Monday, January 19, 2009

Awesome Gift!

I have a bunch of posts in the queue, but got a little sidetracked this past week as my new baby nephew was born! :). Newborn photos in the coming weeks will be posted on my other blog.

Anyway, I'm so happy to finally get to this post - Check out this super cool individual bar/brownie/cake pan that my mom bought me for Christmas [I'm sure Tim was loving acting like a pan model]! It is perfectly portioned for snacks, lunch, or dinner parties. To give it a whirl, I used my favorite blondie recipe.

Blondies (adapted from Cooking Light)
[note: you can change these up however you like, I often go the toffee route, but for this iteration, I used the larger size, bittersweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips]

1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt (or a pinch)
Cooking spray
1/4 - 1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine sugar, butter, egg and vanilla with a whisk until uniform.

3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; stir just until moist. Fold in chocolate chips [note: if using toffee, I add some to mixture and some on top].

4. If using individual pan, coat lightly with cooking spray and add equal amounts of batter to each square. If using conventional pan, spread batter normally into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean [time varies significantly with individual pans].

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Holiday Leftover

Don't hate me, but I have one more cookie to post. I never got to posting it during the holidays because, well, no excuse - you know how it is. I picked up a Rachael Ray magazine at the airport because of the glossy Christmas cookie section :) and ended up making these cookies for my holiday baskets this year.

But listen - they are really good! Peppermint Chocolate Cookies - definitely bookmark these for next year, or for now, if you like mint year-round. It is an excellent cookie: easy to make, you can top them with anything (doesn't have to be minty-flavored) and they lasted quite a few days so they are perfect for mailing or gift-giving.

For now, I'm only going to post a photograph and a link to the recipe , but when I get a second, I"ll re-write the recipe in case the link moves.

Try them for Valentine's Day with some cute pink M&M's on top!

Quick Dinner!

Hey everyone! I made a super quick and almost-Sandra Lee-like dinner (gasp!) last night. It was really easy and healthy so I thought I would post it because I'm sure a lot of you are like us and are in the "trying to get to the gym after work but still want a healthy, homemade dinner" category :).

So here you go - 4 ingredients, and super versatile so you can swap out for other items in your pantry!

Asian Noodle Bowls
Buckwheat soba noodles (see notes below)
Soy ginger broth (see notes below)
Small broccoli florets, steamed
Fresh or frozen raw shrimp
Five spice powder or other seasoning

1. You can really make as much or as little as you like, so adjust quantities for how much soup you think you can eat before getting started.

2. Season shrimp (cleaned and tails off) with five-spice powder. I usually use only a little because the flavor goes a long way, but I spilled some extra on them and it was fine. Just shake the shrimp around in the seasoning for a minute or two - I added some garlic powder as well. Feel free to use what you like. Saute shrimp over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or so per side (until pink). Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Heat up the broth. You can doctor it up a bit with some fresh garlic or ginger or scallions if you like or you can just pour out of the box and heat it up (like I did last night :)).

4. Prepare noodles according to package directions. If your directions are in an unfamiliar language, I would just boil up some water and drop the noodles in for a few minutes, until almost tender. If you leave them too long, they will get gummy so don't walk away! Drain and set aside.

5. Take out your bowls and add dry ingredients - noodles, broccoli and shrimp (you can either cut them into pieces or leave whole). When broth is hot, add to cover contents of bowl. You can garnish soup with some cilantro if you like or a drop or two of soy sauce. Enjoy!


  • Noodles: I bought them at an Asian grocery store (something like this), but I think they sell them at TJ's too; in a pinch, try some basmati rice or thin whole wheat pasta.
  • Broth: From TJ's, but any Asian type broth would work, or miso soup, or maybe even some doctored-up light vegetable broth - I would add some fresh ginger and scallions. Make sure to check the salt content on the broth if that is something that you are concerned about - some of them are crazy high.
  • A ton of different ingredients would work great in this soup - onions, carrots, edamame, fresh greens or bok choy, sliced mushrooms. Maybe you could use it to clean out your refrigerator.
  • Easy vegetarian dish too!

*Sorry for the dark picture! I shot this late last night and didn't have the energy to get the light quite right :).