Spritz Cookies #OXOGoodCookies

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Annually, OXO highlights this month with a program benefiting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, founded by two OXO employees who’s son battled pediatric cancer. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer provides inspiration and support to allow anyone to easily get involved in fundraising to find a cure for pediatric cancer.

Spritz Cookies #OXOGoodCookies

 

To show support, OXO will donate up to $100,000* to support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer  through the sales of specially marked items, bake sale matches, and other fundraising efforts.   And that’s where this post comes in! OXO sent me a set of cookie-baking tools including specially marked OXO baking products with this Cookies for Kids’ Cancer sticker:

#OXOGoodCookies

 

OXO is donating $100 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for for each blog post dedicated to this cause in September. (I made these Vegan Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies and these Gluten Free Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes last year in support of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer as well.)

But they aren’t stopping there. For every stickered item sold, OXO will donate 25 cents in support of pediatric cancer research as part of its $100,000* pledge to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Look for specially marked OXO products at participating retailers in September. (Here’s a list of OXO products that include the sticker.)
* In 2014, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through specially marked baking tools, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.
So my cookie-baking set came with a Cookie Press with Disk Storage Case, as well as a Cookie Spatula and a 3 Piece Spatula Set. OXO was even kind enough to send over their newest Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons! I have never made Spritz cookies before so I was really excited to try the Cookie Press out. Although Spritz cookies are typically thought of as a holiday cookie, OXO’s Cookie Press comes with plenty of other non-winter shapes, including a Leaf, Daisy, Sunflower, Buttercup, Fleur-de-lis, Butterfly, Shell, and Heart! (More winter-y shapes include a Bear, Snowflake, Tree, and Wreath)

Spritz Cookies #OXOGoodCookies

 

For my first attempt, I stayed traditional and made a normal Butter Spritz Cookie Dough using a recipe adapted from the Food Network.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Sprinkles or colored sugar, for garnish
  • Food dye (optional)

note: to make Spritz cookies you need a cookie press Continue reading

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

As kids are going back to school (or may even be back!) and the “busy season” of work creeps closer, it’s necessary to find recipes that can be prepared ahead of time so that weeknight meals can be on the table as quickly as possible. My favorite tool for really yummy dishes that I can just reheat is my lovely slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

 

Cooking Light had a recipe for Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice that is perfect for weekend prep and weeknight meals. This particular recipe has a good amount of prep time before putting everything in the slow cooker so I’d suggest making it on a weekend versus a weeknight morning. (If you want to make this before work, set aside 30-45 minutes to get everything ready to put in the slow cooker.)

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

 

A couple of notes before I dive into the recipe. You actually soak the dried red beans in water overnight, so don’t forget to do that that night before you plan on making this recipe. Also, dried kidney beans apparently contain a toxin that is not killed at low temperatures (like in a slow cooker) so you have to boil them for 10 minutes before slow cooking. (Who knew?! Definitely don’t skip that step!) This recipe makes 8 servings so you can also freeze the red bean mixture for future meals if you won’t finish it during the week. Ok! Let’s cook!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried red kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 oz andouille sausage, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped poblano chile (~2 chiles)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (12-ounce) can lager-style beer
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne pepper)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 4 cups hot cooked long-grain rice

 

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