Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Evil Brownie Trifle

Wow, has it been a little while.   I do still cook and even bake occasionally.  However, since babe numero tres came along, time for food photography has been non existent.  And you know me, no picture no makey.  I did however get a chance to snap a little shot of these babies.  I won't disclose just exactly how much of this dessert I ate by myself but it was enough to make me realize I could probably eat nothing but this for the rest of my life and be completely happy.  A big thank you to Mirandi for this life altering dessert.

2 boxes of favorite brownie mix
1 jar caramel topping
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag Heath Toffee bits WITH Chocolate (or just crushed up Heath bars)
1 extra large container of Cool Whip  (I used heavy cream to make my own)
3-4 Tbsp cocoa powder

Prepare and bake brownies according to box directions.  Allow to cool completely.  Cut into small bite sized pieces.  Mix whipped cream and cocoa powder until well combined.  In a trifle bowl (this made enough for me to fill 2 large mason jars and a trifle bowl), layer brownies, sweetened condensed milk, caramel topping, chocolate whipped cream, and Heath bits 3times.  Chill through before serving.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Caramel Apples

I have been having a love-hate relationship with food for the last 6 months.  I am always hungry but NOTHING looks or even sounds appealing to me.  Hence my lack of posting anything.  Then entered this caramel into my life.  After making it, I ingested almost nothing else but this caramel, some apple & my prenatal vitamins for 2 days.  SO good.  I am pretty partial to The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's caramel apples, but this recipe may even rival those.  I highly recommend trying this!  I found the recipe along with great tips on dipping the apples at Brown paper packages

1/2 c. butter
1 c. light corn syrup
2 c. brown sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
8 -10 apples

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a large sauce pan.  When the butter is melted, add the condensed milk.  Stirring CONSTANTLY and scraping the sides often, cook to 230 degrees (soft ball stage).  Take off heat and stir in vanilla.  Allow to cool for 3 - 4 minutes before dipping apples.  Or pour into buttered dish and allow to cool and set up then cut into individual pieces (or if you are a ravenous pregnant woman you can just eat it out of the pan by the spoon full, it's allowed I promise.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Megan's Enchiladas

One thing I miss about living in Happy Valley (Utah County) is the abunance of Tex-mex.  There are times I'd nearly give my right arm for a Cafe Rio Salad or Bajio Burrito.  So when my dear sister-in-law made these for us when we last visited her, I was in extreme bliss. They are easy to make, freeze great and are sooo yummy!  Thanks Megan.

2 tsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 -14oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Pepper to taste
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 lb. lean ground beef or shredded chicken
1 -15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
8 corn or flour tortillas
1 1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet.  Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer, but do not allow garlic to brown.  Add the tomatoes, coriander, cumin, oregano, and pepper and allow to cook for a few minutes longer.  The finished sauce will be a bit chunky.  Stir in cilantro.
Meanwhile, cook beef (or chicken, then shred); drain fat and stir in beans.  If using corn tortillas, warm the tortillas in the oven to make them easier to roll; remove.  Spread 1/2 cup of tomato mixture into the bottom of a rectangular baking dish.  Divide the beef (chicken)/ bean mixture and 3/4 cup of cheese among the tortillas.  Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish.  Pour the remaining sauce on top and bake, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle on remaining cheese, and bake 5 minutes more until cheese is melted.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Oreo Cake

This might be it. The chocolate cake that will end my search. It is moist, dense, oh sooo good and all the ingredients are already in the pantry. Seriously, what more could you ask for. The Oreo butter cream is a definite bonus. But this cake can stand on its own 2 feet, no frosting necessary. I have recently discovered the treasure trove that is MBA which is where I found this gem.

1 pkg. devil's food cake
1 (5.9 oz.) pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix (I used a small 3.something oz. pkg.)
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. sour cream
1 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 c. warm water
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips (I left these out)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the bottoms of 2 -9 inch round cake pans with parchment and grease pans thoroughly. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, pudding mix, salt, vanilla, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and divide batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 25- 35 minutes, rotating the pans half way through the baking time (yeah, I didn't do that and it was still awesome). Bake until the top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake for at least 30 minutes before inverting. Allow cake to cool completely on wire rack.

Oreo Butter cream
1 stick salted butter, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature (I went with the salted, and it was still great)
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 lb. powdered sugar (I figured this was just over 5 1/2 c.)
3-4 Tbsp. very cold milk
25 Oreo cookies, chopped

Cream the butters in a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract and combine well. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the very cold milk, one tablespoon at a time, combining well after each addition until you reach the desired consistency. Fold in chopped Oreo Cookies.

Monday, May 9, 2011

French Coconut Pie

Since moving to the South I have been trying to unravel the mystery of pie. It is on every dessert menu in nearly every restaurant. People in the South seem to love pie. Now I have nothing against pie, it is a lovely dessert but I am more of a chocolate cake lover. But since making this my love affair with pie has begun. It was the short instructions and the word COCONUT that drew me to this recipe. (Coconut and I also have deep love for one another.) It has a consistency similar to pecan pie which I think the term is chess pie. That is irrelevant though because once you taste this you won't care about it's texture or color of the sky. This has easily made my top 5 favorite desserts. It may not look like much but, wow! I found it on the Tasty Kitchen blog.

3 whole eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. flaked coconut
1 stick butter, melted
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1 whole 9" uncooked pie shell

Mix filling ingredients well and pour into the pie shell. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour.

Strawberry Syrup

One major plus about living in the middle of nowhere is that you are surrounded by farms. Springtime + farms = yummy berries. So I have had my heart set on making freezer jam this year with all the abounding strawberries in season. And might I add that I have been putting off this venture for some time now because I was convinced it would would involve a week of standing over a giant pot of scalding hot fruit mixture that I would in the end have to throw out. This is not the case. I was able to make a batch start-to-finish (clean up included) in less than an hour. So don't fear freezer jam making, it is beyond easy. If you can stir, you can make it. Now back to the syrup. So I was truly clueless to how much 8 quarts of strawberries actually is. A LOT. After making the jam, strawberry daiquiris, strawberry frosting and the girls eating 2 quarts themselves I still had a good deal left. I remembered seeing a recipe for a syrup here and since they never disappoint I gave it a go. Wow, I think I could eat this on everything. The cinnamon gives it an incredible twist. A must try.

1 c. granulated sugar
1 Tb. corn starch
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. thinly sliced and then roughly chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen)

Combine sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in saucepan; stir in strawberries. The strawberry juices will dissolve the sugar and make a wet mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Makes approximately 2 c. of syrup.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

This is the perfect spring meal for our family. The weather is warm and there are relatively few bugs so we have a tendency to want to play outside right up to half a second before dinner time which means there is no dinner made. Who wants to go in and spend forever making dinner while everyone else is outside playing? Not me, and so I don't. This comes together VERY quickly and only has to bake for about 15 minutes. It is an awesome combo of garlic bread and pizza which also is a plus for my self-proclaimed-vegetarian-carb-loving 17 month old. Yet another gem from the girls at Our Best Bites.

1 roll refrigerated pizza dough (or make your own)
marinara sauce
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. olive oil or melted butter
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
mozzarella cheese
pizza toppings of your choice ( i.e., ham, pineapple, mini pepperoni, sausage)

Preheat oven to heat specified on pizza dough package (usually 400). Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough so it's about 12" by 8". You're going to want to cut it into 24 squares using a pizza cutter. Place cheese and desired toppings on each square. (The marinara sauce does not go inside, it is just used for dipping.) When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan. Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil or melted butter then sprinkle with the garlic powder, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 -20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Keep an eye on them, check after about 10 minutes. Serve warm with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.