Saturday, March 27

::hershey's best brownies::

so i've never posted this since i feel like plain brownies are pretty basic and generally unexciting to post on a foodie website proporting new, inventive or interesting recipes. however, this has proven to be a great and easy recipe that i have whipped up a lot at the last minute either when taylor asks for some sweets or when we have guests and i need a good dessert with ingredients i already have. it only requires one bowl, which i really like, and comes straight from a little hershey's recipe "board book" cookbook i got while we were engaged. i add chocolate chips and half it each time. i always receive lots of compliments so here's to the girls, k and m, who've asked about it! :)

{hershey's best brownies}
adapted from here
1 stick butter
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
a scant 1/2 cup cocoa powder {technically, half of 3/4 cup so i think that's 1/4 c and 2 tablespoons}
1 cup sugar
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

oven to 350. grease a 9x9 pan. melt butter in microwave safe mixing bowl, about 1 min. mix in sugar, vanilla. whisk in eggs individually. stir in flour, powder, salt. mix in chocolate chips. bake for 25 -28 min. allow to cool before cutting and serving. i take them out at 25 or so min before a "toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean" and store the leftovers wrapped well in foil in the fridge. they stay chewy and the chocolate chips get crunchy. so good cold the next day!

Saturday, March 20

{ overnight pizza }

a pizza update. the garlic powder addition and how you can do it overnight.

Pizza with Homemade Dough

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

the doubled and updated version of this dough

yields one 20- 24 inch pizza or two 10 - 12 inch pizzas
3 cups flour (can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water {use the microwave, warm about 45 seconds }
2 tablespoon olive oi
2 tablespoon honey

Stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl. Add honey, olive oil then warm water. Stir mixture. Knead into a ball once you can no longer stir. Let it rest for a bit and it may be easier to knead
Knead it for about two minutes, pulling, folding and pressing backing to itself with the heel of your hand. Knead until a piece of it stretches in your hand without breaking, and feels and smells like pizza dough. Lightly oil the same rinsed mixing bowl with shortening, butter or cooking spray. Dump in the dough, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it tightly in plastic wrap. Store in fridge at least 12 hours, until you're ready to use. I let mine rise about 4 hours, froze it in a well sealed plastic bag, sprayed with cooking spray, then put it back in its bowl in the fridge the next morning for about 10 hours before using. I bet it would have been fine in the fridge for a total of 24 hours, no problem.

Roll or stretch onto pizza stone or baking sheet. Heat oven to 500.
Toppings seen above:
1/4 c. pesto
1 c. mozzarella
1 c. Parmesan Reggiano
quartered kalamata olives
chopped artichoke hearts
sliced tomatoes
chopped baby spinach
black pepper over all

Bake for about 10 minutes.

Saturday, March 13

::double chocolate m&m cookies::

to show my 8th graders some love the day before spring break, i put springy, Easter pastel m&ms in a classic recipe for double chocolate chip cookies from my old, trusty Hershey's Cocoa baking book. i'd made this double chocolate chip recipe for taylor before since he loves the "chocolate decadence" cookies from blue baker. but this was my first time to try something different with them.

{double chocolate m&m cookies}
adapted from hershey's "perfectly chocolate" chocolate chip cookies.
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) pastel m&ms {or semi sweet chocolate chips}
Heat oven to 375°F. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in m&ms or chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 5 dozen cookies.

{pan recipe} Spread batter in greased 15-1/2x10-1/2x1-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake at 375°F. 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely; cut into bars. About 4 dozen bars.
 {image and a recipe from botc}

Wednesday, March 10

::spicy vegetarian chili::

taylor said he wanted chili. so this is what i was able to throw together. it was really good, in my opinion, especially for being essentially an experiment in rummaging through the fridge and pantry!

{spicy vegetarian chili}
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can rotel
1 can black beans
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 tsp. adobo sauce {from canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce}
2 tbsp. chili powder
dash of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. coriander
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 - 1c. beer, or other liquid like broth, water or wine
2 tbsp. olive oil
In large pot or dutch oven, saute onions and peppers in olive oil until well softened. Add spices and adobo sauce and stir. Add beans, rotel and tomato paste. Add liquid until desired thickness. Stir uncovered for a few minutes on medium heat until bubbly. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Serve with cornbread and cheese.

I did not drain or rinse the beans very carefully. Meaning, I allowed the beans and rotel liquid to serve as some of the soup liquid. This is SO flexible, good and easy!

Wednesday, March 3

::overnight yeast pancakes::

this was such a fun experiment. but mostly because i'm a nerd. i mixed these up on friday night. took them out of the 'fridge on saturday morning and only had to clean the bowl in the morning. no flour or other pantry items strewn about. taylor liked the little bit of cinnamon in them, but would probably have preferred that i not have substituted a cup of white flour for wheat. we have to alternate our hearty with our less-than-hearty pancakes.
{ Overnight Yeast Pancakes }
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (i substituted a cup of wheat)
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups warm milk (due to the wheat flour, i added 1/4 cup milk)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg
In a large bowl combine flour, white sugar, salt, cinnamon and yeast; mix well. Add vanilla, milk, butter, and egg until well blended. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight. Allow to reach room temperature before making.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. {oiling with butter before each new batch, is yummiest} Stir the batter with a whisk.* Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Flip when bubbles begin to form throughout. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

*try to make a few just scooping out the batter with a 1/4 measuring cup BEFORE whisking. most of the reviews said they had better results when they DIDN'T stir. They were definitely thicker before I stirred the batter, but it depends on if you like spread out, flat pancakes or less spread out, more fluffy ones...