Life Changing Brownie Cookies

I have a slight obsession with brownies. All desserts really but brownies are at the very top! So how do you have the perfect day. First you take your kids to the local pumpkin patch!

It was a perfect 70 degrees and we got the coolest pumpkins I have ever seen.

I love this sweet family of mine!

When we got home and the girls were sleeping I decided to enter into a chocolate dream land. So if you like the edges of brownies where they are crunchy and then soft in the middle this is the cookie for you.

Brownie Cookie

Cook at 350 for 9-10 minutes

Makes 36 cookies

4 ounces baking chocolate (unsweetened or bittersweet)

2 cups sugar

2 sticks of butter

3 eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp of cocoa powder

Powder sugar for dusting

Start with melting the chocolate by putting it in the microwave. I used unsweetened to not have an overly sweet cookie.

Cream together butter and sugar

Add in eggs and vanilla

Then when the chocolate is cooled but not stiff add it into your butter mixture. Should look like this.

Now add in all your dry mix a little bit at a time.

I used a portion scoop so all my cookies were the same and placed them on a non stick mat.

Cook and then let cool completely before you sprinkle with powdered sugar.

I’m about to go on a really strict diet for thirty days so this is exactly what I needed to pull me through.

Happy Cooking

Pork Chops With Wine and Roasted Garlic

The Pioneer Woman talks alot of pan sauces and using the drippings from your meat to add more flavor. Well she’s 100% correct there is so much flavor in those drippings why waists it.

I believe wine sauces are utter bliss!! That flavor you just can’t get from anything else. I keep the white wines for chicken and fish and the red for beef. This was a first for me though. I have never used red wine with pork though so this was a first for me. This recipe is out of page 246 of the Dinnertime Pioneer Woman Cookbook.

Ingredients

20 cloves of garlic

4 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

4 boneless pork chops

2 Tbsp butter

1 1/2 cups red wine

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup beef broth

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Chives for garnish

Now I won’t give you anything more then the ingredients so I don’t give away Ree’s trade secrets. You’ll just have to buy her book to know how the magic comes together.

Now who else loves the smell of wine while it is cooking? It is the best!

Place your pork back in the sauce and let it simmer for a little while.

So delicious. The wine gives it such a richness the pork chops so desperately need.

Happy Cooking!

Terriaki Burgers

I am reposting this as its own post because it was stuck under another and it is so strange and amazingly good you guys have to try it.  This is on page 153 of the Dinnertime Pioneer Woman Cookbook.

Hawaniian Burger

Delicious Scale 9 out of 10

Husband Delicious scale 7 out of 10 (he wasn’t sure what to think of pineapple on his burger)

Prep Time 25 minutes

Clean up SEVERE but I have a tip, do all your cooking on the grill outside not on a flat top grill like I did.

The idea of this burger is genius to me. Teriyaki sauce on the burger kinda caramelizes and makes it so juicy. The sauce is teriyaki and mayo mixed together. How weird does that sound? This burger was already out of my comfort zone and then I added a grilled pineapple on top.  Add some provolone cheese and roasted bell peppers. What could be better?  Surprisingly I absolutely loved all these flavors together. When a burger drips down your hands, that makes a perfect burger. I paired this with sweet potato fries with a dipping sauce of Sriracha and mayo mixed together.

Best way to make fries quickly is to use a mandoline slicer. If you don’t have one of these, buy one.

I would like to tell you guys that I am getting cleaner and more organized with my cooking, but I’m not. If anyone has advice on how to be cleaner and more organized I’m all ears. Haha

Happy Cooking!! Try something new sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised

Quinoa Caprese

Quinoa is one of my favorite ingredients to keep in my pantry. It is an absolutely wonderful substitute for rice and way healthier. Quinoa is a vegan and gluten free product that is high in protein. It also contains high amounts of fiber, antioxidants, magnesium and potassium. All essential for feeling great and looking your best. My husband even likes when I substitute it for rice because he likes the texture that it adds.

