Four Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you ever been home on a really cold day and been hit with an intense craving for a cookie, and not just a cookie from a package but an actual homemade cookie, but it’s way too cold to think about venturing outside in the really cold to get ingredients to make said homemade cookie that would satisfy your craving?

No?

Just me?

Okay then, have you ever found yourself needing to make a last minute dessert for a work thing, or your kid’s school thing or a last minute dinner party thing?

Well, then you’re going to want to have this cookie recipe in your back pocket.

Four ingredient peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

That’s right. The name is longer than the ingredient list.

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350.

Add the peanut butter, sugar and egg to a bowl

IMG_2651

Mix until combined and then add chocolate chips.

IMG_2652

Form into one inch balls and place on a cookie sheet

IMG_2653

Bake for 10-12 minutes

IMG_2654

Your need for a homemade cookie? Satisfied

Easiest and Tastiest Cocktail Party Meatballs

 

 

Having everyone over our place is a fairly regular occurrence. I always make our friends’ and family’s favorites but I also like to make something new. Don’t want it to get boring now.

One of the challenges of entertaining in a small space, though is making sure you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a dish (limited cabinet and fridge space) and making sure the preparation isn’t too elaborate (1 pot or pan preferred).

Over the summer we went to our neighbor Nancy’s for a big Labor Day bash. She had these incredibly addictive little spicy meatballs. Bingo. There was my something new for this party.

But Nancy and her husband are in the restaurant biz. Those meatballs could be tough to recreate.

So I put in a call.

And Nancy let me in on the secret to the meatballs.

IMG_2256

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yup. You see that correct. Grape jelly and heinz chili sauce. Pour into a pot and add in frozen meatballs. Yup. Frozen meatballs. Just regular old, unseasoned frozen meatballs. Let them simmer away in the grape jelly and chili sauce. I used 2 jars of each for 2 pounds of meatballs. Three ingredients. One pot.
IMG_2258

Your guests will never be able to guess what’s in the sauce. And you will be one calm, cool and collected hostess!

IMG_2257

Annie’s Mushroom Soup

Annie is the best cook in the family on my dad’s side. Most people are either a really good cook or a really good baker, but she is not only an incredible baker but also can whip up a dinner with like no ingredients.

A few weeks ago my husband and I were sitting on the couch having breakfast. It was a little cold out so I said how about I try making Annie’s mushroom soup tonight?

Hubs was in. We had been waiting for it to feel like winter.

A few minutes later, my phone beeps with a text message.

Annie: What are you up to today?

I looked at Christopher. She is either in New York or on her way (She and the rest of dad’s family live in Delaware)

Christopher: You think so?

Me: I know so.

Text to Annie: Just hanging out. Why?

Annie: Me and Liz and Lisa hopped on the bus to New York. We’re here!

Me to Christopher: Told you. So we had a surprise visit from the family, walked around New York and looked at all the Christmas decorations and then, after a day with Annie, made Annie’s mushroom soup.

It’s super easy and super delicious.

You will need:

  • 1 pound mushrooms, some sliced, some chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 15oz chicken broth
  • black pepper
  • salt

Start by melting the butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. toss in the mushrooms once the butter is melted. Cook until mushrooms are brown.

IMG_2231

Add the flour and stir

IMG_2232

continuing to cook over medium heat and stirring until thickened.

IMG_2233

Slowly add cream and chicken broth, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

IMG_2234

Let the soup warm through, stirring so the cream does not burn.

IMG_2235

And then dish up in big bowls.

IMG_2237

Creamy, rich, mushroomy goodness.

The best Pad Thai I’ve ever had

The best pad thai ever? Where’d you get it? Some fancy Thai place in the East Village? Random hole in the wall take out spot in midtown?

No and no.

My kitchen.

Prepared by my Greek Armenian husband.

He has a knack for Asian cooking.

I guess I’ll keep him.

For pad thai you will need:

  • noodles, any kind works- i like brown rice ones
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • brown sugar
  • soy sauce
  • rice vinegar
  • sesame oil
  • chili oil
  • scallions (optional)
  • chopped peanuts (optional)
  • pea shoots or sprouts (optional)

Start by cooking your noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. The key to pad thai (or any Asian dish really) is having everything chopped and ready to go as the cooking process goes pretty quick.

In the same pot you just cooked your noodles, add some sesame oil and the shallot.

