Cuisine: American

Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookie

This is my take on a “Oreo“ cookie. For St. Patrick’s Day I made it with a mint filling. You can just make it a vanilla cream by omitting the mint and green food coloring.

You probably have most of these ingredients on hand. And if you don’t these are probably not the ingredients that have flown off the shelves at grocery stores. This is also a really fun project to do with kids, and easy.
At nine minutes these cookies are still chewy.  If you like a crispy cookie cook them for 11 minutes.

Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookie
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Servings
2 Dozen cookies
Servings
2 Dozen cookies
Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookie
Print Recipe
Servings
2 Dozen cookies
Servings
2 Dozen cookies
Instructions
Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 375° and place racks in center of oven. Line two (or more) baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand up mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together all dry ingredients. Make sure you get the bottom. On low speed, add the butter in pieces slowly. Then add egg. Mix until dough holds together.
  3. I use a measuring teaspoon, but you can use a small regular teaspoon or a small scoop. Measure a rounded teaspoon and roll into a small ball. Place on prepared baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Using a moistened moistened hand, gently flatten each round into a wafer. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Rotate half way through to insure even baking. Cool completely on racks.
Filling
  1. While cookies are cooling in another bowl for the stand up mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter and shortening until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and if using the mint and green food coloring. The filling may seem stiff, this is similar to an Oreo. If you want a lighter filling you can add a tablespoon of cream. Continue to beat another 2-3 minutes until well combined and fluffy.
  2. Place cream filling in a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip. If you don't have a piping bag cut a tip off corner of a baggie and put tip in. Pipe dollops of cream on underside of half of the cookies and top with another of equal size and gently press. Continue until all cookies have been filled and topped.
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Lemon/Celery Salt Chicken Thighs

Lemon/Celery Salt Chicken Thighs

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This dish has the most amazing flavor and I promise you that when your guests, or family, walk into the house the aroma will entice them straight to the table.
Servings
6

Servings
6

Lemon/Celery Salt Chicken Thighs

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This dish has the most amazing flavor and I promise you that when your guests, or family, walk into the house the aroma will entice them straight to the table.
Servings
6

Servings
6

Ingredients


Servings:

Instructions
  1. Using a microplane, zest the lemon into a zip top bag or medium, non-reactive, bowl. Juice half the lemon and slice the other half into thin slices. Set slices aside.

    In same bowl add buttermilk, celery salt, garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper, and lastly the lemon juice and whisk together until well combined.

  2. Add chicken thighs to buttermilk mixture and seal or cover tightly with plastic wrap.

    Let marinate at lest 2 hours but not more than 4.

  3. Preheat oven to 425°. Place pan in oven for at lest 10 minutes to heat pan.

    Just before placing chicken on pan, spray with olive ol or non-stick spray.

    Place chicken, skin side up on hot pan and tuck lemon slices around chicken.Sprinkle, lightly, with a little extra kosher salt and place in oven.

  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until chicken is a deep golden brown and is cooked through.

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Fennel & Almond Salad

Fennel & Almond Salad
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This is a hardy salad that is so fresh, it feels light. You can easily add a grilled protein and make it a meal.
Servings
8
Servings
8
Fennel & Almond Salad
Print Recipe
This is a hardy salad that is so fresh, it feels light. You can easily add a grilled protein and make it a meal.
Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Trim and core the fennel bulbs. Reserve the fronds and chop about 1/2 cup for salad. Slice the fennel, thinly, crosswise. Rough chop the flat leaf parsley. It's okay if a few stems are in there.
  2. To make the dressing, put the lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl or jar and slowly drizzle in the olive oil, while whisking. Then whisk in the mustard. Adjust seasoning and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Just before serving, toss together fennel with fronds fronds, parsley, almonds and pecorino cheese. Toss with desired amount of dressing and serve immediately.
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Dorie Greenspan’s Sheet Pan Balsamic Chicken with Potatoes and Mushrooms

Dorie never lets you down. I tripled this recipe for a family dinner! It was a hit. I made it with boneless/skinless chicken. I really would recommend using skin on. You can always peel it off to eat, but the flavor it gives is invaluable.

