Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dry Cured Black Truffle Sausage, Parmesan, and Olive Oil Bocadillo

All you need for lunch sometimes is some good bread, good olive oil, good cheese, and good meat. I'm really missing Spain and my roommates today because this was 80% of what I ate in Spain. Often times, our house Mom would make us sandwiches that would last us all weekend when we would go out of town. These sandwiches were called "bocadillos". During halftime of soccer games, everyone would get out their bocadillo and eat. I really miss that and this sandwich filled a little bit of that hole today!

  • Good bread
  • Good olive oil
  • Good cheese (I used Parmesan)
  • Good meat (I used dry cured black truffle sausage from Carlito's Cocina)
  1. Assesmble and enjoy!

Miss you ladies

At a soccer game. Real Betis!

Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Bars

I love the combination of sweet and salty. Andrew and I are obsessed with our Imitation Potbelly's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, so I figured why not add some crushed potato chips to the mix?!

I'd like to say I thought of the idea of bars on my own, but it actually happened because I made a mistake. In my original mix, I made cookies. While they cooked, I knew something was wrong, and I realized I forgot to put baking soda in the mix. I didn't want to wash the pan before using it again, so I decided to press the mixture into a baking dish. Delicious!!

  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c. quick oats
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 c. chocolate chips
  • 2 c. potato chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream softened butter and sugars. Add in egg, one at a time, mixing after each time. Mix in vanilla
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together oats, flour, baking soda, and salt
  4. Add dry ingredients slowly into the butter mixture, about one cup at a time, until everything is mixed together
  5. Mix in chocolate chips and potato chips
  6. Spray cooking spray on a brownie dish
  7. Press mixture into dish 
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes
  9.  Let cool before cutting into squares 


Sweet Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


I love the classic taste of salty pumpkin seeds, but I thought it would be interesting to have a sweet taste. They're delicious together!

  • Seeds from a medium pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Clean pumpkin seeds from all of the gunk
  3. Add a dash of salt and water to a medium saucepan, and add seeds
  4. Bring to a boil
  5. Turn heat down to medium/low and cook uncovered for 10 minutes
  6. Drain
  7. Dry slightly with a few paper towels
  8. Put seeds on baking dish
  9. Combine cinnamon and sugar
  10. If coconut oil is in a solid state (it depends on the temperature), rub oil quickly between hands to melt and then rub over seeds.
  11. Pour over half of cinnamon sugar and mix again with hands
  12. Top with the rest of the cinnamon sugar
  13. Put in oven, and stir every 10 minutes until cooked to desired crispness (this took me 35 minutes)
If you're still craving the salty: Salty Roasted Pumpkin Seeds



Salty Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

'Tis the season for roasted pumpkin pumpkin seeds! This is a recipe for the classic salty taste.

  • Seeds from one medium pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt (plus more for water)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Clean pumpkin seeds from all of the gunk
  3. Add a dash of salt and water to a medium saucepan, and add seeds
  4. Bring to a boil
  5. Turn heat down to medium/low and cook uncovered for 10 minutes
  6. Drain
  7. Dry slightly with a few paper towels
  8. Put seeds on baking dish
  9. Pour olive oil and half of salt over
  10. Mix with hands
  11. Top with rest of salt
  12. Put in oven, and stir every 10 minutes until cooked to desired crispness (this took me 35 minutes)
Try a sweet version! Sweet Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


Sweet Potato Tater Tot Blue Cheese and Candied Bacon Buffalo Chicken Scrambled Eggs

I know... could I possibly add any more words to the title Sweet Potato Tater Tot Blue Cheese and Candied Bacon Buffalo Chicken? Two more: scrambled eggs.

I had such a small amount left of the casserole and had two eggs I needed to use, so I figured I might as well combine them!

  • Casserole
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hot sauce
  1. Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat
  2. Whisk eggs with milk
  3. Pour over heat
  4. Put casserole in microwave for 30 seconds
  5. After about 2 minutes, add casserole to eggs and cook until eggs are no longer runny
  6. Top with salt, pepper, and more hot sauce if you want


Sweet Potato Tater Tot Blue Cheese and Candied Bacon Buffalo Chicken Casserole

When I saw the title to the original dish that this idea came from (Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Casserole), my mind was blown. But when I decided to make the tater tots sweet potato tater tots and add candied bacon to the blue cheese level, my mind can barely wrap around everything going on. This is amazing! There are so many different flavors but I think they all come together really nicely. I had 7 friends over for dinner one night and everyone loved it!

  • 4 chicken breasts (2 pounds)
  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 1 c. hot sauce
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese
  • 3/4 c. candied blue cheese
  • 1 package Tater Tots (from the frozen section)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  1. Make Candied Bacon and chop into small pieces

  2. Make Easy Shredded Chicken (I take frozen chicken breasts and put them in my refrigerator the night before a chicken dinner)
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium
  4. Combine hot sauce, garlic powder, and salt
  5. Whisk hot sauce into melted butter and let simmer for 3 minutes
  6. Remove from heat and let cool
  7. Preheat oven to 350F.
  8. Reserve 1/3 c. of the buffalo sauce
  9. Take remaining, add to chicken, and spread on the bottom of a casserole dish

  10. Combine blue cheese and candied bacon
  11. Layer on top of chicken
  12. Do the next layer with the Tater Tots (can take right out of the freezer) 
  13. Pour over the rest of the buffalo sauce
  14. Sprinkle cheese 
  15. Bake for 40 minute (I covered with aluminum foil for 25 minutes and without for 15).
  16. Let sit 5 minutes before serving


Monday, October 28, 2013

Donut Ice Cream Sandwich Dipped in Chocolate

I read somewhere about chocolate dipped donut ice cream sandwiches. Um, what? Chocolate dipped. Donut. Ice Cream. I had to.

