Sunday, January 30, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

‎1 butter cake mix, half cup oil, 2 eggs, 3 heaping tablespoons of PB, 3 tsp brownsugar, 1 cup uncooked oats, mix well. Add in 1 cup chocolate chips and half cup of pecans. Bake at 350 for 12 mins..


1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar or 1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a medium bowl, beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer. Add 1/2 cup flour, the sugars, egg, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla. Beat until thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining flour. If necessary, cover and chill dough until easy to handle.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. If desired, roll in additional sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten by crisscrosing with the tines of a fork.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-11 minutes. Makes about 36

Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe comes from the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thai Peanut Turkey Burgers

Thai Peanut Turkey Burgers
from Cara's Cravings (slightly adapted from A Good Appetite)

8 oz ground turkey
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 large scallion, minced
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
freshly ground salt & pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 tbsp light mayonnaise
handful of cilantro, finely minced
1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce

hamburger buns of your choice
mixed greens

Combine burger ingredients a mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. Using your fingers to gently blend the mixture together works best. Try not to squeeze everything through your fingers.

Heat a skillet, grill pan or outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Form the turkey mixture into two, tightly-packed patties. Cook for about 7-10 minutes per side, until cooked through.

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, cilantro and 1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce. Serve burgers on buns with cilantro-chili mayo and greens.

Quinoa with Garlic, Nuts, & Raisins


Quinoa with Garlic, Nuts, & Raisins
adapted from Food Network Magazine Apr 2010 (Ellie Krieger)

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
1/4 cup nuts (pinenuts or chopped walnuts/pecans recommended)
2 T preferred cooking oil (grapeseed or coconut)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh parsley or cilantro
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 T fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the oil and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic to the plate, reserving the oil.
Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add the pine nuts, garlic, reserved oil, parsley, raisins and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss.
Serves 3-4.

Grilled Garlic Shrimp
from Perrys' Plate

1 lb large, uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 T butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch Kosher salt
metal or wooden skewers

Combine melted butter and garlic in a small bowl. Let it sit while you prepare the shrimp.

Preheat BBQ grill or stove-top grill pan to medium-high heat.

Rinse shrimp, pat dry, and place on skewers, piercing each shrimp in two places to keep them from moving around too much. Sprinkle shrimp with a pinch or so of salt, then brush the garlic-butter on one side. Place skewers on the grill, butter-side-down. Brush the other sides with remaining garlic-butter. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp are mostly pink. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until fully cooked and pink. Don't overcook them or they'll turn rubbery.

Serves 3-4.

Cowboy Dinner

Barbeque Beef Casserole Recipe

Cowboy Dinner
Printable Version with Picture
Printable Version

*Serves 6-8
Beef Mixture:
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 cups salsa (jarred or homemade)
1 can (15 ounce) black, pinto or white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cornbread Topping:
½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup milk
Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan and set aside.
In a large 12-inch skillet, brown the ground beef and onion, adding the salt and pepper, over medium-high heat until the beef is no longer pink. Drain the grease from the pan. Stir in the corn, salsa, and beans. Pour the beef mixture into the prepared 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside.
For the cornbread, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil, beaten eggs and milk. Whisk together until just moistened and no dry spots remain.
Sprinkle the cheese over the beef mixture and pour the cornbread batter over the cheese and beef mixture. Gently spread the cornbread to the edges of the pan, evening it out over the top of the casserole.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges are bubbly and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Easy Chicken Pot Pie






  • 1 pound rotisserie chicken meat, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 1 bag Green Giant Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots & Cheese Sauce Valley Fresh Steamers
  • 2/3 cups frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 package Grands Jr. Golden Layer Buttermilk Biscuits


  1. 1Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauté pan, cook onions until translucent.
  2. 2Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  3. 3While broth is heating, place potatoes and peas in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high for 4 minutes.
  4. 4Microwave Valley Fresh Steamers according to package directions.
  5. 5Add the chicken pieces, peas & potatoes, Valley Fresh Steamers to the broth.
  6. 6Place flour in a separate small bowl. Gradually add the milk to the flour, whisking until well-combined.
  7. 7Stir in the milk & flour mixture into the broth, chicken & vegetables. Add thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Return to boil and cook for 2-3 minutes, until thickened, stirring constantly.
  8. 8Coat a deep dish pie pan (or 11 x 17 baking pan) with cooking spray and pour in the chicken and vegetable mixture.
  9. 9Open the biscuits, separate and place them on top of chicken mixture.
  10. 10Bake for 18-22 minutes at 350 degrees until biscuits are golden brown. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Peanut Butter Cornflakes

