Tag Archives: bake

Chocolate Gooey Marshmallow Cookies

Hey everyone. Hope you are all having a great weekend. Mine has been both relaxing and fun. Alex got tickets to the bulls game from work on Friday night. Last minute sporting event? I’m in! It was a great game and a bulls win! Love my Chicago sports.

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Saturday was spent being lazy around the house for the most part. I did go shopping with my sister and out for lunch. It was absolutely beautiful outside and we had wanted to get our first Black Dog Gelato of the year but they didn’t open until 2pm and it was only noon. Instead we went to a fabulous little boutique to look for bridal shower and rehearsal dinner dresses. This place is awesome and I left with two beautiful dresses. I cannot wait to wear them. Since we didn’t get our gelato, Amanda and I went next door to Frasca for a pizza and skillet cookie out on their patio. It is so nice to see the outdoor seating areas open. Everywhere was packed outside.

Today was spent cleaning up the house. I am in full out spring cleaning mode. Our front door/steps area was driving me insane. There were pine needles from our Christmas tree, sand from last summer, and leaves everywhere. Not to mention all the dirt, salt and everything else dragged in all winter long. This area is cut off from the rest of our apartment so it was easy to ignore by closing our inside front door but with the nice weather today I wanted to tackle this problem. I swept all the way down then hand scrubbed each of the steps to get off all the grossness. It is amazing how different it looks. I should have taken a before and after picture! Alex helped me clean up the inside of the house. There is nothing better than starting the week with a nice clean house.

To celebrate the nice weather and our hard work cleaning (aka I was looking for an excuse), I decided to make some cookies. I love anything chocolate and marshmallows are currently my obsession. I was perusing pinterest and found a recipe for rocky road cookies. It sounded good but I didn’t love the recipe so I made my own. I have these delicious cookies to share with you today. I could not wait to share this recipe with you. They are chocolately, gooey, soft, delicious. I could keep going but I won’t. Feel free to adapt to what you have. Add peanut butter chips instead of chocolate. Don’t have one of the nuts, use what you have! Don’t like nuts? Leave them out. Don’t leave out the marshmallows though. They make this cookie what it is. They melt down into almost a burnt caramel flavor and stay gooey at the same time. Just try it.

I started by creaming 2 sticks of butter, 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar in my stand mixer. Then the eggs were added one by one and the vanilla extract with the second egg.

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Then I whisked together 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour with 1 tsp each of baking powder and baking soda and 1/2 cup cocoa powder. This was gradually added to my butter mixture until combined. Note that this dough is very sticky and takes a bit of effort to combine well. Once the flour is all in, mix in 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup nuts (I used almonds and walnuts), and 1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows. I mixed this with my hands because it wouldn’t incorporate well with the mixer.

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Then I rolled the dough into about 2 Tbsp balls or about the size of a ping pong ball. Make them bigger or smaller as you would like. These do not spread out a lot in the oven so you can put them relatively close together.

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Bake for 13 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let sit on the cookie sheets for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

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Chocolate Gooey Marshmallow Cookies (Makes ~3 dozen cookies)

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or sub all purpose flour)

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 sticks salted butter

1/2 cup granulate white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts (i used almonds and walnuts)

1 1/4 cup mini marshmallows

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream room temperature butter and both sugars together

2. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating well before adding the second. Add the vanilla extract

3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa powder.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter, mixing well to combine.

5. Once all the flour is combined, add in the chocolate chips, nuts, and marshmallows. Mix together.

6. Roll into 2 Tbsp balls (about the size of a ping pong ball)

7. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake for 13-14 minutes

8. Remove from oven, let sit for 2-3 minutes before moving the cooling racks to cool completely.

9 Store in an airtight container. Or eat them all right away. Sharing with friends is optional

I hope you all enjoy these cookies as much and Alex and I did. We could not stop eating them fresh out of the oven. Some are getting sent with him to work tomorrow to get them out of the house. Let me know what you think when you make the cookies.

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Beer Braised Chicken and Pumpkin Muffins

Yeah looking at that title I might run the other way. They don’t sound like they would go well together but that’s okay because they weren’t for the same meal time!

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Yesterday my co-worker Kelly and I are were charge of snack for our monthly staff meeting. I have been dying to break into a can of pumpkin and offered to make some pumpkin walnut muffins. Kelly put together some caramel dipped apple slices. Obviously we went for a bit of a fall theme here. The muffins were a huge hit and my co-workers couldn’t believe I had just “thrown them together” without a real recipe. Lucky for you guys I wrote down the recipe as I went.

