Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Marbled Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

While I was making peanut butter fudge (the recipe), my 4 year old asked if he could have some. I had to break his little heart and tell him it was peanut butter and he couldn't have it. Out of guilt, I jumped on my computer and tried to find a chocolate chip cookie dough recipe I could make with ingredients I had on hand. This was the only one I found that I could make. I ended up being able to experiment with a DIY Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe as well :)

(Printable Version)
Recipe from Baking And Boys!

What you need:
  • 3 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (I used a DIY recipe: here)
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Cookie Dough:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk (half a can)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Start with the cookie dough by beating together butter and brown sugar until they are well combined.
Add vanilla, beat until combined. Then add flour and salt, beat until just combined. 
Beat in the condensed milk. Stir in chocolate chips.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
After it's chilled, roll pieces of cookie dough into tsp. size balls. Place on waxed paper.

Line a 9-inch square dish with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
Melt chocolate chips, salt, vanilla, and sweetened condensed milk in a medium saucepan. Stir until smooth.

Spread half of the fudge in the bottom of the pan. 
Add cookie dough pieces on the bottom layer of fudge. Swirl around the cookie dough and fudge with a butter knife. Then top with the rest of the fudge and smooth out.

Chill for a couple hours. Remove from foil and slice into pieces.

    Linked up at...
    Lovely Yellow RibbonsTempt my Tummy Tuesdays

    Sunday, January 29, 2012

    Menu Plan Monday #29

    Omelet Italiano, Chicken Strips with Baked Oven Fries, Vegetable Fried Rice with Bacon

    Praline Meltaway Biscuits, Chicken & Broccoli Pasta, Meaty Quesadillas

    Cereal, Sandwiches with pretzels, Sleazy Chicken with salad and peas

    Eggs with toast, Hot dogs with yogurt and pretzels, Crazy Cooking Challenge recipe with broccoli

    Raspberry & Cream Cheese Braided Loaf, Grilled cheese and yogurt, Beer Braised Chicken

    Cereal/Poptarts, Leftovers, Leftovers

    Otis Spunkmeyer Blueberry Muffin copycat, Pepperoni Grilled Cheese, Spicy Chicken and Pepper Jack Pizza

    Girl Scout Samoa Cookies copycat

    Saturday, January 28, 2012

    Fantastical Feature: Our Best Bites cookbook

    Today is the start of a new Fantastical Feature meme. I feel like I may do a lot of things (Sunday Social, Pinteresting Weds., Twisted Thursday), but I do want to start featuring some cookbooks as well. I figure this will also keep cooking fun for me and not make it solely a job.

    I have a bookshelf of cookbooks and don't plan on stopping the pile any time soon. I wanted to start with one of my favorite cookbooks: Our Best Bites.


    It comes from Sara & Kate of Our Best Bites. It's one of my favorites because I can flip through the pages and find that with each page there is something I want to try more than the last page. All of the recipes look good and I can't wait to cook all of them. What follows is what we tried:

    Puffed Up French Toast on p.64
    This French toast was great - you use Texas toast and fry them up basically. They were fluffy and light! Plus you dip them in cinnamon sugar :)

    Chili-Lime Fauxtisserie Chicken on p.111
    My husband particularly enjoyed this one. He loves whole chicken and limes, right along with lemons, are one of his favorite things to use on main dish food. There are a few variations of the Fauxtisserie chicken - this is the first variation we tried and it was great!

    Carmelized Bacon Green Beans on p.188
    These green beans had a bit of an Asian flare to them, using soy sauce. I thought they were phenomenal! My husband was pleasantly surprised by them. He said he wasn't too sure by just looking at them, but upon tasting them, they are definitely his new favorite side dish! I loved that Sara & Kate included directions for frozen green beans, as our produce isn't really in tip-top shape right now.

    Italian Meatballs on p.163
    In the future, I plan on making a double batch and freezing these beauts. I am not a huge fan of sausage. In fact, I pretty much will refuse to eat it. However, when I make recipes for the first time, I try to stick to what it calls for and the directions. I loved these meatballs. They were incredible! I made them to use in the Italian Meatball Soup.

    Italian Meatball Soup on p.105
    This is, by far, our new favorite soup and new favorite recipe. It was simple to make and it made quite a bit, so much so, that we froze it and will be popping it into the crockpot for another night! The meatballs were amazing, the spinach was such a nice touch to this soup, and it was perfect for a cold night in New York. Out of all the recipes tried from the Our Best Bites cookbook, this one is #1 on my list. I'm sure my husband and kids would agree as well.