Peanut Butter Cornflakes
1 c. sugar
1 c. corn syrup
1 1/4 c. peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
4 c. corn flakes
Bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil in a large saucepan and let it boil about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add peanut butter. Stir until smooth. Add the cornflakes. Drop onto wax paper and let set up. Break apart and store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Bars

Toffee Chocolate Crunchies

Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Bars
Printer-Friendly Version
Yield: about 30 bar cookies
For the shortbread base:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
For the topping:
6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1½ cups toffee bits
Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Line a 9 x 13″ baking dish with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  To make the shortbread, combine the flour, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl; stir to blend and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Blend in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Stir in the chopped chocolate until evenly distributed.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer covering the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the shortbread is bubbling.  Remove the pan from the oven and transfer to a wire rack.
Sprinkle the 6 ounces of chopped chocolate evenly over the top of the cookie base.  Cover the pan with foil and let sit for 5 minutes.  Remove the foil and use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly over the crust in a thin layer.  Immediately sprinkle the toffee bits over the melted chocolate and press down gently to adhere.  Let the bars cool to room temperature.  Once the pan has cooled, you may speed chilling by transferring to the refrigerator or freezer.  When the topping is set, remove from the pan, transfer to a cutting board and slice into bars.
Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chubby Hubby Brownies

Chubby Hubby Brownies

I used those little cubes of caramel that come wrapped in clear cellophane, because they hold their shape well during baking. You can find several brands of peanut butter-filled pretzels out there--the ones at Trader Joe's are great.

These brownies are especially fabulous chilled. But you didn't hear it from me.

Makes 16

For the swirl:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup malted milk powder
For the brownies:
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons oure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour


4 ounces store-bought caramels, unwrapped and quartered
3 ounces peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets, lightly crushed

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8- inch baking pan with foil or parchment and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, 1 egg, sugar, vanilla and malt powder until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring occasionally until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder and set aside to cool.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the 3 eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Spread half the brownie batter evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle half the caramel bits and half the crushed pretzels evenly over the top. Pour in the cream cheese mixture and smooth the surface with a spatula. Dollop the remaining half of the brownie batter over the cream cheese mixture in 5-6 generous blobs. Using a butter knife, lightly swirl the brownie batter and cream cheese mixture together. Sprinkle the remaining caramel bits and pretzels over the top.
Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick comes out clean when tested 1 inch from the edges (it will look a bit underdone in the middle), about 40-45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, before cutting and serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Piece Of Cake

Cookie Dough Dip 3 Ways

Cookie Dough Dip
makes about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 8-ounce block of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups chocolate chips
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to bubble. Set aside to cool, and whisk in vanilla.
Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar for 60 seconds. With mixer on low speed, add in brown sugar and butter mixture. Mix until combined. I added the chocolate chips at this time so the mixer could break them up into pieces. You can so that, or just fold in the chocolate chips.
Garnish with additional chopped chocolate. Serves with fruit, cookies, crackers, pretzels or a spoon.

For Snickerdoodle Dough Dip: add 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon (or 2 tablespoons cinnamon for a full batch)
For Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Dip: add 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1/4 cup chocolate chips (or 1/2 cups for a full batch)
For Dough Chocolate Fudge Dough Dip: add 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/4 cup chocolate chips (or 1/2 cups for a full batch)

How Sweet It Is

Homemade Chocolate Caramel Cups

Homemade Chocolate Caramel Cups
makes about 12 mini cups
2 cups chocolate chips
1/3 cup COLD salted caramel (you obviously can use homemade too)
12 mini muffin liners
Line muffin tin with liners. Melt one cup of chocolate chips and spoon about a teaspoon of chocolate into each liner. Put in the freezer to set for 20 minutes. After 2 minutes, take the chocolate out. Make sure the caramel is very cold and has been refrigerated the entire time. Moving quickly, drop a spoonful of caramel on top of the chocolate. Put back in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. After 30 minutes, melt the other cup of chocolate chips. Moving very quickly so the caramel doesn’t soften, remove muffin tray from fridge and spoon another teaspoon (or more) on top of the caramel, covering it. Bang the pan on the counter to even out the chocolate. Put back in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Keep refrigerated.

