Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I have stumbled upon a fabulous website thanks to my fellow foodie, Brandi.  It's called Tasty Kitchen.  So many new recipes to try and I'm so excited!!!!  I was looking for a cupcake recipe so Jon can bring to Taylor's class tomorrow (it's grandparents day/special person day) and didn't want your typical cupcake.  While looking for cupcakes the words "cookie dough" just popped out at me.  Who can refuse cookie dough????  and inside a cupcake????  Let me tell's as good as how it sounds.  Good thing I'm getting my wisdom teeth pulled tomorrow or I'd be diving into the remaining ones all weekend!

Ok....So I can't lie...I'm super impressed about this picture.  Doesn't it look pretty awesome!  I found some food photo hints and this was my first shot.  It's a little yellow but I'm still impressed. :-)

1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
16 oz chocolate chip cookie dough (this will be enough if you double the recipe.)
16 oz chocolate icing (this will be enough if you double the recipe.)
  1. Scoop cookie dough in teaspoon sized balls and place in the freezer in a ziplock bag or airtight container.  The cookie dough has to be completely frozen.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Beat butter until smooth and add sugar beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating until combined each time.  Mix in the flour mixture, alternating with milk and vanilla, beginning and ending with flour.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan.  Get cookie dough balls out of the frezzer and place into the cupcake, pushing down into the center of the batter.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Transfer to cooling rack.  Once cool top with chocolate icing.
  8. Yield: 12 cupcakes (I doubled the recipe to make 24.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Italian Chicken

When I went to the grocery the other day I hit the jackpot.  Y'all know how much I love my crockpot.  Well, Taste of Home has a wonderful magazine out with tons of slow cooker meals.  Now I have a question....

Do you say crockpot or slow cooker???

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can Italian stewed tomatoes (I bought the "no salt added" but think I'll buy regular next time or just add extra salt to the meal.)
3/4 cup plus 3 TBSP water, divided (I used chicken broth.  I always replace chicken or beef broth when a recipe calls for water.)
2 TBSP dried minced onion
2 tsps chicken bouillon granules
2 tsps chili powder
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 TBSPS cornstarch
Hot cooked rice
  1. Place chicken in your crockpot.  Combine the tomatoes, 3/4 cup water, onion, bouillon and seasonings; pour over chicken.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  3. Transfer chicken to a serving platter; keep warm.  Pour cooking juices into a small saucepan.  Combine cornstarch and remaining water until smooth; stir into cooking juices.  Bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Serve with chicken and rice.
Servings: 6

Lemon Chicken Marinade

Jon and I have been grilling a lot lately on the weekends.  When we lived in GA and TX that's all we ate year round.  We love the grill!  Needless to say, since it has been gorgeous here now we are using the pit a ton!

1  tsp lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Chicken breasts

Put chicken and ingredients in a zip-lock bag and refrigerate 2-8 hours.  I turn mine over at least once while marinading.  Discard marinade and grill.  Don't even ask me how long to grill for.....that's my hubby's job! :-)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Brown Sugar & Oats Muffins

Here's another fabulous recipe that I got from From My Kitchen to Yours!.  I made these for breakfast this morning and Jon and I just can't stay out of them.  Next time I think I'm going to add cut up apples and nuts in them.  So yummy!

(Just ignore the only purple muffin cup.  It was the last colored one left and I don't like to waste. :-))

1 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Line a dozen muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  In a seperate bowl, beat the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla together.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until moistened. (Don't over mix your mixture .  It'll make it more dense if you do and you won't get the nice air pockets muffins have.)
  4. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full and bake for 15-17 minutes.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jambalaya pic

Doesn't that look so yummy?!?!?  I made jambalaya for a pot luck I went to last night and it was gobbled up really fast! 
Click HERE for the recipe.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cheese Muffins

Mandi found this cheese muffin recipe on The Pioneer Woman website.  If you've never gone to her website before you need to go.  Such wonderful recipes!!!  Anyway, Jon went volunteer in Taylor's class yesterday so I decided to make them a little treat.  She's been telling me about these muffins and about how good they are so I decided to make them.  Wow....they are so good and so cheesy!!!!  I'm just glad I had to send them to school because I could have gobbled these up easily!!!

I should have taken a better picture than this but I was in such a rush that this is what you get. :-)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 TBSPS sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups shredded colby-jack cheese
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick)

  1. Wisk together dry ingredients then stir in cheese.
  2. In a seperate bowl, wisk egg, milk, and butter together.  Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and stir with a spoon to combine.
  3. Bake in greased muffin tin at 375 for 20-25 minutes. (it took mine 25 minutes.)
  4. Serve warm.  Makes 12 muffins.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pizza on the Grill

Last night we tried something we never did before....pizzas on the grill.  It was so much fun.  Jon, Taylor, and I each had our own to create.  What a fun way to end a weekend!

