Category: Quick and Easy

Triple-Chocolate Brownies

Triple-Chocolate Brownies

 

This recipe for triple-chocolate brownies has been in our family for generations. I believe this another of those recipes that got clipped from a weekly newspaper’s food column by one of my grandmothers. I’ve made adjustments to it over the years, using butter as opposed to margarine and adding chocolate chips and nuts.

Triple-Chocolate Brownies

The brownies are very moist and may be made a day in advance. Don’t cut them into squares until they are completely cool and hold their shape. Use an 8” x 8” x 2” square pan, lightly greased and you’ll end up with 16 two-inch square brownies.

The nuts are optional and if you have a group that is divided over nuts, sprinkle some on half the top and all will be happy.

Triple-Chocolate Brownies

These triple-chocolate brownies are quick and easy to make and a real crowd pleaser. Don’t hesitate to serve with a scoop of ice cream on the side!

Watch the Triple-Chocolate Brownies Video Here:


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Triple-Chocolate Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert/Baked Good
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 16 two-inch brownies
 
Brownies are an all-time favorite and these triple- chocolate brownies bring three times the flavor! Quick and easy to prepare.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, optional
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease an 8-inch by 8-inch by 2-inch baking pan.
  3. Place the butter and chocolate in a double boiler or microwave-safe bowl and melt over low heat, stirring occasionally. Once the butter is melted, take off heat to stir the chocolate to help it melt. Don’t let the mixture get too hot or the chocolate will seize.
  4. Stir in the sugar and vanilla extract, which helps cool the chocolate.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla and beat lightly. Beating too hard will incorporate air and create a less dense brownie.
  6. Stir in the flour mixing until all the flour has been incorporated.
  7. Stir in the chips and nuts, if using, until thoroughly blended.
  8. Spread mixture into the greased baking pan.
  9. Top the brownie batter with the walnuts, if desired.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes; the rownies are done when top looks cracked and the sides have pulled away slightly. A toothpick inserted in the middle should show a moist crumb.
  11. Cool and cut into squares.

 

Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto

Classic Pesto

 

The recipe for Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto didn’t start out with pepper flakes. It never even occurred to pair pepper flakes with pesto. However, when I was sautéing the zucchini and shrimp I forgot I wasn’t making a butter sauce and sprinkled in the spice. It was one of those “aha moments” – spicy pesto is delicious!

Sauté zucchini and shrimp and crushed red pepper flakes in olive, add pesto and combine, stir in cooked spaghetti, garnish with cherry tomatoes and you’re done! Click here for the Classic Pesto recipe.

Classic Pesto

Watch the Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto Here:


Spaghetti and Shrimp with Spicy Pesto
Author: 
Recipe type: Pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 4 servings
 
Spice things up with this spaghetti and shrimp dish with spicy pesto!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini cut in quarters lengthwise and then in ½-inch cubes
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 pound large shrimp (16-20 count), peeled and deveined
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
  • 1 cup pesto sauce
  • pasta water, as needed
  • GARNISH
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes
Method
  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta liquid before draining.
  2. In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  3. Stir in the zucchini and salt and cook stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and crushed pepper flakes, cook stirring occasionally until shrimp are pink and firm – about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the pesto sauce and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta liquid. Stir to loosen. Add the pasta, stir to combine and add as much pasta liquid as need to coat the spaghetti evenly.

 

Classic Pesto

Pesto

 

When basil is at its peak, the bunches are huge and plentiful. I scoop up tons and bring them home to make pesto; batch after batch. I freeze in one-cup portions, which is perfect for a pound of pasta.

Don’t limit yourself to pasta, though. Pesto is delicious over grilled chicken, just put a good dollop over each cutlet. I also like to use it in a caprese salad – instead of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, little dabs of pesto on the tomatoes and cheese is a fantastic variation.

Grill some eggplant rounds and stack with mozzarella, roasted red peppers and slather a little pesto on each layer.

