Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Lemon Bars

In Dessert on February 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Nothing quite like a fresh, light, summery dessert in the middle of winter. This one was definitely a delightful birthday treat for one of my co-workers. This recipe proves that birthdays are not just about cake and cupcakes! As I mentioned in my resolutions post, I’ve decided to try some recipes from different cooking blogs. I got this one from Recipes for Marilyfe As We Know It, which I will definitely be coming back to for more  tasty treat recipes. I followed this recipe for Lemon Bars to the letter. Let’s start with the ingredients:

Ingredients

I started by melting the butter in the microwave and then combining it with the sifted flour and the confectioner’s sugar in a large mixing bowl to make the crust.

Lemon Bar Crust

Once all the ingredients for the crust were combined I pressed the mixture into a 9 x 9 inch pan, and baked at 350°F for 15 minutes. While the crust was baking I mixed together the sugar, flour and baking powder in a large mixing bowl, and added the eggs one at a time while mixing the ingredients together.

Lemon Filling

I then added the lemon juice, lemon peel and salt. When the crust was done baking I poured the entire mixture over the steaming crust.

Ready for the Oven

This was then baked for 30 minutes at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Out of the Oven

I prefer my lemon bars cold, so once this treat came out of the oven I covered it and put it in the freezer overnight. In the morning I transported them to work, and put them in the freezer there. When we broke them out to celebrate my co-worker’s birthday that afternoon there were some issues getting a knife through them, but we were very determined. This dessert was a big hit with my office and I would definitely make it again. I loved that I had all the ingredients except the lemon already and that it was quick and easy enough to make after I got home from a long day at work. This recipe is a definite must. Give it a try, and as always…

Bon Appetit!

Monkey Bread

In Bread, Breakfast, Brunch on January 14, 2011 at 12:00 pm

In the spirit of maintaining my resolution to eat healthier this year, I turned to Hungry Girl for this low-calorie version of an old favorite.  My sister bought me 2 of the Hungry Girl cookbooks for Christmas this year, and I couldn’t resist checking out her website to see what healthier recipes she had for some of my favorite classic meals.  I was rewarded for my efforts when I found this recipe for Monkey Bread.  For those of you wondering what exactly Monkey Bread is, it’s also referred to as sticky bread.  It is typically made of dough that is baked in a cake pan at high heat after first being  coated in melted butter, cinnamon, sugar, and sometimes chopped pecans.  It is traditionally served hot.

Hungry Girl‘s recipe for Monkey Bread calls for:

First, I combined 1 tbsp. Splenda and 1 tsp. cinnamon is a medium bowl.

Cinnamon and Splenda

Then, I places a small pot on the stove and placed the butter, syrup, brown sugar, 2 tbsp. of Splenda, and 1 tsp. cinnamon in it. I did not immediately heat it.

Ready to Heat

With the majority of the ingredients set aside for use later, I rolled out the dough on a clean, flat surface. Once I had sprinkled it with the baking soda I cut the sheet of dough widthwise into 6 strips of equal size. I then cut each strip into 4 squares.

Dough

I then rolled each square into a ball, and rolled 12 at a time in the Splenda and cinnamon mixture that I had set aside in the medium bowl. I then placed 4 dough balls each in each each cup of a muffin tin. Once this was done I heated the mixture on the stove. I constantly stirred the mixture until the butter was melted and the mixture was well blended into a gooey mixture.

Googey Mixture

Before sticking the muffin pan into the oven to bake I spooned the mixture evenly over the dough balls that were in the muffin tin. I then baked the Monkey Bread at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until the dough is puffy and firm.

YUM!

This was a HUGE success, and so easy to make. I will definitely be making this low-calorie treat again in the near future!

How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Any cooking resolutions?

Bon Appetit!

