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Tips : 5 Ways To Spiff Up Your Cookies

When it comes to the chocolate chip cookie, it doesn't take much to achieve face-melting levels of deliciousness.

After all, it's a dessert that tastes pretty amazing even when made with the recipe on the bag of chocolate chips. But that doesn't mean that you should be content with mere excellence. Fact is, since these cookies start out brilliant, you only need one or two simple tricks to make them even better—and customize them to suit your taste.

1. Brown your butter.

Most chocolate chip cookie recipes start by creaming softened butter with sugar. But what happens when you brown the butter until golden brown and let it cool until solid before blending it with the sugar? You get nutty depth that works perfectly with the cookies' butterscotch flavor. And that's a good thing.

2. Whisk coffee grounds or espresso powder into the flour.

Almost every chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for whisking together the dry ingredients—and that's the perfect opportunity to add a little coffee to the mix. Just add a teaspoon or two of freshly ground coffee or instant espresso powder, and you'll score amazing mocha notes.

3. Use hand-chopped chunks, not chips.

Sure, you can buy chunks of chocolate and fold them in instead. But why deprive yourself of the joy of random large and small bits of chocolate running through your cookie? Chopping it yourself creates a range of sizes, and that means surprise in every bite.

4. Stir crunchy cereal into the dough.

When you think about it, cereal and chocolate chip cookies already have plenty in common: They're both best with plenty of milk. Take that affinity even further by folding a handful of your favorite crunchy cereal into the dough. You'll get a great dose of crunchy-chewy texture, along with the flavors of the cereal you choose. (Pro tip: crispy rice cereal wins.)

5. Fold in your favorite snack food.

Calm down, calm down—we're not suggesting you fold Doritos into your cookies (though, actually, that might not be so terrible). But simple sweet or salty snacks? Bring it. Caramel or regular popcorn, salty potato chips, and pretzels are especially good ideas; just break up any large pieces by roughly crushing them as you add them to the dough.

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Sources : Cookies Photo | Cookies Article
Recipes : Open Faced Turkey Cranberry Provolone Sandwich Melt

1 loaf french bread
1/2 C mayonnaise (I used Best Foods Light)
1 C cranberry sauce (I used whole berry cranberry sauce)
2-3 C turkey, cooked and shredded (I used this recipe for Turkey Breast of Wonder)
2-3 C stuffing/dressing (I used Stove Top)
6 large slices Provolone Cheese

1. Grab yourself a nice loaf of french bread and cut it in half-length wise.

2. Spread 1/4 cup of mayonnaise over each bread half.

3. Spoon 1/2 cup of cranberry sauce over each bread half and then spread it out with a knife.

4. Arrange 2-3 cups of shredded turkey over the cranberry sauce.

5. Sprinkle 2-3 cups of stuffing over the top of the turkey.

6. Lay some nice, big slices of provolone cheese over the top of the stuffing.

7. Turn your oven to broil. When your oven is hot and ready, pop the sandwiches into the oven and let the cheese get golden brown and bubbly. Watch it carefully now, you don't want the cheese to burn. My cheese was melted and perfect after about 5 minutes, but your oven may broil faster than mine.

8. Let your sandwich cool for a minute or two and then slice and serve.


Jamie Cooks Up Printable Recipes

Sources : Open Faced Turkey Cranberry Provolone Sandwich Melt Photo | Open Faced Turkey Cranberry Provolone Sandwich Melt Article
Drinks : Homemade Gatorade | Natural Sports Drink

A quart jar comes in handy because I just made the entire batch in them individually.
1 qt liquid – water or tea(I brewed several kinds of tea for this batch– pomegranate tea, ginger tea and a plain loose-leaf green tea)
1/4 c. other juice (I used pineapple in one, otherwise I normally stick with lemon or lime. Other substitutions could be grape, cranberry, etc)
1/4 t. Himalayan Salt (good because of trace minerals specifically)
1 T. sweetener (I prefer Agave)

Now mix up! taste test for flavor and you should be all set to go!

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Sources : Homemade Gatorade | Natural Sports Drink Photo | Homemade Gatorade | Natural Sports Drink Recipe Article
Recipes : Frozen Strawberry Squares

1 cup flour
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup slivered & chopped almonds (other chopped nuts may be substituted)
½ cup melted butter
2 egg whites
½ cup granulated sugar
10 fluid ounces whipping cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, crushed/smashed

1. Preheat oven to 325° F.

2. Combine flour, brown sugar, almonds and melted butter and spread in 8×8″ pan. Bake at 325°F for 20 minutes. Stir a couple of times. Cool

3. Once cooled, evenly press ⅔ of the mixture in the 8×8″ pan to create crust.

4. Beat egg whites and granulated sugar until stiff.

5. Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form.

6. Gently combine, beaten egg whites, whipped cream, lemon juice, and crushed strawberries. Spread mixture over crust.

7. Sprinkle remaining crust/crumb mixture on top.

8. Freeze for 3-6 hours.

9. Cut in squares to serve. Garnish with additional strawberries if desired.

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Sources : Frozen Strawberry Squares Photo | Frozen Strawberry Squares Recipe
Recipes : Garlic, Asiago & Parmesan Cream Pizza

1 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup 2% milk
2 oz freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 oz freshly grated asiago cheese
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper Store-bought pizza crust Broccoli Bacon Mushrooms

Preheat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat for 3 minutes. Add butter to the pan. Once melted, add garlic & stir. Let the garlic sweat in the butter for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent browning. Add heavy cream and milk; stir. Raise heat to medium-high and allow mixture to come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Add cheeses and stir until completely melted. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Remove from heat and let come to room temperature before using as pizza sauce. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Chop the broccoli into florets, and then mince the florets. Strip the bacon into fragments, and slice the mushrooms. Sautee this medley to top the pizza.

You're welcome.

What We're Eating
Sources : Pizza Photo | Sauce recipe
Recipes : Pretzel Chicken


Pretzel Chicken

1/2 pound hard pretzels, coarsely crushed (4 cups)

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup whole-grain mustard

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

6 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a food processor, pulse the pretzels until coarsely ground; you should have coarse chunks and fine crumbs. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl.

Wipe out the food processor. Add the oil, whole-grain and Dijon mustards, water and vinegar and process until smooth. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

Pour half of the dressing into a large shallow bowl, add the chicken breasts and turn to coat. Dredge the chicken in the pretzel crumbs and transfer to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Slice the chicken and serve warm or at room temperature with the remaining mustard dressing.

MAKE AHEAD: The baked chicken and dressing can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours. NOTES For a crisp topping, it's essential to use thick, hard pretzels, such as the sourdough or handmade versions.

Dinner : A Love Story
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Sources : Pretzel Chicken Photo | Pretzel Chicken Article | Pretzel Chicken Recipe