Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

It's Christmas Eve!!

I just love this time of year. There is such an festive electricity in the air and I am looking forward to taking it all in.

2013 was a whirlwind of a year, so I am excited for a quiet Christmas in Boston and winding down the year with my sisters, mom, dad, and grandparents on Long Island! Can you believe 2014 is right around the corner?

Thank you to everyone who stopped by my little corner of the internet this year. Gas Stove Girl has been such a fun adventure and I can't wait for an exciting new year! I have just loved cooking and creating new recipes, and I hope you enjoy reading them!

Now, to listen to N*Sync's "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" AD NAUSEAM!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, blog-o-sphere!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake

I took a gingerbread cake and then I added chocolate to it, twice.

I have no regrets, obviously.

I just feel the need to add chocolate to anything if the occasion seems right. This felt right. I mean, spices+chocolate is one of those oddly perfect pairings. Like salty and sweet, but different.

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake is a wonderful holiday treat. Have it as breakfast, a snack, or a dessert--whatever your fancy, this cake fits the bill. The deep molasses and sweet chocolate and gingerbread spices will make your pallet dance!

This ingredient list may feel long, but trust me--it's worth it. There are no fussy or annoying ingredients in this cake. We just want to be sure that we know it's a gingerbread cake but also that there is a healthy amount of chocolate inside. This cake comes together in a big bowl with a rubber spatula -- no fancy equipment here!

So: melted butter, molasses, cocoa powder, mini chocolate chips, ground ginger...I see where this is going and I like what I see.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies {Soft and Chewy!}

If you want Christmas in a cookie, I've got you covered. It exists within this chocolatey, peppermint-y treat.

I'm not one to demand you make MY cookies for YOUR family during the holidays. I know everyone has their own traditions, their own cookies that hold a place near and dear to their heart during the holiday season. I have no authority to demand that you change that.

However, if you are looking for a fun and festive cookie to bring to a holiday gathering or to share with coworkers and friends--I think these soft and chewy Chocolate Peppermint Cookies are just perfect!

There is no better combination than peppermint and chocolate. Don't lie--I know you've gotten a few more Peppermint Mocha Lattes from Starbucks than you'd like to admit! Now, you can get your fix in a cookie.

These are no fuss cookies, but they are all kinds of delicious. Chewy chocolate cookies with adorable mini chocolate chips with a nice hint of cool peppermint extract. While the cookies are still piping hot, a bit of crushed up candy canes get sprinkled on top. This melts the candy just slightly and anchors them to the cookies. Yum!

If you want another tasty and no-bake chocolate peppermint treat, try my Peppermint Oreo Balls! These things are going to fly off your dessert table :-)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Eggnog Scones

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is big glasses of thick, delicious eggnog. The warm flavor of the nutmeg with sweet egg cream. It represents everything that I love about Christmas time!

I was wondering what it might be like to bake with eggnog...would the eggnog lose its flavor? Because scones are so simple to cook and require very little finesse, I went to Pinterest to find the perfect eggnog scone. P.S. Follow me on Pinterest here!

{While we're at it, Gas Stove Girl is all over social media! Follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook page!}

I didn't want to invest in eggnog extract--I wanted a recipe that used the real stuff! These Eggnog Scones totally fit the bill.

The smell of nutmeg fills up your kitchen while these delicious, buttery, crumbly scones bake up. The taste of eggnog really comes through in every bite. The outside of the scones are perfectly golden and crispy, while the inside stays soft and tender. These are a great breakfast treat to bring to your family this holiday season!

If you're feeling wild and crazy, you could also drizzle an eggnog glaze on top of the scones. Mix together about a cup of powdered sugar with a few tablespoons of eggnog and a dash of nutmeg. Totally divine! I found the scones had a nice, light sweetness on their own, so I just enjoyed them straight up with a warm cup of coffee. Perfection!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Traditional Fettuccine Alfredo

Do you ever wonder why Fettuccine Alfredo is so good? I'm talking real, restaurant-style Fettuccine Alfredo.

The answer is actually quite simple. But, in case you were still wondering, there are three main reasons why nobody can say no to a creamy, dreamy plate of Fettuccine Alfredo.