How Sweet It Is

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Chicken Tortilla Casserole
Printable Version
Printable Version with Picture
*Notes: Keep the corn tortillas wrapped in plastic or covered with a damp kitchen towel until ready to use – they will dry out quickly. The casserole can be made and refrigerated for up to 2 days. To bake, cover tightly with foil. Bake about 1 hour. Remove foil and bake until cheese has browned, about 10 minutes longer. Cool for 10 minutes.
*Serves 6
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and diced medium
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
¾ teaspoon salt
3 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped with 2 teaspoons sauce (decrease the amount of sauce to 1 teaspoon if you want it less spicy)
2 (15.5 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts trimmed of fat and cut into bite-size pieces
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
18 (6-inch) round corn tortillas
Vegetable cooking spray
6 ounces cheddar cheese shredded (about 2 cups)
6 ounces Monterey jack cheese shredded (about 2 cups)
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, bell peppers, cumin, chili powder, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and the onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute
Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer, whisking often. Add the chipotles with adobo sauce, beans, and tomatoes; simmer until the flavors have blended about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup cilantro, the lime juice and pepper.
Place a damp paper towel on the bottom and top of the corn tortilla stack. Microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute until they are soft and pliable.
Toss the cheeses together in a medium bowl. Spread 1/3 of the chicken mixture in a lightly greased 9X13 inch dish. Layer 6 tortillas on top of the filling, overlapping as needed, and sprinkle with 1 ½ cups of the cheese. Repeat the process to form a second layer.
Spread the remaining filling in the baking dish. Cut the remaining 6 tortillas into quarters and arrange over the top and finish off with the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is golden brown and the casserole is bubbling, about 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro before serving. Serve with additional accompaniments, such as salsa, diced avocado, sour cream or sliced green onions. The casserole can be made and refrigerated for up to 2 days. To bake, cover tightly with foil. Bake about 1 hour. Remove foil and bake until cheese has browned, about 10 minutes longer. Cool for 10 minutes.

Recipe Source:
adapted slightly from America’s Test Kitchen Cover & Bake

BreadedChicken in Lemon- Garlic Butter Sauce

BreadedChicken in Lemon- Garlic Butter Sauce
Printable Version with Picture
Printable Version

*Note: if you prefer more sauce, since this makes a lighter, smaller amount of sauce, consider doubling the sauce ingredients.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup seasoned flour (1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper)
5 cloves of garlic, finely minced (see garlic tutorial here)
1 tablespoon parsley flakes or 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from about 1 lemon
3 eggs
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons butter
Place the seasoned flour in a large gallon-size ziploc bag. Set aside. In a shallow pie plate, beat the eggs until mixed and add the Parmesan cheese. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
In a large skillet, melt one tablespoon butter and one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Let it begin to heat and sizzle while you prepare the chicken but be careful not to let the butter burn and turn brown.
Put the four chicken breasts in the bag with the seasoned flour, close the bag, and shake to coat the chicken in the flour. One by one, take the chicken out of the bag and dip into the egg/Parmesan mixture. Place the chicken carefully in the skillet with the hot oil/butter. Repeat with the other chicken breasts. Let the chicken cook on the first side, without moving or flipping the chicken, for 1-2 minutes until a nice, golden crust has formed. Carefully, using a wide spatula, flip the chicken and let it continue to cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side until it is golden brown. The chicken will flip easiest if it has had time to sizzle and cook to form a nice crust.
Remove the chicken to a 9X13-inch pan. Set aside while you make the sauce.
In the same skillet that you browned the chicken, melt the remaining four tablespoons butter. Add the minced garlic, lemon juice, and parsley. Simmer the sauce for 1-2 minutes, stirring and scraping up any browned bits that were on the bottom of the skillet.
Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken breasts and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over noodles, rice or potatoes.
Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Toll House Pie

Nestle Toll House Pie


  • 1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of Heath toffee bits
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1 cup (6 oz.) Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels


PREHEAT oven to 325° F.

