Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sinfully Delicious Toffee Bars

Adapted from: Family Bites

These fudgy, chocolate chip cookie toffee bars are to die for. Graham cracker, toffee, chocolate, cookie dough... baked to perfection and cut into squares for everyone to enjoy!

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (32 squares)
  • 2 symphony bars, crumbled
  • 1 roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1 12-oz bag chocolate chips
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Grease 13"x9" baking dish and heat oven to 350°F.

Let the cookie dough sit out for around 10 minutes to soften up.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the 1/2 cup of melted butter, 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs and 3/4 cup of toffee bits. Pour mixture into the greased pan and press evenly until mixture covers bottom of pan. Refrigerate for around 15 minutes.

In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the milk, chocolate chips and the tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Stir frequently until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Spread the mixture over the graham cracker crumb mixture.

In another medium bowl, break up the cookie dough and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs until blended. Crumble the mixture evenly over the chocolate layer and sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup of toffee bits on top.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Before cutting, let cool for up to 2 hours.

Yield: 24 squares

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pasta with Asparagus

Adapted from: SkinnyTaste

This dish reminds me of spaghetti alla carbonara with asparagus added and minus the ham and cream. The egg yolk and Parmesan mixture coats the pasta well as a sauce. It involves minimal preparation for a great result!

  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
  • 6 oz uncooked pasta
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook 3-5 minutes, until tender and crisp. Drain asparagus and reserve 1 cup liquid.

Fill the same pot with salted water, cover and boil. When water comes to a boil, cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add garlic and cook until golden. Add asparagus, salt, and pepper and sauté for 1-2 minutes, tossing with e.v.o.o. and garlic.

In a small bowl, combine egg yolk, Parmesan, 1/4 cup reserved asparagus liquid, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Once pasta is drained, return to pot and stir in egg mixture. Cook on medium-low for 2 minutes, until sauce thickens and coats pasta. Toss in asparagus and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. If pasta seems dry add more reserved liquid, one tablespoon at a time.

Yield: 4 servings

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Edamame, Cashew, and Chicken Stir-fry

Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine

I was able to visit two of my best college friends in Houston over our "summer break." Elisa and I made this wonderful dish one night while I was there, so of course I had to come back to school and share it with Amy. We have made a couple stir-fry dishes in the past, but this one is definitely our favorite. The edamame and cashews make for delicious, unique ingredients. You can feed more people with this dish by serving it over rice as well.


  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. almond butter (we used peanut butter)
  • 1 tbsp. grated, fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. dried mustard
  • 1 tbsp. safflower oil, divided (we used olive oil)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red pepper, cut into one inch chunks
  • 2/3 cup cashews (we used unsalted halves)
  • 1 cup frozen, shelled edamame, thawed
  • 4 green onions, cut into small pieces


Whisk together soy sauce, peanut butter, ginger, honey, dry mustard, and chicken broth. Mix well and set aside.

In a skillet on medium-high heat, heat 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil. Cook the chicken and garlic until the chicken is cooked through. Then remove chicken from skillet and cut into bite size pieces.

In the same skillet, heat another 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil. Add the red pepper, cashews, and edamame and cook for 3 minutes. Then add in the chicken, onion, and sauce and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Once at a boil, reduce to medium-low heat and cook for another 2 minutes. The sauce should thicken, and it's ready to serve!

Yield: 3 servings

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Barbeque Chicken

During our three week summer vacation, I copied down many of my favorite family recipes. One of which is my mom's famous barbeque chicken. All you have to do is prepare the homemade barbeque sauce, then bake the chicken for an hour. The chicken is so moist and tender and the sauce delicious- better than any barbeque sauce you can buy!

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes.

Place the uncooked chicken in a greased baking dish. Pour the sauce over the chicken and cover the dish with foil. Bake for approx. 1 hour.

Yield: 2 servings

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wasabi Cucumber Salad

What is a great side dish for a summer cookout that everyone loves? When I posed this question to my family, my cousin Alan told me about wasabi cucumber salad. I was a little hesitant due to my aversion to all things spicy, but he reassured me that it is a manageable level of spiciness and that I would really like it. I made it for our back-to-school get together last night and came home with an empty bowl, so I think everyone enjoyed it! The sesame seeds and oil add a lot of flavor, as does the wasabi, both surprising complements to the fresh cucumbers.

  • 2 tsp. wasabi powder
  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

In a medium-sized bowl, mix wasabi and 1 tsp. warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
After wasabi has thickened into a paste, stir in the vinegar and sugar.
Next, add in sesame oil, salt, and pepper.
Just prior to serving, add cucumbers, scallions, and sesame seeds. Mix well.