Dorie Greenspan's Sheet Pan Balsamic Chicken with Potatoes and Mushrooms
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Dorie Greenspan's Sheet Pan Balsamic Chicken with Potatoes and Mushrooms
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450° Rub baking sheet with a little oil. You can line it with foil, for cleanup, but oil the foil too.
  2. Put the potatoes, mushrooms, shallot and garlic in a large bowl. Toss in 4 sprigs of rosemary and 4 sprigs of thyme., 1 tsp. salt, a few grindings of pepper, 2 Tbs, olive oil and 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar. Stir everything together until well coated. Arrange vegetables on baking sheet. Put chicken pieces in bowl and add remaining 3 Tbs. of oil and 2 Tbs. balsamic, 1/2 tsp. salt, a good amount of fresh ground pepper and toss together to coat well. Tuck chicken in to the vegetables and place remaining herbs under chicken.
  3. Roast the chicken/vegetables until a thermometer stuck in thickest part of thigh reads 165°, about 40 minutes to an hour. Serve right from baking sheets, or a pretty platter. Pour juices over chicken and vegetables.
  4. Remember I said to reserve the garlic? Well serve that in a little bowl alongside some crusty bread. It is delicious!
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Banana Bread

I had this banana bread at a restaurant in Los Angeles, I was lucky enough to get the recipe, but when I got to my kitchen, it was a little hard for the home cook to follow. My version is a little simpler and a little yummier.

It works best if you can measure your ingredients, but I put the conventional measurements after the ingredient.

Banana Bread
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Banana Bread
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat a convection to 325°. If you don't have convection use 350°. Grease a 9X13 pan with butter or non-stick spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand-up mixer whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda and baking powder. In a separate medium bowl combine bananas, butter, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Whisk until smooth, some lumps are okay, do not over mix. Immediately before you bake, add banana mixture to dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pan and put directly into ready oven.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. check with toothpick. It should be almost clean. Bake for an additional 5 minutes and the toothpick should be clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes. You can cut and serve warm or at room temperature.
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Baked Cauliflower & Farro with Cheese

I adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. It was the perfect warm meal to make for my family on a recent trip to the mountains. I served it with a green salad and some fresh fruit for dessert. It was just perfect!

You can head over to YouTube to see me cook it up :

Be sure to follow me @ whiskinthesouthern on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/whiskinthesouthern/

Baked Cauliflower & Farro with Cheese
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This recipe comes together really fast with a little bit of prep. You can have it on the table in less than an hour, start to finish. You can spend even less time if you prep ahead of time. You can prep up to 2 days in advance
Servings
6
Servings
6
Baked Cauliflower & Farro with Cheese
Print Recipe
This recipe comes together really fast with a little bit of prep. You can have it on the table in less than an hour, start to finish. You can spend even less time if you prep ahead of time. You can prep up to 2 days in advance
Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425° Cook Farro according to the directions, using the broth. Drain and put in a large bowl. Toss cauliflower with olive oil and some kosher salt. Put on a baking sheet brushed with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes until starting to brown and just soft. Turn out in to the bowl with Farro. Reduce oven temperature to 400°
  2. Start assembling the casserole: Add sage, garlic, lemon zest and red pepper flakes, 1 tsp. kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper to cauliflower/farro mix and stir to combine. Stir in fontina cheese.
  3. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread half the mixture in the pan and dollop with the ricotta cheese, all over. Spread remaining cauliflower mix in the pan.
  4. In a small dish combine panko, Romano cheese and 1 Tbs. olive oil, until evenly mixed. Sprinkle evenly over cauliflower and Farro. Bake for 20 minutes, until browned and crusty.
Recipe Notes

You can add rotisserie or grilled chicken to up the protein.

If you were able to save a few whole sage leaves, let's fry them up. It's really simple. Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small, shallow fry pan and heat it up until it moves and listens. The best way to test is to put a few drops of water in. If they sizzle and dance, your oil is ready. From there, simply put your dry sage leaves (no more water) in and cook them for just a few minutes on each side. Watch them. You don't want them to burn. Once they are done, place on a paper towel to drain and cool slightly. Arrange on your cooked cauliflower bake and serve. Yum!

