Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dessert: Chocolate Chunk Buckwheat Cookies

Another recipe I got from Robin Asbell's The New Whole Grains Cookbook. When I made these, they were deemed by my son to be his new favorite cookie.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buckwheat groats
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2 inch chucks

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 375°F.
  2. In a stand mixer or bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and almond extract until well mixed.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt and buckwheat, and add to the butter mixture, beating to incorporate. When the flour is mixed in, add the chocolate and stir until combined.
  4. Drop 2-tablespoon-size balls of dough onto ungreased sheet pans, leaving 3 inches of space between the balls. The cookies will spread while baking.
  5. Bake for 6 minutes, reverse the position of the pans in the oven, then bake for 4 to 6 minutes more. A pale, soft center surrounded by golden brown cookie is the desired result.
  6. Let the cookie cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks with a spatula. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to a week.


Other Details:
  • Makes a dozen cookies 
  • Although I got a few more than that out of my batch
  • Nutrition is per cookie

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Entree: Chicken Piccata

I tried this recipe from a local supermarket recipe book. It was a hit, so it became one of our meals. It isn't very hard to make, so can be done on a limited time night.
Ingredients:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb.), pounded FLAT
3 Tbsp butter, divided
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 thin slices lemon

Directions:


  1. In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper. Dip chicken in flour mixture, coating well.
  2. In 12” skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and cok chicken in two batches until chicken is thoroughly cooked, turning once. Remove chicken to serving platter and keep warm.
  3. In same skillet, add broth and lemon slices. Bring to a boil over high heat, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon of butter until melted. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley, if desired.



Other Details:

  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 18 minutes
  • Serves 4.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dessert: Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

I love chocolate. I really enjoy hazelnut. Truffles are the best. Combine them into a single item and I am delighted! These are super easy truffles. They are messy to make, but so worth it! You can make just a few or a couple dozen to share.



Ingredients:

1/2 cup Nutella (see note)
4 squares (4 ounces) semisweet baking chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Refrigerate Nutella until firm, about 4 hours. Transfer 1-tablespoon scoops to a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper or parchment paper. (Work fast; Nutella softens very quickly.)
  2. Place cookie sheet into freezer. Chill until Nutella is very firm.
  3. Melt the chocolate (we used the microwave). Pour melted chocolate into a small bowl.
  4. Dust hands with cocoa powder and quickly roll chilled Nutella into balls.
  5. Quickly dip Nutella in melted chocolate and sprinkle lightly with cocoa powder. Return the balls to the cookie sheet. lace the cookie sheet in the refrigerator until the balls are set, about 1 hour.
  6. Place in a container and refrigerate until ready to serve. 


Other details:
  • Makes 9 to 10 truffles. 
  • Nutrition is per truffle. 
  • Note: Nine to 10 of these goodies are not enough.
  • Or use the entire 13-ounce jar, which makes about 2 dozen truffles.
  • I made these this past summer and neglected to write down where I got the original recipe - it could be from a newspaper clipping or a blog. 


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Entree: Crunchy Coated Fish with Dill Sauce

Another good recipe out of Robin Asbell's New Whole Grains Cookbook. This is a nice version of a cod, halibut, or tilapia. 
Dill sauce to left and Fish on right



Ingredients:
Sauce
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, washed and dried
half of a 10-ounce box of firm-style silken tofu
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Fish

2 brown rice cakes
1 large egg
1/4 cup canola oil
4 small (halibut or other firm fish) fillets, 6 ounces each


Directions:

Sauce 

  1. In a food processor, mince the garlic and parsley. 
  2. Add the tofu, and puree. Scrape down the sides and keep processing until it is completely smooth. 
  3. Add the lemon juice, dill, and salt, scrape down, and process to mix. 
  4. Pour the olive oil slowly through the tube with the motor running. 
  5. Scrape the tofu sauce into a bowl and reserve, then wash the processor bowl, and dry it well.


Fish

  1. Break the brown rice cakes into pieces and put into the food processor bowl. Pulse to break the pieces into rice-size bits. Transfer the rice cake bits to a pie pan or plate. 
  2. In another pie pan, whisk the egg. Heat the oil until it shimmers. 
  3. Coat the fish fillets in the egg mixture, then in the rice cake bits, and put them in the hot pan. After the pan returns to a sizzle, reduce the heat to medium. 
  4. Cook for about 5 minutes per side for thick fillets, less for thinner ones.
  5. Serve hot, with the sauce in little bowls for dipping.


Other Details:
  • Serves 4. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dessert: Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream Pie

I got this recipe from a cut-out recipe card. I didn't write down the original source of the card. I made it for my daughter's birthday last summer, which is why the photo has candles on the pie. This was good and a great summer treat.

