Saturday, January 30, 2010

Honey Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Confession:
I'm not a chocolate chip cookie fan. I'd much rather have an Oatmeal Scotchie, or a Snickerdoodle. If I have to eat a chocolate chip cookie I go Chips Ahoy before I go homemade. So there...now you know.
When Husband saw this recipe and asked me to make it, I wasn't thrilled...but I'll try anything once. The result I got from this cookie is - pleasantly chocolate with a slight honey taste and almost cakey consistency.
Where (I'm being honest here)-I'm not a fan of them-Husband is really liking them, and didn't take them to work today so he'd have some to eat tonight when he got home.
I will say that baking with honey made me feel a little better...you know more hippie than just using my white or brown sugar...*shrugs*
Let me know how they turn out if YOU make them!
Honey Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups AP flour
1 cup quick oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I omitted)
Preheat ovee to 350 degrees. In large bowl, cream together honey, shortening and butter until smooth. Beat in eggs, then add vanilla;beat.
In separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt;mix well. Add dry to honey mixture;mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 12-16 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cookies tand one minute, then remove to wire racks to cool.
This recipe made 3 1/2 dozen for me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Flirty Apron Giveaway!

I need a new apron. I want a new apron. I'm tired of just tucking a dishtowel into the top of my pants and wiping my hands on that...I need something cute...something stylish..I need to win THIS giveaway!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chocolate Chip Bread Budding with Whiskey Sauce

Chocolate and whiskey? Why, yes! Long has the bread pudding eluded me. It's a sly and tricky devil. It's also one of my favorite desserts. But each time I tried to make it myself, I fell flat on my face. Too dry, too runny, too gummy, too just too much to even handle the failure anymore. But I'm growing another human. I'm a full time Mom and a full time pregnant person right now. I'm a full time wife. I work out of the home for half of the week...surely...I can make bread pudding. So on Sunday I collected my scraps. My lovely breads that were getting a little stale and I tore them up and left them on a cookie sheet in the oven for a couple days. Today when I came home...they were dry. I thought I'd missed my window..but I pushed forward...pulled out an ole' trusty cookbook and prayed for a miracle. I limited myself to ONE helping. The husband had two, and commented "this is one of the best desserts you've EVER made". Wow, really? *blushes* I have to say, it really was quite delicious. Recipes from my Better Homes and Gardens -New Cook Book (Limited Edition-the pink plaid one). Bread Pudding (Chocolate Chip version) 4 beaten eggs 2 1/4 cup chocolate milk 1/2 cup sugar 1 T vanilla 1/2 t cinnamon 4 cups dry bread cubes (I used 1/2 a loaf of King's Hawaiian and 3 medium croissants) 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips -in large bowl beat together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar. In an ungreased 2 quart baking dish toss together your bread cubes and chocolate chips;pour egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture. Press lightly with the back of a spoon (for soakage). -Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center pulls clean. Cool slightly. Serve with this sauce- Whiskey Sauce 1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup sugar 1 beaten egg yolk 2 T water 1-2 T whiskey (I used Black Velvet b/c that happened to be what a friend of ours left over here) In small saucepan melt the butter. Stire in the sugar, egg yolk, and water. Cook and stire over medium for 5-6 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture boils. Remove from heat; stir in whiskey. Serve over the warm bread pudding.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Butter-Batter-Fruit cobbler

