Friday, March 6, 2015

Oreo Bars

Recently, my daughter tried some Oreo bars. She liked them so much that she brought some to my sister's house. When we headed home, she forgot her Oreo bars. Since it is a long drive from Maine to North Carolina, I told her that we weren't turning around but I would try making it. My sister kindly made sure the desserts didn't go to waste. We went through many photos. I thought the dessert looked like it was more pale than dark. My daughter said they were more dark than pale. Several of the photos she picked were for Oreo cheesecake bars but my sister said it didn't have a cheesecake taste. My daughter said they didn't taste very marshmallowy. (I was surprised to discover marshmallowy is an actual word and a great description.)  After many discussions, this was the recipe my daughter picked. After making this dessert, my daughter told me it didn't taste like the other dessert but was better. If I make these again, I will try chocolate pudding.
Oreo, Vanilla Pudding, & Chocolate Chip Bars
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3.4 oz. instant cheesecake pudding
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 oz. package miniature chocolate chips
16 Double Stuffed Oreo Cookies, Chopped roughly

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the brown sugar and the sugar until fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla.
  5. Mix in the pudding until fluffy.
  6. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just incorporated.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips and the chopped Oreo cookie pieces. 
  8. Spread the batter evenly into the pan.
  9. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes. The center should be slightly underdone.
  10. Allow to cool for several hours before cutting.
Recipe adapted from Hugs & Cookies xoxo.

One year ago.................................I made Chicken Pot Pie.
Two years ago...............................I made Chicken Cutlets.
Three years ago.............................I made Peanut Butter Cookies.
Did you already know...................
-There are over 950 miles between Maine to North Carolina.
-It takes about 15 hours to drive between Maine to North Carolina.
-From Maine to North Carolina, a direct flight would take just over 2 hours. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cheesy, Kielbasa Pasta

Cheesy, Kielbasa Pasta! Now say that title three times fast! The kids thought the title was quite the tongue twister. We had other titles but the kids liked this one the best. Well, my husband had to head up to Boston for the weekend. He spoils me by doing the majority of the grocery shopping for me. If I head to the grocery store, he is normally with me. It is part of our date Fridays. Since he was gone and it had snowed here, I didn't want to head to the store. This is the creation I made from the stuff in the kitchen. It was a big hit with the kids. They even ate the leftovers the next day which is always a good sign. Why carrots and not broccoli? Well, I had no broccoli in the frig but had some carrots so it was the vegetable of choice. I think it was a nice combination. My son licked his bowl.
Cheesy, Kielbasa Pasta
1 lb. large elbow pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 package of Kielbasa, chopped
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp parsley

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and carrot. Saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic cloves and the Kielbasa. Saute until the Kielbasa is browned.
  5. Sprinkle the flour on top. Mix into the mixture and allow to cook for 1 minute.
  6. Stir in the milk and continue to stir for a minute.
  7. Stir in the cheese and black pepper. Allow to simmer until thicken and the pasta is done.
  8. Drain the pasta and mix the sauce with the pasta.
  9. Serve immediately and top with parsley.
Recipe created by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago....................................I made Blueberry and Lemon Breakfast Rolls.
Two years ago..................................I made Macaroni and Cheese.
Three years ago................................I made Tiramisu with homemade ladyfingers.
Did you already know......................
-Kielbasa is smoked sausage.
-In America, kielbasa tends to be flavored with garlic, marjoram, salt, and pepper.
-Kielbasa originates from Poland.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hot Apple Muffins

My hair tends to be greasy on top and dry at the ends. I wash it everyday and condition the ends very well. I know there are some lucky ladies which can skip a day or two but unfortunately I can't. Well, I was following my normal routine and my hair was looking bad. It was hard to comb and greasy on top.  I was even washing it longer than normal to make it look half way decent but it still looked awful. Recently, I had started using a new type of shampoo and conditioner but it had looked good for the first couple of days before this crazy look began. After several days of this happening, I figured I better take a look at the shampoo. When I looked at the shampoo bottle, I noticed the label had been placed onto the bottle a little strange. Then I realized what had happen. When my son took his shower, he must have been a little bored and took off the labels. Then he put then back onto the wrong bottles. He has done this several times in the past but the bottles are normally a different color. The new shampoo and conditioner bottles were the same color with a similar consistency of thickness in the liquid. So, I was conditioning the top of my head and really cleaning the ends of my hair. Since I was placing extra conditioner on top with little on my ends, I was achieving the look I was striding to avoid. The best part of my new look was my husband didn't say anything but he would tell me that he always thinks I look good. However, I've changed shampoos. Now, the bottle is a different color than the shampoo.

