Friday, November 20, 2009

Spider Web Cookies

When my original plan for dessert at our formal Halloween dinner party failed, I had to come up with a new plan and fast! Enter the Amazing Bakerella. I found these cute cookies on her blog and decided to make them, but with peanut M&Ms to make my spiders. They turned out adorable :)

Spider Web Cookies
Serves 6 to 12 If you make sure your husband doesn't eat them all ahead of time.
You will need:
  • 1 package Betty Crocker Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix
  • 1 can of chocolate ready-made frosting
  • 1 can of vanilla ready-made frosting
  • orange and green peanut M&Ms found in the bags for Halloween
  • Toothpicks
  • Resealable plastic bags
  • icing dye to tint white icing for the legs
  • black gel icing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients for cookies as directed on the package. Use a medium sized cookie scoop or a large spoon to get similar sized cookies. You want to end up with about 12 cookies. Place the cookie dough on a baking sheet. Bake for about 7-8 minutes or until they are just set up in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

After the cookies have cooled, spread chocolate frosting on the top of each cookie. Fill a resealable plastic bag with about half the vanilla icing. Snip a tiny hole (about the size of a toothpick) out of the bottom of one corner. Pipe on three concentric circles of white frosting for each cookie. Start in the middle with the smallest circle and work your way out (this way you don't drag through the icing). Take a toothpick and beginning in the center, drag it lightly through each circle. Repeat all the way around the cookie until you have formed your "web".

Place a green or orange M&M on each web where you want your spider to be.

Take the remaining white frosting and separate it into two bowls. Tint one frosting with orange icing color and the other with green. This takes a bit of guessing to get the color you want. Just remember that a tiny bit of icing tint goes a LONG ways. :) Fill two resealable bags with the orange and green frosting and snip off a teeny tiny corner of each. Pipe eight small legs of the coordinating color around each M&M. Use black gel icing to add eyes to your spiders. Enjoy this spooky treat!

Cheese ball

My mom is the queen of winging it and using what she has to make delicious foods. This cheese ball is her recipe and is very delicious. Some would say that my family is famous for making this for holidays and parties. It is very delicious!

Cheese ball
You will need:
  • 1 - 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 an onion finely chopped (more or less depending on how strong of an onion it is)
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Assorted crackers

Using your hands or two spoons, mix together the cream cheese, garlic, onion and Worcestershire sauce. After it is thoroughly mixed slowly mix in the shredded cheese, about a 1/2 cup at a time. If you put it all in at once it will not distribute evenly. Form into a ball, cover and chill for at least an hour. The longer it sits (say overnight) the better married the flavors will be. Enjoy!

Chewy Pizza Bread

This is a quick and easy pizza to make in the summer when you have loads of fresh basil on hand. It is also tasty in the cooler months, but the fresh basil is the best! This is modified from Betty Crocker.

Chewy Pizza Bread
Serves 4
You will need:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup beer (regular or non alcoholic)
  • 1/2 cup tomato pasta sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • chopped fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray an 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in beer just until the flour is moistened. Spread the dough evenly in the pan.

Stir the Italian seasoning into the tomato pasta sauce. Spread the sauce over the dough. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out of the center clean. Sprinkle basil over the top. Slice and serve warm!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Apple Chipotle Pork Burritos with Chipotle Sauce

These pictures SO don't do this meal justice because it is FABULOUS and my photography skills aren't so much...

Anyway these burritos are really good and really easy to make. The burrito recipe comes from Gourmet Sleuth. The proportions I'm giving are for a single batch that makes about 4 small burritos; I personally have only made a double or larger batch.

Makes 4 burritos.
You will need:
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 pound pork loin, cut in small squares
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 apples, peeled
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Step 1: Adobo Sauce
To prepare sauce, in a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, mayonnaise, and chipotle peppers until smooth. You can add more adobo and peppers to taste. Chill until serving.
(I've included a picture of the can for the chipotle peppers since this isn't a standard item. This can be found in the Mexican Food section at most grocery stores.)

Step 2:
Heat oil* in a frying pan and fry pork until slightly golden . Remove pork and soak oil using paper towels. Add apple, onion and garlic to the frying pan and cook until glazed for 3 minutes.
*(You do not need additional oil if you increase the proportions of this recipe)

Step 3: In a bowl, combine pork mixture, add cilantro with 4 tablespoons of chipotle sauce so that it does not dry out.

Step 4: Heat tortillas on a flat griddle and fill each tortilla with one tablespoon of cooked pork at a time until the tortilla is half full. Fold both ends and roll the tortilla. You can serve these with the chipotle sauce on the side as well :)

This Adobo Sauce is also very good with other items like chicken, chili or other items that could benefit from a gentle spicy kick!