Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fudgy Cookies

I needed a quick cookie recipe, and came across this on the Betty Crocker website
Since I had just about everything on hand, it was a perfect fit for what I needed!  The only thing is, I didn't have the Hershey Hugs, but I did have a bag of Kisses!  And they just made these cookies extra fudgy!  Is that even a word?!  I have seen people use the Candy Cane Kisses too, so as soon as I get me a bag of those, I'm going to try them (and I want to see how the caramel kisses work, too!)

Fiesta Fudge Cookies Recipes (from Betty Crocker):

1/3 c. butter
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (1 lb 1.5 oz) pouch sugar cookie mix
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
60 Kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350.
In large glass bowl, combine butter and chocolate.  Microwave 1 minute.  Stir.  Microwave 1 minute more, until you're able to stir chocolate smooth.
Add in sweetened condensed milk, stir until well mixed.
Add cookie mix and cinnamon, stir until fully combined.
Roll 1 level Tablespoon of dough into ball (you should get 60)
Bake 6 to 7 minutes, just until they start to lose glossiness (do not overbake!)
Immediately press 1 Kiss into each cookie and let sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
Remove from pan and let cool completely.

Comfort Food - Part I

I've been sick for the better part of this week, feeling pretty cruddy and not much like doing anything.  My kitchen is feeling neglected!  

What better to make when sick than comfort foods?!  I have a few that I like to make when it gets cold, or I'm feeling nostalgic or something.  This first one is probably a weird one to crave when sick, but it's what I've wanted all week.  I finally made it for lunch yesterday.  This isn't really a "recipe" but more of a guideline (I am so much more a baker than a cook -- I don't follow recipes or measure anything when cooking, sorry!).  I have been congested and stuffy, so I wanted something I could actually TASTE!

This is a different Taco Salad, but it's my favorite way to make it!

Isn't it pretty?
I made my own pico de gallo (recipe to follow)
and I mix my Ranch dressing up so it's a little spicy:

(I just add some taco seasoning to my ranch dressing...once I deplete this huge container of pre-made taco seasoning, I'm going to make my own from scratch.  I hear it's very good)

Taco Salad Recipe:

Ground turkey, browned and mixed with taco seasoning
Lettuce of your choosing
Shredded cheese
Pico de gallo
Ranch dressing mixed with taco seasoning
Tortilla chips or Doritos

I make a bed of lettuce on a plate, then layer on my cheese, meat and pico.  Drizzle dressing over top, then crush chips on top.  It's really very easy, and it's soooooo yummy!  Especially when I'm sick, and I just need something easy and yummy.

Pico de Gallo Recipe:
4 Roma Tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, diced (I like red)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced finely
fresh cilantro

Mix all together and cover tightly.  Keep refrigerated.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pumpkin Bisque

Bisque.  Pumpkin.  How could I resist??

I searched for a recipe...only found a couple (for "bisque" -- plenty for different types of soup)...and I ended up pulling from several different ones and making my own little creation.  I was worried no one would like it (it seems as if it would be an acquired taste), but my family (well, except my son) LOVED it!!!  My hubby couldn't get enough, and my girls - after tasting ours - all asked for their own bowls!  And ate it right up!  This recipe made a LOT, and there's only enough left over for one bowl (lunch for hubby tomorrow!).  


1 Tbs butter
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
5 c. chicken stock
32 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/2 to 1 tsp allspice (if you don't have allspice you can use equal parts of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves)
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 c. dry sherry (or substitute with apple cider vinegar)
1 c. light cream or half & half
Bacon, cooked crisply

Melt butter and sautee onion and garlic until soft and tender.
Pour in stock, pumpkin, spice, sugar and sherry.  Stir together over med-hi heat.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Turn off heat, let sit for at least 10 minutes.
Transfer soup to blender (may have to do in two batches); blend until smooth.
Return soup to pot, add in cream and cook until thoroughly heated.
Serve with bacon.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cookie Dough Truffles......Sooooooo good!

I saw this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe
I HAD to try it.
Cookie Dough?!
Coated with CHOCOLATE.
So very decadent!
I ♥ Mel

I actually made these for a bake sale.  The recipe made over 6 dozen for me!!  So there were a couple to sample.  And I heard only good things from the people who bought some (and there were plenty who came back and bought MORE after they had sampled them!).  They are quick and easy (well, quick discounting the time in the freezer; and easy if you have even a little experience dipping things in chocolate).  

 Mmm...Cookie Dough!  Check out that yummy goodness!

 Here are the "middles" - chilling in my freezer.
 Dipped in chocolate, with a fun little drizzle.
 All dressed up for the bake sale.
A peek at the yumminess inside...mmmm!

Cookie Dough Truffles
from My Kitchen Cafe, adapted from Taste of Home

½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional, I did not add them)
1 ½ pounds semisweet chocolate candy coating, chopped (I used the chocolate almond bark)

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla; mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts, if using. Shape into 1-inch balls; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Loosely cover and freeze for 1-2 hours or until firm. (The dough softens quickly at room temperature so it works best if they are frozen, not just chilled in the refrigerator.)

In a microwave safe bowl, melt candy coating, stirring often until smooth. Dip balls in coating; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. If desired, melt remaining candy coating and drizzle over candies. Store in refrigerator.