Friday, July 31, 2009

Candied Pecan Marshmallow Bar with Dark Chocolate

As I find myself reading food blogs (bad idea!!.. ok, well, not really) I always crave something sweet. Especially today after I stumbled on Emily's blog, Sugar Plum. I decided to glance through my cupboards to see what I could come up with and found dark chocolate, pecans, marshmallows and popcorn. I decided to do a spin-off of a Rice Krispie treat. Let me tell you, it definitely hit the spot. Afterwards you'll be craving a big glass of milk so baker beware.

Candied Pecan Marshmallow Bar with Dark Chocolate
(Recipe By Me)


For Candied Pecans:
1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1/8 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Pecans

For Marshballow Bar:
4 cups Air Popped Popcorn
2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
6 oz. Marshmallows (about 1 1/2 cups)

For Dark Chocolate Drizzle:
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1 tsp. 100% maple syrup


For Candied Pecans:
1.) Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter in a small skillet over medium heat.
2.) Add sugar and pecans.
3.) Turn burner down to medium low and cook the pecan mixture for 3-5 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
4.) Spread over a cookie sheet to cool.

For Marshmallow Bar:
1.) Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
2.) Add marshmallows and turn the burner down to low.
3.) Stir continually until the marshmallows have melted.
4.) After the marshmallows have melted, add the cooked popcorn.
5.) Stir until all the popcorn is coated.
6.) Press mixture into a buttered loaf pan (or any smaller dish).

For Dark Chocolate Drizzle:
1.) Put the 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips in a small bowl.
2.) Cook in the microwave on 50% power for 1 1/2 minutes or until melted. It may take more/less time depending on the microwave. Also make sure you stop the microwave every 30 seconds and stir.
3.) Add the maple syrup and stir.

1.) Chop up the cooled candied pecans.
2.) Sprinkle over the marshmallow mixture and gently press into the mixture.
3.) Drizzle the melted dark chocolate over the bars.
4.) Cool (to let the chocolate harden), cut into bars and enjoy!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

CEiMB: Cobb Salad

UPDATE: I swaped out the old pics with these new ones since I had more light this morning to play with.

The Feast Within choose this week's Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe, the Cobb Salad. This was a really great pick! My husband and I L-O-V-E cobb salad so naturally I was excited to try it. It's like a traditional cobb salad with a few great substitutions. First, instead of two full eggs, the recipe calls for one full hard boiled egg and one hard boiled egg minus the yolk. Don't laugh, but I've never hard boiled eggs before.. crazy huh?! I remember watching my mom boil them, then run them under cold water, but that was about it. I decided to search online for some great tips and followed these instructions. It took a little while, but they turned out great. The yolk was bright yellow (not orange or grey). The recipe also swaps ham for bacon. Everything else (avocado and blue cheese.. yum!!) are served in moderation. I really enjoyed this salad and the dressing. The blue cheese I bought was really strong (I love blue cheese) so it really made the dish taste great. I also love the presentation. Thanks Meet Me In The Kitchen for giving me the idea to use a similar dish.

So filling and delicious. Perfect for a 94 degree summer night.
Did I mention I love avocado?? It also has great health benefits

If you haven't made it yet I definitely recommend you try it - cheers!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

CEiMB: Oven Baked Onion Rings

Wow, I can't believe it's already Thursday again. This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe is hosted by Meet Me In The Kitchen. I actually made these onion rings around the 4th of July for a BBQ we had at our house. They were fairly easy to make, but extremely gross to handle. I usually don't mind batter sticking on my fingers, but this one caked up and was gross. It felt like more of the crumb mixture got on me instead of coating the onion ring, but oh well. Overall I liked them. Not sure if Iwould make them again. If I did I would find a way to use tongs or something else so the mixture doesn't get too wet from handling it. I would also make them thinner maybe (?) because they weren't as crunchy as I would have liked. It's a good healthy sub if you want Onion Rings w/o all the fat, but for me... I would just eat real thing if I truly wanted them next time. I also ran into the same issue of cooking an Ellie recipe while entertaining and then informing my guests I needed photograph the food - felt like a dork.. hence, the lack of photos. Actually they were cool about it, but I didn't want to spend so much time photographing my food that it would be cold by the time I ate it (maybe that's why it was a little soft ??). The recipe is also real simple and easy. It calls for onions, baked potato chips, buttermilk, flour, s&p, and some cayenne. I believe that's everything. Check out the recipe here and what other CEiMB bloggers thought about the recipe here.

Thanks again Meet Me In The Kitchen!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blog Hop Tuesday: Favorite Recipe or Dish

This week's blog hop theme is - Favorite Recipe or Dish. Recently, I added a new favorite recipe to our list of repeat dishes. I made the Aromatic Noodles with Lime-Peanut Sauce last week as part of the Craving Ellie in My Belly group. I highly recommend you check that post for more details and pics. It wad delicious, healthy, and it tastes like you're eating take-out! Yum!

Another good go-to and REALLY easy recipe is my Chicken Taco Stew. I also make this recipe a lot when I want to throw everything in the crockpot and let it do the work for me. I also like how a lot of the ingredients come from the pantry, so I usually always have everything on hand for that last minute dinner. Check out this post for the complete recipe.

