Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

I saw these truffles over on Annie Eats and I knew I had to make them for my dear friend's birthday treat.  She loves the cookie dough brownies I make and her husband loves chocolate truffles.  I knew they would love this combination!  These taste just like balls of yummy cookie dough - only they don't have eggs, so don't fret.  These were easy to make.  I let them set up in the fridge a bit before I scooped them into balls (the dough is really sticky) and froze them for about about 30 minutes before I dipped them in chocolate.  They were easy to dip, just time consuming.  They set up fast because the balls are really cold.  I let Chicken Legs sample a couple of these balls of goodness and he loved them.  He would prefer them without the chocolate, but he isn't a chocolate person.  Michele loved them and that is all that mattered!



Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
2¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 lb. chocolate candy coating or chocolate bark
Mini chocolate chips

Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up enough to form balls.

Shape the chilled cookie dough mixture into 1-1½ inch balls - I used a medium cookie scoop. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Cover loosely, transfer the pan to the freezer and chill for at least 30 mintues.

When ready to dip the truffles, melt the  chocolate in a heatproof bowl in microwave. Dip each chilled truffle, one at a time, coating in chocolate and shaking gently to remove the excess. (If at any point during dipping, the cookie dough balls become too soft, return to the freezer to chill for a few minutes.) Transfer to a wax-paper lined surface. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top quickly after dipping each truffle before the chocolate sets. Once all the truffles have been dipped, store them in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies


I saw this recipe over on Picky Palate and I knew I had to make it ASAP!  I love almond flavored anything.  These were easy to make and tasted great.  You don't notice the almond flavor at first, but then you get a bite and you can really taste it.  I was really hoping the almond flavor would be more prominent - because I love it so much.   I think that next time I will add 2 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp of almond extract.  I think that will give me the almond kick I am looking for.  Now don't get me wrong, these cookies are great.  The cookies were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside - aka perfect!  I have half of the almond paste left, so I am going to give them another whirl.




Almond Lovers Chocolate Chip Cookies
Picky-Palate.com

2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup brown sugar
3.5 oz Odense Pure Almond Paste (package is 7 oz, just cut in half)
2 egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 oz bag chocolate chips
3/4 Cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until well combined, light and fluffy. Add the almond paste in pieces until well combined. Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips. Mix until just combined. Scoop onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet with a medium cookie scoop. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just golden crisp on the outside. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.


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Monday, March 29, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

King Ranch Chicken

Oh King Ranch Chicken, where have you been all my life?  Seriously! Why have I never eaten this?! I guess I was just searching for the right recipe.  Well, I finally found it in my new cookbook Some Day You'll Thank Me for This: The Official Southern Ladie's Guide to Being a "Perfect Mother" by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays.  My parents gave me their first book Being Dead is No Excuse for Christmas a few years ago and I loved it; this book is just as good.  The stories in the books are hilarious and the recipes are fantastic.  I could totally relate to some of the "Signs that you are the daughter of a Southern mother" - such as,  "You know about deviled egg plates, pledge pins and the importance of middle names" and "You speak to everybody, even tacky people".  I am a daughter of a true Southern mother!

Gayden and Charlotte describe the King Ranch Chicken recipe as follows:

"Many of our mothers did not cook with tortilla chips.  In this recipe, the elegance of tortilla chips is enhanced with Cheese Whiz and cream of mushroom soup.  Just about the only nice thing to be said about King Ranch Chicken is that it's one of the best things you'll ever eat." 

I couldn't agree more with them - this really was one of the best things we ever ate! This recipe make enough for six people.  I made the whole recipe and froze half of the chicken mixture for later.  I didn't want to freeze it with the tortilla chips.  I thought they might get soggy.  ?  I can't wait to make this again!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crunch Bars


We made the best dessert *EVER* at my Pampered Chef party on Tuesday night!  Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crunch Bars - sweet, salty, crunchy, gooey goodness!  It was like having a Reese's peanut butter cup on top of a Rice Krispie treat. - seriously good!  This was so easy to make and everyone found room to eat it (even after all those sausage balls!).  I had to give the leftovers away because I knew I couldn't be trusted with these things in the house.  This is the kind of dessert that calls to you - "Come eat me!".  I didn't have to twist anyone's arm to take it home with them!  I can't wait to make these again.  I think they would be great at a picinc, tailgate or church/school/work gatering.  Make them - everyone will ask for the recipe and you will be a superstar! 


Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crunch Bars
Pampered Chef
(Printable Recipe)

¼ cup dry-roasted peanuts
3 cups mini pretzel twists (about 1 2∕3 cups coarsely crushed), divided
3 cups crisp rice cereal
¾ cup butter (1½ sticks), divided
1 bag (10.5 oz) miniature marshmallows
½ cup  light corn syrup, divided
1 bag (10 oz) peanut butter morsels
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Coarsely chop peanuts using Food Chopper; set aside. Place pretzels into large resealable plastic bag; coarsely crush using flat side of Meat Tenderizer. Set aside ¹∕3 cup of the pretzels. Place remaining pretzels and cereal in Stainless Mixing Bowl.

