Friday, April 29, 2011

Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Part 2)

As I have mentioned before, I have an obsession with trying to find the best chocolate chip cookies, a la Monica Gellar in Friends. Well, this week has been a bad week for me, with all the doctor's tests and not feeling well, and then the tragedy of the tornado that struck the state of Alabama, and specifically my home away from home, Tuscaloosa, I was in need for some comfort. I went to the University of Alabama (in Tuscaloosa) for 3 years, and that is where I met my boyfriend, Clayton, and where all my friends still go. It still holds a huge part of my heart, and to hear about all the damage, deaths, and destruction that has struck this small town has just been devastating. I encourage all of you to please donate any food, clothing, home items, or money to help out the people of Alabama because they need us more than ever. So in order to cheer myself up, I tried tackling my quest for my favorite chocolate chip cookie. And I would say that this might be it... I'm not quite sure, maybe just a tad bit more tweaking, but it's pretty much there. And I would have to say the big difference is the quality of ingredients that I used. I bought some gourmet bourbon vanilla bean sugar, fleur de sel, and the most expensive chocolate I could find. These cookies are awesome and HUGE. I definitely would recommend them, especially if you don't mind buying the gourmet ingredients (but it's worth it-believe me!). Well I hope you enjoy them because apparently we enjoyed them so much they are already gone... yikes!
Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookies
For the Cookies:
2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Softened
¼C of Unsalted Butter, Grated & Chilled
¼C Granulated Sugar 
¼C Gourmet Raw Bourbon Vanilla Sugar
1 ¾C Brown Sugar
2 Eggs + 1 Egg Yolk
2t Vanilla
1t Sea Salt
3 ½C AP Flour
1 ½t Baking Soda
12oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks
4 oz Gourmet Dark Chocolate, Roughly Chopped
Fleur de Sel, For Sprinkling

Directions: 
1.  Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with Pam, then set aside.
2. Cream the softened butter with the vanilla sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the mixer then add the eggs one at a time, incorporating each one completely before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl and add in the chilled, grated butter.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just incorporated (don’t over mix).
5. Lightly fold in the chopped chocolate until it’s an even mixture. Scoop the dough into roughly ¼C balls, then using your fingers crimp the tops of the cookies to make them more jagged (this will make them look more homemade). 
6. Sprinkle with the fleur de sel on top, then bake the cookies for 12 minutes or until slightly golden on the edges. The cookies will continue to bake on the baking sheet as they cool for 5-10 minutes. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Apple Walnut Bread with Cinnamon Glaze

This past weekend, we went over to a family friend's house for Easter Dinner. We had beef tenderloin, salad, mashed potatoes, and so many more dishes that I can't even think of. I brought over the salad and my famous banana bread, which surprisingly enough I haven't even posted as a recipe on here, so I better get on that. But anyway, I was thinking to myself about how much I love banana bread... it's texture, how moist it is, but it's not overly sweet. So I thought I would make an apple bread (that's exactly like banana bread) with a cinnamon glaze because honestly what is better than apples & cinnamon. I mean it's just a classic combination. I really like this apple bread, and it will definitely be something great to make in the fall when apples are bountiful. I added walnuts to the bread, but you could easily take those out and make just plain bread. Enjoy!
Apple Walnut Bread with Cinnamon Glaze
For the Bread:
1 ¼C AP Flour
1C Sugar
1t Baking Powder
1t Salt
½t Baking Soda
½t Cinnamon
½t Nutmeg
2 Eggs
½C Vegetable Oil
½C Applesauce
2T Sour Cream
1t Vanilla
1 ½C Apple, Shredded & Squeezed Dry
1C Cinnamon Chips
¾C Chopped Walnuts, Optional

For the Cinnamon Glaze:
1C Confectioners’ Sugar, Sifted
1t Cinnamon
1t Vanilla Extract
3T Milk

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray at 9x5 loaf pan with Pam and set aside.
2. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and walnuts (if you’re using them. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, sour cream, and vanilla. Slowly add this wet mixture in small increments into the dry mixture. Lastly, fold in the shredded apple and cinnamon chips.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool the bread in the loaf pan for about 15 minutes, then turn out onto the rack in order to cool completely.
4. To make the glaze, whisk the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and milk until it becomes a smooth glaze. Immediately pour or drizzle over the cooled cake and let it set for 15-20 minutes.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jalapeno Popper Mac n' Cheese

