Margaret, The Reluctant Cook Shares a Recipe

MargaretBrownley-headerP&P RECIPES LOGO

Margaret’s Philosophy about cooking

A meal should never take longer

to prepare

than it takes to eat


Whenever anyone suggests I share a recipe, I cringe. Not that I don’t have a recipe file, mind you. It’s just that instead of recipes my file is where I keep the telephone numbers of local take-outs.  So you can2_NutcrackerBride imagine how I felt when an editor asked me to include a recipe with my story The Nutcracker Bride. 

In desperation I turned to my daughter for help.  (Yes, the very same one who once thought school cafeteria food akin to the eighth wonder of the world. In her youth she was the Julia Child of the Lucky Tray Special.)

jelloAs I recall, she was particularly impressed with the Jello. She couldn’t believe it actually kept its shape after the mold was removed.

“Big deal,” I muttered.

“And the orange juice doesn’t taste burnt,” she persisted.

“They probably defrosted theirs in the microwave instead of on the stove,” I said defensively. I couldn’t believe she actually preferred bland orange juice.

She looked at me suspiciously. “And the rice could be eaten with a fork.”

“Probably one of those mountain grown brands,” I said weakly.

For the record, that smart aleck kid is now a professional chef and has raised three children who hate cafeteria food. When asked why she became a professional cook she claims it was for self-survival. 

Here’s the recipe she whipped up for my story.  It breaks my rule of no more than three ingredients per recipe, but you know how these chefs are.  If, like me, you use your oven for storage, don’t worry. I’ll be happy to provide the telephone number of a great German bakery.


German Zimt Makronen Cookies

1 cup ground hazelnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs separated. Need only the whites
pinch of salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup of granulated sugar
Whole hazelnuts to top cookies
Mix together ground nuts, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Beat egg whites. When eggs are stiff add lemon juice and salt. Continue to beat until stiff. Gradually fold sugar into beaten egg whites and fold in nut mixture.
Using two small spoons place small mounds of cookie dough onto greased baking sheet.
Top each cookie with a whole hazelnut and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 20-25 min. Leave to cool. Enjoy with friends and family.

Okay, how many of you enjoy cooking? What is your least favorite kitchen chore?  


More Love and Laughter from Margaret Brownley

The Nutcracker Bride: He’s a Texas Ranger and she just shot him!

12brides of ChristmasThe Nutcracker Bride can be purchased separately or as part of this great collection of stories from some of your favorite authors, including our very own Mary Connealy.



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34 thoughts on “Margaret, The Reluctant Cook Shares a Recipe”

  1. The clean up after a meal is my least favorite part of the whole ordeal. I have 4 boys and I put them to work in helping me in the kitchen. I’m not at home in the kitchen either but I know enough to be dangerous and we’ll survive. Jenny

  2. Margaret I have a book I used to use as a freebie at book signings called ‘Faster than Fast Food’.
    These recipes define my life. Or at least they used to before I completely quit cooking.
    We are kindred spirits. Also busy!

  3. Oh man this made me laugh! My mother AND mother in law are very well-known for their baking and cooking. Sadly I did not inherit one stinking bit of that gene. My poor children. They too are set on becoming professional chefs just to survive. My mother is very disappointed in me and keeps trying, bless her heart. 😉

  4. I actually like to cook dinner but it’s coming up with new ideas that I hate (also cleaning up lol). I haven’t baked in a long time though.

  5. Thank you for the great recipe, Margaret! Sometimes I am in the mood to cook but most times not! It is just easier to go out! Plus, cleanup is such a pain!

  6. hi Margaret, I’m definitely gonna try this recipe come Christmas! I don’t enjoy cooking very much but I get in moods when I do like to try a recipe. Last Friday I found an easy-peasy one I found on Facebook, and tonight, I’m making a quiche type thing with broccoli, tomatoes and cheese because we do Meatless Monday. (Okay, okay, it’s actually a Bisquick impossible pie…) Everybody teases me because if it has more than six ingredients, I run screaming LOL. Thankfully for me, Hubs learned to cook in the firehouse–there is intense competition there and if you mess up or cook something awful, you never live it down! So most times I’m content to do the clean-up. Hugs and congrats on the story, xoxox

  7. Hi Tanya, six ingredients would make me run screaming, too. My hubby’s not a firemen but he’s learning to cook. I told him nothing’s sexier than a man who knows his way around a kitchen. That did the trick.


  8. Margaret–this sounds like a delicious recipe! Many thanks to your daughter. All these comments are making me chuckle. The part I hate about cooking is BUYING the ingredients at the store! Especially ingredients that I have no clue as to where they are shelved and I wander the aisle back and forth unable to find them. The actual cooking is okay, although I too am not a fan of more than 5 ingredients LOL.

    • Hi Kathryn, you’re the first one who mentioned buying, but I’m sure many feel the same way. I know I do. I particularly hate recipes that call for some obscure ingredient that I’ll probably never use again.

  9. I love to cook and have a large collection of cookbooks. Unfortunately, lately the cookbooks are reading material or paperweights more than anything else. I haven’t had much time to cook, or read for that matter. I am hoping to get caught up on all the volunteer activities and actually get my house straightened up and start trying new recipes. I can dream.

    My husband is a good cook and we taught all three of our children to cook. Our son took his first cooking class when he was 4. Our daughters are now teaching their children to cook, although with their busy work schedules they have little time to cook as often as they’d like.

    Thanks for sharing.

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