Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

Being home sick, you tend to watch a little too much of the boob tube. As always, my channel of choice is The Food Network {or TFN for short}. So far, I've watched...

  • Ina Garten serve up pomegranate cosmopolitans and beef sliders served on brioche. 
  • Sandra Lee find a way to make super cheap Fair foods including Parmesan fries and corn dogs. 
  • Melissa d'Arabian grill up a storm and do a grilled potato salad, grilled coleslaw, and black bean sliders.
  • Anne Burrell make delicious Asian turkey burgers and homemade salt + vinegar chips.
                                                                  ...and these cookies.

While I love a good dessert, I'm not that person who has a major sweet tooth. But a) I just appreciate Anne Burrell's humor so much so I love watching her, and b) these cookies just seem absolutely to die for. I found myself searching through my pantry to see if I had the ingredients to make them while I am home today. {I don't. of course} So I will share the recipe now, and attempt to bake them at a later date. They seem easy enough.

Recipe of the day
Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Anne Burrell's "Super Yummy" ones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces block dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Large flake sea salt, for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and kosher salt.
  3. In large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar and butter. Using an electric beater or the paddle attachment of the stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until it they are light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat them into the butter and sugar mixture. Add in the vanilla as well.
  4. With a rubber spatula or with the stand mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks and walnuts.
  5. Spoon the cookie dough by 2 tablespoon-size balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Place the cookie dough balls 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 12 to 13 minutes.
  6. When the cookies come out of the oven IMMEDIATELY sprinkle each cookie with a few grains of sea salt. This is really important to do while the cookies are hot.
  7. Let the cookies cool for 2 to 3 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.
Notes {From Chef AB herself}
  • You don't need to add in the walnuts, if you would prefer unnutty cookies. Sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don't.
  • Semi-sweet or milk chocolate works well in place of dark chocolate.
  • She bakes her cookies for 12 minutes - if you like an ooey gooey-er texture, go a little less. If you like crispy cookies, go a little longer. 
  • You can leave off the kosher salt at the end, but it is not recommended to skip this step.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Spring Veggie and Potato Frittata

Like most, I love a good frittata. The best part about them is that they are so universal. They can be decadent for breakfast, lunch OR dinner. I have found myself trying a multitude of combinations {really, the possibilities here are endless} and primarily with egg whites and primarily during the evening hours. They are just so easy to make, and not all that time consuming for when I get home from work. 

I came across this recipe that is whole eggs - next time I might go half and half - and a lovely mix of red bliss potatoes, crunchy asparagus and lots of cheese. Again, next time I might skip some of the cheese to make it a bit healthier. Whatever way you dice it, this frittata is going on the "make again" list. 

Recipe of the day
Adapted from 
8 large eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Salt + pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium red bliss potatoes, diced (1/2-inch pieces)
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal (1-inch pieces)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces shredded Cheddar (almost a whole bag)

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, grated cheese, and spices. 
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potato and a bit of salt and cook appx, 6 to 7 minutes, until the potato starts to brown. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. 
  3. Reduce the heat to medium {and if the pan is dry, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil}. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it softens and begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the asparagus, garlic, and more S+P. Cook, stirring frequently, until the asparagus is bright green and crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. 
  4. Lower the heat to medium low and add the egg mixture, potatoes, and cheddar cheese and stir to combine. Cook without stirring until the eggs have almost set, 10 to 12 minutes {the sides should be set, although the center may still be runny} 
  5. Transfer the skillet to the broiler and broil on high until the eggs have set completely and the top of the frittata is golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes. 
  6. Let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into wedges, and serve.
Notes {to make it more waistline friendly}:
  • Try using 4 whole eggs + 6 egg whites
  • Swap half {or all of} your Parmigiano Reggiano with RF grated Parm
  • Add in more veggies, or serve with a small side salad
Get the original recipe by clicking here.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Amazing Chicken and Spinach "Orzotto"

Ok. So on a Wednesday night, when you haven't gone to the grocery store, what does one make for dinner? I asked the ever knowledgeable Erin McgP what she could suggest and she said that she has a recipe that her family is obsessed with. Found it on Pinterest {of course} and it's so easy to manipulate and delightful. 

It was super easy actually. And ready in a total of like 25 minutes {which let's face it, is ideal for a week night supper}. I also doubled it so it took a little longer. But OMG this is like the most tasty combination of risotto and rice pilaf and creamy cheesy chicken-y goodness. Probably not the most healthy creation I've ever made, but not the worst either. When I make this again, I will try to cut down on some of the parm, but then I think it would be less creamy unless you didn't let all the liquid absorb completely. Hmm. I also added onions, mushrooms and shredded rotisserie chicken per Erin's suggestion. 

Chicken and Spinach "Orzotto"
adapted from Life Tastes Good
{I doubled the recipe, so please keep that in mind with the quantities below}

Appx 3 tablespoons EVOO, divided (for the orzo and veggies)
2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
29 ounces of water
4 teaspoons chicken bouillon
3-4 cloves freshly minced garlic
1 (10 oz) bag of baby spinach
1 pkg sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/4 medium white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I split half and half with RF Kraft brand, and a real Parm/Regg mix)
Shredded chicken (I bought a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and used probably 90% of the breast meat, no skin, and not the legs/wings)
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large pot, heat a bit of olive oil over medium high heat and add the orzo. Stir until lightly browned. 
  2. Stir in water and chicken base and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the orzo is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  3. While the orzo is cooking, prepare the vegetables. In a medium skillet, heat remaining oil. Add the garlic, onion and mushrooms, and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the whole bag of spinach and a pinch of salt and cook down until spinach is wilted. Set aside. 
  4. When orzo is done add the veggies, shredded chicken and cheese and mix well. Adjust the seasonings as needed, but you probably won't need to add much- the parm will add some saltiness, so don't go overboard! 
Trust me... you will LOVE this. And the possibilities are absolutely endless with what you can add in. Enjoy! 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Skinny Beer Cheese Soup

I don't think I know anyone that doesn't let out a little moan upon the mention of Cheddar Ale soup. The smokiness, that hint of hops, the sharp cheddar bite all swirled into a creamy, cheesy soup - that is definitely not on the "lighter fare" menu. 

Luckily, there is hope out there for those of us who dream of the soup, but know that the mere thought of downing a bowl of it would add 5 lbs to our hips. I came across a recipe in my Daily Buzz email that peaked my interest. It's not soup season per se, but I can't wait to make this, and just can't contain my excitement to wait to share. 

The Recipe
Skinny Beer Cheese Soup
Recipe is courtesy of The Two Bite Club

4 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth, divided
1 1/4 cups potato, peeled and cubed
2 tsp butter
1/2 cup each of onion, celery, and carrots, all finely diced {Tidbit: this mixture is called mirepoix}
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cups 1% milk
5 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp each S+P
12 oz beer

  1. In a small saucepan, simmer 2 cups of chicken broth and the potato for 15 minutes or until the potato is tender.  Transfer the potato mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. *Note* you should remove the center piece of the top so that the steam can escape. You can use a dish towel to avoid splatter.  Set the blended mixture aside.
  2. In a large dutch oven, melt the butter oven medium heat.  Add the mirepoix to the pan and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining broth, and milk. Add this to the dutch oven and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk.  
  4. Add the potato mixture, shredded cheese, dry mustard, Worcestershire, S+P to the soup.  Stir constantly for one more minute (until the cheese melts).  
  5. Add the beer to the soup and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes.
Nutritional Info:
>> This recipe has appx 200 calories in a 1 cup serving. 

Laugh much,

cook often,

and always 

wear stilettos