December 23, 2013

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know everyone is probably way over pumpkin anything by now and you all probably have this recipe, but in case you don't, here it is. This is the best and easiest cookie recipe ever.
I can't believe for having only 3 ingredients how amazingly addicting these cookies are. Perfect for getting a quick pumpkin fix.

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields: 3 Dozen Cookies
1 box spice cake mix (I suggest either sifting the powder or kneading it in the bag to reduce lumps)
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Mix the pumpkin puree and cake mix together (unprepared powder only) in a medium bowl until there are no more lumps and cake mix has dissolved. (This can take a while.)
4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
5. Drop by rounded tablespoons (using a cookie scoop) onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
6. Bake 13-15 minutes, until edges start to golden.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

December 20, 2013

Glazed Eggnog Muffins

Apparently, it's a yearly ritual for me to bake something with eggnog and that something is muffins. Last year, it was mini eggnog doughnut muffins, which were amazing, but this year I decided to bake some big boys. These muffins call for less ingredients and are just as tasty.
These muffins are thick, fluffy and have the perfect amount of holiday spice. Even though there is eggnog in the batter and the glaze, you can barely tell it is actually eggnog, (for all you eggnog haters out there.) 
These were also extremely easy to make and would be perfect for Christmas morning breakfast.
Now come on, how good does that inside look?

Glazed Eggnog Muffins
Source: Mother Thyme
Makes 12 Muffins
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup eggnog
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white granulated sugar 
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar
3-4 Tbsp. eggnog

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
3. In a large bowl whisk eggnog, vegetable oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla.
4. Gradually stir wet ingredients into dry until combined.
5. Pour batter about 2/3 full into each muffin tin.
6. Bake for 14-16 minutes until cake tester comes out clean and muffins are firm on top.
7. Cool for about 5 minutes in pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Eggnog Glaze
8. In a medium bowl, whisk confectioners sugar and gradually add eggnog until mixture is thick yet can run off a spoon easily.
9. Dip tops of muffins in glaze and set back on wire rack until set.
10. Store in an airtight container.

December 18, 2013

Creamy Tomato Parmesan Soup

Ok so I could go on and on and on about this soup, but I won't. All I have to say is it is one of my new favorites and I will definitely be making it time and time again.

It has so much flavor and pureeing the vegetables gives this soup the best texture. And can I just say I'm not usually one for tomato soups, but if you make it creamy, I'm there.

Creamy Tomato Parmesan Soup
Slightly Adapted from Let's Dish
Yields: 6 servings
4 Tbsp. butter
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ Tbsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 Tbsp. flour
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 cup half and half
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Melt butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
3. Whisk in broth and cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
4. Stir in tomatoes and half and half.
5. Use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables. (You can also puree all of the vegetables beforehand in a blender or food processor before cooking them.)
6. Add the Parmesan and heat through until cheese is melted.
7. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

December 16, 2013

The Best Way to Cook Bacon -- In the Oven

Alright you guys, I guess I have a bone to pick with cooking bacon. 
A. Cooking it in the microwave is a mess (no plate is big enough for raw strips) and the bacon gets all tough and funky.
B. While frying it a pan produces the most flavor (if you use the bacon grease), it spits, splatters and takes a long time to cook. Oh and it's a pain to wipe all the grease out of the pan. 
C. I have finally found a way that I love to cook bacon without all of the mess and babysitting. Oh and it produces the best result...baking it in a good old conventional oven.
The Perfect Bacon
8-10 slices bacon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Line a baking sheet with a sheet of tin foil for easy cleanup. Lay the strips of bacon on top of the foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Dry on paper towels and serve. 

December 7, 2013

Oreo White Chocolate Pudding Cookies

Oh hey everybody! Can't believe it's been 3 whole months since I've posted. Ha! Let's just say that's a new record for me. But when food is not your friend, cooking and definitely blogging, go out the window. Anyway, what better way to start blogging again than posting a yummy cookie recipe?
These cookies are completely different than anything I have ever tried before. They are packed full of a white chocolate flavor and the Oreo pieces just make them delicious.
They also have a bit of saltiness to them that evens out the sweetness. I made these for our ward Christmas party and was totally pleased with the outcome.
Make these for your neighbors or for your upcoming cookie exchange!

Oreo White Chocolate Pudding Cookies
Slightly Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Yields: 3 dozen cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package white chocolate instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups chopped Oreos

1 cup white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat and set aside.
2. Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add in white chocolate pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the Oreos and white chocolate chips.
3. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges and set. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Store in an air-tight container on the counter.

September 5, 2013

Grilled Lemon Chicken and Baked Zucchini Fries

Speaking of all things good and lemony, let's talk about this chicken for a second. I don't know what it is about lemon, but this marinade is probably one of the best I've ever had. It tastes so light and refreshing.
This was also our first time trying baked zucchini fries and we loved em! Baking is such a good, healthy way to eat your veggies. Don't forget to dip them in some ranch or marinara!

Grilled Lemon Chicken
4 medium lemons, cut into wedges
4 tsp. garlic, minced
2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. salt
3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
                   
1. Gently squeeze lemons into a large Ziplock bag, leaving lemon wedges inside.
2. Add garlic, thyme, cayenne pepper, vegetable oil, basil and salt to Ziplock bag, close & shake.
3. Add chicken to Ziplock bag & turn to coat.
4. Seal bag & refrigerate for at least a ½ hour up to overnight.
5. Remove chicken and grill over medium heat until juices run clear.

Baked Zucchini Fries
1 lb. zucchini

1/2 c. Italian-seasoned panko bread crumbs (or regular bread crumbs)

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese (the crumbly stuff, not shreds)

2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
3. Whisk 2 eggs together in a shallow pie plate and set aside.
4. Cut the ends off the zucchini and then cut the zucchini in half so you have two short, stubby pieces. Set one piece on its end and cut it in half lengthwise. Cut that half in half, making 2 planks. Repeat with the remaining halves (so you’ll get 16 planks per zucchini).
5. Stack 2 planks on top of each other and cut into strips. Thicker strips will yield “meatier” fries with more zucchini flavor while thin strips will be crispy and taste virtually nothing like zucchini. When all the fries are cut, blot the pieces with a paper towel.
6. Working with a small handful at a time, dip the zucchini sticks in the egg, shake them to remove any excess, and then roll them in about 2-3 tablespoons of bread crumbs at a time, adding more as needed; (you just don’t want to work with all the bread crumbs at once because they’ll soak up moisture from the egg and won’t stick to the zucchini.) Place the coated strips on the prepared baking sheet and repeat until all the zucchini strips have been coated.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the prepared oven then remove from oven, flip the fries, and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the coating is crisp and golden brown.
8. Serve with ranch or marinara sauce.