Wednesday, December 16, 2009

S'mores Cookie Bars

Really yummy, really rich s'mores cookie bars. I love s'mores so much that when I saw this recipe on a blog, I knew I had to try it myself. This is my first cookie recipe I've been for Christmas. This weekend I plan to have a cookie-making extravaganza, so many more recipes will follow soon!

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (7 sheets of graham crackers)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla.In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick.Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff.Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned.Cool completely before cutting into bars

*I crushed the graham crackers in a big zip lock bag with a rolling pin.

Source: Baking Bites

Hot Bean and Cheese Dip

This dip tasted like something right out of a Mexican restaurant! I think I've had something very similar at El Vaquero. While this is definitely not the healthiest dip, it is very delish! Use to dip with chips, veggies, bread, or whatever you'd like. This would be perfect for a football party or a cold winter day!

1 tbsp. olive oil½ onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced (optional, I left it out)
1 (14.5 oz) can refried beans
2 tbsp. sour cream
¼ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, in ½-inch cubes
1/3 cup pepper jack cheese, in ½-inch cubes

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and jalapeno, and sauté until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the refried beans and cook until smooth, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook until the cheese is melted. Transfer to a bowl and serve hot with tortilla chips.

Source: Annies Eats

Low Cal Artichoke Dip

I know the picture doesn't look that appealing, but the dip is actually pretty good. Chris really liked it, but he's also a big veggies and dip person...I'm still getting there. I made this dip and served it with broccoli, carrots, and cucumbers.

2 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise (regular or low fat)
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch cayenne pepper, to taste (I left this out...not a big cayenne fan)
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and whizz until smooth. Spoon into one or two shallow, oven-proof baking dishes. Bake the dip until golden on top and heated all the way through, about 15 minutes.

Source: Eating Well

Darling Chicken

This is an amazing chicken dish I found on another blog. It is sooo yummy and I'll definitely be making it again. It makes a really pretty presentation, plus the smell when the dish is cooking is fabulous.

1/2+ lb chicken breast, diced
1 lb rotini or cheese tortellini cooked (optional)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced
1 cup roasted red peppers, sliced
1 cup pesto
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 T veg oil
Parmesan cheese

Saute chicken, garlic, and oil in a large sauce pan until chicken is cooked. Stir in tomatoes, peppers, pesto, and pine nuts. Remove from heat and mix in pasta (optional - I didn't use pasta to make this a low carb dish). Top with grated parm cheese.

Source: Use Real Butter

Crockpot Mexican Chicken

Very yummy, healthy, quick, and easy. You can't tell by the picture, but there's a lot of chicken under the bean, corn, and salsa mix on top.
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 jar salsa
Cheddar cheese (optional)
Rice (optional)
Put chicken on bottom of crockpot. Layer everything else on top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Top with cheese when done cooking. Serve with rice.
Source: Crockpot

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I also combined a few recipes and added some of my own ingredients to this Minestrone recipe (quite the crafty cook, if I do say so). I wanted to make this a really healthy, veggie and bean packed minestrone, and I couldn't find one exact recipe I wanted to use. This turned out really well! It makes a very large batch though (it fill my crockpot to the top). Great for leftovers! I used a crockpot for this, so I'm not sure how you would make it without a crockpot. I'm assuming you'd cook it on medium high in a big pot on the stove for a few hours until the carrots are tender.

40 oz chicken or vegetable broth (or more if you think it needs it)
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
1 can white kidney beans, rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes, entire can
1 onion, diced
1 package spinach, thawed with water squeezed out
3 c carrots
2 T garlic
2 T italian seasoning
2 T parsley
2 T basil
1 package rotini pasta (I used whole wheat)
Combine everything in crockpot except pasta. Cook on low 7-9 hours. Cook pasta at the end and add it to the crockpot mix for 30 minutes. Serve.

Roasted Chickpeas

I really like chickpeas and I have been on a big hummus kick recently, so I thought I'd look for new ways to make chickpea things. I found a similar recipe on a blog and thought I'd modify it a bit to make my own. I am not sure if I would make it again, but I'm not a big "nut" person either. These taste like honey roasted peanuts. Chris thought they were just OK (from the guy that eats everything, OK isn't very good).

2 T maple syrup
1 T red wine vinegar
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 t ginger
1 t nutmeg
1 can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and dried

Mix everything together except chickpeas. Mix in chickpeas. Spread on a baking sheet line with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or so.