12.11.2012

time for a change!




We've moved! 

Join us over at 


and make sure you bookmark the new address!






9.10.2012

Better-Than-Takeout Chicken Fried Rice



Better-Than-Takeout Chicken Fried Rice
Serves 5-6
recipe credit: Rachel Schultz
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked 
1 cup peas & carrots, frozen
1 small white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
Prepare rice according to package instructions to yield 4 cups cooked rice. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, peas, and carrots. Stir fry until tender. Crack eggs into pan and scramble, mixing throughout vegetables. Add rice, chicken, and soy sauce to pan. Mix soy sauce throughout and remove from heat.

4.12.2012

Bird's Nest Breakfast Cups


Bird's Nest Breakfast Cups

recipe credit



1 24 oz. bag of shredded hash browns
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbs oil (I use olive oil)
1/3 cup shredded cheddar
Bacon bits or 8=10 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled
Eggs
Extra shredded cheddar
Muffin tin

  1. Take your bag of hash browns and mix in the salt, pepper, oil and 1/3 cup shredded cheese.
  2. Divide amongst the cups in your muffin tin, making sure to grease tin beforehand.
  3. Bake hash browns at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until toasty.
  4. Once they're finished, take them out and lower the temp of the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Crack an egg into each of the cups
  6. Top with bacon and a sprinkle of extra cheese
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-16 minutes (or until the eggs are as firm as you like them).
  8. Slide a knife along the edges to remove from pan when cooled.
Notes:
  • I like to break the yolks in my eggs a bit once I put them into the hash brown cups
  • When I cheat on these, I use the Oscar Meyer Bacon pieces found in the "salad dressing" section of the grocery store. They're the closest thing to fresh bacon I can find, and all-natural. :)
  • You can also experiment with ham, sausage, and veggies to make them your own!

3.23.2012

Blackened Chicken and Cilantro Lime Quinoa with Avocado Yogurt Sauce


Blackened Chicken and Cilantro Lime Quinoa with Avocado Yogurt Sauce
recipe credit


2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
½ Teaspoon of Paprika
¼ Teaspoon of Salt
¼ Teaspoon of Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Onion Powder
¼ Teaspoon of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
2 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 Cup of Quinoa
Juice and Zest from Two Limes
A Dash of Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoons of Cilantro, chopped

Combine all the dry seasonings in a small bowl. Mix them together and then season both sides of each chicken breast. Add the teaspoon of olive oil to a large pan or skillet. Heat the olive oil for a minute over medium/high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side with the lid on.
Add the chicken stock and quinoa to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium/low heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes with the lid on, until all the stock has been absorbed.
After the chicken breasts have cooked all the way through, remove them from the pan and let them rest for seven minutes before slicing them.
Add the warm quinoa to a large bowl. Toss in the lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper, and chopped cilantro. Mix to combine.
Serve the sliced chicken breast on top of the quinoa. If you find the blackened seasoning too spicy, you can add a quick and easy avocado yogurt sauce to cool it down.
**Avocado Yogurt Sauce: Just place the flesh from an avocado along with two tablespoons of Greek yogurt in a food processor and puree until smooth.



2.25.2012

Tortellini with Balsamic Brown Butter


Tortellini with Balsamic Brown Butter
(Adapted from Giada DeLaurentis)
Ingredients:

  • 18 to 20 ounces store-bought tortellini or ravioli (pick your favorite flavor!)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup toasted, chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or pine nuts)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Method:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the tortellini and cook according to package instructions (generally about 2-3 minutes until tender, but still firm to the bite), stirring occasionally. Drain the tortellini.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the foam subsides, and the butter begins to turn a golden brown (and begins to give off a nutty aroma) turn off the heat and remove from the burner. Let cool for about 1 minute. Then gradually (and very carefully!) stir in the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Transfer the ravioli to the pan saucepan with the balsamic brown butter and gently stir until combined. Sprinkle nuts and Parmesan over the top. Serve immediately.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

recipe credit: lanascooking.com


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp, split and deveined
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
Melt the butter and oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the garlic, onion and jalapeƱo.
Cook, stirring until the onion begins to wilt, approximately 3 minutes.
Add the red pepper flakes and oregano.
Continue cooking until the onion becomes translucent, approximately 3 additional minutes.
Add the tomatoes.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft.
Add the shrimp, zest and lime juice, salt and black pepper.
Cook until the shrimp are just opaque. Be careful not to overcook.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro.


