log. Wrap in plastic and let chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Slice the dough into 1/4 in thick slices and place them on a baking sheet, 1 inch apart from each other.

Bake in a preheated 350F oven until just lightly golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 4 minutes. Dredge cookies in 2/3 cup powdered sugar to coat.

I very highly recommend these! They are delicious and keep getting better every day as they sit.

This is the most delicious soup I’ve ever had. I am a soup connoisseur, so that means something! This recipe replaces my old favorite.

The broth has a rich and deep flavor, and the fresh avocados really knowcks it over the top. Every bite was incredible. The recipe has a serving size of four, but there wasn’t any left over after Joseph and I ate! Everything about it is absolutely delicious–even the little crisps!

We’ve made this salad a few times now–it’s pretty tasty as well! This is the only way I’ve ever had jicama, and it tastes a bit like pear with the creamy dressing.

Tortilla Soup with Spicy Crisps from Relish!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ white onion , chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ¾ cups beef broth
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup tomato sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder, plus more for crisps
1 jalapeño pepper , chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 10-ounce can Rotel tomatoes with chilies, undrained
4 6-inch corn tortillas
4 Tbs canola oil
2 firm avocadoes , cored and chopped
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, shredded

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Drop in the chicken breasts and boil for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Drain chicken in colander and let cool. Remove skin and shred or cube the meat.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and sauté onion and garlic in oil. Pour into the medium pot you used for chicken. Add beef and chicken broth, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, jalapeno(to taste), salt, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes and chicken. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

In the skillet, heat the canola oil until hot. Cut tortillas in narrow strips and fry. Sprinkle with salt and a little chili powder. When done, place on paper towels. Place half of the strips in bowls. Fill with the hot soup. Garnish with more tortilla strips, avocado slices and cheese.

Mexican Jicama Salad

½ head Romaine lettuce
1 jicama root , sliced into batons
2 Roma tomatoes , sliced
¼ cup prepared chunky salsa
2 Tbs sour cream
1 Tbs milk

In a medium bowl, toss lettuce, jicama and tomatoes together to combine.

For dressing: In a small bowl mix salsa, sour cream, and milk to combine.
Toss salad with enough dressing to coat.

I hope everyone had a nice holiday (or, at least a nice beak from work!). Joseph and I decided to put off making the long trip to Houston for a few more weeks, but his dad’s side of the family visited us a few days after Christmas. I’ve actually known them longer than I’ve known Joseph, so they are always fun to be around.

Joseph and I went out for Christmas Eve brunch, where I had this wonderful waffle (he had chicken fried steak and eggs–what a Texan)

We made gingerbread cookies on Christmas day! Joseph gave up on the decorating after a few tries but was much better than I was at cutting the shapes.

Joseph’s little sisters pampered Cory and Leonardo into oblivion.

Cory had so much fun playing with Caroline and Claire!

If you have musicians in your family, you know they don’t get together to play music–they jam.

Lerin’s boyfriend Chris on guitar, and Joseph’s dad Kevin with his new bass.


The next day we all visited Joseph’s grandparents. This was the first time all their grandkids and spouses had been together, so we had to take a lot of photos.

This, of course, is the best picture of the night.

Wishing you all a wonderful beginning of the new year. See you in 2011!

Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I love hot dogs. I mean, I really love hot dogs. I think that’s probably because of oven hot dogs.

oven hot dogs

I know, they sound crazy. And you have to eat them with a fork and knife.  But I promise oven hot dogs are absolutely delicious. My dad made these for us, and I think his mom started the trend when he was a kid. And they aren’t only delicious out of nostalgia–my husband loves them, and my brother told me his wife requests oven hot dogs every time they’re lost for what to eat.

Because this is a family recipe, I took step-by-step photos. Hopefully my dad will comment telling me what I did wrong because mine still never taste as good as his! It’s funny how that always happens, right?

oven hot dogs
Here’s what you need: hot dogs, hot dog buns, mayonnaise, mustard, sweet relish, chili, cheese, and diced onions.

oven hot dogs
Cover the inside of the buns with mayonnaise. Lots of mayonnaise!

oven hot dogs
Add the hot dogs and squish them together in a baking dish. Normally there would be one more, but, um… I ate it before it made it to the pan…
A 9×13″ pan is perfect for eight hot dogs! We like ’em really packed in there.

oven hot dogs
Add a bit of mustard if that’s your thing.

oven hot dogs
Now add sweet relish! But I think I messed up–I think the sweet relish is better when put at the bottom of the bun with the mayonnaise.
Edit: My sister, who claims to have “perfected the OHDs,” says I didn’t use enough relish! And, actually, I didn’t–but that was all I had left in the jar.
Edit 2: A few comments have complained that the relish was overwhelming, so proceed with caution! I love sweet relish, but if you don’t you might want to use less or switch to dill.

oven hot dogs
Top with chili! Just cold chili straight from the can.
I really dislike beans and have tried chili without beans, but that just doesnt’ taste right for oven hot dogs.
Second edit: Victoria again said that I need more chili and need to be messier. The hot dogs should barely be able to handle all the stuff you put on top and should be falling apart when they come out of the oven! My perfectionist tendencies get in the way of that, so please get a bit crazier.

oven hot dogs
Top with grated cheddar.

oven hot dogs
Dice your onions. My dad always made a few without onions for kids, but when he finally convinced me to try them with onions I realized that’s the way to go.

oven hot dogs
Throw on the onions

oven hot dogs
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

oven hot dogs
And now you’re done! The top with be crispy, which is why you need a fork and knife. Delicious.

Oven Hot Dogs
8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
1 can of chili
1/2 an onion, diced
cheddar cheese
sweet relish

Line inside of hot dog buns with mayonnaise and sweet relish. Evenly add mustard. Fill with hot dogs and squish into a 13×9″ baking pan.

Top hot dogs with chili, cheese, and diced onion. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

Carefully remove from the pan with a spatula–I dropped one on the floor the other day :(

This is the first time I’ve tried making Italian food since moving back to Texas in July. I’d been putting it off, probably because I’m scared it won’t taste the same and I’ll forget all those tastes I grew so used to over the last three and a half years. Better to keep things in your memory than taint that memory all together, right?

But I just really needed Carbonara. I always think of Carbonara as the “breakfast pasta” just because of the eggs and bacon. It is a pretty silly association since the creamy egg sauce is more delicious than breakfast could ever hope to be (sorry, breakfast–you’re not my favorite meal).

This Epicurious recipe did not disappoint! I would make one change to the recipe–garlic. It needs garlic, but besides that the sauce tasted perfect! You should note that this recipe contains raw eggs, however.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara from Epicurious

5 oz guanciale, pancetta, or bacon
1 medium onion, finely chopped
garlic, minced (I would probably add two to four cloves, but I like a lot of garlic)
¼ cup dry white wine
1 lb spaghetti
3 large eggs
1 ½ oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (3/4 cup)
¾ oz Pecorino Romano, finely grated (1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

Cut guanciale, pancetta, or bacon into 1/3-inch dice, then cook in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until fat begins to render, 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic in the last few minutes of onion cooking (you don’t want it to burn). Add wine and boil until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes.

Cook spaghetti in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente.

While pasta is cooking, whisk together eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano , Pecorino Romano, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl.

Drain spaghetti in a colander and add to onion mixture, then toss with tongs over moderate heat until coated. Remove from heat and add egg mixture, tossing to combine.

Top with additional graded parmesan and serve immediately.

Don’t forget the extra parmesan!