Marble Leaf Sugar Cookies

Why wait until Christmas to make sugar cookies? LET’S DO IT NOW! I love the marble technique in royal icing and it’s so much easier than it looks. This is another one where the messier it gets, THE BETTER IT LOOKS!

The recipes I used are from Baking With Josh & Ange. It’s Angela Kinsey from the Office and her husband and they are so cute and funny and have great recipes. Her husband, Josh, is my favorite kind of food blogger. He makes things so easy! Check out their YouTube channel for great tutorials and the best part- OFFICE CAMEOS!

Recipes Links: Sugar Cookies & Royal Icing

I’ve found that a half batch of icing is plenty for one batch of cookies. The best part about sugar cookies is that they BAKE IN 6 MINUTES. They’ll literally be done before you even finish cleaning up your counter.

I used leaf pie crust cutters because that’s all I had lying around. These work fine for cookies you just don’t use the stamp part to leave leaf indents on the top. I got these a few years ago in a set from William Sonoma but they still have a similar set. They’re great to have on hand for pie crust accents on your fall pies as well! If you want actual cookie cutters, here’s a cute, affordable set from Amazon.

I was inspired by Chelsweets Marbled Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies from a couple years ago. I always thought these were so cute!

I split the royal icing into a couple of batches to do this. The colors eventually start running together so you’ll want a fresh batch and you go along through the cookies. Add water in small bits, about 1/2 tsp at a time, until you get the consistency you want. I think for our purposes you’ll want it to be like a shampoo-like consistency.

Add in about 4 drops of a few different colors of food coloring. I used red, orange and yellow. Use a toothpick to swirl the coloring into the icing and help get that marbled look. Then you just dip the cookies in! It takes a few to get used to it. You want to lean the edges all down in a rotation to get the icing completely to each edge. Then when you pull up, let the excess fall off before you tilt the cookie back and set aside.

I do have a little bad news. These take FOREVER to fully dry and harden. Like, several hours. I usually leave them to dry overnight. I know, it’s annoying. But, then the icing ends up being super firm and you can pack them up on top of each other and there’s no mess or worrying about ruining any of them. So, you win some, you lose some!

To give my batch of cookies a little variety, I did the second half with just standard white royal icing and this cute fall sprinkle blend from Joann. I only used one of the two styles because my dogs ate a full tube of sprinkles while I was out to dinner. #rude

You can easily do this year round with any shape/color combo that comes to mind. Happy baking!

Slightly, Samantha

Fajita Stew

I’ve made it pretty clear that I love fall and soups and stews!! Here is one I’ve been working on for a few months. It’s based on an Ancho Beef Stew I found in Better Homes & Gardens Fall Recipe magazine. That one called for a couple things I couldn’t find in stores so I gave up, started tweaking it to my liking and voila!- my Fajita Stew!

FYI- I put the instructions at the end for a crockpot version. I know everyone loves crockpots but I’m a big fan of using a dutch oven for soups, stews and pasta dishes. If you don’t have a dutch oven, I highly recommend this one from Target. It’s really heavy duty, high quality and easy to clean.

Here’s what you need-

  • 1.5 lb diced beef (I use a mix of stew meat and chop suey)
  • 10 oz chorizo
  • 1/2 yellow onion (any onion will work, I just like yellow)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp hot mexican chili powder (regular would be fine as well)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bottle Mexican beer (the darker the better!)
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 cups water

Ok, here’s how you do it!

PREP WORK: Just do this all before you start. Trust me!

  • Chop your onions, peppers and potatoes (and garlic if you’re extra fancy have fresh garlic and don’t just have a jar of minced garlic).
  • Measure out your flour, chili pepper, cumin & water.
  • Pop open that can of tomatoes and beer (maybe a beer for yourself too IDK).
  • Preheat your oven to 300 F.

MAKING THE STEW:

  • Brown your chorizo on medium heat (break it up like you’d do ground beef) in a large oven safe pot dutch oven (at least 5qt). This should take just a few minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  • Brown your stew meat in 2 batches. Give it a good hit of salt and pepper. You want all sides to get a little brown/crispy. Transfer to your bowl with chorizo. Set aside.
  • Drain almost all of the fat from your pan. Just leave a little bit to cook your veggies. Cook your onion and peppers for about 3-4 minutes. Just until the onions are becoming translucent.
  • Add garlic. Cook for about a minute.
  • Add your flour, chili powder and cumin. Cook about a minute. It’ll seem pretty dry but try to get it all mixed together as best you can.
  • Add in tomatoes. Mix until everything is incorporated.
  • Add in your beer in 2-3 installments. Mix each time until incorporated.
  • Bring to a boil then add in your chorizo, beef and potatoes.
  • Add in your 2 cups of water. Bring to boil again.
  • Cover and transfer to the oven.
  • Bake for 1.5-2 hours until potatoes are tender.

HEY CROCKPOT LOVERS! I know 70% of you are annoyed that this isn’t done in a crockpot. Good news. You can do it that way if you want! Just do the first 3 steps in a pan then instead of putting everything in a pot moving forward go right into the crockpot. All of it. Just right in. Mix it up well and then cover to cook. Low 6 hours. High 2-3 hours. BOOM!

This makes a ton and reheats well! ENJOY for days! 🙂

-Slightly, Samantha