Gingerbread Cookies

In cookies, Dessert on December 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Nothing says Christmas cookies quite like gingerbread cookies. I like mine on a snowy afternoon, with a good book, some hot tea, and a roaring fire; if I would be perched by a window too, that would be IDEAL. Barring my PERFECT situation, I like my gingerbread cookies with a nice mug of hot tea. My sister likes to have hers with some hot chocolate, and my dad likes to eat them leaning over their Tupperware container with a glass of milk handy. How do you like to eat yours? I decided to make these using Betty Crocker’s Gingerbread Cutouts recipe. This recipes calls for:

Ingredients

First, I used a hand mixer to beat the sugar, butter (I melted it in the microwave first), and molasses in a large mixing bowl.

Butter, Molasses, and Sugar

Next, I beat in the egg and water.

Adding the Egg and Water

I then added the baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, ground cardamom, and ground cloves, and used the hand mixer to beat the mixture smooth.

Spices

Finally, I added the flour a cup at a time. This made it easier to use the hand mixer to combine it, and also cut back on the flour flying all over my kitchen. Lesson learned.

Flour

Once the dough was completely mixed, I wrapped it in plastic wrap, and refrigerated it for about 2 hours, or until it was firm.

Ready for the Refrigerator

Once the dough had firmed up. I rolled one third of it out on a floured surface at a time. The cookies were about 1/8th of an inch thick, and I used gingerbread boy and girl cookie cutters.

Ready for the Oven

Once the cutouts were on the cookies sheets I baked them at 350°F for 5 minutes. I made sure the oven was preheated before I put them in! Another lesson learned. The cookies expanded as they baked, so make sure to give them room to do so, otherwise your gingerbread boys and girls will be holding hands. 🙂

Right out of the Oven

Once I was done I had my very own gingerbread cookie army.

Gingerbread Cookie Army

I enjoyed these, well one or two of them with a hot cup of tea, and was thrilled. This recipe is a holiday MUST. I hope you enjoy them as much as I plan to.

Bon Appetit!

Poinsettia Cookies

In cookies, Dessert on December 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Well, I was able to redeem my cookie making skills with this DELICIOUS recipe. I feel a lot better about myself, and my oven now. My friend Annie introduced me to this recipe last Christmas, but she did all the work, so I felt the need to try it out myself this season. The recipe was one that she had cut out of a newspaper, and while normally that isn’t how I find my recipes this one was just too delicious to pass up. I started by tracking down all the ingredients:

Ingredients

First, I melted the butter in the microwave. I then combined it with the confectioner’ sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Sugar and Butter

Once the sugar and butter were mixed thoroughly with a hand mixer, I added the egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract.

With the Egg and Extracts

Once these were all combined using the hand mixer, I added the salt.

Salt

Last, I added the flour, half a cup at a time so it would be easier to mix using the hand mixer.

Flour

Once, this was all combined, I had the dough I need to put in the refrigerator until it became firm. I split the dough in half and wrapped each half in plastic. The dough then chilled for about an hour.

Ready for the Refrigerator

Once the dough was chilled I removed it one half at a time. I rolled the dough out on a floured surface until it was about an 1/8th of an inch thick. I then used a circular cookie cutter to begin shaping each cookie. The cookies are delicate so I relocated them to a cookies sheet before I did any further shaping.

Dough Circles

I then made four cuts almost to the center of the circle, so that they were divided into quarters. I then folded alternating corners of the triangles these cuts made into the center. Once these cuts were made the cookies were ready to go into the oven.

Ready for the Oven

I then put the cookies in a THOROUGHLY preheated oven at a temperature of 350°F, and baked for 8 minutes.

Right Out of the Oven

This recipe yielded 2 and a half dozen DELICIOUS cookies. I am so excited about these, and the fact that it appears my oven and I are back in sync. This a definite MUST recipe for the holiday season. The cookies can also be decorate with red sprinkles or other decorations to make them a little more Poinsettia-esk, but I LOVED them as is. Let me know if they work out as well for you, because they are a definite…

MMMMM, Cookies

Bon Appetit!

