Monday, May 30, 2011

Double Chocolate Cookies

These are my hubby's second favorite cookie - the first being classic chocolate chip. These kind of taste like a brownie in cookie form, with creamy white chocolate chips in every bite. In my cookbook, "Yummy!" is written next to the recipe name. I think that's all you need to know. Definitely a good cookie to put into your rotation.

Double Chocolate Cookies (I OFTEN halve this recipe to make roughly 24 cookies)
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
8 oz. white chocolate chips (Ghiradelli are my favorite)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In mixing bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer or hand-held beater, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs and continue to beat until well combined, about 1 minute.
  4. A little at a time, pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix slowly until all is combined. The batter will be very stiff.
  5. Fold in white chocolate chips with a spatula. Drop by the tablespoon onto greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes and move to cooling rack.

Easy Breakfast Egg Casserole

It's been a while since I've blogged. I went through a pretty tough experience, the toughest of my life, and it put blogging into perspective. The good news is, I'm feeling better. And I'm ready to blog again. Especially for my girls. I definitely want them to have this easy egg casserole recipe. It's perfect for when you have company over, and you don't want to spend the morning hovering over the frying pan making scrambled eggs. Just pop in the oven - and it's done. Boo-yah.

Easy Breakfast Egg Casserole
20-24 oz. of shredded hash browns, thawed
1 teaspooon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
12 eggs
1/2 lb. ham, diced (you can substitute cooked bacon or turkey for the ham)

  1. Butter a 9x13" glass baking dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread hash browns in the dish, sprinkle on the salt and pepper. 
  3. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of cheese over the potatoes. Beat the eggs and milk; pour over the potatoes and cheese.
  4. Top with diced ham and remaining cheese. 
  5. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Best eaten the day you make it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sweet Asian Pork Chops

How many times have you eaten dry pork chops? I know my previous attempts have been less-than-yummy...until NOW! Thanks to a great America's Test Kitchen recipe, these are tender, moist and coated in the most delicious sweet Asian glaze. You can add a bit of heat if you want, too.

A couple tricks to remember when cooking these:
  • Start cooking the chops in a cold pan - this prevents them from drying out
  • Cut slices in the fat around the chop, about 2" apart - it'll prevent the pork from curling up
My hubby loves these, he even asked for them the other night. They are officially in our meal rotation.

Sweet & Spicy Pork Chops (slightly adapted from America's Test Kitchen)
1/3 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar (make sure you have at least 1/8 cup of brown sugar for later as well)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce (for more heat, add up to 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
3-4 bone-in rib or center cut pork chops, about 1"-1 1/2" thick
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Salt & pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

  1. Whisk cider, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic, mustard, hot sauce and cornstarch in medium bowl. Pat chops dry with paper towels. Cut slits through the fat of the chops, about 2" apart (this prevents them from curling when cooking).
  2. Rub chops with oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle 1 side of each chop with sugar.
  3. Place chops, sugared-side down, in large nonstick skillet. Place skillet over medium-low heat and cook until chops are lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. 
  4. Flip chops, add cider mixture, and cook, covered with a lid or with foil, until meat registers 145 degrees, or 8-10 minutes. Transfer chops to platter and tent with foil.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until liquid is thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. During this time, taste the liquid and add 1/8 - 1/4 cup brown sugar if desired. (I like it sweet!)
  6. Return chops to skillet and turn to coat in glaze. Transfer chops to platter and top with remaining glaze. Serve and enjoy!