Year two of the blog will bring a new culinary challenge. I’m going back to the basics and am challenging myself to actually use the cookbooks I have. The internet makes it so easy to be inundated by recipes, that we often forget about the ones sitting right under our noses in our beloved cookbooks. My new challenge is to try at least one new recipe a month from each of my cookbooks. Feel free to join the challenge, either with the books I choose or using the cookbooks on your own shelves.
As you may have noticed I've haven't posted in a while. A while being over 2 months, sorry :/ Between work, travel and moving (the worst!) posts were definitely put on the back, back burner.
However, I have baked a few things in my new (and tiny) oven and this was one worth sharing.
In the spirit of fall and the overuse of pumpkin flavored things, I bring you pumpkin blondies. The original recipe from Table for Two called for white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and nuts. I said too sweet and eww, respectively, to that combo of things and instead used white chocolate and dark chocolate chips. I think the dark chips worked nicely to balance out the sweetness of the pumpkin and white chips.
I used an 8 x 8 but I think these could definitely go in a larger pan. I ended up with super thick blondies, which were a little intense. However, they were super rich and yummy and very fall flavored. I really like this recipe but may have to hold off on making them again as it takes time and perseverance to go through a batch. My advice is to share with friends and workers! People love free food, and like my sister says, food at work has no calories. Enjoy that morsel of a "fact" as you continue to graze on leftover Halloween candy in your office.
I know I've been MIA but how's that for a post title!
I almost want to delete all other brownie recipes from my Sweets board on Pinterest so I never stray from this shining star of a brownie recipe again. Besides the fact that I'm awesome and full of baking magic, my other realization while making these was that brownies from scratch are soooo easy. Pretty much as easy as making them from a box, but you can feel better about eating half a pan since you know exactly what's in them, or at least that can be your reasoning :)
Seriously, I can't say much more besides the fact that they are amazing if you love fudgy, rich, super chocolaty brownies. This recipe didn't call for toffee bits, but this one did so I felt inspired. Don't be alarmed if it seems like your batter can't hold all of the morsels you're trying to mix in, it'll all work out. I added a whole bag of toffee bits (8oz.) and about 1 1/2- 1 3/4 cups of chocolate chips and it worked out perfectly.
Another ridiculous dessert successfully made and devoured! Tom and I went to his parents for a 4th of July potluck BBQ and we brought fruit salad and a secret dessert. I knew there were going to be a lot of people there (~25) and I wasn't sure how this recipe would turn out, so I didn't say we were also bringing a dessert in case it was a fail, and we then showed up empty handed.
I knew it was likely going to fall apart the moment I cut into it, but at the point I figured it out, it was too late to correct the problem. The crumbly crust made it pretty visually disappointing, but it was still delicious. The issue was that I wanted to make sure there were plenty of pretzel crumbs to create a nice tall crust, so I increased the amount of pretzels, but I didn't also increase the amount of melted butter. With not enough melted buttery-ness to hold it together, the outer crust crumbled as I cut the slices. However, the bright side was that no one seemed to mind! Everyone loved it and couldn't stop raving, with actual comments like, "This is the best dessert I've ever had," and "I could just live in this." So that made me feel good, even though the perfectionist in me knew I could have done better, and felt compelled to reply to every compliment with, "Thanks, but I didn't put enough butter in the crust which is why it looks like a hot mess."
I'm working on not over-sharing; it's a process.
In actuality, this was a really quick dessert to whip up. There was minimal baking involved and it really is something you could put together in a pinch.
As I was trying to get this dessert out of the way so it didn't take up my whole day off, I neglected to photograph this one in its entirety...but here is what I've got.
Deep dish pretzel crust, complete with a layer of once melted milk chocolate chips, smothered with the essence of this pie: peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar.
Topped with whipped cream. I cheated and used Cool Whip, which was a great time saver.
Decorated with chopped mini Reese's peanut butter cups.
The "best" looking piece I could find.
Like I said, the end result wasn't so picture worthy (although I should have taken one of the halo of crumbled pretzel crust remnants around the pie plate, which was pretty absurd). However, it was still delicious and something I'd like to try again with a prettier final product.
I don't know why, but I felt compelled to make these. I didn't have most of the ingredients on hand, so it look a special trip to the store, and I didn't even have an occasion to make them, but somehow it all seemed worth it. They are ridiculous and I'm sure terrible for you, but they were really easy...so that all balances out, right?
It takes very few ingredients as you can see above, and very little prep.
I did have to take out my food processor for the crust, but that was the most exertion involved.
After you bake your butter/Nutter Butter crust for 10 minutes, remove and pile on the s'more bits. Then smother the whole thing with the secret (worst thing for you ever) ingredient: sweetened condensed milk. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the top is golden.
They are delicious right out of the oven; ridiculously gooey and sweet. Once they've cooled they are sticky and crunchy and equally ridiculous and sweet.
I probably won't make them again (not that they weren't good) but come on, you can really only get away with something like this once :)
I did it! I made dinner...and it was good! I haven't been very good about making dinner lately, so putting this together after work and bootcamp, plus getting my food processor out was quite the feat. I bought all of the ingredients last weekend with the intention of making this at some point, but it took me a while to actually work up the energy to get it done.
I thought the mint pesto would be pretty overwhelming in flavor, but it was actually mild and lovely. I'd never made anything like this in the past (although I have dabbled in roasted red pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, and almond pestos) and the mint was a nice change from some of the more traditional pestos.
Despite having to get on a chair to get my food processor down, this didn't take long at all to throw together. Just a little blending, chopping, sauteing, and boiling some pasta (I used brown rice pasta from TJ's, my new favorite) and we were really to roll.
I topped it with extra parm (because more cheese is always necessary) and it was delicious. It kept nicely for a few days and will likely be worked into our monthly rotation.