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28 February 2013

Panko-Parmesan Crusted Chicken



Did you guys stop drooling from the Cake Batter Truffles I posted earlier ;) It was really popular on my personal Facebook page. Not shocking- I do not really know anyone who does not like cake batter or truffles! Speaking of Facebook- I would absolutely LOVE it if you take the minute to Like my Facebook Page :) The Cake Batter Truffles reminded me of innocent-little guilty pleasures. Do you have any of those? I thought- why not share some mine with you today- I guess to know the dork behind For the Love of Dessert a little more. So here goes my top 10-- no judging ;)

1. Watching Judge Judy and People's Court
2. Watching Bravo Reality Shows- ALL the Real Housewives (except New York) and Shah's of Sunset
3. I LOVE listening to Justin Bieber--and yes, I may be in my twenties
4. Eating cookie dough (half of my dough never makes it to becoming cookies)
5. Licking the bowl and spatula clean when I am done baking (especially brownie batter)
6. Romantic Comedies- in fact I YouTube the ending scenes of my favorite Romance Movies
7. Sleeping in past noon
8. Eating Nacho Cheese Fries from Del Taco
9. Social Networking (Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook)- I am addicted!
10. Impulse buys

Do you have any guilty pleasures! I would love to hear them- so I do not think I am too strange ;)

So I had already purchased Japanese Panko breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan Cheese for the Bobby Flay Vegetable Meatloaf. I wanted to find some other yummy recipes that would use those ingredients. I actually do this quite a bit- because when I menu plan- I like to find recipes with overlapping ingredients because it saves quite a bit of $. To do this- I simply Google the ingredients and see what comes up. When I Googled Panko and Parmesan- I found this absolutely delicious recipe for Panko-Parmesan Crusted Chicken. I decided to top it with some lemon-butter sauce- to add some moisture. This recipe was delicious! I must like crusted chicken breasts because it did remind me of the Ritz Chicken recipe I made.






PANKO-PARMESAN CRUSTED CHICKEN
Adapted from My Life as a Mrs.

INGREDIENTS

Preheat Oven to 350F Degrees

CHICKEN
3 large chicken breasts
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. buttermilk or regular milk
2 tbsp. butter, melted
2 c. Japanese Panko breadcrumbs
1.5 c. grated Parmesan cheese

LEMON BUTTER SAUCE
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 c. chicken broth
1 tbsp. corn starch
4 tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 c. heavy cream or milk
Cilantro seasoning for garnish

DIRECTIONS

For Chicken: 
Cut chicken breasts into cutlets- meaning-- cut chicken breasts lengthwise (so the chicken breast is the same length but it is not as wide, kinda like deli style). Set aside on a plate. In a small, shallow dish, whisk together eggs, milk, and butter. Then in another, larger, shallow, dish combine Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Line baking pan with baking mat or aluminum foil. Set up as follows: chicken breasts, egg-milk mixture, Panko-Parmesan mixture, and baking mat (like an assembly line). This will help with crusting the chicken in a fast and efficient way. Take chicken cutlet and dip into the egg-milk mixture. Using one hand, take a piece of chicken and dip it into the egg-milk mixture, entirely submerging the chicken cutlet. Then place the chicken in the Panko-Parmesan mixture. Using your other hand, coat the chicken with the Panko and Parmesan. Place on baking tray. Repeat until all chicken cutlets are coated. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle. 

For the sauce: 
While the chicken is baking- whisk together butter, olive oil, and chicken broth in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to simmer- and then add in corn starch. The best way to do this so you do not have lumps: in a small Tupperware container add 1 tsbp. of corn starch to 1-2 tbsp. of water and shake vigorously. The corn starch should dissolve. Add this slurry to butter sauce- and stir well- no corn starch lumps :) Mix in heavy cream and lemon juice into sauce and whisk until warmed. Serve over chicken. Garnish with cilantro seasoning.

