Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stolen! Salted Chocolate Mudslide Cookies

I made these for a work holiday party and nearly ate them all! Hopefully they may it!

Salted Mudslide Cookies

adapted from the giant rainbow cookies

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 cup dark cocoa powder

3 tablespoons instant coffee powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled for 10-15 minutes

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup coffee liqueur + 1 teaspoon (Godiva, Kahlua, etc)

1 cup chocolate chunks

sea salt for topping

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix the flour, cocoa, coffee powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix the melted butter and sugars until they are combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Stream in coffee liqueur and mix. Gradually add flour and mix until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but it will come together. I even used my hands to help at one point. If you find you absolutely need more liquid add in a teaspoon of coffee liqueur, but it should come together. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Remove dough from the fridge and roll into golfball sized balls. Set on a non-stick baking sheet with 2 inches between each. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are set and the middles are still soft. The centers should be puffy. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with sea salt. Let cool completely then dig in!

Hawaiian Teri Beef Sandwiches

Teri beef is big in Hawaii and it's so good, I find myself craving it a lot. This is just one way to serve it but you can also put it over rice. I serve it like a typical plate lunch with Hawaiian Mac Salad.

1 pound thinly sliced beef, cut into medallions.

Teriyaki Sauce:
2/3 cup shoyu (Asian soy sauce)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons sherry or white wine
3 clove garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, crushed
3 stalks green onion chopped fine
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice (optional)

Mix all ingredients. Soak beef 4 hours or overnight in sauce. Bake in shallow pan. Turn pieces over and marinate with sauce. Ten minutes before turning heat off, pour rest of shoyu mixture. Serve with chopped green onions and Chinese parsley. Bake 325 degrees for 1 hour or less depending on how well you like your meat. Medium is best. This is also a great for grilling on the BBQ.

Simmer the marinade on the stove until thickened. Serve over beef.

I used King's Hawaiian sweet rolls to be as authentic as I could!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Praline Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Casserole

I've made this the last Christmas and Thanksgiving I've hosted and it's always a hit!

1 butternut squash
3 large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon of allspice
1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, beaten
Approximately 1/2 cup of heavy cream
Praline Topping, recipe below

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F to roast the squash and sweet potatoes.

Slice the butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and fibers and rinse. Place the squash on a jellyroll pan and drizzle with olive oil, turn over and cook cut side down. Rinse and scrub sweet potatoes, prick with a knife and place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for about one hour, or until tender. Sometimes the sweet potatoes will take longer to cook; insert a knife to test and leave in the oven longer if needed. Remove and let cool.

When you are ready to make the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter or spray a 1-1/2 to 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop the flesh out of the squash and the sweet potatoes into a mixing bowl with a flat paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth; add in the sugar, allspice, cinnamon, vanilla extract and eggs. Blend well and add just enough cream to moisten as needed. Mixture should be fairly thick. Spread evenly in casserole dish. Combine the butter, brown sugar, flour and pecans and sprinkle over the squash/sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. If you miss your marshmallows, sprinkle the top with a few miniature marshmallows and return the casserole to the oven just until melted and lightly browned.

Serves about 6 - double for the holidays.

Praline Topping:

10 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
10 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Whole pecan halves for garnish, optional

Melt the butter. Meanwhile mix the brown sugar, flour and pecans in a small bowl. Pour the butter into the brown sugar mixture and stir with a fork until well mixed. Sprinkle the pecan mixture all over the top of the casserole.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stolen: Frosted Candy Bar-Stuffed Cookie Cups

Here's another one taken from She's going to make me fat!!

I made mine in mini muffin tins. I also used the Hershey's chocolate frosting recipe for the chocolate frosted ones.

Frosted Candy Bar Stuffed Cookie Cups

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Cream the butter, sugars, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour and baking soda.

Next add the eggs to the wet ingredients and beat well. Finally add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Scoop batter into a regular-sized muffin tin, filling the cups about 1/3 full. Top with fun-sized candy bars. Scoop remaining batter on top of the candy bars, filling the cups about 2/3 full. Bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes or until the edges just start to turn golden.

Makes 12 cookie cups. Store at room temperature.

To make as minis: Scoop batter into a mini muffin tin, filling the cups about 2/3 full. Top with a fun-sized candy bar. Bake at 325 for 6-8 minutes or until the edges just start to turn golden.

Buttercream Frosting
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon Tahitian vanilla extract

Place the butter, sugar, milk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.

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Cheeseburger Macaroni

I grabbed this recipe off of another blog I follow, and I was hoping it would be thicker. I think adding some cream cheese at the end would do it.

1 lb lean hamburger meat
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies (or petite diced tomatoes)
2 cups beef broth (or water)
1 cup elbow macaroni

Brown and drain hamburger meat. Stir in taco seasoning, Rotel, beef broth, and macaroni. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and cover pan. Simmer 12-14 mins until macaroni is tender.

Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce….
2 Tablespoons butter
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking for 5 minutes until fragrant and light brown in color. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Whisk until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Add the salt and pepper to the cheese sauce. Pour the cheese sauce over the hamburger mixture. Stir gently to combine.
Serves 4.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Beef Carnitas Tacos

Who needs a restaurant!? I make these all the time and they are easy, quick, and so good!

I like to get handmade tortillas from a little shop in Pittsburgh, Reyna Foods. However, if you can't get your hands on fresh corn tortillas, store bought will do just fine.

2 pounds lean stew beef
1 14oz can beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 orange wedge

Place all of the ingredients into a large pot with tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to a low simmer and cook until meat is tender and can be easily shredded with a fork - about 1.5 hours.

Alternate method #1 (how I do it):
Place all ingredients into a pressure cooker and allow to cook about 45 minutes. Turn off heat and let cooker sit until it has depressurized - about 15 minutes. Shred meat with fork.

Alternate method #2:
Place all ingredients into a crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours.

Serve with shredded cheese, guacamole, pico di gallo, etc.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This was another one of those impromptu sides I managed to come up with in my head and on the fly. I don't do much with beans, but these turned out so good!

1 can of white kidney beans (canellini beans) 
1/3 cup of white wine
1 medium-sized tomato, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
2 Tablespoons of pesto
1 Tablespoon chopped oregano
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a skillet, on medium heat, sautee the onions in the olive oil until softened, about 3 minutes.   

Add the tomatoes and sautee another 3 minutes. 

Add the beans, pesto, and oregano. Sautee another 1-2 minutes to encorporate the pesto.

Add the wine. Simmer until the wine has reduced to about half and the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper and serve. 

Optional: Sprinkle with your favorite cheese (parmigiano-reggiano, feta, etc.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Macaroni & Cheese

I'm adding this one to the Macaroni & Cheese Project list! This turned out really good; however, still not my favorite! It was creamy and flavorful, but I prefer to use more than one type of cheese. I'd say four out of five stars.

4 cups dried macaroni
1 whole egg
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard (more if desired)
1 pound sharp Cheddar, grated (not pre-grated cheese), plus more for baking
Seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook the macaroni until still slightly firm. Drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the egg. In a large pot, melt the butter and sprinkle in the flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook for a couple of minutes, whisking constantly. Don't let it burn. Pour in the milk, add the mustard and whisk until smooth. Cook until very thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low.

Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the eggs. Whisk together until smooth. Pour the egg into the sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth. Add in the cheese and stir to melt. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt and the pepper. Add any additional spices if desired. Taste the sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.

Pour in the drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Serve immediately (while it's still very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese and bake until bubbly and golden on top, 20 to 25 minutes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Queso Chicken "Burrito" Bowl

I'm a huge fan of Mexican food - not such a big fan of burritos. Actually, I like what's in burritos, it's just the wrapping that I can do without. So here is my Qdoba rip-off of the queso chicken burrito bowl.

1) Prepare the chicken:

- cut skinless, boneless chicken breast into cubes

- simmer in 2 cups of chicken broth and adobo sauce until chicken is cooked through

- Set aside

2) Prepare the rice:

- Cook one cup of white rice per package directions

- Stir in chopped cilantro and juice of 1/2 lime

- Set aside

Other ingredients you will need:

- one can of black beans, heated in their own liquid

- one cup of guacamole

- Pace 4-Cheese Queso Dip

- pico di gallo (diced tomatoes/onions/cilantro/lime juice)

- tortilla chips

- sour cream

- shredded cheddar cheese

In a shallow bowl, layer the items in order of - rice, beans, chicken, queso, pico di gallo, guacamole, sour cream.

Sprinkle tortilla chips around the perimeter of the bowl and drizzle some more queso.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bacon-Cheddar Corn Muffins

1 Cup all-purpose flour 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal 1/2 Cup Sargento Low-Fat Cheddar Cheese 2 Tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon salt 4 center-cut bacon slices, cooked, drained, and crumbled 1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced 1 1/4 Cups lowfat buttermilk 1/4 cup canola oil 1 large egg, lightly beaten Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix the first 7 ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. Stir in bacon and jalepeno. Create a well in the flour mixture. Combine buttermilk, egg, and canola oil in a small bowl and stir well with a whisk. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the well of the flour mixture and stir just until moist. Place 12 muffin cups into a muffin tin and divide the batter among the 12 cups. Bake for 16 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes on a wire rack. Serving Size: Makes 12 muffins Number of Servings: 12

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Aglio e Olio with Mussels and Shrimp

