Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Double Chocolate Oatmeal cookies are some of my very favorite! One day I went to a book signing and the author happened to have written a cookbook about Chocolate, and she was serving these cookies. One bite and I was hooked! I do need to give a disclaimer, this is not the recipe that Cutler's uses! 

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
from Chocolate Never Faileth by Annette Lyon pg 46

1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cup oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, mix. Mix in flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until combined. Add the oats, mix until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape, either by dropping onto baking sheet by spoonfuls, or do what I like to do, use a small ice cream scoop, the kind with the handle on the side. Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes. When they come out, they are still quite soft, so allow them to sit on the baking sheet for another 10 minutes, this kind of finishes the baking process. Let cookies completely cool on wire racks.

This recipe only makes about 1 1/2 dozen, but I always double it when I make it, because 1 1/2 dozen cookies get eaten really fast! This recipe has become my go-to cookie recipe, it's really quick to put together and bake and they are super yummy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

Our kids love pizza, but it just gets so boring when you have one variety, or that's what I think anyway, I'm sure not everyone agrees with that! One day when I was making pizza, I thought why not try a pizza that's kind of like one of our favorite ways to have Alfredo-with chicken and broccoli. And so this pizza recipe was born!

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

1 recipe Bread Sticks (follow instructions through first rise of dough)
Olive Oil
Garlic Salt
1 recipe Alfredo Sauce
2 cooked chicken breasts (cook anyway that works for you), cubed
1 bunch broccoli
2-3 Green onions, chopped
Mozzarella Cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, you can also preheat your pizza stone if you would like, I don't  because then I can use the counter to make the dough without killing it! Prepare the pizza stone by spraying it with cooking spray. 

Start by shaping half the bread stick dough into a circle. I like to use half and either make two varieties of pizza or use the second half for bread sticks. I shape it on my pizza stone, because it seems like it's a lot easier to do it on the stone, than it is to try and get it off of something else onto the stone. I simply roll it into a circle (ish) roughly the size of the pizza stone. Next, poke holes in the dough with the fork. Spread olive oil to the edges with a pastry brush and sprinkle the whole thing with garlic salt. Bake until golden (anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes depending on your oven.).

Now for the fun part. Start by spreading the sauce almost to the edges (you want some crust!). Onto the Alfredo sauce you just sprinkle the chicken, broccoli and green onions, however looks good to you. Last, place the mozzarella on top of all of the rest. I didn't give a measurement for this one, you can go lighter, because it does already have Alfredo on it, or you can add a bit more to kind of glue the whole thing together. It will taste great either way!

Finish baking until cheese is melted and crust looks brown and pretty (again from 8-12 minutes). Let stand for about 5 minutes before slicing and serve.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Alfredo Sauce

One of our family's favorite meals is Fettuccine Alfredo. It's one of the only things that everyone can agree on. Today, I'm going to share how I make homemade Alfredo Sauce with you. You can use this sauce for whatever you want. I've used it for Fettuccine Alfredo, dipping bread sticks, and red-and-white mostaccioli. How can I forget over broccoli! It's the only way our daughter will eat it!  I also have another use for this sauce coming up in a future post! I got this basic recipe from a friend, but I've kind of tweaked it a bit to make it my own.

Alfredo Sauce

1/4 cup butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I use 1%)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (get the grated kind, or buy a block and grate it yourself!)

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour, and salt until smooth and bubbly. Add milk: cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a full boil. Boil for 1 minute over low heat. Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until cheese is melted. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Chicken Burritos with Salsa Verde and Lime

One of my favorite things to do is watch cooking shows! There are several that I watch and one of them is the Food Nanny. Her name is Liz Edmunds and she is really concerned about families taking time to eat dinner together and have great conversation while eating great food. I love her show. I'm really excited that I get to see her in person in a couple of months and hopefully I'll get to meet her too! On her show the other day, there was an enchilada recipe that I wanted to try, so I pulled out her cookbook and tried it for our family last night. This was a fun meal, the sauce is almost like the green dressing that you get at Cafe Rio, neither of our kids were a big fan of the lime in the rice, but I liked it!

Chicken Burritos with Salsa Verde and Lime
The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner, page 119

Santa Fe Lime Rice (recipe follows)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and ground black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
6 burrito size flour tortillas
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Pepper Jack cheese or Monterey Jack Cheese (I used Pepper Jack and Medium Cheddar)

2 cups bottled salsa verde
2 (.4 ounce) packets buttermilk dressing mix
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
2/3 cup sour cream (I used light)
2/3 cup mayo (also light)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon coarse salt (like Kosher or Sea Salt)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup sugar
Dash tabasco (optional) kind of do this to taste

Cook chicken, you can either grill, broil or bake it. If you grill or broil it then when you shred it, season it with salt and pepper. I chose to bake it, I put some olive oil over the top and then salt and pepper.

To make the sauce, place all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Then heat the sauce either on the stove or in the microwave.

Heat black beans, you can heat them either on the stove or in the microwave.

Next assemble the burritos. Take your tortillas,  I used tortillas that you cook yourself, they just taste better. I buy them at Costco, but I've seen them at the grocery store too. Take the tortilla and place a scoop of beans and rice in them, then divide the chicken among them. You'll notice from my pictures that I served the rice alongside, not in the burritos. Then to fold them, you fold up the bottom third of the tortilla, over the filling, next fold in the sides and then I kind of roll the top over it all, being careful to keep the sides tucked as I roll. Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle the whole thing with cheese.

To heat the burritos, turn on your broiler, place the pan on a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and be really careful, the broiler is powerful and you can burn things really quickly. The burritos are done when the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.

Santa Fe Lime Rice
The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner, page 123

1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice or calrose rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Put the rice, chicken broth and salt into a large saucepan and place on the stove, heat over medium high heat, until the liquid starts to boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the other ingredients to the pan. Stir, cover the pan, and allow to cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rice is tender.