Monday, December 29, 2008

Smoky Turkey Tomato Soup

My dad fried a turkey for Christmas Day and my mom gave me a ton of leftovers. We have been out at different events so much we haven't been home to eat it! So I decided to make some soup to freeze for lunches instead.

You can certainly change out some of these ingredients if you would like - or add some! Some additional add-ins could include diced green chiles, salsa instead of the tomatoes, or some green peppers sauteed with the onion. Be creative!
Smoky Turkey Tomato Soup
from Colleen's Kitchen
Makes about 6 servings
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 large onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 14.5 ounce cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 14.5 ounce can petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups diced cooked turkey
coarse ground black pepper, to taste
Heat oil over medium-high in large saucepan or Dutch oven; add onions and saute until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chile and garlic, saute 30 seconds more.
Add broth and tomatoes; turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium, add turkey, and cook until turkey is heated through.
Serve with toppings of your choice: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, etc.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Colleen's Chicken Salad

There are probably as many varieties of chicken salad out there as there are home cooks. The mix-ins and dressings are endless because chicken is so adaptable. This is my version of a more savory chicken salad, minus any nuts and fruits, because I like to eat it on a roll with a slice of bacon and tomato!

This is a perennial family favorite and sometimes I think it may be the only reason my brother comes to Christmas Eve brunch (just kidding, Bri!) When I make it for my family I omit the celery because no one really likes it, but I like the crunch it adds so give it a try!

Colleen's Chicken Salad
from Colleen's Kitchen
Makes about 4 servings

2 chicken breasts (about 1 pound), cooked and shredded
1 stalk celery, diced
1/3 to 1/2 of a large cucumber, peeled and diced
1/3 cup mayo, more or less to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
kosher salt and coarse ground pepper to taste

Combine chicken, celery, and cucumber in large bowl.

In small bowl, combine mayo, mustard, and lemon juice. Pour over chicken mixture, season with salt and pepper; toss gently to coat.

Cover and chill for at least 1 hour, can be made up to 24 hours in advance.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Treats from Katie

I have a lot of posts on here that talk about Katie, from Good Things Catered and The Hyper Homemaker. That's because Katie is a fabulous cook who has catered before so she knows almost everything there is to know about preparing food! We talk constantly about planning menus and how to spice up dishes, and usually it ends in Katie encouraging me to do something I have never tried in the kitchen.

So I was so happy when on Christmas Eve I received a package with all of the goodies Katie has been blogging about. They included Almond Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies, Warm Wishes Cookies using her awesome sugar cookie recipe, and homemade Marshmallows!

A final thank you again, Katie. Thanks for all the treats as well as your fanatastic friendship!

Crispy Shredded Potato Gratin

Ok, you got me. Of COURSE this is a version of the ever-popular hash brown casserole, but doesn't this name sound so much better? (Thanks, Katie!) This is a perfect brunch dish! You can also assemble this the night before and just pop in the oven to bake while you are getting everything else together.

I got the recipe for this particular version from my fabulous Aunt Jane. I would trust anything coming out of her kitchen because she is such a great cook, and this certainly delivers! It has all the comforting tastes of cheese, potatoes, and creamy soup. Make some for your family today!
Crispy Shredded Potato Gratin
from Aunt Jane
Makes about 12 servings
2 pounds frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1 stick butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
16 ounces sour cream
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of cheddar soup
2 cups shredded cheddar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put potatoes in a greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.
Melt butter in medium-sized bowl and combine with onion, sour cream, and soup. Mix into potatoes. Sprinkle with cheddar.
Bake for 45 minutes.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Lemon Yogurt Cake

This cake is great for brunch because it's a nice light lemon flavor and made with yogurt so you can feel a little better about eating it before noon. :) The lemon cake base is enhanced with a lemon syrup glaze and then again with a lemon juice and powdered sugar glaze.

When you put the cake to cool on a wire rack, put it on a baking sheet with wax paper or foil underneath it. That way when you pour both glazes over it, the excess will fall on the wax paper and you have an easy clean-up.

There are no pictures of the preparation because I was so busy getting everything else ready for brunch. But here is a pic of the table!

Lemon Yogurt Cake
from Ina Garten
Makes one loaf

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the glaze:nocoupons
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tag - I'm it!

Amy from From the French Kitchen tagged me and now I must share with all of you seven random/weird facts about myself. So since this is a food blog I will share food-related oddities rather than spill all my deep dark secrets!

1. When I was younger two of my favorite sandwiches (my cousin Katie loved these as well) were (1) peanut butter and margarine on any bread and (2) bologna or liverwurst and American cheese with ketchup on white bread. Yum!

2. I am still afraid to make "big cuts" of meat - this includes whole chickens and turkeys and things like roast beef - I am petrified I won't cook it all the way!

