Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Savory Cranberry Sauce

I have never been a fan of cranberry sauce. My parents has tried for years to find the ultimate recipe every Thanksgiving. From fresh strawberries, to ground up raspberries and oranges- they have tried it all. They love it, but I still could not bring myself to enjoy it. Don't even get me started on the stuff that comes out of a can!

Last year all of that changed when I tried this recipe from Taste of Home for Cranberry-Walnut Topped Sweet Potatoes. I tried a spoonful... and another.... and another. I loved it. I had finally realized that savory cranberry sauce has found its way into my heart.

Savory Cranberry Sauce 

((Printable Recipe))

3 cups fresh cranberries
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup 100% cranberry juice
1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons minced fresh chives (optional)

1. In a medium sized sauce pan, melt the butter and cook the onion and salt for about 5 minutes- until the onion has become translucent and tender.

2. Add the cranberries, maple syrup, and cranberry juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 15 minutes- until the berries pop.

3. Stir in the walnuts and mustard.  Top with minced fresh chives. Serve warm.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Butterfinger Cookies

Butterfingers are a favorite in our house, homemade or store-bought, we love them. I've been known to sneak them from my kids' Halloween stash and bake them up into brownies or cover them over ice cream pie. Now I've got a new reason to raid their loot in order to make these amazing Butterfinger Cookies!

Butterfingers Cookies
(Adapted from: Sally's Baking Addiction)
((Printable Recipe))

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (10 oz bag) Butterfingers, chopped (about 2 cups)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well blended. Add the vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add this to the creamed butter/sugar mixture.

4. With the mixer on low, blend in the chopped Butterfingers.

5. Use a cookie scoop (or two spoons) and place the cookie dough balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet pan about 3 inches apart.

6. Bake for about 9-10 minutes. For chewy cookies, remove them from the oven while they are still slightly underdone and place the cookie sheet pan on a cooling rack. Allow the cookies to continue cooking as they cool on the sheet pan. After about 10-15 minutes, remove the cookies from the pan and allow them to continue cooling on the cooling rack.


Linked to: Weekend Potluck #142

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kale Chips

These easy kale chips are addicting.

Unless you're one of those people that hates kale. This recipe is not for you. Just go. I could try and convince you of how awesome these things are, but it is probably not worth either of our time. 

Or perhaps you're on the fence about kale? If that's the case, then stick around. Try this recipe. I think you'll come to find that these kale chips are crisp... salty... perfection. 

Did I mention how easy they are to make? 

The secret to these light and crispy kale chips is to not overcrowd the baking pan. Spread them out so they are just barley touching each other. The second tip I always give is to remove the kale chips to cool on a cookie cooling rack so they can cool from the top and the bottom. 

No soggy kale chips here. Enjoy!

Kale Chips

1 head kale, washed and spun dry
about 2 tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil
himalayan sea salt

1. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F. Remove the leaves from the thick stem running down the center of the kale. Cut the kale leaves into about 1 1/2 - 2 inch size pieces. 

2. Lay the kale on a rimmed sheet pan and toss lightly with olive oil. I like to put the kale in a pile on the sheet pan, pour it with oil, toss it with my hands, and then spread the leaves out. As I mentioned above, be sure not to overcrowd your pan. The leaves can over lap slightly, but spread them out so they can crisp up. Make two batches if need be. 

3. Sprinkle the kale lightly with salt. You could also go crazy and add a little garlic powder or freshly cracked black pepper. Get creative! 

4. Bake them for 10 minutes. Turn the kale pieces over and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Remove the kale pieces to a cooling rack so they continue to cool and stay crisp. If any kale still seems soft, place it back in the oven for another minute or two. 

Store in an airtight container. The kale I make usually doesn't last long enough to store! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Grilled Corn Fettuccine

Grilled Corn Fettuccine
(Adapted from Food Network)
((Printable Recipe))

Olive oil
1 pound fettuccine
6 ears corn, grilled
3 shallots, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1/2 cup white wine or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme leaves
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil
salt and cracked pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions.

2. Remove the corn from the cob and scrape the back of the knife over the cob to remove any corn liquid.

3. In a large skillet over medium high heat, drizzle some olive oil and sauté the shallots and red pepper for about 6 minutes. Add 3/4 of the corn and season with salt and pepper.

4. And the remaining 1/4 corn to a food processor along with the cream. Puree until smooth.

5. Pour the wine into the corn/veggie mixture. Add the thyme and the pureed corn mixture and heat for 4 minutes. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper.

6. Toss over pasta along with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.


Linked to: Weekend Potluck #134

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Salad Pita Pizzas with White Bean Spread

This recipe is adapted from one of our favorites- Grilled Salad Pizza. Instead of a homemade crust, I've cheated and used pita bread. As I've said before in my recipe for Grilled Avocado Pita Pizzas with Wilted Arugula, make sure you buy high quality pita without added ingredients. Ingredients like flour, salt, oil, yeast, and sugar should be all you read on the packaging.

Salad Pita Pizzas with White Bean Spread
((Printable Recipe))

1 batch white bean spread (see below)
5 ounces organic baby spring salad mix
1 head radicchio lettuce, chopped
1 package good quality pita
1 batch balsamic vinaigrette (see below)
8 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced
fresh cracked pepper

White Bean Spread:
 1 1/2 cups cooked canellini beans (or 1 rinsed can)
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons raw honey or brown sugar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
small pinch sea salt and a few cracks of fresh pepper


1. For the white bean spread, puree all the ingredients in a food processor and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. Toss the salad greens with the tomatoes and lightly dress with some balsamic vinaigrette.