Pesto

Here’s some tips to making pesto. Young basil (thin stems) use both the stem and the leaves. Remove tough stems on mature basil. Pine nuts are the classic nut used in traditional pesto, but don’t hesitate to use walnuts or almonds. Be sure to toast your nuts to maximize flavor!

Pesto

Keep nuts in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent spoilage. Use the lemon juice not only for flavor, but it also prevents the pesto from turning black when mixed with hot food.

See our Spaghetti with Shrimp in Spicy Pesto recipe here.

Head out to the garden or the local farmer’s market and bring home the basil!

Watch the Pesto Video Here:

 

Classic Pesto
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 2 cups
 
Classic pesto made from fresh basil is a multipurpose sauce. Make large batches and freeze for year-round use! Use on chicken, fish and vegetables.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh basil
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Garnish: quartered cherry tomatoes
Method
  1. Place the basil, cheese, nuts, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse to chop up the ingredients.
  2. Turn the processor to “on” and slowly pour the oil through the spout until an emulsion forms.
  3. Store in an airtight container with a piece of plastic on top of the pesto to keep the oxygen out.

Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs

Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs

 

This is the final video in our mini grilled chicken series: Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs.

When you remove the bone from the thigh, the meat is thin and cooking time is quick. The thigh still retains some fat and remains moist. The flavorful meat is good with only salt and pepper and a little oil to prevent sticking. Also try different marinades and rubs.

Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs

I like to use the grilled boneless chicken thighs in sandwiches. Choose a nice bun or good bread and use your favorite condiment or condiments, pile on the lettuce and tomatoes and a few slices of dill pickle. The perfect sandwich!

Tune in to Honeypie’s Recipes YouTube Channel to view the Grilled Chicken Mini Series playlist!

Watch the Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs Video Here

Grilled Onions

grilled onions, Red Onion Rings

 

Cooking onions highlights their inherent sweetness. Making grilled onions does that and adds a lovely charred flavor so distinctive of the grill.

It’s a simple thing to make grilled onion rings, but frustrating. No matter how hard you try to keep the onion slice in one piece, it eventually softens and falls apart. Then the onion rings begin to fall through the grates and all is lost.

Now I use a vegetable grill tray. Don’t ask why it took so long to get one of these – it changed my life!

Red Onion Rings

Slice and separate the onion rings. Toss with a little oil, salt and pepper, and strew the rings over the vegetable grill tray. Place on the hot grill, cover and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn and cook a little more. Keep turning and cooking until you get the desired doneness. I like some to have a little char on them, but still have some texture.

These are perfect for fajitas, hamburgers or toss over any grilled meat or vegetable.

Watch the Grilled Onion Rings Video Here:

 

Grilled Bone-in Chicken Thighs

Grilled Bone-in Chicken Thighs

 

Next up in mini course on cooking chicken: Grilled Bone-in Chicken Thighs!

Whenever cooking meat or poultry with the bone on, the cooking time takes a little longer. The bone can be in the center or perimeter and location also affects cooking time. Center bones take longer to reach and the meat near the bone is the last to cook because the bone holds that coldness from the refrigerator.

The best alternative on the grill for cooking anything with a bone is to start with direct heat and then move to the other side of the grill and finish on indirect heat. This keeps the outer meat moist and slowly lets the heat permeate throughout.

Grilled Bone-in Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs have more fat than the breast, so if you overcook a little, it’s a bit forgiving. Use marinades, rubs or just plain old salt and pepper with a little olive oil.

Fire up the grill and get started on your grilled bone-in chicken thighs tonight!

Watch Grilled Bone-in Chicken Thighs Video Here:

Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs

 

The key to successful hard boiled eggs is gentle heat and slow cooking. By using this method, the egg is moist and tender with no off odor and a perfectly yellow egg yolk.

Overexposure to high heat releases sulfur from the egg white and iron from the yolk, which results in that unpleasant odor and gray-green coloration on the outer yolk.

Place eggs in a pan large enough to hold the eggs so they are covered by two inches of cold water. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 12 minutes.

Plunge the eggs into an ice bath and let cool completely.