Makes 6

  • 3 donuts
  • 1 c. ice cream (I used chocolate chip cookie dough)
  • 1 c. chocolate chips
  1. Cut donuts in half, and then in half again (I wanted to make halves to make more servings but you could do full donuts)
  2. Put parchment paper on a baking sheet
  3. Put chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl
  4. Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring at each stop, until chips are melted
  5. Stuff ice cream between donuts
  6. Quickly dip into chocolate (yes, some of the ice cream will melt), and put on baking sheet
  7. Put directly in freezer
It gets a little messy, but good messy!



Pear, Pomegranate, Pecan, and Goat Cheese Salad

This salad was inspired from a picture I saw on Pinterest (here). I was serving a very heavy dish, so I thought a light and healthy salad would be the perfect side dish.

  • 15 oz. mixed greens
  • 1 pear, cleaned and sliced
  • 1/4 c. pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  • 3 oz. goat cheese
  • 1/8 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 c. olive oil
  1. Combine first five ingredients
  2. Mix balsamic vinegar and olive oil together
  3. Dress accordingly
A few days later I ate this with pine nuts and brie. Just as delicious!



Brie and Dry Fig Salami Spread

I went to New York to visit a friend and we went to Chelsea Market. There was a guy at a small food stand talking and handing out free samples, so of course I was going to go over and check it out. One of the best decisions of my life. Their name was Charlito's Cocina. The first thing I tried was the Dry Fig Salami. I served this over french bread with brie cheese.

Also see: Brie and Dry Cured Black Truffle Sausage



Brie and Dry Cured Black Truffle Sausage


This is the same sausage from Charlito's Cocina - Dry Cured Black Truffle Sausage. I am seriously not exaggerating when I say that my knees buckled when I ate this. It's incredible. Order if you can!!

Try also: Brie and Dry Fig Salami Spread



Chocolate Chip Brownie Sundae

I hosted a dinner party last week, and as a thank you my friend Ashley brought me from fall dish towels and this adorable pumpkin dish. I thought it was the perfect size for a sundae! In my adventures of stuffing brownies (Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Brownies and Oreo Stuffed Brownies), I also stuffed a brownie with some chocolate chips.

  • Brownie
  • Ice cream
  • Other toppings (such as nuts, whipped cream, cheery, etc)
  1. Put brownie on bottom of plate
  2. Microwave for 30 seconds
  3. Top with ice cream and other toppings


Candied Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

How could you improve Candied Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookies? Well, freeze ice cream (in this case, chocolate chip cookie dough) between them!

  • Candied Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Ice cream
  1. Make cookies
  2. Let cool all the way
  3. Put parchment paper on baking sheet
  4. Scoop ice cream between two cookies
  5. Press and freeze on parchment paper


Candied Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookies


Bacon is a huge thing right now. Just do a "find" on my blog and bacon comes up over and over again. When I made the candied bacon, I could barely stop eating it. I almost didn't stop myself until I realized I wouldn't have any for the cookies! When I visited my friend Natalee in New York, we went to Chelsea Market, and I tried a chocolate covered candied bacon candy. AMAZING. I had to find a recipe that replicated that taste!

  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • Egg
  • Egg yolk
  • 2 c. chocolate chips
  • Candied Bacon

  1. Make candied bacon, cool, and chop into small pieces

  2. Melt butter and cool slightly
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  4. Combine flour and baking soda
  5. In a stand up mixer, cream butter with sugars
  6. Add vanilla, egg, and egg yolk and beat until fully mixed
  7. Add flour and baking soda
  8. Add bacon and chocolate chips and stir lightly

  9. Add parchment paper to baking sheets
  10. Make golf sized balls and put on sheet

  11. Bake for about 14 minutes
  12. After removing from oven, let cool for 2 minutes before adding to a cooling rack and letting cool completely


Original recipe here

Pesto and Candied Bacon Grilled Cheese

Tonight was another night of "what do I have in the fridge that I can throw together to make an easy dinner?"

I just made Homemade Pesto and Candied Bacon. I also have have a bit of a grilled cheese obsession:
Grilled Cheese Roll Ups
Four Cheese Grilled Cheese
Bacon and Fried Egg Grilled Cheese
Bacon Grilled Cheese

  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 slices American cheese
  • 1/8 c. chopped candied bacon
  • 1/8 c. fresh pesto
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  1. Melt 1/2 tbsp butter in skillet over medium
  2. Meanwhile, top bread with all toppings
  3. Add to skillet
  4. Melt other 1/2 tbsp of butter and flip sandwich
  5. Cook until cheese is melted


Homemade Pesto

Pesto is one of my favorite things in the world. In college at the Madison, WI farmer's market, I would always buy a huge thing of pesto and try to make it last until the next time I was able to go. Living in Chicago, we don't go up to Madison as much, so I wanted to make my own.

What I like about pesto is you can adjust according to your taste. This recipe took a lot of trial and error (not complaining!) and this is the combination I liked. But taste as you go, and add more, or take away some from what I have.

  • 3 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 c. roasted pine nuts (I bought them roasted but you can roast them yourself)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
  1. Chop basil
  2. Put basil, pine nuts, and garlic in food processor and mix until well blended
  3. Slowly add oil until well blended and you like the taste
  4. Add in cheese until just blended