Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category


February 15, 2017

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more details.

Nothing beats homemade cookies. Soft, served warm, and with a glass of milk. But making them from scratch can be an off-putting, messy, time-consuming, endeavor. Until now! My recipe takes away all of the the things you don’t like about making cookies – creaming hard butter with sugar, dirtying 2 bowls because you have to sift and separate the dry ingredients, standing around in the kitchen for an hour waiting for dozens of cookies to bake…None of that here!

Using melted butter means you won’t get a wrist cramp while blending the butter and sugar. Dry ingredients? No sifting. Just pour them on in. And while most cookie recipes tell you to use 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie, my recipe calls for 1/4 cup of dough per cookie, so you’ll bake 2 sheets of cookies and be done.

Once you try this hassle-free chocolate cookie recipe, you will never go back to another recipe again! These big, fat chocolate chip cookies are so soft and delicious, people will think they were made in a bakery.

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly grease cookie sheet. I prefer to bake one sheet at a time so they cook more evenly.

In a large bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in baking soda and salt. Add flour and combine until blended.

Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts (if any) by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheet. Cookies should be about 2 inches apart. They will not spread too much. I can fit nine on my 14″ x 16″ Farberware cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cookies start to brown and set. Be careful not to overcook. If they are brown on top, they cooked too long and won’t be as soft. Take them out when they start getting golden on the bottom. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool some more. Serve warm!

Yield: Approximately 18 very big cookies

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February 14, 2017

5-Minute Homemade Donuts

5-Minute Homemade Donuts

I learned how to make these donuts in 8th grade Home EC class. One of the perks of growing up in the 80’s! These days, the food police would probably arrest a teacher for having her class prepare such a nutritionally unsound concoction.

Ingredients

  • 1 roll of refrigerated biscuit dough (Store brand works great. Do not use Grands or flavored varieties.)
  • 1/3 cup of powdered sugar (you can also use plain sugar or cinnamon/sugar.
  • Vegetable Oil

    Directions

    Pour powdered sugar into a brown lunch bag and set aside.

    Heat about half a cup of vegetable oil in small frying pan. Oil level needs to be high enough to cover bottom half of donut, so the amount will depend on the size of the pan.

    Using your thumbs, poke a hole in the center of the biscuits and using your fingers, pinch the sides together to form a donut shape. Fry in hot oil over medium heat, flipping so both sides turn golden brown. Be careful not to have heat too high, as outside will be dark and inside will still be doughy. Cook no more than 2 at a time.

    When donuts are done, set on a paper towel for a minute to remove excess oil. Place donuts, one at a time, in the bag filled with powdered sugar and shake until well coated. Serve immediately because they taste best warm when they’re warm.

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  • September 19, 2016

    Karen’s Vegetarian Southwest Soup

    Vegetarian Southwest Soup recipe

    Ingredients

    2 cans of low sodium vegetable broth (I use Swanson)
    1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic (I use Hunt’s)
    1 can of unsalted corn (drained) (I use Del Monte)
    1 can of low sodium black beans (rinsed and drained) (I use Bush’s)
    1 cup of salad macaroni (cooked according to pkg)
    1/2 tsp of ground cumin
    1/2 tsp of chili powder
    1/8 tsp of black pepper
    a sprig of fresh basil or cilantro

    Directions

    Add all ingredients (except cooked pasta) to a large soup pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Add warm pasta immediately before serving (if you add it too soon, it will soak up all your broth). Serve with cornbread.

    My oldest has been a vegetarian for many years. Cooking dual meals isn’t always easy. I like this soup because it has a great homemade taste, is made with canned goods that I usually have on hand and cooks in minutes.

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    June 1, 2016

    10 Ways to Spice Up Your Summer BBQ

    Dry rub recipe for steak
    This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more details.

    1. The Perfect Steak

    Hands down – the best dry rub I’ve ever tasted! Goes great on any steak. Pictured below on rib-eyes (my favorite cut!).

    Ingredients: 1 TSP Ground Coffee, 1 TSP Paprika, 1 TSP Thyme, 1 TSP Garlic Powder, 1/2 TSP Pepper, 1/2 TSP Sea Salt, Dash or Two of Cayenne Pepper

    Instructions: Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Apply to both sides of the steak. Wrap steak in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or in fridge overnight.

