White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

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Recipe & picture courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Total Time: 40 min
Makes 4 dozen

  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup candied cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks or chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Grease 1 or more cookie sheets.
  2. Using a mixer, cream the butter and both sugars in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add the milk to the butter mixture and then the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. (The batter should be stiff.)
  4. Combine the nuts, cherries and white chocolate in another bowl. Add the mixture to the batter, stirring until just blended. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake 13 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Notes & Comments: I couldn’t find candied cherries so instead of attempting to make my own I just used plain dried cherries.  I have read that another option is to dry out maraschino cherries overnight and use those.  Another idea would to be use the juice from the maraschino cherries in the batter for more of a cherry flavor.  I used the recommended amount of butter but read in other reviews people used 1 1/2 sticks to 2 and they enjoyed the richness of the cookie – I will try that out next time.  I was worried because the batter seemed a little sticky when I was putting it on the cookie sheet but they tasted wonderful and I had nothing but great reviews on these!

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Croque Monsieur Mac and Cheese

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

FNmag_Croque-Monsieur-Mac_s4x3_lg
Recipe & picture courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Total Time: 55 min

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1/2 pound ziti
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups coarsely grated gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 slices white sandwich bread, roughly diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced deli-boiled ham
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ziti and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; toss with 1/4 cup milk.
  2. Meanwhile, combine both cheeses in a bowl. Beat 1/4 cup milk and the eggs in another bowl; fold in the bread and add half of the cheese.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until just brown, 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, cayenne, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Slowly add 3/4 cup water and the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk; bring to a boil, stirring until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk to cool slightly. Whisk in the remaining cheese, then add the pasta and toss.
  4. Butter a shallow casserole dish. Add half of the pasta, top with some of the ham and cover with the remaining pasta. Top with the remaining ham, then cover with the bread mixture. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let rest a few minutes before serving.

Notes & Comments: This came out wonderful, it takes a little juggling in the kitchen to have everything going at the same time and coming together at the correct time but it tasted wonderful.  I added crushed cornflakes on top of the casserole just before putting it into the oven to create a crispy topping.

Layered Fiesta Casserole

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Layered_Fiesta_Casserole
Recipe & picture courtesy of Kraft Foods

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 50 min
Makes: 6 servings

  • 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 jar (16 oz.) TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick ‘N Chunky Salsa
  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen corn, thawed
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inch)
  • 1-1/2 cups KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Brown meat with peppers in large skillet; drain. Return to skillet. Stir in salsa, tomatoes and corn.
  3. Spread 1 cup meat mixture onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish; top with 6 tortillas, overlapping as necessary. Cover with layers of half each of the remaining meat mixture and cheese; top with remaining tortillas and meat mixture. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake 25 to 30 min. or until heated through. Top with remaining cheese; let stand 5 min. or until melted.

Notes & Comments: This is a great one dish meal, I chopped up half of an onion and added it to the mix as well.  I also used canned corn instead of frozen corn because I dislike frozen corn.  It’s great as leftovers too!

Ice-Cream Pumpkin Pie

September 21, 2009 2 comments

Recipe courtesy of National Geographic Kids

  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of ground cloves
  • graham cracker pie crust
  1. Let the ice cream soften
  2. Mix together the pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg and cloves.
  3. Stir in the ice cream.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly into the crust.
  5. Cover and freeze for four hours or until firm.

Notes & Comments: This is super simple to make and it tastes wonderful!  I found that if you have pumpkin pie seasoning you can skip the other seasonings in this recipe.  (Except the sugar)  A friend of mine made this with her daughter and passed the recipe onto me.  I love that it’s very light compared to a lot of the other pies you find at dessert.  It’s the perfect alternative to those, like me, who don’t like pumpkin pie but love the taste of pumpkin!

Categories: Dessert, Ice Cream, Overnight

Ravioli and Zucchini Lasagna

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

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Recipe & picture courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min
Serves 6

  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb total), cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1 package (26 oz) frozen large cheese ravioli
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 oz lean ground beef (90% fat free)
  • 1 jar (26 oz) tomato-basil sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheet with paper towels. Grease 1 quart ceramic baking dish.
  2. Heat large covered saucepot of water to boiling over high heat. Add zucchini and cook 5 minutes. With tongs or slotted spoon, remove zucchini to prepared cookie sheet to drain. Return water to boiling. Add ravioli and cook until ravioli rise to the top.
  3. Meanwhile, in 3 qt saucepan, heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 8-10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned; transfer to small bowl. In same saucepan, in remaining 1 tsp oil, cook beef over medium high heat 3-4 minutes or until browned, breaking up beef with side of spoon. Stir in tomato sauce and onion; heat to boiling.
  4. Drain ravioli; return to saucepot. Add meat sauce to ravioli in saucepot and stir until combined.
  5. In prepared baking dish, arrange half of zucchini; top with half of ravioli, then half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Repeat layering all ingredients. Bake 20 minutes or until hot in the center and golden and bubbly on top.

Notes & Comments: I added cooked ground turkey (or beef/chicken) to the sauce mixture to add more flavor to this.  It’s a very simple meal to make and I love that instead of lasagna noodles you use zucchini.  This dish has a great flavor and is a huge hit with everyone when I make it.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf
Recipe & picture courtesy of Paula Deen

Cook Time: 55 min
Yield: 1 (9 by 5-inch) loaf

  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 (8-ounce) package sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs, toasted
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 (3-ounce) can French fried onions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck and next 8 ingredients, mixing well.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard. Stir 1/4 cup ketchup mixture into meat mixture, reserving remaining ketchup mixture.
  4. Press meat mixture into a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan, or shape into a loaf and place on a rack in a broiler pan. Spread remaining ketchup mixture over loaf. Bake 40 minutes. Top with French fried onions; bake another 10 to 15 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink.

Notes & Comments: This wasn’t as firm as most meatloafs usually come out but it tasted wonderful.  I cut the raw bacon before cooking it, this let it cook quicker and skipped crumbling them.  I just put them in as cut which made for a nice crunch in the meatloaf.  A good idea for another option is to use cheddar cheese cubes instead of shredded cheese, that gives a nice burst of flavor.  Also feel free to “make it healthier” by using ground turkey or chicken instead of ground hamburger, turkey bacon instead of pork bacon and low fat/no fat cheese, mayonnaise.  You get the idea!