Jon's pizza is on the far left.  It consisted of bacon, meatballs, pepperoni, mushrooms, ricotta cheese, mozzerella cheese, regular shredded cheese, and pizza sauce.  I'm sure I'm missing something b/c it was huge!!!

Mine is on the right.  It had pizza sauce, mozzerella, and tomatoes.  When we pulled it off the grill I drizzeled it with olive oil and sprinkled fresh basil on top.

The little one on the front was Miss Taylor's pepperoni pizza that she made all by herself.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dump Cake

Dump Cake.....doesn't that name sound so appetizing?!?!?  Well, don't let it fool you.  It is so good and so very easy!!!!  This was a staple at our Supper Club, thanks to Monica, when we lived in Texas.  I made this along with the Cookies-N-Cream chess bars for Teacher Appreciation Day on Thursday and it took everything out of me not to take a bite!!!  Now listen to how easy this is.....

Take a large can of crushed pineapple and dump it, liquid included, into a 9x13 pan.  Don't forget to spray with Pam!
Next, dump pie filling on top of the pineapple.  You can use any type of pie filling.  Here I used cherry because that's my favorite and find it's the best.
Now put a box of vanilla cake mix on top of the pie filling. The next step Paula Deen would love.  Take 2...yes, 2 sticks of melted butter and pour on top of the cake mix.

Now stick it in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour and Enjoy!!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Asian Shrimp, Snow Peas, and Rice

This was my very first attempt to cook Asian food and it wasn't hard at all!  It has such a great flavor to it.  My only complaint is about the snow peas.  I've never cooked with these before so I didn't know there were "strings" involved.  I found some in the produce department so I put those in my buggy and continued on getting my other groceries.  I did find some prepackaged Asian snow peas, after I had the others, that stated it was without strings.  I had no clue what that meant so I continued on b/c I didn't feel like putting the others back.  Bad decision!!!!  Jon and I ended up taking the peas out of the dish b/c you can't chew those strings.  I decided to still share the recipe b/c it truly is good.....with or without snow peas.

1 1/4 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 tsp vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 cups snow peas....WITHOUT STRINGS!!!!
2 TBSPS reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tsps Asian (dark) sesame oil
1 1/4 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 cups hot cooked long grain rice (we only used about 1 cup)
  1. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the broth and the cornstarch; stir until the cornstarch dissolves.  Set aside.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat the vegetable oil;  add the garlic and saute about 1 minute.  Add the carrots and 1/3 cup of the remaining broth; cook 2 minutes, then stir in the snow peas, 1/3 cup of the remaining broth, the soy sauce, and sesame oil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the snow peas are tender crisp, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the shrimp and the remaining 1/3 cup of broth; cook, stirring occasionally, just until the shrimp turn pink, 3-4 minutes.  Increase the heat and bring to a boil.  Stir in the dissolved corn starch and add the red pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Serve over the rice.

Cookies-N-Cream Chess Bars

Today is Teacher Appreciation at Taylor's school so I volunteered to bake a dessert.  Normally I like to bake something that I have already made before because I know it is delicious but this time I decided to try something new.  After making them I was kicking myself because they just didn't have that "wow" factor.  My plan was to sneek into the Teacher's Lunchroom and drop it off before anyone saw who made these. LOL  The recipe says to keep them refrigerated so I stuck them in there and hoped this would help them.  Luckily they did.  Jon came home and did a taste test for me.  He said they tasted like a cream cheese brownie.  Thank goodness!!!  The recipe doesn't say how long to refrigerate them but my suggestion is to at least keep them in the fridge for an hour or two before serving them to help the cream cheese set.

1 fudge or chocolate cake mix
4 eggs, divided
1 stick butter, melted
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temp
2 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
8 to 12 Oreo cookies
  1. Mix cake mix with 1 egg and margarine; press into greased and floured 13x9 pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat confectioners' sugar with cream cheese, vanilla and 3 eggs until smooth.  Pour about 2/3 of the topping mixture onto the cake mixture;  sprinkle with crumbled oreos (or chocolate chips for polka dot chess squares) then pour remaining mixture evenly over crumbs.  Bake in a preheated 325 over for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned. (took mine 50 minutes)  Cool thoroughly and cut into bars.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mississippi Mud Cookies

I made these cookies for Santa this year and couldn't remember why I didn't post it on my blog.....until now.  Yes they are yummy but goodness they're a pain to get off the pan and a pain to figure out if they are done or not.  If anyone has a trick of what I need to be looking at to tell when they are done please tell me!!!  These cookies are the type that harden as they cool so it's really hard for me to figure this out.  They are very good b/c as a couple crumbled when I tried to place them on the wire rack I was able to taste it.  I was actually making these for another bake sale they are doing at Taylor's school tomorrow.  Good thing they aren't judging me on presentation!!!!  The recipe does call for you to put the dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet so I'll be sure to do that next time. 

