Sunday, April 27, 2014

Chocolate Chunk-Peanut Cookies

From: Southern Living

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
1 bag chocolate chunks

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add chunky peanut butter and sugars, beating well. Add eggs, beating until combined.

Combine flour and next 4 ingredients. Add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in peanuts and chocolate chunks.

Shape dough into 2-inch balls. Flatten slightly and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 F for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pan for a couple of minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Double chocolate chunk-peanut cookies: Reduce flour to 2 cups; add 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted. Proceed as directed.

Thumbs up! I just love peanut butter and chocolate AND cookies! What an easy recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand which I love. I think it still would have been great even without the dry peanuts though. I was surprised that the cookies had a great, cake-y consistency even though there were SO many peanuts and chocolate chips. These make a ton, so beware - around 3 dozen. I'll definitely be making them again though!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

From: An old magazine

1/2 of a 16 oz pkg. linguine
1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli flowerets
2 Tbsp butter
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into little pieces
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
14 tsp black pepper

Prepare linguine according to package instructions. Add broccoli during last 4 minutes of cooking time. Drain linguine and broccoli well in colander.

Heat butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until well browned, stirring often.

Stir soup, milk, cheese, black pepper and linguine mixture into skillet. Cook until mixture is hot and bubbling.

Thumbs up! I love alfredo sauce, and this was incredibly simple to make at home. This recipe is very filling and thick. I'm sure you could add more milk if you wanted to thin the sauce out some, but I enjoyed it like this. I can definitely see throwing some shrimp on top. I will definitely be making this again!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Stove Top One-Dish Chicken Skillet

From: Food & Family magazine

1 1/2 cups hot water
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 pkg Stove Top stuffing mix for chicken
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 can condensed cream of mushroom or chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream

Mix hot water, butter and stuffing mix; set aside. 

Spray nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add chicken; cook on medium heat 5 minutes on each side.

Mix soup and sour cream; pour over chicken. Top with stuffing; cover. Cook on low heat 10 minutes or until chicken is done.

Thumbs up! I have had this recipe for years. I wanted something really quick for dinner so I finally got my chance to try this recipe. Great, great flavor. I was really surprised. I could see myself making this again in the future if only the majority of my family would eat it... But maybe you'll have better luck with your family!

Apple-Oat Muffins with Brown-Sugar-Cinnamon Swirl

From: Shape magazine

1 cup AP flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp warm water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced 

Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat a muffin pan with cooking spray or use cupcake papers.

In a large bowl, combine both flours, oats, granulated sugar, baking powder, 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cloves. Mix thoroughly with a fork, make a well in the center and set aside. In a small bowl, combine remaining teaspoon of cinnamon, along with brown sugar and water. Whisk until brown sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, applesauce, egg, oil and vanilla. Pour liquid mixture into center of dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Fold in diced apple.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and then top each muffin with 1/4 teaspoon of the brown sugar-cinnamon mix. Using a toothpick, swirl the mixture gently into each muffin. Bake 12 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Thumbs up! I liked these yummy muffins. I did tell my mom I think I'd like them better without the diced apples, but that's just a texture preference. They are extremely moist and have a bouncy texture due to the applesauce in them, and I like that. They're very easy to make and have a great flavor. I definitely recommend this recipe.

Crockpot Barbecue Chicken

From: Stick a Fork in It

4-6 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts (Frozen, if you like)
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1/4 c vinegar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp. garlic powder

Mix BBQ sauce with all ingredients listed under it. Place chicken in crockpot. Pour sauce over it and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Two thumbs up! Okay, please don't judge based on my picture. I'm not a photographer, I'm a cook (ish). This barbecue chicken recipe was so good I found myself making it three times in just over a week. You literally cannot get any easier than this recipe. And it turns out perfectly every time. I make it with tenderloins instead of breasts, but you do what you want. I can see this cooking well in the oven, too, but why make any extra work!? My husband told me not to make any other barbecue chicken recipe again. He said this is the one. So, we highly recommend this recipe.

