Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!

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Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

img_3921Here is another easy dessert recipe.  It is Ina Garten’s Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake (Barefoot Contessa Food Network)  I loved the ease of preparation.  While she recommends a specific brand of chocolate chip cookie, I used a generic crunch chocolate chip cookie (it softens overnight).  The dessert reminds me of Tiramisu.  No baking involved!  Icebox cakes are layers of cookies and whipped cream/cream cheese in a spring form cake form and refrigerated overnight. Next day simply cut around the cake and release the sides of the cake form.  Slice and enjoy!

Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

adapted from Ina Garten, Food Network

Serves 10


  • 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 12 oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 packet instant espresso coffee (like Starbucks brand instant coffee single)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 24 oz crisp chocolate chip cookies
  • shaved milk chocolate for garnish


In your mixing bowl, add whipping cream, mascarpone cheese, sugar, Kahlua, cocoa powder, instant espresso coffee, and vanilla extract.  With the whisk attachment mix the ingredients on low speed until combined; then increase to medium speed and whip until soft peaks form.

In the bottom of a 8 inch spring form cake pan, place a layer of chocolate chip cookies in the bottom of the cake pan.  Break cookies into smaller pieces to fill in any gaps.  Spread one fifth of the whip cream mixture over the top of the cookies all the way to the edge of the pan.  Repeat with cookies alternating with whipped cream until you have 5 layers of cookies and a fifth layer of whipped cream at the top.  Use a vegetable peeler to create chocolate shavings to top the whipped cream for garnish.  Cover the spring form pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Carefully cut around the edge of the spring form cake pan loosening the whipping cream from the edge.  Carefully open the form and remove the sides.

Cut the cake into 10 slices and serve.

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One Skillet Chicken with Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce


Winner winner chicken dinner…. Here is winning recipe I found through Pinterest.  The original recipe is from Little Spice Jar and my husband announced I could make this recipe every week! I added extra parsley and fresh rosemary to the original.

One Skillet Chicken with Lemon Garlic Sauce

adapted from Little Spice Jar

Serves 4


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in half  to 1/2 ” thickness
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley or basil, as garnish
  • lemon slices, optional


Cut the chicken breast halves in half horizontally to make them thinner cutlet.

Season each chicken cutlet with salt and pepper on both sides.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Saute the chicken breast halves in a large stainless steel skillet over medium high heat in canola oil, for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Remove the browned chicken to a Pyrex oven safe dish. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/4 cup of minced parsley and minced fresh rosemary. Cover with foil and place in the oven.

Saute the shallots in the same skillet you used to cook the chicken for a few minutes over medium high heat.  Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another minute. Add chicken broth and lemon juice.  Stir the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or whisk to loosen the browned bits from the pan.  Bring the broth to a boil and cook reducing the liquid until about 1/3 of the sauce remains.

Turn off the heat and add butter to the sauce.  Stir and allow the butter to melt completely.  Add heavy cream and stir.  Remove the chicken cutlets from the oven and pour the sauce over the chicken.  Add sliced lemons if you desire.  Place the glass dish back in the oven to cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.

Serve with pasta and steamed vegetables.

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Butterflied Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes

I love Cook’s Country Magazine and have been a faithful subscriber for nearly a decade.  In the October/November 2016 issue I found this recipe for Butterflied Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes.  Just reading the recipe was an invitation to make it sooner than later.  It is a delicious chicken dish that I will serve again.  It is not hard to make – the hardest part is cutting the back bone out of the chicken (use poultry scissors).

Butterflied Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes

adapted from Cook’s Country Oct/Nov 2016 issue

Serves 4 | approx. 585 calories per serving (as per fitnesspal)


  • 1 (4 lb- 4 1/2 lb) roasting chicken, giblets discarded
  • 1 Tbsp extra- virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced to 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chives (optional)

For the Parsley Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp capers, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste


Place the rack in your oven to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 F.

