Wednesday, February 27

HOW TO: Make Oreo or Peanut Butter Stuffed Cookies

Stuffing one baked good into another is all the rage these days. It seams the culinary world goes thru trends just like the fashion world. And nothing says high fashion cuisine like dressing up a baked good in a pretty and tasty package.

Baking stuffed baked goods is actually very easy. The setup time and cook times for stuffed baked goods are generally longer than unstuffed. But the outcome is generally more fun! Try this for a great surprise tucked into a lunch box or next to a glass of milk, I am sure you won't regret it.

Full time: 1 hour (includes cool time)
Makes 12 stuffed cookies* bare in mind 1 stuffed cookie is the equivalent of 3 unstuffed cookies.

You will need:

1 batch cookie dough (store bought or homemade enough for 24 cookies. Sugar or Chocolate chip works best)
12 peanut butter cups or Oreo cookies

12 paper cupcake liners

Let us begin:

Preheat your oven to 350. Place your cupcake liners in you cupcake pan.

I should note you don't have to do this in a cupcake pan but, it contains the cookie should there be a leak and is much easier to form.

Place 1 tbsp of cookie dough into each liner.

Flatten with fingertips to create an even layer.

Place Oreo or Peanut Butter Cup into the center of liner on top of the dough.

Now take 1 tbsp of dough and flatten it into a small palm sized pancake.

Lay this on top of your Oreo of Peanut Butter Cup.

Carefully use finger tips to work around the edges of dough and press sealing it to the bottom dough piece.

Once all are set bake in oven for 25 minutes.

Rotate tray 180 and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until cookie is set in the middle when lightly pressed.

Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.

Invert tray on to a cutting board and let cool 10 minutes.

Remove paper liners.

Move to serving plate. Enjoy!

Monday, February 25

Tea Cup Jellies

What is a teacup jelly? In reality it is a posh version of Jell-O with fruit. But to be more specific it is how Jell-O came to be. Fresh fruit and juice were mixed with a gelatin poured into tea cups and served as a light refreshing treat on warm days during tea time.

I like making tea cup jellies simply because I can use fresh juice and cut down on excess sugars in store bought Jell-O. Although, called tea cup jellies I actually prefer to make mine in ramekins.

Full time: 3 1/2 hours (includes 3 hour set time)
Makes 8 jellies

You will need:

2 packets (2 tbsp) unflavored gelatins
1 pint fresh berries (raspberry, blueberry, or blackberry)
3 1/3 cup boiling water
2/3 cup fresh citrus juice (mandarin, orange, tangerine, grapefruit or my personal favorite blood orange)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp green tea leaves (you can use jasmine or earl white also)

Let us begin:

Steep tea in boiling water for 10-15 minutes.

Remove tea by straining (or removing bags). Set aside.

In a medium pot combine gelatin, juice, and sugar. Let sit for 2 minutes.

Place pot over medium-high heat stirring while gelatins fully dissolves. Roughly 8 minutes.

Make sure gelatin is fully dissolved before moving on.

Turn off heat and gently stir in the tea.

Pour tea mixture into ramekins or tea cups 2/3 full.

Gently drop 2-3 berries into each serving.

Move to tray (just for ease of movement) and place in refrigerator for 3 hours to let set.

It can go overnight or up to 2 days before serving.

When serving top with remaining fresh berries and enjoy!

Saturday, February 23

MUG IT : 3 Minute Breakfast Mug

Looking for a great easy breakfast? Living in a dorm but want something homemade? Then this is the recipe for you. Made in a single serve mug, you can be done and eating in under 3 minutes.

I cannot believe I am actually blogging this. This is one of my guilty pleasures, something I almost never admit to eating and here I am sharing it with everyone. I learned to do this back in High School while traveling abroad.

(I just want to note the photo above is taken removed from cooking vessel, I general eat it in the mug but wanted to show it better)

You will need:

1 egg
1/2 slice sandwich bread
1 1/2 tbsp cream (or milk)
2 tsp cream cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme

*optional 1 tbsp real bacon bits
*optional 1 slice ham (lunch meat) torn to pieces

Let us begin:

In a coffee cup or beat together milk and egg.

Add in salt and pepper. Adjust if desired to your liking.

Tear sandwich bread into bite size pieces and add in.

Add in your optional bacon or ham if using it.

Add in cream cheese.

Dust top with thyme.

Microwave for 1 minute.

If it doesn't look set microwave 10 additional seconds.

