October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip Cookies

Do I really need to say much here?  Pumpkin cookies, with butterscotch chips.  Yum.  The End.

Start by creaming together the shortening and sugar.

See?  Creamed.

Measure out 1 cup of pumpkin.

Plop the pumpkin in with the shortening/sugar mixture.  Add vanilla. Mix together.

Plop is a technical term.

Sift the flour into a separate bowl and add the salt...

Baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.

Slowly add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until its all incorporated.

Turn off your mixer and add the butterscotch chips.  You'll probably want to stir these in by hand.

Doesn't look like much dough but it makes a lot of cookies. These cookies are very sweet so you'll want to keep them relatively small.

Use a teaspoon to dollop them onto a baking sheet.  I lined mine with parchment paper but you could also spray your cookie sheet.

These cookies don't spread out in the oven like some cookies do so keep that in mind as you're putting them on the cookie sheet.  They will pretty much look the same before and after they are cooked.  The Butterscotch adds the perfect flavoring to these.  Even though they are sweet, they are also addictive!  Great fall cookie!

Here's where you can find the recipe: Pumpkin Cookies

October 22, 2010

Chicken Lasagna

Here is my attempt to eat more white meat.  I think I've mentioned in the past how I'm not a huge white meat fan.  If I'm eating white meat I need to have it pretty much covered in a sauce of some sort.  Luckily this recipe certainly fits the bill, the chicken is smothered in cheesy goodness! 

We buy the big bags of chicken from Sam's Club so these chicken breasts were frozen.  I just dunked them in some water and boiled them for about 20 minutes.  You want 2 cups of cubed cooked chicken.

While your chicken is cooking, chop up one onion and mince one garlic.

Shred about 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Melt 1/2 cup of butter (one stick) and add the onion and garlic. Cook until tender.

Add 1/2 cup of flour and the salt.

Mix well and then let this come to a bubble.

Add in the chicken broth, and milk and stir constantly for about 1 minute.

Add 2 cups of mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and stir until melted.

Add your basil, oregano, and black pepper and remove from the heat.

mmmmmm, cheesy.

I used the no-boil lasagna noodles but either way, here's where you start layering them.  Start with 1/3 of the cheese mixture on the bottom of the pan.  Add three lasagna noodles, top with the ricotta and chicken (which I mixed together). 

Top this with three more noodles.

Add another 1/3 of the cheese sauce on top of the noodles.

Spread the spinach on top of the cheese mixture.

Put the other 2 cups of mozzarella cheese on top of the spinach.

Add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese on top of the mozzarella cheese. 

Here's where I apologize for not taking any more pictures until the very end.   I'm sorry....

Add three more noodles on top of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.  Pour the remaining cheese sauce over the noodles.  Sprinkle with parsley and the remaining 1/4 Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in a pre-heated oven.

 May I also apologize for not taking a very good "end" shot.  My reasoning is good however, this lasagna smelled so good that when it came out of the oven I just served and dived in - then remembered to take a quick picture before I finished it off.  I know you'll be able to relate when you try this.  It's that good.  I'm just sayin.  Try it.  Soon.

Here's where you can find the recipe: White Cheese Chicken Lasagna

October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Creme Pies - Whoopie Pies

I've always wanted to try to make whoopie pies but I've just never gotten around to it.  While searching one of my favorite recipe sites I came across this pumpkin creme pie and decided it was the perfect time to dive into fall and also try a recipe I've been meaning to.  These are super yummy, very moist, and very sweet!  The filling is a little different than a normal whoopie pie because its a cream cheese base but I think you'll agree that its mighty tasty.  Some of the reviews I read on this switched up the filling with some regular frosting which might be good also.  The next time I try this recipe I'm going to attempt to just do it by dolloping the dough on parchment paper instead of doing this circular pattern for each.  I read another review who did this and they just needed to cook them slightly longer.  If you try these, let me know!

My handy helper was very useful while making this recipe since I could use both hands on the camera. Although the mess was much bigger so I'm not sure how much of a trade off it was!

In this bowl: brown sugar, white sugar, vegetable oil, and 1 can of pumpkin.

After mixing the wet ingredients first, add each egg separately; mixing well after each egg.

In a separate bowl add the flour...

Salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground ginger.

Now slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients being careful not to over mix.  Just mix until all the ingredients are moist.

That looks right.

Now use a frosting decoraters bag, or a zip lock with a corner cut out and fill the bag will dough.  Its easiest if you put the bag in a tall drinking glass and fold the edges down over the glass until its full, then pull the edges up.

Now pipe the dough in a circular motion so they are all the same size.  The original recipe called for cutting squares out of the parchment paper therefore helping to ensure they were all the same size, but that sounded like way to much work for me.  However, parchment paper is a MUST.  These little babies can be sticky.

Let them cool for just a minute on the parchment paper before moving them to a cooling rack.

Lets start on the filling shall we?  One 8 oz package of cream cheese, and one stick of butter both at room temperature.

Add one 16 oz package of confectioners sugar.

Add 3 drops of vanilla extract and 2 shakes of cinnamon.

Slather this on one of the cooled cakes, and top it with another one.

Even though it does feel like there are a lot of steps to make these, they are super easy and I would hate for you not to try these just because of that.  Also, don't forget that some people just dolloped this onto the parchment paper and didn't bother with the piping of the dough at all.  I'll try that next time for sure. 

Here's where you can find the recipe: Pumpkin Creme Pies

October 14, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Now this might be one of those dishes you reserve for special occasions or dinner guests; sure that's OK if that's what you want to do.  This was pretty easy, and quick, and delicious so maybe you want to give it a go on a Tuesday night?? I'm just sayin. 

This recipe calls for six chicken breasts, but it's just my hubby and I so I only used four with hopes of having some leftover for lunch the next day.  I always give my chicken a good rinse before use.  Makes me feel better about them, as chickens.

Use a really sharp knife and butterfly these (that means cut them open from the side) making sure not to cut all the way through. 

The recipe says to use Swiss cheese; and I would have if I'd have had some.  I used provolone cheese and thin sliced deli ham.  For the smaller pieces of chicken I had to roll the ham and cheese a little so they'd fit inside the chicken.  You're also supposed to seal the cut side closed with a toothpick, but guess who didn't have any toothpicks.  Yep, me.  Some of the cheese melted out of  mine, don't let this happen to you.  Use a toothpick.

Here is one chicken breast that is already filled.  The idea is to try to tuck the filling inside so that none is sticking out.  Here's where toothpicks would have come in handy.

Melt 6 Tbsp of butter in a pan large enough to hold all your chicken.  Heat on medium high heat so you can get a nice golden brown on the chicken when you add it.

Get a bowl and mix your flour and paprika.

Now dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, making sure to coat all sides.

Fit the chicken in the pan with the melted butter and cook on each side about 5 minutes, or until you get a nice golden brown crust on each side. 

When the chicken is a nice brown color, add in the wine and the chicken bouillon, reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the juices are no longer pink.

Once the chicken is done, remove it from the pan (remove the toothpicks too) and add the cornstarch/cream mixture.

Stir until the mixture begins to thicken.

See how it takes a second for the sauce to cover over the whisk mark on the bottom of the pan?  That's perfect, now remove from the heat and pour over the chicken.

Now, dig in!  This is a very good choice for low carb diets since there is very little flour.  I had this again the next day for lunch and it was just as yummy as the first night.  It's a nice way to get out of the hum-drum of plain ol' chicken.  I hope you'll try it.

Here's where you can find the recipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu