Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Chambord Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was craving chocolate chip cookies but wanted to try something new to do with them so I added a little raspberry flavoring in the form of Chambord that I had on hand.  A subtle background raspberry taste that mixes well with dark chocolate chips.

Chambord Chocolate Chip Cookies

¾ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp Chambord
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup dark chocolate chips

Cream together the softened butter and sugars.  Mix in the Chambord and egg.  Stir in the dry ingredients before folding in the chocolate chips.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350°.

Makes 30 cookies.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings

I'm patiently waiting for the weather to warm up and then it will be time to grill.  The weatherman promised temps in the 50's but that wasn't happening so it was time for a comfort food dinner in the crock pot.

Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings

1# chicken breasts
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup milk
Salt & freshly ground pepper

Place chicken breasts at the bottom of your crock pot.  Season with salt and pepper and then add the chicken broth, milk and sour cream to the pot.  Cover and heat over medium heat for 4 hours.  Fork shred chicken and add in the carrots to cook.   After 1 hour add in the peas.  Cook for an additional half hour.  In a small plastic container that has a cover, shake together 1/4 cup milk and 2 tbsp flour.  Stir into chicken mixture and allow to heat up.  After it's thickened, turn up the heat and drop in the dumplings (recipe below).  Cover and cook for 45 minutes.


In a small bowl, mix together

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp milk
2 tsp canola oil

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mint Brownie Cookies

These cookies were kind of an after St Patrick's day thought...better late than never though.  They are a soft brownie in a cookie form that you place half an Andes mint on top and allow it to melt before swirling around.  And what's better is you make them in the microwave so it's only one bowl to clean up after besides the measuring cups and cookie scoop.  

Mint Brownie Cookies

Melt 3/4 cup of butter for 1 minute in the microwave.
Stir in 2 tablespoons of water and 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar and microwave for another 30 seconds.  
Stir in 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips and mix until the dough has turned brown and the chips are half melted.  Add in 2 large eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/4 tsp baking soda and 2 1/2 cups flour.  Refrigerate for 1 hour before scooping out onto parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350°.  Place 1/2 of an Andes mint on top and allow to melt for a couple minutes before spreading with a knife.  Allow to cool until mint topping hardens.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Three Cheese Baked Chicken Parmesan

This was a wonderful dinner that I made during the week for a tasty Italian dinner using chicken breasts and some leftover pasta sauce that I had.

Three Cheese Baked Chicken Parmesan

3 chicken breasts
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Soak chicken breasts in buttermilk for 15 minutes.  Combine all the bread  crumbs and spices in a bowl.  Dip chicken in crumbs and place on a greased baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes at 325°.  

Cook 8 oz of your favorite pasta - I used fettuccine.  Place in a greased baking dish.  Place baked chicken breasts on top.  Cover each breast with 1/4 - 1/3 cup of your favorite pasta sauce on top.  Cover each breast with a combination of Fontina, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.  Bake in the over for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted at 350°.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Cherry Coke Short Ribs

An  easy meal of short ribs that cook all day in the crock pot and are fall apart tender.  They have lots of flavor and you can use as a topping for potatoes, polenta or just use in a sandwich and use the strained Cherry Coke  crock pot juices as a dip or make a gravy as I did.

Cherry Coke Short Ribs 
2# boneless short ribs
1 1/2 cups Cherry Coke
3/4 cup beef broth
2 shallots, cut in half
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp adobe or chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Season and brown the short ribs in 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.  Place into the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients.  Cook over medium low heat for 8 hours.  Remove the meat and cut or shred (it should fall apart).  Taste to see if it needs any additional salt and pepper.  

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Strawberry Tart

Warmer temperatures outside and you start thinking about Spring...despite the long term weather forecast.  One of my favorite fruits are strawberries and they are starting to look really good in the grocery store.  You can also use frozen whole berries...either way you'll love the buttery crust, creamy filling and berries on top.

Strawberry Tart

Tart Shell ~
1 ¼ cup flour
¾ cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ cup cold butter, sliced in small pieces
1 large egg
1 tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla

Put all the dry ingredients in your food processor with the blade and pulse until combined.  Add in butter slices.  Pulse again until just combined so the butter doesn’t get too warm.  In a small dish, combine the milk, egg and vanilla.  Pour into the flour mixture and pulse until a dough forms.  Remove the dough from the processor and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for a half hour.  Remove from the refrigerator and let sit for 10 minutes.  Roll out until the dough is ¼” thick.  Butter  the bottom only of your tart pan.  Place dough in pan.  Only lightly pressing down and on the sides.  Trim off any extra.  Return to refrigerator while your oven heats up to 350°.  Cover the bottom of the dough with aluminum foil and add pie weights.  When the oven is heated, bake for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.

Creamy filling ~

12 oz mascarpone, room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Spread evenly over tart shell.

Strawberries cut in half and arranged in a circle around the cream filling.

Glaze ~

3/4 cup good quality strawberry jam

Heat the jam in a small saucepan and brush over the strawberries.  Refrigerate for an hour before serving.