Monday, September 30, 2013

Whatchamacallit Blondies


My last three posts have been main dish items so I thought it was high time for a dessert. These delicious blondies are laced with caramel sauce, chewy caramels, crispy cereal and salty peanuts, then topped with a rich chocolate icing. Yum.

Start by creaming together the butter and sugar. Then add the eggs, caramel sauce,


vanilla and salt and beat on low until fluffy. Gradually add in the flour and baking soda and beat just until well mixed. Fold in the caramel bits,


rice krispies and peanuts.


Spread the batter into a greased cake pan and bake for 28-30 minutes. Let the bars cool.


For the icing, heat the cream to boiling in the microwave, then add the chocolate chips.


Stir well until the chips are melted and the icing is smooth.


Pour the icing over the bars,


and spread evenly. Refrigerate the bars for an hour or so to let the icing set.


Cut into 24 bars and enjoy!


One year ago: Pumpkin Spice Donuts
Two years ago: Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
Three years ago: Green Beans with Pine Nuts
Four years ago: Banana Coffeecake with Macadamia Nuts and Coconut

Find more great stuff at Mouthwatering Monday, Mop it Up, Mix it Up, Melt in Your Mouth, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Clever chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff, All my Bloggy Friends.


Whatchamacallit Blondies

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
3/4 cup caramel bits
3/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 1/2 cups rice krispies
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup whipping cream

Cream the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, vanilla, caramel topping and salt and beat on low until fluffy.
Slowly add the flour and baking powder to the butter mixture. Fold in the caramel bits, peanuts and rice krispies.

Spread in a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 28-30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

For the icing, bring the whipping cream to a boil in a small saucepan or in the microwave. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until melted and creamy. Let cool slightly. Spread on top of the cooled blondies and refrigerate for an hour or two to set up the icing.

Recipe Source: Inside BruCrew Life

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Salmon Florentine


I've talked on and on about how fun it is to find new ways to cook fish. I also love to incorporate spinach in my diet as much as possible and I love the flavors of sundried tomatoes and feta. So this was a perfect recipe for me!

This delicious treatment for salmon is quick and easy to prepare, the perfect trifecta (easy, fast, tasty!) for a weeknight dinner. Start by heating the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and the green onion


and cook and stir until onion is softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach, about a quarter of the bag at a time, and cook until it wilts. At the last spinach add, also add in the tomatoes.


When all the spinach is wilted, remove from the heat and stir in the feta.


Season with salt, pepper and the red pepper flakes.

Place the salmon fillets on a rimmed baking sheet, and divide the spinach filling among the fillets. You'll probably have to kind of pat it down with your hands.


Bake for about 15 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.

With the weather starting to cool, it's the perfect time to imagine yourself sitting seaside in Greece, enjoying salmon florentine!


One year ago: Pumpkin Oat Bars
Two years ago: Peach Coffeecake
Three years ago: Fish Tacos
Four years ago: Cucumber Dill Shrimp Dip

Find more great ideas at Hearth and Soul, Cast Party, What's Cooking, What's Cooking #2, What I Whipped Up, Full Plate Thursday, Showcase Your Talent, Foodie Friday, Food on Friday, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday (#2), Friday Flash, Food Frenzy.


Salmon Florentine

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup sliced green onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 9-oz. package baby spinach
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta
4 - 4 oz. skinless salmon fillets, patted dry

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add green onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add spinach, a bit at a time, and cook until wilted. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper flakes and pepper; cook, stirring, 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in feta to combine.

Place the fillets on a rimmed baking sheet. Pack about 1/2 cup spinach mixture on top of each fillet, matching the shape of the fillet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe Source: Adapted from SELF

Monday, September 23, 2013

Asian Meatballs


Confession time: I have never made meatballs. I know! Well, never until now. For Secret Recipe Club this month, I was assigned to Danielle's blog, Hugs and Cookies. She has a ton of recipes that would be fun to try. After finding these Asian meatballs, I knew I had my recipe for the month. Danielle also has a lot of other meatball recipes, so even though this was my first time making meatballs, I can promise you that it won't be my last!

For the meatballs, in a medium bowl combine the ground beef, sesame oil,


egg, garlic, green onions and breadcrumbs.