3. Cut the pita shells in half around the circumference. Top with white bean spread, a generous handful of dressed salad, a few grinds of freshly cracked pepper, and a touch of parmesan cheese.

4. Grill over medium heat until the bottom of the pita is lightly grilled and the cheese begins to melt.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Salted Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I promised myself that my search for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie ended with my Overnight Chocolate Chip Cookies. And it did, but one day my daughter was craving chocolate chip cookies and I didn't feel like making up a big batch. I decided I would divid up a recipe into a small serving of cookies I could bake in my toaster oven. My butter was rock hard so I thought I'd play around with using melted butter. As the butter was melting I was curious how browned butter would taste in a chocolate chip cookie. Since everything is better with a little salt, I thought I'd throw in a little extra of that for good measure. What did I have? The ultimate chocolate chip cookie- revisited.

These cookies are amazing warm from the oven. The thick caramel like batter bakes up into a crackly cookie on the outside with a warm soft center.


Salted Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
((Printable Recipe))

2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks salted butter, browned
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
coarse sea salt for sprinkling

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Brown the butter and add it to your mixing bowl. Allow it to cool for about 3 minutes. Beat in the sugars and then the eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients. (Your batter will be like a thick, soft caramel consistency.) Stir in the chocolate chips

3. Divide the dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch round balls and place 3 to 4 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet pan.

4. Gently flatten the balls slightly with three fingers. (You just want them flat enough so the salt won't roll off. It doesn't need to be as flat as sugar cookies.) Sprinkle with a bit of coarse sea salt.

5. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. (Cooking time will vary depending on how big your cookie dough balls are.) I like to remove my cookies when they are still slightly underdone and jiggly in the center. Allow them to cool on the sheet pan on top of a cooling rack and they will slowly finish cooking in the center as they cool. When the cookies are set up. Remove them to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

*Note: I like these cookies best served warm, straight from the oven. I will even freeze the dough balls and place them in freezer bags and bake them as I need them. If you bake them all at once, store them at room temperature in an airtight container. In my opinion, they won't be quite as good as freshly baked... you'll loose the ooey, gooeyness of them, but they will still be delicious!

Other Chocolate Chip Cookies recipes you may enjoy:
Cast Iron Chocolate Chip Cookie
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies
Cookie Dough Brownies
Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies
Pomegranate White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Toasted Walnut White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Linked to: Weekend Potluck #130

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Grilled Avocado Pita Pizzas with Wilted Arugula


Wilted arugula that is still crisp tender gets infused with garlic and topped on some beautiful fresh tomatoes with smokey roasted red peppers. A crowning of creamy avocado all sitting on a bed of jalapeño cheddar gets gilled on a pita to a crisp perfection.

I threw this easy recipe together a few weekends ago and determined that I could eat this everyday this summer and be one happy mama.

A note about the pita: Look at the ingredients! Find a good quality pita with ingredients you recognize and can pronounce. Flour, salt, oil, yeast, sugar.... there really isn't need for anything else. I sent my husband to the store for pita once. What he brought home had an ingredient list that was ten lines long. The taste and texture was so awful they went straight to the trash. Make them yourself or search for some good quality bakery ones.

We sprinkled our pita with raw hemp seeds for extra protein. You'll notice they are missing from the photo. They came post pizza photo shoot. We love hemp so much we add it to almost every meal we eat.

Grilled Avocado Pita Pizzas with Wilted Arugula 
((Printable Recipe))

5 pita rounds
1 package arugula (about 8 ounces or so)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
8 ounce block jalapeño cheddar or jalapeño jack cheese, shredded
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1 avocado, sliced
hemp seeds (optional, will add extra protein)
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

1. Preheat your outdoor grill to a medium high heat. These pizzas cook quickly. If the flame is too high, they will burn.

2. Use kitchen sheers to cut your pizzas around the circumference so you have two halves. If your pita doesn't want to split, you can leave them whole for a thicker, chewier pizza crust. Brush both sides of the pitas lightly with olive oil. (This will be about two tablespoons from the oil called for above.)

3. Add the remaining two tablespoons of oil to a medium sized skillet. Add the four cloves of minced garlic to the oil. Turn on the heat to a low flame and slowly cook the garlic in the oil for about a minute or two, just until it becomes fragrant. If you burn the garlic, your entire dish will be bitter. Turn the flame up a bit and add the arugula. Toss the arugula in the garlic oil and add a dash of salt. Cook the arugula just until it begins to wilt. I like to have my cooked lettuce to remain slightly crisp. This should only take a minute or so.

4. Top each pita round with shredded cheese. Next, add the sliced tomatoes and give them a little sprinkle of salt and pepper. Finally, top the pizza with the wilted arugula and roasted red peppers.

5. Grill the pita pizzas for about one to two minutes, just until the cheese is melted and the pita crisps up and gets a nice golden brown color. Watch them closely! They will burn.

6. Top your grilled pizzas with fresh sliced avocado and a sprinkle of hemp seeds. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Linked to: Weekend Potluck #132