    This cookbook definitely deserves 5 utensils! It's a must-buy!

    Friday, January 27, 2012

    DIY Sweetened Condensed Milk

    I shared a shortcut for ranch dressing mix and have been searching for many more shortcuts since then. Recently Loy posted a shortcut for sweetened condensed milk. It just so happens that I was trying to make fudge and had happened to have run out of sweetened condensed milk during the middle of NY getting a foot of snow dumped on us after it had rained all day and iced over. There was no way I was going to the store and I wanted to make another batch of fudge for my kids who can't eat peanuts/peanut butter yet. So thank you, Loy, for posting this! My kids were quite happy because of it :)

    (Printable Version)
    Recipe from Grandma Loy's Kitchen

    What you need:
    • 4 cups sugar, blended until super fine
    • 1 can evaporated milk
    • 1 cup dry nonfat milk
    • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter

    Combine ingredients in a large saucepan. Mix well.

    Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.
    Divide into thirds, 1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cups each, into mason jars.
    Refrigerate overnight before using. It keeps up to 2 weeks in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer.

      Linked up at...

      Thursday, January 26, 2012

      Best Ever Peanut Butter Fudge

      This recipe says it's the best ever pb fudge and that is NO lie! The crunchy peanut butter was a great addition to the fudge while it still maintained a perfect creaminess. It was a simple recipe and quick to make.

      ~Twisted Thursday #44~

      Tuesday, January 24, 2012

      Crockpot Root Beer Pulled Pork

      I have been looking forward to trying this recipe for so long. I am a root beer junkie. I don't drink soda anymore and I would give it up completely if it weren't for root beer. Every once in a while, I'll really want one or a root beer float and I'll get a 12-pack. I had some leftover from last time I bought it, so we decided to try this recipe out. My husband isn't a big fan of barbecue sauce, but he really liked this recipe. It was great!

      One Crazy Cookie is a wonderful blog from Tiffanee - she always posts really great recipes. My style: normal! I can pronounce everything and it all makes my mouth water :) Still yet to be made from Tiffanee's blog: Italian Chicken Pockets, Overnight Danish, Almost Refried Beans, Baked French Toast Sticks, and BLT in a Bowl.

      Sunday, January 22, 2012

      Menu Plan Monday #28


      Blackberry Dumplings, Classic Mac and Cheese, Pork Chops & Spanish Rice

      Fried Egg Sandwiches, Leftovers, Herb Roasted Chicken with Baked Potatoes in Foil and Cloverleaf Rolls

      Chocolate Donuts, Crunchy Chicken Tenders with Oven Baked Fries, Three Bean Taco Soup

      Blueberry Muffins, Pepperoni Grilled Cheese, Italian Slow Cooker Chicken

      Scrambled eggs and toast, Leftovers, Five-Cheese Skillet Burgers with Scalloped Taters

       Omelet Italiano, Leftovers, Broccoli Chicken Alfredo Pizza

      Hummus without Tahini, a recipe for Secret Recipe Club, and a recipe for Crazy Cooking Challenge.

      Saturday, January 21, 2012

      Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix

      I've been making little shortcuts here and there around the house to try and use less things from boxes and cans. Lately I've been doing this with seasoning mixes. I was surprised at how many of the seasoning packets could be made with stuff I have on hand. Why didn't I think of doing this before??

      This particular shortcut recipe comes from a blog called $5 Dinners. Erin has a great collection of recipes and ways to save and cut costs in the kitchen. Her blog is definitely worth checking out!

      Friday, January 20, 2012

      Best Buttermilk Pancakes

      This is definitely my new favorite pancake recipe. These are super fluffy and moist. I'm not sure I can even form the right words to tell you all just how much I loved them :)

      These pancakes come from a blog called Tracey's Culinary Adventures. Tracey has one of my favorite blogs. She never disappoints with her recipes and I'm constantly finding new things to make. I love a blog with bunches of normal food and she has that! I've made her carmel-filled brownies and cheesy chili mac. There will definitely be more to come!

