Monday, December 9, 2013
When the cold weather rolls around, everyone wants hot chocolate. I had not had hot chocolate in YEARS, until recently, about last week, actually. It was freezing and my mom made hot chocolate, I was in shock, I have since realized that sipping chocolate isn't exactly the most healthy thing ever and do not drink it, usually. I had one sip of her's and realized why everyone loves hot chocolate, I fell in love all over again with hot chocolate. All of my previous inhibitions about why sipping chocolate is bad for you went out the window.
These cookies encompass everything you love about hot chocolate and more. They are the perfect chocolate cookie, that is topped with a chocolate that melts, and a marshmallow, and then more chocolate. These are a perfect treat for when it gets cold outside, they are easy to make and look so pretty. They keep well in an air-tight container, especially if you pop them in the microwave a few seconds to let them get melty and ooey-gooey again.
The cookies call for a one hour chilling time in the refrigerator, don't skip this step. This step makes sure you cookies don't spread and are fluffy.
Source: Everyday Rachel Ray, via Pip and Debby
1 stick of Butter, unsalted
7 bars of Semi-Sweet Chocolate, 3.5 oz. each, 12 oz. chopped, 7.5 oz. cut into 1 inch squares, the rest for garnish
1 1/2 cups of Flour
1/4 cup of Cocoa Powder, unsweetened
1 1/2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon of Salt
1 1/4 cups of Light Brown Sugar
3 Eggs, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
1 1/2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
30 Marshmallows, large size, snipped in half
First, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter and 12 oz. of chopped chocolate, stirring frequently, over medium heat. Let cool for 15 minutes.
Now while you chocolate is cooling, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Next, using your stand mixer, beat together the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract on low for 2 minutes. Mix in the cooled chocolate until just blended. Add in the flour in two batches and mix until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for one hour.
When ready to make the cookies, preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
Using a tablespoon measurement, measure out a tablespoon of dough and roll each into a ball. Line on your cookie sheet, flatten them slightly with your palm or the bottom of a glass, 16 should fit on one tray.
Bake for 12 minutes, or until the tops are crackly.
While your cookies are baking, place one piece of chocolate on the cut side of the marshmallow.
Remove the cookies from the oven, and place the chocolate side down onto each cookie, bake the cookies for 4 more minutes. Transfer the pans to cooling racks, and let cool for 5 minutes and spread additional grated chocolate on top. Transfer the cookies to the wire racks to cool completely. Repeat until all cookies have been made.
The Barbee Housewife
Thursday, December 5, 2013
I love hearty soups for lunch with a side salad or a big bowl for dinner when it is chilly outside. I actually love soup all the time and make it often during the summer, too! This soup encompassed everything I love about mexican food, without the carbs and laden with cheese. It has enough spice to brighten up the chicken and the broth is so delicious.
I took a short cut with this soup and moved away from tradition by not frying my own tortilla strips, however, the crumbled chips work perfectly, and save a few extra calories as well!
This soup was perfect reheated as well, so get in your kitchen and make a batch, leave out half for lunches and dinner and freeze the rest. It is not easy to make a small amount of soup, so it is important that it reheats well for me!
Source: adapted from, So Tasty, So Yummy
2 Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless
3 teaspoons of Cumin, divided
1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon of Onion Powder
1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 of a Small Onion, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 medium Jalapeño Pepper, slice 4 slices, and dice the remaining pepper
6 cups of Chicken Broth
1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles, drained
1 can of Corn, drained
1 can of Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1 ripe medium Avocado, sliced
1/2 cup of Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of Tortilla Chips, crumbled
1 Lime, sliced into wedges
4 tablespoons of Sour Cream
First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Now, combine 2 teaspoons of the cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder together and rub all over the chicken breast. Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes until the meat is at 165 and cooked thoroughly. Shred the chicken in your stand mixer or with 2 forks. Set aside.
Next, in a dutch oven or stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, sauté the onion for 2 minutes; add garlic and diced jalapeños and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the broth, rotel, corn, black beans, salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon of cumin. Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add chicken and heat for another 5-10 minutes until the chicken has warmed through.
Ladle the soup in 4 bowls and top with avocado, cheese, tortilla chips, squeeze of lime wedge, and a dollop of sour cream.
