Friday, September 30, 2011

Peanut butter Nutella chocolate chip cookies!

I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to try it out yesterday. Holy deliciousness!! These just may be my new favorite cookie. The flavor and texture are amazing. My whole family loved them and anxiously awaits the next batch.

Note: this recipe only makes 24 smallish cookies, so I highly recommend a double batch.

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup Nutella
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. Mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.

2. Cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in Nutella and peanut butter and vanilla extract. Mix in egg.

3. Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add chocolate chips.

4. Chill for at least 1 hour.

5. Drop tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for about 11 minutes until the edges look set. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then carefully remove to cooling racks.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

spice-rubbed tri tip roast

This recipe from is a new staple in my repertoire, as it is easy and delicious. I like to use the leftovers in my lunch salads.

I buy tri-tip roast in a 2-pack at Costco and freeze them individually in ziploc bags with a little olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. That way, they are already marinated when I defrost them. Couldn't be simpler! (I eliminate the olive oil from the recipe and decrease the salt when I'm using one of my thawed roasts.) I usually have some of the spice rub left over, and it's also delicious on pan-fried chicken breasts.


  • 1 1/4 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 - 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (3 pound) sirloin tip roast (tri-tip)


  1. In a small bowl, mix the paprika, kosher salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, and thyme. Stir in the olive oil, and allow the mixture to sit about 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Place the roast on the prepared baking sheet, and cover on all sides with the spice mixture.
  4. Roast 1 hour in the preheated oven, or to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). Let sit 15 minutes before slicing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thai basil shrimp risotto

Max made this for dinner when my parents were visiting, and we all agreed that it was really good. Definitely one to add to the repertoire.

2 T. canola oil
1 pound small shrimp, rinsed and dried
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 T. unsalted butter
2 T. minced garlic
1 small onion, cut into an 1/8" dice
2 c. arborio or sushi rice
1 c. dry white wine
5-6 c. hot chicken broth
12 Thai basil leaves, cut into very fine strips (I couldn't find Thai basil, so I just used regular)
juice of one lime

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 T. of oil and swirl to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and sauté, stirring, until the shrimp are pink, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil 1 T. of the butter. When the mixture is hot, add the garlic and onions and sauté until soft, 1-2 minutes. Add the wine, deglaze the pan, and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, 2-3 minutes.

Ladle in the stock 1/2 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next. Continue until the rice is al dente, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp to the rice, add the basil, remaining 2 T. of butter, and lime juice. Stir. Taste to adjust the seasoning.

Transfer the risotto to four individual serving bowls and serve.

from Simply Ming One-Pot Meals

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thai Curry Chicken and Cauliflower

This is a great alternative to salad for my low-carb lunches – I make it one day and eat it for several. The cauliflower is a great stand-in for rice or potatoes, and I just happen to love cauliflower.

2 cups fresh cauliflower florets
1 cup fresh green beans
1/2 onion
4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. olive oil
1 T. red curry paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 T. fresh chopped or grated ginger
1 can(14 Oz. Size) coconut milk
2 T. butter
1 pinch salt (add more to taste)
2 T. fish sauce
1 T. yellow curry powder (add more for a spicier dish)
2 T. sugar or Splenda (Splenda for carb watchers)

Please note that this recipe comes together a lot easier if the veggies and meat are chopped/crushed/grated ahead of time.

Begin by preparing the fresh vegetables. Put two medium-sized pots of water on the stovetop to boil, each with about an inch of water.

While the water coming to a boil, rinse the cauliflower in cold water. Trim the florets off the stem. Place them into one of the pots of boiling water, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the cauliflower with the lid slightly ajar for 12 minutes.

To prepare the green beans, rinse well, trim the ends off and cut the beans into 1-inch pieces.

Place the green beans in the second pot of boiling water and reduce the heat to low. Keep the cover of this pot ajar as well. (Placing the lid ajar while cooking them helps preserve the green color.) Simmer until slightly undercooked, about 10 minutes. They will finish cooking with the rest of the dish.

While the veggies are cooking, dice the onion and set aside.

Chop the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.

Heat the oil on medium-high heat for a minute or two and add the onion. Add the red curry paste, crushed or chopped garlic, as well as the chopped or grated ginger (optional).

Open up the coconut milk and spoon 3 or 4 scoops into the mixture, to help blend the curry paste.

Continue to cook this mixture, keeping a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn, until the onions turn translucent. When the onions have softened, add the chopped chicken.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on the timers for the steaming vegetables. When they finish, pull them off of the heat and drain them. Reserve the green beans to be added to the chicken and curry.

