Chocolate Chip Waffle Cookies

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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to work as a kitchen assistant for Jamie Dunn at the Taste of  Home Cooking School.  What does a kitchen assistant do, you ask?  Well, I got to chop and prepare the ingredients for the recipes that were being made for the show.   As a foodie, it was a great “behind the scenes” experience. 

 Taste of Home was also nice enough to give me a couple of magazines to take home and a free one year subscription to their magazine.  One of the magazines I took home had a recipe for Waffle Cookies.  I would never have thought to use my waffle maker for anything but waffles.  The recipe was easy to make and the kids LOVED the cookies.

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Chocolate Chip Waffle Cookies

slightly adapted from: taste of home

Ingredients:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter, egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to sugar mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop batter by tablespoonfuls 1 in. apart onto a preheated waffle iron coated with cooking spray. Bake for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove to wire racks; cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.

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Beer Battered Fish Tacos

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As a Featured Publisher on Foodbuzz, New Belgium Brewing Company gave me a great opportunity to try their beer in a recipe.  For those who are unfamiliar with New Belgium Brewing Company, they are the makers of Fat Tire Pale Ale.  The sampler pack I got had Fat Tire Pale Ale, Ranger IPA, 1554 Enlightend Black Ale and one other beer, but I cannot remember what is was called.  Oops!

I originally wanted to try all the beers before choosing which one to cook with, but my husband beat me to it.  He was nice enough to leave me with Fat Tire to cook with which worked deliciously for this recipe.

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So, what does one make when given free beer?!?  Beer Battered Fish Tacos, of course! 

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Beer Battered Fish Tacos

slightly adapted from: all recipes

Ingredients:

batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup beer

sauce:
6 oz. plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

oil for frying
1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into 2 to 3 ounce portions
1 (12 ounce) package corn tortillas
bag of cabbage coleslaw mix

Directions:

To make beer batter: In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Blend egg and beer, then quickly stir into the flour mixture (don't worry about a few lumps).

To make white sauce: In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt and mayonnaise. Gradually stir in fresh lime juice until consistency is slightly runny. Season with oregano, cumin, dill, and cayenne.

Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Dust fish pieces lightly with flour. Dip into beer batter, and fry until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Lightly fry tortillas; not too crisp. To serve, place fried fish in a tortilla, and top with coleslaw and white sauce.

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Cookies and Milk (Mustache) Favors

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Both my children are Spring babies.  They are 729 days apart or 1 day less than 2 years apart.   And do you know the worst part about having a Spring birthday?  RAIN!! 

When I first started planning the kid’s party, it was supposed to be at a park.  I was very optimistic that the weather would cooperate with me.  Of course, it didn’t. 

I had plans of having a “Milk and Cookies” bar complete with assorted cookies, flavor straws, paper straws and “milk” mustaches.  Since mother nature decided it would storm the day of the party I switched the venue to Chuck E Cheese’s.  Which meant that a “Milk and Cookies” bar would not happen. 

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I am not easily discouraged, so I still made my “Milk and Cookies” theme come alive. 

I made “milk” mustaches out of vanilla candy melts and stuck them on cellophane bags filled with homemade cookies.  Sounds simple, right?!?  Well, it is!

These make great and yummy party favors for any occassion.

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vendor list:
mustache molds- amazon
round labels- paper source
candy melts, cellophane bags and lollipop sticks- michaels

Chocolate Fudge Tart

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You may or may not have been wondering where I have been.  For those who were wondering, the last few weeks have been busy.  Busy, is actually an understatement.  We finally moved into our house and my family came to visit the week that we moved in.   Along with moving and having out of town visitors, I had two birthday parties I had to plan.  Although, I did make sure to find time to bake.

This recipe comes from a book that my manager gave me called Desserts: A collection of over 100 essential recipes.  I absolutely love all the recipes in the book and I am determined to bake them all. 

The Chocolate Fudge Tart or as we’ve been calling it, Brownie Pie , is pure decadence.   Don’t forget to have a big glass of ice cold milk with your slice of pie.

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Chocolate Fudge Tart

Desserts: A collection of over 100 essential recipes.

Ingredients:

1 ready-made unsweetened pie crust

filling:
5 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tbl. butter, cut in cubes
1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 eggs, beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out pie dough on an 8 inch tart pan. Prick the bottom of the pie lightly with a fork, then line with parchment paper and fill with dried beans. Bake in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes, or until the dough no longer looks raw. Remove from the oven, take out the beans and paper, return to oven and bake 10 minutes more, or until the dough is firm. Let cool and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

To make the filling, place the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl and melt over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir until smooth, then remove from heat and let cool. Place the sugar, flour, vanilla, and eggs in a seperate bowl and whisk until well blended. Stir in the butter and chocolate mixture.

Pour the filling into the pastry shell and bake in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the filling is just set. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

StumbleUpon Sunday

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Framed Song Lyrics–  I love this idea!!  Lee Meredith of leethal.net  took inexpensive frames from thrift stores, spray painted them, framed song lyrics and used them as favors at her wedding. 

 

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Broccoli Cheese Soup–  Broccoli and cheese, what else can I say?  Oh and it’s in a bread bowl (which makes it 100 times better)!