    Homemade baked beans recipe

    2. DIY Baked Beans

    Canned baked beans have come a long way since I was a kid, but everything is better when you make it yourself! With 3 different kinds of beans, this recipe really mixes things up. Get low or no sodium beans. Add your own salt if desired.

    Ingredients: 1 Can Black Beans, 1 Can Kidney Beans, 1 Can Great Northern Beans, 4 Slices Cooked Bacon, 1/2 Cup Chopped Yellow Onion, 3/4 Cup Ketchup, 1/3 Cup Dark Molasses, 1/3 Cup Water, 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 TSP Tabasco, 1 TBSP Dry Mustard, 1 TSP Thyme.

    Instructions: Rinse and drain beans, combine all ingredients in an ovenproof baking dish, cover and cook at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover, stir, and bake 10-15 minutes more.

    mexican street corn recipe
    Image: serious eats

    3. Mexican Street Corn

    There’s nothing like fresh corn on the cob in the summertime. It goes great with just about anything you throw on the grill. Add a little south of the border flavor with this recipe from serious eats. If special seasonings are hard to come by in your area, substitute chipotle chili powder for the ancho or guajillo chili powder in their recipe.

    Amante Picante recipe

    4. Amante Picante

    I was introduced to this lovely cocktail at Tag restaurant in Denver, Colorado. They were so yummy, I went back a second time a few months later, specifically for the drink! Tip: Increase the spicy factor by adding more Green Tabasco.

    Ingredients: 2 Oz Agave Tequila, 1 Oz Lime Juice, 3/4 Oz Agave Nectar, 2 Cucumber Slices, 2 Sprigs Cilantro, 2-3 Dashes Green Tabasco.

    Instructions: Muddle cucumber, cilantro, agave nectar, Tabasco and lime juice in a shaker tin. Add tequila and 2 cups of ice. Shake vigorously then double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cucumber and cilantro.

    How to smoke meat on a gas grill using a tin can
    Image: 120 things in 20 years

    5. Smoke Meat On Your Gas Grill

    I own both a charcoal and a gas smoker. Unfortunately, they aren’t very portable. If I want to add smoky flavor to meats when I am cooking away from home, here’s what I do!

    Wash out an old can and remove the label. Fill halfway with wood chips (mesquite or oak for beef, hickory for pork, apple for poultry or fish). Cover can with lid or foil and poke 3-4 half inch holes to vent. Place can on hot grill and chips should begin smoking in 5-10 minutes. Cook meat as usual, covering whenever possible to keep in the smoke.

    Semi-homemade BBQ sauce recipe
    Image: Target.com

    6. Jazz Up Store Bought BBQ Sauce

    Pour a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (Bull’s Eye and Sweet Baby Ray’s are my go-to’s) into a saucepan and simmer with 1/8 Cup Molasses, 2 TBS Brown Sugar, 1/2 TSP of Liquid Smoke, and a dash of Cayenne Pepper. Original flavors make the best base. Flavored versions can end up being too flavored once you start adding your own fresh ingredients.

    Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe
    Image: Food.com

    7. Buffalo Chicken Dip

    I live in a house full of spice lovers and this dip has long been a favorite. It’s so tasty, I’ve seen people make a sandwich out of it! Not the healthiest choice, but calories don’t count on Super Bowl Sunday, right?

    Ingredients: 8 Oz Brick Cream Cheese, 2 Cans Cooked Chicken, 1/2 Cup Bleu Cheese Dressing, 1/2 Cup Frank’s Buffalo Wings Sauce, and 1/2 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese

    Instructions: Combine first 4 ingredients in an ovenproof dish. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot with crackers and veggies.

    Jalapeno Cornbread Poppers recipe
    Image: OhBiteIt

    8. Jalapeno Cornbread Poppers

    I love making cornbread with cheese and jalapenos. The only problem? Too much cornbread and not enough jalapeno! Enter the Jalapeno Cornbread Popper. Two bites of spicy, cheesy heaven with the perfect amount of cornbread to keep your mouth from completely catching on fire! For ingredients and instructions visit OhBiteIt.

