Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Easy Egg Foo Yong

One of my favorite things to order at a Chinese restaurant is egg foo yong.....mostly because I love the savory brown sauce that goes all over the top. I first came across this recipe back in 2008 and loved how easy it came together with only a few ingredients. It is a unique change to your usual weeknight meal and goes along nicely with a side of fried rice or Asian veggies. You can also adapt this recipe to your families likes by using cooked chicken or pork instead of the shrimp. 
Easy Egg Foo Yong

6 eggs slightly beaten
1 (4 oz) can shrimp, drained (or 1 cup cooked meat of your choice)
1/2 cup celery, sliced fine
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
cooking spray
Combine eggs, shrimp, celery, green onion, sugar, soy sauce and cornstarch in a bowl.  Lightly coat a skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add egg mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, and fry like small pancakes.  Brown slightly on both sides, until egg is cooked. Keep warm in covered dish while cooking remaining egg mixture. 

2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons cornstarch 
1 cup water
To make the sauce: combine soy sauce, cornstarch and 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk together and cook until boiling, adding more water if needed; sauce should be smooth and slightly thick.  
(Sometimes I double the sauce recipe.)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Cranberry Orange Cookies

Everyone knows that this time of year (between Thanksgiving and Christmas) the magic of cookie making and treat baking goes up a notch! I can never be satisfied to make the same ol cookies every year....although my kids wouldn't mind. I'm always looking for something more unique...but still easy to make! I'm excited to share that I found my new favorite holiday cookie!!! (for this season... ha ha) This recipe perfectly blends the tartness of cranberries with the sweetness of fresh oranges and sugar. I was in such a hurry to make these yummy cookies that I forgot to take a picture of the ingredients. All the basics of a buttery sugar cookie with the addition of dried cranberries and two oranges. Next time I will double the recipe so there will be extra to share with friends!
Cranberry Orange Cookies

Sugar Mixture:
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel 

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all sugar mixture ingredients in small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, butter and egg. Beat until creamy. Reduce speed and add flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Beat until well mixed.  Add cranberries and 1 tbsp orange peel and beat until combined.  Shape cookies into one inch balls and roll in sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 7-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. (it took 9 minutes in my oven) Do not over bake.  Cool 1 minute and then remove from cookie sheet. 
Note: I dusted some of the extra orange sugar mixture on top of the "just baked" cookies while they were cooling. YUM!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Baked Ravioli Casserole

Everyone loves an easy weeknight meal recipe. I've seen several version of this recipe floating around Pinterest which consisted of just two ingredients.... marinara sauce and frozen ravioli. I decided to kick it up a notch with the addition of cooked mild Italian sausage and of course lots and lots of shredded Mozzarella cheese!!!! My family absolutely loved this Italian cheesy casserole and we will definitely make it again!!!
Baked Ravioli Casserole

1  (1 lb.)package Mild Italian Sausage (or use 1 lb. ground hamburger meat)
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1  (22 oz.) package frozen cheese ravioli
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese (or use more if you like...I used closer to 4 cups total)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium skillet, cook the Italian sausage until done (no longer pink). Stir in the entire jar of marinara sauce with the sausage. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with baking spray. Spread half of the marinara meat sauce on bottom of baking pan. Layer with half of the frozen ravioli and half of the mozzarella cheese. Layer the other half of the frozen ravioli, remaining marinara meat sauce and then top with as much shredded mozzarella cheese as you like! Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. 
NOTES: You could also add dollops of ricotta to this casserole or even a layer of cottage cheese. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Bites

FINALLY my favorite time of year is here.....FALL!!!! (Of course I may be a little partial since my birthday is on Halloween.) So excited for cooler weather, football games and everything pumpkin!!! I've seen this recipe floating around on Pinterest and just knew that I would love it. I adapted the original recipe from using a regular sized muffin pan to a mini-muffin pan. If you don't have a mini-muffin pan then you are missing out.....go buy 2 of them right now! There is less guilt when you pop a bite sized dessert into your mouth......right??? It combines the simple flavors of pumpkin pie without the mess of making a pie crust. Plus these tiny treats make it easy to enjoy a bite of pumpkin whenever you want! 
Pumpkin Pie Bites
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup evaporated milk (or any type of milk)
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray nonstick cooking spray on a mini-muffin tin pan. In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and milk.  Add the flour, pumpkin spice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to the mixture and stir until all ingredients are combined. Fill each mini-muffin cup 2/3's full. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool pumpkin pie bites in the pan for 10 minutes; remove from pan and keep refrigerated. Top with whipped cream (or cream cheese frosting) and a dash of pumpkin pie spice whenever you are ready to enjoy a great fall dessert!!!

