Friday, April 22, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the cookies that were up against my White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies in the cookie contest my sweet little 10 year old insisted on. She even made these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies ALL by herself. She wouldn't even let me help stir in the chocolate chips (picture her grunting and sweating from stirring). Yep. A pretty determined little princess I have. The only thing she allowed me to help out with was the clean up. I don't think I got the best deal on that one....

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening (I prefer butter flavored)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Beat shortening and sugars until creamy. Add vanilla, eggs and milk; mix well. Stir in oatmeal and chocolate chips. Using rounded tablespoons, spoon drops of dough onto greased cookie sheets, placing 2 inches apart. Bake 10 minutes or until edges are light brown.

Recipe from Western Family

Thursday, April 21, 2011

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

I was instructed by my sweet hubby to make a treat to take to a fireside. I asked what kind of a treat he wanted me to make. He said cookies. Specifically, chocolate chip cookies. Even more specifically, "The ones you made the other day. They were really good." (Aka Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies)I was going to take Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are, after all, very yummy, but, I decided I needed something a little differnt (aka something not already posted on my bloggy friend. Aka again, this blog). Then he hit me with the big one. When they were getting ready to announce the fireside in church, he told the announcer that there would also be refreshments. Their conversation went something like this....

Hubby "And there will be refreshments."
Announcer "Who's making the refreshments?"
Hubby "My wife."
Announcer "Really!?! To heck with anything about the fireside. I'll just tell them your wife's making the treats. She makes the best treats EVER!"

Can you see the really cool pedestal I've been placed on? Can you see my head blowing up like a balloon sitting up there on that pedestal all pretty? Well, it didn't last long. I started looking through my recipes and fretting about the kitchen. I mean, I had to live up to the expectations put on me. I had to make something amazing. I thought about making Amazing Brownies. They are, after all, amazing! But Hubby said they would be too messy. He also told me he didn't know why I was making such a fuss about some little cookies. *sigh* Sometimes men just don't get it.

I decided on these White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies because, well, they are amazing (and new to my blogy friend).

When my sweet little 10 year old saw me putting white chocolate chips in the cookie dough, she about had heart failure. I mean, how could anyone in their right mind ruin perfectly good cookies with putting those nasty things in there (according to her). So....she insisted on a contest. She would make a batch of cookies all by herself, and the cookies that disappeared the fastest were the winner. At the end of the night, it was about a tie. Even though she rigged the contest (she and her best little buddy and best little buddies little sister ate at least half of hers all by themselves). On second thought, maybe she didn't rig it after all. Her vote, along with her best little buddy and sister's votes just weighed a little more heavily than most. Pretty clever little girl!

½ cup butter
½ cup shortening
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 ¾ cups flour
1 ½ cups white chocolate chips
½ cup macadamia nuts

Cream butter, shortening and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Add white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts and stir until well combined. Drop onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes.

Recipe from The Royal Cook (an original)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

I received an email years ago with this recipe and a story about the recipe. A lady was dining at a Neiman Marcus restaurant and love the cookie so she asked the server if she could buy it and for how much. She was told it was two fifty and had it charged to her credit card. When she got her statement she saw that she was charged $250, not $2.50 like she thought she should have been. She called the store and asked to have the charged reversed, but they refused because she had already seen the recipe. She was furious and decided to email the recipe to everyone she knew with the request to forward in on.

I have no clue if the story is true, but the cookies are delicious!

1 cup butter
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (8 ounce) Hershey bar, grated
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, optional

Measure oatmeal into blender and blend to a fine powder. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pork Egg Rolls

I made these egg rolls for my little (big) guys birthday to go along with Noodle Stir Fry and dipped them in The BEST Teriyaki Sauce Ever. They were a hit! My little (big) guy said they were Awesome! His buddy that was over said they were 10 times better than the ones they serve at the school. My little (big) guy said they were a million times better than the ones they serve at their school. His buddy agreed. I wouldn't know about the ones at their school, but these egg rolls are pretty darn good, if you ask me.

1 pound ground pork
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger(ground ginger would work as well)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 quart peanut oil for frying
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 cup shredded carrots
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 package egg roll wrappers
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

Season pork with ginger and garlic powder and mix thoroughly. Heat mixture in a medium skillet, stirring, until pork is cooked through and no longer pink. Set aside. In another large skillet heat oil to about 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) or medium high heat. While oil is heating, combine flour and water in a bowl until they form a paste. In a separate bowl combine the cabbage, carrots, soy sauce and reserved pork mixture. Mix all together. Lay out one egg roll skin with a corner pointed toward you. Place about a 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the cabbage, carrot and pork mixture on egg roll paper and fold corner up over the mixture. Fold left and right corners toward the center and continue to roll. Brush a bit of the flour paste on the final corner to help seal the egg roll (I brushed it along the entire edge except the bottom corner that folded up over the filling first. It sealed it a little better). Place egg rolls into heated oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or rack. Put on serving plate and top with sesame seeds if desired.

