Thursday, November 4, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Here is a new cookie recipe I found on AllRecipes

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
40 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 40 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well.
  4. Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.
**Here are a few tips after making this recipe. Put the peanut butter cups in the fridge or freezer while making the cookies. This makes them easier to unwrap, and also not melt as quickly when you press them into the cookie. Other reviewers said to take the cookies out at 8 minutes even if they don't look like they're finished. I followed these instructions but mine were still a little over cooked. Be sure to take them out a minute earlier if your oven cooks quickly.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back in the Kitchen

Now that I'm finally settled after the move to a new city, I'm back to cooking most nights of the week. I'm going to start posting new recipes I try out and my family enjoys. Here is one I discovered a few weeks ago. It's already been put into the regular rotation!


AllRecipes - Easy Slow Cooker French Dip Recipe
Serves 9

Prep Time = 10 minutes; Cook Time = 7 hours

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds rump roast
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French onion soup
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
  • 6 French rolls
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Sliced Swiss cheese (optional)
Notes: Reviews suggested using a darker beer so I chose Shiner Bock. If you don't normally purchase dark beer, you might try stores like HEB or World Market which allows you to buy individual beer bottles in the "create your own 6 pack section". Also, I got the idea from my mother-in-law to put Swiss cheese on the bread before putting it in the oven.

Directions

  1. Trim excess fat from the rump roast, and place in a slow cooker. Add the beef broth, onion soup and beer. Cook on Low setting for 7 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Split French rolls, and spread with butter. Bake 10 minutes, or until heated through.
  4. Slice the meat on the diagonal, and place on the rolls. Serve the sauce for dipping.
Hope you enjoy!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Yummy Cookie Recipes

I attended my first cookie exchange over the Christmas holiday! It was a lot of fun to see what cookies people made - and surprisingly, we had no repeats!

My friend Jenny passed on one of her favorite cookie recipes which I made for the exchange.

Cake Mix Cookies - 2 Dozen
  • 1 box of cake mix (Funfetti cake mix is delicious for this recipe!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 container of icing
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all ingredients thoroughly (don't mix in icing!)
  3. Drop by rounded spoonful on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes
Once cooled, ice with your favorite icing!

These cookies are delicious, and so quick to make!! They remind me of the thick iced sugar cookies you buy at the grocery store.

These peanut butter chocolate cookies were brought to the cookie exchange, and were a big hit!!



Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Treats
  • Ritz Crackers
  • Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Chocolate Bark (or chocolate chips if you prefer)
  1. Put a generous amount of peanut butter between two Ritz crackers and press together. Be sure to create all of your peanut butter sandwiches before melting the chocolate.
  2. Place wax paper out for after you dip the crackers in chocolate.
  3. Melt chocolate bark as directed on package (Mine said to microwave for 1 min. Stir thoroughly. Microwave after that in 15 second intervals until fully melted)
  4. Using fork, dip crackers in melted chocolate, covering both sides. Place on wax paper until chocolate sets up and can be removed from paper easily.

I also just found this cookie recipe on AllRecipes - imitation Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies!!! I can't wait to go out and buy some peppermint extract so I can try these out.


