Thursday, December 31, 2015

Snacks and Such for a Wicked Good NYE

Happy New Year's Eve!  

I am still plugging away at the office for a few more hours before I have a few days off. If you do have today off though I thought you might be interested in a few additions to your evening plans.  These additions of course have to do with food. We aren't big party goers but we do like to snack.  Think movies, snacks and a whole bunch of blankets to snuggle under all evening long.  

Here is a quick round up of some of our favorite snacks, dips and appetizers! After going through these recipes I am super hungry and ready to snack all night long.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Super Easy Cheesy Queso Dip

French Onion Dip

Baked Feta

Pulled Pork Nachos

Twice Baked Loaded Potatoes

Browned Butter Snack Mix

Cheddar Ale Dip

Pizza Dip

Baked Brie

Crescent Roll Pinwheels

Jalapeno Popper Pockets 

Caprese Garlic Bread

Cheesy Pull Apart Bread

Spinach Pull Apart Bread

Corn Dog Bites

 Hot Wings

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Every Day Chocolate Chip Cookies

The year is almost done. I cannot believe it, a statement that has been pretty consistent since Olivia has been born. This year has flown by.  Things have happened. So many things and yet here we are as if I blinked and the year flew by my eyes. 

Most people nowadays are planning the future. Thinking of what things they hope to accomplish in the year ahead. I am here thinking about cherishing today.  Maybe tomorrow. 

Most people are also probably looking to make their lives a bit more healthy. I could be posting salad recipes for you all but instead I have cookies. #sorryiamnotsorry

These are chocolate chip cookies. But they are really good chocolate chip cookies. AND they are really easy. Super easy. Easy enough to make every day. Not that you should. But you could.

All of the ingredients for these cookies you should have in your pantry. They don't take any refrigerating of the dough. Heck you don't even have to soften the butter. Just pop it in the microwave to melt and you are good to go. 

Too be honest they are almost too simple and easy and QUICK. You could go from a cookie craving to a whole batch of baked cookies in under 30 minutes.  Talk about self indulgence. 

So think about today and these cookies. Bake some up and enjoy!

Everyday Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: bake cookie
Ingredients (12 cookies)
  • 8 tablespoons of salted butter
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter until just liquid, around 30 seconds. You can take the butter out when there is still a few solid chucks. Gently swish the bowl until it is completely melted.

Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the butter with the sugars until creamy. Add the vanilla and the egg; beat on low speed until just incorporated.

Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until a ball of dough forms.

Add the chocolate chips and incorporate with your hands.

Roll the dough into 12 large dough balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the cookies look puffy and dry and just barely golden. Take them out even if they look like they're not done yet. Let them cool on the pan, as they will continue to cook.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

More cookies. These cookies came about because I really wanted some gingerbread. It is Christmas time after all. But I also wanted some chocolate. You cannot go wrong with chocolate chips. After some back and forth with Mr. J I decided to add all of the classic gingerbread flavors to a chocolate chip cookie recipe to see what would happen.  Happen it did and these masterpieces were born. 

I thought those almond cookies were super good but these gingerbread chocolate chip cookies have won me over and are now a favorite. These are super quick cookies to put together so if you don't think you have enough time trust me you do. You won't regret the extra effort of another cookies once you take a bite. 

Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes per batch
Keywords: bake dessert chocolate Christmas cookie
Ingredients (36 cookies)
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2C granulated sugar
  • 1/2C light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 6 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2C all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2C semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars. With mixer running on low, add in molasses, egg and vanilla. Mix until well combined.

Add dry ingredients. Increase speed as needed until dough comes together. Mix until dough is smooth and no longer has streaks.

Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Use a medium cookie scoop form balls of dough. Space 2-inches apart on a silicone baking mat lined baking sheet.

Bake for 10-11 minutes. Allow cookies to rest on baking sheet for 1 minute prior to transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.
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Monday, December 21, 2015

Almond Toffee Sandies

Cookies, cookies, cookies!  Although I have had limited time to bake this year I was able to make two new cookie recipes in addition to the Italian Ricotta Cookies from last week.

First up are these almond toffee sandies.  These first appeared I think in Taste of Home. I am pretty sure anything in that magazine ends up a winner. These cookies are no exception.  They are chewy and packed full of almond and toffee flavor. 

The recipe makes a ton. Kind of good thing in this case since we ate way too many and had plans to give some away as gifts.  Cookies make for happy neighbors don't you think?  Well we had plenty both for us and for all of our neighbors. 

