Thinking About Becoming A Vegetarian?

I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years. I initially stopped eating meat when I became aware of how animals were being treated, but my improved health has kept me from eating meat since.

Not only can a vegetarian diet be beneficial to your health, but it can also help increase energy levels. When following a vegetarian diet, you may notice a decrease in blood pressure as well as sugar levels. While many believe that being a vegetarian can limit food choices, this is simply not the case. In fact, many vegan recipes taste better than their meat counterparts.

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I try to make as many meals from scratch as I can, although there are many times I purchase vegetarian frozen food, such as breakfast sausages and hamburgers.

One of the brands I love is Gardein. I use their Teriyaki Chick’n Strips when I make cesear salad. You can check for easy vegan recipes from Gardein on their site.

If you’re thinking of cutting meat out of your diet, start slowly and look for alternatives, which are more plentiful now than when I started. Start by swapping out two meat based meals a week and gradually increase.

Becoming a vegetarian is not as hard as you might think, and the benefits that come from a meat-less diet can improve your health.

Holiday Baking: Butter Cookie Recipe Passed Down To Another Generation

To help us kick off the holiday season this sponsored post for Collective Bias® features a butter cookie recipe being passed down to another generation.

Butter Cookies

My mother-in-law loved cooking and baking, and my husband Billy grew up with delicious home cooked meals and tasty desserts. He got his love of cooking from her, and now our youngest daughter enjoys cooking, and is quite creative in the kitchen.

I asked Billy to share some of his favorite memories of his mother’s holiday baking with my readers.

My most vivid memory is trying to eat the cookie dough before it got into the oven and my mom always playfully yelling at me to stop. She would make about ten – twelve different varieties totaling about 50 dozen Christmas cookies (that’s not a typo – yes, 50!) and I always enjoyed helping her. I would load the cookie gun, put them on the cookie sheets and help decorate them.

It meant a lot to me to bake her butter cookies this year and have my own daughter help me….and try to eat the cookie dough before it got in the oven. *lol*. Although my mom is not physically with us any more, I know she is watching over us and was with us in the kitchen as we baked.

Billy has several of his mother’s Christmas cookie recipes, and we decided to start getting ready for the holidays by baking one of his favorites; butter cookies.

This is a copy of her original #HolidayButter Cookie recipe.

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We already had the sugar, eggs and flour, so I stopped by our local Super WalMart and picked up baking powder, vanilla extract, Land O’ Lakes butter sticks and some holiday sprinkles.

 

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This is a pretty simple recipe, so if you’ve never made homemade cookies before, give this one a try and let me know how it came out. This was Billy’s first attempt at recreating his mother’s Christmas cookies.

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Soften and cream two sticks of butter in a large bowl.
Mix in 1/2 cup of sugar.
Mix in one egg.
Mix in 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.
Mix in 2 1/4 cups of flour.
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Mix well or use a mixer. We don’t have a mixer (yet!), so Billy and my daughter Jacqueline mixed it by hand. You want to be sure that all the ingredients are mixed well.

 

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Using a measuring tablespoon, spoon the dough onto cookie sheets. Billy’s mother had a cookie gun so her’s came out prettier, and took less time. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes depending on the thickness of your cookie. We kept ours in for 11 minutes.

Three trays of cookies ready to go in the oven! This recipe makes four dozen cookies.

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We added green and red sprinkles to the cookies after they came out of the oven. Billy realized afterwards that his mother used to add sprinkles before they went into the oven, so you may want to try it that way. Or if you’re going to use icing, then let them cool slightly before adding it. You can also keep them plain and just enjoy their buttery goodness.

Christmas Butter Cookies

Click for more holiday recipes from Land O Lakes and to follow them on facebook.


Wild Harvested Shrimp With Garlic & Baby Corn

My husband made this delicious meal for me with wild harvested shrimp that I picked up at our local supermarket. It was a quick and easy to make dish, with only a few ingredients.

Wild caught shrimp, as opposed to farm raised, is harvested from off coastal ocean waters using traditional sea vessels. Harvesting wild shrimp is regulated and has annual production limits.

Wild Harvested Shrimp With Garlic & Baby Corn

This was something my husband threw together, so adjust the measurements and cooking time for your own taste.

First, clean and rinse one pound of shrimp. Next, melt three tablespoons of butter in a skillet, on medium – high heat. Then, add a generous amount of garlic to the butter (we added about three tablespoons) and saute it until slightly brown.

Add the cleaned shrimp and baby corn to the butter & garlic mixture, and saute until the shrimp turn pink and slightly opaque.

We found the can of baby corn in the Asian food section in our local supermarket. Just open the can and drain the water.

This was sooooooo good! The butter and garlic was the perfect flavoring because it allowed the taste of the shrimp and baby corn to come though without overpowering it.