Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Ricotta cookies

Hello my lovelies! I am so very happy to tell you that I'm feeling so good for the first time in over 6 months that I just want to burst!

My taste buds have FINALLY returned! I was starting to get a bit depressed. Here I am, someone who loves to cook and bake and I can't taste a darn thing for over 6 months. It was brutal. About a month after my chemo ended the taste buds started to perk up again. 5 weeks in and they were 80% back, now I'm at about 95%, still having trouble with bread. Oh well, I can deal with that for awhile longer.

The one question that I got asked the most was:


I had a few answers to that one. Some of them might surprise you
1 - Sushi. You can't consume any kind of raw seafood when you are going through treatment, so of course, that's what I craved the most! I had Sushi last week and it was fabulous!!!

2 - A big giant salad loaded with everything I love. GREENS! I craved them and I couldn't eat them since my poor belly was so on the bum through my whole treatment.

3 - A salami grinder (that's Rhode Island talk for a sub sandwich) on crusty Italian bread. I'm not usually a lunch meat kinda girl, but I love salami and I dreamed about this kind of sandwich!

4 - Last - My Rustic Apple Tart with Maple Glaze. (recipe here) One of my absolute favorite desserts. I picked apples in September that I could not eat and could not bake with. Guess what I'm making two of this Thanksgiving? Oh yeah. I'm having myself a big ole piece or maybe two!

The very best news is that I'm back in my kitchen feeding the people I love. I have my energy back. My head is sprouting lots and lots of little hairs, my eyebrows and eyelashes are slowly growing in too. It's all coming together isn't it?

I had my surgery on November 16th and it went well. Next up is radiation but that will be a piece of cake compared to chemo!

I'm so glad to be doing the things I love, like sharing recipes with you guys. These Italian Ricotta Cookies are so good. Soft and delicious, they almost melt in your mouth. I just needed to make cookies. Something inside of me needed to roll deliciousness in my hands again.

Thank you all again for your continues support. I may not have millions of followers like the bigger bloggers, but I have you all and that's perfectly enough for me. I am so thankful for you all.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Appreciate the life
you have been given and enjoy!!!

Ricotta cookie 1s

Ricotta Cookies
recipe from Love Bakes Good Cakes
Printable Recipe
2 stick (½ pound) butter, softened
1¾ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the glaze:
4-5 tbsp. milk
1½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, ricotta cheese, and vanilla extract; mix until well combined. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the ricotta mixture; mix well. Roll or scoop the dough into teaspoon-sized balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2-inches apart.

Bake 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, beat the milk, powdered sugar, and almond extract until smooth. Dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze and set upright back on the wire rack. Immediately top with sprinkles. Repeat for remaining cookies.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

I'm back!!! "Cream of ___" Substitue (SOS - Soup or Sauce Mix) Substitute Mix.

Soup Sauce Mix

Hello, hello, hello!!

I know it's been quite some time since I've been back on the blog. It's been a crazy 4 months but I'm happy to report that I had my last chemo treatment on October 15th and my tumor is GONE!! Non deductible even, so that is very good news!

I won't candy coat anything and say it wasn't easy. These months were hard. My body was pushed to it's limit mentally and physically. I tried to remain positive through it all but I had my days when I cried in the car all the way home, or I screamed in frustration at the top of my lungs. I had blurred vision, numbness in my toes and fingers, I lost my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, I lost over 25 pounds, my taste buds are gone (but hopefully slowly coming back!) I haven't eaten a piece of fruit or had a vegetable since June! I've have muscle and bone aches and my stomach is an absolute wreck, but I made it through. I always knew I would. It was the getting through that was the hard part.

Those 18 treatments seemed like a life time, but they weren't. It was just temporary and I kept telling myself that so here I am - FINISHED WITH CHEMO! It's such a great feeling. I have a lumpectomy in a few weeks and then a month of radiation ahead of me, but I can handle it. I'm looking forward to getting back in the kitchen, spending time with my friends and family and just having life return to normal.

I can't thank you all enough for your outpouring of love and concern. I received emails that left me in a puddle of tears. So many of you reached out to ask me how I was, or tell me how you missed me, or asked how I was doing. I missed you all too! I miss being in the kitchen. I miss feeding people. I can't wait to share some new recipes with you all.

I spent a lot of time on the couch reading magazines, looking on Pinterest and bookmarking recipes that I'd make when I felt better so I have an arsenal of recipes that I want to try and share with you all.

The first one is this "cream of" substitute. You know, the cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of chicken that we so often use in recipes cause it's quick and easy. Well I started to really think about all the foods that I put in my body. How the preservatives in these food affect my general health. I asked myself time and time again...."how did I get breast cancer?". I didn't have a family history. I started to think about what I ate and what could possibly be bad for me including the products that I put on my body as well as in it. So I'm starting off small and trying to substitute some of the convenience items that I use for a healthier options.

One of the first things that popped into my mind was these "cream of soups" that I admit, I used on occasion. I googled and found quite a few recipes out there, I tweaked them and came up with my own version. I can pronounce everything in the mix, and I know what I'm putting into my body.

This recipe makes the equivalent of 9 (10.5oz) cans of cream soup! It's economical! It's gluten free and fat free!

Want to make it cream of mushroom - add some chopped mushrooms for cream of mushroom soup, a little celery or celery salt for cream of celery, a little beef broth, you get the picture.

Soup Sauce Mix 1

SOS Mix (Soup or Sauce Mix)

2 cups powdered non-fat dry milk
1/4 cup instant chicken bouillon*
3/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoon dried onion flakes
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning

Combine all the ingredients and store in a glass container or Mason jar. When you are ready to use combine 1/3 cup of the dry mix with 1 ¼ cups of liquid. This can be water, chicken broth, veggie broth, etc. Whisk until blended. Cook on stovetop in a small saucepan until thickened.

*10-12 bouillon cubes crushed makes about 1/4 cup, crushed. I put the cubes in a zip lock bag, banged the heck out of them and ran them over with a rolling pin.