Whipped Chocolate Buttercream

I made a cake over the weekend, and I knew I wanted yellow cake and chocolate buttercream. This beauty happened because I didn’t have powdered sugar in my house and I was too lazy to go buy some and/or make my own. No judgment.

I’m sure you’ve seen the recipe floating around for 2 ingredient chocolate buttercream. Nothing but butter and chocolate.

So I threw this together and it turned out quite delightful. A little on the rich side for me, but if you’re a chocoholic this is right up your alley.

1lb Unsalted Butter
12oz Chocolate Chips

Heat the two together over a double boiler until you have a dreamy chocolate syrup. I transferred the liquid chocolate butter mixture to the bowl of my kitchenaid and put it in the freezer for about 25minutes.

Once it’s cooled and started to set start to whip it on high speed.

Whip it good.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well this whipped up. It was plenty to frost and fill a two layer 9″ cake.

Yum 馃檪聽

Soft White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies {A flexible recipe that should be in everyone’s box}

Whenever I tell someone that I’m a chef, the first question following that is usually, “What’s your favorite thing to make?” and/or “What’s your favorite dessert?”

To answer the first, I would have to say Gingerbread Houses. Shocker. Collectively, my favorite things to make are the treats that we all grew up with, and then put a gourmet twist on it. For example, taking something as simple as yellow cake with chocolate buttercream and turning it into the most moist, delectable, perfect balance of rich chocolate to sweet yellow cake. I’ve started a very slow moving project of recipes I want my children to have. Recipes not how to build a sugar showpiece, but recipes for the very best chocolate chip cookie on the block.聽
Chocolate chip cookies are a peculiar thing, it’s the same simple ingredients with countless theories. Salted butter, unsalted butter, cornstarch, dump method, refrigerate before baking etc. etc.聽
This is one of my favorite go to recipes because I can change it to fit the season or my mood. I like my cookies soft.聽

Inspired and Adapted from聽Two Twenty One
3/4c Unsalted Butter – room temperature (I don’t do salted. I like to control the flavor.)
1/4c Canola Oil
1c Granulated White Sugar
1c Packed Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1tsp. Vanilla Extract
1tsp. Baking Soda
1tsp. Baking Powder
1tsp. Salt
3c. All-Purpose Flour聽
1 1/2c(total) Chocolate Chips + White Chocolate Peppermint M&Ms聽or your favorite “Mix-In”
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.聽
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream your room temperature butter, canola oil, 聽and both sugars. Cream until light and fluffy. Light refers to the actual color of the butter. it should lighten to a pale yellow.聽
3. Scrape down the bowl and add the vanilla and eggs one at a time. Scrape the bowl between additions. Mix only until combined.聽
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour together.聽
5. Add flour mix to butter egg mixture in two additions, scrape down between additions.聽
6. Stir in chocolate chips by hand with a spatula.聽
7. Roll into balls and bake for 9-11 minutes.聽
I always tell my chefs when a recipe gives you a time window, make sure you start at the lower end. You can ALWAYS add more time if you need it, you can’t take time away.聽
I bake my cookies until the edges just barely start to turn G.B.D. (Golden, Brown, Delicious.) The cookies will continue to bake thanks to “carry-over baking” so it’s okay to pull them out a tad underdone. That’s how I keep my cookies soft.聽
I’ve changed these to have chocolate chips + white chocolate peppermint M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces聽+Chocolate Chips, Straight Chocolate Chips, and they’re my go to cookie for homemade ice cream sandwiches and pazookies.聽
聽Happy Baking!
xo, Jess
聽聽

Greek Yogurt Creme Br没l茅e (#madewithchobani)

Happy Christmas Eve!

Mr. Daly and I are dashing through the snow to my parents house today, and in honor of my favorite holiday I wanted to leave you with some delicious dessert.

Creme Br没l茅e is a favorite in my house around the holidays, so when Chobani asked me to come up with something delicious, I knew this would be perfect. A traditional creme br没l茅e is a delectable custard made from eggs and heavy cream. The mark of a good creme br没l茅e is the texture and consistency of the custard. I think that’s why I love greek yogurt so much, I love the thick, rich, texture.

Creme br没l茅e 聽is a lot easier than you would expect, and using Chobani greek yogurt makes it even easier. All that magic texture comes straight out of the cup.

