Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chunks

I is surprising to you all that I am posting about peanut butter and chocolate :)
I got some new cookbooks at the library and found this yummy cookie waiting for me to try. The cookbook is Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone.

1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C natual chunky peanut butter
1/2 C packed light brown sugar
8 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 TBSP honey
1 large egg
1tsp pure vanilla extract
5 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the peanut butter, brown sugar, butter, honey, egg, and vanilla in a lrage bowl until well blended. Stir the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture in two additions. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
Scoop about 3 TBSP of dough for each cookie onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them
2 1/2 inches apart. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies puff and begin to brown on top but are still very soft to the touch. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Then use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack. Enjoy the cookies warm or let them cool completely.

I didn't make them as large as the recipe said to and just adjusted the cooking time. I also only made 12 cookies and placed the rest of the dough in balls and froze them for later use.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Potatoes with Ranch Dressing

I love eating my mashed potatoes with ranch dressing. When I saw this recipe in this months Martha Stewart Everyday Food, I knew I had to try it. It is much better than ranch out of the bottle, and I am sure more healthy too!

In a medium pot, bring 1 pound small potatoes (I used red potatoes) to a boil over high heat in salted water and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 C low-fat buttermilk, 1/4 C sour cream or greek yogurt, and 2 TBSP mayonnaise. Stir in 1 to 2 TBSP finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, or basil (I used basil), 3/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves (I only had dried so just guessed how much), and 1 small garlic clove, minced; season with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper. Drain potatoes and add to dressing. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spinach with Orzo and Feta

Feta is a cheese that my kids would eat out of the container, if I would let them. They love it! Here is a good side dish from Everyday Food.

Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper.
1/2 lb. orzo
1 lb. spinach, trimmed and chopped
1/2 C chopped fresh mint
1/2 C crumbled feta chesse
1 to 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP olive oil

1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the orzo according to the package instructions. Stir in the spinach until wilted. Drain.
2. In a large bowl, toss the hot spinach and orzo with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan

In my kids book, everything tastes better with Parmesan :) This is a great way to get them to eat their asparagus. Thanks Everyday Food Good Food Fast

2 bunches asparagus
1 TBSP olive oil
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 C finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Trim the tough ends from the asparagus.
2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the asparagus with the olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
3. Roast until the asparagus is tender and the cheese is melted, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Caramel Corn

I love, love, love this yummy stuff! I was so excited when I got the recipe seveal years ago. I even pack the ingredients when I go out of town so I can make it. I hope you like it as well.

6 C popped popcorn (about 1/4 C unpopped)
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C butter
2 TBSP light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

Heat oven to 200 degrees. Put popcorn in an oven safe pan. (I use my 11x13 Pyrex) Save for later.
Put brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until bubbly around the edges. Keep cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the saucepan from heat. Stir in baking soda until the mixture is foamy. Quickly pour caramel over popcorn and stir until popcorn is coated.
Bake in oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes (or burn your mouth because you can't wait) before serving.

tater tot casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cups frozen tater tots
1 can Cream of Celery soup
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Brown ground beef and onion; drain. If beef is very lean, add 1 tsp. olive oil for best browning results.

Transfer meat mixture into a shallow 2 quart baking dish. Cover meat with undiluted soup. Top with a single layer of tater tots.

Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

pizza crust

Ingredients: 2 cups warm water, 1 Tbsp each sugar & dry yeast, 1/2 Tbsp salt, 2 Tbsp olive oil and 5 to 6 cups flour.
Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let stand until yeast is very bubbly (called proofing the yeast). Put the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the salt and oil to the yeast and pour in the well in the flour. Mix in as much flour as you can with a wooden spoon. Put some extra flour on counter-top or bread board and dump the dough out and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. oil a clean bowl and place dough in bowl turning over so all the dough is oiled. Cover and let rise in a warm draft free place until double in size (30-45 min.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Punch down dough and divide either in half or into individual sizes. Fatten into a circle and place on a sheet pan or pizza pan that has been sprayed with non stick spray. Brush on olive oil then top as desired. Can use spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce. We like spaghetti sauce, ham, pineapple, black olives, and a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. As to the toppings, use your imagination or whatever you like. When topped, bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Pray and enjoy!!!

