• Liz Shumpes


    Wife, mom, realtor, lover of red wine and all things dark chocolate!
    Enjoying life one meal at a time!

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Mom’s Rich Cocoa Crinkle Cookies

About a year ago, Mom moved from Oregon back to Texas.  There’s a saying that you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the girl! We are all VERY happy to have her back here where she belongs!  With that said, Mom loves to bake! I’m not saying we wouldn’t love her just as much if she didn’t, but let’s just say we love it that she does!  These chocolate crinkle cookies are TO…DIE…FOR!  Rich chocolate bites of chewy goodness that completely satisfy that chocolate craving!  Be careful…they’re so good you might find them disappearing just as quickly as you take them out of the oven!

Mom's Rich Cocoa Crinkle Cookies

Mom’s Rich Cocoa Crinkle Cookies

Mom & Me at Tyler Florence's Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco

Mom & Me at Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco

Mom’s Rich Cocoa Crinkle Cookies

makes about 6 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Hershey’s cocoa
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • powdered sugar

Preparation:

Stir together sugar and oil in a large bowl.  Add the cocoa, beat until well blended, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt, then gradually add the cocoa mixture, beating well. Cover and refrigerate until dough is firm enough to handle, at least 6 hours.

Heat oven to 350°, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (if no parchment, spray with nonstick spray). Shape dough into 1-inch balls, roll in powered sugar to coat then place about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched lightly and tops are crackled. Cool slightly, then remove  to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Farro, Dried Cherry & Toasted Pecan Salad w/Feta

Never heard of farro?  Well, it’s a type of ancient wheat grain, and you might be surprised to know that it’s been around for thousands of years! Because of its high fiber content, it’s gaining popularity for it’s many health benefits.  And, we’re all over health benefits, right??  This salad combines the nuttiness of the farro, the sweetness of the cherries and the saltiness of the feta all in one healthy dish.  Throw in some pecans for crunch, fresh parsley and green onion to freshen it up and a light and tangy fresh lemon dressing to finish it off.  It’s one of my new favorites!  🙂

Farro, Dried Cherry & Toasted Pecan Salad w/Feta

Farro, Dried Cherry & Toasted Pecan Salad w/Feta

Farro, Dried Cherry & Toasted Pecan Salad w/Feta

Adapted from Southern Living Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup toasted pecans, chopped (See Liz’s Tidbits)
  • ¾  cup dried cherries
  • ⅓ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup feta cheese

Preparation:

Bring farro and broth to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low, cover tightly and cook until the farro is tender 20-25 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cool water. Then set aside to cool.

Once cool, stir in remaining ingredients.  I like to add my feta cheese to the top just before serving.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • To toast nuts, place them on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350° for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned. I like to toast a whole sheet pan full then keep them in a mason jar in the fridge for when I need them.
  •  I like organic produce when I can get it.  It’s just a personal preference.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Fresh Peach Coffee Cake w/Pecan-Cardamom Streusel

Fresh peach season is quickly coming to an end, but, luckily I had enough left for this amazing Fresh Peach Coffee Cake. Southern Living Magazine featured the recipe earlier this summer, and it looked amazing!  Cinnamon and cardamom are perfect partners for the juicy peaches, and the streusel takes it over the top! Who doesn’t love the smell of coffee cake baking in the oven?  If you’re a peach lover like me, I think you’ll love this cake.  Bake it up, grab yourself a slice early in the morning and snuggle up with a cup of coffee…PERFECT!

Fresh Peach Coffee Cake w/Pecan-Cardamom Streusel

Fresh Peach Coffee Cake w/Pecan-Cardamom Streusel

Fresh Peach Coffee Cake w/Pecan-Cardamom Streusel

Southern Living Magazine

Streusel:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Cake:

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-3 ripe peaches

Preparation:

Pecan Streusel: Preheat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, stir together pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, flour, sugar and cardamom. Add cold butter pieces, and combine with fingers until a sandy texture is achieved.

Cake: Sift together baking powder, flour, sugar, and cardamom. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream, vanilla, egg, and melted butter until frothy, about 1 minute. Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula until blended, taking care not to overmix.

Slice each peach into 8 wedges. Transfer the batter to a lightly greased and floured 9-inch springform pan, and smooth the surface. Arrange peach slices evenly over the batter, and cover the top evenly with the streusel, pressing lightly.

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan on a rack 1 hour. Remove sides of pan before serving.
If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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One-Skillet Chicken with Summer Peaches

Nothing says summer like a really good peach! Their season doesn’t last long, but when it’s here, I love to take advantage and use them in as many recipes as possible! Today I had the opportunity to snag some great peaches from my local farmstead and decided to pair them with the chicken I had out for dinner. Since I haven’t gotten around to making my big batch of pesto yet, I still have a BIG pot of basil calling to me from our backyard. Yes, I think to myself, basil goes nicely with peaches!

The great thing about this recipe is it’s a one skillet dish! Who doesn’t like just one dish to wash?  Go grab yourself some peaches while they’re still around, and give this dish a try. Try tweaking it to your own taste…maybe try white wine or marsala wine instead of the sherry.  Maybe throw in some other fruit with the peaches like blueberries or blackberries.  Lots of possibilities here!  🙂

Got peaches? Give these other recipes a try, too!