Simple Creamy Carrot Soup

From: Picky Palate

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs peeled carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
32 ounces chicken broth
2 strips bacon, cooked
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp hot sauce

Place oil in large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, onions, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Cook for 15 minutes, until carrots are fork tender. Remove herb sprigs and transfer carrots and vegetables to blender. Puree. Add chicken broth and continue to puree. Transfer to large saucepan over medium heat and add cooked bacon strips. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Simmer until ready to serve.

Thumbs up! So, this recipe came about simply because I had no idea what I was going to cook for my parents' lunch the other week. I asked my 3-year old, who promptly replied that I should cook "Carrot soup!" My 4-year old added, "With corn!"  Thanks to Pinterest, I found this delicious recipe. The only thing I did differently is that I did, in fact, add corn to appease my daughter (who refused to taste it, by the way). I think it's pretty funny how everyone kind of cringes when you say the phrase "carrot soup". But the flavor was really great. I could definitely see myself making this again.

Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup

From: Allyson Kramer

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • Few dashes garam masala (optional)
  • 3 medium to large sized peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 7 cups filtered water
Preheat your oven to 400 °F and cut up your cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle cauliflower lightly with garam masala. Place cauliflower onto ungreased cookie sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Place in oven and let roast until golden brown on the tops and tender, but not mushy, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool while you cook the rest of the soup.

In large stockpot, bring sweet potato, onion, garlic and water to a boil. Salt (about 3/4 tsp) and stir. Reduce heat and allow to remain at a constant simmer until sweet potatoes are tender. Add in cooked cauliflower and divide soup into 2 parts.

Let soup cool and then blend one part soup in blender until very smooth. Combine with second part soup and stir. Salt to taste and warm up over stovetop if needed.

Thumbs up! What a yummy blend of flavors! I absolutely loved this soup. I found the ingredient of garam masala on the spice aisle at Walmart. McCormick makes one, so I do recommend you either buy this or make your own (you can Google how to do that). It's a great spice that really heightened the flavor of this soup. This is going to be one that is added to my rotation!

Applesauce Pancakes

From: The Sisters Cafe

2 eggs
2 c flour
1 c milk
1 c applesauce
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Beat eggs until fluffy.  Beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth.  Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat or to 375 degrees.  (To test griddle, sprinkle with a few drops of water.  If bubbles jump around, heat is just right.)  Grease griddle.  For each pancake, use slightly less than 1/4 cup batter.  Cook pancakes until bubbly on top and dry around the edges.  Turn to cook other sides until golden brown.

Thumbs up! Okay, seriously such a good recipe. My kids usually want pancakes or waffles 4-6 times a week. I have a great homemade waffle recipe that I don't stray from, but I only have a couple of "okay" pancake recipes. This one is definitely a keeper. The applesauce makes these moist, and they are super thick and fluffy. And yes, you can add whatever you normally add - chocolate chips, bananas, blueberries, etc. Check out the link where I originally got the recipe from - the cinnamon syrup she adds looks amazing although I haven't tried it. And just in case you're wondering, these freeze beautifully. I make one huge batch every couple of weeks and freeze the leftovers.

Cream of Potato Soup

From: Better Homes and Gardens cookbook - Breast Cancer Edition

5 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup onion
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 Tbsp AP flour
1/4 tsp dried dill or basil, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
Dash black pepper
1 cup milk, half-and-half, or light cream

In a large saucepan cook potatoes and onion, covered, in a large amount of boiling water for about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Reserve 1 cup of the potato-onion mixture. Blend the chicken broth and the potato-onion mixture in a blender (except the cup you reserved). Keep in blender.

In the saucepan you used earlier, melt butter. Stir in flour, dill or basil, salt and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for one more minute.

Stir in the reserved 1 cup cooked potato-onion mixture, the blended mixture, and cook until heated through. You can add milk to reach your desired consistency.

Thumbs up! I am literally in love with this recipe. I do not make other potato soup recipes. It is just so good that I can't imagine another recipe ever taking the place of this one. Make this one. Now. Do it. Don't wait. 

Red Velvet Cake Roll

From: Hallee the Homemaker

½ tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
¼ cup cocoa powder
¾ cup cake flour, sifted
4 eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp red food coloring
Shortening or butter to grease pan
Flour to flour pan
Powdered sugar

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease jelly roll pan. Line pan with waxed paper. Grease and flour the waxed paper.

