favorite recipes

I have some new recipes for you from February! Apparently, I tried a lot despite this being the shortest month of the year; I even found a lot of keepers. As usual, the images belong to the original food blogger as noted beneath each image.

Simply Scratch: Roasted Broccoli + Cauliflower Soup {with Bacon and White Cheddar}
I made this one in 2014 and forgot about it. I randomly remembered it and made it again. It's still really good.
image: Simply Scratch

Host the Toast: Southwestern Chicken and Sweet Potato Skillet
As per usual, I'm sneaking sweet potatoes on to Aaron's dinner plate. He noticed them and didn't even mind them either. This is a perfect meal to prepare ahead and heat up just before dinner - my favorite kind of recipe!
image: Host the Toast

Simply Scratch: B.L.A.T. Salad
We eat BLTs once a week in the summer when our garden is pumping out tomatoes, so I need to remember this one for next summer. (But I made it on Valentine's Day with lame grocery store tomatoes, and it was still yummy!)
image: Simply Scratch

How Sweet It Is: White Bean Soup with Crumbled Bacon and Spiced Brown Butter
This looked quick and simple. It was, but it was also delicious. We served it for a lunch date alongside the leftover above salad and a loaf of fresh bread.
image: How Sweet It Is

Simply Scratch: Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls
My kids will typically eat all of these vegetables (broccoli, red peppers, carrots), so this was a perfect recipe for our preferences. Plus, it was warm enough on this day to use the grill and yet still turn on the oven.
image: Simply Scratch

Brown Eyed Baker: Peanut Butter Lover's Monster Cookies
I sort of like Monster Cookies, but I don't really get excited about M&Ms. But Resee's Pieces? THOSE are my jam. (I'm totally not cool enough to call anything "my jam," but back in 2004, I brought a giant bag of Resee's Pieces with me to Ghana in Africa as my survival snack. So I really do love Resee's Pieces. Also, how often do I mention Rockin Resee's Pieces ice cream at Seneca Farms? At least I'm consistent.) So, yes, I really enjoyed these Monster Cookies.
image: Brown Eyed Baker

The BEST Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (recipe from Rachel (or Ghiradelli))
This cookie recipe is from my dear friend, Rachel. (The Rachel we met in Nashville and then visited in Colorado and now lives in Washington and haven't seen since Heidi was a baby. Tragic. But I digress.) I thought I remember Rachel saying she got this recipe off the back of the Ghiradelli chocolate chip bag, but I couldn't find this exact recipe on their website. (Clementine's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies was as close as I could find, but their flour is less, their chocolate chips are semi-sweet - not milk chocolate - and their ingredient list includes walnuts. So, no, it's not the same at all, I suppose.) I've been making these since we lived in Nashville, and they are my one of my go-to cookies! We just enjoyed some last week!

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 cups oats
1 bag milk chocolate chips (Ghiradelli)

DIRECTIONS:
In the bowl of a stand mixer,  mix butter and brown sugar. Add each individual ingredient in order, mixing after each addition. Use a wooden spoon to mix in the oats and chocolate chips. Preheat oven to 375F. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes for chewy cookies (or until edges barely golden) or 10-11 minutes for crispy cookies. (We bake ours chewy - slightly crispy on the edge but overall a chewy cookie.) Eat!
(Disclaimer: I do not know why the sugar doesn't get added with the brown sugar and butter, but one time I put it in then, and the cookie was all wrong. I don't claim to know all the science of baking: I'm not a professional. I just follow the directions.)

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Finally, I need to follow up on this Simply Scratch cookbook because it is my BFF in the kitchen these days. Last week, I made the "Skirt Steak Fajitas" (page 233) but with chicken instead. I served them alongside the "Skillet Refried Black Beans" (page 195), "Pico de Gallo" (page 81), and "5-Minute Avocado Spread" (page 80), and the meal was amazing. I even took a picture of them for you.

In the past few weeks, I've also made the "Roasted Red Pepper, Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta Topped Chicken" (page 217), "Homestyle Baked Chicken" (page 209) (including the Poultry Seasoning (page 39)),  and "Italian Sausage Pasta Fagioli" (page 128). I used the "All-Purpose Pie Crust" (page 49) recipe to make Funny Cake for a brunch, and I have a bottle of "Italian Dressingade" (page 84) in the fridge (instead of making Italian dressing by mixing a packet with oil and vinegar as I have for the past decade).

I would let you borrow my copy, but I reference it too much to let it leave the kitchen yet. In a few months I will probably have some of it memorized and may be able to let it wander for a day or two. Until then, you should probably just get this cookbook for yourself. =)

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