Note: This recipe made 45 mini pumpkin bites. 
recipe adapted from The Krazy Coupon Lady

Friday, July 3, 2015

Homemade Flour Tortillas

I just had to share this recipe that I recently found for homemade flour tortillas. My husband and I have made many batches of tortillas over the years.....but we typically use his Dad's recipe that creates a corn tortilla (using corn meal).  I've always wanted to find a version that used flour which would be similar to the type of tortilla that you could buy at the grocery store.  This recipe is a keeper because it consists of basic ingredients that you would typically have in your kitchen. You only need to remember to start the batch of dough at least an hour before you cook the tortillas. The tortillas held together perfectly as we loaded them up with taco meat & toppings. The taste was great and the whole family loved how soft and fresh the tortillas were.  I will definitely be making them again the next time we crave Mexican food!!!
Homemade Flour Tortillas

3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
4 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a measuring cup, measure the 1 cup of hot water and then add the oil. Pour the oil/water mixture all at once into the bowl of dry ingredients.  Stir together with a fork until well incorporated. Using your hands, knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth (only about 10-15 strokes.) Divide the dough into 10-12 equal size small balls and place on a baking sheet. Cover the dough balls with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let them sit for at least 30 minutes.  To form the tortillas, roll out each ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin until very thin (about 1/8").  They should be between 6" and 8" in diameter.  Preheat electric skillet or frying pan to between 350 degrees to 375 degrees. Place tortillas on skillet and allow to cook for 1 minute. Turn the tortilla over and cook on the other side for another minute. (Bubbles will start to form which is normal).  Stack the freshly cooked tortillas on a plate under a clean kitchen towel to keep them soft and warm until you are ready to eat. Keep the leftovers in a zipper seal bag and store at room temperature. The tortillas will keep for a couple of days. 

*Note: The recipe makes 10 -12 tortillas. I doubled the recipe so that we would have leftovers for the next day. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lemon Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats are a favorite around this house.....just as they have been popular in all homes with kids for many years! Since I can make the recipe practically in my sleep, I'm always eager to try something different. I discovered several versions for "lemon" flavored treats on Pinterest and had to try it. This recipe only takes a few more steps to achieve the extra lemon kick....but the extra time is worth it! Especially if you love lemon like we do! I promise that you can't stop at one! 
Lemon Rice Krispie Treats

4 tablespoons butter
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 and 1/2 bags of mini-marshmallows (10 oz bags)
2/3 cup Lemon cake mix
6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal

Prepare a 9 x 13 inch pan with shortening or Pam spray; set aside.  In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice and marshmallows; stir until completely melted. Slowly stir in the dry cake mix. Remove from heat and mix in the cereal.  Then pour into the prepared pan and spread out evenly. Let set for at least 30 minutes and then enjoy!!!

note* I added another heaping 1 cup of mini-marshmallows to the mixture just before spreading it out into the greased 9 x 13 inch pan. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup

I've been making this copy cat recipe of Olive Garden's famous Zuppa Toscana Soup since 2002. It never fails to satisfy any warm soup cravings and is uniquely different from your typical potato  soup or stew.  This flavorful meal is simple to make and goes along great with fresh French bread and a side salad.  

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup

1 lb. Italian sausage
5 slices bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
3-4 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (or use 1 tsp.garlic powder)
2 cans (14.5 oz) chicken broth 
1 quart water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups kale, roughly chopped(could substitute spinach)
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes (optional)

In a large soup pot, cook diced bacon until crisp, drain some of the grease. Add Italian sausage and diced onion to the soup pot and cook until sausage is done. Add potatoes, chicken broth, water, and garlic to the pot. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done...about 10 minutes. Turn to low heat and stir in the kale and cream. Heat through and serve. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

One of my favorite dinner recipes is always some type of soup!!! I tend to make more soup recipes in the fall and winter....and any time it is cloudy, windy or it rains! I will find any excuse to make a warm bubbly soup and I especially like trying new versions. I once saw a recipe online for "crockpot chicken pot pie soup" and thought it sounded unique. Although when I actually reviewed the recipe it was only milk, veggies and cream of chicken soup. I've been determined to create an easy but delicious soup recipe that gives you the creamy taste of chicken pot pie with the convenience of a thrown together soup. I'm proud to say (after 4 attempts) that I finally have a recipe that the whole family loves and is the perfect blend of belly warming comfort food.   
 Chicken Pot Pie Soup

