Sunday, March 28, 2010

S'mores Cookies

These are my new favorite cookies. Love, love, love them! I found the recipe here and made one adaptation:

In addition to the 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs, I've added 1 cup graham cracker pieces. One sleeve of graham crackers is enough for both the crumbs and pieces. I put the crackers in a freezer-weight Ziploc and pounded it with a mallet. I used a sieve to strain out the crumbs and reserved the pieces.

I also used a large cookie scoop to make these:

I got 17 large cookies out of the batch. You could always use a smaller scoop, but adjust your baking time slightly to compensate.

If you want to save time and just add the marshmallows to the dough, be prepared to have trouble getting the cookies off your cookie sheet, even with parchment paper. You get a better result (and prettier cookies) adding the marshmallows at the end. I also added a couple more chocolate chips on top as well.


3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips, or chopped milk chocolate
1 cup graham cracker pieces
1 cup (approximately) miniature marshmallows, frozen

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. Mix in flour, crumbs, salt, and baking soda. Fold in chocolate chips and cracker pieces.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls on parchment-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly press 4-5 marshmallows into each cookie. Return to oven and bake for 3-4 more minutes. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes, remove to wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Slow Cooker London Broil

London Broil is a fairly cheap cut of meat that I usually use for grilling. It is not the most tender cut of beef, so this recipe treats it like a roast. Very simple, very satisfying. Makes a lot of gravy that goes great with mashed potatoes or rice.


2 lb. london broil
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can tomato soup
1 package onion soup mix

Place london broil in bottom of slow cooker (cut up if necessary to make it fit). In a medium bowl, whisk together soups and soup mix. Pour over beef. Cook in slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Shred and serve with sauce.

Lemon Cream Cupcakes

These are so moist and fresh - perfect for spring. I made The Best Frosting Ever using a teaspoon of lemon extract - fabulous! But I have to say, I think these would also be fantastic with a glaze of lemon juice, powdered sugar, and lemon zest. When I make these again, I'll try that and post a recipe for the glaze.

I followed the baking time on the recipe exactly and my cupcakes were too brown, so I have adjusted the baking time.

This makes about 15-18 cupcakes, depending on how much you fill the cups. If you decide to double the recipe, you will only need 3 eggs, not 4.


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp.vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
yellow food coloring, optional

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Add lemon peel and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add this to butter mixture alternately with sour cream. (Batter will be thick). Add food coloring, if desired.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Chicken Broccoli Hashbrown Casserole

This is a simple comfort-food type casserole. I highly recommend using Panko breadcrumbs, as they provide the most crunch, but you could also used crushed Ritz crackers.

I used Southern style hashbrowns, which are the diced variety vs. shredded. You can use either variety.

If you don't have celery seed, you can replace one of the soups with cream of celery and get pretty much the same flavor.


2 lbs. frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
3 cups diced cooked chicken breast
1 (12 oz) package frozen broccoli florets
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. celery seed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9 glass baking dish.

Microwave broccoli according to package directions. Drain.

In a large bowl, combine soups, milk, sour cream, minced onion, garlic powder, black pepper, celery seed, and 1 cup cheddar. Fold in potatoes, chicken, and broccoli. Pour into baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheddar on top.

In a medium bowl, combine melted butter and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over casserole.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Chili Lime Tacos

These are great and have fresh flavor. I highly recommend serving them with salsa and guacamole in addition to the suggestions below.


1 1/2 - 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 tsp. olive oil
juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
10-12 (6 inch) flour tortillas

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin.

Heat olive oil in a saute pan over med-high heat. Saute chicken until browned and cooked through. Reduce heat to med-low and pour lime mixture into pan with chicken. Add green onions and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes. Add cilantro and stir.

Serve in tortillas with chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sour cream, and shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I didn't like guacamole, or avocados for that matter, for a long time. Now that I'm a grown-up, I'm finally appreciating the 'finer' things. This is my favorite guac recipe. Give it a try, I think you will like it too. If you like it chunkier, don't mash the avocados as much.


3 ripe avocados
2 limes
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

Scoop avocado into a medium size bowl. Squeeze in the juice of 2 limes. Mash.

Mix in the green onions, cilantro, salt, and garlic. Fold in tomatoes.

Can be served immediately or stored in fridge. Best eaten within 24 hours.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

These cupcakes are nice and moist and rich. The full recipe makes 24 cupcakes. You can easily halve it to make a dozen, as I did today. Caralie got to frost most of them and gave them green sprinkles in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

I found this recipe on Love that site! The best thing about this recipe is that it contains no eggs so you can lick the batter with abandon.


2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup packed unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins (24 for full recipe, 12 for half).

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Add water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla and stir until smooth. Divide batter into muffin cups.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until tops spring back when touched. Cool completely before frosting.


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. box powdered sugar (or 3/12 cups)
1-5 tsp. milk, half and half, or cream
food coloring (optional)

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add sugar slowly (1/2 cup at a time), allowing butter and sugar to cream together before adding more. Add milk 1 tsp. at a time until frosting is at your preferred texture. Add food coloring, if desired. Frost completely cooled cupcakes. Store in an airtight container. Does not require refrigeration.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Golden Dinner Rolls

These rolls are fantastic. The recipe is excellent and lets you be very flexible. It makes A LOT of rolls, so freeze some for later or give them to friends. In the photo above, Caralie and I cut the dough into strips and tied them in knots. Once baked, we brushed them with a mixture of 1/4 cup melted butter and 1 tsp. granulated garlic. Then we sprinkled them with Parmesan cheese. Garlic knots!

In the next photo, I rolled the dough into balls and placed two in each cup of a greased muffin tin. This makes Parker House rolls (at least I think that is what they are called).

And in this last photo, the dough was once again tied in knots. This time we brushed the freshly baked rolls with a mixture of 1/4 cup melted butter and 2 Tbsp. honey. Yum, yum, yum!

The recipe can be found HERE on

I made the recipe with rapid rise yeast. This lets you avoid the first rise. If you use rapid rise yeast, follow the directions on the package, as you will combine your ingredients differently than if you use regular yeast.

The dough can be made in a bread maker using regular yeast. Or you can use a stand mixer like I did. I let the stand mixer do the kneading for me. Once all ingredients are fully incorporated, leave the mixer on the second setting for 8-10 minutes and your dough will be perfectly kneaded!

****UPDATE: I should also mention that I used butter instead of shortening. Better flavor that way and it doesn't have quite as much saturated fat...I think....