Apple Blue Cheese Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

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For the past few weeks I have been having a love affair with blue cheese.  I’ve been eating it on all my burgers and when I tasted it in the Panera fuji apple chicken salad I was hooked!  Also I must gush about how much I love red leaf lettuce.  It is my favorite leaf for salads, a cross between soft greens and crunchy romaine it is perfection. I decided to create my own salad and pulled out a salad dressing I discovered a few years ago.  This salad dressing is incredibly simple to make and very quick to whisk together.  I promise you will not be disappointed with this salad 🙂

Apple Blue Cheese Salad

adapted from allrecipes.com

Serves 4

Ingredients

The salad:

1 head of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite size pieces

1/2 cup shredded carrots

2 oz blue cheese, broken up into chunks

1 apple, cored and sliced

1/2 cup walnuts, broken into pieces

Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing:

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp honey

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1/8 cup raspberry balsamic vinegar

1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl, layering in order from bottom to top.  Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients.  Toss the salad with the dressing.  The salad dressing will keep well in the refrigerator.  Remove the dressing from the fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Chicken Tortellini Soup with Beet Greens

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Last week I made a tortellini pasta salad and I had half a package of tortellini leftover.  I also receive some beets plus their greens from my CSA so I thought that this soup was the perfect way to use the ingredients I had on hand.  Any dark leafy green vegetables will work fine in this (kale, turnip greens, collard greens, etc.).

Chicken Tortellini Soup with Beet Greens

Adapted from Eat Live Run

Ingredients

  • 5-6 green onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups chopped cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bunch of beet greens, stems removed and chopped
  • 9 oz frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • salt to taste

Directions:

Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. When hot, add the green onions and carrots. Saute until the vegetables are just tender.  Sprinkle in the flour and mix well to coat all the veggies. Continue sauteing for another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Slowly pour in the chicken or vegetable stock. Add the chopped chicken, garlic powder, tortellini and salt and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about five minutes until the vegetables are tender and pasta is soft.

Stir in the cream and the beet greens. Continue simmering for another couple minutes until the beet greens wilt in the soup. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t use anything extra so taste it first). If your soup appears too thick, add some extra stock.

**the pasta in the soup will retain some liquid, so if it absorbs a lot of liquid, add some extra stock when you reheat the leftovers.

Double Chocolate Caramel Surprise Cookies

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I recently traveled to Denver, CO for a rotation in medical school and while I was there I visited Hammond’s Candies.  There is a free  tour where you can see them actually making the candies during business hours.  Their most popular item are their hard candies, but they also make chocolates and caramels.  I purchased a bag of “oops” caramel that has little bits of marshmallows dispersed inside.  It is caramel used to make Mitchel Sweets (caramel covered marshmallows).

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Inspired by the large amount of caramel, I decided to try my hand at baking a cookie with a gooey caramel center.  I based the chocolate chocolate chip cookie recipe on one from Sally’s Baking Addiction and added the caramel in the center.  These cookies are extremely chocolatey, soft, chewy, and filled with a wonderful caramel surprise!  If you do not have access to Hammond’s oops vanilla caramel, any other caramel candy should work just fine.

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Even if you do not have caramels, this cookie would taste great all on its own.

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Bon appetite and Happy Baking!

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Double Chocolate Caramel Surprise Cookies

adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

yield 30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • caramel candies (Kraft individual caramels would work great here!, Hammond’s will be selling their oops candy online soon!)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute.  Stir the chocolate chips.  Continue to melt and then stir the chocolate 30 seconds at a time until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter until it is smooth and creamy.  Beat in the sugar.  In a separate small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.  Mix in the egg/vanilla mixture.  Add the chocolate in a steady stream and beat until combined.  Mix in the baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the flour and cocoa powder.

Scoop 1 Tbsp dough for each cookie.  Next lightly press in a piece of caramel into the cookie dough.  Top each of the cookies with another 1 Tbsp of dough and roll the dough in your hands until the edges are sealed and you can no longer see any caramel.

Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven.  The cookie center will appear soft, but take them out now so that the cookies will be soft after they cool.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then place them on a wire rack to cool.

Asiago Cheese Bagels

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Hello everyone!  This was my first attempt ever at making my own bagels from scratch!  It was pretty easy to do, there is just some down time while everything is rising.  I ran out of asiago cheese so I used some poppy seeds for a few bagels.  I think that the asiago cheese bagels were excellent but the poppy seed bagels were a little bland.  I made 12 bagels and they were too big.  I would definitely make at least 15 bagels (I did not have a scale to weight my dough like in the recipe).  I think for my next bagel recipe I’m going to try to find one that has a little more puff to it.  These were pretty thin bagels, but they are sooooo yummy!  I am in love with asiago cheese bagels now 🙂

Asiago Cheese Bagel Recipe

TJ’s Chole

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I am thrilled to share that Gainesville, FL finally has a Trader Joe’s!!!  It opened in December and my boyfriend bought me two Trader Joe’s cookbooks.  This is the first recipe that I have tried it was so quick and easy I still cannot believe it.  This was fast as lightning to prepare and tasty!  I ate mine with Garlic Naan from Trader Joe’s but you could eat this over rice or plain for a low-carb option.  I am happy to begin a TJ’s section to my blog that will feature the many wonderful and convenient items available at Trader Joe’s.  Enjoy!

Chole

barely adapted from Cooking with Trader Joe’s

Ingredients

  • 2 – 15.5 ounce cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 – 15 ounce jar Curry Simmer Sauce (trader joe’s item)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp diced canned jalapenos (more or less depending on how spicy you like things)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Directions

Combine the garbanzo beans and curry sauce over medium heat in a pan.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Mix onion, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice and place the mixture on top of the garbanzo beans.  Serve alone, over rice, or with naan.

Spinach Artichoke Pizza

Spinach Artichoke Pizza 1

Spinach artichoke dip is one of my favorite appetizers (Check out my Restaurant Style Spinach Artichoke Dip). So when I saw this as an option for a pizza topping I had to try it out!  It is quite tasty, although it is not traditional pizza by any means.  I brought this as an appetizer and it was devoured.  By far the most incredible part of this recipe is the crust.  It was so easy to make, the dough was great to work with, and I loved the garlic flavor!

Spinach Artichoke Pizza 4

Next time I think I am going to try to split the dough for the crust in half and make two smaller, thinner crust pizzas.  Yum!

Spinach Artichoke Pizza Recipe

Garlic Pizza Crust Recipe