The second recipe that I made for Clayton's birthday dinner party was Jalapeno Popper Mac n' Cheese. We love jalapeno poppers, or really anything that involves the use of jalapenos or any pepper for that matter. Well, we went to the Olde Pink House in Savannah, which is considered to be the city's best restaurant. And on the menu was Mac n' Cheese Jalapeno Poppers (which I'm also going to make, so stay tuned), so it inspired me to make Jalapeno Popper Mac n' Cheese with roasted chiles & jalapenos, crispy bacon, a white creamy cheese sauce similar to the cream cheese stuffing in a jalapeno popper, and then we topped it with crispy panko breadcrumbs (kind of like the crispy breading of a fried jalapeno popper). This mac n' cheese was awesome, the cheese sauce was super creamy, the roasted peppers gave it an amazing natural heat, the bacon gave it a nice smokiness, and the crispy topping just pulled it all together. You definitely need to be making this for any jalapeno popper fan.
Jalapeno Popper Mac n' Cheese
For the Cheese Sauce:
¼C Unsalted Butter
3 Jalapenos, Finely Diced
¼C AP Flour
½t Salt
¼t Pepper
1t Worcestershire
3C Milk
2C Monterey Jack Cheese, Shredded
1C White Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
1 Block of Cream Cheese, Softened

For the Mac n’ Cheese:   
1lb Pasta, Cooked
½lb Bacon, Cooked & Crumbled
½lb Spicy Sausage, Cooked & Crumbled
½C + ¼C Pepperjack Cheese, Shredded
1 Poblano, Roasted & Chopped
Prepared Cheese Sauce
1C Panko Breadcrumbs
3T Butter, Cut into Cubes

Directions:  
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9x13-baking dish with Pam.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced jalapenos and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until slightly softened. Whisk in the flour, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Add the milk slowly, whisking constantly until it all has been added. Heat it to boiling for about 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in the Monterey jack, white cheddar, and cream cheese until melted and smooth.
3. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the cooked pasta, bacon, and sausage, as well as the roasted, chopped poblano pepper and ½C shredded pepperjack cheese. Pour the cheese sauce into this mixture until completely combined. Transfer the mac n’ cheese into the prepared baking dish and top with the ¼C pepperjack, panko breadcrumbs, and top with the cubed butter.
4. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Serve the Jalapeno Popper Mac n’ Cheese hot.

source:jalapeno popper mac n cheese

*Check out the Pasta Link Party for this recipe, as well as many other wonderful recipes!

Clayton's Carrot Cake with Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting

Finally, I have a new recipe for everyone! I haven't had my computer cord, and I have been stuck in Atlanta at my parent's house trying to figure out why I am sick. But since I have been home, we have celebrated 2 birthdays. I turned 22 last week and Mountain Man turned 24 this week. Ahh, we're getting so old it's terrifying. Anyway, I was so set on making myself a triple chocolate mousse cake for my birthday, but since I wasn't feeling well, my parents ordered my favorite Red Velvet Cake from Piece of Cake in Atlanta. If you ever need a moist, delicious cake... go there! They have so many varieties, you really can't go wrong (I would definitely recommend their Red Velvet, Carrot, Caramel, and any poundcake). But I started to feel a little bit better around Clayton's birthday, so we decided to have a small birthday party and cook some BBQ ribs, Jalapeno Popper Mac n' Cheese, Broccoli Coleslaw, and Carrot Cake. Carrot Cake is probably Mountain Man's favorite cake, and for some odd reason, I had never made carrot cake before, probably because I hate it (I don't like a lot of crap in my cake... I like just plain ole' cake). So he requested a super chunky carrot cake with a lot of cream cheese frosting, but I decided to do a little somethin' somethin' extra. I incorporated crystalized, dried orange segments and reconstituted them in orange liquor (as a play on how some people use crushed pineapple). I also continued the orange theme by making an orange-cream cheese frosting. So here's the recipe for MM's Carrot Cake, and I'll be posting the Jalapeno Popper Mac n' Cheese next. Enjoy!



