Friday, August 31, 2012

Chewy Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars Recipe


Here's another you-can't-believe-how-simple-this-recipe-is recipe. I had less than an hour to throw together a dessert for some last minutes guests, and when I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen that had 1 pan and 6 ingredients involved, I knew it was a winner. But the beautiful thing is, the cookie bars were not only easy but they were close to the most delicious dessert bar I have ever had.

Buttery, chewy, sweet, and simple. Try these. Please. 

Chewy Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars 
Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Makes 24-36 cookies bars

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Blend in flour, then add chocolate chips and nuts.

Spread mixture into the pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Do not overbake. Cool to room temperature and then cut into bars.

Delicious served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Spicy Tuna Salad on Whole Wheat


There's something classically delicious about tuna salad. If you like tuna, you probably love a good tuna sandwich now and again. The problem with traditional tuna salad is the "salad" part--made up of excessive amounts of mayo or Miracle Whip. My husband is not a fan of those condiments, so I try to make a tuna salad which just enough mayo to hold the spread together. :) Today, I decided to add some zing (because we're zingy sort of people) with the hot peppers. Mmm, mmm, good.

Spicy Tuna Salad on Whole Wheat Bread
recipe by
Serves 1 to 2

2 or 3 slices of my favorite whole wheat bread
1 can tuna in water, drained
3 Tbsp Miracle whip or Mayo
freshly cracked black pepper
1/2-1 whole rib of celery, thinly chopped
1 small hot pepper, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients (expect bread, of course) together in a small bowl, adding additional mayo if necessary. Spread onto the homemade bread (toasted, if desired), topping with the second slice. Cut in two and eat!

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread (Bread Machine) Recipe

This is my favorite whole wheat bread recipe so far! It uses basic ingredients, but results in a high rising loaf that slices wonderfully for sandwiches. You will impress your fans with this homemade bread. :)

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread (Bread Machine) Recipe
recipe adapted from The Big Book of Bread Machine Recipes by Donna Rathmell German

3/4 cup water
3 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 egg
2 Tbs sugar
1  tsp salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp yeast

Add ingredients to the bread machine bowl in the order listed (or as directed by the machine manual.) Select the whole wheat, sweet, or basic cycle OR choose the "dough" cycle (my favorite.)*

*If selecting the dough cycle, once the cycle is complete, lightly flour a clean surface. Turn the dough onto the counter and roll or press into a large rectangle (approximately 15 inches by 9 inches). Begin rolling the dough up along the length of the rectangle, pinching the dough together after each roll. Make the final pinch of the loaf and transfer to a loaf pan to rise for 30-60 minutes, until two inches above the edge of the pan. 

Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until golden and hollow sounding when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe


In my zucchini abundance, I was able to find the perfect recipe to soothe my "it's rainy out and I really feel like baking" urge. This recipe from Tasty Kitchen is out of this world amazing! I'm not a great cake baker--they tend to turn out too dry or too boring or too flat. But this recipe is spot on! and uber simple! 

The original recipe included a delicious-looking frosting, but I opted to sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar. I'm convinced no one minded! Each piece was amazingly moist and wonderfully chocolately! I brought the lovely tube cake to a get-together with 2 of my friends and their gaggle of children, and everyone devoured their pieces. I barely got to take a slice home for my husband (who always proclaimed it's praises!)  One of the 8 year old boys even said, "This cake is AMAZING!"


See? I told you it was a winner!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe
recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
2-1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips 


*to sour the milk, add 1 Tbsp lemon juice to milk. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt or tube pan. 

In a large bowl, cream together butter, oil, and sugar. Add in eggs, vanilla, and milk and beat until evenly combined. Sprinkle in the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and stir on low until all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a lightly greased bundt pan (or two 8″ cake pans or a 9×13″ pan) and bake for 55-60 minutes (reduce time for other pans), or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in pan for a few minutes before running knife around the edge to loosen. Remove to a rack to cool completely.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monster Cookies Recipe


By definition, Monster Cookies are, well monstrous. They're supposed to be huge, and also filled with every delicious ingredient you can dream up. I am thinking you could easily substitute half of the M&Ms and/or chocolate chips for another type of bite sized or chopped candy bar, raisins, coconut, chopped nuts, peanut butter or white or dark or butterscotch chips, etc. That's the beauty of the Monster Cookie. 

