Tuesday, January 14, 2014

{New York Times Bestselling Chocolate Chip Cookies}

My Sister in Law Ashley has  a blog A Chocolate A Day with Ashley Ray where I got this amazing cookie recioe. This is hands down the best cookie you will ever put in your mouth. LOVE THEM!

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli chocolate chips )
Sea salt


Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 15-18 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Recipe from Jacque Torres and The New York Times

*NOTE CHILL TIME of 24-72 hours- it WILL yield a better cookie

Sunday, November 3, 2013

{BBQ Chicken Salad, with BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing}

I love this salad, I always keep the ingredients on hand for a quick weeknight meal. I like to serve it up with the uncooked flour tortillas from Costco, that only take 30 seconds to cook :)

  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce, I used sweet baby rays
  • ½ head iceberg lettuce, cored and chopped
  • 2 romaine hearts, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed small or shredded
  • 4 ounces Monterey jack cheese, cubed small or shredded

  • Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, light or regular
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  1. For the salad, combine the cooked chicken and BBQ sauce in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, red onion, cilantro, corn, black beans and cheese. Toss the mixed salad with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the dressing, if desired. Otherwise, you can serve the dressing on the side. Place salad on plates and top with the prepared BBQ chicken and additional dressing.
  3. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients together and whisk (or shake, if using a jar) vigorously to combine. You could also run this through a blender to make it even more smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Monday, October 28, 2013

{Soft and Buttery Crescent Rolls} New Favorite!

I am a huge sucker for homemade rolls. These are TO. DIE. FOR.

  • 2 c warm water
  • 2/3 c nonfat dry milk powder
  • 2 Tbsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1 egg
  • 4 1/2- 5 c all purpose flour

  1. In a Kitchen-aid mixing bowl, stir in warm water and nonfat dry milk powder until it dissolves.
  2. Add yeast, then sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups of flour.
  3. Mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then 2 minutes at medium speed.
  4. Add 2 more cups of flour, mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then 2 minutes at medium speed.  (You can switch your attachment to the dough hook at this point for easier mixing.)
  5. Add 1/2 cup flour again, mixing on low speed until wet, then 2 minutes at medium speed.  You can add an additional 1/2 c if your dough is still too wet but I usually stop at 4 1/2 cups of flour total.
  6. Dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff.
  7. Scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl and pour about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil around the sides of the bowl so that the bowl is coated.  
  8. Spray some plastic wrap with non-stick coating and place the plastic over the bowl. Allow it to rise in a warm place until the dough doubles in size and rises to the top of the bowl.     
  9.  Once the dough has risen, place your dough on a flat floured surface, then divide the dough in half.   
  10.   Roll out 1/2 the dough into a circle     
  11.   Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 16 even slices 
  12. Begin to roll the slice of dough in, starting from the wide end and tuck the small point
  13. Place rolls on parchment-lined baking sheet.underneath. 
  14.  Repeat steps 10-13 for the 2nd half of the dough and let them rise for 1- 1 1/2 hours, until double in size.              
  15.   Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes or until golden-brown.
  16.  Brush with melted butter while hot.
Recipe Source: Homemade 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

{Fresh Peach Pie}

I love peach season! I have been buying and eating a lot of fresh peaches lately and made this peach pie, its really yummy. I love the flavor the almond extract gives the peaches.

3 Tbsp. Flour
⅓ cups Sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
3-4 cups sliced peaches
½ tsp. almond extract

Combine the dry ingredients, then stir in peaches and almond extract. Pour into prepared pie crust. Bake at 375 degrees until crust turns golden brown (about 35-40 minutes).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

{Homemade Granola}

This was my first time making homemade granola, I will never go back to store bought! This stuff is amazing as a snack, in yogurt, as cereal in the morning. Love it. I made mine into bars and also crushed some up after it came out of the oven. YUM

6 cups Rolled Oats (not Quick Oats)

4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted, Plus More For Greasing

1/4 cup Vegetable Or Canola Oil

1 teaspoon Salt

1 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Honey

1/4 cup Apple Juice

1/4 cup Molasses

3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1-1/2 cup Rice Krispies

1 cup Wheat Germ

1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pecans

1/4 cup Roughly Chopped Almonds

8 ounces, weight Milk Chocolate Or Chocolate Almond Bark, Melted (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a bowl, toss the oats with the canola oil, melted butter and salt. Spread the mixture out on 2 baking sheets and toast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, shaking the pan twice and making sure they don't burn. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F.
In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, apple juice and molasses. Heat the mixture slowly, stirring until all combined. Stir in the vanilla.
Toss together the toasted oats, rice cereal, wheat germ, pecans and almonds. Pour in the sugar mixture, stirring as you pour. Toss to combine; it will be sticky!
Press into 1 baking sheet (thoroughly greased with butter, or line pan with foil and grease foil) and bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Cut pieces with a sharp knife and remove from the pan.
Dip the cooled granola bars straight into the melted chocolate so that the top is plain and the bottom is chocolate-covered. Set on parchment until set, sticking in the fridge to hasten this along if necessary.

Recipe Source: The Pioneer Women

Monday, October 7, 2013

{Zucchini Pasta}

I love a good pasta. This one is really tasty and simple. I didn't add in the mint leaves because I didn't have any on hand, if you end up adding them, please let me know how you like it.

3 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 -3 medium zucchini, shredded
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 lb penne or farfalle pasta
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbs fresh mint leaves, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup pine nutes
1 Tbs heavy cream

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. When it is hot, add the garlic, zucchini, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes or until the zucchini is quite tender,
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until the pasta is tender but still has some bite. Dip a heatproof glass measuring cup into the pasta cooking water and remove 1/2 cup. Drain the pasta into a colander and return it to the pot.
 Stir in the Parmesan and add the mixture to the cooked pasta. Stir well over low heat until the pasta is hot. Add a few spoons of the pasta cooking water if the mixture seems dry. Add in pine nuts and cream  season with salt to taste, stir in the mint and serve.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

{Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn}

Warning: Very gooey and delicious, HIGHLY addictive treat :)

1 Package of large marshmallows
2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cups butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 packages microwave popcorn, popped

In a large pan cook and stir together marshmallows, brown sugar, corn sytup, butter, and vanilla together on medium low heat until completely melted. 5-7 minutes.
Put popped popcorn in a large bowl and pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn stirring gently until combined. 

Recipe Source: All Recipes

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