Mmmmm…Sweet and Salty

October 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Let’s be clear: I am not one for salting things. I don’t believe I have ever used a restaurant salt shaker in my life, and I generally halve the salt called for in recipes because it always seems like a bit too much to me. I think the whole “salted caramel” trend that’s been going around lately is an abomination against caramel. But…but. Chocolate covered potato chips are one of my very favorite treats. And I do dig a nice chocolate-cashew combo. So when I came across this recipe for chow mein noodles mixed with cashews and covered in chocolate, I decided to give it a shot. It’s fast, easy, and delicious – definitely a keeper.

So, so nommy.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips (the original recipe calls for 3 part chocolate chips to 1 part butterscotch – I didn’t have butterscotch so I just used all chocolate)
  • 1 c. chow mein noodles (maybe a little more – just throw the whole can in)
  • 1 c. cashews

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Melt chocolate (I used my fondue pot, but you can use your microwave or double boiler). Mix in noodles, then cashews. Deposit spoonfuls of mixture on prepared cookie sheet and put in fridge until firm.

Fresh!

August 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m not sure why this didn’t publish yesterday; it was supposed to. Bad blog! No cookies! Oh, wait — yes, there will be cookies soon.

Way back last month when I was in New Hampshire, I had the opportunity to go to out dinner with my good friend Sarah. We went to a lovely little Italian restaurant, where we were immediately marked as a lesbian couple who must be quickly fed and then hustled out of the restaurant. We had some fun with that, I can tell you. But I digress. One of the specials was a Caprese salad, which I had never heard of but which apparently consists of tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella. Sarah got one for herself, and a couple of weeks later when the heat got super-oppressive, I remembered how cool and fresh that salad sounded, and I determined to make one for myself. I’d been having a yen for pasta salad, too, though…so I thought why not combine the two?

How much more fresh could it be? None. None more fresh.

I grabbed some whole wheat penne, because I like the nuttiness of whole wheat pasta, and I thought it would be a good, earthy undertone with the basil and tomatoes. I tossed it together with some fresh mozz, some grape tomatoes, and some fresh basil (it’s a variety called Opal Basil, which is why it’s purple and not green), then dressed it with a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. The result? Well, to be honest…it was too fresh. I know, it sounds insane. But it was just really, too fresh. It needed something earthy (more than the pasta) to balance the intense brightness of the flavors, I think. Maybe a creamy yogurt dressing instead of the vinegar and oil. It was good, just not spectacular. I’m going to try it again with the creamy dressing and see how that works out for me. So hopefully I’ll have a good recipe for you out of this experiment soon.

It’s a Truffle Job, but Somebody’s Gotta Do It

July 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Grasshopper Truffles I told you about last week were so delish that  when I came across this recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough truffles, I didn’t hesitate.

Tasty little bites!

Now, this is a vegan recipe and as such, calls for vegan butter. I am not vegan (you may have noticed) and as such, do not have vegan butter on hand generally. So I used regular ol’ butter. It’s an egg-free recipe, so it’s safe to eat the raw cookie dough. However, the lack of eggs means the cookie dough is a little less rich than I’m used to. I think next time maybe I’ll experiment with using egg beaters. This recipe also uses only brown sugar, as opposed to the combo of brown and white in my regular cookie recipe, and I think that might be flattening the flavor as well. So, this one I’ll tweak a bit before posting my version of the recipe. In the meantime, the original is pretty darn tasty — give it a try!

 

Patience, Young Grasshopper

July 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

Pinterest is killing my waistline, I swear. Okay, also Foodbuzz and Foodgawker, but if it wasn’t for Pinterest I wouldn’t have anywhere to store all those yummy looking recipes. With pictures. So as soon as I go and look I am reminded of why I wanted to make the tasties in the first place. Such was the case with this recipe for Grasshopper Truffles. Each little ball is a mouthful of chocolate-minty delicious heaven.

Concentrated nom, coated in chocolate for extra nomminess.

I did modify the original recipe a bit…I found that the ratio of cream cheese to cookie was really high, so I adjusted that. I went with the straight up cream cheese rather than the frosting, and I’m glad I did…I think they’d’ve definitely been too sweet for me otherwise. And obviously, I didn’t use the sprinkles. I also didn’t use the mint extract and again, I’m glad I didn’t: I think it would have been overkill.

Here’s my tip for easy chocolate dipping: use chocolate chips in an electric fondue pot. Just set it to warm, as if you were going to actually fondue. Have your cookie sheet with waxed paper handy, and just pop the balls down on the paper as you take them out of the pot. Easy-peasy and makes clean-up a breeze, too. As tempting as it is to dump a bunch in and roll them around, resist. You’ll only end up melting them. One at a time is the way to go with these (that rule only applies to the dipping part, not the eating part).

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 box Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies
  • About a cup of whatever chocolate chips you have on hand (I used a mix of bittersweet and milk, because that’s what I had)

Crumb the cookies in the food processor. You probably don’t want to add them all at once, and if they’re still a wee bit chunky, that’s okay. You don’t really want any chunks bigger than, say, a sunflower seed. Add the cream cheese and pulse until mixture is uniform. Chill mixture for about an hour.

After mixture is chilled, roll into small (about 1″) balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

Pre-dipping…they’re kind of a gross dark taupe color. Cover them with delicious chocolate, stat!

Pop them back in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how soft the dough got while you were rolling them. You want them to be nice and firm and chilly for this next step, otherwise they’ll fall apart.

Melt chocolate in fondue pot (or using other method of your choice, but I promise, the fondue pot is really awesome). Roll chilled balls, one at a time, in melted chocolate, then place back on wax paper-lined cookie sheet. When you’ve dipped all the balls, put them back in the fridge until the chocolate hardens.

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