Monday, September 8, 2014

Kayla's Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have always wanted to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I was tasked with it even more so when I married Chad. Although my favorite cookies are snickerdoodles, Chad's favorites are none other than chocolate chip cookies. For me this posed a problem. I didn't have a good homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe and I had tried multiple ones through the years.

Well, before my bestie moved to Grenada, I had asked if I could get some of her cookie recipes from her. She had always had good cookies; from the banana cookies to her ginger snaps, it was heaven. They were perfect in taste and were always moist, even when she said they were burnt.

I wanted to make some cookies on Saturday and pulled out the little recipe book that she gave me before moving away. Low and behold, she had a chocolate chip cookie recipe in there. I decided to give it a try. I knew there was a high probability that they would be fantastic because they were from Kayla and her cookies, like stated before, were the best.

Boy was I right!

Kayla's Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Cup butter
1/2 Cup sugar
1 Cup brown sugar
2 Large eggs (I only had medium eggs at the time and still used two. It worked just fine)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 Cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (Or just one full regular size bag... I think it is like 16oz or something like that. I can't think off the top of my head.)

1: Put both sticks of butter in a medium sized pan and over medium heat melt the butter. Once melted, continue to cook until it turns golden brown. Swirl the pan occasionally if needed so that it browns evenly. Watch it fairly closely, as it can go from brown to burned very quickly. When the color has turned golden, small flecks speckle the butter and it will have a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and poor into a shallow dish (I just put it into the bowl I was going to mix the cookies in, so it took a bit longer to chill, but I didn't have to remove it and waste that dish. All about consolidation of dishes for me!). Chill in the fridge until it becomes solid. You want it to be soft, but melted. If it cools too much, let it come back to room temperature before using.

2: Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (I skipped the parchment paper because I didn't have any and my baking sheets are "non stick".)

3: Once the butter has solidified but is not too hard, beat the brown butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium/high speed until light and creamy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add the vanilla extract.

4: In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients (I added it bit by bit so you don't have a flour cloud) until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.

5: Spoon by the tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches in-between each cookie. Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes*. Let cool for 5 minutes on the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

*Now Kayla had left me a hint at the bottom of the page and I am so glad I read it before I started cooking. Here is the hint:

HINT: I usually whisk the butter while it is browning to make sure I'm watching it closely and to make sure it cooks evenly. I also think I bake for less time, closer to 8 minutes, so keep an eye on the first batch. =]

I loved the whisking idea. It really did make it easier to keep an eye on it so it didn't burn and it cooked evenly so I didn't have to swirl the pan occasionally like it says to in step one.

*I cooked my cookies for 8 minutes like her hint said and when I pulled them out, I already knew that if I cooked them any longer they would burn. I accidentally missed the timer on the last batch (only 3 cookies on a small pan, but still 3 is more than enough to mess up.) and the cookies cooked for closer to 9 minutes. When I pulled them out they had a darker coloring than the rest of the cookies and were much harder, in other words they were almost burned. :( So, definitely try 8 minutes as a cooking time! Of course every oven is different so watch the first batch as you cook them. Under cooking and then needing to put them in again is not nearly as bad as burning them and having no clue how long they really should cook right?

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. We gobbled these up way faster than we should have.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Peppershire Burgers

Summer is dwindling down and the husband and I had yet to have a burger that we made here at home. We haven't had a BBQ here in Provo so we decided that needed to change.

Last night Chad and I bought a grill/griddle plate for our stove. I have wanted one for quite sometime so I could actually grill. We don't have an outdoor grill so this is the next best thing. Besides, I wanted one to do chicken and other things like that.

This all started with Chad wanting to have burgers. After getting the necessary items (grill plate included in that) we got down to making dinner! The burgers were an invention from Chad's brain, and by golly they were AMAZING! Way to go babe. Without further adieu, here is the husband to give you the down low on the Peppershire Burger.

Makes 3 medium-large patties
1 lb Ground Beef
2 Cloves of Garlic
Worcestershire sauce
Onion powder
Salt and Pepper
Sweet Bell Pepper Relish (Deli style)
Pepper Jack Cheese
And of course, Hamburger buns!

Put ground beef in a medium bowl. Before mixing with your fingers coat both sides of the beef with onion powder (to taste). Then, add the Worcestershire. Add enough to turn the beef from red to brown and so it is completely absorbed. Mince two cloves of garlic. Either mince by hand with a knife (the traditional way) it or use a zester like we did. You could also just buy minced garlic, like the stuff that is in the cans. It worked out great! Add your salt and pepper (again, to taste). Mix all ingredients evenly.

