Chocolate Chip Pancakes – YUM!

I decided to have Breakfast Friday this week.  The hit were these Chocolate Chip Pancakes.  These are definitely simple and delicious!!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions

1.  Preheat fry pan or griddle
2.  Mix together dry ingredients
3.  Whisk together eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla.  Add chocolate chips.  Mix into dry ingredients.  Do NOT over mix.  (Be light handed.  Even if there are some flour not quite mixed it is okay.  The less you beat, the fluffier the pancake.)
4.  Spray fry pan or griddle with cooking spray.
5.  Using 1/4 cup, scoop pancake mix and pour onto griddle. august 003
6.  Flip over when bubbling stops.  Let cook about 1 more minute on other side.  Remove from griddle and onto plate.

These didn’t need anything but we used butter and Wisconsin maple syrup.  Hope you enjoy!!

 

Macaroni and Cheese

I have been making this recipe forever.  The only thing I did different this time was add bread crumbs on top per Eric’s request.  It was a nice touch.  Another simple and delicious meal.

Macaroni and Cheese

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Ingredients

1# elbow pasta (I use large elbow.  You can use whatever you want.)
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cup milk
1 cup gouda cheese, shredded
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup mozzeralla cheese,shredded
(I weigh out 16 ounces of cheese.  You can use just cheddar if you like.  I generally use a mix of different cheeses. Gruyere is especially tasty!  My family likes the different cheeses.)

Topping

1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons butter

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2.  Make elbow pasta per directions on box
3.  While pasta is cooking, melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Add diced onion and sauté until translucent. Stir in flour, salt and pepper.  Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted.  Once cheese is mixed through turn off heat.
4.  Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in saute pan.  Add bread crumbs and stir until toasted
5.  Drain pasta. Gently stir pasta into cheese sauce. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole. Top with bread crumbs. Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes or until bubbly.

You will love it.  Very easy to make, even during the week.  Give it a try!!

Peach Cobbler

I have never made a cobbler before.  When I put it together I wasn’t so sure this was a very good idea.  Everyone loved this.  Now they want me to make cobbler with all kinds of fruit.  Peach Cobbler is a great start.  This was another simple and delicious dessert.

Peach Cobbler

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Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup milk

4 cups sliced peaches
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon juice from lemon
Ground cinnamon

Directions

1.  Place 13×9 inch baking dish with 1/2 cup unsalted butter in 375 degree oven.  Allow butter to melt.  Take out of oven.
2.  Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir) Really, DO NOT STIR.
3.  Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir), Yep, DO NOT STIR. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.
4.  Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve cobbler warm or cool.  We served with vanilla ice cream.  It was delish!!

 

Short Ribs

For our Sunday dinner this week we decided on Short ribs with a rub and then barbecued, mac and cheese, corn bread, coleslaw and peach cobbler.  I was concerned this wouldn’t work with my crew. Well, it worked just fine. Everyone liked it.  The corn bread was a little dry and I will have to work on that.  The cole slaw was good, but forgotten, apparently not good enough.  However, the ribs, mac and cheese and peach cobbler were a hit.  Here is the scoop;

Short Ribs

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Rub for Short Ribs

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Chipotle Powder (I added this one.  If you don’t have, no problem)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 pounds (2- to 2-1/2-inch-thick) flanken-cut beef short ribs

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and combine together.  Using a 13×9 inch baking dish, place ribs in dish.  Cover the ribs with the rub.  Put in 350 degree oven immediately or place in refrigerator in the covered baking dish up to 24 hours.  I covered the dish with aluminum foil and put in fridge for 4 hours.  I took out of fridge after 4 hours and let get to room temperature for 30 minutes.  Put in 350 oven for 3 hours.

After I baked for 3 hours I set to cool.  Started the grill. Grilled with Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce.  5 minutes each side.  You can make your own barbecue sauce.  I decided not to do that. Sometimes you need to know when to say no!

I thought this would be a bomb.  Short ribs are very fatty.  Don’t let that deter you!  Martin2 said I needed to put these in my recipe rotation.  All agreed, these ribs were a hit.  The ones you least expect work out.  I like that!!  This was a great Sunday.  Here are some of those happy faces! August 2014 036Kent and I  August 2014 011 Eric and Rachel August 2014 015  Lily and PaigeAugust 2014 031Martin and MartinAugust 2014 012Rooney, well maybe we aren’t all happy.  He kind of looks like the grumpy cat .Yeah, we will call him grumpy dog!