1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup milk chocolate morsels
1 cup plus 2 tbsp miniature marshmallows
  1. Microwave semisweet chocolate morsels in a small microwave safe glass bowl at HIGH 1 minute or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.
  2. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.  Beat in vanilla and melted chocolate.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture, beating until well blended.  Stir in chopped pecans and 1/2 cup milk chocolate morsels.
  4. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Press 3 marshmallows into each portion of dough.
  5. Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes or until set.  Remove to wire racks.
Makes 3 dozen.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chicken Fajitas

Last night we had a little Mother's Day celebration and a belated Cinco de Mayo celebration with our neighbors.  Chicken Fajitas and Margaritas it was for us!  I got the marinade for the chicken out of my Weight Watchers cookbook.  It called for the chicken to be cooked in a skillet but we grilled ours.  I love grilled veggies!

I didn't get a pic of our fajitas but I did get a great pic of my dear friend, Chris, and I enjoying our margaritas (recipe below)!  Thanks to my friend Amy for her mom's wonderful margarita recipe!

Chicken Fajitas

2 TBSP fresh lime juice
1 TBSP reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp chili powder
Pinch crushed red pepper
10 oz skinless boneless cihcken breasts, cut into thin strips
4 tsps vegetable oil
1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
4 (6 in) fat free flour tortillas
1/2 cup salsa, for garnish
1/4 cup fat free sour cream, for garnish
fresh cilantro, for garnish
  1. To prepare the marinade, in a zip-loc bag, combine the lime juice, soy sauce, chili powder, and red pepper; add the chicken.  Seal the bag, squeezing out the air; turn to coat chicken.  Refrigerate, turning bag occasionally, at least 2 hours or overnight.  Drain and discard marinade.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tsps of the oil.  Saute the bell peppers and onion until softened, 8-10 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
  3. In the skillet, heat remaining 2 tsps oil.  Saute the chicken until cooked through, 3-5 minutes.
  4. To assemble fajitas, soften tortillas according to package directions.  Divide chicken and sauteed vegetables among tortillas; garnish with salsa, sour cream and cilantro.

The recipe is for a frozen margarita but Chris and I just put it over ice instead.  It is delicious any way you like it!  I'll give it to you like Amy gave it to my friends and I.

12 oz Minute Maid Limeade Frozen Concentrate
Empty into the blender and then use the container for the rest of the measurements.

Fill 1/2 container with tequila and pour in.

Fill 1/4 container with Triple Sec and pour in.

Squeeze in whole lime.  Add ice then blend!!!  (or pour margarita over ice.)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Say It with Pictures

Let's face it....when you find a recipe it's a lot easier and appealing making it when there is a picture involved.  So I've decided to start taking pictures of the outcome of the recipes I make.  Now, I'm not a professional photographer and it's not a hobby of mine.  I just point and shot.  Done deal.  You'll probably see toys on the floor and kids eating the food but hey....that's my life. :-)

This week is another bake sale at school so I've baked the chocolate cream cheese filled cupcakes and also applesauce muffins.  Both recipes are already on the blog.  Look below and the delicious results!

(yes, there is a cupcake missing.  Taylor Brooke was in them.)

Rosemary Chicken with Wild Rice

43 days left until we leave for Disney World which means lots of Weight Watcher meals! 

This one was really good.  I was a little hesitant at first because it calls for quite a bit of rosemary and rosemary and I haven't really agreed in the past.  When I was pregnant with Taylor, Jon made a chicken meal with tons of rosemary and well....lets just say it didn't sit well with me.  Since then I've stayed away from the rosemary until now. :-)

1 cup wild rice (I used a whole box of Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Rice)
1 TBSP olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts, cubed
2 carrots, diced
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 TBSP dried
1/4 cup & 2 TBSP orange marmalade
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
  1. Cook the wild rice according to the package directions.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the oil.  Add the garlic and saute until golden, about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken and carrots and saute, stirring frequently, 3-4 minutes.  Stir in the rosemary; cook until chicken is cooked through, 3-4 minutes longer.
  3. Stir in the marmalade, mustard, and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Add the rice; toss to combine.
per serving: (1 generous cup): 304 calories, 6 g fat, WW points: 6

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The BEST Kabobs!!!!

Here's a recipe for a wonderful steak marinade for kabobs. friend Jenny made these kabobs for me years ago and I've been dreaming of them ever since.  I finally dragged (JK!) this top secret recipe out of her a couple of weeks ago and made them on Saturday.  Pair this with the Artichoke Bread and you'll have yourself one amazing meal.  I just may make them again this weekend.  Wait....I take that back....Jon may make it again this weekend for Mother's Day. :-)

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 TBSP parsley
2-3 garlic cloves
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tsp dried mustard
2 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup soy sauce

Soak steak overnight or at least 8 hours in the marinade.  Per Jenny's suggestion, I used sirloin steak.  For the actual kabobs I used red and green bell peppers, onion, pineapple, and Baby Bella mushrooms.