SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPS

SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPS

Ginger Snaps are a family favorite. These old fashioned Ginger Snaps are nothing like the boxed cookies you’ll find in many stores during the holidays. Those boxed cookies are crunchy and taste pretty much like store bought gingerbread.

If you’ve never tried homemade old fashioned ginger snaps, then you’ve never truly had ginger snaps. These home made cookies sparkle with a dusting of sugar, they’re lightly crisp on the outside and slightly chewy in the center. And they’re oh so delicious!

My Christmas baking wouldn’t be complete without these yummy Ginger Snaps. I usually make 3 batches; 2 for gifting and 1 for our cookie jar. Let me tell you, the cookie jar empties out pretty quickly!

Here’s the recipe for Savvy Nana’s Old Fashioned Ginger Snaps. Be sure you make a couple of batches because I guarantee they’ll disappear in a blink of and eye!

By the way they’ll fill the house with a wonderful Christmas aroma while they’re in the oven!

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
1/3 cup unsulphered molasses
2 1/3 cup flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Sugar topping – mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon together to make this topping

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Fit standing mixer with a paddle attachment
  3. Place sugar, shortening, salt, and baking soda into the mixing bowl and mix until smooth and creamy
  4. Add egg and mix until well blended
  5. Add molasses and mix until well blended
  6. In a separate bowl mix flour and spices together and add dry mixture to shortening mixture
  7. Blend well
  8. Using a 1” cookie scooper or tablespoon make 1” dough balls.
  9. Drop each ball into sugar topping and roll in the mixture until well coated
  10. Place sugared ball on a parchment or silicone mat covered baking sheet about 1” apart
  11. Bake for 10 minutes
  12. Remove from oven and let cool for 4-5 minutes
  13. Using a spatula carefully transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely
  14. Store in airtight containers
SAVVY NANA’S OLD FASHIONED GINGER SNAPS
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Favorite Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Favorite Old Fashioned Gingerbread

“This is everyone’s holiday favorite, even the busy cook’s, because it is so easy to make.”

See how to make soft, spicy gingerbread for the holidays.

This soft and spicy cake is flavored with molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Serve it with fresh whipped cream!

 

Ingredients

*1/2 cup white sugar

*1/2 cup butter

*1 egg

*1 cup molasses

*2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

*1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

*1 teaspoon ground ginger

*1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

*1/2 teaspoon salt

*1 cup hot water

*Add all ingredients to list

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.
  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.

 

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 375 calories; 11.2 g fat; 65.3 g carbohydrates; 4.4 g protein; 48 mg cholesterol; 435 mg sodium. Full nutrition

 
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Lebanese 7 Spices Mix

LebaneseI’ve heard it said many times that Lebanese cooking is the best cuisine the Middle Eastern countries have to offer.  Lebanese restaurants are the go to places when one has a yen for Arabic or Middle Eastern food.  This seems to be one of the few things that Arabs from around the world can mostly agree on.

I must confess that in my experience this is usually true.  Lebanese cooking is definitely top notch and any where we travel we look for a Lebanese restaurant.  Among my favorites are Al Halabi in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates and Wafi Gourmet in both the Dubai Mall and Wafi Mall; Reem Al Bawadi in Amman; and Mandaloun not far from the Spanish Steps in Rome.

But what makes Lebanese cuisine so great?  I’m not exactly sure, but I believe that one of its secrets are the spices they use.  Their Lebanese 7 Spices Mix in my opinion is the key to their delicious entrees.

Lebanese 7 Spices Mix contains many of the spices found in cuisine in and around that region.  It has cumin and coriander for sure and 6 other spices making it actually an 8 spices mix.  Why it’s called 7 Spices is beyond me unless the ground black pepper isn’t counted as a spice.

lebaneseAnyway whatever you call it seasoning grilled meats and stews with this Lebanese 7 Spices Mix makes for a delicious meal!  I like to keep a jar on hand and use it in marinades and of course for one of the family’s favorite dishes Mesaf or Fatiyeh, a dish of stewed meat in yogurt sauce.

You can mix up  a batch of Lebanese 7 Spices Mix to add to your stews too.  Just be sure you store it in an airtight container.  I use pint sized mason jars to store all my spice mixes.

