Friday, November 30, 2012

Super Slutty Brownies

These brownies are inspired by The Londoner's Slutty Brownies. I chose to take it up a notch and add in some Reese's peanut butter cups for a truly mouth watering dessert that is sure to please everyone.

Recipe yields 25 brownies

8 large Reese's peanut butter cups
17 double-stuffed Oreo cookies

Chocolate chip cookies:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Chocolate brownies:
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9"x9" baking pan by lining it with tin foil and then coating it with non-stick cooking spray. First we will make the chocolate chip cookie dough. In a medium bowl, mix butter and sugars.

Add vanilla and egg to the butter mixture and mix well.

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

Add the chocolate chips and mix to evenly distribute.

Use the dough to coat the bottom of the baking pan making an even layer.

Next, create a pattern with your Oreos and Reese's.

Now, we will make our brownie batter. Start by melting the chocolate and butter using a double broiler or in the microwave.

Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes or so then add the eggs, vanilla and sugar. Whisk in flour and salt until just combined and no white streaks are visible.

Pour the batter on top of the Oreo/Reese's layer and place in the oven.

Bake for 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let completely cool before you slice your brownies.

These brownies are very rich so I advise you to serve with a large, cold glass of milk. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Crispy Cheesy Bacon Potatoes

Potatoes? Check. Bacon? Check. Lots of cheese? Check. Lets just say this may be the best side dish ever. Be sure to make extra because these potatoes are delicious the next morning with eggs.

Recipe yields 8 servings

5 lb bag yukon gold potatoes
1 tbsp salt
1 lb slab of bacon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice potatoes into quarters or about 1 inch chunks. Add potatoes to a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 tbsp of salt to the water and bring to a boil.

Cook for 1-2 minutes in boiling water until potatoes can be pierced with a fork. Remove potatoes before they become too soft and begin to mush. Lay out on a towel to dry.

While potatoes are cooking, cut bacon into a small dice.

Cook all bacon in a skillet until browned and crispy. Remove onto a towel lined sheet to drain excess grease. Reserve bacon grease that is still in the pan.

Prepare two baking sheets by brushing with olive oil and some bacon grease. Place potatoes on prepared sheets with the skin sides up.

Roast potatoes for 35-45 minutes, turning half way through. You want to cook until potatoes are crispy and golden on the outside so if they are not yet crispy, cook a little longer.

Prepare a baking dish by brushing the bottom with a little more of the bacon grease. Create a bottom layer with the potatoes.

Top the potato layer with half the bacon and 1 cup of cheese.

Top with a second layer of potatoes, bacon and cheese.

Lower the oven to 350 degrees and place the baking dish on the middle rack. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Dish out spoonfuls and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Spaghetti Squash with Sauteed Vegetables

Before the storm, I had gotten a new mandolin and this is a great recipe to use it. As I said yesterday, spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta. This version is with garlic and oil and adds in extra vegetables.

Recipe yields 4 servings (as a main dish)

2 large spaghetti squash
2 large carrots
1 large zuchini
1 large yellow squash
1 head of garlic
2-3 tbsp olive oil

Using my new mandolin, on the the fine julienne setting, I sliced the carrots, zucchini and yellow squash. If you don't have a mandolin, julienne the vegetables with a knife.

Heat olive oil in a a large skillet. Add minced garlic and cook until golden brown and fragrant.

Add the julienned vegetables to the skillet. Cook until tender, roughly 10-12 minutes.

Add the sauteed vegetables to prepared spaghetti squash. (Look here for how to prepare: How To: Prepare Spaghetti Squash)

Stir well to evenly incorporate the vegetables with the spaghetti squash. Add more oil if needed. Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How To: Prepare Spaghetti Squash

I could easily eat pasta every day of the week and I would never be tired of it. However, I also would never fit into any of my clothes! Well spaghetti squash is a great substitute to paste that eliminates the carb factor and ups your daily vegetable intake. It is very easy and versatile to prepare, check back tomorrow for how I used it this week.

Recipe yields 4 servings (as a main dish)

2 large spaghetti squash
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice squash in half lengthwise.

Using the edge of a spoon, scrape out the seeds and stringy insides. Place squash halves on a baking dish. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Bake for 55-60 minutes. The insides should be tender and easily pierced with a fork.

Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Using a fork, scrape out the insides. The insides form skinny strands just like spaghetti!

Season with some more salt and pepper or drizzle with olive oil and serve as a side dish. Or top with tomato sauce and serve as a main dish. Enjoy your new pasta substitute!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Spinach & Mozz Chicken Roll-ups

It has been exactly four long weeks since my last post and I don't like it one bit! I am finally back in the kitchen and couldn't be happier. For our first family dinner back together, I am making chicken roll-ups with sauteed spinach and mozzarella cheese. Feel free to swap the mozzarella for your favorite cheese.

Recipe yields 6 servings

2 lbs thinly sliced chicken breast
16 oz fresh baby spinach
1 head garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
10 oz mozzarella cheese
2 large eggs
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil. While heating up, chop the garlic and add to oil.

Saute until golden and fragrant. Add dry spinach by the handful, pushing into the pan to fit it all.

Cook on medium-high heat until all spinach is soft and wilted. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Thinly slice the mozzarella cheese. Lay a piece of cheese and a spoonful of spinach on top of each chicken cutlet.

Roll the chicken being sure to keep all the goods inside and secure with a toothpick.

First dip the chicken roll-ups in egg and then coat with breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet prepared with non-stick cooking spray.

Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. The chicken will be golden brown when it is ready to come out.

Remove from oven and serve alongside rice or vegetables. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Today is a day to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. It has been a rough past few weeks, but I am thankful that my friends and family are all safe. Although this may not be the Thanksgiving I had planned, it is one I will surely remember. Today as I appreciate the love that surrounds me, I will plan my menu for next year and begin planning for my Christmas Cookie Week Spectacular. As every day things get better, the time until my next 'food' post shortens and the sooner I can get back to what I love doing. So be sure to check back soon for the blog to be back up and running. I wish everyone a very happy and filling Thanksgiving! -- Christine

Monday, November 5, 2012

Post-Sandy Update

Hello Everyone. I hope everyone is safe and sound after the toll Sandy took on the Northeast. Unfortunately, I was not so lucky and my house is out of commission. With that, my posts will likely be few and far between for a little while as my family and I try to get back on our feet. I appreciate all your loyalty and understanding. If you were also affected, stay strong! -- Christine