Sunday, January 31, 2010

Colossal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Nestle Tollhouse

Colossal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks butter
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp molasses
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk choc mini kisses

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.

3. Pour melted butter in mixing bowl.

4. Add sugar.

5. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed.

6. Slowly add eggs and vanilla.

7. Add molasses.

8. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a seperate bowl. Slowly add in the flour mixture.

9. Stir in chocolate chips.

10. Let chill in refrigerator.

11. Roll into balls and place on baking sheet. Slightly flatten cookies.

12. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

13. Let cool for 1 minute then transfer to cookie racks to cool completly.


Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Adapted From: Copykat Recipes
Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup
I went out to dinner with lots of my family at the Macaroni Grill a few days ago and they had this soup that was excellent! So when I got home I did some research and found one I liked (just made a few adjustments). Hope you enjoy!

2 boneless skinless Chicken Breasts cut into ~1 inch thin squares
3 cloves of Garlic (pressed)
1 tablespoon Onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh Basil, finely chopped
1 cup fresh Spinach cut into very thin strips
2 cups Gnocchi (not frozen)
2 cups Half and Half
2 cans Chicken Broth
1 cube Chicken Boulion
4 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Wondra (or Flour)
1 teaspoon Parsley flakes (fresh or dried)
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
Garlic Powder (to taste)
fresh Cracked Pepper (to taste, we prefer a lot of Pepper)
ground Sea Salt (small amount due to high Sodium content of Chicken Broth)

1-In a large(4 quart or more) sauté pan or stock pot, heat Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

2-Sauté Chicken (season to taste with Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, and Cracked Pepper).

3-Once cooked through, stir in Garlic and Onion; mix thoroughly.

4-Add Butter and Wondra. Stir until fully melted, combined, and chicken is coated.

5-Stir in Chicken Broth and Chicken Boulion. Be sure to scrape the crusted flavor off of the bottom of the pan.

6-Bring to a simmer; stirring frequently.

7-Stir in Gnocchi, Oregano, and Parsley. Let simmer (not boil) for 5-7 minutes to cook Gnocchi.

8-Stir in Half and Half, Spinach, and fresh Basil; reduce heat.

9-Stir in Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper. Let combine for about 10 minutes; stirring occasionaly.

10-Stir in grated Pecorino Romano Cheese just before serving.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Exotic Fruit Sighting

My grandparents and aunts were eating the strangest fruit I'd ever seen and they called it "figurina". Well it is actually a prickly pear. My grandpa said it used to have spikes on it, but now they must cut it off before selling. But it is interesting looking and very vividly colored on the inside.

I was not brave enough to try it but my husband described it as hard-seeded watermelon like fruit. He said it was like a hybrid between a watermelon and raspberry. I was wondering if anyone else was familar with them? My family seems to love them, but they are hard to find. If anyone has recipes or ways to serve them, please share!

Chicken Francaise

4 Eggs
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
Garlic Powder
Fresh Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt
Lemon Juice (fresh if possible)
3/4 Cup White wine
3 tbsp Butter
2 cans Chicken Broth
Olive Oil
3-4 Wondra
1 lb any pasta cooked(I'm partial to the twirlable pasta)

Pound to tenderize chicken breasts. Add flour, black pepper, salt, paprika and garlic to shallow dish. Dredge chicken in mixture and see aside.

Beat 4 eggs and 4 tbsp of water, 1 tbsp lemon juice, parsley, and a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano. Heat some olive oil and butter in skillet to medium-high heat. (I used electric and had it set at 300 degrees.) Dip floured chicken in egg mixture, then re-dip again in the flour mixture and back in the egg mixture. Then drop immediately into the pan. Cook till slightly browned on both sides. Remove chicken.

Leave drippings to start sauce. Add chicken broth, 1/2 cup olive oil, white wine, and a few tbsp lemon juice (depending on personla preference). Simmer about 6-7 minutes to reduce. Then add butter and 3-4 tbsp of Wondra flour. Stir and simmer about 3 more minute; sauce should thicken slightly.

Toss pasta with sauce, add chicken and serve. You can add lemon slices for garnish as well.

Alfredo Farfalle with Grilled Steak

Alfredo Sauce:
3 tbsp Butter
3 - 4 tbsp Wondra
2 1/2 cups Whipping Cream
One tbsp lemon juice(fresh is better)
Garlic powder
Fresh Cracked pepper and sea salt
1 Cup Pecorino-Romano Cheese

1 lb. Farfalle Pasta
1 Top Round Steak
Garlic powder
Fresh cracked pepper and sea salt
Meat tenderizer

For the Sauce:
Melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in Wondra to thicken. Continually stir while cooking about 3 minutes. Add one cup of whipping cream and lemon juice; stir. Let simmer for five mintues on low heat, stirring continually. Then add all spices. Cook 2 more minutes. Add the remainder of the whipping cream, 1 1/2 cup, and cheese. Stir, set aside.