3. I don't like to keep leftovers in my refrigerator for longer than 4 days. I will throw them out even if they are still good!

4. A favorite childhood drink of mine was orange soda mixed with milk - a creamsicle!

5. I do not like to mix anything sweet with my actual meal - this includes fruit (or nuts) in salads, any sort of chutney or fruit topping on meat, or sweeter vegetables like butternut squash.

6. If you couldn't tell already, my absolute favorite course to make AND eat is the appetizer course!

7. And finally, I am also afraid to work with any sort of pastry dough or yeast-based recipe - I just don't have the patience!

And now I am tagging 7 others!

1. Brooke of ...and a cookie for dessert

2. Sarah of A Taste of Home Cooking

3. Cara of Cara's Creature Comforts

4. Jenn of Jenn's Jumpin' Kitchen

5. Lauren of Lauren's Kitchen

6. Kristen of Le Petit Pierogi

7. Stephanie of Macaroni and Cheesecake

Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Turkey Tortilla Bake

Ok so we have already had a discussion about how Chuck is not a fan of casseroles. However, I think his aversion is actually to the cream-of-whatever soup, rather than the casserole itself because this recipe is one of his favorites! And it comes from a book titled Best-Loved Casseroles (shh, don't tell him). It is a cookbook that my mom owns and it has provided us with many yummy dishes (well, if you love casseroles).

I have changed it slightly, adding more cheese and such, and my mom suggested the addition of the salsa as well. This is a tasty, easy dish that can be made in advance (prep through the assembly step) and then heated through later if you are crunched for time. As always with comfort food, not pretty to photograph, but delicious to eat!

Turkey Tortilla Bake
adapted from Best-Loved Casseroles
Makes 4 servings

9 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package ground turkey (usually about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup (8 ounce bottle) taco sauce
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilis, drained
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa
sour cream (optional)
4 cups prepared rice (for serving)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat an 11 x 7 baking dish with cooking spray.

Place tortills on large baking sheet; overlapping tortillas as little as possible. Bakes 4 minutes, turn tortillas. Continue baking 4 more minutes or until tortillas are crisp. Set aside to cool.

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add turkey and onion. Cook and stir until turkey is browned and onion is tender, about 5 minutes.

Add taco sauce, chilis, and corn. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Break 3 tortillas into pieces and arrange over the bottom of prepared baking dish. Spoon half of the turkey mixture over tortillas, sprinkle with half of the cheese, and top with all of the salsa.

Repeat broken tortilla, turkey, and cheese layers. Top with remaining 3 broken tortillas. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.

Garnish with sour cream if desired and serve over rice.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Eve Brunch

Chuck and I are so lucky that our immediate families get along so well. In fact, we often hear about times when our siblings will get together without even telling us! I love that everyone enjoys each other's company and that we all have fun together.

So when we got married, I wanted to start some traditions and one of them included a Christmas Eve Brunch with the ten of us. Just a relaxing time at our house, filled with good food, some mimosas, and lots of laughter! Here is what we will be eating this year:

Christmas Eve Brunch

Beverages include coffee, tea, mimosas, and juice.

As always, recipes to follow!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Divine Chicken Divan

When Chuck looked at the recipe for this while I was cooking, he thought that he wasn't going to like it. But after tasting the rich creamy, cheesy flavor, he declared it a winner! I think he was nervous because it looked very "casserole-y" (my own word, thankyouverymuch), which it is in a sense, but there is no condensed soup in here. You basically are making that from scratch and then adding delicious and comforting ingredients to it.

My final dish was a little heavy on the sauce, but that's because I didn't use the full amounts of chicken and broccoli. I would suggest that you follow the recipe as stated, and I have added approximate amounts of the meat and vegetable so that you don't have to guess. And make sure you steam the broccoli and cook the chicken first! If you are making this in a broiler-safe dish, I think that a few minutes under the broiler at the end would make this even crispier and more delicious!

Divine Chicken Divan
from Dinners for a Year and Beyond
Makes 6 servings

1 1/4 cups rice, either white or brown
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups of broccoli florets, steamed (about 3 broccoli crowns)
4 cups of cooked chicken, shredded in large chunks (about 3 chicken breasts, or 1 1/2 pounds)
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook rice according to package directions. Place cooked rice in a 2-quart baking dish. Set aside.

Heat a medium sized saucepan to medium high and add olive oil and onions. Saute for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute. Add the chicken broth and milk and bring to a boil.

Combine the cornstarch and wine in a small bowl and whisk into the saucepan. Cook until sauce thickens, about 3 - 4 minutes. Add the cheddar cheese and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in broccoli and chicken.

Spoon chicken mixture over rice. Combine panko and Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over chicken and rice. Cover baking dish with foil.Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 8 - 10 minutes or until top is browned.