Crack and peel for delicate and delicious hard boiled eggs!

Use to make egg salad, deviled eggs, or slice to top salads.

Watch the Hard-Boiled Eggs Video Here:

Tri-Color Salad with Parmesan Crisps

Tri-Color Salad with Parmesan Crisps

 

Arugula and spinach are plentiful at the farmers markets now. Reach how to clean and store these stemmed greens and make a vibrant and delicious trip-color salad. As a bonus, we’ve included an extra recipe for parmesan crisps.

Arugula has dark green, small leaves with a peppery flavor that goes very well with other bitter greens, such as radicchio and endive. These are the classic lettuces used in a tri-color salad. The balsamic vinaigrette adds a little sweetness, a great foil for the bitter greens.

The parmesan are so easy to make. Just spread 2 tablespoons of finely grated cheese on in rounds on a lined sheet pan and bake until golden brown. For a little twist, use a crank or two of cracked pepper on each. Let them cook and firm up. Add to the salad for a beautiful presentation.

Tri-Color Salad with Parmesan Crisps

Click here for our Wilted Spinach Salad video.

Watch our Tri-Color Salad with Parmesan Crisps Here:

Today we’re making a classic Italian tri-color salad, arugula, radicchio and endive, with a balsamic

Asiago Cheese Crisps
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 4 crisps
 
Make a classic Italian tri-color salad, arugula, radicchio and endive, with a balsamic vinaigrette and and add a Asiago crisp for taste and eye appeal. If you can't find Asiago cheese, substitute Parmesan.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup grated Asiago cheese
  • freshly ground pepper, optional
Method
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with silicon or parchment paper
  3. Drop 2 tablespoons for each crisp onto the tray about 2 inches apart.
  4. Spread the cheese into a circle with the back of the measuring spoon.
  5. Sprinkle with a little freshly ground pepper, if desired.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Cool and serve with salad.

 
Tri-Color Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad and Vinaigrette
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 4 cups salad
 
Smashed garlic adds just a little hint of flavor to the vinaigrette; remove before using, but because it's smashed and removed, none of the heat or bitterness remain. Perfect for this salad
Ingredients
  • VINAIGRETTE
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon good balsamic vinegar
  • 1 smashed garlic clove
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • a few turns of the pepper mill
  • SALAD
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup chopped radicchio
  • 1 cup sliced endive
  • salt and pepper
  • GARNISH
  • Shaved asiago or Asiago crisp
Method
  1. VINAIGRETTE
  2. Put the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic clove, salt and pepper in a sealed jar. Let sit, refrigerated, for a couple of hours.
  3. SALAD
  4. Put the arugula, radicchio and endive in a salad bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and a couple of turns of the peppermill.
  5. Remove the garlic from the vinaigrette, reseal the jar and shake well.
  6. Pour over the greens and toss.
  7. To garnish shave a few pieces of Asiago over the salad or with the Asiago crisps on the side.

 

 

Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast

Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast

 

Here’s another video in our mini course on cooking chicken: Grilled boneless chicken breast. Pound the breast with a meat pounder or heavy bottomed skillet to an even thickness. Use your favorite marinade, rub or merely sprinkle with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

A grilled boneless chicken breast cooks quickly. Close the grill on the first few minutes. Gently pull the chicken away from the grate. If it doesn’t release easily, let it cook a minute or two more. Pulling now only rips the meat.

Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast

Flip the boneless chicken breast and continue cooking for a couple minutes more with the cover closed. Use a thermometer to get an internal temperature; 165 degrees F is considered safe, I prefer 170 degrees F to make sure there’s no pink left. Don’t forget to let them rest for 3-4 minutes!

These boneless chicken breasts are moist and flavorful, as well as quick and easy.

Happy Grilling!

Watch the Grilled Chicken Breast Video Here:

 

Salsa Crudo

Salsa Crudo

 

Salsa Crudo is a quick and easy dip to make that is also a great condiment. Add more chili for a spicier dip and don’t hesitate to a different pepper, such as a scotch bonnet, if you like the heat.

