Monday, February 27, 2017

Oh Henry Bar

I found this recipe in my Mom's recipe book and thought it would be fun to make for my February cookie of the month.

Then I noticed it was a recipe from my St. Louis Sister-in-Law and I KNEW it'd be tasty.

Then I had to look up what an Oh Henry Bar even was...

The website says it has caramel, peanuts and fudge. This recipe has none of those. Still these are tasty bars.

I under cooked them, that's for sure. The recipe warned to not over cook so instead I undercooked. I have no idea what it was supposed to look like so no clue what was over cooked or under cooked. Still, it didn't stop me from tasting them. They were "loose" so I dropped them in the fridge and they hardened up.

Oh Henry Bars
Recipe from Bev Wraspir
Servings 24

4 c rolled oats
1 c packed brown sugar
1 c butter
1/2 c white corn syrup
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 c peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix the oats, brown sugar, butter and white corn syrup together. Pat into a 10X15 pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE!

Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small sauce pan. Spread over baked crust while hot. Cut into bars right away.

Jenn Note: I tried to cut into it right away and they were too loose. I instead cut them once they had been in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Steak Wellington with roasted carrots and mushroom demi-glace

I'm a fan of steak wellington. I've always felt like it's harder than heck to make successfully - so I never tried. Home Chef delivered a version of steak wellington and I was thrilled to try it. What I mean by "Home Chef delivered" really means I ordered it.

Because the ingredients come already pre-measured, I'm going to make my best guess on a few of these things in this recipe.

Steak Wellington with roasted carrots and mushroom demi-glace
Recipe from Home Chef

3 sprigs of thyme
16 oz carrots, sliced on a diagonal
2 sirloin steaks (about 6 oz each)
6 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 Puff Pastry dough square (it needs to fit slightly around the steak, but not completely. this recipe calls for a strip of puff pastry to go around the steak, not fully covering the steak)
2 tsp beef demi-glace (i have no idea how to replicate this other than I've seen those packets of beef broth that's concentrated. Those might work)
2 pats of butter

Stem and coarsely chop thyme. Peel, trim and cut carrot into 1/2" piecs at an angle. Place a medium oven-safe pan over mediume-high heat. Add 1 tsp olive oil and carrots to a hot pan. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Place the pan in a 450F oven and bake until golden brown, 15-18 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove from oven and season with salt, pepper and half the thyme. While carrots are baking, sear steaks.

Pat dry your steaks and season with salt and pepper. Sear them in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Transfer steaks to a baking sheet with parchment paper on it.

Add 2 tsp of olive oil to the pan you cooked the steaks in and saute the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown 4-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove puff pastry from refrigerator. Cut into 2" strips to be wrapped around the steak. Use the back of a small knife to draw diagonal lines on puff pastry 1/2" apart. Draw another set of lines in opposite direction to make a crosshatched pattern.

Place steaks on prepared baking sheet. Place 1/3 of the mushrooms on top of each steak. Place the puff pastry over width of mushroom-covered portion of steaks. Place on top rack in oven and bake until pastry is golden brown, 8-12 minutes.

While steaks are in the oven, make the demi-glace. Add 1/4 c water and demi-glace packet to pan with remaining mushrooms. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil until reduced by half, 1-3 minutes (this took me about 10 minutes). Remove from the burner and put 2 pats of butter in the demi-glace.

To plate: Put spoon of mushroom sauce on the plate, and place the steak wellington on top of mushroom sauce. Put carrots on the side.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

This was another Home Chef meal and it was fantastic. The lettuce tasted a little funky AND I think it's an easy recipe to duplicate without being part of Home Chef.

It made a HUGE salad. So don't think you aren't going to get enough to eat.

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

Recipe from Home Chef

1 Romain Heart
4 oz grape tomatoes, halved
1 green bell pepper, chopped (this didn't get used in my salad)
4 T chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 red onion, minced (use more if you'd like)
15 1/2 Oz canned black beans, rinsed
4 oz corn kernels
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 small corn tortillas
3 Oz BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rae's)
3 oz Ranch dressing (I used Hidden Valley)

Chop veggies (lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, and bell pepper) and put in a bowl.

Drain and rinse the black beans. Top the salad with them. Add corn.

Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts.

Place chicken on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake until chicken reaches 165F, 12-15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and set aside.

Slice tortillas in strips and toss with 1 tsp olive oil. Put on a baking sheet and bake at 375F until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Watch them though. They can burn quickly.

Shred the chicken and put on the salad. Mix the salad with the ranch dressing and plate.

Drizzle with BBQ sauce. Put tortilla and cilantro on top.

Dig In.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Parisian Bistro Steak w/ dauphinoise potatoes and green beans

I'm in week 5 of my Home Chef meals. I've only made a couple because I was off to Tucson for a bit. The friend who made those meals reported back that they were 'just ok'.

The one thing I like about these is you get the ingredient amounts exactly what you need. So you don't have to buy an entire thing of heavy cream for 6 oz. You get 6oz in the box. Perfect. I feel like I'm not wasting food as much.

The two portion is questionable. Maybe I think portions are larger than they are (most likely considering my weight...)

