Monday, November 28, 2011

Baby Shower Punch

This has become my go-to punch and since it's been used for two baby showers so far I shall call it Baby Shower Punch.

Baby Shower Punch

2-2 liter bottles ginger ale
46 oz can pineapple juice
64 oz white grape juice
Strawberries (fresh and/or fresh)

Mix together the three liquids then garnish with strawberry slices and/or floating frozen strawberries. Easy and delicious!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Balsamic Chicken and Tomatoes

I saw this recipe on a friend's Pinterest account and knew I needed to try it from the picture alone. I used my "shrink the crock pot" trick and made the recipe more accessible for my small family (and because I initially read the amount of chicken wrong) and it was a winner. I need to work on the noodle situation as it was sort of weird logistically and we're nerds and like our food to be easy to consume =P

Balsamic Chicken and Tomatoes
Adapted from Skinny Crock Pot
Serves 4

1.5 lbs chicken breast (I used tenders)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a large crock pot, set inside a smaller casserole dish (one that has a lid!) and drizzle the bottom of the dish with EVOO.
  2. Put the chicken in a single layer in the dish and sprinkle with garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cover with sliced onions and tomatoes then pour the vinegar on top.
  4. Cover the casserole dish and then put the regular crock pot lid on the crock pot.
  5. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. (I stirred once towards the end when things were getting a bit too time I may cook low and slow.)
  6. Serve over your choice of pasta.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

This past weekend my friend, E (of The TV Chick TVD Recap fame) and I hosted a baby shower for our friend Katie. A good time was had by all and I finally got to try out a new sweet dip I'd had my eye on. It was amazing.

And yes, there was a pink chocolate fountain. You can be jealous of your lack of attendance at this event for so many reasons...

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
Adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 stick of butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
8oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Chocolate animal crackers, for dipping
Graham crackers, for dipping
  1. In a small sauce pan melt butter and whisk in brown sugar until dissolved and just bubbling. Add vanilla and set aside to cool.
  2. In stand mixer bowl using the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar.
  3. With the mixer on low, add in the butter/sugar mixing until combined.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Serve with chocolate animal crackers and/or graham crackers...or spoons (depending on your crowd!)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

As soon as I saw this post go up on The Pioneer Woman's cooking blog I knew I had to try it. I immediately thought of one of my friends who always gets this soup at Panera where we frequently go (or used to go back when I was a workin' gal) for lunch dates. I made a few changes, but overall the soup was quite tasty! I think next time I might play with the cheese combinations a bit, but this was definitely a great first attempt (as there was no meat this didn't get a high rating from The Husband as you can imagine, but I gave it a solid 4 on my side!)

Broccoli Cheese Soup
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Serves 6

1 small onion, diced
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 lb carrots, diced
3/4 lb broccoli florets
2 1/2 Tbsp flour
2 cups skim milk
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp seasoned salt
Pinch of nutmeg
6 oz grated cheese (I used 3 oz pepper jack and 3 oz sharp cheddar)
2 oz Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Melt butter in dutch oven over medium heat and saute onions and carrots until soft.
  2. Sprinkle flour on top and allow to cook out a few minutes before whisking in the milk.
  3. Add nutmeg, seasoned salt, salt (just a little, it's best to adjust later based on your cheese selections and the salt tolerance level of your home), pepper, and broccoli.
  4. Cover and reduce heat allowing the contents to simmer for 30 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
  5. *Using a slotted spoon remove the broccoli and carrot bites and give them a whirl in a food processor (or blender, but my blender long-since burned itself up and died).
  6. Transfer the broccoli (thick) puree back to the pot, add in the cheeses, and allow to melt (you may need to thin out the soup using chicken stock to get your desired consistency).
  7. Adjust the seasoning to your liking and serve in a bread bowl if you're feeling fancy!
*You don't have to do this step or you can do a variation of this step (using a potato masher, immersion blender, etc.) I used my food processor because it was already out and dirty from shredding the cheeses so I figured, why not? I do think the broccoli needs broken up though as the broccoli to "broth" ratio is sort of skewed and in my head it is weird to just eat a running creamed broccoli instead of a legit soup. To each their own!