Monday, January 26, 2009

A different Apple Crisp

I blame this post on my Schwan's man...yet again!! haha You see last fall Schwan's came out with their seasonal ice cream flavors and we made our husband managed to get his say on the order and marked down 1 cinnamon ice cream! I had planned on pulling it out at Thanksgiving, but completely forgot about it...that is until this weekend when I was going through my deep freezer and saw the beauty laying, rather abandoned, on the bottom of my freezer! I had completely forgotten about it!!! So I pulled it out and took it into my husband and told him we needed to open it for two reasons: #1 TO GET RID OF IT!!! (we don't need sweets like ice cream laying around at my disposal!) and #2 It was going to go bad and I HATE throwing anything away! Seriously, I really do. I will eat on leftovers a whole week just to not throw something away; I just hate being wasteful.

So my husband suggested I make Apple Crisp. We had everything for it and so I thought sure, why not, it isn't too unhealthy - right?! I knew I had saved some recipes for Apple Crisp, so I pulled out one from Taste of Home and one from my Joy of Cooking Cookbook, and put this together. It was a layered Apple Crisp (with the topping being the layers in between the apples) and it was pretty good, but I think next time I would leave the topping off the bottom so that there would be more juicy apple deliciousness. With the layer of topping on the bottom, it just soaked up all the juice. I did however like the flavor the apple cider gave it! It was perfect with the cinnamon ice cream too!!
Layered Apple Crisp
(adapted from Joy of Cooking and Taste of Home)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup cold butter
6 apples thinly sliced and peeled (I used tart and sweet apples)
1 cup apple cider, divided
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon nutmeg and cloves; cut in butter until crumbly. Press half of the mixture into a greased 8 x 8in baking dish. Layer with half of the apples and 1 cup oat mixture. Repeat layers. Pour 1/2 cup cider over top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes. Drizzle with remaining cider; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until apples are tender. Serve warm with ice cream.
**I would definitely make this recipe again, however I think I would lessen the amount of the topping and leave it off the bottom.**

Wild Mushroom Risotto...YUM!

I went to London last March and stumbled across this amazing restaurant! Whenever I travel I always like to search for the "off the beaten path" places to eat. So during my research last year, I made it a point to find some different places...really culturalize my palette...and that is when I found Ooze! Check out their website and was amazing! A restaurant specifically dedicated to EVERYTHING (and I mean EVERYTHING) Risotto!!! I hadn't really spent a lot of my time with Risotto before my trip to London just because it is so time consuming. I knew after eating at Ooze, that I had found something that was truly an amazing food! So many combinations and yet, always delicious.

I have yet to have a Risotto dish I dislike! Since my return home, I have tried many different styles, but never really cooked it myself. When I was at Ooze I actually had their version of a mushroom risotto, and I knew I wanted to try to make it myself. It was unbelievable! Well it has taken me this long, but I finally did it!! And I couldn't believe how similar it really was to the dish I had over in London! My friend gave me the recipe which she got out of a favorite cookbook of hers...The Bride and Groom First and Forever Cookbook.

Wild Mushroom Risotto
3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion diced
4 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, cleaned and diced
4 ounces agaricus mushrooms (aka white button mushrooms), cleaned and diced
**I bought two 8 ounce packages of both mushrooms and just used half of each, you could sub for your favorite mushroom**
4 garlic cloves minced (we like garlic so I added more, you could always do less)
3/4 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
dash of dried thyme
1 tablespoon butter
kosher salt and fresh gound pepper
Bring the stock to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and keep the stock hot.
Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and slightly brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. (I added a little salt and pepper at this part of the risotto just to allow the rice to have more flavor) Add the rice and stir well, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed, about 2-3 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of the hot stock, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until the stock is absorbed. Add the remaining hot stock 3/4 cup at a time, stirring frequently and allowing each addition to be fully absorbed before adding more, until the rice is just tender and the risotto is creamy. This takes about 30 minutes.
Stir in the 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, dash of dried thyme, and butter. If the rice appears dry, add up to 1/4 cup water to loosen the risotto slightly. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
Divide the risotto between two large bowl and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese.
I couldn't believe how good this really was!! And I was even more amazed at how much it tasted like what I had in London. So creamy with such a good mushroom flavor! If you haven't tried risotto ... YOU MUST!!! It is so good, I promise you this food does not disappoint!!

Blog Awards!

