Monday, May 30, 2011

Browned Butter Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

My best friend showed me these and I am so mad at her! These cookies are from heaven, and the cookie dough is from somewhere even better. Really, I couldn’t stop eating the yummy caramel flavored cookie dough. I actually need some right now...ha. These cookies are made a little different in that you melt and brown your butter, then make a type of caramel sauce by adding the sugars. I think that is what makes them so amazing! Cody has asked me to make them again already, so they must be a winner in his book!

Browned Butter Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Printable Version

*Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is browned. This recipe works with light brown sugar, but the cookies will be less full-flavored.

1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¾ sticks unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cups packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (see note)
¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet.
Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

Recipe from
Makes 16 cookies

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grill-Fired Pizza

Yes, you read it is "grill" fired pizza not "oven" fired pizza. We love love love oven fired pizza. The crust is always o-so-perfect crispy-ness and tender middle. The cheese is slowly melted to perfection, and every bite makes us want more. This is exactly how the Grill Fired Pizza is, and I can't wait to make it again. I am so sad that it is turning cold outside just when I figured out our new favorite recipe! It was not only delicious, but a blast to make, it would be great for kids or a neighborhood BBQ...however, I am not sure how to give you a recipe! I want to give you the idea for a meal, but you need to use your are a few tips:

Grill-Fired Pizza
Printable Version

The Dough:
Use any tried and true pizza dough recipe that you love. I have one here, or for a whole grain dough I think this one looks amazing. This time we used pre-made dough and it worked wonders! I think that almost any dough will work, as long as it can hold its shape and is not too sticky. As far as the thickness goes, use your own judgment. I rolled my dough out to about 1/4 inch...this was perfect. Go ahead and roll thinner or thicker depending on your pizza love!

This is key. Thanks to my patient hubby, we had perfect crust. Preheat your grill and keep your temperature between 200-250 degrees F. After toppings have been placed, be sure to keep the lid closed to ensure perfect melting of the cheese.

Baking the Crust:
Brush pizza dough with EVOO on both sides to prevent sticking on the grill. Bake for 2 minutes on each side, barely browning but getting dough cooked through.

Add your toppings:
Remove your crusts from the grill and add your toppings. Use fast cooking toppings, or cook others prior to placing on grill. Close lid on grill and bake for 10 minutes, watching carefully to create a perfect crust.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Grilled Pound Cake with Mascarpone

I made this about 10 minutes ago, and I couldn’t resist from blogging it right away. I seriously took one bite and started thinking about when I could post it for all of you. What a perfect, easy-peasy dessert. I already had THE BEST pound cake sitting in my freezer, so I just whipped it out and sliced it while it was still frozen, no need to thaw. Talk about a recipe you could make for drop in guests in a snap...this is it! They will ooo and ahhh and think that you spent hours, when really, you spent minutes!

Grilled Pound Cake with Mascarpone
Printable Version

¾ cup mascarpone cheese
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup shaved almonds
16 ½” slices pound cake (Click here for THE BEST recipe)
8 Tbs. butter, at room temperature
8 Tbs. brown sugar, for sprinkling

Mix the mascarpone, sugar and vanilla in a bowl with a spoon until smooth. Fold in almonds, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat a large skillet or grill over medium heat. Spread ¼ Tbs. butter on both sides of each slice of cake. Toast in skillet or on grill until golden, about 1 minute per side. Remove from heat. Spread mascarpone filling on 4 pound cake slices, close with the remaining 4 slices to create a sandwich. Top with a dollop of mascarpone, extra almonds, and 1 Tbs. of sprinkled brown sugar.

Serves 8.
Recipe adapted from Food Network Mag

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Super Moist Pound Cake

This dessert has been a go-to for us for almost 2 years. I have honestly never had a better pound cake than this recipe, and I can remember eating quite a few growing up! My hubbs is always requesting this plain dessert, probably because I do pretty good at making elaborate meals and desserts, and he really like them, but loves the basics. This is an awesome dessert to make and throw 5 of the 6 loaves into the freezer for future dates. They stay great wrapped in foil and put in a ziploc bag for up to 6 months. If you want to Jazz this recipe up a bit, try doing is amazing, like really amazing.

Super Moist Pound Cake

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or lemon, almond, or orange)
1 teaspoon lemon extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour 6 mini bread pans. Cream 2 sticks of the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the extracts and mix well. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add 1/3 of dry mixture to creamed mixture and beat on low until mixed. Mix in half of the sour cream. Alternate between the flour mixture and sour cream. Pour cake mixture into the cake pans. Bake 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in cake comes about with a few crumbs clinging. Cool 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
To make whipped cream from whole cream, make sure that cream is extremely cold. For every 1 cup of cream, add 1 Tablespoon of white sugar. Using an electric hand mixer, whip until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Top with whipped cream and fresh fruit, if desired.

