September 11, 2011

Chocolate CHIPPERS

I love baking way more than cooking. I am better at it. After many trial runs, I have found the perfect recipe for chocolate chip cookies. They are just the right balance of salty & sweet and according to my sister, "they are un-real" hot out of the oven. Did I mention they look really cute too?

Chocolate Chippers

1 stick salted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 oz bag of semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Prep: Thaw butter. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla until smooth.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl.
Stir dry and wet ingredients together.
Add chocolate chips (3/4 of the bag...or more depending on preference)

Scoop out dough with cookie scooper (this is my secret to making perfectly shaped cookies). Cook for 8 minutes. Transfer hot cookies to cooling rack.

makes about 4 dozen small size cookies


June 15, 2011

Healthiest, Easiest, Yummiest No Bake Cookie

Yes, all those "ests" really do live up to this cookie.  You know those times where you are craving a cookie, but you don't want the oven, the butter, or the sugar?  Well, this recipe will do the trick.

A few of the ingredients may cause sighs of, "I don't want to aimlessly search the store for expensive specialties".  That was me at least, but these are staples I tell you and can work amazingly in a lot of recipes, so here you go.  

1- coconut oil (should be a wax like consistency) found at whole foods.

2- agave (found at Tarjay)

3- almond milk (found at tarjay) Oh the wonders of this milk.  I have pretty much replaced it for milk altogether.  It's non-dairy and works in recipes, cereal, etc.

Without further adieu, the recipe:

No bake peanut butter coconut cookies

1/2 cup agave
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup milk (almond milk works great)
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

In a medium sauce pan mix agave nectar and baking cocoa. Add milk and coconut oil. Stir over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter, vanilla, salt and oats. Drop by spoonfuls onto lined cookie sheets. Stick the pan into the refrigerator until the mounds are set, then eat away.

May 3, 2011

6-layer dip with black beans

I like refried beans, but I like black beans more. Here is my take on the ever-famous layered dip...perfect for Cinco De Mayo coming up!

 (your amounts will vary for the crowd you are feeding .. this is for about an 8 inch round dish)
4 oz sour cream
4 oz cream cheese
1-2 cups? quacamole (you can't ever have enough of this)
Sharp cheddar cheese grated (about 1.5 cups)
4 green onions chopped
5 vine ripe tomatoes chopped
1/2 can of black beans drained & cooked according to can directions
lime juice (optional)

Here's the layer order:
1. Mix sour cream and cream cheese together and add it as your bottom layer
2. Next add a thick layer of guacamole
3. Next add your cheddar cheese
4. Then your black beans 
5. Next your tomatoes
6. Last your green onion.
Then I add another dab of guac on top and a sprinkle of lime juice for good luck.

Serve chilled with corn chips

Chicken Pillows

We learned this recipe from a roommate in college. My husband LOVES this meal. Not the healthiest but a fun one non-the-less.

Ingredients (feeds 4-6 people):
2 cans of crescent rolls
7-8 chicken tenders
4oz cream cheese
2 tb butter melted
3 tb milk
2 tb green onion
1/4 teas salt
1/8 teas pepper

Cook & chop/shred chicken
add softened cream cheese, green onion, butter, milk, salt and pepper into a bowl.
Add chicken to bowl and mix well.
stretch out dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet
add a spoon full of the chicken mixture to the fat part of each dough triangle and roll up.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Serve hot over rice.

May 2, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

*Recipe from $5 Dinner Mom cookbook*

My 14-month old devours these, and they are so easy to make! Here is what you will need:

-2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 4 chicken tenderloins)
-1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies
-1 green bell pepper, sliced (I use the frozen trio of peppers from Trader Joes)
-1/2 onion, sliced
-1-2 teaspoons taco seasoning (depending on how much you love that stuff)
-Possible sides: brown rice and guacamole

First, marinate the chicken breast in the tomatoes with chilies for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, place the onions and peppers in the crock pot.

Once the chicken is done marinating, add it to the slow cooker. Then add the taco seasoning, and stir it all around.

Cook on high for 6 hours*, and enjoy a delicious meal at the end of the day!

*My crockpot seems to run a little hot, and I used thin chicken strips, so I cook mine on low for about 7-8 hours.

April 21, 2011

spaghetti with whole wheat pasta

Have you tried whole wheat pasta? It is delish!

*I make this sauce to taste so the measurements are just approximations. Taste it as you go and add more of whatever it needs!

Spaghetti Sauce:
lots of good olive oil
1 med. onion
2 cloves garlic
2 carrots
1 stalk celery and or 1 green pepper (or go without)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon sugar
1 can crushed/puree tomatoes
ground beef
Salt & Pepper

Whole Wheat Penne noodles
boiling water

Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to heated pan. Chop and add onion. Add minced garlic, salt and pepper. Let it sweat together for a couple minutes over medium heat. Chop and add carrots/green pepper/ (and or) celery. Add more olive oil. Stir and Cook until the veggies are soft and turn golden brown (10-20 minutes).  Next add tomatoes, italian seasoning, sugar and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook beef in separate pan. Add cooked beef to the sauce mixture.

Cook pasta according to directions and combine with sauce.  Top with parmesan and more olive oil (if you wish) and eat!

March 10, 2011

Coconut Chicken

This may sound like an odd combination, but it is favorite and tastes great - not to mention super easy.

The Goods

1 Cup flaked coconut
1/2 Cup flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. garlic powder
4-6 boneless chicken breasts
1 egg lightly beaten

To Do

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix coconut, flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Dip chicken into egg, then coat with coconut mixture. Place in a shallow baking pan. 

Bake 20-25 minutes turn chicken over and cook another 20-25 minutes

Serve with pesto sauce, or a simple baslamic.  Or alone is just great too.