I was recently given my first awards from Stephanie of Macaroni and Cheesecake! The lemonade one for being a refreshing blog and the other for just being fabulous!! Thanks Stephanie! I feel so honored!

I am passing these awards along to:
Dani of Sweet Treats
Here are the rules…
- Add the logo in your blog.
- Add a link to the person who gave you the award.
- Nominate other (refreshing…like lemonade and fabulous) blogs of your choice.
- Don’t forget to add links to those blogs in yours.
- Also leave a message for your nominees in their blogs, informing them about the award.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gone Banana's!

So I was at work one day, minding my own business, when a friend walked in a told me about this discovery she had made in the grocery store...Yes folks, that is a box of Banana Nut Cheerios!! Aka, my weakness in a box!!! There are only two things in the world (food wise at least) that make me go crazy...peanut butter and banana! When she told me about these I knew I didn't even have to buy the Cheerios to know I would fall in love!! So, I got to thinking, and decided I would try to make a dessert bar out of these little treasures! I have attempted Cheerio bars in the past and they were always a huge hit, so I thought, why not try to make it with these Banana Nut Cheerios maybe add some things...and then it hit me...CHOCOLATE COVERED BANANAS!!!! Ah yes, the infamous chocolate covered banana!!! Who doesn't love this dessert!! And come on, you even get a serving of fruit!!! Ok maybe not in my take on it, but hey there's fiber!! So I went home, with my ideas stored away, hit the grocery store and came up with this amazing treat!!
Chocolate Covered Banana Dessert Bars
(from the kitchen of Liesl)

4 tablespoons butter
5 1/2 cups marshmallows
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon banana extract
6 cups Banana Nut Cheerios
11.5 ounce bag of Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips
2 ounces of chopped pecans

Spray a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with non stick cooking spray. In a deep non-stick soup pan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows and combine with butter until melted completely. Remember to stir, you don't want the marshmallows to burn. While stirring add the vanilla and banana extract. Turn off heat and add the Banana Nut Cheerios one cup at a time, until all combined. Immediately transfer Cheerios mixture into your greased baking dish. To spread the bars I always use a zip lock baggie sprayed with non stick cooking spray and press the bars down. This works well, because the cheerios don't stick to you as you spread them out.
Using a double boiler (or you can melt chocolate in microwave using a microwave safe bowl), melt the entire bag of Ghirardelli Chocolate. Remember to stir the chocolate too...chocolate can easily burn! Once melted add a couple spoonfuls of the chopped pecans and stir to combine. Spread melted chocolate over the cheerio bars. Sprinkle remaining chopped pecans on top. Let cool until the chocolate is set. Enjoy!!These bars were absolutely heavenly. I actually brought some into work so that my friend could take some good pictures of them. My camera just wouldn't do these bars the justice they deserve! So yes, there are a lot of pictures of these bars, but come on...look at them!!!
I asked my husband last night what he would rate the bars if he had to (between 1 and 10) and he said 8! FREAKING 8!!! LOL I asked him why an 8 to which he responded "It's just a cereal bar honey, not like a cake or anything!" HAHA Seriously he doesn't know his desserts! This bar was so delicious and I hope you give it a try, I would love to hear your feedback!
***Photography by Kristen Wiltse

Friday, January 16, 2009

A "not so healthy" treat!

Yes I know what you are thinking...all this healthy blogging and then this appears!?!? I always tell myself I am allowed to splurge every now and again. Seriously, what diet works if you can't allow yourself a little splurge here and there? I don't believe in going overboard, but everyone needs a little sweet treat now and again! This idea actually came to me because I love Dairy Queen's Blizzards. They are so delicious! I have always been a fan and knew that it wasn't something that was hard to make. I mean really who wants to spend $5 on an ice cream treat when you can make it at home for next to nothing?!

So this blog is about my Peanut Butter M&M Blizzard...and the ice cream I used to make them! I have been a huge fan of the company Schwan's for a long time, if you haven't ever had the Schwan's man come to your house you should definitely check out their products on their website. The Schwan's company offers many great products, but my favorite has always been their ice cream. They have the best ice cream on the planet! The only bad thing about it is they do a lot of seasonal flavors :o( which means you can only get those flavors for a limited time. I guess it isn't so bad, because if they had them all the time maybe they wouldn't be so wonderful to me or maybe they would and I would be like 900 lbs from eating it all the time!!! LOL Who knows, but one of my favorite flavors is their French Vanilla. It only comes out around Christmas time and is only sold in the gallon size, but it comes in a really cute collectible Holiday tin. The ice cream is so creamy and smooth. I just can't even put its wonderfulness into words...but it is delicious!

Since this ice cream only comes in a mass amount, I have a lot left. (I keep it out in my deep freezer in the garage too so I am less likely to get into it all the time!) So the other night, while my sweet tooth was bugging me, my husband was like "let's go to Dairy Queen and get Blizzards." I thought about it and really didn't want to get out in the cold and drive 10 minutes JUST FOR ICE CREAM! So I remembered the lovely French Vanilla and decided to give it a whirl on my own. It hit the spot so well, even for my husband, that he has been asking me to make one nearly every night after dinner!!! HAHA So I don't imagine we will have the ice cream for much longer! I wanted to share my take on the Blizzard with all of you, and though you may not have the Schwan's French Vanilla ice cream, I am sure any brand that is creamy will work just fine. Enjoy! I hope you don't get as hooked as we did!! HAHA
Peanut Butter M&M Blizzard
(I made a double batch ... so just cut it in half if you only want to make one)
6 scoops of French Vanilla ice cream (any brand will do, I used Schwan's)
1 cup of Peanut Butter M&M's
2-3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural)
In a blender blend ice cream and Peanut Butter M&M's until combined. I used the pulse setting on my blender. Don't mix too long, you want the M&M's to still have little chunks. Put peanut butter in a microwave safe dish and heat for about 15 seconds...just to get the peanut butter warm and not so thick. Dish ice cream mixture into bowls. Drizzle peanut butter on top. Sprinkle extra M&M's on top as well (I crushed some extra ones just to sprinkle on top!). ENJOY!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Calling all you healthy eaters...

I promise I am going to get a new camera, hopefully soon. These pictures just don't do this meal justice. I may try and take new pictures today...I brought the leftovers for lunch (and I am even more excited about eating it today because I think the flavors will be even better!) This was seriously one of the best dinners I have made in a long time! IT WAS SOOO GOOD!!! Again this recipe came from my Everyday Food Magazine. *shakes head* I know, all my other great cooking magazines/books feel left out!! But I can't help it, this cooking magazine is seriously life changing! HA

I always try to be a healthy eater, sometimes it works out better than other times, but this year I am really trying harder. I really enjoy eating healthy, that isn't the problem, it's all the bad stuff that I enjoy eating too!! This recipe is a great healthy recipe that fills you up and doesn't leave you feeling like crap...even after seconds!! :o) The lemon complements the tuna so nicely in this recipe. And the homemade garlic bread crumbs on top add a very nice crunch to every bite. It's such a fresh meal! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon and a Garlic Breadcrumb Topping
(adapted from Everyday Food Magazine)
coarse salt and pepper
garlic salt
3 slices of whole wheat sandwich bread
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of olive oil
3/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 cans (6 ounces each) chunk light tuna in water, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse bread and 1 teaspoon oil until coarse crumbs form. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Bake until golden, tossing occasionally, about 8 minutes.
Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta. Return pasta to pot. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and 1 tablespoon oil. (I added a couple dashes of garlic salt here too...just because my husband and I like garlic so much!) Toss, adding enough pasta water to coat pasta. Add tuna; toss gently. Serve sprinkled with garlic breadcrumbs on top!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chicken Paprikash

Ok so I have a confession to make *sighs* my Martha Stewart Magazine is seriously one of the best cooking magazines ever!! I never thought I would say that at all. I haven't really ever been a big fan of hers, but this magazine has forever changed me and my relationship with Ms. Martha!! You can just call us sisters from now on!!! HAHA Seriously though, I love Everyday Food! You must go check her magazine out if you haven't already. This recipe originally was called Turkey Paprikash, but I made a few adjustments of my own to the dish. I knew I would prefer chicken too, but you could certainly use boneless skinless turkey breast if you wanted. This dish was really tasty, and fairly healthy too! I particularly liked the fact that it wasn't a really heavy dinner. I hope you enjoy it!!

Chicken Paprikash
(adapted from Everyday Food a Martha Stewart Magazine)

coarse salt and pepper
8 ounces whole wheat egg noodles
2 small skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until al dente; drain. In a bowl, toss chicken pieces with 1 tablespoon paprika; season with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Working in batches, brown chicken, 3 to 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add onion to skillet. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 to 6 minutes.

Return chicken to skillet (along with any juices). Add tomatoes (with juice), 1 tablespoon paprika and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until chicken is opaque, about 2 to 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Serve paprikash over noodles.

Monday, January 12, 2009

My "bad luck" Titans cake :o(

Our Titans went to the playoffs and I wanted to make a "good luck" cake for the game. I promise my intentions were good, even though the game didn't go so hot. So I guess maybe my cake wasn't full of luck like I thought. It's really a shame about our Titans, but at least my belly was full of this tasty Banana Sour Cream Cake! I found this recipe on Bunny's Warm Oven and knew I had some banana's that were itching to be put into something!! I loved how moist the cake turned out and the icing had just the perfect amount of sweetness for the cake. I read a lot of reviews on this cake about people thinking the icing may have been to sour, from the sour cream, but I loved it!! I actually took this cake to a Titan's party and it was all the rage! Everyone kept talking about how moist it was and how yummy the icing was!! So it may have let down our Titan's, but I promise the cake won't let you down!
Banana Sour Cream Cake with Cream Cheese Sour Cream Icing
whew that's a mouth full!
(recipe from Bunny's Warm Oven originally found here)
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour 13 x 9 x 2-inch metal baking pan. (I used a bundt pan instead)
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar in large bowl until blended. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Mix in 3/4 cup sour cream, bananas and lemon juice. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and beat until well blended. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake cake until top is golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. (Mine actually took closer to 40-45 minutes, but I also used a bundt pan so that may have been why) Cool completely on rack.
Beat remaining 1/2 cup sour cream, powdered sugar and cream cheese in large bowl until well blended. Spread frosting over cooled cake.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Tortilla Soup with Black Beans

So I recently got this great magazine in the mail...Everyday Food! It is a Martha Stewart magazine, but the thing is I don't know who got it for me!!! I love the magazine though! It is full of great recipes on every page. I seriously think I dog eared almost every page!!! That's how good ALL the recipes looked!!! I came across this one today, looking through the magazine for like the third time, and thought it would be perfect for a Sunday afternoon...and lunches for this week! It is really healthy at only 277 calories (less I would say for me because I didn't add the chips into the soup only as a topper) per serving. It is so delicious and it was so simple to put together! I always keep things like canned tomatoes and black beans in my pantry, just in case days like today come up where I want to make a soup! You can never have toomany canned tomatoes or beans in your pantry! I hope you like it as much as I did!

Tortilla Soup with Black Beans
(from Everyday Food a Martha Stewart Magazine)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder (mine was a heaping teaspoon...I like things spicy!)
2 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes in juice (one of my cans was the regular diced tomatoes the other I used diced tomatoes with chili's) (I also bought the cans with no salt added)
1 14.5 ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 10 ounce package of frozen corn
coarse salt and pepper
1 cup crushed tortilla chips, plus more for serving (I bought the wheat ones)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Cook garlic and chili powder in oil until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes (with juice), beans broth, corn, and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper.
***I didn't add the 1 cup of water because I didn't want the soup broth to be watered down, and also because I knew I wasn't going to add the 1 cup of crushed tortilla chips to the soup. I didn't want to add the crushed chips to the soup, one to make it healthier and two because I hate soggy chips! You certainly can make it the other way, this was just what I did. ***
Bring soup to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Add tortilla chips; cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice, and season with salt and pepper. Serve soup with lime wedges and more crushed chips.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Traditions

Ok so I start off 2009 seriously cursing my camera! I hate it!!! I miss my old one that could take a decent photo!!! So here on the first day of 2009 I am submitting my New Year's resolution....TO GET A NEW CAMERA!!!
Since I was little we have always started off the new year with pork and sauerkraut. I always buy a decent sized pork roast, season it with different seasonings and smother it in a big jar of yummy sauerkraut! I bake it all day so the aroma fills the house and teases my taste buds! Luckily my husband has had the pleasure of growing up with the same tradition. I found this explanation on a website about the history of pork and sauerkraut: "Pork & Sauerkraut are a main dish for New Years Day in the German heritage, as pigs are considered good luck charm symbols and cabbage leaves are symbolic of money, thus having Pork and Sauerkraut are felt to be the best way to pave the way for the New Year." So here's to a year of good luck, money and health ... from my family to yours, Happy New Year!

