Monday, February 26, 2018

Magazine Monday #9: Jeweled White Chocolate Lollipops



It's Magazine Monday again, and I'm continuing with my February tradition of posting sweets!  (It wasn't planned that way.  It just happened.  And I know last week was a chicken recipe, but it had a honey sauce, so I count it as a sweet!)

Today is National Pistachio Day.  I honestly don't have too much to say about pistachios except that I used to think I hated them, but then I realized I'd never tried them, and I found them to be quite good.  They add a nice punch of salt to these otherwise very sweet lollipops!

Jeweled White Chocolate Lollipops
Makes 24
From Every Day with Rachael Ray, December 2008/January 2009


Ingredients



One 12-oz. bag white chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup shelled pistachios

Special gadgets
Lollipop sticks


Preheat oven to 200°F and line 3 cookie sheets with wax paper.

In a small bowl, microwave the white chocolate chips for about 1 minute, stirring every 20 seconds.

Rewarming the chocolate as needed, drop tablespoonfuls of melted chocolate onto wax paper, staggering the candy as necessary.  Using the back of a spoon, spread the chocolate to make 2.5-in. circles.  

Before the chocolate sets, press a lollipop stick into the center of each circle.  Decorate with cranberries, raisins, and pistachios.  (If the chocolate sets too quickly, place the cookie sheet into the oven for a few seconds.

Refrigerate until lollipops are solid, about 5 minutes.  Serve at room temperature.




Monday, February 19, 2018

Magazine Monday #8: Chicken with Honey Beer Sauce



Happy Magazine Monday!

I was getting ready to make this meal, and I realized I didn't have one of the main ingredients...beer.  So I walked up to the grocery store near my house and picked out a strawberry blonde beer, which I figured would be good for drinking as well as for putting in this sauce.

As I was going through the check-out, the lady behind me commented on the beer.

"Strawberry beer?  Sounds great!"

"It is," I told her, "but I'm actually getting it to make chicken with honey beer sauce."

She looked like I'd explained to her the meaning of life.

"Honey...beer sauce," she said. 

"Yep."  She thought about it long and hard as the cashier checked out my purchase.

"Have a good meal!" she told me as I headed toward the door.  I heard the cashier say to her "strawberry beer sounds good," and the lady replied, "She's using it to make chicken with honey beer sauce."

I really hope the legend of the Chicken with Honey Beer Sauce continues to this day.  


Chicken with Honey-Beer Sauce
Serves 4


ingredients

2 tsp. olive oil
4 6-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. diced onions
1/2 cup beer (I used a strawberry blonde, obviously; Blue Moon is always a good choice)
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. whole grain Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper and add chicken to pan, cooking on each side about 6 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.  Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.

Add onions to pan and cook for about 1 minute.

While onions are cooking, combine beer, soy sauce, mustard, and honey in a small bowl and whisk together.  Add the beer mixture to the pan and bring to a boil.

Cook 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup.

Return chicken to the pan and turn to coat with sauce.  Serve with veggies.


For some reason, I don't have a picture of the end product.  Here's a trippy, psychedelic chicken picture instead.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Magazine Monday #7: Valentine's Chocolate Strawberry Truffles (And #FoodBloggerLove!)


#FoodBloggerLove Logo_Featured Image.png


Happy Magazine Monday, happy Valentine's Day Week, and happy #FoodBloggerLove Day!

You may remember me taking part in Food Blogger Love 2017...this year, I was paired up with the fabulous Mayuri of Mayuri's Jikoni!  Mayuri, who is from Kenya, began blogging the year she turned 50.  She dedicated her blog to her mother, mother-in-law, and aunt, all who she credits with assisting in her learning how to cook.  (I also love that one of her goals is to show people that vegetarianism isn't just about "rabbit food"!)

I didn't make a recipe from her blog like I did for my partner last year, mainly because it's Magazine Monday and allegedly National Truffle Day.  (I say allegedly because when I went through all the Mondays of the year, I noted today as National Truffle Day, but now I can't find my source, and the Internet is telling me National Truffle Day is May 2.  If someone could confirm that I'm not crazy and let me know if you see February 12 as NTD, I'd appreciate it.)

Anyway, check out Mayuri's Jikoni ("jikoni" means "kitchen" in Swahili!) and bring some Food Blogger Love to her social media, too!  (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter

On to truffles!

On this (alleged) National Truffle Day, I made these super, super easy strawberry truffles that make an excellent last-minute Valentine's Day gift for your special someone.  4 ingredients and a couple hours, and you'll have sweets for your sweetie.  (Or something way less cheesy...)  These taste like chocolate-covered strawberries, so you know I'm a fan!

Make these truffles, check out Mayuri's Jikoni, check out the other bloggers in the link up below, and have a super happy Valentine's Day!