The Barbee Housewife
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
I love making snacky foods for cocktail hour or game watching parties and nuts are always a good choice. They are easy to eat, fun to make, adaptable, and almost everyone loves them, not to mention, they are always addicting.
Granola has been a long time favorite of mine and I am always making a new batch to keep around. These nuts could be consider granola and go in yogurt or they could be considered nuts and in a bowl, meant for snacking. I have eaten these nuts both ways and they are both delicious.
These were so simple to make, I made them for my sister-in-law's care package and Ethan ate them all before I could package them up, they were that good. I quickly whipped up another batch, I could not send off the package without these!
You can adapt these in so many ways. Feel free to try a different nut, like walnuts, you can also replace the pepitas with pistachio or sunflower seeds and you can switch out the dark brown sugar for light brown sugar. This recipe below was our favorite, find your favorite!
Source: Smitten Kitchen
3/4 cup of Rolled Oats
1/4 cup of Coconut, shredded and unsweetened
2 tablespoons of Pepitas
1/4 cup of Dark Brown Sugar
1/8 teaspoon of Cinnamon
Few pinches of Sea Salt
1 large Egg White
2 teaspoons of Water
2 cups of Pecan Halves
First, preheat your oven to 300 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
Now, place the oats, coconut, pepitas, brown sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt in a food processor or blender and pulse until it is very well chopped, but not powdery.
Next, in a large bowl, beat the egg whites and water together until frothy. Add the pecans and coat well, you want the egg whites to get in between all of the cracks. Pour the granola mixture on top and give a big stir, one or two times. I found the more you stir, the granola does not stay on well. Pour the nuts onto your prepared baking sheet and spread any extra granola on top.
Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once around 10 minutes, the nuts may go up to 10 minutes longer if they do not look toasty enough, but be very careful, they could burn quickly.
Let the nuts cool on the baking sheet and then break into clusters and store in an airtight container.
The Barbee Housewife
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
This cheesecake is not overly pumpkiny because it has the yummy maple to counteract it; it tastes just like Fall. Cheesecake is my all time favorite dessert, well one of them, and I have always been so intimidated to make it.
This cheesecake is going to be my go-to Thanksgiving dessert from now on. Number one it is perfect, you are forced to make it the day before, so no scrambling or losing track of time and it can't be done the day before. Number two, if your cheesecake cracks, which it probably will, you spoon a delicious glaze on top and no one knows! I guess we should do a number three, it is amazingly, sinfully delicious.
Add this to your Thanksgiving menu, you will not regret it!
Source: Food Network
10 Graham Crackers, finely ground, about 1 1/3 cups
1/4 cup of Sugar
5 tablespoons of Butter, melted
3 packages of Cream Cheese, 8 oz. each, at room temperature
3 large Eggs, at room temperature for 30 minutes
1 can of Pumpkin Puree, 15 oz.
1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk, 14 oz.
3 tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
1 teaspoon of Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
For the Glaze:
1 cup of Heavy Cream
2/3 cup of Pure Maple Syrup
3/4 cup of Pecan Pieces
First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Next, pulse the graham crackers and sugar in a food processor or blender unit they are finely ground; place in the bottom of your springform pan. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and press with your hands into a crust onto the bottom of the pan.
Now, beat the cream cheese on high speed until it is very fluffy. Reduce the speed and add in the eggs, bring the speed back up to incorporate the eggs. Add the pumpkin puree, condensed milk, and maple syrup, continue beating on high. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and beat for a few more minutes, the more you beat the mixture the lighter and fluffier your cheesecake will be.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the pan and tap the pan a few times on the counter to remove any air pockets.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, remove and let it cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refridgerate it overnight or at least 4 hours.
In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream and maple syrup, bring to a boil, stirring for about 15 minutes or until thick. Stir in the pecan pieces. Cover and chill overnight.
Before serving warm up the glaze, until it can be poured, about 30-45 seconds on high in the microwave. Pour over the cheesecake before serving.
The Barbee Housewife
Monday, November 25, 2013
I hosted my very first Thanksgiving dinner this year, before I head home to my parent's house for our big Thanksgiving day celebration. It was so much fun. I loved all of the planning that went into it and of course the outcome of all of my dishes. I made everything from scratch and had a blast doing it.
This salad was one of my favorites from the meal. I feel like there are always so many delicious carbs on the table at Thanksgiving, as it should be, and no one would dare touch a boring side salad, at least on Thanksgiving. This salad was anything but boring, it encompassed a few of my very favorite ingredients, so I knew it would be winner.
