It’s week 5 of my New 2 Me Cooking Challenge! And… I made ANOTHER recipe (slightly) adapted from the Spiffy Cookie. I swear that woman understands my food-eating-soul. I mean the part of me that loves simple & quick, but still delicious and filling. So whatever you call that… she gets it.
I cut the original recipe in half, and substituted broken lasagna noodles for the shells. It is called Skillet Lasagna, after all. Hubs was still hungry after he ate his portion, so I’ll probably make the whole amount next time.
I used all low-calorie ingredients while I was making this… lean beef, Prego Heart Smart Roasted Garlic sauce, the ricotta only had 50 calories per serving, and the mozzarella was reduced fat & made with skim.
I used homemade Italian seasoning, but I’m sure you can buy it in the spice aisle at the grocery store.
Also… I forgot to take pictures. I was so hungry I devoured my dinner. Hubs wasn’t home at dinner time and he mushed his leftovers too much for it to look pretty. I’ll get one the next time I make this Skillet Lasagna. It’ll probably be very soon. Like next week. I think this’ll be going into our regular dinner rotation.
See my version of this Skillet Lasagna!
I’m super excited about how both of these cookies came out!
I used the same sugar cookie dough that I always use for both batches! It’s perfect. Well… it’s almost perfect. It can be a little sticky if you don’t keep it cold. I know the recipe says to chill for at least an hour, buuuuut, I always chill mine overnight. I also find that rotating 3-4 cookie sheets is really helpful to keep the cookies from spreading and getting flat. Start cutting out cookies, put them on the parchment lined cookie sheet, then pop that into the fridge while the others are baking. It works, if you can keep up.
For the Conversation Heart Cookies:
I used a medium sized heart cookie cutter.
I used this ah-mazing Marshmallow Fondant from Big Bears Wife. I divided it into 6 even sized balls, then dyed each one a different color. Then I rolled each one out to about 1/8-1/4 inch thick (the purple ring on my Wilton fondant roller). THEN cut out the heart shapes using the same cookie cutter. I had enough fondant to cover 7 1/2 doz cookies, there was a little of each color left over. it’s possible there’d be enough fondant left for a few more cookies…
Next I made sure the cookies where cool, then brushed them with a little corn syrup, and put a fondant heart on top of each cookies. I rubbed them gently to make sure the fondant would stick.
And the final step was to use a red food marker to write out the messages.
For the Stained Glass Cookies:
I used a LARGE heart cookie cutter, and then a smaller one to cut out the middle for the “stained glass” part.
I had NO IDEA these would be so easy to make. All you do is crush up some hard candy (I used cherry lollipops). Then you cut out the outside shape and a smaller heart from the middle. Put it on the cookie sheet, fill the hole with the crushed candy, and bake! BAM!
I noticed that some of my cookies had pink dots when they came out of the oven. I’m not sure if that was because I was sloppy when I filled them, or if the crushed candy bubbled and splattered while it was melting…
I actually burned the first batch because I wasn’t paying attention to the timer. Ooops.
I let these cool completely on the cookie sheet before I tried to take them off.
And finally, if I make these again, I plan on making smaller cookies. These are so big the middles are kind of hard to eat because the candy hardens…
I adapted this Sausage & Corn Chowder a smidge from Lemons For Lulu. It popped up in my blog-reader-feed-thingy last week and I *knew* I had to make it for my New 2 Me Cooking Challenge week 4! I’m so glad I did.
The original recipe is called “Skinny”, but at over 250 calories per cup… I just couldn’t. I’ve never made chowder before, so I’m not sure if 250 calories is a lot, but it seems like it is for 1 cup of soup? Or maybe I *think* it’s a lot because I’m a calorie-counting-crazy-lady? Who knows?
What I do know is… this chowder is delish. It’s totally worth the extra time I had to take to scrape burnt sausage off the pan that I left on the stove because I forgot I was cooking sausage and started putzing around on the interwebs. Ooops.
It’s the perfect thickness & consistency for a cold & snowy day. Next time I make this, I’m going to brown the hash browns after I cook the sausage. I’m interested in how the crispier potatoes would taste in this.
We also had Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits with this Sausage & Corn Chowder. Instead of rolling them out multiple times & using a round cutter I cut them into square chunks.
Check out the recipe for Sausage & Corn Chowder, or look at the other 2014 New 2 Me Cooking Challenge recipes.
Soo… there’s no recipe for these cookies. I used THIS one from Food.com. The only thing I did differently was add more chocolate chips. Overall these are pretty good. The cayenne flavor is pretty prominent, so they’re not for everyone.
I didn’t share an adapted recipe because I want to change a few things.
1. these are pretty crispy cookies. I prefer chewy cookies… I neeed to research how to make chewy cookies.
2. the cayenne flavor is REALLY strong. It overwhelms the sweetness from the chocolate. So, even though I double the amount of chocolate chips, I think I should have reduced the amount of cayenne I used.
3. I think if I add some type of frosting, or maybe turn these into sandwich cookies the cayenne wouldn’t be so over whelming. I imagine the sweet frosting would balance out the spice?
4. and speaking of chocolate… I used 2 kinds of chips, dark & milk. I think it was a good idea… I just think I’ll use even more next time.
Some other notes:
1. I got about 7 dozen cookies, using a half-tablespoon scoop.
2. I made the dough the night before, and kept it in the fridge between batches.
3. I flattened the cookies slightly before I put them in the oven, and I only baked them for 10 minutes.
Overall these are good. Not great. BUT, I’m pretty excited to try this combination some more. I already tackled CUPCAKES, maybe brownies will be next?