Monday, November 28, 2011

Butter-less Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies-Take 2: Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week 11 (Holiday Cookies)

As I previously explained, I am working on creating my own holiday baking traditions. 
You know what we have a lot of around the holidays? 

Butter.

And you know what's great about this recipe? 

NO. BUTTER.

Forreals. It seems the large amount of peanut butter in this recipe takes over the role of the butter. And peanut butter is good for you (protein and all that). Thusly I dub these cookies healthy and say you can feel good about eating these and you know....eat 6 of them. 
It's OK, because they have no butter!

(Other Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Nine , and Week 10 Parts 1 and 2 and Week 11 Part 1)

Butter-less Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies



Butter-less Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 20-24 cookies

Something Special Cookies-Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week 11 (Holiday Cookies)

Something Special Cookies
Yes! It's finally here! Thanksgiving is over, which means I am within all rights to FREAK OUT about CHRISTMAS!!!! Yay! I've already begun watching some of my Christmas movies, all the gifts are bought, and my mom is coming to visit this weekend to see NYC all Christmasified and to bring us some more decorations! Eee! 

I had a normal childhood. Christmas was a time of my mom OVERHAULING the sweets. We always had sugar cookie cut-outs, which my mom, brother, and I all decorated (mine were always the most creative. Also...I never liked to eat them. I just liked decorating.) Mom also, of course, made chocolate chip cookies-which again, I was never a fan of (thin...crunchy...no way for a cookie to be)-HOWEVER-the dough was BOMB so my dad and I would always sneak some while it rested in the fridge. On top of that she usually made some other cookies (usually pre-made dough from tubs, etc.) and candy. The candy is what we used to impress everyone else. But anyway, as is obvious, there are no holiday cookie recipes that I exactly wanted from my mom (the only cookie recipe I could think of that I'd want from a family member is maybe the anise cut outs and pizzelle recipes that the Blognas have) . And now, it's just Michael and I here, until I visit home just before Christmas. And when I'm there mom will be the one baking, not me. And, since I don't have any kids yet, I'm in this very strange place as far as holiday traditions go. So, for this holiday recipe exchange post about holiday cookies, I want to share with you a new discovery. They're chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter cookies...but...there's just something...different about them. (psst....it's the cinnamon) Anyway, they taste like they should be made for Christmas, comforting with just a hint of that holiday spirit! And, on another plus note, they're diabetic friendly (I got these from a diabetic site...I don't know why. This is a recipe I stock piled a looong time ago). Regardless! These are super tasty, a little better for you, and I hope that maybe they'll be added to you holiday repertoire. Will they become a part of my future one? Only time will tell :)

(Other Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Nine , and Week 10 Parts 1 and 2)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

25 Things About Me

One of the blogs I frequent, The Baker Chick, posted 25 things about her, and she said it's starting to circulate the blog community. Like her, I remember when that was a big thing on facebook, and I almost wrote it off. However, I think she has a point. How much do we really know about bloggers? If you're like me, you visit their blogs every day, eager to read and see if you can obtain a new recipe. And you barely know them. Seems silly. So, I'm going to join in!

25 Things about Kayle (The Cooking Actress)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Smashed Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes
And it's over! My first time hosting my own Thanksgiving and it is done. And I can't wait to do it again next year :D. I'll be sharing, every now and then, the recipes I used, and I decided to start it off with these smashed potatoes. The difference (to my understanding) between "smashed" and "mashed" potatoes is you leave skins on and just use a masher and leave it kind of lumpy for smashed potatoes, whereas for mashed they are skinless and you use a mixer to get them creamy. Anyway, these were great. They were simple to make, especially with my boy helping with the mashing:
Smashed Potatoes

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Me, in my amazing apron I got for my birthday from Mama Maria. Ready to start cooking!
One of the mini apple pies I made for Michael (recipe to follow)
My 3 pumpkin pies (1 has a homemade crust...guess which?  Homemade crust recipe to follow as well.)
I've had like....a lot of these. And that's a piece with the homemade crust, for the record.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Butter Baked Chicken-Take 2:Holiday Recipe Exchange:Week 10 (Butter)

