Christmas Cookies III: Snickerdoodles

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I have to work on Christmas Day.  With only days to go before Christmas, I decided to take a couple of vacation days for myself, so I can enjoy the holidays a little bit!  We are celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve instead this year, as I will be very lucky indeed if I am able to come home at all on Christmas Day.  And wouldn’t you know it, leave it to those scrooges I work with to guilt me for taking a few days off before Christmas?  It’s like they want me to not only work Christmas Day, but all of the days leading up to it, and after (they didn’t allow me to take any days off between Christmas and New Year’s; I had already requested that!).  Unbelievable!  It’s all salt in the wound- to be completely accurate, I had requested Christmas Day off, and they waited until I was out of town on vacation to schedule the holidays.  When I had returned, the one holiday I requested off- Christmas- those vile people scheduled me for.  And their reason?  Simply because I have no children (I’m 1 of 2 of us with no kids, and the other one is a senior).  Which I sort of understand, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a family I’d like to see on Christmas.  Additionally, they all went into their residencies knowing hours wouldn’t be perfect, and still had kids anyway- and that’s not my fault- so I shouldn’t be discriminated against for NOT having children.  Ultimately, I just wish they hadn’t done that behind my back.  Obviously, I’m still sore about the whole thing.

Moving on to brighter subjects, it IS Christmastime: my favorite time of year!  This is the time of year when I like snow on the ground, chilly weather, baking cookies, curling up by the fireplace with steaming mugs of hot cocoa, reading good books, and giving gifts!  Which is shortly followed by the after-Christmas sales and New Year’s and resolutions!  So, naturally, I am planning a fabulous Christmas meal for Christmas Eve: Braised Beef with horseradish cream, sauteed kale with toasted pecans, twice baked potatoes, and of course Red Velvet Cake 🙂

Without further ado, the third recipe in a four-part-series: Snickerdoodle Cookies!  These are Mr. Handsome’s favorite cookies, so we make them every year.  Most recipes are simply sugar cookies with a coating of cinnamon and sugar, but we like a recipe with cinnamon in the dough!  It really does give it a little something extra!  This recipe we follow exactly (believe it or not!), and it comes from the Food Network website: Snickerdoodles.

Seriously…so good.  If you like the smell of warm cinnamon and vanilla baking on a wintry day, or if you like the taste of a perfectly crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside cookie- try these!  You won’t regret it!!

And, as a bonus recipe, one of my other wintery favorite: chili.  But this isn’t your typical week-night chili recipe, even though it’s just as easy.  Put down that McCormick’s Chili Seasoning Packet- you’ll never touch it again once you try this chili!!  The fresh ingredients make every bit of difference!!  Look in the pepper patch at the grocery store and pick out an interesting one!  And, if you’re interested, try grass-fed beef instead of grain-fed.  You’ll taste the difference in every meaty bite!

L.B.’s Secret Recipe Chili
Serves 8

1 pound lean-er grass fed ground beef
1 whole red onion, chopped
1 whole bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 banana peppers*, seeded and chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. Chipotle chili powder
1 tsp. Adobo chili powder
1/2 tsp. Cayenne chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 bay leaves
1 large (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1/2 c. dry black beans
1/2 c. kidney beans
1 c. pinto beans

In a large crockpot, add all of the ingredients (be sure to break up the ground beef).  Let it cook all day, or at least 8 hours.  The chili should be thick; if it’s not, give it another 30 minutes – 1hour while venting the steam.

*May substitute any of your favorite peppers, good ones include banana, peperoncinis, jalapenos, serranos, or poblanos

 So colorful and delicious!  To serve: Delicious alone, wonderful with all the typical suspects: grated cheese, chopped onions, green onions, sour cream.  Serve with tortilla chips or corn muffins!

Enjoy the holidays!!
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