Tuesday, 2 December 2014

French Onion Soup

I love french onion soup.. and this recipe NAILS it!! Like, I'm talking restaurant quality french onion soup. I was SO impressed with how this turned out - and it was really easy to make!

1/2 Cup Butter
4 Medium Sized Onions Sliced Thin
2 Cloves of Minced Garlic
1/4 Tsp Ground Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 Tsp Salt
A Dash of Ground Black Pepper 
3 (10 oz.) Cans of Beef Consomme
1 1/4 Cup Beef Broth
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
6 Thick Slices of French Bread (Cut 2 of those slices in half so you have 4)
2 Cups Shredded Kraft Italiano Cheese

Melt the butter in a stock pot, add in the onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and salt and pepper.

Cook that mixture, stirring often until the onions are soft and caramelized (about 30 minutes).

Add in your beef consomme, beef broth and vinegar. Simmer for another 30 minutes.

Broil your bread for a couple minutes, flipping once until they are nice and toasty (I butted mine a little bit and added my herbed garlic sea salt).  Remove the bread once it's toasted, but keep the broiler on.

Remove the bay leaf, and ladle your soup into 4 oven safe serving bowl (or french onion soup bowls, if you have them). Place a slice and a half of french bread into each bowl and top with 1/2 cup of cheese.

Broil for about 5 minutes until the cheese is nice and bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for a minute or so (it'll be super hot - obviously).



Christmas Crack

This stuff is amazing.. it's no wonder they call it Christmas Crack!! I can't get enough, it's addictive and is hands down my favorite thing that I've made in all the Christmas baking I've done this year!!

And best of all - it's SO easy to make!!

1 Sleeve of Saltine Crackers (approx)
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Chocolate Chips
1/4 Cup Toffee Baking Bits
1/3 Cup Christmas M&M's

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

Line a pan with parchment paper, grease the parchment with oil or pam and place crackers, salt side up on the tray - you may have to cut some in half to get them to fill the entire tray properly.

In a saucepan, melt the butter, then add the brown sugar. Bring it to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes whisking constantly. Once the sauce has thickened a bit, pour it over the saltines (spread around with a spatula to coat all the crackers).

Bake for about 5 minutes until it is bubbling. Take the tray out of the oven and pour chocolate chips evenly over your crackers. Pop back into the oven for about 2 minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven - the chocolate chips should be very soft. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate around to coat the cracker/brown sugar layers completely.

Immediately scatter your toffee bits and M&M's over the chocolate layer and place pan into the fridge to set.

Once the layers have all set and are solid, you can peel the tinfoil off the underside and break the Christmas Crack into pieces.

I dare you not to get addicted. 



Turtle Cookies

These Cookies are SO good.. like crazy good!! If you love turtles, you'll love these cookies!

 1 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Cocoa
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Butter (softened)
2/3 Cup Sugar
1 Egg Yolk (separate and keep egg white in another bowl plus 1 additional egg white)
2 Tbsp Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups Pecans (finely chopped - I put mine in my magic bullet)

Caramel Filling
20 Soft Caramels (I used Kraft Caramels)
3 Tbsp Heavy Cream

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Combine your flour, cocoa and salt - set aside.

Cream together your butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in your egg yolk, milk and vanilla and mix until well combined. Slowly add in your flour mixture.

Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about an hour, or until firm.

Whisk your egg whites in a bowl, and place chopped pecans into another bowl.

Roll your dough into 1" balls, dip in egg whites, followed by pecans and place on a greased baking sheet (I just spray mine with Pam). Using a tsp to put an indent in the center of the cookie.

Bake for 12 minutes. Once they are done and removed from the oven, use your tsp to make the center indent again (just deep enough to hold some caramel).

While your cookies are cooling, make your caramel filling by microwaving your caramels and heavy cream for a couple minutes (stir after 1 minute).

Fill each cookie with about 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of caramel sauce. Let that set for a few minutes before transferring to your racks to cool.


 Recipe adapted from: The Kitchen is my Playground


Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms

Here is another recipe that was made with the help of some American goodies!! Peppermint cream filled Hershey's Kisses! You can sub out the peppermint kisses we get here too if you want, and I saw some mint ones at Wal-Mart.