BEAT eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.

BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffinsfrom Mommy's Kitchen, originally from Takes Bakeshop Cookbook, This Mommy Cooks

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with muffin papers. Mix the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Set aside. Cream the butter and the sugars until they are lights and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix everything well. Mix in the bananas and sour cream. Fold in the flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin cups to about 3/4 full. The cups will be very full, but don't worry they wont spread over. Bake 20 minutes for large muffins or 11 minutes for mini muffins, or toothpick inserted comes out of the center of one muffin clean.

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, and Smoked Mozzarella

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, and Smoked Mozzarella
Printable Version with Picture
Printable Version

*Note: See the asterisk below the recipe for make-ahead directions.

*Serves 6-8
3/4 cup bread crumbs (store-bought or make your own)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 ½ pounds), stalks cut off, florets trimmed into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
6 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
3 ounces smoked mozzarella, shredded
8 ounce jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped into pieces
In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and butter and set aside. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle of the oven. In a large pot, bring the water for the pasta to a boil. Stir in one tablespoon salt and the broccoli. The broccoli cooks quickly so stay close! Cook the broccoli for 1 minute, until it is bright green. Quickly remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon to a plate. Return the water to a boil and add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 1-2 minutes less than how you would eat it normally (it will cook a bit more in the oven while baking). Drain the pasta in a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Leave it in the colander and set it aside.
Wipe the pot dry. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and return to medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth and cream; bring to a simmer, whisking often. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and smoked mozzarella.
Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the sauce; stir to combine. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumb topping. Bake until the casserole is bubbling and the crumbs are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
*The casserole can be prepared in advance with the following steps: after the broccoli is removed from the boiling water, plunge it into a bowl of ice water and cool completely. Assemble the casserole following the directions in the recipe. After the casserole is spread in the prepared baking pan, let it cool for 5-10 minutes before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating for up to 8 hours. To bake, preheat the oven to 375 and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cover and Bake Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Thursday, January 20, 2011




¾ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2½ cups canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
4 large eggs
½ tsp sea salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 small onion, chopped
zest of one lemon
¾ cup frozen peas
1 cup toasted whole-grain bread crumbs
cooking spray or olive oil
burger buns
desired toppings (sprouts, grilled vegetables, tomato, etc.)

1. Prepare mayonnaise: Combine all mayonnaise ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Scrape into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Prepare burgers: In a food processor, combine garbanzo beans, eggs and salt. Puree until thick (the consistency of thick & chunky hummus is what you’re looking for).
3. Scrape into a medium bowl and mix in cilantro, onion, lemon zest and peas. Add breadcrumbs and then let sit for a few minutes so the mixture has a chance to moisten the breadcrumbs. The resulting mixture should be one that is moist enough to form into patties. If it’s too dry, simply add a couple of Tablespoons of water or egg, and if it’s too wet just add a few more breadcrumbs.
4. Divide mixture into 6 parts and form into six burgers. You can prepare the burgers ahead of time to this point (place on a rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate until ready to cook).
5. Spray cooking spray (or add olive oil) in large skillet and heat to medium. Add 3 patties, cover and cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are browned. Flip patties and cook for another 7 minutes on the other side. Top with cheese at the end of cooking, if you wish! Repeat with remaining three patties.
6. Toast buns and add favorite toppings.
Yield: 6

Read more:


¾ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2½ cups canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
4 large eggs
½ tsp sea salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 small onion, chopped
zest of one lemon
¾ cup frozen peas
1 cup toasted whole-grain bread crumbs
cooking spray or olive oil
burger buns
desired toppings (sprouts, grilled vegetables, tomato, etc.)