This meal overall is delicious. I'll repeat it for sure.

Parisian Bistro Steak w/ dauphinoise potatoes and green beans
Recipe from Home Chef

Serves 2

10 oz Yukon Gold potatoes
1 shallot
6 chives
6 oz green beans
2 sirloin steaks
6 fl oz Heavy Whipping Cream
1 oz shaved Parmesan
6 oz butter
4 tsp beef demi-glace

You'll need:
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray

Slice potatoes into 1/8" rounds. Bring a medium pot with potatoes and enough lightly salted water to cover to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until softened, 10-12 minutes. While potatoes cook, peel and mince shallot. Mince chives. Trim ends of green beans. Rinse steaks, pat dry and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Strain softened potatoes and return to pot over medium-high heat. Add heavy cream, half the shallots, and half the chives to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook stirring occasionally and gently, 5 minutes. Add half the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to prepared oven-safe casserole dish. Top with remaining Parmesan and bake until cheese browns, 15-18 minutes. While potatoes bake, cook steaks.

Place a medium non stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 T olive oil and steaks to hot pan and cook until steaks reach a minimum internal temp of 145F,  4-5 minutes per side. Remove steaks to a plate to rest and wipe pan clean.

Return pan used to cook steaks to medium-high heat and add half the butter, green beans and 1/4 c water. Bring to a simmer and cook until bright green and tender, 2-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Return pan used to cook green beans to medium heat. Add 1/2 tsp olive oil and remaining shallots to hot pan. Cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add demi-glace and 1/2 c water. Bring to a simmer and cook until just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2-3 minutes. (mine took too long to thicken so I added some corn starch). Remove from burner, add remaining butter, and whisk to incorporate.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Loaded Slow-Cooker Potatoes

Loaded is an understatement. Made these for a Sunday Dinner hosted by a friend. OMG...just looking at them makes my mouth water. I've not officially tasted them yet, but what could possibly be bad about these.

The key is to have everything done before you start layering them. I didn't and it was a bit of a pain.

Loaded Slow-Cooker Potatoes
Photo from
Recipe from
Serves 6

Cooking spray
2 lb. baby potatoes, halved and quartered if large
3 c. shredded Cheddar
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 slices bacon, cooked
1/4 c. sliced green onions, plus more for garnish
1 tbsp. paprika
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Sour cream, drizzling

Line a slow cooker with foil and spray with cooking spray. Add half the potatoes, 1 1/4 cups cheese, half the garlic, 1/3 of the cooked bacon, half the green onions, and half the paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat.

Cover and cook on high until potatoes are tender, 5 to 6 hours. (The bigger your potatoes, the longer they'll need.) About 20 to 30 minutes before serving, top with remaining cheese and bacon (this is your moment to make the potatoes look pretty!).

Garnish with more green onions, drizzle with sour cream, and serve.

Butterfinger Brownie Cookies

This year I set a goal to make a new cookie every month. Is completely opposite from my Lighten Up plan. But then again, I also am more interested in chips than sweets.

At any rate, here's the recipe. It was easy and not very time consuming. The cookies are fantastic. At least the first one out of the oven is.

Butterfinger Brownie Cookies
Recipe from

Makes 2 dozen

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon All Purpose Gold Medal® Flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chopped Butterfinger candy bars (7.8 ounces)- I used two 6-packs of .65-ounce bars found in grocery store candy aisle

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper.

Put butter and chocolate chips in a glass bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then microwave an additional 15 to 20 seconds if needed until the mixture is melted and smooth. (alternately, you can heat the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a metal pan set over a pot of simmering water).

Stir sugar, salt and vanilla extract into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring until they are completely incorporated.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda, then add the flour mixture to the chocolate batter. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Give it all you've got for a good 2 to 3 minutes of mixing. The batter should be smooth and glossy and thick. If the batter is cooled off, stir in the butterfingers.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto your prepared cookie sheets- leaving about 2-inches between cookies as they'll need space to grow. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. They'll spread out and puff up. You want to take them out when they've crackled but they're still soft and gooey. They'll sink and become more firm as they cool. Wait a few minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Eat them up within 2 to 3 days (stored in a covered container).

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

My second delivery of Home Chef showed up this weekend. The first delivery went to CH since I was in Arizona unexpectedly.  She said the recipes were just so-so. I really enjoyed the Plated recipes so we'll see how these go. 

This recipe was easy to follow and delicious. Unfortunately the lettuce received in the kit was all wilted and unusable. I had to improvise and use some old lettuce I had. Overall, not lettuce wraps. 

The slaw included had a Sesame dressing that was out of this world.

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Recipe from Home Chef

1 head of Butter Lettuce
2 green onions
12 oz ground turkey
3 oz Hoisin sauce
2 tsp Sriracha
3 oz water chestnuts
1 tsp ginger, minced
4 oz slaw
3 oz Asian Sesame Dressing

Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Prepare your ingredients by separating the lettuce leaves and washing them. Trim and thinly slice the green onions on an angle, keeping the whites and green portions separate. 

Heat a medium non-stick pan with 2 tsp olive oil (I didn't need the oil) over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until lightly browned and no pink remain, 8-10 minutes. 