Mix this up well so that all the ingredients are incorporated. I used my hands - I figured I was going to get them messed up rolling the meatballs anyway! When it's all good and mixed, take the meat and roll it into balls and then place them on a foil lined large baking sheet.


Bake the meatballs for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through. While they're baking, make the sauce. In a measuring cup, combine the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar,


garlic, soy sauce


and sesame oil. Now you'll want to heat up the sauce - you can bring it to a simmer in a saucepan, or to save a dish, you can microwave it for about 1 1/2 minutes (if you're microwaving, wait and do it after the meatballs have been removed from the oven.)

Another thing to do while the meatballs bake is toast the sesame seeds. I do this in a dry skillet over medium heat - just watch them very carefully and shake the pan around frequently - once they start to toast, they will darken quickly so pay attention!


Transfer the cooked meatballs to a serving dish, then cover with the sauce,


and sprinkle with sesame seeds. You can garnish with green onion slices, too!


These meatballs are great served with rice and a vegetable (like asparagus or green beans) and would also be a terrific appetizer. Here's to the beginning of my meatball future!

One year ago: English Muffin Bread
Two years ago: Dalmatian Bars
Three years ago: Poppy Seed Bread
Four years ago: Beef with Broccoli

Find more great ideas at Mouthwatering Monday, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Melt in your Mouth, Recipe Sharing, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff, All my Bloggy Friends.

Asian Meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Glaze:
2/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil

For meatballs, combine the ground beef, sesame oil, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic and green onions in a medium bowl. Mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated. Roll the mixture into balls and place on a large foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook and stir for two minutes.

Transfer the meatballs to a serving dish, cover with the warm sauce, and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Makes 4 main dish servings, or 8-10 appetizer servings.




Thursday, September 19, 2013

Custardy Baked Orzo with Bacon and Spinach


When I saw this recipe, I immediately knew it was something I wanted to try, and something I would like. I was right. I ate it for breakfast one day and lunch the next. A traditional egg bake is bulked up with pasta and filled with nutrient-dense spinach and crunchy bacon. This could be a really versatile dish, too - I bet Italian sausage would be a great sub, and you could add peppers, mushrooms and other vegetables and reduce the amount of pasta a bit. Lots of possibilities here from a great base recipe. And since it has eggs and cheese, it's perfect for this month's Improv Challenge!

Cook the orzo in a large pot of boiling water.


Cook the bacon - first cut it into bite sized pieces,


then cook it in a large pan over medium heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate,


then remove most of the bacon grease from the pan - leave about 1 tablespoon in the pan. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes til it begins to soften. Then add the spinach to the pan


and cook and stir until it is wilted. Transfer the spinach and onion mixture into a large bowl. Drain the orzo and add it to the bowl,


along with the bacon and the feta.


In a large measuring cup, combine the yogurt, milk and eggs, and season with salt and pepper.


Whisk well, then add to the spinach and feta mixture.


Stir everything together well,


then transfer to a greased 11x7 baking dish.


Bake for 45 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the top is slightly browned.


Let the dish sit for 10 minutes after baking before you cut and serve it.


One year ago: Peach Cobbler Bars
Two years ago: Pumpkin Seed Crusted Tilapia
Three years ago: Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Four years ago: Caramel Banana Sundaes

Check out the linky below for more pasta and cheese combos. And get more inspiration at Full Plate Thursday, Showcase your Talent, Thursdays Treasures, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday (#2), Friday Flash, TGIF, Friday Food Frenzy.

Custardy Baked Orzo with Bacon and Spinach

1 cup orzo
8 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup diced onion
8 ounces baby spinach
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
4 large eggs
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk

In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the orzo until al dente. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate, and leave 1 tablespoon of fat in the skillet. Add the onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat until softened, 4-5 minutes. Then add the spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted. Transfer the spinach and onion mixture to a large bowl. Drain the orzo, then add it to the bowl, along with the cooked bacon and the feta.