Note - This dish can be assembled ahead of time, unbaked, and covered and refrigerated. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake dish for 30 - 35 minutes covered with foil. Then uncover and bake an additional 8 - 10 minutes. It can also be frozen. Thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours, then follow the refrigerated baking directions.

Southwestern Potatoes

When I decided to make these I didn't realize that they would be like a little stuffed potato skin in every bite - YUM. Basically what you do is slice the potatoes very thin and add barbeque sauce, cheese, and bacon to the top and crisp them up in the oven. How can you go wrong with that?!

Another good thing about these is because they are sliced so thinly, they don't take as long to roast in the oven and you can make them in under 30 minutes. I served these alongside pulled pork sandwiches and some veggies and dip.
Southwestern Potatoes
Makes 4 servings
1 package bacon bits (or 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled)
2 unpeeled large potatoes, scrubbed (or 4 medium)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 sour cream, optional (for dipping)
Line 2 large baking sheets with foil and preheat oven to 450 degrees. (I was ok with just one.)
Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Toss the potatoes, olive oil, garlic salt and pepper in a big ziploc bag to coat the potatoes.
Arrange potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes.
Brush with barbecue sauce, then top with the shredded cheese and bacon bits. Bake until the cheese melts, about 3-5 minutes. Top with sour cream, if desired.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Coconut-Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Making biscotti is quite easy once you have tried it once. And the flavor combinations are endless - I used an America's Test Kitchen recipe for this one and changed it to incorporate the flavors I was looking for. If you are looking to change it even more, just play around with the extracts and the add-ins to make your own customized biscotti!

Make sure to let the loaves cool for at LEAST 10 minutes before slicing them to bake again. No cheating here, because your loaves will collapse on themselves if you don't allow the proper cooling time. To make these even prettier - dip the ends in melted chocolate!

Coconut-Chocolate Chip Biscotti
adapted from America's Test Kitchen via Good Things Catered
Makes about 3 dozen

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and smooth, about 2 min. Beat in eggs then the extract. Stir in coconut.

Fold dry ingredients into wet until dough is just mixed. Stir in chocolate chips.

Halve the dough and turn portions onto prepared baking sheet. Stretch each portion into a rough 13 by 2 in. loaf and pat smooth. Bake about 35 minutes or until the loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top. Remove baking sheet from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Lower oven temp to 325 degrees and cut each loaf diagonally into 3/4 in. slices. Lay each slice cut-side up on baking sheet and return to oven. Bake, turning each cookie half way through baking for about 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Ready to go into the oven for the first bake (attractive!)...

...and out of the oven ready to be sliced.

I was also just given this "Uber Amazing Blog" award by Priscilla of Priscilla Bakes. Thank you so much!

I would like to pass this award onto two blogs that I have been using a lot of recipes from lately - you ladies deserve this! Congratulations to:

Melissa of Delicious Meliscious and

Elle of Elle's New England Kitchen!

Elfin Shortbread Bites

I love shortbread - the simple, buttery goodness of it is so comforting and delicious. And when I made these, I discovered how EASY it was as well - just add some flour, sugar, and butter to the food processor and voila, you have shortbread!

This particular recipe appealed to me because they were so cute! I bought peppermint sprinkles to mix in and they give off a minty fragrance and flavor. On the original recipe, it says that this makes 160 bites, and Elle says she got 90. Well, I only got 48 - I don't see how you can get any more from that - I mean, look at how little my bites are! Regardless, it still made a whole bunch and I can't wait to try this with different kinds of sprinkles!

**Note: A bench scraper or a very sharp paring knife works best to cut these little guys.

Elfin Shortbread Bites
from Elle's New England Kitchen
Makes about 4 dozen

1 1/4 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons red and green sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

If using a food processor, pulse the flour and sugar until blended. Add in the butter until it all resembles fine crumbs. Add the sprinkles and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. (Don't overdo it, or the dough will turn pink from the red sprinkles.)

Remove to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until the dough forms a ball. Pat the dough out into an 8x5 inch rectangle on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch squares, and separate them on the baking sheet.

If you're not using a food processor, mix the flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until you get fine crumbs, stir in the sprinkles and knead until smooth. Continue with cutting.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, and then transfer the cookies on the parchment to a cooling rack. Store in a tightly covered container at room temp for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

Easy Peanut Butter Cups

I am always hesitant to make candy because I have yet to deal with the whole candy thermometer issue. So when I saw this recipe using nothing but the microwave and the freezer to prepare, I was sold! I used chocolate chips instead of the baking chocolate, which some people may not recommend because chips don't always melt as easily. I really had no problem!

As you can see by my pictures, I ran out of chocolate for the top layer. I think I layered way too much on the bottom, so I was left with only a dollop of chocolate for the top. No matter, because they still taste the same (delicious) and Chuck recommends that you eat them cold!

