Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Nutella Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies

You've probably tried the candy-coated Ritz peanut butter sandwiches....Plain Chicken added Nutella, and I *had* to try it.  SO so good!  I made them on Saturday (World Nutella Day) and AGAIN on Super Bowl Sunday.
My oldest son placed the crackers in rows, and I covered them with Jif peanut butter and Nutella.
 He turned them into sandwiches.
 I covered them in almond bark.
 His favorite part was decorating them.

Candy Coated Peanut Butter Nutella Ritz Cookies

1 sleeve Ritz Crackers
1/4 - 1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup Nutella
12 oz almond bark

Spread a dollop of peanut butter on half the Ritz crackers and some Nutella on the remaining half of the Ritz crackers. (Use as little or as much of each that you want) Sandwich the peanut butter and Nutella halves together. Melt the almond bark in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until it’s melted and smooth.  Take a sandwich and drop it in the melted almond bark, turning over with a fork to coat. Remove sandwich from almond bark, tapping against bowl to remove excess coating. Place on wax paper to cool before serving - about 30 minutes or until the bark is set.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

World Nutella Day

I follow Over a Tuscan Stove, and I saw her post this morning about World Nutella Day.  Really?  World Nutella Day?  Did Giada start this?  I like Nutella, not as much as Giada, but I do like it.  I've made the pound cake nutella strawberry paninis, and I loved them.  I occasionally make a nutella sandwich for my son.  BUT...earlier this week, one of my best friends made a cake to celebrate my birthday as well as one of our other friends' birthday this week, and it was to die for.  If you know me, I'm not a big "chocolate person."  I know, I know..."how is that even possible?"  I don't have any idea, but I'm just not.  This cake that Kelly made...OMG!  It came from Plain Chicken's blog, and when I visited the blog to make sure I used the right link, I saw Plain Chicken's post for World Nutella Day: Candy Coated Peanut Butter Nutella Ritz.  Wow...I'm in awe.  I must try those next.

We didn't use the whipped cream, but it was to die for even without it.

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Nutella Gooey Butter Cake:
1 (18 1/4-ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup Nutella
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer.
Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and Nutella until smooth.
Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together.
Next, add the powdered sugar and mix well.
Spread Nutella mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.
Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I saw this recipe on Sing For Your Supper, and although I'm not a "cookie eater", my husband LOVES ice cream sandwiches made with big cookies.  I knew I just had to make these.  I made them without eggs and used the flax seed and water egg replacement.  The dough was very crumbly and made it difficult to manage, but I wanted our littlest guy to be able to eat them, too.  If I were to make them eggless again, I would probably add more butter to help keep them moist.
It didn't make 2 dozen for me, but we didn't need all that it did make.  These are an indulgence, not something you want to eat daily.  I will admit that I cut a cookie into quarters, and I did sample them.  They were yummy right out of the oven.  Beyond that, I let the rest of the family enjoy them.

Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
-Picky Palate
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz bag chocolate chips
1 bag Oreo Cookies
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.   In a stand or electric mixer cream butter and sugars until well combined.  Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
2.  In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.  Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo Cookie.  Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo Cookie.  Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo Cookie is enclosed with dough.  Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until cookies are baked to your liking.  Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
Makes about 2 dozen VERY LARGE Cookies

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Onion & Artichoke Soup

Cold weather makes me want crave soup.  This soup is very good, and my husband doesn't usually like "pureed" soups. (It's a texture thing.)  We all loved it.  I have started making large batches of soup, serving some the night I make it, bagging the rest into labeled quart or gallon-sized freezer bags, placing the bags flat on a baking sheet, and freezing them.  Once they're frozen, I can "file" them upright along one side of the freezer, it's easy to see the contents, and easy to pull out.  Then, I have a quick appetizer or entree that takes up very little of my freezer space.  I love to serve just a little soup in a shot glass or small coffee or tea cup.  It's just enough to warm you inside without feeling like you're drinking your dinner.

1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 t dried ground thyme
1 garlic clove, crushed
28 oz. canned artichokes, drained (not in marinade)
2 ½ C chicken stock
2/3 C light cream or whole milk
2 T fresh thyme, stalks removed
2 sun-dried tomatoes, cut in strips
Heat oil in large pan and cook onion and garlic until soft.
Chop artichokes, and add to onion mixture.
Pour in stock, add ground thyme, and stir.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 5 minutes.
Puree in blender or with hand blender.
Return to pan, stir in cream and fresh thyme.
Refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
Can be served hot or cold.  Gently reheat, and garnish with sun-dried tomatoes and sprigs of thyme.
Serve with crusty bread.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My New Favorite Meal

I found this recipe on New Year's Eve, and we've made it at least 5 times since then.  We've altered it some to create a truly fantastic meal.  It doesn't work *as* well with the baby bellas, or even the small regular bellas, but it still works.  The large mushrooms are so hearty, that they make a wonderful vegetarian entree - even for the "meat and potatoes" kind of person.  We've made this with feta, goat cheese, and parmesan, but the manchego is still the best. We've served it twice when we've had company, and we get RAVE reviews.  They always want the recipe.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms Stacked with Fresh Spinach and Shaved Manchego Cheese
Adapted from recipe by Bobby Flay
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4 entree servings
  • 4 large-sized portobello mushroom caps, wiped clean
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 4 ounces manchego cheese, thinly sliced into 8 pieces
  • White Balsamic Vinaigrette, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, for garnish, optional
  • Quinoa cooked in chicken broth
Heat grill to high. Brush mushroom caps on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, cap side down, until slightly charred, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the mushrooms over and continue grilling until just cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes longer.
Stack the ingredients on each of 4 salad plates starting with quinoa, mushroom cap, a slice of cheese, some spinach, and a drizzle of Vinaigrette. Garnish with chopped chives if desired.

1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Whisk together the shallot, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified.