Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies

Wow.  Someone sent me this recipe and how could I resist?!  Oreo?  Chocolate chip cookies?  Together?  Sign me up!  They were SO easy to make.  I made them while Lily napped and only had about 45 min to prep, mix, bake and taste test one.  They are quite rich, as it's 3 cookies in 1 (1 Oreo, and 2 choc chip cookies), but they're delicious anyway.  Grab a glass of milk, a cold Diet Coke, or whatever your beverage of choice is.  You'll need something to wash these down with.

- Pastry Princess

Original recipe from Bon Appetit.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 package Double Stuff Oreo cookies


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugars together with a mixer until well combined.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.
  4. Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo Cookie.  Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo cookie.  Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo cookie is enclosed with dough.  Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Artichoke & Tomato Chicken

Another yummy chicken one! 

  1. 1/4 cup olive oil
  2. 4 fresh tomatoes, dices
  3. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  4.  2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  5. 6 artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  6.  2 red bell peppers, chopped
  7. 1 (8 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, cubed
  8. 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
  9.  2 cups marinara sauce


  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, artichoke hearts and red peppers. Cook until just hot, then remove from heat. transfer to a large bowl and toss together with mozzarella cubes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lay out the pounded breasts and spoon filling onto the center, leaving an inch on each side. Adjust filling as you roll so as not to over stuff. Place them seam side down into a 2 quart baking dish. cover with marinara sauce. Place lid onto dish or cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is cooked through.

I do have to say that the recipe above is straight copy & pasted from however, I made a few changes. The first being that I only made 2 chicken breasts instead of 6 so all other ingredients were adjusted accordingly. Second, after reading the reviews of the recipe and after preparing the initial ingredients I opted not to top it with any marinara sauce because the amount of filling I had far exceeded what I could stuff into two little chicken breasts no matter how flat I could get them! :) Next time, I think I'd still do the marinara - it was good... oh boy was it good - but it needed that little extra sauce. 


And the wine... oh the wine :) Chianti my friends...



~Vino Vixen~

Monday, March 14, 2011

Arroz Con Pollo

I love chicken! I love finding new recipes to use chicken cause if my husband had his way, every night I pulled out bone in chicken he'd ask for fried chicken... bleck! Don't get me wrong, I love me some fried chicken too but not all the time. Only when I need that good ol' fashioned comfort food!

So here's a little mexican twist on kind of fried chicken... & rice! :) 

Arroz Con Pollo! I found this recipe from I've never made it before but it was SUPER easy!

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 broiler-fryer chicken, about 2 1/2-3 pounds, cut into serving pieces, or 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of chicken thighs or breasts, bone-in, with skin on, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup of flour for dredging
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (can use up to 1/4 cup)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups of medium or long-grain white rice
  • 3 cups* chicken stock
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained
  • Pinch of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet (a skillet that has a cover) on medium high heat. Put the flour in a wide bowl, mix in a generous sprinkling of salt, pepper, and paprika. Dredge the chicken pieces lightly in the flour mixture and put in the pan to brown. (You can skip the flour dredging part if you want. It just makes a nicer coating for the chicken.) Cook a few minutes on each side, just enough so that the chicken has browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Add the rice to the pan to brown. Add a little more olive oil if necessary. Stir first to coat the rice with the olive oil in the pan. Then don't stir too much or you will prevent it from browning. Let it brown and then stir a little to let more of it brown. Then add the onion and garlic. Cook the onion, garlic and rice mixture, stirring frequently, until the onions have softened, about 4 minutes. 
  3. Place the chicken pieces, skin-side up, on top of the rice. In a separate bowl, mix together the stock, tomato, salt, and oregano. Pour the stock mixture over the rice and chicken. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Let cook for 20-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package, until the rice and chicken are done. Fluff the rice with a fork. If you want you can sprinkle with some peas. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Lucky me... this pairs well with my favorite - Chardonnay! 

~Vino Vixen~

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chicken Fiesta Salad

Happy Mardi Gras... a day late?! :) I don't even notice these holidays that I used to classify as "drinking holidays" anymore **blush** does that mean I'm getting old??

Oh well... I'm not sure I mentioned it before but I've started meal planning and this is my first week - if you care to check out my weekly menus, they can be found here on my personal blog. Today was the a new recipe - Chicken Fiesta Salad (which was originally scheduled for Friday but a little mishap of choosing two meat/rice dishes in a row just didn't work for my hubby so we switched a few days around.). I've never made this before but I found it here and it turned out really well!

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 package fajita seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 package mixed salad greens
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, cut into wedges
  1. Rub chicken evenly with 1/2 the fajita seasoning. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the chicken 8 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, mix beans, corn, salsa and other 1/2 of fajita seasoning. Heat over medium heat until warm.
  3. Prepare the salad by tossing the greens, onion and tomato. Top salad with chicken and dress with the bean and corn mixture.
First of all, I didn't have fajita seasoning so I just used taco seasoning as I didn't think they'd vary too much. Also, I cut my chicken into 1/2 inch strips and marinated them for about an hour before cooking. This recipe was so simple and easy - and yummy! We also added some shredded cheddar cheese and avocado on top and a small amount of ranch dressing. Oiy so filling with all those black beans! It only made about 3 servings so if you need more just double everything.

As far as a wine pairing, I got the recipe from and they suggest a Sauvignon Blanc, which I didn't have a bottle of but I imagine would most definitely pair well!

~Vino Vixen~

Monday, March 7, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

I looooove me some stuffed bell peppers! I've used this recipe a bunch of times but I do make some changes to our liking and I usually half the recipe unless I've got a bunch of people coming over. I hope you enjoy it!
This would be more pretty with a green pepper but eh... I only had red.

