Friday, October 31, 2014

Joanne Fluke's Candy Bar Bar Cookies

Happy Halloween!  Sorry about the terrible picture, that's what happens late at night :).  Anyway, here is a great way to get rid of that Halloween candy, easy and fast cookie bars.  I used Mr. Goodbars, my favorites, and KitKats, but you could use any candy bars you wanted.  I cut these into 16 bars, and each bar was 350 calories.  The boys gave these a 9, and Aaron and I gave them an 8.  Super easy, and this recipe was found in Joanne Fluke's books.

Candy Bar Bar Cookies
Preheat oven to 350.
1 c softened butter 
¾ c white sugar 
1 beaten egg 
2 t vanilla 
½ t salt
2 ½ c flour, packed
15 oz chocolate bars (I used about 28 snack size candy bars)
¼ c sugar 

Foil line and spray a 9x13 pan.  Mix butter and sugar together until light and creamy.  Add the egg and stir thoroughly, then add vanilla and salt.  Add the flour in ½ c increments, mixing after each addition.  Pat and smooth ½ the dough into a prepared pan.  Top with candy bars.  Top with remaining dough, smoothing as well as possible.  Take the back of the fork and make cross-hatch patterns on the top of the dough, then sprinkle remaining sugar on top.  Bake for 25 minutes, then cool most of the way.  Cut into bars and serve.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Michael Symon's Elvis Biscuits and Gravy

Isn't that a terrible picture?  Oh well, it doesn't reflect the delicious flavor of the food.  Michael Symon made this recipe, and we really, really enjoyed it.  Aaron gave this a perfect 10, and the boys and I gave this a 9.  I love that you don't use sausage, you kind of make your own sausage with ground pork and spices.  The biscuits, like usual, are not as good as I'm sure they would be if someone else made them (biscuits and I don't get along :)), but this was still an amazing dinner/breakfast.  Each serving, 2 biscuits with gravy, was 663 calories.  Here's what to do:

1/4 c rendered bacon fat
1 minced onion
1 lb ground pork
2 t sage
1 t red pepper flakes
1/4 c flour
3 c whole milk

6 T butter
2 c cake flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
3/4 c buttermilk

Heat the bacon fat in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, about 3 minutes.  Add the pork, 1 t of sage, and the red pepper flakes, 1/2 t salt and 1 t black pepper.  Brown the pork for about five minutes.
Add the flour, then add the milk, whisking to incorporate it.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat so that it simmers for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the gravy is simmering, preheat the oven to 400.  Melt 2 T of the butter in the oven on the cookie sheet while the oven is preheating.
Combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the 4 T butter in small chunks and incorporate it with your hands, then slowly add the buttermilk while still mixing.
Drop the biscuits on the cookie sheet, about 12 biscuits, and bake for about 15 minutes.
To finish the gravy, stir in the remaining 1 t sage, 1/2 t salt, and a little more pepper if desired.  Serve!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Joanne Fluke's Easy Fruit Pie

Noah and I tried this the other day, it is such a simple recipe, and really tasty, however the name is misleading.  This is nothing like pie, more like a cookie bar or a cobbler maybe, but it isn't pie :).  So rename it, then this will go over a lot better.  Aaron and I both were hoping for pie, and it definitely wasn't.  Anyway, this took all of five minutes to throw together, so it's a quick, easy way to make a yummy dessert.  We cut this into 12 servings, and each serving was 208 calories.  Here's what to do:

Easy Fruit Pie 
1/4 c salted butter 
1 c whole milk 
1 c sugar 
1 c flour packed down 
1 1/2 t baking powder 
1/2 t salt
1 21oz can fruit pie filling 

Preheat oven to 375.  Place the butter in the oven in a 9x13 pan to melt.  Mix the milk, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.  Don't overmix.  Remove butter pan from the oven and pour batter into the pan.  Tip the pan to cover the whole bottom.  Spoon the pie filling over the top of the batter, don't mix in.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown and bubbly.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Michael Symon's Barbecue Chicken Thighs

This received a 9 from us, it was really delicious, that Michael Symon knows what he is doing.  We found this recipe in his Carnivore cookbook, and it was great.  We had chicken thighs, and each thigh was 226 calories.  This wasn't a lot of cook time or prep time, which is nice, but since I broiled it rather than grilled it as the recipe called, this took a little more time to cook than it might with a grill.  This is the easy recipe:

1/4 c olive oil
juice of one lime
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
10 chicken thighs
3/4 c barbecue sauce (I used Michael Symon's barbecue sauce recipe from the same cookbook, use your favorite)
Corn Salad

Mix together the olive oil, the lime juice, the garlic, jalapeno, and salt and pepper.  Add the chicken and marinate for a few hours.  Season the chicken well with salt and pepper, then brown in a pan on one side.  Flip the chicken, and brush with the barbecue sauce.  Flip again, then brush again.  Place under a broiler, and continue brushing and flipping for a few minutes.  Serve when chicken is cooked through.

This had great flavor, and like I said, it isn't very hard.  We really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Birthday Cake Batter Cinnamon Rolls

So these might be the most delicious things ever :).  I found this recipe for cinnamon rolls on tasty kitchen, and although I made a few changes, I will just link to the recipe and tell what I changed.  I really dislike shortening, so I used butter in this recipe instead of shortening, and I used 8 T of butter rather than 6 T of shortening.  Also, I let the dough double in size both times, before and after shaping cinnamon rolls, rather than just doing a quick rise before rolling out the cinnamon rolls.  Lastly I made 41 cinnamon rolls, rather than the 16 the recipe called for, and each cinnamon roll was 243 calories. These had great flavor, they do taste like a cinnamon roll birthday cake, and the texture was so light and fluffy, just so great.  I loved these, and I'm looking forward to making them again!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Citrus Ricotta Pancakes

This was voted the boys', especially Noah's, favorite pancakes.  He liked how soft they were, and they both loved the orange taste.  These are really easy, and a great way to use up left over ricotta from other recipes.  I found this recipe on tasty kitchen, and I followed it exactly.  Each pancake was 102 calories, leaving out the butter for cooking the pancakes.  Anyway, easy and delicious!  Aaron and I gave them an 8, Owen a 9, and Noah a perfect 10.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Yammie's Noshery Chipotle Chicken Bacon Tacos

So although the boys didn't love these, they only gave them an 8 because of the spice, Aaron and I loved these.  We gave them a 9, and they are so great.  As you can see from the picture, we didn't use flat bread the way the recipe suggested, we just used tortillas, and I made my guacamole the way I like to rather than following the recipe.  Otherwise I followed this recipe exactly.  Each taco was kind of high in calories, about 490 a taco, but they were worth it.  Try this, it's so good!