I served the chicken with a side of veggies and some mash potatoes! Trust me- you will love this dinner :)

Enjoy,
Chika

27 February 2013

No-Bake Cake Batter Truffles



I am back :) It is now 12.26am. To some- this might be a normal time to be awake. For me--it is not. I like to sleep! Strike that- I LOVE TO SLEEP :) But as, I left off yesterday-- I ended up staying up, pretty much all night catching up on some reading and completing some assignments! And then still ended up working through the day to complete them. I was truly exhausted. So after, taking Ninja to the dog park, because the hubby had to work late-- I passed out! It felt so so good :) I ended sleeping and may have just woken up ;) Nothing wrong with that right?

Remember my goal of posting more dessert recipes or sweet related posts? Well- my new "thing" in trying to keep up with that-- is for every two non-dessert recipes, I would post a dessert recipe or cupcakery review.  Maybe I could convince the hubby to eat dessert for dinner? I mean, who would not love that-- and then I could post more dessert recipes! Well- I decided to make these No-Bake Cake Batter Truffles that I have seen flying around Pinterest and the internet. With all that- I was just so curious to try them! I mean- cake batter? sold! Truffles? double sold ;) That combination sounded awesome. 

For my birthday, one of the many things that I got was a My Little Cupcake Set. I was really excited to use the molds in the set: a cupcake mold along with a ball, heart and Christmas tree molds. When I have made cupcake shaped cake balls in the past (see: Carrot Cake Balls)- I have just used a mini-flower cookie cutter-- a technique I learned from Bakerella's Cake Pop book. They would come out alright- but a little bit flat on top and took quite a bit of time to shape. The My Little Cupcake- Cupcake Mold made these adorable little cupcakes in a jiffy! But I do have to say that after dipping them- some of the more detailed mold lines did show through the chocolate coating. But I did notice that on their own website (so I guess it's normal). But I can live with that, because these took no time at all to mold :) I cannot wait to try the other molds!









NO-BAKE CAKE BATTER TRUFFLES

INGREDIENTS

1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. yellow cake mix
2 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. heavy cream (can substitute with milk)
3 tbsp. sprinkles
8 oz. chocolate candy melts*
8 oz. pink candy melts or chocolate bar*
1-2 tsp. vegetable oil
Mini M&Ms and Sprinkles for decoration**

* or other desired candy melt color
** optional (if you do not want to decorate)

DIRECTIONS

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 6-8 minutes. Blend in vanilla. 

Sift flour and cake mix into a small bowl- then whisk together. Add dry ingredients to butter-sugar blend on low speed. Add heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time to make a dough-like consistency (if, after 3 tbsp. of heavy cream- you still do not have a dough like consistency--add more cream--slowly). 

Once dough like consistency is achieved- mix in sprinkles by hand.The best way to do this is to take the dough out of the bowl, and place on a large baking mat. Add sprinkles to the top of the dough and kneed dough to spread out sprinkles. Continue to kneed dough until sprinkles are evenly distributed.

To shape Cake Batter Truffles
Use a cookie scoop to scoop out even sizes of dough. Then
1. Ball shape: Roll dough into balls and place on parchment paper, wax paper or aluminum foil. 

2. For cupcake shaped balls using a mini-flower cookie cutter: Roll balls into logs. Fit logs into a 1 1/4-by-3/4-inch flower-shaped cookie cutter. Push truffle mixture into the cutter halfway so that some of the cake-batter mixture extends beyond the top of the cutter. Shape extended cake-batter mixture into a cupcake-shaped top. Push cake from cutter to remove. 

3. My Little Cupcake Set mold: take dough and place into mold. Close mold (do not squeeze it shut- as it will be hard to remove the dough from mold. Instead, gently close it and let the mold do all the work :) Wipe off excess dough before opening the mold. Then open the mold, gently take the dough out and you should have a cute little cupcake shape!

*Refrigerate the truffles for 15 minutes in the freezer or 30 minutes in the refrigerator. 