Some of my favorite recipes include:

  • Southwest Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
  • Tabbouleh
  • Quinoa Burrito bowls
  • Quinoa Fried Rice
  • Quinoa Chili
  • Mexican Quinoa casserole (crock pot meal)
  • Quinoa Caprese

The list goes on and on but we will stop here with Quinoa Caprese. Let me know if anyone wants me to write a blog for the recipes on any of the above that your interested in. This recipe is on page 64 of the Dinnertime Pioneer Woman Cookbook. These are the two cookbooks I go through if anyone is interested in buying them. Dinnertime and Come and Get It

Quinoa Caprese

Delicious Scale- 9 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale- 8 out of 10

Prep Time- 20 minutes

Clean up- Two easy pans

This recipe was really simple. It contains quinoa, (she used red quinoa) cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper. I also added cucumbers because I like the crunch.

Now let me as you this. Is there anything better then fresh mozzarella? I don’t think so it’s so creamy and delicious. I got to use some cherry tomatoes from my sister in laws garden and they were the perfect pop of sweetness for this salad.

Serve of the side of some roasted chicken and you have an amazing healthy dinner.

Quick Shells and Cheese

Today is all about my daughter and preparing for Halloween. That means getting Lexi’s costume and decorating for Fall/Halloween. She insisted on being a super hero. This came from us watching the new avengers movie with her. Ever since she runs around and whispers to us that there is a bad guy over in the corner. We tell her to go get him and she punches the air getting the bad guy. It is hilarious and she came up with that all on her own.

Of course after all the work we did we needed some Mac and Cheese to fill our bellies.

The Pioneer Woman calls these Quick Shells and Cheese on page 214 of the Dinnertime Pioneer Woman Cookbook. If anyone would like to follow along these recipes I use two of her cookbooks. Just click on this link: Dinnertime and Come and Get It

Quick Shell and Cheese

Delicious Scale- 7 out of 10

Lexi Delicious Scale- 8 out of 10

Prep Time- 15 minutes

Clean Up- 2 pans really easy

This recipe is the easiest one I have done by the Pioneer Woman. You just heat together butter and milk then add your cheddar cheese and Velveeta cheese. Put some salt, pepper, season salt and cayenne in if you like a little heat. Add this to cooked shell pasta and you are done. This was a pretty good dish but if I’m honest not my absolute favorite Mac and Cheese. I think it’s because Velveeta seems to leave a little bit of a film in your mouth afterwards. Like you just want to brush your teeth afterwards. Of course my daughter still ate it all but she likes the box mix better than this one. I know it’s not good for you but its so good I agree with her haha.

Velveeta is the best in dips though am I right? I would love to here what your favorite Velveeta recipes are and I will share some of mine this month with you all.

Happy Cooking and Happy Fall

All About Those Meatballs

I am all about freezer cooking and getting ahead. There are three days during the week that I am not home for dinner. So I have to have something in the freezer ready to go for my husband because he is not the best cook. Shh don’t tell him that! It’s not that he can’t cook I think he just doesn’t even want to try. He’s lucky I like to cook otherwise it would be ramen and pizza in our house every night.

Meatballs are one of the best things to keep in the freezer because you just add sauce and dinner is served. We are going through the meatballs recipe on page 102 of the Pioneer Woman Cookbook. This is the Cookbook I am going through if anyone wants to follow along. Dinnertime

Meatballs

Delicious Scale- 9 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale 9 out of 10

Prep Time- Honestly depends how many you want to make

To make a good meatball it’s basically like making meatloaf but in a ball form. You add the flavors that you like, eggs, breadcrumbs and heavy cream if you are the Pioneer Woman. This is quite possible why I love her so much she adds heavy cream to pretty much everything she can. She cooks her meatballs in a sauté pan but I like to bake them. Either way of course is delicious.

Of course my daughter has to help in her adorable little apron. I let her add all the spices and then I rolled up all the balls. She asks constantly can I try that, how about that, how about that. Well go ahead let your kids try everything they add it makes them more interested in what your doing. And no I did not let her try raw meat. Gross!!!