It almost always takes my microwave 1 minute 10 seconds, but when I learned this it took 1 minute 30 seconds. So just bare in mind a stronger microwave a shorter cook time.

Okay, your done! Enjoy!

Friday, February 22

MAKE IT: Biscuit, Pancake Mix (Bisquick)

You probably notice that I use Bisquick often in recipes. I love Bisquick, it is easy, versatile, and stores well. What I don't often mention, is my Bisquick is homemade, 100% mix by myself. Truth is I used Bisquick so much I wanted to figure out how to save $ in it. So I decided I would figure it out. It took a few fails to get the right taste and amount of rising, but I did it. For the last year I have used homemade Bisquick, not even sure anyone in the house noticed the change either. Try it, you might never by it again!

Full time 10 minutes
Make 7 cups (approximately) see lower notes on what this will make.

You will need:

4 cups flour
1 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp dry milk powder, preferably non-fat
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tablespoon salt

Let us begin:

In a large bowl milk, baking powder, and salt. Mix thourally with a fork for 1 minutes. *Hint you are working with similar color ingredients so use a timed mixing not by appearance.

Add in flour, mix for 3 minutes with a fork.

Gently tap bowl in table, you will see everything flatten.

Mix again for 2 minutes, this will assure everything is even and incorporated.

Make a well in the middle if mixture.

Add shortening to the well.

Using back of fork, blend shortening into mixture until lumps are no larger than a small pebble.

Using hands for the remaining mixing.

Reach into bowl and rub large clumps of mixture between hand until shortening can no longer be seen.

It should look like a granulated meal.

Store in airtight container for up to 60 days!

I like to seperate mine, this batch makes enough for 2 biscuit, 1 pancake, and 1 breadstick batch. Or 3 biscuits. Or 3 pancakes. Or 2 pancakes, 1 Buscuit, and a bread stick, the combinations are possibly endless!

Tuesday, February 19

Baked Orange Molasses Chicken

Here is a great weeknight flavorful fix for any meal! Easy to put together and marinate before work, cooks up quick and easy at dinner time!

Full time: 8 hours 45 minutes (marinated for 8 hours)
Serves 4-6

You will need:

6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs
3/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground black pepper

For cooking:
2-4 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp butter

Let us begin:

In a large bowl combine all marinade ingredients.

Add in chicken.

Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap.

Place in refrigerator and let marinade.

(After overnight)

Heat a heavy sauté pan over medium high heat, add in butter and oil.

Once butter is melted remove chicken from marinade and set into hot pan.

Discard excess marinade!

Sear chicken for 5-8 minutes.

Turn chicken over and sear 5-8 additional minutes.

Lower heat to low and add in orange juice. Cook until chicken reaches 165 on thermometer, roughly 15 minutes.

Remove to serving platter and enjoy!

Sunday, February 17

Blended Orange Beverage (Orange Julius Inspired)

Orange Julius is a food vendor which can still be found in some malls. They were huge in popularity in the 90's but seemed to have all but faded from the lime-light. If your lucky, your local Dairy Queen will still serve the Orange Julius Menu. For those of us who were around then looking for a great way to drink a blast from your past, give this a whirl!

Full time: 5-10 minutes
Serves 2

You will need:

1 1/2 cup ice or 8 cubes
1 1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla extract

Let us begin:

Combine all but ice in blender, blend 20-30 seconds

Add ice blend 15-20 seconds ice should still be slightly corse.

Pour into two glasses and enjoy!

Friday, February 15

Good For You Fudge

Fudge, that is good for you? Yes-indeed, good for you. Everything should be eaten in moderation, but if you are going to splurge might as well do it on something as tasty as fudge! Although, it has a slightly different texture than traditional fudge, "primal fudge" has all the same tastes. The key is balancing healthy, good for you ingredients, with flavorful flavors.

Makes 18 pieces
Full time: 35-40 minutes

You will need:

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup buck wheat honey
1/2 tsp vanilla

Let us begin:

In a blender place coco powder, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla.

Place coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl.

Microwave for 30 seconds, still to fully melt into a liquid. (you may need 10seconds extra)

Add oil into the blender.

Blend for 20-30 seconds until fully incorporated.

On a baking sheet or small tray, lay out 18 miniature paper liners (cupcake liners).

Pour mixture into liners, filling halfway.

Place in refrigerator. Chill for 30 minutes.

Serve or store in airtight container, keep in refrigerator for storage-enjoy!