Well, I made these wonderful apple muffins. They have a great flavor and taste. My daughter ate three of them. She normally eats one muffin and calls it good. She ate three. What more can I say about these muffins besides make them today or maybe tomorrow or maybe today and tomorrow.
Hot Apple Muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups apples, peeled, cored, and grated

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, and allspice.
  4. Stir in the eggs and milk until just incorporated.
  5. Mix in the butter and apples. 
  6. Evenly distribute the mixture into the cupcake liners.
  7. Bake the muffins for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Serve immediately. 
Recipe adapted from The Apple Cookbook by Nicola Hill.

One year ago...................................I made Jambalaya.
Three years ago...............................I made Butterscotch Fondue.
Did you already know.........................
-The word shampoo is derived from India.
-Straight hair needs to be washed more than curly hair. 
-Since not washing your hair will not cause you any harm, the washing of the hair is a social issue.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tuxedo Cake

My sister came to visit and brought the snow with her. Determined to escape winter, we headed to Florida. We were able to sample Spring with temperatures in the 70s. After our extended weekend trip, it just happened to be my son's birthday. Of all the desserts he could request, this was the cake he wanted. Since the cake is so delicious, my husband told our son that he could pick his birthday cake. This cake is a chocolate cake with whip cream as the frosting then topped with ganache. It is three layers tall. It is my favorite chocolate cake. Also, it is time consuming to make. This is the second time I've made this cake but the first time I remembered to take photos.
Tuxedo Cake
1 cup butter, softened 
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus extra for preparing the pans
4 cups all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk 
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray the pans with nonstick baking spray. Line the pans with parchment paper. Respray with nonstick baking spray. Dust the pans with cocoa powder. Shake off any excess cocoa powder. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, water, and oil. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the butter melts. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and cocoa powder.
  5. Slowly add the butter mixture.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix until incorporated before adding the next egg.
  7. Add the buttermilk.
  8. Add the baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
  9. Evenly divide the batter between the three pans.
  10. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs.
  11. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to completely cool. 
Frosting:3 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

  1. In a large bowl, combine the heavy cream and powdered sugar.
  2. Whisk until stiff peaks form.
  3. Cover the top of one of the cooled cakes with the frosting.
  4. Cover with another layer of cake.
  5. Frost the second layer of cake.
  6. Top with the last layer of cake.
  7. Frost the entire cake with the frosting.
  8. Refrigerate for one hour.
4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped/chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp Golden Syrup
2 tsp vanilla

  1. Place the dark chocolate into a bowl. Set aside. 
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream to a simmer.
  3. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate. Allow to rest for a minute.
  4. Stir in the Golden Syrup and vanilla. Mix well. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
  5. Slowly pour the chocolate glaze over the cake. 
  6. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. 
Recipe adapted from The Pastry Queen cookbook by Rebecca Rather.

One year ago...............................I made Cajun Biscuits.
Two years ago.............................I made Mexican Pizza.
Three years ago...........................I made Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake.
Did you already know.................
-The majority of tuxedos are rented. 
-The formal wear of the tuxedo made its debate in Tuxedo Park, NY.
-The cummerbund is used to cover the bunching of the fabric at the waistband.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Chinese Almond Cookies

I know these aren't an authentic Chinese recipe. However, these cookies are similar to the cookies I find at the local Chinese buffet. The cookies at the restaurant are crisper but these are soft. I guess I could have tried to cooked them longer but I really like them this way. They have a nice buttery almond flavor. They are easy to make. My son liked the ones where I sprinkled a lot of almonds on top. The kids liked them. My sister will endorse them. I highly recommend them especially if you are an almond fan.
Chinese Almond Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1/4 cup sliced almond

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg, almond extract, and the vanilla extract. Mix until incorporated.
  4. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and the chopped almonds.
  5. Roll the dough into a disk and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Slice the dough and evenly space onto the baking sheet.
  8. Sprinkle the tops with the sliced almonds. 
  9. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes. 
  10. Rotate the pan and bake for another 7 minutes or until the cookies are slightly tan and baked through.
  11. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

One year ago........................................I made Brazilian Banana Cake.
Two years ago......................................I made Macerated strawberries with grapefruit zest.
Three years ago....................................I made Mexican Chocolate Fudge Pecan Cake.

Did you already know..............
-The Ancient Romans would shower newlyweds with almonds for fertility.
-There are over 30 varieties of almonds.
-Botanically, the almond is a stone fruit and belongs to the same family as the peach.