Merry Chocolate Chip Cookies

In cookies, Dessert on November 29, 2010 at 8:38 am

::cue music:: It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ::cut music::

In my family the Christmas season starts very promptly after Thanksgiving dinner when we all sit down, and watch White Christmas. Then we eat the delicious desserts that make Thanksgiving even better. I’m a little bit of a Christmas season junkie, so many, many years ago it was deemed that I cannot start playing Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving, so I consider this to be the OFFICIAL start of my holiday season. So once again, ::cue music:: It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ::cut music::.

One of my favorite parts of this most wonderful time of the year is the immense amount of cookies that I bake during this time of year. Nothing inspires the Christmas spirit, like baking Christmas Cookies. Not even finals can ruin my mood, when I can blare Christmas music and my entire apartment smells like cookies. Though I have to admit studying for my Comprehensive exam is trying very hard to ruin my Christmas cheer. But anyway, I decided to kick-off this season with some Merry Chocolate Chip Cookies. It’s a Betty Crocker recipe, which should tell you right off that bat that these are some AMAZING cookies. I started by getting all the ingredients together.

Just the ingredients bring me happiness. I started by combining the butter, shortening, sugar, light brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl, using a hand mixer. I beat these ingredients together until the mixture was smooth.

Sugars, Vanilla, Eggs, Butter, and Shortening

Next, I added the salt, baking soda, and 2 cups of flour to the mixture. Again, I used the hand mixer to beat the ingredients until they were smooth. I then added the last 2-1/4 cups of flour, and combined it using the hand mixer. As I added more flour the mixture became more difficult to use the hand mixer on, so in the end I needed to use a spatula to complete the mixing.

Dough

Once this was complete I added the chocolate chips, and ‘got my hands dirty’ making sure they were thoroughly distributed throughout the dough.

Chocolate Chips

Next, came the m&m’s, which I also used my hands to distribute through the dough.

M&M's

Now it was on to the cookie sheets, I used a heaping teaspoon of the dough for each cookie, and ended up with 125, slightly larger than bite-size cookies.

Ready for the Oven

The cookies baked for 7 minutes at 375°F.

Out of the Oven

First, off I LOVE these cookies. Second, I REALLY LOVE the fact that these cookies are bite-size. I also LOVE that they are so soft. The fact that they are so delicious and bite-size make them a little dangerous, but I believe that since it’s the holiday season, calories don’t count!

Lots of Cookies

What are your favorite kinds of holiday cookies?

Stay tuned for a few more of mine! In the meantime…

Bon Appétit!

Turkey Chili

In Comfort Food, Entrees, Leftovers on November 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I don’t know about all of you, but I have more than a little turkey still leftover. So I figured I would make one of my favorite meals that will last all week, with all the leftover turkey. Turkey Chili! I based my recipe on The Food Network‘s Ryder’s Turkey Chili, but of course I made more than a few changes. Here’s that I used:

I started by pouring the cans of pinto beans, kidney beans, and black beans into the slow cooker.

Beans

I then added the spices, onion powder, garlic salt, chili powder, paprika, and ground cumin to the slow cooker.

Beans and Spices

Next into the slow cooker were the chicken broth and tomato sauce.

Beans, Spices, Broth, and Tomato Sauce

It was then time to get to the business of dicing. First, I diced the onions and added them.

Onions

Second, I diced the green peppers and added them.

Green Peppers

Third, into the slow cooker were the diced red peppers.

Red Peppers

Finally, in went the diced jalapenos.

Jalapenos

I set to work on the leftover turkey next. I cut the meat into bit size pieces and added them to the slow cooker.

Turkey

Last into the slow cooker was the minced garlic.

Minced Garlic

Once that was added I thoroughly stirred the contents of the slow cooker, set the slow cooker on low, and let it cook for 6 hours before serving. I checked it every 1-2 hours and stirred the chili.

Ready to Serve

This was absolutely delicious, especially when served with a little cheddar cheese on top.

