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Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Today has been absolutely GORG. Almost 70 degrees in January!? Usually at this time of year it’s cold, damp, dark and miserable – but today was a wonderful exception. We went for a walk at the park and it was literally shoulder to shoulder with people walking dogs, pushing strollers, riding bikes, and jumping on pogo sticks (no joke). People were out in droves after being cooped up indoors for entirely too long. You could say it was a good day.

The warmer weather gave me a little taste of Spring and pushed me into productive mode. You would think that being locked up indoors when it’s freezing out would give me lots of time to be productive, but instead I typically hibernate and whine about my cold feet. Warm weather = burst of energy. Today we painted the edge banding on our base cabinets to prepare for our finished cabinets doors to be installed on Monday. A much-anticipated blog post (for my parents and in-laws) will be coming your way next week. I went for a run, played tennis with my husband (running to the tennis court wasn’t my best idea), did laundry, deep cleaned the house from all the dust from kitchen renovation madness, and made some homemade cookies.

I’m exhausted even reading that.

I’ve been trying my best to eat a bit healthier recently so when Scott suggested making brownies for dessert, I had to find an alternative. Sure, boxed brownies are incredible, but I’m enjoying finding new recipes on Pinterest that allow us some more healthy (and different) options for food. Have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest? Have you read a post about Pinterest on every blog out there? Yeah, I don’t care – I’ll be redundant. I love Pinterest and I don’t care who knows. :) I found this recipe and it turned out to be the perfect blend of healthier cookie and cake-y brownie. Yumm.

Lower Fat Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. (Do not pack flour when measuring).
  3. Beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy; gradually add granulated sugar, beating well. Add cocoa and egg whites, beating well. Gradually beat in flour mixture until blended. Stir in chocolate mini chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (about 3/4-inch balls to get 40 cookies) onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Cool on pans 2 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

You can find the original recipe here. Hope you have a warm weekend filled with productive time and cookies – the best kind of weekend there is!

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If you’re a fan of Pinterest, or particularly a fan of my pins, you’ve seen a recipe floating around for homemade sweet potato fries that are actually crispy. As soon as I saw this post, I did a little jig and swore that I’d put this recipe into the heavy rotation, pronto. We love sweet potato fries, but we’re always left wanting a little more since they’re, well, soggy. I was super psyched to try out the recipe tonight and blog about my amazing sweet potato fries and relish in my sweet potato success.

This is not said blog post.

You see those weird, pasty looking things that I intentionally blurred in the foreground? Those are supposed to look like this.

We had such high hopes, but don’t worry – the recipe is still good. We just got too excited and failed to notice the “one or two tablespoons of cornstarch” instruction and instead covered our fries with about a cup of cornstarch. Let me tell you, the outcome is not delicious and crunchy, as we had expected. We declared that our first run at the crispy sweet potato fries was a bust, but don’t let me deter you from the recipe that’s being passed around the web. Try it out – and let me know if it actually works! We’ll attempt to try it again once we get the taste of cornstarch paste out of our minds.

I decided to still blog about our culinary ventures tonight because 2/3 of our meal was actually quite tasty. I’ve been on a mission to start introducing my husband to “different foods” (ie. things he automatically assumes are gross because they’re unfamiliar) and I decided to start that journey with some turkey burgers. We tried turkey burgers in the past that were just so so, but this recipe just sounded good enough to be true. Luckily for my husband, it was. Deeeelish.

We also whipped up some mojitos with our dinner, which are the perfect, refreshing drink for a hot, summer evening. How can you go wrong with a drink that has two of my favorite things: lime and liquor mint? A couple of weeks back, I called Scott when he was out-of-town for work to tell him I was picking up some herbs to plant (ie. trying to keep myself busy while he was gone) in the backyard. “Oh, I could plant basil for pasta dishes, mint for mojitos…” I said excitedly, to which he responded “when do we ever make mojitos? You don’t need to buy mint”. We’ve now made mojitos twice in one week. Catch 22.*

We started off with 10-15 mint leaves and 1/2 lime (cut into wedges), split between two of our favorite margarita glasses from Crate and Barrel. Add a tablespoon or so of sugar and muddle your little heart out.

Fill up the glass with crushed ice, a shot of white rum, and the rest of the way with club soda. Stir, sit back and enjoy, even in spite of the fact that your sweet potato fries were a mushy mess.

*yeah, that was a stretch to use that term, but I’m going there.

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Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

I’m about to share a secret with all of you. I happen to be in possession of the world’s best oatmeal cookie recipe and I’m going to let you take a gander at it. Today. Right now. Your life will change thanks to my great-grandmother and you will be bowing at my feet and thanking me for filling your tummy with deliciousness. Ok, maybe I’m being a tad dramatic, but these are some delicious cookies! It’s a family recipe that my mother always made for us growing up, and I just recently revisited them and had to share. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Cookies – yields 3 dozen

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup shortening (butter flavor)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

(I never said this recipe was healthy. But I did say it was delicious.)

Cream shortening and sugars. Add eggs and blend. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Add water and vanilla to help combine. Stir in oatmeal (can add nuts or raisins if desired).