      Thursday, January 19, 2012

      Oven Scrambled Eggs

      Christmas morning has come and gone and I'm STILL trying to share recipes we tried while visiting family. When we were figuring out what to make on Christmas morning, I knew I wanted to make Baked Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes. But I knew that we needed something else. The oven baked eggs caught my eye. Our family (in laws) is huge. Well, maybe not HUGE huge, but my husband has four siblings and one is now married, plus our kids, so it's always a full house! This recipe made a great amount of eggs to feed everyone. Not to mention, they were seriously unbelievably good. I woke up at 6am to start, so I could beat the kids waking up, so no pictures this time!

      Update: 1/25 - We made the recipe in a 9x9-inch square pan using half the recipe!

      Per my resolutions, GOODEness Gracious is a new blog that I have stumbled upon. I haven't gotten a chance to go through older recipes from before I started following, but from what I've seen so far - holy guacamole! It's going to be epic! Some of what I've bookmarked so far: Chocolate Walnut Brownie Cake, Coconut Brownies in a Jar, and Million Dollar Pound Cake.

      ~Twisted Thursday #43~

      Tuesday, January 17, 2012

      Jalapeno Popper Dip

      I've been meaning to make jalapeno popper dip for a long time. There have been many different versions, but I found this one to be the easiest of the ones I had bookmarked. My husband practically died when he ate it. He said it was the best thing he had ever eaten, EVER. I thought it was really good too!

      This recipe comes from a lil ole blog you all might have heard of: Brown Eyed Baker. I'm not sure if I have space enough to share all the recipes I want to try from Michelle's blog. It's just the most droolworthy collection of recipes ever! Here's a top 5 list of what I really want to make: Blueberry Bagels, Chewy Brownies, Homemade Moon Pies, Oreo Cheesecake Cookies, and Root Beer Float Cake.

      Monday, January 16, 2012

      Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

      Unfortunately when I visit family, I often forget to take pictures because I get so wrapped up in making meals and spending time with everyone. We are hoping to make this one again because of how much meat you can get off of just one chicken! The lemon and garlic were a great combination with the fresh spices.

      If you all read my resolutions, you'll know that I wanted to take the time out to talk about each blog that I'm sharing recipes from. I feel like it's incredibly fitting to have Jen from Beantown Baker as my first lil schpeel.

      When I first started blogging, I didn't really know where to go, what to do. I didn't really know that I would turn Fantastical into what it is now. I just thought I'd be sharing with strictly family and friends, almost like a personal journal. Then I started searching for new recipes and the first blog I fell in love with was Beantown Baker. There are so many incredible recipes on it (to name a few:  Peppermint Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake, Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls, and Oreo Cupcakes). I personally have tried these: 40 Clove Garlic Chicken, Crockpot Pulled Pork, and Homemade Ding Dongs. Not to mention, when I left a comment professing my love for her blog, Jen came right back and commented here on my blog. :)

      (Printable Version)
      Recipe from Beantown Baker
      What you need:
      • 2 onions, quartered
      • Celery, diced
      • 4 to 6 carrots, diced
      • 1 (5 to 6 lb.) roasting chicken
      • Salt and pepper, to taste
      • 1 bunch each fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary
      • 4 lemons
      • 3 heads of garlic, cut in half across
      • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
      1. Preheat your oven to 425* and place veggies in the bottom of a large roasting pan.
      2. Prepare your chicken by removing the giblets and rinsing it. Pat dry and place in roasting pan.
      3. Salt and pepper chicken (inside and out). Stuff with herbs, 1 lemon (cut up), and 2 halves of garlic.
      4. Brush the outside with melted butter and sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
      5. Cut 2 lemons in quarters and place around chicken with the rest of your garlic halves.
      6. Cook for 1 1/2 hours until chicken is cooked all the way through.
      7. Slice and garnish with additional lemon, sliced, veggies, and garlic.
      Linked up at...
      Mouthwatering Mondays Must Try MondaysHunk of Meat Mondays

      Friday, January 13, 2012

      Red Velvet Cheesecake Supreme

      I don't think I have to really say how good this is...it's all in the title. Red Velvet CHEESECAKE! SUPREME! :) It's really good. I made it for my mother-in-law's birthday - everyone in the family loved it.

      Thursday, January 12, 2012

      Sour Cream Banana Bread

      I am becoming very interested in any recipes that include sour cream. It makes everything better! Especially when it comes to baking things - that sour cream keeps everything so moist. This is by far my favorite banana bread that I've ever eaten. It trumps my tried and true recipe AND my cake mix recipe!

      ~Twisted Thursday #42~