Shortbread Hearts


2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C sugar
dash of salt
1 C cold butter, cubed
1 T cold water
1 t almond extract
1/2 lb dark chocolate candy coating, melted

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water and almond extract until mixture forms a ball.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a lightly floured 2.5 inch cookie cutter. Place one inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Bake at 325 for 13-16 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Dip one side of cookies in candy coating; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set.

**I had to add an extra T of water to get the dough to gather into a ball. Also, I strongly dislike candy coating (like the squares used for almond bark), so I used dipping chocolate. (Bakers makes a nice dipping chocolate.) These cookies taste great and definitely qualify as a kid-friendly recipe!


Stovetop Sausage & Rice

Using as a guideline, I concocted a decent dinner tonight with the ingredients I had on hand. Tredways, 1. McDonald’s, 0.

1 T canola oil
2 medium carrots, shredded
2-3 t dried minced onion
1 T minced garlic (more or less, according to taste)
1/2 lb Kielbasa sausage, cubed
1-14oz can stewed tomatoes with onions, celery, green pepper
1-14oz can chicken broth
2 C white rice

In a large skillet, heat oil and saute carrots, onion and garlic. Add sausage, stewed tomatoes and chicken broth. (I cut up the large chunks of tomato using my kitchen shears just after dumping them in the pan. Personal preference.) Bring to a boil, then add rice to the pan. Stir a few times, cover with lid and turn heat to low for 15 minutes or so until rice is cooked.

Serve with rolls and a green salad.