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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

I wish I could take credit for thinking these up but no such luck on my part. I almost wish I hadn't found this recipe as it could be a danger to my diet! These are the easiest bar cookies I can think of to make. My grand daughter even helped me make them. Oh and they are srumpdiddlyumptious. Yes that's a word! Just ask my 3 year old grand daughter. They taste a lot like Reese's peanut butter cups. Next time I will use milk chocolate on the top instead of semi sweet chocolate chips. I think that would make it taste like Reese's even more!
Recipe Source:
http://addapinch.com/cooking/2012/09/19/peanut-butter-bars-recipe/

Peanut Butter Bars:
1 cup butter, melted (2 sticks)
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (2 sleeves ground to a fine crumb)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1½ cups peanut butter
 
 Chocolate Topping:
 
¼ cup peanut butter
2 cups chocolate chips
 
Combine first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well-combined and smooth. Spread evenly into a 9×13 baking dish.
 
Combine ingredients for the chocolate topping in a medium bowl. Melt in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute, stirring at 30 second intervals. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. Spread on top of the peanut butter bar base and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Remove from the freezer and cut into individual bars. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins with Peanut Butter Glaze

Call me strange, but I am just one of those people that is tempted by batter of any kind. When I was mixing this batter this morning, I wanted to take a spoon and eat it all and make up some lame excuse for not having muffins to bring to work. I'm sure that would have worked, but I'm not sure I could have come up with a valid excuse for the 10 lbs I gained overnight haha!
So, I was a good girl and resisted the temptation and actually brought them to work to share. It's a good thing because I would have been too tempted to eat them if they stayed at my house. They are definitely yummy and I can't wait to make them again!
 Adapted from:
http://www.kaitlininthekitchen.com/2010/03/peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-muffins.html

For the Muffins:


2 1/4 cups Flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons Butter (melted and cooled slightly)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (you can use crunchy or smooth)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


Heat oven to 375°
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar and regular sugar. In a mixing bowl, mix the melted butter, peanut butter, eggs, and milk until combined. (The peanut butter may still be a bit clumpy....that's ok)
Mix the flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture and stir until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake at 375° for 9-11 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
* Makes 51 mini muffins

*If you want to make regular size muffins, increase the baking time to 17-20 minutes.

For the Peanut Butter Glaze:

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sifted powered sugar

In a small saucepan, heat the peanut butter, milk and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the sifted powdered sugar. Stir it together well until a glaze forms. 
Dip the top of each muffin into the glaze. (You might need to gently reheat the glaze a few times to re-melt it down. I had to do this 3 times in the process of making these. Be sure to do this on low heat and only for a few seconds until it smooths back out)
Set aside to allow the glaze to firm up. Place a chocolate chip on the top of each muffin.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Guilt Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana"Ice Cream"

Oh my goodness, have you ever read a recipe and thought to yourself, "there is no way that could be that easy and absolutely no way it could really taste that good?" Well that's what I said when I stumbled onto this guilt free ice cream recipe. It only has 3 ingredients and they are all healthy. How could it actually be that healthy and taste like ice cream? But guess what? It totally does!! I was absolutely shocked when I tasted it. I even called both my sisters and told them about it so they could try it. I was lucky that I had over ripe frozen bananas on hand, so I didn't even have to wait until my bananas were frozen. I always keep some in my freezer in case I get an urge to make banana bread. Now I will have to keep extra in my freezer for sure, for this ice cream! The only drawback is I'm pretty sure this would be too hard to make without a food processor. I guess you could try blending it in a blender, but unless it is an industrial strength blender, I just don't see how you would blend it to the right texture.
 Original Recipe found at: http://thenotquitevegan.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/guilt-free-ice-cream/
Are you ready for this big ingredient list? Here it is:

3 frozen bananas
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1 big spoonful of peanut butter
( I have no idea how much peanut butter I used, but I took a spoon from my utensil drawer and heaped it full of peanut butter)

Slice your frozen bananas into rounds that are about 1/2 inch thick. Place all the slices into the bowl of your food processor. Turn it on and stand back and watch it do it's magic. At first it will look "grainy" but just be patient. Pretty soon it comes together and looks fairly smooth. At this point, put in the cocoa and the peanut butter. Keep processing it and in just a little bit, you will have a smooth ice cream like consistency. Serve and enjoy!
(If you decide to put  it in the freezer, it will firm up quite a bit. I think it's better as a soft serve directly from the food processor, but it's still good even when it firms up)


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cooked Cabbage Wedges with Spicy Lime Dressing

