Thursday, March 29, 2012

World's Best Cookie

When I came across the name for these cookies I knew I had to try them because who doesn't want to know what the world's best cookie taste like. I came across two copies of this recipe in the file box and noticed that  Phyllis even made the following comment on one of the recipes. 

She also noted that the cookies take a while to make, probably because the recipe yields 110 to 120 cookies. Holy Cookies! I chose to cut this recipe in half but if you stick with the original amount it is also noted on the card that they will freeze well after they have been cooked and cooled. If you are in need of a tasty cookie recipe that makes a ton then this one is definitely for you.

 I would not say this is the best cookie in the world but I personally do not know what the world's best cookie is because there are so many wonderful and completely different cookies to choose from.
These cookies are tender and sweet like a sugar cookie with a nuttier flavor and a bit more crunch. I think Phyllis and I would both agree that they would make the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea. I may or may not have grabbed one before I even had my first sip of coffee this morning.

I honestly have no clue what the real name for this cookie is so I am just going to leave it like it as is.
Besides, some of you may agree this is the world's best cookie.Whatever you choose to call them, you will not be disappointed and you will keep coming back for more.

This is the original recipe but you can also cut the ingredients in half. (I still used 1 whole whole egg when I  did so)

World's Best Cookie
Yields 110-120 cookies

- 1 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup uncooked oatmeal
- 1 cup crushed cornflakes
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt

- In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar
- Add egg
- Add vegetable oil and vanilla
- Add oats, cornflakes, and nuts
- Add flour, baking soda, and salt
- Mix well

- Place about a teaspoon full of the dough on an ungreased cookie sheet
- Flatten each cookie with a fork to thin
- Bake 12 minutes at 325 degrees


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stuffed Pork Chops

Stuffing chicken or pork is a quick and easy way to take a simple dish and make it into something a little more fancy.

Make it fun by allowing yourself to be creative and use ingredients that you already have on hand. For these pork chops I used 1/3 cup diced pear, 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped dried cranberries, and 2 tablespoons Roquefort cheese, split among two pork chops.

Butterfly the pork chops then salt and pepper both sides. Mix the stuffing ingredients into a separate bowl and place inside of`the meat.

Close the pork chops using a toothpick to secure the stuffing. Add butter to a skillet and saute until brown. (About 2 minutes per side). Place the pork chops in an oven safe dish and bake in the oven on 350 for 25 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burger

Its been a glorious week here in Charlotte and spring has officially arrived. Welcome warm weather, longer days and lots of grilling out. After my last several post (seven layer cookies, chocolate cake, and Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones) it is time that I share a healthy, veggie packed recipe with you. And boy is it good.  

 I found this recipe on Pinterest recently and since I had some sweet potato's on hand I wanted to give it a try. I honestly wasn't sure  I would be able to pull this off with my meat loving husband but even he was a fan. Jason and I both love black beans and I knew they would go perfectly with the sweet potatoes so I chose to use those instead of the cannellini beans like the recipe called for. I also made a few other minor adjustments using what we already had on hand.
**Side note** This recipe makes five patties but between me and the mister we only had one leftover**

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burger

- 1 large sweet potato, cooked and peeled
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 2 tablespoons wheat flour

- Bake sweet potato, peel and place in a mixing bowl. Add beans (drained) and mas together.

- Add remaining ingredients and mix together.
- Form into patties and bake in the oven on 350 for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle of cheese on top (optional)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Low-Fat Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones

I knew today was going to be a good day when I started my morning off with a fresh baked buttermilk scone with warm chocolate chips sprinkled inside. With a crispy exterior, a light and fluffy interior and just enough sweetness these scones were perfect. And even better you don't have to feel guilty about eating them!

The key to making a perfect scone is to make sure the butter and buttermilk are cold and the liquid ingredients are added to the dry all at once before mixing. Be careful not to over mix the dough.

These scones are a perfect morning treat the whole family will love.

Low-Fat Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones
(Makes 8 wedges)

- 3/4 Buttermilk (plus a little exrta to brush over top)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cold butter
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips

- Mix together the milk, sugar, vanilla and egg.
- In a seperate bowl mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add in the chilled butter cutting into pieces.
- Fold in chocolate chips. Add in the milk mixture until moist.

- Add dough to a floured surface a knead several times using floured hands.

- Form the dough into a circle about a 3/4" thick. Using a knife cut into 8 wedges all the way through the dough.
- Brush with extra buttermilk and sprinkle a bit of sugar over top.

- Bake 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
**Serve warm**

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chocolate Cake

We celebrated my sister-n-laws birthday this past weekend by having her and my brother over along with their two kids for homemade pizzas and of course cake. Brook's favorite cake is chocolate with chocolate frosting, so after a quick search through my trusty file box (Phyllis's old recipes) I had the perfect recipe. My friends, I realize the last two recipes that I have posted have not exactly been good for you but who doesn't love some sweet treats every day now and then. I chose to bake my cake using a bundt pan but a regular sheet pan will work just as good.

Chocolate Cake

- 3 sticks of butter
- 4 tablespoons of cocoa
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- dash of salt

- 1 cup butter
- 4 tablespoons cocoa
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 box powdered sugar
- 1 tespoon vanilla

- In a saucepan add 3 sticks of butter and 4 tablespoons of cocoa. Bring to a boil and mix.
- In a large mixing bowl sift 2 cups of sugar with 2 cups of flour. Pour chocolate mixture over this and mix.

- Add  eggs, 1/2 cup buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla and a dash of salt. Beat. Pour into a greased pan.
- Bake 350 for 40 minutes. (Bundt pan)
- Bake 325 for 35 minutes if using a different pan.

