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

Monday, July 2, 2012

Vegetable & Lamb Curry

You just can't go wrong with curry. Tons of meat. Tons of veg. Tons of flavor.
Ingredients: recipe adapted from this Vegetable & Lamb Curry
30g butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup red curry paste
1 sweet potato, chopped
1 potato, chopped
400g can tomatoes
400ml can coconut cream
3 cups roughly chopped roast lamb
100g green beans, trimmed, halved

Heat butter and oil together in a large saucepan on high. Saute onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes. Stir in red curry paste, cook for 1 minute until aromatic. Add both potatoes and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Mix in tomatoes and coconut cream. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Stir in lamb and green beans. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes to heat through. 

E: 8
A: 9
T: 8
HH: 7 - he liked it, but I wasn't a huge fan of the lamb

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pesto Crusted Salmon

Most nights I don't want to be in the kitchen for longer than 30 minutes. This meal is delicious and quick. This recipe came from the website of our local grocery store, Coles.

2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/3 cup olive oil
4 salmon fillets
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F. To make the pesto, pulse garlic, toasted pine nuts, and basil in a food processor until finely chopped. Add parmesan and mix well. With the food processor engine running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Place salmon fillets onto an oiled baking tray, season both sides with salt and pepper. Spread the pesto over the top of each fillet and sprinkle a light layer of breadcrumbs over the pesto. Bake the salmon for 12 minutes or longer depending on the thickness of fillet; it's done when the fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with a salad and enjoy this quick dinner!

E: 10
A: 8 - fresh salmon from the grocery store
T: 10
HH: 10

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Blueberry Scones

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee is a year long event, but the main celebration was this past weekend. When I think about British culture, high tea and scones immediately come to mind. I made some blueberry scones in honor of you, Queen Elizabeth.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, grated
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1 1/2 cups blueberries, frozen
raw sugar for sprinkling the tops

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar, the baking powder, and salt. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed. Combine the egg and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy.  Add the blueberries to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn't stick.

Shape the dough into a square. Cut the square into quarters then cut again into eighths, diagonally, making triangles. Sprinkle the tops with sugar and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. 

Recipe adapted from:  La Petite Brioche

E: 8 - My mixer is on the other side of the world
A: 9
T: 9
HH: 10 - scone + cup of coffee = happy husband's brekkie

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Eliott and I have officially been living in Sydney for 1 year! Crazy. Year 2 will be dedicated to exploring more of Australia, so we spent a long weekend in Melbourne. This city is wonderful with its food, entertainment, and short flight from Sydney.
Since this blog is dedicated to food, I'll post about our brunches we thoroughly enjoyed. Eliott used Urbanspoon to find a brunch location for us each morning. Our two favorites were Hardware Societe and Seven Seeds. I wish I could eat at these cafes over and over and over again.

Hardware Societe gave me the opportunity to try French cuisine and I ordered the Croque madame. Yum.
At Seven Seeds, I satisfied my sweet tooth with Brioche french toast with spiced baked pears, mascarpone and toasted pecans. Eliott had a fried egg with smoky berkshire bacon, roasted cherry tomatoes and tomato relish on a toasted poppyseed bagel. This cup of coffee was the best flat white I've ever had.
Our last day was quite classy. We had American donuts and Dr. Pepper. I've never been so happy.
See ya soon, Melbourne.

E: 10 - thanks to technology
A: 10 - we walked 10 minutes from our hotel
T: 9 - popular places means lines
HH: 12 - so happy

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Homemade Hamburger Helper

MasterChef Australia kicked off this week and I'm already amazed at what the contestants are cooking. I don't understand half of the techniques they use, so I'm happy to watch from the comfort of my couch instead of competing. These foodies would probably laugh at this ordinary Homemade Hamburger Helper as they make recipes with octopus or seaweed. 

1/2 lb ground beef
1 lb elbow macaroni
8 ounces frozen corn
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
14 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. Cook meat over medium-high heat in a large skillet until browned. Drain and return to pan. Add all dry seasonings and flour and stir until combined. Add milk, tomato sauce and corn, bring to a boil stirring frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add macaroni pasta and cheese, toss to coat. 

E: 9 - just as easy as the original Hamburger Helper
A: 9
T: 9 
HH: 9 - he loved it and the leftovers were tasty too

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Zesty Pasta Salad

This world is full of salad options. Caesar salad, fruit salad, potato salad, tuna salad, chef salad, bean salad, chicken salad, taco salad, and many more. Here's a zesty pasta salad for you from Betty Crocker herself.

16 oz corkscrew pasta
1 pound asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
3 medium bell peppers, cut into bite size pieces (I bought red, yellow, & green)
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, 

Heat 4 quarts water to boiling in a large pot. Cook pasta in boiling water for 11 minutes. Add asparagus to boiling water, cook about 3 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Drain pasta and asparagus. Rinse with cold water and drain. Mix dressing, basil, and crushed red pepper in large bowl. Add pasta, asparagus, and remaining ingredients. Toss. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Enjoy your zesty pasta salad!

E: 10
A: 9 - fresh veggies = grocery store
T: 10
HH: 10 - He loves this pasta salad! It is zesty, so lessen the crushed red pepper if your tongue is sensitive to spicy foods. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

General Tso's Chicken

I could eat rice every day. It's so good. I'm a big fan of Asian cuisine in general. Speaking of general, I can't get enough of General Tso's chicken. When we visited friends and family at Christmas, we stocked up on General Tso's seasoning mix. 

I'm surprised we got through security with the 10 packets I had stuffed in shoes and pant pockets. This little discovery in the International Food Section of my local Kroger made me happy a couple of years ago. Who knew I would be hoarding them in my suitcase to carry across the world? 

Sunbird Seasonings has a coupon on their website for the American viewers. 

1 General Tso's Seasoning Mix
1/4 cup flour
1 lb. chicken, cut into chunks
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
Start cooking rice. Add flour to resealable plastic bag and toss chicken chunks to coat evenly. Combine seasoning, sugar, soy sauce, and water in a separate bowl. Blend and set aside. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high until hot. Add flour coated chicken and cook until evenly browned. Stir sauce mixture and add to skillet with chicken. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until desired consistency. Serve over cooked rice.

E: 10
A: 9 - I don't have chickens running around the backyard
T: 10
HH: 10 - one of our favorites

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tuna Cakes

I found this recipe over at Kraft Foods recipe website. It's easy and fast.

2 cans (5 oz. each) light tuna in water, drained, flaked
1 package stuffing mix for chicken
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
3/4 cup water
1 carrot, shredded
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoon sweet pickle relish

Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Spray nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet on medium heat. Use 1/3 measuring cup to scoop portions of tuna mixture, in batches, to skillet. Flatten into patties with the back of your spatula. Cook 6 minutes (3 minutes each side) or until golden brown on both sides.

For your amusement, I would like for you to see the comparison between Kraft's photography and mine. Don't judge. They taste good and that's all that matters in this household.

Tuna Cakes recipe
Kraft paid someone to take this photo.

Clearly,  I took this photo.
E: 10
A: 10 - most of these items are kitchen staples
T: 10
HH: 10

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lamb Cutlets with Horseradish Potatoes

This meal is really simple and really good. I went to the library instead of the world wide web to find this recipe. I flipped real pages and checked out the library with my library card at the Surry Hills Library. Nerd alert.

1 kg/2.2 pounds baby potatoes
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons horseradish cream
50g rocket/arugula leaves
salt & pepper
125 g lamb cutlets (we had 2 each)
4 slices of bacon
4 sprigs of rosemary

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted cold water and bring to a boil. Cook for 18-20 minutes until tender. Drain. Return to the pan and lightly crush. Add the garlic, lemon rind, and juice, olive oil, horseradish, salt & pepper and set aside. Wrap each lamb cutlet with a rasher of bacon and secure with rosemary. Heat a large frying pan over high heat and cook for 4 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Serve the lamb with the crushed potatoes over rocket. We obviously had green beans too, but those were leftovers.
I found this recipe in the Donna Hay Magazine: Issue 54, December/January 2011.

E: 5 - tying rosemary? not easy.
A: 8
T: 10 - dinner was ready in 30 minutes
HH: 10 - Eliott claimed this meal as "restaurant quality"

Thursday, March 8, 2012


One Saturday morning, the weather was absolutely perfect, so we decided to get brunch together.

Our pick was fouratefive which is located at 485 Crown Street (clever, huh?)

This little hot spot in Surry Hills is only a few steps from our apartment. We finally made it over there to see what the fuss was all about. Now, we know.

My stomach was growling intensely as I waited 30 minutes for our name to be called. It's worth the wait.

We ordered flat whites.

