Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Best Peanut Butter Cookies Ever

I don't love PB cookies. I love these. Rob says they are the best Peanut Butter cookies he's ever had. Loved them. I followed the weight measurements with a digital scale and they were perfect.

From Mel.

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies
I haven't tested the recipe using natural peanut butter - I've only used traditional creamy peanut butter (like Jif or Skippy). The trick to this recipe is instead of pressing the cookies flat before baking, give them a light press after they are done baking. It makes all the difference in the world for soft, dense peanut butter cookies.
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 16 tablespoons) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  4. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix until combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until creamy. 
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. 
  6. Scoop the dough and roll into 1- or 2-inch balls. Place on parchment- or silpat-lined (or lightly greased) large, rimmed baking sheets, placing them a couple inches apart.
  7. Bake for 10-11 minutes until puffed. Don't overbake.
  8. Remove from the oven and immediately press each cookie to flatten slightly with the bottom of a flat drinking glass. Don't flatten the cookies to smithereens, just press the puffed part down until the cookies are an even thickness. 
  9. Scoop onto a cooling rack to cool completely. These cookies freeze great (and actually taste amazing straight from the freezer).

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Grilled Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos.  I love them.  If they are on a menu at a Mexican Restaurant, I always get them, these are pretty darn good, and probably my favorite homemade to date.

Recipe found here.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:  (This is a Cafe Rio Copy cat (not the creamy dressing))
1/4 c. fresh lime juice (about 2-3 juicy limes)
1/4 c. white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
4-5 cloves garlic (I used one clove and didn't blend it.  I just cut it into fourths and added it to the dressing, so you get a really mild garlic flavor.  I really don't like strong raw garlic flavor)
1/2 tsp. Kosher or sea salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 c. canola oil
1/2 c. roughly chopped cilantro, stems removed

In the jar of your blender, combine lime juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, and sugar. Blend until ingredients are completely combined. With the blender running, add the oil in a steady stream. Add cilantro and blend until the cilantro has broken down but still maintains some of its texture. Serve with greens, on any type of Mexican salad, or use as a marinade.

For the tacos, I marinated 4 Tilapia Filets for 20minutes in the vinaigrette.  Grilled (on a piece of tin foil so it wouldn't fall through the grates when flipped)  for about 5 minutes.  

Shred cabbage (purple or green) and toss with more of the marinade.  Fish tacos are incomplete without cabbage.  Serve on Corn tortilla.

Additional toppings you might like:
pico de gallo (whatever you like)
cotija cheese

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Skillet Taco Pasta Shells {30-Minute Meal}

I kind of loved this. It's not fancy, but I made it because I had all the ingredients in my house already and I was in a comfort food kind of mood. It made for a super quick lunch. And it kind of reminded me of a delicious, non-processed version of Hamburger helper. I think kids would love it. From Mel.

Skillet Taco Pasta Shells
  • 1 pound ground turkey or beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder or 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used a pint I bottled, and they were so good)
  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde (green salsa or green enchilada sauce) A dusty can from my pantry...
  • 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained I used black beans instead
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 cups medium pasta shells (like these) I did a bit less here. Probably 2 1/4 because I like more sauce
  • 1 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Fresh cilantro for sprinkling
  • Sour cream, olives and salsa for serving (optional)
  • I heated up some frozen corn and threw it in at the end instead of having it on the side. I liked it.
  1. In a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the ground turkey or beef, salt, pepper, onion (or onion powder), and garlic (or garlic powder), stirring every once in a while to break the meat into small pieces. Once the meat is cooked through, drain any excess grease and scrape the meat mixture to a paper towel-lined plate. 
  2. To the skillet add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa verde, pinto beans, chili powder, oregano, pasta shells, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. 
  3. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring often to make sure the pasta isn't sticking, until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15-20 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the cooked ground meat and top with the shredded cheese. Cover the skillet for 1-2 minutes to let the cheese melt. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro. The pasta will thicken as it rests. 
  5. Serve with sour cream, olives, and salsa, if desired.