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Nut Free Granola

One of my daughters is allergic (sensitive) to nuts. It’s not anaphylactic but she does get bad skin rashes. She loves granola as a snack, so I set out to create a nut free granola that she would enjoy.

It wasn’t so easy because not everyone in my family likes chia seeds or flax. A lot of recipes called for wheat germ which was met with a resounding “NO”!. So needless to say I just started experimenting.

I started every batch with old fashioned oats. I knew my family likes those. Then I started adding seeds. Which seeds would fit universally at any meal, and would we all like them? From there I added chocolate chips but they didn’t taste like the right fit so I switched to cacao nibs. Then I wanted to sweeten it. I din’t want to use sugar and honey was too sweet for us. I ended up with Pure Maple Syrup. It is set but has just the right bite of bitter. Finally, I wanted some chew, so I started adding dried fruits. A little salt elevated the flavor and I used olive oil to pull it all together.

The recipe is below, but here are a few notes:

You can use coconut oil instead of olive oil, if you prefer. The dried fruit is completely up to you but I used apricots, , dried blueberries, cranberries. Next time I will try cherries to.

For seeds I used sunflower, pepitas (pumpkin), sesame and hemp hearts. You can use any combination. And you can use nuts if you like.  In my second batch I used coconut flakes. It definitely a personal choice.

To see some tutorials of other recipes, subscribe to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPPyv_hHuBwjDyhMSBoGVkg?view_as=subscriber

As always please follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/whiskinthesouthern/

I love and read all your comments and suggestions so please send them. Enjoy the granola!

Nut Free Granola

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Nut Free Granola

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Ingredients


Servings:

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

  2. In a large bowl stir together the oats, seeds, and cacao nibs. Toss in oil and syrup.
    Add a nice sprinkle of kosher salt and turn out onto prepared baking sheet.
    Smooth out to a single layer and bake for 20-30 minutes. rotate half way through and stir.

  3. When seed mixture comes out of oven, pour into same bowl and let cool a few minutes.

    Add dried fruit and toss well. Pour back onto baking sheet and let cool completely.

  4. You can store this in mason jars or other airtight container for 2 weeks in the pantry. You can also freeze for up to 3 months.
    This makes a great gift!

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Lean In! Quinoa Burgers

My Family and I have been doing Meatless Monday for a few years. In 2020, I want us to lean in more to vegetarian and vegan options. We’ve all read or heard on the news how important this is, not only for our health but, for our environment. I was actually at an event and heard a famous Breast Cancer doctor speak. Her advice was if you can’t make the switch to being vegan, can you be vegan for a meal? How hard could it be to have vegan cereal for breakfast or a huge vegan salad for lunch. She made it sound simple and I am embracing it.

I’ve made these Quinoa Burgers for my family before and frankly they love them. I originally made them with Sriracha sauce, in the mix. They were quite spicy. So while my husband and enjoyed them, my kids not so much.  I re-did the recipe and now I share with you where to add whatever flavoring you would like to customize for your family.

This is a fairly simple recipe and it comes together fast.  If you have all your ingredients ready to go, dinner can be on the table in under 30 minutes. I like to serve these as if I was serving a burger with coleslaw and fries.

By the way, save the liquid from your canned chickpeas. It is a fabulous vegan substitute for egg whites, where it calls for whipping them into tiff peaks.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. As always I want to hear from you. Send me your comments and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at @whiskinthesouthern.