Chunky Carrot Cake with Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Carrot Cake:
4 eggs
1 ¼C Vegetable Oil
2C Sugar
2t Vanilla
2C AP Flour
2t Baking Soda
2t Baking Powder
½t Salt
2t Cinnamon
¼t Ground Ginger
3C Grated Carrot
1C Pecans, Chopped
½C Golden Raisins
½C Dried Chopped Oranges, Reconstituted in Orange Liquor & Juice
½C Toasted Coconut

For the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:
3 8oz Blocks of Cream Cheese, Softened
1 ½ Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Softened
2 ½C Confectioners’ Sugar, Sifted
2T Orange Zest
1T Orange Liquor & Juice, From Reconstituted Dried Oranges
2t Vanilla

Directions:
1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 cake tins with parchment paper and then spray with Pam.
2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar, and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Then fold in pecans, golden raisins, and reconstituted oranges. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes each, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
4. To Make the Frosting: beat together the cream cheese and butter until creamy, then add in the orange zest, orange liquor & juice, and vanilla. Next, beat in the sifted confectioners’ sugar until blended and smooth. Chill the frosting in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes in order to set up a little.
5. To assemble the layer cake, frost the top of one cake, place the other cake on top, and repeat. Frost the sides and top, swirling decoratively. Press the toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake for presentation. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to set up the frosting, but then let the cake come to room temperature (about 10-15 minutes) before eating. 
6. Serve and enjoy!




Slice of Carrot Cake



Carrot Cake Layers

Monday, April 25, 2011

Small Vacation

Hello all... sorry that I haven't been posting in like a week and a half. I'm in Atlanta because I'm not feeling so hot, and of course I forgot my camera cord to upload pictures, but I'll have it wednesday, so I will have many, many recipes to share! Hope everyone is doing well!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Apple Pie Ice Cream

I was at the grocery store the other day, and I saw a Peach Cobbler Ice Cream made by Ben & Jerry's. I instantly wanted to make it, but then I realized fresh peaches aren't really in season until this summer, so I wanted to wait to make the Peach Cobbler Ice Cream until they were ripe and delicious. But, I thought I could make an Apple Pie Ice Cream that would be really similar to the ice cream I saw at the grocery store. It is a vanilla bean ice cream base with shortbread cookie crumble (that mimics the crust of a pie), spiced apples, and a light caramel sauce. It really does taste like a slice of apple pie with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top. So this is definitely a great alternative until I can make that Peach Cobbler Ice Cream that I've been itchin' to make. Enjoy!
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Shortbread Cookie Crumbles, Spiced Apples, and Caramel
For the Shortbread Cookies:
3 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
1C Sugar
1t Vanilla
3 ½C AP Flour
¼t Salt

For the Spiced Apples:
2 Granny Smith Apples, Peeled & Cored & Cut into Cubes
3T Butter
2T Sugar
½C Brown Sugar
¼t Cornstarch 
1t Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt

For the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:
1C Whole Milk
Pinch of Salt
¾C Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean, Split Lengthwise
2C Heavy Cream
6 Large Egg Yolks
1t Vanilla

Directions:
1. To Make the Cookies: Preheat the oven to 350. Then in an electric mixer, beat together the softened butter, sugar, and vanilla, then sift together the flour and salt and mix this into the butter. Beat until it just comes together, then pat the dough into a disc and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. After the dough has chilled, roll it out and using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into cookies. Place the cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Once the cookies have cooled, crumble them into bite size pieces and set aside.
2. To Make the Spiced Apples: To make the spiced apples, melt the butter and add in the cubed apples, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook the apples over medium heat, stirring often, until the apples are tender, and a light caramel has formed (around 10 minutes). Let the apples cool and place them in the refrigerator to chill before adding them into the ice cream.
3. To Make the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, and then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour. Set up an ice bath by placing a small bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Reheat the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, and then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As the ice cream is almost frozen, add in the crumbled cookies and spiced apples with the caramel, so that it is swirled throughout. Once the ice cream is done churning and slightly frozen, scoop it into a container and freeze for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
4. Serve ice cold and maybe with some hot caramel sauce on top (yum!)

source: vanilla bean ice creamshortbread cookies


Check out the Ice Cream Social for this recipe and many other ice cream recipes!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chili Cheese Bacon Burgers with Potato Chip Crusted Onion Rings

Tonight was one of those manly dinners that Clayton looks forward to every week. Since we had some left over chili, we made some Chili-Cheese-Bacon Burgers with Potato Crusted Onion Rings (yes we know, a heart attack between buns). If you happen to live near a Fresh Market, I would definitely recommend their stuffed burgers. Depending on the day, they have all different kinds of burger patties, like portabella-gouda,   bleu cheese, and cheddar-bacon (which is what we chose because we felt that went best with the homemade chili). However, if you don't have a Fresh Market, you can always just top your burger with cheddar cheese and bacon. But this burger is layered with a homemade cajun sauce, an onion ring that holds in the homemade chili, and some chopped raw onion. The onion rings were by far my favorite because by using the crushed up potato chips and panko bread crumbs, you achieve the most amazing crunch. And I highly recommend dipping the onion rings into the Cajun Sauce because it's a perfect combination. Well, enjoy!
Chili Cheese Bacon Burgers with Potato Chip Crusted Onion Rings and Cajun Sauce
For the Cajun Sauce:
½C Mayo
2T Ketchup
2T Horseradish
¼t Paprika
½t Cajun Seasoning
¼t Garlic Powder
¼t Dried Oregano
Dash of Black Pepper
Dash of Cayenne Pepper      

