Lemon Meltaway Cookies

I think I love parchment paper more than other people do.

I first tried baking with parchment paper a couple years ago after an unfortunate scone episode, and I’ve been a devotee ever since.

If I’m eyeball-deep in baking fresh cookies, and I realize that the only missing ingredient is parchment paper, I will sooner bring production to a halt and drive to the store for a box of parchment paper, than consider browning my beautiful batter on a greased cookie sheet.

See? SEE?!

I only recently discovered 50 kindred spirits who feel as strongly about parchment paper as I do, when I joined the I Love Parchment Paper Facebook group.

Parchment paper is an absolute MUST in baking these tart and sweet, buttery lemon cookies. They’re baked to a delicate, crispy perfection. Then you slide them off the paper with gentle fingers into a softly melting pillow of powdered sugar.

At that point, what you do with them is your business.

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grilled fish tacos with cucumber salsa, sriracha dressing, and corn nuts

Last week, Minnesotans enjoyed a warm and sunny, puddly teaser thaw, and it seemed spring was just around the corner. Sadly, winter made an all-star comeback this morning, and the icy Minnesota wind that chapped my ears as I left for work sounded especially smug.

"Corn ... Nuts!"

I’m still pouting over my not-trip to Mexico, so I’m sharing another not-authentic Mexican recipe. These delightfully spicy and crunchy fish tacos look winter square in the face and say, “BITE ME.”

As much as I love batter fried fish (fish and chips, like, woah), I don’t really like deep frying in my kitchen.

Grilled Tilapia

Or, more accurately, I don’t like cleaning up the mess left by deep frying in my kitchen. So rather than dragging out the kitchen kettle and dealing with all that oil, I marinated the fish and grilled it on my little electric grill.

I made a cucumber salad instead of the more traditional cabbage slaw, but that left me with a pretty soft, squishy taco.

So I took a little inspiration from Heathers, and added a handful of Corn Nuts for some crunch. I drizzled the top with a spicy and tangy sriracha dressing, and saved the leftover dressing to use as a dip for tater tots, à la the Bulldog.

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Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This morning my local weather forecaster assured me that the temperature in Minnesota would “climb up into the single digits.” I held back my tears (or perhaps they just froze in my eyes), and thought about the trip to Mexico I would not be taking with Handsome Greg this year.

I told Greg that I’d go to Mexico (and read paperbacks on the shimmering beach while drinking cocktails) if, and only if, my little theater group did not win a spot in this year’s Fringe Fest.

The Fringe lottery was earlier this week, and Blue Umbrella Productions won a coveted spot in the United States’ largest non-juried Fringe Festival. We’ll be presenting an original revue of TV theme songs, and I will not be going to Mexico.

I won’t wade in the ocean, and I won’t follow the dolphins of Stone Island, and I won’t visit the art galleries along the cobblestone roads of Old Mazatlan.

So, uh, come on out to the MN Fringe Fest this summer and see a super fun musical revue of TV theme songs. Believe it or not, I’m walking on air.

And in the meantime, I’m enjoying some not-even-a-little-bit-authentic, Mexican-inspired food. I considered making pretty, rolled enchiladas, but ultimately gave in to my hotdish-loving Minnesota nature, and made an enchilada casserole. It’s delicious and hearty – a perfect one-dish meal – with just a bit of heat.

Next time I make it, I’ll use smaller, taco-sized tortillas; it was a little too “bread-y” with the medium-sized tortillas I picked up.

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cap’n crunch cookies

Back in December, I made candies with Cap’n Crunch for the company holiday potluck, because I thought it would be hilarious.

Less hilarious? Trying to use up a nearly-full $4 box of intensely sweet cereal.

I really hate to be wasteful, but between the Cap’n Crunch buckeyes and today’s chocolate chip (and Cap’n Crunch!) cookies, I’ve barely made a dent in the mountain of expensive cereal.

These cookies are actually pretty tasty. A standard chocolate chip cookie, but with chewy-crunchy little nuggets throughout. Not a favorite, but definitely not a fail.

Next up, I’m considering Cap’n Crunch French Toast, or Cap’n Crunch-crusted Chicken. Or I suppose I could use it as packing peanuts.

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