So Good!!

I may also top with a little sour cream next time. As I mentioned before I also absolutely LOVE that this meal will more than likely last me all week, and since we are rapidly approaching finals, I consider this a MAJOR WIN! I also like that this is a different take/twist on one of my favorite meals, traditional chili. I’m just not sure I would serve this chili with some corn bread; I’ll have to think on that one. Another plus, which is ALWAYS a plus with meals that are cooked in the slow cooker, my apartment smelled AMAZING! I highly recommend this meal as a way to serve up your leftover turkey, or as a delicious winter comfort food.

Hope everyone is enjoying their leftovers as much as I am!

Bon Appétit!

Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

In Appetizers on November 25, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Nothing like being home for the holidays! Bring on the food, family, friends and football (though not in that order :-))! I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving, and this year is turning out to be no different! My mom surprised us this year with a new approach to the traditional stuffed mushrooms that my aunt usually makes. She opted for Wind & Willow’s Bacon Stuffed Mushroom Appetizer Mix. This was super EASY, check out the ingredients:

Ingredients

First, we combined 8 ounces of low-fat cream cheese with the mix in the box.

Cream Cheese and Mix

I blended them together with a spatula, and since the cream cheese was already soft, the process was SUPER easy.

Blended

Next, I had to wash and de-stem the mushrooms. Once this was done I place them in a pie pan (cause most of the baking pans in my parents’ house are in use today), and spooned about a tablespoon of the mix into them.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Then it was time to add the topping, also, from the box (so EASY). I sprinkled on a little topping for each mushroom. Once this was done, the mushrooms were ready to bake.

Ready for the Oven

It was then into the oven at 400°F for 12 minutes, or until the mushrooms browned.

Ready to Serve

These were totally delicious, but they got me to thinking, what else would work. The filling tasted a lot like cream cheese mixed with Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Recipe Soup and Dip Mix, if you added some bacon. The topping was a a cheesy breadcrumb mix. Next time, I think I’ll make them this way. You could also literally put stuffing in the stuffed mushroom, that would also be DELICIOUS! So many options. Well, I have to go check the turkey!

Hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving, and…

Bon Appetit!

Cheesy au Gratin Potatoes

In Side Dishes on November 21, 2010 at 10:46 am

My family always referred to my aunt’s au gratin potatoes as ‘heart attack’ potatoes. She always joked that this was why she only made them twice a year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Well, they are just so AMAZING that I hated waiting all year to have just twice back-to-back so quickly. So this year I set out to find a less ‘heart attack’ friendly au gratin potato recipe that was still as delicious, and while this is not the least fattening thing I have ever made it sure is DELICIOUS!

Ingredients

I started by scrubbing 3 large potatoes, which weighed a little over 2 pounds. I then cut them into about 1/8th to 1/4th inch slices, and spread them in a baking dish.

Sliced Potatoes

I then set to work on the sauce. I melted the butter in a large saucepan, and then added the onion. I let the onion cook for about 5 minutes, until it was tender. This time I DID NOT set off the smoke alarm!

Onion

Once the onion was tender, I added the flour, salt, and pepper. I stirred this continuously until it started to bubble.

salt, pepper, onion, and flour

I then removed the mixture from the heat and added the milk, and 2 cups of cheese (I used more cheese than the recipe called for, cause I LOVE cheesy potatoes).

added milk and cheese

I heated this mixture to boiling, and let it heat until the cheese was completely melted. I stirred it constantly, since I didn’t want to set off the smoke alarm again. Once the cheese was completely melted I poured the mixture over the potato slices in the baking dish.

Ready for the Oven

I baked the potatoes and cheese mix at 375°F for an hour.

Right out of the Oven

After I took the potatoes out of the oven I immediately poured 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese of the top of them, as well as the bread crumbs, and paprika. Once the cheese melted, the potatoes were ready to serve!

