Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Chocolate Chip Macaroons

Coconut and chocolate, a combination for the ages!!

This is one of my favorite standby reicpes - How can you go wrong with a recipe that only has 4 ingredients, is extremely easy to make, and is tasty?

Chocolate Chip Macaroons
(from Best Loved Cookies)

2 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheets.

Combine coconut, chocolate chips, milk, and vanilla in medium bowl; mix until well blended.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Press dough with back of a spoon to flatten slightly.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cookies stand on cookie sheets 1 minute then remove to wire racks to cool completely. (Makes about 3 1/2 dozen)

Apple Banana Bread

Back to see, I'm not trying to bore anyone too much by overunning you with apple recipes...contrary to what I said in a previous post about posting them all at once. Sorry if I played with your emotions like that, can you ever forgive me?

Ok, back to the topic at hand. I made this great recipe from my friend Janine after we went apple picking a few weeks back. It was SO good. I'm sure it helped that I REALLY love banana bread and I love apples. In fact, bananas and apples are my favorite fruits. So for me it couldn't get much better (in my opinion at least!).

Apple Banana Bread

1/2 Cups butter flavor shortening
1/2 Cups brown sugar
1/2 Cups sugar
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons sour cream
2 mashed bananas
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Cups flour
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cored & chopped apple

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream shortening and sugars, and beat in eggs. Stir in sour cream, bananas and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon. Gradually add to shortening mixture. Gently stir in apples and nuts. Spoon into greased bread pan and bake for almost an hour, checking on it after 30-40 minutes or so. Continuing baking and using the poke test...bread will be done when toothpick comes out clean.

No picture again....sorry!

World Champs, Halloween, Dip recipe

Wow, what a weekend it was!! The RED SOX are WORLD CHAMPS and my boy, Mike Lowell, MVP!!

Let's take a second to admire him........................

Ok, who am I kidding? Admire him for just a second? I think not. I could admire him all day....I admired him all season. He's hot, a great ballplayer, and an even better guy...

Anywho, this blog is about cooking, not the adoration of Mike Lowell....(although that's not a bad idea!)

he night before the victory my husband and I hosted our 2nd annual Halloween party this past and it was a blast! My husband and I dressed as Batman & "Robin" - get it? Oh we are so clever! We also had one couple who came cross-dressed, "3 men-in-a-tub," and a disco guy among others. I think everyone outdid themselves from last year!

All this being said, the weekend could not have been any better. At our party I used a recipe my best friend Michelle had shared with me awhile back and made a few modifications to make it a bit healthier, since I've been on a diet for almost 2 months now (yup, I'm selfish, what can I say?)....and it was very popular with our crowd (and I doubt anyone figure out it was low fat). I will definitely be making it again!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

8 oz. pkg. neufatchel cheese (aka 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1/2 cup light bleu cheese dressing (I prefer Marie's brand personally - but that's just me!)
1/2 cup Buffalo wing sauce (I like Ken's brand)
1/2 cup 2% milk shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups canned chicken, drained

Heat oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep dish 9-inch pie plate. Microwave 1 minute to soften.

Whisk in salad dressing, Buffalo Wing Sauce and cheese until smooth. Stir in chicken (make sure it is broken up into smaller chunks).

Bake 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through; stir. Serve with crackers (I used Reduced fat Triscuits, and wheat crackers)

And on that note....HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Apple of my eye....

Apples....20.5 pounds of them....when you have that many you need to come up with a lot of uses for them.

This is just the first of a few recipes I'll be sharing that are apple related. I made THREE of these after we went apple picking - one stayed home, one went to work, one went to my husband's grandparents' house. And I have to say, it was really enjoyed by everyone. I even made it with Splenda in place of sugar 2 out of 3 of those times and it still tasted fab. So without further ado I give you.....

Apple Crumb Pie

1 9 inch deep dish pie crust

5 Cup(s) thinly sliced, peeled, cored apples

1 Tablespoon(s) plus 1/2 cup, divided flour

1/2 Cup(s) plus 1/3 cup, divided sugar

3/4 Teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon

6 Tablespoon(s) butter

1/2 Teaspoon(s) nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place apples in a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon of flour. Mix well so apples are coated. Arrange apple slices in unbaked pie shell. Mix ½ cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over apples.

