Archive | February, 2010

Chocolate Covered Cookie Dough Bites

26 Feb
*Disclaimer: We take no responsibility for any extra weight you may gain from consuming these awfully fabulous sweets. Thank you*

Why did I make these this morning at 10 am and then proceed to eat them all throughout the course of the day? Because they are decadent, delicious, and too good NOT to eat….and because I have problems and no will power, but thats a different story.
Now before you all start freaking out about me eating all that raw egg that will make me die of Salmonella poisoning, no fear! There is absolutely no egg in this recipe. As a matter of fact, there’s no milk, cream or any other substance that could be potentially hazardous to my (or your) health!!….except for all that butter…..and sugar…..and chocolate.
But you can take that up with your hiney. (I had my confrontation at the gym today)
Anyways, I must be on a sugar high because I can only think of desserts and sweet treats to make. So pardon me. But, if you are addicted to sugar (like me!) you will be very pleased with these perfect bites of peace love and happiness. I got this idea from a combination of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and those candies that are called chocolate chip cookie dough bites….or something like that. Its basically just like making chocolate chip cookies except omitting the eggs and the leavenings. Oh, and covering them in chocolate.
Most of the time when I do make chocolate chip cookies, I bake half the dough and I eat/freeze half the dough because I get so sick of baking it all! Well, this way, you’re getting rid of at least half the steps thus decreasing your working time. But honestly, who doesn’t want to just eat the dough anyways? (My father in law makes chocolate chip cookies just to eat the dough. I’m pretty sure there have been times where the oven was never turned on……just sayin’) Well now, you can have no fear of illness after eating these! (Hooray for no eggs!) They are so tasty and so quick to make. The dough literally took me 3 minutes to whip up. If you’re wanting to go over the top, roll out bite sized pieces and dip them in melted chocolate. But, that is totally optional because they truly are great on their own….SEE!:
Perfectly good plain!
Chocolate Covered Cookie Dough Bites
Yield: 45 small
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, slightly melted and really soft
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or regular chocolate chips, chopped smaller)
semi sweet chocolate melting wafers
Directions:
Whip butter with sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Mix in all dry ingredients including chocolate chips until completely combined. Dough should be moist and slightly crumbly. Roll into desired sizes and shapes. Place on baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Store in refrigerator until ready to coat in chocolate. (If you want to keep them plain, refrigerate them 30 minutes or so until they are hard and can retain their shape and transfer them to a ziploc bag.)
Melt chocolate wafers in microwave or over double boiler. Drop dough balls one by one into melted chocolate. Drizzle chocolate over dough to coat and using a spoon, remove chocolate covered balls, attempting to remove any excess chocolate in the process. Place on waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator until firm. Store in an airtight container on the counter or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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Nutritious and Delicious Apple Oat Cake

24 Feb
After seeing that picture, I bet you’re thinking ‘what kind of plain jane cake is that?’–Don’t let the simple look of this cake turn you off! It is so so good! I know it could maybe be fancier, but I kind of like it simple. Don’t be a hater. Embrace the average looking cake BECAUSE it is well above average in quality and taste. (And, I’m working on my photo taking skills, so leave me and my weird photos alone!)
So, about this cake–I have somehow managed to make it nutritional! I actually really enjoy revamping recipes like this. Its good for your body, makes you feel great and eating another piece doesn’t have to cause as much guilt as it once did. Its a win-win-win situation. Love it when that happens. The cake stays very moist because of the apple, but there still is a little crunch because of the topping as well as good texture from all those oats. The combination is pretty great. I like it.
Now, before I type out this entire recipe, let me warn you–its addictive. Once you start, you can’t stop. I had my fair share (and then some) and finally had to give it all away because I couldn’t have it in the house any longer! So, beware. If you have practically no will power, then find a group of people and then dig in. I’ll be honest–I have no will power. Hence me creating healthier versions of cake….and then giving it all away due to my addiction to food. (Side note: eating the ENTIRE cake is not so healthy! There’s some good advice for the day from me to you. You’re welcome.)
Apple Oat Cake
Yield: 12 servings
For the cake:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup peeled, grated apple (I used fuji’s)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup oats
For the topping:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oats
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
dash allspice
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease 11×7 baking pan with butter and set aside.
In large bowl, whip butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and egg yolks. (Keep egg whites and set aside for later!) Stir in apple followed by all dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. In separate clean, dry bowl, whip egg whites until firm peaks form. Carefully fold whipped egg whites into cake batter. Pour into prepared pan. Mix all ingredients for topping in small bowl until course crumbs form. Sprinkle over top of unbaked cake. Bake 25-30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool 15-20 minutes. While cake is cooling, mix powdered sugar with milk to make the glaze. After cake has cooled, top with glaze–I didn’t end up using all of mine because I don’t like things too sweet, but its totally up to you how much you use.
Recipe TIPS
-This recipe could be baked in a 9×9 square pan or even into muffins. Increase your baking time 5 minutes for a square pan and decrease your baking time 5 minutes for muffins.
-The topping is totally optional! I like the little crunch, but the cake is just as delicious on its own!
-The glaze is also optional as well. My husband really loves sweet things. If you are making muffins for breakfast, then the healthier start to the day would probably be without the glaze. Its just a preference thing. Do what you want!

