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Sunday, July 31, 2011

One of the best things about NJ...

...are these delicious beauties.

Hope you're enjoying your lazy Sunday morning as much as we are :)  Stay tuned this week for some great new recipes, including more fun ice cream flavors!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

On top or on the side?

Summer is all about grilling.  So, finding dishes to go along with those grilled foods is important.  Salads are great, so are grilled veggies...still, it's nice to have something in addition to those.

These mushrooms are a great side for steaks, burgers, pork...or they can be a great topping!  Plus, they couldn't be easier to make.  Less than 10 minutes in a saute pan and boom, there you have it.

If you have fresh thyme or parsley instead of rosemary, go ahead and use it.  I think oregano would work well, too.

How do you normally like yours - on top or on the side?

Sauteed Mushrooms
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
1/3 cup dry red wine

Place butter in a pan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and rosemary and cook until slightly brown, then toss in mushrooms.  Cook until soft, then add wine.  Lower heat and simmer until wine is fully reduced.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Make butter better

Ah, Jersey corn.  Such a simple pleasure.  Normally I eat it straight up, but every once in a while it's nice to add a little something "special".

This takes all of a minute to make, but your family, friends, guests, etc. will be very impressed.  And happy.  Use whatever herb or combination of herbs you have on hand!

It's also great on fish, chicken or other vegetables...or even the good ol' fashioned way - slathered on a piece of bread :)

Fresh Herb Butter
4 tablespoons butter, softened
fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Stir together all ingredients until combined.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Like it? Stuff it! (What's Baking)

My Mom makes the BEST stuffed peppers.  It's one of my favorite dishes.  They're comforting and delicious...and good for you, too!  Yum.

Since my lovely husband is not a fan of peppers, I now have to rely on other vegetables to fulfill my craving.  One of them is zucchini.  These boats are equally as delicious, and very easy to make.  Mom puts rice in her filling, but I don't always...here is a version that I like where I omit it, so it's a great low carb option.

The morning of the day I made this, I bought gouda at my local market that was on sale at a great price.   I decided to use it and it was REALLY good!   I highly recommend it.

Lindsey from Our Share of the Harvest was our What's Baking? hostess this month.  Her challenge was to bake anything you want, as long as you use a local ingredient.  Her blog is great - check it out, especially in the next few days for the rest of the participants' entries!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats
3 zucchini
1 pound ground beef
salt and pepper
garlic powder
1 cup grape tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
1 cup chopped (or shredded) Gouda cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Trim stem off zucchini and cut down the middle lengthwise.  Scoop guts out of each half, chop them and set aside.  Place zucchini halves on a foil lined baking sheet.

Season beef with salt, pepper and garlic powder and cook in a skillet over medium high heat, until brown.  Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, zucchini guts and basil.  Cook until veggies get soft.  Turn off the heat and add bread crumbs and mint, stirring to combine.

Brush zucchini with a little oil, then fill each boat with beef mixture.  Top with cheese.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until tops turn brown.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

For the lovers of all things chocolate...

When I asked my nieces what flavor ice cream they wanted me to make for them, their eyes lit up and got HUGE.  It's amazing how kids react to those two words.

They had a very brief exchange of words, covering their mouths and whispering like many tweens do, then Nina ran right over to me with a big grin.  She said, "Anything with candy in it.  We trust you, Aunt Miss."

Hmmm.  Well, if you leave it up to me, you KNOW that the candy is going to include chocolate.  And you know what?  The ice cream will, too  :)

Why did I pick Kit Kats?  I'm not sure.  I was checking out some recipes and came across the one below, and it just made me smile.  When faced with an aisle full of candy, they're probably not even coming in on my top 10 list, but I just felt like it was the right move to make for Nina and Maddie's request.

And I was right.  This was dreamy.

Kit Kat Chocolate Ice Cream
adapted from Cooking With Christen

8 ounces mini chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
Kit Kat candy bars, roughly chopped

Combine chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat until melted, making sure not to burn (stop and stir midway - length of time depends on your microwave).  Stir and set aside, and place a mesh strainer over it.

Warm milk, sugar and salt in a pot over medium heat.  Whisk egg yolks in a medium sized bowl.  Slowly mix the milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking as you go, then scrape back into the pot.

Stir over medium heat until mixture becomes thick and covers the back of a spoon.  Pour into chocolate mixture through the strainer and stir until cool.  Refrigerate for approximately 1 hour.

