Soft Lemon Ginger Cookies

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This summer, I had the opportunity to serve as a camp counselor for several weeks at one of my favorite places in the world- Massanetta Springs Camp and Conference Center. As is tradition, on the counselors off night, we all ravenously roll into town looking for some non-camp food, always ending the night in a trip to Klines, the local ice cream dive.

Klines is known for having a flavor of the week. That last delicious week of summer, and my last week as a counselor, the ice cream flavor of the week was Lemon Gingersnap. Sounds divine, right?

Now, I know the beauty of lemon and ginger combined- I shared it with you all in my favorite Lemon Ginger hummus recipe (goooooood stuff y’all). However, for some reason, I had never thought of throwing lemon and ginger together in dessert form. Literally, what was I thinking?!

As I slowly enjoyed my Lemon Gingersnap waffle cone, my mind immediately jumped to these cookies, imagining a delicious spiced gingersnap cookie, dipped in a sweet citrusy lemon glaze. MMmmmmm!

Thus, in memory and celebration of summer, I’d like to introduce you to an ‘A Rented Kitchen’ original recipe, and my new favorite cookies- Soft Lemon Ginger Cookies.

You all should seriously try this.

With love,

A Rented Kitchen

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Cookie Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar + 2 Tablespoons
  • 1 teaspon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¾ cup margarine, softened

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 ½ lemons
  • 3 teaspoons skim milk

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the margarine and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg, and continue mixing. Once thoroughly combined, stir in the molasses and water. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Once combined, add the dry ingredients in increments to the wet ingredients, stirring thoroughly as you go.
  • Using a spoon, form walnut sized balls of dough, and roll each ball in the remaining 2 Tablespoons of sugar. Place the dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, two inches apart, and use the back of the spoon to flatten the cookies.
  • Bake for 8 minutes (they should be soft when removed from the oven!), and allow to cool before dipping in icing.
  • While the cookies bake, combine the icing ingredients in a small bowl. Once each cookie is room temperature, dip half of the cookie in the icing, being very careful while doing so, to prevent the soft cookies from breaking.
  • Lay the dipped cookies on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet and chill for 20 minutes, or until the icing firms up.
  • Eat and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • Like this recipe? Check out these other delicious cookie and dessert recipes form ‘A Rented Kitchen!’ (Recipe links found below):

Spiced Pumpkin Pie Dip

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Hello Wonderful People!

If you are reading this it is either because:

  1. You’re my friend and thought you’d look into how I have been spending all my free time this week. (Haiiiii guys)
  2. You really love pumpkin and found this page courtesy of social media or a search engine. (I love pumpkin too! Linger a while- I got some yummy recipes headed your way!)
  3. You’re lost. (Look at all the chocolate though! Why leave now?)

Regardless of the reason, I’m glad you’re here and reading this page. Today brings us to day three of Pumpkin Week, which means yet another delicious pumpkin recipe to add to your collection.

I made this pumpkin dip over the weekend and somehow managed to kill an entire box of ginger snaps and two apples with this dip- All. By. Myself.

Wooooops.

I share this confessional to attribute to how absolutely incredible this dip is! You are going to become addicted- I’m warning you! Perfect for potlucks, holiday parties, or a healthy snack with an apple, I highly suggest adding this to your regular collection of recipes! With only one mixing bowl, a few minutes of your time, and an incredible flavor- you’ve got nothing to loose!

Dig in! And Come back tomorrow for more of A Rented Kitchen’s Pumpkin Week!

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Pumpkin Week

Day One- Pumpkin Recipe Review!

Day Two- Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Day Three- Pumpkin Pie Dip

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Ingredients:

  • 6 oz Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 can (15oz) pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 4 oz Cool Whip
  • Serve with ginger snaps and apple slices!

Directions: 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth and blended.
  2. Refrigerate for one hour to allow the flavors to blend.
  3. Serve with apple slices, graham crackers, and ginger snaps!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Shugary sweets
  • Stores well in a refrigerated air-tight container for several days!
  • Like this recipe? Check out these other delicious treats from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links found below photos):

 

Sweet Potato and Smoked Gouda Grits

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My parents both grew up in the south, and I have spent more years on the south east than anywhere else, so despite currently calling Kansas City my home base, this girl is still pretty southern.

Therefore, to claim the southeast as home, and not have a grits recipe on my blog, is probably a sin. Just guessing, but probably.

I watched my great aunt make cheese grits a few summers ago. She threw in an absurd amount of butter, copious amounts of cheese, and several eggs. I was watching in horror, mentally calculating the amount of fat and calories in this beloved side dish, something that probably could have been rich and flavorful with half of the ingredients she was using. However, as she explained to me, cheese grits used to be a meal during the depression that was designed to sustain you for hours. More often than not, that bowl of grits may be all someone ate in a day, so it was intentionally full of calories and fat.

Today, we often do not need, or want, such high calorie and fat packed side dishes in almost any setting. Therefore, I am keeping true to my southern roots by posting a cheese grits recipe, but have taken my own liberty to eliminate much of the unnecessary butter/fat/calories found in my great aunt’s recipe.

Hold onto your pants, because these grits might just be your new best friend. I know I am biased towards all things sweet potatoes, but daaaang this dish is delicious!

