Monday, July 11, 2011

SUPER Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

Alright y'all. This recipe is TO DIE FOR! I use this recipe, adapted! Here's what you need:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 pound butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 (3.4oz) packets of vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

STEP 1: Preheat oven to 350*. Blend flour & baking soda together and set aside.
STEP 2: Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar in a large bowl. Mix in the instant pudding mix. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

STEP 3: Bake for 10-12 minutes in preheated oven. You should just barely be able to see brown around the bottom edges.

Let cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack! And finally, ENJOY!
These are the softest, gooeyist cookies I have ever eaten & the only ones that my husband asks me to make again & again!

Oh yeah...and one batch is probably enough! I did two thinking that I would need that many for my inlaws! The container is for them! I took one dozen each to three neighbors & still have WAY too many!

Linked to: Mangia Mondays -

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Chicken Cauliflower & Cheese Casserole

I don't know if y'all are like me, but my family taught me that for dinner you have a meat, a vegetable, and a starch. My husbands family taught him the same, with the addition of bread (which we DON'T do), so every night that is what we have. Which means that most of our meals are pretty boring (chicken, rice, brocolli. pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, cauliflower. pot roast, potatos, carrots., you get the idea) It is time for me to go grocery shopping so all I had at the house was boneless skinless chicken breasts and cauliflower, along with several starches. So I did a search for chicken and cauliflower and I found this. I have used before, I mean, they do have the BEST recipe for sweet potato casserole EVER...I mean, seriously, I can't go to a holiday meal at my in-laws without bringing it. I decided to make this casserole.

You don't need many ingredients, just:
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts (I used about 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 tsp herbs (I used Mrs. Dash Herb Blend)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • (I added two bags of cooked Uncle Ben's Boil in the Bag Brown Rice...the only Brown Rice my husband will eat)
STEP 1: Wash chicken breasts, pat dry & cut into cubes.
STEP 2: Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat, add chicken & cook until chicken is browned and just tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. When the chicken is cooked add the cream and stir to get the goodness off the sides of the pan. *I cooked on about med-high* *I also boiled my rice during this time*
STEP 3: (While chicken is cooking) Grate your cauliflower. *This is not quite as easy as it may took me about 10 minutes!*
STEP 4: Layer the casserole. I did rice, then cauliflower, then seasonings, then chicken and cream and finally CHEESE! Mmmm! Bake at 325* for about 15 minutes.

All in all, it was pretty yummy, and definately different, which is what I was going for. I added some tabasco sauce to mine, as I LOVE hot food!

If I were to do it again though, this is what I would change:
1) I would coat the cauliflower in a teeny bit of oil in order to help it cook (It was still pretty raw)
2) I would cut my chicken into smaller pieces so that it would incorporate better
3) I would add some cream of chicken condensed soup to make it creamier and more of a casserole

Really though, it was pretty simple overall and if I am ever stuck with just chicken & cauliflower in the house I will probably make it again!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Aunt Helen's Red Velvet Cake

This is a recipe for Red Velvet Cake that has been passed down in my family for generations.  I love to bake and I made this for my boss' birthday, so I thought I would share!  I made 25% more than the recipe calls for because I wanted to do the heart cakes for me & my husband.  The recipe I will share is good for one 3-layer cake.
*WARNING: I am a VERY messy baker!*
Let's start with what you need:

For the cake: 1/2 cup shortening
                     1 1/2 cup sugar
                     2 oz. red cake coloring (4 tablespoons)
                     2 eggs
                     1 tsp. baking soda
                     1 tbsp. cocoa powder
                     1 tsp. salt
                     1 cup buttermilk
                     2 1/4 cup cake flour (yes, this does make a is MUCH finer)
                     1 tsp. vanilla
                     1 tbsp. vinegar

STEP 1: Cream sugar, shortening and eggs
STEP 2: Make a paste out of food coloring & cocoa.  *Note:  Trying to make a paste out of these is like trying to make two of the same magnets stick together.  They just don't like each do the best you can! 

STEP 3: Add to mixture, along with salt, flour, buttermilk and vanilla. 
STEP 4:  If you don't have a heavy-duty mixed, beat by hand.  If you do, whisk away!
STEP 5: Add vinegar and baking soda, mix by hand.  *NOTE:  This is my FAVORITE part!*

STEP 6: Grease & Flour cake pans. *Really you can do this at any time*
STEP 7: Put in 350* oven for 30-35 minutes
When finished baking, take out and let cool in pans for about 5 minutes.  Flip onto a cooling rack on really any flat surface until completely cooled.
While the cakes are baking, you can start on the frosting.  You will need:
2 8oz. packages on cream cheese (room temperature)
4 tbsp. butter (room temperature)
1 cup whipping cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4-5 cups powered sugar

STEP 1:  Add all ingredients to your mixture except powered sugar.  Blend together.  *Please start on a slow speed or you will make a mess like I did!

 STEP 2: Slowly add powered sugar until it is just right, sweetness-wise, for you!
Note:  Yours will not make this much, I did extra because A: My boss said that he loves icing, and B: I was doing the extra cakes for my husband & me.

Finally, ice your cakes
And the final products:

I promise I won't fault you for drooling!

This recipe linked to: Tasty Tuesday! - Tasty Tuesdays - Made From Scratch Tuesday - Tempt My Tummy Tuesday - Totally Tasty Tuesday - Delectable Tuesday - These Chicks Cooked - Full Plate Thursday - Sweet Treats Thursday - It's A Keeper Thursday - Share a Spoon Thursday  The Ultimate Recipe Swap - Sweet Tooth Friday - Fat Camp Friday - Fun With Food Friday - I'm Lovin It