Now onto freezing. This part is very important to do correctly. Make sure the meatballs are cooked and put them into the freezer uncovered to flash freeze. This makes it easier for freezing so they keep their shape. Most importantly you put the meatballs in a gallon zip lock bag and take all the air out. Any air can cause freezer burn. These can last up to 6 months in the freezer.

A few options to make with meatballs would be BBQ meatballs, Swedish meatballs, sweet and sour meatballs, or Asian meatballs. You can also through them in a soup or on top of spaghetti. The options go on and on. They are all so delicious I have tried every single one.

Keeping your freezer stocked will be a life saver for you. It is so helpful to me I had to buy another freezer to support my make ahead addiction. Crock pot meals are also another freezer favorite for me. Whatever can make your life just slightly easier is worth doing.

What else do you all like to freeze?

Happy Cooking!

Asian Chicken Noodle Salad

My husband is from Kansas and everytime we go back, we go to this restaurant called HuHot. I don’t know if this is a chain or not but it is a buffet line that you can put any noodle, vegetable, protein and sauces. Then they cook it in front of you. Seriously amazing food but this salad completely reminded me of that.

This recipe came out of the Come & Get It cookbook on page 48. The recipe actually calls for steak not chicken and it is also supposed to be cold but I wanted to have it warm instead.

Asian Chicken Noodle Salad

Delicious Scale- 9 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale- 9 out of 10

Prep Time- 30 minutes

Clean Up- Two pans and a cutting board- Easy

This starts with a delicious marinade for the chicken which doubles as the sauce for the noodles. Its a combination of soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, sesame oil and hot chili oil.

Pour half of this over the chicken and let it sit for an hour. Then cook the chicken on the grill.

While the chicken is cooking its time for the peanut sauce. This is the best sauce ever! I just wanted to sit there and eat it with a spoon. It starts with onions cooked in curry powder and garlic. This gets put into a blender with peanut butter, coconut milk, hot chili oil, ginger, soy sauce, lime juice and salt. I believe this is what makes this dish so irresistible. Just drizzle dome over the pasta mixed with the sauce and chicken.

I will make this sauce for so many different dishes now.

Spring Rolls

Lettuce wraps

The options are endless!!

Happy Cooking!

It’s Party Time! Fried Wings, Kale Salad, Corn Dip

My go to when we have people over is some sort of dip and when it comes to having my husbands family over it is always fried wings as well. Whenever we eat really unhealthy things I feel like I must through a salad in there somewhere. So kale and sweet potato salad it is.

I cooked from two different Pioneer Woman cookbooks for this you can get them using this link they are absolutely amazing. Come and Get It and Dinnertime

I am going to start with my very favorite thing and what I could eat for every meal for the rest of my life. Haha just kidding! No, actually I’m not! I really could eat this for the rest of my life and never get sick of it.

Hot Corn Dip- page 74 of the Come and Get it cookbook

Delicious Scale- 10 out of 10

Family’s Delicious Scale- 10 out of 10

Prep Time- 35 minutes

This starts with grilling some corn and sautéing some very colorful bell peppers, jalapeño and onions.

The corn and peppers then get mixed with cream cheese, monterey jack cheese, mayo, sour cream, green onions, canned green chili, salt and pepper. Put this in a baking dish and cook at 350 for 20 minutes. This is such melty goodness, the spice from jalapeño’s and green chili with the sweet pop of corn makes this irresistible. This is served with tortilla chips but I just wanted to eat it by the spoon full.

Kale and Sweet Potato Salad- page 296 of the Dinnertime Cookbook

Delicious Scale- 6 out of 10 (probably because it was served with 10 out of 10 dishes)

Prep Time- 20 minutes

The recipe calls for butternut squash but I didn’t have any so I went with sweet potatoes instead. This is a simple recipe that you just saute the kale and sweet potatoes with butter, salt, pepper and chili powder. This allows the kale to shine through which I appreciate but most people are not in love with the taste of kale. Speaking of kale has anyone made kale chips? Totally worth a try because they are amazing!

My husband made his fried wings with multiple different sauces, which I can do another post about just let me know if your interested.

