Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blackstrap Molasses Cookies

I like simple recipes with just a few ingredients. Here is one that I was able to whip up quick that I found on pintrest from this blog  These are my MIL new favs :)

(Copied right from Rise and Shine)
Molasses Cookies
(Adapted from Denise Tourtellott's recipe in my grandma's church cookbook)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons dark molasses
2 cups flour
Mix ingredients in order in one bowl. Mix well, but do not spend too much time creaming your first ingredients. Scoop or roll dough into walnut sized balls. Toss each in sugar before arranging on a baking sheet. Bake about 12 minutes at 350F, until the center of the cookie is almost set. The middle will look uncooked. Rest the cookies on the baking sheet for a couple minutes before removing and cooling off the pan. I cool mine directly on the kitchen table before eating. Eat them too soon, and they will be light and doughy. Cool them completely and they will be dense and chewy with intensified flavor. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rainy and coldish weather around here recently put in the baking mood. Now usually I am a cooker. A non measurer. A no-need-to-be-precise kind of girl. (And this recipe is ridiculously precise.) But when the weather is chilly I am more patient. I want to feel the kitchen warmed by the oven. I want to make thing that will lift your mood and spirit. Food=Happiness. 

I browsed some of my favorite blogs for cookie recipes and found one that was worth the try ( and the 2 different kind of flours that I hand to buy and sift)

I found it here @ My Baking Addiction. But apparently this recipe is all over the blog world. 
Now let me be clear. I am not a lover of Choco Chip Cookies. I think most are dry and tasteless.
 I am a cookie snob. I own it. I am okay with it. 
But these looked like they were worth a shot! So I followed the directions and got a really good result. Probably close to the best choco chip cookie ever. Although my cousin, Hannah's are still #1. 
I did make one tiny oopsie... You will notice at the end of the recipe, it calls for you to sprinkle the dough cookies with sea salt. I did this, but by the end my cookies were getting saltier. I realized that I was not brusing off the excess salt off the baking sheet and the underside of my cookies were rather salty. Don't be like me. Brush off the extra salt. :) 

NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content  ( I used gourmet mini  chocolate chips)
*Sea salt (be careful with this part)
1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day.

Ground Beef Wellington

A beef recipe! I know right! The queen of chicken actually eats something else! 
And these are so yummy! 
I just love little individual servings. 
They are so darn cute. 

Makes 8 small Wellingtons

1 large can of mushroom pieces ( Or 1 or so cups of fresh mushrooms)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon of flour
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup half-and-half cream
2 eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef
2 (4 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls

1. Melt butter in a skillet.
2. Drain mushrooms. ( If using fresh, clean them with a wet paper towel and chop.)
3. Saute them with a dash of S&P in the butter. 
4. When mushrooms are soft and tender, add the flour, then cream.
5. Stir the sauce constantly so it does not scortch.
6. When sauce thickens, remove from heat ( about 3-5 mins)
7. Mix onion, S&P, eggs, ketchup and 1/8 cup of the mushroom sauce into the ground beef. 
8. Separate cresent rolls so that each tube forms 4 rectangles. Lay them on a baking sheet.
9.  Separate your meat into 8 small loaves/ mounds.
10. Wrap each loaf in a section of cresent rolls, seal seams.
11. Bake at 350 for 25-28 minutes.
12. Warm sauce, throw it on top of the wellingtons, serve.

I make extra sauce, because that is my fam's favorite part! :)  You may want to do the same! :)

Side note: I am not a mushroom lover, so I skip the sauce on mine and it is just as good! 

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Pizza in a Bowl?

    Sorry kids, I was too hungry to worry about taking lots of pictures. 
    Ya get what ya get... a quick snapshot before I horked down my meal. 
    Why was I so famished you ask? Or maybe you didn't.
    I'mma gonna tell ya anyway. 
    I thawed chicken and had no further plans for dinner. 
    Hunger pangs came 'round bout 5:30 and I raced to invent a meal. 
    It literally happened just like this... I closed my eyes and grabbed a can of soup from the pantry, and then proceeded to design my meal around that can of cheddar cheese soup and chicken. 

    It was amazingness. I am in love. I am biased to anything with noodles, and cheese. And chicken. Ya'll know how much I like chicken. But seriously. It was soooo yummy. Simple too!

    5 or so boneless/skinless chicken breasts
    1 can of Campbell's cheddar cheese soup
    1 box of whole wheat penne
    1 and half regular size jars of spaghetti sauce ( I used Francesci Rinaldi - Pepper and Mushroom it is the perfect sauce. So good. Buy it.)
    2 cups of shredded cheese ( I used marbled jack)
    A few dashes of Italian seasoning

    1. Cube chicken (salt it)
    2. Heat some oil in a pan and cook chicken through
    3. Boil penne to al dente, drain
    4.Near the end of cooking throw a few dashes of Italian seasoning on the chicken. 
    5. Mix the chicken and cheddar cheese soup together and toss it into a 9x13 baking dish. 
    6. Put the cooked penne on top
    7. Next layer is the sauce
    8. Top with the shredded cheese. 
    9. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until heated through. 
    10 Turn on the broiler for the last minute if you like brown and bubbly cheese. 
    11. Eat
    12. Eat more
    13. Eat again

    So why is it called pizza in a bowl??? Because Caterina, one of the girls my MIL babysits called it that. And that is that. :) :) :) 
    PS. My brother LOVED this and made it again later on in the week! 

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    No Bake Peanut Butter Bars- Oh.My.Word.

    I love me some peanut butter.
     I grab a big ole spoon and just eat it right out the jar.
     JIF only of course. To me there is no other peanut butter. 
    Throw some chocolate on that peanut butter and Oh. My. Word. 
    These little peanut butter bars taste like Reese Cups. 
    And now you can make them at home. Anytime. Yum. Nuff Said.

    2 Sticks of real butter, melted
    1.5 cups of honey graham cracker crumbs
    1.5 cups JIF peanut butter (plus a little to add to the topping)
    3.5 cups powdered sugar
    1 bag of chocolate chips, 12 ounce 

    You can make graham cracker crumbs fairly simply. You can either pulse them in the food processor or throw them in a large zip top bag and roll over them with a rolling pin. I used the rolling pin method because it meant less dishes. Combine your peanut butter, melted butter, powdered sugar, and graham cracker crumbs in the mixer to form a peanut butter dough. 
    Next, line a 9x13 pan with parchment or wax paper. Press dough into pan. 

    Melt chocolate chips with a TBSP or so of peanut butter on 70 percent power until they are smooth. ( I do about a minute, stir and then 45 second intervals until melted and smooth.) I used these. :)

      Spread chocolate over the top. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, take out, cut and then refrigerate again until set. (This makes it easy to get apart rather than sawing them later). Store in the fridge. Make them all the time. YUMMMMMMMM

    I originally saw this recipe here. Check it out, great site :) 

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    School is in Session

    Hi guys!
     I have been posting tons of recipes lately. For those of you looking for preschool/craft posts... they are coming soon! School is back in session and I have tons of fun things planned! :) :) :) Keep checking back!