Monday, January 23, 2012

Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies

Apparently I failed again and didn't take any photos of these cookies?! This one is from
Ginger is not a flavor that's just for Christmas anymore. Haven't you heard? :) There's nothing like some delicious, soft & chewy molasses cookies any time of the year. These particular cookies have a really strong flavor from the molasses. I think they tasted great & had the perfect texture- so  chewy- no crunch in sight! You can always tone down the molasses if you want a weaker flavor. Grab a glass of milk and give half away before you sit down on your couch or you will eat them all & have no idea why you can't stop... that's my last warning. :)

Soft & Chew Molasses Cookies
Recipe adapted from
Makes about 40 cookies
  • 3/4 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • white sugar for rolling dough in
Cream brown sugar & shortening in mixing bowl. 

Add egg and molasses & mix well.

Fold in dry ingredients & mix well.

Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough in fridge for 1-2 hours or until firm. Don't skip this step or your dough will be too sticky to work with & the flavors won't come together as nicely. 

Preheat oven to 350. Roll dough into small balls & roll in bowl of white sugar. 

Place on parchment-covered baking sheet & bake 9-10 minutes. Let cookies set for 1 minute on baking sheet before moving to cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.


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Friday, January 20, 2012

Sesame-Crusted Chicken Fingers & Thai Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Sometimes I like to pretend I'm 5 years old and have chicken fingers & macaroni for dinner. But then, I remember that I'm actually like 20 years older than that and I need some veggies too. Add in the token broccoli and you have yourself a meal! Normally, I bake my chicken fingers using a few seasonings & panko crumbs. I love anything Asian-inspired and have had this little gem on my bookmark list for a while from Skinny Taste. Um LOVE! I did have to buy a jar of sesame seeds and some sesame oil for this recipe, but honestly I still have a ton left and I've made it like 3 times. So worth it!

Oh and I didn't discover the dipping sauce until take 2, but its fabulous! It has a little kick but you can adjust the spice to your taste. It seriously takes these little chicken fingers over the edge!! You could even go crazy and make these into nuggets. Explore your wild side. :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Creamy Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese

Cheese is amazing! I love me some mac & cheese. I try to limit my pre-packaged foods as much as I can. I figured, why can't I make my own mac & cheese? Now I've made some fancy baked mac & cheese before. It's GOOD. but I wanted a recipe I could make that would take like 5 minutes and still be good & way better than the boxed kind. A quick Google search and done. Thank you Alton Brown! It's like so easy you will die. Then you will die again when you taste the cheesey goodness.

P.S. Those are sesame chicken fingers- recipe coming soon!

The surprising ingredient for me? Hot sauce! It just adds enough of a twang. Or a tang. Whatever it is its good, but don't worry its not spicy at all. I've tried with regular elbow pasta & brown rice pasta and both were fab.

Creamy Stove Top Mac & Cheese
Recipe adapted from The Food Network

Makes enough for 3-4 people. Easily doubles
  • 1/4 lb. elbow macaraoni or shell pasta (2 cups dry)
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ounches (1/2 small can) evaporated milk
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp dry mustard
  • 5-6 ounces cheese of choice - sharp cheddar, Jack or Mexican work well
Cook pasta to al dente according ot directions in large pot of salted boiling water. While pasta is cooking, whisk egg, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper & dry mustard together in a small bowl. 

Drain & return pasta to pot. Add butter and stir until melted.Turn heat on low & add egg mixture. Add cheese and stir until melted and well combined- about 3 minutes. Serve right away.


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Monday, January 16, 2012

Oreo Truffles

Most of you may already know the bliss that is Oreo Truffles, but I just had to share it again. It's too easy & everyone is always so impressed with these little guys. You don't have to have food processor, but it really makes the process much quicker, easier & less messy! I like my truffles with white chocolate coating on the outside, but you can do regular chocolate too if you prefer. They are fun to decorate with sprinkles for whichever occasion you are making them for. I made these for G's brother & his family at Christmas time. They were wrapped tightly in a tin and survived the mail!

One trick, I always use the same kind of almond bark- I think its called Candi Quick and it comes in a blue package. I have tried other kinds (even expired versions my mother had of the same kind!) and they did NOT give the same results. Another trick is to refrigerate/freeze the balls before you dip them in the bark. These keeps them pretty.