1 rotisserie chicken (either Family Size or Regular), remove skin and then cut meat into bite sized pieces
2 (32 oz.) boxes Chicken broth
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 bag (12 oz.) frozen peas & carrots
12 oz. frozen egg noodles (use 1/2 of a 24 oz. bag)
1 pint Half & Half 
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried Parsley
Salt & Pepper, to taste

In a large stockpot, pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in diced chicken, potatoes, peas & carrots, and noodles.  Simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes until noodles & potatoes are tender.  Add Half & Half, thyme, parsley and salt & pepper to taste. Simmer on low for another 5 minutes until warmed through. Serve immediately. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Stuffed Pesto Shells

This is one of those super yummy recipes that when the last shell is gone you are already thinking about when you can make this again!! 
I've always been a big fan of any type of ricotta stuffing whether in manicotti or shells. In fact it is usually my #1 choice whenever I eat at an Italian restaurant.  This recipe is unique because of the addition of pesto sauce to the ricotta filling. The pesto adds just the right zip along with the blend of cheeses and the pasta sauce to make this casserole perfect to serve to dinner guests. 
Stuffed Pesto Shells

1 (12 oz.) box jumbo pasta shells
15 oz. part skim ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup pesto with basil
1 large egg
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped (optional)

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box (around 10-12 mins). You can add 1 Tbsp of oil to the boiling water to keep the shells from sticking to each other. Be careful not to over cook the pasta. Drain the pasta and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking pasta. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, pesto, spinach (if using) and the egg. Spread one cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish. Spoon 2 to 3 Tbsp of pesto cheese mixture into the center of each cooked shell. Pack them tightly in a single layer in the baking dish.  Pour the remaining pasta sauce over the top of the shells. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and spread remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese over the top. 

Original recipe from Budget Bytes

I served the stuffed pesto shells along with roasted broccoli, salad and cheesy bread.  We had some shells leftover and they tasted great re-heated the next day. This recipe would also be a wonderful meal to prepare for a new mom or even divided among two smaller casserole pans and kept in the freezer until you need an easy weeknight meal.  This recipe is definitely a keeper in my collection!!! 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Overnight Blueberry & Cream Cheese Casserole

This recipe is amazing on so many levels!!! The next time that you want a special morning treat for your family or you need to impress guests....then make this delicious breakfast!!! The casserole is quickly made the night before and refrigerated until you are ready to bake it in the morning. With the addition of a homemade (easy) blueberry sauce and a dollop of whipped cream, the taste is an explosion of different scrumptious flavors in your mouth. I served each piece along with a side of bacon and the whole family was asking for seconds!!!

Overnight Blueberry & Cream Cheese Casserole
serves 10
adapted from CookiesandCups.com

18 slices of white bread
2 (8 oz.)packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup fresh blueberries or 2 cups frozen blueberries (before thawed)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
10 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup pancake syrup
cool whip (small tub or can) Optional:add a dollop on top of each portion before serving

Blueberry Syrup
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 cup water
1 cup fresh blueberries or 2 cups frozen blueberries (before thawed)

Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with baking spray.  Cut all the bread into cubes. Spread half the bread in the prepared pan, pressing down slightly.  With a wooden spoon or hand mixer, beat together the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar.  Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the bread. Top with the blueberries and then the remaining bread. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and pancake syrup.  Pour over the entire casserole. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator overnight.  When ready to bake, remove from the fridge 30 minutes before baking to take the chill off. Bake (covered with foil) at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and then remove foil and bake an additional 25 minutes until center is set.  Allow to cool slightly before serving. 

Blueberry Syrup
While the casserole is baking prepare the syrup. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn starch and water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it has simmered for 4 minutes, stir in blueberries and continue to simmer on low for 10 minutes. Pour syrup over entire casserole or each individual serving.  Add a dollop of whipped cream on top and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Enchilada Pasta

 I just had to share this recipe for one pan "Enchilada Pasta"!!! I first made this recipe a few weeks ago and it was a yummy quick meal that pleased the whole family.  The Mexican flavors along with your choice of favorite toppings makes this an easy skillet recipe that you will love!!!