To Dip Cake Batter Truffles:

In the meantime, melt either chocolate bark or candy melts according to package directions. This is my secret, once the chocolate is melted I stir in the vegetable oil. This makes the chocolate have a smoother and shinier coating :)

For truffle balls
While holding the top of the truffle, dip the bottom portion into the candy melt. Then dip a cake pop stick into the candy melt (about 1/2 inch) and push into the center of cake truffle until, no more, than 1/2 way through. Let cool. This will make it much easier to dip the rest of the truffle- otherwise I have found that the truffles either gets stuck in the candy melt or falls off the stick. Once cool, dip the top part of the truffle and a little bit of the portion already coated into the candy melt. Cover with sprinkles. Allow to cool. Once cool, in a gentle twisting-pulling down motion, remove stick. This prevents a pool of chocolate from forming at the bottom and keeps a nice round shape to the truffle ball. 

For the cupcake shaped truffle
Dip the bottom of each cupcake into the chocolate candy melt; then dip a cake pop stick into the candy melt (about 1/2 inch) and push into the center of cake truffle until 1/2 way through. Let cool. This will make it much easier to dip the rest of the truffle (the top of the cupcake). Once cool, dip the tops of the cupcakes into the pink (or white) candy melt. Top with a mini-M&M and cover with sprinkles. Allow to cool. 

Keep refrigerated. 

Enjoy,
Chika

26 February 2013

Singapore Noodles



I realized today that my Instagram and Facebook are consumed by two things: Food and Ninja :) Two things I love dearly [if you are thinking where is the hubby--he's more a behind the scenes, shy guy]! This morning I woke up to almost falling off the bed, because I think Ninja does not realize he is technically a dog-- and it might not be okay for him to hog up the whole bed ;) Ninja is a spread out and take all the room I can dog. He does not realize it is wrong, because I let him get away with it- in fact we just sleep "around" him. Spoiled, is a great word to describe him. But to be fair to Ninja- he's our only baby :) He gets all of our love and attention!


Speaking of Singapore-- the hubby has decided that if we are going to Thailand- we should visit Singapore too! Not going to argue with that! Not only do I want to go to Singapore because I have a friend there that I have not seen since college- but the hubby rarely ever asks for ANYTHING (total opposite of me ;) that I always say yes, if he does actually speak up and say he'd like something. Just like Thailand, Singapore has a lot of wonderful things to see and so much culture to soak in! I wonder if they have cupcakeries in Thailand or Singapore? If they do- I have just got to go so I can review those places-- my cupcakery review page will have gone international! ::crossing my fingers::

Okay-- well I love rice noodles and I really love tofu (fried tofu). I then saw a recipe for Singapore Noodles and I also Googled a few more, to see which parts of each recipe I would like to use. The first recipe I found did not use any meat, so I thought I would just add eggs (which the second recipe included) but then while shopping at the local Asian Market, I found some fried tofu. And since I LOVE fried tofu-- I thought the tofu would be a great addition to this noodle dish and be something different for the hubby and I to try. I enjoy this recipe a lot-- and may have already made it twice since the first time I made it (two weeks ago ;) Which is rare in the household of a food blogger who attempts to make different recipes each time. How dare I make something that cannot turn into a post ;)!

I am now going to pull probably an all nighter filled with dense readings :( Hence, why I wanted to post and do something I enjoy, before I tackle that task :/ off I go...






SINGAPORE NOODLES
Adapted from Budget Bytes and No Recipes

INGREDIENTS

NOODLES
8oz. rice noodles
2 tsp. sesame oil

EGGS
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 eggs

STIR FRY VEGGIES AND TOFU
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. garlic
3 green onions, diced
1 package of fried tofu (~13 oz.), cut**
12-16 oz. bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed/drained

SAUCE
1/2-3/4 c. chicken broth
2 tbsp. hot curry powder
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce*
3 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sriracha sauce*
2 tsp. rice-wine
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

*Optional- can exclude or add more to desired taste
**Substitute with protein of choice (I.e., chicken, pork, or remove entirely)

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot, filled with hot water, soak rice noodles for 10-15 minutes (do not cook over heat). The hot water will cook and soften the noodles, without making the noodles too mushy. Once softened, drain excess liquid, rinse in cold water, and return to large pot. Toss noodles with sesame oil. Set aside.

