Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you're still not sure of which type of cookies to make for Santa, look no further!  These are seriously the best chocolate chip cookies ever.  They stay nice and fluffy (not flat anymore), and they are simply delicious.  This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 cup white sugar
-1 cup brown sugar
-1 cup cold margarine (straight from the fridge)
-2 eggs
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-3 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In your mixing bowl add white and brown sugar, margarine, eggs and vanilla.  Mix well for about 1 minute, scraping the bowl halfway through.  Turn mixer to low and gradually add baking soda, salt and flour.  Mix for about 2 minutes.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Scoop though with spoon onto prepared sheets.  Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes (mine took 11 minutes).  Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 10-15 minutes.  Remove onto serving plate and enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Extreme chocolate cake

This cake is so chocolaty, decadent, delicious, moist and the list can go on forever.  It's also very easy to make.  The batter will be very runny.  Don't think you've ruined it.  That's what will ensure the moisture of this cake.:)  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For cake:
-2 cups sugar
-1 3/4 cups flour
-3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp salt
-2 eggs
-1 cup milk
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup boiling water
For chocolate glaze:
-1 cup confectioner's sugar
-2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
-2 Tbs milk
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat a bundt cake pan with baking PAM.
In your mixer's bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.  Add the rest of ingredients, mixing it on medium speed for about 3 minutes.  Pour in prepared pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let it rest in the pan for about 10 minutes.
While cake is resting, mix the glaze ingredients.  When the 10 minutes are up, flip the cake onto serving platter and pour glaze all over the top.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Crepes (Clatite)

This was one of my favorite desserts growing up.  So simple, yet so delicious!  The fun part is that you can fill them with anything you want to.  I sometimes had mine with just a little plain sugar!  They're just delicious!  You can enjoy them warm or cold, as a dessert or yummy breakfast, or simply as a snack.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 eggs
-1 1/3 cups milk
-2 Tbs vegetable oil
-1 cup flour
-your favorite preserves (cherry, raspberry, strawberry, apricot, etc), nutella, sugar, etc
Directions:
Beat the eggs.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until smooth.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  If you have a really good non-stick pan, leave it alone.  If it's not the best, spray it generously with cooking spray before pouring each crepe in.
Pour about 1/4 cup batter into hot pan, tilting it until batter covers bottom.  Cook until edges start to dry and center is set (about 1 minute!)-They cook FAST!  Flip the crepe on the other side for about 30 seconds.  Set onto plate, fill with desired filling and roll, as nicely shown by my sweet hubby.:)  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Slow Cooker Lemon Artichoke Chicken

I know the picture doesn't look that appetizing, but trust me this is an awesome dish!  The flavors are amazing!   I served ours over some white rice, but you can serve it with pasta as well.  Also, the amount recommended for lemon juice is 2 Tbs.  However, I found that to be a bit too strong (and I love lemon!).  So, try it with just 1 Tbs and if you feel like it needs more, you can always add that second Tbs.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 Tbs vegetable oil
-1 onion, diced
-6 garlic cloves, minced
-1 Tbs tomato paste
-4 chicken thighs, skin-on and bone-in
-salt and pepper
-2 Tbs red wine vinegar
-1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, chopped
-1 (10.5) can cream of chicken soup
-1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
-1-2 Tbs lemon juice
-2 Tbs Dijon mustard
-1 cup sliced mushrooms
Directions:
Heat oil in large saute pan.  Add onions and garlic.  Cook for 5-10 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and stir well.  Remove from heat.
Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Place on bottom of slow cooker.  Pour onion mixture over chicken.  Also, add the red wine vinegar.  Cover and cook on slow for 4 hours.
In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients.  Pour over chicken, cover and cook for an extra 30 minutes.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ketucky Hot Brown