Stewed White Beans

These go well with the Pork Tenderloin and Bacon recipe that I posted! :) Weber's Real Grilling strikes again.

4 rip plum tomatoes, about 1 pound, cored
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C finely diced yellow onion
1 TBSP minced garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed
1/4 C lightly packed torn fresh basil leaves

1. To prepare the beans: Grill the tomatoes over direct medium heat until the skins are loosened, 6 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally. Cut the tomatoes into 1- inch chunks. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil, then cook the onion, garlic, and pepper flakes until softened, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and beans, stir to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper. When the beans come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the basil to the beans

Serve with Pork Tenderloin and Bacon (or what you like) :)

Pork Tenderloin and Bacon

More from Weber's Real Grilling. My hopes are high that I will get to BBQ soon! Everyone (even the kids) loved this. I will publish another recipe for the beans that go with this. Thought I would get 2 points out of one recipe! :)

2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
12 slices thinly sliced bacon, about 3/4 pound

1. In a small skillet over low heat, toast the fennel seed until the aroma is apparent, 3 to 5 minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally. Crush the fennel seed in a spice grinder or on a cutting board by grinding the seeds under a heavy pan. In a small bowl, combine the fennel with the salt and pepper.
2. Trim any excess fat and silver skin from the tenderloins. Cut the tenderloins into pieces about 1 1/2 inches long. Season them with the fennel mixture. Gently press down on each piece to form a disc the same thickness as the width of the bacon. Wrap a piece of bacon around each piece of pork and secure with a toothpick. The bacon should overlap at the ends by no more than 1 inch. Allow to stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before grilling.
3. Grill the porkm over direct medium heat until the pork is barely pink in the center and the bacon is fully cooked, 12 to 15 minutes, turning once (if flare-ups happen, move the pork temporarily to indirect medium heat).

Serve with Stewed White Beans posted as well.

Corn on the Cob with Basil-Parmesan Butter

Summer can't come quick enough for me. Here is another wonderful recipe for the grill. I would grill all year round if I could but I don't like getting rained on and having to check doneness by flashlight :) Another from Weber's Real Grilling.

1/4 C unsalted butter, softened
1/4 C freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp granulated garlic

4 ears corn, husked

1. To make the butter: In a small bowl, mash the butter ingredients together with the back of a fork, and then stir to distribute the seasonings throughout the butter.
2. Brush about 1 TBSP of the seasoned butter all over each ear of corn. Grill over direct medium heat until browned in spots and tender, 10 to 15 minutes, truning occasionally. Serve warm with the remaining butter spread on the corn.

Artichokes with Oregano and Salt

My family loves artichokes. I have made this many times for company and they always ask for the recipe. Again, from Weber's Real Grilling.

4 large artichokes
Juice of 1 lemon
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 C unsalted butter, melted

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Cut the stem off each artichoke, leaving about 1/2 inch attached. Peel off the dark outer leaves until you expose the light green, yellowish leaves underneath. Lay each artichoke on its side and cut off the top half so you have just the firm base to work with. Cut each base in half lenghtwise through the stem and drop each half into a large bowl of water mixed with the lemon juice (to prevent discoloration).
3. One at at time, lift the artichokes from the water and use a tsp to scoop out all the fuzzy choke and purplish leaves. Cook the artichokes in the boiling salted water until you can pierce them easily with a knife, 12 to 15 minutes, but DON"T OVERCOOK them or they will fall apart on the grill (I did this the first time). Drain the artichokes in a colander and place in a large bowl. While still warm, add the oil, oregano, granulated garlic, and salt. Toss gently to coat the artichokes. (the artichokes may be made up to this point and refrigerated for up to 4 hours. Bring to room temperature before grilling)
4. Grill the artichokes over direct medium heat until well browned and warm, 4 to 6 minutes, turning once. Serve warm with the butter.

Shrimp Tacos

Nothing like wanting to BBQ when it snows out! These are wonderful and a great twist on something old. Here's to wishing for warmer, sunnier weather! This recipe comes from Weber's Real Grilling. My husband got a new BBQ and I got a new cookbook! Everybody wins!

