December 23, 2008

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

In January I promise to post some low fat recipes to get in the New Year’s resolution diet mood, but until then it’s still December and I’m baking like there’s no tomorrow! The cookies come to me courtesy of my boyfriend’s grandma from Tennessee who I like to think of as the quintessential southern woman. Almost every time I’ve been over to her house she has a feast prepared, even if she’s only expecting a few people to come over! Brandon compares my cooking to hers all the time (That’s not how my grandmother makes it…), but that’s ok because she’s a great cook, so if I could be as good as her one day that would be a great compliment.

I’d never had these cookies until the first time I went over to her house and I think I must have eaten about 50 of them that day because now every time I go back she’ll tell me that she made my favorite cookies. She’s even sent us a big batch of them for Christmas in years past. But since Brandon had forgotten to send …

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December 1, 2010

Roasted Turkey (or Chicken) with Wild Rice Soup

Turkey with Wild Rice Soup

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am absolutely swimming in leftovers after Thanksgiving. Every year I say I will halve all the recipes, but I never do! This year we wound up having a surprise guest when Brandon’s brother called a few days before Thanksgiving asking if he could join us, so it was good that I had planned to make so much. But even with one extra person eating, my fridge is still stuffed with food almost a week later. I decided I needed to get rid of the turkey since that was taking up the most space and this soup was the first thing that came to mind.

This recipe is sort of a combination between a creamy soup and a–I guess I’d call it–brothy soup. It has the stock/broth base with evaporated milk added in which gives it a bit of creaminess, but it never really gets very thick. The rice is what gives the soup more body. I don’t normally even like wild rice, but combined with all the vegetables and turkey, it’s very good in this soup.

November 18, 2008

Cheesecake Brownies

Cheesecake Brownies

I was really craving some chocolate last Friday night. My usual standby is brownies, because they are simple to whip up, but plain old brownies sounded so boring. I went and searched for brownies at one of my favorite recipe sites and as soon as I saw the name of these brownies I was already drooling.

They did not disappoint at all. Simple to make and they turned out so rich and fudgy. I’ve made a ton of brownie recipes and this is definitely one of the best. The recipe has chocolate chips in it, but I don’t think they were even necessary. They made the brownies almost too rich, so I don’t think I’ll be adding them next time.

My boyfriend is usually not a fan of brownies (which I can’t even fathom), but he loves cheesecake, so he liked these. He’s so picky about desserts (which is probably a good thing or I’d make them a lot more often), it’s great finding something he’ll actually eat!

September 5, 2008

Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Parmigiana

This is probably one of those basic recipes that everyone in the world (but me) knows, but I’ve always been scared of making food that sounded, you know, foreign. Like just because it has a fancy-smancy name that means it’s also complicated to make, right? Well, there’s another cooking misconception down the the drain because I found out last night Chicken Parmigiana is just about the easiest thing in the world to make. And it turned out very very good with very little effort or time on my part. That’s definitely a recipe I can get behind for nights when I’m tired or just don’t feel like cooking, but I still want a nice meal instead of greasy take-out or pizza.

December 21, 2009

Christmas Cookies!

Christmas Tree Cookies

I may have gone a bit cookie crazy. Besides my Peppermint Fudge Pinwheels, I have two more cookie recipes to share. Well, it’s more like one recipe and one technique, but I’ll get to that.

I’ve never been able to find a sugar cookie that I actually like. I’ve tried about a million and they all just taste blah to me. But I think that’s just the kind of person I am. Brandon told me the other day that I have tendency to put too much flavoring in the things I bake and that may be true, but I just want something that tastes like…something. I hate blah food. Even something that has too much flavor is better than something that doesn’t have any. But I think this is just that age old debate of people who like vanilla ice cream and people who like chocolate. Of course I choose chocolate! The only time I’ll eat vanilla ice cream is if it’s covered in fudge or caramel.