(Stop. At this point, eat some of the dough. It’s tastiness rivals the cookies.)

Drop by tablespoon full onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Shove in your mouth and enjoy. :)

I think the brown sugar and vanilla really make this cookie. Or maybe it’s the shortening. My mom says that the shortening holds the cookie together much better than using real butter. And really, what’s a cookie without a ton of sugar and a fat-based processed product? Yummy.

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Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

If there is one thing that my husband and I know, it’s mexican food. I mean, it’s literally in my husband’s blood. His hands effortlessly create the perfect tortilla and we can both down guacamole like nobody’s business. We eat mexican food more times a week than we’d like to admit (two) but we’re always on the lookout for a new recipe to get us out of a mexican food rut.

We spotted this chicken enchiladas verdes recipe in Real Simple this month (where else?) and decided to give it a try. I realized about halfway through eating it that I probably should have taken a before shot and blogged about this one because it was quite delish. These pictures are downright gross looking (can we say half eaten food?), but I promise, this recipe is a winner!

Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts (1 ½ to 2 pounds total)
  • 1 16-ounce jar mild salsa verde
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro sprigs, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup sour cream, plus more for serving
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 8 ounces Muenster or Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 8 6-inch flour tortillas
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Place the chicken in a medium pot, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes; remove from pot and let cool. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones; place the meat in a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the salsa, cilantro, and ½ cup of the sour cream until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and simmer until slightly thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the remaining ½ cup sour cream.
  3. To the chicken, add the corn, ½ cup of the sauce, 1 cup of the cheese, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  4. Spread 1 cup of the remaining sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Roll the chicken mixture in the tortillas (about ½ cup per tortilla) and place seam-side down in the dish. Top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake until bubbling and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with cilantro, sour cream, and rice, if desired.

The bone in chicken really made a difference – the meat was so juicy! I’m considering adding some spinach next time to up the veggie factor a bit. Oh,and the amount of sauce seemed absurd at first, but we ended up using every last bit. Enjoy!

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Recipe: Stuffed Shells

When did I become such an old person? My husband was playing some new music for me tonight and it dawned on me: I can’t remember the last time I downloaded new music. I used to spend hours during college scouring the internet for new tunes and listening to unknown indie artists with my musically inclined friends. We’d talk about how so-and-so reminded us of the Decemberists with a dash of Jethro Tull thrown in, if that’s even possible, and pontificate our wonderful knowledge of the music industry. Now, I barely find time to pop last years The Shins album into my car CD player. Thus, I am old. It’s interesting to see how your priorities change once you have a 9-5 (or 6, or 7…) job, a high-maintenance, allergy ridden pup and a husband to tend to – not to mention a house, a mortgage and a home improvement list that would make any DIYer tip their hat. I still love music and such, but things definitely change with time and age.

One thing that I do find time for, however, is food. Scott and I make it a priority to have a home cooked meal most nights of the week, which also gives us some quality husband and wife time (tip numero uno from this not-so-newlywed). We’re not the Neely’s by any means, but we have found some good solid recipes that are yummy and quick to whip up – giving us some extra time to download some sweet indie tunes to make us feel 20 again.

Stuffed Shells

  • 3 pkg. frozen chopped spinach
  • 3 lb. ground beef
  • 2 – 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • Grated parmesan
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of marinara sauce
  • 1 box large shells

Cook shells in boiling water; set aside. Cook ground beef & unthaw and dry spinach. Mix all ingredients in bowl. Fill shells; place in pan and cover with parmesan and tomato sauce.

Cover with foil and bake at 375º for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve on a plate and chow down. Obviously, this recipe could easily feed a small army, so we only bake a 3rd of it for the two of us, plus lunch the next day. Enjoy!

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

I don’t normally post recipes on this bloggity, but this is just something that I have to share. It’s my duty as a food consuming citizen to pass along this recipe of yummy goodness for all of you to enjoy for yourselves. Let’s face it: I know my strengths. I’m no culinary whiz, but this recipe is simple enough for even the weakest of chefs to master. So when you’re feeling the winter blues, pop these delish ingredients into a pot and tell your salivating mouth “de nada”.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 3 tbl. butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/c cup of each: carrots, red pepper and green pepper
  • 2 tbl. all purpose flour
  • 2 tbl. masa (tortilla) flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp of each: paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 1 large carton of chicken broth
  • 1 cup potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup grated American cheese
  • 1 cup grilled chicken
  • cilantro, green onions and sour cream for garnish

Melt butter in sauce pan. Add onions, celery, carrots and green & red peppers. Cook on medium heat 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in flour & masa and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in spices and simmer 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and simmer 1 minute. Add broth and return to simmer. Add potatoes and simmer 6 to 9 minutes until al dente. Add chopped chicken to soup. Simmer and cook 6 to 8 minutes. Turn off heat and slowly stir in grated cheese. Serve with cilantro, sour cream and chopped green onions.

Mmm my mouth is still watering, even though my belly is full of tortilla soup. Try some on a cold winter night – trust me!

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