Recipe from Allrecipes.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Noodle Stir Fry

This noodle stir fry is one of the things I made for my little (big) guys 12th birthday. It was pretty easy and tasted fantastic. According to him, it was the "Best. Stir fry. Ever!" Yep, it really is that good. I guess it doesn't hurt that it was made with The BEST Teriyaki Sauce Ever.

I used ground pork in the stir fry this time, but I think it would be amazing with chicken or beef as well (not ground, cut into thin strips). YUM!!

1 (6 oz) package chow mein stir fry noodles (I used Wel Pac brand - found in the oriental section)
1 pound lean ground pork
3 green onions and tops, cut into 1 inch lengths
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
2 cups packed shredded green cabbage (I used a cole slaw mix)
1 carrot, coarsely shredded
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside. Heat wok or large frying pan over medium high heat. Add pork and stir fry 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Add onions and cook 1 minute. Mix in cabbage, carrot, noodles, teriyaki sauce and pepper. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until all is combined and heated through.

Recipe slightly adapted from Wel Pac

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The BEST Teriyaki Sauce Ever

Yep. I really mean it. This really is the BEST teriyaki sauce ever! I really haven't tried all the recipes out there, but I have tried quite a few, and this is the best. The one. The only. I will never have need to try out another recipe for teriyaki sauce again.

My little (big) guy just turned 12 and requested Asian food for dinner. This teriyaki is the beginning of the feast I made for him. He was so pleased about his dinner and even thanked me again the next morning for "the best food you have ever made". He even told me that my food was better than his schools food. Don't know how much of a compliment that was, but I will take it.

This teriyaki sauce is great added to stir fry, as a dip or as a marinade. The sauce is a bit on the thin side, so if you like a thicker sauce for dipping, mix a little corn starch and water together and add at the end.

2/3 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
1 cup soy sauce
4 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/3 cup white sugar
7 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 dash red pepper flakes
black pepper to taste

Bring mirin to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour in soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Season with garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and black pepper; simmer an additional 5 minutes. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

Recipe from Allrecipes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tomato Basil Pizza Sauce

This pizza sauce is absolutely amazing! It is so flavorful and delicious! It is not a salty sauce (I usually think of salt as flavor), but very flavorful. The garlic smells amazing while it is sauteing in the oil. Mmmmmm I don't care for the taste of wine in my food, but used wine in this pizza sauce and actually enjoyed it. You could use chicken broth, apple or grape juice in place of the wine if you prefer.

1 (28 oz) can tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Coarsely chop or crush the tomatoes or push them through a food mill (you want a slightly chunky texture). In a large skillet or saute pan, saute the garlic briefly in the oil. Add the tomatoes and wine. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Add the herbs and pepper and cook 5 minutes longer.

The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days and in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Recipe adapted from The Bread Bible.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chipotle Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

I love sweet potatoes. My hubby loves them too. Even though we both love them, we love them different. He's the one that puts brown sugar on them (YUCK!!). I'm the one that butters and salts them (YUM!). Even though we both love them different, we love them the same in this soup. My sweet hubby said the soup (chowder) tasted like one that you would get at a nice restaurant (I thought my house was like a nice restaurant. The chef even cooks to order.....). Anyway, we love it. The kids? Not so much. But they're sweet potato haters to start with.

The original recipe called for 2 whole peppers. Um, yeah. One was good enough for me. But if you like it spicy (and aren't feeding the kiddos) feel free to throw in another one. Call me a wimp if you will, but I prefer to keep my mouth not on fire.

4 whole sweet potatoes, roasted and cubed
2 ½ cups corn, fresh or frozen
8 slices bacon
1 cup leeks, sliced and rinsed well
1 whole sweet onion
2 tablespoons fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram or 2 tsp dried
2 (32oz) boxes chicken stock , divided
1 whole chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeded and finely chopped (I put mine whole in my blender when I blended the soup - no chopping required)
1 ½ cups heavy cream (used half and half)

Wrap sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour at 375 degrees F, until fork tender. Once soft, peel and cube.

Fry bacon in a dutch oven or other large heavy bottomed pot. Once crispy, remove and set aside. Drain all but about 2 tablespoons of the drippings. Add leeks, onion, corn, thyme and marjoram to the pot, stirring constantly until tender. Add cubed sweet potatoes, 1-1 1/2 boxes of chicken stock, and chipotle pepper; simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend 1/2-1/3 of the soup. (Or transfer to a blender and do the same. Just be ware - my hot (yes, very hot) soup tried to sneak out of the cracks at the top of my blender. Naughty soup! You'll want to leave some of the corn and potato cubes whole.)

Simmer chowder for another 10 minutes, then add heavy cream and combine well. If your chowder seems too thick, add more chicken stock and/or water to thin until you reach the desired consistency. Top with crumbled bacon. Serve with corn chips or a nice crusty french loaf.