1. Prepare mayonnaise: Combine all mayonnaise ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Scrape into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Prepare burgers: In a food processor, combine garbanzo beans, eggs and salt. Puree until thick (the consistency of thick & chunky hummus is what you’re looking for).
3. Scrape into a medium bowl and mix in cilantro, onion, lemon zest and peas. Add breadcrumbs and then let sit for a few minutes so the mixture has a chance to moisten the breadcrumbs. The resulting mixture should be one that is moist enough to form into patties. If it’s too dry, simply add a couple of Tablespoons of water or egg, and if it’s too wet just add a few more breadcrumbs.
4. Divide mixture into 6 parts and form into six burgers. You can prepare the burgers ahead of time to this point (place on a rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate until ready to cook).
5. Spray cooking spray (or add olive oil) in large skillet and heat to medium. Add 3 patties, cover and cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are browned. Flip patties and cook for another 7 minutes on the other side. Top with cheese at the end of cooking, if you wish! Repeat with remaining three patties.
6. Toast buns and add favorite toppings.
Yield: 6
Cooking Tips
*Buy whole-grain buns for the burgers and just use a couple of them to grind in the food processor for the crumbs that you’ll need. Then spread them on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until browned.

Tequila Lime Shrimp with Chipotle Sauce

Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos






1 ½ lbs large, raw shrimp, peeled & de-veined (tails removed)
juice and rind of 1 medium orange
juice and rind of 2 medium limes
¼ cup tequila
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
8 ounces sour cream
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce (seeded & chopped)
1 tsp. adobo sauce (from the can)
½ tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
½ red onion, sliced
8 soft-taco-size flour tortillas, warmed
½ head iceberg lettuce, shredded
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
lime wedges
1. Marinate Shrimp:
Place all marinade ingredients in large zip bag. Add shrimp, zip closed and move bag around to coat shrimp. Place flat in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, turning every so often to make sure marinade is reaching all shrimp.
2. Prepare Sauce:
Whisk together all sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.
3. Cook the shrimp:
Heat oil in large skillet to medium-heat. Saute bell pepper and onion until slightly charred. Drain shrimp from marinade and add to pan. Stir often, and cook just until shrimp turn pink and curl up. Remove from heat.
4. Assemble tacos:
In warmed tortillas, place shrimp, peppers & onions. Add lettuce, drizzle with chipotle cream sauce, and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with lime we

Gouda- Stuffed Chicken w/ Apple Pan Sauce







Gouda- Stuffed Chicken w/ Apple Pan Sauce

Four (4-ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast
3 ounces smoked Gouda, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. vegetable or canola oil
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 cup apple cider
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. honey
2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced (no need to peel)
rosemary sprigs for garnish, optional
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
2. Cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each breast to form a pocket; divide cheese evenly among pockets. Dredge both sides of stuffed chicken breasts in flour.
3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet; place on a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in preheated oven.
4. Add broth, apple cider, and garlic to skillet; bring to boil, and cook 10 minutes or until thick and syrupy, stirring occasionally. Add honey and apple slices, and cook an additional 5 minutes or until apples are tender, stirring to coat apple slices with sauce.
5. Spoon apple pan sauce over warm chicken; garnish w/ rosemary, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size 1 chicken breast + 6 apple wedges)






Two (8.5 ounce) packages corn bread mix
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 large eggs
1½ cups milk
9 whole hot dogs, diced
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
ketchup, mustard, sour cream, honey mustard (for dipping)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease mini muffin tins.
2. In a large bowl, stir together cornbread mix and brown sugar. In a small bowl whisk together eggs and milk, and then stir into dry mixture until moistened. Mix in cheese.
3. Spoon a good Tablespoonful into muffin tins, making sure you get some hot dog in each spoonful.
4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes in the pan before removing. For easy removal, cut around outsides of the muffins, then tip upside down onto a large cutting board & urge the muffins out using a knife to tap the bottoms of the muffin tins. They should slide right out.
5. Serve warm with desired dipping sauces.
Yield: 24 mini muffins
*Alternately, you can use your favorite cornbread mix, follow the instructions on the box, add in 1 cup of cheddar cheese and mix in chopped hot dogs too. If your favorite cornbread mix doesn’t have a sweet element to it, add in 2 Tbsp. brown sugar.
*You can use paper liners if you’d like.