I made two different versions.

Chocolate Peppermint
(Serves 4)

2c Plain Chobani Greek Yogurt
1/2tsp Peppermint Extract (I used 1 drop Peppermint Essential Oil)
1TBS Honey
2TBS Granulated Sugar
1c Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Red Food Coloring if desired
Granulated Sugar as needed

1. Whisk Chobani Greek Yogurt, Peppermint, Honey, and Granulated Sugar together in a bowl.
2. Split mixture into two bowls.
3. In a microwave safe bowl start heating your chocolate chips in 30 second intervals.
4. Once melted add liquid chocolate to one half of your Chobani mix.
5. In your plain peppermint Chobani mix add a drop of red food coloring. ( It’s important to be festive!)
6. Spoon chocolate Chobani into ramekins, filling the dish about halfway.
7. Top the chocolate Chobani with pink/red Chobani filling to the top.
8. Let yogurt set up in the fridge for 30minutes.
9. Once the yogurt has set sprinkle more granulated sugar on top and caramelize with a kitchen torch or in your broiler.

I really do look for any reason to use my torch in the kitchen. Because hello, who doesn’t love a good torch?

聽Divine.

Raspberry Vanilla Almond Creme Br没l茅e

2c Plain Chobani Greek Yogurt
3TBS Granulated Sugar
1T Vanilla Extract
1/4t Almond Extract
6-8 Fresh Raspberries聽+ some for garnish
Granulated Sugar (as needed)

1. With a rubber spatula fold together Chobani, granulated sugar, vanilla, almond, and your fresh raspberries.
2. Spoon into ramekins.
3. Let Creme Br没l茅e set up in the fridge for 30minutes
4. Sprinkle Granulated Sugar over the top and caramelize with a kitchen torch.
5. Garnish with a few fresh berries.
6. High five yourself for making something so delicious in only 5 steps.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! May your bellies be full and your kitchens smell delicious!
xoxo
Jessica Nan
With 2015 right around the corner聽Chobani Greek Yogurt聽is an awesome cooking/baking substitute to up your protein and cut out a lot of fat. I really enjoyed expanding my healthy dessert recipe box. Do you have a favorite greek yogurt recipe? I would love for you to join me on the #madewithchobani project, link up and tag #madewithchobani !聽

Pepper Steak Stir Fry

I love Asian Food. I don’t think I’m authentic by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it’s good. More of a Panda Express meets Cleaner Eating. So whatever you want to call that category, this is it.

I found this recipe over at聽Skinny Taste.

Ingredients
12oz top round beef, trimmed to 1/8″ fat, prime grade
4tsp聽+ 3TBS Soy Sauce
1TBS Rice Vinegar
3tsps Cornstarch
5tsps Vegetable Oil
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 Large Onion, sliced into strips
1/2tsp Black Pepper


Tools
Saute Pan/Wok (I don’t have a Wok)
Rice Cooker
Mise en Place
  1. Start cooking rice in rice cooker. (I got one for my birthday and use it all the time.)
  2. Slice Pepper and Onion
  3. Slice meat into thin slices with the grain, about 1″thick
  4. In a bowl, whisk together 4tsp of Soy Sauce, 1TBS Rice Vinegar, 1tsp Cornstarch, and Black Pepper. Add to sliced beef. Whisk together first so you don’t have any lumps from the cornstarch.
  5. In a separate bowl, mis 3TBS Soy Sauce, 1TBS Water, and 2tsp Cornstarch. Set Aside
My Mise en Place looks like this, before I make my sauces:


Assembly


  1. Heat聽your Saute Pan/Wok聽聽on high heat.聽Swirl聽in 1 tbsp oil and add the beef spreading evenly in the wok.聽Cook聽undisturbed for 20 seconds letting the beef brown. Using a spatula,聽stir聽meat, cooking another 2 minutes.聽Transfer聽to a plate.
  2. Add聽remaining 2 tsp of oil to wok,聽add聽peppers and onions and聽cook聽about 2 minutes. Return beef to the wok,聽add聽the sauce and stir fry about 30 seconds until slightly thickened.
  3. Serve over Rice


