Monday, May 27, 2013

Breakfast Cookies!

We have a small problem in our house. My Hubby eats cookies for breakfast. He finds chocolate chip cookies completely acceptable as "breakfast". Our soon-to-be three year-old now thinks that he can have cookies for breakfast. I now have a quick solution to this little dilemma - BREAKFAST COOKIES!

I found this recipe in a Disney cookbook. Since we're big Disney fans, it took just a few seconds to convince our son that if Dory, Marlin, and Nemo eat these cool cookies for breakfast, then he can too!

These cookies are not overly sweet. They taste like a breakfast cookie should taste. The kids will like them and they are loaded with good stuff. I think adults will like them too. They go great with a cup of coffee or tea and are a quick breakfast when you are on the go.

Here's what you do.

Breakfast Cookies
Slightly adapted from The Disney Magic Kitchen Cookbook
Makes 12 cookies

Non-stick cooking spray
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (such as King Arthur's Flour brand)
3 cups multigrain cereal flakes with blueberries (such as Kashi Heart to Heart Oat Flakes & Blueberry Clusters)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Using a hand mixer, beat butter until creamed (about 30 seconds). Add brown sugar and baking soda. Beat until mixed. Add eggs. Beat until mixed. Add flour and beat until the mixture no longer looks dry. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the cereal. (You may have to mix it a bit with your hands and the cereal flakes will break up - this is okay).
3. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture on to the baking sheet. Press the mound of dough with your fingers to flatten slightly. Repeat with remaining ingredients, placing cookies about 3 inches apart on the baking sheet.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Let cookies rest on baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

Nutrition Facts per cookie: 227 calories, 9 g fat, 56 mg cholesterol, 229 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrate, 14 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Hope you enjoy these. They will keep fresh for about 5 days in an airtight container.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
xo, Stephanie

Monday, May 20, 2013

Farmers' Market Pasta

Did you know that I'm obsessed with Farmers' Markets? It's actually something special in my neck of the woods because it's not something that is held year-round. It's only available one day a week from Mother's Day to Thanksgiving. Needless to say, hitting up the Farmers' Market is a real treat. I love being able to walk around, survey fresh produce, and sample nifty new products. Our market includes a pickle company that makes your mouth water as you walk by, an old Italian man that shouts at you to try his fresh bread and olive oil, and a fresh ravioli company that can't be matched. Walking around there is one of my favorite things to do.

I've been guilty of buying a bunch of produce and not knowing what to do with it. Well, if you ever find yourself in the same boat, I have a pasta that will knock your socks off. It's a pasta dish that can be made with ingredients from your local supermarket as well. Don't feel pressured to make this only if you go to a Farmers' Market. This pasta dish is too good to pass up. It's full of freshness and is a nice spring/summer change to your standard tomato sauce.

Here's what you do.
Farmers' Market Pasta with Leeks, Spinach, & Summer Squash
Adapted from Cook's Country
Serves 4

1 pound penne
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, & washed thoroughly
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 yellow summer squash (about 8 oz each), halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
6 oz (6 cups) baby spinach, chopped coarse
2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1 cup), plus extra for serving
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add penne and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup cooking water, then drain penne.

2. Heat oil in now empty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add leeks and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add squash and 1/4 cup reserved cooking water and cook, covered, until squash is tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in penne, spinach, Pecorino, basil, remaining 1/2 cup reserved cooking water, and butter until combined. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing extra Pecorino separately.

NOTE: If you'd like to change this up a bit, substitute arugula for the spinach. Also, have fun with this. You can do one zucchini and one summer squash if you'd prefer.

That's all folks. Hope you enjoy this one!

xo, Stephanie

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Churro Cheesecake

Happy Mother's Day to all of you! This is my second Mother's Day with TWO little munchkins and I honestly wouldn't have it any other way! I'm not going to get all sappy on you. I'm just going to leave it at the fact that Mother's Day is about honoring all of the strong women who play an important role in our lives. My sisters and I have an AMAZING mother - seriously beyond words could describe! We also have some honorary mom's too. Today we celebrate them all!

So how do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo (you all thought I forgot, didn't you?) and celebrate Mother's Day? You make a super-easy Churro Cheesecake. This "cheesecake" is good to make anytime. It's so good that you'll make it for potlucks, for holidays, and even as a "just because".

Here's what you do.

Churro Cheesecake
Adapted from The Recipe Critic
Serves 6

2 Cans Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough Sheets
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1 cup Sugar, divided
2 tablespoons Ground Cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, partially beaten egg, and ½ cup sugar until smooth. (You can also use a stand mixer if you have one).

2. Mix together the rest of the sugar (½ cup) and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Set aside.

3. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and sprinkle ¼ cup (or half) of your cinnamon sugar mixture evenly into the bottom of the 9x13.

4. Set the dough in the bottom of your 9x13 baking dish on top of the cinnamon sugar.

5. Spread the cheesecake evenly on top of your dough and unroll the other can of crescent dough and place on top.

6. Sprinkle the top with the remaining ¼ cup of cinnamon sugar mixture and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

NOTE: If you can't find the Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough Sheets, you can use two cans of regular crescent rolls and roll them out into a 9x13 square. Just make sure to press the seams together so the dough is completely sealed. 

That's all I have for you folks! Hope you enjoy your Mother's Day Weekend! 

xo, Stephanie