Valentine's Chocolate Strawberry Truffles
Makes about 15 truffles

Ingredients


1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. butter
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 bag (about 1.2 oz.) freeze-dried strawberries

Roughly chop chocolate and place in a medium bowl and pulverize strawberries in a blender or food processor.

Bring cream and butter to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning.

Pour butter and cream mixture over chocolate and stir until melted.

Chill until firm, at least 2 hours.

Scoop chocolate into 15 1-inch balls.  Roll chocolate balls in pulverized strawberries until well-coated.  Chill until set.






Thursday, February 8, 2018

Good Cookies Food Bloggers' Valentine's Event: White Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie



Valentine's Day is fast-approaching, and what better time than to show some love to kids who are in the fight of their life?

This is the second year that a bunch of food bloggers have gotten together for the Good Cookies Food Bloggers' Valentine's event, and we're raising money to make a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer! 

About 40,000 children in the United States are actively battleing cancer right now (and I've seen this firsthand through my years of working with the Make-a-Wish Foundation!)  With less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute's budget going toward all childhood cancer combined, it's important to get people involved in raising money for this super important cause.  Help us make a difference by donating to Cookies for Kids' Cancer!

Our Good Cookies Event goal was to raise at least $3,000, because our AMAZING sponsors (Dixie Crystals, Mediavine, and OXO) have each pledged to match the donations raised through this campaign up to $3,000!

Thanks to the bloggers involved in this event and our awesome readers and subscribers, we have already reached our $3,000 goal, which is amazing.  We're all still encouraging our readers who haven't put in a donation yet to continue to donate through March 1 and help us make an even bigger difference.  Donate here!

So the recipe.

I pinned this recipe to my Pinterest page by way of the Lively Table blog.

At the outset of this event, I thought I'd make cookies (like the event name implies).  However, my husband, Dennis, who you all mostly know as the long-suffering tester of my recipes, came to mind while I was looking for a good recipe to make.  (It is a Valentine's-themed post after all, and you're supposed to think of husbands during that time, right?)

I don't really talk about Dennis much on this blog aside from mentioning when he keeps me from setting breadcrumbs on fire, when he saves the day, or when he does not find my diabetes jokes funny. Some background is that Dennis and I have been married for 6 years, and had been together for a few years before that. He was the person that I dedicated my book to, and he also made the first entry in my Acknowledgments section. (Y'all remember that I published a book, right? #shamelessplug)

He and I have been through hell and/or high water in the years we've been together, but he is my person, my lobster, if you will, and the day I met him almost 11 years ago, I knew he was going to be an integral part of my life.

(I'm so bad at being sentimental. It feels weird. I love my husband is what I'm trying to say here.)

Look how cute we were when we went to see Hamilton, OMG!

I told Dennis I was going to be writing about him in my next blog post.

"I realized I don't ever talk about you in my posts, except when you say I made the best dinner ever," I said.

"I don't talk about you either," he replied. (He was referring to his YouTube channel. Check it out here.)

"What?" was my response. "Why not? I'm awesome!"

He (wisely) did not respond.

The reason this recipe is Dennis-centric is that he has picked up running again (he ran a marathon back in 2007!) and has started juicing (vegetables, not steroids), and I thought a more healthy treat would be a good idea for this Valentine's Day post. The slight irony here is that he couldn't even try the smoothie, because he's not doing sugar currently, so I had to drink the thing myself, because, despite being a Type 1 diabetic, I am ALWAYS doing sugar.

So here's a mostly-healthy Valentine's Day smoothie, dedicated both to those kids out there who are fighting cancer as hard as they can, but also to Dennis, who is living his best life, and who I adore.

White Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie
Makes 2 smoothies, or 1 smoothie if you're me

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. white chocolate chips
1/2 cup nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup almond milk
Fresh raspberries and additional white chocolate chips for garnish (optional, but highly suggested)

In an itty, bitty, microwave-safe bowl, heat the chips for 30-45 seconds (or until soft), and stir until smooth.  Set aside.

Add all ingredients (except for garnish) into your blender (or Ninja blender in my case).  Blend until smooth.

Pour into glasses and top with remaining chips and berries.  Add a fun straw.






Check out all the other recipes from Good Cookies Food Bloggers' Valentine's Event bloggers!