  • 6 bell peppers, any color
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lb venison (or other ground meat)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cans condensed tomato soup
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tops off the peppers, and remove the seeds. Cook peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain. Sprinkle salt and a small amount of cheese inside each pepper, and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, saute venison and onions for 5 minutes, or until browned. Drain off excess fat, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, 1/2 cup water and Worcestershire sauce. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C). Stuff each pepper with the beef and rice mixture, and place peppers open side up in a baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine tomato soup with just enough water to make the soup a gravy consistency. Pour over the peppers. Top with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly. suggests pairing this with a Zinfandel but I'm not a huge fan - I like my wine more dry so a good Sauvignon Blanc sounds better to me :)

~Vino Vixen~

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sausage & Peppers

Well hello Recipe Nest readers, it's been a while! I have to admit while I haven't been slacking in the kitchen, every time I think that I need to post our dinner my plate is half gone... oops!

There were also a couple of times where I got this new "great" recipe to try for my post, it turns out a complete flop and I don't dare share it. Haha!

So tonight we're having our easy Sausage and Peppers... no one can mess this one up! I've found various recipes for this so I don't really have anywhere to give credit to but it's definitely been a staple in my family for some time. I hope you enjoy!
Isn't that pretty??? :)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3-4 (mild, medium or spicy) Italian Sausages
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 small onion, cut into strips
  • 1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage to pan; cook until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Remove from pan; cool slightly. Cut sausage into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  2. In the same pan, heat remaining tbsp olive oil and cook peppers and onion over medium heat until desired firmness (we like ours firm - about 8-10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  3. Add mushrooms and garlic, cook another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add sliced sausage into the vegetable mixture and toss. 
There's so many ways to adapt this recipe to make it your own. It can be served over rice, pasta and your favorite sauce or as a stand alone meal. I've even prepared white rice and added it in on step 4 above. I've also added in a can of Hunt's diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano (or anything similar) and served over cooked spaghetti noddles. Yum!

And don't forget your favorite Vino as well! Some ideas that pair well with Italian sausage recipes are a nice Sangiovese or a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. How's that for a wine lesson??? I'm sad to say I didn't have either on hand :(

~Vino Vixen~

Finger-lickin' BBQ Chicken (crockpot!)

This is a great crockpot recipe that is very easy to prep and is only 5 ingredients!  The recipe was found in a 5-ingredient slow cooking booklet (as found in your grocery store check-out aisle).

2 1/2- 3 lb chicken drumsticks (I used boneless chicken breasts)
1 cup barbecue sauce (I used Masterpiece, but you can choose your favorite)
1/3 cup apricot or peach preserves (I used homemade apricot)
2 tsp. yellow mustard

1. If desired, remove skin from chicken.  Place chicken in a 3 1/2-4-quart slow cooker.  In a small bowl stir together barbecue sauce, preserves, and mustard.  Pour over chicken.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6-8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-4 hours.  Transfer chicken to a serving dish; cover and keep warm.  If desired, transfer sauce mixture from cooker to a medium saucepan.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until desired consistency.  Serve with chicken.

Yankee Doodle

Pork Chops with Apples & Garlic Smashed Potatoes

I found this recipe in the January/February 2011 issue of the Food Network Magazine in the 30-minute meal section and had to try it out.  The end result was delicious, the recipe was easy to make with a baby crawling around at my feet, and it really did take only 30 minutes from prep to finished meal.  I did add in a side of frozen mixed veggies to complete the meal.  I also don't have a cast iron skillet, so I used a regular frying pan with higher sides and it still worked perfectly- I just didn't have to wipe down the pan after searing the pork chops.

Also, I had a picture of my end result, but we lost all of our photos on our computers due to a recent glitch in our back-up network drive that housed all of them.  This photo is courtesy of the Food Network site.

1 pound small fingerling potatoes (I used red unpeeled potatoes)
2 cloves garlic
Kosher salt
4 1/2-inch thick boneless pork loin chops (5 oz each)
2 tsp chopped fresh sage (I used jarred sage from my spice rack)
Freshly Ground pepper
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
2 Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup apple cider (I didn't have cider, so I used apple cidar vinegar and added in 3 tbsp sugar to counteract the tartness and it still turned out well!)
1/4 cup buttermilk (I used skim and they were still delcious, though probably not as creamy)

1. Put the potatoes and garlic in a saucepan, cover with cold water and season with salt.  Cover and bring to a boil, then uncover and continue cooking until tender, about 15 minutes.  Cover and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, rub both sides of the pork chops with the sage, and salt and pepper to taste.  Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, then add 1 teaspoon olive oil and sear the chops until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes total.  Transfer to a plate.  Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil.  Add the onion and apples and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cider.

3. Return the chops to the skillet.  Cover and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes.  Drain the potatoes reserving 1/4 cup liquid.  Return the potatoes to the pan; add the buttermilk and mash, adding cooking liquid as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve with the pork chops, onions, and apples.  Drizzle with pan juices.

Yankee Doodle

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatoes with my own spin!

I love these and make them often. Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatoes are really good!

Here is what they usually look like.

I had a little extra cheese and bacon around. I shredded the cheese and nuked the bacon. Then I sprinkled it on top and look how amazing!

They were like little amazing potato skins! Yummy!

Mozzarella en Carozza...That's a fancy word for fried grilled cheese!

I was watching Kitchen boss on Monday and holy moly did I start having cravings. He made this amazing looking Mozzarella en Carozza and I was drooling. So I decided to try it with some left over ingredients from a pizza I was making. I didn't make the sun-dried tomato pesto, I just used the pizza sauce from a jar!

This is what it looked like when it was done.

And here is what it looks like in the middle.

They were absolutely sinful and delicious. This is a great appetizer and could be made in bit size!