Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Beer Pretzel Peanut Brittle

I cannot wait to tell you the absolute disaster I had with this treat.

First, the recipe came from Guy Fieri.  Disclaimer:  it does require having some sort of kitchen thermometer since you are boiling sugar for candy.  I used my trusty digital oven thermometer.


I forgot to shove the sugar into this picture.  Also a key ingredient I did not include was the cooking spray.  As I dropped my brittle onto my wax paper I said out load "oh shit, I forgot to spray the paper."  My trusty kitchen over the shoulder observer said "I'm sure it'll be fine."  


The reality was no, it would not in fact be fine.  The wax paper stuck to the brittle like stink on a monkey. This is the sort of kitchen drama that would be on the teaser for some awful cooking reality tv show. 

How would I resolve this issue? I searched the web for ideas and decided to go with this one: place the brittle upside down on a silicone baking sheet and reheat in the oven.  When the brittle got nice and melty again, I peeled off the wax paper.  Now don't think that this shit just peeled right off because it didn't.  It probably would have been less time consuming to just make another batch.


In the end I was able to salvage plenty of the brittle and it really was a tasty treat.  Make it, but don't forget to grease the pan!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Peanut Butter Oreo Icebox Cake and Homemade Peanut Butter Sauce


This deliciousness was made to be entered in Cookies and Cups and Confessions of a Cookbook Queen's recipe contest.  The rules of the contest state that we search through their blogs, choose a recipe, and tweak it a bit to make it our own.  Since that's pretty much what I do around these parts, I was excited to enter.


I used Shelly's Oreo Icebox Cake as my starting point.  The changes I made were: swapping out the regular Oreo cookies for peanut butter Oreo cookies and instead of chocolate sauce, I made a peanut butter sauce to top my cake with.


Peanut Butter Oreo Icebox Cake
Adapted from Cookies and Cups

2 boxes of Peanut Butter Oreo Cookies
3 tubs of Cool Whip
1 1/2-2 cups of milk
Peanut butter sauce, recipe following

1. Dip Oreo cookies in milk and lay flat in a 13 x 9 in. pan.
2. Spread one tub of Cool Whip over Oreo layer.  Repeat this two more times, ending with a layer of Cool Whip.
3.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
4.  Top each slice with plenty of peanut butter sauce.


Homemade Peanut Butter Sauce

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine peanut butter, butter, and corn syrup in a sauce pan over low heat until melted and mixture begins to thicken.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Let cool to room temperature.
Note: This makes loads of peanut butter sauce, but it's ridiculously delicious so you'll want more for later, trust me.


I cannot begin to tell you how incredible this simple dessert tastes.  The Oreo cookies get all nice and soft while the cake sets up over night and the peanut butter sauce really takes it to another level.

Now excuse me while I get myself seconds...

I am entering this peanut butter Oreo icebox cake with peanut butter sauce in the Creative Recipes Contest by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Cookies and Cups!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant

A roasted vegetable is an exquisite thing.  I halved 2 eggplants scored them long and short ways and sprinkled them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. The kitchen smelled oh so good.


After 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven the eggplants are wonderfully mushy.  I scooped them out, mashed them up, and tossed them with angel hair spaghetti, olive oil, and fresh basil.


Top it with a hearty shake of Parmesan cheese and you are all set for a fast and simple weeknight meal.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wendy's Pretzel Burger Review

I apologize at the start for the font color business.  I'm ready to throw this computer out the window because it refuses to go back to normal.  Every time I copy and paste from a website this happens. Rooooooooooar. Ok now for an awesome burger!

Let me just get right to the point here: go out and eat this burger right now.  It is by far the most delicious fast food burger I've ever had.

Here is the description on the Wendy's website: classic hot and juicy cheeseburger with a sweet and smoky honey mustard sauce, melted cheddar cheese, applewood smoked bacon all on a warm, soft pretzel bun.


I'll break each topping down for you, because you are totally still reading this.  The honey mustard and the cheese sauces could probably stay or leave.  I couldn't really discern them.  

