Friday, September 19, 2014

Browned Butter Oatmeal Coconut and Caramel Cookies

Have you tried browned butter yet?
Because if you haven't yet, you reeeeeally, reeeeeally need to. 
You can turn a regular ol' oatmeal cookie into something to write home about simply by browning the butter and throwing in a little coconut and caramel bits. 
(If you want to check out our other browned butter recipes then simply search "browned butter" in the little search bar in the top left corner of your screen!)
You can have these cookies made - from start to finish - in under an hour, including time for the browned butter to chill!

Browned Butter Oatmeal Coconut & Caramel Cookies

1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup Skor caramel baking bits
1/2 cup flaked coconut
2 3/4 cup Quaker Quick Cooking Oats

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
In a medium large saucepan over medium heat, cook butter - stirring often - until butter starts to turn brown. As soon as the butter is a light golden brown, remove it from the heat and pour the butter out of the pan into a heat safe bowl. (Keep an eye on it once it starts to turn brown as it can burn very quickly!!)
Chill the browned butter until it starts to solidify again  - about 30 minutes or so in the fridge, stirring every so often.
Once butter has chilled a bit, beat it with the brown sugar until creamy. Beat in the eggs until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, Skor bits, and coconut.
Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well mixed. Stir in the oats until stiff dough forms.
Using a medium cookie scoop (about 2 Tbsp), scoop dough onto prepared cookies sheet, about 2 inches apart. Lightly press down cookies with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly.

Bake at 350 for 13 - 15 minutes, until edges/bottoms of cookies are lightly browned.

Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving to wire rack to cool completely.

I believe I got 36 or so cookies using the medium cookie scoop. (If you don't have a cookie scoop you can just use a large tablespoon to scoop up the dough and lightly roll it into a ball.) 

They may not look like anything terribly fancy but the browned butter lends a nutty taste the cookies that you just can't get from anything else. They are super addicting!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cheesy Garlic Scalloped Potatoes

I think we all know that sometimes the tastiest dishes aren't the prettiest. 
Take these potatoes, for example. Not terribly attractive..... in fact, I wasn't even going to blog about them because they did not photograph well at all. 
But then I ate the potatoes and knew if I didn't share the recipe it wouldn't be right. 
They are so freakin' amazing.
Like... *boom*.... blow your mind tasty.
Maybe it's because I had never made "from scratch" scalloped potatoes before. We had only ever used the cream of mushroom soup method. I don't know what the reason is but I am totally in love with this recipe. Our dad, who never really comments on our recipes, must have mentioned it 4 or 5 times that I "could make those again any time". 
I'm pretty sure I will be making these again. Soon and often.

Cheesy Garlic Scalloped Potatoes

1/4 cup butter
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp flour (heaping)
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme 
2 cups milk
1/3 cup chicken broth
4 extra large potatoes
2 cups shredded aged cheddar
8 - 10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray, set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter, onion, and garlic until onions soften - about 5 minutes or so.
Sprinkle with the flour and stir to combine. Stir in dill, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme. 
Slowly stir in the milk and chicken broth, a little at a time until smooth. Let mixture start to steam - but not boil - while stirring constantly until thickened. 
When thickened, remove from heat and set aside.
Thinly slice the potatoes. You can leave the peel on or remove it - whichever you prefer. 
Place one layer of potatoes on the bottom of the prepared pan (this should use half of your potatoes).
Sprinkle with half of the cheese and half of the bacon.
Using a ladle, evenly distribute 1/2 of  the milk mixture over the cheese and bacon.
Layer remaining potatoes on top in a single layer. Top with remaining cheese, bacon, and milk mixture.
Sprinkle with the green onions.
Bake, uncovered, at 375 until potatoes are cooked through and top is browned - about an hour to an hour and 20 minutes. (Potatoes should be fork tender.)
Serve hot.

Try not to be too judge-y about how it looks. 
Make it. Taste it. Tell me it isn't one of the tastiest potato dishes you've ever eaten. 
Go ahead. 
I dare you.

Looking for some fun links to more food and crafting ideas? Check out these fab sites - Adorned From Above, Dizzy Busy & Hungry, Mama Buzz,

Monday, September 15, 2014

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Scones with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Drizzle

Normally I would be all over making chocolate zucchini bread this time of year. (See HERE for our Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread!) I decided to make something a little different but still reminiscent of quick bread. 
You can't go wrong with scones, right?
Scones are awesome. 
We should strive to include scones at every meal.
*Sigh* Things would be different if I were in charge of the universe.

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Scones with 
Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Drizzle

Salted Caramel Drizzle
4 Tbsp cream cheese, room temp
1 Tbsp butter, room temp
1 Tbsp salted caramel sauce
2 - 3 Tbsp icing sugar

4 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 small pkg (serving size 4) Jello Chocolate Pudding powder
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 cup butter, cold
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain
2 eggs
2 Tbsp sugar

Prepare drizzle - Beat together cream cheese, butter, and caramel sauce until smooth. Beat in the icing sugar until smooth. Chill until ready to use. 
Prepare scones - Preheat oven to 400. Line a large cookie sheet (or 2 small) with parchment paper, set aside. 
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cocoa, Jello pudding powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt.  

Cut in butter using a pastry blender (or 2 butter knives), until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips. 
In a smaller bowl, whisk together zucchini, milk, yogurt, and eggs.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients.

Stir together with a fork until stiff dough forms. You may need to add a bit more milk if you are having trouble getting the dough to come together.
Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. 

Fold dough in half, lengthwise, and lightly roll to 1 inch thickness. (I do this so my scones have a lovely split right in the middle of the scone and are easier to separate. You can simply roll it to 1 inch thickness to begin with and cut them out.)

Using a sharp edges cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out scones and place on prepared cookie sheet. Press together the scraps and cut out more scones. (I used a  2.5 inch cookie cutter and got approx 24 scones.)
Sprinkle the tops of the scones with the remaining 2 Tbsp of sugar.

Bake at 400 for 10 - 15 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet at the halfway mark. 
Remove from oven when cooked and leave on cookie sheet for 5 minutes to cool. After 5 minutes, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool completely. 

When the scones are room temp - take the caramel cream cheese mixture from the fridge and microwave for 5 - 7 seconds. Just enough to melt a little so it is thin enough to drizzle.

Drizzle over the scones.

Serve room temp or slightly warm.
*Note - these freeze well too - with or without the drizzle. 
Also, if you can't find store bought salted caramel sauce you can use regular ice cream topping caramel and add in about 1/8 tsp of salt. 
From start to finish in about 30 minutes. Definitely a tasty way to use up some that zucchini coming out of the garden this time of year!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pumpkin Hand Pies

Cute, right?
I mean....who wouldn't like these adorable little hand pies that are shaped like pumpkins and are stuffed with delicious pumpkin pie filling?
Okay. Other than pumpkin haters.
But, if you don't like pumpkin then you are probably wrong about a lot of other things too. Just sayin'
These are super cute, super easy, and are perfect for fall/Halloween bake sales and family gatherings.

Pumpkin Hand Pies

or your own double crust pie dough recipe

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp butter, melted
2 tsp beaten egg (*see note below)
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
Roll out pie dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out using a 2 to 3 inch pumpkin shaped cookie cutter. Place cut out shapes onto prepared cookie sheet. Gather scraps and re-roll dough and cut out more shapes. (You will need 2 shapes to create each pie.) Cover dough with a tea towel and prepare filling.
Prepare filling - In a mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, and spices until well combined. (*NOTE - beat one whole egg and use 2 tsp of it for the filling mixture. Use the remaining egg to seal the hand pies and brush on top.)
Place 1 spoonful of pie filling on top of each bottom half of the pie crust cut outs.

Using a small pastry or basting brush, brush the edges of the cut outs with some of the leftover egg. 
Top with another pie crust cut out.
Using a fork, gently press around the edges of the pumpkin shape to seal the 2 halves together. 
Prepare cinnamon sugar - in a small dish, stir together the sugar and cinnamon until well combined. 
Brush the tops of the hand pies with more of the beaten egg and then sprinkle with some of the cinnamon sugar. 

Bake at 375 for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and continue to cook until pies are golden brown - approx 20 - 25 minutes. 

Remove from heat and let cool on cookies sheet for 5 - 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack and let cool completely. 

I had a bit of filling leftover - if I had more pie crust I probably could have got another 5 - 6 pies from the filling. (I got 15 pies total) 
You don't want to fill the pies too full or they will come apart at the seams. 
They will still taste delicious but won't look as cute. 
I individually wrapped them with a small piece of parchment paper and put them in a little basket for a fall bake sale. 
You could make them more Halloween-y by cutting a little Jack-O-Lantern face in the top crust. 
We're sharing at these fun linky parties - My Turn (for us), The Chicken Chick, Ms. enPlace,

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pulo Lemongrass Atsuete Pulled Chicken & Pulo Coconut Adobo Shrimp & Veggies On Rice

Sue and I are excited to share this post with you today. 
We were chosen to participate in a Pulo Recipe Challenge using Pulo Philippine Cuisine products. We received the Pulo products and had a hard time deciding what to use! 

