Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cookies to Blow Your Mind!

My friend AE brought some of the most delicious cookies to work today. I want to say they are some of the most unique, but I would be lying as a couple of weeks ago she brought in candied bacon chocolate chip cookies, but these are pretty darn unique too. In any case if you need a cookie recipe to blow minds, this is the one for you!

I wish I had my own photo of these puppies, but the 70 cookies she brought in were gone before I could whip out my camera! They are Salted Carmel Chocolate Cookies. Her inspiration (and the photo) came from this recipe.

She improved it by using vanilla bean paste instead of extract and rolling the cookies in a sugar sea salt combination. The results were SPECTACULAR!

They were the perfect combination of chocolate, salty and caramel-gooeyness. I held myself back and only ate one, but I could have easily downed a dozen!

AE's Salted Carmel Chocolate Cookies

1 cup butter,softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons sea salt
48 ROLO candies

Beat butter until creamy. Gradually beat in white sugar and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla bean paste. Combine flour, baking soda and cocoa. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Work with one part at a time, leaving the remainder in the refrigerator until needed. Divide each part into 12 pieces. Press each piece
of dough around a chocolate covered caramel (such as a rolo). Roll into a ball. Dip the tops gently into the granulated sugar and salt mixture. Place sugar/salt side up, 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.

Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven, rotating pan halfway at 4 minutes. When you taken them from the oven smoosh down the rolo with the back of a spoon and let cool for 4 minutes on the baking sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely. If you try to take them off sooner the caramel might try to come out the bottom

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Most Photographed Recipe

Have you ever cooked something and thought it was so beautiful that you had to take a photo? Maybe I am weird, but I photographed "pretty" meals long before I started blogging, and as my last post showed, even when I am not blogging I still take the photos!

There is one meal which I make on a semi-regular basis and pretty much EVERY TIME I make it, I photograph it, and I have NEVER written about it. I went through my photos the other day to see how many I could find, and this is really just a quick sampling.

The photos go back to 2006, which means I have 3 years of photos of this one meal. The meal hasn't changed all that much. Sometimes I don't have sun-dried tomatoes, or I add green beans instead of snow peas, but the beauty of this meal is it's versatility.

I always have a can of Pillsbury reduced fat crescent rolls in the fridge and some egg beaters in the freezer. So long as there are some vegetables and cheese in the fridge I can pull a Tomato Broccoli Crescent Pie together in 15 minutes. Sometimes it doesn't have tomatoes OR broccoli in it, but the idea is the same and it's always delicious.

Tomato Broccoli Crescent Pie

It's really hard to mess this recipe up. So play with it and see what comes out. It pretty much always looks beautiful and is absolutely always delicious!


  • 4 cups diced vegetables (coarsely chopped broccoli, onions, mushrooms, peppers, green beans, snow peas, asparagus, etc.)
  • 1/3 cup julienne sun-dried tomatoes in oil (if you can't find those in oil, you can use the dried ones, just make sure you soak them in HOT water for 30 minutes first)
  • black pepper
  • garlic
  • 1T basil
  • 1T oregano
  • 3/4 - 1 cup egg beaters (you can use real eggs if you like, it's roughly 3-4 eggs)
  • 1-2 cups grated cheese (mozzarella, sharp, muenster, Parmesan, mix it up)
  • 1 8oz. can refrigerator crescent rolls

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Open crescent rolls, unroll and press into pie plate to create crust.
  • Chop vegetables and stir-fry for about 3 minutes in olive oil over high heat, just to soften.
  • Add sun-dried tomatoes and spices to veggies. Remove from heat.
  • In a separate bowl, mix egg beaters and cheese together. Add vegetables ad stir together. The mixture should be gooey and cheesy but not too runny. You really can't mess this one up, so just go with your gut.
  • Pour into the pie crust and then throw in the oven. It generally bakes for 30-40 minutes, depending on how thick it is. Just pay attention to it and take it out when it's firm in the middle.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes. This might be why I have so many photos of this recipes, it's something to do during the 10 minute wait (which honestly is generally more like 2 minutes in my house.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Delicious Month

I was going to tell you all about my last week of cooking. I made a couple incredible meals and knew I would never post about each, so I was going to pull them together. Then I realized I have really had an amazing MONTH of eating and even though I haven't been writing, I have been taking photos.

January in Boston is COLD! So I made soups! I have 6 or 7 amazing recipes that are staples in our house, but I was getting tired of the same-old-same-old, so I went on a hunt for a couple new recipes. In one week I made both an awesome Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew,

and an okay Georgia Peanut Soup. I say okay because I was so excited about this recipe and in the end it was just vegetable soup with peanuts in it, nothing too different or crazy, but still tasty. The Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew will be added to the collection since it had a different flavor and got better each day.

We then spent an evening over at my friend C. Superfine's place enjoying her world famous lasagna.

Not only is her last name fantastic (yes, it is really Superfine!) her lasagna is as well! She uses Paula Deen's recipe which has 7 kinds of cheese in it including a block of cream cheese. It's as creamy and amazing as it sounds! I had been hearing about it for months and was thrilled to give it a shot. Her's was so good, I might make some alterations to my lasagna recipe.

I then spiced things up with a new squash recipe from a new foodie blogger that I have been enjoying. The Traveler's Lunchbox has a great assortment of recipes and she blogs about as often as I do, so I don't feel guilty when I don't write more. This recipe was great and unique, but I got a little over zealous with the red pepper and it was almost too much. It got better with time and I enjoyed it all week.

I made the squash with a roasted turkey breast, which allowed me to introduce JR to a childhood favorite of mine, Turkey Tetrazzini. I haven't had Turkey Tetrazzini in YEARS! Probably because I have been afraid to make a turkey up until now, but it was totally, 100% worth it.

The recipe is below and next time you make a turkey, make a big one and use some of the leftovers for this, I promise you will enjoy. Two secrets you should know about, first you can get 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup which makes this a lot less awful for you. Second, if you have access to homemade fresh pasta, like the stuff you can get at Dave's Fresh Pasta, I highly recommend using it. JR and I found over the leftovers all week!

We ended the month spending another night with C. Superfine and my good friend JS. The four of us went to Red Bones a Davis Square staple that JR and I have been hearing about from everyone and their mother since we moved here. The four of us ordered the dinner for 4 and ended up with enough food for 10 of us. It was amazing and I plan to go back as soon as possible for their pulled pork and coleslaw.

It was a fun, delicious month and it's a wonder I didn't gain 15 pounds! I would do it again in a heart beat. Let's hope the next month is as tasty!

Turkey Tetrazzini

1/2 package (8 oz. size) pasta (or 1lb fresh pasta any flavor)
1 package frozen peas
2 cups cooked turkey
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

1 can cream-of-mushroom or chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup turkey or chicken stock
1 cup sharp grated cheese

1. Cook pasta according to instructions, a minute or two before it is done, add the frozen peas to the boiling water. Once cooked, drain and keep hot.
2. In sauce pan, combine soup, stock and sharp cheese mixing well. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and then remove from heat.
3. Toss pasta and peas with the turkey, almonds and half the sauce. Turn mixture into a shallow, 2 quart baking dish. Pour the rest of the sauce over the pasta in the dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and paprika.
4. Broil for 4 minutes or until Tetrazzini is brown and bubbly.