1. Butter
2. Grated Parmesan Cheese
3. Heavy Cream

It's so obvious, isn't it? Normally, I try to only eat Fettuccine Alfredo out at restaurants for special occasions. There is no denying that it is incredibly rich, so moderation is key. But recently...I was craving it. I NEEDED the perfect plate of Fettuccine Alfredo.

When I took the first bite of this Traditional Fettuccine Alfredo, I just melted with joy. And my pasta-loving boyfriend couldn't resist a second helping. A perfect al dente fettuccine pasta, creamy  and buttery white cheese sauce, spicy black pepper. Just thinking about it gives me butterflies.

Turns out, the entire dish is incredibly simple (as you may have guessed from the short ingredient list above). It's reasons like this that make me truly believe we should never buy a jar of pre-made sauce ever again. 

If you're a purist, this recipe is so perfect and so flavorful, you can just enjoy a huge plate of pasta and sauce. If you're a protein and veggie lover, use this recipe as a base for any variation you can imagine.

For our meal, we did chicken and broccoli alfredo. Just grill a couple of chicken breasts and steam some broccoli, place on top of the pasta and sauce and you're good to go! I also would imagine pork tenderloins and asparagus would be a delicious combo, or add bacon and peas for a decadent carbonara. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cream of Turkey Soup with Wild Rice Medley

Yes, it's time for another soup recipe. But this one just cannot wait. I know that because as soon as I finished devouring it, I sat down on my laptop and starting writing this blog post.

What is so wonderful and different about this soup? Well, it is creamy and dreamy. It has white and dark turkey meat, shredded into every bite. Bell's Poultry Seasoning adds a nice earthy undertone with a bit of fresh parsley to brighten it up. A wild rice medley makes the soup rich and adds amazing texture. It's the kind of soup you dream about at night.

Wait, you don't all dream about soups? Well this is embarrassing.

Cream of Turkey Soup with Wild Rice Medley comes together in 30 minutes, and it is a real crowd pleaser. I start by cooking my vegetables--this is a great trick I learned from watching Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals. Heat olive oil in your soup pot over medium heat, add the chopped vegetables, season them and top with a bay leaf. Cover and cook until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. This helps you get tender vegetables without simmering the soup for an hour or more.

A simple roux made by melting butter then stirring in flour, and whisking in whole milk will make the soup smooth and creamy. If you want to melt a little parmesan cheese in there, I wouldn't judge :-)

I used a rice medley that includes white, red, brown, and wild. I definitely suggest using a mixture that has wild rice. The taste and texture is just superior (SOUPeriour, hardy har har!). If you can't find a mix, just try using 1 cup wild rice and 1/2 cup white or brown rice.

If you have leftover Thanksgiving turkey, then this has got to be on your menu tonight! If you're out of turkey, you can certainly make this using chicken! I would suggest cooking up one breast and two thighs to be sure you get that great combination of white and dark meat.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Turkey Day Leftover Ideas

Welcome to December, everyone!

It is now officially acceptable to transition from pumpkin everything to peppermint and chocolate everything! I cannot wait.

If you are like me, you have quite a bit of turkey, perhaps a few vegetables, and a bit of cranberry sauce leftover. Instead of recreating the same meal you ate on Thanksgiving, maybe you want to consider jazzing up those leftovers with a few of these recipe ideas.

For the cranberry sauce, try these Cranberry Baked Brie Bites. Puff pastry makes everything better, and this tasty snack is like a bite-sized version of baked brie. Genius!

For any leftover peas, carrots, corn, and other vegetables, make a wholesome meal with this Veggie-Packed Fried Rice! Just replace any vegetables in the recipe with what you have on hand. Cut into bite-sized cubes to make sure everything cooks evenly.

For turkey, gravy, and more vegetables, take these Chicken Pot Pockets and create a Turkey Pot Pocket! Replace the chicken with turkey, use your own leftover gravy, and swap frozen veggies for any fresh ones you have on hand.

Finally, if you still have a bit of cooked turkey, try shredding it and cooking up a big pot of this Chicken and Tortellini Soup (replacing chicken with the turkey, of course!) 

Hope you enjoy these twists with your Turkey Day leftovers. Back to the Monday grind. Have a great week, everyone!