Friday, February 28, 2020

Monster Cookies























It's an Oatmeal cookie, chocolate chip cookie and peanut butter cookie all wrapped into one delicious chewy scrumptious treat!  This is my favorite cookie!  Especially warm, just out of the oven, with a cold glass of milk! Make them as large as you want....I make mine smaller because I like them thick and chewy. I use a tablespoon to scoop my cookie dough.  Notice these have no flour in the ingredients so you don't want to over bake them.  Take them out a little early and they will continue to bake while in the pan cooling.

Monster Cookies


1¼ cups chunky peanut butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated white sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups quick cooking, 1-minute oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup M&M's

½ cup caramel bits



























Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Using a hand mixer mix  together the peanut butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and butter until creamy.  Mix in eggs, vanilla extract, and oats. Next, stir in baking soda, salt, oatmeal, chocolate chips, M&M's, and caramel bits until blended.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork dipped in cold water. Skip this step if you like a thicker, chewier cookie.  Press a few extra M&M's into the top of the cookies if you’d like.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not over bake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.  Cookies will continue to bake while cooling in  the pan so be careful not to over bake in the oven. Place cookies on a  cooling rack to finish cooling.  Enjoy!



















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Mini Blooming Onions

























Okay I’ll admit it. I go to Outback Steakhouse because of the Blooming Onions!  Oh my goodness….they are the perfect appetizer...so light and crispy and I always eat way too many. By the time my dinner arrives, I am too stuffed to eat.  So I decided to make them at home....only miniatures ones....little baby blooming onions that I can pop in my mouth whenever I want!   I warn you….these are so addicting! 


Mini Blooming Onions

6 small sweet or yellow onions
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ teaspoon baking powder


























Slice an onion in half vertically, but don’t cut all the way through to the base. The idea is to keep the bottom intact. Turn the onion 45 degrees, slice vertically again and repeat until you end up with what looks like little rectangles of onion, still attached at the base. Repeat with the remaining onions.

























Loosen the onions a little by wiggling them around to separate the pieces slightly and create space between them. Place the buttermilk in a shallow dish and then add the onions to it. Toss well and massage the onions to get the coating into the center.
In a medium-size shallow dish, whisk the flour with the salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika and baking powder to combine. Working one at a time, remove an onion from the buttermilk and dredge fully in the flour mixture, working again to make sure the breading gets into the center.




















Heat 3 inches of oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat until it reads 350 degrees on a thermometer.  Working in batches, fry the onions until they’re golden and crisp, flipping them over halfway through cooking, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set the cooked onions on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.  Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.






















  
Dipping Sauce

½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk the sour cream with the mayonnaise, horseradish, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper to combine. Set aside to serve with your blooming onions.




















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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Cheesy Camp Fire Potatoes






















I call these my camp fire potatoes.  Not because I camp. I am not a camper.  My idea of camping would be at a 5 star hotel preferable in the penthouse suite overlooking the ocean.  But if I was a camper and I wanted the perfect side dish, I would serve this with whatever I was cooking up over the camp fire.  

I guess you could call cooking out on the grill the closest I come to camping. And when I’m making chicken, steak, fish or any other dish, this is my favorite side dish to serve.  It takes only a few minutes to make these when you use the pre-packaged little microwavable potatoes.

Cheesy Camp Fire Potatoes

1 package of microwave ready potatoes*
5 slices of bacon, cooked and diced
1 cup cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Make sure your potatoes are all roughly the same size whether you are using pre-packaged microwavable or fresh baby potatoes from the produce section. 

Place potatoes on a microwave-safe bowl or plate and cook on high for 3-4 minutes until tender when you test them with a fork or knife.

Preheat the grill or if using the oven preheat it to 350 degrees.  Lay out 3 sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil to make your packet. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.





















Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice a single layer on to the foil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with cheese and bacon.  





















Repeat layers two more times until all potatoes, cheese and bacon are used. Fold up the sides of the foil and pinch the top closed. Place on grill, cover and cook for 10-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender and the cheese has melted. Open foil and serve!























NOTE:  There are different varieties and brands of microwavable potatoes. Or you can buy baby potatoes and microwave them but make sure they are all about the same size.
















*These potatoes can also be baked in the oven for roughly the same amount of time at 350-400 degrees.
























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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Fried Chicken with Pecan Honey Glaze























Do you ever get food cravings?  I mean real cravings for that certain food that you just can't stop until you drop everything you're doing and go make it.  That's what this is....your ultimate food craving.  I think about this chicken a lot. I dream about this chicken.  I mean there's something about crunch and sweet that sets off cravings like nothing else.  Make it once and you'll know what I mean.


Fried Chicken with Pecan Honey Glaze

1 quart buttermilk (4 cups)
1 frying chicken (3-4 lbs.), cut up into 8 pieces
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/2 tablespoons onion powder
11/2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil or shortening

Rinse the chicken and pat completely dry with paper towels.
Pour 1/2 the buttermilk (2 cups) into a shallow bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat well. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Set up your dredging station with three shallow bowls. Place the remaining 2 cups of buttermilk in one bowl. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, garlic and onion powders, paprika and cayenne and divide the mixture into the other two shallow bowls. Season both bowls generously with salt and pepper.























Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and drain off buttermilk.  Then pat it dry with paper towels. Dredge the pieces a few at a time in the flour mixture and then shake off excess. Then dip each piece of chicken into the buttermilk and again shake off the excess buttermilk. Finally, dredge the chicken a third time into the second shallow dish of flour and shake off excess. Set chicken pieces on rack until ready oil is hot enough to fry.

Add about 3 inches of cooking oil to a heavy skillet…add no more than half way up the sides. Fry the chicken over medium high heat working in batches of 3-4 pieces at a time. Using tongs, turn the chicken pieces in hot oil for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked all the way through. I like to cover my chicken half way through this cooking process.
Remove chicken from the oil with tongs and move to a rack lined with a paper towel to drain; repeat to cook the remaining pieces.






















Pecan-Honey Glaze

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3/4 cup honey
1 cup coarsely finely chopped pecans

To make the glaze, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the honey until well blended. Bring to a simmer and add the pecans. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle the glaze over the hot fried chicken and serve.
























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