Monday, December 7, 2009

Chewy Chcolate Gingerbread Cookies

These are the best cookies EVER! I am not kidding- I am IN LOVE with these. I cannot emphasize this enough. I would put up a picture of them so you could see how yummy they look but I already ate them all. By the way, credit for this recipe goes to my mom-in-law. :)

7 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cocoa powder
8 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (if you only have ground just substitute-it works fine)
1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp boiling water
1/4 c sugar

1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
2. In another bowl, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes.
Add the brown sugar, and beat until combined. Add molasses and beat until combined.
3. In a small bowl, dissolve, the baking soda in boiling water. Beat half of the flour mixture into
the butter mixture. Beat in the baking soda mixture, then the remaining flour mixture.
Mix in the chocolate and turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat the dough out to about
1 inch thick; seal with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
4. Heat oven to 325. Roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on baking
sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll the balls in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces
crack slightly, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

I followed all of these instructions except for refrigerating the dough balls for the second 20 minutes. They didn't run or anything, they turned out GREAT.
If any of you make these, PLEASE comment. I want to know if you love them as much as I do!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Seeds

Don't forget to use the pumpkin seeds after you carve your jack o lanterns!

Just soak them over night-
1 1/2 tsp salt to 2/3 c water

and bake them slowly the next day-
300 for about an hour

Yummy and good for you too. :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Red Enchilada Casserole

I have been trying to convince my family that cheese is NOT a food group...and had very little success. I realized that many of my recipes used almost as much cheese as they did meat! So I have been going through some of our favorites and trying to de-cheese them somewhat. This wonderful casserole was one of the first on the chopping block. Funnily enough, when the fam tasted the revised edition, it earned rave reviews. So, here it is...

Red Enchilada Casserole

2 large cans of red enchilada sauce (Las Palmas is my fave)
18 corn tortillas
1 lb ground beef cooked then seasoned with:1 pkg taco seasoning
1 15 oz can of corn, drained
1 7 oz can of chopped green chilis (I like Hatch's)
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
8-12 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Pour 1/4 of 1 can of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Place 6 corn tortillas evenly over the sauce. Sprinkle 1/2 of the seasoned ground beef, 1/2 can of corn, 1/2 can of chilis, 1/2 can of beans, and 1/2 the cheese.Pour another 1/4 can of sauce over this. Place 6 more corn tortillas on the sauce and pour more sauce to cover the tortillas. Sprinkle the other half of the meat, corn, chilis, beans and cheese. Pour another 1/4 can of sauce, followed by 6 more corn tortillas. Pour enough sauce to cover, and sprinkle with a small amount of cheese. You may also want to garnish with olives, tomatoes, and chopped onions.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes.

Originally, this recipe sported only the corn tortillas, meat, sauce and cheese. This revised way, it is healthier, more filling, and goes farther. Plus, it is WAY more interesting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuna Casserole-two ways

We love Tuna Casserole, and have two ways of doing it. One way is the "oh-crap-what-am-I-going-to-make-for-dinner?" way. The other way is the "I-love-to-cook-let's-do-something-great" way. Here are both:

Tuna (oh crap, dinner!) Casserole
1 12 oz package egg noodles (or whatever pasta falls out of your pantry)
2 cans cream of chicken (or celery or mushroom) soup
2 cans of tuna
1 can (use the soup can) of milk
grated cheese (again, whatever you have. my faves are cheddar or parmesan)

Cook the pasta, stir in soup, milk, and cheese. Stir in tuna last. If you're in a huge hurry, heat and eat. If you have 20 more minutes, sprinkle something on the top (crushed potato chips, crackers, or french fried onions) and put in a 350 oven for however long you have. Then eat it.

Tuna (let's do this right) Casserole

Start a large saucepan of water with 1 Tb salt to boil. When it's boiling, add 12 oz dry egg noodles or other pasta. While the pasta is cooking, melt 2 Tbs of butter in a frying pan, add 1/2 C. chopped celery, 1/2 C. chopped onion and saute til translucent. Stir in 2 Tbs of flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 2 tsp chicken bouillion.
Quickly whisk in 2 C. milk. Stir til thick and bubbly. Add 1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese and 1 tsp dillweed. Stir in 2 cans of drained tuna. Drain the pasta and add it to the tuna. Stir gently and pour into greased casserole (9x13). Melt 2 Tbs butter and pour over 1 C. of dry seasoned bread crumbs ( I like Mrs Cubbisons) stir and spread over the tuna casserole. Sprinkle 3 or 4 Tbs Parmesan cheese over the bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Traditional Black Beans and Rice

Found this recipe on the back of a can of beans while searching the pantry for a quick Sunday lunch. It only takes the time to make rice, if you have canned beans on hand. It was a delicious, meat free, filling lunch. I doubled the recipe and made 3 cups of dried rice for my family of 9.

