Uncle Brad’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are Uncle Brad’s famous chocolate, chocolate chip cookies. I was never able to get the cookies to replicate his chewy and delicious cookies, so I had him over last fall to demonstrate how to make them. It turns out that you should not take the measurements listed in the ingredients too literally…follow, instead, the recipe instructions for true measurements.

Uncle Brad's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cubes Butter
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 4 oz Vanilla Pudding Mix (dry)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2-1/4 cup Flour
  • 12 oz Chocolate Chips

Preparation

  1. Melt 2 cubes butter in the microwave until soft but not melted. Stir.
  2. Add in 1/2-3/4 cup sugar, amount depending on sweetness desired (measured in a glass pyrex liquid measuring cup). Stir.
  3. Add in 1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar, amount depending on sweetness desired (measured in a glass pyrex liquid measuring cup). Stir.
  4. Add in 2 tsp. vanilla. We just used the cap from my Costco vanilla bottle. Stir.
  5. Add in 1 tsp baking soda. Stir.
  6. Add in vanilla pudding mix. Stir. (If you want Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies, use fudge or chocolate pudding mix.)
  7. Add in 2 eggs. Stir.
  8. Add in 2-1/4 cups flour (measured in a pyrex liquid measuring cup). Stir.
  9. Add in 12 oz. chocolate chips. Stir.
  10. Put large scoopfuls (golf ball size) on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet.
  11. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes.
  12. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then eat!

Posted in baking soda, brown sugar, butter, chocolate chips, cookies, dessert, egg, flour, sugar, uncle brad, vanilla, vanilla pudding mix | Leave a comment

Baked Sausage with Apples, Potatoes and Onions

Another good one from the Dinner A Love Story cookbook. This one is very simple, but there has to be foresight to prepare since it takes a long time to cook in the oven.

Baked Sausage with Apples, Potatoes and Onions

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Whole, small potatoes
  • 1 Onion, chopped in large chunks
  • 2 TBSP Olive oil
  • 4 sprigs Fresh thyme
  • 4 Italian Sausages, mild/sweet
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, (unpeeled) chopped
  • 2 TBSP Apple cider vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Combine the potatoes and onion in a large baking dish and toss with 1 TBSP olive oil, the leaves from the thyme, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Place sausages on top of vegetables. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, until sausage is brown on top. Using tongs, flip over the sausage and bake for 10 more minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, chop apples and toss with a little more olive oil, salt and pepper. Scatter the apples around the sausage, drizzle cider vinegar over the whole dish and bake for 5 more minutes.
  4. If desired, serve with dollops of spicy brown or Dijon mustard.

Posted in apple, apple cider vinegar, dinner, dinner a love story, italian sausage, olive oil, onion, pepper, potatoes, salt, thyme | Leave a comment

Scalloped Sweet Potato Stacks

Another keeper from Abundant Harvest Organics. A word to the wise: if you think that your muffin tins are too full, keep filling them — these really cook down in the oven.  Oh, and if you forget to put foil on to cover, you’ll be all right.

Scalloped Sweet Potato Stacks

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 lbs. Sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp Fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 c Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 c Heavy cream
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Layer half of the sweet potatoes in a lightly greased 12 cup muffin pan. Sprinkle with 1-1/2 tsp. thyme and 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining sweet potatoes.
  3. Microwave cream, garlic, salt, pepper and remaining thyme for a minute. Pour cream mixture into muffin cups about 1 TBSP per cup.
  4. Bake at 375°, covered with foil for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let rest 5 minutes. Run a knife around each cup and lift stacks from cups using a spoon.

Posted in abundant harvest organics, garlic, heavy cream, mozzarella cheese, pepper, salt, side dish, sweet potato, thyme | Leave a comment

Braised Pork Ragu with Pappardelle

Another winner from the Dinner A Love Story cookbook, which needs to be saved.

Braised Pork Ragu with Pappardelle

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 to 2-1/2 lb. Boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1 small Onion
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 2 TBSP Olive oil
  • 1 small pat Butter
  • 1 28oz. can Whole tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup Red wine
  • 5 sprigs Fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs Fresh oregano
  • Small handful Fennel seeds
  • 1 TBSP Hot sauce, for smokiness (I used Tabasco)
  • Pappardelle (or Fettuccine)
  • Freshly grated parmesean

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Liberally salt and pepper the pork roast.
  2. Add oil and butter to large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high until butter melts, but does not burn. Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in all.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, fennel, and hot sauce and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover, and put in oven. Braise for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so. Add more liquid (water, wine or tomato sauce) if needed. (The liquid should come to about 1/3 of the way up the pork.)
  5. Meat is done when it\'s practically falling apart. Put on a cutting board and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to the pot and stir.
  6. Cook pasta according to package. When it\'s ready, put into individual bowls and top with the pork and lots of parmesan.

Posted in canned, dinner, dinner a love story, fennel seeds, garlic, olive oil, onion, oregano, parmesean, pasta, pepper, pork, red wine, salt, tabasco, thyme | Leave a comment

Edamame Quinoa Salad

Gavin and I tried this recipe tonight, which comes from a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. It’s hard to find their recipes online to bookmark, so I am saving it here!

Edamame Quinoa Salad

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup Frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 cup Fresh or frozen whole kernel corn, thawed if frozen
  • 1/2 cup Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Lime juice
  • 2 TBSP Olive oil

Preparation

  1. In a small saucepan combine quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover; simmer 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine edamame, corn, tomatoes and cilantro. Add quinoa; toss to combine. Add lime juice and olive oil; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Posted in better homes and gardens, cilantro, corn, edamame, lime, olive oil, quinoa, tomatoes | Leave a comment

Mustardy Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

Another keeper from Dinner a Love Story.