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Lebanese 7 Spices Mix
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Lebanese 7 Spices Mix
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients into a small bowl and stir until well blended.
  2. Transfer to an airtight container for storage.
Recipe Notes

To use in rubs or marinades stir 2 Tbs. Mix into 1 Tbs. Olive Oil and rub into meats.  Or add the same proportion of mix to oil and combine with 1 Tbs. Vinegar to make marinade.

When using in stews or other dishes 1 Tbs. of mix is for each serving.

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Homemade Shawarma Spice Mix

Homemade Shawarma Spice Mix

Shawarma is a typical Middle Eastern street food that’s sold on street corner kiosks, fast food joints, and restaurants in Middle Eastern countries and beyond.

It’s sort of similar to the Greek Gyro but is seasoned with different spices and allowed to marinate for at least a few hours.  It’s usually cooked very much like the Turkish Doner Kebab which is a cone of mixed meats (beef, lamb, and chicken) cooked on a vertical spit.  Typically it’s served as a Shawarma Sandwich which is pita bread stuffed with shaved meat, tahini sauce, and fresh and pickled veggies.  It can also be served as a plate with rice, salad, hummus, and pita bread.

Today most Middle Eastern restaurants and fast food places serve specific shawarma meats such as beef or chicken shawarma in a sandwich or as a plate.  Needless to say both are very popular in our family!

But the real secret to Shawarma isn’t the meat or the way it’s cooked.  The secret lies in the spices used.  You can make shawarma in your oven, grill, and even in your Instant Pot.  In fact I always make it in my Instant Pot!  I’m working on an article to share how to make Beef Shawarma in an Instant Pot; but before I can make any type of shawarma using any method I have to season the meat!

I’m actually a big believer in spice rubs.  I make all sorts of rubs for different things such as my Basic BBQ Chicken Rub. I mean sauces are great for adding flavor to meat after it’s cooked, but what really gives meat great flavor are rubs and marinades.  So if you want to make homemade shawarma that tastes like you ordered it from a Middle Eastern restaurant you’ll need this Shawarma Spice Mix.

I usually mix up a large batch; large meaning enough mix to fill a  quart sized Mason Jar.  I store my Shawarma Spice Mix in a sealed jar in my pantry, it stays fresh for about 3 months, assuming you don’t use it all before then!  The spice mix can be used for beef or chicken shawarma and can even be added to other recipes when you’re wanting to add a touch of exotic flavorings.

To use the mix as a marinade for shawarma I use a teaspoon of mix per pound of meat.  Combine the mix with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar, and a pinch of salt then massage it on to the meat.  Place the meat in a ziplock bag and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

So scroll down for the Shawarma Spice Mix recipe!

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Shawarma Spice Mix
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Shawarma Spice Mix
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Instructions
  1. Mix all spices together in a large bowl
  2. Transfer spice mix to a mason jar
  3. Place jar lid on tightly and store in a cool dry place
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Grilled Apple Crisp

Grilled Apple Crisp

The first time I tasted this old-fashioned apple crisp, I couldn’t believe it was made on the grill. Topped with a scoop of ice cream, the warm heartwarming dessert will earn you rave reviews.

Perfect for camping or tailgating, a grilled apple crisp in a foil pack is a deliciously simple and portable version of the classic. I want to love camping.  I really do. I love the idea of settling in around a blazing fire, toasting a couple of marshmallows on the perfect stick until gooey and charred. Coffee in a metal pot. Fried eggs in a cast iron skillet nestled into the coals. Sounds perfect! 

That is until the reality of it all kicks in. The  hot suffocating tent in the morning. Showers and toilets (or the lack thereof).  And don’t even get me started on  wildlife, specially things that are creepy crawly.

This Grilled Apple Crisp recipe is great for  camping aficionados and non capers.  And with the fall rolling around, it would also make a great sweet alternative for your tailgate. If you’re a little more adventurous than me, mix up the oat topping in advance, grab a few apples and some foil and pack it for your next excursion. But trust me, this homey dessert tastes just as good sitting comfortably at my kitchen table. Or if I’m feeling particularly outdoorsy, my picnic table. Enjoy!

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Here’s a recipe for Grilled Apple Crisp

Ingredients

10 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 8 medium)
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
Vanilla ice cream, optional

Directions

1. Place the apple slices on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 24×12 in.). In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apples.
2. Fold foil around apple mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until apples are tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Serve warm with ice cream if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 381 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 92mg sodium, 77g carbohydrate (58g sugars, 6g fiber), 3g protein.

 

 

Grilled Apple Crisp
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