Punch – Too Simple and Delicious

Brenda is getting married in October.  We had a bridal shower at work for her.  Tons of food; Chester’s fried chicken and potato wedges, baked beans, veggie tray, caramel apple dessert, cake (of course), punch with a touch of presents. If I am forgetting something, I hope I am forgiven!  I brought the makings for punch.  It was too simple and awesomely delicious.  No pics but when I make it at home I will post.

Congratulations, Brenda!!  Looking forward to our office bachlorette party!!  Check out the awesome group of ladies I work with!!

Incredibly Simple Punch

1 pint raspberry sorbet (I bought Haagen Dazs – need I say more)
1 – 2 litre bottle Sprite

I made ice from the Sprite.  Chris from work suggested I use a bundt cake pan to make ice from the Sprite.  By the time I thought of making the ice it was midnight.  I ran in the basement looking for something I could use to make ice. I found my donut pan. I used that to make ice for the punch.  What a great idea! Thanks Chris!!

In a large bowl or punch bowl (ideally) add the sorbet and 1 bottle of Sprite, mix together, add ice (or not) and serve. AWESOME!

Told ya, could that be any easier.  Again, a simple and delicious treat.  Enjoy!!

Faux “Oreo” Cookies

Bringing the Faux Oreo Cookies to the front for those at work who may want bake some.  This really is a simple and delicious recipe. Kent calls them Dawneo’s.  Everyone in our home enjoys these cookies!

Faux “Oreo” Cookies

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For the Dough:

1 1/3 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder (Hershey’s is just fine)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling; (this is fabulous!!)

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Yup, Crisco Shortening)
3 cups of confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1.  Prepare the dough, sift together the cocoa powder, flour and salt in a large bowl
2.  Using mixer, cream the butter and sugar. (I used my old faithful Kitchen Aid Stand Up) Add eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and mix together.  You need to scrape the bottom of the bowl to be sure all ingredients get mixed together.
3.  Divide the dough into 2 pieces; place one piece between 2 lightly floured sheets of parchment paper and roll into 1/4 inch thick rectangle.  (Mine was more of an oval, sort of kind of rectangle).  Repeat with the other piece of dough.  Refrigerate both rectangles, covered with the parchment sheets, until firm.  About an hour.  You could also keep in the fridge a few days until you are ready to use it. (I do that often)
4.  Using a 2 inch round cutter(I use the top of my Pam spray or a 2″ juice glass.)  For all the baking I do you would think I would have a 2″ round cookie cutter!  Cut the dough into 64 circles.  You can reroll the scraps.  Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet or line with parchment paper.  I line with parchment.  (I don’t chill before I put in the oven.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
5.  Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes.  They should be slightly darker around the edges.
6.  Meanwhile, prepare the filling; using a mixer, cream the butter and shortening until fluffy.  Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.
7.  Flip half the cookies upside down and top each with 1 level tablespoon of filling. (I don’t use a Tablespoon.  I just spread filling with a knife and put a cookie on top.)

All of us love these cookies.  Way better than the store brand.   You really need to make these cookies.  They may be a little work but I thought they were “Simple and Delicious”!    CIAO!!!!

Simple Marinade

This is one of my favorite marinades.  Simple and Delicious.

Simple Marinade

1/3 cup olive oil (or any oil you care to use)
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or any vinegar you want to use)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon (or lime, orange, pineapple – pick a juice any juice!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combination of herbs (I use fresh basil, rosemary and thyme.  You can use whatever you want; cilantro, parsley, oregano – so many to play with!)

Whisk first 5 ingredients.  Place meat or vegetable in plastic bag or container of your choice.  Add marinade, along with herbs.  I marinade at least 2 hours.  Lots of times I will do in the morning before work and let set all day in the refrigerator.  Very simple and delicious grilled, baked or fried.  Whatever you desire!  Enjoy!!

Rocky Mountain High – Family, Food, Fun high that is!!

