Saturday, January 10, 2015

Nutella S'more Pancakes with Marshmallow Creme Whipped Cream


Let that word sink in for a minute. Go on, I'll wait. *hums*

A blank canvass, that's what pancakes are to me. Something that is just begging for my creativity. As my husband always says, "I wouldn't know how to make a plain pancake if my life depended on it."

I think he's right, but don't tell him that. I have never cooked a pancake that I didn't change. And tonight I was inspired by cupcakes... and S'mores. Naturally, my taste buds started spinning and decided that I had to have Nutella in there too, alas, Nutella S'more Pancakes were born!


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Nutella S'more Pancakes
Yield ~9 large pancakes

2 Cups Krusteaz Pancake Mix
1 1/3 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Nutella
1 Cup Marshmallow Creme
5 Graham Crackers, crushed

1) In a medium mixing bowl combine pancake mix and water, using a whisk.
2) Once most of the lumps are gone add the Nutella. Mix thoroughly.
3) Using a rubber spatula, fold in the marshmallow creme, until most of it has been mixed in. You should still have lumps of creme throughout the batter.
4) Lightly mix in the graham crackers.
5) Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with non-stick spray.
6) When pan is hot add about 1 cup of batter (make them as small or as big as you like)
7) Heat pancakes on one side until bubbles form all around the edges. Then flip and cook until the second side is golden brown.
8) Remove pancakes from the pan, place them on a plate and repeat.

So now you have your pancakes. And you could easily top them with butter and syrup and eat them on your merry way. But if you are anything like me, you can't simply top them with butter and syrup. Oh no, these are special pancakes, they deserve a special topping.

Marshmallow Creme Whipped Cream

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Marshmallow Creme

1) In a stand mixer or mixing bowl combine all the ingredients.
2) It works better if you are using a cold stainless steel bowl. If you have a stand mixer, turn it on low and walk away. If you don't, turn on low and mix. You can turn it up higher once the cream has whipped a little.
3) Continue to whip until the cream stands when you pull the beater out.

Viola! Topping. Well part of it. Of course I went further. I topped mine with drizzled Nutella, butter, Whipped cream and crushed graham crackers!

So yes, you can have chocolate cake for dinner!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Long Time Coming: Hamburger Rice {Recipe}

I know it's been like a bajillion years since I've posted anything on this blog and I apologize, but things have been extra crazy. Recently things got crazy enough for me to take a step back from everything. If you are not aware I also run a book blog called Consuming Worlds and run a food column over at Dumb White Husband, called Eat, Play, Shove as well as work and all that other yada yada. So while I haven't been cooking up recipes for this blog I have been cooking up recipes somewhere. And recently I published my very first book!!! I think I can probably blame most of my absence on my book. I had been so determined to get it done and out into the world that I let some things go, my food passion just so happened to be one of those things.

Good news is, the creative culinary juices are flowing again and I plan on posting here on a more regular basis, so look out.

Today I am going to share a post that I did over at Dumb White Husband. This summer I have been focusing on teaching my boys how to cook. My second oldest son really enjoys cooking and has a great thirst to learn new things. One of his favorite things to make is Hamburger Rice. It was the first thing I taught him how to cook. We actually created the recipe together. So, we are both proud. He has really come a long way this summer. He was really nervous about doing the video and didn't want to actually be in it, so you won't really see his face in the video, but please check it out and show him some love, maybe next time he will show his face.