Place the whole chicken on the cutting board breast side down.  Remove and discard the giblets.  Use poultry scissors to cut along both sides of the backbone from tail to neck and discard the backbone.  Turn the chicken breast side up.  Dry with paper towels.  Coat the chicken with one tablespoon of olive oil and season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper.  Tuck the wings behind the bird.

In a 12 inch stainless steel skillet add the sliced potatoes, water, smashed garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Place the butterflied chicken on top of the bed of potatoes in the skillet.  Heat the skillet on the stove top over medium high heat until the water comes to a boil.  Turn off the burner and place the skillet in the oven.

Cook the chicken and potatoes in the oven at 450F for 1 hour, rotating the pan in the oven after 30 minutes. (Test chicken with a thermometer 160F for white meat 175F for dark- cook longer if necessary).

Meanwhile make the parsley sauce: in a small bowl, combine minced fresh parsley, olive oil, minced capers, minced shallot, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste

Remove the skillet from the oven and place on stove-top.  Carefully lift the chicken from potatoes and place onto a cutting board to allow it to rest.  Cook the potatoes over medium high heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon out any excess liquid in the skillet.   Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes and half and half.  Taste, season with salt and pepper if desired.

Serve the roasted chicken with the garlic smashed potatoes and parsley sauce.

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Homemade Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

img_3906This past summer I visited my parents in Southern New Jersey for a few days.  They are just over half an hour from Philadelphia – home of the Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich.  I did have a great sandwich during my visit.  Upon my return to California I wanted to make it from scratch, not using the frozen minute steak product that I have used in the past.  After a quick search on the internet I discovered that the best meat to use is Rib Eye.  There is no going back!  Delicious.  The first two times I made it I completely forgot to take pictures of my sandwiches, so of course.. I had to make them again (and forgot again) and again.  I prefer them on a good crunchy French roll, but a Kaiser roll will do the job.

In order to slice the steaks paper thin, it really helps to freeze the steaks for 45 minutes before slicing them and having a nicely sharpened chefs knife will make it an easy process as well.

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

Serves 4


  • 3 rib eye steaks, freeze 45 minutes before slicing super thin against the grain
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sweet onion (like Maui or Walla Walla or other), sliced thinly
  • bell peppers (red, green, yellow as you desire) washed, stem and seeds removed, sliced thinly
  • mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thinly
  • Provolone Cheese (2 slices per sandwich)
  • 4 crunchy French rolls, split in half and toasted


Freeze the steaks for 45 minutes to help the meat become a little stiffer and easier to slice paper thin.  I remove the bone first as well as large pieces of fat before slicing.  Using a nicely sharpened knife begin cutting each steak thinly at across the grain. You want it to be as thin as possible.

Season the steak with salt and pepper.

Slice your French rolls and toast them under the broiler.

In a large non stick skillet saute the thinly sliced onions in about 1 tablespoon of canola oil.  Season the onions with salt and pepper and cook over medium  high heat until the onions have softened and caramelized.  Remove the onions to a bowl and over with foil to keep warm.  Saute the peppers next, using the same skillet.  When the peppers are softened, remove them to a second bowl.  Next, saute the mushrooms in the same skillet until they are golden brown, adding more oil if necessary and seasoning with salt and pepper.  Remove to a bowl and cover with foil.

Heat the same skillet over High- medium high heat and add 1 teaspoon of canola oil.  Add a quarter of the shaved steak to the pan and cook for 1 minute.  Stir.  Cook an additional minute or two as you desire.  Mound the steak in one area of the skillet and top  with two slices of provolone cheese.  Allow the cheese to melt.  With a spatula, carefully lift the cheese topped steak and place on the toasted roll.

Repeat with remaining steak.

I like to have each person top their cheese steak sandwiches with sauteed onions, mushrooms, or peppers as desired.

