Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cowboy Cookies

I absolutely love Cowboy cookies.  This is coming from a girl that isn't a big cookie eater.  Like I have said before, I can bake one killer cookie, but I've never been big on eating them.  Not with these sweet treats!  I'll suck Cowboy cookies down.  They are a mix of just about everything in your pantry, they have a bite to them, they are chewy, and in my mind they are just the perfect cookie.  If you're looking for that one true perfect cookie to dip into you tall glass of ice cold milk, this is it my friends.  Welcome to the Country....

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
1/2 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Vegetable-oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Into a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Beat in oats, chocolate, walnuts, and coconut until just combined.

Coat baking sheets with cooking spray; line with parchment, and spray parchment. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto prepared sheets, about 3 inches apart.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges of cookies begin to brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks to cool 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers

Carrot Cake Trifle

For the Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ cup raisins
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
For the Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound (3¾ cups) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Position the racks in the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour three 9×2-inch round cake pans. Put two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut and raisins.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar and oil together on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one, and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix in the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the three baking pans.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean; the cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)

To make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract until well-combined.

To assemble, stack the layers, spreading a generous amount of frosting between layers and then cover the top and sides. Garnish and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Big and Soft Brown Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing

 I have been on a cookie kick this evening.  My hubby and I had a date night baking cookie which was a blast.  This particular cookie reminded that fall is right around the corner and I suddenly got excited.  This is going to make the perfect fall cookie, that will go like hot cakes as soon as they get out of the oven.  Just make sure to get that nummy drizzle on if you can! Enjoy!!


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup dark Karo syrup
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cup flour
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon maple extract
2 tablespoons dark karo syrup
1 tablespoon milk


In a large bowl, beat together the butter, Karo, sugar and egg until very light and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and beat together until well mixed. Roll into golf-ball sized balls. Place 3 cookies on each cookie sheet and bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 10-13 minutes, or just until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Spoon into a ziploc baggies. Snip off the corner of the bag and pipe onto slightly warm cookies. Allow to set for 20-30 minutes before packaging up cookies.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A little on the SpIcY side PLeaSE!

So dinner tonight turned out to be a HUGE success!  Not to mention, I had a blast making it!  I always love cooking though, but cooking pasta is so much fun.  Pasta and crock-pot dishes are the best because you can add anything and they come out delicious!  This little creation of mine was fun because I used different tomatoes then I normally do.  I used Fire Roasted, which turned the dish a little on the spicy side, thus the name.  :)  I had so much fun running around in the kitchen throwing everything in, and then dumping the finished product into my homemade pasta bowl that I created at Color Me Mine.  What could be more of a dinner made from love?  

After I dumped it in my pasta bowl, I sprinkled on a little freshly grated Parmesan and I dug in.  :)  I literally ate right out of the bowl because I was so hungry.  My hubby wasn't expected home from school for another 2 hours, and so I couldn't help myself.  (When I was finished gorging, I fluffed it up, sprinkled it again, put a few parsley leaves, and voila...good as new, and pretty dang cute if I do say.  He'll never know!)  So, while I'm waiting for him to get home from school I thought I would hurry and post the recipe.  I hope you like it!

1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 14oz can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
3/4 cup diced Button mushrooms

1 lb. Chicken Thighs cooked and diced
1 lb. Italian ground Sausage cooked
1 lb. Penne Pasta
A handful of Fresh Parsley chopped
A handful of Fresh Basil Chopped
1/2 tsp. Oregano
Dash of Salt and Pepper
1 sweet Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic minced
1 8oz can Tomato Paste

In a sauce pan heat up the chicken stock, tomatoes, and cream, and let them reduce while you cook everything else.

In a skillet brown your chicken, set aside.  Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel, and cook your sausage, don't drain when it's brown.  Just spoon the sausage out and keep the drippings.  In the drippings place your mushrooms, onions, garlic, parsley, basil, and oregano, and saute until the onions are translucent.  Then since your chicken has probably cooled a little, cut it into small chunks.  Dump your chicken, sausage, and onion mixture, into the tomato/stock mixture and let simmer while you cook the pasta.

Cook the Penna according to the package instructions making sure to dump a good amount of salt into the water.  It's the only chance you are going to get to season your pasta.

Once you drop your pasta, spoon your tomato paste into your sauce mixture.  Stir and let simmer. 

Once your pasta is al dente, drain and place back into your HUGE pot that you cooked it on.  Take your sauce/meat mixture that has been simmering and reducing and dump over your pasta.  Mix a little, but don't break your pasta.  The reason you want your pasta al dente when you cook it is because once you dump this hot sauce over the pasta, it's going to continue to soften the pasta. 

