Monday, January 18, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffins

You know that title interested me! I found this recipe on this blog.

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (melted)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups mini chocolate chips or regular milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Mix dry ingredients first. Then add wet ingredients. Mix well. Then add chocolate chips and nuts.
Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes-or until toothpick comes out clean! Makes a dozen good sized muffins.

The girls and I LOVED these. Vincent had half of one too before his bath on Sunday morning. It was all gone, so I guess he liked it too. They really do taste like chocolate chip cookies, but they are a tad bit healthier in a muffin. Next time I'll have to add crasins to them. I love crasins.
Today the muffins were still delicious. I heated two up in the microwave for an afternoon snack.
The recipe made 17 muffins for me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fried Ravioli

This recipe came from this blog.
We gave my husband a deep fat fryer for Christmas, so we are trying more than just tater tots now. We do love our tater tots on a weekend evening.

1 package Cheese Ravioli (WalMart brand has a bag for less than $3)
Marinara Sauce
2 cups Bread Crumbs (I used the Italian Seasoned kind so I didn't have to use the basil and oregano or salt and pepper.)
2 Eggs
1 Tablespoon Dried Basil
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Oil for frying

Mix all dry ingredients in a shallow dish (works well with a fork or you can shake them up in a baggie and then put them in a shallow dish, like a pie pan). In another dish beat the eggs with a teaspoon of water. Take the ravioli and put them in the egg, then bread crumbs. Fry them at 375 degrees for about 3 minutes per batch. Put them on a baking sheet in a 250 degree oven until they are all done. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce (heated up) for dipping.

Result: Everyone enjoyed these. Elizabeth even broke her strike with eating spaghetti sauce and said that she liked it to dip in. Next time Andy wants to try making them with meat raviolis.
The best part about using the deep fat fryer to make dinner, is that Andy cleans it up.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pizza Spaghetti

This recipe was from the site Organize and Decorate Everything. The author of that blog is a mother of eight, so the recipe HAS to be good. She said this recipe is their favorite.
Here it is.


4 ounce package Sliced Pepperoni

1/3 cup Margarine, melted

12 ounces Thin Spaghetti (cooked) I used Penne because I ran out of spaghetti an didn't put it on the list.

4 ounces Grated Swiss Cheese

16 ounces Grated Mozzarella Cheese

2 cans Tomato Sauce- I used Spaghetti Sauce.

1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano

1/2 teaspoon Dried Basil


Boil pepperoni for a few minutes to remove excess fat.

Pour margarine into a 11×7 baking dish.

Toss cooked spaghetti in margarine. (You could use a small amount of oil instead of the margarine).

Cover spaghetti with one can of tomato sauce. Take it to the edges of the baking dish.

Layer in the order listed:

1/2 of the grated Swiss cheese

1/2 of the pepperoni

1/2 of the mozzarella

Sprinkle with oregano and basil.

Pour on second can of tomato sauce and spread to edges.

Top with the remainder of the Swiss cheese, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese in that order.

Optional add-ins:

mushrooms, sausage, olives, ground hamburger, peppers, onions

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Result: Everyone enjoyed it a lot! This one will be used again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe came from the blog Bake at 350 and sounds SO good.
It uses a box of chocolate cake mix, so this is perfect for a fast, easy, and somewhat healthy treat (it does have pumpkin in it after all).

1 box Chocolate Cake Mix
1 can (15 oz) Pumpkin
1/2 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
2 Egg Whites
2 Tablespoons Water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease the insides of your muffin pan (or liners, otherwise the muffins will stick to the paper.)
In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until a little foamy. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir until well blended. Use a 1/4 cup to fill prepared baking cups (you could also use a mini muffin tin.) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from pans and let cool on rack.
She added chocolate chips on top of each muffin while they were still warm so they looked nicer.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Kung Pao Chicken

