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Monday, February 28, 2011

Pesto Romano Linguine

Some time ago, I was waltzing around the grocery store trying to come up with a quick meal idea.  Normally, I make my menu a few days ahead of time.  Then, I sub and swap as the week goes on.  On this particular night, I was thrown for a loop while at the grocery store because Ron told me he would be home for dinner!  You see, he had been traveling that week.  So, when Ron travels, I go on a major vegetable and fish splurge.  On that particular evening, I was at the grocery store planning on baking some salmon for dinner.  Obviously Ron is a big boy and can fend for himself, but given the fact that I hadn't seen him for several days, I thought it would be nice to eat dinner together.  So, I paced back and forth until a package of Bilinski's Pesto Romano chicken sausage caught my eye.  Pasta, it would be!
The end result was absolutely delicious.  I purchased some fresh pasta (on my to do list: make my own pasta!), some ingredients to make fresh pesto (naturally, I ended up using prepared pesto to save time), and a beautiful wild rice loaf from the Kowalski's bakery.  We had a very quick, fresh, and flavorful dinner.  I ended up adding sliced cherry tomatoes to my plate and sauteed some fresh spinach to toss throughout.  The meal took less than 10 minutes to prepare, but may take longer if you decide to make your own pesto.  I kept referring to this as the "Popeye" meal... and Popeye meal will make a showing in our kitchen again!
Pesto Romano Linquine
inspired by Bilinski's Chicken Sausage
Yield: 3-4 servings
  • 1 (10-ounce) package fresh Spinach linguine
  • 1 package Bilinski's Pesto Romano chicken sausage, or chicken sausage of your choosing, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1/4 c - 1/2 c basil pesto, prepared or home-made
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated asiago cheese
  1. Lightly coat a nonstick cooking pan with olive oil spray and preheat pan over low heat.  Add chicken sausage. Heat chicken sausage, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the fresh pasta according to package instructions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  3. In the pasta pot, add 1/2 Tbsp olive oil. Saute 3 cups fresh spinach until wilted. Toss cherry tomatoes with spinach.
  4. Toss pasta with spinach and tomatoes. Add sliced, heated sausage. Add pasta cooking water and pesto, adding more as desired. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Season to taste, sprinkle individual servings with asiago cheese, and enjoy!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Whole Wheat Molasses Bread

It is no secret that I love baking quick breads.  What's not to love about them?  They are very easy to make.  They are low maintenance, normally a one-bowl prep, and are always delicious!  They provide a grab and go breakfast item.  Plus, you can easily cut some slices to save in the freezer for a quick breakfast down the road.

I spotted this one around the holidays and decided to mix it up on a cold, snowy afternoon.  I love gingerbread cookies, but for one reason or another opted not to make them this year.  I craved that intense flavor of molasses through the entire holiday season.  So, this bread definitely filled that craving.  It was very good.  The cornmeal gave it almost a nutty texture.  It kept well for several days.  Most of the time, Ron doesn't eat any of my bread, but he asked for a few slices of this one and I noticed him taking it to work through out the week.  I was delighted!  It can easily be paired with some apple butter, or almond butter, or jam!  Eat alongside a cup of coffee or tea and you have a delicious breakfast or snack!
Whole Wheat Molasses Bread
from Joy the Baker
  • 2 1/2 cups Whole Wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray an 8x4 or 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and molasses.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient and fold to combine.  (Batter will be thick.)
  5. Bake for 45-60 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 20 minutes in pan, then remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rainbow Chopped Salad