IMG_2083

When the shallot is softened, add a bit more oil and then pour in two beaten eggs (think like you’re making scrambled eggs.

IMG_2084

Keeping an eye on your eggs and stirring occasionally, in a bowl mix together 1/8 cup each of brown sugar, soy sauce and rice vinegar and a little less of the sesame oil. Add chili oil to taste (it’s really really hot, so be careful).

Ok when your eggs are done, add the noodles and the sauce to the pot and stir.

IMG_2085

Add in your pea shoots or sprouts and stir again.

IMG_2086

Dish up into bowls and top with scallions and peanuts, if you choose.

IMG_2090

Lose that place down the street’s number and forget about waiting for your takeout delivery ever again.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

There is a hint of a chill in the air here. The mornings start out crisp. The sky is a clear turquoise blue. Summer fruits no longer abound on grocery store shelves.

Fall is coming.

Fall is a warm mug of tea, a hint of cinnamon in the air and pumpkins.

These muffins packed with pumpkin, oatmeal and cinnamon give you something to accompany that mug of tea.

No all you need is a good book.

For the muffins:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats

Preheat the oven to 375 and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. I got 12 muffins out of this recipe.

In one bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

IMG_1538

In another bowl, mix the egg, pumpkin, milk and oil.

IMG_1539

Add the wet to the dry.

IMG_1540

Stir until combined.

IMG_1541

Then add in the oats

IMG_1542

And stir until combined.

IMG_1543

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners.

IMG_1544

And bake for about 15 minutes. The house will smell like pumpkin pie. Is there anything better?

IMG_1545

Darn Good Chocolate Cake

 

This recipe is actually called Darn Good Chocolate Cake. I didn’t make that up.

When you eat it, you take a bite and just kind of go wow, that is darn good chocolate cake.

I first made this for my mom for her birthday one year. Since then, this has become THE chocolate cake recipe in our family. If someone asks for chocolate cake, this is the one they get.

I like this recipe a lot because 1. you don’t need to separately mix the wet and dry ingredients and 2. it starts with boxed cake mix. Score.

This cake is heavy and rich. But it really is like the ultimate birthday cake.

You will need:

  • 1 package devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 package chocolate instant pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1.5 cups chocolate chips
  • Chocolate Frosting (The cake really does not need frosting, but if you’re feeling decadent – and if this is for a celebration of some sort then decadence is required- pile on the frosting.)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two round cake pans or 1 bundt pan.

 

IMG_1197

Throw all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips into a bowl a stir until well combined.

IMG_1199

Then fold in the chocolate chips.

IMG_1200

And pour the batter into your pan or pans.

IMG_1201

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for at least 30 minutes before removing them from the pans

 

 

IMG_1209

Frost.

 

IMG_1216

Slice.

IMG_1222

Chocolate Coma.

Mexican Salad

So, it’s like the hottest day ever in New York.

For real.

We’re talking unbearably hot, humid and sticky.

The heat rises up from the pavement when you walk home from work and if you stand in one spot too long waiting for the light to change, your sandals can melt to the asphalt. No joke.

The last thing I want to do is walk into my sweltering apartment and turn on the stove.

But I’m hungry and want something substantial.

Enter: Mexican Salad.

IMG_1486

Cold lettuce, canned beans, rinsed and drained, canned corn, taco spice and creamy guacamole. Satisfying and refreshing dinner.

Start with shredded lettuce. I used iceberg because i wanted something really cold and crunchy.

IMG_1484

In a bowl mix pinto beans, black beans and corn and add a tablespoon or so of taco seasoning.

IMG_1483

Pile the bean mix and some guacamole on top of the lettuce. and voila! Dinner. No oven required.

IMG_1486

Greek Tacos

Yes, you read that title correctly.

Greek. Tacos.

IMG_1451

Hear me out.

A gyro is seasoned meat, either beef or lamb, lettuce, tomatoes and sauce inside a pita.

A taco is seasoned meat, lettuce, tomatoes and sauce inside a tortilla.

All the Greeks out there shuddered. But whatever. This dinner was damn good.

I love a good gyro. The meat that’s been rotating and cooking on a spit all day, dripping glorious juices and layered with delicious seasonings. But it’s not exactly something i can easily make in my tiny kitchen.

Or so I had thought at first.

