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Monday, May 20, 2013
Secret Recipe Club. As I browsed through Jess's list of recipes at Life's Simple Measures, I was immediately drawn to her recipe for Cosmic Brownies. She has a plethora of delicious looking baked goods, but like I said once I saw this recipe, there was no turning back.
You see, one of the staples in Mike's lunch is a package of Cosmic Brownies. He's been eating a package nearly every day since high school. Really healthy, I know! Actually, he hasn't had nearly as many since we've been married since I don't buy them for him all the time. But when I saw a recipe so I could make them at home, I was sold!
Makes 1 9x13" pan of brownies
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tablespoons milk
2 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped M&M candies (or topping of your choice)
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla.
2. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and stir until just combined.
3. Pour the batter into a greased 9x13" pan.
4. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownie comes out mostly clean. Allow the brownies to cool.
5. While the brownies are cooling, make the ganache topping: Pour heavy cream into a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup and microwave the heavy cream for 1 minute, until hot.
6. Add chocolate chips to the hot heavy cream and allow it to sit for about 3 minutes. Stir the chocolate chips into the cream until the mixture is smooth.
7. Pour the ganache over the cooled brownies and sprinkle with chopped M&Ms.
8. Refrigerate the brownies until you're ready to cut and serve. Store brownies, covered, in the fridge.
Source: Life's Simple Measures
Friday, May 17, 2013
Mike and I recently became part of a couple's small group at our church. We've started meeting together every other week, and we take turns hosting. The hosts provide the main dish and the other two couples bring a side or dessert. Last time, I offered to bring a dessert. I had a specific dessert in mind that I wanted to make, but of course, I didn't have one of the key ingredients--Nutter Butter Cookies. (And that's a hard thing to substitute!) So I went to plan B, only to go to the basement pantry and discover that I was out of yet another key ingredient! Fail.
S'mores Bars a while back and I'm so glad that I finally got around to making them. They were the perfect combination of crunchy, sweet, and gooey! Our small group loved these bars and I see them making their appearance at many events this summer!
Makes 16 bars
3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup mini marshmallows, divided
1 regular sized Hershey chocolate bar
1. Line an 8x8" pan with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Place in the bottom of the prepared pan and press down to form a crust.
3. In a medium bowl, beat the softened butter and sugars until fluffy.
4. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix.
5. Add flour, baking soda, and salt to the wet mixture and mix until combined.
6. Fold in chocolate chips and marshmallows until evenly distributed.
7. Spoon the cookie dough on top of the graham cracker crust as evenly as possible. (I found it was easier to use my fingers to flatten it out.
8. Bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes, until the bars are set.
9. About 5 minutes before the bars are done baking, sprinkle the marshmallows on top and return the bars to the oven to finish baking.
10. Break the chocolate bar into pieces and place on top of the baked bars. Let the bars cool completely before cutting.
Source: Chocolate, Chocolate, and More
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
One of the best things about breakfast for dinner is how simple it is. Plus, if you have any leftovers, they make a great breakfast! Pot roast for breakfast...not so much...
I'm really excited to work with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter for their Breakfast After Dark campaign. Not only have I been a ICBINB fan for years (I love their spray), but I just love anything that has to do with breakfast.
I used a new pizza dough recipe for this breakfast pizza, and I substituted the olive oil with melted I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter has 70% less saturated fat than butter, no hydrogenated oils and is made from a blend of vegetable oils. It's a product that I feel good about eating, and serving to my family.
webisodes and recipe collection. The toasted breakfast burrito is calling my name!
1 cup warm water, approximately 110 degrees
1-3/4 teaspoons yeast
3/4 teaspoon honey
1-1/2 Tablespoons I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, melted
3-1/4 cup flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
8 eggs, scrambled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Pour the warm water into the bowl of your stand mixer.