Fresh ripe tomatoes, which are just arriving at our farmers markets, add a natural sweetness to the salsa crude and provide a bright color you never get out season.

I prefer to remove the tomato seeds and the juicy pulp they are imbedded in. I find the salsa is too watery otherwise. Another way to reduce some of the excess liquid is to chop and salt the tomatoes and let sit in a strainer for 20 minutes before finishing the recipe. Adjust your salt after the salsa sits for 15 minutes.

Salsa Crudo

Salsa Crudo is also delicious served over grilled chicken, fish or pork as a flavorful condiment.

Watch the Salsa Crudo Video Here:

 

Salsa Crudo
Author: 
Recipe type: Dip or Condiment
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 2 cups
 
Salsa Crudo is also delicious served over grilled chicken, fish or pork for a flavorful sauce.
Ingredients
  • 6 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup Spanish onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
Method
  1. Combine the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, garlic and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Let sit at least 30 minutes before serving and give a good stir.
  3. Refrigerate if using later.

Cobb Salad

Composed Salad

 

We’re making Cobb Salad. This salad is delicious for an afternoon luncheon or for a warm weather dinner.

Watch the Cobb Salad Video Here:

Check out our How To Sauté Chicken Breasts  and the “Finger Test” videos.

 

Cobb Salad is a composed salad. The ingredients are presented in rows, rather than tossed, for an eye-appealing presentation. Pour dressing over everything and serve!

Composed Salad

The presentation creates a lovely balance of color, texture and flavors.

Composed Salad

The Cobb Salad originated at the Brown Derby in LA, supposedly put together late in the evening at the end of service using what was left in the kitchen.

Composed Salad

These salads are easy to make ahead and dress at the last minute for a light and refreshing meal for either a lunch or dinner.

Watch the Cobb Salad Video Here

 

Red Wine Vinaigrette
Author: 
Recipe type: Vinaigrette
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Method
  1. Combine the oil, vinegar, chives, mustard, salt and pepper in a jar. Close tightly and shake well.

Cobb Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 4-6 servings
 
Cobb salad is a composed salad, which simply means the ingredients are not tossed together but laid out in a colorful and eye appealing way. Quick and easy recipe for lunch or dinner.
Ingredients
  • 6 cups chopped lettuce (Romaine, Bibb, watercress)
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 slices cooked and coarsely chopped bacon
  • 1 pound cooked whole boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, quartered lengthwise
  • 2 Hass avocado, peeled and sliced crosswise
  • 4 ounces blue cheese crumbles
Method
  1. Strew the lettuce across the bottom of a large platter.
  2. Arrange each ingredient in a row.
  3. Pour dressing over everything and serve.

 

 

How To Sauté Chicken Breasts

finger test

 

Skinless boneless chicken breasts are so versatile. Here’s a simple way to sauté chicken breasts with only salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Pouring a vinaigrette or even a little fresh lime juice, over the chicken as soon as it comes off the heat quickly and easily infuses flavors into the chicken.

Make sure you pound the chicken breasts to even out the thickness and they’ll cook evenly. If you have time, let the chicken sit on the counter for 30 or 40 minutes to warm up a bit.

finger test

Check out the “Finger Test” video  to test for doneness when you don’t have a thermometer handy.

Watch the How To Sauté Chicken Breasts Here


How To Sauté Chicken Breasts
Author: 
Recipe type: Instructional
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole skinless, boneless chicken breast, split
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Method
  1. Pound each breast to even thickness for even cooking with a meat pounder or heavy-bottomed pan. Be sure to cover the chicken with film first to prevent splattering.
  2. Season each breast, both sides, with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil over high heat in a skillet large enough to hold all the chicken, or cook in batches.
  4. Lay the chicken breasts in the pan and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Turn and cook for 2 minutes.*
  6. Be sure to rest the chicken; then slice on the bias or serve whole.
  7. * Note, the timing will vary depending on the thickness and temperature of the chicken.