Monday, March 28, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Who doesn't love to eat cookie dough? You never do because you know you aren't supposed to since they have raw egg in them, right? Well, not these babies!!! I made these and could actually lick the spoon guilt-free! WOO HOO!!


  • 1 C butter, room temp (or 2 sticks)

  • 3/4 C granulated sugar

  • 3/4 C packed brown sugar

  • 1/3 C milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 2 1/2 C flour

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 C Mini semi-sweet choc chips

  • 1 pkg Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate (usually a box of bakers choc is 8 oz, i ended up using 2 boxes)
Directions: Beat butter and sugars in large bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Cover and chill for about 30 min. When dough is firm enough to handle, form dough into 1 in balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place sheet/sheets in freezer & let chill for 30 min. Melt baking chocolate in a microwave according to pkg directions. Dip the cookie balls into the melted chocolate, covering completely with the chocolate.
Let harden in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Yep, you can thank me later. :)

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Lemon Panko-Crusted Salmon

I found this recipe from my friend's blog. It is a delicious, easy and HEALTHY recipe that our whole family loves. No kidding, I've made it three times in the past month. It really is that good. I should've known because it is adapted from a Barefoot Contessa recipe.

Panko-Crusted Salmon
adapted just slightly from Barefoot Contessa, How Easy is That? by Ina Garten

2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
grated zest of 1 lemon (I have even sub'd lemon juice and it's great. However, zest is best!)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 (6-8 oz) salmon fillets, skin on (I always take the skin off and it's delish!)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon canola (or vegetable) oil
lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Combine the panko, parsley, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. Add the olive oil to the bowl and stir until all of the crumb mixture is evenly coated with the oil.

With the salmon fillets skin side down on a work surface, use a pastry brush (or spoon, ha!) to spread the mustard generously over the tops of the fillets. I never would've thought to use mustard on salmon but trust me, it is AMAZING!

Season the fillets with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, then distribute the crumb mixture evenly over the fillets and press to adhere.
Heat the canola oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and sear for 3-4 minutes to brown the skin. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for about 5-7 minutes, or until the salmon is just about cooked through, and the panko mixture has browned. Remove the skillet from the oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve with the lemon wedges (or just drizzle w/ lemon juice).
My notes: I did not cook these in the skillet. I have covered them in foil and grilled them-YUM! I have covered them in foil and baked them in the oven--YUM! I have also dumped everything in a baking dish and baked them in the oven all together. I loved this because we had enough bread mixture for every bite-YUM! My point is, it doesn't matter how you cook it. It turns out amazing every time!

Recipe found here

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Creamy Chicken Spaghetti

I promise, it really does taste as good as it looks. You know this one is a keeper if your husband tells you "honey you can make this ANYTIME you want." HA!

■2 cups Cooked Chicken
■3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces (I used whole grain)
■2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup (I used fat free cream of chicken & mushroom)
■2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
■¼ cups Finely Diced Green Pepper (I'm lazy and used frozen veggies)
■¼ cups Finely Diced Onion
■1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained (found by the olives/pickles in the grocery store)
■2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot (I used canned broth since I had frozen chicken)
■1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
■⅛ teaspoons (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
■Salt And Pepper, to taste (I omited salt since I used canned broth)
■1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese


Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.

Oh yeah! Watch that cheese melt yummmmmm!

Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

Look at this hunk of goodness right here! My mouth is watering as I type.

My notes: I wanted to follow the original directions exactly before I attempted to crock pot it. I will say next time, I totally will throw it my crock pot. You may wonder HOW THE HECK DO YOU CROCK POT THIS?
This is what I would do:
Throw chicken, pimentos, peppers, onions, 1 can of broth, both cans of soup, cayenne pepper, pepper in the crock pot and let cook all day on low. When I get home, cook spaghetti till it's done (not al dente). Dump everything out of the crock pot and mix in the 2 cups of cheese + spaghetti noodles and top with cheese. Everything is already hot and cooked thoroughly so I probably wouldn't put in the oven but you definitely could if you wanted the cheese to get bubbly (just remember if you put in oven to cook noodles al dente so they don't get mushy).
Original recipe from the phenomenal Pioneer Woman with beautiful pictures HERE!

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mac and Cheese Soup

Macaroni and Cheese Soup

Yes, I'm not even kidding. Now, I wouldn't say this is something I will make all the time but when I need something the kids will get googly-eyed for that is also fast, cheap and easy...this is my meal!

I generally have all the ingredients on-hand all the time anyways. Think about it: milk, sharp cheese, elbow macaroni and...are you ready for it? BACON! Oh and guess what else?!?! I totally weight watcher'd it. HA! It still isn't healthy for you but hey, I at least softened the blow. :)


10 strips of bacon (I used turkey bacon)

1 onion, minced (I used frozen chopped onions)

2 cloves garlic

3 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup flour

14oz can chicken broth

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp chili powder (I kinda scratched my head on this one but I promise, it tastes good!)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 cups of uncooked elbow macaroni noodles

3 cups milk (I used 2%)

4 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese

(*I totally snuck in veggies, too! I added carrots and celery to it. The kids didn't even bat an eye!If you think your kids would notice, I would suggest pureeing carrots and I guarantee you can't taste it!*)


Cook bacon until crisp, set aside.

Saute the onion in the bacon grease (about 3 tbsp--if more, drain)

When onion becomes translucent, add garlic and continue to cook until browned. Stir in flour and stir frequently.

Slowly add chicken broth while stirring. Add dry mustard, black pepper and chili powder. Stir while it simmers.

Add milk and macaroni noodles, bring to a simmer and continue to stir frequently.

Once macaroni is done, add cheese and bacon. Stir until the cheese melts.

Be prepared to become very full! My kids cheered at the dinner table for this meal. You would have thought I spent hours cooking a gourmet meal the way they acted. Pretty funny.

Recipe found here

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