Place 6 tbsp of the butter in Classic Batter Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30–45 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows; microwave on HIGH 45–60 seconds. Stir until marshmallows are completely melted using Mix ‘N Scraper®. Immediately add marshmallow mixture to mixing bowl; mix thoroughly. Spread crust evenly over 9x13 pan; firmly press into pan using waxed paper.

Combine 2 tbsp of the butter and half of the corn syrup in Small Micro-Cooker®. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 30–45 seconds or until melted.  Stir in peanut butter morsels; mix until melted (mixture will be stiff). Spread peanut butter mixture over crust using Small Spreader.

For ganache, place remaining butter and corn syrup in Small Batter Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30–45 seconds or until melted. Stir in chocolate morsels; mix until smooth. Spread ganache evenly over peanut butter mixture. Sprinkle with peanuts and reserved pretzels. Place in freezer 5–10 minutes or until ganache is set. Cut into 24 squares; cut squares in half.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sausage Fest


I had a few friends over last night for a Pampered Chef party.  I decided to take the opportunity to  have a sausage ball tasting and try out some new recipes.  I served 5 different recipes - Turkey Sausage (my Mom's recipe substituting turkey sausage), The Whiz sausage balls (my cousin's recipe),  Maple Sausage (found a version on a blog somewhere), Italian Sausage (made this one up) and the original Bisquick recipe.  The overall favorite was the Cheese Whiz sausage balls!  Who would have guessed?!  Second place went to the Italian sausage balls.  We all had a hard time picking a favorite because they were all SO good.  After the tasting, we were all stuffed!  *The photos aren't the best because I didn't want to hold up the party to take photos!*




The Whiz Sausage Balls
1 pound hot sausage
8 oz cheese whiz
3 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together with KitchenAid mixer fitted with dough hook.  Shape into balls.  At this point you can freeze the balls and bake later.  Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.






The Original Bisquick Sausage Balls
1 pound sausage
3 cups Bisquick
4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp rosemary 
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together with KitchenAid mixer fitted with dough hook.  Shape into balls.  At this point you can freeze the balls and bake later.  Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.


Maple Sausage Balls
(Printable Recipe)

1 pound Maple sausage
3 cups Bisquick
4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together with KitchenAid mixer fitted with dough hook.  Shape into balls.  At this point you can freeze the balls and bake later.  Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.


Italian Sausage Balls
(Printable Recipe)

1 pound Italian sausage
3 cups Bisquick
4 cups Italian Cheese blend, shredded
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together with KitchenAid mixer fitted with dough hook.  Shape into balls.  At this point you can freeze the balls and bake later.  Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.



Sausage Balls
(Printable Recipe)

1 pound turkey sausage (or regular)
2 3/4 cup Bisquick
10 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients together with KitchenAid mixer fitted with dough hook.  Shape into balls.  At this point you can freeze the balls and bake later.  Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.


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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Twisted Dogs


Chicken Legs recently started a new job and had to go to Chicago for some training.  I took that as an opportunity to eat a few things that he doesn't care for - one such food, high on his list, is hot dogs!  I like hot dogs, not all the time, but an occasional dog isn't a bad thing in my book!  I decided to do a literal twist on your regular crescent dog.  Aren't they cute?!  These were fun to eat and didn't take any more time to make that a regular crescent dog.  You could add cheese if you wanted to kick it up even more. The trick to these is making sure that is some extra dough at the seam after you wrap the dog; you need some uncut dough at the seam so you can twist it easier. 









Twisted Dogs
(Printable Recipe)

2 can crescent rolls
1 package hot dogs (or turkey dogs)
ketchup
mustard
mayo
cheese

Preheat oven to 375.  Separate each can of crescent rolls into 4 rectangles.  Seal perforations.  Place one hotdog in center each rectangle and fold the dough over the hotdog.  You want a small amount of extra dough (that is not touching the dog) at the seam - this will make it easier to twist.  Pinch edges to seal.  Cut the hot dog into 10 slices - leaving the overhang dough uncut. Place the cut dough onto a baking sheet. Twist first cut portion to the left, and second to the right, repeat this for the rest of the portions. Drizzle twisted dogs with condiments (you could even add cheese) of your choice. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Overnight Sticky Buns

This was the best thing I ate last weekend.  We devoured these things!  I loved them so much, that I am making them again for breakfast tomorrow.  They are easy and yummy!  This would be the perfect breakfast when you have overnight guests, Thanksgiving or Christmas morning - anytime you need a fuss-free breakfast.  I don't know how something made of 5 simple ingredients could turn out so good.  There must be magic in that pudding mix.  Whatever it is it makes these rolls dangerously addictive!