They fail to mention is the red onion, tomatoes, and lettuce.  Red onion instead of white is always a good decision.  Tomatoes I have no interest in, but I've been told they were good.  The lettuce was spring mix, spring mix guys! At a Wendy's! Unbelievable!  The bacon also seemed to be of the premium sort.  It was thick and crispy.


The pretzel bun was really the icing on the cake here.  It was soft and dense and certainly tasted like a pretzel.

I will end this post by giving props to Wendy's for their awesome burger and also for their excellent presentation.  How often does a burger actually look like the advertisement?  Oh and one prop to be given, it's not any more expensive than their other combo meals.

Hope you like it as much as I did!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

BBQ Salad

Surprise! It's still really %*&#@! hot out! Even bigger surprise, I made a salad for dinner! Whaaaaaaa? A salad? Yea I know, crazy times over here.

What you need for a super awesome bbq salad dinner: lettuce, spinach, corn, tomato, avocado, cheddar cheese, and fried onions.


What you need to dress your super awesome bbq salad: ranch dressing and bbq sauce.  Just mix a little of each together.


What you need alongside your super awesome bbq salad: corn bread*, with a little bit of that corn from the salad mixed in.


*The corn bread was made in the convection oven and took a mere 10 minutes so there was minimal heat exposure happening.

Fast, easy, tasty, no oven, no measuring. Get on it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Creamy Parmesan Basil Mac and Cheese


I know, I know, it's really not the kind of weather for some creamy mac and cheese.  But it's fantastic and it's all I could come up with for dinner tonight, so zip it.


I used the Progresso Recipe Starter cooking sauce, creamy parmesan basil, instead of milk and butter for the mac and cheese sauce.  For the cheese I used this awesome new Land O' Lakes product: 4 Cheese Italian Blend.  What 4 cheeses you might ask? Asiago, Romano, Parmesan, and American.  You can get it at the deli counter, not the dairy aisle, and I recommend that you go do that. Now.


I threw in broccoli for good measure.  You know me, always trying to stay healthy!

Delicious, easy, fast, 4 ingredients, yay!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese

It's been really awfully hot. Even with the air conditioners running, it's still just too darn hot to cook. That is why we ate spinach artichoke grilled cheeses this week.


The recipe, and I use that term lightly here, can be found at Jelly Pin.  It's just spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic, and olive oil sauteing on the stove for a few minutes.  Then mix in a little sour cream to really up the calories.


The spinach artichoke mixture gets spread atop buttered bread and topped with whatever cheese you desire.  I used a combination of cheddars that I had on hand.


This warm gooey deliciousness can be yours if you act now.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Chocolate Truffle Pie

I made this pie for the 4th of July which I was really excited to type out because it rhymes.  The recipe can be found here at the always helpful and always delicious Cookies and Cups blog.

It's a super simple batter that doesn't require any separate bowls, not like I would have followed a direction like that anyway.  FYI she wanted me to sift the cocoa powder, but I couldn't be bothered and surprise! no one knew!


Plop it all into a store bought pie crust.


Then bake it up.


I over cooked my pie a bit, that convection oven cooks things faster than I imagined, so my pie was a little drier than it should have been.


Top a slice with some whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries and there ya go!  Instant patriotic dessert.  Hope you all had a tasty 4th!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Chipotle Salsa Chicken


This super simple recipe comes from...wait for it.... Simply Recipes.


Throw all the salsa ingredients into the blender: fire roasted tomatoes, red onion, a chipotle pepper, and garlic.  In an unfortunate occurrence the cilantro that was in the fridge had gone rotten so that was omitted.


Then you just dump it all over your chicken pieces and pop it in the oven for a bit.


We shredded the chicken after it was cooked and ate it taco style with cracked pepper cheddar cheese, guacamole, and saffron rice. So good!

I had leftovers for dinner the next night sans tortilla and then again in an omelet.  Seriously delicious and comes together in a flash.