In another bowl, mix 1/3 cup sugar with remaining flour and nutmeg. Cut in butter until crumbly. Spoon mixture over apples.

Bake in preheated oven 35 to 40 minutes or until apples are soft and top is lightly browned.

Beer Can Chicken

It's a bird! It's a .....wait IS a bird....

It's a chicken! On a Beer Can! On our Grill!

So I was just kicking around on the computer and realized that had uploaded this picture a good 2 1/2 months ago - not long after I had started this blog - since I guess I was making some kind of attempt to take pictures of my creations. So there it is....Beer Can Chicken. Recipe below (the marinade is really my own concoction, but below I used Food Network's explanation on how to mount the chicken properly).

I have to say, this was extremely moist and I'll definitely do this again next summer. It's a great way to cook a whole chicken (which is usually pretty cheap) without heating up your whole house!

Beer Can Chicken

1 (4-pound) whole chicken
2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
2 1/2 tablespoons Italian dressing
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon seasoned meat tenderizer
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
1 can beer

Remove neck and giblets from chicken and discard. Rinse chicken inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine all ingreidents except chicken and beer. Rub chicken lightly inside and out with. Set aside.

Open beer can and either drink or discard half of the beer in the can. Place beer can on a solid surface.

Grabbing a chicken leg in each hand, place the bird cavity over the beer can. Transfer the bird-on-a-can to your grill and place in the center of the grate, balancing the bird on its 2 legs and the can.

Cook the chicken over medium-high, indirect heat (i.e. no coals or burners on directly under the bird), with the grill cover on, for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F in the breast area and 180 degrees F in the thigh, or until the thigh juice runs clear when stabbed with a sharp knife.

Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Since I'm at it....this goes great with....(I'm glad I found this recipe on Kraft Foods since I made it a lot this past summer, my husband loves it!)

Grilled Potato Salad

2 lb. unpeeled small red potatoes, halved (about 6 cups)
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup Italian Dressing, divided
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Prehat grill to medium-high heat.

Place potatoes in 2-qt. microwaveable dish. Add water; cover with lid. Microwave on high for 8 minutes and drain. Add garlic and 2 tablespoons of the dressing, toss to coat.

Spray a large sheet of heavy-duty foil with cooking spray. Spoon potato mixture onto center of foil. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside.

Grill for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender, turning packet over after 10 min. Mix mayonnaise and remaining 2 tablespoons of dressing in large bowl. Add potatoes and parmesan cheese and toss lightly. Serve warm (leftovers still taste great cold!)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Spiced Pork Chops

I got the following recipe from my buddy Pam from my local RI nest board. She has some of the best recipes! This one seems like it calls for a ton of ketchup, but trust me, it's all worth it in the end. These chops came out juicy and chock full of flavor! My husband and I both loved these. I'll definitely be making these again!

Spiced Pork Chops

1/2 cup flour
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 Teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 Teaspoon celery salt
1/2 Teaspoon paprika
1/4 Teaspoon ginger
1/8 Teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 pork chop
1 Cup(s) ketchup
1 Cup(s) water
1/4 Cup(s) brown sugar

Combine the first 7 ingredients. Dredge pork chops through. Brown in a skillet with just enough olive oil to coat the pan.

Transfer chops to casserole dish. Combine remaining ingredients, pour over chops. Bake uncovered at 350 1 hour.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Sometimes you just don't care if a recipe is a little bit of a cheat.....this one starts with a box mix but I loved the results, so why complain???

Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

1 package Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs or 3 eggs
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease (or use cooking spray) bottom of 13x9-inch rectangular pan.

Stir Brownie Mix, chocolate syrup, water, oil and 2 eggs for fudgelike brownies (or 3 eggs for cakelike brownies) in medium bowl, using spoon, until well blended. Spread in pan.

Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in vanilla and 1 egg just until blended.

Pour cream cheese mixture over brownie batter in pan; cut through mixture with knife several times for marbled design. Sprinkle with chocolate chips (I sprinkled with some white chocolate chips as well)

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until cream cheese mixture begins to brown and toothpick inserted in brownie 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean or almost clean. Cool completely. For 24 brownies, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store tightly covered and, if desired, in refrigerator.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Don't turn into a pumpkin....

