Thursday, September 30, 2010

chocolate chunk mocha cookies

well, not quite. my family nixed the idea of the mocha frosting, so let's call them chocolate chocolate chunk ugly cookies. this is my first week of the 12 weeks of christmas cookies with some of my fellow food bloggers. i made a bad choice. the cookies are good, very chocolaty, moist, but boring and ugly. they came out of my southern living christmas cookbook and you can find the recipe online here. they got the highest rating from the sl's test kitchen, just not mine. maybe you can do a better job. enjoy.

maybe the frosting would have helped....

Week 1 Twelve Weeks of Christmas:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

german chocolate cake, simple, quick and unbelievably delicious

and i can not take any credit for it. jamie mentioned the other night he would love a good german chocolate cake. i have made them in the past, both from scratch, boxed and canned, nothing special. this one, this one is special. i got the recipe from my food blogger buddy barbara. over at barbara bakes. i have mentioned her a few times in the past on this blog. her recipes are simply wonderful and no fail. she does have a concern regarding a recent pie crust episode of mine using her recipe. take heart barb, it was strictly operator error.

 i think what i like best, no, i positive what i like best about her german chocolate cake recipe is the frosting. apparently it is a hand me down one from her mother in law that uses sliced almonds rather than pecans. oh my gosh folks. it is to die for. maybe, barbara needs to rename her cake death by german chocolate cake. i know that may not sound so politically correct, but do you know that german chocolate cake has nothing to do with germany? it the last name of the gentleman who developed the specific type of chocolate generally used in the batter, sam german. if you are curious, you read more about sam and the cake's history here.

oh yummy....this had totally ruined my diet and i am giving barbara full credit for that, too.

can you see the almonds? the frosting is not as dark as your typical pecan frosting. the cake, a doctored cake mix is so fluffy and moist. i am not a big cake fan at all, but this has become my all time favorite. you can find barbara's fantastical recipe here! enjoy.

silent saturday

Thursday, September 23, 2010

super quick pumpkin muffins, low fat

this is an old weight watchers recipe that i have been using for years. my daughter caroline can not get enough of these muffins. she doesn't need to know they are low fat, not that she would even know what that means or even care as she is stuffing her pie hole. these little babies are so yummy, lower in fat, yet moist and flavorful, so real quick, here is the recipe. you need one box of your favorite cake mix. i use spice, but you can use carrot, yellow or even chocolate cake mix. now add to that one small can of pureed pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling folks. it has been difficult to find canned pumpkin due to the the great pumpkin shortage charlie brown, but it is finally hitting the shelves for the season, so stock up! okay add to those one third cup of water, mix really well and your are done. bake in a 12 muffin pan spritz with baking spray, 30 minutes at 350 degrees. cool a minute or two and enjoy. you could easily icing these and call them cupcakes, or plop some cream cheese in the middle before baking to make a starbucks pumpkin muffin knockoff, and so on. the pumpkin replaces the fat, so after a day or two, they tend to get chewy. store in a covered container at room temp. enjoy!

oven ready, i use an ice cream scoop for measurement.

thirty minutes later.....

pass the butter....

and put on a pot of coffee....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

blanket or pap smear?

it is a tough choice. you know i am not crafty, but every once in awhile i get a wild hair up my yahoo to try my hand at something new. this time, it was a no sew blanket for caroline. omgosh, what a pain. first, i had no place to work other than my living room floor, which is coverd by a hard, hot, ancient braided rug dotted with dog hair. i could only last ten minutes at a time and my yahoo would be numb. is there such thing as getting hemorrhoids from a braided rug? i sure hope not. next, i must own the crappiest, dullest scissors in town. my cuts make the fleece fringe look like ric rack. oh and lets talk fleece, that stuff in not cheap, of course, it didn't help that i made a blanket big enough for bigfoot himself. i didn't know. i do now.

oh, and one more thing, the pattern, holy cow! it  about made me blind and i have very little sight to spare as it is. those hearts are fuzzy and i kept going cross eyed. overall though, i thought  the blanket turned out pretty cute and caroline is thrilled. it is heavy, soft and warm, perfect for her bed, curling up on the couch or to take camping,

but back to the choice of making another no sew blanket or a pap smear. let me think about it, although i am leaning towards the latter......enjoy.

ps-you just know travis is going to want one now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

first time kettle corn

i have become an kettle corn. holy crap that is some good stuff. whoever came up with that sweet and salty combo should either be given a medal or shot! i had my first taste of the stuff when i bought a bag several weeks ago outside of bass pro outfitters. this outfit was selling it as a fund raiser to help wounded soldiers and their families. i bought a small bag and ate the entire small bag. oh my gosh. it was soooo good and it had these amazing huge balls of swalty(my made up word for sweet and salty, ya like it) popcorn! i came home, hopped on the net and begun my popping corn research. i found out that there is type of popcorn that is called mushroom popcorn. read about it here.

you can not buy it in stores, so i ordered a two pound bag from just poppin and got busy making my own kettle corn! i did okay. i found a recipe online and went with it. i liked that it was super simple, but i gotta learn when enough is enough, and to pull the pot off the heat. mine got a little too brown, the sugar caramelized then burned, not good folks. overall, i will be making this again, but i have decided that i need one little thing, a whirley pop! i am so getting myself this, you wait and see. it is on my list of haves.