You know the cookies that you make each and every year at Christmas time because they are just so good. Well these almond toffee sandies just got moved on that list. 

Almond Toffee Sandies

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes per batch
Keywords: bake dessert almond Christmas cookie
Ingredients (96 cookies)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large pastured eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 8 ounce package Heath toffee bits
  • 1 cup whole roasted unsalted almonds
Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix butter and sugar together until smooth, then add eggs and beat until batter is light colored.

Add oil and extracts and mix until well combined.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to mixer while it is running, one cup at a time. until all flour is used and dough is well mixed.

Fold in toffee bits.

Using a cookie scoop, take 1 Tbsp sized dough and roll into a ball. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, about 1 dozen per sheet.

Bake cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Cool on pan 1 minute, then tap almonds down to make sure they adhere while the cookies are still soft.

Cool completely then remove from cookie sheet. Store completely cooled cookies in airtight containers.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Italian Ricotta Cookies

It's cookie time.  I am a bit behind, as with all things this year, but here are the first of several cookie recipes I hope to post before Christmas.  These are new to me and they turned out delicious. Good thing too because they were for something very special. I made these cookies for the annual cookie exchange brought to you by Love and Olive Oil and the Little Kitchen from Lindsay and Julie.

Bloggers all over the country and even countries around the world participate by making and sending cookies to three other participants. Think thousands of cookies.  This event is not just about cookies thought. This cookie chaos is to help raise awareness of kid's cancer and specifically helps  COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.

I hope my cookies brought some smiles to the recipients. And I hope you think about what you can do as a little good cheer this holiday season. 

A special thanks to the three lovely ladies who sent me cookies. They were gobbled up quite quickly by myself and my husband.  'Tis the season for giving and cookies!

Italian Ricotta Cookies

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes per batch
Keywords: bake dessert Christmas cookie
Ingredients (50 cookies)
    For the Cookies:
    • 2 stick (½ pound) butter, softened
    • 1¾ cup granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
    • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    For the glaze:
    • 4-5 tbsp. milk
    • 1½ cups powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp. almond extract
    • Sprinkles
    Preheat oven to 350°F.
    In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, ricotta cheese, and vanilla extract; mix until well combined. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the ricotta mixture; mix well. Roll or scoop the dough into teaspoon-sized balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2-inches apart.
    Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
    In a medium bowl, beat the milk, powdered sugar, and almond extract until smooth. Dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze and set upright back on the wire rack. Immediately top with sprinkles. Repeat for remaining cookies.

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    The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015

    Friday, December 11, 2015

    Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

    Have you begun your Christmas countdown? It is coming up fast. Way TOO fast.  I thought I had my lists all ready and was super organized. 


    I feel like I need another month. That seems unlikely so I guess I will just have to go with what comes before the 25th.  

    We did get our Christmas tree last weekend. We prioritized and the Christmas tree won out over the bathrooms. Can you blame me?

    Isn't she pretty?

    Ok today I have a breakfast for you.  More baked oatmeal. Because it is easy and yummy. Hello breakfast all made and ready!

    Did I mention we dealt with two ear infections, pink eye, and my first over night trip away last week?  Now you know why I need breakfast that is all ready to go before morning actually comes. 

    Arg! Babies. They are so cute and can be so tough at times. 

    And now for the recipe!

    Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Keywords: bake breakfast oatmeal pumpkin
    Ingredients (serves 6)
    • 2 cups rolled oats
    • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
    • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
    • 1 large egg
    • 3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled to room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 square baking dish and set aside.

    In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.

    In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk, pumpkin, maple syrup, egg, butter, and vanilla extract.

    Mix the milk mixture with the dry oats mixture and stir until combined. Pour oat mixture into prepared baking dish.

    Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden and oatmeal is set. Let cool for 5 minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve warm.

    Leftovers should be refrigerated. This recipe works great reheated in the microwave with a bit of additional milk.
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    Monday, November 30, 2015

    Sweet Potato Pie #secretrecipeclub #srcholidaytreats

    Oh my goodness! Can you believe it will be December tomorrow?  I just cannot get over how fast time is flying by. This year in particular seems to have disappeared before my eyes.  Thanksgiving has come and gone and now it is time for all things Christmas, including my personal favorite, the season of baking. 

