Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chicken Marsala

This recipe comes straight from the blog Savory Sweet Life. It is absolutely delicious....wait, let me say that again (just in case you didn't fully understand me the first time)- this chicken marsala is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! I always think of chicken marsala as a fancy dish that is time consuming and difficult to make. In reality, this dish used only a few ingredients and was not too time still did, however, appear to be quite fancy and I'm totally okay with that! Everyone from my husband down to my three year old raved over the chicken! I served this dish with a side of buttered noodles. PLEASE make this meal for your family! It is a gem of a recipe! Enjoy!

2 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour (or corn starch for gluten-free)
up to 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil (I used about 1/3 cup)
8 ounces container of mushroom, cleaned and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup sherry OR dry white wine
Optional: 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Garnish with chopped parsley or oregano

Split each chicken breast through the middle to make 2 pieces. Place plastic wrap over them and pound each one flat using a meat tenderizer/mallet until they are about a quarter inch thick. Season a good amount of salt and pepper on both sides of each piece. Place some flour on a plate and and dredge each piece of chicken in it.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat and when the oil is hot fry each piece of chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side until they are golden brown (this may require you to do this in 2 batches). Remove chicken and place them on your serving platter covering them with foil. 
Reduce the heat to medium and add butter and mushrooms. Saute mushrooms for 4-5 minutes making sure to season them with salt and pepper lightly. Add marsala wine, sherry, cream, and chicken stock allowing the liquid to reduce slightly – approx. 3 minutes. Pour mushrooms and sauce over chicken and serve. Enjoy! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Walnut Snowball Cookies

These cookies turned out exactly as I hoped they would (always a plus when trying out a new recipe!!). I found the recipe in this month's Food & Wine magazine. They have a delicate, crumbly texture. The walnuts are the perfect compliment to the cookie and the powdered sugar! YUM! I will definitely be making these come Christmas time. Enjoy!

1 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 c. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350F

Spread the chopped walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 325F

In a standing mixer or with a hand-mixer, beat the butter and vanilla extract at high speed until pale, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula half way through. At low speed, mix in the salt, then gradually add the flour and walnuts and beat just until the cookie dough comes together, scraping down the side of the bowl halfway through.

Roll tablespoons of the dough into balls and arrange them on greased cookie sheets. Bake the cookies in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for about 17 minutes, until they are lightly browned on the bottom; switch the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Let the cookie firm up on the sheets, about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool slightly.

Put the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl. Roll the warm cookies in the sugar to coat and return to the rack to cool completely. Roll again in the sugar, if desired.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hawaiian Ham & Swiss Sliders

This recipe has been floating all over Pinterest for the past few weeks and I finally got around to trying it! These little sandwiches were super tasty and quite filling. I served them for dinner....but, the next time I make them will be for a Superbowl party, block party or I'd even bring them to a potluck! Easy to make! Enjoy!

1 package of Hawaiian sweet rolls
1 small onion, finely chopped 
6 Tbl butter
3 Tbs of Dijon Mustard 
1 -2  Tbl of Worcestershire Sauce 
1 Tbl of poppy seeds OR sesame seeds
1/2 pound thinly sliced ham
8-10 slices of Swiss cheese OR 1 1/2 c. shredded Swiss cheese

I used this whole package of Hillshire Farms Deli Select Honey Ham. It is super thin and layered on the sliders perfectly!

Preheat oven to 350F. 
In a small skillet melt the butter over medium low heat along with the minced onion and saute until the onions are soft (approx 5 minutes). Add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the poppy OR sesame seeds and stir. 

Slice the Hawaiian rolls right down the middle and place in a 9X9 inch baking pan. 

Add 2/3 of the onion/butter mixture to the rolls and spread evenly.

 Next add half the cheese on top of the onion/butter mixture (I used shredded Swiss).
                                      Add the ham.
                                       Add the remaining Swiss cheese. 
Now place the top half of the Hawaiian rolls on top of the cheese. Spoon the remaining butter/onion mixture on top of the rolls. Bake at 350F for 20 to 23 minutes. Cut the sliders and serve immediately!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Good Old Fashioned Patty Melt

Who knew a burger on two pieces of rye bread with a little cheese and caramelized onions could taste SOOOOO good!!!? Easy to make, yummy to eat!  I served this patty melt with a side salad and some chips. Enjoy!

