Recipe of the Month – Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies

My mom made these cookies recently for a church event. She said everyone wanted the recipe.

This recipe comes from the 2000 Family Circle magazine’s Presidential Cookie Bake-Off. You see, every year since 1992, the magazine has done a bake off between the two potential first ladies with the public voting for their favorite. In 2000, Laura Bush submitted her Cowboy Cookies which beat out Tipper Gore’s Ginger Snaps. In fact, out of all the cookies in the history of the contest, Mrs. Bush’s have circulated the most.

This recipe only produces 36 cookies but they are huge. (Everything is bigger in Texas, right?) Enjoy!


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

2 cups sweetened flake coconut

2 cups chopped pecans


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In an 8-quart bowl, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add sugars and beat to combine, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one, and the vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture gradually until just combined. Add the chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans, mixing until just combined.

For large cookies, drop a hefty 1/4 cup of dough onto the baking sheets for each cookie, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake 17 to 19 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Rotate cookies sheets halfway through cooking. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely.

For smaller cookies, use 2 tablespoons dough per cookie and bake for 15 to 18 minutes total, rotating the baking sheets midway through. Store in airtight containers at room temperature for several days.

Makes 36 large cookies.

Recipe of the Month – Cinnamon roll cookies

I love cinnamon rolls and cookies so what could be better than putting the two together? Cinnamon, butter, and sugar in a chewy sugar cookie. Yum! You can make these thin (and almost crisp) or go for a thicker, chewy cookie.




Cookie Ingredients

One batch of sugar cookie dough (make your own or just buy a roll)

1/4 stick of butter, melted


Brown sugar

Icing Ingredients

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 t. vanilla extract

1/2 T. milk

1/2 t. melted butter


Roll out sugar cookie dough into a large rectangle on a floured surface. Spread with melted butter. Sprinkle liberally with a layer of cinnamon followed by a layer of brown sugar. Roll up dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator or 30 minutes in the freezer. slice cookies off roll (thick or thin, your preference) and bake according to sugar cookie recipe.

For icing, mix all liquid ingredients. Very slowly drizzle your liquid mixture into the powdered sugar, stirring constantly until you get your desired consistency. Drizzle icing on cookies.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup – Recipe of the Month

I am not a big soup eater, but there are two soups that I love. The first is the Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden. (Check out my version here.)

The second is Loaded Baked Potato Soup. I saw this slow-cooker version on Facebook and couldn’t wait to try it out. Yummy!


10 slices cooked bacon, diced

3 cups chicken broth

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon dried parsley

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk or half-and-half or heavy cream

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

Salt and pepper to taste


Add diced potatoes, diced onion, minced garlic, bacon, parsley and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 6-8 hours on low or on high for 3-4 hours, until the potatoes are fork tender.

Once the soup has cooked, add butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat and melt. Whisk in the flour until completely combined and gradually add in the evaporated milk or heavy cream, depends which one you are using. Whisk the flour mixture until smooth. With the heat on the lowest stove setting, let the mixture cook until it starts to simmer and is getting thicker, stir occasionally.

Immediately add the milk-flour mixture to the slow cooker and stir to combine.

Using a potato masher, mash about 3/4 of the potatoes.

Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream. Stir well, until fully combined and creamy. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking the soup on low for 30 minutes or on high for 15 minutes.


If the soup is too thick, add more chicken broth.

Serve warm, garnished with bacon, cheese and sour cream.

The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Serves: 8

Twelve Holiday Recipes

‘Tis the holiday season for baking…This month I am featuring some holiday delights perfect for any holiday party or dinner. Let’s start out with one of my favorite things…Apple Pie.


French Apple Pie – A nice twist on pie crust. This one has a nutty pat-in-the-pan-crust.

Swedish Apple PieWith no bottom crust and a pour-type topping, this one is more of a cobbler than a pie but still oh, so yummy.

Caramel Apple Pecan PieI love this one as it includes one of my favorite nuts – pecans!

Caramel Apple Slab Pie A good pie that serves 25!

And for some other pies and another favorite – cheesecakes…

Oreo Pie This is one of my kids’ favorites! (And so easy to make!)

Oreo Cheesecake – I love cheesecake and Oreo cookies so what could be better than combining the two?

Pumpkin Cheesecake – A good combination – this recipe is a copy of the Cheesecake Factory’s one.

And this last group covers cookies and other goodies….

Pumpkin Crunch – A kind of pumpkin pie with a crunchy topping….

Oreo Truffles These are so good!

Bacon Maple Fudge – Everything is better with bacon!

Candy Cane CrinklesCombining a cookie with a candy cane makes for a good treat.

The Best Cutout Sugar Cookies – A Christmas tradition from my childhood is decorating sugar cookies. My kids and I started using this recipe a few years ago.

Recipe of the Month – Burgundy Beef Strips

Another recipe from my mom. This one takes over an hour to cook so make sure you have the time, but oh so worth the time. It is delicious.


2 lbs. beef round steak

1/3 cup flour

2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

3 T. shortening

2 bouillon cubes, crushed

1 cup boiling water

12 small onions (or several slices of a large onion)

1 cup burgundy wine

2 T. catsup

1 small bay leaf

1/2 t. thyme

1/9 t. garlic powder

1/2 lb. mushrooms, halved

Chopped parsley


Cut steak into strips 1/8 by 2 inches. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Dredge steak in flour. Brown in hot shortening. Pour off drippings. Dissolve bouillon in boiling water and add to meat. Add onions, wine, catsup, bay leaf, thyme and d garlic powder. Cover tightly and cook slowly for 45 minutes. Add mushrooms. Cover and continue cooking for 15 minutes or until meat is tender. Remove bay leaf. Serve over rice or noodles.

Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe of the Month – Paprika Chicken Legs

My kids love fried chicken legs, but frying chicken is too much work. Since chicken legs are their favorites, I decided to look up a few recipes to see I could find something they might like. This is the first recipe we tried. I really wasn’t sure the kids would like it but everyone in the family loved it! We will definitely be having this again.


8-12 chicken legs, with bones and skin

2 T. butter

4-5 t. paprika rub

  • Paprika Rub:
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1 T. sweet paprika
  • 3/4 t. onion powder
  • 3/4 t. dried thyme
  • 3/4 t. dried cracked rosemary
  • 1 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t. red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 t. garlic powder


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine spice ingredients and store in a container with a tight-fitting lid. (This makes more than you need for this recipe, but you can store the rest for the next time you make this recipe or try it on other meats.)

Rinse and pat the chicken dry. Sprinkle four to five teaspoons of the rub evenly over all sides of the chicken. Place the seasoned chicken on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Brush the chicken with melted butter using a silicone brush. Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes, until the skin, is crispy and juices from the pierced flesh are clear (not pink).

Serves 4 to 6

Recipe of the Month – Taco Casserole

School has begun again, and I figure all parents need an easy meal. If you (or you kids) like tacos, then this casserole is for you.


1 lb., lean ground beef

1 can spicy chili beans in sauce, undrained

1 cup thick & chunky salsa

2 cups coarsely broken tortilla chips

3/4 cup sour cream

4 medium green onions, sliced

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese

whole tortilla chips, shredded lettuce and additional salsa, if desired


Heat oven to 350 degrees. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in beans and salsa. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.

In an ungreased 2-quart casserole, place broken tortilla chips. Top with beef mixture. Spread with sour cream. Sprinkle with onions, tomato and cheese. Bake uncovered, 20 to 30 minutes or until hot an bubbly. Arrange tortilla chips around edge of casserole. Serve with lettuce and salsa.