For some reason, I've never posted a salad recipe on this blog.  This is bizarre because I have a salad for lunch, or dinner, on 6 out of 7 days of the week.  I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables.  And, I love combining them.  (My father would say "blegh" to this salad.  He hates when fruit is mixed with lettuce!)  I guess I've never posted an actual recipe because salads are pretty easy to mix up and easily customized to your preferences.  Plus, if you utilize your grocer's salad bar, you can easily mix up a cheap, individualized meal.  (Tip: Buy your lettuce and dressing separately to cut back significantly on weight. Load up your take-out container with fresh veggies and mix your salad when you get home or back to work.)
But, given the fact that I felt this blog needed some color in its life (esp. since my last post's snow-freak out), I've decided to post a recipe for this delicious rainbow chopped salad that I recently spotted in the latest bon appetit magazine.  I did make some slight changes to my own recipe - I used blueberries instead of pomegranate seeds, added sweet cherry tomatoes and opted for feta cheese instead of blue cheese - but the end result is delicious.  I always eat large salad portions, but you can easily use this as a side dish or add your choice of protein to make it a heartier meal.  I also love making my own salad dressings -- they are so easy to whip up and honestly take less time to make than it takes to grab a pre-made bottle of the grocery aisle.  (Ok, not really.  But, it's nice to know that my dressing only has 4 delicious ingredients in it.)  Honestly, I encourage you to try your hand at whisking up your own dressing.  It's amazing what flavor combinations you can come up with!
Rainbow Chopped Salad
adapted from Bon Appetit
Yield: 8 servings
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups chopped romaine hearts
  • 4 cups sliced red cabbage (or spinach)
  • 1 large Fuji apple, halved, cored, diced
  • 1 Asian pear, halved, cored, diced
  • 1 mango, peeled, diced (or 2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled, seeded, diced)
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (or 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (or blue cheese), optional
  1. Dressing: Whisk vinegar, shallot, and honey in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Salad: Combine romaine and next 7 ingredients in a very large bowl; toss to blend. Add dressing and toss gently to coat. Divide salad among plates. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired, and serve.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Minnesota Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

AGHHHHH!!!!!  Please forgive my loud screaming!!  We got hit with another blizzard this past weekend.  The ironic thing is that I was just outside running around in shorts less than a week ago.  It was supposed to stop yesterday, but here I sit, staring out the window at a 3 foot snow drift and a lot of snow coming down.  The weather forecaster's predict that another storm of modest amount is supposed to hit on March 7.  Well honestly.  Screw you, Old Man Winter!  And you too, Mr. Punxsutawney Phil! Clearly, you are bitter about something.
Ok, enough complaining (grrrrrr).  But based on the above feelings, comfort food has certainly been a-plenty in our kitchen.  I ended up walking to the grocery store before the blizzard hit yesterday morning because I knew I would be craving chili.  And, because I deal with an extreme OCD when it comes to spotting a recipe and dealing with a craving, I knew it was wise to go out that day to pick up the ingredients.  I left around 9 am and snow had not yet begun to fall.  The grocery store is about 6/10ths of a mile from our house.  By the time I got there, flakes had started to trickle down.  In the 5 minutes I was inside the store, it turned into a snow-fest outside!  The walk home was intense and I was completely covered when I walked in the front door.

So, why am I not posting the chili recipe that I had made?  Because my blog is backed up with recipes that have yet to be posted!  So, since this delicious soup was made a few weeks back on another cold, snowy, dreary Minnesota winter night, I figured it would suffice for today's post.  Ron is a big fan of wild rice soup, so I figured I would give it a try.  Overall, it turned out fantastic.  Though, like all good soups, I swear that it tasted much better the next day after the flavors had a chance to mix together.  I did make one change to the recipe.  I replaced the cream with a can of cream of mushroom soup.  Cream, although very tasty, would have set the nutritional stats soaring.  I decided to make a somewhat "healthier" version of the soup and it worked out just great.  It might not be as creamy, but it worked for my preferences.  As always, serve with a big slice of a hearty, crusty bread... and enjoy!
Minnesota Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
from The Pastry Affair
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 leeks, diced (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 3 carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (1 1/2 - 2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup (or 1 cup cream)
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  1. Cook wild rice according to package directions.
  2. In a large pot, melt 2 Tbsp butter over medium-high heat.  Saute leeks, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and garlic until vegetables have softened, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add flour and stir.
  4. Add chicken broth; bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Add cooked rice and cooked chicken; stir.
  6. Stir in cream of mushroom soup (or cream) and dry sherry; cook until heated through.
  7. Serve with a nice hearty loaf and enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Vegetarian Country Captain

