Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dress up your kitchen from home: Favorite QVC items

Confession time: If I had a choice, I’d do all my shopping from home. I don’t mind going to stores, but outside of weekly groceries, I need a reason to go to the store. Shopping from home = perfect idea for me.

My home shopping channel of choice is QVC. I’ve bought clothes, food, computers, cameras, shoes, gardening stuff, purses…all kinds of stuff that means I don’t have to go to the store (I’ve even visited the studio!). One of my favorite categories is kitchen items, and I have PLENTY to show!

Some of my favorite recent purchases: Temp-tations and a folding kitchen cart. My Temp-tations pattern of choice is Floral Lace Blue, and I’ve gathered quite a collection in a short amount of time – so much so, it necessitated my purchase of the oak kitchen cart!

I’ve also purchased a couple of NINJA products, Cooks Essentials cookware and bakeware, a Genius Nicer Dicer, some microplane graters, cookbooks, a George Foreman grill and probably a few more things I can’t think of right now!

QVC’s product quality is awesome – they sell numerous top-name brands – so if you’ve never shopped there, don’t be afraid to try it! Check out their entire kitchen collection here.


Monday, March 24, 2014

In the Kitchen with David: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cups

It’s Cookie Dough Week on some of my favorite food blogs, and I just had to share this one. It’s another recipe from QVC host David Venable (he of “Mimi’s Lemon Pound Cake” fame!) and these are really good…they take a little time to make, but the effort is well worth it! Think Reese’s but with cookie dough…yeah, I knew you’d like the idea!

 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cups (adapted from DavidVenable on QVC):

Cookie Dough:

6 Tblsp. butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
4 Tblsp. flour
1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Cups:

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Line a 24-cup mini muffin tin with paper liners; set aside for later.

For the dough – melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the brown sugar, stirring until dissolved. Continue to cook the mixture for 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Let it cool for 15 minutes, then whisk in the vanilla, confectioners' sugar, and flour until fully combined. Let the mixture cool for another 5 minutes, then mix in the mini chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Refrigerate the dough until you're ready to prepare the cups - if it will be more than 20 minutes, let the dough sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften.

For the chocolate cups – Fill a medium-size saucepot about 1/3 of the way full with water and bring to a boil. Place 2-2/3 cups of the semisweet chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl (use a double-boiler for this if you have one). Turn the heat off and then place the bowl with the chocolate chips on top of the saucepot. Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes, and then lightly whisk the chocolate chips until fully melted. Carefully remove the bowl from the saucepot (it will likely still be warm to touch), add the remaining chocolate chips, and whisk again until completely melted. Pour 2 tsp. of the melted chocolate into each lined muffin cup and spread the chocolate to completely cover the inside of the liner with a small pastry brush or the underside of the spoon. Refrigerate for 10 minutes until firm.

Scoop 1 Tblsp. of dough into each cup and press it into the chocolate, making sure that the dough is lower in height than the liner. Place the cups in the refrigerator for another 8 minutes. Remove from the fridge and pour the remaining melted chocolate over each cookie dough cup, smoothing the top with a spoon. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve. Before eating, remove them from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes (this is purely optional – I ate them right out of the fridge!).