Broccoli Pesto – Updated!

As you can see, I’m continuing to update some older posts.  With this one, I’ve updated the photo, and also tweaked the recipe slightly.  The addition of feta cheese, along with the parmesan, is just what this pesto needed.

This pesto has no oil, and is packed with nutrients from all of the broccoli.  The Greek yogurt adds a nice bit of protein, too.  Even though all of the carb-y pasta probably isn’t ideal, you can still feel a bit better about this healthier sauce.Broccoli Pesto | A Nerd Cooks

My original blog post for Broccoli Pesto Pasta can be found here.

You’ll need:

  • 4-5 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 lb short cut pasta (I used penne)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium-large pot, bring water to a boil on the stovetop.  Boil the broccoli florets for 4-5 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon to a blender or food processor.

In the same pot, add the pasta.  Cook according to package directions until al dente.

While the pasta cooks, pulse the broccoli until it’s chopped up a bit.  Add the garlic, cheeses, and basil.  Process until the mixture is relatively smooth.  Add the Greek yogurt and process until the mixture is creamy and smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the pot.  Add the pesto to the pasta and mix until the noodles are well coated.  Top with a little extra cheese and enjoy!

Classic Waffles

What are your thoughts on breakfast for dinner (i.e., brinner)?  Sean and I are big, big fans.  In fact, we had brinner tonight!  I’ve made these waffles a few times now, and they’re fantastic every single time.  They’re a “classic” version of waffles that can easily be dressed up any which way you choose.  Want to add other spices?  Maybe some chocolate chips or nuts?  Feel like going crazy with toppings?  Do it.Classic Waffles | A Nerd Cooks

I found this recipe on the blog Average Betty.

You’ll need:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tbs sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 egg whites, whipped until stiff

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

Pour the milk, beaten egg yolks, vegetable oil, and vanilla over the flour mixture.  Whisk until just combined.  The batter will be lumpy; never fear.

Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.  The batter will still be lumpy.  This is still okay.

Pour batter into your waffle maker and cook until they reach the desired color.

Top with whatever your heart desires.  I went with butter and syrup for these photos, and then later sprinkled them with mini chocolate chips.

Classic Waffles | A Nerd Cooks

Oreo Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Updated!

I’ve started updating some of my old blog posts (take a look at the new S’mores Cookies post here), taking new and more appealing pictures to go along with the delicious recipes.  These Oreo Chocolate Chunk Cookies have been some of the best I’ve made so far.  I’m heading to the beach this weekend with Sean and his family, and made a batch of these cookies to bring along.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we will!

 Oreo Chocolate Chunk Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

I found this recipe on the blog Butter Baking.  My original blog post can be found here.

You’ll need:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 15 Oreos, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla until well-combined.

While creaming the butter and sugars, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a medium-sized bowl.  Little by little, add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar.  Scrape down the sides of the stand mixer bowl as necessary.

Add the chocolate chips and Oreo chunks and mix until just combined.

Scoop tablespoons of the mixture onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are just golden.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing them to wire racks to finish cooling.

S’mores Cookies – Updated!

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!  I have blogged about these amazing S’mores Cookies before, but wanted to update the post with new, prettier pictures.  Our friends Adrienne and Matt are visiting for the weekend.  Age asked for these cookies, and who am I to refuse a pregnant friend’s request?  ;)

S'more Cookies | A Nerd Cooks S'more Cookies | A Nerd CooksThe original post can be found here.

You’ll need:

  • 2-3 sleeves of graham crackers, broken into squares
  • 11 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 3-6 regular-sized Hershey’s chocolate bars, broken into pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Lay the graham crackers out side by side on the parchment paper, as close to one another as possible.  Depending on the size of your baking sheets, the amount of dough you have, or how thick or thin you want your cookies to be (you’ll put more dough on each graham cracker square if you want thicker cookies), you might need to use more than two cookie sheets.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until it is light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until everything is well-combined.

While this is going, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.

Little by little, add the flour mixture to the egg/butter/sugar combo.  Stir on low, making sure that everything is well combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Fold the marshmallows and chocolate chips in.

Using a cookie scooper, or two spoons, drop cookie dough by the tablespoon onto the middle of each graham cracker square.  Press the dough down with your finger tips a bit.

