The Newlywed Chefs

Husband and wife who love to cook! Join us on our culinary adventures as we keep a fresh outlook on life, love, and food. Check us out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Newlywed-Chefs/153575001356982 or follow us on Twitter @newlywedchefs

Chocolate Chunk Skillet Cookie

Love is in the air…

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…and in the oven.

I love Valentine’s Day. I always have. I just like the idea of setting aside a special day to be sure to tell those you love that you care about them. Valentine’s Day parties in elementary school circa 1993 were the best. Our class would decorate our shoeboxes and bring in our brightly colored Lisa Frank valentines with a medicinal tasting sucker taped to the back (or if you’re lucky, yours had those small chocolate hearts with the crispies in them). We’d be sure to give them to everyone in the class, yes, even if they pick their nose. As soon as I got home, I would race upstairs with my shoebox, plop down on my bed, and read every word of the cards I received that day.

I didn’t necessarily want to give a valentine to every kid in the class, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Everyone needed a valentine, even if it was hard to give. What a great lesson I was reminded of each year. Love isn’t always easy to give. It’s not always convenient. And I don’t just mean in a relationship with your spouse. I mean showing love to the old woman driving super slow in the fast lane, the friend who just needs a listening ear just at the moment when you have to go, the person who consistently gossips about you but deep down just needs to be loved. Sometimes, showing love is hard. But on Valentine’s Day, even if you think it’s a fake holiday created by the card companies, you’re forced to think about love. So this year, think about it. Think about how you’re showing love to others. Think about who you’re showing love to. Think about how you could be showing that love differently. Let’s love bigger this year. Let’s love greater. Let’s love the way we were made to love.

If you are looking for a delectable dessert to make your valentine, look no further. This skillet cookie is actually easier than making chocolate chip cookies, with all the delicious chocolatey taste of a warm gooey chocolate chip cookie. The dough could be enough of a dessert in itself. Exhibit A:

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To cook, or not to cook?

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The top may seem more brown than you typically like, but it’s necessary for the cookie to cook all the way through. If you want to risk an even more gooey cookie, go for it, but know that we haven’t tested that quite yet.

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You are sure to impress your valentine this year with this irresistible dessert!

Chocolate Chunk Skillet Cookie
Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 40 min. Cool Time: 20 min.

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine flour, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Using an electric beater, cream the softened butter with the two sugars. Add the vanilla and egg and continue to beat until creamy. Add the flour mixture and continue to beat until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks using a wooden spoon.

Press dough into a small 8″ cast iron skillet and bake for 35-40 minutes until top is golden brown. Allow to cool for 20 minutes prior to serving.

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

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Ah, the annual Superbowl post. The Rams (who?) sure aren’t in it this year, and being a loyal St. Louisian, I most likely won’t be cheering for them ever again, so my focus will be even more on the commericals, halftime, and the food! I didn’t think anyone could beat Katy Perry’s halftime performance last year but HELLOOO Beyoncé and Coldplay?! And Lady Gaga is singing the national anthem? It’s going to be epic. You know I’ll be dancing in front of the TV learning some new dance moves and trying to look as cool as Beyoncé, which… well… is impossible.

Last year, we made THE BEST WINGS, but if you’re looking to fly away from the wing-rut, check out this recipe that is tried and true, easy as pie, and pretty dang mindless to make.

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This is not an original recipe. You’ll find it on most BBQ sauce sites, grape jelly sites, and all over Pinterest. We added a few extra kicks of flavor, just to keep it interesting. Our version is pretty spicy, so if you don’t like the heat, don’t get near the fire (leave out the red pepper flakes).

These meatballs are crowd pleasers, perfect to bring to any shower, birthday party, potluck, or super bowl party. We hope your super bowl weekend goes well and nobody gets injured trying to dance like Beyoncé. I better start stretching now…

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

2 bags (20-oz. each) of precooked, frozen meatballs (we used turkey meatballs from Trader Joe’s)
1 bottle (18-oz.) BBQ sauce
1 jar (17-oz.) grape jelly
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and turn on high for 4 hours. Discard garlic cloves and serve hot with toothpicks.

Chicken Caesar Kale Salad

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In St. Louis, we don’t know the word, “Panera.” Okay, we’ve heard it, but mostly in the context of correcting other people that move to the city and are looking for a bagel or quick lunch. Here, Panera is still known by the original name, “St. Louis Bread Company,” and all of us natives still lovingly cling to the nostalgic “Bread Co.” nickname. It’s so deeply ingrained in mind that even when we lived in North Carolina, if I asked a friend if they wanted to get lunch at “Bread Co.,” they responded with the classic I-have-no-idea-what-you’re-talking-about look.

One of my favorite items on their menu right now is the Power Kale Caesar Salad with Chicken, so I decided to try making it at home. Anne Burrell’s Eggless Caesar Dressing has come to be our favorite dressing recipe. I don’t miss the egg at all and the flavor is packed with salty, lemony, cheesy goodness. I’ve messed with the ingredients a few times to see if we’d like it any other way, but I keep going back to the original. It’s flawless. Don’t mess with a good thing, right? With the addition of tender chicken and toasted almonds, this salad is transformed into a hearty meal that makes for good leftovers, thanks to the sturdy kale leaves.

If you’re still recovering from gorging over the holidays, adding this meal in your weeknight rotation may help kick start healthier eating. Skip down to the recipe below. If you want to splurge on calories, continue reading…

…So, the best part of the Bread Co. salad are the little parmesan crisps. Giada De Laurentiis has a great recipe for these. Oh, and you’ll see in Anne’s recipe that she makes deeeeelicious homemade garlic croutons. If you’re not counting calories, go for both of those additions!

Chicken Caesar Kale Salad
Recipe Inspired By Anne Burrell, Giada De Laurentiis, and St. Louis Bread Company
Prep Time: 20 min. Cook Time: 15 min.

Ingredients:

1 cup Anne Burrell’s Eggless Caesar Dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
10-oz. kale, chopped
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
1 cup toasted sliced almonds
Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°. Place chicken tenders on a sheet pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken. Bake chicken for about 15 minutes or until cooked through. While chicken is cooking, make the dressing in a food processor (and also the optional garlic croutons and parmesan crisps).

Remove chicken from oven and place on a cutting board to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing into 1″ thick pieces. Combine chicken, kale, and almonds in a bowl and toss with the dressing to coat. Top with additional grated parmesan cheese and optional parmesan crisps and garlic croutons.

Makes 4 large entrée salads or 6-8 side salads