Hamburger Rice
2 Cups cooked rice
2 lb. Ground Beef
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 4 oz. Can Mushrooms, chopped
2 tsp. Ranch Powder
2 tsp. Season Salt
1 tsp. Onion Powder
3 Tbsp. Flour
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
2-3 Cups Chicken Broth

In a large skillet, over medium heat cook ground beef. When ground beef is half way done, the meat still has pink, add the mushrooms, garlic and seasonings. Cook until there is no pink in the ground beef. Stir in flour. Making sure to stir thoroughly. Cook for about a minute to allow the flour flavor to cook out.  Then add tomato paste, stir until incorporated. Now begin to add the chicken broth. Usually you can add equivalent amounts of liquid for flour, but it is always best to start with small amounts. It is always easier to thin a sauce out than to thicken it. I would add about 1 cup at a time. Once you add the chicken broth allow the mixture to come to a boil. The thickness at boiling point is the thickness it will be. If it is too thick add more broth. If it is too thin you can add a cornstarch slurry (equal parts cornstarch and chicken broth-must be cold or room temperature). Once the sauce has reached the desired consistency, remove from heat and serve over rice or pasta, your choice.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chicken Basil Pesto Pizza

Pizza. Who doesn't like pizza? Don't answer that question because I would rather go on believing that those people don't exist. I know it is a completely irrational and fantasy thought, but I like to live in the realm of fantasy so let me have this.

Back to what I was saying. Pizza, who doesn't love it. But let's face it, pizza can become a little same old same old. We all have our favorite pizza toppings and we all know how hard it is to stray from what we love, but I am going to urge you to do just that. 

I love pizza, we already established that, but I also love Basil Pesto. In fact a basil pesto chicken panini is my favorite sandwich. Now put that on a pizza and you have food nirvana! Don't believe me? Make this pizza yourself and tell me it's not freaking finger licking good. 

2 Chicken Breasts
2 tsp. Ranch Powder
2 tsp. Fajita Seasoning
Juice of 2 Limes
2 tsp. Worcetershire Sauce
1 tsp. Liquid Smoke

Cut raw chicken into small strips. Place in a ziploc bag with the rest of the above ingredients. Close the bag and shake. Leave in the bag and marinade for at least 30 minutes, in the sink. If you are going to marinade it longer place it in the fridge. You could even marinade the chicken the day before. Once the chicken is marinaded take out of the bag and cook over medium high heat in a large skillet, until the chicken is completely cooked. The juices of the chicken should run clear, the meat should be white or the internal temperature of 165 degrees. When the chicken is completely done remove from the pan and place to the side. This will be your meat on the pizza.

2 Garlic Cloves
2 2/3 oz. Containers of Basil (Buy bigger package if you can, this was all that was available to me)
Juice of 1 1/2 Limes
1/2 C. Walnuts
1/4 C. Parmesan Cheese 
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 C. Olive Oil

Favorite pizza dough
2 C. Mozzarella Cheese (Use as little or as much as you want)
Pesto (recipe above)
Chicken (recipe above)

In a food processor or with an emulsion blender combine the garlic, basil, lime juice and walnuts and blend until the walnuts and basil are well blended. The mixture should be moist but not runny. Add salt and with the food processor on (or emulsion blender) slowly drizzle in the olive oil, blending until it is a nice paste consistency. You don't want it to be super runny, but it should be easily spreadable. Put to the side. You can also make this the day before.

And now that you've made all the other stuff this is where you can grab your favorite Pizza dough recipe or buy pizza dough from the store! Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

To assemble just roll out or stretch (I prefer stretching dough, reminds me of my old pizza days) on a pizza pan, sheet pan (cookie sheet) or whatever you plan on using spoon as much of that pesto on there as you want. This is your pizza I am not going to tell you how much or how little of something to put. Go hog wild. Top with the cooked chicken and then cover in yummy Mozzarella cheese! Cook until dough is golden brown and toppings are bubbling. Time differs depending on the crust you use.

Now take it out and drizzle some of that left over pesto on the top and eat that ooey gooey fan-freaking-tastic pizza!!!! Dang now I want some....

Sunday, September 1, 2013

White Bean and Leek Soup

I admit. I love soup. Probably more than most people. And yes I like it even in the summer when it is 100 degrees outside. Soup is good anytime of year and just seems to warm the soul. For me that love all started with this soup, my favorite soup. This was one of the soups that I fell in love with back when I had to take Culinary classes (long time ago). I never really learned how to make the soup, sadly I was not assigned that station that day, however, the chef did tell me what was in it. So, I went home a while later and recreated it, pretty closely I would say. Of course my version doesn't have all the elegant toppings that one had, but the taste is totally there! Check it out for yourself if you don't believe me.