My brunch consisted of free range eggs served fried with organic sourdough bread and smoked salmon. Eliott ordered free range eggs served fried with organic sourdough bread and avocado.

If you come visit us, I'll take you here.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Olive Garden Salad

Olive Garden is well known for their breadsticks and salad. There are other great items on their menu too, but you can't go and not eat these two items. I usually order water at restaurants, but Olive Garden is one place where I get giddy thinking about the Peach-Raspberry Iced Tea coming my way. Eliott and I shared Stuffed Chicken Marsala and we left feeling stuffed. After flying back to Australia, we began to miss the American dining, so I made this Olive Garden Salad. Inspiration came from here.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons romano cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 bag mixed greens (I added some iceberg to a bag)
4-5 slices red onion
3 banana peppers, sliced (can't find these in Oz)
1/2 cup croutons
black olives
cherry tomatoes
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Blend all salad dressing ingredients together and chill until ready to serve. Place bag of salad in bowl and add iceberg lettuce to mixture. Place red onion, black olives, banana peppers, tomatoes, and croutons on top of salad. Pretend like you're the Olive Garden waiter/waitress and add parmesan cheese to the salad. Add plenty of salad dressing and eat! 
E: 10 - super easy and the dressing tasted even better for leftovers
A: 10
T: 10
HH: 9 - our breadsticks didn't come close to Olive Garden's, but we happily consumed the carbs

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Salmon & Green Beans

I'm bad about choosing recipes that feed an army. We don't mind eating casseroles, but we don't love eating leftovers for 10 days in a row. This recipe serves 4 and it was fast, healthy, and fulfilling. It felt like we were at a restaurant when I decided to make a side dish. I tend to cook one-dish-dinners, so the green beans were warmly welcomed. We had two other friends over to share this meal with us and we all really enjoyed it. Cheers to friends and food!

1/4 cup honey
5 teaspoons finely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 (6 oz) salmon fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound green beans
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds
3 slices of cooked bacon
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt to taste

honey & pecan glazed SALMON
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil. Combine honey, pecans, and soy sauce in a large Ziplock bag. Season fish with salt and pepper. Add fish to bag and seal. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. Remove fish and pecans from marinade, but don't throw the marinade away. Place fish on foil-lined baking pan and top with pecans. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Baste the fish twice with the marinade after 5 and 10 minutes of baking. 

GREEN BEANS with almonds & bacon
Snap off the tough ends and remove the strings from the green beans, then cut the green beans in half. In a large saucepan, place green bans in 1 inch of boiling water and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender (I started simmering the green beans when I put the salmon in the oven). Drain. Melt butter in a small saucepan and add bacon, almonds, garlic powder, and salt. Stir. Pour sauce over green beans and toss. Dinner is served!

E: 9
A: 9
T: 10
HH: 10

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Nothing says Happy Valentine's Day like a dessert. Eliott loves red velvet and I love cheesecake/brownies/food-in-general, so I thought this Pinterest find suited us perfectly. Speaking of... Eliott suits me perfectly. I love him and I love the way he loves me.
1/2 cup butter
2 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons red food coloring
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
I bought WAY too much chocolate. This is not a problem.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease. In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together on low heat. Stir until very smooth. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and red food coloring. Add in the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Add flour and salt into the bowl and stir until everything is combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
To prepare cheesecake mixture, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl until smooth. Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter and gently swirl two batters with a butter knife. Bake for 35 minutes. The edges will be lightly browned and an inserted toothpick should come out clean. Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving. Happy Love Day!

Did I have fancy swirls like the Pinterest image? No.
Did they taste amazing? Yes. And that's all that matters.

E: 9
A: 8 - had to buy red food coloring, vanilla extract, & chocolate
T: 8
HH: 9 - 1 serving quickly became 2 servings

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Potato Soup

When you move to another country, you start to crave the things that were part of your life back home. We have thoughts of Chick-fil-A, McAlister's, and Newk's often in Australia. This dinner was my attempt to replicate items from McAlister's, so we had Club Sandwiches, Potato Soup, and Sweeeeeeet Tea. 

Potato Soup
3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup celery, diced
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1 cup cooked ham, diced
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, carrot, ham and chicken broth in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk so that lumps don't form and until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately. 

Original recipe found at The Girl Who Ate Everything.

E: 9 - feel free to add cheese, sour cream, chives, and/or bacon on top too
A: 9
T: 9
HH: 10 - happy husband due to a full tummy and sugar rush