1 1/2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cups Cocoa
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp salt
1/2 Cup Butter
1 1/4 Cups Sugar
3 Eggs
1/2 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tsp Peppermint Extract
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar (for rolling)
Peppermint Hershey's Kisses (I used about a bag and a half and I think I made about 40 cookies)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt - set aside.

Pour your powdered sugar into a small bowl and set aside. 

Cream together your butter and sugar until fluffy. Then beat in the eggs and extracts until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture until well combined.

Chill the dough for about an hour.

Once the dough is more firm, roll into 1" balls and roll them in the powdered sugar.  Place them onto cookies sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake for about 12 minutes. Once baked, let them cool for a couple of minutes before pressing your kiss into the center. To keep the kiss from melting, you can pop the trays into the fridge or freezer for a few minutes too - with my really melty ones, I added another kiss on top of the melted one (I bought a lot, so I had kisses to spare!).


 Recipe Source: Bake@350


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cheesy Conies with Broccoli and Chicken

Don't ask me why I call them Conies...  my family has just always called them that. I think it probably stems back to being a kid and not being able to pronounce macaroni and they came out "conies". I'll have to ask my mom to know for sure... haha! But in our house, shell macaroni is called conies.

This was pretty quick and easy to whip up for dinner and it was yummy, and most importantly - kid approved!!

2 chicken breasts (cooked and diced into bite size pieces)
2.5 (dry) cups of shell macaroni
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup onion (diced)
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
2.5 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Boil your conies for about 8 minutes, then add your broccoli florets and boil for another 2 minutes. (You'll be making your sauce while these are boiling). Once done, set aside until sauce is complete.

Put your butter into a deep skillet over medium heat, then add your onion and let it cook and get soft for a few minutes. Add the flour to the butter/onion mixture until the onions are coated completely - let that cook for another minute or two. Add in the milk to make your roux. Stir with a wire whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add in your salt and pepper and let this simmer to thicken up.

When it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add in your cheese. Stir until the cheese is fully melted.

Stir in the conie/broccoli mixture, add in your cooked chicken and voila! Cheesy conies with broccoli and chicken!



Friday, 10 October 2014

Cinnamon Cookies with Pumpkin Spice Kisses

This post is for all my American friends!!

For some reason, here in Canada we just don't have all the seasonal goodies that the states have. Fortunately, I have a friend who travels to the states on a regular basis and brings me back goodies when I ask! So I am fully stocked with pumpkin spice goodness at the moment (marshmallows, baking chips, pop tarts, coffee creamer and best of all KISSES!). I love.. like looooove pumpkin flavored everything!

Unfortunately, you can't get the pumpkin spice kisses used in this recipe here in Canada, so unless you have someone to send them to you, or you're making a trip south of the border sometime soon, you might not be able to partake in this recipe... but these cookies are pretty darn good, so they'd be alright without the pumpkin spice kisses too!

Recipe Source: Budding Baketress

1/2 cup of butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
3 tbsp milk (if dough is too crumbly)
1/3 cup sugar (for rolling cookies in)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Unwrap your pumpkin kisses, throw them in a bowl and put them in the freezer (this will keep them from melting when you put them on your warm cookies).

Cream together the butter and sugar, add in the vanilla and eggs.

In a separate bowl sift together all the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Once mixed, if the dough is too crumbly you can add in some milk to make it a little smoother.

Roll the dough into 1" balls, then roll in sugar. Place onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for about 9 minutes.

Once done baking, let the cookies cool for a few minutes and then press your kiss into the cookie.

They may melt a bit, so you can pop the whole pan into your freezer if you'd like to keep them from melting too much. I didn't do that, and I probably should have.... haha!



Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

This is one of the best soups I've made in a long time. I highly recommend this one. It was delicious, quick and very easy to make.

2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp oil (I like to use avocado oil)
2 cans of cream of tomato soup (I use Campbells)
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups half and half
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups tortellini
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese for garnish

Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat, then toss in the garlic and saute for a few minutes until golden brown. Add in the tomato soup, tomato paste, half and half, chicken stock and spices then bring to a light boil. Once boiling, add in the tortellini and cook as per package directions.

Pour it into your bowl and garnish with parmesan cheese! So easy, and so delicious!



Recipe source: Key Ingredient