Friday, June 29, 2012

S'more Cookies

What screams summer more than s'mores? I'm not too sure. I don't think a summer has gone by that I haven't had s'mores. More so now in my adult life than when I was a child. I LOVE a fire pit. It's pretty much mandatory for my backyard. Perfect for spring and fall when some nights get too cold. It's also ideal for roasting marshmallows. Who roast marshmallows without going all the way and making s'mores? I'm not too sure about that either. 

I came across this recipe for s'more cookies. What fun! A nice twist on a classic summer treat. The recipe comes from the one and only, Martha. I was a little surprised that the recipe called for semisweet or bittersweet chocolate. Honestly, I only know Hershey's milk chocolate when it comes to s'mores. Since I only had semisweet chocolate on hand, I used that. I was a bit nervous about the outcome but it actually ended up working quite well.

These cookies were a hit, at home & work too. Although I learned that a lot of my coworkers don't like marshmallows. Didn't know that was possible. Aside from tasting so good, they look really cute least I think they do. 

Make these for your next summer barbecue. The 4th of July is right around the corner! I promise you'll be the talk of the barbecue (in a good way for a change...I kid, I kid)!

S'more Cookies
Everyday Food July/August 2009

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into 30 squares
  • 15 large marshmallows, halved horizontally
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse oats until finely ground. Add flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; pulse to combine. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, scraping down side of bowl. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture just until combined.

Drop dough by tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto two baking sheets. Top each with a chocolate square. Bake just until lightly golden, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Remove sheets from oven; heat broiler. Top each cookie with a marshmallow. One sheet at a time, broil until marshmallows are lightly browned, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cucumber Salad

Those of you who know me are probably shocked to see that I made something with cucumbers. Yes, I'm not a fan BUT the lady loves herself some cucumbers and has been requesting a cucumber salad. I had one on hand and thought it would be a nice side to the barbecue pulled chicken I made the other night. 

This is super simple, people. I'm talking it takes about 10 minutes (maybe even less) to throw together and you most likely have all ingredients on hand if your pantry is stocked. 

Cucumber Salad
Slightly adapted from Paula Deen

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
salt & pepper to taste

 Combine all ingredients. Let sit at least 15 minutes prior to serving.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken

I've realized one thing from this recipe...I don't use my slow cooker nearly as much as I should. 

I've made this recipe before just haven't shared it with you. It's pretty much the only recipe I use that includes my slow cooker. That's a problem! Slow cookers are awesome. You come home from work and your dinner is ready! The only thing I had to do when I got home from work was shred the chicken! Success. Additional success, we had leftovers!

Aside from the ease of the recipe it's also very tasty. The honey really adds a nice sweetness while the chiles add a kick of spiciness. I made this for a family BBQ last summer. I did one bunch with out the chiles and one with. Both very tasty, just want to make one a little more kid friendly without the spice.

 The recipe calls for thighs, I substituted boneless, skinless breasts which worked just as nice. The first night we had these, I served them on rolls. The next night I served over cornbread. Both ways were very good. It's nice to change up leftovers. 

Make this for yourself or for a crowd! I promise you'll (and they'll) enjoy!

Barbecue Pulled Chicken
1 8-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.
Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Roasted Kale (Kale Chips)

I'm so behind the times on blogging about kale chips. Everyone was making kale chips about 2-3 years ago! Well I guess I'm just behind the curve on this one, which isn't surprising. I was debating about even blogging this recipe in the first place...but I'm sure there are some of you out there who still haven't tried kale chips yet. Maybe you're too nervous? I promise you're going to like 'em! You may just start to substitute them for potato chips, heck they're a lot healthier! 

(Right before going in the oven)

We all know I'm a huge fan of any vegetable roasted. I have yet to find a vegetable that doesn't taste good roasted hence why I love these kale chips so much. Aside from being super easy to make, they're super tasty too. 

Roasted Kale (Also Known As Kale Chips)
Lots to Ladle

One bunch of fresh kale, Ripped into pieces, stems removed
Olive Oil, enough to coat
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Toss kale with olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast in oven until crunchy, about 10-15 minutes. 

I told you it was easy!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons.....

.....Make Lemonade! Or so they say. 

My good friend, Gina, always says 'make limoncello'. Either way it works.  

Growing up, I loved me some lemonade mix. My mom and grandma Eckenrode (Sally) always kept it on hand for us and it was refreshing sugary drink on hot summer days that was easy for kids to make on their own. An extra bonus when they got the pink lemonade. 

I've somewhat grown up since then and don't keep the sugary stuff on hand.  I was recently in the mood for lemonade so I foregone the mix and got to squeezing some lemons. It's a lot of work squeezing the lemons but I promise the outcome is well worth it.

Once you have your lemon juice it's super simple! 

All you need is simple syrup (sugar water), cold water, and lemon juice. Don't be lazy and use lemon juice from a bottle! It won't taste as good. Get to squeezing, peeps!

Lots to Ladle (slightly adapted from

1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water (to boil)
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons)
1/2 gallon ice water
(sliced lemon, thyme springs, fresh mint to garnish) - optional 

Bring a 1/2 cup of water to a simmer over low heat, mix in sugar until dissolved. Pour sugar water mixture into a pitcher. Add lemon juice and remaining water. Mix well. Serve with sliced lemon and herbs.