Alley's Recipe Book
Alley's Recipe Book    Alley's Recipe Book    Alley's Recipe Book       Alley's Recipe Book    Alley's Recipe Book

Top 12 Recipes of 2012

It has been quite a year!  The start of this blog, friends got married, several new babies to love, traveling to new places... full of wonderful memories.  I have put together some of my favorite recipes to share (not in any particular order)... the top 12 of 2012.  

1. Spinach Enchiladas
2. Mini Taco Pies
3. Nutella French Toast
4. Tortellini Soup
5. Cinnamon Sugar Muffins
6. Salmon Burgers
7. Zucchini Enchiladas
8. Cookie Crumb Cupcake
9. Baked Potato Soup
10. Apple Pie Chips
11. Stuffed Squash Blossoms
12. Pretzel Chicken

Here's to 2013 having even more memories and delicious food!

Weekly Menu

After a week full for family and friends celebrating Christmas, my cousin's wedding, and just spending time with each other... it's time to get back to menu planning!  No sweets this week.  I never thought I could say that I am tired of cookies (probably won't last long though).

Sour Cream and Chicken Enchiladas for him and Spinach Enchiladas for me
Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Garlic Braided Chicken
Creamy Baked Spaghetti

Broccoli Rice Cups with Creme Sauce - total time 45 minutes

Another recipe with individual serving sizes... it is just so practical for portion control, simple to serve, and easy to make more and reheat later in the week.  The recipe is pretty simple enough, I think we have all made a version of broccoli and rice.  This one is slightly different because we need ingredients that will bind everything together in the cups.  And with the creme fraiche sauce... this is definitely tastier.

Broccoli/Rice Cups
1 cup brown rice

1 cup broccoli, chopped
2 eggs
1 cup cheese, divided (I used asiago, gouda, parm)
1 pinch red pepper flakes
rosemary and thyme
salt and pepper

.5 cup creme fraiche
splash of milk
1 tbsp chopped chives
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp parsely, minced
salt and pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook rice according to package.
2.  Combine broccoli, egg, spices and herbs, and half of the cheese.  Add rice once done cooking.  Mix together.  
3.  Spray cupcake pan with olive oil.  Spoon broccoli/rice mixture into cups.  Compress mixture in cup by pressing down with a spoon and then top with remaining cheese.  Bake for 25 minutes. Combine sauce ingredients together and drizzle over broccoli cups when serving.

Buffalo Chicken Meatball Subs - total time 40 minutes

My husband's favorite thing is buffalo chicken.  Every time we go out to eat and buffalo chicken sandwich is on the menu, he orders it.  It never fails.  I was cleaning out our freezer and thawing out some meat, one of which ended up being ground chicken (I thought it was chicken cutlets when I pulled it out of the freezer), so I thought... I guess I could make my own buffalo chicken sandwich... in meatball form (could work as a hamburger too).  I don't like blue cheese... but I do like cream cheese.  Kind of similar, right?  Also, I didn't have any bread in the house, just tortillas.  And since we're under a level 2 snow emergency, I made my own buns.

1 lb ground chicken
.25 cup cream cheese
.5 cup bread crumbs
6 tbsp buffalo sauce, divided
1 egg
green onions
salt and pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine all ingredient (using only half of the buffalo sauce).  Form into balls.  Place in casserole dish and top with remaining buffalo sauce.
2.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Serve with cream cheese spread on buns.

2 cups flour
.25 warm water
.25 cup warm milk
1 package of active yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt

1.  Combine sugar, warm water, and yeast and let sit for 10 minutes.
2.  Add warm milk, melted butter, salt, and olive oil and stir together.  Add one cup of flour and mix together with bread hook.  Add remaining flour a small amount at a time until dough forms a ball.
3.  Kneed dough until smooth.  Separate into equal amounts, shape, and lay on an oiled pan.  Cover and let sit for 45 minutes (it should double in size). 
4.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls (with mix-ins) - total time 40 minutes

I usually make buckeyes every Christmas... they are pretty much expected by several family members.  Getting that 'eye' perfect and on top is harder than it seems, otherwise, buckeyes are pretty easy to make.  After the success with Chubby Hubby Truffles, I made the buckeye 'batter' and three different 'mix-ins' (a-la-Coldstone Creamery); pretzel (aka Chubby Hubby), pretzel and caramel (aka Take 5), and crushed graham cracker.  I think my favorite is the graham cracker mix-in, but everyone had their own favorite.