Add Hoisin sauce, Sriracha (to taste), water chestnuts, white portions of the green onions, and ginger to pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. 

Place a lettuce cup on work surface. Fill with a few spoonfuls of turkey mixture and top with slaw mix. Repeat for each lettuce cup.

Slaw mix is basically the slaw mix you buy in the store. You'll need to find an Asian Sesame dressing or something similar. 

Top with green portions of green onions and devour. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Caprese Chicken over Warm Spinach Salad

Someday I will learn how to fry chicken with Parmesan on it and not 1) burn it or 2) under cook it. Today was not that day.

My mistake was I didn't pound the breast thin enough I think.

Regardless, this recipe was from the company Plated. I signed up for one of those services that deliver the ingredients and you cook it. I signed up and then cancelled within 30 minutes. Somehow, Plated didn't get the cancellation and delivered the first box (they refunded me the $$ by the way).

The first recipe is Caprese Chicken over Warm Spinach Salad. The chicken was fantastic. I under cooked it, but had to stick it in the oven to actually finish cooking. The Parmesan was becoming too brown in the skillet. I felt like I couldn't cook it in the skillet any longer. Popping it into the oven wasn't a bad idea.

If I make this again, I might grill the chicken to make it lower calorie.

Caprese Chicken over Warm Spinach Salad
Recipe from Plated

Serves 2
800 calories

1/4 oz basil, divided
1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1 shallot, minced
4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 T Champagne vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
3 oz baby spinach
1 c flour (this is actually a bit much for 2 chicken breasts. You could cut this in half.)
1/2 c panko breadcrumbs
1 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
5 T olive oil

Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Place the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet pound to 1/4 inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.

Place flour on a plate. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a large, shallow bowl, whisk egg. In another plate, mix the panko and Parmesan. Dredge chicken in flour, shake off excess. Dip in egg, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge in breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere. Place on a plate.

Add 2 T olive oil to pan, heat over med-high heat. When shimmering, add chicken and sear until crust is browned and chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to paper towel lined plate to drain.

Make the vinaigrette. Heat 1 tsp in olive oil over medium heat.  When oil is shimmering, add shallot and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in Champagne vinegar and mustard. Whisking continuously, slowly add 3 T olive oil until fully combined.  Season with salt and pepper.

Immediately add spinach and tomatoes and toss to coat. Add mozzarella and half the basil to bowl with spinach - toss to combine.

Divide spinach salad between plates and top with chicken. Tear remaining basil leaves into small pieces and sprinkle over the top.

Serve warm...and dig in!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Old Fashion Goulash

Apparently this is a comfort food. Anything labeled "comfort food" and I'm all in. Tonight is my last night to each "unhealthy" so I figured I'd go out with a bang.

I don't recall every having goulash as a kid. It seems like something a 70's mom would have made so I'm sure I have had it, just don't remember.

At any rate, super easy recipe and SUPER good. I would not put in the Adobo seasoning next time I make this. I think it made it just too salty.

Old Fashion Goulash
Recipe from
Serves - a lot

2 lbs ground beef or turkey
3 tsp minced garlic
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2.5 c water
1/2 c beef broth
1/3 c olive oil
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 T Italian Seasoning
1 T Adobo seasoning
3 bay leaves
1 T seasoned salt
2 c elbow mararoni, uncooked
1 c shredded mozzarella
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

In a large pot, cook your ground beef until just done, add garlic and onions. Cook until beef is completely done. Add broth, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Stir. Add seasonings.
Cook for about 20 minutes.

Add macaroni and stir well. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes.

Remove bay leaves. Remove from heat.

Add cheddar cheese. Mix until combined. Add mozzarella right before you serve.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Buckeye Brownie Cookies these good.

Tradition in my house is the December Sunday dinner is a cookie exchange. This year I made these cookies...and lord were they good.

Make these cookies...

I didn't end up with enough powdered sugar to make real frosting, but ended up with a ganache type texture ... and truthfully I was ok with that. They were tasty.

Found this recipe on a blog called Cookies and Cups. I'll be visiting more often for sure.

Buckeye Brownie Cookies
Photo from
Cookies and Cups blog

Cookies and Cups
Makes 24

1 box 18-19 oz Brownie mix
¼ c butter, melted
½ c cream cheese, room temp
1 egg
¾ c peanut butter
¾ c powdered sugar
¾ c chocolate frosting

Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine brownie mix, butter, cream cheese and egg. Stir until dough comes together, it will be very thick and sticky. I used my hands.

Form rounded tablespoons sized portions of dough into balls, placing on baking sheet about 2 inches apart, making an indentation with your thumb in the center of each.

In another bowl stir together peanut butter and powdered sugar. Form peanut butter into teaspoon sized balls and press into the indentations in the brownie cookies.

Press peanut butter down slightly because the peanut butter won't spread and you don't want the cookies to be too tall.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are set.

Transfer to wire rack to cool.

When cooled top each cookie with about a tablespoon of chocolate frosting.
Note: I tried to use her chocolate frosting recipe...I fell short on the powdered sugar. Here's the recipe for you though.