Whisk together the four eggs. Then in a medium skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Pour eggs into skillet and scramble. Put egg on plate and set aside.

In  a large wok, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion-- saute until fragrant and the garlic is slightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Then add tofu and saute as well, for 5 minutes. Once tofu has slightly caramelized on the outside- add in stir fry vegetables and cook until heated and softened.

In a small bowl combine ingredients for sauce-- chicken broth, curry powder, oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, sriracha sauce, rice wine and Worcestershire sauce. Add sauce to vegetable-tofu stir fry. And stir for 2 minutes. Add in noodles, using chopsticks or tongs to evenly coat noodles with sauce. Allow excess sauce to be soaked into noodles and/or evaporate slightly. Once this happens, return eggs back into pan and toss with noodles to incorporate.

Enjoy,
Chika


25 February 2013

Vegetable Meatloaf



So I am pretty excited. My cousins from California, the same cousins I went to Mardi Gras with,  are coming to Houston! They will be here while the Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show is going on! I LOVE going to the Rodeo. Though they chose to go to the Band Perry's Concert. I am not a huge fan of them. I really wanted to go see Pitbull (i.e., Mr. International)-- I cannot get enough of the way he talks and sings :) Sadly, I am friends with two boys and I have the hubby- none of whom want to see Pitbull with me :( How could you not love Pitbull?!?-- okay--do not answer that question--just let me love him :) 

I am pretty excited about this recipe! I have never eaten meatloaf before and, duh, never made meatloaf. Growing up, my mom never made meatloaf either. Granted, I grew up on eating traditional Sri Lankan food, since I am Sri Lankan. But I always saw meatloaf as this "American Staple." It looked cool and good enough. You are probably thinking, "Did you just say meatloaf seemed cool?"-- I did! There really is not anything like it, in terms of  an equivalent in Sri Lankan food. The hubby of course has tried meatloaf, but he also could not remember the last time his mom ever made it. So I thought this would be a fun recipe to try. I saw this recipe on the Food Network Website-- it is actually Bobby Flay's recipe :)

The meatloaf was a super simple recipe. Other than sauteing the vegetables briefly, the recipe literally calls for tossing the ingredients into a large bowl, mixing it together and baking. The only part of this recipe that takes time, is the baking. What did I do? Made it, stuck it in the oven, and continued baking and cooking other recipes. Not only was it simple to make, but both the hubby and I really enjoyed how it tasted! It was really moist, meaty, with a great portion of vegetables! I enjoyed this recipe with some other vegetables, as well as with a side of mashed potatoes :) 






VEGETABLE MEATLOAF
Adapted from Food Network

INGREDIENTS

Preheat Oven to 425F Degrees

FOR THE MEATLOAF
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. garlic
12 oz. frozen bag of three pepper and onion blend, thawed (can substitute with fresh veggies)
1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/3 c. panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
2/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. ketchup

FOR THE GLAZE
1/4 c. ketchup
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (optional)

DIRECTIONS

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat-- saute red pepper flakes and garlic until fragrant and garlic is browned. Then add in pepper and onion blend, until warmed and slightly softened, 3-5 minutes (if using fresh veggies cook time will be longer). Set aside and allow to cool slightly. 

In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, eggs, panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, ketchup and vegetables-- using a spatula, mix well. Then in a small bowl, whisk together ketchup, red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar for the glaze. 

Grease 9x5 loaf pan with butter or shortening. The gently press turkey mixture into pan. Brush the glaze over the entire loaf. Bake for 1-1.25 hours. (55 minutes on the bottom oven rack, last 20 minutes on top rack). Let rest for 15-20 minute before slicing.

Enjoy,
Chika

24 February 2013

Chocolate Fudge Cake



Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to "For the Love of Dessert"- Happy Birthday to you! :) Happy Birthday to my blog! This month marks For the Love of Dessert's first birthday. I cannot believe a year has flown by! And to be honest, when I started this blog, I had no idea that I would stick to it the way I have :) I thought I would have realized that I am not a blogger nor a person that should be posting about food! But instead, I have expanded beyond baking to sharing non-dessert recipes-- something I never thought I would be good at and most of all, grown as a "chef."