I've been wanting to try this recipe for a long time, yet I backed out every time.  I'm not sure why.  Well, with all the turkey leftover from Thanksgiving I knew that this was my chance to finally go for it.  Oh, it was well worth it!  So delicious, creamy, filling and tasty.  Absoutely amazing.  The only down part is that one serving is huge!  You might consider splitting it with someone.  Other than that, this is a great dish!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1/2 cup butter
-6 Tbs flour
-3 1/2 cups milk
-1 egg, beaten
-6 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
-1/8 cup heavy cream
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1 cup sauteed mushrooms
-1 tomato, thinly sliced
-roast turkey
-8 slices toast
-8 strips of bacon, cooked
Directions:
Melt the butter in large saucepan.  Add the flour to make a thick roux.  Add milk and 6 Tbs Parmesan.  Mix well.  Add the egg.  Bring mixture to a simmer, but do not allow it to boil.  The sauce should be nice and thick now.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the heavy cream.  Season with salt and pepper (you might want to taste to make sure that the seasoning fits your taste).
Heat up the broiler.
Assemble each hot brown the following way:
Place 2 pieces of toast on a metal or flameproof dish (I just used small skillets).  Cover the toast with sauteed mushrooms and slices of the tomato.  Cover liberally with roast turkey.  Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey and toast.  Sprinkle with additional Parmesan.  Place dish under broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly.  Remove from broiler, add 2 pieces of bacon (you can cross them for a nicer arrangement) and serve immediately.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a recipe found on foodnetwork.com

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Romanian Hearty Stew (Tocăniță)

I always love a nice bowl of stew on a cold winter day.  This is nice and hearty; perfect for the winter.  It goes perfect with either polenta/mamaliga or some nice hot rolls.   Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 Tbs oil
-1 small onion, chopped
-8 oz mushrooms, sliced
-4 cups water
-1 lb chicken gizzards and hearts, well rinsed and roughly chopped
-3-4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
-1 Tbs cornstarch
-3 Tbs tomato paste
-salt and pepper, to taste
-dried parsley
Directions:
Heat oil in large stockpot.  Add onion and mushrooms.  Saute for about 5 minutes. 
Add the water, gizzards and hearts, and potatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Scoop a little liquid from the mix and mix in the cornstarch.  Pour cornstarch mixture back in the pot.  Give it a good stir.  Add the tomato paste and mix well.  Simmer for 10-15 more minutes.  Season well with salt and pepper, to taste.  Sprinkle some dried parsley.  Serve hot.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cranberry Pomegranate Salad

Such a delightful dish this is!  My friend Careylyn made it for us a while back and we loved it.  It's light and tasty.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 (12 oz) fresh cranberries
-2/3 cup sugar
-1 (1 lb 8 oz) can crushed pineapple
-1 large can mandarin oranges
-1 pomegranate
-1 (8 oz) container cool whip
-sliced bananas, optional
Directions:
Chop the cranberries in a blender or food processor.  Drain the pineapple, reserving half the juice.  Combine crushed cranberries, sugar, drained pineapple and the reserved juice.  Mix well and refrigerate over night.
Before serving, add the mandarins, seeds from the pomegranate, cool whip and bananas.  Stir well and enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients:
For filling;
-3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I baked them, then peeled and mashed them)
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup melted butter
-2 eggs, beaten
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup milk
For topping:
-1 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup flour
-1/3 cup melted butter
-1 cup chopped pecans
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients.  Transfer to a buttered casserole dish.
In another bowl, combine all topping ingredients.  Mix well and spread evenly across the sweet potato mixture.  Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is nice and golden.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Green Bean Casserole

This is another Paula Deen recipe.  It's probably the best green bean casserole I've had.  All fresh ingredients, what's not to like.  Amazing!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1/3 stick butter
-1/2 cup diced onions
-1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
-2 cups sliced green beans
-3 cups chicken broth
-1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
-1 (2.8 oz) can French-fried onion rings
-salt
-pepper
-garlic powder
-1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease a baking dish.
Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Saute onions and mushrooms for about 10 minutes. 
While that's cooking, bring the broth to a boil in a sauce pan.  Add the green beans and boil them for about 10 minutes.  Drain.
Add the green beans to the onion mixture.  Stir in mushrooms soup and onion rings.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Stir well.
Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Top the casserole with the cheese and bake for 10 more minutes.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Caramelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing

This is a very simple, easy and tasty recipe.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 Tbs butter
-2 onions, chopped
-about 10 cornbread mini-loaves, cubed
-1 egg
-1/4 cup heavy cream
-1/4 cup chicken broth
-salt and pepper
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F.  Coat a baking dish with butter flavored cooking spray.
In a medium skillet, melt the butter.  Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes.  Add the cornbread pieces.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Mix well. 
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, heavy cream and chicken stock.  Pour the mixture over cornbread.  Mix well. 
Place mixture into prepared baking dish.  Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until hot and crusty on top.  Enjoy!
Adapted from a Tyler Florence recipe.

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