Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Food: Mocha Chip Cookies

More cookies. Hmmm...maybe it's time for me to admit that I have more recipes for sweets than I do for anything good for you. This recipe is from my favorite cookie cookbook from Mrs. Fields. All the recipes I've tried from that cookbook have been yummy and yummier than other recipes I may have tried for similar cookies. For you coffee lovers out there, these have a slight coffee flavor and a jolt of caffeine if you don't use decaf. Enjoy!

Mocha Chip Cookies

2 tsp instant coffee crystals
2 tsp Kahlua
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a small bowl, dissolve coffee crystals in Kahlua and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix butter and sugars to form grainy paste. Add eggs and dissolved coffee crystals and mix until smooth.
Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 23-25 minutes. Immediately transfer cookies to wire racks.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Food: O Henry Bars

I was looking for something quick, easy, and sweet to make the other day and was browsing through my recipe box. I found my grandmother's recipe for O Henry Bars, but it was a microwave recipe and I'm opposed to doing anything more than warming up food in the microwave so I looked for another recipe. This one comes from an old fire department cookbook from where I grew up and is pretty similar to my grandmother's, but uses a real oven. These were pretty popular when I was a child, but I haven't had an O Henry Bar in years.

I questioned the name, because one recipe I found said "Oh Henry" (as in "Oh, Henry, these bars are just wonderful!") and others said "O Henry" (as in the writer?). You also may remember the "Oh Henry!" candy bar, which had chocolate, peanuts, caramel, and fudge - and doesn't seem to resemble this recipe. I quick Google search shed no light on the name and actually caused more confusion. My advice? Eat, don't question. Enjoy!

O Henry Bars

2/3 cup butter
4 cups quick rolled oats
3 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter

Cream butter with brown sugar. Add rolled oats and corn syrup. Stir in vanilla. Blend well and press firmly into a greased 9x13" pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in microwave. Spread on bars..
Place in refrigerator to cool and harden. Cut into bars. Best kept cool.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Food: Gingered Chicken Dinner

The rumors aren't true! I don't always make sweets! Here's a tasty chicken dinner for 2 that requires a bit of forethought because you have to begin marinating the chicken the day before. I didn't have that forethought and started marinating in the morning and it was still good though the flavor would have probably been a bit more intense had it had more time in the marinade.

Also be sure to use instant rice! If you use any other kind, you'll have hard little pellets in your dinner that will never cook through. Take it from previous experience. If you don't have instant rice on hand (I didn't), cook the rice beforehand with some of the leftover marinade and add the cooked rice to the dish before you put it in the oven.

I'll try this recipe again and actually follow the directions next time, but it was good even with my substitutions. I expect it to be even better with the longer marination time and cooking the instant rice in the dish. This recipe came from an old Taste of Home magazine.

Gingered Chicken Dinner

1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/4 soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 oz each)
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed

In a bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Pour half into a large resealable plastic bag; add the chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate overnight. Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade.
Drain and discard marinade from chicken. In a small skillet over medium heat, brown chicken in butter for 2-3 minutes on each side. In a greased 8-inch square baking dish, combine rice with reserved marinade; top with chicken.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Top with broccoli; cover and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until chicken juices run clear.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Food: Carrot Souffle

What to do with the leftover carrots after making Raisin Carrot Muffins? Why make a carrot souffle! This recipe is adapted from Prevention Magazine, based on the ingredients I had on hand. It's tasty and good for you!

Carrot Souffle

2 lbs carrots, cut into 1/4" thick rounds
1 cup milk
1 cup saltine or Ritz cracker crumbs (about 25 crackers)
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup minced onion
1 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 large eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2 to 2.5 quart shallow casserole dish.
Bring water to a boil. Add carrots, reduce heat, and simmer until carrots are very tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.
Drain carrots and transfer to food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in milk, cracker crumbs, cheese, onion, butter, cayenne or chili powder, salt, and pepper.
Beat eggs in large bowl until foamy. Fold into carrot mixture. Bake in prepared dish until puffed and light golden brown, about 40 minutes.
Serve warm.