Sunday, May 15, 2011

Traditional Sugar Cookies

This is my quick go-to recipe for my sweets cravings. It's a very simple recipe that involves using ingredients you probably already have on hand. I absolutely love making (and eating) cookies any day, any time. These cookies are fantastic as-is plain, but could definitely be made even more custom by adding some icing. I might try them one day when I have more time with a softer buttercream type of icing. Even royal icing would be a delicious addition to these soft and amazing cookies.

Traditional Sugar Cookies
Adapted from: Annie's Eats, originally The Pastry Queen
Yeilds: 20 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon juice

In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the softened butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the vegetable oil on medium-high speed until mixed well, about 1 minute. Add in the granulated and powdered sugar until well incorporated, about 1 minute for each. Beat in the egg until well incorporated. Finally, add the vanilla and lemon juice.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add the dry mixture a little at a time. Freeze dough for 15 minutes (or at least 1 hour in the fridge). Drop dough balls onto cookie sheets lined with silicone mat or parchment paper. Flatten gently with hand and sprinkle extra sugar on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, or until bottoms are golden-brown. Let sit on cookie sheets for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Once cooled, store in airtight container.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Green Monster Smoothie

Green food, okay. Green drinks, not okay? I have heard about and seen this Green Monster Smoothie just about everywhere in the past year or two. I've been afraid to try it for one reason: it's green. And guess what gives it that bright green color? Spinach leaves! Of all things that shouldn't be in drinks!! Or should it?

I wanted to try this drink because it had so many good ingredients that I love (minus the spinach of course). I made a slight adjustment and omitted the honey, but it was perfectly sweet with all the fruit in it. It turned out absolutely amazing! I guess I just want more go-to drink recipes because it seems like I have so few. Try this recipe and adjust it however you like, adding or omitting any ingredients you think it needs. Next time I might do half pineapple and half mango. That sounds delicious! And if you were wondering, you absolutely cannot taste the spinach!!

Green Monster Smoothie
Adapted from: Annie's Eats, originally une-deux senses
Serves: 3-4

1 banana, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup frozen, chopped pineapple
1 pear, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups orange juice
2 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried

Combine all ingredients into a blender and puree until completely smooth. Enjoy immediately or store in fridge for up to 3 days. Mixture will need a good shaking/stirring when not enjoyed immediately.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Chicken, Poblano and Corn Quesadillas

From past experience, I've learned that quesadillas are a tricky yet easy dinner (or appetizer) to make. It takes some finesse I think, but they are always worth the effort in the end. My first attempt I was over-zealous and wanted to make an entire quesadilla (unfolded, two tortillas in the skillet). That was the worst idea! They fell apart and didn't crisp all that well. So learn from my mistake; when the directions for a quesadilla say to fold it over in half, do it. I also made some minor changes to this recipe because I like flavorful quesadillas with lots of different ingredients. I added tomatoes and I think a side of sour cream or salsa would have been even better!

Chicken, Poblano, and Corn Quesadillas
Adapted from: Simply Suppers
Yields: 6-8 quesadillas

1 large poblano pepper, halved
olive oil
1 cup shredded, cooked chicken
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1 tomato, chopped
6-8 8-inch flour tortillas
sour cream (optional)
salsa (optional)

Start by roasting the poblano pepper. Preheat the broiler on high and move the oven rack to the highest position. Remove all seeds and stems from the pepper and place on oiled cookie sheet. Place in the oven and broil for about 8 minutes on each side, enough to get them charred on the edges. Set aside to cool.

Preheat a skillet on the stove to medium heat. Meanwhile, fill tortillas with ingredients: shredded chicken, cheese, corn and tomatoes. You can add the salsa and sour cream beforehand or use as a dipping sauce. Be sure to only fill half the tortilla. Fold in half and spray the top of the tortilla with olive oil cooking spray. Place folded tortilla into preheated skillet with the oiled side down. Lightly spray the other side of the tortilla while cooking.

Leave tortilla on skillet until crunchy and darkened, about 3-4 minutes. Flip over to cook the other side gently with a spatula. Leave on skillet until crunchy and darkened, about 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Simply Suppers - New Cookbook

Someone got a new cookbook c/o Confections of a Foodie Bride. A huge thank you goes out to their blog for helping to remotivate me! I have already several recipes tabbed and one I've already made! Comfort food is my favorite!