Once all your pasta is covered with sauce, dump your pasta into a Big Pasta Bowl.  Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and place a couple parsley leaves on top.  Voila!!  You're done, and ready to eat. 

Now you can either dig in just for you, or put in bowls and serve everyone in your house.  :)  This should serve about 4-6 people.  Enjoy!  (If you want some bread with it, look up my great garlic bread recipe and just make it while your pasta is cooking.  It's delicious!)

Mom's Chocolate Cobbler

Wow oh wow is all I can say about this recipe.  I wish I could say that I made it, but I didn't.  My mother gave it to me, and it is amazing!  It is simple, easy, delectable, and delicious!  You are going to find yourself making this really late on a Saturday night when all the ice cream stores have closed and you have a chocolate craving, or just any regular day of the week is good too.  ;)  The best part about this is that you don't need hot fudge sauce to go over, because the sauce is already baked in!

1 cup flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
7 Tbs. Cocoa Powder, Divided
1 1/4 cup Sugar, divided
1/3 cup melted Butter
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1 1/2 cup HOT tap water or milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

First stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, 3 tablespoons of the cocoa, and 3/4 cup of the white sugar. Reserve the remaining cocoa and sugar.

Stir in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla to the flour mixture. Mix until smooth.
Pour the mixture into an ungreased 8-inch baking dish. I prefer my small oval Corning Ware glass dish.

In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining white sugar (it should be 1/2 cup), the brown sugar, and remaining 4 tablespoons of cocoa. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter.
Pour the hot tap water over all. DO NOT STIR!

 Bake for about 40 minutes or until the center is set.
Let stand for a few minutes if you can hold yourself back. Serve with my homemade vanilla ice cream using the gooey sauce to spoon over all.

So Simple Tomato Sandwich

I know this recipe isn't rocket science, but I thought I should post it since summer is coming to an end.  This is one of my most favorite summertime meals.  I love going out to my garden each day and picking my fresh, juicy, and ripe tomatoes, and then using them in my recipes that day.  This one is just using them in their most raw form.  Here's what I do....

2 slices thick white bread
Miracle Whip
Fresh basil, and parsley
Salt and Pepper
1 ripe Avocado cut into slices
1 juicy FAT tomato cut into slices

I first mix the amount of miracle whip (yes, I hate mayo and miracle whip is sent from the Gods in my opinion). with my freshly chopped basil and parsley.  I slather that on my 2 pieces of freshly toasted white bread.  Then I take my thick slices of tomatoes and layer them on my sandwich.  On top of about 2 layers of tomatoes, I layer 1 whole avocado until the entire sandwich is tipping over. Sprinkle with a hefty helping of salt and pepper, and then I take the top piece of toast and mash it on top of the tomatoes and avocado.  Take 1 bite and you're going to be in HEAVEN!  I promise, this is the greatest sandwich you can make with all your fall time veggies!  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Crock Pot Sunday Roast

This is my go to dinner for Sunday.  It's the day I want to relax, so I wake up at about 9, stick it in the crock pot and it's ready for dinner time.  It's moist, juicy, and delicious.  Plus, it's easy as pie!  If it ever is still too tough, just cook it a little longer.  I always cook mine on low because low and slow is my theory in the crock pot.  I promise you will not be disappointed!

1 Beef Chuck Roast
1 Tbs. dried Basil
1 Tbs. dried Oregano
1 tsp. dried Parsley
2 Tbs. Worcestershire
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Garlic clove minced
1 cup Water
1 pkg. Lipton Onion Soup mix
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
2 Beef bouillon cubes

Spray your crock pot with grease.  Place your roast in the center of your Crock-Pot.  Dump the Onion soup mix over the roast.  In a mixing bowl combine all the other ingredients, and pour over the roast.

Put the lid on your roast and let it cook on low for 8 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.  The juices that the roast is sitting in will make an amazing gravy.  Take the roast out sprinkle in a little cornstarch and flour, a little milk, and a can of mushrooms, and whisk.  Serve over roast and potatoes.  It's a perfect Sunday dinner!  Enjoy!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

No Beef Meatloaf

Sorry the name of this isn't really great.  After you have tried it, if you want to give me a different name for it that would be awesome.  When I went to my fridge this morning and was looking over the bounty of food that have (not), I came up with this recipe.  That's not a great introduction, but it was an AMAZING dinner.  I have another meatloaf recipe on my blog, and it's great.  Now saying that, this meatloaf is to die for.  When my husband came down with a piece he said it was, "by far the best you've ever made."  I was pretty please that for using no Beef it turned out so well.  You want the recipe?  I thought you might, so here you go....