The Martin’s and I took a road trip to see Scott and Kathleen in Denver last week. July 2014 084 Now, I think you can imagine 17 hours, one way with these guys.  Lots of talking, music and driving.  It was a blast!  We surprised Scott and Kathleen by getting to their front door 12 hours earlier than they expected. 🙂  We ended up going to Cherry Creek which is a really nice area in Denver to shop.  Kathleen’s employer is in this area.  We had breakfast at The Syrup and did lots of walking around at the different shops.  After a long drive why not go shopping!

Scott and Kathleen, as always, were wonderful hosts.  Our first official day there we drove up to Mount Evans. On the way up we stopped by a lake and took our first photo op.

July 2014 098    denver photo op 3 denver photo op 4

Next was Mount Evans.  It was a beautiful drive up to the 14,264-foot summit.  We passed quite a few bicyclists on the way up.  Scott mentioned that he biked up this mountain.  I cannot imagine biking up this mountain.  Car ride works for me! MtEvans4 MtEvansMtEvans7  MtEvans6

The next day we ventured to Boulder.  We started our day at Chautauqua Park.  They have a wonderful restaurant there and breakfast was delicious.  After that, the Farmer’s Market and shopping on Pearl St.  “The Peppercorn” is a fun kitchen store I always visit when I go to Boulder. Pretty much shopping and enjoying the scenery there and while driving up to Boulder and back to Denver.  Scott drove quite the scenic route on the way back to Denver. Martin2 and I enjoyed the wolf sculpture on Pearl St.   I think he enjoyed it more though! 😉 July 2014 113

That evening we ended up having a food night, which we thoroughly enjoyed.  Martin2 found some recipes in Food Network Magazines that Kathleen had laying around.  Kathleen mentioned she would like to get rid of the ample zucchini she had picked from her garden.  We found some stuffed zucchini recipes and settled on Tex Mex and Italian Stuffed Zucchini along with a 3 bean salad recipe.  Martin2 also  found a great rub for flank steak. These were very simple to make, especially with 3 faux chefs in the kitchen and a sous faux chef.  We totally forgot to take photos.  Too busy enjoying our time in the kitchen and conversation.  We enjoyed this simple and delicious meal on the Caruso Partio. July 2014 114Denverus What more could you ask but to spend an awesome time having fun with your family and sharing a delicious meal together?!

The next day the guys went to Red Rocks for a hike.  I have been there a few times.  Love it, but Kathleen and I hung out at the house.  Coffee and chatting on the partio in the morning was always very enjoyable.  It appears they had fun at Red Rocks.  Martin found a sculpture he also enjoyed! Denver3 When hiking they had to stay on the trail.  For all of us who know Martin that could be a challenge. This photo is perfect!!! Denver4   Of course we have the photo op with a beautiful background scenery of Red Rocks. Denver1

Everywhere I have been in Colorado is just beautiful.  July 2014 101July 2014 108July 2014 116

Thanks Scott and Kathleen! We had a wonderful time with you two.  Couldn’t have asked for a better vacation!

 

Italian Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini, halve lengthwise
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon juice from lemon
1/4 cup marinara sauce (I bought some tomato sauce, added 1 garlic clove, fresh basil, touch of parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Simmered for 15-20 minutes and there is your marinara sauce.Save the extra for later!!)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
2.  Scoop out seeds from the zucchini, leave  a 1/4 inch thick shell
3.  Combine ricotta, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon juice in a medium bowl.  Season the zucchini with salt and pepper, fill with ricotta mixture.
4. Place zucchini on prepared baking dish. Drizzle each zucchini half with about 1 Tablespoon marinara sauce, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
5.  Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini
Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (use chili powder if you don’t have this)
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 Large tomato, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons scallions, chopped
3 Tablespoons  fresh cilantro, chopped
Sliced pickled jalapenos, for topping (optional) – we did not have this time

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.  Halve 2 (not 3, you need the extra one for later) zucchini lengthwise; scoop out the seeds.  Then scoop out flesh leaving a 1/4 inch thick shell.  Chop the scooped out zucchini flesh and transfer to a bowl.
3.  Grate the remaining whole zucchini on the large holes of a box grater.  We peeled the skin before grating.  Add the grated zucchini to the bowl of chopped zucchini.  Add 1 teaspoon salt.  Set aside 10 minutes, then squeeze out the liquid.
4.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the garlic, minced jalapeno, chili powder and grated zucchini mixture; cook until tender, about 4 minutes.  Let cool, then stir in cheese.
5.  Spoon into zucchini halves.  Transfer to baking sheet and bake until bubbling, about 20-25 minutes.
6.  While baking, combine the tomato, scallions and cilantro in a small bowl.  Spoon over the zucchini.  Top with the pickled jalapenos.