To prepare the cauliflower, add the butter and salt to taste. If desired, stir with a fork to break down the cauliflower into smaller pieces. Set aside.

Cook the chicken mixture until the chicken is mostly done; about 8 or 9 minutes, while stirring frequently. Then add the remainder of the coconut milk, the fish sauce, green beans, the yellow curry powder, sugar, and a dash of salt. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Thin with water if needed.

Serve by placing a large scoop of curry chicken over a bed of cauliflower.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stuffed French Toast with Raspberry Sauce

This is a great dish to serve for Father's Day! (It's a bit high effort for breakfast, so I save it for special occasions.)

1 8-oz. package cream cheese
1/4 c. peach preserves (or apricot)
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
2 T. Bailey's Irish cream, optional
8 slices Texas-style thick bread
1/2 c. apple juice
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. puréed and strained frozen raspberries
1/4 c. white corn syrup
2 T. water
1 T. cornstarch
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 c. half and half
1 t. vanilla
1 T. Frangelico liqueur, optional
1/4 c. vegetable oil
fresh fruit, such as apple slices or grapes
powdered sugar
mint leaves for garnish

Make filling by combining softened cream cheese, peach preserves, a teaspoon of vanilla, nuts and Irish cream, if using. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

Spread filling on four slices of bread, covering completely to edges. Top with remaining slices and gently push together. Refrigerate.

To make the sauce, place apple and orange juices and raspberries in pan. Add corn syrup and simmer gently. Combine water and cornstarch; add to sauce and cook until slightly thickened. Set aside.

Combine eggs, half and half, vanilla and liqueur. Dip bread in egg mixture, completely covering, but do not soak.

Heat oil in a nonstick sauté pan, and cook bread until brown. Keep warm while browning remaining slices.

To serve, cut bread diagonally in quarters. Pour a little sauce in each plate and stand toast wedges upright around the sauce. Arrange fruit on plate. Lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar, and garnish with mint leaves.

*I don't bother with the two different liqueurs. I just use whatever I have on hand – usually some kind of brandy.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ravioli with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

{recipe from Real Simple}

1 lb. cheese ravioli (fresh or frozen)
6 slices bacon
3 T. olive oil
1/2 c. pecan halves, coarsely chopped
1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
kosher salt and black pepper
1 T. white wine vinegar
grated parmesan, for serving

Cook the ravioli according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon until crisp, 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and break into pieces when cool.

Wipe out skillet and heat 2 T. oil over medium heat. Add pecans and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted, 2-4 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts, 1/2 t. salt, and 1/4 t. pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until just tender, 3-4 minutes more. Stir in the vinegar. Add the bacon and toss to combine.

Serve the Brussels sprouts mixture over the ravioli, drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil, and top with parmesan.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Paradise Bakery-style Sugar Cookies

I can't remember where I first saw this recipe. When you want sugar cookies without the hassle of chilling, rolling, cutting, and frosting, these are the answer. (Eva likes them with jimmies; I like them with sugar crystals.)

1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups shortening
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg, beaten
4 1/3 cups cake flour*
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
sugar, for decorating

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and shortening using an electric mixer.
Mix on slow speed 30 seconds, then scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.

Slowly add vanilla and egg while mixing.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, mixing on slow speed until just blended. Do not overmix.

Scoop with an ice-cream scoop and roll in sugar.
Place directly on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with palm of hand.

Bake at 375° for 9-10 minutes. Cookies are done when small cracks appear and are pale golden. Ideally, the edges do not brown.

*very important! The cake flour, in addition to not overmixing, gives these cookies their tender, crumbly texture.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema

{photo courtesy}

I first had this dish when we were at the Outer Banks with my family last summer. I recreated it from memory, and it was good. But this week Jessie directed me to the actual recipe (Cooking Light, 2006) and I made it again. This is officially one of my new favorite meals, and Marc and Max really like it as well.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 tacos)


1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets (I used tilapia)
Cooking spray
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas (I used more, because we like to double them up)
2 cups shredded cabbage

Preheat oven to 425°.

To prepare crema, combine the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

To prepare tacos, combine cumin and next 5 ingredients (through garlic powder) in a small bowl; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over both sides of fish. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place fish in a bowl; break into pieces with a fork. Heat tortillas according to package directions (I spray them with Pam, sprinkle them with salt, and warm them in a small skillet). Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each with 1/4 cup cabbage and 1 tablespoon crema.