Peanut Butter Marbled Brownies

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

If you’re in the market for a rich, dense, chocolaty, peanut butter brownie, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve had this recipe tucked away for over a year now and now I’m kicking myself for not getting it out sooner. These brownies were a perfect balance between cake and fudge brownies. Not to dry not to wet. I highly recommend you try them – like now.

Peanut Butter Marbled Brownies
(Source: Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk

1 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips optional
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup, such as Hershey’s

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9×13 inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 egg, and milk until smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, 2 cups white sugar, and vanilla. Mix in the remaining 3 eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; mix into the batter. Stir in chocolate chips.

Reserve 1 cup of the chocolate batter and spread the remaining batter into the prepared pan. Spread the peanut butter filling over the top. Drop the reserved chocolate batter by teaspoonful over the filling. Using a knife, gently swirl through the top layers for a marbled effect.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out almost clean. Cool completely, then cut into bars.

The best mac and cheese you’ll ever put in your mouth….

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Was that title too long? 🙂 LOL. In all seriousness, this is really the best mac and cheese I have ever had. I found it on one of my all time favorite blogs Pioneer Woman Cooks. I’ll admit, I’m in love with Ree. Her blog is full of witty commentary and informative cooking entries, plus she has the cutest family ever. If you haven’t had the pleasure of viewing her blog before please go check it out, you’ll be hooked!

PW’s Spicy Mac and Cheese
(source: Pioneer Woman Cooks, my changes are noted in bold)

Ingredients
4 cups cooked macaroni or cavatappi
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 finely diced red onion
Equal amount diced red bell pepper
1 finely diced jalapeno
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
1 cup frozen corn
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup half and half
1 generous cup grated Pepperjack cheese (I sometimes use half pepperjack and half mild cheddar)
2 Tbsp butter
Salt
Pepper

Directions

Boil pasta until al dente. In a large skillet, add olive oil and saute garlic and vegetables over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add in canned chilies and stir around, then turn off heat. Drain pasta and add it to skillet. Pour on cream, add cheese, then add salt and pepper to taste and stir gently. At the end, add 2 tablespoons butter and stir again. Check seasonings and serve.

Mmm, mmm, Marsala

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Chicken Marsala has been one of my favorite recipes since I was a kid. I can even remember the first time my Mom made it. The power went out right as it was finishing so we had to eat by candle light. Which is probably why I ate the mushrooms, haha. Anyway, I’m not sure if this is a “traditional” chicken marsala recipe but I always enjoy it and I hope you do too!

Chicken Marsala
(Source: It’s a Darne Good Cookbook, with lots of adaptions by me)

Ingredients

4-6 thin chicken breast pounded out to 1/8 inch thickness
1/2 cup flour
1/3-1/2 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas)
1-2 cloves garlic minced
3/4 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 box angel hair pasta

Directions
Dredge the chicken in flour. Place 2 chicken breasts at a time in the skillet with 2 tablespoons melted butter (add more with each addition if needed) in skillet. Cook over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. As each one is done place it in a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat until all chicken is cooked.

Adding more butter if needed, saute mushrooms and garlic in the same skillet. When the mushrooms are done use a slotted spoon to remove the mushrooms and place them on top of the chicken.

Use the marsala wine to deglaze the pan then stir in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce the temperature. Spoon 1/2 of the sauce over the chicken. Top the chicken with cheese and bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

While the chicken is baking prepare angel hair noodles. When the noodles are done drain the water and dump the noodles into the pan with remaining sauce.

Serve chicken and mushrooms over top of angel hair pasta.

**Recipe note** If you are concerned with the amount of butter in this recipe you can substitute olive oil for half of the butter. Some butter is required to give it a rich flavor but it is perfectly okay to use half butter and half olive oil.

Ultra Crunchy Pork Chops

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** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

I can’t even remember how I got to this other blog, but boy am I glad I did! These pork chops were FANTASTIC. The inside was juicy and tender and the outside was crisp and flavorful. Really the perfect combination. I’m not sure I will ever be able to go back to a can of bread crumbs. That’s how good these were. The other great thing about this recipe is that it requires no frying and minimal oil. Just enough oil to crisp up the bread crumbs. I served this with roasted asparagus (tossed in EVOO, garlic, salt and pepper) and mashed potatoes. I know the mashed potatoes are a shocker, we never have mashed potatoes, LOL. What can I say, we like our starches!

Ultra Crunchy Pork Chops
(Source: Cooks Illustrated Feb 2008, as seen on SugarandSpice)

Ingredients:
4 boneless center-cut pork chops, 6 to 8 ounces each, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
4 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1 inch pieces (I used whole wheat bread)
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tbsp)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tbsp)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
Ground black pepper
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves (I used dry)
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley leaves (I used dry)
1/4 cup plus 6 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Lemon wedges (I skipped the lemon wedges)

Directions:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about eight 1-second pulses (you should have 3 1/2 cups crumbs). Transfer crumbs to rimmed baking sheet and add shallot, garlic, oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Toss until crumbs are evenly coated with oil. Bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. (Do not turn off oven.) Cool to room temperature. Toss crumbs with Parmesan, thyme, and parsley.

Place 1/4 cup flour in pie plate. In second pie plate, whisk egg whites and mustard until combined; add remaining 6 tbsp. flour and whisk until almost smooth, with pea-sized lumps remaining.

Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place in rimmed baking sheet. Season chops with pepper. Dredge 1 pork chop in flour, shake off excess. Using tongs, coat with egg mixture; let excess drip off. Coat all sides of chop with bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so that thick layer of crumbs adheres to chop. Transfer breaded chop to wire rack. Repeat with remaining 3 chops.

Bake until instant-read thermometer inserted in center of chops registered 150 degrees, 17 to 25 minutes. Let rest on rack 5 minutes before serving with lemon wedges.