A Small Batch Christmas –Fruit Cake Cookies

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Now that Thanksgiving is done.  I can start posting my Christmas cookie recipes without feeling guilty.  You won’t feel guilty making these cookies either because each batch makes 12 -18 cookies because no one needs dozens of cookies laying around when you are the only one around to eat them.  Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting the treat recipes that are traditional for me or for my family.

Fruit cake has a horrible reputation. If you have only have had fruitcake from a grocery store it probably deserves it’s horrible reputation.  In my family, my dad and I love fruitcake.  The rest of the family not so much.  So every year, I try to find a I  recipe to change the rest of the family’s minds about fruitcake.  This year I found a recipe for fruitcake cookies that use just enough candied fruit to remind you they are supposed to be fruitcake.  I really like the resulting soft, slightly chewy cookie.

Fruit Cake Cookies

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 TBS lightly beaten egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract, optional

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup chopped dates

1/4 cup chopped candied green cherries

1/4 cup chopped candied red cherries

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.  Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl until blended. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract and beat well to combine. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium mixing bowl.  Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the creamed butter mixture and beat well.  Mix in the cinnamon and nutmeg. Fold in the pecans, dates and candied cherries until evenly distributed.Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto prepared sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool on a wire rack and then store in an airtight container

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Bake

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I loved, loved, loved broccoli and rice casserole when I was a kid.  When I asked my mom for the recipe and made what she gave me, I was so disappointed.  The recipe was not the way I remembered it at all.  I don’t know if it is my memory that’s faulty or the recipe. It just wasn’t what I remembered having as a kid.  So I have hunted down and tried dozens of recipes for broccoli and rice casserole over the years. While I have found some good recipes none of them have been exactly what I have been searching for.

A few weeks ago, Audrey over at  My Lady, Melady: My Castle; My Food posted   recipe for Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa bake and I found the recipe from my childhood I had been looking for.  Thank you, Audrey.

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Bake

6 TBS quinoa
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 1/2 cups cooked chopped chicken
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup cheddar cheese; shredded
1/4 cup mozzarella; shredded (or any cheese of choice)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cook quinoa with chicken broth,according to package directions.  Sauté diced chicken in a large nonstick skillet heated with a drizzle of oil. When no longer pink, place in a bowl and set aside.  Sauté onion or shallot in another drizzle of oil in the same skillet. When lightly browned add broccoli and sauté for a few more minutes.Add chicken, cayenne and paprika and cook for a few minutes to heat through.  Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in quinoa and heat for several minutes.  Stir in cheeses.Place mixture into sprayed casserole dish, sprinkle with a little more shredded cheddar and place in oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown.