Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Where has Liesl gone?

Sorry ... I have been sooo extremely busy over the last two months. So much is going on in my life and my blog has definitely taken the back seat. My sister is getting married in about two weeks and hopefully after that, my life will somewhat quiet down a bit and I can get back to some MAJOR BLOGGING!!! I do have lots of great recipes and I can't wait to start sharing them again! And I also can't wait to tell you all about my surprise trip to Disneyworld that the hubs planned for my birthday!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Black Bean Dip

I love dips! They are great for get togethers with friends, bridal/baby showers, parties, holidays, or just plain old lazy weekends! I really can't tell you enough how much I love dips! I am always trying out new recipes and can't seem to keep up with all the ones I have bookmarked to make! I actually made this dip several months ago, just never got around to blogging about it. This dip was fantastic! A huge hit for everyone who tried it. It had a hummus texture, but a completely different taste. I loved the kick the jalapenos and cilantro added. I served mine with Fritos, which I think is the best way to enjoy this dip, but you could serve it with your favorite type of cracker as well. Oh and just to warn you, you may want to plan on doubling this recipe, because YES it IS THAT GOOD!!!
Black Bean Dip
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
3 pickled jalapeños (about 3 T diced)
2 T lemon juice
1 t salt
1/4 c stock (chicken or veggie)
1 small red onion, diced
1 T chopped cilantro

Combine the beans, jalapeños, salt and lemon juice in the food processor. Add the stock and pulse until incorporated. Stir in diced onions and cilantro. Serve with Fritos.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cornflakes "Touch of Honey" Banana Bread

I LOVE Super Target! It's become an obsession lately! Everything just seems to taste better from Super Target. If you don't have one near you or aren't sure what one it, it is just like a regular Target only with groceries and a much bigger/better selection of products! I especially love their produce. Every time I go, it seems like I end up finding new products that I don't normally see in other grocery stores...Like these cornflakes I found on my last adventure...

I don't normally buy cereal like this (I usually eat only Fiber One Original), but when I see a new exciting cereal, I often find myself thinking that it would be great if I could bake/cook with it. Remember these bars! Man those were good! I actually think I want to try using these cornflakes on chicken. Doesn't that sound delicious!
So I bought the cereal, brought it home, opened the box and tried a handful...or two or three!!! ;o) I was so good! I immediately thought it would make a great banana bread! So I went to Kellogg's website to see if they had a recipe for banana bread, and sure enough they did. The recipe they had called for regular cornflakes, but I just used the Touch of Honey in place. I couldn't believe how good this recipe turned out. Hands down the best banana bread recipe I have tasted! I even used less sugar than the recipe called for (thinking that the cereal had enough sugar already) and it was still fantastic! It was incredibly moist and I loved the little bits of cornflakes throughout. If you are looking for a new twist on banana bread, definitely give this a try!
Cornflakes "Touch of Honey" Banana Bread
(from Kellogg's)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed, ripe bananas
2 1/2 cups Kellogg's Cornflakes Touch of Honey
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar (I used only a 1/2 cup of sugar)
2 eggs
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional - I omitted)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Set aside.
In medium mixing bowl, combine bananas and Kellogg's Cornflakes Touch of Honey cereal. Let stand 5 minutes or until cereal softens. Beat well.
In large mixing bowl, beat margarine and sugar until combined. Add eggs. Beat well. Mix in cereal mixture and nuts. Stir in flour mixture. Spread batter evenly in 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan (or use a muffin pan like I did) coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350° F about 1 hour (my muffins only took about a 1/2 hour, just keep an eye on them if you do muffins) or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap with plastic wrap.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Please Pray for Nashville

I want to take a moment, away from food, away from things not as important as this, to make you aware of something very serious that has happened to my city. On May 1, 2010 we had a horrible rain storm come through Nashville, TN. The weather continued and got worse on into May 2, 2010. We stayed under a constant threat of Tornado's, and the rain maintained steady as a terenchal downpour. On Sunday May 2nd, we all saw, as the rain just continued to pour down, that our city was in a horrible state, and in desperate need of relief from all the rain. But it kept coming and the waters continued to rise. Drowning my city, my fellow Nashvillians, people's homes and cars, changing the lives of so many. As I sit here an type this, I am getting emotional just thinking about it all. Nashville needs your help...

I took this picture Monday May 3rd, looking towards Nashville. The sun is shining, but the city is not. The Cumberland River that flows through downtown, flooded much of the city.
Most of you probably don't know what has happened, as the news coverage is very slim. No ones seems to want to take time to cover it. And we NEED them to. This is a MAJOR catastrophe, with MAJOR devastation. There was nothing that could have been done to stop this rain storm, nor could we have ever known the true aftermath that this storm was going to cause. NO ONE saw this coming.

Again, taken May 3rd looking over at LP Field (where our Tennessee Titan's play), which also suffered flooding. The area in front is 1st and 2nd avenue...all under water.

I took time yesterday (as I am out of work until further notice due to flooding) to go around and help out where I could. Fortunately, I was one of the lucky ones who survived this storm pretty much untouched. My garden was destroyed, but I will gladly take that. Yesterday, May 4th, I went to homes that lost everything. Water completely destroyed their homes, and lives as they once knew them. The second person I helped yesterday was so unfortunate. My heart just broke for them. Every time someone showed up at her doorstep, she lost it. It was a very humbling experience.

Sadly, that was one home, and only one person. There are soo many more going through the same thing that need help. I am going out again today to do what I can. One person can do so much, so if you are sitting at home reading this from the comfort of a warm safe place, please take a moment to see what is happening to my city. Say a prayer for us. If you can, make a donation to the Nashville Red Cross, all donations help ONLY Middle Tennessee. You can also donate on Hands on Nashville's website. If you are nearby, VOLUNTEER.

Looking down 2nd avenue, on May 3rd. So many businesses completely destroyed.
I also want to share an article that is "floating" around Nashville. It is a very well written article, from a Nashville Blogger, like myself...

The Cumberland River had not even crested at this point on May 3rd. Water was still continuing to rise. This is looking down 1st avenue. The green rooftops, was were our train station was.

The pictures on this site are mine. Property of Liesl's Confection Dissection. I posted them so I could share just some of the devastation with you. I will probably be taking a little break from blogging as there are bigger, more important things going on. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope that you can help in some way. If nothing else, please spread the word on what has happend to Nashville, TN. We need help so badly. Take the time to tell your loved ones you love them. Cherish what you have, because you truly never know how long you are going to have it. Like I said, no one could have prepared for this catastrophe. The damage is unbelievable and there is more to come as the water recedes.
Take care,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chess Pie Bars

I am a part of a dinner club that meets once a month. Whoever hosts the dinner for that month, picks the theme for the dinner and we each make a dish that goes along with that theme. It is so much fun! We get to eat great food and have a lot of great conversation! This month's theme happened to be Southern Hospitality...otherwise-known-as good ol' southern comfort food! We had pot roast, mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, biscuits, homemade ice cream sundaes and these highly addictive Chess Pie Bars! We even had a southern cocktail....Sweet Tea vodka and lemonade served in a mason jar!!! All the food was fantastic! I seriously think I gained 20 lbs. that night!!! haha

If you guys aren't familiar with Chess Pie, it is truly a southern delicacy. I never had it or knew what it was until I moved to the south. It is pretty much a sugary/buttery heaven in a pie crust! So incredibly rich, but so delicious! The Chess Pie Bar is a perfect take on the pie. It takes exactly like the pie, but it's a little easier to prepare. If you need a quick easy dessert recipe, this is it! People won't believe how easy it is, and how delicious it is! The only challenge...try to eat only one piece! Go on TRY!!! ;o)

Chess Pie Bars

1 package yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup softened butter
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 9x13 pan. Beat eggs. Combine eggs with cake mix and softened butter. Mix well until all ingredients are combined. (You may need to use your hands, but I usually can get away with just using a whisk.) Press cake mixture into the well greased pan. (Trick - I usually spray my hands with non-stick cooking spray that way the mixture doesn't stick to my hands!)

In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake mixture.

Bake for about 35 minutes. Cool completely and cut into squares.

Monday, April 19, 2010

S'mores Ice Cream

I LOVE ICE CREAM (as you can tell, by my most recent giveaway!)!! I was so excited when my sister told me she had an ice cream maker laying around collecting dust. I told her I had been wanting one for a very long time and she graciously offered me hers! I was so happy, although I am sure my waistline won't like all the ice cream I will be making! HA! Thanks Jennifer!!! ;o)

My next task, now that I knew I was going to have an ice cream maker any day, was to figure out what my very first flavor would be. Seriously people, that's a hard thing to decide on!! lol I mean I have soooooooooo many ice cream recipes bookmarked, and on top of that my sister sent me an ice cream cookbook! I finally decide I wanted to make S'mores Ice Cream! S'mores are one of my all time favorite treats, so I thought it would be a great thing to experiment with.
I was never a big fan of just plain chocolate ice cream (really any plain chocolate in general), so I knew I didn't want a chocolate based ice cream. Then I found this recipe! The pictures themselves did it for me...I knew right away that was going to be it!

The ice cream was SOOO delicious! It is a marshmallow ice cream with bits of graham cracker and hershey bar throughout it. The ice cream base was so creamy and smooth, I could have eaten it even without all the additions!!! I told my good friend Erin, from Erin's Food Files, that I was going to make it for a friend of ours who was having a birthday at work. She thought it was a great idea and offered to make homemade graham crackers to go with it - so we could make ice cream sandwiches!!! (See photo at the bottom, courtesy of Erin!) It was such a great idea! The ice cream sandwiches were incredible!!! Erin's homemade graham crackers went perfectly with the ice cream!

S'mores Ice Cream
(recipe from Bonnie the Baker)

1 package marshmallows
2cup milk
3cups heavy cream
2 Hershey’s Chocolate Bars
6 or so Honeymaid Graham crackers (I used the plain variety)

Place Marshmallows, cream and milk into a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mallows are melted, and the liquids blend nicely with the marshmallows. The texture will be thick and gooey. Remove from heat and let cool (I let mine cool to touch - about 10 minutes before putting into my ice cream maker), stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into ice cream maker that has been frozen according to manufacturer’s instructions, and churn for about 30-35 minutes.

While the ice cream is churning, cut chocolate into whatever size chunks you desire, I did bite size. Break graham cracker pieces into larger pieces, you want them to stay in tact so that they will freeze well, and still resemble graham cracker pieces after the freezing process is done.

After churning is completed, turn off ice cream maker, and fold in chocolate pieces and then graham cracker pieces. Be gentle when folding in the graham cracker pieces, or they will break. After folding, the ice will be somewhat soft, just place in an airtight container for a couple of hours until set. Makes about 1 Quart of ice cream. (feel free to cut the recipe in half)

To find the recipe for Erin's delicious homemade graham crackers, check out her blog post here! Last photo courtesy of Erin, of Erin's Food Files! I had to show you how cute the ice cream sandwiches looked!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spicy Sausage Dip

I am always looking for new quick go-to recipes for appetizers. The hubs is always in need of something to take to school functions and I tend to lean towards sweet treats! As much as I LOVE my sweets, I really want to start making more appetizers. It seems like those are often what are needed most at get-togethers. So when I saw this recipe pop up in my google reader, I knew I had to bookmark it and make it soon! It didn't take long to make it, and I was so glad I had! This dip was fantastic! Perfect for school functions, parties, or just a plan old lazy Sunday's catching up on the DVR!! This recipe is definitely a keeper!
Spicy Sausage Dip
(as seen on Annies Eats)
1 (16 oz.) package spicy/zesty sausage
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
Hot sauce, to taste

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the crumbled sausage until browned. Drain off any excess fat. Reduce the heat to medium and mix in the tomatoes, cream cheese, and hot sauce. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is warmed through and the ingredients are well blended. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve warm with Fritos or crackers of choice.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Thanks to everyone who entered the contest for the ice cream maker! I got a lot of great responses for flavors!

The winner is......

11 -
Valen said...
I would love to make mint chocolate chip ice cream, my favorite!

Please contact me within 48 hrs (or a new winner will be selected) at lieslsconfectiondissection@gmail.com with your shipping information.

Congratulations! Let me know how the ice cream turns out!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring is in the air...how about a giveaway!?!?

I have been so absent, please forgive me. How about a giveaway to help you forgive me! Deal!?! ;o)

Spring is now here, finally! It feels like it has taken FOREVER to get here, anyone else feel that way?? It is so nice to have the warmer temperatures and all the flowers starting to come up. Spring always brings the sense of happiness, which is definitely what I need right now. I love being able to go for walks on my lunch break and drive on my way home for work and still see daylight. Simple things like that just brighten my day even more!

How about I brighten your day now!?!?

I feel so honored to have been approached to do a cookware giveaway! CSN Stores is a great resource. They have everything your shopping heart desires - from kids beds, to fitness equipment, to furniture, to cookware...the list goes on and on. Go on check it out, I'll wait!

La de da...la de da...what's that, you are still wanting to know about the giveaway!?!? LOL I don't blame you, it's a GREAT ONE!

CSN Stores has been kind enough to sponsor a giveaway for drum roll please.....

A Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt/Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker!!!!

Cue applause now!!! ;o)

That's right you heard me, AN ICE CREAM MAKER!! I am super excited about this giveaway for many reasons: 1 - I LOVE ICE CREAM! 2 - My sister is giving me an Ice Cream maker (which I will finally get this weekend), so we can make ice cream together!! and 3 - 'Tis the season for ice cream!!! (although, is there really a season for ice cream...nah...it's year round for me!)
So here's how to enter:

1. Become a follower of my blog (if you aren't already) and let me know that you have in your comment. Also in your comment, let me know the first flavor of ice cream you would make (should you win this Ice Cream Maker). If you want, include a link - I'm always looking for new exciting flavors to try out myself! Please be sure and include your email address too, so I can contact you if you win.


The giveaway will end on April 5 at 6pm central time. A winner will be selected by Random.org, and I will notify you by email. US residents ONLY please.

***Disclaimer: I was not paid to do this giveaway, nor did I receive any compensation. I was simply contacted regarding the opportunity to provide my lovely readers with a wonderful giveaway. ***

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I am a part of a Dinner Club, where we pick a theme each month and plan our meal around that theme. This particular theme happened to be Italian. I did some research on Italian recipes, but I kept coming back to Profiteroles. I have had these several times before and loved them, but was always somewhat nervous about making them. I didn't really know what to expect, but they ended up being fairly easy to do! And of course the outcome was SOOO worth it!! These babies were D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!!!!!

(recipe adapted slightly from Tyler Florence)
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch salt
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

To make the pate a choux: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar, and salt to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, stirring to melt the butter completely. Add all the flour and baking powder at once and continue to stir until all the flour is incorporated and the dough becomes a mass that pulls away from the sides of the pot. Remove from the heat and scrape the dough into a mixing bowl. Using a standing or hand-held mixer, beat the dough on medium speed to cool it off a bit. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically. When all eggs have been incorporated, the dough should be a thick, smooth, and glossy paste.

Form 24 golf ball-size mounds on the lined baking sheet about 2-inches apart allowing room for them to spread; keep the mounds as high and round as possible. You can use a pastry bag fitted with a star tip or a large spoon, your choice. Place the pans in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. and continue to cook for 25 minutes. Do not open the oven door or remove the pans from the oven until the puffs are firm to the touch. (I kept my eye on them throughout the 25 minutes looking for that golden brown color. After 25 minutes were up I opened the oven and touched them to make sure they were firm to the touch.) The profiteroles should be golden brown and well-risen. Allow the shells to cool before filling.
**There seem to be MANY varieties of Profiteroles out there. Tyler Florence filled his with Vanilla ice cream. I didn't quite think that would be as good as a cream filling, so I went with that instead. But use whatever you want. If you want to try the ice cream, follow the instructions here. Otherwise, this is what I did:
Cream Filling:
(Liesl's recipe)
4 ounces cream cheese
2 cups milk
1 and a half (or about 5.25 ounces) packages instant french vanilla pudding mix (I use the 3.5 oz boxes, and just use half of one box.)
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and milk and beat until smooth. Add pudding mix and beat until thickened. Cool until set. (I used Wilton squeeze bottles to fill my Profiteroles, but you could try using a zip-lock bag or a small round piping tip.) Carefully pipe pudding mixture into each pastry. You want a good amount of pudding inside, but not too much. I would say it ends up being a tablespoon or so.
Chocolate Sauce:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, cut in chunks
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine the cream and butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture until bubbles appear around the sides of the pot, but do not allow the cream to boil. Mix in the chocolate and vanilla; remove from the heat and stir until the chocolate melts and the sauce is smooth. Carefully dip each cream filled pastry into chocolate sauce. Be sure to cover only one side with the chocolate sauce. Place on wax paper to let chocolate harden.
If you aren't eating these right away, place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
**Special thanks to Erin for letting me borrow her camera, since mine was in the shop getting repaired because my stupid self dropped it :o(