January 30, 2013

Super Bowl Party Food Ideas

Here are some quick and easy recipe ideas for your upcoming Super Bowl Party!
Stuffed Pizza Rolls
If you love pizza like I do, you'll love these perfectly portioned bites of pure pizza goodness.
Mini Baked Spinach Dip Bread Bowls
Might as well put one of the most popular dips smack dab in the center of a bread bowl and call it good, no?
Pizza Bruschetta
A fun and tasty twist on classic bruschetta. Everyone will love these!
Gourmet Pigs in a Blanket
These aren't your ordinary pigs in a blanket. They definitely take this classic game day snack to the next level!

Seven Layer Dip
This is one of my favorite versions of this dip and it's a sure way to make some quick friends!

Burger Gyros
These will be a crowd pleaser for sure and they're so easy to make!
Cream Cheese Chicken Tailgate Sandwiches
Nothing says football like these "tailgating" sandwiches!
Corn Dog Muffins
These are my favorite and I'm sure they'll be gone in no time at all. Double the recipe if you have a lot of fans to feed!
Monterey Jack BBQ Burgers with In 'n Out Sauce
These burgers are juicy, flavorful and the sauce totally makes this burger irresistible!

January 29, 2013

Food for Thought: Pretty Kitchen

Here are a few pretty kitchen items I've been swooning over for your viewing pleasure!

Anthropologie Farmers Market Basket: How cute would these be sitting in your fridge bursting with fresh raspberries or strawberries, etc? I can't get enough!
Target's Threshold Stoneware Canister: This is totally an Anthropologie knock-off, but who cares because it's so much cheaper! They have them in all sorts of sizes and colors, too! I might just have to get one!
Anthropologie Tea and Toast Butter Dish: If it was practical to have multiple butter dishes I so would. I'm still tempted to buy this one though! And apparently I have something for this soft baby blue lately...
Target's Threshold Stoneware Salt and Pepper Shakers: I'm dying over these salt and pepper shakers! I already have three sets, but I might as well start a collection, no?
Anthropologie Chipper and Sprite Serving Set: I have been drooling over these for a couple of months now. Every time I wander into an Anthropologie to "window" shop, I can't help but pick these up. The handles are just too much! If they ever go on sale, I'm picking up a set. No battle!

January 28, 2013

Skinny Broccoli Alfredo

So this alfredo may or may not be my new favorite. It is creamy, light and pairs fantastically with cooked broccoli. This dish was a hit at my house, which is not surprising since I am a tried and true broccoli lover.
It turns out, Greek yogurt is absolutely fantastic in sauces. The yogurt makes everything instantly creamy without all the added fat and calories. It's my new love in the kitchen.

Skinny Broccoli Alfredo
Slightly Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
2 cups cooked broccoli
, steamed or boiled
8 oz. rotini

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. flour

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

salt & pepper

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
                   
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water before draining. Set aside.
2. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Sprinkle in flour then whisk to incorporate and cook for 1 additional minute.
3. Slowly whisk in chicken broth, then milk. Whisk in Greek yogurt, salt and pepper, then turn the heat down to low and let the mixture simmer until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Turn the heat off, then stir in parmesan cheese. Pour over cooked pasta, then add broccoli and stir well. Add a little reserved pasta cooking water if sauce is too thick.

January 25, 2013

Thin and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

The truth is, I'm used to a very fat, moist, chocolate chip cookie that my mom has made for years. Granted they're delicious, thanks to the three glorius sticks of butter packed inside, but I was in search for something different.

Then, I saw this recipe over at Picky Palate and decided to give it a try. Lo and behold, these cookies were EXACTLY what I had been looking for.

A little less butter, crispy, sweet, salty and just the right thickness. My husband and I finished them off in a couple of days because they were so addicting.
Please make these. You'll thank me later.


Thin and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Slightly Adapted from Picky Palate
Makes 2 Dozen Cookies
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted softened butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
                   
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with a Silpat liner or parchment paper.
2. Cream your butter and sugars in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, a good 2 minutes. Add egg, then vanilla beating to combine. Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt then chocolate chips, mixing until combined.
3. With cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheet. Press dough down to flatten slightly with a flat-bottomed glass.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until baked through. (10 minutes will be softer cookies, 12 minutes will be browned.) Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack.