1 ear corn, husked
6 scallions, white and light green parts only
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium poblano chile
1 C cherry tomatoes, cut into 1/4- inch dice
1 Hass avocado, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 TBSP finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 TBSP fresh lime juice
1 TBSP minced garlic
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
32 large shrimp, about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled and deveined
8 flour tortillas

1. To make the salso: brush or spray the corn and scallions all over with oil. Grill the corn until browned in spots and tender, the scallions until lightly marked, and the chile until blackened and blistered in spots, over direct medium heat, turning occasionally. The corn and chile will take 10 to 12 minutes and the scallions will take 3 to 4 minutes. Trim the root ends off the scallions; finely chop the remaining parts and put them in a medium bowl. Cut the kernels off the corn and add to the bowl. When cool enough to handle, peel off the loosened bits of skin from the chile and discard along with the stem; finely shop the remaining parts of the chile and add to the bowl. Add the remaining salsa ingredients, including 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Drizzle 1 TBSP of olive oil into the bowl and mix thoroughly.
2. Brush or spray the shrimp all over with oil and season with the remining 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Grill over direct high heat until shrimp are firm to the touch and just turning opaque in the center, 2 to 4 minutes, turning once. Grill the tortillas over direct medium heat until warm, 30 to 60 seconds, turning once. Fill the tortillas with salsa and shrimp. Serve warm

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets.
    2. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, instant pudding, and rolled oats. Add oil, sour cream, water, and vanilla; mix until smooth and well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
    3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I saw this idea in the Martha Stewart magazine and had to try them. You may already know this but I love chocolate and peanut butter :) These cups can be filled with other toppings too!
Could be good with sliced strawberries for Valentines Day!

Semi-sweet or bitter sweet chocolate
the filling of your choice, peanut butter, fruit, etc

Melt chocolate and using a food safe brush, paint the inside of a muffin holder while in the muffin pan. Place in refrigerator to set for ten minutes. Brush another layer of chocolate in the same muffin holder and place in fridge again for 10 more minutes. Once set, carefully peel muffin holder off of the chocolate and fill with filling. Enjoy some goodness!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

I told you I loved chocolate and peanut butter. I don't know who put the two together first, but they are a genious in my book! :) Caution: these cookies need a nice cold glass of milk to go with them. The recipe is off the back of the Reeses Peanut Butter Chips package

2 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C Hershey's cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 C butter softened
2 C sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 C peanut butter chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Stir together four, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in peanut butter chips.
Drop by rounded tsp onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New Potatoes and Peas

This recipe was given to me by my dad who got it from his mom. We love this with with fried chicken, pork chops, etc. Anything that you would have with mashed potatoes.

9 small new potatoes, quartered
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 C milk
1/2 tsp dried dill weed (I have left this out as well)
1/8 tsp pepper
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen peas with pearl onions (I only use peas) thawed and drained

In a 4-quart saucepan, place potatoes. Add water to cover potatoes. Over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 8 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain.
In same saucepan, combine soup, milk, dill and pepper. Add potatoes and peas. Over low heat, heat through, stirring occasionally.

Crab Ravioli with Lemon Butter

These looked so good in the Martha Stewart magazine that I had to make them. I loved the lemon butter, next time I will try fresh crab.

This would be a great Valentine's Day meal ! :)

For the filling
1 C ricotta cheese
1C lump crabmeat
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp red-pepper flakes

For the ravioli
All purpose flour, for the baking sheet
90 wonton wrappers
1 large egg, slightly beaten, for egg wash
Coarse salt

For the butter
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tsp lemon peel, very finely chopped, plus two tsp fresh lemon juice
Garnish: fresh chervil

1. Make the filling: Mix together ricotta, crabmeat, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper and red pepper flakes together.
2. Make the ravioli: lightly flour a baking sheet. Working in batches, arrange 45 wonton wrappers on a work surface; keeping the remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel. Mound 1 tsp filling in the center of each. Brush edges of wrappers with egg wash, and top each with another wrapper. Press edges to seal. Cut out circles with a 2 1/4 inch cookie cutter; transfer to baking sheet.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Working in 2 batches, cook ravioli until they rise to the top, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt 4 TBSP butter, and heat until just bubbling and frothy. Transfer first batch of ravioli to skillet using a slotted spoon, along with about 2 TBSP cooking liquid. Add 1 tsp chopped lemon peel and 1 tsp juice, and swirl to combine. Transfer to plates.
5. Repeat with second batch of ravioli. Garnish with chervil.

Make ahead: Uncooked ravioli can be frozen fro up to 3 months (boiling time may be a few minutes longer)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Carrot Souffle - The Cooking Light Version

2 pounds chopped carrots
2/3 cups sugar (I usually use less)
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
3 T. flour (gluten-free works great)
2 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1 tsp. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook carrot in boiling water 15 minutes or until very tender; drain. Place carrots in a food processor; process until smooth. (Caution - this stained my processor, but it did come clean after several washings.) Add sugar and next 7 ingredients (sugar through eggs); pulse to combine.

Spoon mixture into a 2 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until puffed and set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

White Chocolate and cranberry scones

These scones always get rave reviews. My husband and kids fight over who gets the last one. I love them as well. Thank you Betty Crocker.

1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
3 TBSP sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C firm butter
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 C currants or raisins (I use dried cranberries)
4 -6 TBSP half and half
1/2 C white chocolate chips

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix flour, 3 TBSP sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter using pastry blender. Stir in egg, currants, white chocolate chips and just enough of the 4 to 6 TBSP half and half so dough leaves bowl.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll or pat into 8-inch circle on ungreased cookie sheet. Cut into 8 wedges with sharp knife that has been dipped in flour, but do not seperate wedges. Brush with additional half and half; sprinkle with sugar.
Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; carefully seperate wedges, serve warm.

Cranberry Hootycreeks-double recipe

2 1/4 c. flour
1 c. rolled oats
1 c. softened butter
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
2/3 c. sugar
1 c. dried cranberries
1 c. white chocolate chips
1 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
In a lg. bowl beat together butter, eggs and vanilla until fluffy.
Add remaining ingredients and mix by hand until well blended. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges start to brown. Cool on baking sheets or remove to cool on wire racks.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoe Casserole


6 pounds dark-orange sweet potatoes (9-12 medium)
8 oz bacon (8-10 slices)
¼ cup panko bread crums or plain bread crumbs
1 T. butter or margarine (melted)
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup butter or margarine softened
2 medium green onions chopped (2 T)
½ t. salt
¼ t. pepper

Heat oven 350*. Line 15x10x1 pan with foil. Pierce potatoes several times with fork. Place in pan. Bake about 1 hour 15 minutes or until tender. Cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook bacon as desired until crisp; chop. In small bowl, mix bread crumbs and 1 T. butter; set aside.

Spray 13x9-inch (3 quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Peel taters and cut out any eyes or dark spots.

In large bowl, mash taters with masher. Stir in bacon, sour cream, ¼ butter, the onions, salt and pepper until well blended.

Spread mixture in baking dish OR form individual servings in dish with ½ cup ice cream scoop or measuring cup (pretty presentation)

Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over top.

Bake uncovered 20-30 minutes or until thoroughly heated and bread crumbs just begin to brown.

About 2 hours from start to finish.
18 servings

Cornflake-Crusted Halibut with Chile-Cilantro Aioli

My kids loved this dish. We like fish so finding new recipes is always nice. Good old Cooking Light helps out again.

2 TBSP minced fresh cilantro
3 TBSP fat-free mayo
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced (we left this out)
1 garlic clove, minced

1 C fat-free milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 C cornflakes, finely crushed
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 TBSP olive oil
4 (6-ounces) halibut fillets
Lemon wedges

1. To prepare aioli, combine first 4 ingredients, stirring well.
2. To prepare fish, combine milk and egg white in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Combine cornflakes, flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.
3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip fish in milk mixture; dredge in cornflake mixture. Add fish to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with aioli sauce and lemon wedges.