August 31, 2011

Chocolate Cobbler

I came across this recipe for Chocolate Cobbler while reading through this month's Secret Recipe Club entries. Jennifer from the blog, Jane Deere, had made this Chocolate Cobbler and I couldn't wait to try it since I had all of the ingredients on hand.

I've had cobblers before but this wasn't like anything I've tried in the past. Taken from the words of Jennifer this is, "ooey, gooey, molten death-by-chocolate goodness."

This dessert is so easy and comes together in a snap. The worst part is having to smell this bake in the oven for an hour. Pure torture. The house smelled heavenly. Like a pan of brownies. Drool. Steaming out of the oven I served this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. My guilty pleasure while Itty Bitty napped.

Makes 12 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • cup cocoa powder (for the batter)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder, (for the topping)
  • 1 cup sugar, (for the batter)
  • 1 cup sugar, (for the topping) - I did not add any sugar to the topping since I ran out.
  • 1 cup milk - I used skim milk.
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 cups hot water
And Action:

Begin by whisking together flour, baking powder, salt, 1 cup sugar and cup cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Add the milk, butter, and vanilla; mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until the batter is nice and smooth.

Spread the batter in an ungreased 9×13 baking pan.

In a separate, smaller bowl, mix the brown sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 1 cup white sugar. Spread the dry, mixed topping ingredients over the batter in your baking pan.

Drizzle the hot tap water over the dry ingredients. IMPORTANT!! Do Not Stir!
Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour. 

Served it warm, topped with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
Nutritional Information Per Serving: (Not including ice cream)
Calories: 347
Fat: 9g
Carbs: 66g
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 4g

August 30, 2011


I received a forwarded email with about ten of these autocorrected text messages and ended up laughing so hard I literally cried. I'm talking tears rolling down my cheeks. My abdominals are burning right now. I decided not to share some of the others since I try to keep my blog PG-13... most days. However, if you'd like to have a gut busting laugh and a good cry all in one then shoot me your email address and I'll happily forward you the email. It's a good one!

August 29, 2011

Grilled Pizza with Italian Sausage and Spaghetti Bolognese

Itty Bitty was having a rough day and refusing to nap. Finally got him to sleep after an hour of him fighting it. Twenty minutes passes and I go into his room to clip his nails while he was sleeping. All of a sudden a knock at the door and the dogs went wild barking. Sure enough it woke Itty Bitty up. Since it was a stressful morning I was pissed there was someone at the door.

It was our friendly UPS driver. How could I stay mad when he came baring a gift? I had no idea what it was. I wasn't expecting a package. With Itty Bitty out of bed and throwing a temper tantrum I went into my little corner in the kitchen and opened the package.

3 bottles of Crisco Olive Oils!!!

I go through olive oil by the gallons. Not really. But it seems that way.

Foodbuzz had selected me as one of their "Tastemakers" to sample Crisco's Extra Virgin, Pure, and Light Olive Oil. Their olive oils are made from a blend of Cheatoui, Chemlali, Arbequina, and Hojiblanca olives. High quality.

In my package came a recipe pamphlet with 4 recipes. I decided to give two of them a try. Grilled Pizza with Italian Sausage and Spaghetti Bolognese.

For lunch I decided to make the Grilled Pizza with Italian Sausage while Itty Bitty finally fell asleep. Mama needed to relieve some stress and the best way for me to do this is by being in the kitchen. This pizza was so flavorful and loaded with yummies. A ready made pizza crust is topped with marinated grilled spicy Italian sausage, red bell peppers, and red onions on top of three cheeses. It is then layered with plum tomatoes and green onions. Smelling this cooking was unbareable. Once out of the oven I sliced this up and sat at the table in silence enjoying every bite. This is a must try pizza recipe.

Knowing Itty Bitty would end up sleeping until around dinner time I decided to make the Spaghetti Bolognese so it would be ready for when he woke up. This is a big step up from the spaghetti I normally make. Sadly, I just boil noodles and mix it with canned tomato sauce. Poor baby had no idea what he's been missing out on. This Spaghetti Bolognese was easy to prepare and so flavorful from the mix of two meats. After a good nap and a bowl of this for dinner his mood took a turn for the better and the night was bareable.

I'll be marking #13 off of my "Stir The Pot" page. 4 down, 21 to go.

Grilled Pizza with Italian Sausage
Makes 2 - 12 inch Pizzas

Stars of the Show:
  • 2 (12 inch) ready made pizza crusts
Stars of the Show for the Marinade:
  • 1/3 cup Crisco Light Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar - I used a spicy garlic and pepper balsamic vinegar.
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Stars of the Show for the Grilled Toppings:
  •  1/2 lb spicy Italian Sausage
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 large red onion, peeled, cut through root end into 1/2-inch wedges
Stars of the Show for the Additional Toppings:
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
And Action:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For the marinade: Whisk together all the marinade ingredients and set aside.