    I have all sorts of favorite treats that are a must each holiday season. I make them every year, sometimes twice. Of course each year I have to try a few new treats as well. Thus I jumped at the chance when the Secret Recipe Club decided to do an extra post this month of #srcholidaytreats

    With the themed reveal post I got matched up Sue at A Palatable Pastime. Sue is normally part of my Group D for Secret Recipe Club but we haven't had each other yet. I would be lucky to get paired with her as there are tons of recipes on her site and they all look so good. My mouth was watering over all of her Thanksgiving recipe posts this year. Hello side dishes!!

    I was on the hunt for cookies when I spied her Sweet Potato Pie. I couldn't resist. I love sweet potatoes and sweet potato pie has been on my to do list for years. This was the perfect time to whip one up. The recipe was super simple to up together, the longest part was cooking up the sweet potatoes. The pie came out delicious of all things cinnamon and spice and was creamy thanks to the addition of evaporated milk. I probably cannot convince the family to replace our pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving tradition with this one but I know it will be making an appearance again. 

    Now if the sweet potato pie didn't do it for you, there are always her cookies. Here is her Pinterest cookie page.  So many yummy options; I want to make these Almond Toffee Sandies too. 

    Sweet Potato Pie

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Keywords: bake dessert sweet potato Thanksgiving Christmas pie fall
    Ingredients (serves 8)
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 2 large organic pastured eggs, lightly beaten
    • 2 cups baked mashed sweet potatoes
    • 12 fluid ounces evaporated milk
    • 1 unbaked pie crust
    Prepare sweet potatoes ahead: bake at 375º F for 75 minutes wrapped in foil, then allow to cool, peel, and mash with a potato masher or fork.

    Preheat oven to 425ºF. with an oven-proof glass baking dish or pie pan or ramekin with water on a shelf lower than where you will put the pie.

    Fit pie crust into a deep dish glass pie plate and flute edges.

    Whisk together the sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

    Whisk in the beaten eggs and mashed sweet potatoes.

    Gradually stir in the evaporated milk until filling is smooth.

    Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350ºF and continue baking for another 40-50 minutes or until a knife can be slipped in and out of the pie center without wet filling clinging to it.

    Cool pie completely before slicing and serving.

    Serve with whipped cream as desired; refrigerate unused pie portions, covered with plastic wrap.
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    Monday, November 23, 2015

    Mozzarella Cheese Cutlets #secretrecipeclub

    This weekend was wonderful. It has been a really long time since we didn't have a list of to dos for the house, or people visiting. We enjoy our house projects and all of our visitors but I almost forgot what it was like to just be and enjoy "us". 

    One of the things we do so well together is cook and this weekend we did just that. It was a bit more complicated with the baby around but she was our little helper in the kitchen. Our joint effort were these mozzarella cheese cutlets for this month's Secret Recipe Club posting. The recipe came from Shirley at Enriching your Kid.

    I was tempted by the banana Nutella bread pudding but when I mentioned fried cheese to my husband there was no turning back. Shirley has tons very flavorful recipes as well as baby recipes. I am just waiting for Miss O to be able to eat more foods, and not mush.

    We followed the recipe exactly minus a little cumin. Mr. J is not a huge fan of cumin. We knocked the amount to 1/2 tsp. We also made this a full meal by adding a fried egg. The mozzarella cutlets with the egg and pasta sauce totally hit the spot. It was warm and gooey with the cheese and egg yolk.  We were filled up so much at lunch we skipped dinner. Well, almost, I did have a few snacks later in the evening. 

    We decided shortly after finishing our meal that this recipe should be adding to our regular rotation. It was a great first start in getting back into our kitchen groove.

    Mozzarella Cheese Cutlets

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Keywords: fry appetizer cheese
    • 3 Tbsp grated mozzarella cheese
    • 3 potatoes
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
    • 1/2 tsp oregano
    • 1tsp cumin
    • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
    • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander
    • salt to taste
    • bread crumbs to cover cutlets
    • Oil for frying
    Wash clean the potatoes and peel. Cut them into quarters and boil until soft, about 15 minutes.

    Cool the potatoes enough to handle and mash with a fork or potato masher.

    Add the grated mozzarella cheese, herbs and salt. Mix well until combined.

    Roll into balls and form into cutlets or round patties.

    Roll the cutlets into the semolina or bread crumbs and press it in.

    Heat a medium skillet with a small amount of vegetable oil (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan). Fry each of the patties until brown, about 3 minutes per side.

    Serve hot with red tomato sauce if desired.
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