Thursday, May 31, 2012

Best Brownies Ever

These brownies and I have a history.
These were the first treat I ever made from scratch.

These brownies are easy to make

Super chocolate-y

and super moist and delicious!

Best Brownies Ever

Soft butter, for greasing the pan
Flour, for dusting the buttered pan
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar, sifted
1 cup brown sugar, sifted
8 ounces melted butter
11/4 cups cocoa, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square pan and bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean. When it's done, remove to a rack to cool. Resist the temptation to cut into it until it's mostly cool.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Shredded Chicken Enchilada's

This was my first time shredding chicken after boiling it.

I do prefer crockpot shredding but in case a) you don't have 8hours or b) only making enough for 3 people the boiling method is a little more efficient.

2 chicken breast (boiled and shredded)
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 C shredded cheddar cheese

1tsp cumin
1tsp garlic powder
and a pinch of chili flakes

5 soft tortilla shells*
(this was all I had)

After shredding the chicken and adding the spices I combined a can of lowfat black beans (drained and rinsed) with 2 cups of shredded cheese.  After folding it all in, I scooped about a 1/4 cup mixture into a "taco" sized soft tortilla shell, rolled up and placed seam side down in baking dish.

Repeat- bake at 400 for about 10minutes

And of course,


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Frozen Peanutbutter and Chocolate Bananas

I like Peanutbutter.
I like Chocolate.
Sometimes I like Bananas.

I LOVE the three combined

and this recipe is too easy to resist

(prep time was under 5 minutes)

3 ripe bananas
6 ounces chocolate chips

Slice bananas into equal slices, top with peanutbutter (this is to taste- I probably used half a teaspoon on each banana slice).  Melt chocolate chips (either in a double boiler -or- microwaving in 30sec intervals) Coat each banana/peanutbutter slice with chocolate.

Cover and place in freezer to harden overnight (or at least two hours)

Let sit for about 10 minutes


Monday, May 21, 2012

Paprika Chicken

So last week, I forced you to eat your veggies and now, I'm forcing you to eat your protein...

I LOVE chicken but under one condition...

it must, must, MUST be moist

and flavorful.

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast- cubed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
2 tablespoons paprika

After cubing your chicken breast- place in large bowl and coat with olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. 
Allow to marinate at least one hour, in the fridge (overnight works too!)

Once marinated, place chicken in warm skillet and sautée until golden and cooked thoroughly.
About 5 minutes or when internal temperature is 165*


Thursday, May 17, 2012


This may be the most popular cookie I make.

Everyone loves these snickerdoodles.

They are soft, chewy and delicious little nuggets of cinnamon goodness.

(from Jessica)
(makes 4 dozen)

1 cup butter (at room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon for dipping

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, mixing well until combine, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix until dough comes together. Add in milk. If dough is still crumbly, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a bowl combine remaining sugar and cinnamon. Remove dough from fridge and roll into big 1 1/2 inch balls. Dip in cinnamon sugar mixture and place on baking sheet. Lightly press down on dough to flatten it. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.


(Holiday edit:  subsitute cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice for the perfect "pumpker-doodle!!!")

Monday, May 14, 2012

Roasted and Mashed Cauliflower

Don't judge me.

I make delicious cookies and treats and I can whip a chicken dish up real quick.

But we need to eat veggies.

 I personally prefer most of my veggies either raw or in V8 form but
I also like my veggies roasted
(in particular: peppers, squash and asparagus and now, cauliflower)

This barely taste like cauliflower.  It's blended down to a mashed potato consistency and has been deemed AMAZING by the people I've served it to.

Roasted and Mashed Cauliflower
(serves 2-3)
1 head of cauliflower, cut into floretes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (enough to evenly coat the cauliflower)
1/4 tsp Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400* F

After cutting cauliflower- coat with olive oil and place cauliflower in center of baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place in center of oven and let roast for 20-30 minutes until browned.

Once browned and softened, put in food processor (or blender or immersion blender) and puree until it resembles mashed potatoes.

At this point you could add garlic powder and other seasonings to taste.  If the cauliflower isn't soft enough, add a tablespoon of milk to aid in puree-ing.


(please come back on Thursday, I'll have a delicious cookie to make up for the cauliflower :)) 


(and next week I'll tell you what's with the cauliflower)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

M & M Cookies

Growing up, my favorite cookies were the Keebler Elf M & M cookies

I've been wanting to recreate my own version and finally had the perfect helper to assist me in the kitchen.


Max is one of the kids I babysit for and I can not imagine my life/day without.  I've known Max for 2.5 years and am so lucky I get to watch him grow into such an amazing young boy.

Max loves cooking and baking.  Max is 100% involved from start (he likes to crack eggs and is reluctantly learning that many people prefer the shell NOT in the bowl and the inside of the egg NOT on the floor) to finish (especially the eating part) and loves watching the cookie dough form.

M & M Cookies
(slightly adapted from the Nestle Recipe)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups M & M candies

Preheat oven to 375° F.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in M & M's. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. 

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 


Monday, May 7, 2012

Pizza Roll Ups

Pinterest has done it AGAIN

One of the boys I babysit, Max (age 5), is a serious pizza fanatic.

Max could (and would) eat pizza everyday so I tried to mix it up as I get bored of the "same old/ same old" too quickly.

This could not be any easier and Max definitely proclaimed it "the best pizza ever"*

Pizza Roll Ups 
(makes 8 roll ups)

1 can Pillsbury Crescent rolls
24 pepperoni slices
4 string cheese/ cut in half

Preheat oven to 350 
Unroll crescent rolls and place 3 pepperoni slices and half of a string cheese on the edge of the crescent.  Roll crescent and place on lined (or sprayed) baking sheet.  

Bake for 10-12 minutes 

Let cool for 2 minutes and ENJOY

(*Max tends to say that every pizza he eats is the best pizza ever--- I take the compliment with a shred of cheese and a slice of pepperoni!*)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Oatmeal Cherry and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes, when I can't sleep, I bake.

It's normal? Right?
Everyone makes cookies at 7am, on a Monday?

Hmmm, no? Just me?
Alright fine!

These cookies happened Monday morning

I was thinking of cookie ideas during my run
(again, totally normal!)

And thought of the delicious Oatmeal Raisin + Chocolate Chip cookies I recently made...
and came up with this delicious combination

Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies!
(slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
(makes about 24 cookies)

1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened (I use salted butter)

2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup dried cherries 
1/2 cup chocolate chips


In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, cherries and chocolate chips.

Set dough in fridge to chill for a bit (according to SK this makes them fluffier. I used this time to clean up the kitchen, do a load of laundry...) after about 30 minutes, Preheat oven to 350(F) and form the dough into little balls and set on lined baking sheet.  

Bake for 8-10 minutes

When done, move to cooling rack, let cool for 30minutes.


(according to Patrick (the 13yr old I babysit), these cookies are "like little nuggets of heaven")