Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The UH-MAY-ZING-EST Cookies Ever!

Let me first start by telling Ginny THANK YOU for this recipe! It is my new favorite cookie ever. But then again...I love all things Pumpkin, and my favorite cookie is oatmeal chocolate chip. So basically...this is my heaven!

Ginny gave me her recipe for these cookies and the measurements were approximate. She eyeballs things. I was a little scared that the cookies might not turn out well...so I found this recipe that had exact measurements and was almost identical to Ginny's.
It was a pretty easy recipe...you just throw everything together and fold in the chocolate chips.
I used my new cookie scoop to scoop out uniform cookies!

Just pop in the oven and bake and you'll have the most AMAZING COOKIES EVER. Well, at least in my opinion. YUM YUM YUM! I took these to work and they were devoured! I also think these cookies would make an amazing muffin as well. The texture of the cookies was very muffin-like. I kept calling them "clammy". Next time I might make mini-muffins out of them. Mmmmmm....can't wait! ENJOY!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Apple French Toast Casserole...of Loneliness.

So, Casey was gone last week and I was MISERABLE and lonely. I don't do well without him. I would list everything I missed about him...but the list would be WAY too long and WAAAAAY too mushy. So, I'll spare you. He knows how much I missed him!

ANYWAY, I invited my mom over to watch a movie, get some dinner, etc. I also asked her to help me make the culinary creation for that week. I had decided on Recipe Zaar's Apple French Toast Caserole earlier that week since I was craving some French Toast! (Side note...if you don't want to spend the time to cook this go to Cracker Barrel and try their new Apple Streusel French Toast like I did this weekend. It's "three slices of our sweet Apple Streusel bread made with bits of real apple, dipped in eggs* and then grilled to a golden brown. Topped with our Cinnamon Apple Dumplin’ syrup and real butter." It's UH-MAY-ZING! It doesn't have the fresh cinnamon apple on top like the recipe...but it's still DARN good! It would definitely be ROCK STAR quality if they made the apples like the recipe calls for and pile them on top!).

Because my mom is my mom...she decided to do the "dangerous parts "of this recipe. First, because she loves me and doesn't want me to get hurt or even have the chance of getting hurt. Second, because she's a tad overprotective. Third, because she knows her daughter VERY well and knows that she is a disaster waiting to happen. My mother classified the "dangerous parts" of this recipe as the peeling/coring and slicing of the apples. She took over these procedures...and did a bang-up job might I add. She had quite a fun time trying to get the core out of the apple...but the slicing was a breeze thanks to my new Oneida Mandolin Slicer Set from Bed Bath and Beyond! It worked like a dream...but I do think that we should've cut the apples a little thicker because they kind of collapsed on each other in the cooking process. I think if they had been a little thicker they would've maintained their round shape a little easier. But...now I know for next time! And there WILL be a next time!

Anyway...like I said, we cooked the apple slices in some butter, brown sugar, water and cinnamon until they were tender.

We then lined the cooked apples and their sauce on the bottom of the 13x9 cake pan.

Unlike the recipe said to do...I sliced the bread and soaked each piece in the egg/milk/vanilla mixture (that's what all the reviewers said to do) and then laid each piece on top of the apple mixture. When I was finished with each piece of bread I poured the remaining mixture on top of and around the bread. Then you pop the pan in the fridge overnight to sit.

The next day I cooked the french toast and it was pretty darn good if I do say so myself. The bread was crispy and the apples warm and "cinnamon-y".

However, since it was only me...I decided to take the remainder of the french toast to work with me the next day, so it went back in the fridge until the next day. I took it to work and sliced it up in small pieces and everyone LOVED it. And I must admit...it tasted SO MUCH better the NEXT day. I'm not sure why...but it was 10 times better! The bread wasn't crispy anymore...but then again, most french toast isn't. The apples tasted even better and I think even the bread absorbed some of their flavor. This is definitely something I would make again but I'd wait until two days later to eat. And next time I make it...I'm going to make sure Casey is here to try it because he'd love it...and I hope some of you try it and love it as well!

Chicken Cordon Bleu by....WHO?

By ME! That's right...ME! I did it! I made Chicken Cordon Bleu!

And yes...I know this blog is like two weeks late, but I cooked EVERY WEEK, I just never got a chance to actually blog each week. So I'll be catching up today! I'M NOT LEAVING THIS HOUSE UNTIL I DO! lol. (PS: Amanda...how do you keep up with your blogging? GEEZ!)

I looked up a few recipes for this adventure and finally settled on this one from foodnetwork.com.

I started off at the Fresh Market to get some beautiful chicken breasts and uber expensive cheese and prosciutto. TEN DOLLARS FOR CHEESE? C'MON! (I later found out from my mother that she replaces these two pricey items with swiss cheese and some very thinly sliced deli ham. I'll definitely try that next time!)
Once home, I pounded out the chicken breasts between two pieces of saran wrap and tried to get them as thin as I could without them falling apart. This is easier said than done!
Once the chicken is nice and thin you lay your prosciutto on top and then cover it with cheese and roll up tightly, using saran wrap (KEEPING IT ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE ROLL) to keep it all tight.

I followed the recipe exactly and seasoned the flour and then mixed all the other ingredients as directed. I then lightly dusted the rolled up chicken breasts with flour, dipped in the beaten egg and then rolled in the bread crumb mixture.

I then put the chicken in the oven for the directed time, but it never browned! I left it in another ten minutes or so...and it still never browned! GRRR! I then put the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes to brown...and boy did they! I guess because the oven was already warm it browned LIGHTNING quick and a little of the breadcrumbs burned. BOO!

I scraped off the severely burned breadcrumbs and it still tasted great. The cheese was melted enough to be wonderful but not too melty to where it runs out everywhere on the plate!

This was a very good and easy recipe...but it left out a few steps I think. According to the reviews I was supposed to wrap the chicken breasts tightly in the saran wrap used to roll it up and stick it in the fridge for a while so it will maintain it's shape better. Mine maintained their shape just fine without this step however. Also, everyone else seemed to brown their breadcrumbs under the broiler as well...and the recipe never mentions this. I would encourage everyone to try this recipe...but substitute the ham and swiss cheese so it won't hurt your bank account as much!