Sift together salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, and cake flour; set aside. Beat the eggs for five minutes. Slowly add sugar and oil. Beat until combined. Add buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and red food coloring. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake in 350°F 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.

Meanwhile, liberally dust the kitchen towel with powdered sugar. As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, flip it over onto the prepared towel. Carefully peel off wax paper. Roll up cake and towel together long-ways (so that you have a 15-inch long roll). Cool, seam side down, on wire rack.

While it’s cooling, beat the filling ingredients together until smooth. Carefully unroll the cooled cake and spread with the filling. Roll  back up, without the towel. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Slice and serve.

Thumbs up! I am such a sucker for cake rolls. They usually look pretty impressive (not by my pictures, but just go with it) but they are incredibly simple. I love red velvet cake but I find they often have way too much icing. This was perfect because you have such a great cake-to-icing ratio. It was such a delicious flavor and so easy to make. I'd definitely make it again. 

Creamy Garlic Pasta

From: Buns in My Oven

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups chicken stock
8 ounces linguine
8 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups chicken stock
8 oz linguine
8 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the salt and chicken stock to the pan. Raise the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil.

Break the linguine in half and add it to the chicken stock. Cook according to package directions. (The amount of liquid left in the pot will determine how thick your sauce is. If you'd like it thicker, drain off most of the remaining liquid).

Reduce heat to medium and add the cheese to the pasta, stirring to combine. When cheese has melted, remove from the heat and stir in the cream and parsley.

Thumbs up! I mean, do I even have to say that? The name of the recipe is Creamy. Garlic. Pasta. I mean, what could possibly be bad about this recipe? This is definitely a favorite of mine that gets made frequently. I love that I can make a ton for our 3-family dinners when I'm host, or I can make just enough for my lunch. It's so easy, filling, and delicious. I'm in love!

Chicken Parmesan Baked Pasta

From: Tracey's Culinary Adventures

1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups water
1 – 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
12 oz pasta
2 oz (about 1 cup) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 oz (about 1 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 475 F.

Add the tomatoes to the bowl of your food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, about 10 pulses. Set an oven-safe 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, the water, 1 cup of the chicken broth, and the pasta to the pan, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a vigorous simmer, then cover the pan and continue simmering (you may need to reduce the heat slightly) until the pasta is tender, about 16-18 minutes. Stir the pasta frequently as it cooks.

Once tender, remove the cover and stir in 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the pepper, and the chicken. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary. If the mixture seems dry, mix in as much of the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth as needed to loosen it up. {Note: if you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, transfer the mixture to a baking dish at this point.} Sprinkle the top evenly with the mozzarella cheese and the remaining Parmesan cheese. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and bubbles around the edges. Garnish with the basil then serve.

Thumbs up! Our whole family loves chicken parmesan, and we love pasta, so I really wanted to try this recipe which mixed both of those nicely. I think this is a really great, simple meal to throw together. I'll definitely make it again and I recommend it, especially because you can easily tweak it to have different spices, sauces, and noodles. 

Family Fit Fried Potatoes

From: Hallee the Homemaker

2 large potatoes, scrubbed clean with the skin on
1/2 large onion
1-2 tsp Kosher salt or sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
olive oil

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then slice to no more than 1/4 inch thickness.

Slice onion in thin slices.

In a frying pan heat ½ inch of olive oil to medium heat.

Place potatoes in frying pan. Top with onions (do not put onions in before potatoes, because they will burn before the potatoes cook through). Add salt and pepper.

Put a lid on it and let it sit for several minutes.

When the bottom layer of potatoes start to brown, turn them.

Leave the lid off for a few minutes, turn the potatoes again, and put the lid back on for about 5 more minutes.

Potatoes are done when a fork pierces them easily. If needed, drain on paper towels.

Thumbs up! I love potatoes because they are so versatile. This is a great recipe for when you're craving french fries, but it's a little different taste. I highly recommend this recipe because it's simple, delicious, and has very few ingredients.