Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Texas Maryland Blue Crabs
sun dried tomato shrimp pasta
spicy corn chowder, popovers
crockpot barbecue brisket, corn on the cob, Texas toast
beef with broccoli, rice
garlic and rosemary pork loin, parmesan baked potato halves, green beans
oven baked chicken parmesan, garlic fat bread, broccoli

Monday, April 29, 2013

SRC: Neiman Marcus Cookies

Neiman Marcus CookiesIt's Secret Recipe Club time again! This month I was assigned Burnt Apple. I had this same blog a couple months back and made the wonderful Brazilian Cheese Bread, but this time I went with cookies...Neiman Marcus Cookies to be exact.  The funny part is that I have made Neiman Marcus Cookies before, which were nothing at all like these cookies other than the chocolate chips...and even that wasn't the same since this version has Hershey Bars in it.  I loved the addition of the oats, it added a wonderful texture to the cookie.  Miss F was a big fan and these are an easy lunch box treat.
Neiman Marcus Cookies

2 ½ cups oatmeal
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips
1 ½ Hershey bars, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper.

In a blender or food processor, blend the oats until it reaches a flour like consistency. Add the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and mix until blended. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until eggs are incorporated. Stop, scrape the bowl. With the mixer on low speed slowly add in the flour mixture until well blended. Fold in the chocolate chips and chocolate bar pieces.

Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto the cookie sheet, spacing the cookies three inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for several minutes before moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.



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Friday, April 26, 2013

Southwest Eggrolls with Jalapeno Ranch

Southwest Egg Rolls with Creamy Jalapeno
I first had these at a baby shower years ago and my friend shared her recipe. I decided to make some changes to the recipe to mix it up a bit, the biggest change being the addition of tomatoes via Rotel.  These are a great snack and i can even tolerate the beans in them, normally I am not a fan.  After I made them, I realized I wanted to make another change next time: avocado!  These would be great dipped in queso, guacamole or the old standby of jalapeno ranch.
Southwest Egg Rolls

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Rotel, drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno seeded and finely chopped
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
1 package Egg Roll wrappers

Boil the chicken in water seasoned with chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Once the chicken is fully cooked, let it cool and shred it.

In a large bowl, stir together the chicken, beans, Rotel, corn, onion, jalapeno and cheese. It is easiest to roll the egg roll when the wrapper is turned so it looks like a diamond. Place a heaping tablespoon of the mixture close to the bottom corner of the wrapper. Fold the bottom flap up and then the 2 side flaps in. Brush cold water on the remaining edges of the wrapper to seal and roll to finish. Be careful not to over-fill and make sure to tightly roll the egg rolls.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the egg rolls on a greased cooking rack overtop of a cookie sheet (it is best not to cook directly on a cookie sheet). Spray the tops of the egg rolls with cooking spray. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the egg rolls turn golden.
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cheddar and Jalapeno Drop Biscuits

Cheddar and Jalapeno Drop BiscuitsOur whole house cannot get enough biscuits. Miss F devours biscuits, I think it is one of her favorite things at Grandma's house: sausage and biscuits. The only acceptable addition to biscuits for C and Miss F is cheese. So I made half of this recipe with jalapeno and half without. Their loss. Turns out the jalapeno I used wasn't very potent at all and I could have used the whole pepper in half of the batch. My eyes didn't even sting at night when I was taking out my contacts. I wish there was a better way to judge a pepper's heat. Any tips?  Thanks to Sunny Side Up for the fantastic recipe.
Cheddar and Jalapeno Drop Biscuits

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon coarse salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 1/3 cups buttermilk, well shaken

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper (or preheat baking stone).
In a glass mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add the cold butter and use pastry blender or a fork and knife to cut the butter into the flour, until flour and butter make pea size clumps. Mix in the cheddar. Stir in the buttermilk and jalapenos and mix just until incorporated. Using an ice cream scoop (or 2 forks, making ¼ cup portions), drop dough 2-inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating baking sheets as needed.
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Parmesan Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Parmesan Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
How do people get their pastas to look so artfully arranged? Whenever I serve pasta, it is a crazy pile on the plate and that is that.  And fettuccine is particularly tricky for me, it always seems to clump together.  Even though this isn't the most beautiful of dishes, I can tell you that it tastes fantastic.  C and Miss F approved.  I love using Panko in breadings, it provides such an ample crunch over regular breadcrumbs.  Thanks to Love, Pomegranate House for the amazing recipe.
Parmesan Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

12 ounces Fettuccine Pasta
2 tablespoons butter,
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ cups cream
1 ¼ cups grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons canola oil

Prepare the pasta per package instructions. While pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add cream and bring to a low simmer. Add 1 cup parmesan cheese and stir until melted into the sauce. Add cooked pasta to the Alfredo sauce and toss until pasta is coated.

