Friday, April 6, 2018

April Snow Showers Bring May Flowers

It's April 6th...
and while it is still very chilly and nothing
in my yard is blooming just yet...

These blooms (the homemade kind)
will just have to do!

I am so eager for warmer weather and
days filled with warm spring sunshine...

Until that happens... try these delicious sugar cookies...

Share a little sunshine with a friend or two
while we wait out winter.

Theses cookies are the old fashioned...super delicious kind.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies
Cookies, Ice Cream Sandwiches and Gift!
Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt


1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup softened unsalted butter
1 egg + 2 egg yolks (at room temperature is best)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1/2 cup sanding sugar for coating the outside of the cookies
1 small drinking glass for pressing
parchment paper to line cookie sheet


Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar together for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add egg and yolks one at a time, blending well after each.  Mix in extract.  Add dry ingredients to the wet, blending until just combined.

Drop 1 inch dough balls into the sanding sugar.  I use a small ice cream scoop.

Roll dough ball into sanding sugar.

Place cookie dough about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  

Gently press cookies to about 1/2 inch thickness before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden on the edges,

Let cookies rest 1 minute on cookie sheet before moving to cool on a cooling rack.

Ice Cream Sandwich Option: To make sugar cookie ice cream sandwiches, scoop one scoop of vanilla (or your favorite flavor) ice cream or sorbet onto the bottom of one sugar cookie.  Add a second cookie to the top, creating a sandwich and press gently helping the ice cream to spread out to the edges. Roll the ice cream sandwich gently in colored sprinkles.  Store pre-made ice cream sandwiches in an air-tight container in the freezer until ready to serve.

Using the free printables below and make your sweet cookies into little 
packets of springtime.  Simply print and then cut out your favorite flowers and attach to a cookie filled bag...
it's the perfect way to spread a little sunshine.

If you're still feeling chilly...
try this easy pasta dish...
it will warm you right up!!

Baked Sausage and Asparagus Alfredo
Karri Perry of the Blue Ribbon Kitchen blog


1 lb. box of pasta, cooked and drained
(I like to use penne or rigatoni noodles...anything the sauce can cling to)

1 lb. Italian sausage, cooked until well browned - we like Johnsonville or Italian turkey sausage is great for a lighter version.
(if sausage is in links, remove from casings and break it up as you would ground beef.)

1 lb. fresh asparagus cleaned and cut into 1 inch sections.

1 jar of your favorite Alfredo sauce (for a quick dinner)
Or 3 cups of homemade Alfredo sauce.

2 cups shredded cheese:  mozzarella,
Parmesan or Monterrey-jack cheese work best
...a combination of the three is great..but 2 cups total of cheese is all you will need.

Pinch of garlic salt and black pepper

Pinch of red pepper flakes
Top with freshly grated Pecorino-Romano chesses


Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cooke pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown the sausage well.
To the browned sausage, add the chopped asparagus, stirring together until the asparagus begin to soften.  
Lower the heat and add the Alfredo sauce to the still hot skillet, and let the sausage, asparagus and sauce simmer, while the pasta finishes cooking.

Once pasta is cooked and drained...
 Add the cooked pasta to skillet of the simmering Alfredo sauce mixture.
Add pinch of black pepper, garlic salt and red pepper flakes if using.
Stir, coating the pasta with the sauce, sausage and asparagus.
Transfer the pasta mixture from the skillet into a greased casserole dish, adding  ½ of the shredded cheese into the middle of the pasta mixture, filling the baking dish with the rest of the pasta mixture.

Top the casserole with the remaining shredded cheese.

Bake, uncovered 25-30 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Serve with a generous grating of Pecorino-Romano cheese.

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