**Blogger's Note: To make GF, omit the bread. We served it on top of GF Brown Rice Spaghetti and it was amazing. Definitely a new favorite in our house! 

2.18.2012

Panera Bread's Signature Mac & Cheese


Panera Bread’s Signature Macaroni & Cheese
Adapted by Head Chef Dan Kish




Ingredients
1 (16-ounce) package of rigati pasta (or other small pasta shells)
¼ cup butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
2½ cups 2% reduced fat milk (or cream)
6 slices white American cheese, chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) shredded extra-sharp white Vermont cheddar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon hot sauce

Directions
1.Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2.Melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly.
3.Gradually whisk in milk (or cream); cook over medium heat, whisking until mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat.
4.Add cheeses, mustard, salt, and hot sauce, stirring until cheese melts and sauce is smooth.
5.Stir in pasta and cook over medium heat for 1 minute (or until thoroughly heated). 

Serves 4 to 6

1.20.2012

Chicken & Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups

Chicken & Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups

recipe credit:

3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/4 cup milk
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained - can be made with GF noodles!
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups Prego Spaghetti Sauce

Preheat oven to 375.



In a 13 by 9-inch baking dish, spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce. In medium bowl, combine chicken, cheeses, milk, and pepper. Spread 1/2 cup mixture on each lasagna noodle; roll jelly-roll fashion. Top with remaining spaghetti sauce. Cover & bake for 30 minutes or until hot. Serve, if desired, with additional Parmesan cheese.

1.06.2012

Slow Cooker Korean Beef Tacos


Slow Cooker Korean Beef Tacos (Gluten Free)
serves 6-8
recipe credit: crockpot365

3-4 pounds beef roast (I used a trimmed chuck roast)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari Wheat-Free are gluten free)
1 head garlic (peeled, but leave cloves intact--approx 10 cloves)
1/2 onion, diced
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 whole jalapeno, diced (be careful! use gloves!)


The Directions

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Okay. This truly can't be any easier. I didn't brown my meat, but I did trim off the visible fat. I can make these directions complicated and tell you to add this or that first,
but it honestly doesn't matter. This is going to cook on low all day long, and the ingredients will distribute just fine all on their own. Throw everything in however you'd like.

Cover, and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat has fully shredded--- you can help it out by cutting the meat into pieces an hour or so before serving time. Serve in soft corn or flour tortillas (we are gluten free, and used tiny corn tortillas that are labeled gluten free) with shredded cabbage salad and white or brown rice.

this is how I made my shredded cabbage:

1 bag shredded coleslaw from the grocery store's produce section
1 tablespoon soy sauce (la choy or tamari wheat-free)
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
toss together and serve immediately (it gets too wilty if you make it early in the day)

Panera Grilled Muffaletta Sandwich

Grilled Muffuletta Sandwich INGREDIENTS 1 Panera Asiago Cheese Focaccia (round)
½ cup oil-packed sliced sun-dried tomatoes
4 ounces thinly sliced smoked provolone or mozzarella cheese
2 ½ cups jarred olive salad, drained, and chopped if necessary
3 ounces thinly sliced mortadella (Italian cured sausage)
3 ounces thinly sliced Genoa salami
2 ounces thinly sliced baked ham, preferably smoked Virginia ham

DIRECTIONS Cut Panera Asiago Focaccia in half through the side. Drain some oil from the sun-dried tomatoes and brush over cut sides of bread.

Layer half of cheese on bottom of bread. Layer on half of olive salad. Then all of the mortadella, salami, ham, and sundried tomatoes. Add remaining half of olive salad and remaining half of cheese. Cover with top of bread and compress the sandwich with your hands. Wrap in foil and weight down the foil-wrapped sandwich with a heavy skillet filled with canned goods or another heavy weight. Let stand for 30 minutes or until grill is ready.

Heat a covered grill to medium on one side. For a gas grill, use only light burners on one side. For a charcoal grill, spread hot coals to one side. Put foil-wrapped sandwich on grill over unheated side and weight down with the skillet and a rock or brick to compress. Cover grill and cook until cheese melts, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove sandwich to a cutting board. Unwrap, cut into wedges like a pizza, and serve.

