Monday, August 27, 2012

No-Bake Biscoff Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Traditional no-bake cookies are one of my husband's favorites (recipe here), but I have been on the search for a great peanut-free version of these cookies that would be school friendly, and I finally found one! Using Biscoff spread instead of peanut butter is a great alternative. The cookies have a great flavor and I happen to like these better because they are not quite as sweet (but trust me, they are still plenty sweet!). You must try these if you like no-bake cookies!

No-Bake Biscoff Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(recipe adapted from Picky Palate)
Makes about 40 cookies

8 T unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Biscoff (can use peanut butter)
3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup marshmallow bits (I used mini marshmallows that I chopped)
1 3/4 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chunks
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, sugar and heavy cream. Heat, stirring frequently, and bring to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Stir in the biscoff until melted and smooth. Add the oats and marshmallows, stir well.
Add the chocolate chunks and only stir a few times so all of the chocolate doesn't melt (or you can keep stirring, if you like the chocolate to be completely melted).
Use a cookie scoop to scoop cookies onto wax or parchment paper. Let set for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Honey-Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops

If you are looking for a seriously good and easy grilled pork chop recipe, look no further. The slightly-sweet and tangy-sour glaze is so delicious on the pork. My husband LOVES this recipe and requests it often. You must try it!

Honey-Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops
(recipe adapted from
Serves 6

6 bone-in or boneless pork chops
5 T extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
4  T honey
6 T unsalted butter
2 tsp dried rosemary or 3 tsp fresh

Put pork chops on a plate, drizzle with oil and season generously with kosher salt and pepper, on both sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Combine vinegar and honey in a 1-qt. saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 5 minutes or so). Stir in butter and rosemary and set aside.

Put pork chops on grill and cook, occasionally turning and basting generously with balsamic mixture, until browned and cooked through, 12–14 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce

This is a wonderful dish. It's one of my husband's favorites (there's bacon involved) and my kids gobble it right up. Tortellini is always a big hit in our house so I'm always looking for new ways to serve it. The lemon flavor in this dish is perfect and I love how you can control how much lemon you like. My husband likes lots of lemon, my kids prefer less so I usually prepare this recipe as it's written and it's perfect every time. It's creamy, refreshing, comfort food that you are sure to love!

Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce
(recipe adapted from Our Best Bites)
Serves 6-8

2- 9 oz packages of frozen or fresh cheese (or cheese/spinach) tortellini
6-8 strips thick sliced bacon, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 T flour
4 cups milk
1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp or more if you like spicy, which we do)
1 medium lemon
3-4 cups loosely packed baby spinach
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Fill a large stock pot with water bring and to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions, adding salt to the water, if desired. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, place bacon in a medium sized skillet on the stove-top at medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Reserve about 3 tablespoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest.
Add garlic to skillet and cook until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute. Add flour to pan and stir with a whisk constantly for about 1 minute.
Slowly add milk and continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer.

While sauce is heating, use a microplane grater or a fine-holed cheese grater to zest lemon. Then cut lemon in half and remove juice.
Add 2 teaspoons zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to sauce (start with these amounts and then adjust to taste). Continue to stir until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place tortellini back in stock pot. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cooked bacon and add the rest to the pasta mixture. Add spinach, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Add sauce and gently stir to combine.

Place pasta mixture in an 9×9 baking dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan and also crumbled bacon.

Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and pasta is bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and cool for a minutes before serving. Enjoy!