Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies

What do you get when you mix brownies with chocolate chip cookies?
+ =

Oh that's right. You are seeing correctly. Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies. Courtesy of Mrs. Betty Crocker, of course. Let me show you how easy it is (using the mixes makes it ridiculously easy).

Mix up those brownies and put them in a 9x13 pan, just like you were baking regular brownies.

Mix up the cookie dough, and plop tablespoon sized blobs into the brownie batter. (May have to press down a little bit.)


Enjoy with a glass of milk.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies
From: Betty Crocker

1 box brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 pouch chocolate chip cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 container ceamy chocolate frosting, or ganache

Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray, or grease with shortening. Make brownie mix as directed on box, using oil, water and 2 eggs. Spread in pan.

Make cookie mix as directed on pouch, using butter and 1 egg. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls evenly onto brownie batter; press down lightly.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool on cooling rack 30 minutes. Frost with frosting. For brownies, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.

Now, these were great as is (I skipped the frosting though -- I thought it might get too sweet), but next time I make these I am definitely using homemade chocolate chip cookie dough.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 323Calories from fat 16
% Daily Value
Total Fat 16.2g25%
Saturated Fat 4.6g23%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 43mg14%
Sodium 221mg9%
Total Carbs 42.8g14%
Dietary Fiber 1.9g8%
Sugars 27.7g
Protein 3.8g
Vitamin A 4%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%Iron 6%

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sichuan Green Beans

Ever find one of those recipes that you just want to keep making over and over again? This is one of them.

Over New Years, we were in Kansas City visiting Adam's family and of course, we had to go to one of his favorite restaurants -- Bo Lings. As is tradition with their family, they pick lots of entrees and sides and everybody get a little bit of everything. Well, his sister picked out some Sichuan Green Beans, and on a whim I decided to try them.

Now, I am not usually a fan of green beans. Or well, green veggies in general (minus broccoli). But these green beans were seriously delicious. Spicy and savory and so much more than just your average ol' green beans. Well, naturally, I wanted to replicate those bad boys once I got home.

By a complete fluke, I stumbled across this recipe. (I actually tore out a page for a different recipe that wasn't so great and this happened to be one the same page -- lucky me.) Since the discovery of this recipe, we've made it several times, and I'm pretty sure Adam thinks they are at least as good as Bo Lings, if not better. Shocker I know.

Sichuan Green Beans

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cook beans in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water; drain. Pat beans completely dry with paper towels.

Heat a 14-inch wok over high heat (a large skillet would probably work too). Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to wok, swirling to coat. Add green beans to wok; stir-fry 3 minutes or until browned. Spoon green beans into a bowl.

Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to wok, swirling to coat. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper; stir-fry 15 seconds or just until garlic begins to brown. Return green beans to wok. Add vinegar, soy sauce, and salt to wok; toss to combine.

Serves: 6

Now, this claims to be 6 servings. Yeah, I don't think so. Adam and I easily take these down and look for more. And, to top it all off... they are super fast as easy to make as well. Can't be that, now can you?

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 57Calories from fat 23
% Daily Value
Total Fat 2.5g4%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 347mg14%
Total Carbs 8.1g3%
Dietary Fiber 2.8g11%
Sugars 1.3g
Protein 1.9g
Vitamin A 13%Vitamin C 23%
Calcium 4%Iron 6%

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Onion & Chive Cream Sauce

You know that Staples commercial with the easy button? I would love to have one of those. No, a real one --not the one that just sits there and talks. I could use that thing all over the place -- at work (all the patients would just magically clean themselves), getting accepted into school (those essays would write themselves), working out, and cooking really good meals (with no dirty dishes).

Unfortunately, the easy button doesn't really exist. Or at least someone is hiding it from me very very well. On the up side, this meal is really pretty easy to make. According to Kraft Foods, it only takes about 25 minutes to make (including prep and cook times), which means it would take me about 25-30 minutes to make and Adam about 35-40. ;)

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Onion & Chive Cream Sauce
From: Adapted from Kraft Foods,

1 generous cup chicken broth
1/3 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan Cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
2 tsp oil
1/2 cup reduced fat Cream Cheese with Chive & Onion

Mix bread crumbs and Parmesan on plate or in a small bowl. Rinse chicken with cold water; gently shake off excess. Dip chicken in egg and then in crumb mixture, turning to evenly coat both sides of each breast. Discard any remaining crumb mixture.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken; cook 5 to 6 min. on each side or until done (165°F).

Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, add broth and cream cheese to skillet; bring just to boil, whisking constantly. Cook 3 min. or until thickened (get it fairly thick), stirring frequently; spoon over chicken.

As you can tell by the pictures, my sauce ended up a little on the runny side, but it was still pretty good. And hey, it was pretty dang simple too. Too bad there were still dirty dishes...

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 559Calories from fat 290
% Daily Value
Total Fat 32.2g50%
Saturated Fat 13.9g69%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 248mg83%
Sodium 1018mg42%
Total Carbs 17.8g6%
Dietary Fiber 0.8g3%
Sugars 5.7g
Protein 48.3g
Vitamin A 20%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 24%Iron 16%

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Barbecued-Flavored Onion Rings

For years I swore up and down that I hated onions. Pretty much in any form. The only time I even ate anything onion-y was when it came to Funyuns. Which as we all know are not really onions.

But then I tried the onion straws/rings/blooms at various steak-house type restaurants. And I loved the batter. And I got past the slippery squishy onion on the inside. Because man, were those good.

And then I discovered that I like onion in other things (as long as it was cooked). And I guess that's where I am today -- please keep those raw onions off my burgers please. No thank you. But now those carmelized onions, I can almost eat those by themselves. :)

We haven't been to a Texas Roadhouse/Outlaw/Outback/whatever in forever. And I started to miss those slippery little onions coated in that awesome batter. So when I ran across a recipe for baked onion rings in Cooking Light, I promptly marked the recipe and forgot about it. Until I got the craving again -- and this time I made them.

Barbecued-Flavored Onion Rings

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 pound sweet onions (2 large), cut into (1/4-inch-thick) slices and separated into rings
1 1/2 cups dry breadcrumbs, divided
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine flour, sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, paprika, allspice, and eggs in a large bowl. Dip onion rings in flour mixture. Place half of onion rings in a zip-top plastic bag; add 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, shaking bag to coat onion rings. Repeat procedure with remaining onion rings and remaining 3/4 cup breadcrumbs.

Arrange onion rings in a single layer on 2 baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat onion rings with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 5 minutes. Rotate pans on racks; bake 5 minutes. Turn onion rings over; lightly coat with cooking spray and bake 5 minutes. Rotate pans and bake 5 minutes or until crisp. Serve immediately.

So steakhouse onion rings these were not. They were alright, but I felt that after the first couple onion rings went through the breadcrumb mixture it got really soggy and started clumping on the remaining rings. Which made some rings get very crispy and others to have places that were missing batter in places. Kind of disappointing.

I would probably give these another go if I was in the mood again, but I'd probably place the breadcrumb mixture in a bowl and dredge them that way, rather than shaking in a bag.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 187Calories from fat 31
% Daily Value
Total Fat 3.5g5%
Saturated Fat 0.9g5%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 423mg18%
Total Carbs 32.2g11%
Dietary Fiber 2.9g12%
Sugars 7.2g
Protein 7.1g
Vitamin A 6%Vitamin C 10%
Calcium 8%Iron 13%

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chicken Saltimbocca

Chicken Saltimbocca is one of those recipes that I had always heard about but had never tried. Saltimbocca actually means "jumps in the mouth" in Italian (or at least according to Widipedia), though I'm not 100% sure that this quite fits that description...

I've never really used sage before in my cooking, especially fresh sage, so I wasn't really sure what to expect flavor-wise. But hey, there's a first for everything, right?

Chicken Saltimbocca

4 chicken breasts, pounded to 1/3-1/2 inch thickness
8 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
1 bunch sage leaves
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 Tbsp dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
Lemon wedges, for sauce and serving

Top the flattened chicken breasts with sage leaves (laid flat; I used 4 large leaves per). Cover each chicken breast with 1-2 slices of prosciutto (depending on the size of the chicken). Cover the chicken with a piece of plastic wrap and gently tap with the tenderizing side of a meat mallet to make the prosciutto and sage adhere.

Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat the oil and 2 Tbsp of the butter and in a large skillet over medium flame. Put the chicken in the pan, prosciutto-side down first. Cook for 3-4 minutes to crisp it up and then flip the chicken over and saute the other side for 2-3 minutes, until golden. Transfer the saltimbocca to a serving platter and keep warm.

Add the wine to the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan; let the wine cook down for a minute to burn off some of the alcohol. Add the chicken broth, the juice from one lemon wedge, and remaining butter, swirling the pan around. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the saltimbocca, garnish with sage leaves and lemon wedges; serve immediately.
(Optional) Drop several sage leaves into the pan during the last few minutes of cooking, before starting the sauce, turning once after a minute. Remove with slotted spoon and use as garnish.

Overall this dish was pretty good, although the sage became a little overwhelming after a few bites (I did not do the optional portion).

I would probably make this again with a little less sage and a few more adaptations from other recipes.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 654Calories from fat 364
% Daily Value
Total Fat 40.4g62%
Saturated Fat 14.5g73%
Cholesterol 162mg54%
Sodium 1000mg42%
Total Carbs 24.6g8%
Dietary Fiber 11.7g47%
Sugars 0.7g
Protein 49.2g
Vitamin A 42%Vitamin C 15%
Calcium 50%Iron 60%

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ten Minute French Bread

I have to admit. I absolutely love bread. I know for a fact that I could never do the South Beach Diet, the Atkins Diet, or any of those other crazy no/low-carb diets. I'm pretty sure you could hand me a loaf of bread and butter and I wouldn't need anything else for a meal (give me some cheese with it and I'm in heaven).

So imagine my delight when I saw this recipe for french bread you can make in 10 minutes posted by Sarah from Chomping the Big Apple on that message forum I mentioned before. (Why she never posted this on her blog, I don't know, b/c it's fabulous!) So after watching the video (yes, video) it really does take more than 10 minutes, but those minutes are only counting the active ones. I'm pretty sure it took me longer than 10 minutes -- but seeing as it was my first time, I'm okay with it. :)

Ten Minute French Bread
From: YouTube

1 Tbsp. yeast
4 cups flour
1 Tbsp. salt

Go here to watch the video for instructions on how to make these delicious loaves:

This bread is pretty fantastic. And it is fairly simple to make -- it just is kind of tricky figuring out much water to add... and I'm pretty sure that I probably added too much flour when I was kneading as well (hence the white stuff on the finished loaves).

It does take a while to make these once you include baking time and rising time, but the result is definitely worth it.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 77Calories from fat 2
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0.2g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 292mg12%
Total Carbs 16.1g5%
Dietary Fiber 0.7g3%
Protein 2.3g
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%Iron 6%

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cranberry Chicken with Wild Rice

About a month ago, this recipe was a big rave on a message forum I frequent. Of course, I love recipe recommendations.

And being myself, I forgot to start the rice, so it was pretty much just cranberry chicken. Oops.

Cranberry Chicken with Wild Rice
From: Online Source

1 (16 oz) can whole-berry cranberry sauce
2 Tbsp. orange liqueur or orange juice
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 (6 oz) pkg long grain and wild rice mix
2 Tbsp. grated orange rind
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave-safe pan, combine the cranberry sauce, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and mustard, cooking until hot.

Place the chicken in baking dish, and pour the cranberry sauce over the chicken. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is done.

Meanwhile, cook the wild rice according to the package directions, omitting any oil and salt. When the rice is done, stir in the orange rind and green onion.

To serve, place the rice on a plate, and top with the chicken and cranberry sauce.

Serves: 6

Even with forgetting the rice, the dish still turned out pretty good. I might make this dish again, but Adam and I aren't really into citrus on our meats, so this wasn't really our thing. Good, but not us. I'd still give it:

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 256Calories from fat 27
% Daily Value
Total Fat 3.0g5%
Saturated Fat 0.6g3%
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 187mg8%
Total Carbs 32.3g11%
Dietary Fiber 5.6g23%
Sugars 4.4g
Protein 28.0g
Vitamin A 2%Vitamin C 31%
Calcium 2%Iron 5%


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