Chocolate Chip Praline Brookies

Photobucket
These “brookies” (a cookie and brownie combined) are *amazing*. Seriously. Eat these with a glass of milk. Or Dr Pepper. Or whatever. Just eat them. And don’t share them. They’re *that* good.
I took them to Austin last weekend (about 40 bite-sized pieces) and came home with none left. They were definitely a hit!
Chocolate Chip Praline Brookies
Photobucket
Ingredients:
1 box (19.5 oz) of fudge brownie mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 roll of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13×9 inch baking dish with Crisco oil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Photobucket
Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions, using oil, water and eggs.
Spread in the baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.
Photobucket
Meanwhile, combine butter, milk, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pecans and vanilla in a sauce pan and heat on medium until boiling.
Photobucket
When the brownie layer is finished, spread the pecan praline layer on top of it in the baking dish.
Photobucket
Press square sections of the chocolate chip cookie dough on top of the praline layer.
Bake for another 25 minutes until top is golden brown.
Photobucket
Cool completely and cut into bite-sized squares.
Photobucket
Enjoy!

Louisiana Chicken Pasta

Photobucket
This meal is delicious. It is honestly one of the best things I’ve cooked in a long time. It’s so simple and easy to make. Seriously, go make this right now. :)
Louisiana Chicken Pasta
Adapted from: Newlywed Nibbles
The Cast of Characters:
Photobucket
1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, uncooked and cubed
2 Tbsp of butter
8-10 oz of bowtie pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 c. whipping cream
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1 Tbsp. water
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Directions:
Put 1 Tbsp of butter and the olive oil to a large skillet and heat on medium heat. Add the cubed chicken and season with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning.
Photobucket
Cook the chicken thoroughly, until the edges are golden brown.
Photobucket
Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl. Add the rest of the butter to the skillet (don’t clean the skillet first) and throw in the bell pepper and onion.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water according to package directions.
Photobucket
Add the Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to the skillet. Stir well and cook until the peppers and onions begin to soften.
Photobucket
Meanwhile, add the cornstarch and water to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Photobucket
Once the peppers have softened, add the whipping cream to the skillet and mix well.
Photobucket
Simmer until the mixture starts to bubble.
Photobucket
Add the cornstarch mixture and cook for another 5 minutes. The sauce will really start to thicken.
Photobucket
Drain the pasta and add it to the pan, along with the chicken and tomatoes.
Photobucket
Stir well.
Photobucket
Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped tomatoes.
Photobucket
Doesn’t that look yummy?

Chicken Parmigiana

Photobucket
Yesterday, I decided to make the Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Parmigiana for the first time ever.
Chicken Parmigiana is one of my favorite Italian dishes. I love, love, love it.
But let me just disclose this right up front — the sauce in this dish is *sweet*. And I’m not a fan of sweet marinara sauce. I like my marinara tangy. So, even though I love and admire the Pioneer Woman, I will continue to search for the perfect Chicken Parmigiana dish.
You’ve been warned.
Chicken Parmigiana
The Cast of Characters
Photobucket
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1/2 cups Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
3/4 cups Wine (white or red)
3 cans (14.5 Oz.) Crushed Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 cubes Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
Spaghetti, cooked Al Dente
First, put the chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag and pound to thin with a kitchen mallet. I’m not fancy like that, so I used a heavy can.
Photobucket
Mix flour with some salt and pepper and dredge the chicken breasts in it.
Put the butter and Olive Oil in a large skillet and warm on Medium heat.
Photobucket
Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook until one side is golden brown.
Photobucket
Flip ’em over and brown the other side.
Photobucket
Once they’re nice and toasty, remove them from the skillet and set aside.
Photobucket
Now, *don’t* clean the skillet. Chop up the onion and garlic and add it to the juices.
Photobucket
You want it to be nice and golden.
Let’s pause for a moment so I can tell you about these super-awesome herbs I use. 
I like fresh herbs just as much as the next gal, but I have to buy fresh herbs each time I use ’em cause they go bad before I have a chance to whip up my next recipe.
So, I found these freeze-dried herbs at our local grocery store. They’re great, because you use just as much as you would fresh herbs (You know how you have to use less if you use a dried herb? Not a problem with these!). Plus, no refrigeration required — just stick ’em in the cabinet and use them the next time you need ’em!
Here’s the garlic…
Photobucket
And the parsley…
Photobucket
Now, back to our regularly-scheduled programming.
Here’s where you add some white or red wine to the onions and garlic.
Photobucket
I like a little wine with my dinner.
I used some of our wedding wine. We still have about a dozen bottles of it in the pantry.
Photobucket
It’s a sweet Riesling, which probably didn’t help with the whole sweet marinara sauce. Oh well. You live, you learn.
Photobucket
Give it a minute to reduce and cook off some of the wine. You want it to be a nice golden brown color when it’s through.
Photobucket
Now, add in the crushed tomatoes.
Photobucket
Let it simmer for about 25-30 minutes.
Stir in the parsley and drop in the breaded chicken breasts.
Cover the chicken with shredded Parmesan cheese and cover the pan. Cook on low for a few minutes to let the cheese melt.
Photobucket
Serve with spaghetti topped with sauce and the chicken.
Photobucket
Enjoy!