In a large measuring cup, whisk the eggs with the yogurt and milk, season with salt and pepper and stir into the orzo. Scrape the mixture into an greased 11-by-7-inch baking dish and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes, until the eggs are set and the top is browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Makes 6-8 servings.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Food and Wine





Monday, September 16, 2013

Peach Cobbler Coffeecake


My mom's cherry coffeecake is one of my favorite things, to make, and to eat. When I had some peaches sitting around recently, I decided to try to adapt that recipe to using fresh peaches. A quick google search proves that I was not alone in that idea - so I combined a few concepts to come up with this coffeecake. This could also be called bars, or just plain cake, but by calling it coffeecake, I feel more justified in eating it for breakfast, which I did every day last week. (I also took this to work to share. It makes a big pan!)

Start by peeling the peaches (I boil them for a minute then put them under cold water, and the peel slides right off!) and then slicing them thinly. Place them in a medium bowl and top with the brown sugar and cinnamon.


For the batter, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs, yogurt, almond extract and vanilla,


and beat well until blended. Gradually add the flour and salt and mix until combined. Spread about 2/3 of the batter into a greased 15x10 pan.


Top with the peach mixture.


Now dollop the remaining batter over the top of the peaches.


Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden.


Let cool on a wire rack. To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, almond extract and milk.


Whisk until the mixture is smooth and then drizzle over the cooled cake.


It looks amazing!


Because it's coffeecake, remember you can eat it for breakfast. Or any time for that matter.


One year ago: Mango Ice Cream
Two years ago: Cherry Bread
Three years ago: Blackberry Cake
Four years ago: Apple Pie Muffins

Find more inspiration at Mouthwatering Monday, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Melt in Your Mouth, Recipe Sharing, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff, All My Bloggy Friends, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking, What's Cooking #2, What I Whipped Up.

Peach Cobbler Coffeecake

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 - 6 oz. container peach yogurt (or vanilla or plain)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
5-6 peaches, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Glaze:
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. milk

In a medium bowl, combine peaches, brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir well to coat all the peaches with the cinnamon and sugar.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Beat in vanilla and almond extract. Gradually add flour and salt and mix until combined.

Spread 2/3 of the batter in a greased 15x10x1 pan. Top with the peach mixture. Drop remaining batter on top of peaches.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes clean. Cool on a wire rack.

For the glaze, combine powdered sugar. vanilla, almond extract and milk and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the cake before cutting. Serves 24.

Recipe Source: Adapted from The Recipe Critic and Cherry Coffeecake

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cookie Butter Banana Bread


I think any cook worth his/her salt needs to have MANY banana bread recipes in his/her collection. On this site, I have my regular old banana bread (so good, so it's unfair to call it regular or old), buttermilk banana bread, the ultimate decadence - bananas foster bread, blueberry banana bread, banana oat bread, and strawberry banana bread. I am hard pressed to pick a favorite out of that list, and now I have a couple more to add - peanut butter banana bread (coming soon!) and this delight, cookie butter banana bread.

Cookie butter, or Biscoff spread, gives this banana bread a little something special. If you don't know the ingredients, you won't really know what makes it so delicious and different. The cookie butter and applesauce (and mashed bananas!) add plenty of moisture to the bread, so it doesn't require too much additional fat. So not only is it yummy, but it's "relatively" healthy too. I boosted the fiber by using half whole wheat flour - you can feel free to use all white flour if you prefer that.

Start by creaming together the oil, sugar, applesauce and cookie butter.


Add the eggs, bananas and buttermilk


and mix well. Then gradually add the flour and baking powder, mixing just until combined. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for an hour.


Cool in the pan for half and hour or so, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


You can just tell how delicious this is!



One year ago: Peanut Butter Banana Donuts
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Bars
Three years ago: Whole Grain Berry Biscuits
Four years ago: Shrimp Risotto

Find more great stuff at Full Plate Thursday, Thursday's Treasures, Showcase your Talent, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays.

Cookie Butter Banana Bread

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Cookie Butter
1/3 cup applesauce
3 small over-ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all-purpose
1 cup white whole wheat flour

Cream together sugar, oil, cookie butter and applesauce. Add the bananas, eggs and buttermilk and blend well.

Gradually add the flour and the baking soda. Mix just until combined.

Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for one hour. If it starts to brown to quickly on top, cover loosely with foil during baking. Cool in the loaf pan for half an hour, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Crazy for Crust
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