Chocolate Cobbler

For the past few days, I’ve been making all sorts of fruity desserts so today, it was time for chocolate.  When I saw this chocolate cobbler recipe on Pinterest, I was downright salivating.  With that said, the decision was made.

Chocolate Cobbler
(adapted from Tasty Kitchen)
Yields: 8 ramekins of cobbler

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
7 tbsp cocoa powder, divided
1 and 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 and 1/2 cup hot water
ice cream of choice (optional)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350.  Spray nonstick spray to 8 ramekins and set aside.  Combine flour, baking powder, salt, 3 tablespoons of cocoa, and 3/4 cup white sugar and mix.  Reserve the remaining cocoa and sugar.  Stir in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla to the flour mixture and mix well.  Distribute the batter evenly into 8 ramekins.  In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining sugar (1/2 cup), the remaining cocoa powder (4 tablespoons), and the brown sugar.  Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter in the 8 ramekins.  Pour in 3 tablespoons of hot water on top of every single ramekin.  DO NOT STIR!  Bake for 40 minutes and let stand for a few minutes to cool down.  Top with ice cream of choice and serve.

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My two cents:
This cobbler is similar in texture to a lava cake.  My only modification was that I put the batter into individual ramekins rather than an 8-inch baking pan.  I figure if this was going to be ooey and gooey like the picture depicted, then it might be easier to bake individual portions.  It was a successful dessert.  The ice cream went so well with it too.  After I finished mine, I wanted more!  I will most likely be making this dessert again sometime in the near future, that’s for sure.

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Mac and Cheese with Hot Dogs and Ground Beef

Last night, for some strange reason, I was craving mac and cheese.  However, the traditional mac and cheese is just way too plain for me.  Being that I am Filipino-American, I am used to eating hot dogs with my spaghetti so to change it up a bit, I added ground beef and hot dogs to enhance the mac and cheese a little bit.

Mac and Cheese with Hot Dogs and Ground Beef
(adapted from cullyskitchen)

Ingredients:
1 lb elbow macaroni
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 package beef hot dogs, sliced
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp garlic and herbs seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp granulated onion
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup beef broth
2 cups milk
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp ketchup
2 and 1/2 cups sharp cheddar

Instructions:
Cook macaroni according to package instructions for al dente.  Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add sliced hot dogs and cook until brown on both sides.  Transfer to a plate with a napkin on top to soak up the oil from the hot dogs.  Add ground beef and season with salt, pepper, and garlic and herbs.  Once the meat is browned, transfer to the plate with the hot dogs.  Add another tablespoon of olive oil and add butter.  Add granulated onion, flour, and beef broth.  Stir and cook until thickened.  Mix in milk and bring to a boil.  Stir in mustard and ketchup.  Lower the heat and add the cheese.  Stir to melt.  Drain pasta well then add to the cheese sauce in the skillet.  Add hot dogs and ground beef.  Mix well.

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My two cents:
This recipe was okay.  The ground beef and hot dogs definitely add a little something.  However, I still felt like the recipe needs a little more.  Don’t quite know what that would be but my brother suggested maybe more herbs and spices the next time around to add some type of flavor punch.  Had it not been for the hot dogs, this recipe would be a total bust for me.  Not too bad but nothing to be excited about either.

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Shrimp Linguine

My previous post went on and on about how much I love Red Lobster because of their cheddar bay biscuits.  The other thing I absolutely crave from that place is their shrimp linguine.  Since I looked up the recipe for the biscuits, I had to search for the copy cat recipe of their shrimp linguine.

Shrimp Linguine
(as seen from food.com)

Ingredients:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 lb shrimp, peeled, de-veined, and tails off
2/3 cup clam juice (or chicken broth)
1/3 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
8 oz linguine, cooked and drained

Instructions:
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic then reduce heat to low.  Add shrimp and cook over low-medium heat until opaque.  Remove shrimp but reserve liquid in pan.  Add clam juice (or chicken broth) and bring to a boil.  Add wine and cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, making sure to stir constantly.  Reduce heat to low and add cream.  Add cheese, stirring until smooth.  Add shrimp back into sauce — heat thoroughly.  Toss in basil and oregano.  Put pasta in a large bowl and pour sauce over pasta.  Toss gently to coat.  May serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

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My two cents:
I liked this recipe but I’d have to try it again with a little modifications.  One, it didn’t taste quite like Red Lobster’s, though it can be somewhat comparable to a small extent.  I used chicken broth the first time around since I didn’t have clam juice on hand.  Would probably try clam juice the next time to see if it would make a difference in the overall flavor.  Second, I was a little bit overwhelmed with the wine taste of it.  I’d probably lessen the amount of wine.  Lastly, I used dried Parmesan cheese, but I’m sure the fresh grated kind would’ve elevated the dish a little bit more.  Other than that, not too bad, but I’d have to try again to get it to my liking.

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Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Red Lobster is one of my favorite restaurants ever.  I’d probably frequent it more often if there were locations nearby.  What I absolutely love and crave from that place are their complimentary cheddar bay biscuits.  Most of the time, I eat way too many biscuits that by the time my entree arrives, I’m too full to even get through half of it.  They’re that good!  I was completely excited when I found a recipe via Pinterest.