Crispy Potato Cakes

23 Feb


Do I have a fabulous low fat, low calorie dish for you today!!

Ok, maybe not, but man, are these babies good! I quickly whipped some up for my lunch today because I seemed to have fallen in to a ‘same ol’ lunch’ funk that I couldn’t get myself out of. It happens to the best of us, unfortunately. These are a take off of my grandma’s potato pancakes because…umm….maybe I didn’t happen to have all the ingredients.

There. I said it.

These really are some of the simplest things to make probably EVER. Its not much of a recipe either, but I will gladly take the credit…..and maybe share a little with my grandma!

No promises.
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Crispy Potato Cakes

23 Feb

Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you the best low fat, low calorie snack of all time!
Ok, maybe not, but man, are these babies good! I quickly whipped some up for my lunch today because I seemed to have fallen in to a ‘same ol’ lunch’ funk that I couldn’t get myself out of. It happens to the best of us, unfortunately. These are a take off of my grandma’s potato pancakes because…umm….maybe I didn’t happen to have all the ingredients.
There. I said it.
These really are some of the simplest things to make probably EVER. Its not much of a recipe either, but I will gladly take the credit…..and maybe share a little with my grandma!
No promises.
So, all this recipe entails is: potatoes, flour, salt, pepper and oil.
I bet you have all those ingredients in your kitchen right now! Hot diggity dog. Now, I like mine plain and if I’m feeling fancy, I get a little ketchup. BUT, my grandma sometimes adds a little sour cream, green onion and BACON to the tops of hers and they are pretty incredible. You could also melt a little cheese on one and add some black beans and salsa and its a southwestern crispy crunchy potato cake! Think of the possibilities! I get excited over this kind of stuff. Maybe at some point I’ll devote a post to variations of this sweet blessed potato dish. Keep an eye out for that.
Until then, get cooking! Hugs, kisses and happy dishes!
Crispy Potato Cakes
Yield: 4 potato cakes….which serves 1 very hungry lady
Ingredients:
1 Idaho potato, washed, scrubbed and grated (I got 1 1/2 cups….and save yourself some time and keep the peel on!)
2 heaping tablespoons all purpose flour
salt
pepper
canola oil (or any light oil meant for frying, such as vegetable or peanut oil)
Directions:
Preheat skillet to medium-medium high heat with 1/4 inch of oil–my stove seems to get really hot on medium heat, so thats where I kept it, but yours will probably be closer to medium high heat. In small bowl, mix grated potato, flour, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Mix until the liquid from the potato has absorbed all the flour. Once oil is hot, drop one fourth of the mixture into the hot oil and using the back of a spoon, spread it as thin as possible. Fry the potato cake until the edges become light to medium brown in color, about 2-3 minutes for me–and just FYI the darker the crispier. Flip potato cake and cook 1 more minute. Remove from pan and place on paper towels. Blot the surface with more paper towels, if desired. Sprinkle salt onto fresh potato cakes and serve warm with desired toppings.
Recipe TIPS:
-Potatoes oxidize and turn a weird pinkish brown color, so if you are making these for company or want them to be esthetically pretty, you might want to consider making smaller batches or adding a little lemon juice to the mix.
-Keeping the potato cakes crispy can be a challenge, but generally, they’ll keep for up to an hour in a 250 degree oven on a rack (on a baking sheet).
-The crispier the potato cakes become, the more they taste like potato chips. At least thats what my husband said. They are that crispy. And crispy is good.

