Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ice Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ice Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from pickypalate.com)
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons pure vanilla
  • Heaping 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream (frozen from container)
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a stand or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined.  Add in ice cream until combined.
2.  Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl; mix.  Add to wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips; mix until just combined.  With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are cooked through.  Let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.  
3-4 dozen cookies
I felt like trying these because I was curious about the ice cream addition.  Well, I really didn't taste that much of a change, because there was already a lot of vanilla extract in these, which helped with the more enhanced vanilla flavor.  But I did use vanilla ice cream, next time why not some crazy chocolate brownie or cookies and cream and chopped oreos?  I did like the softness of these cookies, and they tasted real and clean.  That sounds weird, but they had a nice homemade taste.  Try these if you are feeling fun and have some ice cream hanging around you want to use!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Granola, second recipe

Granola take 2

4 cups rolled oats (mine were quick-that's ok)
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds (skipped)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. canola oil
1/4 c. honey
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. chopped pecans
raisins, coconut, whatever

In a large bowl mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.  In a small saucepan or microwave safe bowl, warm the oil and honey.  Carefully stir in vanilla (it bubbles up).  Pour liquid over oat mixture and stir with a spoon.  Stir with spoon or by hand until it is all evenly incorporated.

Place mixture on greased cookie sheet and place in oven at 200 degrees, stirring every 10  minutes until crunchy, not browned.  It takes about an hour.  Makes 6 cups.  140 cal per 1/3 cup.

I wanted to make this recipe because it was lower in sugar and fat than my really yummy granola posted here.    I honestly didn't taste that much difference!  This recipe is still sweet, still addicting, still snack-worthy.  Of course you can add anything you want in after cooking: craisins, raisins..nuts...I like it plain.  Try it!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Corn Salad- something different from normal steamed corn!

Summer Corn Salad
from melskitchencafe.com

*Serves 4
6 ears of corn, shucked (I used frozen sweet corn I cooked as usual and drained)
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (I used cut regular tomatoes)
3 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves (I skipped)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When boiling, add one tablespoon sugar and one tablespoon vinegar. Add the cobs of corn to the pot of water and bring to a rolling boil. Cover the pot, remove from the heat and let the corn sit for 10 minutes. Remove the corn from the pot. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.
Toss the kernels in a medium bowl with the red onions, tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Serve cold or at room temperature.

I have never thought outside the box when it comes to corn.  I cook the bagged or canned corn in the microwave, add a little salt and butter, and call it good.  Well, this recipe is such a NICE change!  Great for summer, great for anytime.  I loved the tanginess.  I imagine it would taste even better with fresh corn but we just didn't have that available (waiting for it to be 4 for $1.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sticky Coconut Chicken- grill on bbq!

Sticky Coconut Chicken
from melskitchencafe.com
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used breasts)
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Marinade chicken in coconut milk, ginger, pepper and red pepper flakes at least one hour (I let mine marinade four about four to five hours). Grill on barbecue.
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
While the chicken is grilling, bring above ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until mixture is reduced and thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Be patient because it takes a little while. But once it starts getting really thick, immediately take it off the heat! Glaze both sides of chicken the last few minutes of grilling and serve chicken over rice.
Sidenote: You can use the extra coconut milk left in the can as part of the liquid in my rice.  It ends up mildly sweet and tasty.  

This was really delicious.  It is grill season after all!  

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cookies from a cake mix-- fast and easy!

Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies
(from Paula Deen)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 (18 ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix
  • 1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature (I used reduced-fat)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick of butter, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner’s sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and gooey. Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

I have been waiting a while to try these because I usually don't like cake mix as a base for cookies!  I have a few exceptions, like my rolo cookies, but in general I don't like the box-ey flavor that is sometimes evident.  With these cookies the cream cheese took any flavor like that and wiped it away!  Sam had said he wanted "chocolate donut" cookies, which I sadly don't have a recipe for, but surprisingly when I tasted these I thought they had a very similar flavor!  All right!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Wraps and Chicken Salad- the Summer way to go!

Chicken Salad Wraps with Strawberries
from realmomkitchen.com)
  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken 
  • 4 medium green onions, chopped 
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup chopped walnuts 
  • 1 cup creamy poppy seed dressing (Brianna's or Kraft or make your own)
  • 1 (8-ounce) cup cream cheese spread (I use the reduced fat)
  • 8 flour tortillas 
  • lettuce or spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups finely chopped strawberries 
  1. Mix chicken, onions and walnuts in food processor bowl. Cover and process by using quick on-and-off motions until finely chopped. Add 1/3 cup of the poppy seed dressing; process only until mixed.
  2. Mix remaining dressing and the cream cheese spread in small bowl with spoon until smooth.  Add chicken mixture and combine until well mixed,
  3. Spread chicken mixture evenly over the surface of tortillas leaving top 1 inches of tortillas uncovered.
  4. Press lettuce on top of chicken mixture .  Sprinkle strawberries over chicken.
  5. Firmly roll up tortillas, beginning at bottom rolling toward the 1 inch tortilla that is uncovered.  As you roll some of the chicken mixture will squish toward the uncovered part of the tortilla, eventually covering it with the salad mixture to help seal the tortilla roll.
  6. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Cut each roll in half on a diagonal.
These are so good!  The salad is better if it has some time in the refrigerator to blend all the flavors.  Of course, slice the strawberries in last minute so they don't go brown.  I love having easy, cold, quick dinners in the summer.  The strawberry and poppy seed dressing do add a lot to this chicken salad.  A keeper!