Serves 4-6
Prep: 5 mins (plus 30 minutes standing time)
Cook: 25 mins

1.05.2012

GF "Macaroni Grill" bread

There is a place here in Texas called Ramano’s Macaroni Grill and they serve this incredible bread at the table to munch on while you’re looking at the menu. Served with a plate of olive oil, italian seasoning and mixed with some basalmic vinegar, you won’t be able to put it down.

Using some tips from Gluten Free on a Shoestring and better batter flour I decided to try and make a gluten free version of it for my 4 year old. Well after 4 attempts I nailed it!! I used an 8″ round cake pan to put this loaf into and let it rise and bake in it. It fits nicely into the microwave for the rising and then you can pop it into the oven to cook it in. (I used Nicole Hunn’s method of rising by using the heated wet towel in the microwave and it worked great!) Here is the recipe.

Gee Eff Rosemary Garlic Bread

Makes 1 loaf

1 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 C. warm water (105°-110°)
1/2 C. better batter flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbs. rosemary
1 tbs. butter (soft)
1 extra large egg white (beaten)

1 tbs. butter and 1 tsp. garlic salt melted together to brush onto the bread 10 min before it’s done cooking.

Place the yeast, sugar and water in the mixing bowl and let dissolve for a few min. It’s ok to stir it if needed. Put in the butter, salt, rosemary and flour. Turn the mixer on low until flour is blended in and then add the egg white. Then turn on mixer full speed for 6 min.
While the dough is mixing grease an 8″ round cake pan and get a floured surface ready. When the done mixing scrape out the dough onto the floured surface. Pat, roll and form the dough into a nice loaf adding more flour if it’s too sticky. Place the formed loaf into the pan and let rise in a warn, draft free area for 30 min.
Pre heat the oven to 375° and bake 15-20 mn. Just before the loaf is done brush it with the melted butter and garlic salt and put it back into the oven until done.

1.01.2012

Grandma Kathy's Meatballs

Grandma Kathy's Meatballs

recipe credit: Heidi Peck


3lbs hamburger
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups quick oats- if you want to make these GF, use GF oats
1/2 c. chopped onions
2 eggs
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

In a big bowl, mix all ingredients together. Make meatballs into desired size and put in a 9x13 glass pan, spaced evenly apart. Preheat oven to 350. In a saucepan, combine the following ingredients:

2 cups ketchup
2 Tbsp. Liquid Smoke
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cup brown sugar

Cook on medium until sugar is incorporated thoroughly and the sauce is warm throughout. Pour over meatballs and bake for 1 hour.