Recipe slightly adapted from What's Cookin?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hot Chicken Sandwiches

When I was a kid, my parents would take us to a hometown cafe and they would often order hot sandwiches. I would sweet talk a bite out of them almost every time (man I was good!) I LOVED the hot sandwiches. They were served with potatoes and smothered in gravy. Yum!!! I usually serve mine with mashed potatoes as well, but when I pulled out the potato bag, it was.....*gulp*.....empty! Who does that!?! Who runs out of potatoes!?! That's right up there with running out of ground beef! (That's a whole other story. I know everyone is dying to hear, so brace your self. I get it free. That's right. FREE! And I still ran out.) I don't run out of things. Really, I don't. I am the neighbor that all the other neighbors go to when they run out of stuff. I always have what they don't. *Sigh* Oh well. I have potatoes now and am determined not to run out of them again (or ground beef for that matter).

2 cups chicken gravy
1 pound deli sliced chicken
6 sliced bread

Toast the bread and butter. Warm the gravy in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and heat through. Divide the meat between the slices of toast and drizzle with any remaining gravy.

Recipe from The Royal Cook

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cheese Rolls

These little cheese rolls are SO easy and tasty!! Most people use flour tortillas, but we love them with corn tortillas. I almost feel silly sharing my "recipe", but the corn tortillas are a little different. Yum!!

When I make these for my girls, they insist on having them cut in half so they can count the rings and see how old they are (like trees - I guess they paid attention in school). They always tell me that I need to make them a really, REALLY old cheese roll. Old cheese rolls don't sound too appetizing to me. I imagine them growing green stuff all over them, kind of like leaves on trees. Kind of.....

Small corn tortillas
Shredded cheese
Butter (I use I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray)

Heat a flat bottomed frying pan on the stove over medium heat. Butter both sides of each tortilla. Place 1 tortilla in the hot frying pan. Cook for about 30 second - until the butter is melted and the tortilla is hot. Flip the tortilla and sprinkle with cheese (I use just under 1/4 cup on each tortilla) and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove tortilla from pan and roll. Be careful with the melted cheese. It is HOT!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

My girls LOVE granola bars! I have been looking for a recipe that makes soft and chewy granola bars and came across this one on Hip2Save. They turned out awesome! My girls were pretty impressed that I could make granola bars. For some reason, I never cease to amaze them with my culinary skills.

2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
2 cups old fashion oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed coconut
1/4 cup mini chocolate morsels

In a large bowl combine the rice cereal and oatmeal. Grease or line with plastic wrap a 9×13 inch pan. Mix brown sugar, honey and peanut butter in a small sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until just boiling. Add to cereal mixture along with vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt, coconut and chocolate chips (freeze the chocolate chips and add them at the very end to help prevent melting too much). Press into the prepared pan (I butter my hands and use my hands). Set aside to cool, then cut into bars.

Linked on All Things Related #43 and Show Me What Ya Got #18.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Perfect Pie Crust

This pie crust is the easiest pie crust I have ever made. It always turns out perfect and very flaky. A couple things that I love about this crust are that the water doesn't need to be ice cold, just cold enough that it won't melt the shortening, and if you accidentally add too much water, it still turns out perfect.

I got this recipe from The Pie Lady and use it for pot pies, fruit pies, and cream pies. We like to roll out the extra dough and sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar and then bake it. Sometimes the kids will cut out shapes with cookie cutters. The kids (and mom) love it!

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter flavored shortening
3/4 cup cold water

Mix flour and salt together. Break up the shortening into small pieces and drop into the flour. Mix together until the shortening is broken up into corn meal to pea sized pieces (I use my hands for all the mixing and for breaking up the shortening - makes them nice and soft). Add 1/2 cup of the water and mix until incorporated. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to make a dough that holds together. Don't mix the dough anymore than you need to. You don't want all the shortening to be fully incorporated. Roll out on a lightly floured surface. Flip dough over half way through rolling. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes if using for a pie that requires a pre baked crust. Makes a double crust.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Green Chile Chicken Chili

The beautiful spring weather we are supposed to be having has been hiding from us. We have had snow more than once in the last couple weeks and it has just been cold. When it is cold and wintery (even when it is supposed to be warm and springy), I want something warm and hearty. This Green Chile Chicken Chili is perfect for the weather we have been having and it is SO good! I had some at Bunko a while ago and took the basic idea and then came up with this. The family all loved it. I put the sour cream in a baggie and snipped off the end to make shapes and designs in the kids chili. They loved it. What can I say, I am a REALLY cool mom! (Just don't tell the kids I said I was really cool, they might (okay, will) contradict me.)

1 (28 oz) can green enchilada sauce
1 (16 oz) can chicken broth
2 (4 oz) cans diced green chilies
3 (15 oz) cans beans, drained (I used 1 white and 2 black)
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (I LOVE cilantro)
1 teaspoon cumin
6 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Put everything except cornstarch in a crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours. Remove the chicken from the crock pot and shred. Mix cornstarch with just enough water to make it runny and pour in the crock pot, stirring constantly and until well mixed. Return shredded chicken to the crock pot and and stir. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for 1 to 2 more hours. Serve garnished with sour cream, cilantro, shredded cheese and/or crushed tortilla chips.

Linked on All Things Related #43 and Show Me What Ya Got #18.
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