Friday, June 22, 2012

Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

This whole working girl thing?


I prefer to eat dinner in the hour of 5 or 6. Not 8 or 9 or 10. I am quite terrible a creature of habit and this whole work thing is changing my daily schedule.

But like these mushrooms make for a quick dinner so when it's 10pm and I'm starving, these are ideal. And they are good. I mean its stuffed with cheese. Three kinds to be exact: mozzarella, parmesan and ricotta. In Italy we cooked with ricotta. Like real life ricotta. Not that stuff we get here in the plastic container. Maybe if I ever get around to blogging about Italy, you'll get what I'm saying about we cooked with ricotta.

Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
source: Elly Says Opa

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
2 tsp. olive oil
2 portobello mushroom caps
1/2 cup ricotta (I used part skim)
2 Tbsp. Parmesan
2 Tbsp. shredded mozzarella cheese (I used part skim)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
1/2 cup marinara sauce, divided

1.Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and scrape the gills out of the mushroom caps.
2. In a small bowl, combine half the garlic, 1/8 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Brush the inside and outside of the caps with the mixture, and roast cap-side down for about 10 minutes. If the mushroom gives off water, blot it up with a paper towel.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together the ricotta, remaining garlic and Italian seasoning, Parmesan, 1 Tbsp. mozzarella, basil, and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Spoon about 1 Tbsp. marinara into each mushroom cap, then stuff with the ricotta mixture. Spoon another 1-2 teaspoons of sauce over the ricotta, then sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella over the sauce.
5. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and the cheese has melted.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Back up to Monday real quick. Waking up at 6:15 to be out the door by 7 to drive back to Syracuse (for the second trip home and back in one weekend), sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on 690 aka miserable, sleepy Meli. Couldn't really tell you what I did at my internship because all I could think about was coming home to my bed.  Got my nap in and headed to the gym where I was on my dreaded last five minutes of my work out, so close yet so far when I got a text from J. Thinking nothing of it I assumed it was him responding to whatever mindless thing I had previously told him. Instead this happens:
If you ask my roommates (or our neighbors for that matter) I have a tendency to screach, squeal, flat of scream when I'm excited or for no apparent reason. It just happens, not on purpose, they just come out. Our new neighbors are in for a treat. Nevertheless this is one of those times where squeals were going to happen. But the girl next to me at the gym did not look like she'd enjoy me squealing so I scurried through my work out and ran to my car. Maybe squealing all the way there.

After 10 minutes of not believing him I finally realized that it was real life and my 17 day countdown until Maine just turned into a 2 day countdown until he'd be here. Naturally next course of action was to bake him treats he could bring on his journey back to Maine..a zillion hours in a truck calls for a perfect excuse to eat cookies all day.

Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
slightly adapted from: My Baking Addiction

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
30 rolos, frozen at least 2 hours

1.Heat oven to 350°F.
2. In large bowl, beat butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed or with spoon until light and fluffy. Mix in flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in chocolate chips.
3. Measure dough to about 1.5 tablespoons. Roll into a ball and then flatten in the palm of your hands.
4. Place a frozen Rolo in the centers of the flattened dough balls and form dough back into a ball around the Rolo.
5. Place Rolo stuffed dough balls into the freezer for 15-20 minutes before baking.
6. On cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, place dough balls 2 inches apart.
7. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft). Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

These are so dangerous. I ate like ten too many. Also my nails are the color of bubble gum.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Billionaire Bars

We had our first visitor this past weekend, thus we had an excuse to test out the new kitchen and bake our first of many treats to come! As I was searching for what to make this weekend I came across these and knew they would be perfect. J loooooves those little caramel candies, even though he claims they give him lock jaw but he could eat a whole bag. Last year we had them in our candy dish and whenever he came over he headed right to the candy dish.

We invited Emily to help us bake and let me tell you, dysfunctional at its finest. Getting used to a new kitchen is zero fun, we were on top of each other, couldn't find anything and it took three tries to get the chocolate on top right. I burnt it the first two times, go me.

These bars were so worth it. I'm surprised they made it until Friday for J. Actually, I'm surprised the cookie dough made it into the bars. We may or may not have snacked on it while we waited for the first two layers to set. I think there is three little squares left, needless to say they were quite the hit this weekend.