In a saucepan add 1 cup butter, 4 tablespoons of cocoa, 1/2 cup milk. Boil and stir. Remove from heat and add 1 box powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour over cake while hot.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Seven Layer Cookies

I was flipping through some of Phyllis's old recipe books the other day when I noticed that she had marked her favorite recipes in the back of each book. In order for her to remember what recipes she likedfrom each cookbook she wrote the page number along with the name of the recipe, making it easy to find all of her favorites.

As soon as I saw this I began to flip back and forth to see which recipes she liked best and was so excited to see that she had marked a recipe for Seven Layer Cookies. I absolutely love these cookies and practically ate my weight in them this past Christmas while visiting my aunt and uncle.

The chips of chocolate and butterscotch help to give this classic recipe its delicious taste but can easily be substituted for something different (white or dark chocolate). I personally love them just the way they are.

Seven Layer Cookies

- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup (6oz.) chocolate chips
- 1 cup (6oz.) butterscotch chips
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

- Heat oven to 350. Spray a 13 x 9- inch baking dish with cooking spray (make sure to get the sides as well).
- Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter and mix well. Press crumb mixture to bottom of pan. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the crumbs. Layer evenly with the remaining ingredients.
- Bake 30 minutes; cool and cut into squares.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Macaroni and Cheese with Truffle Oil

 I love the taste of truffle oil and although some people would not agree with me I feel that it gives any dish a burst of flavor. I was so excited when I found this world famous pasta dish with truffle oil featured in the Cooking Light Magazine last month and immediately tore it out. Here is a recipe of a childhood favorite all grown up.

Macaroni and Cheese with Truffle Oil
(Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine)

- 1 1/4 cups low-fat milk (I used almond milk)
- 2 cups sliced onion (1 medium)
- 12 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni (I used Dreamfields Healthy Carb Living)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup shredded Fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (I used Gruyere and Swiss blend from TJ)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white truffle oil
- 2 ounces whole wheat baguette, torn
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil

- 1. Heat 1 3/4 cups milk and onion in a large saucepan until tiny bubbles form around edges (do not boil. ) Cover and remove from heat; let stand for 15 minutes.
- 2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
- 3. Strain milk mixture through a colander over a bowl; discard solids. Return milk to saucepan over medium heat. Combine remaining 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring until blended. Gradually stir flour mixture and salt into warm milk, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 6 minutes or until mixture cools slightly. Gradually add Fontina and Gruyere cheeses, stirring until cheeses melt. Stir in Pasta and truffle oil. Spoon mixture into a broiler-safe glass or ceramic baking dish.

- 4. Preheat broiler
- 5. Place bread, Parmesan cheese, and garlic in a food processor; process until coarse and crumbs form. Drizzle with olive oil; pulse until fine crumbs form.

 Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over pasta. Place dish on middle rack of the oven; broil till golden brown (about 2 minutes).

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Seared Scallops and Asparagus over Coconut Rice

After a busy week of traveling for the hubby I wanted to make him a nice dinner to welcome him home last night. This is my version of a simple yet elegant meal, perfect for a special occasion or simply because it's a Friday night and what better way to get your weekend started than with good food, nice wine, and family.

Coconut Rice

- 1 1/4 cup Jasmine Rice
- 1 (13.5) oz can lite coconut milk
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- salt to taste

- Put the frozen peas in a bowl with hot water to thaw out. Set aside
- Add butter to the bottom of a sauce pan. Saute the onions with the butter for several minutes.
- Add the rice mixing well (1 minute)
- Pour in the can of coconut milk, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cover for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked and liquid is melted.
- At the last minute add the peas (Drain the water first unless more liquid is needed) and mix them in with the rice.

Seared Scallops and Asparagus
( Serves 2 people)

- 1lb. Sea Scallops
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- olive oil
- Salt and pepper

- Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus season with salt and pepper and bake in a preheated oven on 400 for 15 minutes.
- While the asparagus is cooking wash the scallops and pat dry using a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large pan with olive oil. Add the scallops and sear for several minutes without turning them. Once they have a light colored crust flip them over and sear the other side (3-4 minutes).
Remove from pan.

Putting it all together
Serve the coconut rice and top with  asparagus and the seared scallops. Enjoy!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Rosemary and Blue Cheese Focaccia

After getting into a discussion about bread one day with my neighbor ( something about how much we love it :)) she gave me this recipe for focaccia bread. I have to admit it intimidated me a little but she assured me that this recipe was super simple. Since Jason was out of town last night I went to spend the evening with my parents and cook them dinner. I made the focaccia for all of us to munch on before dinner with a bottle glass of wine. It was a huge hit and my parents have already insisted that I make it again soon.

Instead of using Parmesan cheese like the recipe called for I added blue cheese before letting it bake in the oven. Tuscan Herb olive oil was served on the side for dipping. You can easily substitute other herbs or cheeses into this recipe if you prefer.

Rosemary and Blue Cheese Focaccia
(Recipe makes 2 breads)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour (Do not use self-rising)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package regular or quick active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup very warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 container of blue cheese crumbles

- 1. Mix 1 cup of the flour, rosemary, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil and the warm water. Beat with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour until dough is soft and leaves the sides of the bowl.
- 2. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead 5 to 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy.

Place dough in large greased bowl, turning the dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap  and let it rise about 30 minutes or until almost double. Dough is ready if indention remains when touched.
- 3. Grease two cookie sheets or 12-inch pizza pans with small amount of oil.
- 4. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a flattened 10-inch round on cookie sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise about 30 more minutes or until double.

- 5. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Gently make depressions about 2 inches apart in dough with fingers. Carefully brush with two tablespoons oil; Sprinkle with the crumbled blue cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or cool.