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Austrian Bread Dumplings 101

Semmelknôdel (Austrian Bread Dumpling) was one of my favorite foods growing up in Austria. I have wanted to make a tutorial of sorts for Americans (like myself) to make this wonderful food even though you are not in Austria to enjoy them.  If you love stuffing (dressing) you probably will like this.  They are dumplings made of bread, egg, milk, flour, and regionally also includes cooked bacon.  The region of Tyrol in Austria uses bacon in them.  They call them Speckknôdel.  In this blog post I will have step by step instructions.  If you do not want bacon in them, just leave it out (but why would you?)

To start off, use a stale baguette – you know.. it was sitting on your counter a few days too long but is not completely dried out yet, you still can cut it into cubes with the centers of the cubes slightly soft but pretty dry on the outside.  I also made them with Ciabatta bread with success.  Semmel in Austria is like a Kaiser roll.  Except here in the States, Kaiser rolls are often soft and not the crisp texture that they have in Austria, so I found that a French Baguette does the job perfectly!

Cut the 3 days old French Baguette into 1/2 inch cubes and place the cubes in a large bowl.

Add 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley






Cube 8 ounces of bacon and fry them in a non stick skillet until crisped up.  Remove the cooked bacon with a slotted spoon and place the bacon bits on a paper towel to drain.






Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings from the skillet.  Saute 1/2 cup chopped onions over medium heat until cooked and lightly browned.  Add the cooked onions, cooked bacon, and 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour to the bread cubes in the bowl.






Mix the bread cubes, bacon bits, onion, parsley, flour by hand to combine.






Pour 3/4 cup (6 oz) of cold milk into a measuring cup.






Add two large eggs to the milk.






Whisk the egg and milk mixture until well combined.






Pour the egg and milk mixture over the bread cubes mixture in the large bowl.  Begin to combine it by hand (my cheapest kitchen tool), tossing the mixture until it takes on the liquid.  Your hands do get a bit messy, but cleans up with soap and water!🙂






Form the dumplings into snow ball sized balls.






You want the breadcrumb mixture to be quite sticky.. flour sticking to your hands.  If you press on the dumpling with your finger and it falls apart, it is not sticky enough… see?






Sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour over the bread mixture if it does not hold together well.  I added about 3 tablespoons of flour and combined it with my hands again.  This time it was quite sticky!  Perfect!






Once again I formed them into balls and this time they stuck together nicely.  You don’t want to squeeze them to death, but you do want nice firm dumplings that hold together nicely.






The dumplings should be about 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter.






I formed 6 dumplings.






Fill a large stockpot with 3 inches of cold water and place over a burner over high heat to bring it to a simmer.






When the water begins to simmer (bubbles are starting to come up from the bottom, but it is not at a full boil). Add 1 tablespoon of salt.






Carefully lower the dumplings into the salted, simmering water and reduce the heat to medium high, keeping it at a simmer, do not let it boil.  Set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes.






After 15 minutes the dumplings will have softened up a bit but still hold their shape






Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.






Serve with a meaty gravy like Rahmschnitzel

or Beef Rouladen or Wolfgang Pucks Beef Goulash with Red Cabbage.

Trouble Shooting:

Help me.. they fell apart!!! Well, not all is lost,  you can make Serviettenknôdel- loosley translated “napkin dumplings”. (if they fall apart, they did not have enough flour added to the mixture and were not sticky enough, but there is hope.. you can scoop the dumplings that have fallen apart out with a slotted spoon and place the bread mixture into a clean kitchen towel (you can also use foil).  Form the bread into a log and wrap the bread mixture tightly in the kitchen towel.  Tie off the ends of the towel and place it in the simmering water.  Cook 15 minutes.  Unwrap and slice into 1/2 inch slices.  Serve.)