Bake the cookies for 5 minutes.  Remove them from the oven, and press the Hershey’s bar pieces onto each dough blob.  Put as many little chocolate bars on each cookie as you can fit/as you want.

Bake the cookies for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is beginning to turn golden brown at the edges.  Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on cookie sheet, then remove them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Try to not eat all of them immediately.  Or heck, do it.  I’m not here to judge.

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

I have a serious weak spot for Chinese takeout.  Like, I shouldn’t be trusted to be in a room alone with it.  I would also order it a lot more if Sean wasn’t (very rightly) the voice of reason.  In an effort to save some money, and still enjoy takeout-esque goodness, I decided to try and make some at home.  This dish is super easy to make (God bless the inventor of the Crockpot) and yields delicious results.Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken | A Nerd Cooks

This recipe comes from the blog Table for Two.

You’ll need:

  • 1-1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 tbs cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • sesame seeds
  • green onions, sliced thinly
  • white rice, for serving (optional)

Place the chicken thighs in the insert of a crock pot.  Season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, vegetable oil, garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes.  Pour this mixture over the chicken.  Cook on low heat for 3-4 hours, or on high for 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken from the crock pot and cut into chunks.  While the chicken is out of the crock pot, whisk the cornstarch and water together, and add it to the sauce.  Put the chicken back in.

Serve the chicken and sauce over rice, topped with some sesame seeds and green onions.  Enjoy! =)

Gouda and Chorizo Hash

I think I’ve brought this up before, but I used to make these special breakfasts on weekends, every weekend, for Sean and myself.  Several years ago, this ritual went by the wayside.  Now that we’re in our new place (still finishing unpacking, so pictures will be coming once things are less messy around here), I wanted to start doing this again, even if it’s just on Sundays.  Enter: Gouda and Chorizo Hash.

Gouda and Chorizo Hash | A Nerd Cooks Gouda and Chorizo Hash | A Nerd Cooks

This recipe comes from the blog A Duck’s Oven.  It’s been one of my favorites to follow regularly.  Go check it out!

You’ll need:

  • ~6 oz. uncooked chorizo, or 1 stick cured chorizo
  • 5 medium-sized new (red) potatoes, washed
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 eggs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz. gouda, shredded

In a large skillet, cook the chorizo over medium heat until cooked through (if using the uncooked variety).  If using the cured chorizo, cook it until most of the fat has cooked off and the outside is a bit crispy.  Remove the chorizo from the skillet, but leave the fat in the pan, and set aside.

While the chorizo cooks, prick the potatoes with a fork.  Microwave for 7 minutes or so to get the cooking process started.  Cube the potatoes and add them to the large skillet, pressing them into a single layer and cooking over medium heat.  Add the paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine and press into a single layer again.

Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, stirring to combine everything.  Every few minutes, stir things around and press it into a single layer again.  Once the potatoes are softened to your liking, remove everything to a large plate and set aside.

Beat the eggs and add to the large skillet.  Scramble, stirring occasionally.  Once the eggs are cooked, add the chorizo and potato mixture back into the skillet.  Stir to combine.

Remove from the heat.  Top with shredded gouda, and cover for a few minutes, or until the cheese is melted.  Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Joy Wilson gets it.

There isn’t much more to say than that.  I originally made these cookies for the people in my lab (who happily devoured them), and then again for some friends who came to stay the night (again, happily devoured).

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

No surprise here, this recipe comes from Joy the Baker’s blog.  It makes 24 cookies.

You’ll need:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4-6 oz. dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • coarse salt (kosher works) for sprinkling on top, optional (though I’d definitely recommend it!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until lightly fluffy.  Scrape down the sides and add the egg and vanilla extract.  Combine for about 1 minute.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture all at once.  Beat until just combined, on low speed.

Add the chocolate chips/chunks.  Stir to combine.

Using a small cookie scoop (or just a couple of spoons), place dough by the heaping tablespoonful on the cookie sheets.  Leave a couple of inches between each dough ball.

Bake 11-12 minutes, or until the cookies are just done.  Be very careful to not over bake.  In fact, under-baked cookies would be preferable.  Rest the baked cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.