Apricot Sugar Cookies

Photobucket
I can’t take credit for the deliciousness that is encompassed in these cookies. I have never really been a big fan of sugar cookies. They were either too crispy or too soft, and most of the time they tasted more like flour than anything else.
But all that changed the day I found “The One.” I’m talking about the perfect sugar cookie recipe, courtesy of Our Best Bites.
I made these sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day. The secret is the almond extract. All the other recipes I’ve found use vanilla. I will never go back to vanilla. Never.
These cookies are just the right texture. And the flour is not overpowering. Add in the Glacé Icing (flavored with almond extract, too) and it’s a delicious experience you just can’t miss. I *love* these cookies.
And now I’ve taken them a step further. My dad mentioned to me how he thought the flavor of these cookies would really be enhanced by adding some dried apricots to the batter. Seriously? Apricots? Oh yes. Apricots.
So, I tried it. They are de-lish. No icing required. No sugar added to the top. The fruity apricots are enough to carry this cookie. So here’s how to make ’em:
Apricot Sugar Cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup real butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 6 oz. package of dried apricots
Directions:
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy – about two minutes. Add in eggs and extract and mix to incorporate.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until completely combined.
Photobucket
Cut the dried apricots into small cubes and add to the sugar cookie dough. Mix with a slick spatula, spreading the apricots throughout the dough.
Photobucket
Roll the dough into small balls and place on a greased cookie sheet (or one lined with a Silpat) about two inches apart.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Press down on the tops of the balls with a glass tumbler with a smooth, round bottom. Flatten them into small discs about the same thickness.
Photobucket
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until the bottom edges of the cookies have begun to turn lightly brown. 
Photobucket
Let stand on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Photobucket
Y-U-M!
Photobucket 
Don’t these look delicious? It’s so hard not to just gobble them all up!
Photobucket
*Sigh.*

Taco Soup

Photobucket 
It’s been quite cold here in Texas lately.
The other night, as snow was falling and the temperature was dropping, I decided to make a pot of Taco Soup to warm us up.
This soup is so easy to make — you just throw a bunch of ingredients into a pot!
Well, let’s get to it:
The Cast of Characters
Photobucket
Ingredients:
1 pound of ground beef
1 pkg of Taco Seasoning
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
1 can Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chilies
1 can black beans
2 cans whole kernel corn
1 can Ranch-Style beans
1/2 can tomato sauce
2 cups water
Shredded Cheese and Tortilla Chips to garnish
Directions:
In a stock pot or dutch oven, brown the ground beef and drain. Stir in taco seasoning and Ranch Dressing mix.
Photobucket
Drain the juice from the Rotel and add the tomatoes to the pot. Don’t add the juice — if you make this mistake, your mouth will be on fire. Trust me.
Photobucket
Now, pour in both cans of corn, juice and all.
Photobucket
Same thing with the Ranch-Style beans — pour ’em in, juice and all.
Photobucket
Pour in half the can of tomato sauce.
Photobucket
Add the black beans, juice and all.
Photobucket
Add the water.
Photobucket
Now, simmer for about 30 minutes.
Photobucket
Doesn’t that look yummy?
Photobucket
Garnish with tortilla chips and shredded cheese.
Photobucket
Download a 4×6 recipe card here.

Happy Saturday! Enjoy Valentine’s Day!



DMCA.com Protection Status