Well Dined

11Feb/161

Boozy Butterscotch Chocolate Cookies

Well Dined | Boozy Butterscotch Chocolate Cookies

In my last post, I talked about my February assignment for Secret Recipe Club - Jessie Weaver, The Vanderbilt Wife.  I decided to make the Honey Parmesan Pork from her blog, but also really wanted to make the Boozy Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies... so I did!

Well Dined | Boozy Butterscotch Chocolate Cookies

The cookies were actually really easy to make - just melt chocolate chips and butter together (it will be a thicker mixture); then add to a beaten mixture of brown sugar, eggs, butterscotch schnapps, and vanilla; then add flour, baking powder, and salt.  Let the mixture sit to firm up, then scoop onto baking sheets.

Well Dined | Boozy Butterscotch Chocolate Cookies

Bake for 10-15 minutes, and you're done!  I thought these tasted fudgey like brownies, and they were a big hit at my game night.

4Feb/160

Snickerdoodle Martini

Well Dined | Snickerdoodle Martini

I have a group of girlfriends that get together on a regular basis and take turns providing snacks and drinks.  A few of them have a mighty sweet-tooth (we call them hummingbirds); so I knew that when it was my turn to bring a cocktail, I wanted to make something sweet.  I found a quick and easy cocktail recipe that is sure to please lovers of sweets (especially cookies) - the Snickerdoodle Martini.  It also features one of my all-time favorite liquors, RumChata.

Snickerdoodle Martini
adapted from Dawn Nicole
serves 4

cinnamon sugar (I use 8 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon, some people use 4:1)
honey
12 oz half and half
4 oz RumChata
4 oz vanilla vodka
2 tsp powdered sugar
dash cinnamon

Pour cinnamon sugar onto a small plate, and honey onto another.  Dip the rims of 4 glasses into the honey, then the cinnamon sugar.
In a cocktail shaker, pour remaining ingredients over ice.  Shake until chilled and mixed well.
Divide evenly among cinnamon sugar rimmed glasses and enjoy!

One Year Ago - Apple Galette with Salted Bourbon Caramel
Two Years Ago - Massaged Kale Salad; Broccoli Pesto
Three Years Ago - Mini Pie Party
Four Years Ago - Roasted Salmon with Grapefruit
Five Years Ago - Moussaka

19Jan/163

Copycat – True Food Kitchen’s Chia Seed Pudding

Well Dined | Copycat True Food Kitchen's Chia Seed Pudding (Image via Capitol File)

Image via Capitol File

This is True Food Kitchen's Chia Seed Pudding Pudding, made with banana and coconut milk, it is one of my favorite desserts ever.  I crave it, I dream about it, I love it so much!  I used to stop by after working out to treat myself (it's a healthier dessert, but still sugary).  And then I moved from 5 minutes away to 35 minutes away.  Sad day!

So I hit the web to find a recipe to make it for myself at home and it turns out that it was incredibly easy to find!  Success!  Then it turned out to be incredibly easy to make, too - double success!

Please try this wonderful treat for yourself, and enjoy!

Chia Seed Pudding
adapted from Dallas News
serves 6-8

2 1/2 to 3 large ripe bananas (divided use)
18 oz canned coconut milk, or coconut cream if you can find it (not cream of coconut, just unsweetened coconut cream)
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 small pinch kosher salt
6 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp toasted coconut chips, for garnish

Combine 2 large bananas with the coconut cream, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt in a blender.  Purée until smooth, about 1 minute.

Add the chia seeds; blend on low speed to combine.  Place mixture in a sealed container to set; stir after 20 minutes.  Chill for at least 4 hours before serving (may be prepared to this point up to 48 hours in advance).  Top with banana slices and toasted coconut chips.

One Year Ago - Apple Galette with Salted Bourbon Caramel
Two Years Ago - Miso Tahini Soup
Three Years Ago - Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Broccolini
Four Years Ago - Lasagna with Cinnamon
Five Years Ago - Spiced Pumpkin and Lamb Tagine; Thai Pumpkin Soup; Spiced Carrot Soup

4Jan/162

Classic French Toast

Well Dined | Classic French Toast

I love to make French Toast this time of year.  My husband loves it, too, he says that my French Toast is the best (so sweet <3).  I think the secret is to definitely use brioche or challah, that plus a million ingredients in the batter - read on!

