Friday, December 18, 2015

Eggnog Cookies

Eggnog Cookies
makes 32 cookies 

2 1/4 Cups AP Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg, Plus More For Garnish
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2 Large Egg Yokes
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Eggnog

1/2 Cup Butter, Room Temperature
3-5 Tablespoons Eggnog
3 Cups Powdered Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixture with a paddle attachment, whip together butter, sugar and brown sugar until pale and fluffy.  Mix in egg yokes, one at a time, blending until just combined after each addition.  Mix in vanilla extract and eggnog.  With mixer speed on low, mix in dry ingredients until just combined.  Scoop out the dough by heaping tablespoon full onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (dough will be very sticky and slightly lumpy).  Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes.  Allow to rest for several minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack.  Cool completely then frost with eggnog frosting and sprinkle on a dash of nutmeg.

For the frosting, whip butter with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Add 3 tablespoons eggnog and powdered sugar.  Add additional eggnog until reached desired consistency.

I've never actually had eggnog until a year or two ago.  We didn't have it growing up and it never really appealed to me... raw eggs in milk... not my idea of a good time.  When I finally did get around to trying it, I finally saw what I had been missing.  The richness!  The creaminess!  That's why when I found this recipe for eggnog cookies I knew they would be awesome.  Eggnog cookies are so tender and soft!  And they are a perfect addition to your Christmas cookie line-up!  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Baked Brie with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Baked Brie with Sun-dried Tomatoes
serves 6 as an appetizer

-4 oz. Sun-dried Tomatoes, finely chopped
-3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 (13.2 oz.) wheel Brie cheese
-1 to 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
-crackers (pita crackers, or other sturdy crackers), for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl combine tomatoes, garlic and some of the oil from the tomatoes.  Place the brie on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Spoon the tomato mixture on top of the cheese and bake for 10 minutes until cheese is soft and melted.  Serve immediately with crackers.

If you want a super simple snack that looks very impressive and elegant, here it is!  Cheesy, fancy and delicious! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Easy Overnight French Toast

Easy Overnight French Toast
serves 6-8

3 Small Loafs French Bread, Cut Into 1/2 Inch Slices
1 1/2 Cups Milk
3 Eggs
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar

Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.  Arrange the bread in the dish so the pieces are upright.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, mix together milk, eggs, cinnamon, and nutmeg and evenly pour over the bread.  Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 2 hours).  Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-35 minutes.  While the french toast is baking, melt butter in a small sauce pan.  Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and cook until well combined and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.  Pour evenly over the french toast when it is done baking and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Serve immediately to your eagerly waiting house guests.

I wish I had gotten a picture of the whole dish, but I was too impatient and was already on my second helping when I realized I had not yet taken the photo!  
If you're wondering what this food blogger's favorite food is, I will tell you - it is French Toast!  And this recipe is top-drawer... the best of the best!  Next time you are having a slumber party, whip this up and I promise you will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Menu Planning

Menu Planning

Well it's cold here.  Really cold.  And when it's really cold I just like to stay inside.  That's why I decided to do weekly menu planning and only grocery shop once per week.  Not only am I saving myself multiple trips to the store, I'm also saving $$$ by decreasing my impulse buys.  This girl cannot make a trip to Target without spending at least $50!  Here's how I've had success with weekly menu planning:

-make the list!  I like to start my list the day before shopping day.  I search for a few different types of recipes, one that I know will make a lot so we can have lefties, one that I've been craving or meaning to try out, and one that takes a lot of pantry ingredients and less fresh ingredients to make at the end of the week.  I really only make about 3-4 meals per week since it's just M and me eating.  I also make sure we have lots of frozen veggies, breads, pizzas, and also from the pantry soup for easy sides and quick lunches if my meal planning gets off track (which it will!).  Things that also go on the list - breakfast items and whatever is on the running tally of things that we're out of that I update during the week.

-shop!  This part is easy.  Especially since I've got a great list!  One perk of menu planning is I can also look for coupons and sales since I'm planning ahead ~ saving more $$!!