Quinoa Burgers
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Servings
4-5 Burgers
Servings
4-5 Burgers
Quinoa Burgers
Print Recipe
Servings
4-5 Burgers
Servings
4-5 Burgers
Ingredients
Servings: Burgers
Instructions
  1. Over a medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon canola oil to a saucepan. Coat the pan and once hot, add onion, carrot and garlic. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes until you start to really smell the aromatics and the veggies start to soften. Add broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Turn out quinoa onto a baking sheet, or plate, to cool for a few minutes.
  2. While your quinoa is cooling, add your chickpeas, panko bread crumbs, salt & pepper, egg and finally the cooled quinoa mix, to a food processor. Give it a few pulses. This is where you want to add your flavoring if you want. The "burgers" have plenty of flavor but here you can add some hot sauce, some ranch dressing mix, or even your favorite steak rub. If you don't want to add the flavor here, or if you want more flavor, you can mix your seasoning with the 2 tsp. of canola oil to drizzle over the burger. After you've added your flavoring, continue to pulse to a slightly chunky, but smooth texture. Carefully remove the blade from the processor and start making your burgers.
  3. I use a 1/2 cup ice cream scoop to make my burgers. It gives you a nice start to shape and your burgers are evenly sized. Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a skillet. Please make sure to use a non-stick skillet or get a stainless skillet searing hot and well oiled before putting your burgers in. The quinoa burgers are delicate so make sure they slide easily onto your spatula before your turn them. If they stick at all, they are not ready to be turned. Place burgers in and cook for 2-3 minutes on both sides.
  4. Serve immediately on buns or butter lettuce leaves with your favorite condiments
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New Year Biscuits!

So here we are the beginning of January 2020! As I think about resolutions, I’m trying tone way more mindful and intentional (which just happens to be my word for the year). So one of my resolutions is to eat breakfast more often. That also includes having quick and easy breakfast available for me and my family to grab.

The first thing I made in this new year is biscuits. Yes, I know they may not qualify as a healthy breakfast but I also believe that anything made at home with quality ingredients better than anything processed outside my kitchen. If combined with a healthy protein and some fruit or veggies, a biscuit breakfast can take you all the way to lunch, without temptation.

I started with my Great-Grandmother’s Biscuit recipe. It laid out most of the ingredients and these instructions:

“Work in enough flour to work out. Cut. Bake”

By the way flour was not listed as an ingredient. I was able to cull together some instructions and made some beautiful biscuits. I have given you a few more instructions. Enjoy!

Please go to Instagram and follow me: @whiskinthesouthern

New Year Biscuits!
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New Year Biscuits!
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 475° In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Grate butter, into flour mixture, on large hole side of grater box. Work in with hands. You want a coarse meal feel. Put butter/flour mixture in freezer for a few minutes, here. You want everything to be cold when you start to work it.
  2. Take bowl out of freezer and make a well in middle. Pour buttermilk into well and start to mix together with a wooden spoon or your hands. The dough will be sticky. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, gently, 15 times. Add more flour if you need and start to roll out dough to 1/2" thick. Then fold in half and repeat, 5 times. This step is important because you are forming layers.
  3. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Once dough is ready to cut, use a biscuit cutter and cut straight down. Do not twist when making biscuits. Twisting forms a seal and prevent steam which prevents lots of layers of flaky goodness. Place biscuits on parchment paper about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake at 475° for 15 minutes. Watch your biscuits. Every oven is different and you want a nice golden brown biscuit. When biscuits come out of oven brush tops with melted butter, immediately. Let cool for just 5 minutes before serving warm biscuits.
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Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies

If you’re anything like me, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of baking and cooking. I’ve used a little of this and a lot of that. My pantry now has an overflow of half empty bags of chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, dried fruit and nuts. I have a little bit of caramel sauce left and just a few marshmallows. I made oatmeal cookies and don’t have enough left over for even a full bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.

That is where these cookies come in handy. You’ve probably seen similar recipes for Cowboy Cookies. To be honest that’s where these started. Then I realized  could throw any extra ingredients in and they’d be fantastic. Kitchen Sink Cookies were born.

So now that the year is in it’s final countdown, go through your pantry and pull out anything you have leftover and throw them in these cookies. Get creative and shout out to me what you do. You know I love other from you.

Oh and don’t forget to get social. Head over to Instagram and follow me @Diaryofalostchef. Thanks!!

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies

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The best cookies to make when using up leftover goodies.

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies

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The best cookies to make when using up leftover goodies.

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