Enchilada Pasta

2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of a small onion, diced
1.25 pounds of lean ground beef (I used 2 packages of 1 lb. ground meat)
1 packet of taco seasoning
2 cups of chicken broth
1 (19 oz) can of red enchilada sauce
8 oz (about 2 1/2 cups) of dried pasta
2 cups of freshly shredded Colby Jack cheese (or Mexican blend shredded cheese)
Optional toppings:
avocado, diced
green onions, diced
sliced black olives 
sour cream
tomatoes, diced

In a large skillet or saute pan, saute garlic and onions in olive oil over medium low heat until softened. Add ground meat and cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon until browned; drain fat.  Follow directions on taco seasoning packet and stir into cooked meat until well combined.  Add pasta, chicken broth and enchilada sauce to pan.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook on low, with pan covered for about 15 minutes. Then remove lid and let simmer for additional 5 minutes until pasta is tender and sauce has reduced. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of cheese. Top pasta with additional cup of cheese and let heat from the pasta melt the cheese. Garnish with your favorite choice of toppings!

Notes: I was in a hurry when I first made this recipe so I left out the garlic and diced onion...and just added a few shakes of onion & garlic powder to the meat while it was cooking. I used bowtie pasta, but any small pasta will work.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

In a recent search for a good sloppy joes recipe I happened to find this unique version at the website Spend with Pennies.  The ingredients join together perfectly in the crockpot to boost the flavor of the hamburger meat. You could easily adapt the recipe to your own family's taste by using your favorite sliced cheese or even the Philly "traditional" Cheez Whiz. Instead of the cans of condensed onion soup, simply use 2 cans of beef broth. The green peppers, onions and mushrooms are also optional....add more or less to your liking.
Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

3 lbs. ground beef chuck
2 teaspoons garlic powder
black pepper to taste
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 (8 oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cans condensed French Onion soup
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 package of sliced Provolone cheese
package of hoagie rolls

Brown ground beef in a large skillet (try not to break up the beef too much); drain grease. Place cooked beef, onions, peppers and mushrooms into a Pam sprayed crockpot.  Toss with flour, garlic powder and pepper (to taste). Pour soup and Worcestershire sauce over the top of the mixture. Cook on low for 5 hours. Serve on rolls and top each sandwich with one slice of cheese. (Could also be served on cooked pasta or rice)

This crockpot recipe was a big hit in my house because all of my kids were asking for a second sandwich before I even had the chance to sit down for my first bite!! We will definitely add this recipe to our busy weeknight Crockpot rotation!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tortellini & Sausage in a Tomato Cream Sauce

Tortellini & Sausage in a Tomato Cream Sauce

1 package (14 oz.) Kielbasa, cut into pieces
1/2 cup onion, diced (optional)
1 cup chicken broth (or water)
1 (28 oz.) can of whole tomatoes; cut up inside the can
1 (20 oz.) package of tortellini (I used mixed cheese tortellini)
2 tablespoons cream cheese, diced (I used 4 Tbsp. whipped cream cheese from a small tub)
2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar cheese & Mozzarella cheese)

Saute the onion in 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet on medium heat until soft. Add sliced kielbasa and cook until browned.  Add chicken broth, tortellini and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil; then turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until pasta is done. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese & cream cheese. Cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted & blended. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lasagna Soup

 I've wanted to make this recipe for lasagna soup for awhile. Today's cold rainy weather was the perfect excuse to experiment with the recipe. I did substitute Italian sausage for the ground beef and I also left out or altered some of the ingredients.  I boiled the lasagna noodles in a separate pot before adding to the soup....but I think next time I will just boil the noodles in the same pot with the sausage, tomatoes and broth mixture. That would mean less dishes to wash and I think it would still taste great! Overall our entire family loved the soup.  We all agreed that the ricotta cheese and mozzarella mixture made the soup extra yummy!!! We are adding this recipe to the "make again" file!! 

