Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas! Don't shoot your eye out!

The chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles Dominic assured me that Jesus wanted for His birthday.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Recipe: Cheesy Chicken + Wild Rice Casserole

I finally made one of the recipes from my overflowing Culinary Schemes board on Pinterest.  I have been making an effort to actually "use," in some way, the many, many Pins I attach each week.  This recipe from Picky Palate, turned out quite tasty, so here it is for you to try along with some notes about changes I made.  I think it's super easy + pretty kid friendly.  Dominic didn't even notice the onions, which is usually one of the first things he pulls out of his food no matter how tiny I dice/chop them.  I also served half of it for dinner, while freezing the other half for post-baby, so we'll see how it fares as a freezer meal.

3 TB olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 TB fresh minced garlic
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
2 cups steamed white rice
2 cups prepared wild rice
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

Cheese Sauce
4 TB butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Top with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat oil in medium dutch oven/pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, and carrots until softened, about 10 minutes.  Stir in garlic, and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in chicken, rices, salt, pepper, and other spices.  Reduce heat to low.

2. To prepare cheese sauce, melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Whisk in flour, salt, and pepper; then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously.  Whisk until thick and nearly boiling then stir in cheese until melted.  Pour cheese sauce into rice mixture, and then transfer to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Top with additional cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted through.  Serve.

Makes 8-10 servings. 

Notes: I omitted the celery, suggest adding broccoli (already cooked), and also thyme, savory, parsley, celery salt, and a dash of rosemary.  It turned out great though, and all who ate it, enjoyed it.

Recipe: Chocolate Crackled Cookies

I made these yesterday with the little man, and they turned out great.  Dom was not a fan of getting his hands dirty twice before the cookies made it onto the pan, so after each dough ball went in a bowl of sugar, he wiped his hands on his shirt.  Needless to say, he was covered in powdered sugar by the end.

They're definitely best straight from the oven - crisp outside, with a gooey, chocolatey inside.  Just make sure you plan the three hours they need to be in the fridge into your prep time!


  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 stick Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening  (I used unsalted butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups PAll Purpose Flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


  1. Beat brown sugar, shortening and vanilla in large bowl at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs; beat well.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Add to shortening mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and chill 3 hours.
  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar, then in powdered sugar to coat completely. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 3 dozen

Also posted at my cooking blog: Comestibilis

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And he shall be named...

David + I were discussing name possibilities at dinner to add to our list for Baby O II (No, we don't have any definites, no, he won't be named until after birth).  We asked Dominic his opinion for names.  After rebutting his suggestion for "mama," he put forth "Pizza" as the perfect name.
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