Finishing the night off with auntie cuddles makes for a perfect meal.

Happy Cooking

Skillet Lasanga

My family has been so supportive of this blog and my cooking journey it has been fun to talk to them about everything I have cooked. My sister in law recently went to Kansas and brought this back for me.

She knows me so well :). She shares a love for cooking with me and we have decided to do a night of chopped (like the food network show). We will be competing against each other, so stay posted for a fun post about that.

I have a love hate relationship with lasagna. It is delicious but takes so long to make. This was the perfect alternative it was so fast. It is on page 194 of the Dinnertime Pioneer Woman Cookbook

Skillet Lasagna

Delicious Scale- 8 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale- 8 out of 10

Prep Time- 25 minutes

Clean up- Easy 2 pans

The recipe calls for farfalle pasta and I am using mini farfalle because let’s face it, it’s adorable.

In a skillet start browning a pound of ground beef in garlic, salt and pepper. Drain the grease off and add a jar of marinara sauce and a tbsp of Italian seasoning. The interesting thing about this recipe is it has some sour cream instead of ricotta. This made a nice creaminess. Then you just add the pasta and some fresh mozzarella, which of course I can’t find in my small town.Mix this all together and that’s it. So easy!!

I’m also getting so much more organized compared to one of my first posts.

If you put the ingredients away right after you use them cooking goes much easier and cleaner. What do you guys do to stay organized and clean when cooking?

I just made some quick grilled corn on the side. Of course I had to put it in a Pioneer Woman bowl. I love her line, check them out with this link.Pioneer Woman Bowls

Happy Cooking

Pan Fried Pork Chops With Risotto

Never thought I would say those words. I have heard risotto is hard to make and a lot of work so I have never even attempted it. So I have decided to give it a try and paired it with delicious pork chops. We are making pan fried pork chops on page 156 and risotto on page 328 of the Dinnertime Pioneer Woman cookbook. Dinnertime Cookbook

Risotto

Delicious Scale- 9 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale- 7 out of 10 (it was to creamy for him, said no one ever?)

Prep Time- 30 uninterrupted minutes

Clean Up- between everything it was quite a few dishes

Risotto is basically a slow cooked rice that must be cooked by adding the liquid a little bit at a time. We are using Arborio rice which is quite expensive compared to just normal white or brown rice. It looks like a thick shorter grain. This started with carmelizing some onions and garlic in butter and then you add two cups of the Arborio rice. This calls for 6 cups of broth, I used chicken broth. So you add one cup at a time and don’t add another until all the liquid is absorbed. My husband last minute had to go help my family with something so I had the kids while I was trying to make risotto. So I’m holding my youngest Bailey and telling my two year old daughter to not come near the pan because she always wants to be up cooking with me.

Moms are multi taskers though right so this is no problem haha. Anyways at the end you add a little heavy cream, parmesan, salt and pepper. This was perfectly delicious! So creamy and such a different texture then normal white rice I had to go back for more.

Pan Fried Pork Chops

Delicious Scale- 8 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale 7 out of 10

Prep Time- 15 minutes

I think these would have been ten times better if my pork chops didn’t have a little bit of freezer burn. Oh well this is what happens when you buy in bulk and also buy meat when its on sale and then it sits in the freezer for a while.

Whenever the pioneer woman fries anything she adds oil and butter because she thinks it gives it better flavor. I believe her!! If you are making this along side risotto you want to make sure everything is prepped ahead of time so you can just through the pork chops straight in when it comes time.

This recipe could not be easier! We are using boneless pork chops. You just dip your pork chops in flour mixed with your favorite spices and put them in the pan to fry. For spices we used salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder and season salt. Also its very important to flavor your meat as well with salt and pepper before you put it into the flour mixture.

Perfectly crispy and juicy on the inside. Just how I like it.Tada!! I paired this with a beautiful strawberry and spinach salad. Such a delicious meal. As far as clean up if any of you are like me and frying is a total mess you should invest in one of these covers. It just goes right over the top of your pan so none of the grease splashes out. Splatter Screen

Happy Cooking!