Friday, June 22, 2012

Big Old Skillet Cookie

While working from home this week, I had a hankering for something sweet so I decided to bake.  Also, quite frankly, I wanted to break up the monotony of working on manuscripts.  So I searched through my bookmarked recipes and came across this one, from the blog The Cherry on Top.  

This recipe seemed perfect, since I wanted cookies, but was feeling a little lazy and didn't necessarily want to spend a lot of time rolling out individual balls of dough.  So if you're craving freshly baked cookies, but are feeling a bit lethargic, give this one a try.

You'll need:

2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used a mix of white and semi-sweet chocolate chips)

a cast iron skillet

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  

Meanwhile, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, for 2-3 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until well incorporated.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture until everything is well incorporated.  Mix in the chocolate chips.

Transfer the dough to your cast iron skillet (mine was 12 inches in diameter).  Press to flatten it in an even layer.  Bake until the edges of the cookie are brown and golden, ~40-45 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling before serving.

Om nom nom nom nom...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Honey, Lemon, & Rosemary Grilled Chicken

Thank you Two Peas and Their Pod for this marinade recipe.  It's perfect for summer grilling.

You'll need:

1/2 cup honey
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (or some chicken tenders)

Combine all ingredients except for chicken in a medium-sized bowl.  Put the chicken in a zip top bag, then add the marinade.  Mix it all around to ensure that the chicken is well coated.

Put the bag in the refrigerator and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, and up to overnight.  If you'd like, come back to the bag every so often and mix it up.

Preheat your grill, brush the grates with olive oil, and go to town!  Place the chicken on the grill and discard the marinade.  Grill until cooked through.  Serve warm.

Delicious and healthy!  The only change I'd make to this chicken next time around would be to add more garlic.  A lot more garlic.  But that's just me.  It was really good over a bed of cous cous and roasted tomatoes.  And equally delicious the next day when I turned the leftovers into chicken salad.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Not-So-Typical Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Just like my last post, this one has been sitting around as a draft since April 1st.  Eesh.  Fortunately, after posting this one, I'm all caught up and can start whipping up some brand new posts.  I found this recipe on a new-to-me blog, A Duck's Oven.

You'll need:

12 oz mini penne pasta (or whatever pasta you're into)
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tbs green onion, chopped
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp paprika

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Cook pasta according to package directions.

Once the pasta is done, drain and return it to the pot it was cooked in.  While it's still hot, mix in the shredded cheese.

Combine the ground mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Add the sour cream, cottage cheese, and milk to the pasta and mix thoroughly.  Add the spice mixture and green onions and mix until combined.

Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan and spread the mac n cheese into the dish.  

Combine the melted butter, bread crumbs, and paprika and sprinkle evenly over the top.  Bake for 30 minutes until it's bubbly, and the bread crumbs have browned.  If the bread crumbs aren't browned enough for your liking, broil it for 30 seconds or so.  Top with additional green onions and serve.

This is really good as is, but could only be improved by the addition of, say... bacon?  Or broccoli?  Whatever you'd like.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Panko Crusted Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Wow, this recipe has been sitting around as a draft for like 2 months.  Why it took me this long to blog about it, I'm not sure.  It was really good!  I came across this recipe on the blog For the Love of Cooking.

You'll need:

1 cup of ricotta cheese
small handful of baby spinach, roughly chopped
small handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 tbs Parmesan cheese
1 tbs fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 chicken breasts
Panko bread crumbs
2 tsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, tomatoes, Parmesan, basil, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl, set aside.

Take the chicken breasts and cut a long horizontal slit along the center of the thin long edge of each chicken breast.  Don't cut the whole way through, though.  Fill the cavity with the cheese mixture.  Season each side of the chicken with more salt and pepper.  Dip the chicken in the Panko bread crumbs until both side is evenly coated.  Carefully seal up the open slits in the chicken with toothpicks.

Heat the olive oil in an oven proof skillet on the stove over medium high heat.  Once the pan heats up, put the chicken in the pan for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown.  

A little messy...
Flip it over and put the skillet in the oven.  Cook for an additional 2o minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before digging in.  Enjoy!  Also, if you happen to use colored toothpicks, like I did, don't be alarmed when some of the color ends up transferring to the chicken.  It's harmless. =)