September 28, 2011

Crazy Blonde Brownies

My favorite dessert is brownies. They are my Achilles Heel. A couple years ago I use to be able to eat an entire pan without shame or guilt. Lucky for my waistline and thighs I can stop after one and feel satisfied.

This recipe for these Crazy Blonde Brownies comes from the folks at King Arthur Flour. I have read numerous food blogs that have tried out recipes or products and all have received rave reviews. One review going as far as stating, "It's from King Arthur Flour so I already know it's going to be a winner." With reviews about their recipes like this I was convinced I had a winning recipe on my hands.

After giving these Crazy Blonde Brownies a try I am now a loyal supporter of all things King Arthur Flour. These brownies are rich, moist, chocolatey, and have an amazing bite from the toasty walnuts. A brownie worthy of sinking your teeth into. I can't wait for a brownie craving to hit again so I can make these again.
Makes about 2 dozen 2 inch squares

Stars of the Show:
  • 1/2 cup butter or vegetable shortening - I used butter.
  • 2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All- Purpose Flour - I used all White Whole Wheat Flour.
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch, cinnamon, caramel, macadamia, or chips of your choice - I used chocolate chips since it's what I had on hand.
  • 1 cup diced pecans or walnuts - I used walnuts.
And Action:

Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan and preheat your oven to 350°F. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the brown sugar, and stir until the mixture is smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat, pour the butter-sugar mixture into a medium-sized bowl, and allow it to cool to lukewarm. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt.

Whisk the flours and baking powder together, then add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture, stirring to combine. Finally, fold in the chips and nuts.

Spread the mixture evenly in the pan, and bake the brownies for 30 to 35 minutes, until they're light brown on the edges and top.

    September 27, 2011

    How A Bowl Should Be Licked

    (All images were from a forwarded email.)

    September 26, 2011

    Pinterest #9

    Teacher Appreciation Week Gift Idea from Lisa Storms

    S'mores Christmas Party Favors from Home Stories A 2 Z

    My Kind of Conference Room from ...I Hope Not Sporadically on Tumblr

    Autumnal Palette from Design Seeds

    Autumn Harvest Baby Girl Booties with Pumpkins from FiestaKidsBoutique on Etsy

    Wedding Cake from Project Wedding

    Pull-Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread from Sunny Side Up In San Diego

    Wood Sign from WoodDesigner on Etsy

    "Vintage" Milk Bottles from Celebrations At Home

    Juice Box Mummies from Simply Creative Insanity

    Parts Of A Paragraph from Teach This

    Felt Food Patterns from oh! crafts

    Recycling Idea from Topp

    Can Cooler by Sagaform from Wantist

    Gerbera Daisy Wedding Cake from Flower Arrangement Advisor

    First Date Must Have? Maybe. Wine Sack. from Uncommon Goods

    Cooking Spray As A Manicure Setter from Real Simple

    September 25, 2011

    Beef Enchiladas

    We are a family that loves Mexican food. Craves Mexican food more like it . It's not something I make. There are many restaurants nearby for when those cravings hit. However, when we go out to eat the bill is easily $50 for an appetizer, two entrees, and a kids meal with drinks. Not friendly on the budget at all.

    Why did I decide to finally make Beef Enchiladas? I needed to make my September Secret Recipe Club entry. The recipe I selected was Sopapillas. A classic Mexican dessert. Needing a dinner idea Beef Enchiladas with chili sauce it was.

    After searching the Internet I found just the recipe that would suit everyone's tastes. Evil Shenanigans had the perfect recipe. These Beef Enchiladas will now make it's way into the dinner rotation. This dinner is simple to put together and makes a lot which is perfect for a couple night's worth of dinner. Leftovers to the rescue for those nights you don't have the energy to cook.