White Bean & Leek Soup

2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Slices of Bacon, Sliced or Cut with Scissors
3 Leeks, halved, washed, sliced
1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
3 15.5 oz. Cans of Great Northern Beans, rinsed
6 C. Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 C. Heavy Cream

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cut bacon. When the bacon starts to cook, it will start to curl and change color, add the leeks and 1/2 a Tablespoon of kosher salt. This will help extract the juice from the leeks and help break them down. Once the leeks have cooked for about a minute, add in the rinsed Great Northern Beans and saute until the beans just start to heat through (about 5 minutes). Then add the chicken broth, stir and cook until the beans are tender (you should be able to smash it with a fork). This is what the soup will look like before you blend it....

Now with either an emulsion blender, blender or food processor, blend the soup until smooth (it will not be 100% smooth). An emulsion blender is easier because you don't have to remove the soup from the pan, but if you don't have one any blender will do. Just make sure that you only add a little soup at a time, and cover the lid with a towel. Hot things in blenders tend to made a mess. You can also use a food processor, but the soup won't be as smooth. Once you have blended the soup you can either strain it using a china cap or chinois, or just leave it. (I leave it. I love the rustic look of the soup), but they are great if you want a completely smooth soup. After the soup is at your desired smoothness taste it, if desired add the other 1/2 Tablespoon of salt and some fresh cracked pepper. Then top it off with a 1/2 a cup of heavy cream, stir and heat for another 5 minutes to allow the cream to incorporate. 

Now you are ready to serve it up. You can top this soup with almost anything, fried leeks, crispy bacon, cheese, scallions, and croutons. Really anything! Now enjoy! 

See nice and easy, really the only hard part to this recipe is the blending! Happy cooking and happier eating! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Au Gratin Potatoes

I love potatoes! I mean seriously love potatoes. I have never met a potato I don't like. Raw, baked, fried, boiled, mashed, it doesn't matter potatoes rule the world in my eyes. Mashed of course is my favorite, but I also love Au Gratin Potatoes. Umm, they are so creamy and cheesy.....excuse me a minute I'm drooling. 

Now I will admit, I was raised eating these lovely things from a box. You know what I'm talking about and I bet you have had them too. Now the reason most make these from a box is because Au Gratin Potatoes are intimidating. But I promise you they are easy. They just take a little time, but they are soooo worth it! Promise.

Individual Au Gratin Potatoes

4 Russet Potatoes (Sliced thinly)
3 Cups Shredded Cheese (I use whatever blend I have in the fridge)
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese (Grated, you know like what you use for spaghetti)
1/4 Cup Cream for each dish OR 2 1/4 Cups Cream

In an 8 oz. oven safe dish, spray with cooking spray. This recipe will make 9 8oz. individual servings of Au Gratin potatoes. If you don't want to make individual servings just take a 9x9 baking dish and do the same. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a small layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom of dish. Potatoes will overlap and won't lie flat, but that's okay. Once you have a layer of potatoes sprinkle a layer of shredded cheese over the potatoes, I use a medium pinch. Then sprinkle about 1/2 Tablespoon of parmesan cheese on top of the shredded cheese. Do this for another 2 layers, but don't add the cheese on the last layer. Then take 1/4 cup of cream and pour over the potatoes. If you are using a 9x9 dish slowly pour the cream in the pan. Pour about half the cream in and let it settle to the bottom. Then you can add more cream. You do not want your cream to come all the way to the top of the potatoes. Instead you want the cream to come about 1/2 way up. This will ensure that you don't have too much cream and your potatoes don't turn out soupy. After you pour in the cream, top with your remaining cheese, like this...

Bake in the oven for about an hour or until a butter knife easily goes through all the layers of potatoes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes. Warning: If using individual dishes the dish will still be hot after 10 minutes.

