Monday, September 3, 2012

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

You can't beat a fresh cookie out of the oven. You can't beat the combination of anything chocolate and peanut butter either. These little treats are delicious and I'm glad I found this recipe on Pinterest.

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with baking paper and set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. On medium speed, cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract for about 3 minutes (I gave myself a right arm workout because I don't have a mixer). Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour until combined. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips. Drop about 3 tablespoons of cookie dough onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Repeat until all cookie dough is on baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden and irresistible to taste. Cool completely on the baking sheet and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

E: 9
A: 10 - all staples at our house
T: 9
HH: 9 - he prefers oatmeal raisin, but he enjoyed these
balanced diet?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tater Tot Casserole

I made Tater Tot Casserole this week. Every time I go to the grocery store, I learn something new about Aussie culture. I headed to the freezer section for this week's learning opportunity to find this:
Yep, tater tots are called potato royals over here. Thank you, Australia, for making me feel better about making Potato Royal Casserole.

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped vidalia or sweet onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound package frozen tater tots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x12 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Whisk together the cream of mushroom soup and milk until well blended and set aside. Add olive oil to a large skillet and saute onion and bell pepper until softened but not brown. Stir in the ground beef and brown; drain and return to skillet. Add the minced garlic, cook, and stir another minute. Add Cajun seasoning, taste, and add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer meat mixture to the casserole dish and sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of meat mixture. Evenly pour the soup mixture over the top. Arrange the tater tots on top and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tater tots are nicely browned and crisp. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top and return to the oven until cheese is melted. Original recipe from Deep South Dish. We topped it off with Ketchup.

E: 8
A: 8
T: 8
HH: 9

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mexican Pizza

Nothing stops my husband from eating cold pizza. He loves it.

Before heading to work, he came upstairs to kiss me goodbye and he was eating this for breakfast. I had it for dinner the night before and it was fantastic straight out of the oven.
1 lb ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
2 pizza bases (equivalent to medium sized pizzas)
1 can refried beans
2-3 cups shredded Mexican cheese
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 avocado, chopped
chopped lettuce
optional: sour cream, black olives, green onions, salsa, cilantro, jalapenos
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown ground beef in large skillet, over medium heat. Add taco seasoning to the ground beef according to package directions. Drain excess grease. Place pizza base on ungreased cookie sheet. Spread refried beans on the pizza base. Top with cooked ground beef mixture, sprinkle with cheese, and place in oven. Cook for 10 minutes or until pizza crust is crisp. Add tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, avocado, and additional toppings to your pizza. Keep avoiding Taco Bell.

E: 10
A: 9 - pizza base had to be purchased
T: 10
HH: 10

Original recipe required baking the pizza crust first, but mine was precooked

Monday, July 30, 2012

Shrimp Tacos

I get tired of eating chicken all the time. Enter shrimp, or prawns, as the Aussies call them.

1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 oz Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 a head of cabbage, thinly sliced
8 corn tortillas
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
fancy iPad photography

Mix yogurt, cayenne, lime juice, cilantro, and salt in a small bowl, set aside. Heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet and add cabbage. Cook for about four minutes or until the cabbage is just barely wilted. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Cut shrimp into thirds making bite size pieces. Saute in two teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper over medium heat just until done. Heat tortillas over medium heat in a dry skillet until warm. Make your tacos by placing a scoop of cabbage on the warmed tortilla, then top with shrimp and cilantro sauce. 
Shrimp Tacos2
legit food photography found here

E: 9
A: 8 - fresh ingredients? trip to the grocery store.
T: 9
HH: 8 - we both agreed the cabbage was not our favorite and the cayenne pepper was a bit much (maybe substituting with cumin next round)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nutella Cookie Cups

I've heard of Nutella, but never tried it until we moved to Australia. At our supermarket, Nutella is on the shelf right beside Vegemite. This is the perfect representation of Heather and Eliott. He loves the salty and I love the sweet.

1 cup butter (softened)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a mini muffin tin. Cream butter, white sugar, and brown sugar in bowl until light and smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour, salt, and baking soda until everything is mixed. Roll dough into balls that are 1.5 inches thick. Pop them in the mini muffin tin and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 2 minutes. Make wells for the Nutella using a spoon or 1/4 measuring cup. Add 1 tbsp of Nutella into each cup; feel free to swirl the Nutella around once it melts a little. Let cool for 15-20 minutes. Each time we ate them, we microwaved the cookie for a few seconds to melt the Nutella.

E: 9
A: 9
T: 8
HH: 8
Recipe inspiration found here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

I've been sick all week and I searched high and low for medicine that would make me feel better. I didn't find it on the medicine aisle, but this pot of Chicken Noodle Soup did the trick.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 lb carrots
2 chicken breasts
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
10-15 cranks cracked pepper
1 tbsp salt
6 oz egg noodles
1 lb potatoes
Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Begin cooking them in a large pot over medium heat with olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and potatoes to the pot and continue to saute. Add the chicken to the pot along with the basil, parsley, thyme, and black pepper. Add eight cups of water. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for one hour. Make sure the pot continues to simmer for the whole hour. After an hour of simmering, remove the chicken from the pot. Using two forks shred the chicken. Season the broth with salt. Add the noodles to the pot, turn the heat up to high and boil the noodles until tender. Return the shredded chicken to the pot, add two more cups of water. Taste the season again with salt if needed. 

E: 9
A: 9
T: 7 - I didn't like simmering for an hour
HH: 9 - He was definitely a fan of a hearty soup during Sydney winter

Original recipe from this awesome website, Budget Bytes

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Stuffed Bell Peppers

As soon as our winter came, I found myself searching for recipes that involved the oven. I'm happy to stand in the kitchen making dinner with a preheated oven. I like to pretend I have a fireplace. This recipe for Southwestern Stuffed Peppers is tasty, but be sure and add some more spices of your choice. 

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 package (1.25 oz) taco seasoning mix
1 egg, beaten
2 cups cooked Spanish rice
4 green bell peppers
19 oz can diced tomatoes
16 oz jar salsa
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

Combine beef, onion, seasoning mix, and egg in a large bowl. Add cooked rice and mix well. Cut peppers in half lengthwise, remove seeds and membrane. Spread tomatoes on the bottom of an ovenproof 13x9 inch baking dish. The liquid from the tomatoes will reduce during cooking, so if you like sauce, then add 1 cup of water. Place peppers, cut side up, on top of the tomatoes. Spoon beef mixture into peppers. Top each pepper with salsa. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or until beef is cooked thoroughly and peppers are soft. Cover each pepper with cheese and return to oven until the cheese melts. Serve with sour cream and additional salsa.

E: 8
A: 9
T: 8
HH: 8 - we agreed this recipe needed more spices (cumin, salt, garlic)

Recipe adapted from