Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mint Brownies for Graduation Day




My sweet niece graduated from high school this week. She invited all her aunt, uncles and cousins to a party to help her celebrate. We had a delicious dinner in my brothers beautiful yard. It was the perfect evening for a party. Christina request Mint Brownies for dessert.
 I have a number of delicious brownie recipes--but it is always fun to try something new. I found a recipe in Our Best Bites Cookbook that looked promising and it was a winner. This recipe uses unsweetened chocolate in the base. It came together quickly. Brownies are usually better made the day before you want to serve them. I made them one evening and just had to sample them the next morning for breakfast (quality control). They were not yet frosted but they were amazing. When I added mint frosting and a very simple chocolate glaze they were perfect. This could be my favorite new brownie recipe!
Mint Brownies for Graduation Day
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate--chopped
1 cup butter
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Melt chocolate and butter, stir and cool slightly. With a mixer beat eggs, sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes. Slowly add the melted chocolate. Combine flour, baking powder and salt--stir. Gently stir in the flour mixture until just blended.  Line a 9x13 pan with foil or parchment paper and then spray with Pam. Pour mixture into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely. Turn out onto a cutting board. Set aside.

Frosting
2-3 tablespoons cream or milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/4 cup softened butter
food coloring
Combing ingredients and mix until smooth. Using an offset spatula spread frosting on brownies.
Refrigerate until cool.

Chocolate Glaze
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter
Gently melt chocolate chips and butter, stir. Let the glaze cool for 15-30 minutes.
Spread glaze on chilled frosting layer. Return brownies to refrigerator. When cool cut into squares and serve. If you rinse your knife in hot water and dry between cuts your brownies will look amazing.
Printable Recipe

Friday, May 29, 2015

Mother's Day Quilt


Just a quick quilting post today. I decided my sweet Mother-In-Law needed a quilt for Mother's Day. I picked some happy colors and went to work. I love how a quilt evolves. I started with a pattern in mind but quickly realized that to get the most out of my fabric choices I needed to adjust. A two inch squared just didn't do justice to the fun prints I wanted to showcase. So, I added some larger pieces and was very happy with the results.
Happy Mother's Day Geneel--this quilt was stitched with love!


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Quick Cilantro Lime Chicken


Nothing better than a quick main dish that turns simple flavors into something amazing. This is certainly a 30-Minute Meal. To keep the meal really under 30 minutes add you favorite salad kit and some pre-cooked rice. Dinner doesn't get much easier.
 
Quick Cilantro Lime Chicken
2 chicken breasts--cubed
2-3 limes--zest one and juice all
4 cloves garlic--pressed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro 
salt
pepper
cumin
chili powder
cayenne pepper
Season chicken cubes liberally with seasonings--I would go lighter on the cayenne! Heat some olive oil in a pan until very hot. Add seasoned chicken, cook undisturbed for 3 minutes, when brown turn. Cook another few minutes until chicken reaches about 165 degrees. Add garlic and lime zest, cook for 30 seconds. Add lime juice and stir to release all the yummy goodness from the bottom of the pan. Top with cilantro.
Inspired by a recipe on this blog.




Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Singapore Chicken Salad



What is a Singapore Chicken Salad anyway??
I started with one of my favorite Asian Chicken Salads, made popular by my daughter Amber. This same sweet daughter introduced me to the wonderful world of Penzys Spices. They are fresh and have some of the most amazing seasoning blends. Actually in the near future I will do a post about some of my most used Penzys Spices.

Back to the 'Singapore Chicken Salad'. I purchased a small jar of Singapore seasoning. I knew it would be awesome because it contains some of my favorite spices--pepper, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, ginger, fenugreek, nutmeg, cardamom etc. It worked miracles with the ever popular chicken tenders. These seasoned tenders added a wonderful flavor to a weeknight salad.
The homemade dressing makes up in just a minute from ingredients that are pantry essentials.
This salad is a little different each time I make it--depending upon what is in the fridge.
Have fun with this tasty salad!

Singapore Chicken Salad
I use Costco Chicken Tenders, 8 tenders fit well in my skillet and is enough for 2-3 servings. Thaw tenders, rinse and pat dry. Generously sprinkle chicken with Penzys Singapore Seasoning. Cook in a small amount of hot of hot oil for about 4 minutes per side or 165 degrees. Dice cooked chicken
Salad
Any mix of crisp veggies works.  I like Dole's Chopped! Asian Blend which contains green cabbage, red cabbage, broccoli slaw, carrots, kale and snap peas. There are so many fun salad blends available--it makes eating salad much easier. This hearty blend will also last a bit longer in the fridge than spring greens. Am I the only one that forgets what is in the fridge??
I might also add--
chopped romaine
Napa cabbage
diced cucumber
diced red pepper
green onions
bean sprouts
cilantro (a must)
orange sections
chopped peanuts or almonds
Won Ton Strips

Dressing
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mix together--this dressing keeps for several days
Printable Recipe


 
 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

It's a Quilt--for Henry.

This fun quilt was perfect for 7 year old Henry. He is full of spunk and a joy to be around. We love Henry! I stated a quilt for him before he was born--7 years later I finished the quilt. It was sweet but not the right quilt for a seven year old!
Hopefully this suits him a little better.