 

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Anthropologie Inspired DIY Necklace–  I can’t believe that this necklace was a DIY.  It looks like it was store bought.

 

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Bedroom Inspiration–  Romantic, that is how I would describe this bedroom.  Lately, I am infatuated with anything vintage and this is what this bedroom is. 

 

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Cupcake Fondue–  Cupcake fondue!  Why the heck didn’t I think of this?!?  I want to dip my cupcake in a “frosting” fondue and top with my choice of toppings.

Red Velvet Brownies

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Brownies are my favorite dessert.  No, I’m lying, all desserts are my favorite dessert, although I must say that the brownie is my favorite “comfort” dessert.  There’s just something about a brownie that makes my insides all warm and fuzzy. 

Another dessert I would never say no to is Red Velvet Cake.  So, I figured why don’t I put these two desserts and make a Red Velvet Brownie.  Typically, Red Velvet Cake is topped with a cream cheese frosting and with this brownie, cream cheese was swirled into it.

Sounds yummy, right?!?  Well, it is! 

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Red Velvet Brownies

Ingredients:

    Brownies:

6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs, at room temperature
8 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 oz. red food coloring

    Cream Cheese Swirl:

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Make the cream cheese swirl:
Beat cream cheese and eggs together until pale yellow. Add sugar, salt, vanilla and mix well. Set aside.

Make the brownies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler. Once melted, remove from heat and let it cool slightly.

Beat the eggs and sugar together. Once the eggs are sugar are completely incorporated add the slightly cooled chocolate and mix well. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla, beat well. Stir in the food coloring.

Pour the batter into prepared baking dish. On top of the brownie batter dollop the cream cheese mixture and with a butter knife cut through the batter to make a marbled design.

Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

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Black Bottom Cupcakes

It seems as if I haven’t baked in a long time (I used to bake on a daily basis not on an every other week basis).  The last few weeks I have lacked motivation and a kitchen to call my own.  Baking, typically makes me feel better and helps me relax, but lately baking hasn’t done that for me.  I am sure I will get my zen back soon (SOONER than later). 

With that off of my chest, I would like to apologize to my readers for the lack of baking and blogging.  I really miss baking, so I promise to get my mojo back!

Thank you for listening!

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This weekend my sister in law came home and lucky for me, it gave me an excuse to bake (I remember when I didn’t need an excuse to bake! What is wrong with me?!?).  One of her favorite baked goodie is a black bottom cupcake.  I jumped at the chance to make them.  I love when I get to try new recipes. 

What I really loved about this recipe is that it was super simple to make.  The cake was extremely moist.  It’s a must bake for anyone who loves chocolate.  They won’t last long in any chocolate lover’s household.  Trust me, I made 20 and they were all devoured within 24 hours.  There wasn’t even a crumb left.

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Black Bottom Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin tins with paper cups or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir together until well blended. Fill muffin tins 1/3 full with the batter and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

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StumbleUpon Sunday

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Suspended Shelf–  I want to make this shelving unit!  It is so simple to make and it looks great.

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Hello Kitty Nail Art–  Nail art is all the rage and this Hello Kitty nail art is the cutest I have seen.

 

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Fake Pool– This is such an amazing art installation. 

 

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Doily Poms-  I think paper poms make great decorations for any party.  These doily poms come in all shapes and colors. 

 

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Food Play–  I know you shouldn’t play with your food but if you make food look this cool it is totally acceptable, to me.  My son would love to see this Yoshi lunch in his lunchbox.

Something Pinteresting

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I found this beautiful wedding dress as I was scouring Pinterest and immediately had to share.  I love the simple yet elegant look of it.  The black lace is striking on the dress.  Not only does it have to be a wedding dress it can be worn to any formal occassion.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls

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This past weekend I was stuck in the house since we just had a huge snow storm and I somehow got my car stuck in the snow around the corner from our house as I was driving to work.  Don’t ask!  After 3 days of it being stuck in the snow my hubby and I went and got it out. 

What I am trying to tell you is that I miss CA weather and when I am stuck at home I bake.  I find baking, in general, to be relaxing and the end result is typically yummy.  I decided to make something out of ingredients that we already had, since I couldn’t leave the house.  I came up with the idea of creating peanut butter pretzel balls.  Then I said to myself “Self, how can we make these pretzel balls better?”.  Dip it in chocolate, duh!!!

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I was craving something sweet and savory, so this hit the spot.  If I knew how to make kettle corn I would have made that.  I might have attempted to make chocolate covered kettle corn.  Wouldn’t that be yummy?!?  Okay, so who has a easy recipe for kettle corn?  Please share!! 

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Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls

Ingredients:

2 cups crushed pretzels
2 tbls. powdered sugar
3/4 peanut butter
melted milk chocolate chips for dipping

Directions:

Mix the powdered sugar and peanut butter together. Mix in the pretzels until well combined.

Roll about 1 tablespoon of the pretzel mixture into a ball and place onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. (This part will get a little messy.)

Place the pretzel balls in the fridge for about an hour.

Dip the pretzel balls into the melted chocolate and place back on the baking sheet lined with wax paper. Top with crushed pretzels (if desired).

Return to the fridge to let it set.