We (and I say we as in "our family") doesn't do biscuity cobbler. In fact I don't think I've ever HAD a "real" cobbler. We do however have this little mess (I'll admit it, I had too much liquid in mine-sigh) quite often. Apple butter in the fall, blackberries in the summer...pick your fruit. Also...has anyone ever seen Steel Magnolias? I'm thinking you have...anyway...so my Mom 'made' this recipe from that movie...you remember towards the beginning they are in the beauty shop and Truvy (Dolly Parton-how I love her) is talking about this dessert she makes "Cupa flour, cupa sugar, cupa milk, cupa fruit cocktail with the juice, and you just mix and bake at 350 til gold and bubbly" That's um, well basically that is it! We called it Butter Batter Fruit-it's a quick fix and it's always oh so good..even my 'disaster' photo above..wasn't pretty..but tasted great! 1 cup flour (my parents always use Self Rising..for everything-I don't..I'm an APer..so just ad 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to your 1 cup of AP) 1 cup sugar 1 cup milk 1 stick butter 1 cup (approx) whatever filling you choose to use. I think my all time favorite is Apple Butter. Oven at 350-and while you mix your sugar, milk and flour, stick your stick of butter in the pan and put it in the oven to melt..you will NOT mix the butter into your batter..you pour on top of it. Butter all melted? Ok.. Pour the batter on top of it, it's ok..don't be scared. Now..pour your filling in the center. It looks a mess doesn't it? It's ok..it's supposed to look that way. Remember this isn't your conventional drop biscuit topping...just breathe and stick it in the oven. Wait until gold and bubbly. About 25 minutes. But really..do wait until the batter part is a nice gold color b/c really that is the only way of testing doneness on this thing. Let cool..or not..I have a problem with letting this thing cool b/c as soon as I pull it out..I want to jump into it. And where Truvy served hers "over ice cream to cut the sweetness" I prefer a gigantic dollop of Cool Whip on mine. So play around with it, and let me know what you think! The one in the picture was about 1/2 cup of cherry pie filling, and 2 cut up apples with a little bit of applesauce..too wet..but it still tasted really good!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Picky Palate Giveaway!

This time around, she's giving away a cookie cookbook! I want it! And I know you do too! So go HERE to enter! And good luck! If you win b/c I gave you the link, I'll give you my mailing address so you can send me some of the cookies you'll be baking! :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Leftover Fiesta..my take on a mexican meal!

One of these days I'll get a better camera and the pictures won't be so crappy..I promise.
This food was REALLY good. And what made it even better? It was fridge and freezer clean out! At least the enchiladas part-
So the enchiladas-Shredded beef and green chili
My Mom (who is the BEST beef roast maker, ever) had made a roast earlier in the week and brought it over, and I knew we needed to use it up...
2 onions sliced into about a Tablespoon of oil-softened them up
to that I added about 9 roasted poblanos. What? Yes. If you don't keep them in your freezer (we happened to have some from when my husband's Aunt visited from AZ-last bag!) use eh..4 little cans of green chilis..same thing!
Then I shredded up the beef and put that in with the veg and added 1/2 pack of Burrito seasoning. (Another thing about my Mom..she's the packet queen, and I inherit ALOT Of those packets) And there is your filling! In another pan and with ANOTHER packet (This time of enchilada sauce mix)-viola! Enchilada sauce!
I used flour tortillas and put about a teaspoon of pepperjack IN the enchiladas as I rolled them up, poured the sauce over top of them (Also a little in the bottom before I started rolling to help with stickage)-then baked them for about 20 minutes, pulled them out and topped with colby jack (liberally) and put them back for another 20. Yum.
The rice-
I don't cook rice on the stovetop. I haven't for years, and I probably never will...I use one of these -not specifically this one, and no I don't think I bought it there either, but it's the same principal...I also always, ALWAYS use Basmati rice. For everything. Yes, I have brown and I know it's healthier, I just like the texture of Basmati.
So..into the rice cooker went-
1 cup of rice
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of salsa
2 T butter
the other half of the burrito seasoning
*for the water for this, I actually ran water in the now empty salsa container to get all the lovely salsa flavor to add to the rice.
Into the microwave for 14 minutes, fluff with a fork...perfection.
Seriously...if you don't have a microwave rice cooker...get one. It's for your own good.
The beans!
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can of chili beans (just dumped into the pan, you want the starch and the juice)
1/2 cup of Ragu cheese sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste.
Once these get heated through, go after them with your handheld potato masher and put them on the back burner on low to get that crusty 'refried' consistency.
Enchiladas-Yum. Rice-Yum. Beans-Yum

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Monterey Chicken and Steakhouse Twice Baked Potatoes