This salad will not be a lone dish that does not even get touched at your meal, you will even have people going back for seconds. This salad can't really be prepped too far in advance, because the apples will turn and the vinaigrette would solidify in the refridgerator, but you can make the pecan clusters a day or two in advance. It takes a little work, but you aren't doing anything else on Thanksgiving besides cooking (and maybe football, later on.)
Source: Smells Like Home
2 cups of Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed, about 1 large
3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup of Pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon of Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons of Brown Sugar
1 bunch of Kale, stems removed and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
6 oz. of Brie, cubed
1 Apple, cored and chopped
1/2 cup of Dried Cranberries
For the Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup
1/3 cup of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
3/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt
First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Now, cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spread the squash on top. Drizzle the squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 15-25 minutes, until fork tender.
While the squash is roasting, make your pecan clusters. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Heat a medium size sauce pan over medium heat and melt the butter and brown sugar. Cook and stir the butter mixture until it turns to a dark amber color and the sugar has liquified. Toss the pecans with the mixture, coat well, and pour onto your prepared baking sheet. Let cool and then break into clusters.
Now, make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl or mason jar mix all of the ingredients well by whisking or shaking.
In the bowl which you are going to serve your salad in, place the chopped kale inside, drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil and massage for 2-3 minutes until the kale starts to turn bright green and glossy.
Layer the salad, place the roasted butternut squash, brie, apples, cranberries, pecan clusters, and drizzle with all of the vinaigrette.
The Barbee Housewife
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Green beans have been my favorite vegetable, before I liked most vegetables. I have been enjoying green beans using many different preparations; however, one of my favorites is the step of blanching first. It makes sure that they aren't raw, but they still have a snappy crunch and the bright green color.
This dish would be a perfect Thanksgiving recipe, you can blanch them a day ahead and have the topping ready. When you are ready to serve them, you use your iron skillet to reheat them. There won't be any oven scheduling on this green bean dish. The topping you coat these with is a light flavor that won't overpower any main dish. This is such a versatile side dish and goes with almost anything!
Source: Ina Garten, Foolproof
1 lb. of French Green beans, trimmed
2 teaspoons of Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of Lemon Zest, grated from 2 small or 1 large lemon
3 tablespoons of Parsley, minced, flat-leaf
3 tablespoons of Parmesan, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of Pine Nuts, toasted
2 1/2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt & Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
First, bring a large pot of water to a boil. While you water is coming to a boil, prepare a bowl of ice water. When the water is boiling, Add the green beans and blanch for 2-3 minutes. Place them immediately in the bowl of ice water.
Now, for the gremolata, combine the garlic, lemon zest, parsley, parmesan, and pine nuts in a small bowl.
When ready to serve the green beans, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the green beans dry and add them to the skillet. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Off of the heat, add the gremolata and toss well; sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
The Barbee Housewife
Monday, November 18, 2013
One of the main reasons I love having fish for dinner is that it cooks so quickly. Fish makes for perfect weeknight meals. This fish had so much flavor that I think it would be impressive enough to serve to guests as well. We used halibut, but tilapia, cod, or red snapper would also work.
We have fallen in love with whole grain mustard. It is guaranteed that if I find a recipe using whole grain mustard, I know it will be a winner for us. We love it with fresh pretzels and we especially loved it on the Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Whole Grain Mustard Pan Sauce. This fish was no different, it was delicious.
We served this meal with the sea salt & rosemary crusted potatoes and a simple spinach salad. The potatoes and fish cook at the same temperature, so it was easy to put the fish in during the last 15 minutes of baking. This recipe can easily be halved for just two.
Source: Ina Garten, via Food Network
4, 8 oz. Fish Fillets, Halibut, Red Snapper, Tilapia, or Cod
Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
8 oz. of Creme Fraiche
3 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon of Whole Grain Mustard
2 tablespoons of Shallots, minced
2 teaspoons of Capers, drained
First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Next, place the fish fillets skin side down in a oven-proof pan or a sheet pan lined with parchment paper; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Now, in a small bowl, combine the creme fraiche, dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, shallots, and capers. Spoon the sauce over the fish fillets, making sure they fish is all covered.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until the fish is done. Spoon extra sauce from the pan over the fish and serve.
The Barbee Housewife