17 November 2008

send me to the milky way cookies

I made these this weekend and they went pretty quickly. They are great if you have leftover Halloween candy, or if you are like me, and it is impossible to keep candy in the home for more than a day, go buy some extra.

2 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
35 mini milky way and 3 musketeer candy bars, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined, scraping edges with a spatula. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add wet ingredients along with the chopped candy bars.
2. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until cooked to your preference. Let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to cooking rack.

10 November 2008

Apple Turnovers

I'm going through a green apple phase, and this seems appropriate for the holidays....

Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
3 tbsp apple juice concentrate
2 tsp whole-wheat flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon (plus extra for sprinkling)
4 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
1 tbsp confectioners' sugar (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Toss apples, apple juice concentrate, whole-wheat flour and cinnamon in a bowl. Stack 2 phyllo sheets at a time and cut them in half, lengthwise. Place 3/4 cup of apple mixture across the end of one half. Roll up and place on cookie sheet. Repeat until you've used up all the apples. Brush top of each roll with juice from apple mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake until browned, 15-20 minutes. Let cool. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Cut each roll in half.

Serves 8

This is surprisingly low-calorie (50 calories per turnover) and seems pretty healthy!

05 November 2008

Veggie Cassoulet

I've been looking for more vegetarian meals, and this one looked good - also great for fall.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 zucchini, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
3 cups drained cannellini beans, liquid reserved
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 dried bay leaves
4 slices crusty whole-wheat toast 

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook zucchini, celery, onion, salt and pepper until soft, about 8 minutes. Mix garlic and cook, stirring, another minute. Combine veggies, tomatoes, beans, 1/4 cup of the bean liquid, thyme and bay leaves in a 2 quart baking dish. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and serve warm with toast on the side.

Serves 4, and pretty healthy:
382 calories per serving
7.8 g fat
66 g carbs
15.5 g fiber
19.6 g protein

**I wasn't feeling great last night, and Cort made this for me - it's my new favorite dish! Delicious!!!

25 October 2008

Mom's Cowboy Caviar

Sorry for the lull in posts - a lot has happened over the last couple of weeks and I haven't been doing much cooking. Cowboy Caviar is a recipe from my mom. It's delicious, and always a big hit at a party. Enjoy....

Cowboy Caviar

2 cans (15.5 OZ) black beans - drained
2 cans (15.5 OZ) black -eyed peas - drained
2 cans (14.5 OZ) diced tomatoes - drained (or use fresh)
1 cup frozen corn - thawed (optional)
1/2 to 1 cup green onion - finely diced
1 to 2 cups green bell pepper - diced
2 cans (small) jalapeno peppers (mild)
2-3 cans (small) sliced olives (drained)
1-2 avocados - firm - diced (I used 2)
1 cup fresh cilantro - chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic salt (optional)
1-2 cups italian salad dressing - (use 1 cup to toss, then add more if needed before serving)

1. Mix all the canned ingredients together
2. Add the garlic salt, cilantro and avocado with the italian dressing
3. Toss to coat
4. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving

**This makes a good amount, but I usually double the recipe because it is good the next day.

08 October 2008

i love cupcakes.

I love cupcakes. They are such a perfect portion of sugary goodness. I used to want to make an entire bakery - cupcake-theme related - and then Sprinkles came along and beat me to the punch. I still love making them though. In honor of the upcoming holiday season, here is a really good pumpkin cupcake recipe with cream cheese frosting:

Pumpkin Cupcakes

2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

250g cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
orange sprinkles (optional)

1. In a large bowl, sift and whisk flour, sugar, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, blend in pumpkin, buttermilk and oil.
3. Pour over dry ingredients - stir until moistened.
4. Spoon into large paper-lined muffin cups - pour filling to top.
5. Bake at 375 degree oven, 18-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

1. In bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Spread on cupcakes, and decorate with sprinkles.

**Butterscotch baking chips are great on top too!

01 October 2008

My first attempt at an Ice Cream Cake

Cortney's birthday was Tuesday and I wanted to make him his favorite cake, but he has 2: ice cream cake and red velvet. I tried to do both. Baskin Robbins is a pretty incredible person for making these seem so easy to make. This isn't a great picture of what turned out, but it wasn't that pretty in the first place. This recipe can be pretty easy, but if someone knows how to frost a cake and make it look pretty and swirly like they look in pictures, let me know how to do it!

