Monday, March 29, 2010

Oreo Rip Off

It's not that often that I have a sweet tooth, but lately mine has been driving me crazy!  I saw this recipe from blogger Sugar Cooking and HAD to try it!

I'm not convinced they taste exactly like Oreos, but they sure give the Oreo a run for their money!  The filling is the best part. And I wasn't able to find the Hershey's Special Dark Coco as the recipe calls for, I used the original coco and perhaps that is why they don't taste exactly like the original. But still excellent!  You'll need a nice big glass of milk to wash these down with.  Enjoy!

For the chocolate wafers:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Hershey Special Dark Coco
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
For the filling:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
  2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
  3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
  4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
  5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Aunt Jeanette's Cauliflower & Lettuce Salad

Folks, this is the best salad ever!  My lovely Aunt Jeanette makes this for a lot of family get togethers, and it is always gone in have to act fast!  

I made it for the first time last night for dinner, and Larry raved about it ;)

Also, like a lot of things I make, it's super easy to whip together and enjoy.


1) 1 head of cauliflower
2) 1 headed lettuce, shredded...I used a bag of the slaw lettuce and it worked so well!
3) 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
4) 2 Cups seasoned croutons
5) 2 cups cashews

Mix together in bowl.  If you don't like soggy croutons, wait until your ready to serve and then add them.   

For the dressing:
1) Cup fat-free mayo
2) 1/2 Cup sugar
3) 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese

Combine and mix with the salad right before serving and enjoy!  For just Larry and I this made more than we needed.  But I've been enjoying it for lunches and its still great!

Pecan & Almond Crusted Tilapia with Wild Rice

A lot of people get nervous when thinking about cooking fish, including me. But this recipe is super easy, and Tilapia is a very mild flavored fish sure to please!  
The recipe came from the lovely Costco cookbook.

1 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 Cup finely chopped pecans
1 Tablespoon parsley
2 Tablespoon dry bread crumbs
2 eggs
(4) five to seven ounce Tilapia fillets, either fresh or frozen
Juice of 1/2 lemon

1) Combine the almonds, pecans, parsley and bread crumbs in a shallow dish, or a plate works just fine
2) Beat the eggs in a bowl for dipping
3) Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat
4) Take the tilapia and coat it in the eggs covering it completely...this is how the nuts and bread crumbs will            stick
5) Now you'll roll it in the nut mixture, again covering it completely
6) Saute the tilapia for 2 minutes on each side until cooked through and coating is golden brown
7) And that is it, your done with the fish!

Now, you could serve the fish with just about anything, but I really love it with wild rice.  I use the Uncle Ben's wild rice in the microwave pouch because it is so quick and easy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Deep-Dish Honey Graham Apple Cobbler

Baked goods have been my nemesis for awhile now.  I couldn't even bake a tube of that refrigerated cookie dough without burning them...but with my new found confidence for cooking, I thought what the hell, I'll give this recipe a try and I am so glad I did! 
The cobbler was easier to put together than I had anticipated and made the whole house smell delicious. Larry was super impressed :)

The recipe came from a Costco cookbook I received awhile ago.  At the time I didn't even look through it, but I rediscovered it recently and was happy with all the delicious looking recipes. 


1/4 Cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
7 Cups peeled and thinly sliced Granny Smith or Jonagold apples
1 Box Jiffy brand pie crust; you could also use a frozen pie crust but the Jiffy brand is super       good and easy to whip up.
2 Tablespoons (or more if you desire) of honey 


2/3 Cup coarsely crushed graham crackers; about 5 squares
1/3 Cup packed brown sugar
1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons coarsely ground rolled oats; I just used regular Quaker quick oats
1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 Cup Butter, softened

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2) Stir together sugar, four and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add apples and toss to coat.
3) Line a 13x9 inch baking dish with pastry dough and flute the edges.
4) Fill the crust with the coated apples and drizzle the honey. Set aside.
5) To prepare the topping, place crushed graham crackers , brown sugar, flour, rolled oats and cinnamon in a bowl and stir to combine.  Cut in with a fork or pastry blender the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
6) Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
7) Serve with warm ice cream and enjoy!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Steak au Poivre

As previously stated, my first real attempt at "real" cooking came from a recipe out of my Better Homes and Garden cookbook.

Prior to this Larry and I often ate a lot of frozen and boxed dinners.  I told him over and over again that I could cook actual food, but never really proved this claim :)  So one Sunday evening I presented to him Steak au Poivre!  And let me tell you ladies and gentlemen this was flipping awesome...and the sauce was to die for. I've actually made this a couple of other times since.  Serve with green beans or asparagus along with mashed potatoes and you've got yourself a restaurant worthy meal!

Steak au Poivre:
1  tablespoon cracked black pepper
4  beef tenderloin steaks or 2 beef top loin steaks, cut 1 inch thick (1 pound)
2  tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4  cup brandy or beef broth
1/4  cup beef broth
1/2  cup whipping cream
2  teaspoons Dijon-style mustard


1. Use your fingers to press the pepper onto both sides of the steaks. If using top loin steaks, cut each steak in half crosswise. In a large skillet cook steaks in hot butter over medium heat to desired doneness, turning once. For tenderloin steaks, allow 10 to 13 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees F) to medium (160 degrees F). For top loin steaks, allow 12 to 15 minutes for medium rare to medium. Transfer steaks to a serving platter, reserving the drippings in the skillet. Keep warm. Remove skillet from burner and allow to stand 1 minute.
2. For sauce, combine brandy and beef broth (or all beef broth); carefully stir into drippings in skillet, scraping up crusty browned bits. Stir in whipping cream and mustard. Bring to boiling. Boil gently, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally. Spoon sauce over steaks to serve.
3. Makes 4 servings
And the final product!

Merry Christmas to Me!

I realized that Christmas was a couple months ago, but bear with me here.  

Just before Christmas my boyfriend (Larry) brought home the movie "Julie and Julia".  I had been wanting to see this movie badly, and was surprised that A) he remembered and B) he actually rented it for us to watch!  And as corny as this sounds, cause I am corny, the movie inspired me to cultivate my minimal cooking skills.
So I told my family I wanted cooking related items for Christmas...and they came through for me!

I received a couple of great cookbooks and various kitchen utensils and I promptly sat down and examined every recipe.  I couldn't wait to get started!

The first recipe I tried was from my trusty Better Homes and Garden Cookbook my lovely mother gave to me.   Recipe to follow in the next posting ;)