Saturday, July 24, 2010

Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Basil Pasta

We had this for dinner tonight and it was a hit with every single family member. That means it's a keeper. And because I'm super lazy, you only get the hyperlink.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Magic in the Middle Cookies

Magic in the Middle Cookies

MMMMM! I took these cookies to a family function and got rave reviews all night. And more importantly, people thought it was kind of magical how I got the peanut buttery filling in the cookie. These were actually really easy to make and really fun to make with kids helping. Gwen made all of the middle peanut butter portion herself and it kept her busy while I was able to get more of the the technical work done.

I got this recipe and the picture from

Chocolate Dough
1 1/2 cups (6 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar (plus extra for dredging)
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ) brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk

Peanut butter filling
3/4 cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth, your choice
3/4 cup (3 ounces) confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
2. To make the dough: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
3. In another medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg, beating to combine, then stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.
5. To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and confectioners sugar until smooth.
6. With floured hands or a teaspoon scoop, roll the filling into 26 one-inch balls.
7. To shape the cookies: Scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough (a lump about the size of a walnut), make an indentation in the center with your finger and place one of the peanut butter balls into the indentation.
8. Bring the cookie dough up and over the filling, pressing the edges together cover the center; roll the cookie in the palms of your hand to smooth it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
10. Roll each rounded cookie in granulated sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
11. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass, and use it to flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick.
12. Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, or until they’re set and you can smell chocolate. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

PS If you ever want to buy me a gift, you could buy my a cookie cooling rack. Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grilled Swiss with Avocado and Tomato

Since returning home from Disneyland where the Dole Whips flowed like water and the Monte Cristo Sandwiches were aplenty....we've decided to try to be healthier. So tonight I cracked open my trusty "Weight Watchers All-Time Favorites" cookbook and tried this recipe, I loved it!

2 Tbs low fat mayo
8 slices multigrain bread
4 slices low fat swiss cheese
1/2 avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
2 carrots, shredded
2 cups alfalfa sprouts
1 tomato cut in 8 slices

* Spread 1 1/2 t mayo on each of the four bread slices; layer with one slice of swiss cheese, on fourth of the avocado, on fourth of the carrots, one half cup of the alfalfa sprouts and two tomato slices. Cover with remaining four pieces of bread.

* Set a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly spray both sides of each sandwich with nonstick spray; place in the skillet. Cook, covered, turning once, until the cheese is melted and the bread well toasted, about four minutes.

* Devour

*4 WW Points


I didn't have the alfalfa sprouts or carrots on mine--kudos to you if you keep alfalfa sprouts lying about. Also I used a prepackaged guacamole (that I scored at Costco for cheap!) instead of the avocado.

Very yummy, VERY fast and all made even better with my multigrain bountiful basket bread!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lettuce Wraps - AWESOME!

So, um....this dinner was amazing. A-MAZ-ING. A big thanks to April Orgill who pointed me to the recipe on This version has been modified to incorporate reviewers suggestions.

I won't be spending the money on PF Changs lettuce wraps again, I can make them at home!

3 Tbs Canola Oil
1 Tbs minced fresh ginger root
1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces
1 can water chestnuts, diced
3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
4 Tbs rice vinegar
4 Tbs teriyaki sauce
1/2 t garlic powder
red pepper flakes to taste
1 1/2 C shredded carrots
1/2 C chopped green onion
1/3 C toasted and sliced almonds
12 leaves of iceberg lettuce.

Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ginger, water chestnuts, mushrooms and chicken and saute until cooked through, about 7-10 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 2 Tbs oil, vinegar, teriyaki sauce, garlic and red pepper flakes.. Add chicken mixture, carrot, green onion and almonds to the sauce, toss together.

To serve spoon 1/12 of the mixture on to the center of each lettuce leaf, roll up leaf around filling and serve.

* In the interest of full disclosure - I used leftover chicken from a rotisserie chicken so I still sauteed it all in the oil, but only for like...three minutes
** also, I loved using my Bosch/food processor and used it to process the mushrooms and carrots on the smallest slicing option.

***Um, these seriously are really good. You should make them

**** My pictures are crappy because I use my iphone. I will make a concerted effort to take amazing pictures with my DSLR in the future.

***** The more adventurous cherry lovers among you may want to try the original recipe found here


Salmon Foil Packets

This recipe comes from the kitchen of Jeannie McCulloch. And if it comes from the kitchen of J.M. you know it's going to be good!

Salmon Fillets cut into portions
Red Onions
Lemon Juice
Favorite spices (I used lemon pepper and basil)

Cut several squares of tinfoil. Put on the salmon fillet skin side down, rub with spice of choice, top with tomatoes and red onions, put on a dash of lemon juice and a dribble of EVOO. Wrap up the packet, place on baking sheet and cook for about 25 minutes on 350.

Very delicious and flexible recipe...I was tempted to throw in some Feta cheese last night too, but didn't. Yum!