Thursday, January 29

MAKE IT: Pizza Dip


Take you favorite pizza toppings, turn them into a dip, and you get my newest guilty pleasure the pizza dip. I love the versatility of this dish, by changing a few ingredients you can have a whole new dip! Serve with tortilla chips, bread cubes, or bagel slices!

Full time 25 minutes
Serves 8-10

The needs-

For base recipe:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup pizza sauce or plain tomato sauce
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil

For pepperoni lovers:
1/2 cup thin slice pepperoni halves

For veggie lovers:
1/4 cup sliced black olives, drained
1/4 cup green bell peppers, diced small
1/4 cup precooked mushrooms, cooled

For meat lovers:
1/4 cup ground precooked sausage
1/4 cup thin sliced pepperoni halves
1/4 cup precooked meatballs, chopped

Or choose your own toppings! For a one topping pizza use 1/2 cup for all others use a total of 3/4 cup toppings. Be creative eggplant, pineapple, broccoli, anything goes!

The know-
(Note: photos are of pepperoni lovers)

Preheat oven to 350'.

In a small bowl combine cream cheese with oregano, parsley, and basil. Working until smooth and even in texture.

Spread cream cheese mixture on bottom of a baking dish,

Top cream cheese with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

Gently pour in pizza sauce, trying not to move cheese too much.

Top sauce with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

Top with pizza topping of you choice.

Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until nice and bubbly.

Carefully remove to a heat resistant surface, serve immediately.

Cheers!

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies


Do these cookies even need and introduction? Combine chocolate and cherries into one baked to perfection tasty treat and you get a simple cookie made it heaven.

Full time 1 hour (includes cooling and multiple batches)
Makes 2 dozen cookies

The needs-

1 egg
1 cup slightly heaping flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened baking coco
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

The know-

Preheat your oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl cream together sugar, brown sugar, and butter, until light and fluffy.

Add in egg and vanilla.

Add in pudding mix, flour, baking coco, and baking soda. Stirring just to create and even texture dough.

Fold in chocolate chips and cherries.

Roll out 1/2 tbsp size balls and place 1 1/2" apart on baking sheet.

Bake in oven for 8-12 minutes or until center feels set when lightly touched with finger.

Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes.

Move to wire rack and allow to completely cool before serving.

Cheers!



Tuesday, January 27

Maple Glazed Chicken


Here is a twist on a recipe I found on Pintrest, originally baked in the oven and without the carrots, I turned this super yummy chicken into a super simple slow cooker supper!

Full time 4 hours (6 if you want to use low heat)
Serves 4-6

The needs-

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 8-12 equal size pieces
4 cups baby carrots
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup real maple syrup (or agave maple blend)
2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground mustard

The know-

Turn slow cooker to high heat and arrange baby carrots on the bottom of pot.

Season with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/2 tsp mustard.

Season chicken breasts with remaining salt, pepper, and mustard.

Heat olive oil in a saute pan over high heat.

Add half of the chicken into the pan and brown evenly on both sides, approximately 3-5 minutes per side.


Move browned chicken to slow cooker.

Repeat with remaining chicken.

Once all chicken is browned, reduce heat on saute pan to medium.

Combine syrup, stock, rosemary, and minced garlic in pan.

Bring to a low boil and stir.

Carefully pour syrup mixture over chicken in slow cooker.

Cover with lid and let cook for 4 hours or until chicken has cooked through.

Cheers!

Monday, January 26

Italian Spumoni Cookies


My mother and grandmother make this cake that I love, a spumoni cake. It is a twist on Italian spumoni ice cream. The other day I was wondering if I could turn this yummy cake into an easily portable treat, my answer the spumoni cookie. Totally yummy tastes of Italy in a hand held, no melting treat!

Full time 1 hour (includes cooling and multiple batches)
Makes 2 dozen cookies

The needs-

1 egg
1 package instant pistachio pudding
1 cup slightly heaping flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp unsweetened baking coco
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

The know-

Preheat your oven to 350 and lline two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl cream together sugar, brown sugar, and butter, until light and fluffy.

Add in egg and vanilla.

Add in pudding mix, flour, baking coco, and baking soda. Stirring just to create and even texture dough.

Fold in chocolate chips, cherries, and walnuts.

Roll out 1/2 tbsp size balls and place 1 1/2" apart on baking sheet.

Bake in oven for 8-12 minutes or until center feels set when lightly touched with finger.

Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes.

Move to wire rack and allow to completely cool before serving.

Cheers!



Friday, January 23

TABLE FOR TWO: Sesame Chili Chicken


Bold spices and a subtle sweetness come together to make this chicken a great weeknight dinner.

Full time 1 hour
Serves 2

The needs-

1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3"-4" pieces
1/3 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tbsp olive oil

The know-

Preheat oven to 350'.

In a large bowl combine chili sauce, soy sauce, and honey.

Pour 2-3 tbsp of sauce mixture into a small bowl and set aside.

Add chicken into bowl and toss to evenly coat.

Heat olive oil in an oven safe pan over medium high heat.

Add chicken to preheated pan and brown for 5 minutes per side.


Drizzle over reserved sauce.

Sprinkle sesame seeds over chicken evenly.

Bake in oven for 20-30 or until chicken is fully cooked.

Lower oven to 325 is glaze appears to be burning.

Once cooked remove from oven and let rest 2-3 minutes prior to serving.

Cheers!

Wednesday, January 21

Chicken Roquefort


Roquefort cheese is the base of this beautiful sauce which pairs beautifully with a well roasted chicken.

Full time 30 minutes
Serves 4

The needs-

4-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup crumble Roquefort or blue cheese
1/4 cup plus 2 butter
2 tbsp whiskey
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

The know-

Preheat oven to 350'.

In a cast iron pan or heavy bottom skillet, melt 2 tbsp butter with olive oil over high heat.

Lay chicken out on paper towels and pat gently to eliminate all excess moisture.

Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Sear thighs in hot pan for 3-5 minutes per side to create a nice evenly colored outside.


Carefully move pan to oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until it has reached 165'.

Remove from oven and remove thigh to a serving platter to rest.

Return pan to stove top over medium-high heat and add whisky.

Use a wooden spoon to gently scrape bottom of pan.

Add in milk, butter, and bring to a boil, gently stir continuously and cook 5-8 minutes or until sauce thickens and begins to coat back of spoon.


Gently mix in crumbled cheese and cook, stirring continuously until cheese has melted.


Once cheese has melted, pour sauce over chicken.

Serve immediately.

Cheers!

Monday, January 19

Devilish Crinkle Cookies


Crinkle cookies are generally a very pretty cookie that is extremely easy to make. Take these Devilish crinkle cookies, named so as they start with a box devils food cake mix. Add a nice coating of confectionery sugar before baking and you get one tasty cookie that looks great!

Full time 30-40 minutes (includes baking in multiple batches and cool time)
Makes approximately 24 cookies

The needs-

2 eggs
1 box Devils Food Cake Mix
1 cup confectionery sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

The know-

Preheat oven to 350' and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a rimed plate or bowl place confectionery sugar and set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine cake mix, eggs, and vegetable, mixing only until dough comes together.

Let dough rest in refrigerator for 5 minutes.

Roll 1" balls of dough and place in confectionery sugar.

Roll dough to heavily coat outside of ball.

Place on baking sheet 1 1/2" apart.

Bake full sheets in oven for 10 minutes or until the middle of cookie feels set when lightly touched, do not over bake.

Remove from oven and let cool on tray 1-2 minutes.

Remove to wire rack and allow to cool completely before serving.

Cheers!