Well Dined | Classic French Toast

In addition to eggs and cream, I use vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange juice, lemon zest, and sherry.  So many flavors!  It is so worth it.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  First, either slice the bread (thickly, 1 inch) the night before and leave it out to get stale, or toast it slightly in the morning.  Then make the batter and soak each side of the bread for 10 minutes.  Just before you cook the toast (in butter, of course), sprinkle one side with granulated sugar - this will created a yummy bit of caramelization.  Do the same to the other side before you flip it over to cook.

Well Dined | Classic French Toast

Top with lots of butter and some maple syrup.  Yum.  This is definitely the perfect French Toast - custardy in the middle, little bit of caramelization, lots of flavor.

30Nov/1510

SRC – No Bake Eggnog Pudding Pie from I am a Honey Bee

Well Dined | No Bake Eggnog Pudding Pie

I'm gonna be honest with you guys - I totally messed up this pie, in three different steps. Ugh. More on that later. But as it turns out, it didn't even matter - it still came out super delicious!  So I definitely call that a win.

We are doing a special Holiday Treats edition of the Secret Recipe Club!  My assigned blog was I am a Honey Bee written by Nicole.  We both live on the East coast and share a love of Buffy, tattoos, Greece, eggs bene, and a fear of open water and having to open gifts in front of others.  I like that her blog includes reviews in addition to recipes, just like mine!

Anyway, I went to look for desserts on her blog and noticed a page called The Year of Pies, where she posted a pie recipes every week for a year.  A year!  I didn't to look at any other category, ladies and gentlemen, I was home.  But would it be caramel pie? One of four different kinds of chess pie?  Maybe Reese's or Thin Mint pie?  So many to choose from!  It was around this time that I began to feel woefully inadequate for my own dessert selection, and sorry for whoever drew my blog...  I hope you were able to find something!

Well Dined | No Bake Eggnog Pudding Pie

I scrolled down to the end of the year to look for holiday dessert and saw this No Bake Eggnog Pudding Pie.  I love eggnog!  And easy recipes!  I wanted to make this right away.

29Oct/151

Halloween Candy Bark

Well Dined | Halloween Candy Bark

The other day, Melissa (Smells Like Brownies) asked me if I wanted to help her make Halloween candy bark.  Um - YES. Obviously.  I mean - I'm not a crazy person.

Well Dined | Halloween Candy Bark

Turns out, it is incredibly easy.  Melt around 2 cups of chocolate, spread it on a silpat or parchment paper, sprinkle and press candy into it, chill, and done.  What a great way to use up extra candy!

Well Dined | Halloween Candy Bark

You can really use anything here - any kind of chocolate, any kind of candy.  We used semi-sweet chocolate and reese's, tootsie rolls, m&ms, white chocolate chips, and heath bits.

Happy Halloween, lovelies!

One Year Ago - Pasta with Sausage and Peppers
Two Years Ago - Butternut Squash and Kale Mac and Cheese
Three Years Ago - Halibut en Papillote
Four Years Ago - Homemade Ricotta

14Sep/158

SRC – S’mores Cookies from Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Well Dined | S'mores Cookies

It's time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal! This month I was assigned Amy's Cooking adventures, a blog that I recognize from my other blog circle - Food 'n Flix.  As I was looking into Amy's blog in more depth and reading her bio, I started to feel like I knew her.  I, too, came to cooking later in life.  I, too, have a masters but chose to stay at home (as a homemaker for now and hopefully a mother soon).  I, too, am an avid reader (and a huge geek/nerd in general).  I love that Amy posts a list of what she has been reading, and I love the books on those lists, too!  Her writing is very open and conversational and makes you feel like you are an old friend - what a treat!

