Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ooey Gooey White Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies have always been something I have loved. But I hate when/if they are not soft, gooey, and absolutely delicious! Lauren, a mom of two and the writer of one of my favorite blogs, posted these yummy sweet treats and they quickly became one of my favorite things to bake!


I made mine a little bit different than hers (being the fan of white chocolate I am!). Check her original recipe out here.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt 
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips 
Directions:

  1. Beat butter and sugars together in a standing mixer until fluffy. 
  2. Add pudding, egg, sour cream and vanilla.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. 
  4. Stir in white chocolate chips (I have also added cranberries to add a fruity little twist!). 
  5. Spoon onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. 
  6. Bake at 375 f for 7-10 minutes. 
  7. Let cool as long as you can resist on a wire baking rack. 
  8. Enjoy! 
Don't forget your tall glass of milk on the side! (Or soy milk if you have allergies like mine!)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chocolate "Crack"-le Cookies

These cookies were posted by Martha Stewart on her website and they are "mmm, mmm good". My brothers and J were convinced I had laced them with some sort of crack because they couldn't stop eating them! What a great compliment as far as I'm concerned! You can catch the original recipe here


Ingredients: 
  • 8 ounces chocolate, melted (bittersweet or sweet, whatever you like!) 
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/3 cup milk 
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar (plus a bowl more for rolling) 
  • Granulated sugar (used for rolling too!) 
Directions: 
  1. Chop chocolate into small bits and melt over medium heat in a double broiler (or makeshift one if you're like me!). **To make a double-broiler set a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  2. While the chocolate is melting, beat butter and light-brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until it's light and fluffy. 
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined. 
  4. Add the melted chocolate. 
  5. Add the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. 
  6. Add milk. 
  7. Beat until combined. 
  8. Divide the dough into quarters and wrap with plastic wrap. Then chill in the refrigerator until firm (2 plus hours). 
  9. Heat the oven to 350 f. 
  10. Fill one bowl with granulated sugar and one in confectioners' sugar. 
  11. On a clean countertop, take out one portion of the chilled dough and cut into sections (I made about 12). 
  12. Drop a section into the granulated sugar and then roll into a ball. 
  13. Then drop the ball in the confectioners' sugar and make sure it's covered completely. 
  14. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and repeat! 
  15. Once all of the sections have been chopped, dipped, balled, dipped, and placed, cook for 12-15 minutes or until the sugar is crackled nicely and the chocolate insides look not too shiny between the white sugar shell. 
  16. Remove from the oven and let cook on wire racks 
  17. Enjoy! 
I realized half way through with all of the dough making a constant mess on my hands to drop the dough into the granulated sugar first to keep the dough from sticking. This sugar also ensures the confectioners' sugar to stick!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Eggs in Purgatory at a Kitchen Floor Picnic

Being the church going gal that I am I wouldn't usually drool over something called Eggs in Purgatory... However, this was worth every sinful drool I committed! It's just delicious and the flavors together are amazing, especially considering I would NEVER have thought of putting something together like this! 

Thank goodness, Food Network Magazine put out an all Italian issue and included this dish. (Random fact: It's an Italian peasant dish that has made itself into culinary royalty!) I promise it won't disappoint! I changed the recipe a bit so it wasn't quite as much food (this still solidly serves four) and so it fit the flavors that I already know my Best Friend and I love! 
The dish was so steamy that it steamed up my camera lens! And the first bites burnt our tongues!
Ingredients:
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 ounces deli-sliced salami, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Italian green frying pepper, thinly sliced (My store didn't have these so I got two little sweet Mexican peppers that were rated as mildly spicey) 
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced 
  • A splash and sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of marinara sauce 
  • 4 eggs
  • A handfull (or two!) of mozarella cheese
  • A loaf of bread to serve with (I used French because it's my favorite!) 
Directions: 
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. 
  2. Add the garlic and cook until it's golden brown (3 or so minutes). 
  3. Increase the heat to high and add the chopped salami, sliced onions, slivered peppers, and splash on those red pepper flakes. 
  4. Cook, stirring lots, until the salami is brownish (about 5 minutes). 
  5. Add the marinara sauce and 1/2 a cup of water.
  6. Cook until the vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes).
  7. Reduce the heat to medium. 
  8. Make 4 indentations in the pepper mixture for the eggs. 
  9. Break one egg into each indentation (Be careful with the shells! Use a bowl to crack them if you're a little rough like me!) 
  10. Cover and cook until the eggs whites are white and the yolks are cooked to your liking.
  11. Serve with slices of your bread of choice! 
It was so absolutely delicious on a piece of bread! 
The special thing about this sweet little dish was that J and I had it on a picnic... In the middle of my little kitchen floor! It has been beautiful in San Diego, but the sun is still setting absurdly early, so I decided this would be a cute way to make it seem more like summer (it really seems like it with the 75 and sunny weather!). J was such a sport sitting on the floor and listening to me rave about how sweetly romantic I felt like we were just sitting there. 