1 lb. Ground Turkey
1 lb. Ground Pork (I use sage flavored)
1/2 cup mushroom slices
1 Onion diced
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Chicken flavored Stuffing
2 eggs
2 Tbs. FRESHly chopped Parsley
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper

Preheat oven to 375

In a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients with your hands.  Squish the crap out of those ingredients and get every inch of that meat covered with mushrooms, stuffing, and eggs.  You want the entire thing slathered with every ingredient.

In a loaf pan arrange your meat into a loaf.  Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour.  Take out and cover with Aluminum foil and bake for another 20 minutes.  Once the time is over, remove the aluminum foil, keep the oven hot and turn on the broiler to high.  Broil on high for 5 minutes or until the top is very crispy.  Once it's crispy, remove and serve.

Tip: after it's done cooking and before broiling, check the middle and just make sure the meat is cooked.  You don't want to broil until the meat is completely cooked.  If it's still a little pink, cook for an additional 5-10 min. and then Broil.

Rhodes White Pizza

Okay all of my friends who haven't planned dinner yet today.  I have you covered, you just have to start NOW.  Go to your freezer and get those yummy Rhodes rolls out.  You need to thaw out 9 of them (serves a family of 6, or 4 really hungry adults).  Set them out and get them thawing (about 2-4 hours).  

I love Rhodes because you can make just about anything.  I have some amazing recipes that I have made using Rhodes rolls.  Nobody will know that you didn't make it from scratch and I promise they will impress anyone!  Not to mention, they are absolutely delicious.  I will make sure to post some of them later today or tomorrow.  Okay, here's your White Pizza recipe....

9 Rhodes White Dinner Rolls, thawed and risen
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp. minced Garlic
1 teaspoon parsley flakes or 1 Tbs. FRESHly chopped Parsley ( I prefer Fresh)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
14 ounce can artichoke hearts, chopped

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Provolone cheese
fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 

Flatten each roll into a 3-inch circle. Place one in the center of a sprayed 12-inch pizza pan. Place remaining rolls in a circle around the center one overlapping each one about 1/2-inch. 

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Combine olive oil, garlic, and parsley flakes. Spread over cooled crust. Sprinkle with Parmesan and artichokes. Cover with grated cheeses and sprinkle with pepper. 

Bake at 375°F an additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is nicely melted.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spaghetti Carbonara with Peas

So I have been trying to use all of my fresh veggies out of my garden in my dinners lately, and this is no exception.  I love Italian/Pasta because it's so versatile and there is really nothing you can add to it to screw it up.  That is why I love creating pasta dishes because it's basically fail proof (as long as you cook the pasta correctly).
I love Carbonara because it is rich, creamy, and delicious.  Here is my newest Carbonara dish.

Pic by Caroline Wright
 1/2 pound pasta
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch slices 
2 egg yolks 
2 tablespoons heavy cream 
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated 
1/2 cup peas (fresh or thawed frozen) 
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta as directed on the package, but make sure to add salt to your water before cooking.
Meanwhile cook the bacon in a pan until crispy and set it aside on paper towels to drain.
Mix the egg yolks, heavy cream and parmesan in a large bowl.  Drain the cooked pasta reserving some of the water.
Pic by Caroline Wright
Mix the pasta, peas and bacon into the egg mixture adding pasta water as needed and season with pepper to taste.  Serve garnished with grated parmesan.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy (Do not use freshly ground.  I recommend JIF)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups Ghiradelli Millk Chocolate Chips (they come in a silver and blue bag)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter, peanut butter and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Beat in both sugars. Scrape down sides of bowl. Stir half of dry ingredients into mixture. Add eggs 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition. Mix in remaining dry ingredients.

For each cookie, roll 1 heaping tablespoonful of dough into 1-2 inch ball. Arrange dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using back of fork, flatten dough balls and form crosshatch design on tops. Bake cookies until dry on top and golden brown on bottom, about 14 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Using metal spatula, transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.

Simple, Easy, and Endless Dough

I know I have my incredibly intense pizza dough recipe, which is what I recommend if you are wanting to blow your company's socks off.  I also know that not all of us have the time to make a masterpiece all the time, so I want you to have a dough recipe that is delicious and VERSATILE, because we all know that's the best kind of dough.  You can use this for Garlic Knots, Calzones, Foccacia, and of course your favorite pie.

1 3/4 cups Warm water
1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
2 tsp. sugar
3 Tbs. Olive Oil
4 cups Flour
2 tsp. Salt

In a clear mxing bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and sugar. Allow the yeast to dissolve and bloom, about 5 minutes. Once bloomed, add the olive oil.