Ready to Serve

This was DELICIOUS! Completely and utterly delicious, and it WILL be on the table for Thanksgiving! There isn’t a lot more I can say about this, because it was so good, I’m a bit speechless. All I can do is wish you…

Bon Appetit!

Caramelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing

In Side Dishes on November 20, 2010 at 8:22 am

My search for the perfect stuffing continues! Today’s adventure was The Food Network’s Caramelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing.  I have to admit, I haven’t settled on one for sure yet, but this was one for the books. It was also super easy, even if it did set off my smoke alarm, but more about that later.

Ingredients

I started by making my Honey Cornbread Muffins. I used 8 of them in this stuffing. After they cooled, I set to work on the stuffing. I began by chopping up both onions.

Onions

Then I melted the butter in a saucepan, and put in the onions to cook. As the onions cooked, I set to work cubing the cornbread muffins.

Cornbread Cubes

Once I had cubed the muffins, I put them into a bowl with a tablespoon of salt, and another tablespoon of pepper, and tossed them, so that they were coated evenly.

salt n' pepper cornbread

The onions were still cooking, so to speed up the process I turned the heat up. While they continued to cook, I set to work whisking together the egg, heavy cream, and chicken stock.

whisked ingredients

Insert, blaring smoke alarm here! Oops! Apparently, when onion is cooking on high heat, with butter in a saucepan, smoke happens. LOTS of SMOKE HAPPENS! On went the fans, off went the stove, up I went on the step stool waving a potholder at the smoke alarm. And it kept going, and going. Down I went off the step stool, and open went all the windows in my apartment. the smoke alarm eventually went off, but I’m fairly certain my neighbors want to kill me. Oops! Once, everything was under control again, I continued to cook the onions on LOW heat. Once they were soft I added them to the cornbread cubes.

Cornbread and Onion Mixture

Once the cornbread and onion was mixed thoroughly, I poured the egg, heavy cream, and chicken stock mixture over the cornbread. Then I thoroughly blended the mixture, and spooned it into a baking pan.

Ready for the Oven

I baked the stuffing at 375°F for about 30 minutes. The cornbread was just a little brown when I took it out.

Ready to Serve

This was completely delicious, and one of the perks is that if I had used vegetable stock, it would have been a vegetarian dish. I know there aren’t a lot of those on Thanksgiving, at least not with my family, so this would be a nice edition. If you are having any vegetarians for Thanksgiving dinner I highly recommend giving this a try. Actually, I highly recommend this stuffing even if you don’t have any vegetarians coming for Thanksgiving dinner.  This is definitely a treat I want on my dinner menu, but stay tuned, because there are more delicious Thanksgving dishes to come!

In the meantime….

Bon Appetit!

Green Bean Casserole

In Entrees, Side Dishes on November 19, 2010 at 8:15 am

The only way to get my father in the kitchen, after breakfast on Thanksgiving Day, is to let him make his FAMOUS Green Bean Casserole. Alas, his recipe has been SUPER, TOP SECRET since I was born, and probably before that. Thus, I am using the recipe on the back of the French’s French Fried Onion can. I know he uses the French’s French Fried Onions in his recipe, so logically this is a good place to be. The recipe calls for:

Ingredients

I started by combining the Cream of Mushroom soup, milk, 6 ounces of french fried onion, bacon bits, and black pepper in a large bowl.

onions, soup, pepper, and milk

Then I added the 2 cans of drained green beans.

Added Green Beans

I then combined the entire contents of the bowl, and poured it into a baking dish.

ready for the baking dish

I then topped the mixture in the baking pan with the rest of the french fried onions.

Ready for the Oven

The casserole was then baked at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Ready to Eat

This was delicious! Though I have to admit not as delicious as my father’s. I may need to launch a recon operation in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, to find out what exactly my father puts in his green bean casserole. Once again, I am the girl with a plan!

In the meantime, enjoy making your Thanksgiving plan, and…

Bon Appetit!