Thin Mint Crackers - 40 Cookies
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate
  • 80 buttery round crackers
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  1. Using a double boiler method, melt the chocolate coatings over hot tap water for 15 - 20 minutes. Stir . Do not cook or get water into the chocolate.
  2. After it is melted, stir in a couple drops of peppermint flavor into the chocolate.
  3. Dip crackers into the melted chocolate and then place onto a cold cookie sheet and put into the refrigerator to set. (A freezing tray to rest the dipped cookies will keep the bottoms neat looking.)
  4. In a few minutes take them out and package in candy cups. The cookies are best kept at room temperature or a cool dry place away from any odors.
Here are a few tip I found in the reviews for the Thin Mint cookies:
  1. "Don't put the peppermint extract in the chocolate until it is fully melted. If you put the peppermint extract in the chocolate and then melt it in the microwave the extract burns the chocolate and makes it crumbly and hard, hence those reviewers having to use oil to make it smooth again. Once the chocolate is fully melted stir well and then put your extract in!"
  2. "So easy! What a great idea...that I kind of changed. Instead of Ritz crackers, I used Nabisco Famous chocolate wafers and melted Andes mints. I am not even kidding how great these were!"
  3. "Could NOT be easier! Kids can make this in a snap. I bought the Andes baking chips from my grocery store, melted a couple handfuls in the microwave in a creme brulee cup for about 30 seconds, then mixed it with a fork to be sure it was all melted through. I just dropped my reduced-fat Ritz crackers into the creme brulee cup with melted chocolate (perfect size cup for a Ritz) and used two forks to turn and coat the cracker. Set on paper plates (out of wax paper) and put the plates in the freezer for about two minutes. THAT'S IT FOLKS!! Clean up is a snap! In all fairness, there is a teeny tiny, very faint salt taste from the crackers if you really examine them -- but not enough to detract from the taste in any way. I will keep my eyes peeled for plain chocolate wafer cookies. You could buy a bag of Oreos and twist apart each cookie to use the two chocolate wafers; you'd have yourself a true thin mint then."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Recipes for 1/3 - 1/9

Since I recently went back to work, it's been difficult to find time for my normal blog posting. Rather than post the entire menu from this week, I'm going to post the new recipes we are trying.

Salsa Chicken Rice Casserole - 8 Servings
  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked white rice
  • 2 2/3 cups water
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups mild salsa
  1. Place rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place chicken breast halves into a large saucepan, and fill the pan with water. Bring to a boil, and cook for 20 minutes, or until done. Remove chicken from water. When cool enough to handle, cut meat into bite-size pieces.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses. In a separate bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, onion, and salsa. Layer 1/2 of the rice, 1/2 of the chicken, 1/2 of the soup and salsa mixture, and 1/2 of the cheese mixture in prepared dish. Repeat layers, ending with cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until bubbly.


Debdoozie's Blue Ribbon Chili - 8 Servings
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar salsa
  • 4 tablespoons chili seasoning mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the ground beef and the onion and saute for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease, if desired.
  2. Add the ground black pepper, garlic salt, tomato sauce, salsa, chili seasoning mix and kidney beans. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Weekly Dinner Menu December 27th - January 1st

An amazing thing happened last night...

I frequently struggle with planning meals each week. My hubby offered to help and plan our dinner menu. After he read off his list, I realized he had pulled up this blog and picked some of his favorite recipes. He also found one new one on All Recipes. He wrote them down, I made the grocery list, and I headed to the store for ingredients. It was great to get his input, and it only took him a few minutes to put together the meals!

Sunday - Lime Chicken Tacos
Monday - Broiled Tilapia Parmesan (new)
Tuesday - Mongolian Beef
Wednesday - Chicken Fajitas
Thursday - Black Bean Burritos

Sunday - Lime Chicken Tacos - 10 Servings
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cubed
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 10 (6 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  1. Saute chicken in a medium saucepan over medium high heat for about 20 minutes. Add vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, green onion, garlic and oregano. Simmer for an extra 10 minutes.
  2. Heat an iron skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the pan, warm, and turn over to heat the other side. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve lime chicken mixture in warm tortillas topped with tomato, lettuce, cheese and salsa.


Monday - Broiled Tilapia Parmesan - 8 Servings
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 pounds tilapia fillets
  1. Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.


Tuesday - Mongolian Beef - 4 Servings
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 pound beef flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 large green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Whisk together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Toss beef with marinade, cover, and refrigerate 1 hour to overnight.
  2. Heat peanut oil in a wok or large, nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the green onions, and cook for 5 to 10 seconds before stirring in the beef. Cook and stir until the beef is no longer pink and is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.


Wednesday - Chicken Fajitas

We buy the pre-seasoned fajita chicken meat from Kroger. We follow the cooking directions on the package but use a skillet on the stove rather than the grill.