For the Onion Rings:
½C AP Flour
1 Egg
½C Buttermilk
1T Hot Sauce
½t Paprika
1t Cajun Seasoning
¼t Cayenne
¼t Pepper
2C Crushed Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips (Preferably Cape Cod)
1C Panko Breadcrumbs
1 Large Sweet Vidalia Onion, Cut Into Thick Rings
Salt, For Sprinkling
1Q Peanut Oil

For the Burgers:
1 Burger Bun
1 Cheddar-Bacon Burger Patty (or any patty of your choice)
1 Large Onion Ring
¼C Turkey Chili (See Previous Recipe)
2T Cajun Sauce
Chopped Fresh Onion, Optional

Directions:
1.   To Make the Onion Rings: heat your deep fryer to 375 with the peanut oil.  Next you have to set up a battering station. I use 3 pie tins for all of my stations. For the first station, I mix the flour & the seasonings. For the second station, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce. For the third station, pour 2 cups of crushed potato chips and panko breadcrumbs. Dredge each onion ring in the flour, then the buttermilk, and then coat them in the chip-breadcrumb mixture, making sure the onion rings are completely coated. Fry the onion rings in the hot oil for roughly 5-6 minutes or until golden brown. Salt them immediately once they are out of the oil.
2.   To Make the Cajun Sauce: whisk together all of these ingredients, then cover and refrigerate until serving time.
3.   To Make the Burger: cook the burger on high heat in a sauté pan with a little bit of oil. Brown each side for about 2 minutes on each side. Next, place an onion ring on top of the cooked burger patty and pour in the cooked chili (this will help the chili from spilling everywhere). Place the burger underneath a broiler to heat the chili and melt the cheese, roughly 2 minutes. Once the burger is done cooking, top with the chopped raw onion and slather the Cajun sauce on both sides of the burger bun. Serve hot with the potato-crusted onion rings and a side of the Cajun Sauce for dipping.
Here is a labeled version of the burger

source: cajun sauce

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Turkey Chili

Today was a pretty murky day in Savannah, which means I have to stay inside and be bored, unfortunately. So I was in the mood for some comfort food, but I didn't want to go to the grocery store, but I had some ground turkey and some canned tomatoes, and I thought, well I'll just make some Turkey Chili. And if you're going to make chili, I feel like you should have some cornbread on the side, so I made some Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread as well too. So here's my recipe for Turkey Chili (without beans because I absolutely hate beans, but feel free to add them in if you like), I hope you enjoy!
Turkey Chili with Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
For the Chili:
2T Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
1T Garlic, Chopped
1lb Ground Turkey
2 28oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes
1C Water
1 4oz Can of Chopped Green Chiles
2 Jalapenos, Seeded & Diced
3T Chili Powder
1t Paprika
½t Dried Oregano
½t Cayenne Pepper
1t Cumin
½t Salt
1t Onion Powder
1t Garlic Salt
2t Brown Sugar
¼C Creamy Peanut Butter
2T Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1T Hot Sauce
1t Worcestershire
Pinch of Cinnamon

Directions:  
1. Heat the olive oil in a big pot on medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender, then add in the garlic and diced jalapenos and cook for about 2 minutes. Next, add in the ground turkey and cook thoroughly through.
2. Add in the water, crushed tomatoes, and green chiles. Let this mixture cook for about 10 minutes, then stir in chili powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne, cumin, salt, onion powder, garlic salt, and brown sugar. Let this mixture cook covered on low heat for 30 minutes.
3. After it has simmered, stir in the creamy peanut butter, cocoa powder, hot sauce, Worcestershire, and cinnamon. Once again, cook on simmer for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
4. Serve the chili hot and top it with shredded cheddar cheese and chopped onions.

