Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who ISN'T constantly on the lookout for a really awesome chocolate chip cookie recipe?
One of these days I'd like to try the fancy NYT chocolate chip cookie recipe but seeing as it calls for ingredients I can't afford right now (Valrhona feves, anyone?) I decided to look for a good recipe and tweak it to apply some of the things I learned in the NYT article (which I used to be able to access no problem but now it wants me to log in, so I can't link to it. But here is Not Martha's post about the cookies which includes info from the important parts of the article).

I used the recipe and cookie formation method (who knew there were options aside from "scoop. drop.") from Good Eats n' Sweet Treats.

I followed the recipe to a T except I refrigerated the dough for 24 hours before baking (NYT suggests 36 hours but I really really wanted a cookie and couldn't wait anymore) and sprinkled them with some sea salt before baking.

They were AMAZING. Best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had. Worth the 24 hour wait. Next time I will gather my strength and exercise all the self control I have and refrigerate the dough for 36 hours to see if it makes a difference. Pray for me.

Recipe and pictures copied from Good Eats n' Sweet Treats for your convenience with my additions in red:

These oversized cookies are chewy and thick, like many of the chocolate chip cookies sold in gourmet shops and cookie stores. They rely on melted butter and an extra egg yolk to keep their texture soft. These cookies are best served warm from the oven but will retain their texture even when cooled. To ensure the proper texture, cool the cookies on the baking sheet. Oversized baking sheets allow you to get all the dough into the oven at one time. If you’re using smaller baking sheets, put fewer cookies on each sheet and bake them in batches.

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed (7 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
sea salt

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

Refrigerate for 36 (or, if you're weak, 24) hours.

Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball.

Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves.

Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface.

Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.

Sprinkle each cookie with a small pinch sea salt.

Bake until the cookies are light golden grown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a side metal spatula.

Yield: About 18 large cookies

Note: the refrigerated dough was a little hard to scoop. I let it sit out for a bit before attacking it with a spoon. It warmed in my hands as I formed balls and became easier to work with.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Gobble up granola snacks

These were so yummy! I made them tonight for our long drive tomorrow and I hope there are some left by morning!

I got the recipe from but I changed it up a lot. Nevertheless here is the original recipe.

And here is my modified, rocking, revision.

2/3 C Brown Sugar
2/3 C Honey
2/3 C crunchy peanut butter
2 C Rice Krispies
2 C Oats (I used quick oats)
1/2 C Cheerios
1 t vanilla

Stir cereal(s) and oats together. In a medium sauce pan combine honey and brown sugar. Cook on medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and add PB and Vanilla until smooth. Dump on the cereal mixture and mix all up. Smoosh down on a cookie sheet coated with non stick cooking spray...or if you are a genius like me put wax paper on your cookie sheet, then you can fold it over the top too. Genius. Anyway.... you can top with chocolate chips (which I did, which was stupid because the whole reason I was making these was so we could have a yummy snack in the car that wouldn't melt....duh). Or you can add raisins or almonds to the mixture. Own it baby, make it your own. You can shift all of the cereal things too, I happened to have cheerios and rice krispies on hand so I used both. I think the recipe only calls for rice krispies. Like I said, own it baby.

Chicken Korma

If there's a Trader Joes near you and you like Indian food, buy this! In 20 minutes or less you'll have a tasty dinner that may be a different flavor from usual fare.

Chicken Korma Recipe:
Cook chicken in bite-size pieces.
Add the chicken to the Korma Simmer Sauce and ... simmer per directions on label.
Meanwhile, cook some rice. Basmasti is excellent with this dish.

I like to add a can of garbanzo beans, too.
That's it.

Serve over the rice, with a plate of sliced cucumbers and a bowl of plain yogurt (to cool the palate :), on the side.
Trader Joes also sells Tandoori Naan that adds to this fast feast. Salaam, y'all.
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Broccoli and Bowties

When I was on my deathbed a couple of weeks ago my neighbor brought me dinner and it was very yummy. A perfect light summer meal. She just sent me the recipe so here you go...

Broccoli and Bow Ties

Kosher Salt

8 C. broccoli florets (4 heads)

½ lb. farfalle (bow tie) pasta

2 T. unsalted butter

2 T. olive oil

1 t. minced garlic

1 lemon, zested

½ t. freshly ground black pepper

1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup toasted pignoli (pine) nuts

Freshly grated Parmesan, optional

Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In the same water, cook the bow-tie pasta according to the package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well and add to the broccoli.

Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Off the heat, add 1 t. salt, the pepper, and lemon juice and pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Season to taste, sprinkle with the pignolis and cheese, if using, and serve.

To toast pignolis, place them in a dry sauté pan over medium-low heat and cook, tossing often, for about 5 minutes, until brown.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Blaine's Favorite Casserole ****

Okay it probably should really be called Grasshopper pie or something but when Blaine was little he had a big bite and said, "mom, this is my favorite kind of casserole" Anyway, it is very good, very very good!

1 carton mint chocolate chip ice cream
1 container cool whip
1pkg oreos
chocolate syrup

smoosh oreos and push down on the bottom of a casserole dish. Soften ice cream and layer on top of the oreos. Layer whip cream on top of that. Freeze. When ready to serve top with chocolate syrup. Yum.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oatmeal Bread

Shauna Jones this is for you! I love this bread, mostly because it is the only bread I can make and have it turn out, and it tastes good, and Janssen really liked it when I made it even though she doesn't normally like bread too much. Awesome.

4-4 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 3/4 C Water
1/3 C packed brown sugar
3 Tbs butter, margarine, or shortening (butter, duh)
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 C rolled oats

Proof the yeast (mix it with warm water and sugar), in a mixing bowl mix the yeast and 2C flour; set aside. In a medium saucepan heat and stir water, brown sugar, butter and salt just until warm (120-130dgs) and butter almost melts. Add water mixture to flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for thirty seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for three minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the oats and as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining all purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes total) Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of dough. Cover, let rise in warm place until double in size (1- 1 1/2 hours).

Punch dough down, turn out onto lightly floured surface; divide in half. Cover, let rest ten minutes. Meanwhile grease two loaf pans.

Shape dough halves into loaves by patting or rolling. Place shaped dough halves in prepared pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (30-45 minutes)

Bake in a 375 dg oven for 35-40 minutes until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped (if necessary cover loosely with foil the last ten minutes to prevent over browning. Immediately move from pan and cool on wire rack.

Serve with some home made freezer jam. Yum.

Betsy's BBQ Meatballs w/ Mac and Cheese

I got this recipe from our ward cookbook and we love it.

Mix together:
1 lb (LEAN) hamburger (or ground turkey)
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs (I used just one egg and it turned out fine)
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Shape into meatballs and drop into Greased casserole pan. Pour sauce over meatballs.

1 cup brown sugar ( I used about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tsp mustard
1/2 bottle BBQ sauce (I used 1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray's and 1 cup ketchup)
2 tsp worcestershire sauce

Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 30 - 35 minutes. Turn meatballs and bake for another 15 - 20 minutes.

This is great with Mac and cheese as a side. I like this recipe. We eat with steamed veggies and a green salad too to help with the guilt.

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas

Sorry for all the mushroom and spinach recipes, I went to Costco and got enough of each to feed an army; here's what we had last night and Blaine loved it (I had cheerios).

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas (from

  • 1 (10 ounce) package chopped spinach
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 portobello mushroom caps, sliced
  • 4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil/or nonstick cooking spray

  1. Prepare spinach according to package directions. Drain and pat dry. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on one side of each tortilla. Place tortillas cheese side up on baking sheets, and bake 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic and mushrooms, and cook about 5 minutes. Mix in spinach, and continue cooking 5 minutes. Place an equal amount of the mixture on the cheese side of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half over the filling.
  3. Heat oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Place quesadillas in the skillet one at a time, and cook 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges to serve.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Homemade Oreos

Got this recipe from my sister-in-law Janey

1 pkg Devils Food Cake Mix
2 Eggs
3/4 C shortening

Mix together. It will be stiff. Roll into small balls. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes


4oz cream cheese
3 C powdered sugar
1/4 C margarine
1 tsp vanilla

Put two cookies together with frosting in between. Hint, wait until cookies cool till frosting. Don't ask.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken

  • Caesar Salad Dressing from

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons anchovy paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Who in their right mind has ANCHOVY Paste? I omitted that and used some salt and pepper instead. It was a great dressing! And I made it right before serving, it would have been even better chilled overnight.

