Simple Rice Pilaf

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Quick Post: Years ago, before I was a food snob, I bough boxed rice and pasta sides without thinking twice. This is a great substitute for a basic Rice-a-Roni side and it has way more flavor, not to mention ingredients that I can pronounce 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Simple Rice Pilaf – adapted from Simply Scratch

  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 cup Orzo pasta
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2.5 cups chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions – 

Melt butter in a 2 quart saucepan until hot and bubbly. Add the orzo and toast until it becomes lightly golden. Add the cup of rice, stir. Pour in the chicken stock and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

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Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs

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These are a perfect special occasion (ahem, Valentine’s Day), treat that any chocolate lover would appreciate. My husband was pretty excited about these because the original is one of his favorites, so how bad could the addition of brownie be? The brownie bakes up thin, chewy and fudgy and it sticks really well to the frozen dough ball. As I rolled the brownies around the cookie dough I decided that these win the prize for messiest dessert ever – my hands were coated in sticky brownie, but in the end these were worth the effort. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs – adapted from Handle the Heat

For the cookie dough:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 – 3 tablespoon milk (any kind)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

For the brownies:
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the chocolate coating:
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 teaspoons coconut oil (or more if needed )

Directions –

For the brownies:

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Meanwhile, make the brownies. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with foil, leaving an overhang.

In a large bowl combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until well combined, mixture will be thick. Let cool if the butter is still hot. Stir in the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, stirring very well after each addition. Stir until the batter is very well blended. Add the flour and stir again until very well blended. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through but still very moist and fudgy. Let cool.

For the cookie dough:

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In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until very well combined and fluffy. Add in the milk and vanilla. On low speed gradually add the flour and salt. Stir in the miniature chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough into 2 teaspoon-sized balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for an hour, or until firm.

To assemble:

Cut the brownies into 1-inch squares. Flatten a square with the palm of your hand. Place a cookie dough ball into the middle of the flattened brownie and wrap the brownie around the cookie dough ball. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, just try to get as much of a round shape as possible, rolling the ball between your palms. Repeat with the remaining brownie and cookie pieces. Freeze the balls for 30 minutes.

For the chocolate coating:

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Combine the chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir, and continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between bursts, until the chocolate is melted.

Dip each brownie ball into the chocolate to coat completely. Allow the excess to drip off then return to the baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, or until set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Chicken and Potato Soup

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Quick Post: Florida is experiencing 80 degree temps lately with ridiculously high humidity – but I know you Northerners could still use some warming soups. This is perfectly comforting, rich and creamy; and I wish that it was cooler here so I have a good excuse to make some. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken and Potato Soup – adapted from Damn Delicious

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, (*fresh if you have it*)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth (*I used homemade chicken stock*)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions –

  • Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in chicken and cheese, a handful at a time, until smooth, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed.
  • Serve immediately