Boil pasta, drain. Add Alfredo Sauce.

Pound steak and set aside. Mix garlic, pepper, salt, and meat tenderizer in bowl. Rub the dry mix over steak, both sides. Heat non-stick grill pan to med heat. Grill steak for about 7 minutes per side for well done steak. Serve with pasta.

London Broil with Herb Butter

I saw this recipe in Food Network Magazine and had to try it! It came out better than I thought it would!

For the steak:
1 beef bouillon cube
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 top round London broil steak (about 2 pounds)
For the herb butter:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil or tarragon (Did not use this; used basil instead)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Prepare the steak: Dissolve the bouillon cube in 3/4 cup hot water in a bowl; set aside to cool. Whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil, the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place the steak in a large resealable plastic bag, pour in the marinade and seal, squeezing out the air. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.

Prepare the herb butter: Mix the butter with the chives, parsley, chervil, a pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the lemon juice in a bowl.

About 30 minutes before cooking, remove the meat from the bag (discard the marinade), dry it well and bring to room temperature. Heat a large heavy skillet over high heat, about 2 minutes. Rub the steak with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt over the surface of the pan; add the meat and set a heavy skillet on top to weigh it down. Sear for about 7 minutes; turn the steak, replace the weight and cook until a thermometer inserted into the side reads 110 degrees for medium-rare, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board; brush with some of the herb butter, tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes. Thinly slice against the grain; top with more herb butter and drizzle with the pan juices.

Thank you Food Network!!

Six-Pack Pepper Chili

This is a chili recipe my best friend, Julie ,and I came up to enter in the chili cookoff at a local winery. I guess we didn't screw up to bad because we made 2nd place.

Ingredients List

(3) Large Onions
(2) Whole Bulbs of Garlic
(2) Green Bell Peppers
(1) Yellow Bell Pepper
(2) Green, Long Hot Peppers
(6) Finger Hot Peppers
(16) Dried Hot Chilies
(2) Jalapeño Peppers
(10) Cherry Peppers
(2) Pounds of Pork Hot Italian Sausage
(2) Pounds Ground Beef
(3) 28oz cans of Plum Tomatoes
(2) 14.5oz cans of Fire Roasted Tomatoes
(1) 10oz can of Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
(2) cans of Black Beans
(2) cans of Red Beans
(2) Eggs
¾ can of regular American Beer
Bread Crumbs
Fresh Chives (3) Tbs
Fresh Rosemary (2) Tbs
Chili Powder (2) Tbs
Paprika (2) Tbs


1.Sauté three (3) Large Onions, two (2) Whole Bulbs of Garlic, two (2) Green Bell Peppers, and one (1) Yellow Bell Pepper in oil with salt until soft.

2.Combine two (2) pounds of Pork Hot Italian Sausage (uncased), two (2) pounds Ground Beef, two (2) Eggs, and Bread Crumbs in a bowl.

a.Shape into meatballs.

b.Brown in a frying pan and then add to chili.

3.Chop and add two (2) Green, Long Hot Peppers, six (6) Finger Hot Peppers, sixteen (16) Dried Hot Chilies, two (2) Jalapeño Peppers, and ten (10) Cherry Peppers.

4.Add two (2) Tbs Paprika and two (2) Tbs Chili Powder.

5.Add three (3) 28oz cans of Plum Tomatoes, two (2) 14.5oz cans of Fire Roasted Tomatoes, and one (1) 10oz can of Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies.

6.Strain, rinse, and add two (2) cans of Black Beans and two (2) cans of Red Beans.

7.Let chili simmer for 1½ hours.

8.Add ¾ can of regular American Beer, three (3) Tbs chopped Fresh Chives, and two (2) Tbs Fresh Rosemary.

9.Let chili simmer for 1 hour before serving.

Time to Eat!

Welcome to my blog. Here I'll be posting recipes that are long time family favorites passed down from generations and anything new that catches my eye. Family and Food have always been intertwined in my life and are things I have enjoyed since I was young. I love to cook from scratch like my grandparents always did. I look forward to sharing recipes and tackling new challenges.

Few favorite food quotes:

We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman

If God had intended us to follow recipes,
He wouldn't have given us grandmothers.
~Linda Henley

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. ~Harriet van Horne

Food is our common ground, a universal experience.
~James Beard

"I want to really cook, like on the Food Channel. I want to saute things and chop things and do the bam! and arrange things on a plate so they look like a pretty little hat. I want to be the Iron Chef!"
~Lorelai, Gilmore Girls