Thursday - Black Bean Burritos - 2 Servings
  • 2 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno peppers
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
**Original recipe doesn't call for chicken but I'll add some diced cooked chicken in with the cream cheese.
  1. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven heated to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through.
  2. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Place onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapenos in skillet, cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour beans into skillet, cook 3 minutes stirring.
  3. Cut cream cheese into cubes and add to skillet with salt. Cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir cilantro into mixture.
  4. Spoon mixture evenly down center of warmed tortilla and roll tortillas up. Serve immediately.

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Few Dinner Recipes

My sister-in-law passed on these 2 dinner recipes. I'll definitely be giving them a try after the holiday craziness!

Marinated Pork Tenderloin - 4 Servings
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 2 (3/4 pound) pork tenderloins
  1. Place soy sauce, brown sugar, sherry, dried onion, cinnamon, olive oil, and a touch of garlic powder in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal, and shake to mix. Place pork in bag with marinade, seal, and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
  2. Preheat grill for high heat.
  3. Lightly oil grate. Place tenderloins on grill, and discard marinade. Cook 20 minutes, or to desired doneness. Slice into medallions, and serve.
*She boiled the remaining marinade to create a gravy which she said was great!

Extra-Easy Spinach Lasagna - 8 Servings
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 cups Prego® Fresh Mushroom Italian Sauce
  • 6 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Mix ricotta cheese, spinach and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  2. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce in 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with 3 lasagna noodles and half the spinach mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining pasta sauce. Slowly pour water around inside edges of baking dish. Cover.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes Uncover. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until hot. Let stand 10 minutes.
*She added ground beef to the mixture but thought if you add meat you should up the sauce and cheese. She also recommended seasoning either the meat you add or the mixture with salt, pepper, oregano, etc (your favorite Italian seasonings)




Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekly Dinner Menu December 1st - December 6th

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!



Notes About Last Week's New Recipes:

Gourmet Sweet Potato Classic - I'm not a huge sweet potato fan but my husband loves them (and he requested this dish). They turned out great!

Grandma's Green Bean Casserole - This is a recipe I found on AllRecipes.com. They were very tasty!! My husband thought they were too creamy so this dish might not be for you if you don't like sour cream.

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake - This was a huge hit! It was more of a cheesecake with a light pumpkin flavor. I followed other people's reviews and used 3/4 cup of pumpkin pie filling since it was already seasoned. For more of a pumpkin flavor, I would just use more pie filling. I ran into a little bit of drama with this recipe though...Thanksgiving Eve around 10:00pm, I start on this dessert. As I'm ready to start pouring the first layer into the prepared graham cracker crust, I accidentally knock the crust off the counter and it shatters everywhere!! Luckily, my mother-in-law had some graham crackers so I just made my own crust. For a spring form pan: about 15 crushed graham crackers and 2 to 4 tablespoons of melted butter pressed into the pan. For a pie pan: about 5 crushed graham crackers and 1 tablespoon of melted butter pressed into pan.

We will be traveling again this week so there isn't much of a menu to share. BUT I do have one new recipe to pass on to everyone. My mother-in-law made a delicious soup while we were there!! I usually like creamy soups but this broth based Italian Meatball Soup was great!



Italian Meatball Soup 4 to 6 Servings
  • 1 bag (16 oz) frozen Italian meatballs
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) Cannellini beans, undrained
  • 1 can (16 oz) stewed tomatoes Italian style
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  1. Peel carrots and slice thinly. Cut ends from zucchini and discard. cut zucchini in half lengthwise and then into thin slices.
  2. Heat oil in a 4-quart sauce pan over medium-high heat. Saute carrots and onion 5 minutes. Add zucchini, beans, tomatoes, beef broth, and frozen meatballs. Stir and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes - stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, chop basil. Stir basil, salt, and pepper into soup and cook 2 more minutes.
My mother-in-law's notes: she left out the zucchini and basil altogether. She also used Great Northern beans instead of the Cannellini beans.