Buckeye Batter
2 cups creamy peanut butter
.5 cup powdered sugar
.25 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Mix ingredients together, including desired mix-ins.  
2.  Roll into balls and put in freezer while melting chocolate in double boiler.
3.  Dip cold peanut butter balls into chocolate and let excess chocolate drip off and place on wax paper (optional: add sprinkles or drizzle topping).  Refrigerate for 5 minutes to let chocolate set.

Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies - total time 45 minutes

This is definitely a cookie to be enjoyed year round.  A sweet graham cracker cookie base topped with cheesecake.  You could make this cookie more of a mini cheesecake... but I made these for Christmas, so cookie it is!

1 pack of graham crackers, crushed
1 cup flour
.5 cup butter
.5 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 egg white (keep yolk for cheesecake)
1 tbsp baking powder

.5 cup cream cheese
.25 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 yolk

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Crush graham crackers in mixer (I covered my mixer with a grocery bag to prevent any popping out and becoming doggy treats).
2.  Beat butter in mixer, add brown sugar, and continue to beat.  Add vanilla, egg white, and baking powder.  Mix graham cracker and flour together separately and then add flour mixture into wet mixture slowly until well combined.
3.  Combine cream cheese, sugar, yolk, and cocoa powder in a small mixing bowl.
4.  Form golf ball sized balls with the graham cracker dough.  Flatten and press spoon into dough to form cups.  Pour cheesecake mixture into cups and bake for 12 minutes.  Refrigerate after cooling.

Red Velvet Cookies - total time 2 hours

What could be a more perfect Christmas cookie than one that is red and green?  Okay, probably sugar cookies decorated by little kids... but red velvet with green M&Ms seemed pretty perfect to me!  Plus, I had a bottle full of green M&Ms that have been sitting in my cabinet for a couple months (from Pelotonia themed event at work).  These turned out delicious!  Great for cookie swaps and Christmas dessert tables.

1.5 cup flour
1 cup sugar
.5 cup butter
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 egg
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp red food coloring

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter in mixer, add sugar, and continue to beat.  Add vanilla, egg, vinegar, and food coloring and combine.
2.  Blend in salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Mix cocoa powder and flour together and add to wet ingredients a little bit at a time.  Hand mix green M&Ms (or chocolate chips) into dough, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
3.  Scoop onto pan in golf ball sized balls.  Add additional M&Ms or chocolate chips to the top for color contrast.  Bake for 12 minutes.

Apple Cider Caramel Cookies - total time 2 hours

A week of Christmas baking with several new cookies on tap!  The first one is perfectly seasonal too.  Our apple pile from the orchard is starting to dwindle and a couple were a little soft, so they were great to use in this recipe.  The cookie tastes like an apple cinnamon shortbread.  Warm the cookie up and the caramel is ooey goey.  If you won't be able to warm the cookies up where you are taking them, a better alternative may be to frost them with a caramel frosting instead of the caramel candy inside (I am definitely trying this soon!).

.5 cup apple juice
1-2 apples, chopped
1.5 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 tsp all spice
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 dozen caramels

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small pot, cook apple juice and apple chunks over low heat to create an 'apple reduction'.
2.  Whip butter in mixer, then add butter, and continue to whip.  Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice and blend together.
3.  Take apples off heat and allow to cool.  The reduction should make about 3 tablespoons of apple syrup.  Once cooled, add into batter.
4.  Add flour a small amount at a time until everything has combined.  Wrap dough in plastic and refridgerate for at least one hour.
5.  Shape dough into two inch disks fold caramel into each one.  Bake for 14 minutes.  Reheat in microwave for 10 seconds before serving to soften caramel.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...