I'm so thankful I stumbled onto this recipe on Pinterest. It's definitely a winner in my book. I love cabbage and I love anything with a Thai type sauce. So this was a great find. My hubby, who is not particularly fond of cabbage, even liked this one. I am full right now, but I honestly can't wait to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I'm sure it will be just as good heated up in the microwave. I didn't happen to have any propane for our BBQ so I used my griddle on the stovetop and it worked perfectly. I also didn't have limes but I happened to have a bunch of lemons, so I substituted lemon for lime. It tasted great!! I can't wait until the limes on my tree are ripe and ready and then I can make it like the original.
 I found the original recipe at:
http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-grilled-cabbage-wedges-157671
This is a great blog with so  many wonderful recipes. If you get a chance, head on over there and check out some of her wonderful recipes.


Juice of 3 limes or lemons
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 head green cabbage
Olive oil for brushing onto the cabbage

In a food processor or blender, mix the lime juice, olive oil, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, salt, cayenne and sugar until thoroughly blended into a liquid. Set aside. Remove one set of outer leaves from the cabbage, and cut the cabbage into 8 evenly-sized wedges. Do not remove the stalk or inner core.  Lightly brush the wedges with olive oil.

If you cook this on an outdoor grill, the recipe says to place the wedges on the grill and cover. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the edges of each layer are blackened and the cabbage is beginning to soften. Turn each wedge over, cover the grill, and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes on the other side. Take the cabbage off the grill and arrange the wedges on a plate. Pour the dressing over top and serve immediately.

If you cook it on an indoor griddle like I did, just lay all 8 oil coated wedges out on the griddle. Cook on med heat for approx 5 min on one side, then flip them all over and cook for about 4-5 minutes on the other side. Place on a plate and serve with the dressing drizzled over it. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Raspberry Cheesecake Truffles

Along with the cookie dough stuffed brownie truffles in my last post, I also made these raspberry cheesecake truffles. OMGosh! These are downright amazing. It's like a little bite of heaven. Imagine a slice of raspberry cheesecake dipped in chocolate and you have imagined what these taste like.

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2011/12/raspberry-cheesecake-truffles/

8 oz cream cheese, softened
14 graham crackers (the full sheet, not 14 squares,) ground in a food processor
3 Tbsp raspberry jam
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1/2 tsp raspberry extract
6-8 drops red food coloring
Chocolate bark. for dipping

1/2  cup white chocolate chips
Red food coloring

In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, 14 ground graham cracker sheets, raspberry jam, and powdered sugar. Stir until well combined. Mix in 1/4 cup melted white chocolate chips, raspberry extract and food coloring. Mix well. Cover mixture with plastic wrap and freeze 1 hour, or until firm enough to form into balls.

Remove mixture from freezer and scoop out 1 Tbsp at a time and form into balls. Place on a parchment paper lined baking dish or plate. Cover truffle balls with plastic wrap and freeze 1 hour, or until firm enough to dip in chocolate.

Melt the chocolate bark in the microwave, in short intervals, until melted and smooth. 

Remove truffles from freezer, and using a fork, dip truffle balls into melted chocolate. Return chocolate covered truffle to parchment paper to allow the chocolate to firm up. Repeat process with remaining truffle balls. You can place the truffles in the refrigerator to speed up the hardening process. 

To garnish the truffle balls, melt white chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Stir in red food coloring to give it a dark pink color. Place the melted pink chocolate into a baggie and snip a very small hole off one corner end. In a back and forth motion, squeeze the pink chocolate out onto the tops of the hardened truffles. Let them harden again and enjoy!

Store truffles in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Cookie Dough Stuffed Brownie Truffles

Do you love cookie dough? Do you love brownies? Do you love chocolate? I'm just going to assume that you answered yes to all of these, cause really, who wouldn't have a yes answer to all those questions? Nobody I know, except my hubby. So when we were invited to have dinner at a friends house, I was put on dessert duty. I knew the hubby wouldn't eat these, so I made his favorite cookies to go along with these. These were a big hit. They are rich though, so consider yourself warned of the sugar coma that follows!

