Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Is it a brownie? Is it a cookie? Who can tell?

One night The Husband and I were discussing what we wanted for dessert. He wanted brownies. I wanted cookies. We couldn't agree, so I made this recipe instead! Brownies with the characteristics of cookies. Or cookies that are brownies. No need to decide, just bake these and eat them. Problem solved!

Brownie Cookies
from Nosh and Tell

Ingredients:2 2/3 cups (about 16 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 eggs
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Put the chocolate and butter in a pan and stir occasionally until completely melted and smooth. In the meantime, stir together the eggs, vanilla and sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine well. Slowly add the dry ingredients, folding them into the batter. Once all of the flour is incorporated, stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop 1½ tablespoons of dough (a medium cookie scoop’s worth) onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are firm on the outside. Like brownies, do not overbake! Leave to cool completely on the baking sheets. Makes about 24 large cookies.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pasta with Bacon, Peas, and Herbs

This dish is fairly simple and super tasty. It's fresh and light, and perfect for spring/summer!

Orecchiette with Pancetta, Peas, and Fresh Herbs

Ingredients:1lb orecchiette (or any pasta you like)
2tbsp butter, or olive oil
4oz pancetta or bacon
2 cloves garlic
1 large jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 cup peas
1/2 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese (I used goat gouda instead)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp mint

Cook the pasta per package directions. Drain, reserve one cup cooking water.

Melt the butter in a skillet, and add bacon. Cook until brown, then add the garlic and jalapeno and cook 30 seconds. Add the peas, then pasta and the reserved cooking water. Finally, add the cheese. Season with pepper and cook over medium heat until sauce thickens. Stir in the herbs and serve.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chicken and Artichokes

I have yet to find a recipe with artichokes that I don't love. There's just something about that delicious little vegetable that makes me want to put it in everything! This recipe combines artichokes with just a little bit of wine and throws some chicken in for good measure. The mushrooms round out the dish, and give it that extra little something. Hands-down winner!

Chicken and Artichokes in a White Wine Sauce
from Annie's Eats

Ingredients:½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. herbes de provence (or a combination of other dried herbs such as basil, parsley, oregano, thyme)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (2 chicken breasts total)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 (14 oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chicken broth
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Minced fresh parsley, for serving

In a pie plate, combine the flour, dried herbs, salt and pepper and stir with a fork to blend. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture. Using tongs, coat the chicken breast halves in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking (**I actually cooked my chicken in the oven instead**). Remove the chicken to a plate; cover and keep warm.

Add the butter to the pan and warm until melted. Add the mushrooms and artichokes to the pan and cook until most of the liquid is released from the mushrooms and the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the white wine, chicken broth, and reserved tablespoon of flour; whisk until smooth. Add the mixture to the skillet, cooking until it is warm and slightly thickened. Return the chicken to the pan to warm through and cover with sauce. Serve the chicken with sauce spooned over the top, and garnish with grated Parmesan and fresh parsley as desired.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Curry Laksa

I've made a few good recipes from Appetite for Reduction, and this was another good one. Curry Laksa is a coconut-based soup, and this version has lots of veggies in it!

Unfortunately I can't post the recipe, but you can find a similar one here.

Here's some pictures from this recipe:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Calico Beans

I think most people have a person in their family who always brings a crockpot bean dish to a potluck. In my family that person is my mom. She (and everyone else) loves her calico bean recipe. While this recipe is different from hers, I still enjoyed it. And really, who doesn't love bacon and brown sugar with beans? :)

I took this recipe from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Entertaining, by Beth Hensperger.
You can find the full recipe here. I don't like to print recipes from books on my blog, but if someone else has posted it online I don't mind linking to it.

Here's some pictures from this recipe:
I encourage you to give it a try! It makes a wonderful side dish, or can even be served as a main meal if you pair it with a salad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Nutella makes everything better

I took this dip to my niece's 2nd birthday party, and everyone loved it. It's so rich and delicious, and it would go well with any fruit. This dip comes together in less than 5 minutes (except for the chilling time), and it travels well.

Nutella, Chocolate Chip and Cream Cheese Dip
recipe from Bell'allimento

8 ounces cream cheese – softened
4 tablespoons unsalted butter – room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Nutella
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar – packed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Fresh Strawberries to serve with

1. Into your stand mixer beat cheese, butter and vanilla until creamy. Add Nutella and mix to combine. Add sugars and mix well to combine. 2. Using a spatula fold in chocolate chips. Transfer to serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate approximately 2 hours or until it sets up.

3. Serve with fresh berries.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Irish Potato Stew

I love potato soup, and I knew I'd love this recipe. I had a little leftover steak from a meal at a restaurant so I threw that in the soup and it really enhanced the flavor!
I will be making this one again!