Butter, softened
1 whole onion, thinly sliced
2/3 pound lean ground beef
salt and pepper to taste 
1/2 tsp onion powder 
4 or 5 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce 
4 slices Swiss OR American cheese (I used Swiss...I bet a combo of both would be tasty!)
4 slices rye bread

In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Throw in the sliced onions and cook over low heat for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and soft. 

In a medium bowl, mix together ground beef, salt & pepper, onion powder and Worcestershire. Form into 2 patties, vaguely shaped like the bread you are serving them on.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a different skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties on both sides until cooked through in the middle.

Spread butter on the outside of each slice of bread. To assemble take a slice of bread (buttered on the outside), layer with a slice of cheese, followed by cooked hamburger patty, 1/2 of the caramelized onions, second slice of cheese and second slice of bread (buttered on the outside). Repeat for the second sandwich. 

I made my patty melts on a panini maker...could not be simpler!  You don't have a panini maker you say!? I say, go buy one tomorrow! In the meantime, go ahead and wipe clean the skillet you have been using and grill the sandwiches over medium heat until golden brown. Flip the sandwiches to the other side and again, grill till golden brown and cheese has melted.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Homemade Twix Bars

Twix candy bar cookies. Oh yum! 'Nough said.
*Recipe from the King Arthur Flour website.
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
3 Tbsp. heavy cream
3 cups chocolate chips
1 tsp. canola oil (optional)

For the crust: 
Preheat oven to 300F
Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the flour - at first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together quickly. Take the dough and press it evenly into the pan. Prick the crust all over with a fork - this allows steam to escape so the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles. Bake until lightly golden brown on top and edges - about 30-35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set aside to cool completely.
For the caramel layer:
Melt the caramel and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.
I found these little caramel bits in the baking aisle next to the chocolate chips. They are fab because they do not have wrappers like regular caramels! I used nearly two bags for this recipe.
For the chocolate layer:
Melt the chocolate in the microwave using twenty second increments - stirring every time. If the chocolate seems too thick, add a teaspoon of canola oil to thin it.
Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread until it covers the entire surface.
Return to the refrigerator (or freezer) until the chocolate is well set. Cut and serve.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chocolate Mint Brownie Bites

I love mint. I mean I LOVE mint! And mint with chocolate? Well, yeah, that's just about heaven! So, when I saw these brownies on the Pioneer Woman's blog, I knew I HAD to make them! They were unbelievably good! Quite honestly the best brownie I've ever eaten. Okay, I know I say that a lot about the things I make....but, really, wow, oh wow, these were out of this world!

*By the way, the Pioneer Woman recommends using a standing mixer...I did these all by hand and it was super easy! 

  • 50 whole Andes Mints (you may not use them all, but they come 25 per package)
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 ounces, weight unsweetened chocolate (I used 2/3 of a Lindt bar with 85% cocoa)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon mint extract (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 Tbl butter
  • 1 ounce, weight bittersweet chocolate, chopped (again, I just used the rest of that Lindt bar)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray mini muffin pan generously with baking spray.

Melt unsweetened chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. Remove from microwave and stir in 8 Andes mints until all melted. Let cool slightly.

In a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream 1 stick of butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. With the mixer on low, drizzle in the cooled chocolate mixture slowly, mixing until it's combined.

Add flour and mix thoroughly. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, add mint extract, then mix again.

Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, scoop batter into mini muffin tins. Bake until done, about 13 to 15 minutes. Turn upside down out of pan and allow to cool.

Combine 25 unwrapped Andes mints in a bowl with the tablespoon of butter and chopped bittersweet chocolate. Microwave and stir until melted and smooth.

Dip the brownie bites in the chocolate, concentrating on the top "cone" part. Allow to set for a few minutes. Chop the remaining Andes mints and sprinkle them on the top.

Set in the freezer for 10 minutes if you need them to set right away.