Next, make your patties. To prevent the patties from breaking apart, make a ball first and then flatten by shifting the ball from hand to hand. Once made, make an indent in the middle of the patty. This keeps all those good juices inside the burger. Grill to your liking of rareness or well-doneness.

Once patties are done, place on a preparing dish and grab the pepper relish and cheese. Spread first the pepper relish over the burger, as much or as little as you prefer. (We found that sweet bell pepper relish went along really well with the burger so we recommend that.) After spreading your pepper relish, add a square of pepper jack cheese, put it on your bun and enjoy!

This burger was great without condiments like mayo, ketchup or mustard because the pepper relish really did it for us. We recommend trying it without condiments first for the full flavor.


Thanks for sharing honey! We had corn on the cob as a side and it was so great! I didn't do anything other than boil it and the corn was perfectly done with that sweet, salty, buttery, crisp bite you get when you have the perfect corn on the cob. We were well pleased with the whole dinner.

So what are you waiting for? Go and enjoy the rest of the summer/early fall weather with some wonderful food while it lasts! I know you won't regret it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake and Grilled Chicken Caprese

I got a call from Chad the other day as he was heading home. He informed me that he was going to make me dinner. Now you have to understand, he doesn't do this that often; cooking that is. He can cook, but he doesn't do it that often. So when he does offer to cook, it is extremely sweet. I love it so much. He came home and told me his plan. I helped out with the main course but he picked the menu. Here is the menu he chose! It was delicious and super easy.

Side Dish:
Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake
(makes 4-6 serving)

2 Medium-sized zucchini, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2 Medium-sized yellow squash, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2-4 Tbs chopped fresh basil (or even less, pretty much do it to how much you like basil)
2 Tbs thinly sliced green onion
1/2 tsp dried thyme (I like less thyme personally. It tends to over power everything else.)
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup cheese (Italian mix -a pizza mix can work as well. Both of these mixes tend to have Mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, and Provolone.)
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan (use fresh cheese -I promise, it is worth it)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8" x 8" baking dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. Wash the squash and cut in slices or half-moon slices. Wash basil, spin dry or dry with paper towels and finely chop. Slice green onions.

Combine the sliced squash, chopped basil, sliced green onions, thyme, garlic powder, and the 1/2 cup Italian mix cheese. Stir together until the veggies are coated with cheese and the herbs are well-distributed. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Put the mixture in the baking dish and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.

When zucchini is nearly cooked through, take the casserole dish out of the oven and sprinkle over the remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Put the dish back in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned and zucchini is fully cooked. Serve hot.

The recipe says that it keeps well in the fridge overnight if there are left overs... We wouldn't know. It was all scrambled up and stored into our bellies. 

Main Dish:
Grilled Chicken Caprese

1 lb thinly sliced chicken breast
2 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tsp Lawry's Roasted Garlic Salt with Oregano and Basil, divided
Mozzarella cheese
1 medium (regular, not roma) tomato
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil (We didn't use that much.. not even close)

This is the recipe we got form the McCormick website. We used it as a guideline. It was extremely vague so I just tried to go with it. Here is what I ended up doing so you have some better idea of how to prepare it.

We used two (larger) chicken breasts. One for each of us. I covered each one in plastic wrap and decided to pound them with a cup.... we don't have a mallet. So I pounded them so they were evenly pounded throughout the whole breast. 

I cut the tomatoes in thin slices. I put 1 Tbs of olive oil on each chicken breast, put them in a pan, sprinkled some of the Lawry's seasoning on each one, and grilled them on both sides (about 3-4 minutes) until they were done. With the tomatoes I put them in another pan, drizzled some oil on them, sprinkled some of the seasoning on them as well, and grilled them until they were softened and a deeper red. 

Once the chicken and tomatoes were done cooking I put slices of mozzarella on each piece of chicken. It amounted to about three-four slices per chicken breast. On top of the cheese place the tomatoes, a few for each piece of chicken. We took some chopped basil from the left over basil in our zucchini dish and sprinkled it on top. It was maybe 2 tsp to 1 Tbs in total, kind of used as a garnish in a way. Cover the chicken until the cheese is melted and then ta da! It is ready to eat! Enjoy!

Here is a link to the recipe that we used. I hope you can understand it better than I could. I just used it as a baseline really because I felt like it was incredibly vague. 