Read more:





4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
14.5 ounce can chicken broth
1 1/2 cups salsa verde (green salsa)
1/2 cup green taco sauce
5 ounce can evaporated milk
1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled off the bone & shredded into chunks (6 cups)
1 cup whole milk
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (+ green tops)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Prepare chicken: Heat butter over medium-high heat in a large, deep ovenproof skillet (or a 5-6 quart Dutch oven). Whisk in flour to make a paste. In a medium bowl, mix broth, salsa & sauce, and evaporated milk; whisk into the pan. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce thickens. Stir in chicken, heat through, and cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Prepare dumplings: In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter until just about to simmer. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, green onions and cilantro. Stir in the warmed milk mixture. Scoop rounded spoonfuls of the dough and drop into the chicken mixture. Return chicken to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and transfer pan to oven and bake until dumplings are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
Serves: 6

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Mini Lasagna Cups

Mini Lasagna Cups (inspired by Petite Lasagnas from Can You Stay For Dinner?)
Cooking spray
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 small egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp Italian seasoning, divided
24 wonton wrappers ( I used Nasoya)
2 to 3 cups meat or marinara sauce, heated (depending on how saucy you like your lasagna cups)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Mix ricotta, egg, Parmesan cheese and 1/2 tsp seasoning in a small bowl and set aside. Reserve the rest of the seasoning. Place 1 wonton wrapper in each tin, pressing firmly against each muffin cup. Spoon some sauce into each cup using half of the sauce. Spread the ricotta mixture into each cup using it all up. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella. Dip the remaining wonton wrappers in water individually before placing each one of top of the cheese. Top with the remaining sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with remaining seasoning. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and tops are golden. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before carefully removing from the pan. Makes 12 individual lasagnas.

Caramel Cake Paula Deen

Bobby’s Caramel Cake

For the cake:
1-cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
3 cups sifted self-rising flour
1-cup milk
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the filling: 
1-cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/4-cup milk
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the frosting:
1/2-cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3-cup heavy cream, or more if needed
1 (16-ounce) box confectioners’ sugar
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts, optional


For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans. Using electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add granulated sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
For the filling:
While cake is baking, in a saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pans as you prepare to stack and fill. Remove first layer and invert onto cake plate. Pierce cake layer with a toothpick over entire surface. Spread 1/3 of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer and repeat process again.
* Cook’s Note: As I stack layers together, I stick them with toothpicks to prevent cake from shifting.
For the frosting:
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat with a hand-held electric mixer until it reaches a spreading consistency. At this time it may be necessary to add a tablespoon of heavy cream, or more, if frosting gets too thick. Just be sure to add cream is small amounts because you can always “add to”, but you can’t take away. Frost cake and sprinkle top with chopped nuts, if desired.

Red Velvet Cupcakes




Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe




Red Velvet Cupcakes:

1 1/4 cups (125 grams) sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons (10 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (30 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream

Red Velvet Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and line 12 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter. 
Working quickly, divide the batter evenly among the 12  muffin cups and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 18 - 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and them remove from pan. Let cool completely before frosting. Either spread the frosting with a knife or offset spatula, or use a large 1M Wilton open star decorating tip to pipe the frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to pipe. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.
Makes 12 cupcakes.

The Joy of Baking

Basic Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
16 oz powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

Easy Pumpkin Crumble

Easy Pumpkin CrumbleRecipe by Our Best Bites

1 boxed yellow or white cake mix
1-2 sticks butter (see notes in instructions)
1 16 oz can pumpkin*
2 eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t ginger
1/8 t cloves
1/8 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1/3 C chopped pecans
1/2 t additional cinnamon for topping

*This makes a dessert about an inch thick or less. That's because I like a high topping-to-pumpkin ratio. If you'd like it thicker, use a large can of pumpkin and double the rest of the filling ingredients (Eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and spices). Leave the rest of the recipe the same.

Preheat oven to 350.

Place 2 C of the cake mix in a bowl. Cut in 3 T chilled butter. Just use your fingers to crumble the butter until it's in small crumbly pieces. Place mixture in a 9x13 baking dish and press flat with your fingers.

Mix pumpkin, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and spices until smooth. Pour on top of the cake mixture in the pan.

