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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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And a very Happy New Year!

Emily

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Chunky Chocolate Cookies

DSCN2618 Chunky Chocolate CookiesThese soft, chewy cookies full of chocolate chunks are easy-to-make and delightful to eat. They also make wonderful gifts for friends and family alike!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup rolled oats
1-1/4 cups chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.

2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and both sugars; beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract; set aside.

3. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a small bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating continuously. Stir in the rolled oats and chocolate chunks.

4. Spoon the dough by tablespoonfuls about 2-inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on pans for 1 minute; transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with any remaining dough. Makes 16 cookies.

Emily

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Frosted Chocolate Cake

DSCN2626 Frosted Chocolate CakeAdd a touch of elegance to your holiday entertaining with this deliciously moist chocolate cake smothered in rich chocolate frosting sprinkled with crunchy chopped walnuts. Yum, Yum!

CAKE:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cold black coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

FROSTING:

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup warm water
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

2. With electric mixer on Low speed, beat in the shortening, milk, coffee and vanilla until combined. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat 2 more minutes.

3. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans; smooth with a spatula. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes; turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

4. For the frosting, combine the cocoa powder, butter, corn syrup, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. With electric mixer set on medium speed, beat for 2 minutes; add the warm water and mix well. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar in 2 batches; beat until smooth and creamy.

5. Place 1 cake layer top side down on a large, flat plate. Spread with 1 cup of frosting and sprinkle with 2/3 cup of walnuts. Top with the remaining cake layer, top side up. Frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting, swirling with a small spatula. Garnish with the remaining walnuts. Makes 12 servings.

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Crispy Ranch Chicken

DSCN2631 Crispy Ranch ChickenCrispy rice cereal, Parmesan cheese and ranch dressing mix give this chicken recipe a tasty crunch. You will love how quick-and-easy it is to prepare!

2 cups crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (1 ounce) envelope ranch salad dressing mix
2 egg whites
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs*

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the rice cereal, Parmesan cheese and ranch dressing mix.

2. Beat egg whites in a medium bowl; dip each chicken thigh in the egg whites and then in the cereal mixture to coat evenly.

3. Arrange the coated chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet; bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife. Makes 4 servings.

*You may substitute 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves, if desired.

Emily

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