For the grilled toppings: Spray a grill grate with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat grill. (I used a grill pan instead.) Brush sausages, red bell pepper, and onions with marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until sausages are cooked through and peppers and onion are slightly charred and crisp-tender, turning and basting occasionally with marinade, about 12 minutes for sausages and 8 minutes for the veggies. Transfer to a cutting board and cut sausages and veggies into slices.

Sprinkle each pizza with half of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Top each with half of the sausage, peppers and onion, then with half the goat cheese, tomatoes, and green onions.

Place pizzas on cookie sheets and into the oven. Bake 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.

Spaghetti Bolognese
Makes 4 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef plus 1/2 lb Italian sausage - You can also use 1 lb of ground beef instead of the mix. I preferred the mixed meats.
  • 3 tbsp Crisco Pure Olive Oil
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp dried basil - I used fresh basil.
  • I tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 lb uncooked spaghetti
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
And Action:

Heat a large skillet on medium-high. Add beef and sausage. Break up the chunks. Cook until no longer pink. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Discard drippings from the pan.

Return skillet to medium-high heat. Heat the oil. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent. Stir in salt and pepper.

Return beef to pan. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer sauce for 20 to 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

While sauce simmers, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta. Top with sauce. Serve with cheese if desired.

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received free Crisco Olive Oil products. All opinions are my own.

August 28, 2011

Is It Love?

(Image from a forwarded email.)

August 27, 2011

Male Organ Shaped Peppers?

Oh boy! I just love when I receive forwarded emails that are not only funny but have to do with food. I enjoy sharing the laughs with my readers as well.
Image is from the forwarded email.

I had actually thought the growth of these peppers was a joke until I did some research. Chilli Willy is a company that has made available to us a "grow your own gift of willy shaped peppers".

Just what every girl dreams of. Haha! They can actually grow up to 18 inches long. Still laughing hysterically here. Stuck in my middle school ways.

A few things came to mind with this find... number one... I'd love to see the look on someones face when they decide to just help themselves to the fresh produce in the garden and number two... How funny it would be to make a dried hanging pepper bouquet for my mother-in-law to match her decor. Haha! Something tells me this might go along the lines of serving her penis shaped pasta at dinner and being the only one seeing the humor in it.

Great gift idea for someone with a sense of humor.

August 26, 2011

Bruschetta Goat Cheese Cups

One thing that boggles my mind is when my guy eats something such as bruschetta off of an appetizer plate and then the following day he's scraping chunks of tomatoes away from his pasta. It confuses the hell out me.

What's even more of a mind blower is when he requests something such as the bruschetta to be made at home. What?!? You want me to make something that contains tomatoes which I know you don't really prefer?

I pushed the bruschetta request to the back of my mind. It has been stored away almost to be forgotten for over two months now. While at the grocery store I walked past the Italian section and something caught my eye. It was an assortment of bruschetta. Not just the tomato variety. I ended up picking up a jar of olive bruschetta.

No idea what I was going to do with it until I came across a recipe for Bruschetta Goat Cheese Cups. I figure with football season upon us these would make perfect Game Day food fare.

With store bought freezer puff pastry shells, crumbled goat cheese, the olive bruschetta, and some dried thyme I had all I needed to put these Bruschetta Goat Cheese Cups together. They came together in a snap. They were so flavorful with the buttery pastry shell, creamy goat cheese, salty and oily olive bruschetta. A perfect two or three bite appetizer.

Did my guy like them? Can't even tell you since I ended up making these while he was away. Anyway I'm marking this one request from the records. Speaking of marking off... I'll be marking #7 off of my "Stir The Pot" page. 3 down, 22 to go. and Southern Living, February 2006
Makes 6 Servings or 24 Cups (Serving size = 4 cups)

Stars of the Show:
  • 1 (1.4-ounce) package crispy pastry shells
  • 1 (4-ounce) goat cheese log, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup refrigerated sweet pepper, vegetable, and olive bruschetta topping or tapenade
  • Garnish: fresh thyme leaves
And Action:

Place shells in a shallow pan. Divide goat cheese evenly between shells, pressing gently to fill bottom of each. Spoon 1 teaspoon bruschetta topping into each shell.

Bake at 350° for 4 to 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish, if desired.

August 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Balls

While making these Peanut Butter Balls memories of being in high school and working in the daycare came to me. Every Friday we would make the little ones Chex Muddy Buddy Mix. It was a treat I looked forward to I'm sure more than the kids did.