Now take the rest of the dry cake mix and mix in 1/2 t cinnamon. Sprinkle it all over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Use a measuring cup so you have a rough measurement of how much you're putting on. Here's why:

Here's a little something I learned after making the dump cake a gazillion times. Cake mixes all have different amounts in them! Different brands, different flavors, etc. Each one is slightly different in volume. I found one mix to have almost double the normal amount. Measuring the amount of cake mix you're sprinkling on top will help you get the perfect topping ratio in the last step.

Next sprinkle on the chopped pecans. You'll have 3 distinct layers now:

Here's the trick: For every 1 C of cake mix you sprinkled on top, you'll need 3 T of melted butter. Drizzle it right on top.

That butter is going to combine with the cake mix and make magic in the oven. Pop it in your 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or so. A knife should come out without globs of pumpkin on it and the topping should be nice and golden.

You can eat it warm, at room temp, or chilled! My favorite is actually at room temp. Put a dollop of sweetened whipped cream on top. It's also great with vanilla ice cream.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Banana Bread
(adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light)

Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (I used creamy, but I think chunky would be good too!)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Cooking spray

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. To prepare bread, combine banana, yogurt, peanut butter, butter, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add sugar and brown sugar; beat until blended.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and allspice; beat until just blended.
  4. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool.
  5. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk and peanut butter in a small bowl, stirring with a

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Strawberry Pretzel Squares

Strawberry Pretzel Squares
(Source: Kraft Foods)
2 cups finely crushed pretzels
½ cup sugar, divided
2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1½ pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
2 cups boiling water
1 pkg. (8-serving size) JELL-O Brand Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
1½ cups cold water
1 qt. (4 cups) strawberries, sliced
PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix pretzel crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the butter. Press onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake 10 min. Cool.
BEAT cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the milk until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread over crust. Refrigerate until ready to use.
MEANWHILE, stir boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate 1½ hours or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression). Stir in strawberries. Spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Cut into squares to serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Key Lime Bars

Ingredients1 (18.25 ounce) package vanilla cake mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 egg yolk
4 eggs
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Reserve 1 tablespoon cake mix.  Pour remaining cake mix, melted butter and egg yolk into a large bowl.  Blend for 1-2 minutes with an electric mixer until well mixed and crumbly.  Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  While crust bakes, whisk together 4 eggs, condensed milk, lime juice and reserved tablespoon of cake mix until smooth.  Stir in lime zest.  Spread the lime mixture over the warm crust.  Return to oven and bake an additional 20 minutes or until topping is set.  Cool completely and refrigerate until cold before serving.

Let's Dish

Crunchy Caramel Reeses Cookies

Ingredients1 (16.5 oz.) roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 cup crushed pretzels
1 (12 oz.) bag mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped
10 caramels, unwrapped
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Cut cookie dough roll in half and press half of dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish. Layer with crushed pretzels. Cut peanut butter cups in half and layer over pretzels. In a small bowl, melt caramels and milk in microwave for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.  Pour caramel over peanut butter cups. Crumble remaining cookie dough evenly over top. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.  Let cool completely.  Melt chocolate chips in microwave until smooth and drizzle over top of bars.
Let's Dish

Peanut Butter Dip

Ingredients1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a medium bowl mix together yogurt and peanut butter until well blended.  Stir in cinnamon.  Fold in whipped topping.  Chill until ready to serve.  Serve with fresh fruit.

Let's Dish

Chicken Francese

  • 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, with rind, cut in thin rounds
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/4-inch thick. Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, beat the eggs with 3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash. Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet.
Dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden, turning once. Remove the chicken cutlets to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.
Toss the lemon slices into the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the wine, broth, and lemon juice, simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Roll the butter in some flour and add it to the skillet, this will thicken the sauce. Stir to incorporate and dissolve the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pan; place the lemon slices on top of the cutlets. Simmer gently for 2 minutes to heat the chicken through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Peanut Butter Crunch Snack Balls