I have to say that I am proud of myself and this blog. I am truly blessed to have a little space on the internet- to share a piece of me :) A place that provides me solace and comfort, joy and excitement!  Thank you for being a part of it! I am so grateful for my sister for supporting me and pushing me to start this blog, when I thought I was the biggest dork ever for wanting to. And of course to my wonderful hubby--or as my blog should call him-- the dishwasher--patiently cleaning up after me :) That is one good blog husband and just one pretty awesome husband in general.

Well- here is to many, many more years of blogging-- I hope, ::fingers crossed::! And to celebrate the occasion, let us enjoy one of my favorites--Chocolate Fudge Cake! Mmmmmmm.....::drool::.....is pretty much all I can say! Was there really any other way I could celebrate For the Love of Dessert's First Birthday?!? This is an incredibly moist, super duper chocolatey cake! Decorated, as the hubby says, diner style!







CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE
Chocolate Cake adapted from Paper Seed
Fudge Frosting adapted from Amanda and Kevin

INGREDIENTS

Preheat Oven to 350F Degrees

FOR THE CAKE
3 c. cake flour
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. + 2 tbsp. Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1 1/3 c. vegetable oil or canola oil
1 c. buttermilk (substitute with milk or heavy cream)
1 c. boiling water
1 c. sour cream
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

FOR THE FROSTING
2 c. milk chocolate chips + 1 tbsp. shortening
2 1/2 stick of butter
3 c. of powdered sugar
1 1/2 c. of Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1 c. of light corn syrup
2 tsp. of vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

For the cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment-- combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and cocoa powder and stir on low speed until well blended. Then add vegetable oil and buttermilk- mixing for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in boiling water and mix until batter becomes thin. Add in sour cream followed by eggs, one at a time--whisking until just incorporated. Finally add in vanilla. Divide among pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to completely cool before frosting- other the heat will melt the frosting.

For the frosting: Melt chocolate chips along with shortening, in the microwave-- stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted (you can also use chocolate melts if you do not have chocolate chips). Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter, powdered sugar and cocoa and process until smooth- do not over-mix the butter as, the frosting will become too runny. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add corn syrup and vanilla until creamy. Once the corn syrup is added, the frosting should become glossy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, and add melted chocolate chips-- stirring, very briefly, until smooth.

Add heaping amount of frosting to the top and sides of the cake. Using a spatula, completely cover the cake with frosting. The using a small spoon, create whipping-up like motions to create swirls.

Enjoy,
Chika

23 February 2013

Crush Cupcakes Review

Location: College Station, Texas
Price: $2.75/cupcake
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars


When getting ready to host applicants during our annual interview process, I took about a two hour break to enjoy some cupcake time with Justin and Luke. Sadly the hubby could not join us because he had to work. But after reading this review-- you will soon find out it was not so sad for him as it was for us. Anywhoo, shopping around got me tired and I am always in need of some nice, quality friendship time :) And I have to say Justin and Luke, I think, are getting used to me carrying around my big camera and taking pictures of everything before eating. I have pretty awesome friends, because they are so patient with me! Good blog friends ;)

Before we knew how awful this place was... :(

Well- let's get to the review. I have tried a ton of cupcakes from Crush. My advisor likes to pick up cupcakes from Crush for Birthdays and Celebrations. In addition to the ones pictured below: I have tried snickerdoodle, vanilla, oreo and red velvet. So I think that I have quite the basis for reviewing their cupcakes. 


What do I think about them? I HATE THIS PLACE. Now, yes, "hate" is a strong word- but I have very strong--negative-- feelings towards this place. It is a complete and profound rip off! It makes me disgusted to know that this place is still in business! I feel so bad for the people living in College Station, who think this place is even close to acceptable. They need to try the other places located in College Station and Bryan. Truly and utterly DISGUSTING! And I was not the only one that thought so. Luke thought this place was "gross." I have heard similar feelings from my labmate and the hubby who thought it was okay.


