Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thin, Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies!

These are everything the title says they are. A seriously nice change from your every day soft, gooey chocolate chip cookie.

This recipe is from Cooks Illustrated and I followed it exactly!

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon
table salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons light corn syrup
large egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Sift flour, salt, and baking soda onto large sheet of parchment paper; set aside.

2. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat melted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and corn syrup at low speed until thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Add yolk, milk, and vanilla; mix until fully incorporated and smooth, about 1 minute, scraping bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula as necessary. With mixer running on low speed, fold up 3 edges of parchment around dry ingredients to form a pouch (see illustrations below) and slowly shake dry ingredients into bowl; mix on low speed until just combined, about 2 minutes. Do not overbeat. Add chips and mix on low speed until distributed evenly throughout batter, about 5 seconds.

3. Leaving about 2 inches between each ball, scoop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets with 1 1/4-inch (1 tablespoon capacity) ice cream scoop. Bake 1 sheet at a time, until cookies are deep golden brown and flat, about 12 minutes.

4. Cool cookies on baking sheet 3 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and let sit until crisped and cooled to room temperature. (Can be stored in airtight container for up to 1 week.)

Chicken Enchiladas

Tonight, I decided to make chicken enchiladas. I found this recipe on PC's blog. I've wanted to make these for such a long time, and tonight was the perfect night! For the original version of this recipe, you can find it on Cooks Illustrated.

They were very easy and tasted great! I will definitely make them again! Next time, I may make some extra sauce. That would be my only change!


1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 tsp. vegetable oil
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. chili powder
3 tsp. ground cumin
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
3 tbsp. pickled jalapenos, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno, chopped
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
Vegetable cooking spray
1 lime, cut into wedges (for serving)
Ground black pepper

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the onion, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions have softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

2. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the thickest part registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside to cool. Strain the sauce through a medium-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on the onions to extract as much liquid as possible. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces. Toss together the shredded chicken, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup of the cheddar, the jalapeƱos, and cilantro, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Stack the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40 to 60 seconds. Spread the warm tortillas out over a clean work surface. Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll each tortilla around the filling and lay them seam-side down in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.

5. Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with vegetable oil spray. Pour 1 cup of the remaining sauce over the enchiladas to coat them thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheddar down the center of the enchiladas. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese browns, about 5 minutes longer. Serve, passing the remaining 1 cup sauce and the lime wedges separately.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Soutzoukakia (Greek Meatballs with Tomato Sauce)

Thanks to Elly, again, for another great recipe! This was such an easy, flavorful dish! Matt dove in for seconds and even attempted to lick the pan clean. If only I could pronounce the name of it... ha ha

My changes below are bolded. For the original recipe, check it out on
Elly's page.

Also, be sure to check out
Elly's blog for more great recipes!

SOUTZOUKAKIA (Greek Meatballs with Tomato Sauce)

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, finely minced or grated (reserve 2-3 Tbsp).
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 clove garlic, pressed (I used 2 cloves)
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley or 2 tsp. dried
1 egg
1-2 Tbsp. bread crumbs
olive oil
1 large (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 can water
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. cumin (I used 1 tsp.)
1 (good) pinch sugar
salt and pepper
corn starch slurry (I used 1 1/2 tsp. flour instead)
A splash of dry white wine

Mix together the beef, onion, garlic, salt, oregano, parsley, egg, pepper to taste and breadcrumbs. Form the mixture into elongated oval-shaped meatballs.

Heat olive oil in a pan and pan-fry the meatballs until they are browned on all sides (you don't have to cook them through). Remove. You can probably bake the meatballs instead if you want, but simmer the sauce longer and maybe use a little beef broth in place of the water to add some depth to the sauce.

To the pan, add the 2-3 Tbsp onion (and more oil if necessary) and cook until translucent. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, water, wine, bay leaf, cumin, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a low boil and add the meatballs. Simmer about 10-15 minutes.

Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

This is my absolute favorite recipe for pumpkin bread! It's soooo good. I finally remembered to snap a picture this time, so I figured I'd update the blog.



1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil **
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar **
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

** I used 1/2 cup apple sauce & 1/2 cup vegetable oil
** I used 1 cup brown sugar & 2 cups white sugar

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Turkey Muffins

Here's the story with meatloaf. I don't like it! Well, I can eat it, but I would never request that someone make meatloaf. It's just not appealing to me. Matt, on the other hand, LOVES meatloaf. Whenever I ask what he'd like me to make, he usually asks for meatloaf.

Anyway, I came across this turkey muffin-meatloaf recipe today and decided to give it a whirl. I mean, it's basically mini-meatloaves, but so much better! Credit for this recipe goes to Luluk1102. I only made a few changes, based on what I had on hand.

Boy, were these meaty muffins sooooooo good! I ate 3 of them! Another plus is that they are relatively healthy. When I figured out the points, based on 12 muffins, they were about 2 Weight Watcher points each. Not too shabby! I will most definitely make these again. Another creative way to use turkey and throw a pretend mini-meatloaf into the mix!

My altered recipe is below!


1 pound ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for topping
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 packet of Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
1 (heaping) teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Generously spray muffin pan with cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix using hands until well blended. Using a large spoon, generously fill each muffin slot and sprinkle each muffin with additional Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a light crust has formed on each muffin.

(Makes 12 muffins)