Saturday, November 26, 2011

Appledoodles aka Apple Snickerdoodles

My college football team plays a rivalry game called the "Apple Cup".  To celebrate this year I whipped up these Apple Snickerdoodles in honor of the theme.  I love the way the apple brings a fun twist to this old classic cookie.  The base of the cookie is adapted from Betty Crocker because who doesn't make a delicious cookie better than that lady?


1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup butter softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 cup peeled and chopped apple (a sweeter apple works best)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray the baking sheet
2. Combine flour, tartar, baking soda and salt and set aside.
3. In another bowl beat butter, sugar and egg together until combined.
4. Add apple to the egg mixture and beat until combined.
5. Add flour mixture and stir well to incorporate into egg mixture (I used a combination of egg beater and then wooden spoon)
6. Prepare a plate with remaining sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon so you can roll your cookies in it
7. Take dough and roll cookies into a 1 1/2 inch ball and then roll through the sugar mixture.  Add to the cookie sheet.  You don't need to flatten it, that happens during cooking
8. When sheet is filled put in the oven and bake 9 minutes
9. Remove from the oven and cook 10 minutes before serving

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Carrot, Leek and White Bean Soup

This recipe is inspired by a recipe I found online at this cute food blog Leek Soup !  She has a different take with lentils but I went with the beans I had on hand and swapped in leeks for onions.  The result is a very simple and hearty stew (I swear you will think there is bacon in it, but it is vegetarian!).


1 lb bunch o' carrots
2 cups of chopped leeks
1 15 oz can white beans drained
1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken if you want to make it non-vegetarian)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Prepare the carrots.  Rinse under cold water, dry thoroughly and then trim off the ends.
3. Put on a roasting pan and toss evenly with olive oil.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper
4. Place in the preheated oven and let roast about 20 minutes
5. Remove carrots from the oven and add the leeks to the pan, tossing the carrots, oil and leeks together.  Return to the oven for another 15 minutes, watching carefully that the leeks don't burn
6. Remove from the oven, transfer carrots to cutting board and chop into pieces
7. Heat soup pot on medium heat with a swirl of olive oil
8. When the oil is hot add the carrots, leeks, beans and stir to coat
9. Add the smoked paprika and stir well
10. Cover with broth and allow soup to simmer about 5 minutes.
11. Serve with bread or a salad (or both!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Easiest Baked Beet Chips

These are best served after me that won't be a problem because they are insanely delicious!  Serve as an appetizer at your next dinner party...your guests won't believe these are beets!


10 beets washed and trimmed
Olive oil spray
Sea Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper
2. Very thinly slice the beets, if you have a mandoline I highly recommend you use it!
3. In a single layer, place the beets on the pre-lined sheets
4. Evenly coat with olive oil spray and then salt to your preference
5. Put in preheated oven and cook 25 minutes
6. Turn broiler on and cook about 3-4 minutes is super important to watch the beets at this point because they can burn in an instant!  I recommend checking every minute
7. Remove and put on a paper towel to cool
8. Transfer to a cute bowl and serve!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pulled Beef Sliders

This is the ultimate game day experience.  It is well worth the full preparation time because you can watch as much football as you want while this cooks.  It is also easy to prepare and transport to a friend's house for a delicious and inexpensive treat.  Warning, this takes at least 4 hours to cook.


4 lb boneless chuck roast cut
1/2 cup olive oil
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
4 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn or potato starch
12 rolls or buns

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Place a dutch oven on the stove and add olive oil.  Salt and pepper the beef while you are waiting for the oil to heat
3. When the oil is hot, add the beef and cover.  Do not disturb for three minutes, you are browning the beef here.
4. Carefully use tongs to flip the beef to the other side.  Cover and let sit for another 3 minutes undisturbed.
5. Meanwhile use scissors to roughly cut the tomatoes in the can in their juices.
6. In a separate container combine vinegar, mustard and brown sugar.  Shake well.
7. When three minutes are up on the beef, remove from heat and carefully add tomatoes and their juices and vinegar mixture.  This should home up about 1/2 way on the roast.  If not, add a little bit of water or beef stock (or even red wine!).
8. Carefully secure lid on the pot and put it in the oven.  It will need to cook at least four hours.
9. When meat is ready, remove the pot from the oven and let cool.
10. Carefully transfer the meat to another oven safe dish.  Using forks, literally pull the meat apart.  There is no set rull on how the pieces should look so when it looks good to you, you can stop.
11. There is a lot of good sauce left that we want to condense.  Leaving it in the original pot, put on the stove and heat over high heat.  You are going to have to stir constantly for about five minutes to make sure it doesn't stick.
12. To the sauce add worchestershire, cumin, paprika, brown sugar and a little touch of salt and pepper.  Stir, stir, stir!
13. At the last 30 seconds, add the starch and stir to incorporate well.
14. Carefully transfer the hot sauce and ladle it over the meat.
15. Use the tongs or fork to make sure all of the sauces is incorporated into the meat.
16. At this point you can serve it right away but if you are planning on serving during half time, you can cover and put in the oven at 200 degrees.  We waited and it was DELICIOUS.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Any Berry Pear Crumble

This crumble is so satisfying and full of good fruit that you could technically eat it for breakfast and be guilt free.  Its super simple to put together and allows for the fresh taste of the fruits to shine through.  Use whatever fruit you have on hand, apples would also work very well here!  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you are set!

Crumble Topping
1/2 cup flour
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 butter cut into cubes

Fruit Filling
2 large pears peeled and chopped
1 pint of any berry you like (I did blueberry)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Combine all crumble toppings together in a food processor and blend until butter and almonds are finely chopped in the butter
3. In pie pan, layer fruit of your choice and then evenly distribute the crumble mixture on top of the fruit
4. Place on a cookie sheet to prevent spill over
5. Put in the oven for about 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and fruit is bubbling

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I don't want to scare anyone anyway with the title here, but honestly there is no reason why broccoli cheddar soup should have 8000 calories in it.  My version here is just as tasty so you can have as many bowls as you like!


2 1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets and stems
1 cup chopped leeks
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (more if you want to add it)

1. Heat olive oil in a deep soup pot, when hot add the leeks and broccoli and stir to coat
2. Cook the veggies about 3-5 minutes then add a touch of salt
3. Pour broth to cover the veggies and let simmer for 15 minutes
4. Check if broccoli is tender, it might need a few more minutes
5. Carefully use an immersion hand blender to blend the ingredients very finely.  You could use a real blender but be careful because this stuff is hot so you need to let it cool a bit before you try that.
6. Grate the cheese and then slowly stir it into the broccoli soup and let melt
7. Serve with croutons!