Spicy Garlic Chicken Farfalle

I love this one, it’s definitely in the weekly rotation. My sister Kristin made it for me when I first moved to Utah and it was LIFE-CHANGING.聽
16 oz. Farfalle pasta
1 c. heavy whipping cream
3-4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed OR garlic salt (I do a spoonful of crushed garlic)
1 Tbsp. pepper*
1/2 c. butter
1 lb. bacon, crumpled**
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (12 oz) Lawry鈥檚 mesquite marinade with lime juice
Boil your pasta with a whole tablespoon of salt.聽

I cheat when I shred my meat and dump all the meat and the juices from the crockpot into my kitchenaid with a paddle on low. It’ll shred everything for you super easy.聽

I cook my bacon in the oven on a sheet pan聽@ 375. I’m not a super big fan of crispy bacon(*gasp*) I actually like it a little softer. If you like the crispy business bake聽@400.聽
Crock pot chicken and bottle of marinade聽on low for 6 hours.
(Make sure it’s Lawry’s) I tried using a knock off and was really sad. Pull marinated chicken out of the juices, allow to cool a little bit, and shred.聽I cheat when I shred my meat and dump all the meat and the juices from the crockpot into my kitchenaid with a paddle on low. It’ll shred everything for you super easy.聽

Set this aside. About a half-hour before serving, boil the pasta. In a small saucepan, melt butter, add garlic, whipping cream, pepper, parmesan cheese, and crumpled bacon. Whisk together on low heat for 3-4 minutes. In a large bowl, pour over cooked, drained pasta, add chicken and stir through. Sprinkle a little bit more shredded parmesan cheese on top.

I make the whole recipe and we eat it for leftovers throughout the week. Ridiculously good.

ps. Commit on the pepper. You’ll thank me later.

Baked Chicken Parmesan

Or if you’re Tom Haverford 聽Chicky Chicky Parm Parm.

This recipe is adapted from聽Skinny Taste

Ingredients
2 – Chicken Breasts
3/4c – Italian Bread Crumbs (I used Progresso)
1/4c – Grated Parmesan Cheese (I used the grocery store brand 3-cheese blend)
3-4TBS – Unsalted Butter
1 – 聽Jar of Spaghetti/Marinara/Pomodoro Sauce (Pick your favorite)
Prep Spray
3/4c – Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1lb (16oz) Pasta (Typically this should be served with spaghetti, but I had penne on hand.)

Tools
Stockpot
Sheetpan
Ramekin/Small Bowl
Basting Brush

Mise en Place:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450F, spray a sheet pan with your prep spray. 聽These are my new聽favorites.聽
  2. Melt your butter in the ramekin/small bowl. I used the microwave for this. 聽
  3. Combine the 3/4c Italian Bread Crumbs and Grated Parmesan Cheese.
  4. Raw Chicken
  5. Ramekin of melted butter and basting brush.
  6. Plate of your cheese/bread crumb mix.
  7. Sheetpan that has been sprayed with prep spray.聽

(For more info about Mise en Place see below)

Assembly:

  1. Brush both sides of the raw chicken with melted butter.
  2. Dip the buttered chicken into the breadcrumb mix, making sure it’s coated completely.
  3. Place on your prepped sheetpan.聽
  4. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes.聽
  5. Flip chicken over and bake for 5 more minutes.聽
  6. Using a meat thermometer temp your chicken. Make sure the internal temp is at least 165.聽
  7. Spoon a little bit of your pasta sauce over the hot chicken and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.聽
  8. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes to melt the cheese.聽
  9. Serve over hot pasta.

Let’s talk about how to cook your pasta.

Boil your pasta with salt. 1lb of Pasta (uncooked) with 1TBS of Salt. I use sea salt in everything I make because it’s real.

That’s it, that’s the magic trick to making your $1.17 box of pasta taste like a dream. Boil your salt and water before adding the pasta. Cook to al dente. The term “al dente” is from an Italian phrase meaning “to the tooth.” No one likes mushy pasta. To the tooth means the pasta is tender but firm when you bite it.

I paired this with a green salad and some fresh garlic bread.

Mise en Place

Mise en Place is French for “set in place” or “everything in place.” It might seem stuffy and neurotic to measure everything out and prep everything before you start cooking. In reality it will make you ten times faster and cleaner in the kitchen. When I’m training a new chef, the first two things I teach them are to work clean and stay organized.

