Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mounds Bars

I made these for bunco the other night
I needed something easy to make and relatively quick
I cut the squares and arranged them on my platter and left the rest covered and put away and rushed out the door
I saved some of them so I could go back the next day and get a good picture of them
you know; a drool-worhty picture of the side angle showing the rich dense brownie layer and gooey coconut almond topping
well, I'd love to show you that right now but they're all gone
Sorry, but they really were that good
You'll just have to make them yourself so you can see it in person
Mounds Bars
adapted from here

1 box brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box (for cake-like brownies) 
3 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup granola
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Pre-heat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 pan with non stick cooking spray. Follow directions on the brownie mix box to prepare cake-like brownies and bake for 5 minutes less than the directions call for. In a medium mixing bowl combine both coconuts, granola, almond extract and condensed milk. Mix together until all ingredients are coated and spread on top of the brownies. Bake for 10-15 minutes and allow to cool completely. One the brownies are cool, mix the chocolate chips and oil in a small bowl and microwave until melted, stirring about every 30 seconds. Drizzle chocolate over the brownie bars. I found it a lot easier to slice the bars after placing them in the fridge for 20-30 minutes first.

here's what I'll be making this week:
Monday: Chili with  Corn and Hatch Chile Scones from my friend Emme at The Kid Can Cook
Wednesday:   Shrimp Creole with Steamed Rice and Roasted Garlic Asparagus
                         Caramel Apple Muffins

Friday:  Creamy Chicken Marsala Pasta served with garlic bread

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Homemade Burger Buns

 I've got a bun in the oven
the brioche kind
light and airy, slightly sweet and making the house smell divine
why haven't those candle people figured out how to make a "baking bread" candle?
They really need to
when you are making bread form scratch, it's not hard but it does require a good amount of time
but the end result is SO worth it!
 I like big buns and I can not lie.........
sorry, I just couldn't help myself
because these are a light brioche they are not as eggy and rich as typical brioche but they are absolutely delicious

Light Brioche Buns
recipe from The New York Times

  • 3 tablespoons warm milk (105-115 degrees F)
  • 1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Combine milk, 1 cup water, yeast, and sugar in a glass measuring cup, stirring well. Let sit for about 5 minutes, or until the top is foamy. In a small bowl, lightly beat one egg.
In the large work bowl of a mixer, stir together both flours and salt. Cut in butter until crumbs form. Add the egg and yeast mixture to the flour. Mix together with the dough hook attachment on low. Once combined, increase the speed to medium until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes (or 8-10 minutes if you are kneading by hand). The finished dough may be slightly sticky (do not add additional flour).
Transfer the dough to a clean work area and into a ball. Place the down in a greased bowl, flipping once to coat entirely. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free location until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
Remove dough from the bowl and place on a clean work area. Punch the dough down, then let rest for about 5 minutes. Divide the dough equally into 10 sections and shape each into a ball. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the dough balls to the baking sheet, spacing them out 2-3 inches. Cover with plastic wrap coated with cooking spray. Let rise for an additional 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small bowl, beat together 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the egg wash on top of each bun. Sprinkle the buns with sesame seeds. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cheesy Corndog Mini Muffins


Pinterest is my newest obsession that has kept me up in the wee hours browsing and pinning clothes I will never own, crafts I will never get around to making and places I will never visit. If you think Facebook is a time sucker, Pinterest is by far worse.........and I highly recommend it!
I am in LOVE.
Of course, it should come as no surprise that I have a folder (or two) of food, cakes and recipes saved on my page. That's where I got the idea for these

Who doesn't love a corndog?!
I certainly do and if my kids had any say in it they would eat them every day. So when I saw the link to this recipe I figured I could change it up to use things I already had around and make this super cute snack "mini" for the little ones.
And I added cheese
Because what kid doesn't want everything topped with cheese

Cheesy Corndog Mini Muffins
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
14 Turkey 'lil smokies, cut into 4
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. In a mixing bowl stir together cornbread mix, hot dog rounds, egg and milk until combined. Set batter aside for 10 minutes. Fill the batter evenly into each muffin cup and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.

Here's what I'm cooking this week:
Monday: Shredded Chicken Caesar Sandwiches on homemade buns with Cucumber Tomato Salad
Peach Oatmeal Muffins

Wednesday: Chicken and Andouille Gumbo with Rice

Friday: we will have family in town so we will be eating out

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chicken Salad

Pioneer Woman
we all know her (and if you don't you should), we all love her and it's very obvious why
here is another reason to add to the list of why she is so fabulous
her chicken salad recipe
 chicken salad is one of those dishes that everyone claims to have the best recipe of
nuts, fruit, different flavored dressings......there are a million ways to make it unique
My husband's grandmother makes awesome chicken salad sandwiches every holiday that are so delicious we always look forward to having them and now after trying this one I have two favorites.
Please check it out, you won't be dissapointed!!
I tried this at a playdate a while ago and fell in love. The grapes give it an unexpected sweetness and the dressing with lemon and yogurt (I use fat free greek yogurt) makes it a delicious lighter lunch in the summer when it's so hot outside you are convinced that your shoes will melt walking to get to your car

Thursday, August 4, 2011

7-Up Biscuits

I've seen these biscuits all over food blogs and various recipe websites that I browse regularly
I had saved one copy a while ago to try one rainy day because of the super short ingredient list and easy directions. The recipe intrigued me and I knew eventually I would get around to making them but was in no real rush to do so.
Then, the other day when I saw the same recipe I had saved and looked at numerous times on yet another blog be described as tasting just like "Popeye's Biscuits"

I went to the store the very next day, got the ingredients and made two batches of them
They didn't taste exactly like Popeye's biscuits, but really are delicious and very easy to make. When I was at the store buying the baking mix I opted to get the whole wheat instead of the regular. I have a feeling that may be why they were not exactly as the recipe suggested but I will definitely be making them again anyway
Whole Wheat 7-Up Biscuits
adapted from here

4 cups whole wheat baking mix
1 cup sour cream
6 ounces 7-Up

Mix the sour cream into the biscuit mix, using a pastry blender or two table knives, until mixture is crumbly. Add 7-Up all at once, stir quickly with a large fork.
Turn out onto lightly floured board and quickly knead 6-8 times. Don't overmix or biscuits will be tough. Pat into a square and cut into about 18 equal pieces using a knife dipped in flour. Can also use a 2 to 3-inch biscuit cutter.
Preheat oven to 400° and cook biscuits for about 7 minutes or until golden.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Whopper of a Cupcake

Meet my new obsession:
 Chocolate cake with a malted chocolate frosting
Luckily I made these and brought them to a fund raising event for a friend and they were all eaten......none to take home and taunt me the next day just begging to be eaten
as I was eating these I was already thinking what else I could do with this awesome frosting;
like sandwich it in between two chocolate whoopie pies and then roll the edges in crushed whoppers
sounds sinfully good right?!
I'll have to wait and try that out when I have somewhere to bring them to share
Here's what we are eating this week:
Monday: Pepperoni Calzones with Roasted Tomato Soup

Wednesday: Chicken and Andouille Sausage Jambalaya with Green Salad
Banana Bread Cookies

Friday: Beer and Paprika Beef Stew with Rice

Pickle Baked Chicken Tenders with Creamy Chili Honey Sauce

Thanks to Hellmann’s 100% Recycled Plastic Bottles and the “Real Taste, Less Waste” challenge I get to share with you a kitchen hack that...