treats, treats and more treats!

Did you know it’s National Dessert Day? Thank goodness for social media or else how would we keep track of all these fabulous “holidays” 🙂 I’m currently trying to decide what to make later today but here are a few goodies that sound irresistible!

** These little chocolate salted shortbread bites sound so yummy!

http://www.doughmesstic.net/2011/12/22/dark-chocolate-and-salted-caramel-topped-shortbread/

** Caramel + apples + cheesecake? Has to be a winner in my book!

http://goboldwithbutter.com/?p=1790

** I’m not a brownie lover (gasp! I know!) but blondies speak to me. These sound so so good. They might be the winner today as I bet I have all the ingredients!

http://www.shutterbean.com/2012/chocolate-chunk-blondies/

** These are by far the BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. Probably because it uses brown butter. Make these. Make these now! Also I can’t WAIT to get my hands on her new cookbook! The cake on the cover? Swoon.

http://joythebaker.com/2014/05/the-best-brown-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies/

** Then this cake. I mean seriously?! How gorgeous is it? This is one of my new blog finds and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites!

http://mynameisyeh.com/mynameisyeh/2014/9/funfetti-cake

 

Are you making anything for National Dessert Day?!

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Cooking, Soup and Cookies!

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my job? Not only because it’s awesome but because I know that I will have the time to cook dinner. From scratch. Any night of the week. Sure things come up and we get busy, I’m tired, don’t feel like it, etc. but I have the ability to do so and that makes me so happy. We had friends over last night for a low key weeknight dinner party. I had one friend ask how I manage to pull things like that together and another friend marvel at my food plan for the week on the fridge. That my friends is the key to my current kitchen success. Sure it takes time, a little extra effort and it doesn’t always work out. It’s a start though and I know the longer I continue to do so the more success I’ll have!

It begins with me browsing through all the weekly sale ads, taking note of proteins that are on sale and then sitting down and finding recipes that match up. OR if my freezer is stocked with protein then I go through that. However since we’ve recently emptied said freezer it’s the weekly sale ads for now! Last week I rounded up my recipes, what I have on hand and what I needed from the store. After grocery shopping on Friday and having a few new ideas in my pocket I spent Saturday cooking and baking.

It was cold, SNOWY and just a good day overall to spend in the kitchen. Also a good day for soup! So I decided to try to recreate Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar soup because it’s amazingly delicious but not cheap. I have to admit that Panera’s soup still takes the cake. Perhaps it just needs more tweaking or perhaps they use some sort of secret ingredient but I didn’t love this. It was way way way to thick for my liking and the taste wasn’t the same. It made a good, quick lunch but I’ll probably have to keep searching for recipes.

 

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh broccoli
1 cup carrot, julienned (I used 3 carrots, peeled and grated…)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I omitted this step, I’m not a huge fan of nutmeg…)
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
In a large pot sauteé the onions in the butter…
Remove onions from the pan. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly!
Continue stirring consistently and add in the half & half. Simmer on low for a few minutes while continuing to whisk.
Add in the chicken stock and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally!
Add in broccoli, carrots and sauteéd onions. Continue to cook for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
After the vegetables have cooked you can choose to pureé the soup or leave it chunky. I used my immersion blender and slightly pureéd it so the chunks of broccoli weren’t as big. Add in the shredded cheese and stir. If you’re adding nutmeg also add that in. At this point I decided that the soup was really thick and that I was going to add in another cup of chicken stock. I heated it up before adding it to the pot. I probably would add more next time.
Serve with a nice crusty piece of french bread like at Panera and top with a little extra cheese. Yum!
Serving soup in Anthropologie bowls makes me happy 🙂 Well let’s be honest, serving anything in these bowls makes me happy. And following up soup with the tastiest chocolate chip cookies ever? That makes for one awesome Saturday!
Happy Thursday! Come back tomorrow to see my InstaFriday post!

Recipe Roundup

I love cookbooks. I have a ton of them…some are very well loved and some have lots of pages marked but rarely get used. Why you ask? The internet. It is SO easy for me to search for a recipe and pull it up on my computer or iPad and just bring said device into the kitchen. I know I’m not the only one who is guilty of this. I try to use my cookbooks, I can’t stop wanting to buy cookbooks but I always seem to turn to my computer. How can you not though when there are so many awesome recipes out there? I read a bazillion blogs and have come to rely on some of them for my go to recipes. Do you have anywhere you rely on for tried and true recipes? Pinterest has also become a favorite tool. I can find delicious recipes all over the internet and then pin them onto specific boards and easily find them when I’m ready to make them.

Here are a few recipes I’ve rounded up that I’m hoping to make!

How delicious does this simple popcorn snack look? I love that she uses an air popper, if only I had room to store one…

 

These are just calling my name. Probably should try them out one weekend soon and serve them for football fun…I’m guessing they’d pair really well with an icy cold beer.

 

 

 

I know this HAS to be delicious. It comes from Bree over at Baked Bree and she is one of my go to blogs for recipes. Everything I’ve made from her recipes has been delicious.

 

 

I need to make these. Probably sooner rather than later. I’ve been eying them for YEARS. How delicious do these look?!

 

 

These seem like the perfect weeknight fall dinner. Paired with roasted veggies and brussel sprouts. Yup I said brussel sprouts–they’re delicious and probably deserve their own roundup!

 

 

And finally…I’ll be making this tonight! It’s cold and gloomy here today and it seems like the perfect meal to combat that. Yum. Pairing it with a crisp loaf of french bread and a nice green salad.