Now serve with your favorite Main course and eat up!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Green Chile Wontons

Can you guess what that is? If you guessed wontons then you are correct. And if you read the title of this post then props to you. And yes it says Green Chile. Living in the Southwest we have this little obsession with Chile. You know how most states have a state bird, state flower and that sort of thing? Well ours has a question...Red or Green? (Um, that question is in reference to the type of Chile, red or green). Yes Chile is that big a deal here in the grand state of New Mexico and yes that question causes fights and arguments bigger than the Grand Canyon.

And if you live in New Mexico those little diddies above are something that you can get just about anywhere that serves Chinese. I know weird huh? But it is what it is.

So you know, this recipe is super easy and rather quick. How do you make them you ask? Well here ya go.

Green Chile Wontons

1 8oz. Package Cream Cheese at room temperature
2 oz. Canned Green Chile (Whatever you can get your hands on. You can also use fresh)
1 Garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
Wonton Wrappers
Oil for frying
Small bowl of water

In a large stock pot heat approximately enough oil to fill the pan about 2/3 full over medium heat. While the oil is heating combine the cream cheese, green Chile, garlic and salt in a medium bowl. Once you have your mixture take a wonton wrapper and place about 1 tablespoon of the mixture in the middle. Then dipping your finger in the water, run you wet finger around the edges of the wonton wrapper and fold the wrapper in any shape you like. Then just press the edges together to make sure they seal. (That's what the water is for). Then place them on a sheet pan that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. In order to keep your wontons from drying out the best thing to do would be to cover them with a slightly damp towel. Place that wonton aside and keep assembling wontons until all the mixture is gone. Once the oil is hot enough, you can test this by placing in a small corner of a wonton wrapper in the oil. If the oil bubbles and the wrapper rises then the oil is ready, if it sinks and doesn't bubble, let your oil heat longer. When the oil is ready begin placing wontons in the oil, but you don't want to fry them all at once. I would start with anywhere between 5 and 6 depending on the size of your pan. Fry them on one side for about 2 minutes or until golden brown and then flip over in order to brown the other side. Once the entire wonton is golden brown remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to help remove the excess oil. 

Now you can serve them with you favorite dipping sauce or just eat them as is. Trust me they don't need a sauce.

Monday, July 29, 2013

My Search for Yellow Cake Perfection

My love and obsession with cupcakes is no secret. Hence the reason my recipe list is full of cupcake recipe after cupcake recipe. But I also have another obsession, okay, quite a few actually, but right now we are only going to talk about one of obsession for the perfect yellow cake recipe. 

Currently when I make any cupcake that requires any batter other than chocolate I use a cake mix, *gasp* I know. But my use of cake mixes has spurred me to try and create the perfect yellow cake recipe. And this is where my obsession comes in. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to food. And I don't like to use recipes, I like to create them, but until I can create a recipe that I think is perfect, or pretty darn close I become obsessed. Such is the case with my search for the perfect yellow cake.

If you are a baker then you may know that finding a good yellow cake recipe is hard. Well at least for me it was. I tried many recipes before I really enjoyed baking and never found a recipe that I liked. They all seemed dry and severely lacking. So I resolved myself to using the always easy cake mix, but that get's expensive and then I feel like I'm cheating. Well sometimes. Now I know there is nothing wrong with using a cake mix, believe me, I love them, but I still want to create that perfection.

Of course in my search for perfection I have had my fair share of fails. And boy do I mean fails. I am now on version 7 of the recipe. With every attempt altering one ingredient at a time, so that I know which ingredient needed to be changed. 

I am happy to report that on my last attempt I came pretty dang close. The taste is there, but the cake is a little dense for my liking. So now on to attempt number 8. Yikes! 

Want to know a few things I have learned through this process? (Well I'm going to tell you anyway)
1) Creating a yellow cake recipe is harder then creating a chocolate cake recipe. (That recipe came to me while I was sitting in a boring lecture)
2) I am wwwaaaaaayyyyy obsessive
and 3) This yellow cake might be the death of me

What is it that you obsess over?