Place mixture in freezer bowl and churn according to manufacturer's directions.  Once finished, place in freezer-safe container and mix in Kit Kat bars.  Freeze for another 1-2 hours, if desired, before eating.

Linked to: Sweet Tooth Friday
                Sweets for a Saturday

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Recipe Swap - Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

A recipe swap involving chicken can only mean good things.  I'm always looking for new ways to prepare it since we eat so much of it.  Besides, I kind of feel like I've been in a bit of a chicken rut lately, so this came at the perfect time.

This recipe, which has been popular among other food bloggers I know, fell into my lap so it gave me the kick in the pants I needed to finally try it.  The original recipe, submitted by Melissa from Lemons & Love, suggests black beans as part of the filling, which are not Frank approved so they were omitted.  Also, the tortillas I used (which are a staple in our house) are naturally soft so they don't need to be microwaved before assembling, as suggested by Melissa.

After reviewing my pictures against others who have made these taquitos, I realize mine are fatter than most (gotta work on my rolling skills, it seems!)...it didn't matter to us because they were still delicious.  I served them with mexican rice and guacamole.  I also topped mine with sour cream and jalapenos.  Yum.

Frank really liked these, and it made enough for us to have some leftover to freeze...12 in total.  If you make them with the beans you'll end up with more because they'll bulk up the filling.

Thanks for a great recipe, Melissa!

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
adapted from Lemons & Love

8 ounces light cream cheese
1/4 cup salsa
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
small tortillas (I used low carb flour tortillas from Trader Joe's)
kosher salt
cooking spray
Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds until soft enough to stir. Add salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.  (This can be made ahead of time - just keep in fridge)

Place 2-3 tablespoons of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.  Roll it up as tight as you can.  Place seam side down on the baking sheet. 

Lay all of the taquitos on baking sheet and spread apart enough so they aren't touching. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle kosher salt on top.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

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Monday, July 25, 2011


Morning cocktails rock.

And when they involve delicious summer produce, you can almost kinda say they're good for you.

Peach Bellini
6 peaches, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 bottle prosecco wine, chilled

Blend the peaches and sugar together.  Put through a mesh strainer to separate and discard large bits.  Fill each champagne glass 1/4 of the way with puree, followed by prosecco.  Serve.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Come see what I've got cooking at...

Carrie's Sweet Life!  I'm guest posting on her blog today.  And if you haven't seen her site yet, become a follower now - she's got some great stuff in there :)

Here's a hint...

Happy Friday, everyone! :)

Linked to:  Sweet Tooth Friday
                 Sweets For A Saturday

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Holy macaroni

The truth is, Frank could eat pasta every night.  We eat it fairly often, but not nearly as much as he'd like.  Personally, I would be HAPPY to make it every night because it's so.damn.versatile.  The possibilities are endless.

Open your fridge, your freezer, your pantry, your cabinets...you'll see about 100 different things you can throw in your next pasta dish.  Well, that is, if you always keep a well stocked kitchen like I do.  Otherwise, maybe you'll see 10 or 15 things.  Either way, you've got a lot to choose from, right?  Good stuff.

So, here's another way to use your noodle :)  And tell me - what's your favorite pasta dish?

Penne with Chicken, Fresh Mozzarella & Spinach
1 pound penne
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into bite size pieces
1 bag fresh baby spinach leaves
2 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons garlic powder

Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat, then add garlic and crushed red pepper.  Add chicken and saute until cooked.  Add spinach and cook until just soft, about a minute or two.

Drain pasta and add to skillet.  Stir to combine all ingredients and lower to medium heat.  Add basil and garlic powder.

Add mozzarella, turn off heat and stir until just melted.  Serve immediately.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hey, you never know.

Lemon and pasta are far from a strange combination in this house.  We're big fans.

I never made a baked version though, and became curious while browsing The Pioneer Woman's site.  Sour cream?  Really?  It made me skeptical, but I still gave it a shot.

I was pleasantly surprised!  It was light, refreshing and best of all, VERY easy to make.  The cheese, parsley and lemon are always a big hit together, and the sour cream didn't turn me off like I thought it might.  The leftovers heated up well, too.

This is a great summer dish, and definitely one to consider when feeding a crowd.

Baked Lemon Pasta
slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

1 pound spaghetti
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large lemon, juiced and zested
2 cups light sour cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
grated pecorino romano cheese
chopped parsley
extra lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cook spaghetti until al dente.  Drain and set aside.

Melt butter and oil in a skillet over low heat.  Add garlic, then lemon juice.  Turn heat off, then add sour cream and stir to combine.  Add lemon zest and salt, and taste to adjust salt if necessary.  Pour mixture over pasta and stir, then transfer to an oven safe dish if needed.

Cover and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove cover and bake for another 8-10 minutes, making sure not to dry out pasta.  Remove from oven and add extra lemon juice, cheese and parsley.

Serves 8.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Easy like Sunday morning

It's nice to be able to wake up in the morning and pop breakfast in the oven without all the prep work.  Especially when you're having guests over.  It frees up time to enjoy your coffee, set the table, make a nice fruit salad, mix some mimosas...

A strata is great because, like a frittata or omelette, you can use whatever you have on hand and it'll work.  That's what prompted me to make an Italian strata this past weekend.  Zucchini, sausage, peppers...the combination was delicious.

Make-ahead Italian Strata
1 pound Italian sausage
8 eggs
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons basil
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 loaf french bread, cubed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
8 scallions, chopped

Spray a 9x13 pan.  Cook sausage in a skillet until brown.  Remove from skillet and chop into bite size pieces.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk and spices together.  Add bread and mix so all pieces are soaked in egg mixture.  Add sausage, 1 1/2 cups cheese, and vegetables.

Pour mixture into pan and top with remaining cheese.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  When ready to bake, uncover, and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a knife cleanly comes out of center of pan.  Let stand for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Serves 12.

Linked to: Mangia Mondays
                What's On Your Plate?
                 Fight the Flu With Breakfast

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Don't buy it...make it!

There are times when you need to buy things for the sake of convenience.  I get that.

But when you find a way to make something VERY easily that tastes SO delicious, buying premade doesn't have to happen again.

Once you make this hummus, you'll never buy the store brand crap stuff again.  And as usual, the more garlic, the better :)  Another recipe to thank my Mom for...trust me, you'll love this one!

By the way, you'll notice that there aren't measurements for some ingredients.  Just add a little at a time and taste as you go...use as much as you need to have it agree to your taste.

2 cans chick peas
5 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
juice of one large lemon
extra virgin olive oil
tahini (can substitute with sesame oil)
salt and pepper to taste

Put everything except the oils in a food processor.  Start mixing, then begin pouring in the olive oil.  Pour in slowly until it reaches a creamy consistency.  

Add a few tablespoons of tahini.  Keep tasting until it's to your liking.  Add salt and pepper.  Keep tasting and adjust the lemon, oil, or whatever else is necessary. 

Linked to: Mangia Mondays

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daring Cooks: Homemade Pasta

It's been a while since I made homemade pasta. Good thing I have Daring Cooks to keep me in check.

Our hostess Steph gave us this video to follow along as a guideline. My shape of choice was pappardelle. I used the recipe she provided as well (see below)...it's s great basic pasta recipe.

Along with my marinara and meatballs, this meal was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Mangia! And thanks to Daring Cooks for yet again another fun challenge.

Homemade Pappardelle
2 cups AP flour
3 large eggs, beaten
water, as needed

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.
Push the flour out of the very center of the bowl, to make a 'well'. Pour the beaten egg into the 'well'.
Slowly incorporate the flour into the egg by mixing a small amount of flour into the "well" at a time and mixing until incorporated. Start by mixing in flour around the perimeter of the egg, and gradually widening the mixing to include more and more flour. Mix until all of the egg is mixed into the flour.

At this stage, use your hands to try to form a rough ball. If the dough is too dry, add a few drops of water and incorporate. Be careful to not add too much liquid – it's better to slowly add water as needed, as opposed to trying to add more flour to a sticky dough. My trick is to wet my fingers, instead of pouring water directly into the dough. This ensures a minimal amount of water is added, and is more evenly distributed.
Knead the dough for a few minutes, until it is smooth.
Roll the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rest. It should be allowed to rest for at least 15 minutes, at most 2 hours. Take this time to set up your pasta roller, and/or to prepare the sauce.
Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Take one piece to start, and put the remaining back into the plastic wrap so that they don't dry out.

Form the piece of dough into a ball, and then flatten using the palm of your hand.
If using pasta rollers: Run this through the pasta roller at its widest setting
If using a rolling pin: Use a rolling pin to create a thin elongated oval.
Place the dough horizontally on your work surface, and fold the long ends into the center, so that they meet. Press down on the edges to seal them. At this stage, you should have a rectangular shape.
If using pasta rollers: Run the dough through the pasta roller, open-side first, again at the widest setting
If using a rolling pin: Roll into a long, thin rectangle. Carefully flip the thin dough over, and dust with flour on both sides. Skip to step #15.

Repeat steps 9 and 10
Now run the dough through the roller two more times, again on the widest setting, without folding first. This will help to make the dough very smooth and elastic, for stretching.
Now stretch the dough by running through the rollers, each time switching to a narrower setting. After the final setting, you should be able to see the outline of your hand through the dough.

If using pasta rollers: Run the stretched dough through the fettuccine-sized cutters. Gently lay or hang your freshly cut pasta, and cover with a clean cloth so that it doesn't dry out while you roll and cut the rest of your dough.
OR, If using a rolling pin: Carefully roll the dough up (like rolling up a yoga mat). Choose how wide your noodle will be, and using a very sharp knife, cut through the rolled up dough. Unroll the noodles as you go, to prevent sticking.

Repeat steps 8-15 for the remaining dough.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, gently drop in the freshly cut pasta, and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain and toss with sauce and enjoy immediately!

Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for Spatzle and fresh egg pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

King of the Sea

Ah, summer. As someone famous once said, "cause down the shore, everything's alright..." (bonus points if you can name that someone and aren't from NJ and/or related to me)

Treat yourself today. And don't be intimidated. Just boil 10 minutes for the first pound, and 3 minutes for each pound thereafter. Then you too can enjoy the luxuries of summertime, right in your own home.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A little help from Mother Nature

It's hot. Really, really HOT. There comes a point in the summertime when I've maxed out my patience for heat and humidity, and I'm thinking I may have already reached it this year.

Then I remember that I have an extremely active 2 1/2 year old and can't exactly veg out in the air conditioning all day, every day. But I can when it's naptime :)

Here's yesterday's naptime project - a great way to take advantage of the blazing sun while you're resting comfortably on your couch. Then when it's finished, take it outside with you to help cool you off.

Sun Tea
9 tea bags
One gallon of water
Fresh mint leaves

Place tea bags in a gallon size container, then add water. Loosely cover jug and place in the sun for about 3-4 hours. Pour over ice and add mint. Store in refrigerator.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Corn, corn, everywhere...

Jersey corn rocks. Right now, it's everywhere...and it's delicious. Which is why sometimes you may get a little carried away when you're cooking it.

So, the next time you find yourself up to your ears in corn, make this salad.

Fresh Corn & Green Bean Salad
3 ears cooked corn, kernels removed
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed, cooked al dente
2 large spring onions, chopped
5 red potatoes, cooked and peeled, roughly chopped
3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all vegetables in a large bowl. Toss with oil and vinegar, then season to taste. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate to serve cold.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer smoothie

Just popping in real fast while enjoying some time down at our shore house. Check out what we had for breakfast this morning - a great way to use up some yummy Jersey peaches!

And I apologize in advance if this post looks weird or different from the rest - this is my first time using a new app for my iPad that (hopefully!) will allow me to post.

Peach Smoothies
2 peaches
1 banana
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

A yummy reminder

Don't forget this deliciousness if you're grilling steak tomorrow (or anytime this summer, for that matter):

Enjoy your weekend! :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Is it possible...

...for an ice cream maker to blow up due to overuse?  Because if it is, I better watch it.  I'm on a tear, people.

Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 large cinnamon buns, cut into small pieces

Whisk the first 4 ingredients together in a bowl, then stir in cinnamon.  Pour into prepared freezer bowl and churn according to manufacturer's directions.

When finished, transfer ice cream to freezer container and add cinnamon bun pieces.  Stir to combine.  Eat immediately or freeze for 1-2 hours first.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pizza in a pinch

Pesto is one of our favorite pizza toppings.  I've yet to make my own this year, but I plan on doing so very soon and will share my recipe with you at that time.  Until then, I found a great alternative at Costco...their prepared pesto is delicious and great to use when you need something fast.  Try it out!

Here's a nice summery pizza to enjoy, even on days that are hotter than ever.  I love the combination of mozzarella and gorgonzola...the two blend so nicely together.  Top it with fresh basil from the garden and you're good to go.  Enjoy!

Chicken Pesto Pizza
pizza crust (homemade, ready made...whatever works best for you)
3 grilled chicken breasts, chopped (mine were marinated in oil and herbs before cooking)
pesto (enough to cover the surface)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, sliced
shredded mozzarella cheese (as much as you like)
crumbled gorgonzola cheese (again, as much as you like)
1 cup chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Cover baking sheet with foil, then place crust on top.  Spread pesto over entire surface of crust, followed by chicken, then the remaining toppings.  Finish off with basil.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is cooked and cheese has melted.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mexico on a bun

It's no surprise to any of my regular readers that I love two things...

spicy food

Let's combine the two, shall we?

In my quest for expanding our "burger portfolio" this grilling season, I've been making new creations based on what's in my fridge (my typical MO).  These were goooood...

Salsa or pico de gallo would be a nice addition to this burger, although it really isn't necessary...the juiciness of the burger and the creaminess of the avocado were good enough for us.


Spicy Mexican Burgers 
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 slices Pepperjack cheese
sliced red onion
jalapeno peppers
sliced avocado
4 hamburger rolls

Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl without overmixing.  Form into 4 patties.  Place patties on grill and cook to your liking.  Place on rolls and top with remaining ingredients.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July themed recipe swap...S'mores for everyone!

How was your holiday weekend?  Ours was nice, although the weather didn't really cooperate on Sunday.  My cousin rescheduled her BBQ for Monday so I had an extra day to make the dessert I planned on bringing...then thought, maybe I can make it ahead so I'm not rushing around in the morning?  Hmmm...better ask Elisha from DeLish, whose recipe I was fortunate enough to get in our latest swap.

Elisha was making her delicious S'mores Bars for a party the next day as well, and assured me they'd be fine.  She's been making this recipe since she was in high school, so I naturally took her word for it.  I made one pan and adapted it just a bit...instead of using chocolate chips on top, I used mini Hershey chocolate bars that I had.

Then I took it one step further and made a "flag" out of the bars.  And yes, you'll have to tilt your head to the right to see what I'm talking about since, for the life of me, I can't get this picture to rotate!  (ugh, I need my other laptop back)

That's about as patriotic as I got with my food this weekend.

As soon as these bars hit the serving table, they were GONE.  All the kids were yelling at their moms to get the recipe from me.  People were taking seconds.  I absolutely should have made another pan...

One word - delish :)  Thanks again, Lishie...these were a huge hit!

S'mores Bars
slightly adapted from DeLish

1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup), at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups crushed graham crackers
1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
approximately 25 Hershey miniature milk chocolate bars
3 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 pan with butter or cooking spray (you can also use two 8x8 pans).

Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.  In another bowl, mix graham crackers, flour and salt.  Stir the graham cracker mixture into the wet mixture until it's combined (it will be crumbly and clumpy).

Press around half of the mixture on the bottom of the pan, then top with chocolate chips, followed by 3 cups of the marshmallows.  Crumble the rest of the graham cracker mixture evenly on top, then lay the chocolate bars over it, followed by the remaining marshmallows.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until brown.

Linked to: S'mores Roundup

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Sunday, July 3, 2011


I hope the weather by you today is better than it is here...we're getting pounded with a ton of rain :(  Not what you want to see during the weekend, especially a long holiday one with lots of outdoor fun planned!

So, if you're fortunate enough to be heading out for fun in the sun, and still don't know what to bring, or if you're hosting and still deciding what to serve - here are some ideas.  Hope you're enjoying your Fourth of July celebrations!

Salmon Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Mediterranean Layer Dip

Cheddar Sliders with Cajun Caramelized Onions

Grilled Sweet Chili Chicken

Dad's Sicilian Summer Pasta

Mom's Famous Potato Salad

Key Lime Cupcakes

Cookies-n-Cream Ice Cream

Walter 45


Friday, July 1, 2011

Freezing your fix

Coffee fans - where are you?  I know you're out there.  And chocolate fans, you too...

Here's heaven in frozen form for you.  Make it this weekend - you'll be thanking me afterwards.

Is it obvious that I've been loving my ice cream maker?

Mocha Chip Ice Cream
from Cuisinart

1 cup whole milk, chilled
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons instant espresso
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a bowl, whisk together milk, sugar, espresso and cocoa until dissolved.  Stir in heavy cream and vanilla.

Pour mixture into ice cream maker bowl and mix until thick, about 25-30 minutes.  About 5 minutes before mixing is complete, add chocolate chips.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the freezer until firm (about 2 hours).

Linked to:  Sweet Tooth Friday

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