Also I served with grilled chicken breast which I dunked in lemon juice and rubbed with onion powder, seasoning salt, pepper and parsley before grilling.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Spinach Salad

Trey threw this together a few weeks ago and it's already shown up 3 different times as a side at dinner. It's really good. I think that the fresh figs are best if they are cold...Yum............... I'm not sure what to call it so I suppose I'll call it...

"Trey's Awesome Salad"
1 package fresh spinach salad (with carrots)
Fresh Grated Parmesan
Teresa's (Marzetti) Brand Salad Dressing - Raspberry White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Bacon Pieces {Optional}
Fresh Figs

Top each salad plate with spinach salad mixture, followed by fresh grated Parmesan shavings, a few bacon pieces, salad dressing and cut fresh figs on top.

Super easy and very tasty! Try it even if you hate spinach - our kids devoured it even though they knew it was spinach.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ralphie's Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe is from Ralphie!

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup (I fake being sick so I can make this.)

2 c. chopped celery
3 c. chopped carrots
1 cup copped onion
4 tsp. or cubes of chicken bouillon
5 cups water
2 c. cooked cubed chicken
½ pkg. wide egg noodles (I use the "no yoke" kind so that I can eat more. That's how it works, right?)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk

Boil celery, carrots, and onion in water and bouillon. Do not drain water. Add rest of ingredients. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

*Blaine doesn't like celery so I omitted that, but it was still yum! And very easy

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hearty Spinach and Mushroom Soup ***

Blaine raved on and on about this, a great soup!

From Pillsbury Fast and Healthy Cookbook

2 tsp Margarine or Butter
1 (8oz) pkg (3 Cups) sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 C finely shredded carrot
1/2 C finely chopped onion
1 (14 1/2 oz) can ready to serve fat free chicken broth with 1/3 less sodium
1 1/2 C frozen cut leaf spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Dash pepper
2 C skim milk
1/4 C all purpose flour
4 oz fat free cream cheese cut into pieces
4 oz (1Cup) shredded reduced fat swiss cheese

Melt margarine in large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, carrots and onion; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add broth, spinach, nutmeg and pepper, mix well.

In a small bowl combine milk and flour; blend until smooth. Add to spinach mixture; cook until bubble and thickened, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low. Add cream cheese and swiss cheese; cook and stir until melted.

- I used dehydrated carrots and dehydrated onions (yea food storage), I used two chicken bullion cubes and two cups water instead of the broth, and I used swiss cheese slices, and neufacschentioetwnaoidath whatever cheese that is kind of like fat free cream cheese.

Really yum. Well, of course I didn't have any but Blaine loved it, Gwen loved it and I blended some up for lil' Bentley and he loved it :)

Won Ton Chicken Salad & Rangoon

Won Ton Chicken Salad by Colleen Kelley

4 chicken breasts, marinated in teriyaki sauce
1 head Iceburg lettuce
6 green onions
1 pkg. slivered almonds
1/4 c sesame seeds
1/4 package won tons, fried in oil (you can find these in the produce section at Wally World for less than $2)

3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper (fresh cracked, yo!)
1 Tbsp Accent (find near spices; I only say this because I'd never heard of Accent before :0))
1/4 c olive oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil

Colleen's directions:
Toss salad with dressing right before serving. Top with fried won tons crumbled on top.

My notes: I marinated the chicken breasts in teriyaki sauce all day and then had Mikers grill them. The chicken came out very moist and flavorful this way. Whenever I try to cook chicken with teriyaki sauce indoors, I have problems. I think it's because there's so much sugar in the teriyaki sauce. Also, I drizzled the dressing on each plate individually because I knew we probably weren't going to eat the whole salad tonight for dinner and I thought it would keep better separately.

Now for the rangoon...

This recipe is from a fantastic cooking blog.
Link to recipe:

1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup crab (imitation or real)
2 Tbsp green onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp water chestnuts, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 egg, separated (discard yolk)
Won ton wrappers
Sweet chili sauce

Mix all ingredients together, except egg white, wrappers, and chili sauce. Put a teaspoonful of filling on a won ton wrapper. Using your finger, dip into the egg white and rub along the edges of the won ton. Place another wrapper directly on top and press to seal the edges together. Put a little more egg white on each corner. Pinch corners together to create a little pillow.

At this stage, you can freeze them for later use. If you’re eating them now, heat oil in a pot or wok to 350*. Carefully place the Rangoon in the hot oil and cook until the whole thing is nice and golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain.

Serve with sweet chili sauce for dipping.

4 starts for both recipes. They are delicious!