This dinner was soooo good. Seriously. Another blog I routinely stalk is The Open Pantry when she posted this chicken..I was drooling! I'll just link you to her original recipe! The only thing I changed was that I had chicken TENDERS on hand and thawed instead of chicken breasts. The potatoes however...well I can take credit for those! Are they as pretty as the chicken? No. Would you have even known they were twice baked potatoes if I hadn't told you..eh..probably not...but they were and they were awesome! Suzy's Steakhouse Twice Baked Potatoes- oven at 400 4 baking sized white potatoes scrubbed clean 1 onion-sliced 1 package of white button mushrooms-sliced 3 Tablespoons butter 1 Tablespoon oil 1/4 cup bleu cheese crumbles 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack 3 oz cream cheese-softened Splash of Worchestire sauce I think that is all that went into them. :) I pre-'baked' my potatoes in the microwave for about 8 minutes until they were scoopable, but not done. I cut them in half and scooped them out and turned them upside down on a baking sheet and put oil on the skins and cooked them off for about another 15 minutes while I made the filling- I sauteed the onion and mushroom in the butter until they were ALMOST to the carmelized point...I wanted them all soft and sweet..and they were. When they were as done as I wanted them to be that is when I tossed in the W sauce. Even though we weren't having steak the mushrooms, onions, and bleu cheese was too steaky for me to NOT throw in the W. Um..where was I? Ok..let the veggies cool..but just a little..and toss them into your potato that you scooped out earlier. Also put in your cream cheese...now if you wanted to stop here. You could. You really could. I mean you've got potatoes, veggies, and cheese. So go ahead and bail now, fill up your potato skins and enjoy. However...have I ever told you I was born in WI? Well I was...but we moved to TX when I was 3 weeks old and I've never been back to WI....however it didn't take long for the cheese to sink in...I think I was born with it. I LOVE cheese...so I went ahead and tossed in the bleu and the pepperjack (I LOVE pepperjack!). So Suzy's Steakhouse Twice Baked Potatoes could very easily be Suzy's Steakhouse 3-Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes... The oil on the skins should have made them nice and crispy so take the filling and fill away...oh and top with just a sprinkle of pepperjack for good measure..and put back in the oven for about eh..15 minutes. You see..the above rambling paragraph is why I prefer to just copy and paste stuff. I doubt I'll ever accomplish a real cookbook b/c my writing style is more steam of what's in my head...but so is my cooking style. :) I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we did! The tomatoes and the green onions REALLY make the chicken as much as those hidden little bits of bleu cheese add SO much to the potatoes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Give it away now!

Nope..not me this time! It's The Treat Girl! She's got food, she's got scrapbooking, she's got some FANtasmagoric fingerless gloves (I'm wanting a pair SO Bad)! She's doing a giveaway...so scoot your boot on over there and get entered!

Pillsbury giveaway-and winner!

Congrats to Doreen who is the winner of the Pillsbury giveaway! What Pillsbury giveaway? Well..this one..sorta! I hadn't posted this giveaway yet-I was working on the Yoplait one-sadly..no one made it in before the deadline on that one, so I went ahead and submitted a coworker for it! THEN Miss Doreen was the FIRST to post after the deadline so I opted to go ahead and submit her for this awesome Pillsbury giveaway! This giveaway product, information, and prize pack has been provided by Pillsbury and MyBlogSpark! Thanks guys! A roll of something Pillsbury is almost ALWAYS in our fridge...whether it's cresents (My favorite), cinnamon rolls (my husband's favorite), or biscuits (my go to quick pick)-we're stocked! My newest favorite thing to make with Pillsbury cresents? I call them Breakfast Pockets. And I'm so so sorry I don't have a photo....honestly..it went like this- Made new recipe Inhaled it Cursed myself for not taking a picture... Either way..this is how I made them..approximately..I really need to get better on measuring! You'll need- Two tubes of Pillsbury cresent rolls 1/2 lb sausage (cook it, then make a quick batch of sausage gravy-so flour and milk as well) 6 eggs (scrambled) 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese Set the oven to the temp that the Pillsbury roll of cresents instructs (I can't remember it off the top of my head) and give your baking sheet a spray of non-stick stuff (I don't think you really need it, but it really peeves me when those flakey cresents get stuck to my pan! So I take the safety precaution!) Unroll one roll of cresents and break them apart at the lines-lay them out on the baking sheet Top with about eh...2 Tablespoons of gravy, about the same of eggs, and however much cheese you want. Unroll the other tube, pull those apart and top your 'pockets' and pinch edges together to seal...then bake until they are golden brown! SO yummy! I made them for dinner one night, but of course they could be a perfect (and very portable) breakfast as well! Of course these could be easily adapted SO many different ways..I think the next time we might opt for no gravy and add in some onions and green peppers...yum! Pillsbury Cresents are seriously so versatile! Here are some other recipes I can't wait to try out! Cresent-Wrapped Brie and Cresent Bacon Cheese Tarlets! Even though we already have a winner, I'd still love to hear from you what YOU like to make with Pillsbury cresents (or other Pillsbury products!)!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cheesecake cookies