    Makes 12 enchiladas

    Stars of the Show for the Beef Filling:
    • 1 pound lean ground beef
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 yellow onion, diced - I used 1/2 tbsp onion powder.
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp coriander - Omitted this since the grocery store was all out.
    • 2 tap smoked paprika
    • 1 can tomatoes with green chiles, drained
    • 1 cup chili con carne - Check out the homemade version. I cheated and used canned.
    • salt and pepper
    And Action:

    In a large skillet heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.  Once heated add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

    Add the tomatoes with green chiles, cumin, coriander, and paprika. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

    Add the ground beef and cook until well browned. Season with salt and pepper then add the chili con carne. Cook for 5 minutes.

    Stars of the Show for Assembling the Enchiladas:
    • 12 corn tortillas - I used flour tortillas. My corn tortillas kept ripping. Frustrated I turned to flour. Tasted fantastic to us.
    • 6 cups chili con carne
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese - I used a Mexican four cheese blend.
    • beef enchilada filling, recipe above
    And Action:

    Heat oven to 400 degrees and spray a large deep pan with cooking spray.

    Heat the chili con carne in a heavy pot until it simmers. Reduce the heat to low and cover. (I skipped this step since I was using canned. It was room temperature and I knew the oven would do the work of heating it up.)

    Wrap the tortillas in a towel and microwave for 30 seconds, then flip them over and microwave for 20 seconds more. You want them warm, but not steamy hot.

    Pour 1/2 cup of the chili into the prepared dish.

    Dip each heated tortilla in the chili, then fill with the beef mixture. Roll the tortillas into a tube shape and place in the dish. (I also skipped the step of dipping the tortillas in the chili. I figured they'd get covered with the remaining chili con carne and they did. Worked perfectly.)

    Pour over the remaining chili con carne and top with the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

    September 24, 2011

    Homemade Barbecue Sauce

    It excites me that food bloggers allow others to have a peek into their kitchens and have the opportunity to try their tried and true recipes. Laurie from the blog, Simply Scratch, just shared a secret with all of us readers. She worked her magic in the kitchen and recreated Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce. She's kept this one to herself for a while.

    I have never had that barbecue sauce before. I've heard rave reviews of it. Why would I even need to try it out now?

    Itty Bitty requests barbecue sauce on everything and is his condiment of choice. He approved of this barbecue sauce and enjoyed it on baked chicken drumsticks basted with it. 

    I made the full batch and froze half of it to enjoy another night. This is a great no cook barbecue sauce recipe that is quick and easy to prepare.

    Makes about 4 cups

    Stars of the Show:
    • 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
    • 1 1/4 cup ketchup
    • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 1/2 tsp ground mustard
    • 2 tsp paprika
    • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    And Action:

    In a large bowl whisk all ingredients until the sugar has dissolved and the spices are thoroughly distributed. Serve immediately or cover and store in the fridge or freeze.


    September 22, 2011

    Macaroni and Cheese Push Pop

    (Image is from a forwarded email.)

    September 21, 2011

    Perfectly Timed Photos

    September 20, 2011

    Epic Fails

    September 19, 2011

    Secret Recipe Club - Sopapillas

    This month's Secret Recipe Club blog assignment was, Miz Helen's Country Cottage. This blog was new to me and I am glad that I was assigned to this one. Southern cuisine has become an interest of mine since I moved here to Texas 4 years ago.

    Helen has been cooking out of the cookbook, The Homesick Texan. I have drooled over her Dallas Gas Station Pork Tacos, Austin Style Black Beans, and the Sopapillas.

    The decision for what I wanted to make wasn't a hard one for me. After having dinner with a close friend one night out at a favorite Mexican restaurant and being too stuffed for dessert I went home without having any. Sopapillas are a classic Mexican dessert and one that tempts me every time I go out to eat.

    I thought about Sopapillas and when Helen had posted her recipe I knew that the decision had been made for me.

    Working with yeast is no longer a fear for me. I don't fear frying anymore either. What could possibly go wrong?

    First of all, I ran out of flour, took a suggestion to let the dough rise in a way that was never done before (on the stove after the oven had been on at a very high heat) which caused my dough to cook on the bottom, cutting the dough into triangles, and then not using enough oil to allow them to puff.

    How did this project turn out?