2. Sprinkle yeast on top of the water and pour in the honey. Allow the mixture to sit, untouched for 5 minutes.
3. Add melted ICBINB, flour, and salt and mix on low speed until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
4. Increase the mixer speed and knead for 5 minutes.
5. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set in a warm spot and allow it to rise for 2 hours. (See note**)
6. Punch the dough down and press it onto a greased pizza pan.
7. Poke the dough with a fork to avoid air bubbles.
8. Bake the crust at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned.
9. Remove the crust from the oven and top with scrambled eggs, crumbled bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese.
10. Return the pizza to the oven for approximately 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
**Note: I made the pizza dough the night before, as this meal was served for dinner (I knew I wouldn't have time to make the dough after work!). I mixed the dough after dinner and then allowed it to rise for 2 hours and then punched it down. I refrigerated the dough in the bowl overnight. Then, when I needed the dough, I pulled it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature (about an hour--but I was able to fry the bacon and scramble the eggs while waiting) before rolling it out.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Monday, May 13, 2013
We were at the store a couple weeks ago and I saw a new flavor of Sierra Mist--Strawberry Kiwi. It sounded really good, so I picked up a bottle. Later that day, Mike and his friend were working on my car's brakes and I wanted to make something refreshing for them to drink. I thought of the Sierra Mist and then our special movie drink. I decided I would make a big picture of Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade.
I happened to have some fresh strawberries and a lemon in the house, so I figured it would add those into the drink. (Side note--be sure to wash your lemon before cutting it!) The men really liked this drink, and I enjoyed it too! I am sure this drink will be a staple in our house this summer!
1 quart lemonade (homemade or store-bought)
1 lemon, sliced
5 strawberries, sliced
2 cups Strawberry Kiwi Sierra Mist (you can use plain Sierra Mist, if necessary)
1. In a large pitcher, combine the lemonade, lemon, and strawberries. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve the lemonade. (The longer this mixture sits, the stronger the strawberry flavor will be.)
2. Right before serving, pour the Sierra Mist into the lemonade.
3. Serve over ice, if desired.
*If you are planning to serve the lemonade immediately after preparing it, go ahead and add the Sierra Mist right away. I just recommend waiting to add the Sierra Mist until you're serving the drink so that it doesn't go flat.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Mike's family also enjoyed camping. However, their version of camping was quite a bit more upscale than what I was used to! They had a large trailer and would typically just go to local campgrounds. Regardless, camping is something that both Mike and I love to do.
Mike's cousins have started a tradition of camping at a family campground each summer. Last year and the year before, we were able to borrow Mike's parents' trailer and spend the weekend with everyone. We had such a good time and made so many memories. Mike and I own a tent and would love to go camping with a group of friends, but that's going to have to wait until next year...
One of my favorite things about camping is making s'mores. It's just not camping unless you build a big fire, roast marshmallows, and put together a s'more. There's just something about the golden brown marshmallow melting a big piece of chocolate between two graham crackers that I just love! While I like traditional campfire s'mores, I also enjoy making other treats into s'mores. (Like S'mores Puppy Chow, Mess-less S'mores, S'mores Bark...oh, I love s'mores!)
This time I decided to put a s'mores twist on banana bread. This bread recipe is from my mom and it's my absolute favorite banana bread recipe. I added a good amount of chocolate chips to the batter. Then, once the bread was done baking, I topped it with a generous amount of marshmallows and put it under the broiler to roast the marshmallows. The result was out of this world!
S'mores Banana Bread Cake
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cup mashed bananas (3-4 bananas)
1/3 cup water
1-2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups mini marshmallows
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar, butter, and eggs.
2. Mix in the bananas and water.
3. Add in the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder and stir until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Pour the batter into a greased 8x8" cake pan.
6. Bake at 350 for 65-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
7. Spread mini marshmallows on top of the cake immediately after it comes out of the oven.
8. Place under the broiler for approximately 2 minutes, until the marshmallows are toasted. Be sure to keep an eye on them so they don't burn!
9. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing into it.
Cover and store at room temperature.