Here's the scene of the crime... Our offense: drinking beer with Italian which always calls for a nice wine!
But the floor is freshly cleaned if that makes up for anything. :) 
Timing the auto-timer on my camera proved to be a tough task, but this one turned out cute!
And yes, I'm still in my running clothes from that morning, talk about a lazy Saturday!
This summer activity in my kitchen was all started in looking at the so sweet blog of Laurie at Food is Love. Check out her summer in the kitchen challenge and try something out for yourself! It definitely doesn't have to be eating on your kitchen floor!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Whoopie You're Home! Chocolate Whoopie Pies

So yesterday before I started enjoying the Welcome Home festivities with Jason's family for his brother, I decided to make my first ever whoopie pies! They were a little bit messier than I wanted them to be, but that's ok, practice makes perfect!

Although I've tried to stay away from box cakes since I figured how to make one without a box, I steered directly for a box this time because I wasn't sure how exactly to execute the whoopie pie... That makes this recipe really simple, but I will upgrade to completely homemade sometime!


Ingredients for the cookie/cakie part:
  • 1 box Devil's Food cake mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs 
Directions:
  1. Heat the oven to 350f. 
  2. Make the cake mix as directed on the box, but use only 3/4 cup of water. 
  3. Mix the batter together. 
  4. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  5. Place 2 Tbsp scoops of batter on the sheets and place into the oven. (I used a coffee scoop that measures 2 Tbsp I bought at the grocery store!) 
  6. Let cook about 15 minutes. To tell if done stick a toothpick in the middle and they're done if it comes out clean. 

Ingredients for the marshmallow fluff: (this is used in the filling for the center) 
  •  3 egg whites
  • 2 cups of light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar 
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, combine egg whites, corn syrup, and salt. 
  2. Mix with an electric mixer on high speed for 8 minutes (or until thick). 
  3. Turn down to low speed and add in the confectioner's sugar. (I did a half cup at a time to keep the powder cloud under control) 
  4. Add the vanilla and mix until well blended. 
**Please note: This recipe makes a whole lot of fluff, so you're going to have to find something else to use this for during the week... Stay tuned for my post of leftover usage!**


Ingredients: (For the frosting filling)
  • 2 cups marshmallow fluff 
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 
Directions:
  1. Mix the marshmallow fluff and shortening in a bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. 
  2. Turn the speed down to low speed and add the confectioner's sugar. 
  3. Add the cup of graham cracker crumbs. 
  4. Add the vanilla extract. 
  5. When all mixed together, sandwich it between two of each of the cookie/cakies. 


Such a yummy little treat! I want to make some with cream cheese frosting inside, the frosting above is more of a buttercream (which I have said before I'm not the world's biggest fan of). But so yummy and the graham cracker crumbs make a delightful little texture in the whoopie pie center! Now I must figure out what I'm going to do with the marshmallow fluff I have! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Slow and Easy Cooking Tortellini Stew

The joy of a slow cooker can not be put into words. Jason's mom gave us one that she had and boy, oh boy, it makes delicious meals with no effort by me! And coming home to the fabulous smell of a cooking dinner makes any day a little bit sweeter. 


(Please note that I'm really improving in my food photo taking abilities!)

Ingredients: 
  • One package hot Italian sausage
  • One bag of frozen, cut green beans 
  • One jar of crushed tomatoes with Italian spices (it's bigger than the regular soup jar) 
  • One package of cheese tortellini (it depends how much you like tortellini, but I get the big pack!) 
  • Italian seasoning
  • Oregano (Fresh or the spice... My market was out of fresh so I used the spice and it worked just fine) 
Directions:
  1. Remove the contents of the Italian sausage from its casing into the slow cooker. 
  2. Add the green beans and a dash of both the Italian seasoning and oregano (it's up to you how much you like!) 
  3. In the bottom of the slow cooker, mix the meat, beans, and seasoning together with your hands (or a wooden spoon if you don't want to be quite that involved with your dinner)
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes. 
  5. Stir this together a little bit and set the slow cooker. (3 hours on high, 6 hours on low - you choose!) 
  6. Let sit until you return! 
  7. Add the tortellini and a cup of water twenty minutes before the cook time is over. 
  8. Let this cook for the remaining time, then ENJOY! 

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