oh, i did try a microwave version of the kettle corn, devised by myself and it wasn't awful, just quick and okay. i definitely prefer the stove top taste more. have fun. enjoy.

you can find the recipe i used here!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

three ingredient beer bread, i can do it, you can do it

mix together the following:
3 cups self rising flour
1/4 cup sugar 
12oz beer, i used a dark beer, amberbock

bake in a greased loaf pan for 50 to 55 minutes at 375 fahrenheit. watch your oven, if too hot, back down to 350. cool briefly, pop out, slice, enjoy.  

ps-and for goodness sake don't try to buy a single beer less you be chastised by the store clerk and forced to purchase a six pack! i have five more loaves to make now.  bread anyone?

ps-ps-a friend wrote me a note telling me she had made a similar recipe, but added an entire stick of butter, melted, to the top before baking. i think i will try that next time, but only with a half stick. yum.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

susan's strawberry spinach salad

monday, i had my brother, his family, my family and our aunt over to the house to celebrate not only labor day, but my aunt's 75th birthday. i grilled ribeyes, made the easiest and tastiest scalloped potatoes in existence, tossed an unbelievably delicious salad, served a pan of warm cheater yeast rolls, baked a fresh peach cobbler and scooped vanilla ice cream, overall, one dang tasty meal. today, i want to talk salad. oh my goodness i am in love. this has got to be one of the simplest, yet most flavorful salads ever. my fellow virginian and food blogger, susan, over at she's becoming doughmesstic posted this last week and it immediately went on my to do list. it was a huge hit at dinner, so much so, i had to make a new batch just for this post. well, i made a batch of the dressing, a magic elixir, and did a personal sized salad, just for me. there was a smidge of it left from monday's dinner, packed into an empty butter container, buried in the back of the fridge, but i ate it already. you have got to make this. i had a doubting thomas bellied up to the table, let's just call her my niece kristy, uh, excuse me, that child had two helping, maybe more,  but who's counting? it is that good.

 the dressing is lovely, a combination of sweet and tangy that would be perfect on most any green salad, but just take a look at this puppy....

that dressing makes the strawberries sing! i can't recommend this rockin' salad enough. you can find the recipe here. while you over at susan's fabulous read, check out her amazing baking, cooking, catering and cake decorating skills. also, she has the cutest littlest tyke named seven, that's right folks, seven. take a moment, read her story and it will all come together.


wordless wednesday

Sunday, September 5, 2010

chicken cannelloni with roasted red bell pepper sauce

this was dinner....

it was tasty, but very, very rich afterall it has both cream cheese and alfredo sauce in it. it was super easy to make and good enough to serve to company. you can find the recipe here. i have lots leftover because the kids ran screaming. they had rather eat sodium laden chicken noodle soup.  i agree it doesn't look so purdy, but the screaming, it wasn't really called for. want some? don't scream, okay?

this actually would make a good seafood cannelloni....

Friday, September 3, 2010

breakfast cookie with tamarin and cranberries

what's tamarin you ask? well let me tell you. "tamarin is a new speculoos spread introduced to europe in 2008. based on a traditional european speculoos wafer, tamarin offers a unique, complex flavor - mildly sweet with a hint of cinnamon. when spread on a slice of bread, a biscuit or croissant, it is the ultimate compliment to a tall glass of milk, a cup of coffee or hot tea!"

i was giving the opportunity to try a complimentary jar from the tamarin sandwich spread  folks via elle over at elle's new england kitchen, on one condition, that i come up with a recipe using the spread. okay, i am game.

well, i promptly got my jar and dug in. it is different. it is delicious. it looks like, but tastes nothing like, peanut butter. it is sweet, creamy with a hint of cinnamon and other spices.

hmmmm, what can i make?

what did i make?

i made this....

beth's big  big ol'breakfast cookie with tamarin and cranberries!

heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit

in a bowl, mix together the following:
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1 T of all purpose or whole wheat flour
1/4 t of baking powder
1/2 t of real vanilla extract
big dash of cinnamon
1 heaping T of tamarin sandwich spread
1 T of dried cranberries
1 heaping T of unsweetened applesauce

thoroughly combine and spread onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet shaping into a large cookie. bake for about 25 minutes, cool briefly and enjoy.
a few notes, you might need to add a tad bit more applesauce, use your own judgment, you want the cookie to just come together, but not be too wet. also, there is no additional sweetener in the recipe. the tamarin spread makes it slightly, but not overly sweet as is, but you could always add a little sugar, honey or sugar substitute to your own taste. me, i would only add a teaspoon at a time tasting as i go, until satisfied with the sweetness of the mixture.

let me tell you, it was yummy. i ate it straight from the oven while it was still warm. the cookie was chewy and full of flavor. i am not a fan of your typical breakfast fare, so this was over the top for me. i paired it was an ice cold glass of low fat milk. yum. the tamarin spread lent it creamy cinnamon goodness to the cookie, but did not overpower the sweet tang of the cranberries. oatmeal has been praised for its fiber and its "staying" power. it sticks with me. i felt good about eating this "cookie".  i think this was a healthy start to the day, not only does it taste good, but it is good for you. enjoy.