Saturday, February 14, 2015

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I want to share the love - my love for baking, my love for new recipes, and my love for blogging. Also, I really love to list things in threes, if you haven't noticed. Last week a coworker sent me a recipe for red velvet white chocolate chip cookies and looking over the recipe I had ALL the ingredients so why wouldn't I make them for Valentine's Day week?!?! However, I didn't read the entire recipe before starting and therefore did not allow myself enough time to make these cookies earlier in the week and have this recipe posted to the blog before today so everyone could make them for Valentine's Day- the dough needs to sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours meaning you do still have time to make them today.  I went ahead and made the dough Wednesday night and finished up baking them Thursday, allowing me to take them into work on Friday to bring a smile to everyone's face. I have to say this recipe got RAVE reviews (even from my CEO - yes, this made my day)! I doubled the recipe because I knew that 18 would not be enough for me and my friends and like I said I did want to share the love and not eat them ALL! Doubling the recipe made more than 36 but we had no problem taking care of the extras.  On to the recipe - hope you enjoy it, I will definitely be repeating it!

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies-
Recipe was featured on from baker Sally Quinn of Sally's Baking Addiction
Makes 18 cookies (double if you would like more)

1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp. liquid red food coloring
1 cup white chocolate chips plus a few extra for after baking

1. Toss flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, & salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Beat the butter on high until creamy.  Scrap down the sides of the bowl and beat in the brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until combined.  Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla extract.  Once mixed, add the food coloring and beat until combined. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix on low until a soft dough is formed. If you want the dough redder, add in more food coloring.  Beat in the white chocolate chips.
3. Cover the dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours up to 4 or 5 days.  If you let it chill for over a day, let it sit for 45 minutes before baking.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
5. Scoop 1 1/2 tbsp. of dough and roll into a ball and place on baking sheets.  Bake each batch for 10-11 minutes.  Take a spoon and press down on the warm cookies to flatten. I used a cookie scoop to divide out my dough, this may have made my cookies a bit smaller but that allowed for more cookies to share. 
6. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before you transfer to a wire rack. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days I doubt they will last that long (definitely didn't in my case).

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey Meatballs

I can officially say I am obsessed with zucchini noodles! I love pasta, not only because it is delicious but it is usually easy to make for one.  But in an effort to eat healthier I am diving into some pasta alternatives and I am pleasantly surprised with my newfound obsession.  Tonight's meal took a little more time than the shrimp scampi but it was still an easy weeknight meal for me to whip up.  I found this recipe on pinterest after searching for some more zucchini noodle recipes, it originally comes from A Cozy Kitchen and it did not disappoint. I prepped the tomato sauce and the meatballs at the same time, they both take about 20-30 minutes and are the longest part of the meal prep so I did them simultaneously. After my last zucchini noodle adventure, I bought a spiralizer (from Bed Bath & Beyond) because I knew that would not be the last time I made zucchini noodles.  I have to say, the spiralizer takes it a step further, the noodles actually looked like beautiful noodles this time.
Okay, I have gabbed enough about my love for zucchini noodles and this recipe, it is time to share the actual recipe with everyone!!
Turkey Meatballs
This was the first time I made homemade meatballs, they were delicious and easy to make! Yes, they have a little bread crumbs and a little cheese added in but it is all about balance right?!
1 pound ground turkey
2 tablespoons dried fine bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
Olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons freshly chopped sage
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1. To a large bowl, add ground turkey, bread crumbs, parmesan, egg and salt.
2. In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add a teaspoon of olive oil. Once oil is hot, add diced onion and cook until translucent and soft, roughly 5-7 minutes.  Turn heat down to medium-low, add the minced garlic, parsley, sage and crushed red pepper. 
3. Add onion mixture to the bowl of meat and combine completely but do not overmix.
4. Scoop out two tablespoons of the turkey mixture and roll into balls.  Repeat until all the meatballs are formed.
5. To sear the meatballs add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the saute pan.  When the oil is hot, gently add the meatballs and sear on all sides 1-2 minutes until golden brown.  Transfer to paper towels to drain.  Repeat until all meatballs are seared.
Turkey meatballs ready to be seared

Searing turkey meatballs

Classic Tomato Sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves
2-3 sage leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 28-ounce can of tomatoes I used San Marzano
1. Add olive oil to a medium pot, when hot add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, sage leaves and crushed red pepper, cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.
3. Pour in can of tomatoes; mix and cover the pot, allow the tomato sauce to simmer, over low heat, for 20 minutes.
4. Using a blender, puree the tomato sauce until smooth.  Transfer back to the pot and salt to taste.
5. Add seared meatballs to the tomato sauce and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Zucchini Noodles
4 medium zucchinis
1. Using spiralizer, cut zucchinis.
2. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a saute pan, when the oil is hot, add the zucchini noodles and cook for 3-5 minutes.  
3. Toss with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce, top with meatballs and garnish with a little parmesan cheese and parsley. Enjoy!!
 The finished product

Friday, February 6, 2015

Skinny Shrimp Scampi

I am trying to cook more and to incorporate some healthier recipes into the mix - don't worry the cupcakes are NOT going away in person or on the blog. This recipe needs to be added to your week's meal plan immediately!! For me cooking more means trying to plan my meals ahead of time. A friend shared this recipe with me and I couldn't wait to try it.  I won't lie, I was a little skeptical simply because I love pasta but I have to say this recipe was delicious and a healthy alternative to a classic pasta dish. What makes it even better is that it is so easy to prepare! Clearly, I'm slightly obsessed with this recipe and turns out I'm not the only one, I've already shared the recipe with several friends and they had already tried it and loved it as well!  On to the recipe so that you can add it to your meals for the upcoming week! Enjoy!!

Skinny Shrimp Scampi (originally from Just a Taste)

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined I went ahead and used frozen shrimp and used just enough for my meal so this can be your call on how much shrimp
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup white wine
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 medium zucchini cut into noodles- there are several different tools that you can use, but because I did not have the correct tool this week I used a regular vegetable peeler and it gave me wider noodles but they still tasted great
Parsley, for garnish

1. Add olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium-low heat for 1 minute.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook them for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
2. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook them thoroughly until they are pink on all sides. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper then with a slotted spoon transfer the shrimp to a bowl.  Leave all liquid in the pan.
3. Increase the heat to medium and add the white wine and lemon juice. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Return the shrimp to the pan and toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper, garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.