I apologize for not blogging as of late.  It's been a little bit hectic in our lives.  Ron's grandmother passed away and we were once again reminded how unfortunate it is for us to be so far away from our families.  I've known Ron's gram for seven wonderful years now.  I must admit that the world is a lot less brighter without her presence.  She reminded me a lot of my own grandma, who sadly passed away a few years ago.  I felt myself drawn to Ron's gram on holidays and other family gatherings, especially when I missed the presence of my own gram.  Ron's gram, Grandma Mitchell, was such a delightful soul.  She was happy, and witty, and smart.  The woman was balancing her own checkbook until it was absolutely impossible for her to do so!  She told the most wonderful stories (here is a fun fact: Her and Ron's grandfather started one of the first cable companies in the U.S... another grandparent fun fact: my own grandmother grew up right next door to Albert Einstein, in New Jersey).  Grandma Mitchell was an absolute ray of sunlight and such a joy to many lives.  She will be greatly missed.
Otherwise, school, work, and other things in life have been keeping me busy.  Ironman training started on Monday and thankfully we've had some freakishly warm February days that have kicked it off nicely. I won't be chatting about Ironman training on here, but I am slowly starting to post about my 140.2 mile wanderings on this blog.  With the training starting, I've also begun to start mixing up my hearty lunch meals on the weekends to have for the earlier part of the week.  This was a vegetarian meal that I mixed up for this week.  I was pretty impressed by it.  It only took about 30 minutes or so to prepare.  It's packed with healthy ingredients and the flavors are delightful.  I ended up using additional mango chutney in my own individual serving, but I think I may add some sriracha for the next bowl.  Don't forget to add the currants (raisins will work fine) and sliced almonds -- they add a wonderful crunch and sweetness to the rest of the dish.  Serve with some toasted flatbread or naan, and enjoy!
Vegetarian Country Captain
Yield: about 4 large servings
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp good curry powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp mango chutney, plus more for serving, if desired
  • 2 Tbsp whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)
  • 3 cups hot cooked long-grain white, or brown, rice, cooked according to package
  • 1/4 cup dried currants (or raisins)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • sliced green onions (optional)

  1. Heat a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add oil to pan, and swirl to coat.  Add chopped onion, and cook for 7 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
  3. Add apple; cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add flour, curry powder, and garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Add broth and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat, and simmer for 2 minutes or until slightly thick.
  7. Stir in chutney, cream, and salt.
  8. Add cauliflower and edamame; cook for 8 minutes or until cauliflower is tender, stirring occasionally.
  9. Serve over rice, and top with currants and almonds. Garnish with cilantro and green onions, if desired.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Arroz Con Pollo

Finally, a food recipe.  I haven't taken the time to post an actual meal so far in February and we're already eleven days in!  Sorry about that.

I've had an idea to make arroz con pollo for a few weeks now.  The dish is a simple, yet very flavorful, dish that consists of some spice, some chicken and some rice.  (The spanish translation of arroz con pollo means rice with chicken - go figure!)  It is a dish that is common throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.  I've never been to either place however I have had the dish in a Spanish restaurant.

I would not call this recipe as authentic as other available recipes.  Basically, this is because I did not add any threads of saffron.  Then again, there are literally hundreds of ways to make this dish (and a number of countries that claim their dish's "authenticity") so it is somewhat unclear what is authentic and what is not.  Technically, saffron might not even be a necessary ingredient.  (It is.)  But, as I was pulling from my needs-to-be-replenished pantry for this dish, I was somewhat limited.  Nonetheless, the recipe turned out fantastic.  It does have a basic sofrito: diced onions, garlic, bell pepper, and spices sauteed in olive oil.  It is a very easy, stove-top, one pan dish.  It makes a ton and would be great to have for your next dinner!
Arroz Con Pollo
Yield: About 4-5 generous servings
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp oregano 
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large bell peppers, sliced
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 4 scallions, diced
  • 2 cups long grain brown rice
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with oregano and basil, undrained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup diced green olives
  • hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  1. Combine salt, oregano, pepper, 3 cloves minced garlic, and 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar in a large ziploc bag.  Toss chicken to coat; marinade for 15 minutes. Let sit and prepare rest of ingredients.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan.  Add chicken and cook until lightly brown over medium heat, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from pan.
  3. Add the bell peppers, jalapeno, scallions, paprika, cumin, 2 cloves minced garlic, and onions to the pan; sprinkle with a pinch of salt, cooking for 5 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.
  4. Stir in rice and cook for one minute, being careful not to burn it.
  5. Add the broth, water, and undrained tomatoes.  Return chicken to pan and bring to a boil.  Stir.
  6. Reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 20-30 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  7. Stir in olives and serve with as much hot sauce as you wish.
  8. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars

Perhaps it is because I am still sobbing over the Steelers loss.  Or perhaps it is because it is February - winter is far from over - and it is negative sixteen outside.  Perhaps it is because I just spent thirty minutes battling my cat for the sunny and warm spot in the house.  Or perhaps it is because my "lunch" consisted of crushed tortilla chips and brown rice.  Whatever "it" is. . . I am not in the best of moods today.  The annual winter funk is in full swing.  So instead of a healthy and delicious dinner option, I am posting another dessert recipe that is sure to put a smile on my face.  Oh, and I think it will put a smile on your face too. :)

I made this batch of marshmallow crunch brownie bars for the Super Bowl this past Sunday.  Prior to realizing that I could not find a Clark bar anywhere in town, I had originally intended to bake crushed Clark bars in the brownies!  I guess it is a good thing that I couldn't find them because these brownies were certainly decadent without the added candy bar.  I absolutely loved these brownies and so did everyone who tried them.  They were delicious!  I had made marshmallow topped brownies in the past, but I was very intrigued by the chocolate and pb krispie topping.  These are totally worth checking out.

My only complaint about these brownies was that I should have cut the recipe in half!  This recipe makes an entire 9x13 pan.  That's a lot of brownies and they were cut pretty big.  And because I didn't want to bombard my office with more brownies, I sent the leftovers with Ron where a number of Packers fans dined on them.  Grrrr.....
Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars
from Brown Eyed Baker
For the Brownie Base
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Topping
  • 1 bag (10 1/2 ounces) miniature marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups rice krispies cereal
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9x13-inch pan.
  2. For the brownies: In a medium saucepan, melt the unsweetened chocolate, butter, and 3/4 cup of the semisweet chocolate chips over medium heat.  Stir occasionally while melting. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Stir the melted ingredients into the egg mixture, mixing well. Stir in the dry sifted ingredients and mix well.  Fold in the remaining 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the corner of the pan comes out with moist crumbs.
  6. Remove the brownies from the oven and immediately sprinkle the marshmallows over them. Return the pan to the oven for 3 more minutes.
  7. For the Krispie topping: Meanwhile, place the milk chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a medium saucepan.  Melt over low heat, stirring constantly, until completely melted. Remove from heat, add the rice krispies and mix well.  Allow to cool for 3 minutes.
  8. Spread the mixture evenly over the marshmallow layer.  Refrigerate until chilled before cutting.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Some people go out to restaurants for a nice dinner when they have something to *celebrate.  Or maybe they go out to have some drinks to toast good news.  I've gotten in the habit of planning our own celebration menu that is finished with a wonderful dessert.  Normally, I try to stick with just a basic cookie or brownie, but I've recently started watching 'Cupcake Wars' on Food Network again.  Let me tell you - if you weren't craving a cupcake before sitting down to watch the show, you'll certainly be wanting one 5 minutes in.

I absolutely loved these.  Chocolate and peanut butter are my favorite candy combination, so I knew it would turn out well in cupcake form.  I didn't have any peanut butter cups to sprinkle over top, but the dark chocolate chips and honey roasted peanuts worked out just fine.  I cut the recipe down so we would only have 6 cupcakes lying around and it was very easy without eggs.  I highly suggest trying these the next time you are craving chocolate and peanut butter!

