Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Drops

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Chocolate. I can never seem to have enough of it in my house. And now that Easter is right around the corner, it's even more of a problem. Those little Reese's peanut butter eggs don't stand a chance. I'm secretly hoping the Easter bunny forgets and gives Bradley some chocolate in his basket. Since he can't eat it yet, there's only one possible solution to get rid of it all. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it...
If you want to make a delicious chocolate dessert for your guests, these little chocolate drops are a perfect treat. These cake-like cookies aren't too overbearingly sweet (not that anything would be wrong with that), but offer just enough sweetness so that even my meat-and-potatoes-lover husband enjoyed them. The chocolate frosting is the icing on the cake (literally). Serve with a tall glass of milk, and your day will be made. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 pkg. (4 oz.) Baker's unsweetened chocolate
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tub (4 oz.) light Cool Whip whipped topping
  • 3 squares (3 oz.) Baker's semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
Microwave unsweetened chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high for 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add sugar; mix well. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour; mix well. Refrigerate 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 8-10 min. or just until set. (Do not overbake.) Cool on baking sheet 1 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

Microwave Cool Whip and semi-sweet chocolate in microwaveable bowl on high for 1-1/2 min. or until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 1 min. Let stand 15 minutes to thicken. Spread over cookies. Let stand until glaze is firm.


Source: Adapted from Kraft

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

{Tiny Tot Tuesdays} Homemade Organic Baby Green Beans

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I have a fun little post coming up for next week's Tiny Tot Tuesdays post, and it's regarding these green beans, so stay tuned for that! 

In the meantime, here's the super quick and easy recipe to make some green bean puree for your baby. Hopefully your child loves these as much as Bradley does. Green beans are a great source of Vitamin K, which helps the blood clot. It's very essential for growing babies, especially for when they start crawling and walking! You have to make sure those inevitable boo-boos get healed as quickly as possible! Can you tell he loved them?

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
Makes 12 servings

  • 12 oz. organic green beans
  • Purified water
Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Snap the ends off of the green beans. Rinse the green beans under cold water.

Add the green beans to the water and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until tender.

Drain green beans and add to a food processor. Add a couple tablespoons of purified water and process until smooth. Add more water, if necessary, to get to your desired consistency.

Allow to cool then serve to your baby with a spoon. I recommend adding some breast milk or formula to the pureed green beans as well...this thins out the green beans and adds a flavor they already know and enjoy.

If saving for a later date, pour it into storage cups to freeze or refrigerate. You can refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze for 30 days. Make sure you label your green beans! Once you are ready to serve, heat the refrigerated or frozen green beans up in the microwave and allow to cool to just warmer than room temperature. Add breast milk or formula to thin it out.

*Consult with your pediatrician before feeding your baby solid foods and to see what amount/type of food you should give your child.

Source: SK Original

Monday, April 14, 2014

Scallops Provencal

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Chris had his doubts when I told him I was making scallops for dinner. HE is the scallop cooker in the family, after all, so I had big shoes to fill. I think I pulled it off, though. I mean, judging by the fact that there were no leftovers is a good sign, right?
I loved this sauce. Dredging the scallops in flour gives them a nice crust, but it also helps to thicken the wine sauce. Shallots and parsley are a light and flavorful pairing that really bring the dish to life. By squeezing a little lemon juice on these before serving, it freshens up the plate and will make you want to devour every last scallop. And don't forget to pour yourself a glass of that leftover wine. Might as well not let it go to waste...

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh bay or sea scallops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup (2 large) shallots, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
If you're using bay scallops, keep them whole. If you're using sea scallops, cut each 1 in half horizontally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss with flour, and shake off the excess.

In a very large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over high heat until sizzling and add the scallops in 1 layer. Lower the heat to medium and allow the scallops to brown lightly on 1 side without moving them, then turn and brown lightly on the other side. This should take 3 to 4 minutes, total. Melt the rest of the butter in the pan with the scallops, then add the shallots, garlic, and parsley and saute for 2 more minutes, tossing the seasonings with the scallops. Add the wine, cook for 1 minute, and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Source: Adapted from Food Network

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mexican Rice

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Even when I make something using store-bought mix, like tacos, I still like to make at least one homemade item for the table. So a few weeks ago when I made tacos for girls' night, I decided to make some homemade Mexican Rice. I've always, always loved Mexican rice. There's something about the chunks of tomatoes and the spiciness that draws me to it. 
It was extremely easy and didn't take all my attention away from my guests. That's always preferred when my friends are over since I'd rather be talking (and sipping wine) instead of being locked down in the kitchen. I was so pleasantly surprised with the end result and I know I will be making this again for future taco nights. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. light butter
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14 1/2-oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the rice, onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook until the rice is browned and vegetables are tender.

Stir in the water, tomatoes, chili powder, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender, about 15 to 17 minutes.


Source: Adapted from Paula Deen