July 7, 2010

Marbled Chocolate Banana Muffins with Chocolate Graham Cracker Streusel

Marbled Chocolate Banana Muffins with Chocolate Graham Cracker Streusal

I did it again. I bought a bunch of bananas and let them sit there until they looked worse and worse. Tell me I’m not the only one who does that? Please? In the grand scheme of things bananas are cheap, but still…starving kids in blahblah and all that…so I always feel bad about wasting food. I cannot tell you how much I didn’t want to make banana bread, though. I don’t even really like banana bread, I much prefer my mom’s applesauce bread. But what do you make with mushy bananas besides banana bread? I searched for alternatives but didn’t find anything interesting that I had all the ingredients for or that wasn’t a million calories.

Since I was stuck with banana bread, my next thought was that I should do something to make it less banana-y. Of course, chocolate popped right into my head. Chocolate makes everything better. You might know I’m kinda obsessed with marbled chocolate desserts, so I decided to do a marbled chocolate banana muffin. It’s just more …

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August 20, 2009

Light Strawberry-Lemon Muffins

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Well, summer is almost over and strawberry season has ended, and every time I go to the grocery store they always seem to be having a sale on their strawberries, obviously trying to get rid of them as fast as possible. But looking closely at the strawberries, many are bruised or mushy and just don’t look that great. Definitely not something I’d want to display on a strawberry tart. But I have a hard time passing up such a good deal, so I buy these sad looking strawberries and immediately freeze them when I get home for use in smoothies or granita.

But sometimes this means I’ll look in the freezer and see that I have way too many strawberries. I came upon this recipe a while ago when I was looking for a recipe to use up some of these strawberries. It’s pretty much the easiest recipe in the world. You mix up the wet ingredients, including the strawberries, in a blender and combine that with the dry ingredients and you’re done. It’s takes about 5 minutes to make these.

April 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip “Soft Batch” Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip "Soft Batch" Cookies

If you couldn’t tell from previous posts I have quite a long list of store-bought-food-I-want-to-learn-to-make-at-home. After I cleared off Spaghetti-Os, Soft Batch cookies were next on the list. They’re probably my second favorite kind of store-bought cookie (because nothing is better than Oreos). I like them so that I can only ever buy the small packs that you get from gas stations because I can’t trust myself around an entire package. If you’re unfamiliar with these cookies, they’re basically what they sound like: extremely soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies. It’s sort of like eating cookie dough but without the threat of getting sick since they’re baked.

I bookmarked this recipe for Soft Batch cookies a while back and finally got around to trying it out earlier this month. That’s when I realized that although I love the texture of those cookies, they don’t really have much flavor other than the chocolate chips. So I decided to change the recipe a bit and add one of my favorite ingredients: peanut butter! I had to do several tests (Is Cookie Recipe Tester a real job? Because I …

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December 15, 2009

Peppermint Fudge Pinwheels

Peppermint Fudge Pinwheels

Christmas is my favorite time of year and one of the main reasons for that is all the baking I get to do. Even when I didn’t cook much, I’ve always liked to bake and cookies are just about my favorite thing to make. Plus this time of year is the only time besides my birthday and Thanksgiving that I let myself make/eat whatever I want and I don’t feel guilty about it. Diets are what January is for. (I’ve already signed up for Recipe Girl’s Ten in ’10 challenge!) So expect a bunch of sweet recipes around here for the next few weeks because I’m in the baking mood.

I’m obviously obsessed with black and white desserts, so I knew I had to make these as soon as I saw them. The original recipe isn’t very christmas-y, but that was easily remedied with the addition of some peppermint extract to the chocolate cookie dough AND to the fudge frosting in the middle. Don’t worry though, these cookies aren’t crazy peppermint-y. The vanilla part of the cookie balances out the peppermint …

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August 11, 2011

Chili-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Chili-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

It’s still pretty hot out, but I can’t put off posting this recipe anymore. It’s worth heating up your kitchen on a hot summer day to make this for dinner. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you may remember last year when I posted a recipe for thyme-roasted chicken and I said it was the best roast chicken I’ve ever had. I’m not going back on that, in fact I still stand by that statement and I still make it regularly. But. Even the best recipes can get stale if you make them over and over again. That’s where this chili-roasted chicken comes in to save the day. Now I alternate between the two recipes so we never get tired of eating either of them!