Why such a harsh review? Although it appears to be cheaper than your average cupcakery they not only taste horrible, but they are also teeny. Not even tiny! They are smaller than normal cupcakes I could make in my home! I KNOW I can make better cupcakes in my home and they would be bigger. I am horrified by cupcakeries that do not use larger size cupcake trays. This cupcake is not a deal. AND, not only do you get this tiny little, so called cupcake, they are horribly dry! You cannot even try to eat them without drinking water or some other drink. And maybe this is a tactic because they are located in conjunction with a coffee shop. Also, they just taste bad. The raspberry filling in their chocolate raspberry cupcake, made Luke want to vomit. And their chocolate cupcake was the most underwhelming thing I have tasted. Isn't that a skill to ruin chocolate. I mean how can you ruin chocolate- well Crush sure figured it out! 


Yes, I gave them a 0. I probably would have given them a negative score, except for two slightly redeeming qualities: (1) they have a good frosting to cupcake ratio- although both the cupcake and frosting taste disgusting and (2) they do appear to be pretty- though ridiculously too small--and come in this adorable teal box. That saved them from a negative score. Even if you are dying for a cupcake--do not try this place. Save your self some money and heartache-- and make boxed cupcakes using container frosting--and you will be far more pleased with the end result. THIS PLACE IS AWFUL! If you are reading this- and you actually think they are okay--try the other cupcakeries in the area! If you are new to the area, avoid this place! So in the end, the hubby lucked out by not trying this place!

Oh- and they do not post which cupcakes they offer each day. Only the different cupcakes they offer. LAME!


Enjoy (actually do not enjoy),
Chika

Skinny Jalapeno-Cream Cheese Wontons



Were you guys a big fan of "Boys Meets World"? I was! A huge fan. I have watched every single episode. Well rumor has it ;) that they are coming out with a "Girl Meets World." And this time the parents would be Cory and Topanga! How cool is that! I know that I am well into my twenties, but there is something so nostalgic about that show. Though I have to say, that I have been watching the MTV2 re-runs of "Boys Meets World" and realized how corny the show is I knew it was a bit dorky when I watched the show the first time around, but I did not realize just how corny and cliched it was. BUT I still very much enjoy watching the series! Can't wait for this new show!

Not only have I been on a S'More kick lately but I have also been on a Jalapeño Popper or Jalapeno-Cream Cheese kick too! I made a fried version of these Jalapeño-Cream Cheese Wontons awhile ago when I had invited Justin and Luke to come over for dinner to see our newly decorated place. Well, I had poorly planned my time and by the time I finished making everything- it was late at night. I tried to photograph the wontons but there is something about non-natural lighting that made the food look so ugly :( 

So I decided I would just try to make this yummy little appetizer again, but this time try to make them a bit more healthy by baking them instead of frying them. I am not usually one for attempting to make things "skinny" but I am definitely trying. I made a few modifications to this recipe so that I could make it as healthy as I could. And both the hubby and I really enjoyed them! These wontons were pretty easy to make and put together. The frying was a bit tricky, but baking them makes the process a lot easier and healthier. Nothing better than less-guilty food ;) Can't say it is completely guilt-less--I mean it is filled with cream cheese isn't it? 










SKINNY JALAPEÑO-CREAM CHEESE WONTONS
Adapted from All Recipes

INGREDIENTS

Preheat Oven to 400F Degrees

8oz. package of fat-free cream cheese
1 c. shredded 2% mozzarella cheese 
4 oz. can of diced jalapeño peppers (reserving 3 tbsp. of juice)
1 tbsp. garlic
3 green onions, diced
16 oz. package of wonton wrappers

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients using a spatula (except wonton wrappers) together- cream cheese, shredded cheese, diced jalapeño peppers (plus juice), garlic, and green onions. *The jalapeño juice will add a nice distinct jalapeño flavor to the filling. 

