Thursday, August 30, 2012

Peanutbutter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love handwritten recipes.

I love going home to parent's house and seeing recipes in my grandmother's handwriting.  It always brings back memories of delicious dinners and family gatherings.

And it, of course, memories of my Grandma C in general!

But this recipe is my own handwriting. And I hope that when my children and grandchildren see it, they'll have fond memories of me!


I made these cookies for my dad's August cookie-of-the-month club.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, goes together like peanutbutter and chocolate.

PB Chocolate Chip Cookies 
(also commonly called PB C^2 Cookies)
(makes about 2 dozen... depending on how much dough is consumed)

1 C butter (softened)
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C peanut butter
1 1/2 C flour
12 oz chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. 

Combine butter and sugars and beat until creamy and smooth, add vanilla and eggs.  Gradually add flour and mix well. Stir in peanutbutter and mix for about 3minutes. Fold chocolate chips until combined.

Place by rounded spoonfuls on lined cookie sheet and bake for 14 minutes. 


Monday, August 27, 2012

Eggplant Parm

Disclaimer:  this may be a cheater recipe. 

Pretty much, this is my chicken parmesan recipe with eggplant subbed for chicken.

BUT it was 
a) absolutely delicious
b) my first time using eggplant!

The eggplant was actually quite easy to prepare.

I really think picking it out was the hardest part!
(I picked one that was a little softer and made a hallow sound when I tapped it)

 Eggplant Parmesan 
(serves 2-3)

1 medium eggplant
3 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil

1 jar tomato sauce (I used a chunky tomato basil)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

shredded parmesan cheese
fresh basil 

 (preheat oven to 350)

Peel and slice eggplant (hamburger style) into equal sized slices.
Place (evenly spaced) eggplant slices on baking sheet and sprinkle with miced garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper.

Bake for 30 minutes and then top with tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese

Bake for an additional 5 minutes (until cheese is melted)

Sprinkle with shredded parmesan and top with fresh basil leaves.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Caprese Quinoa "Salad"




Caprese Salad is always refreshing and frequently in my menu rotations.

But this time I doctored it up a little bit.

I was craving quinoa and had a brillant plan to "smush" the two concepts together.

And people. 

Creativity paid off!

 Caprese Quinoa "Salad"
(serves 4)

1 cup (uncooked) quinoa
2 cups chicken stock

1 pint grape tomatoes halved 
5 basil leaves finely chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 

3 TBS olive oil 
3 TBS balsamic vinegar


Prepare quinoa as directed on package using chicken stock in place of water (for me it was a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to liquid). While quinoa is cooking chop tomatoes and basil.

After quinoa is cooked (about 15 minutes after boiling) immediately toss in tomatoes and mozzarella and stir to combine.  Gently fold in basil leaves and oil and vinegar.  


Friday, August 10, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Bananas are one of those things in life that get better with time.

Like wine, cheese and all things "'80s" 

This is, by far, the best banana bread I've ever had and couldn't be easier to make.

This is also the first recipe I ever asked anyone for.

While I've never frozen it (it doesn't last long after it's out of the oven!) I hear it freezes well 
(you probably have more will power than I do!)

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
(from Julie)

1 ¼ cups sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp. sour cream (not low fat or fat free)
1 ¼ cups flour
1 cup mashed ripe or overripe bananas (about 2-3 medium-large bananas)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
½ bag of mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream sugar and butter.  Add eggs.  In separate bowl, mix baking soda and sour cream.  To sugar, butter, and egg mixture, add flour, bananas, vanilla, and salt.  Fold in baking soda and sour cream mixture.  Fold in ½ bag of mini chocolate chips.  Pour into greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until cake tester comes out clean.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Rustic Pesto Pasta: Virtual Casserole

**About two weeks ago my cousin, Elena, was in town visiting me when she fell off a backyard (non-commercial) zip line and broke both legs.  Elena is still in the hospital recovering from both the fall and the surgery.  She is making great "steps" towards her recovery but, understandably, actual recipe development is taking a back seat to Elena's recovery**

This is a "virtual casserole" sent in from my good friend Mary.

 I can't wait to try it.

Rustic Pesto Pasta and Baked Caprese Casserole 

1 box cooked pasta
1 jar basil pesto
sautéed mushrooms
pine nuts
grated Parmesan. 

Caprese Casserole: 
2 cups sliced grape tomatoes
generous amount of fresh mozzarella (1 inch chunks)
olive oil 

Combine in a casserole dish and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 325 for 25 min. 

Sprinkle with fresh basil and salt/pepper.