Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The other night, I just had a craving for something sweet and decided to go for classic chocolate chip cookies. As you can probably tell from this blog, I don't repeat recipes often, so here's some of the best chocolate chip cookies I've made yet!

Chocolate Chip Cookies--adapted from Lulu the Baker
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Makes 2 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugars and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Mix into sugar mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon batter onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Chicken with Balsamic Onions and Mushrooms

Balsamic-anything is my latest obsession. I just love the flavor and goodness it brings. Balsamic chicken with onions is one of the easiest things that will definitely get made over and over again!

Chicken with Balsamic Onions and Mushrooms-adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Seasoned salt and pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken to taste and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 5 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

In the same skillet, heat additional tablespoon oil over medium heat. Stir in the onions, mushrooms and vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to caramelize-about 15 minutes. Towards the end, stir in 1/4 cup water and scrape any browned bits. Serve onion mixture over chicken.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Shrimp Jambalya

Anytime I come across a jambalaya recipe, I instantly think of my dad. He's a big jambalaya fan. Truthfully, I've never been a huge fan, usually because they're rather spicy. Because I can spice it to my liking, I've been trying to find one I like. This was not the one. There really wasn't any flavor to it. I'll have to keep searching. (At least the picture looks good, right?!)

Shrimp Jambalaya-adapted from Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes by Crock-Pot
Total Time: 8 hours
Serves 6
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 pounds cooked shrimp
Combine tomatoes, onion, pepper, celery, garlic, parsley, oregano, hot pepper sauce and thyme in a 5-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Stir in shrimp and cook for 20 more minutes on low. Serve with rice.

English Muffin Bread

English muffin bread is my favorite part of my weekend breakfast. It's so delicious and warm, it just makes you feel good! When I came across this recipe, I instantly knew I had to make it. I'm so happy I did as this was a fantastic recipe! I also liked that this recipe doesn't use bread flour, which helps if you don't have any on hand (or are just getting started making bread). I just can't say no to English muffin bread.

English Muffin Bread-adapated from King Arthur Flour
Total Time: 2 hours
Makes a 2 pound loaf

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Place all ingredients into a bread maker and bake according to directions for a regular loaf.

Quinoa Parmesan

Quinoa is a new favorite dish and I can't wait to continue making it. When I first started cooking, Scott told me I had to learn to cook chicken parmesan some day. I think this is a pretty darn good vegetarian version!

Quinoa Parmesan-adapted from Pink Parsley
Total Time: 50 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 1 eggplant, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.

Toss the eggplant with salt and pepper and place on a paper towel lined plate. Microwave for 10 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to package directions, using the two cups of water.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplant and onion, and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables have softened and started to brown.

Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and both cans of tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and stir in the cooked quinoa, 2/3 cup of mozzarella cheese and basil. Pour into prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining mozzarella, parmesan, panko and melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the quinoa.

Cover the dis and bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the top begins to brown.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chicken with Artichokes and Mushrooms

So this might not be the best post. I gave Scott the recipe when I was working late one night without giving him prior notice that the original recipe took an hour to cook. So we improvised! It was still really, really good! Take a good base recipe and make it your own--my favorite way to cook!

Chicken with Artichokes and Mushrooms-adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • Seasoned salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 10 ounces artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, about 8 minutes each side, until fully cooked through. While cooking, add all other ingredients and simmer until cooked through.

White Bread

For Christmas, one of my best friends bought me a bread maker. He had heard me talk about it once or twice randomly and found a really good deal on one! I am so incredibly happy with it. I can't believe I've gone so long without making my own bread. It's so easy and delicious. I just love throwing the bread in the toaster first thing in the morning. A little butter, jam, peanut butter-you name it!

This is a really basic recipe--I have a few more coming that I've tried and will continue to post! Seriously...go find yourself a bread maker soon! Oh, and even though it doesn't look like it in this picture, I DO have a bread knife. It just didn't make it into the picture!