Mustardy Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • Olive Oil
  • 4 Boneless pork chops (about 1-1/4 lbs., thin sliced), salted & peppered
  • 1 Onion, large, sliced
  • 1 Apple, peeled and slivered to same width as the onions
  • 2 TBSP Mustard (grainy)
  • 2 TBSP Cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider, water or apple juice

Preparation

  1. Add the oil to a large skillet (that has a lid) over medium-high heat. Brown the pork chops, about 2 minutes on each side. (Do not cook through.)
  2. Remove them from the pan and turn the heat to medium-low. Add a little more oil, if necessary, then add the onions and apples and cook 5-7 minutes, until they have wilted.
  3. Add the mustard, vinegar and juice to the pain, scraping up any brown pork bits from the bottom and bringing to a boil for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the pork chops back to the pain, nestling them with the onions and apples; reduce to simmer. Cover and cook another 2 minutes, until chops have cooked through. If pan sauce is liquidy, remove chops and boil sauce for another minute.

Posted in apple, apple cider, boneless, cider vinegar, onion, pork, whole grain mustard | Leave a comment

Apricot-Mustard Baked Chicken

Another keeper from the Dinner a Love Story cookbook!

Apricot-Mustard Baked Chicken

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 Chicken pieces, skin-on (thighs or drumsticks), patted dry
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup Apricot jam
  • 1 TBSP Grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • Leaves Thyme (from two sprigs)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is baking, whisk together the jam, mustard, water, thyme, and a little salt and pepper in a small saucepan over heat for about 3 minutes (the mixture should be slightly syrupy).
  4. Pull the chicken out of the oven and pour the sauce on top. Continue baking for another 15 minutes. For the last 3 minutes, place the chicken under the broiler on the top rack so it gets golden and crispy looking.

Posted in apricot jam, chicken, dinner a love story, thyme, whole grain mustard | Tagged | Leave a comment

Arroz con Pollo

Carrie lent me her copy of the Dinner a Love Story cookbook earlier this year. I read it at the beginning of summer and really enjoyed it, which was no surprise because I like the blog as well. I bookmarked a few recipes and have been trying to make them before I return the book to her. I made this one and Gavin especially enjoyed it, even though it has peas! This was pretty easy and good to keep for something different.

Arroz con Pollo

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP Dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp Chili powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 4 to 5 Boneless chicken thighs (or breasts), patted dry
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Jalapeño (small), minced and seeded
  • 1-1/2 cups Uncooked rice
  • 1 can (15 oz) Tomato puree
  • 1 cup Chicken broth
  • Handful Frozen peas
  • Handful Grape tomatoes, chopped

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Combine the oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper and rub the mixture all over the chicken, pressing it so it sticks on all sides of the chicken. (Use all of the spice mixture.)
  3. In a large pot (like a Dutch Oven), cook the chicken in a few glugs of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a bowl.
  4. To the pot, add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño and cook about 1 minute over medium-low heat, making sure garlic doesn\'t burn.
  5. Add the rice to the pot, turn up to medium high, and cook about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the tomato puree, broth, peas, grape tomatoes and chicken. Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer into the oven. Bake 30 minutes, or until the chicken has been cooked through and the rice is tender.

Posted in chicken, chili powder, cumin, dinner a love story, garlic, jalapeno, oil, onion, peas, pepper, rice, salt, tomato puree, tomatoes | Tagged | Leave a comment

Spiced Beef Stew with Carrots and Mint

I had this Bon Appetit recipe on the fridge for YEARS before finally getting around to trying it. The result is that it was a keeper!

Spiced Beef Stew with Carrots and Mint

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • 12 oz. Beef Tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup Shallots, sliced (about 3 large)
  • 8 oz. Baby Carrots, peeled
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Flour
  • 2-1/2 cups Beef Broth
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Mint

Preparation

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Add beef to skillet and sauté until cooked to desired doneness, about 2 minutes for medium-rare.
  2. Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to bowl. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to skillet.
  3. Add shallots and carrots and sauté until golden, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add all spices; stir 30 seconds. Sprinkle flour over; stir 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until carrots are just tender, about 8 minutes.
  6. Return beef to skillet; cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Season stew to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped mint.
  7. Transfer stew to bowls. Sprinkle with chopped mint, if desired, and serve.

Posted in beef broth, beef tenderloin, carrots, cayenne pepper, cumin, flour, mint, olive oil, pumpkin pie spice, shallots | Leave a comment

Chunky Apple Pancakes with Cinnamon Butter

We have made these pancakes many times and love the recipe. But recently the LA Times’ formatting has gotten a bit wonky, so I am transferring the recipe here for ease of reading.

Chunky Apple Pancakes with Cinnamon Butter

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: About 16 4-inch pancakes

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon Butter
  • 1/4 cup Butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • Apple Pancakes
  • 2 medium Apples, peeled & cored
  • 1 cup (4.25 oz) Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 2 tsp Melted Butter or Oil

Preparation

  1. To prepare the Cinnamon Butter: In a large bowl using a whisk, beat together the butter, powdered sugar and cinnamon until blended. Cover and chill until needed
  2. To prepare the Pancakes: Cut the apples into thin slices, then cut each slice into one-half-inch lengths.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  4. In a small bowl, beat together the egg, milk and melted butter or oil.
  5. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and stir until smooth, then stir in the apple pieces.
  6. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat until hot. Lightly grease the griddle and spoon about one-half cup of batter onto the griddle, spreading it into a 4-inch round. Cook until the bottom is browned, then flip and cook until the other side is browned and the pancake is cooked through. Serve with the cinnamon butter.

Posted in apple, baking powder, butter, cinnamon, egg, flour, milk, oil, powdered sugar, salt, sugar | Leave a comment