Lasagna Soup
adapted from Cooking Classy

12 lasagna noodles, broken into bite-sized pieces
1 package (1 pound) Mild Italian Sausage
1 onion, diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can Crushed Tomatoes
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sugar
1 (32 oz.) box of chicken broth
1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
8 oz. ricotta cheese
Parsley, fresh or dried (optional)

In a large pot, boil 12 broken lasagna noodles until tender.  In a separate large soup pot, cook Italian sausage, diced onion and garlic   until done; about 10 minutes.  Add basil, oregano, thyme, sugar, canned tomatoes, tomato paste and broth to the sausage mixture. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for at least 10 minutes. When noodles are tender........reserve 1/2 cup to 1 cup of pasta water before draining noodles. Stir the noodles and reserved pasta water (1/2 to 1 cup) into the large soup pot with the sausage and tomato soup.  In a small mixing bowl, mix together mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese.  Ladle soup into bowls and then add a large dollop of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle either fresh or dried parsley flakes on top.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Crockpot Roast & Noodles

Sometimes the best meals are the simplest.... I knew this recipe would be a favorite for my family because it combines two of our favorite meals....juicy roast with beef gravy and lots of egg noodles!!! The delicious flavor of the slow cooked roast is reason enough to try this recipe. In fact...you could easily make this recipe and leave out the noodles. Just serve the roast and gravy over mashed potatoes or along with your favorite veggies and enjoy!!!
Crockpot Roast & Noodles

1 (2 pound) roast
1 envelope Beefy Onion soup mix
1 can condensed Cream of Mushroom soup, undiluted
1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 can (14 oz.) beef broth
2 (16 oz.) packages frozen egg noodles
4 cups water (OR 4 cups beef broth)
salt & pepper, to taste
Place roast in crockpot. Sprinkle onion soup mix on top.  Smear mushroom soup on top of roast and then add garlic powder. Add 1 can beef broth to the bottom of crockpot. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. 1 hour before eating....remove lid and shred roast using 2 forks.  Add noodles and 4 to 6 cups water (I used 4 cups beef broth). Cook on high for 1 hour or until the noodles are done.  Salt & pepper to taste. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Italian Shrimp Bake

I have seen this recipe floating around Pinterest for many years. I've made this recipe a few times in the past but I thought I would share it on my blog for that one person new to the recipe that loves shrimp (and lots of butter). Ha Ha The flavors in this meal are very similar to a shrimp scampi dish and goes along well when served over cooked rice or your favorite type of pasta!
When I had a craving for an easy shrimp dinner last week, I realized that I did not have any lemon. So I substituted lemon juice from the bottle instead. I love a strong lemon flavor so I was more than happy to add as much juice as I liked to the baking pan. Although you could easily leave out the sliced lemon or lemon juice and still get plenty of flavor from the seasoning.   The recipe also calls for a packet of Italian Dressing mix...which I always have stocked in my pantry because it is my favorite go-to salad dressing. All together you only need 3-4 ingredients which makes this Italian Shrimp Bake recipe an easy meal to make anytime!
Italian Shrimp Bake

1 (20 oz.) bag frozen extra large shrimp (raw~tail on)
1 stick salted butter
1 package Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing mix
1 lemon, thinly sliced...or....2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Rinse the frozen shrimp under cool running water until thawed. Place the stick of butter in the center of the baking sheet and put the sheet into the oven until the butter melts...about 6 minutes.  Remove the sheet with melted butter from the oven and layer the sliced lemon on top. (or just add 2 Tablespoons lemon juice to the melted butter) Lay the thawed shrimp onto the lemon slices/melted butter. Sprinkle the entire packet of Italian Dressing mix (or less if you prefer) evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve over cooked rice or pasta. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Best "Chewy" Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone loves a good chocolate chip cookie!!! I recently volunteered at a Christmas cookie drive collection for airman at a local Air Force base.  The decorated bags for each airman were filled with an assortment of homemade baked cookies. I noticed that the majority of cookies that were donated for the event were either chocolate chip or peanut butter.  It was also obvious that chocolate chip cookies can result it all kinds of textures, shades and varieties.  My personal preference is for a more tender chewy cookie. So when I came across this recipe on Pinterest for "Super Soft" cookies I just knew that I had to try it! 

.........and the result was an amazing cookie!!! 

The Best "Chewy" Chocolate Chip Cookies
original recipe from Two Twenty One

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 345 degrees. In a large bowl cream together the butter, oil, sugar and brown sugar.  Add eggs and beat together until batter is fluffy.  Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla and flour. Fold in the chocolate chips.  Roll batter into 1 inch balls. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  Bake for 8-9 minutes.
This cookie is so soft and chewy that it just melts in your mouth!!! It truly is the ultimate in comfort food that pleases all ages!!! I'm definitely using this recipe as my "go-to" whenever I need a fail-proof cookie. Ideas such as adding pecans, toffee bits or white chocolate chips is already in my plans for the next time I need a sweet "chewy'" dessert.  Make this recipe soon and your family will be very happy!!!