Makes 6 mini loaves
Recipe from Food Network

Friday, May 20, 2011

Grilled Quesadillas

These were heavenly. They are also limitless! You can put any type of meat, veggies, sauces, or cheese that you and your family love. That is the best part of these...each person can make there own to their liking. Okay, maybe not the BEST thing, the best thing is that they are delicious! What is it about a grill that makes food taste so much better? Between these grilled quesadillas and our grilled pizza recipe...soon to come...we are set for the summer! Bring on the BBQ!

Grilled Quesadillas
Printable Version

Choose a meat:

Choose some veggies:
red, green, yellow peppers

Choose a cheese:
colby jack
monterey jack

Choose a sauce:
lime juice
steak sauce

Throw all of the ingredients that you choose into a tortilla, and top with another. OR...only use one tortilla and fold it in half, this makes for an easier "flip" halfway through cooking.

Preheat grill to approx. 350 degrees. Spray each side of quesadilla with Pam or spread on EVOO. Place quesadilla's on grill and cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Make sure that you are watching them carefully so they don't charr too much on either side. Remove from grill and serve HOT!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

They are seriously so yummy. They have been the perfect go-to meal for our family for almost 3 years! I bet I make these at least once a month. Everyone is always pleased, they are a no-fail guarantee. The meat is sweet, while the sauce has just the perfect kick to it.  The creamy cheese and cream (bad description word, sorry!) make these enchiladas melt in your mouth. They balance eachother out perfectly! It is an extremely easy recipe, and, as I said, delicious!

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
Printable Version

3 1/2 tablespoons honey
Juice from 1 large lime
1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded, or a rotisserie chicken
4 flour tortillas
12 oz. monterey jack cheese, shredded
10 ounces green enchilada sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream

Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 8x8 baking pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until brown and crispy on top.

Serves 2.
Recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Monday, May 9, 2011

Deep Fried Green Beans with Cucumber Wasabi Sauce

These were a perfect twist on a normal fry! We kind of felt healthy eating them...KIND OF! The awesome crunch from the breading on the fries is perfect, and the kick from the wasabi sauce does wonders for your palate. I think I had more sauce on my fries than fry itself! These go great with burgers, steaks, or a simple meatball or pulled chicken sandwich.

Green Bean Fries with Wasabi Sauce
Printable Version 

Wasabi Sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup peeled, seeded,chopped cucumber
1 tablespoon horseradish, drained
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1-2 teaspoons wasabi
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 cup instant flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon onion powder teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Kosh er salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying

For the dip, puree the dressing, cucumber, horseradish, milk, vinegar, wasabi, cayenne pepper, and salt to taste in a blender until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To prepare the beans, fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the green beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. Let cool in the water, then drain and pat dry.
Whisk the egg and milk in a shallow bowl. Put 1/2 cup flour in another shallow bowl. Combine the breadcrumbs, the remaining 1/2 cup flour, the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste in another bowl.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the green beans in the flour and shake off the excess. One at a time, dip the beans in the egg mixture, dredge in the breadcrumb mixture and lay on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze until the coating is set, about 30 minutes.
Heat 3 inches oil in a deep pot over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Fry the green beans in batches until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the beans with tongs or a skimmer to a rack or paper towels to drain. Serve with the dip.

Recipe from Food Network Magazine

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Best Homemade Pancakes

I am not kidding when I say these are the best homemade pancakes. They do take a few more minutes to whip up than bisquick, but they are so beyond worth it you won’t regret it! The texture of these pancakes is so different, so delicious. You know if my hubbs will eat breakfast for dinner that the recipe must rock, and he will eat these! They are extremely moist and they feel very light compared to normal pancakes. (Too bad they aren’t light in calories...) Unfortunately, I could chow down about 10 of these babies. I often am doubling the recipe to get some for leftovers, they save wonderfully. Yum Yum! I just want to eat one right now...maybe I will...

The Best Homemade Pancakes
Printable Version
2 cups sour cream
scant cup of all purpose flour
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
butter or pam spray
syrup, for topping
whipped cream, for topping
fresh fruit, for topping

Turn a skillet on to medium-low heat, about 325 degrees if it is electric. Comine the sour cream, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir together very gently, stop short of the mixture being combined.
Whisk the eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl, then add to the sour cream mixture. Stir together gently, once more, stop short of the mixture being combined. A little white and yellow swirling is great.
Melt about a tablespoon of butter or spray your pan with pam. Pour the batter into the skillet, ¼ cup at a time. Cook pancakes for 1 ½ minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 1 ½ mintues, or until cooked through.
Top with desired toppings and enjoy!

Makes about 15 pancakes.
Recipe from Pioneer Woman