Yup, here's some more recipes I've tried lately. No pictures still....but I'll try to get better at that. When I post my apple recipes I'll have a few pictures to share....I'm waiting until I'm finished with my apples to post them all. Yes, I still have some....I am hoping to use the rest tonight though!

But onto another fall fruit - pumpkin. I'm not really a big fan of pumpkin, but I didn't mind either of these recipes. My husband brought the cookies in for the guys at work and they were devoured. I brought the cake in for my co-workers who promptly ate most of it (I had also brought in 2 apple recipes that day....I'll share them later, I'm all about surprise hahaha).

Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from: "The Cookie Bible")

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 can Libby's 100% pure pumpkin (15oz)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (12 oz pkg) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease baking sheets.

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and granulated sugar in large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pkg chocolate cake mix
1 15 oz can pumpkin
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13inch baking dish

In large bowl mix cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, and oil for 3 minutes using mixer on medium speed. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes in preheated oven, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool, then frost with cream cheese frosting.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
In small bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside.
In large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth, then fold in whipped cream.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's Luau time....take 2....

So blogspot ate my post with luau recipes....ugh....well here they are. Went to a luau back in August at my friend Lindsay's house. So here are the two creations I brought:

Aloha Sweet Potatoes

4 to 5 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Boil sweet potatoes in their jackets until tender. After cooked peel and cut into 1 1/2 inch thick slices.

In large skillet, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and water and cook on medium heat about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat and add sweet potatoes to skillet. Toss lightly until sweet potatoes are glazed. Sprinkle with coconut before serving.

Coconut Crusted Chicken Fingers

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch strips
1 lightly beaten egg
1/3 cup melted butter

Mix first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Dip chicken strips in egg, then coat with coconut mixture. Place in shallow baking dish and drizzle with melted butter.

Bake at 400F for 30 minutes o until chicken is browned and cooked throuh, turning at least once during the cooking process.

Do you like my pickle?

I'll surely have a whole post about apples at some point....but I am going to aggregate all of those recipes into one post. Let's put it this way. My husband and I picked 20.5lbs of apples last weekend....I have been VERY busy using them I've got a lot to share....but that's for another day.

In the meantime, here's another random recipe that has been missed the past 2 months that I haven't posted. It's for pickles. Yup! Pickles.

I made these recently and I packed a jar for us at home (which is almost finished) and my parents easily finished their jar in less than a week's time.

Sweet Freezer Pickles

2 pounds unpeeled, sliced cucumber
1/2 slided medium red onion
1 medium red bell pepepr
1 finely chopped stalk of celery
3 carrots, quartered lengthwise into 3 inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon of hot pepper flakes (optional)

Combine all ingrediuents in large bowl. Mix well. Place in 1 gallon resealable food storage bag. Seal tightly, releasing excess air. Freeze at least 24 hours.

Remove from freezer. Thaw and room temperature. Pour into large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (flavors improve if thawed then allowed to stand 2 days in refrigerator). May store up to 3 weeks in refrigerator or 1 year in freezer.

You can serve these just like any other bread and butter pickle, or chop before serving to make relish.


Seriously, blogspot just ate my last blog about luau food. I'm going to see if it magically appears....before I rewrite it....if not I guess I'll do it all over again :-/

In the meantime, here is a great idea for pork chops that I found in my "Fix It and Forget It" cookbook, and fitting for the season. My husband loved these and it couldn't get much easier.

Crockpot Autumn Porkchops

4-6 boneless pork chops
2 cups of apple juice (I used light apple juice so it would be less sugar)
1/4 cup of water
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Place pork chops in 5qt or 6qt crockpot. Combine apple juice, water, and cinnamon. Pour over chops. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Ok so....

Obviously I haven't been keeping this up at all. I think it's the whole intimidation of taking pictures of my creations.....and I just don't remember to. Then everything's been eaten and I've got nothing to share.

So here is my new philosophy - I'll take pictures when I remember and post the recipe and if I don't remember to take the pictures, hell I'm just going to post the recipe. Of course now I'm way behind because anyone that knows me knows I'm always trying out something new. So I'll be rapid firing out a bunch of recipes after I hit the "publish post" button on this one!!