I was really tempted to go with these Pesto Mozzarella Burgers on Tomato Basil Buns, maybe paired with a Roasted Blueberry Basil Margarita.  But then I saw that she had a ton of s'mores based recipes!  I love s'mores so much!  Would I go with s'mores brownies, cupcakes, or a frappuccino?  So many choices!  I eventually settled on cookies, but Amy has not 1, not 2, but 3 s'mores cookie recipes.  I decided to go with the 3rd and most recent recipe, because Amy said it's the best one and I trust her judgement.

Well Dined | S'mores Cookies

They are a chocolate base with chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and graham cracker bits - and they really taste like s'mores!  You can store them in an airtight container, but I liked them best the first day, when the graham crackers were still crunchy.

Well Dined | S'mores Cookies

They also have a secret ingredient - chocolate pudding mix!  I've used pudding mix in cakes and ice cream before, but hadn't thought about it for cookies - what a great idea!  They came out really fudgy and moist.  I really didn't make any changes at all to this recipe, it's perfect!

12Aug/151

Salty Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Well Dined | Salty Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I have said it before and I will say it again - I am not much of a baker.  I feel much more comfortable with the flow of cooking, than the rigidity of baking.  But I want to get better, and a large part of that is experience.  So my friend Melissa, an excellent baker and author of Smells Like Brownies, is helping me learn.

Well Dined | Salty Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

We decided to start with some peanut butter swirl brownies, with the knowledge that we wanted there to be plenty of saltiness to contrast the sweetness.  So we made sure that the peanut butter layer was salted, then finished the brownies with flaky sea salt - yum.

22Jun/157

Food ‘n Flix: Butter

Well Dined | Food 'n Flix: Butter

I finally got my act together in time to post for Food 'n Flix, ha!  I really need to work on that!  Anyway, this month's movie is Butter - hosted by Cheap Ethnic Eats.  This hilarious movie is about wealth, race, privilege, power, family, small town America, and (of course) butter.  I'd seen it before, and enjoyed it so much that I didn't mind renting it again just to look for food references.  Which, by the way, are few and far between other than the ubiquitous butter.

Well Dined | Country Apple Dumplings

So what was I going to make that would feature butter?  I came up with a few ideas, but I kept circling back to these apple dumplings (even though I'd posted about them before).  They really are perfect for this movie, though - a little bit redneck, totally unhealthy, and drenched in butter.

Well Dined | Country Apple Dumplings

The dumplings are actually really easy to make.  I like them best when they are fresh and the sugar on top is still crunchy, so I tend to make half a recipe one day and the other half the next day - which is why you will only see 4 dumplings in the photos.  Start by peeling and coring an apple, then cutting into 8 slices.

6May/151

No Bake Vegan Date and Nut Bars

Well Dined | No Bake Vegan Date and Nut Bars

I recently moved to a new house about 35 minutes from my old one, but I still have a gym membership near my old place because I need to use up some training sessions before I quit.  So I've been driving over there twice a week to train.  I'm used to drinking a protein shake on the way to the gym, working out, then getting lunch.  But now with the extra drive (and waking up earlier), I'm getting hungry by the time I get to the gym - and that is no good for working out!  So here is where these (vegan, paleo, gluten-free) date and nut bars come in handy.  I throw one in my bag straight from the freezer, and by the time I get to the gym they are thawed, so I eat it before heading in.  They fill me up and give me a boost of energy - perfect!

These are also great for healthy homemade snacks or desserts, and especially for people with food allergies (other than nuts, obviously).  I bet kids would love them.

Well Dined | No Bake Vegan Date and Nut Bars

The crust is made from nuts, date, and coconut -  most of which is pressed into the bottom of a pan, and the rest is sprinkled on top later.  The original poster is a big fan of soaking and drying nuts before eating them to remove the phytic acid that can make them difficult to digest.  I tried it for this recipe and it took quite a bit of time (I dried them in the slow cooker overnight), but if that is too much work for you it's okay to just use raw nuts.  The original recipe also calls for brazil and macadamia nuts, but these are a bit hard to find and a little expensive.  I recommend raw cashews as a replacement.

Well Dined | No Bake Vegan Date and Nut Bars

The filling is made from dates, dried figs, and orange zest - yum.