Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!

I love pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I know I have a recipe on here already, but I ran across this recipe on the food network and it was slightly different than mine. I liked the texture a little better than my other recipe. Both are good, this one just seemed more like the cookies we used to bake at the Bakery I worked at. I think I ate 3 while still warm... reminds me of autumn!! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened (brought to room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 or 3 cups MILK chocolate chips (I used 3 cups) can't have enough chocolate
nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper. (I use parchment paper, cookies bake a little better, don't get a ridge of spray around the edges)

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla, and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven. Mine took about 12 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and let rest a couple of minutes on the cookies sheets before removing to a cooling rack, (or plate, or napkin or your mouth like I did! :o)
Enjoy!! yum-a-lishious!

Penne with Zucchini and Basil Pesto!

Since this time of year is the time when everyone seems to have an abundance of zucchini, here is a yummy recipe for a pasta side dish. Goes great with grilled chicken or steak! I found this on the food network, but they used a different kind of pasta, and eggplant. I thought I'd try it with zucchini, and added onion, garlic and parmesan cheese! Yummo!

Penne with Zucchini and Basil Pesto

1 pound Penne Pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grateed Romano Cheese
Olive oil
2 medium or 3 small zucchini, cut into approx. 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
1/2 cup (approx) basil pesto (jarred pesto from the store, or fresh, see recipe below) can use more if desired.
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, (tender but still a little firm to the bite). Stir occasionally, takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, but reserve 1 cup of the pasta water to use later. Set aside.

While pasta cooks, in a large skillet heat 2 or 3 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, and saute for a couple of minutes. Then add the garlic and diced zucchini. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, or until zucchini is lightly browned on the edges and tender. Add the pesto and cook a couple of minutes more. Turn off heat, add pasta and grated cheeses, and toss to combine, thin the sauce with a little pasta water, the amount depends on how thin you want the sauce, I use a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. Garnish with a little more grated cheese on top. Serve along side your favorite grilled meat and enjoy!! Yummo!

Basil Pesto

2 to 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts ( see **Note)
1 clove garlic (or 1 teaspoon minced)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/2 to 2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

In a food processor, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and  1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add the oil until the mixture is smooth and thick ( I start with a 1/2 cup and add more if necessary) Add the cheese and pulse until just corporated. Season with a little more salt and pepper if desired. Set aside. I use about 1/2 cup of the pesto in the zucchini recipe above, with the rest, freeze in ice cube trays, when frozen pop out of tray and store in freezer in a ziploc bag. This way it's ready when you need more, just take a cube or two out and use in your favorite pasta recipe.

**Note: to toast the pine nuts, arrange on a cookie sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven until lightly toasted, about 5 to 6 minutes. Or in a small frying pan, toast over medium heat until lightly toasted. Pine nuts toast fast when they start to toast, so watch carefully.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lemon Tart with Blackberry Sauce

I was craving something really lemony and found this recipe for a lemon tart. It was yummo!! I didn't have 2 lemons, but had 1 lemon and 1 lime. I used the zest off of both, then sqeezed the juice from both and topped off with bottled lemon juice to equal 1/2 cup like the recipe calls for. Yumm!!! did I mention that lemon is my next favorite flavor after chocolate???

Lemon Tart with Blackberry Sauce

1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

Lemon filling:
5 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice (aproximately two large lemons-see note above)
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest (outer lemon skin)

Blackberry Sauce:
3/4 cup water
1 cup frozen blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon flour

Grease or spray with Pam, an 8 or 9 inch tart pan.
In food processor, place the flour, sugar and salt and process to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the pastry starts to come together and form clumps. Place the pastry in the prepared tart pan and using your fingertips evenly press onto the bottom and up the sides of pan.
Pierce the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork (This will prevent the pastry crust from puffing  up while it bakes.) Cover and place the pastry crust in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill. (This will prevent the crust from shrinking while it bakes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place rack in the center of oven.
When the pastry is completely chilled, uncover and place the tart pan on a larger baking pan and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
Reduce heat in the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor or with an electric mixer, place the cream cheese and process until smooth. Add sugar and process until incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, and process until thoroughly combined. Add remaining ingredients and process until well blended and smooth.  Pour filling into pre-baked tart shell and bake (keep the tart pan on the bigger baking sheet) for approximately 25-30 minutes or until filling is set. Transfer tart to a wire rack to cool and then cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least an hour.

Blackberry sauce:
Combine water, sugar and flour, whisk so their are no lumps. Add frozen blackberries. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat , and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until thicken. Whisk occasionally. Blackberries should be broken up, but if not, mash with a potato masher.  Cover and cool sauce until ready to serve lemon tart.

To serve: cut into wedge slices, drizzle blackberry sauce over the top and Garnish with whipped cream and Fresh blackberries. Enjoy!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

A friend I work with led me to this recipe. It was off of the Food Network by Giada. But she added Arugula, which I've never used, so I used Spinach and added fresh basil.. and parmesan cheese! This is a light lemony, pasta dish. Great for summertime! Yummo!!!

Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

Lemon oil:
1/2 cup Olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon

For the pasta:
1 pound linguine pasta
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 pounds frozen raw shrimp, thawed and peeled
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons--use the ones you zested)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
 3 packed cups fresh baby spinach
Parmesan cheese for garnish

For the lemon oil:
Combine the olive oil and the lemon zest in a small bowl and reserve.

For the pasta:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente--tender but firm to the bite. Stir occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water  to add to sauce later.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet warm a Tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, basil and parsley.  Toss to combine. Turn off heat and add the spinach and linguine, toss to combine. Using a sieve, strain the lemon zest out of the reserved lemon olive oil, and add the oil to the pasta. The zest can be discarded. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water (maybe about 1/2 cup or more if desired) Toss to combine. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Almond Joy Brownies

okay.. I love experimenting with brownies and trying to make them taste like candy bars.... I made these last night and they turned out pretty good! I used my favorite brownie recipe and then did the filling on my own. I must say they taste pretty much like an Almond Joy!

Almond Joy Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving about 3 inches hanging over each side for handles.

Melt in saucepan:
1 cup of butter
4 - 1 ounce squares of unsweetened chocolate

Remove from heat and add:
2 cups of sugar

Stir; then add:
4 eggs, one at a time, stir after adding each one

Then stir in:
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Then add:
1 1/2 cups flour
dash or two of salt
Stir till blended, then set aside.
Prepare coconut mixture:
Mix 1 can sweetened condensed milk in a medium size bowl, with 2 1/2 cups coconut. Stir to combine.

Pour a little less than half the chocolate mixture in prepared baking pan. Spread to cover the bottom of the pan. Then  spoon the coconut mixture into the pan and spread to cover the chocolate layer. Then place whole almonds on the coconut so you get an almond in every bite. Drizzle the remainder of the brownie mixture over the nuts and coconut. Then spread best you can without disturbing the nuts or the coconut.

Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until brownies are set. Cool for about 30 minutes. Then using the parchment handles lift out of pan and cool completely. Then cut into squares and serve!! Yumm!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken with Garlic Snap Peas

I made this for dinner last night! It was yummo! I had lots of sugar snap peas from the garden. I also love stir fry's. Here's a tip, when making stir fry's I prep all my ingredients so it's all diced and handy before I get cooking since stir fry's usually cook quick. I got this out of my Top secret recipe cookbook, but I tweaked it a bit to make it my own!! Enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 green pepper, diced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 red pepper, dice into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, diced into 1 inch pieces
1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup pineapple juice
2 Tablespoons Sriracha Chili sauce
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Make sauce by heating the oil in a medium saucepan. Saute the garlic and onion for just a minute. Then quickly add the pineapple juice followed by the chili sauce, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. Dissolve the 2 teaspoons cornstarch in the 2 Tablespoons water, and add to the sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium/high heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick and syrupy.
Heat about a cup of vegetable oil in a  heavy saucepan over medium heat. While oil heats up, cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Mix the 1/3 cup cornstarch in a small bowl with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then sprinkle over chicken pieces and toss to coat. Saute the breaded chicken in hot oil until light brown on all sides. Remove chicken to rack or paper towels to drain. You might have to cook the chicken in a couple of batches so the pan isn't overcrowded.
While chicken is cooking heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. When hot, add peppers and onions and saute for about 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are crunchy tender then add pineapple tidbits and cook a minute longer. When veggies and chicken are all done, add the chicken to the skillet with the veggies. Pour sauce over all and toss to coat well. Serve over hot rice! Enjoy!!

Garlic Snap Peas
4 cups fresh sugar snap peas
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced (about a teaspoon or so)

Prepare snap peas by cutting off the tips on each end of the peas, and pulling strings off. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Saute snap peas in oil with salt and black pepper for about 3 minutes, or until peas are cooked but still crispy and bright green. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil and garlic, saute for 1 more minute. Remove to serving dish!
I loved these!! Yummo!

Indian Tacos

What can I say, I love tacos. I had my Young Women's leaders over for scones the other night and had a lot of dough left over, so this is what I did with it! Yummo!

Indian Tacos

1 to 2 pounds hamburger
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 taco seasoning packet
1/2 cup enchilada sauce (this is optional, I just had some leftover I needed to use)
Scone dough (see my recipe for scones)
Chipotle sourcream--recipe to follow
grated cheese
pico de gallo (see my recipe under mexican dishes)

Brown hamburger with diced onion and garlic. When browned, drain off fat. Add black beans and taco seasoning (I mixed the seasoning with 1/4 cup water) Let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. I added about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce that I had leftover from when I made enchiladas too.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet or fryer. Take about a golf ball size lump of scone dough. On a floured surface, roll the dough out as thin as possible. When oil is hot, fry scone till browned on both sides. It puffs a little so it's important to roll out as flat as you can get it before frying.
To assemble tacos, spread a thin layer of Chipotle sourcream on a scone, then add a couple spoonfulls of taco meat. Next, add grated cheese, lettuce,  pico de gallo, and guacamole.

Chipotle Sour cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1 chipotle pepper with a spoonful of adobo sauce (the canned ones)
1 teaspoon lime juice
a dash of salt and pepper

Mash the chipotle pepper up with a fork. Then mix together with sourcream, lime juice and salt and pepper.