Ok - I take some of my food shots with my iPhone and the pictures aren't the best. Deal with it. I don't have time to set up my camera all the time and take pictures. I just want to eat!
Aglio e Olio
1 cup angel hair pasta - cooked to package directions; reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
salt/pepper to taste
wedge of lemon
In a saucepan, add the olive oil and garlic. Gently sautee the garlic in the olive oil - do not allow to brown. Add the red pepper flakes and stir. Add the cooked pasta and pasta water - toss to coat.
Sqeeze a little lemon on top and toss. Add fresh, chopped parsley if you choose.
Steamed Mussels
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup of water
1 sprig rosemary
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon of butter
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a steaming pot and place the mussels inside the steam basket. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until mussels have opened up. Remove the garlic and rosemary sprig from the simmer water and add the butter. Allow butter to melt and then pour over mussels. When adding mussels to the pasta, do not add any additional liquid to the pasta.
Sauteed Shrimp
6 uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp
olive oil
creole seasoning
Toss the shrimp in the oil and creole seasoning. Sear in a pan coated with olive oil. Flip and sear on the other side. Add to pasta.

Seared Salmon with Mango Salsa

Just another idea for salmon...maybe not the most creative, but hey - it was pretty darn good!

I bought some salmon from Costco and since I'm the only one who eats it, I can do whatever I want to it!

Mango Salsa
1 ripe mango, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalepeno, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 green onion, diced
lemon and lime juice
cilantro, chopped

Mix all of the ingredients and allow to sit for about 30 minutes to create juice and allow the flavors to mesh.

I seared the salmon in a cast iron skillet using lemon infused olive oil. Then it went into a 375-degree oven to finish cooking. I topped it with mango salsa and stuck it under the broiler for a minute or two to warm the salsa.

Monday, February 28, 2011

P-Dub's Bowtie Lasagna - Remix

I revamped this "Pioneer Woman" recipe to be as healthy and low-cal as possible. Fortunately, it's not low on taste!

1 pound 93% Lean Ground Beef
5 cups Whole Wheat or Barilla Plus Bow Tie (Farfalle) Noodles (cooked to package directions)
3 cups Jarred Spaghetti Sauce
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
½ cups Low Fat Mozzarella Cheese
½ cups Fat FreeSour Cream

Nutritional Info:
Fat: 13.4g
Carbohydrates: 53.6g
Protein: 31.3g

Fry ground beef in small pan. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.

After noodles are cooked, drain and drizzle with olive oil. Mix in your spaghetti sauce. (I can’t guarantee your results on this, because I’m spoiled; I am a “home canner” and have the BEST sauce on my shelf, a home canned marinara sauce that I use for lots of stuff—pizza, spaghetti, and of course, THIS.)

Add your fried hamburger, seasonings, cheese, and sour cream. Fold together and allow it all to combine and melt together, over low heat, for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Number of Servings: 6

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Classic: Tuna Noodle Casserole

In my 30+ years on this planet, I have never had Tuna Noodle Casserole. I'm not sure why - although it was never a staple 'comfort food' in my house growing up. Honestly, the thought of it repulsed me a bit. My good friend, Rachel, had brought some for me to try and I really liked it. The recipe below is courtesy of Rachel P. with my changes in blue. I had only made changes due to the ingredients I had on hand. I also doubled the recipe to fit into a 9x13 pan.

Tuna Noodle Casserole by Rachel P. (Mrs. Peeps)
6 oz. egg noodles (wide or extra wide) partially cooked (about 6 minutes)
1 small can of tuna, drained and flaked with a fork
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup frozen peas, cooked
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (or more) fresh grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup fresh bread crumbs cooked in 1 T. butter until slightly crisp (I used Italian Seasoned bread crumbs)
**fresh grated parmesan cheese***

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. In a large bowl, stir together first six ingredients until well combined.

3. Spread into a small greased 8x8 casserole dish then sprinkle bread crumbs and parmesan cheese evenly over the top.

4. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes and serve warm

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Vitenamese Pho (with Pork)

If you've ever had Pho, you know how good it is and how you crave it at the worst possible time! If you haven't - well, try this recipe! You'll see that this soup is simple and quick. The secret is in the condiments, served on the side, and added to the pho to taste. It's all about the condiments! Next time, I think I'll find a stalk of lemongrass to simmer in the broth.

3 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
2 scallions (green onions)
1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon fish sauce
pork tenderloin, cut into thin slices
1 teaspoon red chili paste
Egg noodles (superfine - Asian type)
Rice noodles (rice stick)

Lime wedges
fresh cilantro
fresh thai basil
bean sprouts
fish sauce
soy sauce

In a large stock pot, add the chicken broth, water, scallions, garlic, and fish sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the sliced pork. Simmer another 15 minutes or until pork is fully cooked.

In a separate pot, cook the noodles and set aside.

Serve the soup with the noodles and add in the condiments to taste.