    Easy Homemade Salsa recipe

    9. Easy Homemade Salsa

    Once you see how simple and tasty homemade salsa can be, you’ll never be satisfied by jarred salsa again. This recipe uses basic ingredients that I usually have on hand and it whips up in about 5 minutes. You can serve it immediately or let the flavors blend while in the fridge for a couple hours. Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before serving and give it a good stir. I like it best when it is only slightly cooler than room temperature.

    Ingredients: 1 Can of Tomato Sauce, a Jalapeno, 3 green onions, a small handful of fresh cilantro, a pinch of chopped garlic, a splash of lime juice, and dash of sea salt and pepper.

    Instructions: Add tomato sauce and jalapeno (1 slice at a time so you can taste and gauge hotness) to blender. When desired hotness is reached (dip a chip in and taste it), add remaining ingredients and pulse until desired consistency.

    How to buy and cook beef ribs

    10. Beef Ribs

    Many grocery stores sell beef ribs with a lot of the meat cut trimmed off. They use it for prepacked stew meat. Don’t waste your money on those bags of bones! Give the meat department your phone number and ask them to call you when they have whole, intact, fresh beef ribs. The best times to score them are around the holidays, when rib roasts go on sale. Once you get your hands on a rack or two, smoke them, slow grill them, oven roast them – but never, ever boil them…please! Your guests will thank you.

    Instructions: Brush them with a dry rub (like the one I listed in tip #1) and allow them to sit in the fridge overnight. Smoke them with hickory or mesquite for 4-6 hours, then brush them with BBQ sauce and toss them on the grill until they have a nice char.

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    August 27, 2015

    Black Bean Salsa Recipe

    black-bean-salsa-recipe

    Having a vegetarian in the house, I try to prepare things that can stand on their own without meat, but can be spiked with meat for the carnivores in the family. This dish is a perfect example of that and it eats like a meal. You can serve it like a salsa with chips, use it as a topping for burritos or fish tacos, or toss in some marinated, grilled shrimp for some fantastic tostadas!

    Ingredients

    2 cans of low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 can of yellow corn, no salt added, rinsed and drained
    3 Roma tomatoes, diced
    1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
    2 ripe avocados, peeled and diced
    1 jalapeño, finely diced (less or none depending on your heat tolerance)
    3 TBS lime juice
    2 TBS white wine vinegar
    Fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste

    Directions

    Mix all ingredients in a non-metallic container and refrigerate 2-4 hours. Serve with chips or on tostadas, tacos, or burritos.

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    January 26, 2015

    Crock-Pot Mac N’ Cheese Recipe

    crock-pot-mac-n-cheese-recipe

    I love homemade Macaroni and Cheese. I’ve just never had a whole lot of success making it because I always seem to get the roux wrong and the sauce ends up with a grainy texture. I decided to take a stab at making mac n’ cheese without a roux and the recipe below is what I came up with.

    It turned out much better than I expected. Even my son, who is a picky eater, asked for seconds. I used orecchiette pasta, which has a starchier consistency than elbow macaroni. I think it helped to thicken up the sauce so you don’t even miss the roux. This one is on my keeper list!

    Ingredients

    12 oz Bag of Orecchiette pasta (boiled for 10 minutes and drained)
    2 Cups of Milk (heated to almost boiling)
    12 oz Evaporated Milk
    2 TSP Dijon Mustard
    1/2 TSP Onion Powder
    1/4 TSP Black Pepper
    1/8 TSP Salt
    6 OZ American Cheese, cubed
    4 OZ Gouda Cheese (shredded)
    Optional: 1 cup of Panko for sprinkling on top

    Directions

    Turn crock-pot on high. Lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray. Add hot milk, evaporated milk, mustard, onion powder, salt and pepper to crock-pot. Whisk well. Add pasta. Cover and cook for 90 minutes. Stir in cheese and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

    If you’re like me and have an appreciation for mac n’ cheese with a dark, crunchy topping, after you cook the mac in the crock-pot, transfer it to a casserole dish or individual ramekins, sprinkle the top with a little bit of Panko, and bake in a 400 degree oven on a high rack for about 10 minutes or until the top is browned to your liking. Be sure and lighlty spray the casserole dish or ramekins with non-stick spray so you don’t have issues with getting the mac out.

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