Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brownie Cookies

I love getting and giving homemade items! One of my dear friends celebrated her birthday this week and when I asked her what kind of cookies she would want she said "Well, I love chocolate in any form!" As soon as she said that, I knew that I wanted to make this recipe!

I found this recipe on Pinterest, it is from a blog called Pure and Yummy. I real like that you didn't have to plan ahead for this recipe. You didn't have to bring butter to room temp or chill dough in the refrigerator. 

These cookies are really, really rich! And pack BIG chocolate flavor. Get ready for your home to smell like the Hershey's factory.

Brownie Cookies
½ cup butter
4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 cups (18 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Combine butter, unsweetened chocolate, and 1 ½ cups chocolate chips in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter and chocolate melt; let cool.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl, set aside.
Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer. Gradually add dry ingredients to egg mixture, beating well. Then add the chocolate mixture and beat well. Stir in remaining 1 ½ cups chocolate chips.
Scoop dough onto baking sheets 1 inch appart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thai Shrimp Pasta

This recipe is a keeper!! It uses ingredients that I always have on hand and it comes together super fast which tonight made it an all-star. Our original plan was to throw some steaks on the grill but we were out of propane, ugh, hate when that happens!! Luckily, I was able to throw this together in a pinch. I was a little worried my husband was not going to like it since it is a little out of our normal taste profile but he thought it was great!

Recipe adapted from

1 pound of thawed shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces of angel hair pasta
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 Tbls cilantro
1 Tbls chunky or creamy peanut butter
1 Tbls honey
1 Tbls soy sauce
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 Tbls of peanut oil or vegetable oil 

In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions, before draining throw shrimp in for 1-2 minutes until pink. 

Heat oil in a skillet to medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and garlic, saute until softened. 

In a small bowl combine and whisk broth, cilantro, peanut butter, honey, soy sauce and red pepper flakes.

After draining, pour shrimp and pasta back into the large pot. Add in the veggies and stir in the sauce.

That's it!! It's that simple.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chicken Pockets

These chicken pockets were fast and easy to put together and ended up being very tasty. As a plus, my husband enjoyed heating the leftovers up during the week for lunch - Score!!!

The original recipe was called Chicken Pillows but I thought that sounded weird so I changed it to Chicken Pockets. This recipe makes enough for 8 pockets. We each ate one pocket with some steamed broccoli for supper and found it filling.  

Recipe adapted from the-girl-who-ate-everything

4 oz of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup of sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 Tablespoons fresh chives
3/4 Tablespoons fresh onion minced

2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (around 2 cups) 
2 (8 ounce) cans Pillsbury crescent rolls
1/4 cup melted butter
Italian Panko crumbs (around 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Mix together cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in salt, pepper, chives, onion and diced chicken.

Using Pillsbury crescent rolls, take 2 triangular rolls and push together at perforated seam to make into a square. Make sure you seal the perforations well so your filling doesn't come out. Put about 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture in the center of each square. Fold the dough corners to the center over the chicken mixture forming a pocket.

Dip each pillow in melted butter on both sides. Roll in bread crumbs on both sides. Shake excess crumbs off. Place chicken pocket on a ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. If needed change oven to broil on high for 2 minutes until golden brown. 

This recipe is a keeper for fast and easy weeknight meals!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Garlic Cheesy Bread

Last week, I posted a recipe for minestrone soup. The soup was delicious and to make the meal extra special I paired it with pizzeria-style garlic cheesy bread. The bread is made on homemade pizza dough and maybe even better than anything I've had at a pizza parlor!!

Recipe adapted from

Pizza Dough Ingredients:
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups bread flour 

Bread Topping:
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1-1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
salt & pepper, optional

In a bread maker, in this order add, water, oil, honey, flour, sea salt and yeast. Set bread maker to make 1 lb of pizza dough. This will take approx. 1 hr and 40 mins. 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees 

Here was a great tip from Lauren's blog - if you don’t have a pizza stone, use an upside down cookie sheet.

Melt butter and garlic in a sauce pan and set aside.

Divide dough in half and roll half the dough into a 12-inch circle on parchment paper. See instructions below for freezing the other half of the pizza dough.

Spread the butter and garlic mixture over dough and top with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Top with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, if desired.

Bake until the cheese is bubbly, about 8-10 mins. 

Freezing dough - punch down dough and place in a freezer safe bag with a 1/2 tbls of olive oil. Allow dough to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Place dough in a glass bowl a couple hours before use. As the dough comes to room temperature it will rise. The dough will keep for about a week to 10 days in the freezer after that the yeast starts deteriorating