Ice Cream Cake Recipe:

Any kind of cake mix
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 quarts any kind of ice cream, softened slightly (only 1 quart if you are making frosting and not covering with more ice cream)

1. One hour before starting your cake, turn the freezer to its highest setting
2. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs and oil, along with amount of water called for by the package directions.
4. Beat until well combined.
5. Divide the batter between the two pans. 
6. Place the pans in the oven and bake until toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean (about 35 minutes).
7. Allow the cakes to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the pans - let the layers cool completely before assembling the cake.

Assembling the Cake:
1. Cut off rounded tops of both cake layers.
2. Place one of the layers on an 8-inch cardboard cake round or a freezer-proof cake plate.
3. Using a rubber spatula, evenly spread 1 quart of the softened ice cream over the top of the plated layer.
4. Place the remaining cake layer on top of the ice cream.
5. Put the cake in the freezer to harder, about 1 hour.
6. Transfer the remaining softened ice cream to a mixing bowl (or frosting).
7. Cream by hand with a rubber spatula until it reaches the consistency of frosting.
8. Frost the top and the sides of cake with ice cream.
9. Put back in freezer to harden (about 1 hour)

**Use warm knife to serve!!

It was a poor attempt at my first Ice Cream Cake, but they can only get better....hopefully.

22 September 2008

Chicken Chili

 Chicken Chili
Prep: 25 minutes   Cook: 5 to 6 hours (low) or 2 1/2 to 3 hours (high)

1. Nonstick cooking spray
2. 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
3. 15 ounce can white kidney beans (cannellini beans) or organic Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
4. 1-1/4 cups reduced Pacific organic chicken broth
5. 1/4 chopped onion
6. 1/3 cup chopped green pepper
7. 1/2 of a small jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
8. 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
9. 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
10. 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
11. 1 clove garlic, minced
12. 2 tablesppons chopped tomato (optional)
13. 2 tablespoons sliced green onion (optional)
14. 2 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese (1 ounce) (optional)

1. Lightly coat an unheated medium skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken in hot skillet; drain off fat.
2. In a 1-1/2 quart slow cooker, combine chicken, drained beans, broth, onion, sweet pepper, chile pepper, cumin, oregano, white pepper and garlic.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5-6 hours or on high setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. 
4. Once done, sprinkle individual servings with tomato, green onion and cheese. Makes 2 servings.

I made this for dinner last night and it was a big hit*. Pretty healthy, and super easy to make. I doubled the recipe for left-overs and it turned out just as good. I love crock pots. 

*Once again, a "big hit" doesn't necessarily mean anything, because my only cooking audience is usually Cortney, and he'd eat anything I made. Love that kid.

19 September 2008

Lindsey D's, husband Cole's, Swedish grandmother's (so you know its good) Ginger Balls recipe

3/4 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. molasses
2 c. flour
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger (rounded)
1/2 tsp. cloves

1. Mix shortening, sugar, egg and molasses. 
2. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, then add to first mixture.
3. Roll into balls and roll each ball in sugar before baking.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Thanks for this recipe Lindsey! I'm trying it today. But what is (rounded) ginger?

18 September 2008

Fall Baking - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is about the time of year I really start missing Utah and the changing of the leaves. Around fall and the holidays, I really get in the mood to bake all things Fall-related. Cort loves pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, but muffins are more "fall-ish" to me, so I decided to switch it up a bit. This is the original recipe, but I sprinkle in a little more nutmeg and cinnamon than asked for - a little trick my friend Lacey taught me. And I always add in more chocolate chips - almost 1 cup more.

3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs 
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.

2. Mix sugar, oil and eggs. And pumpkin and water. In separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.

3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 with batter. Bake in preheated over for 20 to 25 minutes.