Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chocolate Chunk and Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

Well I'm still on my quest for healthier eating in 2010, but I absolutely have to eat something chocolate pretty much every day. Kind of like my Diet Coke addiction, but I have to drink at least two or three of those a day! Anyway, after looking at my January issue of Health Magazine, I noticed an article with the title America's Healthiest Cookie. I knew right then and there that I had found my next baking project. Healthy cookies? Wow, I'm all about this recipe! I will tell you right now that these cookies do not taste like Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I do think they are very tasty and they do satisfy my chocolate/sweet craving - so they work for me. I keep them in the freezer and pop one in my lunch bag pretty much every morning. Give them a try if you are trying to eat healthier too :)
Chocolate Chunk and Walnut Oatmeal Cookies
from Health Magazine
6 T unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (I used mini-flake oats from our Farmer's Market)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used bittersweet chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and add brown sugar, stir until smooth. Combine flours, baking soda, oats and salt in a medium bowl. Combine butter mixture with the dry ingredients and add the egg and vanilla. Fold in chopped walnuts and chocolate. Mix well. The dough will be very dry. Compress the dough and shape into balls. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet (I used a Silpat) for 12 minutes or until tops are dry to the touch. Makes about 32 cookies

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lollipop Bouquet

Like a lot of you, I have been trying to make healthier food choices for the new year and therefore, I have not been baking as much as I have been. Don't worry though, I'm sure I will be back at it again soon enough :) I've been putting my creativity to use by making crafts - they are fat free and so much fun! In addition to my recipe addiction, I also have a huge pile of craft ideas that I get from blogs, magazines, etc. I don't even remember where I saw this one, but I thought it was a great idea! My friend Jaclyn is the big 30 today, so I made this for her and delivered it to her office - I think she'll be surprised! I purchased the silver bucket from the Dollar Bin at Target a couple of months ago and the lollipops came from the Dollar Tree. I put floral foam in the bottom and covered it with confetti paper and then wrapped curling ribbon around most of the lollipops to make it prettier. I think it turned out pretty cute. Happy Birthday Jaclyn!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

PW's Bread Pudding

This is by far the best Bread Pudding recipe I have ever made! If you are a Bread Pudding type of person you should make this NOW. This is the fourth time I have made it and I always receive compliments on how yummy it is. My sister-in-law, Michelle and I can eat almost the entire dish ourselves - we love it that much! I found the recipe on Pioneer Woman. I have loved every recipe that I have made on her site and now I have her cookbook too! PW has a Whiskey Cream Sauce recipe that you can make to serve with it, but I prefer whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. I buy my sourdough round loaf in the bakery of Wal-mart or Martins Grocery Store.
The Best Bread Pudding
2 eggs
2 T melted butter
2 T vanilla
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 to 5 cups sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup pecans, chopped finely
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat together eggs, butter, vanilla and milk.
Add sugar and mix until sugar is dissolved. Arrange bread cubes tightly in a nine-inch baking dish, keeping the crust facing up around the edges scattered within the dish. Pour liquid over the bread (I let mine sit a little to let most of the liquid get absorbed by the bread before baking). Sprinkle pecans all over and bake for 55 to 70 minutes, or until crust is golden brown all over the top.
Serve with Whiskey Cream Sauce, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lee's Hot Chicken Dip

This is our friend and neighbor Lee at our Christmas party this year. Lee is a terrific cook. He is also the only man that frequently reads my blog and then emails me about my recipes. He keeps me laughing! I have nicknamed him Skittle because well, he loves Skittles candy. Our families always sit together at High School football games and swim meets and Lee usually always has a box of Skittles with him :) By the way, if you know of any desserts that involve skittles, please let me know so I can make them for Lee! Anyway, this year Lee brought this Hot Chicken Dip to our party and I told him that if he gave me the recipe that I would post about him and his Chicken Dip. Sorry the photo's aren't better, but after a couple of glasses of wine what do you expect???? So here's to good friends and good cooks like Lee!
Lee's Hot Chicken Dip
2 - 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1 large can of chicken
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup cheese (mozzarella, provolone or swiss)
Slivered almonds
Mix cream cheese, chicken, onion, garlic and cheese together.
Pour into a greased bake dish. Top with slivered almonds. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
Serve with crackers.