The ingredients of these Peanut Butter Balls are what makes up the Chex Muddy Buddy Mix minus the Chex cereal. Three simple ingredients come together quickly to create balls of peanutty chocolatey goodness. Melt in your mouth.

This recipe comes from The Tasty Cheapskate. I am a FOLLOWER and was giddy one morning after reading the post for these Peanut Butter Balls and realizing that I have everything on hand to give these a try. Thank you for sharing such a delicious dessert recipe.

Makes 20 Balls

Stars of the Show:
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2/3 -1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-6 tbsp chocolate chips
And Action:

Put peanut butter and chocolate chips into a bowl and mix. Add the podered sugar. Start with the smaller amount and continue adding more as needed to get it to a consistency you consider firm enough. Roll into balls. I used a tablespoon to scoop each portion. Pop into mouth.

August 24, 2011

Cleaning and Exercise

(Image is from a forwarded email.)

August 23, 2011

Food Should Taste Good Giveaway Winner

First off... A big thank you to everyone of you who participated in the Food Should Taste Good chip giveaway. Not everyone can be a winner even though I wish you all could be.

Without dragging this out any longer...

Congratulations Fallon!

I will be sending you an email this morning so keep an eye out for it. You'll have until 9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 to reply and let me know which 5 flavors you'd like to try and your mailing address. If I don't hear back a new winner will be chosen and announced on Thursday, August 25, 2011.

Thanks again Fallon for being a FOLLOWER and adding my blog to your blog roll. I truly appreciate it.

August 22, 2011

Secret Recipe Club - Blueberry Muffins

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I was assigned the blog, From The Bookshelf. This is a new to me food blog and one that I am happy to have been introduced to.

I had no problem this month deciding what I was going to make. It was a toss up between Uncle Nicky's Gnocchi or Blythe Danner's Blueberry Muffins. The Blueberry Muffins won out when Sunday morning rolled around (yes, I know, big slap on the hand for being one of those Secret Recipe Club members who waits til the last minute to make and blog) and I only needed to run to the store to pick up some all-purpose flour and Itty Bitty and I were ready for breakfast.

The original recipe was out of ,My Father's Daughter, a cookbook by Gwyenth Paltrow. Because of Andrea's blog post I have now added this book to my list of must reads and will keep my eye out for it the next trip to the library.

These Blueberry Muffins were so incredibly easy to make and the flavor was outstanding. Andrea's addition of lemon zest gave these Blueberry Muffins a refreshing bite. Blueberries and lemon are a winning combination every time. They are light and fluffy and a great go to recipe.

Makes 12 Muffins

Stars of the Show:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk - I used skim milk.
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 1/2 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried - I ended up using 2 cups blueberries and mashing them.

And Action:

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray well with cooking spray.

In a large bowl whisk the cooled butter, eggs and milk until everything is incorporated. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt.

Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir everything together until the batter is smooth and creamy.

Fold in the blueberries and lemon zest.

Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full, dividing the batter evenly amongst all 12 cups. Sprinkle the muffin tops with the remaining teaspoon of sugar. Bake them for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Secret Recipe Club'
I'll be marking #1 off of my "Stir The Pot" page. 2 down, 23 to go.

Just a reminder: Don't forget to check out my giveaway for 5 bags of Food Should Taste Good chips You have until midnight on August 22, 2011 to enter. The winner will be announced the following morning. Best of luck y'all!

August 21, 2011

Voila! 10 Minute Chicken Parmesan By Birds Eye

I was given the opportunity to try out Birds Eye Voila!. We are a pasta loving household. Chicken Parmesan was recently requested and I knew exactly which bag I'd be pulling out of the freezer at my local grocery store.

Whenever I am buying a new product I'll flip the item over and read the nutritional information. The stats aren't too shabby and this is a product that I'd be happy to keep stocked in my freezer for those nights when my meal planning skills are lacking or I just don't have it in me to cook a fussy meal.

This meal couldn't be easier to put together. One skillet with a lid and 10 minutes. That's it! One recommendation I have is to stir this frequently scrapping the bottom of the pan. The sauce was beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan so I turned the heat down to medium as well.
You can make out all of the ingredients: breaded chicken, penne, roma tomatoes, and onions.
I've had my share of frozen meals and I can tell you that the flavors in this one are outstanding. I had my father visiting for the week and he got the chance to try this out with us. He exclaimed, "You can smell and taste the garlic!" You really could make out exactly what you were eating. My favorite bites were the roma tomatoes. In fact, I wish there were more bits of them.
Frozen sauce. Easy to remove from the packet.
Just a heads up... if you are making this for more than two I recommend picking up the family size or another bag because the portions are generous and each of these bags gives two and a half servings. At the grocery store a bag was $3.98 and that came to $1.99 per serving since it gave us two servings instead. Can't beat that price eating out. Give this a try. You won't be disappointed.