Anyway, I’m not sure I even have a point other than to say that this desire for flavor translates into everything I cook and share on this blog. I make a lot of stuff that I don’t share here because it’s boring or basic. I always try to find recipes that are fun (at least to me). Which leads me to these totally adorable Christmas Tree Cookies. They are fun and easy to make and did I mention how adorable they are? But that’s not even the best part of them. The original recipe was for plain ol’ sugar cookies, but of course I modified them! The best part is that they taste just like cinnamon graham crackers, which are my absolute favorite. And my boyfriend, Mr. You-put-too-much flavoring, actually said that these were perfect! And he hates cinnamon, so if he likes these cookies, anyone will.

Christmas Tree Cookies Christmas Tree Cookies

I bet these cookies would be fun to make if you have kids. You divide the dough into three rolls which you cover in green sugar, then after they’ve chilled for a while, you just sliced them up and bake. I think kids would definitely have fun assembling the little trees; I did and I’m almost 30 years old! These would be really festive and pretty for a party and they keep well in an air-tight container. As with all Betty Crocker cookies I’ve made (or maybe it’s just a personal preference?) I think these taste better the day after you bake them.

Christmas Cookies

The other kind of cookies I made are technically called Stained Glass cookies, but I’m not sure that’s really accurate, especially after I modified them. I have seen recipes for stained glass cookies that actually have a little transparent window of sugar in them and these are not like those at all. These are just your basic sugar cookie recipe, but you divide up the dough and color parts of it with food coloring.

You are supposed to cut out shapes with cookie cutters in the uncolored dough and then cut up the colored doughs into little squares and arrange them on top of the uncolored cut-outs so that it looks like a stained glass window. But OH MY GOD, that is tedious. Seriously, I did about 3 cookies like that and I was done. It took forever and the colored dough kept getting too soft so I had to keep freezing it every 5 minutes. I was about ready to shoot someone and that is not the attitude you should have when making Christmas cookies! It’s supposed to be fun, not mind-numbing. So I pretty much just gave up on the whole “stained glass” thing and just cut out circles and whatever else I wanted. Then I took the colored doughs and cut them with cookie cutters and added more little details. It was much more fun when I could just do what I wanted to.

Christmas Cookies Christmas Cookies

Despite all that work, the cookies that came out were pretty but they were blah. Just about the blandest sugar cookies I’ve ever tasted: they weren’t even that sweet! So I won’t be posting that recipe, but the technique is still interesting and fun (as long as you do what you want and don’t try to kill yourself being “perfect”), and it should work with your favorite sugar cookie recipe.

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March 18, 2009

Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo

This easy to make recipe is from the Philippines. You might think it was just your garden variety chicken and rice dish, but the sauce is so good it takes it to a whole other level. It’s rich, tangy, tart and kinda sweet all at the same time. Maybe like a Filipino version of BBQ sauce…but honestly that description does not do it justice at all. You just have to taste it, you’ll see what I mean. I got it from Mark Bittman’s cookbook How to Cook Everything, which I LOVE and highly recommend for the sheer number of recipes, but also the tips and helpful info he offers.

I’m pretty sure I remember Anthony Bourdain talking about Adobo on a recent episode of No Reservations? It’s a very popular Filipino dish and this recipe can be made with chicken or pork, but I remember him saying there are tons of variations. If they are all as good as this, then I need to find more Filipino recipes because I could eat this …

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November 11, 2008

Pineapple Stuff

Scalloped Pineapple with ham

Okay, “Pineapple Stuff” is not the actual name of this recipe, it’s technically called Scalloped Pineapple (think scalloped potatoes, not seafood). But I, in my infinite wisdom as a child dubbed this dish Pineapple Stuff and as thus it will be known forever. I guess you can call this Pineapple Casserole as I think that’s a bit more descriptive. This is probably my favorite recipe in the whole wide world and has been since I was a kid. It was my mom’s signature dish, which she served at all the dinner parties and all the pot lucks and which everyone raved about. I’ve made it a million times at this point, but I don’t think mine has ever tasted as good as when she made it. I guess that’s just how it goes, but that certainly doesn’t stop me from making it.

This is not a dessert, it’s a side dish. My mom always served it with ham because it’s the perfect compliment. Since we had turkey for Thanksgiving, we always had ham for Christmas, so besides being my favorite dish, it also reminds …

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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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