My favorite way to use up leftovers .. if you are lucky enough to have leftovers:

Cut the cold dumplings into slices and then melt about half a tablespoon of butter in a non stick skillet… fry the bread dumplings turning over from time to time until golden brown.  Add an egg to the skillet,  season with salt and pepper and cook as you desire.  Yum: Breakfast is served!  This is called Knôdel mit Spiegelei (Dumpling with sunny side egg)

IMG_3048I blogged this dish already, but some time ago:


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Greek Chicken Roulades

IMG_2874Well, it has been a while since I have blogged more than one  item in a week!  I have been in the mood to try new recipes.  Here are two recipes from Cuisine at Home.  I did not have enough Kalamata olives to make this dish, but did have olive tapenade in my fridge that I used in the filling.  Also, I doubled the recipe from the original.  I made Cuisine at Home’s recipe for Creamy Orzo to go with this.  Both recipes are easy to prepare, prepared in about 30 minutes, and tasty, in short: they are keepers. Start cooking the Orzo first. Now for the recipes:

Creamy Orzo with Feta and Sun-dried Tomatoes

adapted from Cuisine at Home | Serves 4


  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry orzo pasta
  • 4 oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


In a small saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil.  Add the orzo and bring to a boil again.  Reduce heat, and boil, uncovered, for 9 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Turn off heat.  Drain any excess liquid.  Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, salt, and pepper.  Serve warm with Greek Chicken Roulades.


Greek Chicken Roulades

adapted from Cuisine at Home | Serves 4 (doubled from original)

  • 1/2 cup olive tapenade (originally 24 Kalamata olives)
  • 6 Tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 6 Tbsp minced oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of fat
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 12 Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cornstarch


Combine the olive tapanade, breadcrumbs, minced sun dried tomatoes, lemon zest, minced garlic, and dried oregano in a small bowl.

Slice or pound the chicken breast halves to 1/4 inch thickness.  Spread about 1/4 of the tapenade mixture on the chicken breast halves.  Roll up and secure chicken roulades with toothpicks.  Repeat with remaining 3 chicken breast halves.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Sear the rolls of chicken about 3 or 4 minutes each side until golden brown.  Remove the chicken to a platter.

Saute the minced shallots in the same pan you cooked the chicken in for about 2 minutes.  Add the white wine.  Cook for a few minutes until the wine has reduced by about half.  Add the chicken broth and the chicken rolls back into the pan along with the chopped Kalamata olives.  Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low.  Cover, and cook for about 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken roulades to a clean platter.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch and stir to a slurry.  Add to the sauce in the pan and whisk in.  Cook to thicken.

Remove toothpicks and cut the chicken rolls crosswise to show the filling. Serve with Creamy Orzo and the white wine sauce.

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Sage Butter Sauce

IMG_2851I love cooking!  My passion for cooking started in my Mom’s kitchen as a small child.  Of course now, I may need therapy because I can not stop myself from looking at cookbooks and cooking magazines.  I am afraid to count how many are in my collection – one gem that I often look through is the magazine Cuisine At Home. I recently re-visited an issue that had a recipe for Parmesan-crusted chicken, but what really caught my eye was the sage butter sauce that was with it.

I did make chicken cutlets to go with it, but it was not the same recipe. (Slice chicken thinly into cutlets, dredge in flour, then in egg, and coat in bread crumbs on both sides, fry in canola oil, over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes each side until golden brown.  Keep warm in 300 F preheated oven on wire rack.)

Sage Butter Sauce

adapted from Cuisine at Home Magazine | Serves 4

  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cubed
  • 2 tsp minced fresh sage
  • salt, to taste
  • ground pepper, to taste
  • cayenne pepper, to taste


In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, melt the tablespoon of butter and saute the shallots until softened, about 4 or 5 minutes.  Add white wine, heavy cream, chicken broth, and lemon juice.  Cook stirring occasionally for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by about half.  Add butter to the sauce,  one tablespoon at a time until butter melts completely after each addition, whisking constantly.  Add chopped sage, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.  Stir and keep warm until serving.

Serve over chicken cutlets and cooked pasta.

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