Original Recipe:
http://cookiesandcups.com/more-stuffed-brownie-truffles/

1 box brownie mix, prepared according to pkg directions
1 batch egg free cookie dough (recipe below)
chocolate bark, or melt chocolate chips for dipping the truffles

Prepare your brownie mix according to the directions on the package. Let them cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare your egg free cookie dough (See recipe at the bottom). Set aside until brownies are cooled.
Roll a small (marble size) portion of cookie dough into a ball. Place the rolled balls (they will be sticky) onto a parchment lined cookie sheet that will fit into your freezer.
Freeze the balls for about a half hour. Take them out of the freezer and using your hands, roll an amount of brownie over them, just enough to cover them. (There is not an exact amount or a science to this, just  grab some brownies with your hand and smoosh it around the cookie dough). You may need to keep putting the cookie dough back into the freezer for a few minutes if it gets too sticky to handle again.
Once all the balls have been covered in brownies, refreeze them for about another half hour. This will make them much easier to dip in the melted chocolate.
Melt your dipping chocolate and using a fork, dip each truffle into the melted chocolate (let the excess chocolate drip off before you try to move it) and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Once the chocolate firms up on the outside of your truffles, they are done!

Egg free cookie dough recipe:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp water
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips

In mixer, cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar.  Add vanilla and water and beat until smooth. Turn mixer to low and mix in flour until fully incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread

This is one of those days when I wish I could eat an entire pan of something and not gain any weight. Oh wait....that's everyday! Oops!
Since I am not supposed to be eating any bread as of now, as I am still following an anti inflammatory diet, I took the smallest little bite possible. Oh wow, this was fantastic. Of course, if I had it my way it would have been a bite smothered in melted butter, but that would have really been pushing it. So I just tasted it without any butter. Trust me, spread a layer of hot butter on your slice and you will be in cornbread heaven!
 Recipe adapted from:
http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/green-chile-cornbread-recipe/1/

1 cup Bisquick
1  cup cornmeal
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2  tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2  eggs
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2/3  cup canned corn, drained
2  Tbsp diced jalapenos
 
Heat oven to 400°. Spray a 9 inch square baking pan with Pam.
Stir Bisquick mix, cornmeal, sugar, salt, milk, oil and eggs in medium bowl just until moistened. Gently stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pan.
Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until light brown. 
Serve warm

Monday, April 1, 2013

Caesar Salad in Parmesan Cheese Cups

Awhile back I had made some Parmesan disks to go with dinner that were absolutely delicious. I mean seriously, who doesn't like melted Parmesan? I'm not talking about that gross kind that you shake out of a plastic container that smells like dirty socks. I'm talking about fresh shredded Parmesan cheese, that you either purchase in the deli department or shave right off the block of cheese yourself! The Parmesan disks were super easy as you just melt Parmesan on a cookie sheet covered with Parchment paper and eat the hot melty cheese disks as a side dish after they firm up a bit. Well, when I saw the idea on Pinterest to mold those same little disks around something to create a "cup" I just knew I had to try it. So I decided to fill my little cups with Caesar Salad since Parmesan is such an integral part of Caesar Salad. They were tasty, small enough to just pop into your mouth with one or two bites, and who doesn't like eating their bowls? I know I do!
This is where I found the idea: http://duhlicious.com/2010/07/parmesan-cups-make-for-simple-canapes/

Shredded Parmesan Cheese (not the powdery kind, the fresh kind)
Romaine Lettuce or a Bag of Caesar Salad
Caesar Dressing
Croutons

Heat oven to 350°
Line a cookie sheet with Parchment paper.
For each cup, place 1 Tbsp of Parmesan onto the Parchment paper and flatten it out a bit with the back of the tablespoon. Don't flatten it all the way, it will melt and flatten itself out.

 Place each tablespoon full at least 2 inches apart as it will melt and spread out.

Fill up the cookie sheet and place in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and let stand for about 20 seconds.

Use a spatula and lift each cheese disk and place it either over a shot glass (turned upside down) or a mini muffin tin flipped upside down so the bumps or cavities for the muffins are facing up. Use your fingers to "mold" the cheese around the container to create "cups." Allow these to cool and then remove onto a tray or plate.

Toss your romaine or Caesar Salad mix into a bowl with the Caesar dressing. Place a small amount of salad into each bowl and top with croutons. Enjoy!

Easter Deviled Eggs

This is why I love Pinterest so much, because you get great ideas like these colored deviled eggs. They are great for taking to a party and so much more fun than plain old deviled eggs. I am thinking that these would be great to dye any color depending on the party or event you are having. So be creative, have some fun and go dye some eggs for your next party or event!


Hard boil your eggs.

 Cool, peel and slice in half lengthwise.

Remove all the yolk and save the yolk in a bowl to make your favorite deviled egg recipe. Set aside.

Fill bowls or containers about half-full of water. Add food coloring to each one to tint to the shade you desire. (Use liquid food color for this, the gels do not work in water as well)

Place the white egg halves in the water, making sure that the entire surface of each egg is covered.

Let the eggs sit at least one hour or until you achieve the desired color effect.

Remove the eggs from the water and place them onto paper towels or wire rack to dry.