It was such a wonderful dinner and it was amazing. I am so happy that Chad decided to make dinner and we got to try another new dish. We have been stuck in a rut with our dinners so I am glad that we got to do this. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Peach Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

I just recently had my best friend move on the first of the month. We knew that we needed to get together and do something before that day came and before I had my baby. I got induced on the 24th of June and so I decided to invite Kayla (my friend) over to my place.

When we both lived at Foxwood apartments we would get together and just make food for fun. That is actually what inspired this blog. We used to just be together and eat food and talk. It was the best. So when I told her to come over on the 23rd I knew that we should cook something. 

I was in the mood to do something sweet rather than savory, so was she. So we pulled up *ta da* what else but Pinterest. We found a bunt cake that really appealed to us so we decided to try it.

We had to change a few things due to a lack of a really good strainer and we couldn't find vanilla bean but it still turned out amazing! Hope you try it and love it just as much as we did!

Peach Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Peach Soaking Syrup
Makes 10-inch bundt cake, serving 12 to 14

3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds  (We used vanilla extract instead. We couldn't find any vanilla beans)
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ cups diced fresh peaches

⅓ cup fresh peach puree, strained (We took peaches we had diced up and put them in the food processor to make the puree. We would have strained it more if we could have but I didn't have a small enough holed strainer. The small chunks were not bad on the cake in the end.)
⅔ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice

Place rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour inside of 10 inch bundt pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Using either a stand mixer (paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating for 30 to 40 seconds after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla bean. At low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream. (Add a bit of flour, a bit of sour cream, a bit of flour, a bit of sour cream, a bit of flour.)

Scoop half of batter into pan and spread with spatula. Sprinkle with peaches. Scoop remaining half of batter on top of peaches. Smooth with spatula.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Southwestern Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Oh my. This has been so ridiculously neglected. This has been the last thing on my mind the past two years. Oh goodness. Two years. That is bad.

A lot of things have happened, including me getting married last May (2013) and having a child a week ago (! Crazy right?). I have tried a lot of new foods within this time frame and would love to share some of my favorites with you!

The first one is a chili that I found last summer, right after I married my awesome husband. He loves spicy foods and is still getting used to the Mexican food scene that is out here in Utah (as non-authentic as it is, it still is pretty darn good if you ask me). He is from Buffalo, NY and out there the food is Italian, Irish, German, and Polish for the most part. As a side note, I think that would be awesome to have places like that out here because I am getting tired of the restaurants out in this area.

When I found this chili I was thrilled because I could show Chad the spice of the west. I had pinned this on Pinterest but finally decided to try it. It is a crockpot recipe so you can start it and then leave it.

Southwestern Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

1 can black beans
1 can corn, undrained
1 can Rotel, undrained
1 package ranch dressing mix
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 8 oz package light cream cheese (It can be normal cream cheese. Honestly, I didn't see it said light until just now... oops. haha)
2 chicken breasts

Drain and rinse black beans. Place chicken at bottom of pot, then pour out whole can of corn (undrained), rotel, and black beans. Top with seasonings and ranch mix. Stir together. Place cream cheese on top. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir cream cheese into chili. Use 2 forks to shred chicken. Stir together and serve.

It is so easy to do and smells amazing within the first hour. The aroma fills the house full of goodness. I have put shredded cheese in it after it was in my bowl. I have also used crushed tortilla chips for an added crunch.

I hope you enjoy! Now that I am a stay at home mom, hopefully I will be able to work on my blogs more and share more food goodness with you!

Next time:
Vanilla Bean Peach Bunt Cake

Stay tuned!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Baked Oatmeal

I made this last night so I could have it for breakfast. OH MY. I loved this so much. I was going to try a recipe that my friend Katie Smith had posted on her blog but she put sugar in the directions and salt in the ingredients. I didn't want to take that chance. :D SO! I found this one and made it at like 10 pm. Yes! Here is what I put in it. (I got the recipe from Taste of Homes)

Baked Oatmeal

  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and butter. Stir into oat mixture until blended.
  • Spoon into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until set. Serve warm with milk. Yield: 9 servings.

The recipe said to put in additional milk but I used my last bit of milk making it so I didn't serve it with milk. It was delish none the less. I cut up some peaches and served it that way. I would have had raspberries and/or strawberries but they are all gone. I ate them. So yummy.

Try it one of these mornings! I promise you will like it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

French Toasted Angel Food Cake

I made this recipe for the fam a little under a month ago. It is very tasty. I made it for my parents, brother, his wife, and their four kids.

Enjoy the most delish thing in the world. It is a delight.