Butter Baked Chicken
Note: None of what I am about to write about pertains to this recipe. It's good-go try it. Now listen to me ramble:
As this post is another submission for The Holiday Recipe Exchange (view Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Nine , and Part 1 Week 10) let's talk about the upcoming holiday, shall we? Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. This is the first Thanksgiving I have ever hosted, or even got close to hosting. Growing up, we always spent Thanksgiving day at my paternal grandparents' house (which oftentimes meant we had spaghetti for Thanksgiving dinner--NO COMPLAINTS!) and we celebrated with my mom's side on the following Sunday. My mom has never hosted it. So I've never seen the full of thing up close. All I know is that she made Pumpkin Pie (and I am doing the same-even using the same recipe!....Yes...it's the one from the back of the can...shut up I love it.). Last year I wasn't able to go home, but I worked that day (as Michael was still in Ohio)-so...obviously...no real effort there. This year I'm hosting a "small" dinner at our apartment with me, Michael, and my friends Brandon and (maybe) Trish. I say "small" because, although it is very few guests....I'm making a lot of food. What are we having? Well....

Main Course: 
Turkey, duh. But, specifically, as I am a little nervous to make a whole one (and since there are only a few of us) my mom gave us two Butterball Turkey breasts. I'm still kind of nervous...

Side Dishes: 
Rolls (brought by Brandon)
Cranberry sauce (also brought by Brandon. I don't like it. Him and Michael do, so, whatever)
Gravy (there are packets that came with the turkey)
Corn (frozen corn of the cob...I just need to cook it a little. Then I'll cut it off the cob, just because it's easier)


Dessert:
Pumpkin Pie (previously mentioned)
Mini apple pies (for Michael-he doesn't like pumpkin pie-, and maybe Brandon too.)

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies-Holiday Recipe Exchange:Week 10 (Butter).

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
I'd heard the hype, I knew all about browned butter. And I believed it, it sounded awesome. And you know what?

It. is. AWESOME.

This was exactly as amazing as I expected. For those of you who don't know:
When you cook butter until it browns, something magical happens. It all of a sudden has the ability to add an unbelievable amount of complexity and an almost smoky, nutty quality to anything you use it in. 
These cookies were SO. GOOD. Michael's take on the difference in taste? 

"I can taste the butter more."

Yes, sweetie, I'm sure you could.

In general it's just a great chocolate chip cookie, lovely texture and great, unique taste from the browned butter. And, since the butter is obviously the star of this cookie show-what better submission for a butter themed Holiday Recipe Exchange? 

(Previous Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week SixWeek Seven, and Week Nine)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Popovers-Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week Nine (Holiday Baking).

Popovers
My nickname used to be "The Carbohydrate Queen". I love bread, rolls, pasta, and the like. So, the best breakfast I could have had on any holiday morning (most of all Christmas) was homemade bread. I have yet to be able to tackle homemade bread myself (excluding friendship bread), so for this week's Holiday Recipe Exchange challenge I am submitting these super easy, super delish. popovers.

(To see my other Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, and Week Seven)

Popovers
Before I became food blog obsessed, I had never heard of popovers. But they looked good and like rolls so I was in! Especially when I found this recipe! If you are a popover newbie, like me, I'll try to sum up what they are like:
They are like light, airy rolls...that are also sort of fried.
I know. Confusing. But trust me-goooood.
Popovers
They're also pretty.
So, if you've got childrens running around your house, or maybe just an insatiable boy, or-heck-even just little adorable you, make these for breakfast, or to serve as a roll on the side. I especially encourage you to make these this Thanksgiving, or maybe Christmas. 
Note: These are best served fresh from the oven and hot, but if you keep them in a Ziploc bag, or something, they keep well for a little while, and you can just heat them up in your microwave for a bit and then voila! They're still good :).

My Birthday!!!

Yesterday-was my birthday! Not a big one, just 22 years, but nevertheless-I love my birthday :) I feel so old now, my mom was this age when she had me. This thought is what, I'm assuming, caused me to have a dream where I was pregnant the night before my birthday. Anyway, like I said-weird. I feel like I'm still only 16! (While simultaneously also being middle aged, what with all the cooking and housework and then relaxing on the couch with the boy-weird, I know.) Anyway, I thought-since food was a large portion of my day, and since this is a food blog, why don't I share it with you?