Adapted from Real Potato Leek Soup

  • 9 small potatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cups milk
  • pepper to taste
Boil the potatoes in the chicken broth until tender, add the onions and celery and cook over low heat until softened. Add the butter, milk, and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes.Super easy and super tasty; that's my kind of meal!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fair Scones

I grew up just 8 blocks from the Puyallup Fair, which runs most of the month of September. As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time at the fair, and I have very fond memories of it. One of my favorite things was the Puyallup Fair Scone. You could watch them being made if you went under the grandstand to their central location. We brought many a scone home to enjoy, and I've always wanted to try making my own version; I would like to say that I think I've improved the recipe! My version is light, flaky and has a lot more jam in it than they'd give you at the fair!
Slightly adapted from the Puyallup Fair Scone recipe

    • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 6 tablespoons butter
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup raisins ( if you are omitting the raisins, add another 2 Tablespoons of milk)
  1. Sift and measure the flour.
  2. Re-sift with other dry ingredients.
  3. Work shortening into dry ingredients with the fingers.
  4. Add milk to mixture. (If you are omitting the raisins, add another 2 Tablespoons of milk).
  5. Turn out on to a floured board and divide into two equal pieces.
  6. Roll or pat each into a round and to the thickness of biscuits (3/4 inch to a full inch).
  7. Cut into wedge shaped pieces like a pie, then reform into a slight oval. Bake about 15 minutes at 400 degrees on an ungreased baking sheet.
  8. Fill with butter and jam, and serve!
Notes: I think the biggest change I made was increasing the amount of sugar and decreasing the temperature. Baking at 400 degrees lets some of the butter seep out of the scones and they end up cooking in their own butter - they end up being amazing!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kale chips!

I've been seeing bloggers talk about Kale Chips for months. People would say they're delicious and super easy, and that they rivaled potato chips in tastiness. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I did like them. I'm not a huge kale lover, but I can see myself occasionally buying a bunch of kale to make these chips.

Kale Chips
Olive Oil

Wash, dry, and destem kale. Cut into rough pieces, about the size of a tortilla chip.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread kale on a cookie sheet, and brush with oil. Salt to taste (I used very little - you all know I have an aversion to salt!) and bake in oven for 10-15 minutes.Tip: I also enjoyed eating these in a green salad - they added a little bit of crunchiness that I found really appealing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ugly Empanadas

I was super excited to try this recipe, but they really didn't turn out all that well. I used a premade, frozen pizza dough and had a very hard time working with it (it was overly sticky but also seemed strangely dry in spots). Instead of folding the dough over like you're supposed to for empanadas, I ended up just making 3 large ones by putting two dough layers together. These didn't look very pretty, but they still tasted alright. I'd probably give this recipe another try, but next time I'm going to make my own dough!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package refrigerated pizza dough (about 1 pound)
  • Flour for the work surface
  • 1 16-ounce can refried beans
  • 1 1-pint container fresh salsa
  • 1 8-ounce package shredded Cheddar
  • Sour cream
Heat oven to 400° F. Spread 1 teaspoon of the oil on a baking sheet. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each into an 8-inch round on a lightly floured surface.On half of each round, spread some of the beans, then top with 1½ tablespoons of the salsa and 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Fold over the other half of each round, covering the filling, and press the curved edge with your thumb to seal. Lightly brush the tops of the empanadas with the remaining oil, then transfer to the baking sheet.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bacony Bok Choy

I've made this recipe several times, and each time I'm reminded how much I love bok choy!! It's such a tasty vegetable, and I really should incorporate it into more recipes. I've had this dish as both a main entree (serve it over rice), and as a side dish.

Bacon-y Bok Choy
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 pounds baby bok choy
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon and drain the fat, reserving one tablespoon of the grease in the skillet. Add the olive oil, onion, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat until the onions are starting to be tender.
  • Add the bok choy, and place a lid on the pan. Let cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the lid; cook and stir until the bok choy is tender but still crunchy, about 2 minutes. Stir in the bacon, and season with salt. Serve piping hot!

Friday, June 3, 2011

My new favorite cookie recipe

I hate white chocolate. I hate milk chocolate. The only chocolate I like is dark chocolate. That was all true until I met this recipe. I wasn't excited to be cooking with white chocolate, but this recipe truly changed my mind. And it's not just me - my husband took the cookies to work with him and they were gone super-fast. And I took some to my work and my boss loved them too! I will be making these cookies again, in the very near future. Pumpkin is good year-round, not just at Thanksgiving!

White Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies
Ingredients:1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 cups flour
2 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
12 ounces white chocolate chips


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Gradually add in the white and brown sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add in the flour mixture. Stir in the chips. Scoop heaping tablespoons of the cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes, still on the sheets. Transfer the cookies onto wire racks.

Note: The original recipe calls for pepitas, but I left those out. The cookies tasted great without them.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lemon Souffle

Remember that goal list of mine? Making souffles was on that list, and I recently tackled that goal. I chose a lemon souffle recipe, and while it was fun to make I wouldn't do it again. The lemon flavor was just way too strong - next time I'm going to try a chocolate one instead. If you do try this recipe, I recommend cutting it down to just one lemon.

Lemon Souffle
Ingredients:1 egg
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup castor sugar or superfine sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
3 egg whites
5 tablespoons castor sugar or superfine sugar
3 egg yolks
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar for dusting

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Whisk the egg in a medium saucepan, and mix in the 1 lemon's zest and juice, 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch. Set over medium heat, and cook stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Reduce heat to low, and continue whisking for another minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Divide between four 6 or 8 ounce ramekins. Set aside.

  • In a medium glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites with an electric mixer. When they are able to hold a soft peak, sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and continue mixing until stiff. Whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar into the egg yolks along with the zest and juice of the remaining lemon. Fold a couple of spoonfuls of the egg whites into the yolks to lighten them up, then fold in the rest of the whites. Spoon into the ramekins over the lemon curd, and run a finger around the inside of each rim.
  • Place the ramekins onto a baking sheet, and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.