Sunday, November 11, 2012

world's best chocolate chip cookies

This recipe comes from a high school friend, Lauren Pitt.  I make these ALL the time and they are quite honestly the BEST chocolate chip cookies I've ever had!  They're the perfect ratio of salty and sweet.  Mmmmm.

2 c shortening (I use butter flavored Crisco, it's the secret)
2 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla*
5 c flour
2 tsp salt*
2 tsp baking soda
1 bag chocolate chips (Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips work best)

In an electric mixer cream shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla til fluffy.  Mix in salt and baking soda.  Slowly add flour.  Don't over-mix.  Mix in chocolate chips by hand.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8-9 minutes (until barely brown - do NOT overbake).  Immediately remove from pan and let cool.

*When I make these I am generous with the vanilla and salt.  I probably do about 3 tsp each rather than 2.  Makes them extra delish.

homemade oreos with cream cheese frosting

 I promise these are the best homemade oreos you will ever have.  They fly off the plate.

Oreo cookies:

2 boxes devils food cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines brand)
1 1/2 c crisco (butter flavored)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in mixer until well blended.  Roll into small balls and place on un-greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes.  You'll know to take them out when they appear to begin to crack slightly.  Remove from pan and let cool before frosting.

Cream cheese frosting:

8 oz cold cream cheese
5 tbsp softened butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 c powdered sugar

Beat first three ingredients, then gradually add the powdered sugar.  Add food coloring if desired.  So good on these homemade oreos!

taco soup

 I got this taco soup recipe from my friend, Jennilee.  It is so good, and incredibly easy.  Makes a lot -- you could easily feed 6-8 adults.

1 lb ground beef
2 cans Mexican stewed tomatoes
1 package frozen corn
1 taco seasoning packet
1 hidden valley ranch seasoning packet
4 cups water
2 cans kidney beans, drained

Cook meat and then combine all ingredients in large pot and heat.  Serve over Fritos and top with cheese and sour cream.

Monday, September 10, 2012

oven-roasted asparagus with bread crumbs

Tried a new method of cooking asparagus over the weekend.  It was so fast and easy, not to mention delish.


1 lb medium-thick stalks asparagus
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse Kosher or sea salt
1/4 c breadcrumbs
Fresh grated parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 450° with a rack set in the middle. Rinse and pat dry the asparagus. One spear at a time, snap off the bottoms of each stalk where it wants to breaks naturally.
  2. Place the asparagus on a sheet pan and toss the asparagus with enough evo just to coat – about 1 tablespoon. Add a generous pinch of salt and toss to coat.
  3. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly across the spears and place the sheet tray in the oven to roast for 7-10 minutes.
  4. Remove the asparagus from the oven when the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the asparagus tips are starting to brown. Grate Parmesan over all the spears and serve.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

homemade peanut butter cups

Yes, I know I haven't posted on this blog in over 18 months. Sincere apologies.

But today is Valentine's Day, and to celebrate I made homemade peanut butter cups for my friends. When all was said and done I made 96 of these puppies! All were delivered last night. It made me feel happy to spread some love around.

They turned out so cute:

[Love how the shadows on the last photo look like little hearts!]

These are so easy to make, and way too delicious for words. Here's the how-to:

1. First, preheat the oven to 350.

2. Next, make your favorite peanut butter cookie dough. My favorite follows this recipe:
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c margarine
  • 1 c peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 3 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Cream margarine, sugars, eggs, vanilla, peanut butter, and milk. Add flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix well.

3. Drop dough by spoonfuls into a non-stick mini muffin pan. Bake for approximately 6-7 minutes.

4. While baking, unwrap the correct amount of miniature Reese's peanut butter cups, set aside.

5. Remove pan from oven and immediately press unwrapped Reese's in the center of each cookie.

6. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes and then carefully remove each cookie with a spoon.

7. Place cookies in mini muffin cups of your choice.

It's a peanut butter cup for your peanut butter cup. Mmmmm. Enjoy!