Picture of Peanut Butter Balls Recipe

Peanut Butter Crunch Snack Balls
adapted from Michelle N. Annie's Eats
Makes about 120 balls. (I halved the recipe and got about 70 balls.)
2 cups honey
6 cups peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
3 cups rice krispies
1½ cups grape nuts
3/4 cup applesauce
2 cups coconut
3 cups crushed cereal (I used honey nut cheerios and Life cereal since I had it on hand)
1½ cups chocolate or butterscotch chips – or substitute dried fruit, like raisins
5-8 tablespoons powdered milk
4 cups crushed mini-wheat cereal
Mix all but last two ingredients and mix until well combined. Add powdered milk, like flour, to make a soft, cookie-like dough. Form into 1” ball and roll in crushed mini-wheats. A scoop works very well for this. Refrigerate or freeze.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Orange Sesame Dipping Sauce

1/2 lb ground pork
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/3 cup chives
2/3 cup green onions
1 cup Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Wonton wrappers (about 30)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 recipe Orange Sesame dipping sauce, for serving (follows)
Cook the ground pork over medium heat until done*. Add the remaining ingredients (through garlic) and cook until the greens are wilted nicely. Let mixture cool just a bit and add it to the bowl of a food processor. Process the filling until it reaches the desired consistency.
Lay a wrapper on a flat, dry surface put a Tbsp of mixture in in the middle. Using your fingers or a pastry brush (save the dirty-dish sink space – use your fingers), wet the wonton wrapper surrounding the filling and fold the dumpling, pressing the seams together: bring two opposite corners to the center, bring the remaining corners to the center one at a time and press tightly.
Add oil to a skillet (a clean skillet) and add dumplings. Add 1/3 cup water to the pan and cover tightly. Remove from heat when the dumplings are golden brown on one side (about 4 minutes).

* I fear raw pork so I pre-cooked the filling. You can prepare the potstickers “raw” just be sure to adjust the cooking time.
Orange Sesame dipping sauce (measurements are approximate)
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp lite soy sauce
2 Tbsp chives
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp orange juice
Whisk together all ingredients, adjust seasoning to taste.

Confections of a Foodie Bride

Chicken Relleno

Chicken Relleno
Printer-friendly recipe
1/3 cup pistachios, shelled
4 oz goat cheese, softened
juice from 1/2 a lime
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/2 roasted red bell pepper, chopped (reserve the other half for another use)
1/2 roasted poblano pepper (reserve the other half for the sauce)
salt and pepper
4 5-oz chicken breasts
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 bunch cilantro
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 clove garlic
1/2 of roasted poblano
juice and zest from 1/2 a lime
dash of curry powder
fat-free half and half *
* I’ve also used canned, condensed (not sweetened!) milk.
Preheat oven to 425. Process pistachios in the food processor for ~10 seconds, until mostly ground. Add goat cheese and lime juice and process until thoroughly mixed. Add cilantro, the chopped bell pepper and poblano peppers and pulse to just combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1/4 of the goat cheese mixture in the center of each chicken breast. Roll the ends up and secure with toothpicks. Heat olive oil in an oven-safe saute pan until very hot. Place chicken breasts in the pan (toothpicks up) and sear 1-2 minutes, until nicely browned. Flip (toothpicks down) and transfer to the oven for ~8-10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (use a meat thermometer).
While the chicken is baking, make the sauce: Cut the bunch of cilantro so that most of the stems are left behind. Place all ingredients except the half-and-half in a blender. With the blender running, slowly stream in the half-and-half until you reach a nice, saucy consistency. Transfer to a small sauce pan and heat on low. Salt and pepper to taste.
Divide chicken between plates and serve with a generous spoonful of sauce.
Serves 4
Inspired by Cafe Red Onion

Monday, January 17, 2011

Basic Pizza Dough

Basic Pizza Dough
½ cup warm water (about 110°)
1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast
1 ¼ cups water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 ½ tsp. salt
olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl

Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup.  Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes.  Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.  

Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed.  Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms.  Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook.  Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Press the dough to deflate it.

To bake, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven.  Heat the oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces.  Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp cloth.  Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.

Working with one piece of dough and keeping the other covered, shape the dough and transfer to a pizza peel or round of parchment dusted with semolina or cornmeal.  Top as desired.  Slide the dough onto the pizza stone.  Bake until the crust edges brown and cheese is golden brown in spots, about 8 to 12 minutes.  Repeat with remaining ball of dough or freeze for later use.
Source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from Baking Illustrated by the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, Annie's Eats