Happy Blog Hoppin'!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CEiMB: Aromatic Noodles with Lime-Peanut Sauce

The Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe this week was hosted by Supplicious. What a great pick! It reminded me of Ellie Krieger's Chicken Sate with Peanut Dipping Sauce. I make that for my husbands lunch and he eats it every day, yes everyday. This dish had the same peanut-y effect. You cook some whole wheat pasta, toss the pasta with the peanut sauce and top the noodles with steamed veggies and toasted peanuts. My only recommendation when making this dish is to take the steamed veggies out of the steaming basket and let them cool while you finish preparing the rest of the items. I left the veggies in the pan with the lid on (even though I drained the water) and they continued to cook. I really missed the "bite" of the veggies so I will definitely make this adjustment, er, follow the directions next time! Although the photos don't look all that appetizing (the veggies didn't hold their form) it is I promise. Thanks Supplicious for hosting such a tasty recipe! To check out what others thought of this week's recipe, visit the blogroll on CEiMB.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

CEiMB: Lobster or Shrimp Roll

This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe is the Lobster or Shrimp Roll chosen by the Lonely Sidecar. I originally didn't plan on making this, but then discovered I had almost all the ingredients on hand so I decided to give it a try. Unlike traditional creamy dressings, this shrimp (I used shrimp because it's cheaper and what I already had on hand, but Lobster would have been just as great) mixture primarily contains non-fat plain yogurt in place of gobs of mayo. It does call for 3 Tbsp. of mayo, because, let's face it, mayo does make a dressing taste rich and creamy. The recipe also calls for mixing in lemon juice, chopped celery, chopped scallions, salt, and pepper. Finally, add the chopped cooked shrimp and serve over a toasted whole wheat hotdog bun. I really did enjoy this recipe. I love all things seafood and being that it's summer I prefer colder dishes. I do agree with thenotsoskinnykitchen that it tends to be a little bland. The next time I make this I will probably toss the shrimp with a cajun seasoning before cooking (I boiled frozen shrimp and peeled after - no fuss, the way I like it). When making this dish I recommend two things:

1) Take out your trash right away! Believe me.. shellfish left in the garbage overnight, does not make for lovely smell the next day when you expect to be wafting in the aroma of fresh brewed coffee.
2) Don't pack this sandwich for lunch!! Although healthy and enjoyable.. even cooked shrimp smells like.. shrimp. crazy. The fish smell that welcomes each coworker bringing their lunch to the company refrigerator does not go well.

Kyle did get the chance to try one bite and thought it was good. His only recommendation was to serve it over a crunchy baguette as an appetizer or as a shrimp cocktail. He's never been a whole wheat bread type of person.

If you make it, let me know what you think and if you changed the recipe at all.

bananas over oatmeal. literally.

I love oatmeal in the morning for breakfast and usually I eat mine with a little maple syrup and dried tart cherries. Today I got the brilliant idea to add bananas and peanut butter! I mean, seriously, who doesn't love bananas and peanut butter? Ok, well maybe some don't, but I do and it was great!

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal:

1/2 cup 1 minute quick oats
1 cup water
Splash of milk
1 banana
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 tsp. brown sugar

1. Cook the oats and water in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.
2. Stir and add a splash of milk.
3. Top with a sliced banana, the peanut butter and brown sugar.
4. Stir and enjoy!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Gourmet Brownies

Kyle and I are having some friends over for a BBQ before we head to Emerald Downs - our local horse-racing track. I have quite the agenda today:

  • Make brownies
  • Prep food
  • Clean kitchen
  • Mow the yard
  • Lay out in the sun (I need color people!!)
  • Entertain
  • Emerald Downs for horse races and fireworks

So, I'm going totally lazy for dessert today when I totally should have done something over the top because it's the 4th of July weekend and it's a good excuse to do that (maybe I'll do that for my nephews 3rd birthday BBQ tomorrow...). In the end I decided to use a box of brownie mix.. but rather than making traditional brownies, I had to find a way to "gourmet-them-up-a-bit" - technical term, I know.

I decided to pour the fudge brownie batter into a 12 count muffin pan. From there.. I kind of went crazy. I add roughly chopped dried tart cherries to the first three... left the second three plain (just the brownie mix)...dark chocolate chunks to the third three.. and dark chocolate chunks plus crumbled Oreos to the last three.

After taking them out of the muffin tin they seemed pretty sturdy, but I never let brownies completely cool so maybe that's what they're supposed to be like.

Hopefully everyone likes them!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

CEiMB: Breakfast Cookies

This week's Craving Ellie in my Belly recipe is from What's For Supper? Although I wanted to follow the recipe to a "T" (where did this phrase come from??), I decided to opt for the easier, lower calorie version that Johnstone's Vin Blanc put together. You can visit the blog to view that version of the recipe. Ellie's version includes bran flakes, carrot baby food, amongst some other things. I read Johnstone's Vin Blanc's post before making and decided to try her version out. It comes in at 50 calories per cookie (on their blog. I couldn't get 30 small cookies out of the batch, only 20.. so I'm guesstimating 75 calories per cookie). I really enjoyed how simple this version is. Simple ingredients: quick oats, apple sauce, dried cherries, honey, baking soda, canola oil, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, whole wheat pastry flour, and some vanilla.. all things I had in my kitchen already (I left out the flaxseed). Although my pictures don't do the cookies justice, these were really good! The applesauce made them super moist and the dried cherries add a nice tart kick. They reminded me of the consistency of a muffin, but overall really good. Kyle enjoyed them too. I packed them up for snacks for work this week and he always ate them so that's a good sign ;) Remember on this post how I said it was hard to find snacks for him... well, Ellie is doing a great job. So far he likes to eat the Nutty Granola and the Breakfast Cookies (modified version). I do plan to try Ellie's original recipe, but I like the idea of using un-refined sugars like honey and lower fats like applesauce. I recommend this cookie as a healthy snack for kids and adults a like. Thanks What's For Supper? !! To check out what everyone else thought of the recipe or to see the different variations, visit the blogroll on CEiMB.

One of these days I'll get a camera that takes better pictures ;)