For dinner, I threw together an extremely easy make it and leave it dish. Beer braised chicken thighs. Aldi had chicken thighs on sale and I picked some up because I was there for there all things pumpkin sale. This was another sort of tag-team dinner as I went to yoga with my sister. I prepped everything and cooked it all so all Alex had to do when he got home from his run was turn off the stove and he could eat whenever he wished. He was a great fiance and waited until I got home from yoga so that we could eat together. Pretty cute of him.

To make the muffins I mixed two types of sugar (granulated and brown sugar) with whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spices in my KitchenAid mixer.

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In a small bowl I mixed 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz), eggs, greek yogurt and vanilla extract

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Then the wet got mixed into the dry and mixed together. Once just combined I added in the walnuts and mixed it together before spooning the mix into the muffin tins. The muffins got baked at 350 for about 30 minutes.

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Pumpkin Walnut Muffins (Makes 26+ muffin depending on how high you fill the tins)

3 C whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 C granulated sugar

1/2 C packed brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp all apice

dash cloves

1 can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 C greek yogurt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Mix first 9 ingredients together until well combined

2. Mix last 4 ingredients together and combine well

3. Mix the wet into the dry until just combined then add in the walnuts. Stir a couple of times to distribute the walnuts

4. Spoon into muffin tins until about 2/3 full.

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes

Nutrition Facts per Muffin: 160 calories, 28 gm carbs, 3 gms fiber, 16 gm sugar, 4 gm protein, 4 gm fat (heart healthy ones!), 4% DV calcium, 6% DV Iron

Expect more pumpkin recipes over the next few months. I have two more cans in my cabinet right now and I would love to get even more! Love me some pumpkin. Also, apologies in advance as Alex and I are sharing a computer right now (his broke) which means less time for me to blog. Hopefully he will have a computer again soon.

What is your favorite way to use pumpkin? Any recipes you want to see this fall?

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Italian Quinoa Stuffed Portabellas

Hi every body. Hope everyone had a great weekend. I had two of my best friends come in to visit this weekend. We hadn’t seen each other since June for Sarah’s wedding and it had been entirely too long. Thanks to both of them for making the drive! I  know it can be a slow, long drive. We spent the weekend eating deliciously salty, not the healthiest food and I personally enjoyed every minute of it. Except now my stomach may hate me. This week my goal is more veggies and less salt which is quite the opposite of this past weekend. Just want to point out all three of us are dietitians. See it is OK to have a splurge every so often. Even we do it! Below is the breakfast Amanda and I split on Sunday. It was a steak and eggs benedict with Parmesan hollandaise. Absolute heaven! Good thing we split it because I was stuffed after only half.

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Since Alex and I moved in together I have implemented a meatless monday dinner rule in our house. It is just a simple way to get more veggies and explore with alternative protein foods. Tonight’s dinner highlighted quinoa, pronounced keen-wah. Though I love the football commercial where they pronounce it Key-no. I die everytime I watch that commercial. ugh kills me. Quinoa is a wonderful grain. It is gluten free, packed with vitamins and minerals, considered an anti-inflammatory food and a complete protein. It is a great alternative to rice or wheat products such as cous cous. I used quinoa to make an Italian stuffing for some mushroom caps. This would be great to scale down to an appetizer size by stuffing it into small button mushroom caps instead of large portabella caps. Just a thought!

I started by putting 1 cup water, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt into a pot and cooking according the the quinoa’s package directions.

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Once it was cooked I mixed in chopped up sun dried tomatoes, basil, olive oil, a little more salt and gave it a mix before adding in some goat cheese. After stirring in the goat cheese well I spooned the mixture into the portabella caps. At this point I covered it with plastic wrap and shoved it in the fridge. I prepped it early while Alex was running because tonight was my first night back at Zumba. Late last week Alex and I joined our local YMCA with my sister and tonight I gave a class a go. I had high expectations as, if you remember, I loved my zumba instructor at my home gym. Unfortunately this class did not live up to my expectations. My search for a new zumba class continues.

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Around 7-715 I had Alex preheat the oven and then throw the mushrooms in for about 15-20 minutes to cook. First tag teamed dinner was a success other than him leaving them in a little long.  A couple of the sun-dried tomatoes got a little burnt but we could pull them off and it was perfect.