1 T olive oil
3/4 C. onion, chopped fine
1/2 C. green pepper, chopped fine
1 C. tomatoes, diced
1 can black beans, drain and reserve juice
1/2 t. thyme
1 t. garlic salt
2 T cider vinegar
1/2 t. hot pepper sauce
2 C cooked rice
Lime wedge or slice mango for garnish (optional)

In large skillet heat olive oil; cook onion and green pepper until crisp tender; stir in tomatoes beans, thyme and garlic salt, cook 3 minutes. Add vinegar, pepper sauce, and reserved juice, continue to cook 5 minutes. Serve over rice.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Even Better Zucchini Bread

As usual I can take no credit for this good recipe- it comes from my sis (as do many of the good things in my life!)

1 1/2 cup sugar (half brown)
3 c flour (whole wheat)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 c oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 c peeled/shredded zucchini
option: add nuts, coconut, raisins (or chocolate chips if you aren't a raisin lover)

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet. Mix well. Add options. Use 2 greased bread pans and bake @ 350 for 1 hour.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rachel Ray Stromboli

You may be intimidated by the word, 'stromboli', but I have to tell you, this is easy, and SO worth it! I saw Rachel Ray make it this week sometime and I knew I had to make it.

Buffalo Chicken Stromboli

2 T butter
1 T olive oil
4 Stalks celery, chopped
2 med carrots, chopped
2 C shopped cooked chicken (leftovers are perfect for this)
1/2 C hot sauce (Rachel recommends Frank's Red Hot) for extra spicy or 1/4 C tomato sauce or juice mixed with 2 T hot sauce, for mild
1 C Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 C blue cheese crumbles
1/4 C chopped green onion
1 egg
sesame seeds
Your favorite pizza dough, (frozen and defrosted, or recipe)

Preheat oven to 400. In a large skillet over med high heat, melt the butter with the oil and cook the celery and carrots til tender, about 3 min. Add chicken and hot suuce to the pan and toss together with salt and pepper. Set aside and let cool.

When the filling is cool (we're serious about this, it messes up the dough if it's too hot) roll out the dough into a large rectangle on a floured surface. Spread the cooled filling evenly onto the entire dough, making sure not to get too close to the edge. Top with cheeses and green onion.

Roll up the dough starting at one the the long sides, tucking in both ends firmly. Press seams with fingers to seal. Whisk the egg with a splash of water and brush all over the stromboli, then sprinkle seeds. Carefully transfer to lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 40 min.

Slice to serve. I fed my whole family with one, and there's nine of us...7 over 8 yrs, and two little ones. I think the Rachel Ray site says it serves 4.

Here's my quick pizza dough:

Mix 1 1/4 C flour with 1 T yeast and 1/4 tsp salt. Add 1 C warm water, and 2 T olive oil and mix for 3 min. (I'm using a stand mixer) Add flour, 1/2 C at a time til you get a smooth stiff dough. Let rest for 10 min, then use! No raising required!

Friday, March 6, 2009

I have no recipe to add today but I will give a bit of advice. When you are feeling low about your cooking, find a 16 year old boy and cook something for him. Doesn't matter what it is. Just make a lot. He will eat it, he will love it, and chances are he will compliment you on your skills. Living here with the in-laws there is nothing more rewarding than cooking for 16-year old bro-in-law. I feel downright culinarily talented.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lasagna Your Husband Will Move the Piano For

1 Large Package Lasagna Noodles
2 pounds Italian Sausage
1 32 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 T Italian seasoning
Large container Ricotta cheese
2 eggs
Piles and piles of Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
Sharp cheddar cheese

Boil the noodles from the package directions, drain and set aside. Brown the sausage with the garlic and onions. When done, add tomatoes and seasoning. Mix ricotta with eggs, and set aside.
Spray with Pam or lightly coat with olive oil a large (9x13) pan. Put half the sausage mix in, the generously cover with each of the 3 cheeses. Layer half the noodles on, the spread half the ricotta over them. Repeat with the second halves, finishing after ricotta with a third layer of more 3 cheeses. Bake for about 30-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let stand for 15 min.
Watch that piano move!:)