We all know what time of year it is and that means making some cookies to share with all your family and friends! Although I do bake it’s not my favorite thing to do but these sugar cookies from Taste Of Home made it simple. After reading some of the reviews of this recipe I made a few small changes. The original recipe calls for vanilla extract.  I wanted something just a little different so I used lemon extract and I also added lemon zest to the batter. This recipe can be made as a drop cookie or rolled into balls.   Flatten with the bottom of a glass that has sugar on the bottom of it so it leaves a nice light coating of sugar on top of the cookies. Needless to say, this recipe is easily adaptable and it makes a lot. This made almost five dozen!

Because it made so many I was able to send some with my husband while he was flying with the Army National Guard.  During his travels, he stopped at an Air Force base where our dear friend Adam (our niece Becky’s significant other, who we love) was working and could come out and enjoy a cookie or two! Needless to say, there were some happy military people today!



1 cup of butter, softened
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of confectioners sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or if making lemon, I used 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract)
4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

NOTE– if making the lemon version you will need 3 small lemons.  I zested two of the lemons into the batter and zested 1 lemon into 1/2 cup of granulated sugar I used for the top.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl beat the butter, oil, and sugars. Beat in the eggs until well blended.  Add the vanilla or lemon extract. In another large bowl, add the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine. If making the lemon version add the zest of two lemons and mix until combined.
If making drop cookies simply drop about a tablespoon of the dough on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until they are lightly browned. Mine took 8 minutes.
If you want to flatten them and add the sugar on the top, place about 1/2 cup of granulated sugar onto a plate, add the zest of one lemon into the sugar and mix. Roll the dough into balls about a tablespoon or so and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass coat the bottom of the glass lightly with the sugar mixture and lightly press the dough balls down to your desired thickness. This will leave a light coating of sugar on the top of the cookie. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes.



We have been going to Patrick’s for a number of years now, it’s one of our favorite places in the Gilford NH area. My parents have a boat just across the street from Patrick’s so it’s a great spot for lunch or dinner while spending time on Lake Winnipesaukee.

We were joined by my parents for lunch when we went a few weeks ago. We got there when it opened for lunch at 11:30 and were greeted and seated in no time. For an appetizer, we ordered Barbs Onion Hooks $6.99. These are julienned onion slices, hand tossed with a light breading and deep fried with a creamy horseradish sauce. These were so light, crispy but I loved that when you took a bite of the onion all of the breading actually stays on! The horseradish sauce is the perfect compliment to the onion hooks, it adds a little bite of flavor. These were gone in no time and always a favorite.

For our main course, my parents split the Turkey Club $11.99 as all of the portions are plenty enough for two! This club sandwich is always a favorite of theirs. The turkey club has roasted turkey breast, lettuce, tomato, bacon, mayo, American cheese all on grilled bread. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? They cleaned their plate!










Jim had the Harvest Turkey Sandwich $12.00, This is always one of Jim’s favorite sandwiches to order anyplace we go but Patrick’s does an exceptional job with this sandwich with the addition of the pumpkin apple butter! What’s not to love about turkey, cranberry apple stuffing with sausage and of course the pumpkin apple butter all on a grilled Italian bread. You won’t leave the table hungry with that sandwich, not a crumb left on Jim’s plate!

Last but not least I ordered the Bistro Salad $10.99, this salad was huge! I mean really, really big with lots of great flavors and textures, you truly eat with your eyes when the salad is put in front of you.It’s beautifully made with crisp romaine, house made Caesar dressing, crumbled bacon, red onion, diced tomatoes along with Gorgonzola. This also comes with warm grilled pita slices. This was a delicious salad and because it was so big I was able to take it home and have more for dinner!

Patrick’s Pub has so much going on, they have two clubs that you can be a part of each having some great perks! They can do private parties and have many events such as ladies night, dueling pianos and so much more. You can find Patrick’s Pub at 18 Weirs Rd, in Gilford, NH. They open at 11:30 daily and of course you can see the full menu online but don’t forget to give them a like on Facebook too!




This is a super simple five-ingredient dish! Jim loves anything with a Mexican or Tex Mex flavor so he loved this dish! I, on the other hand, am not a huge fan of refried beans so this was not a huge favorite for me. Jim and I both agreed this would make a great party appetizer. I would slice them a little smaller than shown in the picture here.


1 crusty Italian loaf
1 can (16 oz.) refried beans – I used the spicy version
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought pico de gallo

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice bread in half lengthwise and then in half widthwise and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Spread about 1/4 of the can of refried beans on each slice of the cut side of the bread. Top each slice with both kinds of cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into 1/2 inch slices and top each slice with a spoon full of pico de gallo. Serve warm.



This is hands down the most flavorful marinade I have ever had. Chef Michael Symon made this on The Chew one day and all the co-hosts raved about how good it was.  I knew I had to give it a try and I’m so glad I did as it became one of my favorite steak marinades all summer long. Absolutely delicious!

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1/3 cup Olive oil
Steak of your choice, skirt steak, flank steak or hanger steak

Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, rosemary and chili flakes. Add about 1/3 cup of olive oil. Place steak in a resealable bag and pour the marinade over the steak.  Marinate in the fridge for 2 hours or up to overnight.
Remove the steak from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Heat grill to medium-high heat, wipe off any bits of the marinade from the steak, drizzle with olive oil and grill steak to your desired doneness.   Serve warm.



While I was still recovering with my broken leg, I was looking for a fast simple dinner to get on the table and this was it. I had all the ingredients on hand and I baked up some fries and added a salad to go alongside the chicken.  Dinner was on the table in no time. I made these using chicken tenders as that’s what I had, but you can certainly use chicken breasts as well. These can be simply fried in the pan as I did or baked at 350 degrees until fully cooked through.

4 chicken breasts or 1 package of chicken tenders
1 orange
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

Squeeze the juice of the orange into a bowl and add the maple syrup and soy sauce. Add the chicken, coating all of the pieces. I fried my tenders in a large pan over medium heat until cooked through and turning halfway. If baking,  preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through. Serve warm.



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