Tuesday, September 16, 2014

One Bowl Cocoa Brownies

Following Food Network on Instagram adds excitement to my life.  I get pretty excited about the recipes that come through my feed each day.  Especially when they involve baking.  Who doesn't love a good brownie?
Whenever I come across a new brownie recipe, I have to try it.  Brownies made from a box are good, so taking the time to make them from scratch means the recipe has to be a really good one.  
I have tried lots of brownie recipes that have been really good, but this one might be my fave.
(slightly adapted from a recipe off the Food Network website)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I recommend Ghirardelli)

*First, melt butter and let cool to room temp.  When the butter is cooled, mix the sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs together.  Add flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.  Mix until combined.  Add chocolate chips and mix in.  Spread batter into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Mine were done a few minutes before that, so make sure and check them.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Easy Coleslaw Dressing

We aren't huge coleslaw eaters at our house.  In fact, I have only made coleslaw twice in my life.  But a few weeks ago my family was getting together for Sunday dinner and my mom was making bbq pork sandwiches, so naturally I felt like we needed some coleslaw to go with them.  I bought a big bag of shredded coleslaw mix at Sam's Club but couldn't find any dressing to go on it.  I figured that I could find a pretty easy recipe online so I started looking around and this is the result of that searching.  A combination of a few basic recipes.
1 cup mayo
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
a few shakes of lemon pepper
salt/pepper to taste

*Stir all ingredients together and mix in with your coleslaw right before serving.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


First off, holy cow did we have the rain here in AZ. I think I'm right by saying we got 90% of our annual rainfall in 8 hrs. Consequently, we had lots of folks with flooding and leaking roofs.  We had a little roof leak, but compared to some with 3-4 feet of water in their homes, I have nothing to complain about.  We are grateful for the rain - just wish it had been spread out over a few more months!!

This is my favorite go-to chicken these days.  I have bought a lot of rotisserie chickens in my life, but I always feel guilty because I feel like I waste so much of it.  Except for the breast, drumstick and thigh meat, most of it goes in the trash.  Doing these breasts and thighs yields more meat and less waste - IMY (I feel so smart - I just learned that means "in my opinion")!! The best part is you can do all dark meat or all white meat, or a mixture of both.  Make sure you buy bone-in, skin-on.  The skin and bones give much flavor and keep the meet moist and tender. Make as much or as little as you like and freeze what you don't use.

(not really rotisserie)

3-4 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts or thighs, or mix
1 cube room temperature butter (not margarine)
chopped fresh rosemary (about 2 T)
coarse kosher salt
coarse black pepper

Heat oven to 450 and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Do not omit this step - you will thank me later! Much easier clean-up.  Generously spray the foil with cooking spray

Thoroughly wash and dry chicken breasts and/or thighs.  Pat as dry as you can with paper towels.

In a small bowl mix butter and rosemary well.  Loosen the skin from the chicken pieces and smear a generous amount of butter under the skin of the chicken. I do this with my hands.  Turn pieces over and smear butter on the bottom of the pieces also.  You want all the chicken to be coated in butter.  Generously season the tops and the bottoms of the buttered chicken with the salt and pepper.  Place the pieces on the cookie sheet and bake in the 450 oven for approx. 30 min.  Cooking at this high temperature will roast the chicken and seal in the moisture.  Remove, cool and slice or shred.  You can leave the crispy skin on, or remove it.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I saw "this" recipe on Pinterest, but there were several of them, and they all were a little different. So - I experimented and combined and changed several of them and I think I came up with a keeper.  They have a light orange glaze and taste so light. These are soft (my favorite kind of cookie) and citrusy. I love ANYTHING orange. I'm sure you could do lemon as well - but orange is my favorite.  You could probably substitute sour cream for the ricotta too. I made them for a welcome home luncheon for a friend and they were a great "luncheon" cookie.  Not too big and not too small.

2 1/4 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
pinch of Kosher salt
1 1/2 c. sugar (the first time I made these I only used 1 cup -    not sweet enough - I added and extra 1/2 c.)
1 cube butter softened to room temperature (1/2 c.)
2 eggs
 8 oz. ricotta cheese (about 1 c. - drain any liquid/water)
1/2 t. vanilla
zest of one large orange

1/4 c. orange juice
1 t. orange zest
2 1/2-3 c. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Stir flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.  Set aside.  In mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter on high until fluffy - about 2 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each.  Add ricotta cheese and orange zest. Mix well.  Add flour mixture and mix just until combined - do not overmix.
Using a tablespoon cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop on cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  Bake 15-20 min until puffed and barely lightly browned at the edges.  Do not overbake.  Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack and cool completely before glazing.

Whisk powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest into a smooth glaze.  Add more powdered sugar if needed- but glaze should be thin enough to dip cookie into.  Dip tops of cookies completely (don't dunk - just tops) into glaze and place on a rack to drain and dry.  Allow to dry and set for 2 hrs before storing or serving.  
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