In a small cup or bowl- fill with warm water. Holding the wonton in a diamond shape in your hand, scoop one generous tablespoon of cream cheese mixture into the middle of the wonton. Then dip your finger in the water and lightly outline the "top" triangle border of the wonton wrapper. Then fold the bottom triangle portion of the wonton paper up-and over the top portion. Pinch the border of the wonton to tightly seal the wonton. 

Sometimes when sealing one side, the cream cheese mixture will push out on the other-- if that happens just use your finger to push the cream cheese back into the wonton, and slowly seal the other side. Repeat, until entire meat mixture is used. Make sure to tightly pinch edges down so prevent opening during baking.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until wonton edges turn slightly golden brown. Once done, dust the flour of the wontons (my pictures still show the flour- I forgot to dust it off before taking pictures :/). 

Enjoy,
Chika

22 February 2013

S'Mookie Bars



Today is match day! And although I did not apply for internship this year- it is always a pretty tense time to find out if the program you belong too had a good match rate, because I think that reflects a lot on your program. Thankfully- we had a 100% match! All three students that applied for internship matched! How exciting! I think that when it does become my turn-- I will be terrified yet excited to see where the next step in life takes me. Though, I do hope that the next stage in my life takes me back to California. I would really like to move closer to my family. Let's keep our fingers crossed! And maybe my mom, can better train me in the culinary skills of cooking Sri Lankan and Indian food- and I can share those recipes with you all!

I came home today, exhausted and with a huge sinus headache. I am not sure about you all- but when the weather changes drastically from day to day- I get these awful sinus headaches. I suffer from sinus problems in general (only since I have moved from College Station) but it gets so much worse with weather changes. Well, Texas apparently cannot make up its mind about what the weather should be and so it has gone from hot to cold to warm to freezing! And so my head has been a bouncy ball of pain! Blah! So of course I want to come home, nap and enjoy a yummy treat. What treat did I enjoy this week? S'Mookie Bars :)

I think I had withdrawals after finishing up my S'Moreos so fast! There is just something so addicting about S'Mores and I just cannot seems to get enough of them! I had already planned on making this recipe because I had some left over marshmallows from the S'Moreos plus I always have chocolate chips lying around--so I just had to pick up a few more ingredients. Well- I am glad I decided to make this sooner than later because--just like the S'Moreos-- I could not get enough of them! I decided to take a page from the hubby's book and give it a hybrid name- hence--S'Mookie Bars-- it is a S'More Cookie cut into bar shapes. 







S'MOOKIE BARS

INGREDIENTS

Preheat Oven to 375F Degrees

12 tbsp. butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks of butter)
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature 
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. mini mashmallows
3 king size Hershey bars, broken into the small rectangular pieces
2-3 graham cracker packages

DIRECTIONS

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment- cream together butter and sugars- for approximately 6-8 minutes. Then add eggs, one at a time until mixed well, followed by vanilla.In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients- flour and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to to wet ingredients, on low speed until just well incorporated. Lastly, add chocolate chips and mini marshmallows-mix briefly- just enough to thoroughly incorporate.

Line graham crackers either in baking dish or, as I did, on a large cookie sheet. I used my large, mega-air bake sheet. Line with 13 graham cracker sheets (total of 26 graham cracker squares). You do have to be careful, if using a cooking sheet, because the graham crackers will easily slide off. Using a cookie scoop (that is what I used) or large spoon, place a tablespoon of dough on graham crackers, one inch apart. Make sure the entire sheet is fully covered with dough scoops that are pretty close together, as you want to dough to spread into each other and completely cover the graham crackers. Press dough down slightly. 

Bake for 5 minutes--remove sheet from oven and press Hershey's bar pieces on to the top of each cookie dough scoop. You can always place more pieces or less, depending on how much chocolate flavor you want--obviously I choose more ;) Bake an additional 5-7 minutes until cookies completely spread, become thicker (puffs up) and edges begin to slightly brown. Remove and allow to completely cool. Then cut into bar shapes with a sharp knife.

Enjoy,
Chika