Tuesday, April 28, 2009

#41 Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (or 175 Celsius)

2. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light & fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir the powdered ingredients into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by the rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

*Bake them less time than you think or they get a little crunchy. In addition, they lose their softness after a few days but they are still really tasty!!

**I have had a problem in the past with my cookies flattening out. So I now use butter flavored vegetable shortening instead of butter or margarine and the cookies stay nice and rounded. Also, since I tend to eat a lot of cookies, I halved the batch (this one was pretty easy to split in half). I also made really small cookies so the portion size was smaller.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

#40 Bacon Wrapped Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 package cream cheese, sliced
4 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
garlic salt to taste
uncooked bacon

1-Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 C).
2-Pound chicken until flat (it is less messy if you put it between two layers of wax paper, with the shiny side up). Put a slice of cream cheese and 1 teaspoon of chives in the middle of each chicken breast and roll up. Wrap each chicken with 1 slice of bacon (I really like bacon so I used 3 slices on each breast) and secure with toothpicks. Place in a baking dish.
3-In a bowl combine soup, mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice, pepper and garlic salt. Mix until smooth (a whisk is ideal for this). Pour over chicken.
4-Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until no longer pink and juices run clear.

**I am always nervous about baking chicken all the way through so I baked mine longer and because of the sauce it did not dry out. In addition, some of the reviews on Allrecipes.com said it was kind of bland so I sprinkled lemon pepper on top of the sauce after I had poured it on the chicken. Also, I used about 1/3 of the sauce for only two breasts. Next time I will save some of the extra to pour over the chicken after it is cooked; with the bacon the sauce in the pan was really greasy. I served it over bow tie pasta. Matt and I really loved this one!

Monday, April 6, 2009

#39 Black Forest Brownies

1 package brownie mix
1 cup Cherry Pie Filling
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom only of a 13x9" pan. Mix all ingredients, but chocolate chips, together and pour into pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, spread when melted. Let cool and cut into squares.

**Mom has found out that they are really good with the chocolate chips mixed in rather than on top! I will have to try it.

This recipe is from my mother-in-law, Debbie. It is one of Matt's favorites.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

#38 Iron Skillet Pizza

Iron Skillet Pizza

Pizza toppings of choice
1 cup shredded pizza cheese or mozzerella cheese
1/4 - 1/3 cup bottled pasta sauce (such as Prego)

2/3 cup warm water 1 Tbsp Olive Oil (I use canola oil)
1/2 tsp Salt 1 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour
1 tsp SAF Yeast (or any quick rise yeast)

Combine 3/4 cup bread flour, salt and yeast. Add water and olive oil. Stir to make a smooth batter. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface for a 2 minutes. Let dough rest approximately 20 minutes. While dough is resting, heat oven to 450 degrees. Once oven is hot, put about 1 to 2 Tbls vegetable oil into iron skillet and place skillet into oven to heat up. Once skillet is hot remove it from oven and make sure hot oil is spread evenly around pan. "Roll" dough into a circle. I don't use a rolling pin, I just push and pull it out by hand. The less handling of the dough the better. Once dough is the size of the skillet, place dough into skillet and push sides up slightly. Spread pasta sauce across dough, add toppings and cheese. Bake in 450 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes until crust is golden. Remove pizza from skillet, cut and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

#37 Beef Fajitas


1 lb sirloin steak
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper sliced into thin slices
1 green bell pepper sliced into thin slices
1 small yellow onion

for marinade:

juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper


Whisk together marinade ingredients. Cover meat with marinate and cover. Refrigerate 1-2 hours, turning several times, bring to room temperature.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, warm oil. Add bell peppers and onion. Saute until vegetables are tender, 6-8 minutes, set aside and keep warm.

Meat options:

Preheat grill. In a small sauce pan boil marinade for 1 minute. Grill meat over high heat turning once. Baste meat several times with reserve, boiled marinade. When cooked remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into thin strips and serve with warm vegetables, shredded cheese, sour cream, lettuce and salsa in warm tortillas.

Cut meat into thin strips. Heat oil in a large skillet (you can reuse the one from earlier) on medium-high heat. Cook meat in oil until cooked through and no longer pink. Serve with warm vegetables and other toppings in warm tortillas.

I served this with a fresh, homemade salsa from Betty Crocker. This was a delicious, light fajita recipe.