Another tradition, one that I actually started this year, is to take a wooden skewer and slide 12 red grapes on it, then place the skewer in a glass of Champagne. (Or we just used white wine, since I had so much leftover from the Peach Sangria!) After midnight strikes you eat your grapes....12 grapes representing one for each month of the next year! As you eat them, determine whether or not they are sweet or sour. For every grape that is sweet, that means you will have a good month. For every grape that is sour, that means you will have a rough month. So for me ... mine were all sweet except for August and December. My husband had sour grapes for July, September and December!! OUCH!!! Why December!?!? You should try this tradition. It is fun and a great way to bring in the new year!

Chicken Marsala with Herbed Linguine Pasta

For New Year's dinner, I decided to make something that would complement our white wine choices!! I was browsing my cookbooks and stumbled across this Chicken Marsala recipe. I have made this before and really liked it. So we decided to make it again for New Year's dinner! The pasta recipe actually calls for using angel hair pasta, but my husband really wanted linguine so we tried that this time. I got this recipe from one of my Taste of Home magazines. Taste of Home always has great recipes that are low maintenance. The mushrooms add such a great flavor to this dish.
Chicken Marsala
(adapted from Taste of Home Magazine)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh basil
dash of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 1/4 cups sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup white wine (Marsala Wine or you could use Chicken Stock) (I used Pinot Grigo since that is what I had at home and I loved it!)
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Flatten chicken to 1/2 in thickness. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, basil, salt and pepper. Add chicken one piece at a time, and shake to coat.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in 1 tablespoon butter for 4-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.
In the same skillet, saute mushrooms and garlic in remaining butter for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Add the wine or stock and lemon juice, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced by a third.
Return chicken to pan. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

Herbed Linguine (or Angel Hair) Pasta
(adapted from Taste of Home Magazine)
3 ounces uncooked Linguine or Angel Hair pasta
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh basil minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
dash of salt, pepper and garlic salt
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small skillet cook garlic in oil and butter over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
Drain pasta and add to skillet. Stir in parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, salt, garlic salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately with Chicken Marsala.

I want S'more how about you!?!

So for New Year's this year, since we decided to stay home, I wanted to make a nice dinner and dessert. I had found this recipe on Macaroni and Cheesecake's website awhile ago and stored it away in mind to make for a special night! I thought New Year's would be perfect!!! These bars were amazing!! I absolutely love S'mores, so the idea of having one in a bar form anytime you want it just what I need...ok maybe not need!! HAHA Seriously though if you like S'mores at all you must make these bars. They were so easy to make and so delicious!

S'mores Cookie Bars
(adapted from Macaroni and Cheesecake)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 (1.55 oz. each) HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Bars
1 cup marshmallow creme

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Press half of dough into prepared pan.

Arrange chocolate bars over dough, breaking as needed to fit. Spread with marshmallow creme. Scatter bits of remaining dough over marshmallow; carefully press to form a layer. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Cut into bars. Makes 16 bars.

A New Years Toast!

My husband and I decided we should just stay at home and relax this year for New Years, so I wanted to make something special to drink for New Years this year. New Years is actually our anniversary of when we had our first date! This year marked 7 years for us! My husband actually went out of his way to even decorate the house similar to the way it was on our first date!
So when I got to thinking about a fancy beverage, I remembered being at a birthday party for my friends boyfriend where she served Peach Sangria, and I thought that would be perfect for New Years this year!! I made just a few changes to the recipe, but it was amazing!! I love Peach Sangria and this will definitely be something I make from time to time!
Peach Sangria
1 bottle of pinot grigio
1/2 liter tonic water
3 oz peach schnapps
1 cup strawberries, sliced
2 pear, cored and sliced
2 peach, sliced (I actually used frozen unsweetened ones)
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
***I used more fruit than the original recipe called for. I did this because I knew I would really enjoy eating the fruit!! :o) But you certainly can just use only 1 pear and 1 peach if you wanted less fruit.***
Add the sliced fruit, sugar and 2 cups of ice to large pitcher. Muddle with a muddler or the back of a big wooden spoon. You aren’t trying to make a fruit smoothie (and the presentation is much nicer if the fruit are shapely) so just try to get some of the fruit oils released.
Add the wine and schnapps. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to server. Add the tonic water and top the pitcher with more ice. Pour into tall glasses or wine goblets, letting some of the fruit fall into the glass. Enjoy!