    Amazing!!! The mix of all-purpose / whole wheat flour was a good balance making me believe I was making a healthier treat. Haha! The dough that had been cooked was easily separated from the soft stuff and discarded. Come to find out triangles and squares taste the same. Haha! Although they didn't puff like a Sopapillas should the texture was like a doughnut instead. Sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and drizzles with honey they were a fantastic dessert.

    Itty Bitty and I enjoyed this recipe and will be making this again. Yummy!

    Secret Recipe Club'

    If you want to get in on the fun with this group head over to the Secret Recipe Club website and join.

    Makes about 24

    Stars of the Show:
    • 1 packet of yeast
    • 1 1/2 cups warm water
    • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading - I used 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour.
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
    • vegetable oil , for frying
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (for the topping)
    • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (for the topping)
    • honey to taste
    And Action:

    Mix the yeast with the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes, Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar, and salt, Add the melted butter to the yeast and then slowly stir the liquid into the flour mixture. Mix until well combined. Knead the dough for 3 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise in a greased bowl for 1 hour, or until dough is doubled in size.

    After dough has risen, punch it down on a floured surface; then roll it out into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut out 3 inch squares and then cut squares on the diagonal into triangles.

    Heat 3 inches of oil in a large pot or Dutch oven to 350 degrees. Fry two triangles of dough at a time in the oil for1 minute on each side. The dough should puff when it hits the oil. Drain the sopapillas on a paper towel, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Serve hot with honey.

    September 16, 2011

    Very Good Recipes - Page 48 Shout Outs

    For those of you who may not know this already there is a website, Very Good Recipes, that has compiled a list of food blogs. I forget about this website until I check my blog stats and see that it has directed traffic to my blog. I like to check it out and see how many recommendations my blog has and where I fall on the list. Page 48. Movin' on up!

    Here are some other Page 48ers:

    4703. Quick n Easy Recipes - More photos please! Love me some good food porn.

    4704. Curly Girl Kitchen - Crave worthy photography especially this "Great Balls of Fire" aka Spicy Meatball Marinara Sub. I would love this for lunch right now.

    4708. Little Kitchen on the Prairie - Apple Galette for dessert.

    4712. Deanna's Corner Cooking - The recipe title drew me in but the concept won me over, Walking Tacos.

    4713. The Art of Baking - One of my all time favorite desserts, Fresh Peach Cobbler.

    4728. The Country Cook - Brandie's blog is one that I am a FOLLOWER of. I can't get enough of the yummies that come out of her kitchen.

    4733. My Cookingdom - Perfect little tea sandwiches.

    4742. Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray - A slice of this Peanut Butter Bread sounds so delicious for a breakfast treat.

    4755. San's Kitchen - Strawberry Scones look amazing.

    4761. Veggie by Season - Just what I need to make for Fall, Pumpkin Bread.

    4772. Cook Bake & Decorate - Perfect for when the temperature starts to cool off here in Houston, Pumpkin Crumble Bars.

    4784. Once Upon a Plate The Recipes - Potato Cakes with Jarlsberg Cheese and Rough Mustard Vinaigrette. I can only imagine how wonderful the flavors of this dish are. Looks sophisticated.

    4794. Recipe Junction - This Mung Dal cooked with Bitter Gourd is a bowl packed with flavors I have never had before but would love to try sometime.

    4799. The Wandering Cook - I would love a slice of this Veggie and Mozzarella Pie.

    September 15, 2011

    Pinterest #8

    Handmade Harry Potter Apron by Bakingdom

    Maui Onion Dip from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary 

    Know Your Coffees Print on Etsy by blimpcat

    Halloween Decor on My Delicious Ambiguity

    White Background Colorful Kids - Ideas for High Key Studio Photography by Digital Photography School

    Halloween Goodies by The Whatley Wild Days

    Another Autocorrect from FU, Auto Correct!

    Red Dunk Mug on Wanelo

    Rainbow Rice and Garden Sensory Play from Share and Remember

    Apothic Red from Apothic

    Basketball Cupcakes from Disney Family Fun

    Storage Solutions from Country Home

    Table with Wine Chiller from The Style Files

    Table Setting on House of Turquoise

    Cry For Help E-Card from Your E-Cards

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