Monday, June 29, 2009

Cole Slaw

Last weekend I was craving a refreshing side dish to go along with our dinner...I decided on cole slaw! I turned to the internet and starting researching recipes. I have always liked a creamy mayonnaise based cole slaw. I was shocked when I was researching to find that there were several takes on the "KFC" cole slaw! I always loved their cole slaw so I decided to give one a try!

I found the recipe on Recipe Zaar. I really couldn't believe how much it did taste like the KFC cole slaw! It brought back all kinds of childhood memories!
KFC Cole Slaw
4 cups finely diced cabbage
1/8 cup diced carrot
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon pepper
1/8 cup milk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/8 cup buttermilk
3/4 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/4 tablespoons lemon juice
Make sure the Cabbage and carrots are finely diced. (if you didn't want to worry about this you could always just buy a bag of the prepared cole slaw mix that has the cabbage and carrots.) Pour cabbage and carrot mixture into large bowl and stir in minced onions. In a separate bowl mix remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour over vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly. Cover bowl and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Birthday ... and a cake that will knock your socks off!

So yesterday was my birthday. I turned 27 on the 27th...that really only happens once in your life...unless (as a co-worker pointed out to me) I live to be 127! YIKES, that kinda scares me!

I didn't really want to do anything special this year. I have been so busy and tired lately that I was looking forward to just spending a nice relaxing weekend with my husband...too bad it didn't quite turn out like that! My friends at work (who are truly wonderful people, I am so blessed to have such great friends) surprised me on Friday, but I will tell you about that in a minute...first a little about my actual birthday festivities...

So ... the day started out with potential ... it just didn't quite end so well! I woke up to the smell of breakfast (which sometimes scares me lol). Turns out my husband surprised me with french toast and bacon for my birthday breakfast! It was so sweet and I loved that he put a candle in my french toast! He is a keeper!

Now a little about my husband...
HE NEVER USED TO COOK AT ALL! In fact it really has only been lately that he has gotten more involved. It took him a while to master the french used to be that when he would make it he would just leave the bread in the egg mixture until he was ready to cook it (WAY TOO LONG) and he always ended up with soggy french toast and didn't know we had a lesson and he has now mastered it; very well I might add! BUT on my birthday I discovered that my lovely husband is trying new tricks! AND THIS IS A GOOD ONE :o) I mentioned something to him about the bacon ... it didn't really appear as though it had been fried (and the house didn't have the aroma of 'fried bacon' I know y'all know what I am talking about!) - so I asked him "honey, did you fry this bacon?" and his response was "uh, no, I cooked it in the microwave on a paper towel!" :o) I love you honey, really I do!!! The bacon was actually tasty and crispy, but I couldn't get over the fact that he had cooked raw bacon in the microwave on a paper towel!! God bless my husband for always making my so life interesting!!

Now not to drag on and on, but I do have to tell you that yesterday did start out well, but didn't end so hot...ok maybe it did end "hot". I know that was really lame, but we have been having serious issues with our AC unit and it finally bit the dust yesterday (ON MY FREAKING BIRTHDAY NO LESS AND THE HOTTEST TN DAY SO FAR) go figure! Bad news is...they are discontinuing the freon units starting 2010 (just and FYI to all you freon users be prepared) and if your AC unit goes bad after January 2010 then you are basically SOL! NO MORE PARTS ... NOTHING! So we need to buy a new one...and it sounds like it is going to be expensive. Not what we need right now, but I hear a $1500 tax credit will be awarded, so at least that is something...right!?!?

I know where is the recipe ... it is coming promise!! So back to Friday now, and no more bad news (I hope)...
One of my friends at work went out of her way to decorate my room. (my favorite color is purple by the way!)
She placed those little construction cones around my room (and in it) and displayed "CAUTION BIRTHDAY ZONE" signs around my room! It was cute and it made me laugh...I am telling you I really do have some great friends!
My festivities didn't end there. One of my friends actually made me a cake! It was so delicious and I asked her if I could share the recipe with all of you because it is so easy you won't believe it! So easy, and SO GOOD that it seriously will knock your socks off!!!