Now, by nature, I am a more defined, cautious type of person so Monster Cookies go against my neat-and-tidy personality (also, because the regular sized recipe calls for a pound of butter. This recipe is quartered if you can believe it!) But I managed to merge my two loves--love of chocolate and peanut butter with love of organization. I didn't have any other special chocolates or candy on hand, so I substituted more chocolate chips for the M&Ms and instead of "monstrous" sized cookies, I used my typical cookie scoop and was happy with that.

But you do what you want. You can't go wrong with these. They're amazingly chewy and gooey, sweet and thick. Just how a monster would want his cookies to be.

*oh! and these are flour-free--a big bonus for all of my GLUTEN FREE friends out there!

Monster Cookies Recipe 
recipe adapted from Sheryl 
Makes 4 dozen not-quite-monster-sized cookies

3 eggs
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter
12 oz (1-1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp) peanut butter
4-1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup M&Ms
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together eggs, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, salt, baking soda, and butter. Once evenly combined, stir in peanut butter. Then add in oatmeal. Stirring thoroughly. Mix in M&Ms and chocolate chips.

Drop dough onto a cookie sheet in large tablespoonfuls or use a cookie scoop. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are lightly browned and center is mostly set. Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fresh Blueberry Scones Recipe


Blueberry season is just about past, but there may still be some beautiful berries left on the bushes near you. If not, hopefully you saved a few in the freezer--those would work just fine in this recipe (keep the berries frozen when stirring them into the batter.)

If you want a special addition to your breakfast or brunch, try these simple scones. Just a few ingredients and you've got a buttery, slightly sweet side dish. 

Fresh Blueberry Scones Recipe
recipe adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook
Makes 8 scones

1-3/4 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup firm butter
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
4-6 Tbsp 2% milk or heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter using pastry blender (or you can use 2 knives and pull them in opposite directions). The mixture should be coarse and crumbly. Stir in egg and vanilla and add in milk 1 Tbsp at a time until the dough cleanly leaves the edges of the bowl. Gently fold in blueberries, being careful not to break open any berries. 

Lightly flour a clean surface and turn dough onto it. Sprinkle your hands with flour and knead gently 10 times. Roll out the dough into a 10 inch circle. Flour a sharp knife or pastry cutter and cut the dough into 8 wedges. Transfer the wedges to a baking sheet and brush each with additional milk. Sprinkle with sugar. 

Bake 13-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Grilled Zucchini Sandwich Recipe


So, you have a lot of zucchini laying around? And you've made enough zucchini bread to last you a lifetime? Well, then, friend, this sandwich is calling your name. I have been on a grilled (literally on the grill) sandwich kick lately, and it is unbelievable delicious. Those grill marks, the crisp edges, the melted insides. You can't make this stuff up, people. Please grill some sandwiches for me.

But back to the zucchini.

I never would have thought of forming a sandwich around something like sliced zucchini, but I am so glad a friend of mine posted on Facebook about it. I hope you'll enjoy this use of zucchini too!

Grilled Zucchini Sandwich 
recipe by
Serves 1

2 slices rye bread*
Miracle Whip
6 slices zucchini
1 slice onion
2-3 slices tomato
shredded mozzarella
grated Parmesan 
garlic powder

*I think Rye bread makes this sandwich come alive, but you may use whatever bread you love. 

Spread 1 side of each slice of bread with a thin layer of butter. On the opposite side of one slice of bread, spread desired amount of Miracle Whip. On the opposite side of the second slice of bread, sprinkle generous amounts of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. 

Layer zucchini, onion, and tomato on the cheese-topped slice of bread. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Top with Miracle-Whipped slice of bread. 

Preheat your outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Place sandwich directly on the grilling grate and cook 5 minutes before turning to the second side. Cook until cheese is melted and both sides are golden and crisp. Slice in half and serve. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt Recipe


If there's two things in this world I love it's ICE CREAM and COOKIES. These two powerful forces combine into the simplest frozen treat you ever did make. No ice cream machine or churning necessary! 

You like cookie dough, right? Tell me you like the spoon after whipping up some cookies. You do, right? I know I'm not alone. Well, assuming you love cookie dough, you will LOVE this frozen yogurt. Make an eggless cookie dough, stir in some yogurt, freeze overnight, and VOILA--Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt. Try it! You won't be mad. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt
recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Serves 6

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup chocolate chips (mini are even better) 
1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt 

In a large bowl, cream together butter, both sugars, and vanilla. Add in flour, salt, and baking soda and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Blend in yogurt until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a freezer safe, airtight bowl and freeze overnight. Scoop and enjoy!