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National napping day

March 14, 2011

Today is National Napping Day.  So go ahead and take a nap, after all, it’s a national holiday!

 

Cake batter rice krispie treats

March 12, 2011

Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats

These kick your traditional marshmallow cereal treats into high gear.  They’ve become the snack of choice around here for my kids and their cohorts, and if any happen to last more than a day, they get packed into lunchboxes for school.  But trust me, they don’t last long.  They’re very hard to resist.

{one year ago:  white chicken chili}
{two years ago:  chocolate mint brownies}

Recipe:  Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats

(recipe from How Sweet It Is)

3 Tbsp. butter

10 oz. bag of marshmallows

1/4 c. dry yellow cake batter

6 c. Rice Krispie cereal  (Cheerios are great too!)

sprinkles or jimmies

Lightly coat a 9 x 13″ baking pan with cooking spray.  Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows. Stir until they begin to melt, adding in cake mix one spoonful at a time so its combined.  Stir in cereal so it is completely coated with marshmallow mixture.  Sprinkle in half of the sprinkles and mix.  Press into baking pan and top with remaining sprinkles.  Allow to cool before cutting.

Texas brittle

March 6, 2011

Texas Brittle

I apologize for the whining you’re about to read, but I’ve been sick.  Blah.  It started exactly one week ago and I’ve been down and out and in a haze of decongestants and cough meds all week.  Nothing has tasted good, or even close to good, until yesterday.  Yesterday was the day I dragged myself out to the kitchen and made some Texas brittle.  Yep, those are Fritos you see there.  And pretzels.  And some chopped and toasted pecan pieces.  Then lots and lots of melted milk chocolate.  And guess what?  I could taste all its sweet and salty wonderfulness and life was good.  I’m still sick, unfortunately, so it was no miracle cure, but it definitely made me feel better!

{one year ago:  Jamaican coffee soda}
{two years ago:  zebra cake}

Recipe:  Texas Brittle

(many, many thanks to Karly from Buns in My Oven for the recipe)

Scatter a few handfuls of pretzel sticks on a cookie sheet.  Top with a few handfuls of corn chips, followed by about 4 oz. of melted milk chocolate and chopped pecans.  (I toasted my pecans in a skillet for a few minutes ahead of time, but you don’t have to do that.)  Place the cookie sheet in the freezer until the chocolate sets up.  Break into chunks and pieces and enjoy!

 

Wish I’d thought of that…

March 4, 2011

photo credit: homework

For those of you who begin your dreams of Spring by planting seeds, this idea is for you.  What a great upcycled gardening project!  These little seed pots are made from paper towel rolls and you can find the original post at homework.  Carolyn has so many wonderful ideas on her blog, that I know you’re going to want to take some time to look around while you’re there.  You are sure to be inpsired!

 

Crockpot chicken curry

March 2, 2011

Crockpot Chicken Curry

We’ve had this chicken so many times that I don’t know why I haven’t posted it before now.  Crockpot meals are so easy and this one requires just a couple of ingredients.  You can use whatever cuts of skinless chicken you like and I’ve probably tried them all, but I prefer boneless skinless chicken breasts.  I’ve served this chicken curry with mashed potatoes, rice, and egg noodles; and we even like the leftovers in wraps.  It’s great to know I can grab a couple things from the pantry or freezer and know that we’re going to have a good dinner at the end of the day.

{one year ago:  marshmallows}
{two years ago:  s’mores cookie bars}

Recipe:  Crockpot Chicken Curry

(from Kraft Foods)

2-3 lbs. of skinless chicken, whatever cuts you prefer

2 c. chunky salsa

1 onion, diced

2 Tbsp. curry powder

1 c. sour cream

Place chicken in the slow cooker.  Combine salsa, onion, and curry powder in a bowl and pour over chicken.  Replace lid and cook on low 8-10 hours (or on high for 5 hours).

Remove chicken to serving platter and cover with foil.  Add sour cream to crockpot and stir until well blended.  Serve sauce over chicken.

 

Chocolate waffles with warm cherry sauce & whipped cream

February 26, 2011

Chocolate Waffles with Sweet Cherry Sauce

Wow.  If you’re looking for a crazy decadent way to start your day, this is it.  I can’t begin to describe how much Jim and I enjoyed these waffles, and they make a delicious foundation for so many variations.  Anything you would normally pair with dark chocolate is fair game here.

This amazing breakfast is the creation of my boyfriend, my husband, and me.  Yeah, yeah, I know it’s not exactly proper to admit you have a boyfriend and a husband, but let me explain.  Around here, Alton Brown is jokingly (and adoringly) known as my boyfriend.  Jim gets the husband title fair and square.  After all, he’s the one who put the ring on my finger.  I just crush on AB from afar.  Like through my tv.  Don’t judge me.

Anyway, back to the waffles.  We topped these with a warm cherry sauce and some sweetened whipped cream.  They were stellar.  And I’m talking about the oohing and ahhing kind of stellar.  So much so that Sam declared we were “acting like old people” and to stop talking about waffles.  Ha!

{This recipe is part of a tasty roundup at Sweet as Sugar Cookies.  Check it out!}

{one year ago:  bagels}
{two years ago:  pasta with mascarpone cheese and homemade pesto}

Recipe:  Chocolate Waffles with Sweet Cherry Sauce

(my boyfriend’s waffles are from Food Network)

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3 whole eggs, beaten

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

16 oz. buttermilk, room temperature

3/4 c. chocolate chips

vegetable spray for waffle iron

sweet cherry sauce (recipe follows), powdered sugar, sweetened whipped cream for toppings

Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.  In another bowl, beat together the eggs, melted butter and vanilla.  Add the buttermilk.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir in the chocolate chips just until combined.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Ladle the recommended amount of waffle batter onto the center of the iron. Close the iron top and cook until the waffle is crispy on both sides and is easily removed from iron. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.

Makes 6 waffles.

Recipe:  Sweet Cherry Sauce

16 oz. bag of frozen sweet cherries

1/4 c. cherry juice (found in the juice aisle of the grocery store)

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a low boil.  As mixture cooks, mash some of the cherries with the back of a wooden spoon.  Let mixture bubble and thicken while waffles are cooking and being kept warm in the oven.

Buttermilk muffins

February 22, 2011

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Muffins

If you read this blog much, you may have noticed that if I mention breakfast, it usually has something to do with Jim and his pancakes.  Or maybe the fact that our kids barely manage to get through a day if there aren’t any of those said pancakes in the freezer.  These muffins were born on one of those days.  Desperate to get my kids out the door without listening to them fuss over a breakfast they couldn’t have, I whipped these together and had them baked in short order.  Sounds very June Cleaver of me, doesn’t it?

All kidding aside, I made some of these buttermilk muffins with mini chocolate chips for the kids and some without, for me.  I really loved the plain ones, though they’d also be delicious with some berries tucked inside.  The hint of orange zest was great, and I’ve become a real fan of the texture you get when you bake with buttermilk.  Definitely a pretty versatile recipe and a good base for whatever add-ins you’d like.  A good remedy for whiny kids too.

{one year ago:  chocolate sour cream cake}
{two years ago:  pulled pork barbecue}

Recipe:  Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Muffins

(adapted from Joy of Baking)

2 1/2 c. King Arthur white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)

3/4 c. granulated sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

zest of one orange

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3/4 c. buttermilk

2/3 c. canola oil

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/2 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract.

In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest.  Fold in chocolate chips.  With a rubber spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined, being careful to not overmix.

Fill each muffin cup almost full of batter.  Bake about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Makes 12 muffins.

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