Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookies are my weakness and chocolate chip are always a comfort food fav for me! This year an acquaintance posted the secret to the best choc chip cookies ever and I have to agree! I didn't know I could improve on this old time favorite but this is how to make THE BEST chocolate chips cookies I've ever tasted! It does require a little extra work but it's so worth it! The chilling time & under baking slightly, then allowing to sit on the pan 1 min are the keys. I also have learned that true creaming requires 3 minutes of beating with a mixer. Alternately, you can make the dough and roll it into cookie balls and freeze, then bake from frozen with great results!
1 c brown sugar
3/4 c white sugar
1 c butter
1 t vanilla
Combine & sift:
3/4 t salt
3/4 t baking soda
3 c flour
Mix into creamed ingredients & add 2 c chocolate chips or to taste. Chill 2 hours. Take tablespoons full dough, ball slightly, then push down to flatten on baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-9 mins- UNDERBAKE slightly. Bake until opaque looking and not shiny on top. Let sit on tray for 1 minute longer to bake a little more. Then remove to a cooling rack.
I think my Mom shared this one with me this year. Maybe it was last year but close enough! I've started making these on Sundays. They are so easy and so good! Our whole family loves them! And ribs can be very inexpensive. Leftovers also freeze well!
1 t cumin
1/4 c paprika
1 t granulated garlic
1 t onion powder
1 t chili powder
3/4 c brown sugar
1 T kosher salt
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 t black pepper
Mix together all ingredients and rub onto ribs. Refrigerate overnight in a ziplock bag. In the morning place ribs in crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours.
My neighbor shared this with me and I could have eaten the whole batch myself- maybe I did! We ate this with apple slices in the Fall. It's also good poured over popcorn!
1/2 c butter
1 c karo syrup
1 c brown sugar
Bring to a rolling boil over med/high heat. Remove from heat and add:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
Stir until combined.
Mel is one of my favorite food bloggers. I tried this simple recipe a few months ago and made it for a couple of people when I brought them dinners. Everyone gives this rave reviews and it's simplicity is awesome for this busy Mom! (I double the sauce.)
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4-6 pieces)
6-8 slices swiss cheese
1/2 c light mayo
1/2 c plain greek yogurt
3/4 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 t garlic powder
hot, cooked rice
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly spray a 9X13 baking pan with cooking spray. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season on each side with salt and pepper. Lay the chicken breast pieces in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Layer the Swiss cheese slices over chicken. In a medium bowl, whisk together mayo, yogurt, 1/2 c parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Spread this mixture over the chicken and cheese. Top with remaining 1/4 c Parmesan cheese. Bake for 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is hot and bubbly. Serve over hot, steamed rice.
This is another one of Mel's. I'm pretty sure I just discovered this one this year and I've made it at least 4 times and am making it again today! It's fudgy rich deliciousness!
FOR THE PAN:
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
FOR THE CAKE:
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) butter
- 1/3 cup (1.25 ounces) natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 3/4 cup (8.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups (11.5 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 large eggs (3.5 ounces)
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 cups (6 to 12 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
FOR THE GLAZE:
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together the butter and cocoa powder for the pan until the mixture is well-combined and pasty. Use a pastry brush or folded square of wax paper to wipe the cocoa/butter mixture into a 10- or 12-inch bundt pan until the inner surface is evenly coated.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa powder, salt and water. Heat until the butter is melted and whisk to combine well. Set aside to cool to room temperature (just slightly warm is ok, too, but let it cool more if it’s overly warm or hot).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and baking soda. Pour in the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the eggs and whisk to combine. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla extract until the batter is smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes until the top lightly springs back and the cake is baked through.
- Let the cake cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before turning it out carefully onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- For the glaze, place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer (either in the microwave or in a saucepan) and pour over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes without stirring. Add the vanilla and stir the mixture until it is glossy and smooth. The glaze will set up as it cools; if you want a thin drizzle, pour it over the cake while the glaze is still warm but if you want a thicker frosting, let it cool slightly.
- Once the cake is cooled, place it on a serving plate or cake stand and pour the glaze over the cake letting it drip down the sides.
This is quickly turning into a Mel-loving post. I am truly indebted to that lady! This rolls are awesome! You can barely tell that they are whole wheat and they freeze beautifully so whenever I need some rolls for dinner I just take them out and leave them on the counter until dinner.