January 24, 2013

Burger Gyros

For some random reason I really love gyros. I tried my first one only a few years ago and have been hooked ever since. While I don't mind the traditional lamb gyro, I also really like this version with ground beef. Plus ground beef is a lot easier to find in your hometown grocery store.
I used these pitas and loved them. I just found them near my grocery store's baked goods, but I'm sure they're in the bread aisle at other stores.
The Tzatziki sauce for this recipe is fabulous as well. Overall it's just a great, easy way to enjoy a gyro at home.

Burger Gyros
Slightly Adapted from Our Best Bites
1 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried minced onion
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried rosemary
*4 pitas or 6-inch rounds of flatbread
thin onion slices
fresh tomato slices
Tzatziki (recipe below)

1. Gently combine beef, garlic, onion, mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar, oregano and rosemary with your hands and shape into 4 oblong patties (they'll fit better in the pitas). Grill 5-6 minutes on each side and remove from heat. Allow to stand 5 minutes.
2. Toast pitas in a frying pan over medium-heat for about 30 seconds per side until warm and crispy.
3. Place burgers on pitas and add onion, tomatoes and Tzatziki. Fold like a taco and serve immediately. For easy serving and cleanup, wrap in aluminum foil.

Tzatziki
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1-2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
kosher salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Store covered in refrigerator up to 3 days.

January 21, 2013

Mushroom Pesto Pizza

Like I said previously, I am a mushroom fan through and through and you can't pick out the mushrooms in this pizza so you might as well enjoy them!

This pizza was fantastic, literally bursting with flavor! I tried out Trader Joe's premade Herb and Garlic pizza dough and was thoroughly impressed. Very easy to work with and very tasty.
This pizza was rich, decadent and delicious. Try it out for yourself!

Mushroom Pesto Pizza
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
For the mushroom pesto:
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried onion, minced
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

For the pizza:
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. garlic, minced
½ tsp. parsley
Salt and pepper
1 ball pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s premade Herb and Garlic dough this time.)
Olive oil

1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. To make the mushroom pesto, preheat the oven to 450˚ F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Toss the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 15 minutes. For the last 10 minutes of baking, add the garlic to the pan.
2. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the roasted mushrooms, garlic, onion, parsley, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Process until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed. Stir in the Parmesan.
3. To make the pizza, increase the oven temperature to 475˚F. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the uncooked mushrooms until browned and tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and parsley and cook just until fragrant. Remove from the heat.
4. Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round. Lightly brush the perimeter of the dough with olive oil. Spread the mushroom pesto over the crust in an even layer. Top with the shredded cheeses and then layer with the sautéed mushrooms.
5. Transfer the pizza to the pizza pan and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

January 16, 2013

BBQ Chicken Pizza Soup

I know this soup sounds a little trippy, but just think about the flavor combination of a BBQ chicken pizza for a minute. Chicken, cilantro, BBQ sauce, onions, etc. Why not make it into a soup?

I think the only thing that weirded me out about this soup was that I would practically be drinking BBQ sauce. But really, what's wrong with that?

You probably can't tell, but the white in this picture is a fresh blanket of snow on my porch table. (Yes I take pictures outside on my balcony, hoping no one is watching me.) This was the day a massive snowstorm hit us last week with almost two feet of snow. It was awesome, but mostly because I was inside devouring this soup.

Yes, devouring. Definitely one of my top two favorite soups. It's that good.

BBQ Chicken Pizza Soup
Slightly Adapted from Picky Palate
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 cup corn, drained if canned, rinsed if frozen (I used Trader Joes' frozen Super Sweet Corn)
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I recommend Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the corn and chicken breast; stir to combine. Pour in chicken broth, BBQ sauce, salt, pepper, garlic salt and cilantro leaves.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, until ready to serve. Garnish each bowl with mozzarella cheese and cilantro, if desired.