I got this recipe from Shape magazine. I found a free subscription someplace and am trying a few ideas out. I bought all the ingredients at WalMart, so they should be available anywhere. They did cost about $10 to buy the four bottles, but hopefully we really want to make this recipe many more times.I baked my chicken. I wasn't sure about the sauce, so I didn't pour it all over the chicken. Grilled Chicken with Kung Pao Sauce
6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, thawed
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Black or Red Rice Vinegar (or Red Wine Vinegar)
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Water, divided
1/4 teaspoon Sugar
1/4 cup Oyster Sauce (this part sounds gross to me, but I'll give it a try. I'm not a seafood lover.)
1/8 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1/2 teaspoon Cornstarch
1/4 cup Unsalted Peanuts, optional
1 Scallion, Slivered

Grill Chicken (you can use a BBQ or a 10 inch grill pan) over medium heat for about 7 minutes on one side and 3 on the other or until cooked through.
In a medium saucepan, mix soy sauce, vinegar, 1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon water, sugar, oyster sauce, and oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and remaining water (1/2 teaspoon). Drizzle the cornstarch/water mixture into the sauce. Return sauce to a boil and simmer for about 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
Using a pastry brush, coat each chicken breast with sauce (or dump it on). Garnish with peanuts and scallions and serve immediately.
Tastes great served with rice (regular, brown, or wild) and a side of broccoli or other vegetables.
Shape includes the nutrition score per serving (1 Chicken Breast with 2 Tablespoons Sauce):
173 calories
5 grams fat <1>
29 grams protein
1 gram fiber
24 mg calcium
1 mg iron
971 mg sodium
It also added that a normal take out serving of this dish would be 510 calories and 36 grams of fat instead of their 173 calories and 5 grams of fat for a 4 ounce serving.

One of my husband's favorite Chinese dishes is Kung Pao Chicken. His top choice is still General Tso's Chicken or Beef followed by Beef and Broccoli, but Kung Pao may overtake that if this recipe turns out.

I really disliked it. My husband thought it was pretty good. I only had one bite. He cleaned his plate and dumped the sauce all over the rice too. I could only taste the nasty oyster sauce. If you like seafood, this is for you.

Anyone want a freshly opened jar of oyster sauce?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Best Ever Pizza Dough

I went to a cooking class through church last year sometime on cooking pizza, even though I thought I had a pretty good recipe for the pizza dough already, and discovered THE BEST RECIPE for crust there. It is super good and soft and I feel like I can throw it in the air after I roll it out. I don't because I'm afraid I'll drop it on the floor, but I love this recipe!
It makes two twelve inch pizzas or three really really thin pizzas. I have doubled this recipe in my big KitchenAid.

4 1/2 cups Flour
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
2 cups Warm Water
2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Yeast

Measure all ingredients and place in mixer or large bowl. Mix together and knead until smooth. Make sure to incorporate all the flour at the bottom of the mixer/bowl.
Cover and let rise until double. It can take 2 1/2 hours to rise. If you want it to rise more quickly, preheat your oven and place bowl on top of stove to get all the warmth of the oven.
The lady who taught the class swore by the pizza stones and special paddle that you slide the pizza from to the stone. I have a stone and rarely use it because I'd rather have two cheap silver pans that I can cut on and don't care if they get marks on them because they cost $3 each.
I spray my pans with cooking spray and then sprinkle cornmeal (my husband prefers the gritty kind rather than the floury kind) on top of that to make the crust not be mushy in the middle.
Separate dough into two and roll out with flour into a circle. Place pizza dough onto pizza pan with cornmeal. Repeat with second section of dough.

Now you are ready to add pizza sauce (WalMart has a really good brand for $1 a jar), about 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, toppings of your choice, and another 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.
Some options are:
Pepperoni (with Sliced Olives)
Chicken (with BBQ Sauce or Alfredo Sauce and Green Onions and Bacon)
Veggie (with Green and Red Peppers, Olives, Artichokes, Onions, Mushrooms, Tomato, etc.)
Canadian Bacon and Pineapple
All Meat (Sausage, Bacon, Pepperoni, Chicken, etc.)
Cheese (mozzarella)

To make dessert pizza, use same crust.
Add your favorite canned fruit or fruit pie filling and then the following topping.
Dessert Pizza Topping:
4 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Flour
Mix until crumbly and then spread over fruit filling.

Bake either pizza at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until melted all the way through and bubbly.

What do you like to eat on your pizza? Our favorite is Pepperoni with olives.