*These were not made to celebrate a Steelers Super Bowl win.  Insert multiple sad faces and several tears.  That is all that will be said.
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
Yield:  24 cupcakes
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk (or water)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, vanilla extract and vinegar.
  4. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients being careful not to overmix.  (Mixture will be wet.)
  5. Pour the batter until the cups at two thirds full and place in the oven for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cup comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then place on a wire rack.  Cool completely before frosting.
  1. In a medium bowl, beat butter and peanut butter until creamy and virtually no lumps remain.  Scrape down the bowl.
  2. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and beat on low for 1 minute.
  3. Add milk and beat on medium high for 1 minutes.
  4. Add more powdered sugar as you go until you reach desired consistency.
  5. Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes and top with desired toppings: chopped peanut butter cups, chocolate chips, peanuts, etc.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mexican Layer Dip

I am overwhelmed.  I am currently swimming in a sea of Super Bowl related recipes.  Every food magazine I receive is stacked full of recipes for foods like hot wings and baby back ribs.  The food blogosphere world has been blowing up with football snack foods and super bowl menu's.  The other day I clicked on a link to find not one, not ten, not twenty Super Bowl recipes, but one hundred and one.  AGHH!!  Naturally, I bookmarked about 50.  There are just so many variations out there: on buffalo chicken dips or crab dip.  Or spinach and artichoke dip.  And, there are tons of different toppings for nacho's, and varieties of chili's, and chicken bbq sandwiches, and brownies, and cookies. . . AGHHH!!

Yes, overwhelmed.

Finally, I decided on our Super Bowl XLV menu where my beloved Steelers will take on the smelly cheese heads.  It's simple and efficient.  But, I went through about 45 different menu's before I decided what to make. On the menu is my version of a mexican/taco layer dip.  This batch went with Ron to a potluck at his work, but I have enough to make for us on Sunday.  This dip is so quick to mix up and is delicious with tortilla chips.  Enjoy, and HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!!
Mexican Layer Dip
adapted from a number of sources and tweaked with my own preferences
  • 16 oz. can refried beans
  • 1 (one-ounce) package taco seasoning 
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or taco cheese) divided
  • 8 oz. guacamole
  • 8-10 oz. salsa (your choice)
  • sliced green onions
  • chopped tomatoes
  • shredded lettuce
  • 4 oz. sliced black olives
  1. In a bowl, combine the refried beans and the taco seasoning packet.  Spread on the bottom of an 8x8 glass baking dish.
  2. Mix sour cream with 1 cup shredded cheese.  Spread over top of the bean mixture.
  3. Spread guacamole over top of the sour cream/cheese layer.
  4. Spread salsa over guacamole. (Be careful that your salsa is not too watery.)
  5. Sprinkle sliced green onions, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and black olives over the guacamole layer.
  6. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.  Add additional toppings of lettuce, olives, tomatoes, etc. as desired.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Not too long ago, Ron and I watched a show on Food Network that highlighted a Pumpple Cake. The Flying Monkey, located in Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market, created this amazing dessert: pumpkin and apple pies baked in chocolate and vanilla cake.  Everything is fused together and surrounded by buttercream icing.  Now, there are some fusions that I don't have much desire to try (for instance, a turducken) but I would be more than willing to give any dessert fusion a try.  I love fusing desserts!  Honestly, what can make sugar even more appealing?  Add more sugar!

These, my friends, are Brookies.  Brookies consist of half chocolate chip cookie and half fudge brownie.  How fun!  I was on a search to find an enjoyable treat to bring in to the office to celebrate a birthday. When I saw these, I had to make them.  They seemed fun, festive and they were something I hadn't tried before.

The original recipe called for a rich buttercream frosting layer to top the brownies.  I struggled for a good while determining whether I should mix up the frosting.  And while I admit that the buttercream would have made these even more amazing, I was a bit concerned that the frosting would make the treat toooo sweet.  So, I opted to leave it off this time but I think they turned out just fabulous.  The recipe itself was incredibly easy to mix up.  The bottom layer is a classic chocolate chip cookie batter.  It bakes for 20 minutes or so.  In the meantime, you mix up the brownie layer and once the cookie layer is baked, you get to pour the brownie layer over top, an oddly satisfying step.  The end result? A delicious, buttery, chocolate filled birthday treat that is definitely worth sharing!
from Bakingdom
Yield: One 8x8 inch pan
  • Cookies
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Brownies
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8-inch square baking dish with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Make the Cookie Layer: In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together. Add the egg and vanilla; mix until well combined. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until just mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips and spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  3. While the cookie layer bakes in the oven, Make the Brownie Layer: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sugar until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Whisk in the dry ingredients until combined. Once the cookie layer comes out of the oven, immediately pour the brownie batter on top and return the pan to the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. 
  4. Allow to cool completely before serving.