Overnight Sticky Buns
(Printable Recipe)

1/4 cup chopped pecans
9 frozen dinner rolls (Rhode's)
1/2 package of butterscotch cook & serve pudding (not instant)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
cooking spray

Spray 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray.  Sprinkle pecans over the bottom of the pan.  Arrange the rolls in the pan and sprinkle the pudding on top of the rolls and around them.  In a small saucepan, bring the butter and brown sugar to a boil.  Pour mixture over rolls.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise overnight.  Preheat oven to 350.  Carefully remove the plastic wrap and bake rolls for 20-25 minutes. 


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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Parmesan Orzo


We tried something completely new - orzo!  I've never made orzo - not sure why.  I just usually make rice-a-roni because it is easy and good.  Hey, if it's good enough for San Francisco, then it is good enough for The Ham!  I found this recipe over on the The Hungry Housewife and decided to give it a whirl.  This fit my all three cooking criteria - quick, easy and GOOD!  We both really loved the parmesan cheese.  I can't wait to make this again and mix up the flavors. 


Parmesan Orzo
The Hungry Housewife
(Printable Recipe)

3 Tbsp butter
8 oz Orzo
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup White Wine
1/2 cups Parmesan-Reggiano Cheese
2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper

Melt butter in a pot with a lid over medium heat.  Add orzo and cook until some of the pieces turn golden brown.  Add garlic and cook for an additional one minute.  Add chicken stock and wine, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.


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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Honey Dijon Greek Chicken


We came up with this recipe to use our new grape seed oil we brought on our Alabama Wine Trail.  Chicken Legs loves Greek food with all the lemon and great spices and we thought the grape seed oil would work well with those flavors.  We marinated the chicken all day and then grilled it for dinner.  The chicken smelled fantastic while we were cooking it - the oregano was so fragrant.  It turned out great.  It had a nice tanginess from the lemon juice, which made Chicken Legs very happy.  We both really enjoyed the chicken.  It was a nice change to our usual grilled chicken and I enjoyed getting to use our grape seed oil.







Honey Dijon Greek Chicken
(Printable Recipe)

1/4 cup grape seed oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 Tbsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt
pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast

Pound the chicken breast to an even thickness and set aside.  Combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.  Let marinate in refrigerator for 4-8 hours.  Grill approximately 10-12 minutes, until done.


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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bisquick Chocolate Chip Cookies


A few weeks ago I was going through my hundreds of cookbooks in the kitchen and rediscovered my Bisquick cookbook.  I started looking through it and found a lot of really good recipes.  We loved the Impossible Taco Pie we had for dinner recently, so I wanted to try another recipe from the cookbook.  I decided on the chocolate chip cookies.  I wanted to see if we could tell a difference from "regular" chocolate chip cookies.  At first I wasn't sure about the cookies, so I ate another cookie and another and another.  I concluded that they were pretty good, since I couldn't stop eating them!  Next time I make these I am going to do half chocolate chips and half peanut butter chips.  I think that would put these over the top!




Monday, March 15, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Take Two Chili

I bought a huge roast for our Italian Pot Roast last week.  We had it for dinner two nights and still had a ton leftover.  I decided to turn the remaining meat into chili.  I've been wanting to try a heartier chili for a while and this fit the bill. I substituted the roast for the ground beef in our Deen Bros Chili recipe and it turned out great.  This chili was very filling - a little goes a long way.  We served it over Fritos and topped it with sour cream and cheddar cheese.  I made Chicken Leg's favorite Cheesy Biscuits to go with it.  It was an easy meal and everything tasted great!  This chili would be great over tortilla chips and topped with melted cheese for nachos. 


Take Two Chili
(Printable Recipe)

1 - 1 1/2 lbs leftover pot roast
2 cans diced tomatoes, drained and pulsed in the food processor
2 cans chili beans, undrained
4 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp minced onion flakes
Combine all ingredients and place in crock-pot.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Serve with Fritos, sour cream and cheddar cheese.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Asiago Cheese Grits

We made our favorite Italian Pot Roast last week.  I saw this recipe for Asiago Cheese Grits in the March Southern Living and I thought they would be a nice change to our usual side of parmesan risotto.  The grits were great!  They were creamy and oh, so cheesy.  They went perfectly with the roast!  The grits only take about 10 minutes to make, so dinner was on the table in no time.  Just writing this post is making me wish I still had some of this to eat tonight! 


Asiago Cheese Grits
adapted from Southern Living
(Printable Recipe)

3/4 cups water
3/4 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
3/5 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring water, milk, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan; gradually whisk in 1 1/2 grits. Cook, stirring often, 6 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in Asiago cheese, seasonings, butter, salt and pepper to taste, stirring until blended.




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