While pasta and sauce are cooking, whisk the egg in a shallow bowl. Set aside. In a second shallow bowl, mix Panko, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and oregano. Dip each chicken breast into the egg and then the Panko mixture. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Pan-fry chicken until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Slice the chicken and serve overtop of the pasta.
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Friday, April 19, 2013

Sriracha Lime Salmon

Sriracha Lime Salmon
I saw a recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow in Self involving Sriracha (yum!) lime (yum!) and salmon (yum!)  But that is where the yum ended.  The only other ingredients were cilantro (blech!) and maple syrup (yum, but not on salmon.)  Sweet glazes over fish aren't my thing.  So I took the Sriracha, lime and salmon and made something new.  And it was fantastic.  As the weather is warming, this would also be fantastic on the grill.  Or over a sald with edamame, carrots and cucumber.
Sriracha Lime Salmon

4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Sriracha
Juice from one lime
4 salmon filets
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. In a small microwave safe dish, melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the Sriracha and lime juice. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the salmon skin side down on the prepared pan and brush with the butter-Sriracha-lime mixture. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon. Serve.
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Oatmeal CookiesI am always looking for new cookies to make for Miss F's lunch box. Her school is nut and peanut free, so that does provide some limitations. Miss F adores cinnamon, oatmeal and chocolate (who doesn't?) and I knew these Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies from Sunny Side Up would be a winner. And they were!  I really enjoyed them as well, the cinnamon and chocolate combination works amazingly well together.  These are a great cookie to add to my cookie recipe collection.  I especially like that the recipe doesn't use a mixer.  Even better that the recipe can be prepped in the time it takes to preheat the oven.  So in about a half an hour, you have fresh baked cookies.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
1 tablespoon water
1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. To a double boiler, or in a glass bowl set over top of a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the water actually touch the bottom of the glass bowl), add the butter and sprinkle with water, then add the brown sugar and chocolate chips. Heat just until the chocolate chips are melted, stirring occasionally. Careful not to overheat (let the butter separate). Remove from the heat and, one at a time, whisk in the eggs. The mixture should look shiny now. Using a rubber spatula stir in dry ingredients, followed by the oats. Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes. Drop by the tablespoonful onto the prepared cookie sheet 2-inches apart. Bake for 11-12 minute, rotating pans halfway through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Honey Dinner Rolls

Honey Dinner Rolls
I am a sucker for all things bread. As a kid, I think I lived off bread and butter. Miss F is usually more interested in the butter portion of bread and butter. These rolls were no exception. I served them for Easter dinner and Miss F was eating straight butter at one point. A fair word of warning: these rolls are HUGE. If you are local to Houston, they remind me of what they serve at 59 Diner. Which is a very good thing. Thanks so much to Averie Cooks for the amazing recipe that I adapted for the bread machine.
Honey Dinner Rolls

1 cup warm water
1 large egg
¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons canola oil
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
4 cups bread flour
2 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Whisk together the water, egg, honey, oil and salt. Pour into your bread machine. Add the flour on top and then sprinkle with the yeast. Run the bread machine on the dough cycle.

After the dough cycle is complete, punch the dough down to release the air bubbles, and turn it out onto a Silpat or floured work surface. Knead for about 1 minute. Mound dough into a ball, place it back into the bowl, cover it, and allow it to rest and relax for about 10 minutes, making it easier to shape into rolls.

Prepare a 9-by-13-inch baking pan by lining it with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.

Place dough on Silpat or floured work surface, and using your hands, roll it into a long cylinder shape, about 12 to 15 inches in length, and it will about 3 to 4 inches in girth. Divide the log into 12 uniformly-sized pieces with a dough cutter or sharp knife. Roll each piece into a ball, creating surface tension on the top of the ball by stretching the dough over itself a bit and pinch off the bottom, tucking the dough into itself. Place each piece into the prepared pan, seam side down, uniformly spaced, four rows by three.

After all pieces are in the pan, cover it with plastic wrap and allow to dough to rise for about 30 minutes. While dough rises, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

After the rolls have risen and before baking, brush tops and sides of dough with the melted butter, getting into the sides and crevices and with a pastry brush. Bake rolls for about 15 minutes.
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Friday, April 12, 2013

Potato Gratin

Potato Gratin
I first made Potato Gratin with Gruyere years ago. I remember feeling so decadent splurging so much on the cheese. I now am much more comfortable paying for quality ingredients and it is so very worth it. C would be equally happy with sliced American cheese. In fact, he didn't even realize sliced cheese was called American cheese. He and Miss F both love the sliced American cheese (I can only stomach it on a grilled cheese.) I will not eat cheese unless it is one of two things: melted or some sort of soft cheese (like a triple creme brie.) I just don't like cheese that much. But you melt it over some potatoes soaked in a pot full of cream: sold. Note that this picture is of a 11x13 pan that I doubled the recipe for Easter dinner. This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart.
Potato Gratin

2 ½ pounds potatoes
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 garlic clove, halved
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (1 cup)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel potatoes, and place in a bowl of water to prevent discoloring. Rub inside of a 9-by-12-inch oval baking dish with cut sides of garlic. Heat cream, milk, garlic and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around edge. Season with pepper. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, slice potatoes 1/8 inch thick. Layer the potatoes in the baking dish, pouring a ladle full of the cream mixture over each layer and sprinkling cheese over alternating layers. Pour the remaining warm cream mixture over top of the final layer. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Gruyere. Bake (with a baking sheet placed on the rack below to catch drips) until potatoes are fork tender and top is bubbling and brown, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Penne with Vodka Sauce and Italian Sausage