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a a coupon for a free Birds Eye Voila! product.All opinions are my own.

August 20, 2011

Restaurant Advertisement

I'd follow this car all the way to their restaurant. (Image is from a forwarded email.)

Just a reminder: Don't forget to check out my giveaway for 5 bags of Food Should Taste Good chips You have until midnight on August 22, 2011 to enter. The winner will be announced the following morning. Best of luck y'all! 

August 16, 2011

Kodak Quickstart Photo Book

Imagine my surprise when I opened up an email to find that I had a congratulatory message that I had been selected as a member of Foodbuzz's Tastemaker Program. I was beyond giddy! I have been selected as one of the few who to create a Quickstart Photo Book. Complete creativity has been placed in my hands as well as the ability to resize, move, rotate, and even overlay my photo images and text. Exciting! However, for me, this is very intimidating.

I am not tech savvy by any means. Why couldn't I have been selected to participate in a Foodbuzz 24x24? I can handle cooking. Anything on the laptop is about foreign to me.

Kodak's Quickstart Photo Book takes the guesswork out of the whole process. I followed the prompts on the screen and began uploading my images straight from Facebook. I began cropping and editing the images along with adding text.

So many ideas for Photo Books came to mind. Since my little man is learning to read at age 3 and he has a love for the alphabet I thought it would be nice to create an A-Z book. Since I am crunched for time at this moment I decided to create a "Through the First Years" theme. My favorite photos of my son from birth to 3 years old were chosen and quotes were added.

How cool is this? Kodak Gallery is offering my FOLLOWERS an exclusive offer to receive 40% off  a medium hardcover or a large Photo Book. This offer is only valid by clicking HERE through the dates of August 8, 2011 - August 31, 2011.

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a Kodak Quickstart Photo Book.

August 15, 2011

Maxine Cooks

My father arrived yesterday morning from Tucson, Arizona for his visit this week. I have lots of fun stuff planned and some good eats lined up. Looking forward to spending some quality time with him.

Today I am surprising him and Itty Bitty with a trip down to Galveston, Texas to go play in the Gulf. Itty Bitty has been asking to go for about two months now. I am still undecided if we'll be packing a cooler filled with yummies or if I'll let a seafood restaurant do the dirty work. As of right now, I'm willing to bet it will be the latter. 

(All images were from a forwarded email.)

Just a reminder: Don't forget to check out my giveaway for 5 bags of Food Should Taste Good chips  You have until midnight on August 22, 2011 to enter. The winner will be announced the following morning. Best of luck y'all! 

August 14, 2011

Food Should Taste Good Giveaway

Certified vegan. Certified gluten free. Certified kosher. Cholesterol free. Good source of fiber. No trans fat. No msg. Excellent source of whole grains. Low sodium. Not genetically modified. All natural. No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Now that I have your attention...

Food Should Taste Good and these chips sure do. Oh my! These chips are low sodium but have enough of a salt bite for a "salt tooth" like myself. These are sturdy chips as well that didn't break off in my dip. Perfection. Itty Bitty and I both really enjoyed sampling our bounty and are both fans of the Food Should Taste Good company now.

I bet you'd love to be able to try some, right? I knew the answer would be a "Yes!"

There are 16 flavors to try and one lucky FOLLOWER of mine will receive a pick of 5 bags of their choice. My favorites are Multigrain, Lime, Olive, The Works, and Toasted Sesame. Here's how to enter the giveaway: (Each bullet point counts for 1 entry. Leave a separate comment for each.) Please make sure you have a mailing address that is NOT a P.O. Box and don't forget to leave an email address if one is not available on Google Friend Connect.)
  • Leave a comment telling me which 5 flavors you would pick if you win.
  • Link about my giveaway on your Facebook page or tweet the giveaway. - Working on the honor system here.
  • Be or become a FOLLOWER of my blog.
  • Blog about my giveaway and link back to here. Leave me the link in the comments section.
  • Add my blog button on the sidebar of your blog.
  • Add my blog to your blogroll and leave a link to where I can find it.
Giveaway ends August 22, 2011 at midnight. I will be announcing the winner on August 23, 2011 at 5:00 a.m. Winner will be chosen randomly using a random number generator and will notified by email. Best of luck!!!

August 13, 2011

Not So Sure If I'd Eat At These Establishments... Would You?

(All images were from a forwarded email.)

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