Sure, I couldn’t have that glorious rotating beef, but, I could use ground beef like i would for tacos and swap the Mexican seasonings for Greek seasonings to give it the Greek flavor profile.

Genius. I know.

You will need

  • one onion, diced
  • one pound ground beef
  • one tablespoon coriander
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dice tomato
  • shredded lettuce
  • pita
  • tzatziki (cucumber yogurt sauce)

Drizzle olive oil in a pan and add your diced onions, cooking over medium heat until browned.

IMG_1448

Add your ground beef, coriander and salt and pepper.

IMG_1449

Cook until meat is cooked through and browned.

IMG_1450

Se the table with the meat mixture, lettuce, tomatoes, yogurt sauce and pita, to make a build-your-own gyro stand.

IMG_1451

Stuff the pita with your favorite fillings and enjoy.

And don’t try to tell me that isn’t a Greek taco.

IMG_1452

Green Chili Mac and Cheese

Last month we took a quick trip to Austin. Music City USA! Home of fantastic dive bars, endless options for live music and barbecue.

The barbecue was insanely delicious. Pulled pork, brisket, ribs. There was definitely a meat coma.

But as good as the meat stuffs was, I can’t say it was my favorite thing, or the best thing or the thing I am going to crave from this trip.

I’m a sides girl. Pinto beans, cole slaw, potato salad. These are the best parts of getting good barbecue. But the absolute best of the best was the green chili mac and cheese we had at Roaring Fork.

We weren’t interested. The waitress told us to trust her.

And boy am I glad we did.

I make a pretty mean mac and cheese. SO I had to try and make a green chili version that would at least come close to satisfying the craving for the one at Roaring Fork.

So I took a basic mac and cheese recipe and amped it up with some green chilis.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 small can of green chilis
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 8 oz sharp white cheddar, grated
  • 1 pound pasta, any shape (i used mini shells)
  • Optional, crushed crackers

Preheat the oven to 400.

Basic mac and cheese starts with a roux. Butter, flour and milk.

You melt the butter and add the flour, whisking, and cooking out the raw flour taste.

IMG_1203

Then you add the milk. And here is where this becomes green chili mac and cheese.

Into a blender goes the milk and the can of green chilis. Blend. You will now have green chili milk.

IMG_1202

Add to the butter and flour slowly. And whisk until it starts to thicken.

IMG_1204

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and add in your pasta. Cook according to package directions, drain and set aside.

When the milk and flour mixture has thickened (it should coat the back of a spoon) add in your cheese and stir until it melts.

IMG_1205

Remove from the heat. Dump in the pasta and stir until it is all coated.

IMG_1206

Pour into a greased 9×13 baking pan.

IMG_1207

This next part is optional but recommended. Take half a sleeve of crackers (I used Ritz), place them in a bag, and whack away until you have crumbs.

IMG_1208

Sprinkle atop the mac and cheese in the baking dish

IMG_1212

And bake for 20-30 minutes. The crackers will turn golden, the cheese will melt and bubble and it won’t turn orange. I don’t know what happened to the lighting there. Sorry guys.

IMG_1213

You get the warmth from the heat of the chilis and the smooth creaminess of the cheddar.

A match made in mac and cheese heaven.

IMG_1214

Trust me. You won’t miss the brisket when you have a big bowl of this for dinner.

Florentine Carnival Cake (Orange Cake)

I love Italian food.

I love cooking channel’s Deb and Gabriele

I love the beautiful and simple Italian food in their cookbook Extra Virgin.

New York’s been having some strange weather so far this summer. It’s been 100 and humid and it’s been 65 and a bit chilly.

So to make it feel like summer, no matter what it looks like outside, I though I’d make a bright, citrusy dessert to at least give us some sunshine on our plates.

This recipe is ridiculously easy. You probably already have all of the ingredients. Oh and the bright orange burst in this light and fluffy cake is out of this world.

You will need:

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • .5 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • zest and juice of one orange

Preheat oven to 350. Butter  a 9×13 pan.

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. (That’s right. everything into the bowl. No wet and dry ingredients, no separating eggs, no sifting. Just dump it all in.)

IMG_1103

Whisk until combined.

IMG_1104

Pour into your buttered pan.

IMG_1105

Bake for about 30 minutes.

IMG_1106

Allow to cool. You can dust with powdered sugar or, you can serve with sliced strawberries and some whipped cream.

IMG_1111