Peach and Blackberry Trifle

Peach Galette

Fresh Peach and Blackberry Cake

One-Skillet Chicken & Summer Peaches

One-Skillet Chicken & Summer Peaches

One-Skillet Chicken & Summer Peaches

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 boneless skinless organic chicken breasts
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (about a 1-inch knob, peeled)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 3-4 peaches, sliced 1/2-inch thick (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves chiffonade (or chopped), more for garnish (see how to chiffonade in Liz’s Tidbits)
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Heat the oven to 400°. Pat the chicken dry on both sides with paper towels, and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken, and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Reduce heat, add the shallot and cook until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic to the pan, and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 30-45 seconds. Add the sherry and chicken stock, and return the chicken along with its juices to the pan. Transfer to the hot oven, and bake about 10 minutes. Remove and add the peaches and basil, and bake another 5 minutes or until the juices run clear. Remove from oven and garnish with some small whole basil leaves.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • The term Chiffonade means to finely cut or shred.  Click here to see a video on how to Chiffonade basil!

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Haricots Verts with Honey Orange Dressing

Haricots Verts (French for green beans) are those skinny (and usually more expensive) green beans you see next to the regular green beans in the grocery store.  I will always chose them over the standard green beans mainly because they are more tender and more flavorful.  I was looking for something a bit different to do with my beans the other day and happened upon this recipe.  I remembered my Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar in the fridge and substituted it for the white wine vinegar the recipe called for.  The result was a delicious, very flavorful dish with a nice hint of orange.  Pretty AND tasty!  🙂
Hericots Verts with Honey Orange Dressing

Hericots Verts with Honey Orange Dressing

Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar

Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar

Haricots Verts with Honey Orange Dressing

slightly adapted from Bobby Flay

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound haricots verts (French green beans)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice plus 1 teaspoon zest
  • 2 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼  cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼  cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup ricotta salata, grated

Preparation:

To a large pot of boiling salted water, add the haricots verts.  Bring back to a boil, and cook about 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Drain and immediately plunge beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.  Drain and pat dry.

For the dressing, whisk together the orange juice, zest, vinegar, honey, and some salt and pepper in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.

Combine the haricots verts, almonds and about half of the ricotta salata in a serving bowl. Pour some of the dressing over the top and gently toss to coat. Taste and add dressing a little at a time adding salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and serve.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • If you don’t have Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar, use white wine vinegar.
  • If you can’t find ricotta salata cheese, use feta.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Sweet and Sour Black-Eyed Pea Succotash

Trader Joe’s is one of my all-time favorite grocery stores.  Initially, I wasn’t so quick to hop onto their bandwagon, but fast forward and I’ve since become one of their most loyal customers!  I truly love their products!  If you’re still skeptical about all the hoopla, hop on over to one of many websites to see all the lists of some of the most popular products, and see what you’ve been missing.  I’ll post my “TJ’s Favorites” list in a future post, but for now, here are a few you can check out.

http://www.refinery29.com/best-trader-joes-food-products

http://www.today.com/food/22-trader-joe-s-products-we-re-totally-obsessed-t109415

Today, though, it’s all about their steamed blackeyed peas.  I’ve posted before how I love their steamed lentils (see this post), so I thought I’d blog about their blackeyed peas along with a great recipe to showcase them.  Since summertime is all about using the abundance of fresh garden produce, this succotash fits the bill.  Feel free to add whatever produce you’d like to make it your own.

Sweet and Sour Black-Eyed Pea Succotash

Sweet and Sour Black-Eyed Pea Succotash

 

Trader Joe's Steamed Blackeyed Peas

Trader Joe’s Steamed Blackeyed Peas

Sweet and Sour Black-Eyed Pea Succotash

Adapted from: Bobby Flay

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 small chile pepper, finely diced (can use fresno, jalepeno, etc)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s steamed blackened peas (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste

Preparation:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper and chile and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook about 30 seconds more then add the blackeyed peas cooking another 2 minutes or so. Add the sugar and vinegar, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Fold in the corn and parsley and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • Bobby Flay grilled 4 ears of corn then cut it off the cobb.  In the essence of time, I used frozen and it was great!

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Marinated Garden Tomatoes

One of my favorite things about summertime is all the fresh produce.  Having your own garden is great, but even if you don’t, you can always find garden fresh produce at local farmers markets.  If you’re lucky, you might even have a friend or two looking for someone who might enjoy their garden bounty (thank you Stephanie and Pat!). Tomatoes are definitely one of my favorite things about summer.  They are fantastic on their own with a bit of sea salt, but they’re also delicious marinated in vinegar and herbs. I’ve made this recipe with large tomatoes that I sliced, and I’ve also done it with smaller ones including really small cherry tomatoes. It really doesn’t matter what size you use, they will all be delicious.  I love serving them over an avocado for a light lunch or a side dish for dinner!  Thank you, Corrie, for this great recipe!  🙂

Marinated Garden Tomatoes

Thickly Sliced Marinated Garden Tomatoes

Can also be made with many different sizes

 

Marinated Garden Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup sliced green onion (green and white parts)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground pepper
  • ¼ cup snipped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 fresh tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white vinegar

Preparation:

Combine first 6 ingredients and sprinkle over tomatoes. Mix oil and vinegar and pour over tomatoes.  Cover and chill several hours or overnight. Spoon dressing over tomatoes several times while chilling, and drain before serving.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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