12.30.2011

Gluten Free Ho Hos


Gluten Free Ho-Hos


  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
  • 1 tablespoon (5 grams) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • dash (1/8 teaspoon) kosher salt
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 6 tablespoons warm water (plus more, if necessary)
  • 1 packet (1 scant tablespoon) unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cool water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
Instructions
  1. Grease a quarter sheet pan well with unsalted butter. Line with a sheet a wax paper, and grease the paper with unsalted butter, and set the pan aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine well.
  3. In a separate large, microwave-safe bowl, place 3 ounces of chopped chocolate and the butter. Microwave on 50% power for 45 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Allow to cool briefly. Add the granulated sugar and vanilla, and mix well. Add the eggs and water, and mix until well-combined. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture (see photo), and mix until well-combined. The batter should be pourable. If it seems too thick, thin it with another tablespoon or two of water.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and shake from side to side and back and forth to distribute the batter evenly in the pan. Smack the bottom of the pan against the counter to burst the air bubbles, and place it in the center of the preheated oven.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cake is just set and is firm to the touch. Check at 8 minutes, and watch carefully.
  6. While the cake is in the oven, place two large pieces of wax paper (or 2 tea towels) flat on the counter side by side and sprinkle both generously with powdered sugar. As soon as the cake is removed from the oven (before it has had a chance to cool at all), turn it out onto one sheet of wax paper (or one tea towel) and remove the pan. Carefully pull back what is now the top layer of wax paper and discard it. Cut the cake in half width-wise (see photo). Remove one half of the cake to the other sheet of wax paper.
  7. Working quickly, dust the top of one half cake with more powdered sugar, and, starting at a short end, begin to roll the cake away from you as tightly as possible (see photo). Gently squeeze the cake with your hands to secure it as rolled. Place the roll, seam side down, still wrapped in wax paper on a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining half cake.
  8. While the cakes are cooling, make the filling. In a small microwave safe bowl, place the contents of the packet of powdered gelatin and the 1/4 cup water, and mix to combine. Allow to sit for a few moments until the gelatin swells. It will be lumpy. Microwave the gelatin mixture for 30 seconds, stir (see photo) and set it aside.
  9. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream and 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar on high until soft peaks form (see photo). add the slightly cooled gelatin mixture, and whisk again on high until the mixture has thickened (see photo again). Place the filling in the refrigerator to chill while the cakes finish cooling.
  10. Once the cakes have cooled completely, gently unroll one cake and peel back any wax paper that has adhered to the top of the cake. The cake will almost certainly have cracked in various places, and it’s fine. Spread an even layer of filling about 1/4 inch thick over the entire surface of the cake, spreading it more thinly as you reach the edges. Reroll the cake tightly, and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining cake. Place both rolls in the refrigerator to chill. You will have left over filling — not a particularly troubling problem.
  11. While waiting for the rolls to chill, make the chocolate topping. In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, place the remaining 5 tablespoons of chopped chocolate and the 3 tablespoons of shortening. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat for 45 seconds at 50% power. Stir the mixture, and heat again for 45 seconds at 50% power. Stir and repeat if necessary until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  12. Remove one chocolate roll from the refrigerator and unwrap and discard the plastic wrap. With a very sharp knife, slice the roll into four equal pieces by cross-section. Dip the tops and sides of each roll in the melted chocolate mixture, and place each roll on clean parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining chocolate roll from the refrigerator. Allow the rolls to sit until the chocolate sets – either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. The chocolate coating will seal the rolls, and they will last at least at least a day or so on the counter, or a few days in the refrigerator.
  13. Duly Noted
    This recipe can be easily doubled. For all the trouble, if I were you — I’d double it. Just be sure to divide the cake batter between two quarter sheet pans and bake each separately in the oven (to ensure even baking). If you try to bake the whole cake in a larger, half sheet pan (and I speak here from very recent and unsettling personal experience), it will be too difficult to handle effectively. Trust me. If you double the batter, you won’t need to double the filling, but you will need to double the topping.
    These are a bit of trouble, but not too much and they are entirely worth it. They’re as good as you remember – and even better still.
    Google Recipe View Microformatting by Easy Recipe
    My instructions may be long, but it’s only because they’re explicit. Follow them to the letter, and you’ll be successful. Try not to modify the recipe at all the first go ’round, until you get the feel of it. And remember – cream filling heals all cracks, and chocolate topping covers the ones it doesn’t.

12.11.2011

MIni Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecakes

Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecakes

recipe credit: Annies Eats


Yield: 24 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients:
For the crust:
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (I use Oreos)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. sugar
For the cheesecake:
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup peanut butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
Dash vanilla extract
Pinch of coarse salt
For the ganache:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Lightly spray a 24-well mini muffin pan* with cooking spray.  To make the crust, combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a small bowl.  Mix with a fork until evenly blended.  Divide the crust mixture between the wells of the prepared pan, about 2-3 teaspoons in each.  Press the crumb mixture into a flat layer on the bottom of the well.  (The bottom of a shot glass or flat utensil is great for this.  I used the bottom of my whisk handle.)  Bake for 10 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300˚ F.  To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well blended.  Add in the sugar and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the egg and egg yolk, vanilla and salt.  Continue to beat until the mixture is completely smooth.  Divide the mixture evenly over the cookie crumb crusts and smooth the tops slightly.  Bake just until set, about 22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.  Once completely cool, transfer the pan to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly, at least 3 hours.
Once the cheesecakes are well chilled, carefully remove them from the pan.  To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat.  Once simmering, remove from the heat and immediately pour over the chocolate.  Let stand 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in small circular motions until a smooth ganache has formed.  Whisk in the butter until completely incorporated.  Let the mixture stand at room temperature until slightly thickened for piping onto the cheesecakes.  (Speed this process in the refrigerator or freezer, but be sure to whisk every 10 minutes or so.)  Once the ganache has thickened, transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe onto the cheesecakes.  (I used a large, unlabeled tip to decorate these.)  Cover and refrigerate until the ganache is set.
*I find silicone mini muffin pans lend themselves to the easiest removal of baked goods, particularly cheesecakes.  If you don’t have a silicone pan, you may want to consider using mini cupcake liners for easy removal.