In a mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the flour and salt. Stream in the water/yeast mixture and as the dough begins to come together, switch to a dough hook attachment. Allow the dough to knead, adding a bit more flour if needed, so that the dough releases from the sides of the bowl, 1 to 3 minutes. You should be able to touch the dough and not have the dough stick to your fingers. Once the dough has kneaded and has pulled away from the sides of the bowl, remove the dough from bowl to a floured work surface and, with floured hands, continue to knead it by hand for 1 to 2 minutes. Then form the dough into a round ball and place it into a large bowl sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and let the dough rise in a warm area of your kitchen until it doubles in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. After the dough has risen it is ready to be cooked however you'd like!

Cook's Notes: This dough is wet dough, keep bench flour at the ready and make sure to flour your hands when working with the dough. Trust your gut as a chef, if the dough is to wet, add more flour, if it is too stiff, add a little water.

Sugar is used to feed the yeast which will help the dough to grow. Bread flour will give you a chewier texture because the flour has more gluten. You don't need to use a thermometer to get the water temperature, it should just feel warm to the touch.

(I will sometimes make a delicious dessert Foccacia bread with cinnamon, brown sugar, sugar, and a drizzle icing on top.  I also make my pizza dough with a lot of fresh herbs.  Oregano, Parsley, and Sweet Basil are delicious chopped up and mixed in with your dough.)

Not a Food post, but AMAZING deal

So completely my style I can't even explain!
So I know this is not like me and I never post just random things, but I thought my readers should know about the awesome deal that Hobby Lobby is having!  I found the cutest little bathroom drawer for $7.99 and it was originally...drum roll please........$79.99!!!  I was so proud of myself I had to show all of you, and tell you to go to their website and get the 40% off coupon and go get something fun for yourselves!  Happy Shopping!

Amazing Pie Crust

I learned the most amazing trick today.  I wish I could say that I came up with it, but if any of you know me you know that I am terrified of making pie crust.  So needless to say, this idea for the pie crust did not come from me.  I have the recipe and instructions for the pie crust.
I learned today that the #1 mistake that people make when making a pie crust is stretching the crust to fit the pan.  Your pie crust shrinks when it cooks and so if you stretch it, it's not going to be the size that you are hoping for, so here is your solution.....

Pie Crust (Yields 2-3 Pie Crusts)
3 cups flour
1 Tbs. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tbs. Non-fat dry powdered Milk
1/2 cup Butter
2/3 cups shortening
1/2 cup Cold Water
(May need up to 1 more Tbs. Water)

Measure all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well with a spoon. Measure all fats and place on top of the dry ingredients. Cut fats into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender, table knives or rub it together with your hands until it is the size of small peas. Add the ½ c. water all at one time and mix together with a fork or mix lightly with your hands.

Divide dough into 2 or 3 portions (depending on how thick you want your crust). Roll out 1st portion of dough and line your pie tin with it. Roll out the 2nd portion of dough. Fold in half and cut steam slits into the fold. 

***NOW here is the trick.  You place your pie on the outside of an aluminum pie dish.  You poke holes with your fork all over the crust.  Then you bake it.  When it comes out, you place another aluminum pie dish on top of the crust, flip the pie over and you have your crust in the pie plate ready to fill.  Amazing!  If you cook it on the outside it keeps it shape and doesn't shrink.  Truly amazing!***  This is just for the pie crust, if you are making a fruit pie continue with the directions below and skip this step.

Fill pie crust with filling. Brush the dough on the edge of the pie tin with water. Place the folded top crust onto the fruit filling and unfold it, making sure it goes to the edge of the pie. Seal the 2 crusts together. Brush the top with half and half and sprinkle with sugar and bake.

Most fruit pies can be baked at 375 - degrees for 45 - 55 minutes.
The first one didn't work out great, but the next 2 did okay.  Just bake, flip over, and use them.  :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Raspberry Tiramisu

As much as I would like to say I'm this good, I'm just not this big of a genius (as of yet), so we have Giada De Laurentis to thank for this deliciousness.

I absolutely love Tiramisu.  I love the original, I love different flavors, and I just plain out love ladyfingers.  But this Tiramisu recipe is by far my favorite that I have ever made.  It's AMAZING!  Now if you don't like raspberries, your crazy, but other than that you can just substitute your favorite berry for the raspberries.  Anywho, here is the recipe and I hope you love it!