We served our mushroom caps with a simple side salad. I am loving on Ranch dressing right now. Cannot get enough. Yum!20131007_194100

According to Alex, this meal was good. Not his favorite Meatless Monday meal but I enjoyed it immensely. I could have eaten another one but wanted to save room for some pumpkin ice cream which I am savoring slowly as I write. MMMM to all things pumpkin.

Italian Quinoa Stuffed Portbelaas (serves 4-5)

5 portabello caps (I grabbed two packages at TJs)

1/2 C dry quinoa

1 C water

1/2 tsp garlic powder

pinch red pepper flakes and salt

1/2 C chopped sun dried tomatoes

2 Tbsp thinly sliced basil leaves

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2-3 ounces goat cheese (crumbles would work better than a log like I used)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine water, quinoa, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and salt in a small pot. Cook according to quinoa package directions

2. Once quinoa is cooked, add in sun dried tomatoes, olive oil and basil. Stir well to combine.

3. Add in goat cheese and mix well.

4. Spoon mixture into the mushroom caps

5. Bake 15-20 minutes until the quinoa mixture is heated through and portabellas are warm and soft.

What is your favorite way to stuff mushrooms?

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Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Happy Easter!

Hello everyone, long hiatus again. I got hit with some serious writer’s block,  lack of inspiration in the kitchen and gym and just plain old busy schedule the past few weeks. But, I am now on a four day weekend which means time to refocus and get back in the kitchen. My little break started Friday and I spent it over at my Grandma’s house with my cousin Sara making cake for Easter.

Sara and I make a cake every year. Usually, it is a bunny cake that we make different colors but we decided to make a carrot cake this year. We are decorating it on today as an Easter egg hunt. I’ll make sure to get a picture and put it up here to see. It looks cool so far and it’s only frosted white with a green hill up on top.

The recipe that I have for you today is from a week ago. I had some inspiration in my kitchen but then couldn’t write the post. I think I am back on track with my mindset. I’ve been seeing some recipes like this around Pinterest. Growing up, I loved cheesy chicken casserole with rice or some kind of pasta. The gooey cheese wrapped around the pasta screamed comfort to me. I wanted to make a more healthy, veggie-filled, low carbohydrate (for mom and dad) version of that childhood memory. Thus my cheesy chicken spaghetti squash casserole was born.

It was a little runny when I made it because I forgot a step but I’m adding it here so you don’t run into the same problem. It thickened up when I reheated the leftovers but the first day was a little too runny. But, still tasted awesome. We were all going back for more.

I took my spaghetti squash and cooked it how I showed in this post. You want to do this ahead of the rest to give it time to drain. Set the cooked spaghetti squash noodles in a colander over the sink or a bowl and let it drain off for 10-20 minutes. This will help decrease the amount of liquid in the baking dish and cause a more firm, held together casserole.

Once the spaghetti squash is set to drain. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Take diced zucchini, onion, and garlic and sprinkle with oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Diced chicken and season with the same 4 seasonings also. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over med-high heat. Once heated, add the chicken and veggies. Cook 7-10 minutes until the chicken is browned and the veggies are soft.20130323_164729

Next, mix the chicken and veggie mixture with the spaghetti squash. Try and keep most of the cooking liquid out of the mixture. I used a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken and veggies into a bowl with the spaghetti squash. Give it a good mix until all is incorporated. Add in half the cheese and stir well. Pour into a casserole/baking dish. I used one of my mom’s which she got for Christmas this past year. Isn’t it pretty?20130323_171146

Then top the casserole with more cheese and pop it into the oven for 30-35 minutes. I let mine go the 35 because it had too much moisture in the dish and I wanted to evaporate some of it.

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Let it sit 5 minutes to let everything settle and serve in bowls or on plates. Enjoy your slightly less sinful cheesy chicken casserole.20130323_174507

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole (Serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

1 large spaghetti squash, baked and set aside to drain

2 medium zucchini, diced

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb chicken breasts, diced

oregano, basil, salt and pepper

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

2-3 cups cheddar cheese

1. Cook spaghetti squash, scrape out with a fork and set aside in a colander to drain

2. Preheat oven to 350 F

3. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat

4. Season chicken, zucchini and onion with oregano, basil, salt and pepper

5. Saute chicken, zucchini, onion and garlic for 5-10 minutes until soft

6. Combine chicken and veggies in a large bowl with the spaghetti squash. Taste and add more seasoning as needed

7. Mix in half of the cheddar cheese and pour into a large casserole/baking dish and top with the rest of the cheese

8. Cook 30-35 minutes until cheesy is bubbly on top

9. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving

Enjoy!

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