Coconut Pecan Cake
1 Box of Butter Pecan Cake Mix
1 Tub of Coconut (or Pecan Coconut) Icing
4 eggs
3/4 cup of whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Blend together all ingredients. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake for about 50 minutes. Serve with ice cream!!
Yes it is that easy! The cake was so incredibly moist! The coconut pecan cake was so delicious, and I actually think the possibilities are endless for different flavors with this type of cake, I may have to pull this recipe out soon and test it out!
One last note...I actually managed to bake myself my own birthday cake yesterday (in my incredibly HOT house). You want to see this cake, it was SO AMAZING!!! I hope to post it soon so stay tuned! Until then, I am going to go sit in front of a fan LOL!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cookie Dough Pie


One day I was reading my google reader, just going about my business, and came across this recipe from Big Red Kitchen's blog. (My pictures really don't do this justice...I kinda forgot to take pictures until we had already eaten some of it!!) Seriously though, I lost it when I saw this recipe and knew I would have to make this sometime this summer! Conveniently enough, when some friends invited us over for a pool party, I remembered this pie and thought it would fit a pool party perfectly! This pie is so easy a monkey could make it (seriously) and it is SO DELICIOUS!! I probably could have eaten the entire pie myself (which is why I decided to leave the leftovers with our friends!! Sorry guys! :o) LOL) So if you are looking for a recipe to through together in a pinch, that doesn't cost a lot of money, but tastes it is!

Cookie Dough Pie
15.25 ounce package Original Chips Ahoy Cookies
12 ounces Cool Whip
2 cups milk
Chocolate Syrup (optional)
Quickly dip cookies in milk, shake off excess liquid, and layer in 9 inch pie plate, breaking cookies to fill any gaps. Once the first layer is complete, top with a thin layer of Cool Whip. Repeat twice more making last layer of Cool Whip a bit thicker. Garnish with chocolate syrup if desired. I had two cookies leftover so I crumbled them up and sprinkled them on top. Place in freezer 2-3 hours before serving.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Peanut Butter Fingers

I know I just got done blogging about my love of S'mores, but I must admit that my love of peanut butter is nearly just as big! When I came across this recipe in my Google Reader I immediately got excited! Not only does it combine two of the world's best ingredients (peanut butter and chocolate - if anyone was wondering!) but it is a super simple, ready in a pinch dessert!

This past weekend, my husband and I got invited to a little pool party/grilling get together with some friends and we were told we had to bring dessert! I couldn't really complain because that seems to be my favorite thing to do these days! So I got to thinking about what I wanted to bring...I didn't want to do anything to crazy and complicated because I had just spent my whole weekend tending to a massive Garage Sale! (which completely wore me out!) So I turned to my Google Reader hoping that I marked some "must makes" that were easy and didn't require a lot of prep! Sure enough these Peanut Butter Finger Bars were staring me in the face, literally BEGGING me to make them!! :o) (actually these bars must have buddied up with another recipe, because I ended up making two...and I can't wait to post the other one!!! It is SOOOO good and SOOO easy you won't believe it!)

I even had all the ingredients on added bonus! Good thing I keep a stocked pantry! I am sure you all do as well. You must head to your kitchen now and check, because these bars have your name ALL over them! They are so moist ... the perfect combination of peanut butter and chocolate. They are rich, but nothing a cold glass of milk couldn't help! These bars actually reminded me of a peanut butter no bake cookie with chocolate and peanut butter on top! Oh how I want to bust through the screen and take another bite!

Peanut Butter Fingers
(from Katie Blair's Designs - with a few slight changes)
For the Bars:
3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 egg
2/3 c. peanut butter
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. oatmeal
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the Topping:
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter
About 5 or so Tablespoons skim milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix butter, sugar, brown sugar, egg, peanut butter, baking soda, salt, vanilla, flour and oatmeal in mixing bowl. Spread in a 9 x 13-inch greased baking dish. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of hot crust. Wait 10 minutes and spread the melted chocolate evenly over the top. Cool bars before adding topping.
For the topping:
Blend together topping ingredients and spread over cooled bars. Cut into squares.
**I made the topping more like a frosting. I LOVE peanut butter frosting...but if you wanted it to be more like the original recipe (she made a thinner frosting that she said could be drizzled over the bars) be sure to follow her recipe for the topping.**
I need to stop making all these desserts and get back to being healthy!! haha But don't expect that in the next post...I have another GREAT dessert coming, and trust me you don't want to miss it!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

S'mores Cupcakes

Yes, here it is another ode to my S'mores addiction!

These cupcakes were so unbelievably good! I can't being to put into words just how tasty these little cuties were. I had so much fun making them too! I was actually surprised at how easy these were to make. I really thought I was going to be in over my head and up all night...but quite the opposite! I even had time to start making other things while these were in the oven!

The S'more Cupcakes were such a HUGE hit! I had done quite a bit of research in looking for a S'mores Cupcake recipe. There are SO MANY out there, and so many of those seem very complicated. I knew there had to be recipes out there that had the "S'mores" effect, but not so intense. About a month ago, I remembered bookmarking this recipe in my google reader. I actually forgot about it until I started researching and it popped up again! I was so happy because it was exactly what I was looking for in a recipe! I found it on A Homemaker's Habitat, and was pleased to see that it was a take on a Martha Stewart recipe!! Miss Martha has yet to disappoint me!! And it looks like the S'mores Cupcakes are another Martha success!!

