Saturday, August 28, 2010

Easy Dinner Idea: Stuffed Tomatoes

I don't know about you, but I love tomatoes. They're one of my favorite things about summer (along with fresh Indiana sweet corn, BBQ chicken and strawberries). This is a quick, easy idea for a really delicious side dish (or main entree if you're not looking for a huge meal). I've been craving a stuffed tomato for a while, so I decided to make something up. Here's what I came up with...

Stuffed Tomatoes

4 tomatoes
1 box of parmesan couscous
1/4 cup fresh spinach
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 stick of melted butter
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
salt & pepper

1. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and remove the insides (seeds, guts, all of it but leave enough of the outside to stuff it without it breaking if that makes sense). Prepare the couscous according to the directions on the box. Set aside.
2. Add olive oil and garlic to a frying pan and infuse the oil with the garlic (be sure to not burn the garlic!). Add the spinach and cook it down. Remove from heat and toss the couscous in the mixture. Mix well to get that garlic taste all throughout the couscous.
3. Mix the bread crumbs, parm cheese and butter with a fork. Set aside.
4. Stuff couscous mixture into the tomatoes. Top with the bread crumb mixture (be generous!) and mozzarella cheese.
5. Bake in a 450 degree oven until the mozzarella is melted and beginning to brown. The outsides of the tomatoes should be soft.
6. Let cool a bit and enjoy :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I've been trying to find a recipe for a cakey chocolate chip cookie... I have a favorite Amish restaurant that I get some from and they're so amazing... so if anyone knows a great, cake-like chocolate chip cookie recipe, please let me know!

While trying to come up with this recipe, I made a batch that I really loved. They're spongey, not quite the cake texture I was going for, but they are soft and delicious and I hope you enjoy them!

2 sticks of butter (preferably at room temp)
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
4 eggs (at room temp)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
3/4 bag of mini chocolate chips

1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate (large) bowl, cream the butter and sugars (beat until smooth). Add eggs one at a time, beat until smooth then add vanilla.
2. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixture (I usually do about a half of a cup at a time). Beat until smooth.
3. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes.
5. Enjoy :)

Sometime I'm going to post my Grandma's recipe for chocolate chip cookies... they're amazinggg! I just have to be sure that my family doesn't mind me giving away her little secret ;)