Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes about 15 muffins

2 1/4 Cups AP Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
6 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
1 Cup Milk
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
3/4 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar.  Set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl, mix together melted butter, milk, eggs (mix butter and milk together first, so the hot melted butter won't scramble the eggs), and peanut butter until smooth.  Pour milk mixture into flour mixture all at once and beat together until just combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Spoon batter into a greased muffin tin and bake for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.  Enjoy with a tall glass of milk.

My peanut butter loving husband didn't even mind the chocolate chips in these muffins.  I say "chocolate chips in muffins is ALWAYS a good idea!".  Especially with peanut butter.  Chocolate and peanut butter.  It's like a Reecee's Cup!  Reecee's for breakfast!  Side note: peanut butter, one word or two?  

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
makes 12 muffins

1 3/4 Cups AP Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Egg, Beaten
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Cooking Oil (I used Vegetable)
3/4 Cup Bananas, Mashed
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips

Streusel Topping:
3 Tablespoons AP Flour
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Butter, Cold

Grease muffin tin.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.  Set aside.  In another bowl combine egg, milk, and oil.  Add all at once to flour mixture.  Fold in bananas and chocolate chips.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full of batter    For the streusel topping, combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle streusel topping over muffin batter.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Recently on facebook, a friend commented that she had just made banana bread and of course I immediately had to have some banana bread.  Somehow bread turned muffins.  But is there really a difference between banana bread and banana muffins?  At least with these little gems, I can freeze them and save some for later!  It was probably a good thing that I did freeze them right away, otherwise I would have eaten all of them.   


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Orange Broiled Salmon

Orange Broiled Salmon
from Everyday Food Magazine
serves 3-4

1 Navel Orange
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced
1/2 Red Onion, Cut Into Wedges
4 Skinless Salmon Fillets (4-6 Oz. Each)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Heat broiler and move rack in oven so it is 8 inches away from the heat.  Grate one tablespoon orange zest then cut orange into wedges.  On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together orange zest and wedges, pepper, onion, and oil and arrange in an even layer.  Add salmon and season vegetables and salmon with salt and pepper.  Broil until vegetables are browned and salmon is opaque throughout, about 8-10 minutes. To serve squeeze orange over salmon and enjoy with a baked potato.

I loved this recipe.  I'm on a huge orange kick right now and this dish could not be any faster or simpler.  M, however, was a little weirded out by the broiled oranges so next time I make this I think I'll have to use lemon (or maybe a combo!)  The oranges and peels are edible with they come out of the oven, although I was not brave enough to try the peel.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Beef Stew

Beef Stew
serves 4
from Everyday Food Magazine

1 1/2 Pounds Stew Beef, Cut Into 1-Inch Pieces
1/4 Cup Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Medium or Large Russet Potato, Cut Into 1-Inch Pieces
1/2 Bag Baby Carrots
1/2 Bag Frozen Peas
32 Oz. Beef Stock

Preheat the oven to 375.  In a large heavy pot, toss beef with flour. Add potatoes, carrots, beef stock and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and transfer to the oven.  Cook for 2 hours until beef and potatoes are tender.  Stir in peas and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.  Perfect with popovers.

One wintry night last year I made a pot of beef stew and watched a Downton Abby marathon.  Since season 4 is coming out in January, I thought I should post this stew since stew and Downton are synonymous in my mind now.  Finish the meal with some tea and pumpkin bread pudding!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Peppermint Oreo Bites

Peppermint Oreo Bites
makes 2 dozen

1 (8 Oz.) Package Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Package (15.25 Oz.) Oreo Cookies, Finely Crushed
1 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract
1 Package (4.25 Oz.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2-3 Candy canes, Crushed 

Mix cream cheese, Oreos, and peppermint extract until well blended.  Form into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place cookie sheet in the freezer to allow the bites to firm up.  For the coating, place a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Pour the chocolate chips in the bowl and stir until chocolate is smooth.  Drop the bits into the chocolate to coat, and place back on the parchment paper.  Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.  Place bites in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.

I don't think I even need to tell you how amazing and addictive these little guys are.  One tip I have is to use a food processor to crush the oreos.  I just beat mine with a rolling pin in a plastic bag which makes for lumpy looking bits.  Crushing them completely in a food processor will eliminate the lumpy problem.  Oreos.  Peppermint.  Cream cheese. Happy Holidays!    

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

Cranberry Pistachio Cookies
makes 2 dozen cookies

(1) 1 Lb. 1.5 Oz. Pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1 Box Pistachio Instant Pudding and Pie Filling Mix
1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Butter, Melted
2 Eggs
1 Cup Dry Roasted Salted Pistachios, Chopped
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries, Chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl mix together cookie mix, pistachio mix, and flour.  Add melted butter and eggs and stir until incorporated.  Fold in pistachios and cranberries.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and slightly flatten with fingertips.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Let them sit on the baking sheet for an additional 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

If you can, find pistachios that are already shelled.  Don't be like me.  These cookies are so simple and fast (and only one bowl to clean!).  The only tricky part is when you take them out of the oven they won't look done but you will just have to trust that they are!   

Friday, December 13, 2013

Parmesan Crusted Halibut

Parmesan Crusted Halibut
serves 3-4

1-2 Pounds Halibut Fillet, 1-Inch Thick
1/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Lemon, Zested
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
2-3 Tablespoons Pesto

Preheat the oven to 450.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non stick spray, set aside.  In a small bowl, mix together panko, bread crumbs, Parmesan, lemon zest, and salt and pepper.  Arrange the halibut on the baking sheet.  Spread the pesto on the top of the halibut, then top with the bread crumb mixture, lightly pressing it into the fish.  Spray with cooking spray lightly to coat.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until crumb mixture is golden brown and fish flakes with a fork.

If you are going to only make one halibut dish in your life this should be the one!  The crust was so flavorful and the fish came out perfectly done.  I think I'm going to have to make this again this weekend because I literally could not get enough!  I served the halibut with sauteed butternut squash and potatoes.