Perfect M&M Cookie

Ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all purpose Gold Medal Flour
3 tablespoons Instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 or 1-1/2 cups Mini M and M’s
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl cream your butter and sugars until well combined. Add your egg and vanilla mixing to combine. Add your flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt, stirring to combine. Add chips and m and m’s stirring to combine.
With a medium cookie scoop, place dough 1 inch apart from each other. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked through. Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Enjoy

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Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles

INGREDIENTS
1 cup cashews
¾ cup water (more for soaking)
½ teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon oil
4 large sweet potatoes, spiralized
2 cups baby spinach
a handful of fresh basil leaves, chives, or other herbs
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for drizzling

INSTRUCTIONS
Cover the cashews with water in a bowl and soak for 2 hours or so.
Drain and rinse thoroughly. Place in a food processor or blender (I got better texture with the blender) and add the ¾ cup water, salt, and garlic. Puree until very smooth.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes; toss in the pan for 6-7 minutes with tongs until tender-crisp. Remove from heat and toss in the spinach – it should wilt pretty quickly.
Add half of the herbs and half of the sauce to the pan and toss to combine. Add water if the mixture is too sticky. Season generously with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and top with the remaining fresh herbs.

Pierogi Casserole

Ingredients

1 package (16 oz) frozen potato and onion pierogies
1 tablespoon water
7 oz kielbasa sausage, sliced
4 oz cream cheese (from 8-oz package), very softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Progresso™ chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1/2 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onions

1
Heat oven to 375°F. Spray12x8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
2
Place frozen pierogies and water in medium microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on High 2 minutes; stir. Continue microwaving on High 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until thawed. Place pierogies evenly in casserole. Top with sausage.
3
In medium bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, chicken broth and pepper with whisk. Stir in 1/2 cup of the Cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup of the green onions (reserve remaining onions for topping).

4
Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over pierogies. Cover with foil; bake 22 to 27 minutes or until center is heated through and temperature reaches 165°F.

5 Uncover, and top with remaining cheese; bake 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with reserved green onions.

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

Ingredients
Sugar cookie crust:
1 Cup granulated sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Cup butter at room temperature
2 Cups all purpose flour
Lemon cheesecake:
8 Ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 Cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons lemon zest divided
1/2 Cup sugar
Instructions
For the bars:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line an 8×8 or 9×9 inch square baking dish with foil and spray liberally with non stick cooking spray.
In bowl of stand mixer using paddle attachment, or large bowl with hand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Turn mixer to low and slowly add the flour (1/2 cup at a time) and mix just until dough comes together.
Press half of the dough into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
Cool completely before filling.
Store remaining sugar cookie dough in a bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the Filling:
In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or medium bowl with a hand mixer beat together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp. of the lemon zest until smooth and creamy.
Pour filling over cooled crust.
Top filling with the remaining sugar cookie dough by simply crumbling it evenly over the top.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until cookie crumble is light golden in color.
Top with remaining lemon zest as desired.

Mandarin Pasta Spinach

Ingredients
8 ounces bowtie pasta noodles
4 cups spinach leaves
½ cup craisins
⅓ cup cashews or Diamond of California Pine Nuts
1 4-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
¼ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
dressing
⅓ cup teriyaki sauce (the thicker, the better!)
⅓ cup rice wine vinegar (may sub apple cider vinegar)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder (if you have it)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup oil (such as vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil)

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. While pasta is boiling, prepare the dressing. In a jar combine all dressing ingredients. Cover and shake to combine. Chill until ready to use.
  3. In a large bowl toss together pasta, spinach, raisins, nuts, mandarin oranges, and cilantro. Just before serving pour dressing over salad, toss, and serve.

Shrimp Tacos

INGREDIENTS
Servings: 12 Tacos

2 pounds shrimp, deveined & tails removed

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon salt

24 bamboo or metal skewers

4 tablespoons olive oil

Creamy cilantro sauce:

1 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons cilantro, minced

1 teaspoon lime zest

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 ½ cups green cabbage

1 ½ cups red cabbage

1 tablespoon jalapeño, minced

24 corn tortillas

Toppings:
Lime wedges

Cilantro

PREPARATION
1. In a large bowl, season shrimp with paprika, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt. Toss gently to combine.

2. Using 2 bamboo or metal skewers poke through the top and bottom of the shrimp and push down to the bottom of the skewer. Add 3 more shrimp to the same skewer and repeat until all of the shrimp are used.

3. Right before you put the shrimp on the grill, brush each skewer with a generous amount of olive oil, to prevent sticking.

4. Grill over high heat for 3 minutes, brush the top side with more olive oil, flip, and let cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from skewers & set aside for taco assembly.

5. In a bowl, combine all creamy cilantro sauce ingredients. Stir well to combine.

6. In a large bowl, combine green cabbage, red cabbage, and minced jalapeño. Pour half of the sour cream mixture over the cabbage, saving the other half for extra sauce to put on the tacos.

7. Assemble the tacos on corn tortillas. Add the cabbage mixture, followed by the shrimp. Top with the creamy cilantro sauce, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

BBQ Bean Burritos with Grilled Peach Salsa

From the book: Thug Kitchen

 

BBQ Beans

  • ½ yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce* plus 1 tablespoon of the sauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans**

Burrito Stuff

  • 6 burrito-size flour tortillas
  • Spanish Rice
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Grilled Peach Salsa (see below)
  • Sliced avocado

INSTRUCTIONS

  • First, make the BBQ beans: Throw the onion, tomato paste, garlic, chipotle peppers and sauce, broth, OJ, brown sugar, molasses, and soy sauce in a food processor or blender and run that fucker until a smooth sauce forms. Pour that into a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, fold in the beans, and simmer until everything is warm and the beans absorb all that flavor, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • To make the burritos: Grab your tortilla and pile in a scoop of the beans, some rice, and a handful of lettuce and top with the peach salsa and some avocado. (Using foil paper when rolling your burrito actually helps to keep the shape and keep all of the ingreients inside). Serve right away because burritos wait for no motherfucker. (Seriously, it’ll get soggy, if left for too long).

* These smoked peppers come packed in sauce and are sold in a tiny can at most stores near the salsa and beans.

** Two 15-ounce cans if you aren’t cooking this shit yourself

Black Bean Torta

From Thug Kitchen:

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (preferably Just Mayo brand; may substitute regular mayonnaise)
  • 2 tablespoons sauce from a can of chipotles en adobo, or more as needed (may substitute your favorite chipotle-flavored hot sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups cooked or canned no-salt-added black beans (from two 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade or no-salt-added vegetable broth (see related recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 6 kaiser rolls, split and toasted
  • Small romaine lettuce leaves
  • Flesh of 1 medium avocado, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced

Whisk together the mayonnaise and the 2 tablespoons of adobo in a small bowl until smooth. Taste, and add adobo as needed.

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or soup pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ancho chili powder and cumin; cook for 30 seconds.

Stir in the beans, broth and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low so the mixture is barely bubbling. Use a potato masher or large spoon to smash as many of the beans as you can, leaving the mixture chunky. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes very thick, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, and turn off the heat. Taste, and add salt as needed.

To make the tortas, layer on the bottom halves of the toasted rolls, in the following order: some of the chipotle mayo, the romaine lettuce leaves, a good portion of the beans, the avocado, tomato and red onion. Smear the toasted sides of the top halves with the remaining chipotle mayo. Serve immediately.