Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had a hankering to do some baking today but I couldn't come up with an inspiration so I ended up just sticking with a classic. I'm not even really that much of a chocolate chip fan, but there really is something to be said about a warm cookie out of the oven on a cool, rainy day. These stayed perfectly soft and moist, and that is a necessity in my cookie rule book. No crunchy cookies allowed!

Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies via the Flick of my Wrist:
(About 32 four inch cookies)

2 sticks of butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Cream butter and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add salt, vanilla, eggs, and baking soda. Mix well. Add flour and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts until thoroughly mixed. Drop by heaping, rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased, parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before transferring cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Balsamic-Marinated Roasted Veggies

This is a quick, simple, healthy side that is really tasty. You can use any vegetables you like. I make this dish frequently, always changing up the veggies. This time I used zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, yellow squash, snap peas, red onion, and red bell peppers. It was crunchy and packed with flavor. Try it out with your favorite veggies.

Balsamic-Marinated Roasted Vegetables via the Flick of my Wrist:
(4 generous servings)

4 cups of washed, cut veggies of your choice
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag. Shake up the vegetables well to ensure they are all coated with the marinade. You can marinate these at room temperature or in the fridge as well. I let them marinate for about an hour. Pour veggies on to a greased roasting pan or a greased, foil-covered cookie sheet. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spaghetti with Lemon & Olive Oil

I was SO delighted upon my arrival to San Jose to find a Whole Foods right around the corner from my new house! WIN! I had spotted this recipe on Smitten Kitchen a few weeks ago and then saw this fresh lemon pepper linguine at Whole Foods that I decided would be a perfect pasta for this dish. They also had these tequila-marinated shrimp on skewers that I grilled up quickly on the Cuisinart to top this luscious pasta with some protein. AMAZE. I did omit the heavy cream and arugula (didn't have any on hand), but this still turned out wonderful. I am LOVING lemon-carb-like sides lately... see this previous post for an irresistable lemon risotto: http://ovenphilosophy.blogspot.com/2011/02/most-perfect-meal-ever.html

Spaghetti with Lemon & Olive Oil via Smitten Kitchen:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream

I'm super sad that I'm not home today. This is my first St. Patrick's day away from home. This is growing up I guess. We always do a big, traditional Irish dinner: corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, green beer, shamrock cookies. I wasn't tempted to do the whole feast for myself... but I knew I had to celebrate somehow. Enter cupcake! ...ok I MIGHT have had a shot of Jameson last night. Shame on me. These turned out delicious and I feel like they are the perfect Irish cupcake culmination, definitely celebratory. I'm working tonight, hence my early holiday celebration last night... but I'm taking them into work. Hopefully they will be well received. I miss you Dad! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream via the Culinary Chronicles:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Burrer's Peach Cobbler

This has been a family staple at the Underwood house for years. While this is usually a task we put my Dad up to, I just made it the first time myself this past week. The outside gets perfectly crisp and the inside is soft & gooey! AMAZING. It is best served warm... and a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream never hurt anyone!

Burrer's Peach Cobbler adapted modestly via the Smokestack Lightning Cookbook:
(Serves 8)

4-5 cups tree ripened peaches (May substitute drained, canned peaches if necessary)
1/4 lb. melted butter
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
cinnamon & nutmeg to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter & flour a 9x13 baking dish. Pour melted butter into dish. In a saucepan, slowly cook peaches with 1/2 cup of brown sugar until soft. Add cinnamon & nutmeg to taste. Combine flour with remaining brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in buttermilk and pour mixture into pan over butter. Gently pour cooked peaches evenly over batter. Cook for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Best Lasagna Ever + Oven-Roasted Asparagus

This was the last meal I cooked in my Redlands apartment before the big move to San Jose. It didn't disappoint! This is also one of those great meals that you can make ahead. The lasagna was equally as good the next day. This was paired with some Yellowtail Bubbles Champagne & Peach Cobbler, (recipe to follow.) Hopefully I can find a Norcal crew that will be equally as appreciative of my cooking. Parting is such sweet sorrow!

The Best Lasagna Ever via the Pioneer Woman:

Oven-Roasted Asparagus via the Pioneer Woman:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Caramel Nutella Crumb Bars

I'm always going to have a memory of these little treasures because I made these yesterday to take to work for my last day full time as a PICU RN at Loma Linda. I'm still a little unsure of where this path in life is leading me, but yesterday was a day flooded with emotions from beginning to end, and these did help ease those emotions just a little. I'm going to miss my coworkers, my hospital, my patients, and the families. I've learned so much here in these last few years, and I truly hope God's plan for my life somehow ends up bringing me back to this amazing place. I love you guys!

This is a news story that I really loved on one of my patients that I will never forget. Keep fighting Leilani.

Caramel Nutella Crumb Bars via Buns in my Oven:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Broccoli, Pancetta Omelet & Buttermilk Chive Biscuits

Simple & savory... and my most perfect omelet folding to date! Apparently the mistake I've been making with all my previous omelet-folding attempts was just a lack of patience! This is also a great way to sneak some veggies into your breakfast or brunch. Don't be stingy with the butter in your omelet pan, otherwise you're going to have problems with sticking once you're trying to fold.

Broccoli, Pancetta Omelet via The flick of my wrist:
(Serves 2)

1 1/2 cups of roasted broccoli
2 tbsp. butter
6 slices of diced pancetta
4 eggs, scrambled
1/2 cup grated cheese

Saute pancetta in medium frying pan until crispy. Add butter and broccoli and saute until desired consistency. (I like crunchy.) Make sure your pan is still plenty greased before pouring scrambled eggs over broccoli and pancetta. Pour eggs over broccoli and pancetta and let them cook ALL the way through! Do NOT mess with them with your spatula! (This was always my mistake before.) They will cook all the way through, you just have to be patient! When the eggs are almost cooked through, add the grated cheese to melt on top of the eggs. Carefully fold the omelet in half from one edge to the other. Cut half circle omelet in half & serve!

Buttermilk Chive Biscuits via Smitten Kitchen: