Friday, August 28, 2009

S'mores Brownies

I saw these brownies over on Real Mom Kitchen last month and haven't been able to stop thinking about them since. I decided to whip them up to take to some co-workers to say "thank you." I wanted something quick & easy but that looked impressive and was delicious. These definitely fit the bill.

S'mores Brownies

1 pkg. brownie mix (for 9 x 13 pan)
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme
8 fun-size Hershey's milk chocolate bars (1 pkg.), coarsely chopped
5 graham crackers, coarsely chopped

1. Prepare brownies according to directions on package for cake-like brownies. Bake in 9 x 13 pan. Cool 5 - 10 minutes.
2. Spoon marshmallow creme over warm brownies. Let sit for 2 - 3 minutes and spread evenly over top of brownies. Sprinkle with chocolate and graham crackers. Cool completely and cut into 24 bars.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Peanut Butter Fingers


A perfect back-to-school snack. Did you ever have these with your school lunches? I think it's the only way the school ever got people to eat lunch on fish stick day. It worked for me! These are super quick and easy and delicious. Every time I make them they literally fly off the plate. Enjoy! And make sure you have a nice tall glass of milk on hand, and plenty of people to share these with because they are addictive!


Peanut Butter Fingers

Bars
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Frosting
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
dash salt
2 - 3 Tb. water
3 - 4 cups powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray jelly-roll pan (half sheet, 13 x 18 inches) with cooking spray.
2. In bowl of large electric mixer cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add dry ingredients and mix on low just until all ingredients are incorporated, 1 - 2 minutes.
3. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes, until very light golden brown (it will still look doughy, but you don't want to overcook or they will be dry). Cool completely.
4. In medium bowl, melt butter and chocolate chips in microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring every 20 seconds. Stir until completely melted. Add remaining frosting ingredients, adjusting water and powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Spread evenly over bars and cut into squares to serve. Serves 35 - 48.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Red Curry Roasted Salmon with Green Beans and Red Peppers


Red Curry Roasted Salmon with Green Beans and Red Peppers
Serves 4

Ingredients-
4 6oz salmon fillets
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
8 oz fresh green beans, trimmed
1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise (the polar direction) into strips
1 small onion, cut lengthwise (polar direction) into strips

1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, sliced very thin (aka chiffonaded)
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, sliced very thin (use Thai basil if you can get it)

Directions-
1- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a very large, heavy, rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
2- In a small bowl mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the lime juice and curry paste until it is a thick liquidy consistency.
3- Place the salmon fillets on one side of the baking sheet, coat them with the curry mixture.
4- Toss the green beans, red peppers and onions in a medium bowl with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil until they are well coated. Put them on the other side of the baking sheet. Sprinkle them with salt.
5- Put the baking sheet in the oven and let it roast until the salmon is just opaque in the center and the vegetables are a little tender. Should take about 12-14 minutes.
6- Plate the fish. Toss the vegetables with the pan juices, the mint and basil and serve alongside. I think it's especially tasty with coconut rice, but go wild and crazy with it. Garnish with lime wedges, and a bit of cilantro.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken and Pineapple Skewers


Really, there are no words to describe these. I made them for dinner last night and they were incredible. All day at work today I could not stop thinking about them. The minute I walked in the door my husband had the leftovers warmed up and we devoured them in less than two minutes. This is one of the most delicious dinners I've ever made. And they'll definitely be made again very soon. Like tomorrow.

This recipe combines my two favorite things from the Brazilian restaurant Tucanos: bacon-wrapped turkey (I substituted chicken) and grilled pineapple. The brown sugar glaze caramelizes on the bacon and pineapple and the smoky flavor from the grill puts this over the top. Make this. Soon. You won't regret it.


Bacon-Wrapped Chicken and Pineapple Skewers

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 - 2/3 lb. smoked bacon, cut into thirds (I like to use the pre-cooked bacon, 10-12 slices)
1 fresh pineapple, cut into 1-inch chunks
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
bamboo skewers

1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Soak bamboo skewers in water. Arrange work area with chicken, bacon, and pineapple. Mix brown sugar and water in small bowl and set aside.
2. Wrap one slice of bacon around one cube of chicken. Place on bamboo skewer. Alternate with pineapple chunks. Repeat until there are 3 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces of pineapple on each skewer. Repeat with remaining chicken.
3. Baste skewers with brown sugar mixture. Grill skewers for 7 - 10 minutes on each side, until bacon is crispy and chicken is cooked through, basting occasionally.
4. Serve with rice and stir fry veggies or salad.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Light Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I needed to make a treat to take to our neighbors today, and I wanted something light and fruity for a summery treat. I adapted this recipe from one I found in an old Kraft Food & Family Magazine from last year. These are seriously delicious, and addicting. Perfect for us since both Corey & I love anything lemony. Plus, did I mention that they're super quick & easy. That's always an added bonus.


Light Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 pkg. white cake mix
1 pkg (4-serving size) sugar free lemon pudding
1 1/4 cups water
3 large eggs
2 Tb. oil
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tb. granulated sugar
lemon zest and/or fresh raspberries (optional, for garnish)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In bowl of electric mixer, beat cake mix, dry pudding mix, water, oil, and eggs on medium speed for 2 - 3 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Batter will be very thick. Divide evenly among prepared muffin cups.
3. Bake for 16 - 20 minutes, or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Cool completely.
4. Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes).
5. Whip heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and granulated sugar until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes). Gently fold into frosting.
6. Frost cupcakes with prepared frosting. Garnish with lemon zest or fresh raspberries, if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 24 hours.
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