Yellow Heart-Shaped Rainbow Funfetti Cookies from Julie of The Little Kitchen
Peanut Butter Cookie Cake from Julie of Julie Blanner
Cherry Coconut Macaroons from Miranda of Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
Brownie Cookies from Mel of Mel's Kitchen Cafe
No-Bake Chocolate Candy Cookies from Debi of Life Currents
Double Dark Chocolate Chery Black Forest Cookies from Jamie of Southern Revivals
White Chocolate Valentine Madeleine Cookies from Marlynn of Urban Bliss Life
Pillowy Soft Sugar Cookies from Stephie of Stephie Cooks
Steak with Peppercorn Sauce from Sonja of Ginger & Toasted Sesame
Creamy Beet Risotto from Rachel of Copper & Verdigris
Valentine's Day Chocolate Sugar Cookies from Denise of Chez Us
Red Velvet Donuts from Gwynn of Swirls of Flavor
S’mores Brown Butter Panbanging Cookies from Marybeth of babysavers
Gluten-Free Chocolate Kiss Cookies from Audrey of Mama Knows Gluten Free
Gluten-Free Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies from Brianna of Flippin' Delicious
Rose Meringue Cookies from Kirsten of Comfortably Domestic
Raspberry Chipotle Chicken Curry from Shashi of Savory Spin
Double Chocolate Meringue Cookies from Dee of Meatloaf and Melodrama
Cream Wafer Cookies from Kelly of Live Laugh Rowe
White Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies from Wanda of My Sweet Zepol
Raspberry Fudge Cookies from Jessica of A Kitchen Addiction
Raspberry Cookies from Courtney of Know Your Produce
Syltkakor Raspberry Jam Cookies from Megan of Stetted
No-Bake Chocolate Tart from Rachel of Rachel Cooks
Heart-Shaped Chocolate Chip Cookies from Angela of About a Mom
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies from Lisa of TasteCookSip
Chai Latte Shortbread Hearts from Sue of It's Okay to Eat the Cupcake
Soft and Sweet Sugar Cookie Bars from Carlee of Cooking With Carlee
Strawberry and Cream Cookies from Ashley of A Cup of Charming
Cherry Cream Cheese Cookies from Lisa of Blogghetti
Galete Waffle Cookies from Shaina of Food for My Family
Almond Shortbread Cookies from Denise of addicted 2 recipes
Easy Strawberry Fudge from Chrysa of Thrifty Jinxy
Valentine's Day Mug Hug Cookies from Aimee of Southern From Scratch
Doughnut Sandwich Cookies from Bree of Baked Bree
Chocolate Nutella Cookies from Melissa of Modern Honey
Easy Crinkle Cookies from Amy of The Nifty Foodie
Chocolate Sugar Cookies from Becca of The Salted Cookie
Love Cake from Sara of Confectionary Tales
Meringue Cookies from Sara of My Imperfect Kitchen

Monday, February 5, 2018

Magazine Monday #6: Banana-Nutella Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting


Welcome to the 6th installment of Magazine Monday!  I'm going to be implementing something new for MM.  (The first time I did this was actually on MM #4, when I posted a super-Southern chicken sandwich on National Southern Food Day.)  I really like knowing what the different National _______ Food Days are (there's one for every day of the year if you didn't know!), and I'm going to do my best to match up every Monday this year with whatever the National food day is.

Admittedly, I'm going to skip a few.  National Roast Leg of Lamb Day?  That's a little specific.  National Nut Day (which is also, hilariously, my sister's birthday)?  Maybe not.  But I'm going to do my best to make my MMs line up with food days.

All that being said...

Y'all.

Today is World Nutella Day.  Not even National.  World.

World Nutella Day was actually started by a blogger in 2007, which is pretty cool.  I'm not a huge Nutella user, but I like it, and I thought this would make for a good MM.

These cupcakes are, without a doubt, the best cupcakes I've ever made, hands down.  The peanut butter frosting is incredible in a way that I can't even describe.  Even if you don't like banana cupcakes or Nutella, take this frosting recipe and put it on...anything.  Everything.  Eat it with a spoon.  Whatever.  It's fab.

The cupcakes themselves are so good too.  They taste like the best kind of banana bread in a cupcake wrapper.

And then you add Nutella.

These are incredible.  Make them.  For your own good.


Banana-Nutella Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes 24 cupcakes
From Food Network Magazine, September 2016 

Ingredients

Cupcakes

Frosting

Cupcakes
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups mashed banana (4-6 bananas)
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Nutella

Frosting (I halved the recipe and had plenty.  The measurements I used are what I'm putting here.  You can double this if you want.)
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. 

To make the cupcakes, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.  Beat the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes.

Add the bananas, eggs, and vanilla and beat until combined.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the sour cream, mixing well between each addition.

Fill the muffin cups about halfway with batter.  Add 1 tsp. Nutella to each cupcake.


Top with more batter until the cups are 3/4 of the way full.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.  (Mine baked for 23 minutes.)  Remove from the pan and let cool on a rack.

To make the frosting, beat the butter in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high until creamy, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the confectioners' sugar gradually, until combined.  Add the peanut butter and vanilla and beat until combined.  Frost cupcakes.