Rice Pudding–Risotto Style

20 Feb

My daughter really hates milk. Like completely refuses to drink the stuff. So, in an attempt to get some dairy and a few extra calories into her little one year old body, I made rice pudding.
Now, this isn’t your typical rice pudding! Its made with arborio rice and whole milk and you just go through the motions of making risotto, except it ends up being sweet. My mom taught me the whole arborio rice trick and man, is it a great one! That mother of mine has serious culinary tricks up her sleeve.
Anyways, the arborio rice puffs up into these chewy, soft grains that are swimming in this creamy, cinnamony deliciousness. And, I realize that last sentence had some made up words in it.
I don’t know what it is about eating something warm with cinnamon that makes me relax and forget about my cares. At least thats what happened yesterday when I made this….and then 5 minutes later realized my daughter was playing in the toilet. But, thats another story. Continue reading

Rice Pudding–Risotto Style

19 Feb

My daughter really hates milk. Like completely refuses to drink the stuff. So, in an attempt to get some dairy and a few extra calories into her little one year old body, I made rice pudding.

Now, this isn’t your typical rice pudding! Its made with arborio rice and whole milk and you just go through the motions of making risotto, except it ends up being sweet. My mom taught me the whole arborio rice trick and man, is it a great one! That mother of mine has serious culinary tricks up her sleeve.
Anyways, the arborio rice puffs up into these chewy, soft grains that are swimming in this creamy, cinnamony deliciousness. And, I realize that last sentence had some made up words in it.
I don’t know what it is about eating something warm with cinnamon that makes me relax and forget about my cares. At least thats what happened yesterday when I made this….and then 5 minutes later realized my daughter was playing in the toilet. But, thats another story.
Arborio rice is pretty common now a days and I found mine in the bulk food section where it was really cheap! I also used whole milk for the entire recipe, but feel free to substitute half and half or cream for some (or all if you’re feeling dangerous) of the milk! Sometimes using the cream is the right thing to do. It takes about 35-40 minutes start to finish and needs a little babysitting, but its so worth it. Try it this weekend! Its comfort food at its finest!
Rice Pudding – Risotto Style
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup arborio rice
3 1/2 cups whole milk (give or take 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Pour in rice and stir until all grains have been coated with butter. Pour in enough milk to cover rice by about 1/4 inch. Stir continuously until rice has soaked up the majority of the milk. Continue this process of adding milk and stirring until rice has softened completely. (About 5 rounds of pouring and stirring for me!) For the last 5-10 minutes of cooking, stir in brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Take off heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm.
Recipe TIPS:
-If you run out of milk and your rice is still a little chewy, add in more milk until its completely soft. Also, if your rice has stopped soaking in the milk, then odds are its soft and your rice pudding is done!
-Once the brown sugar is added, the rice pudding may seem a little watery, but no fear! The rice will soak it up!
-If you’re not wanting to spend the time stirring, add all ingredients except vanilla to a large pot and simmer it for 30 minutes. Stir and try the rice. If its still chewy, it needs to cook longer. If there isn’t enough ‘sauce’ add in more milk. Stir in vanilla once the rice is completely soft.

Sesame Noodle Salad

18 Feb

Do I have a winner for you today! These are so delicious I just can’t stand it! I’ve seen many different versions of this noodle dish created before, but I’ve never attempted to try making it. So the other day, the stars aligned and I had all the ingredients I wanted. Let me tell you — it made a fabulous lunch for us yesterday AND today…plus a great snack in between! So delicious and full of vegetables, too!
I used whole wheat spaghetti because thats what I happened to have but you could use any noodle that tickles your fancy. Plus, this dressing is great and makes everything gingery, garlicy and sesame-ee. So perfect! It was so good and made so much that I dropped some by my sister’s place. She called me soon after and couldn’t stop raving about them! So, I made them again today!
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