1 cup seedless raspberry jam
Zest and Juice of 1 orange
1 pound (2 cups) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
28 soft ladyfingers or 2 (12-ounce) pound cakes, cut into 3 by 1 by 1 1/2-inch pieces
about 3 3/4 cups fresh raspberries
Confectioners' sugar, for serving

Reserve 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Stir the jam and remaining orange juice in a small bowl to blend.
Combine the mascarpone and remaining 2 tablespoons of orange juice in a large bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Fold orange zest into whipped cream.

Using a large rubber spatula, stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture to lighten. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.

Line the bottom of a 9X13 glass baking dish or other decorative serving dish with half of the ladyfingers. Spread half of the jam mixture over the ladyfingers. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the jam mixture, then cover with half of the fresh raspberries. Repeat layering with the remaining ladyfingers, jam mixture, mascarpone mixture and raspberries.

Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or even better overnight to let the flavors blend.

Dust with the confectioners' sugar and serve.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Butter me Up Baby

I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but I can't.  I absolutely LOVE butter, and it makes my heart happy that someone has created a recipe with Butter as the main ingredient.  I was cruising around blogs today and found "Butter me up Baby" on Extreme Personal Measures.  It looked so incredible I just had to try it!  I can say that it really is as incredible as it sounds and looks!  So here is the recipe, and for all of you butter lovers out there I hope you try it and let me know what you think.  I hope you'll love it as much as I do!

1 18 1/4-ounce package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer.  Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.  Prepare Filling. (I put pastry paper in my pan before patting the mixture in.)
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together. 
Next, add the powdered sugar and mix well.  Spread over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.   YUM!!

Chicken Bacon Wraps

I haven't posted many little side dishes, so here is one for you.  This is perfect for those casual parties you throw for your friends.  It's delicious, and tasty, and will be gone within minutes of putting them out.

4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 (1-pound) package sliced bacon
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a wooden pick. Stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture. Coat a rack and broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken wrap on rack in broiler pan. Bake 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until bacon is crisp.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken and Veggies Grilled

I have an entire meal for you that you can make on the Grill.  It turns out amazingly delicious, juicy, and smokey.  It's the easiest thing in the world to prep as well.  Plus you get to use the veggies straight from your garden and they taste amazing!  Enjoy!

2 fresh yellow squash cut length-wise about the 1 inch thick
2 fresh zucchini cut length-wise about 1 inch thick
2 Bell Peppers cut length-wise into 4 pieces
2 Anaheim peppers cut in 1/2 length-wise with seeds removed
1 bottle of your favorite teriyaki sauce
6 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tbs. freshly chopped parsley

2 days before you are planning on cooking this dinner get your chicken and put it in either a ziploc container with a lid or a huge ziploc baggie.  Dump the chicken in and then pour about 3/4 the bottle of teryaki sauce over it.  Just make sure it is completely covering the chicken thighs.  Let sit in your refrigerator for 2 days.

Right before you get ready to cook your chicken heat up your grill to 375 degrees.  While your grill is heating cut up your vegetables.  Set aside.

In a bowl combine your salt, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, and parsley.  Mix with a pastry brush.  This will be your sauce to brush over the veggies once they are on the grill.

Take your chicken and veggies out to the grill.  Place your veggies on the grill width wise and then brush the oil sauce over the side that is up.  You want to start cooking your veggies about 3 minutes before you place your meat.  Let cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes or until soft, making sure to baste multiple times throughout the process.  With your peppers just char and turn, you don't need to baste these.  The peppers are great just charred and soft.

Place chicken on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes on each side until completely cooked through.
 Serve the vegetables with fresh sea salt and crushed black pepper.  Cut up fresh tomatoes into slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper for your side.  Enjoy

Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

 I have a cute little hubby that LOVES peanut butter.  Every day when he leaves for school, he leaves with a homemade lunch from me.  That lunch always includes some concoction of a peanut butter sandwich.  I swear he could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  He just loves the stuff.  I love these cookies because they are made with the real peanut butter in the center and not a reese's cup like a lot of melty cookies that I find.  I got so sick of people wrapping the dough around a PB cup that I had to come up with one that I knew I would eat.  So after a few tries I got it, and the rest is history.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar (plus more for dipping)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup JIF creamy peanut butter (divided)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Combine the 1st 4 ingredients in a bowl with a whisk, and set aside.
In your mixer, combine sugars, butter, 1/4 cup peanut butter, and vanilla until fluffy.  Add the eggs until fluffy and light and then add the dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Set your dough aside.
Stir together remaining 3/4 cup peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Roll into 1-inch balls.
 Break off 1 tbs ball of dough. Make an indentation and press peanut butter inside. Cover with another 1 tbs ball of dough and press together.
 Dip the cookie in sugar.
Place cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to make cookies flatter .

Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes or until set.