source: turkey chili

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pink Lemonade Bars

We're finally back from the beach... and we're burnt to a crisp! Anyway, summer is just around the corner, and nothing screams summer more than lemon bars. Lemon bars are just my favorite dessert ever. I just love the tangy lemon filling with the crunchy crust. Another thing I'm obsessed with is pink lemonade, I guess because I'm a five year old, like every time we go out to eat, I have to get pink lemonade if they have it. So I thought wouldn't it be delicious if you could make Pink Lemonade Bars that are exactly like lemon bars, but even cuter. Well I love them, and I'll probably never make lemon bars ever again because Pink Lemonade Bars are just so much better (maybe because they are pink, but whatevs). But definitely make these... I'm probably going to make them again this upcoming week. Enjoy :)



Pink Lemonade Bars
For the Crust:
9T Unsalted Butter
¼C Sugar
1C AP Flour
½t Salt

For the Filling: 
1 ½C Sugar
3 Egg Whites
1 Egg
2/3C Lemon Juice (about 4 lemons)
Zest of 4 Lemons
2/3C AP Flour
3T Raspberry Puree, Strained
¼t Salt
2T Powdered Sugar, For Dusting

Directions: 
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 and spray an 11x7 baking dish (you can also line with parchment paper).
2. Cream the butter, flour, sugar, and salt in an electric mixer until a crumbly mixture is formed. Press the crumbly flour into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. While it cools, prepare the pink lemonade filling.
3. Whisk the sugar, egg, egg whites, lemon juice, zest, flour, salt, and raspberry puree in an electric mixer until it is a smooth, incorporated mixture. Pour the filling on top of the crust for 25-30 minutes until it is completely set. Let the bars come to room temperature (about an hour) and then cool them in the refrigerator for about 2 hours   .
4. Dust the bars with powdered sugar and then cut into squares.
5. Serve either cold or at room temperature. 


*This recipe was featured on Everyday Sister's Sharing Sundays. Please check their website for more delicious recipes as well!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Broccoli Coleslaw

With our California Club Sandwiches, we brought chips, fresh strawberries, m&m cookies, and a homemade Broccoli Coleslaw. One of my best friends, Sydney, was kind of the inspiration of this side dish. This last summer, a big group of my friends and their parents got together and had a cookout just to catch up, and everyone pitched in and brought a different dish.
Me & Syd
Sydney's mom brought this broccoli salad that had broccoli florets, crumbled bacon, raisins, and chopped onion. It was just a really good alternative to just plain ole' coleslaw or potato salad. However, when I texted Syd to figure out the recipe, she had no idea how to make it :( I just decided to make my own recipe for it. While I was at the grocery store, I was about to reach for the broccoli florets, and then I saw a bag of shredded broccoli cole slaw, so I thought this would be really similar to a regular coleslaw recipe, just in my own different way. I hope you'll be using this recipe for your next picnic or cookout! Enjoy :)
Creamy Broccoli Coleslaw

For the Dressing:
½C Mayo
¼C Sour Cream
2T Cider Vinegar
2T Brown Sugar
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Coleslaw:  
Coleslaw Dressing
1 Bag of Shredded Broccoli Coleslaw
5 Slices of Bacon, Cooked & Crumbled
½ Sweet Vidalia Onion, Chopped
½C Raisins

Directions:
1. To make the dressing: whisk together the mayo, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper until smooth and creamy.
2.  Next add in the full bag of shredded broccoli coleslaw, crumbled bacon, chopped onion, and raisins. Toss all of the ingredients together and let it sit overnight (it tastes better if the flavors have time to merry together). 
3. Serve cold and enjoy!

California Club Sandwiches

Today was a gorgeous day in Savannah, actually amazing
And Clayton actually didn't have work, 
so we packed a picnic and spent the whole day outside 
yay :) 
Walking Around Downtown
Lil' Weezy Playin' at the Park 
Anyway, I made us California Club Sandwiches, which are turning into one of Clayton's favorite sandwiches that I make apparently (because he ate his... then ate mine). I also made some Broccoli Cole Slaw, which I'll post the recipe for next. Enjoy :)
California Club Sandwiches with Pesto Mayo
For the Roasted Chicken:
1 Chicken Breast, Bone-in & Skin-on
2T Olive Oil 
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

For the Pesto Mayo:
2T Mayo
2T Pesto 

For the Sandwiches:
Roasted Chicken, Thinly Sliced
2 Leaves of Bibb Lettuce
2 Slices of Tomato
4 Slices of Avocado
4 Slices of Peppered Bacon 
Pesto Mayo 
2 Croissants

