Restaurant Dinner at Home

ZiZ and I have eaten out a few times over the last couple weeks (see: illness and getting treated for, rather hard work in the garden, etc.). Last night I had some penne (not the best thing for my maybe-wheat-allergy, but the sauce sounded so good) that turned out to be exactly what I was craving, with beef, mushrooms, and a rich creamy sauce described inadequately on the menu as “rosemary cream.” Plus, on an earlier outing, I’d had some cheese grits that were also super yummy. So tonight, I put together my own version of the two dishes, with the added benefit that ZiZ was craving stroganoff and is always a polenta/grits fan. Thus we have dubbed this meal “stroganon” (yes we are dorks).

Total Time: About 90 minutes, with just enough inactive time to make and eat not-bruschetta.
Serves a whole bunch of people, probably 6-8.

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Lemon Drop Cookies

These are delightfully soft cookies, almost like a puffy, lemon-flavored shortbread. They also have the excellent adult-friendly property of a controllable sweetness, so you can eat them very sweet or further on the tart side. Plus, yum lemon!

Makes about 55 cookies
Minimum total time from start to finish: about 4 hours, 90 minutes active
(Active time can be spread about evenly between 2 days)

Original credit to Gluten Free Cookies by Luane Kohnke.

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Gluten Free Flour Mix

This is a quick, easy wheat-free flour mix that works really well for sweets (especially cookies & pie crusts). It makes the most sense to mix up a batch ahead of time, because gluten-free (or just wheat-free) baking is enough of a darn pain without having to measure out finicky amounts of random flours in the middle of baking.

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Unicorn (or other mythical creature) Poop Cookies

These are absolutely adorable cookies, great to share with kids or any adults with a sense of humor. They’re not especially quick to put together, but the end result is well worth it.

Makes about as many cookies as your sugar cookie recipe, usually 40-48.
Minimum total time from start to finish: 7-8 hours, about half active.
This can easily be spread over a couple of days, and several of the steps (snake rolling, decorating) would be fun and easy to share with kids.
Original credit for this recipe goes to Instructables user kristylynn84 and her instructions for unicorn poop cookies.

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Yummy Sugar Cookies

A quick and easy sugar cookie recipe that is well-suited to my tastes. This one has a rich, eggy, buttery flavor with just a hint of vanilla. I first made these for unicorn poop cookies at a friend’s house, where they absolutely shone. I really appreciated the simple recipe, since no-one else’s kitchen is ever equipped quite like one’s own…
Number of cookies depends on size of cutters, usually 40-48 for most cutters (~2-inch).
Minimum total time from start to finish: 2 hours 45 minutes, about 45 minutes active.

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