Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A flavorful salad- Craisin Feta Pecan Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Candied Pecan, Craisin, and Feta Salad
  • 2-3 cups spring mix salad
  • 1 cup sugar coated pecans (I used a quick recipe on allrecipes to candy my pecans http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sugar-coated-pecans/)
  • 1 cup craisins
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 Tbsp. mayo
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 2 t. Morton's Nature Seasoning (I used a combo of a little garlic salt, pepper, onion powder)
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a large bowl or on a large plate, lay out spring mix salad. Top with sugar coated pecans, craisins, and crumbled feta.
  2. You could use a store bought Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette or you can make the recipe above by whisking together garlic, mayo, lemon juice, dijon mustard, sugar, Nature's Seasoning, and salt until well combined. Add the balsamic vinegar and whisk well. Slowly add in the olive oil (while whisking).
  3. Pour dressing over prepared salad and enjoy! Refrigerate any leftover dressing.(from chefintraining.com)
This was full of flavor, I really liked it.  I didn't have fresh garlic or Morton's seasoning but I used garlic powder and other spices.  The dressing is really forgiving, but it makes the salad.  

Brown Butter Brownies

Browned Butter Brownies
(from somethingswanky.com)

  • 2 1/2 sticks salted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup high quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and lining with parchment paper (optional, but I like to do it so I can lift the brownies right out of the dish).
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Stir constantly until butter has reached a light brown color and little "bits" have formed.
  4. Pour the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and cocoa powder and beat until smooth, almost creamy.
  5. Add the salt, water, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between each addition.
  6. Add the flour and chocolate chips and mix well. Batter will be VERY thick.
  7. Use a sturdy rubber spatula to spread batter in the 9x13 pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Let cool, then cut into 2" squares to serve.

Holy Cow!  If you like a good, rich, chocolatey brownie with that extra pizazz from the browned butter, you'll love these babies.  We did!

White Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodles- amazing!

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cookies
(from recipecritic.com)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3.4 oz package white chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Cinnamon Sugar Mixture:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1.  Preheat your oven to 350 and prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.
2.  In a large bowl mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and white chocolate pudding mix. Set aside.
3.  In your mixer cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar.  Add eggs and mix together.  Add your bowl of dry ingredients.  Mix together and lastly add the white chocolate chips.
4.  Mix in a small bowl the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Scoop out cookie dough and roll into balls.  Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar and place two inches apart on baking sheet.
5.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until slightly golden.  Let cool and enjoy!

These are so good!  I will make these again.

Tomato Basil Soup- beats Campbell's every time!

Tomato Basil Soup

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (I used about 1 T or less, dried)
  • 1 (28 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) 1/3-less fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat olive oil and saute the chopped onion for 3 minutes, until translucent.  Stir in garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add tomatoes and basil, bringing to a boil.  Stir in cream cheese until melted.

Place mixture in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Return to saucepan and stir in milk, salt and pepper.  Return to medium-high heat and cook for 2 minutes.  Enjoy!