Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Brown Butter Brownies

The process of browning butter is one that can seem daunting to some... but once you do it a couple times, you will have it down pat. Don't be intimidated! Once you try it, you will be so glad you did. Brown butter adds a depth to anything that you could never imagine afterwards without it. I actually have a confession in making this recipe, (something that I still have no explanation for)... I had no vanilla in my pantry! This NEVER happens to me. My only thought is that this whole move has just really put me out of my element. So I had to make a substitution... and an unconventional one at that: almond extract. But I have to say it worked out well. I'm used to a brownie/almond combination anyway... but the extract in the brownie itself was a stretch even for me. Live & learn. 

Brown Butter Brownies via The Parsley Thief:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Whole Lemon Bars

So today is my big 26th! I guess this points me in the direction of that scary "3" number. Where does life go?! Unfortunately I have to work tonight, luckily I will get to celebrate at home this weekend in the company of some great friends. I knew I wanted a dessert for my birthday, (dessert is a birthday must), but I haven't been feeling very cakey as of late. I've been wanting to try this recipe since I first saw it, so here was our perfect chance. WHOLE lemon bars! I am such a sucker for a good lemon curd. These are INCREDIBLE, possibly a new favorite all together. Have a safe holiday weekend. Happy Easter & Happy Birthday to me!

Whole Lemon Bars via David Lebovitz:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie is a fond memory of my childhood. We used to get giant scoops of it for dinner from the hot deli at Gerrard's Market in Redlands when my Dad would take us grocery shopping with him. It was always so simple, yet hearty and delicious. This time around I tried to convince myself it was healthy and packed full of lean meat and veggies. :-) I did use 96% lean ground beef instead of the lamb. I doubt that made any difference. The end product was a success. I've been eating it for the last 3 days. So satisfying! I also added 1/3 cup grated parmesan to the mashed potatoes & garnished the top of the pie with paprika. (That's how Gerrard's used to do it!) Do a taste test for spices before you assemble the pie. I ended up adding some salt and cayenne. I always add cayenne!

Shepherd's Pie via Epicurious:

Monday, April 11, 2011

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

I have to say I almost feel guilty including this entry... a bit too "Sandra Lee" for my style. These cookies really are good though so I didn't want to deprive you of the indulgence. These are probably the most simple cookies I've ever made, and still decadent and soft, just like I love them! Chocolate, coconut, and pecan are a sinful combination.

German Chocolate Cake Cookies via All Recipes:

Friday, April 8, 2011

MLT's Mac & Cheese

So we all know I'm a cheese-lover... I had the privilege of testing out someone else's mac & cheese recipe while in Arizona for Spring Training baseball in March. This dish was a true crowd pleaser (myself included). I'm giving up my first guest blog spot to a true winner & excellent hostess: Ms. Mary Louisa-Thompson! Remember: Cheese makes the heart grow fonder. Enjoy! 

MLT's Mac & Cheese via Mary-Louisa Thompson:

1 lb. box elbow macaroni
2 cans Campbell Cheese Soup
1 16 oz. Sour Cream
1 bag Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Salt, pepper, & garlic powder to taste
Sharp Cheddar & Parmesan to top dish

1. Put oven on 350.
2. Boil 1 box of elbow macaroni pasta, until soft.
3. Drain pasta.
4. Put pasta in a long, oblong, 13x9 glass casserole dish.
5. Mix in 2 cans of Campbell cheese soup, 1 16oz sour cream, 1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese, pepper, garlic powder (milk is optional).
6. Cover the top with shredded Sharp cheddar cheese and then sprinkle Parmesan cheese over that.
7. Cover with aluminum foil and put in oven for 20 minutes.
8. Take aluminum foil off and put on broil for 5 minutes and then remove from oven when the top is lightly brown.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Crock Pot Rotisserie White Chicken Chili

It was cold and raining here this morning in San Jose so I felt compelled to muster up something warm and comforting. I didn't have time to go home and search for recipes, so I created this little masterpiece just off the top of my head while I was at Safeway. This totally fulfilled my rainy day craving and turned out delicious. Chili keeps really well, usually tastes better the second day and even freezes great. This is a perfect make ahead dish.

Crock Pot Rotisserie White Chicken Chili via the Flick of my Wrist:
(Makes A TON!)

1 lb. dry great northern beans
48 oz. chicken broth
16 oz. hot water
1 diced green bell pepper
1 diced yellow onion
1 diced whole jalapeno (seeds removed)
1 7 oz. can diced green chilies
1 14 oz. can sweet yellow corn, drained
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 whole store-bought rotisserie chicken, skinned & shredded
1/3 cup half & half
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. cumin
2 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot except the half & half. Cook on high heat for about 3-4 hours, or low heat for about 8 hours, stirring occasionally throughout. Do a taste test towards the end of the cooking time to ensure that the beans have cooked through and adjust any seasonings as necessary. Once the beans have cooked through and you are satisfied with the seasoning, finish the chili with the half & half, stir thoroughly to combine the creamy half & half into the mixture evenly. I topped this chili with a three cheese mix: fontina, parmesan & asiago. PERFECT!