(I am not being reimbursed by any of the following places or things. I, in fact, gave them money...you know...for the pleasure to eat the yum yums. So please know all of this is just my experience and opinion.)

 The perfect start to any good day is Godiva. I got some free chocolates (REWARDS CLUB!) and they also had a sale, so I bought some dark chocolate bars for future baking.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Candy Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Candy Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you have leftover Halloween candy? Do you need something to do with all of that?

Candy Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don't. We didn't have candy for Trick or Treat-ers. 

Candy Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

However, I do love candy. And I do love Picky Palate. One of the most intriguing recipes I ever found of hers was for "Candy Bar Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches". I'm sorry....is that...a REESE....inside of a CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE!!!?? NOMYGOD! 

Candy Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
A scoop of cookie dough on top and bottom of the Reese cup


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chicken in Parchment Paper-Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week Seven (Fresh Herbs).

One day, I'd like to have my own herb garden. Heck, I'd love a vegetable garden too. There's just something so appealing about being able to do all that yourself. Weird, I had never thought of myself as one of those people who'd be drawn to "living off the land", but then again I never thought I wouldn't want to eat McDonald's (turns out...once you go without for awhile...your body won't allow that sort of atrocity to enter it again. It gets P.O.'d at you. Weird, huh?) Anyway, this week's Holiday Recipe Exchange asked for a recipe with fresh herbs, and really-this is the only recipe I've ever used FRESH herbs in, so perfect! I know, another chicken recipe. Get used to it-I'm picky and chicken is easier to make and more versatile than beef so just deal with it *harumph*...

Sorry...I'm sensitive about my picky-ness. Let's not fight. Let's just eat chicken, k?

Note: This recipe can totally be played with. Put different stuff in there, season it different. Go nuts. I intend to.

Poulet en Papillote (Chicken in Parchment Paper)


From sophistimom


Poulet en Papillote (Chicken in Parchment Paper)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Michael's Applesauce-Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week Six (Fall Spices).


Slow Cooker Applesauce

Why did I ever buy applesauce? It's so easy to make and so freaking much yummier!!!!! When Michael and his mom (my "Mama Maria") started speaking about some sort of cryptic special applesauce recipe that Michael did when he was little-I had to see it. So, my precious Mama Maria scanned it and emailed it to me. CUTEST THING EVER! So cute, I'm sharing pictures of it with you--it has the recipe for the applesauce on it! However, since it was written by a 6 year old, it leaves some little details out, so you can also scroll down and see the more in depth directions written by me right under it. Also, it's Holiday Recipe Exchange time again! (View Holiday Recipe Exchange posts for Week 1-Parts 1 and 2 and Week 3) This week is fall spices-and this applesauce has a very obvious and perfect cinnamon component. Seriously make this-it's amazing freshly made and hot, and also great leftover and cold. It tastes much more like actual...apples...than any other applesauce I've ever had! And, it's in no way difficult to make, and requires very few ingredients (and you almost definitely already have all of them). Go forth and make applesauce! (And go "awww" at the cuteness of my boyfriend when he was little). :D

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Frothy Hot Chocolate

Frothy Hot Chocolate
Yes...those are Disney princesses on my mug. Why do you ask?
It snowed. In October. And is freezing. So, I'm officially declaring it winter! And since it is winter, it is cold. And since it is cold, we need something warm and comforting in our bellies. And what's more classic for just that than hot chocolate? One night Michael and I were chilly and in the mood for some hot chocolate, so I used this recipe I had. I absolutely loved it-it was thick, chocolatey, and delicious-a perfect cup of hot chocolate in my opinion. Michael, as you are learning, does not share my taste preferences usually. This was no exception. He thought it just tasted like melted chocolate and he wanted one of those dried hot cocoa packets instead. *sigh* What am I going to do with him? This recipe definitely makes enough for 2 to drink a good amount, so if I make it again I shall have to half it, since it'll be just me. Such is life. Regardless! This is suuuuper yummy if you like the same kind of hot chocolate I do! So make it!

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