The 3 marinades and 2 cooking sauces all tasted delicious. Sue and I were little wary of the Kare Kare Toasted Peanut Sauce as we both are afraid of the whole savory peanut thing. We agreed to save that one for next time.
We decided to go with the Lemongrass Atsuete Marinade and the Coconut Adobo Cooking Sauce for this challenge. 
We are not terribly familiar with Philippine cooking so didn't know what to expect in terms of flavors or textures in the finished products. Turns out we both need to go to the Philippines. 

The dishes even turned out looking fairly pretty. 
Let's be honest here.... sometimes the saucier a dish is the less attractive it gets. 
These started out a little scary but turned out B-E-A-utifully. 

First up we will share our recipe for the Lemongrass Atsuete Pulled Chicken.

Pulo Lemongrass Atsuete Pulled Chicken

1 bottle Pulo Lemongrass Atsuete Marinade
8 chicken breasts
1 large onion, sliced
8 large, soft dinner buns

Turn crock pot on high. Place chicken breasts into the crock pot and pour on the Pulo Lemongrass Atsuete Marinade.

Stir to coat the breasts. 

Sprinkle the sliced onion on top.
Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or so (until chicken is cooked). 
Remove cooked breasts from crock pot and shred using 2 forks. (**TIP** You can also place the breasts into the bowl of a stand mixer and, using the "flat beater" attachment, shred it that way. This only takes a few seconds.)
Return shredded chicken to the crock pot and stir in the sauces from the bottom of the crock. 

Set to warm while you prepare the Coconut Adobo and rice.

Pulo Coconut Adobo Shrimp & Veggies on Rice

1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups uncooked shrimp, tails removed
3 cups raw veggies 
(I used broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots)
1 jar Pulo Coconut Adobo Cooking Sauce

3 - 4 cups cooked rice 
(I used Jasmine but Basmati is a great alternative too)

2 - 3 green onions, chopped (for garnish)

Place a large pot over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic until onion starts to soften, about 3 - 4 minutes.
Add in the uncooked shrimp and cook until shrimp turns pink, about 3 - 4 minutes. 
Add in your veggies and the jar of Pulo Coconut Adobo Cooking Sauce.

Stir until mixture comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes (stirring often) - until vegetables reach desired amount of done-ness. 

Serve hot over the cooked rice. Garnish with the chopped green onion.
These two dishes combined make a great dinner option.

holy heck....
Sooooo easy to put together. The hardest part of the whole thing is chopping the veggies. 

We can hardly wait to try the other marinades and cooking sauces!
We definitely recommend giving the Pulo line of products (click HERE for their website) a try if you want something a little out of the ordinary for dinner that requires very little work. 
*All opinions are our own.*

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Upside Down Plum And Almond Cake

Yay! We got to eat our plums before the bears did this year. 
One of the joys of living in the mountains is letting your fruit stay on the trees long enough to get ripe enough to eat but getting to them before the bears do. Some years we win, some years we lose.
This year we won. 
At least with the plums....
Anyway, I decided to make a cake to celebrate the plum harvest. I wanted something that showed off the lovely purple color of the fruit so decided against chopping it up and stirring it into the batter. This cake looks beautiful and is super easy to whip up. From start to finish in about an hour. 

Upside Down Plum And Almond Cake

Bottom Layer
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
11 - 12 plums, quartered

Cake Layer
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup Greek yogurt, plain

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 10 inch tart pan with parchment paper and sprinkle in the chopped almonds.

In a pan over medium heat, stir together the 2 Tbsp butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and the plums. Cook and stir *gently* for 3 - 4 minutes. Just until plums start to soften and brown sugar/butter is bubbling. 

Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.
Using a fork, arrange the plums in circles on top of the almonds in the tart pan. Pour the brown sugar/butter mixture from the pan over the plums.

Prepare cake - In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 
In a larger mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in the sugar until well combined.
Beat in the egg and vanilla.
Alternately beat in the dry ingredients with the Greek yogurt until well combined. Batter will be thick.
Carefully spoon the batter over the plums in the tart pan and then gently smooth spoonfuls together (see pic below).

Bake at 350 until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 30 - 40 minutes.

Let cool 5 - 10 minutes then invert cake onto a wire cooling rack. Carefully remove the tart pan and parchment paper from the cake.

Let cool. 
Serve as is........

Or, even better, with vanilla ice cream or whipping cream....

A few notes -- You can make this in an 8 or 9 inch pan but then I would definitely half the plum and almond, bottom layer. 
If you do use a smaller pan then you would also have to increase the cooking time. I would say it would between 40 - 50 minutes to bake instead of  30 - 40. Just keep an eye on it. 
I like the bigger pan because there is a better topping-to-cake ratio. 
Looking for some fun nd tasty links? Check out these fab linky parties - The Chicken Chick, Ms. enPlace, Feeding Big