12.10.2011

frozen hot chocolate

Frozen Hot Chocolate

recipe credit

5-6 oz chocolate (we like Marabou from Ikea and/or a few different kinds of Ghiradelli)
2 tsp.  hot chocolate powder mix (I like to use Stephens-brand hot chocolate mix)
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 c. milk
3 c. ice (to make it a little more rich, use frozen milk cubes)
*Whipped cream (see below or store-bought)
Chocolate shavings

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a double boiler or a small saucepan over med-low heat. Stir occasionally until melted. Add the hot chocolate mix and sugar, stirring constantly until blended. Remove from heat, slowly add half a cup of the milk, and stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.  In a blender, place the remaining cup of milk, the chocolate mixture, and the ice. Blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into cup or mug and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.


*Whipped Cream:
1 c. heavy cream, very cold
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbsp light corn syrup

Combine the cream and vanilla and mix well. With an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, start whipping the cream on medium speed. Add the corn syrup slowly while beating. Whip until the cream holds soft peaks.

12.09.2011

Peanut Butter Chex Mix


Peanut Butter Chex Mix (Gluten Free/Low Sugar)

recipe credit: Alison Eldred

Ingredients:
  • 9 cups Chex Mix Corn cereal
  • 2 cups Cocoa Crispies cereal
  • 1 can cashews (or peanuts)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup splenda or 1 ½ cups sugar
Directions:
  • Measure cereal into large bowl
  • Melt the following together: butter, peanut butter add vanilla once liquified.
  • Mix cereal, and nuts.
  • Pour melted ingredients over mix and stir until evenly coated.
  • Add Splenda or sugar.
  • Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container or refrigerator.

11.29.2011

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

from plainchicken.com - adapted from allrecipes.com


3 cups quick cooking oats
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp vanilla extract, divided
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, beat together 1 cup butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in eggs and 1 tablespoon vanilla. In another bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt; stir into butter mixture. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, 3 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in almonds and 1 tablespoon vanilla.

Pat 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over the top, and dot with remaining oat mixture.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in preheated oven. (Do not over bake) Let cool on a wire rack, then cut into bars.

11.18.2011

Homemade Eggnogg

"My Sister Debbie's Recipe for Southern Custard Egg Nog"
by Judy Purcell

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 c. sugar
dash of salt
2 1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
nutmeg
1/2 c. rum (optional)
1 c. whipped cream (optional)

Mix eggs, sugar, and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan or double boiler. Stir in the milk gradually. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture just coats a metal spoon, 15-20 minutes. Remove custard from heat and stir in the vanilla. Place saucepan in cold water until custard is cool (I actually pour it in the pitcher and put the pitcher in the sink because my pitcher is heavier and stays put in the water). Cover and refrigerate at least two hours. Just before serving, gently stir in the whipped cream and/or rum; sprinkle with nutmeg.

11.17.2011

Avocado & Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

recipe credit: Authentic Suburban Gourmet



5 Ears Corn, husk removed, brush with olive oil and grilled, remove corn with sharp knife
2 Avocado’s, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
2 C. Tomatoes, red and yellow cherry variety or equivalent
1 Small red onion, finely diced
¾ C. Feta, crumbled
1 ½ C. English cucumber, skin on and chopped small dice


Add to a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cilantro Vinaigrette

6 T. Olive oil
2 T. Sherry vinegar
1 t. Garlic powder
2 T. Fresh cilantro, minced
½ t. Salt
10 Grinds of fresh ground pepper

Add all of the above ingredients in a small glass jar with a lid. Shake really well. Taste and adjust seasoning as you desire.

When ready to serve salad, add the dressing and gently toss. 

11.09.2011

Hot Chocolate Cookies

Hot Chocolate Cookies

recipe credit: Purple Chocolat Home

1 C. (2 sticks) butter - at room temperature
1 C. white sugar
2/3 C. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. hot chocolate mix (or 4 - 1 oz. packets) - not sugar free
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 C. white chocolate chips
1 C. milk chocolate chips
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars until smooth.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine flour,hot chocolate mix, salt, and baking soda.  Add to wet ingredients slowly
making sure it is all incorporated. Fold in all 3 kinds of chocolate chips. (She says to chill the dough 1 hour, but I didn't need to.) Scoop out on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 9-11 minutes.  Let the cookies cool slightly before removing from the pans.  Cool on wire racks or eat them