Monday, February 28, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies: Thin Mints Edition

Thin Mints are my second favorite type of girl scout cookie which is surprising since I am not the biggest fan of mint-flavored things. There is something special about these little cookies that makes them so good- especially once they are frozen like everyone and their mother does, so classic. I even added a little more mint to the coating for a more minty icy pop.

They are pretty simple to make. Its basically a chocolate short-bread dough, and it doesn't even require rolling or shaping. Just form into a log and slice, what can be easier than that? . Now I can bake and freeze these little cuties any time of year I want. I really like the recipe I found, because it was one of the few that didn't use a boxed cake mix (eww) but next time I would definitely bake these a minute or two less than the recipe called for.

Oh, and p.s. they are even better when you crush them up and mix them in with vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Grilled Herbed Flatbread & Ricotta Cheese

I have a list of foods that once I try it scratch made, I will never buy the store bought version again & I can safely add ricotta cheese to that list. Never in my wildest dream did I ever think attemping to make cheese at home, but I was watching the Barefoot Contessa over the weekend and that episode she made herb ricotta bruschetta. It seemed pretty easy, only four ingredients: milk, cream, salt, vinegar. So why not? Let me tell you, it is SO much better than anything out of a plastic tub from a grocery store. 

Now with all this fresh cheese, you need something to put it on right? I used some of it in a raspberry cheese danish filling, but that is not what this post is about. The rest of it was mixed with chopped scallions and flat-leaf parsley and spread on a rosemary and parmesan flatbread which I also made.

Simple dough. Simple cheese. This is a great snack or side for a main entree.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentines Day Truffle Box

Everyone loves getting a box of chocolates on Valentines Day and biting into each piece hoping its your favorite kind. They typically are the store-bought kind and I thought it would be a fun challenge to make an assorted box of truffles for Josh as my gift to him. This was my first time making truffles and I thought it would be creative to play with different flavors and make more than just a basic chocolate truffle. So I came up with these flavors: cookie dough, peanut butter [with a white chocolate base], chocolate strawberry, white chocolate raspberry, and chewy salted caramels. All dipped in chocolate of course& then decorated with all things red, pink, sparkly and heart shaped! 

cookie dough!
It isn't difficult to make these truffle, its just time consuming because there is much down time waiting for every step to set up and cool properly, which requires a great deal of patience. I would definitely give yourself at least a day in advance to make these.

Decorating these was the most fun part because  each truffle really is a blank canvas. They can be decorated for any holiday, with any design, and in any color- the possibilities are endless. The best part is- they do not have to be perfect because you want that homemade look.  Put your own little touches on these, they can be as personalized as you want. Pipping out the recipients initials on some of the chocolates adds a nice little touch.

I also found a cute red tin box and some adhesive glitter hearts that I used to present the chocolate in. Pink mini muffin papers were used to hold each truffle and a piece of pretty heart tissue paper was draped over the chocolates.

More pictures, recipes, and how-to's after the jump!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalongs Edition

It's girl scout cookie season and I can't wait to start seeing the little girls in front of supermarkets. I used to be a girl scout and remember selling them with my troop and dressing up in a giant cookie box.

I've already ordered my cookies but since I probably won't be receiving them for at least a few weeks I figured why not try and make my own? I've never thought to do that more and now when I'm craving some in 6 months I can just make my own!

These cookies are actually really simple to make, they just take a little time because you need to wait for the filing to set, and then the chocolate coating to set. I used a semi-sweet chocolate instead of the traditional milk chocolate to have a little balance between the sweet creamy peanut butter filling and the slightly bitter semi-sweet chocolate.
Experimented with white chocolate on a few, yum!

I'm going to dedicate the next few posts to recreating as many girl scout cookie recipes as I can. Next on my list, thin mints!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Garlic-Herb Breadsticks

I was browsing around on the Food Network's website and I came across a bunch of "almost famous" recipes; their versions of popular restaurant dishes. I spotted one for Olive Garden's breadsticks, and just had to make it! The only good thing about the Olive Garden is the breadsticks, so it was a must to bake them.

The recipe is pretty simple, only a few ingredients, and the wait time for rising is only 45 minutes. These are definitely doable in a short period of time. They are just oh-so good when you brush a freshly baked breadstick with butter and sprinkle on a little salt, garlic powder, and oregano. Yum!

Paired with some pasta, you have a nice meal! I used this recipe here and added in some shredded roasted chicken breasts.