S'mores Cupcakes
(from A Homemaker's Habitat, originally from Martha Stewart)
1 "Family Size" box Pillsbury Fudge Brownies
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
20 graham crackers (I think I may have used more)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 bag unsweetened mini chocolate chips
2 containers Marshmallow Fluff (gosh I love this stuff!)
2 Hershey Bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners. (recipe makes 24 cupcakes) Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for "cake-like" brownies (using 3 eggs instead of 2). Set aside batter.
Combine graham crackers and sugar in food processor, pulse until crackers are crushed into small even crumbs. Slowly add melted butter a little at a time, pulsing after each addition until you get a mixture that still crumbly but firm when pressed. (I didn't end up using the whole stick of melted butter, this is why I recommend adding a little butter at a time until you get the right consistency.)
Drop 1 Tablespoon of graham cracker mixture into each cupcake liner. You can use a small glass to press down the graham cracker mixture evenly, I used my handy dandy Pampered Chef Mini-Tart Shaper! Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of mini chocolate chips over the graham cracker mixture. Place cupcake pans in the oven for about 5 minutes to firm the graham cracker crust and begin melting the chocolate chips.
Remove pans from the oven and fill each cupcake liner with brownie batter until they are about 3/4 full. Sprinkle each cupcake with another teaspoon of chocolate chips and a Tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture. Place cupcake pans back in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Place cupcake pans on a rack until cooled. Meanwhile, fill a quart-size zip-lock bag with marshmallow fluff, cut a small tip in the corner. When cupcakes have cooled, pipe a small amount of marshmallow fluff onto each cupcake. DO NOT over frost, as the marshmallow fluff will ooze over the cupcake as it settles.
Turn oven to broil setting. Place cupcake pans, one at a time, about 1 inch from the broiler. Watch cupcake closely to make sure the marshmallow puffs and browns, but does not burn. This doesn't take long so be sure to watch them closely. You may need to shift the pan to make sure the cupcakes brown evenly. Repeat with second tin.
Once cupcakes have cooled completely top with a piece of Hershey bar!
***One tip I noticed...
The marshmallow fluff was great right out of the broiler...nice and crispy. However, this step might be best left until right before you are going to serve them. The marshmallow fluff kept its shape and color, but not the crispiness. They were still fantastic, but I think the marshmallow fluff would have been even better if I would have waited to do it until the next day when I was serving them. Also, I didn't cover my cupcakes. I knew that by covering them that the moisture would have an effect on the marshmallow fluff. So you may want to leave yours uncovered as well.***
Side view of the cupcakes! They were so moist and delicious!
The graham cracker crust was so tasty and the melted chocolate
chips were a nice surprise! ENJOY!

Monday, June 1, 2009

S'mores Truffles

Anyone who knows me knows that S'mores are my all time favorite treat! I love sitting by the fire, roasting a marshmallow (which means catching it on fire for me!), and squishing that warm gooey marshmallow on top of generous piece of Hershey's Chocolate (or Reese cup...those are even more AMAZING!). Sometimes I even break down and have to resort to making one in the microwave just to fulfill my craving :o) but trust me those are not anywhere near as good as the campfire kind! I am always looking for recipe's that involve those three lovely s'more ingredients...remember those S'more Bars I made...ohhhh my those were so good!!!

I remember, quite a while ago actually, stumbling across these S'more Truffles on Sugar Plum's blog. (which by the way, if you haven't checked out her blog you really should...I find myself always wanting to bust through the screen and taste her creations!) I knew I ABSOLUTELY HAD to make these truffles, I just needed a good occasion. Ok maybe not a good occasion, because really making a s'more doesn't require anything!

Gosh look at those...I wish I could sink my teeth into one right now! Oh right...back to the truffles :o)

So a co-worker invited to a house warming party recently and I knew upon getting the invite that I wanted to make something really fun! I had booked marked this Truffle recipe, along with another s'more delight (stay tuned for that!), and finally decided to give it a whirl. It didn't require a lot of ingredients and it didn't seem like it was too complicated...although it sure takes a llot will power to not eat the whole batch!! I promise you these Truffles will NOT disappoint! They were a huge hit, so easy to make, and I can't wait to make them again!
S'mores Truffles
(recipe from Sugar Plum)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups milk chocolate chips (12 oz.)
24 mini-marshmallows
1 cup finely crushed graham crackers
Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat; whisk in cream and bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Chill saucepan in refrigerator for 1 hour, or until chocolate is solid and rollable; roll into 24 balls, stuffing a mini marshmallow into the center of each. Chill truffles a few minutes before rolling in graham cracker crumbs; chill for a few minutes again so they solidify a little more.
Makes 24 truffles.
My one word of advice...double this recipe! While 24 truffles sounds like a lot IT ISN'T!!! And I really wished I would have made more!