Cheddar Bay Biscuits
(adapted from my thirty spot)
Yields: 1 dozen biscuits

Ingredients:
BISCUITS —
2 and 1/2 cups Bisquick
4 tbsp cold butter
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
BUTTER GLAZE —
3 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp dried parsley flakes

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400.  Lightly grease cookie sheet and set aside.  Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a large bowl using 2 forks.  Add cheese, milk, and garlic powder.  Mix by hand until combined but do not over mix.  Drop 1/4 cup portions of dough onto cookie sheet.  Bake for 13 to 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a small bowl in a microwave.  Stir in garlic powder and dried parsley flakes.  Use a brush to spread the garlic butter over the tops of the biscuits.

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My two cents:
I am a fan!  This recipe is completely comparable, if not better, than cheddar bay biscuits at Red Lobster!  My mom told me that she prefers this one because it’s not as hard and pretty cheesy in comparison to the original.  I like that I can adjust the cheesiness or garlic taste — since I love those flavors.  I actually made this recipe as an appetizer dish for Valentine’s Day and the boyfriend loved it also!

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Apple Cinnamon Butterscotch Cookies

Like I mentioned before, I love unusual cookie flavors.  When I stumbled upon a cookie recipe involving a muffin mix, I thought, maybe I could use other muffin flavors to yield the same type of cookie.  That’s exactly what I did.

Apple Cinnamon Butterscotch Cookies
Yields: 2 to 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
2 Jiffy apple cinnamon muffin mix
4 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 cups butterscotch chips

Instructions:
Cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese.  Add egg and mix.  Combine muffin mix and flour and add to cream cheese mixture.  Blend well.  Fold in butterscotch chips.  Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours — minimum of 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 375.  Drop by tablespoonful onto greased cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool for 2 to 3 minutes then transfer to wire rack for further cooling.

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My two cents:
My boyfriend, family, and friends also liked this recipe a lot.  It’s different but definitely delectable.  Again, make sure to refrigerate the dough to prevent too much spreading.

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Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Though I haven’t posted any cookie recipes yet, I actually obsessed over making cookies for a good 2 weeks, almost daily.  Of course, this benefited my family and my co-workers the most since there was an abundance of cookies to go around.  What I love about cookies is that they come in a smaller serving of deliciousness, without fussing about cutting or containers or what not.  I love them a little bit crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.  I’m mostly intrigued by unusual cookie flavors, which is no wonder why this particular recipe caught my eye.  The cookies came out flat as a pancake at first, but a suggested modification made it perfect!

Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from the inspiration cafe)
Yields: 2 to 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
2 boxes Jiffy blueberry muffin mix
4 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Instructions:
Cream together butter, sugar, and cream cheese.  Add egg and mix well.  Combine muffin mix and flour and add to cream cheese mixture.  Fold in white chocolate chips.  Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours — minimum of 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 375.  Drop by the tablespoonful onto greased cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool for 2 to 3 minutes then transfer to wire rack for further cooling.

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My two cents:
I loved this recipe.  These cookies are delicious!  I love the use of the jiffy muffin mix because it gives the cookie a little cake type feel to it too but not too much where you can’t discern it’s a cookie.  The blueberry flavor and the white chocolate chips are a great combination.  I, myself, prefer to leave the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least a day.  That way, the cookies don’t spread too much in the oven.  Try this recipe and you won’t regret it!

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Chicken and Shrimp Pesto Pasta with Mushrooms and Sun-dried Tomatoes

There’s this restaurant in Carson called House of Seafood that made me fall in love with pesto.  They make this scallop orecchiette pesto pasta with sun-dried tomatoes.  It’s creamy and lovely and all sorts of deliciousness.  The sun-dried tomatoes add that much needed acid, cutting the richness.  From that point on, I was on a mission to find a recipe comparable to that dish.  Though it’s still not quite exact, I found one that I absolutely love just as much.  In fact, I’ve made this dish about three times already and made my own modifications.

Chicken and Shrimp Pesto Pasta with Mushrooms and Sun-dried Tomatoes
(adapted from scandalous candice)

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup granulated onion
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb shrimp, shells off and de-veined
1 tsp dried thyme
2 basil leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 cup chicken broth
6.25 oz jar of pesto
1 container of mushrooms, sliced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 lb bow-tie pasta

Instructions:
Cook the bow-tie pasta according to package instructions then set aside.  Heat oil in skillet over medium-high and add the shrimp until pink.  Transfer the cooked shrimp to a bowl and set aside.  Make sure not to overcook it.  Toss the mushrooms in the skillet and saute.  When done, transfer to another bowl and set aside.  Add minced garlic to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken and granulated onion and cook until golden brown on both sides.  Reduce heat to medium and add the thyme, bay leaves, heavy cream, and chicken broth.  Let simmer until sauce has thickened.  Add parmesan and cooked shrimp and simmer a little bit more.  Remove bay leaves.  Meanwhile, add the pesto, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes to the bow-tie pasta and mix it up.  Pour the creamy chicken and shrimp sauce over the pasta and mix again, making sure everything is well coated.

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My two cents:
As I mentioned earlier, I am in love with this recipe.  The flavors complement one another and it has all my favorite things in it — chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, pesto, and sun-dried tomatoes!  I’m sorry if the picture above doesn’t show the shrimp but as I said, I’ve made this dish a couple times before and it only had the chicken.  One may also omit the shrimp if it’s not accessible.  The first time I made this — it was a total hit with the family and the other times, it was a hit with my boyfriend and my friends.  The original recipe called for sliced shallots but I’m not a fan so I merely added granulated onion.  I also changed the amount of heavy cream to only 1 cup instead of 1 and 1/2 cup, and added 1/2 cup chicken broth.  I didn’t want the sauce to be way too creamy, plus, I was also running out of heavy cream!  Regardless of all the modifications, the dish was still a success!

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