Last Christmas I got myself an Instant Pot and LOVE IT! I love how fast I can cook dry beans and a whole frozen chicken! And cooking an entire meal in only one pot is pretty amazing! My sister told me about this "chili recipe" around Halloween time and I made it for our neighborhood potluck Halloween night. It was a hit! I'm not sure it really qualifies as chili but I don't care because it is so good!
This is another Instant Pot favorite that a friend shared with me. It's not quite like any other soup I've ever made. My whole family gobbles this one up and they aren't big soup eaters!
Another great, warming soup that I love! I like how she uses masa harina to thicken it up a bit.
This year I was part of a freezer meal group and I've learned so much about freezer meals and all the different things you can freeze. Freezer meals have become a lifesaver for me! I don't know how I survived before! It's so nice to be able to take something out of the freezer in the morning to defrost for dinner or pop in the crockpot on a busy day. It's a great way to save money for so many reasons and to be able to serve someone who needs a quick meal. The following recipes were our favorites that I collected from our freezer group and they all freeze beautifully:
Freezer Ravioli Lasagna
My kids and husband love this and I can sneak in lots of veggies. Win-win all the way around!
Jar of spaghetti sauce
Bag of frozen ravioli
Any veggies you want (saute onions, peppers, zucchini and baby spinach)
Layer sauce, raviolis, and cheese in a casserole dish. (You can add in any veggies or meat you want with these layers. Repeat with second layer. Top with sauce. Then cover with foil and place in freezer. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake for an hour until heated through. Top with more mozzarella cheese and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats
I love me a good ole Rice Krispie Treat and these take it to the next level! You can't just eat one!6 c Rice Krispies
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c whipping cream
1 T light corn syrup
1 t coarse salt
1 10 oz bag of mini marchmallows, plus 1 c of additional mini marshmallows
In a large, heat-proof bowl, toss together Rice Krispies and 1 c of mini marshmallows. Set aside. Spray 9X13 pan with cooking spray. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. When it's melted, reduce heat to medium and add brown sugar, whipping cream, and corn syrup and cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently to keep caramel from scorching. When the caramel is thick and syrupy, add the salt and stir to combine, then remove from heat and add 10 ozs of marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are dissolved, then quickly pour over the Rice Krispies and stir quickly to coat. Press into prepared pan. Allow to cool completely and cut into squares.
Brown Sugar Mozzarella Stix & Cheesy Garlic Stix
Dissolve 1 T yeast and 1 t sugar in 2 c lukewarm water. Allow to bubble. Add 2 T oil, 1 t salt and 4-5 c flour. Be careful adding the last cup of flour. You don't want the dough too stiff! Let raise for an hour or two. You can use fresh or precook in the pan you desire at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool before putting in the freezer or putting on toppings. For Cheesy Garlic: brush on olive oil with a pastry brush, sprinkle with garlic salt and cheese. For Brown sugar: brush on olive oil with a pastry brush, cover with brown sugar, evenly spread small squares of butter and then top with mozzerella. When ready, defrost from freezer, bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.
Thai Chicken Soup
This was surprisingly delicious! I crave this soup. Especially served with naan!
1 1/2 T red curry paste
1 1/2 T fish sauce
1 1/2 T honey
1 1/2 T peanut butter
1 1/2 c chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1 lb chicken breast, sliced into strips
1/2 bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c carrots, peeled and chopped
1 T freshly grated ginger
Juice from lime weges
In crockpot, stir together first 6 ingredients. Then add chicken and veggies. Cook on low for 6 hours or high 4 hours. To freeze, place all ingredients in a ziplock bag except the coconut milk. When ready to make, empty contents with coconut milk into crockpot and cook on low as indicated in the recipe.
Slow-cooker Pulled Pork Tacos
These are so easy and not like any other taco I've had. They are so good- I think I'm making these tonight!2 lbs pork shoulder (butt) or loin
2 T paprika
1 t pepper
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t kosher salt
1 t cumin
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
2/3 c water
Thaw pork in fridge overnight. Rub with seasoning. Place in slow cooker, slowly add vinegar and water around edges of meat. Careful to not rinse off rub. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Shredd with fork and serve on corn tortillas with slaw.
Slaw: 1 package of cole slaw
1 chicken Ramen
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c vegetable oil
1/3 c white vinegar
Place slaw and crumbled ramen noodles in bowl and set aside. Combine the flavoring packet from the ramen with vinegar, oil and sugar. Whisk until well blended. Pour onto slaw and toss.