Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Sweet Taste of Summer

 Today is Pre-K graduation for Marshall,
the beginning of summer and pushing us even closer to Kindergarten next year!
I wanted to make a sweet treat as a goodbye for the friends in class and to thank his teachers for the great job that they have done throughout the year. I've seen these flip flop cookies all over pintrest and on multiple blogs and I thought I could doctor them up to hand out today. I hope they are enjoyed!
 It is so simple to make these, you just dip nutter butter cookies in candy melts
I used green, blue, purple and pink and let them dry on wax paper
 While the cookies were drying I decided to make some sand out of ground gingersnaps and brown sugar. I also had these chocolate rocks so I added those too. Kids always get a kick out of  eating gross things like bug candy, chocolate dirt or rocks and to tell you the truth, so do I!
Once the cookies were dry and the sand was ready I finished off the flip flops with piped white chocolate and little flower sprinkles
 I am really happy with how they came out!
 I hope Marshall has fun handing them out to all of his sweet classmates!
 We are so proud of the great year he has had!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Name Game


Third one's a charm, right? 
Well, I'm hoping so! This is my third and final burger recipe that I am entering into the 
  It's delicious, it may be my favorite one out of the three, but I can't enter it yet because I can't figure out a  name for it.
 I obviously have a thing for recipe contests- the testing, the tasting and (if it all goes right) the winning
and I think I've gotten pretty good at it- except the naming of the recipes. That is truly the hardest part for me! I struggle with it on each and every entry. So now I'm asking for your help.....what would you name it? If you were sitting down to a grilled bratwurst burger on a buttery toasted pretzel bun dripping with a beer, jalapeno cheese sauce on it what would you call it?
While you ponder that for a moment, can you vote for me HERE too? The recipe with the most votes on July 3 will be named the Contest’s “Fan Favorite” and will receive a spot in the final cook-off … with the opportunity to win the $10,000 Grand Prize in New York! 
I really want that to be me!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pretzel Brat Burgers with Apple Bacon Maple Slaw

Here is my second entry for Johnsonville's No Ordinary Burger Contest!

A delicious grilled Bratwurst patty, smoked cheddar cheese an amazing sweet and crunchy bacon slaw all on a toasty pretzel bun!

 I am so excited about this contest! 
I have never been to New York and I really hope this contest is what changes that for me. Not to mention the $10,000 up for grabs. Not too shabby, right? 
Will you take a second out of your day to vote for my first burger 

please???

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

No Ordinary Burger

I realize it's only May, but here in Austin summer temps are already making themselves at home. Humid muggy heat is not pleasant, so most afternoons the only way to pass the time with the kids is with blow up pools, sprinklers and frosty drinks.
And since you are already out there you might as well light up the grill and make dinner outside too, right? That's what summer is all about!
The people at Johnsonville seem to agree and are looking for the best recipe to go with their fabulous new burger patties.
I entered the contest- no shocker there, right? I just can't pass up a burger competition especially when the prizes are so fabulous!
So here I am begging for your vote for my burger
 This is my Italian mix up of Johnsonville's Mild Italian Sausage patty with Provolone cheese on a buttery, toasted ciabatta bun with arugula, herbed lemon ricotta spread and a Puttanesca style spread.
If you've never heard of puttanesca before, it is a salty olive and tomato based sauce that is zesty, quick and easy....kind of like the Italian "Madams" of the night who would make it and put it on their windowsill to lure their patrons in late at night........are you following me yet?? They may not have been very virtuous but they knew how to make a good sauce that people couldn't refuse.
So The Melty Madame it is, I hope it's just as irresistible as the women it was named after!
The recipe with the most votes by midnight on July 3 will be named the Contest’s “Fan Favorite” and will get a guaranteed spot in the final cook-off … with the opportunity to win the $10,000 Grand Prize! 
The cookoff is in New York- I've never been there before.....
Will you help me change that? Please?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Malted Pretzel Double Chocolate Brownies

Remember that Pretzel Crunch we just talked about? 
You knew I couldn't just leave well enough alone right?
Whenever I eat anything new- good or bad- my mind immediately starts thinking of new ways to use it. It's a sickness I tell you.
So after trying that amazing new pretzel crunch recipe, I instantly thought: "This would be so good on ice cream, sprinkled on top of Malted Milk Ball cupcakes, and in brownies with coffee and white chocolate!"
Because the only thing that I like more than sweet and salty is sweet and salty with chocolate.
So the next day I made brownies with coffee and white chocolate 
and it was everything I thought it would be
Sweet and Salty Nirvana

Malted Pretzel Double Chocolate Brownies
a Fleur De-Lectable original

1/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 19.5oz box brownie mix
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl add the boiling water and coffee granules. Stir until completely dissolved. Add brownie mix, oil, eggs and white chocolate chips and stir until well blended. Pour batter into the greased pan and spread out into a smooth even layer. Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Immediately sprinkle semi-sweet chocolate chips over warm brownies and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Remove brownies and use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate chips evenly over the brownies. Top with Pretzel Crunch and gently press it down into the chocolate. Cool completely for easier cutting, about 1 hour- if you can wait that long.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pretzel Crunch

If you know me at all or have ever visited this blog before 
you are aware of my obsession with the salty and sweet combo I so love
So naturally when I saw the recipe for this Malted Pretzel Toffee from Momofuku Milk Bar on epicurious
I just had to try it
And I am SO GLAD I did!
It is pretty simple to make, especially when you compare it to the other extremely labor intensive recipes found in Momofuku's Milk Bar Cookbook

It's crunchy, sweet, malty, salty, buttery bliss.
And it definitely deserves a better name than plain 'ole Pretzel Crunch, don't you think?
2 cups mini pretzels 
1/4 cup tightly packed light brown sugar 
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup milk powder  
1 tablespoon malt powder
7 tablespoons butter, melted 

Heat the oven to 275°F.
Pour the pretzels in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to one-quarter of their original size. Add the milk powder, malt powder, sugar, and salt and toss to mix. Add the butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the pretzels and creating small clusters.
Spread the clusters on a Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, at which point they should look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed.
Cool the pretzel crunch completely before storing or using in a recipe. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the crunch will keep fresh for 1 week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep for 1 month.
(I promise, it will not last long enough to require refrigeration)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

From boredom to Biscoff Buttercream

Do you still have any Girl Scout cookies lying around? 
Every year those little temptresses come around with their wagon of cookies and if you are anything like me you just can't say no. Especially to new cookies. This year the new flavor was "Shout Outs" and the description was a buttery caramel crisp cookie. Well, when I read that I instantly thought of Biscoff cookies and spread that I'm seeing pop up all over foodie blogs everywhere. And then I just had to get them. The problem was, after I ripped open the box and dug in, I was a bit dissapointed.
They were just meh.
Boring.
Not great, but not horrible either.
It felt like they needed something
So I dipped them in Nutella- that was good
Then I dipped them in Biscoff- that was even better
Then I made a deliciously dark chocolate cupcake, whipped up a Biscoff Buttercream icing and shoved one of those cookies in the top- that was heavenly
 
It's just what the cookie needed 
Absolutely perfect!

Biscoff Buttercream
5 Tablespoons room temperature butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup Biscoff spread
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 Tablespoons heavy cream

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, combine the ingredients on low speed until just combined and then raise speed to medium and whip until fluffy and fully incorporated. Pipe onto cake layers, cupcakes or spoon in your mouth. No judgement here.