March 27, 2010

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

*The original recipe is doubled, but I didn't need 60 cookies so I halved it. Make sure you put the dough in the FRIDGE FOR AN HOUR like it says. It makes rolling the dough so easy. It's best to roll out the dough so it's a 1/2-inch thick because then they are fluffier. These cookies were so good! I usually use the Mrs. Field's recipe, but this was just a little different and so much better. I just used some powdered sugar, milk, and food coloring for the icing. You can choose how thick you want the icing by adding more milk or powdered sugar. Enjoy!

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

March 15, 2010

Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Tenders

These are really good and simple. I didn't have balsamic vinegar to make the vinaigrette at the time, but I bet it would be delicious. Balsamic is the best!

Tip: If you don't have buttermilk all you have to do is pour 1 tablespoon of vinegar into a liquid measuring cup and pour enough milk in so it reaches the 1-cup measurement line. Let it stand for five minutes and use as much as your recipe calls for. It works great.

Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Tenders
4 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders (about 18)  
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt        
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper    
 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
2. Brush 1 tablespoon of oil over each of 2 heavy large lined baking sheets. Place the buttermilk in a large bowl. Add the chicken tenders and stir to coat. Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, mash the garlic with the salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vinegar and then the remaining 1/2-cup of oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with pepper. Transfer the vinaigrette to a small serving bowl.
4. Stir the Parmesan and breadcrumbs in a pie dish. Remove the chicken tenders from the buttermilk and dredge them in the breadcrumb mixture to coat completely, pressing to adhere. Arrange the coated chicken tenders on the prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the chicken tenders and bake until they are cooked through and golden brown, about 12 minutes.
5. Transfer the chicken tenders to a platter and serve the vinaigrette alongside for dipping.

    March 11, 2010

    Healthy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

    Ok so this is Jordan's and my favorite recipe. Sweet potato fries are AMAZING! The spices in this recipe are what make these great, and they're healthy, too!

    Tip: Sweet potatoes are very hard so put them in the microwave for a bit to soften and then slice into fries.

    Healthy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
    Serves: 2
    1 medium sized sweet potato   
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. chili powder
    1/4 tsp. garlic powder 
    1/4 tsp. cumin powder
    1 Tbsp. oil, any

    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking with parchment paper.
    2. Wash, peel, and cut the sweet potato into fries.
    3. Now toss the potatoes with the rest of the ingredients and spread them on the lined baking sheet in a single layer.
    4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
    5. Do keep an eye on them so they don't get burned.
    6. Enjoy the fries with a little ketchup!

    March 6, 2010

    Fried Parmesan Broccoli

    This recipe is great. I just used it as a side to the macaroni and cheese. The parmesan on it gets crispy when it's grilled so it adds a little crunch to it. It's super easy, too!

    Fried Parmesan Broccoli
    2 1/2 cups bite-sized broccoli florets   
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan      
    1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

    1. Place the broccoli in a medium bowl. Toss with the beaten eggs to coat evenly. Place the Parmesan in a large tray or baking dish and dredge the broccoli in the cheese, pressing to coat evenly.
    2. Pour olive oil in a large heavy skillet until the olive oil is 1/4-inch deep, about 1/2 cup depending on the size of your skillet. Warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add the Parmesan-coated broccoli. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook in batches, if necessary. Let the broccoli cook until a crust forms, about 3 minutes per side. Turn the broccoli only when they easily release from the bottom of the pan. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

    March 3, 2010

    Macaroni and Cheese

    So I LOVE macaroni and cheese and was watching Everyday Italian with Giada on Food Network one day, my favorite cooking show, when she made this. It looked really good so I thought I'd give it a try. Again I just used mozzarella, Parmesan, and an Italian blend cheese mix. I used the crumbled Parmesan, but I'd recommend buying some shredded. The texture of the crumbled was kind of gross in it, but it still tasted good. I love how it bubbled a golden brown, too. If you don't have Italian parsley leaves, then just leave it out. It still tastes great!

    Macaroni and Cheese
    Butter, for greasing dish    
    2 cups heavy cream     
    2 teaspoons all-purpose flour    
    3/4 cup (packed) finely grated Parmesan    
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper   
    1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water
    12 ounces wide egg noodles
    2 1/2 cups whole milk
    2 cups (packed) grated Fontina
    3/4 cup (packed) grated mozzarella

    1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
    2. Butter a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Drain well, but do not rinse.
    3. Whisk the cream, milk, flour, 1/2-teaspoon salt, and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in 1 cup Fontina, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/2-cup mozzarella, ham, if using, and parsley. 4. Add the noodles and toss to coat.
    5. Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Toss the remaining 1 cup Fontina, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4-cup mozzarella in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the noodle mixture.
    6. Bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.