Easy Peanut Butter Cups
Makes 24 cups

4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped

Line two 12-cup mini muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine white chocolate and peanut butter. Microwave, until almost melted, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, place semisweet chocolate in another microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, stirring once or twice, until almost melted, 2 to 3 minutes.

Dividing evenly, use a spoon to layer semisweet chocolate and peanut-butter mixture into liners, beginning and ending with chocolate; sprinkle with peanuts.
Place muffin pans in freezer until peanut butter cups are firm, about 15 minutes. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

And now for a short reprieve from baked goods (but not too long, don't worry!). With all this baking for Christmas going on I am definitely not making as many new dinners as I normally do, but we gotta eat sometime, right?

This is an old favorite - super easy for a rushed weeknight, yet nice enough for a casual dinner with friends as well. It basically consists of making a paste of butter and cheese (and seriously, how can you go wrong with that) and spreading it on broiled fish.

The original recipe say that the amounts below make 8 servings, but they really don't (I halve what is below for the two of us). Tilapia is so light and flaky that Chuck and I can eat almost 8 ounces of it (is that embarrassing to admit?) as a main dish. And don't worry about the specific seasonings that are listed, I really just add what I have in my spice cabinet. Enjoy!

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried basil (I add parsley too)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder (or minced onion)
1/8 teaspoon celery salt (or garlic salt)
2 pounds tilapia fillets

Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.

Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes.

Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Before the final broil...

...and after. Yum!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Butterscotch Cookies

Today seems to be "Cookies from Rita" day because I got this recipe from her last year as well! They are not too fancy, but they are certainly quick, easy, delicious. My dad and Chuck LOVE these so I will be making them every year from here on out!

Butterscotch Cookies
from Rita
Makes about 4 dozen
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package butterscotch chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In large bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Add in eggs and vanilla, beat until well combined.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Gradually add to butter mixture, mix until just combined.
Stir in butterscotch chips, drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are just golden brown.

Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are a favorite of mine from last year, pointed out to me by my baking buddy, Rita. They combine my favorite Christmas flavors (which you have probably figured out by now) of cranberries and white chocolate!
I like to plump the dried cranberries before using them - I think it gives you more cookies, and also results in a fuller-looking product. There are instructions at the bottom of the recipe on how to do this!

Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies
Makes 3-4 dozen

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups white chocolate morsels
1 (6-ounce) package sweetened dried cranberries, plumped*

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; set aside.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in white chocolate morsels and cranberries.

Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

*To plump cranberries: Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place cranberries in a heat-safe bowl and pour boiling water over to cover. Let sit for several minutes; pat dry.

Chocolate Mint Candies Cookies

Amy of Sing for Your Supper sent me this recipe last year as part of a gift exchange and it has been waiting patiently in my cookie file ever since! I liked the idea of the chocolate cookie base with the candy swirled into the top of it. You can't go wrong with chocolate and mint and these certainly delivered!

I am ashamed to admit that I read the directions wrong and only bought TWO boxes of the Andes Mints but I certainly could have used all three! The original recipe says this makes 3 to 4 dozen but I got closer to 6 dozen. I sprinkled some turbinado sugar over the ones that were leftover after I ran out of candy, so I still have a nice chocolate cookie! The directions also say to swirl the candy with the green filling, but as you can see, the only swirl I got was with the top layer of the candy, which was plain chocolate. **Update: My friend Joanna just made these and when she used the back of a spoon to swirl the softened mint, she was able to see the green filling!
Chocolate Mint Candies Cookies
Makes 5-6 dozen
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (4.5 ounce) packages chocolate covered thin mints (Andes)

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, butter and water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat, stir in the chocolate chips until melted and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll cookie dough into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, be careful not to overbake. When cookies come out of the oven, Press one mint wafer into the top of each cookie and let sit for 1 minute. When the mint is softened, swirl with the back of a spoon or toothpick to make a pattern with the green filling of the mint wafer. For smaller cookies, break mints in half. Mints will harden again so that cookies can be stored.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

This side dish takes a little bit more effort than regular roasted asparagus, but it's nice for a special dinner. The prosciutto crisps up nicely in the oven and your guests will be wowed by the presentation!

The amount (weight-wise) of prosciutto you will need will vary based on the thickness of the slices. Basically you need 1 slice of prosciutto for every 3 stalks of asparagus since you will be cutting the meat into thirds. Sorry about the lack of quality pictures but this was prepared with a lot of other dishes so I was in a rush!
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
from Colleen's Kitchen
Makes 4 servings
1 bunch (about a pound) asparagus, woody ends chopped
olive oil
coarse ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut each prosciutto slice into thirds vertically so you end up with 3 long strips of prosciutto per slice. Wrap in a spiral motion around each stalk of asparagus.
Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper.
Bake for 10-12 mintues or until prosciutto is crisp but asparagus is not dried out.