White Bread-adapted from Breadman's Recipe Guide
Total Time: 3 hours
Makes 2 pounds
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 6 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 4 teaspoon dry active yeast
In order, add ingredients to the bread pan. Select the fast bake and press start. About 10 minutes in, check the dough ball to ensure it is sticky and add a bit of water if needed. Allow to cook until finished baking. Turn bread out onto wire rack and allow to cool.

Cheese Enchiladas

I love me some Mexican food. I've been searching and searching for a good enchilada recipe and I think I finally found it! I just made these straight cheese, but you could certainly add pork, beef, chicken, you name it! They're easy and relatively quick!

Cheese Enchiladas-Adapted from That's Some Good Cookin'
Total Time 30 Minutes
Serves 8

  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 20 ounces enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups Mexican shredded cheese
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • Sour cream, salsa, guacamole for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 x 11 inch baking pan. Warm tortillas in the microwave for about 15 seconds to make more malleable.

Pour a small layer of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking dish (about a 1/2 cup). Pour remaining enchilada sauce into a large bowl. 

One at a time, dip both sides of the tortilla into the sauce and place on a plate. Top with about 3 tablespoons cheese and 1 teaspoon chopped onion. Fold enchiladas into a tight roll and place into baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, layering them tightly next to each other in the baking pan.

Pour remaining enchilada sauce (you may not need all) over the tortillas and sprinkle with cheese. Place in oven, uncovered about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole or your other condiment choice.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Upside Down Pizza

I made this recipe for a girl's night and it was a hit! There was so much flavor and cheesy goodness in this that I didn't want to stop eating it! Just like the Pizza Burgers, you could add your favorite pizza toppings in this casserole (or whatever you have on hand). I love casseroles for that reason!

Upside Down Pizza-adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time 45 Minutes
Serves 8
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 ounce black olives, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 425. In a large skillet, brown Italian sausage with onion, mushrooms, black olives and garlic. Drain once meat is no longer pink and return to skillet. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour, basil, fennel seed and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 2 minutes.

Transfer meat mixture to an ungreased 9x13 inch baking pan and stir in mozzarella and cream cheese. In a large bowl, beat together 1 cup flour, eggs, milk, olive oil, salt and Parmesan cheese until smooth. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Pizza Burgers

I saw this recipe and I was so excited to try it! Everything about this screams delicious! It was so easy, although would've been better if I could've grilled the burgers, but they tasted just as good on a skillet! Next time I might chop up some onion or mushroom to put in the burgers, but overall this was a good recipe.

Pizza Burgers-adapted from American Classics by Taste of Home
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 4 English muffins, split and toasted
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
In a large bowl, combine the egg, Parmesan, onion, and seasonings. Add in turkey and mix well. Shape into four patties

Cook burgers on a heated skillet for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Top burgers with cheese, and steam about 2-3 more minutes until melted. Serve on muffins with pizza sauce.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Teriyaki Venison Steak with mushrooms

For Christmas, Scott's sister and her boyfriend gave us venison steaks. Let me tell you, this was the greatest thing ever. I told Scott he needs to take up hunting so we can have a stock pile of venison year round. This is a really basic recipe, but it's truly all venison needs. Along with the fact that venison is so tender, you essentially just need to sear it to cook it to medium rare.

Teriyaki Venison Steak with Mushrooms
Total Time: 20 Minutes, plus marinading time
Serves 4

  • 4 6-ounce venison steaks
  • 18 ounce bottle teriyaki sauce
  • Seasoned salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
Marinade the steaks in teriyaki sauce for 2-24 hours. When ready to cook, season with seasoned salt and pepper to taste. Heat a grill over high heat. Sear, about 3-5 minutes per side, until cooked to your liking.

Meanwhile, melt the butter over a large skillet with the wine. Once melted sautee the mushrooms, about 5 minutes or until browned and tender.


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