Directions:
1. To roast the chicken (the best way to roast chicken ever): preheat the oven to 350 and spray a baking dish with Pam. Wash and dry the chicken breast and toss with the olive oil and then sprinkle on salt and pepper (pretty heavily because the skin will be removed). Roast the chicken for 45 minutes, and after cooked, remove and let the chicken cool for 10 minutes. After the chicken has cooled, slice thinly and set aside. 
2. To make the pesto mayo: whisk together the pesto and the mayo, and set aside. 
3. Slice the croissants in half and toast them in the oven until lightly golden. 
4. Spread the pesto mayo on each half of the croissant. 
5. Start to layer: lay half of the roasted chicken the bottom half of the croissant, then top with 1 leaf of bibb lettuce, a thick slice of tomato, 2 slices of avocado, and 2 slices of peppered bacon. 
6. Enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Curried Carrot Soup

One of the best things about Savannah is just being outside in the sun. I love it here, there's just so much to do every day and especially every weekend. One of my favorite weekend activities is definitely the Forsyth Farmer's Market, which just finally started back up at the end of the park this weekend. We make sure to go every Saturday and get some fresh eggs, fruits, and vegetables for the week. This weekend I got a big bunch of rainbow carrots and beautiful big green onions. The best way to use some of your produce is by making a yummy soup. I know it's springtime and it's getting hot, but I love soup. So, I decided to make a Curried Carrot Soup. It's creamy, spicy, sweet and just delicious. Also, I finished of the soup with a dollop of sour cream, as well as some crostini with goat cheese (for dipping). Enjoy :)
Curried Carrot Soup with Goat Cheese Crostini
For the Soup:
1T Olive Oil
2T Butter
1 ¼lbs Carrots, Chopped
1C Green Onion, Chopped
1 Apple, Chopped
3C Chicken Stock
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
½t Curry Powder
¼t Red Pepper Flake
1T Sour Cream

Directions:  
1.  Bring a large pot to medium-high heat; add the olive oil and butter. Next, add the green onions and sauté until tender, and then add in the chopped carrots & apple. Cook this mixture for about 10 minutes.
2. Turn the heat down to low-medium high and add the chicken stock. Let this mixture simmer for 20 minutes. After it has simmered, now you add in your spices.
3. To blend the soup, I use an immersion blender, but you could also use a blender or a food processor; however, you just want to make sure the soup is pureed. Puree the soup until it is a creamy, smooth mixture.
4. After you have pureed the soup, slowly stir in the sour cream, and then serve with a small dollop of sour cream in the middle. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Thin Mint Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

Hello everyone, sorry for the hiatus... I've been super sick and I had to go back to Atlanta for a battery of tests, and unfortunately they still don't know what's wrong with me :( but I am getting a little better. But that is why there has been a serious lack of posts for the last two weeks. But on a happy note, I have a couple recipes that I'm going to share with you. Well, while I was home, Peej bought an ice cream maker, so we kind of went ice cream-crazy. We made vanilla bean ice cream, frozen yogurt, and all sorts of stuff. But I saw some boxes of Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies in the pantry and I thought that would be amazing in ice cream. I mean Savannah is the birthplace of the Girl Scouts, so I had to make it, right? Right! Well it turned out delicious, I made a mint ice cream then added the crumbled thin mint cookies and drizzles of dark chocolate fudge. If you like chocolate and mint then you'll love this! Enjoy :)
Thin Mint Cookies & Cream Ice Cream with Ribbons of Dark Chocolate Fudge 
For the Ice Cream:
2C Heavy Cream
2C Whole Milk
1 ½C Sugar
10 Egg Yolks
½t Peppermint Extract
½t Vanilla
½t Sea Salt
1 Sleeve of Girl Scouts Thin Mint Cookies, Crushed
½C Dark Chocolate Fudge, Melted

Directions: 
1. In a medium saucepan, heat cream, milk and ¾ cup of the sugar over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a slow boil. Whisk yolks with remaining ¾ cup sugar until pale yellow. Slowly beat some of the hot cream mixture into the yolks to temper them so the eggs don't scramble. Return this mixture to the pan and continue cooking, stirring, until slightly thickened and reaches at least 160 degrees; do not boil.
2.  Strain this custard through a sieve. Stir in peppermint and salt, and chill in an ice bath. When cool, process in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions, working in batches if necessary. Fold in the crushed cookies.
3.  Now working in layers, spread some of the melted fudge on the bottom of a pan, then the thin mint ice cream, followed by more fudge, and keep layering until you run out of ice cream mixture. Now freeze this mixture for at least 6 hours or overnight.
4.  Serve and enjoy!


source: thin mint ice cream

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