These don't even taste like cream cheese, they just taste like amazingness!! I hope you make these soon- they are great for crowds & can be made a few days ahead. I always keep mine in the fridge & serve cold.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Easy 3 Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream

Believe it! It's true! You can make yummy ice cream with 3 ingredients or less. Apparently you don't even need an ice cream maker to make this (I did use one). You can also experiment with add ins, extracts, candy, etc. to find your favorite flavor. The best part is that seriously you don't have to make a custard over the stove and burn yourself like I did! Anyone can make this! One mistake I did make was to use milk instead of all the cream- mine was a little icy. Next time I would stick to 100% cream or at least do 50% cream, 50% milk.

Easy 3 Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • splash of vanilla extract
If you have an ice cream maker- In a large bowl, mix together cream & condensed milk until combined. Condensed milk should be mostly dissolved. Add vanilla. Pour into ice cream maker & freeze as directed.

If you don't have an ice cream maker - Whip cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Pour condensed milk into a large bowl. Slowly fold cream into condensed milk until combined. Spread evenly in an airtight container and freeze until firm- about 6 hours.


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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Spicy Green Beans (Similar to PF Chang's)

I failed and did not take a picture when I made it- this photo is from All
Tired of making the same ole green beans? Look no further! I love the flavor these beans pack- it is almost like the spicy green beans at PF Changs! I loved the recipe because I already had everything in the cupboard. Feel free to adjust the amount of spice to your taste with the chile sauce. Personally, I would add more. They have a lot of flavor though- so don't pair with an entree with a heavy sauce as well - they do better with grilled chicken, etc.

Spicy Green Beans
Recipe from All Recipes
  • 3/4 fresh green beans, ends trimmed (you can use frozen if you want, just steam for longer)
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic chili sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp canola oil
Steam green beans for 3 minutes in a steamer basket or in the microwave. I prefer to put mine in a microwaveable bowl with a tiny bit of water & cover with plastic wrap. Fresh beans only need about 2 minutes & frozen need about 4 (Depending on amount of beans). If you like crispier green beans, than you can skip the steaming as long as they are at room temperature (i.e. not frozen). 

In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, garlic, chili sauce & honey and set aside. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add green beans and cook about 3 minutes. Add sauce and cook 2 more minutes, until sauce is mostly absorbed. Serve immediately.


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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oatmeal Cream Pies

I'm not going to go on and on about how behind I am on posting, but I'll just share with you that my friend Nicole and I made these little pies of goodness sometime in October- I think. They are meant to be just like Little Debbie's Oatmeal Cream Pies- only better. They are WAY better + no chemicals = a win, right? The cookie is soft & chewy and the filling is light & fluffy- its much lighter than a butter cream, which I usually prefer.

We added chocolate chips to half the batter, but I think I prefer the simple pies without them.

P. S. Check out my little helpers (Gavin & Noodle). Aren't they cute?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The BEST Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato Basil Soup is a classic! Soups are expensive to buy pre-packaged and the tastes can vary widely. I came across this little gem on All Recipes & I'm so glad I did! It is uneblieveably easy to make your own gourmet-tasting Tomato soup! Everoyne has raved whenever I make this recipe and it literally can take35 minutes or less (you can simmer the tomatmo mixture for more time if you have it to richen the flavor). Serve with grilled cheese for a weeknight dinner your family will love! I altered it a bit from the original recipe to use canned tomatoes- which will be your best bet for freshness during the winter. I think its a lot easier too, but you can use fresh if you like.

The BEST Tomato Basil Soup
Adapted from All Recipes
Serves 4 - easily doubles for more

  • 1 28oz can whole, peeled tomatoes in juices
  • 4 cups tomato juice (I used Campbells that came in a giant can)
  • 14 leaves (about 1 package) fresh basil leaves, washed & the stems trimmed off
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • salt & pepper
Place tomatoes & juice in a large pot over medium heat. Simmer for at least 30 minutes- you can do longer if you have time. Start the timer once the mixture is at a full simmer. Do not cover.

Carefully pour mixture into a blender. You may need to blend in batches depending on the size of your blender & how much your mixture has simmered down. Add basil & blend until smooth. Return mixture to pot over low heat. 

Add cream & butter and stir until butter is melted. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately ( do not allow mixture to boil once dairy items are added).

Enjoy with grilled cheese!

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