-get cooking!  Now that I know what I'm making for dinner, the rest of the week is easy.  I don't have the 'it's 4 o'clock what should I make' problem anymore.  Stick to the menu plan as much as possible but if the leftovers didn't stretch as far as you thought they would or you just didn't have time to make stew today but you will tomorrow, there's the back up soup and pizza that you have ready to go!

Do you menu plan?  What are they keys to your mean planning wins?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake

Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake
serves 6

8 Oz. Bowtie Pasta
1 1/4 Cups Milk
2 Eggs
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
Salt and Pepper, To Taste
(1) 12.5 Oz. Can Chicken
1 1/2 Cups Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
(1) 14 Oz. Can Artichoke Hearts, Drained and Roughly Chopped
(1) 8 Oz. Jar Sun-dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil, Drained and Thinly Sliced
(1) 10 Oz. Package Frozen Chopped Spinach, Thawed and Well Drained
1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook pasta according to package directions, set aside.  While the pasta is cooking, in a large bowl whisk to combine milk, eggs, garlic, and seasoning. Stir in chicken, pepper jack cheese, artichokes, tomatoes, and spinach.  Add in pasta when it is finished, stir to make sure all ingredients are well combined.  Pour mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and bake for 18-20 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.

Right now I'm all about easy one dish meals.  Maybe it's this cold winter weather that's making me crave comfort food.  Maybe it's because they are so easy and make the best leftovers! (AKA lefties)  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 2 dozen

1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened (2 Sticks)
1 (13 oz.) Jar Nutella
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed
1/2 Cup Sugar
2  Large Egg
4 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
3 1/2 Cups Flour
4 Teaspoons Cornstarch
2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Cream together butter, nutella, sugars, egg, and vanilla extract using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer until well combined, about 4 minutes.  Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and mix on low for 1 minute, until combined.  Add the chocolate chips and mix by hand.  Form into 1/4 cup balls (about 1 1/4 inches) and flatten slightly.  Place dough on a tray, cover with plastic wrap,  and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to 5 days.  To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and place dough on greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  Bake for 9 minutes until edges are set and center is just starting to set.  Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes.  Serve with a big glass of milk!

These cookies smell amazing coming out of the oven.  But for some reason they break all the cookie rules - they are not good fresh out of the oven!  When I first tasted it I was so disappointed, but just an hour or so later, much better!  The best!  Make these cookies this afternoon.  If only just for the nutella!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Knoephla Soup

A guest post by my cousin, Hayley!

Knoephla Soup
makes 12 servings

For Dumplings –
3 cups flour
2 eggs
A little water
2 tablespoons oil (I use canola)
1 teaspoon salt

For rest of soup –
1 stick of butter
1 onion minced
4-5 peeled potatoes chopped into cubes
Optional carrots and/or celery chopped
32 ounces of chicken broth
5 cups of whole milk
1 cup of cream

1. For the dumplings fill a large soup kettle or dutch oven with water and a little salt and set the temp to boil the water. Add the dumpling ingredients together and just enough water to make the dough not sticky. Knead the dough. It may help to put some oil on your hands while tearing off small pieces of dough (bite sized) and place in boiling water. After placing all dumplings in boiling water, let boil 7 minutes. Drain dumplings and set aside.
2. Melt stick of butter in kettle
3. Add onion to butter and simmer til golden brown
4. Add potato cubes and optional carrots and or celery to mixture
5. Pour in a little chicken broth, stir and simmer. Keep adding chicken broth until all is used. Potatoes should be fork tender and all should simmer for about 10 minutes.
6. Add dumplings to potato/onion mixture
7. Add 5 cups whole milk and 1 cup of cream
8. Simmer mixture for 30-45 minutes uncovered
9. Serve with favorite bread and enjoy!

My friend's mom used to make knoephla growing up.  I had the pleasure of watching her make it once!  In college I was craving the soup and called her for the recipe.  I didn't make it myself but gave it to the cafeteria to make.  I was delighted they gave it a chance, but it still wasn't like Marla's!  Also, any time I make this for my family we are usually pretty sleepy after eating.  It is a good comfort food meal for those cold winter days.