The recipe looks intimidating but its really not that bad, especially when you break up the processes between people. We kept ours in the fridge, but they are best when they are brought to room temperature before eating because everything is soft and gooey and YUM.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Billionaire Bars
source: Brown Eyed Baker

For the Shortbread:
1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt and beat until combined. Add flour and mix until incorporated. The dough may be slightly crumbly. Firmly press into a lined (parchment paper) 8x8 square baking pan. Poke shallow holes into the surface with a fork. Bake 18 to 22 minutes at 350, or until the edges are lightly golden.

For the Caramel:
7 ounces soft caramel candies (about 25), unwrapped
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Place candies in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the heavy cream and stir until completely melted. Pour the hot caramel over the shortbread crust and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate until set, 30 minutes to an hour.

For the Cookie Dough:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of Salt
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Combine the butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the heavy cream and vanilla; mix well. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread the cookie dough on top of the caramel layer. Refrigerate while you make the glaze.

For the Chocolate Glaze:
4 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

In a small bowl, combine chocolate and butter and microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth. Spread glaze over the cookie dough layer and chill until set, about 30 minutes.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Raspberry Mango Sangria

I have been in the car to Syracuse the past three days in a row. I am sick of that stupid thru way and the stupid 690 construction that causes bumper to bumper traffic. But I did get to ride in the moving truck yesterday, pretty nifty.

Yesterday was filled with moving furniture. A whole heck of a lot of furniture. And unpacking. Dear lord I would never like to pack or unpack again. It's consumed my life the past month. No more, please. I would have not been able to do any of this without my wonderous parents who both probably broke their backs yesterday and dealt with all my dictating their every move yesterday, thanks a whole lot!!

But, on a positive note the house is coming along and tomorrow two more friends come! This week is about to be crazy. Tomorrow I start my internship (!!) pending I don't get lost downtown, which is a very good possibility. When I come home from that, Mariah and Tay will be arriving shortly after!! Then Friday 913 is getting their first house guest, Jared's coming!! To say I'm excited for this week would be slightly an understatement.

Totally unrelated to any of this, is the recipe below. Other than the fact that I could go for a big glass right now, it's totally irrelevant. But so good. Goes down like water, I advise you to be careful.

Raspberry Mango Sangria
source: Everyday Food

Stir to combine and refrigerate 1 hour (or up to overnight):
1 mango, peeled and sliced length wise
1 cup raspberries
3 tablespoons raspberry liqueur
1 bottle (750 mL) rose wine

To serve:
add 4 cups of chilled Sprite and ice

excuse my poor pictures, we were on our way out the door to consume this goodness!

Friday, June 1, 2012

S'mores Cookie Bars

Tomorrow I'm moving into our house. Finally. I mean we only signed the lease like 10 months ago and have been waiting for this day for like ever. Today my mother and I went and got the keys and I fell back in love with the house we picked out so long ago. (To be completely honest all I remember from our initial visit is the walk in pantry. A highlight for Mariah and I, no more baking supplies in a Tupperware bin).

Naturally instead of packing I'm doing anything but. I have been a nomad since I moved back home, no sense in unpacking when I was just going to re pack it all up again in a few weeks. Thus, my belongings are everywhere. And my clothes? Well they are now spread across my bed waiting to be packed into a suitcase. Perhaps I'll do that, I would like to sleep at some point tonight.

Whenever I eat something S'mores-esq it brings me back to when It'ly came to America and we had a bon fire and introduced them to S'mores. To think someone doesn't know the goodness of how a S'mores tastes boggles my mind. But we fulfilled our civic duty and introduced the novelty we call S'mores to It'ly and all was well in the world.

S'mores Cookie Bars
source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups marshmallow topping (Fluff!)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or chunks in my case)

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13- inch pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhand on the 2 short sides. Grease the foil with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing until combined. Divide the dough in half. Press half into the bottom of the prepared pan until the dough is evenly flattened. Dollop the marshmallow topping on top of the cookie base and gently spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with chocolate chips on top.
3. Scatter the remaining dough over the top in clumps- you don't have to stress if you don't cover the top completely. Marshmallow and chocolate chips will peek through! Bake the bars until golden brown, about 30-32 minutes. Cool completely. Remove the bars from the pan and cut into bars.
4. Serve and enjoy!