Penne with Vodka Sauce and Italian SausageI remember the first time I had vodka sauce, I believe it was after seeing an Oprah episode about it. And I was in heaven. I still have no clue what the vodka does that makes it so much more amazing than your regular tomato-cream sauce. I thought adding sausage and trying a new recipe for vodka sauce seemed like it would be a winner in my house. To my shock, Miss F was not a huge fan of the sausage, but she loved the pasta. I really liked this sauce recipe, it was incredibly easy and didn't use much vodka at all, which leaves more for drinking. Thanks to Janet for the great recipe!
Penne with Vodka Sauce and Italian Sausage

¼ cup olive oil
4 links Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
¾ teaspoon salt
1 pound penne pasta
2 tablespoons vodka
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Fry the sausage for 3 to 5 minutes, until browned. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring until garlic is golden brown. Add tomatoes and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook penne according to package directions. Drain. Add vodka and cream to sauce and bring to a boil. Remove sausage from sauce and slice. Stir pasta and sliced sausage into the sauce; cook over low heat for 1 minute. Stir in basil and serve.
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Crockpot Roast Chicken

Crockpot Roast ChickenI often make a whole chicken in the crockpot, but it doesn't ever get the roasted flavor like it does from the oven. I have been seeing on Pinterest that many people have been balling up aluminum foil to act as a stand for the chicken in the crockpot. I figured I could try that or I could use chopped vegetables as a stand. That way I would have a complete meal from the crockpot and not have to fuss with any aluminum foil.  Easy peasy (lemon squeezy as Miss F says!)
Crockpot Roasted Chicken

6 to 8 new potatoes, quartered
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
½ onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole chicken
1 tablespoon butter
1 lemon, quartered
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Toss the potatoes, carrots and onion in the oil. Layer on the bottom of the crockpot with the garlic. Rub the butter over the skin of the chicken and stuff the lemon into the cavity of the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the potatoes, carrots and onions. Pour the wine and broth over the chicken. Sprinkle the thyme, salt and pepper over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Serve.
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Friday, April 5, 2013

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes
We had a ton of strawberries from our pick fest at Froberg Farm and I knew I wanted to make the blackberry chocolate cupcakes again and the strawberries provided the perfect inspiration.  The cake batter is super thick, so it works perfectly to add a strawberry inside the cupcake.  Miss F was in charge of adding the strawberries and she took her job very seriously.  Once they were baked and cooled, I frosted them with a simple ganache.  It couldn't have been easier!
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

1 cup flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
½ cup hot water
12 strawberries, hulled

½ cup cream
1 1/3 cup chocolate chips

6 strawberries, halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin pans with paper liners.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir on low to combine. Add the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, vegetable oil, vinegar and hot water and mix on medium until smooth. Submerge one hulled strawberry into each cupcake. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes; remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely before frosting.

Heat the cream and chocolate chips over a double boiler, stirring until the chips have melted completely. Dip the cooled cupcakes into the chocolate and top with a fresh strawberry half.
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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Confetti Chicken Pasta

Confetti Chicken PastaI saw this recipe on Pinterest from Bake Cakery and I knew it would be a huge hit in our house. After strawberry picking, we hit up the Froberg Farms market so Miss F could pick out all sorts of fruits and vegetables.  I knew this pasta would be the perfect use for the huge variety of veggies we bought.  C only ate half of his, not because he didn't enjoy it, but because he had a "snack" of 14 cookies with milk earlier in the afternoon.  Miss F tried everything, but she apparently likes red bell pepper more than "sour" yellow bell pepper.  So strange.
Confetti Chicken Pasta

16 ounces penne pasta
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1″ cubes
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
½ cup onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

Prepare the pasta per package directions, drain and set aside. Sprinkle the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook chicken until done and golden on all sides. Remove and let rest in a large bowl.

Add the remaining olive oil and begin sautéing the onions, bell pepper and broccoli for 4 minutes. Add in the garlic and tomatoes and sauté another minute. Remove the vegetables to the bowl with the chicken. Add the pasta and pour the spicy cream sauce over top, toss to coat. Serve.

Spicy Cream Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups half & half
¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 cup Parmesan

In the same pan you cooked the chicken and veggies in, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minutes. Slowly add in the half and half while whisking to prevent any clumps from forming. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes, bring to a boil to thicken the sauce. When your sauce begins to thicken and bubble, turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan.
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Monday, April 1, 2013

Sunflower Peep Cake

Sunflower Peep Cake
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. Ours was filled with eggs, candy, baskets, candy, ham and more candy. If you are like me, you are staring at bowl fulls of Easter candy. This Sunflower Peep Cake that I saw on Pinterest is easy easy use for any leftover Peeps you may have around.  I used my grandmother's recipe for Lazy Daisy Cake, but any yellow cake will work.  It took about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to create the center of the flower, but I wasn't nearly as artistic, I just dumped them in rather than arrange them in concentric circles.  I hope everyone's Easter was filled with family and fun!
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