The thing that attracted me to this recipe in the first place is that the method is really similar to the other recipe but the flavors are completely different. The key in both recipes is to rub the herb/spice mixture underneath the skin, directly onto the meat. That makes the chicken extra tender and flavorful. This recipe uses a spice rub with chili …

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December 16, 2010

Southern-Style Chicken and Dumplings

Southern-Style Chicken and Dumplings

Finally! I’ve been looking for this recipe for years and I finally found it. You see, Chicken and Dumplings is my boyfriend’s favorite dish and he’s always wanted me to make it at home. And I have tried, but the problem is there are lots of different recipes for chicken and dumplings and all the recipes I’ve tried haven’t been “right”, according to him.

Here’s what the right kind aren’t: the kind with actual little round dumplings on top. Because I guess that would just be too easy? I’ve tried several recipes like that, one from Martha Stewart, and while Brandon agreed that those recipes weren’t bad, they still weren’t “right”.

The right kind of chicken and dumplings are the kind that Brandon’s grandmother makes. They are the kind you get at Cracker Barrel. They are true southern style, and they don’t actually have dumplings, it’s more like slabs of tender and delicious biscuit dough. You could think of them as really big, thick noodles. There are no silly things like vegetables in here, it’s just chicken, chicken stock and dumplings. Period. You can eat …

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December 7, 2010

Mint-Chocolate Bottom Shortbread Cookies

Mint-Chocolate Bottom Shortbread Cookies

These cookies have been on my mind for a while. You see, 10 months out of the year I make a pretty concerted effort to eat healthy. Obviously I splurge sometimes, many posts on this blog can attest to that, but for the most part I try to limit the really high fat/calorie foods to only a few times a month. But then Thanksgiving comes around and I go absolutely nuts. Did you know that the mashed potatoes I made had butter, half and half AND cream cheese. Yeah. And I didn’t feel even slightly guilty for eating them. Because they were damn good. There’s just something about the period from Thanksgiving until New Year when I just don’t care. I want to eat all my favorite foods no matter how unhealthy they are and the guilt I usually have isn’t there anymore.

So when everyone was talking about cookies last week on twitter it made me realize how much I’ve been wanting to make these. I made them a couple of years ago and every time I go through my recipe binder I think about making them again. Finally, with Cookie Week and my guilt on vacation, it was the perfect time.

Mint-Chocolate Bottom Shortbread Cookies Mint-Chocolate Bottom Shortbread Cookies

I decided to play with the original recipe a bit, but it still has the same components: shortbread, chocolate, peppermint. I honestly can’t stand most of those bland sugar cookies that everyone seems to make this time of year, I’d much rather have delicious, buttery, shortbread. Each shortbread cookie has a layer of peppermint infused chocolate spread on the bottom. Then I lightly brushed a peppermint glaze on top that soaks into the shortbread and I sprinkled on some colored sugar. If you want to go extra peppermint crazy, you can stick two cookies together with a layer of peppermint filling in between!

Mint-Chocolate Bottom Shortbread Cookies

If you think that sounds like too much peppermint, don’t worry because I used very small amounts of peppermint extract. Plus the buttery shortbread works well with the peppermint and doesn’t let it overpower the whole cookie. And you can always reduce the amounts to your own tastes. Or maybe even try another flavoring: I think orange extract would work really well.

These cookies are so good and highly addictive! I made them on Friday and Brandon and I had finished them off by Sunday. If you have lots of cookie lovers in your house, I would recommend doubling the recipe because they will go fast.

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February 23, 2012

Mini Grapefruit Angel Food Cakes

Mini Grapefruit Angel Food Cakes

I mentioned last week that I had a lot of egg whites left over after making my king cakes. I wanted to make a cake since I was still in birthday mode, but after a fairly indulgent month eating chocolate cookies and cream cheese filled cakes, an angel food cake seemed like a nice alternative. A sweet treat without any of the guilt!

But I didn’t want a plain angel food cake and I already made a chocolate one a few years ago so I decided to incorporate my current obsession: citrus! I just can’t get enough of oranges and lemons and grapefruits lately and a citrus cake sounded really refreshing. I always feel like grapefruit is kind of underrated compared to other citrus fruits, so I decided to make the grapefruity-est dessert I could come up with. This grapefruit angel food cake is flavored with grapefruit juice and zest and then drizzled with a grapefruit syrup. I also mixed a little grapefruit juice and zest with strawberries to use as a garnish. Obviously, if grapefruit isn’t your thing you can substitute your favorite citrus but despite how much …

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