Ingredients:
1 chocolate cookie pie crust, store-bought or homemade using chocolate wafers mixed with melted butter
2 flavors of ice cream (crunchy preferred)
1 jar hot fudge sauce
1 jar caramel sauce
3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans work great)
1/2 cup chopped crunchy candy bar
1 container whipped cream

Directions:


  1. Set out one carton of ice cream to soften. 
  2. Spread a thin layer of hot fudge sauce over bottom of pie crust. Spread softened ice cream on top, filling slightly over half full. Smooth with a knife and place in freezer for 1 hour. 
  3. A few minutes before removing pie from freezer, take out other carton of ice cream to soften. Remove pie from freezer, and spread a layer of caramel sauce. Sprinkle nuts and chopped candy bar. Spread the second flavor of ice cream on top, creating a mound. Return to freezer. 
  4. At serving time, warm remaining hot fudge and caramel sauce and drizzle over pice. Top with whipped cream. 


Other Details:
Yield: Serves 8

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Entree: Honey & Cheese Panini

This is pretty easy. You buy a nice loaf of bread for paninis (unsliced and slice yourself), spread honey on one side of the bread and butter on the other, put cheese (we use Beecher's Flagship) between and grill on a medium-high heated panini pan. It's a favorite, it's comfort food, it's been popular when served to guests at my home.
Ingredients:
Loaf of french bread or other good sandwich bread
good quality cheese
butter

a panini pan helps

Directions:

  1. Preheat your panini pan to medium-high.
  2. Slice your bread into 1/2" thick slices.
  3. Slice your cheese into normal cheese slice thickness.
  4. Butter one side of each slice of bread with butter.
  5. Spread honey on the other side of half the slices of bread.
  6. Match each honeyed slice up with a non-honeyed slice. Butter side down, place on panini pan, add a layer (or two) of cheese, place other buttered slice on top, butter side up. Place panini lid on top. Cook until golden brown, the flip and cook the other side to same.
  7. Enjoy with a bowl of soup for good, homemade comfort food!



Friday, January 6, 2012

Dessert: Oreo Brownies

I have a good brownie recipe, but a friend brought The Barefoot Contessa's Oreo Brownies to a potluck, so I gave them a try. These are slightly pricey, very high calorie, super tasty brownies. 


Ingredients:
2 cups butter
1 lb semi-sweet chocolate chips + additional 12 oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (is easier but not necessary to chop)
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules 
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups chopped Oreo cookies (50 cookies/one package) 


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line an 11" X 17" pan with aluminum foil and spray with no-stick cooking spray.
  3. Microwave butter, 1 pound chocolate chips, and 6 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate until melted and smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, coffee, vanilla and sugar.
  5. Blend chocolate mixture into egg mixture; cool to room temperature.
  6. In a medium bowl, sift together one cup flour, baking powder and salt.
  7. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture.
  8. In a small bowl, stir together Oreos, 12 ounce chocolate ships, and remaining 1/4 cup flour.
  9. Add Oreo mixture to chocolate mixture.
  10. Pour batter into baking pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula.
  11. Bake 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 3-inches from center comes out clean; do not overbake.
  12. Allow to cool. refrigerate, tightly wrapped, until cold; cut into squares.



Other Details:

  • Original Recipe  
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 1/4 hr
  • I found 4 cups hand chopped to be 2/3 of a package – about 30 cookies
  • According to the recipe, this makes 20 large brownies at 670 Calories each. I prefer to have around 30 brownies at about 250 calories each (2 ounce brownies).


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Entree: Ree's Chicken Strips

If you celebrate holidays by making tons of food, you may be sick of cooking after all the holidays in December and the calendar New Year. If so, these chicken strips are the sort of easy dinner that is perfect in the spell after the holidays. By the title, you can see these come from the Pioneer Woman.

Ingredients:

1 package Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Strips (sometimes Called "tenders" Or "strips")
Buttermilk
1-1/2 cup Flour
2 teaspoons (to 3 Teaspoons) Lawry's Seasoning Salt (or Spices Of Your Choosing)
Vegetable Oil

Directions:


  1. Start by rinsing and drying your chicken strips. Next, in a bowl submerge the chicken strips in buttermilk for 15 to 20 minutes (or longer if you’d like).
  2. In another bowl combine about 1 ½ cups flour and 2 to 3 teaspoons of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt (or other seasonings if you prefer). Mix this together well. Next, add about ¼ to ½ cup of buttermilk into the flour mixture and stir lightly with a fork as you add it.
  3. Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat.
  4. Remove a few of the buttermilk-soaked strips and place them in the flour mixture, turning them over to coat them thoroughly. Place them on a plate. Continue coating chicken strips until they are all ready to cook.
  5. When the oil is sufficiently heated, begin cooking the strips a few at a time. Cook them for about a minute and a half or so on each side. When golden and crispy, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate.


Other details:
  • Original Recipe 
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Yum!
  • Prep Time 30 min 
  • Cook Time 3 min 
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Serves 6