I measure my spices out, I make sure the butter is melted. Things like that before I get started. Knowing that I’m going to need two types of sugar and baking powder from the same cupboard, I am much more efficient if I grab all three things at once rather than running around the kitchen making multiple trips for individual ingredients. How many times have you had to stop mid dinner making to go back and chop a veggie, or dig out some more garlic powder from the back of the cupboard?

I do love a good Mise en Place.

Foodie Facelift

Oh hey!

Somehow it’s September 20th, I haven’t blogged in months, I’m married and moved cross country. It’s been a pretty awesome ride. I decided that since I have been writing Jessica Nan since 2008, I wanted to keep this little spot on the internet alive. I also decided that since I had been writing here for so long I wanted to keep this spot about me, and to have a separate spot for our life as the Dalys. In the six weeks that we’ve been married I have discovered that I don’t know how to make dinner every single day, or meal plan, or grocery shop without a pep talk from one of my sisters or my mom first.

and I have a degree in food.

and I’m a CEPC for a large company that’s expanding exponentially.

but dinner you guys.

Woof.

and I would really like to not stink at this whole wife thing.

So I started doing some research on this elusive dinner project, and started combining techniques I use with my commercial kitchens, and from the Dinner Greats. i.e. My Mom and my Sisters.

Then you know, the blog got a foodie facelift.

I imagine it was a pretty gratifying phone call for my Mom when I finally appreciated how stinking hard it is to come up with dinner everyday.

And I’m a good cook, my training is specifically Baking & Pastry but I know my way around the kitchen. My favorite meals are the ones that I can plan each little menu item down to a T. But that isn’t very practical when you have to do it everyday. No one has time to make a 5-course meal on the daily. (Kinda like that one time I made Easter dinner and it included a 30lb ham for the two of us. heh. We’re learning over here.) I plan on taking simple dishes and giving them a gourmet touch while making them my own.

I was given my Grandma McGuire’s recipe box nearly six years ago, and I have been dying to cook my way through it. I’ve wanted to have a recipe/foodie blog for a long time now, and I finally feel like I have enough content and opportunity to make it happen.

So join me in the kitchen won’t you? There’s nobody here, but us servantless American Cooks.

**I will be starting a “Daly News” blog in the next few weeks to start our family journal. (This is where the wedding pictures will be going.) It will be private, so if you want an invite let me know!**聽

The Second Engagement *spoiler* The clearance letter came !

June 2nd I was on the phone with my Mom. I was so humbled by the support and love we felt in response to my last post. There were even a couple of people that had either been through the same thing or people who were heading into the same situation reach out to us. So many good conversations. Feeling hopeful I was trying to make a plan for what we were going to do if the letter didn’t come for awhile, or if it came and said we needed to wait a few more months. Everything is planned around that temple date.

and then mid-conversation Scott called. Scott and I don’t really talk on the phone, so I figured I would finish talking to my mom and call him back in a minute.

but then instead of a voicemail he kept calling. I immediately put it together and answered his call.

Through tears and screaming and excitement Scott told me the wait was over.

Immediately bursting into tears and screaming and excitement of my own I managed to choke out a “where are you?” and a “please come over”.

It didn’t matter that I was gross from working out with my hair on my head.

He immediately rushed to come over and for the LONGEST 10 minutes of my life I tried to call parents and siblings and stared out my favorite kitchen window for Prince Charming to pull up.

As soon as I saw him I took off running down the driveway, and he started running towards me, letter in hand. I jumped on him, and he wrapped me in a hug so close I could feel his heart beating next to mine.

Finally. Finally. Finally.

and then he kissed me like I was allowed to be his, and he was allowed to be mine.

In that moment something changed. It was deeper, it was more real. Finally there were no walls in our way. There was a countdown.

I got cleaned up while Scott started calling everyone, we were so excited it didn’t even matter that the temple was closed on Monday and we couldn’t call them. Ha. So we celebrated by starting our registry and going to Outback.

I imagine this was a little taste of the joy and excitement we will feel on our wedding day. I have spent everyday since we met thanking Heavenly Father for this incredible man, and trying to wrap my head around why I was so blessed. This trial was truly such a small moment, and I would do it again in a heartbeat to be with Scott forever.

53 days and counting.

Lauren Michelle Photography

Scott wrote about the facts and timing of obtaining the temple clearance form聽here.