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!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chinese Take Out's Barbecue Pork

So although this recipe called for pork belly, which I didn't have but would've been amazing, this still received a 9 from us because it was really delicious.  We found the recipe in The Chinese Take Out cookbook, and each serving was 235.  Here's what to do:
1 lb pork loin
2 T mirin
2 T soy sauce
1 T sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 t hoisin sauce
1/2 t Chinese five spice powder
2 T honey

Mix together all the ingredients except the honey, and marinate the meat for 2-3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325.
Remove the pork from the marinade, brush 1 T of the honey on the pork, then bake for about 25 minutes.  Turn the pork over, brush with another 1 T of the honey, and then roast for another 20 minutes, or until pork is done.  Slice and serve.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Michael Symon's Pasta with Chorizo and Chard

So this was another delicious recipe from Michael Symon's Carnivore cookbook, and I will definitely be making it again.  Chorizo is one of our favorite things, and mixed with beans, chard, pasta and lemon this was outstanding.  For one serving, pictured here, the calories are 521, and this was very filling.  We gave this a 9, except for Noah who gave this a perfect 10, because "chorizo is my favorite meat Mom" :).  Anyway, this was an easy, great recipe.

1/2 lb pasta
1 lb chorizo
1 lb Swiss chard, roughly chopped
1 14.5 oz can cannellini beans
grated zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil

Boil the pasta in well salted water until al dente.  Reserve 1/4 c of the pasta water, and don't rinse the cooked pasta.
Cook the chorizo until browned, then add the Swiss chard and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the beans, pasta, and reserved pasta water and simmer for about two more minutes, or until pasta is fully cooked.
Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the lemon zest and juice, the cheese, parsley, butter and olive oil.  Serve.

A fast, easy recipe, definitely worth making!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Flour 2's Chipotle Chicken Stew

I found this recipe for soup in Flour 2, the second cookbook from JoAnn Chang, and these are more savory dishes, so fun to try new things!  I didn't follow the recipe super closely, I love making soup in the crockpot, and that is what I did for this recipe.  We gave it an 8, it was hearty and filling, and I especially liked the smoky, spicy flavor from the chipotle pepper.  Each serving was only 276 calories, and we made 8 servings, which is the portion shown above.
Here's what I did:

2 14.5 oz cans black beans
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 canned chipotle pepper, seeded and minced (if you want more spice, don't completely remove all the seeds)
1/2 t ground cumin
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes with juice
1/2 c uncooked rice
shaved zucchini, about 1/2 c
2 t oregano
1/2 c cilantro, chopped
juice from one lime

Place the beans, onion, carrots, garlic, chipotle pepper, cumin, tomatoes, zucchini, and oregano in the crockpot.  Salt the chicken well, then add the chicken.  Cook for 6-8 hours on low, then add in the rice.  Cook for an hour on high, checking to make sure the rice gets done before serving, then add in the cilantro and lime juice and serve.

Easy and delicious!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Michael Symon's Pork and Beans

So no picture of this, it got lost when my phone was being repaired, but this was a really great dinner. Michael Symon came through for us again.  We gave this a 9, and it was hearty, full of flavor, and delicious.  Since it uses dried beans, rather than canned ones, this does take two days to make, but most of that is overnight soaking time.  The flavor in this really was so satisfying, I will be making this again.  This made 16 servings, and each serving was only 204 calories, so not too much.  The serving size was about 1 cup.

1 lb dried navy beans
1 lb bacon, cut into dice
3 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
2 T minced garlic
4-6 oz Italian sausage
28 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 t chipotle pepper sauce
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 quart chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 c plain bread crumbs
1/2 c chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
4 t chives (freeze dried, or 1/4 c fresh)

Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover them by at least two inches.  Drain the beans and transfer them to a large saucepan.  Add enough water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a simmer.  Cook for about 1 hour, or until slightly tender (I cooked mine for longer, more like 1 1/2 hours).  Set the beans aside to cool in their liquid.
Preheat the oven to 375.
In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp.  Remove from the pot, and cook the carrots, onion, and garlic, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.  Set the veggies aside with the bacon.  Cook the sausage, then return the bacon and vegetables to the pan.  Add in the chipotle sauce, tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaves and chicken broth.  Simmer for five minutes.
Drain  the beans and add them to the pot.  Adjust the salt and pepper to taste, then bring to a simmer.  Transfer the pot to the oven, and cook, uncovered, for one hour.
Discard the bay leaves.  Combine the bread crumbs, parsley, and chives.  Sprinkle the mixture on top of the beans.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden brown.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Peabody's Fluffernutter Banana Bread

Here is the link for this delicious take on banana bread.  We gave this a perfect 10, and I think it is my favorite version of banana bread ever.

I didn't use very much powdered sugar for the icing, if you would like more of a set frosting, add more powdered sugar.  I used only about 1/4 c, maybe a little more.  Anyway, each piece was 400 calories, but it was so delicious that I don't even mind :).  Try this and you will love it!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Michael Symon's Arancini

So despite the deep-frying requirement, I knew I had to make this recipe.  Deep-fried sausage risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella?  Yeah, these were good :).  Michael Symon came up with this recipe, and we all loved it, Jonah included.  We gave this a 9, and every ball was 220 calories with the marinara dipping sauce on the side (I just used canned marinara sauce).

You start by making the risotto, cooling it, then forming the balls and frying them.  It's actually not that difficult, especially because you don't have to fully cook the risotto, just mostly cook it :).  Anyway, these are so good, they were a fun meal for us.

1 T olive oil
4 oz Italian sausage
1 onion, minced
1 c Arborio rice
3 c chicken broth
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 c grated Parmesan cheese
5-6 oz mozzarella, cut into small cubes
deep-frying oil
3/4 c plain, dried bread crumbs

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Break the sausage into small pieces and brown on all sides.  Add the onion and 1/4 t salt, and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the rice, and toast, stirring for about 2 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the chicken broth 1/2 c at a time, and stir constantly.  Continue to add the broth until the risotto is creamy and the rice is mostly tender.  When the rice is cooked, place the rice in a bowl in the fridge.
After the rice has cooled in the fridge for awhile.  Add the egg, egg yolk, Parmesan and 1/4 t salt.  Form the balls with damp hands, and place a cube of mozzarella in the middle.  Reform the ball, roll it in the bread crumbs, and fry for about 2 1/2 minutes.  Salt and serve immediately.  Yummy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Kristen Ashley's Milky Way Cake

I found this cake on Kristen Ashley's website, and it's hard to turn down a candy bar filled cake.  Although it didn't taste exactly like Milky Ways, this was such a good cake.  The boys and I gave it a perfect 10, and Aaron gave it a 6, because we all know how he feels about cake.  This is buttery, flavorful, and has a texture similar to really moist carrot cake.  I followed the recipe for the cake exactly, but didn't use nearly the amount of powdered sugar that the recipe called for.  The recipe says 1 1/2 boxes of powdered sugar, and I used 3/4-1 c of powdered sugar.

Each serving was only 313 calories the way I made it, when cut into 24 pieces.  This is good, easy, and worth making.