I found my new favorite cookie. Being a lover of Reese's Pieces (and peanut butter cups, can't leave those out), once I saw these delicious looking cookies at Handle the Heat, I knew I had to make them. These cookies are easy and fun for the kids to help with - they get to roll the dough into balls. These cookies really are as good as they look. They're soft and chewy without falling apart when you pick it up. Recipe from Handle the Heat.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup Reese's Pieces
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until very well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and beat until combined. On low speed gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and Reese's Pieces and beat until combined. You may need to do this by hand with a spatula if your mixer isn't strong enough.
Roll the dough into 1/4-cup balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten the dough balls into 1/2-inch thick disks. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are light golden brown at the edges. Place the baking sheets on cooling racks and let cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Makes 18-20 giant cookies.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Monday, May 20, 2013
We like to eat pork about once a week or so, and recently, my husband asked if I could make pork with sauce. So that's what I entered into my Google search, "pork with sauce," and I found the three ingredients for the sauce below, combined with my seasonings on the pork, and it turned out delicious! Give it a try!
Pork with Maple Dijon Sauce
4 boneless pork chops, thin cut
2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Ground Mustard
Salt and Pepper
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
Mix maple syrup, brown sugar and mustard together and set aside.
Remove visible fat from pork. Mix onion powder through pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle each side of each pork steak with the seasonings (about 1 teaspoon for each side) and spread it around with a butter knife or the back of a spoon so the chop is fully coated.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter. When butter is melted, add pork and brown (approximately 2 minutes each side). If you weren't able to get thin-cut pork chops, lower heat to medium, add a couple of Tablespoons water and cover with a lid and cook 2 minutes or until the pork is cooked through. A meat thermometer should read 160 degrees. Remove to a plate. Add sauce to skillet and heat several seconds, scraping up any brown bits in the skillet.
Serve pork with sauce spooned on top.
This pork is delicious and is good served over a bed of greens, or with rice and a green vegetable. The kids and I like to spoon the sauce over our rice, so if this sounds good to you, I would suggest doubling the sauce recipe.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
My family loves to visit The Old Spaghetti Factory and eat pasta. One of our favorite dishes is the Spaghetti with Browned Butter and Myzithra. When my husband and I were living in Idaho, the closest Spaghetti Factory was 6 hours away, so we decided to try and make our own. This is where I learned my lesson on butter verses margarine. Yes, we were in our young 20s and didn't know the difference. We used what we had in his fridge, which was margarine. As you can imagine it did not brown like the butter would have and our first try was a big disappointment. Since then, we've made it many times with real butter (which is all we ever keep in the house) and it is delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Spaghetti with Brown Butter and Myzithra
12 oz. dry spaghetti
1.5 sticks butter (or 12 Tablespoons)
4 oz. shredded Myzithra
2 oz. Parmesan
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. After adding the spaghetti to the boiling water, heat the butter in a large nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Use a high temperature spatula to keep stirring the butter. Melt the butter and while stirring, wait for it to start turning brown. By this time, the spaghetti should be cooked. Drain the spaghetti and then add it to the pan with the browned butter. Stir the spaghetti so the browned butter coats all the noodles. Put a quarter of the spaghetti on each of 4 plates, and then add 1 ounce Myzithra and half an ounce of parmesan to the noodles on each plate. Enjoy!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
We had a lovely (and rare) day of sunshine this past weekend, and I was inspired to make a strawberry apple crisp. I think a crisp is one of my favorite desserts ever. Here's the recipe I always use:
6-8 medium cooking apples (about 6 cups sliced)
½ cup sifted flour
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup old fashioned oats
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup butter
Butter a 9x9x2 inch baking dish. Wash, pare, core, and thinly slice apples. Arrange in an even layer in baking dish. Set aside. Mix together flour, sugar, oats, and spices. In a food processor, if you have one, with a pastry blender if not, cut in the butter, until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle flour, sugar, butter mixture over apples. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until crust is crisp and apples are tender. Serve warm, garnished with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
*Strawberry variation: I used about 6 cups worth of sliced strawberries and added two sliced apples. It was very juicy due to the strawberries, so next time, I might try adding ¼ or ½ cup of oats in with the fruit.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
I had the opportunity to have the big family Christmas celebration at my house this year (first time for me!). Since I love desserts, in addition to the ham, I assigned myself the pies. Now, my husband's family usually has 2 pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and 2 pumpkin pies for Christmas (and that's it!). So at Thanksgiving, I asked some of the cousins what their favorite desserts are. I heard cheesecake and anything with chocolate. I saw this lovely recipe for cherry cheesecake and decided to make it with an Oreo crust to incorporate the chocolate aspect and it was delicious and visually stunning. Enjoy!
Cherry Oreo Cheesecake
1 Oreo Crust, see below
3 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup cherry preserves
1. Heat oven to 350° F.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in ½ cup of the sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla.
3. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes. (I recommend putting foil on the shelf below the spring-form pan in case it leaks – yes, this happened to me.)
4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 ½ cups of sour cream, ¼ cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Spread over the hot cheesecake and bake until set, 3 to 5 minutes more. Let cool in the pan, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake before unmolding.
5. Spread the preserves over the cheesecake before serving.
The cheesecake can be baked up to 2 days in advance; refrigerate loosely covered. Before serving, unmold and top with the preserves.
Oreo Cookie Pie Crust Recipe
24 whole Oreo cookies
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
In a medium-sized bowl or a food processor, add the Oreo cookies and blend until the texture of coarse meal or crumbs. Add the melted butter and blend until well combined.
Place the ground crumb mixture into a 9-inch spring-form pan and press onto the bottom and up the sides evenly with a straight-sided dry measuring cup. Try to make the crust about 1/8 inch (1/3 cm) evenly all around.
Makes 1 pie crust.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Third time's a charm, right? I made Chicken Marsala the other night in honor of me not being sick and being able to actually cook. I made a whole extra plate so that after dinner, I could take a picture of it (thus practicing the use of all artificial light for the food photo), and my husband would have leftovers to take for lunch the next day. So when he was at lunch, a coworker asked for the recipe, and my husband told me that he directed her to my blog. Blerk! I hadn't yet posted my photo (or recipe) of Chicken Marsala, but (to my horror), my husband told me that I've actually already posted the recipe (and picture) of Chicken Marsala twice before. He also informed me that the picture I took this past week is way better, so here it is. I guess it's good to know that I'm improving! (Use the search engine at the top left if you want to see my progression of food photo-taking skills throughout the years. Simply search for "chicken marsala.")
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup pre-sliced mushrooms
½ cup Marsala wine
½ cup fat-free less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound each piece to ½-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle both sides of chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour, turning to coat; shake off excess flour.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add mushrooms, wine, broth, and juice to pan; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 2/3 cup. Return chicken to pan, turning to coat well. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Sprinkle with parsley.
*Special notes: you’ll notice that I have used canned mushrooms (that way I can make Chicken Marsala whenever, despite the fact that I don’t have fresh mushrooms, but it really is better with fresh mushrooms. And, I obviously forgot to use the parsley.
Recipe Source: Cooking Light magazine