Chili and Coffee Rubbed Steaks

1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1/4 cup freshly ground coffee (Martin2 and I walked to Starbucks and picked out a bold Italian Roast, got a Turkish grind and that worked perfectly)
1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon coarse ground pepper
1-1 1/2#  flank steak (or whatever steak you desire)

Directions

1.  Mix all dry ingredients together.
2.  Blot the steaks dry.  Brush the meat with a little canola oil. Spread the coffee rub on a baking sheet and roll the steaks in the mixture to coat, using about 1 tablespoon per steak. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour but no longer-otherwise, the meat will begin to cure.
3.  Preheat a grill to medium high. Drizzle a little canola oil on both sides of each steak, then grill 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare.
4.  Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before slicing. YUMMY!

 

 

Stuffed Zucchini – Italian and Tex Mex

I love Italian and Tex Mex flavors.  Why not do both?   These were very easy to do.  As always, simple and delicious!

(Didn’t take photos.  Before the end of the summer I will make these again.  I will add them later, ok??)

 

Italian Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini, halve lengthwise
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon juice from lemon
1/4 cup marinara sauce (I bought some tomato sauce, added 1 garlic clove, fresh basil, touch of parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Simmered for 15-20 minutes and there is your marinara sauce.  (Save the extra for later!!)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
2.  Scoop out seeds from the zucchini, leave  a 1/4 inch thick shell
3.  Combine ricotta, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon juice in a medium bowl.  Season the zucchini with salt and pepper, fill with ricotta mixture.
4. Place zucchini on prepared baking dish. Drizzle each zucchini half with about 1 Tablespoon marinara sauce, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
5.  Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini
Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (use chili powder if you don’t have this)
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 Large tomato, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons scallions, chopped
3 Tablespoons  fresh cilantro, chopped
Sliced pickled jalapenos, for topping (optional) – we did not have this time

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.  Halve 2 (not 3, you need the extra one for later) zucchini lengthwise; scoop out the seeds.  Then scoop out flesh leaving a 1/4 inch thick shell.  Chop the scooped out zucchini flesh and transfer to a bowl.
3.  Grate the remaining whole zucchini on the large holes of a box grater.  We peeled the skin before grating.  Add the grated zucchini to the bowl of chopped zucchini.  Add 1 teaspoon salt.  Set aside 10 minutes, then squeeze out the liquid.
4.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the garlic, minced jalapeno, chili powder and grated zucchini mixture; cook until tender, about 4 minutes.  Let cool, then stir in cheese.
5.  Spoon into zucchini halves.  Transfer to baking sheet and bake until bubbling, about 20-25 minutes.
6.  While baking, combine the tomato, scallions and cilantro in a small bowl.  Spoon over the zucchini.  Top with the pickled jalapenos

Chili & Coffee Rubbed Steaks

This was a great rub.  Give it a try!  As always, simple and delicious.

 

Chili and Coffee Rubbed Steaks

1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1/4 cup freshly ground coffee (Martin2 and I walked to Starbucks and picked out a bold Italian Roast, got a Turkish grind and that worked perfectly)
1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon coarse ground pepper
1-1 1/2#  flank steak (or whatever steak you desire)

Directions

1.  Mix all dry ingredients together.
2.  Blot the steaks dry.  Brush the meat with a little canola oil. Spread the coffee rub on a baking sheet and roll the steaks in the mixture to coat, using about 1 tablespoon per steak. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour but no longer-otherwise, the meat will begin to cure.
3.  Preheat a grill to medium high. Drizzle a little canola oil on both sides of each steak, then grill 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare.
4.  Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before slicing. YUMMY!