One of my favorite blogs (MyKitchenCafe) put a recipe for these little beauties up around Christmas...and I made them the first time I think the DAY I saw the recipe. This was also the day we got a new fridge and took off all the magnets from the old one... the first batch did fine...see them here on the cooling rack- (the ones in the back I used cherry syrup...don't do that..the syrup just heats up and leaks out, the purpley ones are elderberry jam, and the kinda burnt orange ones aren't burnt they were honeyed yellow tomato jam) However the second batch went to the dogs...why? Well..notice the ABC magnets in the top right? One of them found it's way onto the underneath of one of my baking sheets and it was more than just a mess. These wonderful cheesecake cookies tasted like burnt plastic, my new oven was a wreck, and the smoke alarm was going crazy! Lesson learned..and now even though I don't keep magnets on my counter, I'm habitually checking the BOTTOMs of my baking sheets for any potential sabateurs! My husband had gone to work and gabbed to his coworkers about the cookies (the ones that didn't taste like burnt plastic) and I got multiple requests to make them so he could bring them to work. I also promised my best friend that I'd make her cookies for Christmas (even though we just managed to get together LAST week) so these babies pulled double duty. They turned out MUCH better the second time..practice makes perfect eh? See...MUCH better! Cheesecake Cookies (originally From My Kitchen Cafe) 3 1/2 cups ap flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt- omitted 2 packs of cream cheese (16 oz total-softened) 2 1/2 sticks of butter (softened)-I use salted butter on a regular basis so I omitted the 1 teaspoon 1 1/2 cups of sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 2 cans of cherry pie filling-or filling of your choice
You'll need two bowls for this-
combine your dry in one-flour, baking powder and salt in one
in the other cream together your cream cheese, sugar, and butter until smooth and creamy.
To the wet bowl add your eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
Then add the flour mix to this and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This is a VERY important step..it's a sticky batter and it needs time to chill out (literally).
Set oven at 350-and get out two baking sheets and prep them. I don't have a silpat, and I was out of parchment paper, so I gave the pans a healthy spray of butter flavored spray and it did fine.
Roll the dough in 1 1/2 inch balls, then roll into the graham cracker crumbs, place about 2 inches apart on your baking sheets-make an indent in the center with a tablespoon measuring spoon. If you are using cherry pie filling you can get about 3 cherries in each...if you use jam you can get about 3/4 tablespoon in there.
Bake 12-14 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
These babies won't last long! Also...if you are a cookie dough eater like someone I know *points to self* TRY not to eat all the dough....it's amazing!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yoplait Giveaway!

I'm gonna be totally honest...I didn't become a yogurt fan until I was pregnant with my daughter a couple years ago. I'd tried brand after brand, and I just couldn't "get it"-but then I tried Yoplait and fell in love! So when MyBlogSpark emailed me about Yoplait's NEW Frozen Smoothie..I was ALL over it. I love smoothies..but I don't make them...b/c I am lazy! Too lazy to chop the fruit, and really too busy running around in the morning, trying to get myself ready for work and get my daughter prepped for the sitter...but now..I have NO excuse....it's all in the bag..LITERALLY! You put it in the blender, add some milk, blend it up and you are done! You've got some of your daily fruit servings taken care of (I know I never get enough of my fruits and veggies..so this really helps!) And it's Yoplait...so it's already my all time favorite brand, and it tastes SO good!
So since I love my readers and since Yoplait and MyBlogSpark love me..here is a link to a coupon for $1.25 of Yoplait Frozen Smoothie!
But for one very special reader...you ready?? You see that top picture? The one with the handy dandy personal blender (That I TOTALLY asked for for Christmas from my family, but didn't get?) ONE special reader will get that AND an additional Yoplait coupon!
No catch really...just leave me a comment and let me know..what is YOUR favorite smoothie to make at home??
The giveaway will be open until Friday (the 15th of January) at 10pm CST.
(*sorry..US residents only!) product, information, online coupon link, and prize packs have been provided by Yoplait and MyBlogSpark.