Give it a try! You will never have loved a comfort food so much! And while you enjoy your grits, why not take a second to be grateful for those who came before us.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup dry instant grits
  • 8 ounces Smoked Gouda, shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450˚ F.
  2. Rinse the sweet potato and wrap in a layer of aluminum foil. Place the potato directly on the oven rack and cook for 45 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven, allow to cool enough to be handled, then remove the potato from the skin, transfer the meat into a large bowl, and mash.
  4. Cook the grits as instructed- heating 3 cups of water until boiling, adding the grits to the pot, reducing the heat to low, and allowing to simmer for five minutes.
  5. Once the grits are cooked, turn the heat off, and stir in the mashed potato and shredded Gouda until smooth and creamy.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • If you like this recipe, try these other dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (Recipe links found below)

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Maple Butter

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Wow! Hello internet! Several weeks have passed since the last time I wrote, which means, I am officially back in the good ole’ United States, after six crazy and beautiful weeks trekking through Peru.

I have so much to be grateful for.

While I really miss Peru, and absolutely loved my trip with the program Operation Groundswell (I highly suggest this organization for any of you out there that love to travel!), I am very grateful to be back in a position where I can cook again and share some yummy recipes with you all! Thanks for all the views in my absence! You guys are amazing.

Because very few things seem more American and comfort food-ish than sweet potatoes and biscuits, I thought I’d share this yummy biscuits recipe I made  just before my Peru trip.

Fun fact- it turns out Peru has nearly 3,000 native potatoes that grow in the country (Whaaaaaat?), and while I feel like I tasted all 3,000 (slight exaggeration), I never tasted one that rivaled the sweet potato I am used to in the states. Go figure. I think some comfort foods just may never change.

Therefore, despite my recent expansive potato diet, I still find myself craving these delicious muffins.  Hopefully you enjoy them as much as I did- warm with a little maple butter.

Get excited for more fun recipes coming your way this summer!

The girl is back. Let’s get cookin’!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium – large sweet potato
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and shaping
  • 2 Tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

Maple Butter Ingredients:

  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Cook the sweet potato by either baking for 45 minutes at 450˚ F, wrapped in aluminum foil, or by peeling and dicing the sweet potato and boiling in a covered saucepan with water until tender.
  2. Once cooked, drain the sweet potato and mash into a puree (you should have about ¾- 1 cup of filling).
  3. Place the sweet potato in the refrigerator for an hour, or until chilled.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425˚ F and lightly flour a clean cooking surface.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  6. Using a fork, press the butter into the mixture and kneed until the batter resembles coarse meal (there may be some small pea-sized lumps of butter remaining).
  7. Gather the scraps, reroll the dough, and repeat in cutting as many additional biscuits as possible.
  8. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the sweet potato and buttermilk. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined.
  9. Place the dough on the lightly floured surface and kneed gently until the dough holds together, but is still slightly lumpy. If the dough is too sticky, add additional flour.
  10. Roll the dough into 1- inch of thickness and cut into circles using a biscuit cutter or the rim of a drinking glass.
  11. Arrange the biscuits snuggly on a greased baking sheet and brush lightly with melted butter.
  12. Bake for 20-24 minutes. Meanwhile, to make the maple butter, melt the butter and stir together the ingredients until completely mixed. Top warm biscuits with butter, eat, and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Cozy Kitchen
  • Additional delicious toppings, other than the maple butter, include a drizzle of honey or apple butter! You seriously cannot go wrong with sweet potato biscuits.
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links found below!):

Homemade Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

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Alright people, I’m going to be honest. I’m obsessed with this recipe. In the past I have stayed away from creamy soups, because I assumed they were chalk-full of whole milk and additional fat that completely works against the benefits of the vegetables. However, I am a changed person now. This recipe is so simple, and is full of whole natural foods that you are going to love!

I owe my new appreciation for butternut squash soup to my cousin Lindsey.  A few weeks ago I was traveling by myself, so I stopped to spend the night with Lindsey and her family. As is the case with southern tradition and family hospitality, Lindsey prepared a scrumptious dinner for my arrival and then waited to eat until I arrived (which was much past the dinner hour, mind you).

As we all gathered around the table, Lindsey and I got to talking about the ingredients in her soup, and she shocked me with house simple and naturally healthy her recipe was.  Thus, when I got back home from my trip, I immediately purchased a butternut squash, found my own recipe, and got cooking!

It’s the little things that remind us how blessed we are.

Thank you God for warm homemade food, family, road trips, and a place at the table.

Here’s to you and yours.

Love, a rented kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 32 oz.  vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, or sprinkled goat cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450˚ F and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Peel, de-seed, and dice the squash into roughly 1-inch cubes. For step-by-step photo instructions on how to cut a butternut squash, click here.
  3. Peel and dice the onion into roughly 1-inch pieces.
  4. Arrange the squash and onion on the covered baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, and generously sprinkle with ground pepper and salt. (I suggest using a brush to make sure the oil is evenly dispersed over and under all of the veggies, or else the vegetables will stick to the baking pan!)
  5. Roast for 45-50 minutes until the squash is lightly golden and fork tender.
  6. Once the vegetables are done roasting, bring the vegetable broth to simmer in a large pot.  Add the roasted veggies to the pot.
  7. In bathes, puree the roasted vegetables and broth together in an immersion blender or food processor. Continue this process until all of the broth and vegetables have been blended together, into a nice creamy consistency.
  8. Optional: Serve warm and top with a dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg, and a sprinkle of goat cheese. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Slightly adapted from Lick My Spoon 
  • Like this recipe from ‘a rented kitchen’? Try these other delicious dishes below!