Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chocolate Iced Cookie Bars

Seems like I often find myself in a position where I need a treat--quick. Not just I have a craving, (that does happen too), but I need to deliver a treat to someone, quick. Now I can make a batch of Food Processor Cookies and have them ready to go in 30 minutes but a girl needs choices.
I saw this recipe on Lizzy's blog and knew I had to make them. I'm happy to say they were plated and out the door in under 2 hours! Bar cookies are perfect for a quick treat especially if you help them 'cool' in the freezer. It does work.
This bar cookie was rich with butter and dark brown sugar. The frosting was an added bonus. Don't be afraid to spread it thick, you'll thank me later.

Chocolate Iced Cookie Bars
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup DARK brown sugar (7 ounces)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
6 tablespoons cocoa
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Line a 9x13 pan with foil, spray. Whisk flour, soda and salt in a bowl. In a large bowl combine sugars and melted butter, whisk. Add egg and egg yolk and vanilla stir till smooth. Gently fold in dry ingredients. Do not over mix. Smooth batter in pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 27-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool, lift bars from pan and cool completely. If you are in a hurry (I always am) put it in the freezer for a few minutes.

While bars are cooling make frosting. Combine butter, milk and cocoa in a saucepan. Whisk and cook for about 5 minutes, mixture will just come to a boil. Pour in bowl of mixer. Beat 1 minute. Gradually add powdered sugar, beat until smooth. Add vanilla. Frost cooled bars. Using an offset spreader will make your life easier. Cut the bars and get them out of the house quick. They are dangerously delicious.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Barbeque Pizza--Secret Recipe Club

The Secret Recipe Club is a great place to find new blogging friends. You are assigned a blog, you have several weeks to stalk that blog and decide what yummy recipe you will make. On reveal day you post the recipe and give a shout out to the 'secret' blog! My blog this month was Ma, What's for Dinner?  Boy can I relate to this gal. I may be an empty nester now but I do have 6 children. They were all young once and dinner was there every day!! Alex has some great kid friendly recipes. She even has a cookbook. So if you have kids this is a blog you will enjoy. Alex also has some fun craft projects.
I will have a houseful of grand children this week. I'm sure I will turn to Ma, What's for Dinner?
I made BBQ Chicken Pizza. It was delicious--a crowd pleaser for sure!
Alex's recipe looked yummy, she made her own barbeque sauce. But I was in a hurry so I took a few shortcuts. I also scaled the recipe down to feed two. I still came up with a BBQ Chicken Pizza that we both enjoyed. I will make Alex's sauce soon--it looks delish.

Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza
1  ball pizza dough, purchased or homemade. I have used both but we just prefer homemade. I use Pioneer Woman's recipe. I love that it can hang out in the fridge for a few days. I make a batch and divide it into 3 balls. This makes a perfect size pizza for two. This dough freezes great too. I love having pizza dough in the freezer--it's a jump start to a great meal.
1-2 cups chicken, grilled or from a rotisserie chicken
1/3-1/2 cup barbeque sauce, Sweet Baby Ray's is our choice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced thin
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Olive oil

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle some olive oil on a pizza stone roll dough as thin as you like it! We like thin crust pizza. Brush dough with olive oil. Bake in very hot oven until dough just begins to brown, about 6 minutes.
Mix together chicken, barbeque sauce and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro.
Scatter chicken mixture over partial baked dough. Top with onion and pepper. Bake about 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over pizza and bake a few more minutes until melted.
Whisk together sour cream, lime juice and remaining cilantro.
Serve pizza with sauce! It's delicious.

Why the sauce??? My son always pulls out the ranch dressing when we have pizza. He insists in dipping his pizza in ranch! I was reading in a America's Test Kitchen cookbook. They suggested serving this Lime Cilantro sauce with Barbecue Chicken  pizza. I tried it--it's a winner. So I guess my son isn't the only one who 'dips' his pizza!
I just realized that last month I also made Pizza for SRC! It was a Thai Chicken Pizza. I can't tell you how many times I've made it! So SRC really is a great place to find new and exciting recipes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Breakfast in a Scone

I love having my kids come and visit. It gives me a chance to serve yummy recipes that are saved for special occasions. When my daughter travels 2000 miles with 4 little kids that is cause for celebration! We put diets aside and enjoy cooking good food together. Nothing makes me happier than being with my girls in the kitchen. It's a piece of heaven I'm sure.
I often start the day out with a sweet scone,  Lemon Cranberry Scone  or Pumpkin Scones with Spice Glazed  are both great choices but today I wanted a hearty scone, one that will satisfy a man's appetite. I found it, on Brown Eyed Baker--she always comes to my rescue. This scone is full of bacon, onion and cheese. It is rich and delicious. Perfect for the company that has traveled miles!

Breakfast in a Scone
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 stick butter--freezer for 30 minutes
11/2 cups grated cheese, cheddar or Gruyere
4 green onions, diced, white and green part
10 strips bacon cooked crisp and chopped
3/4+ cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 teaspoons water
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper on low till mixed. Grate frozen butter on the large holes of a box grated. Add frozen butter to flour mixture, mix gently. Add cheese, onion and bacon. Mix gently.  Add 3/4 cup buttermilk mix until the mixture just comes together adding more buttermilk if needed 1 tablespoon at a time. Please don't over mix. Form dough in a ball on a floured Roulmat. Using a floured rolling pin flatten and roll the dough to an 8 inch circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 8-10 wedges. Whisk together the egg and water. Brush each scone wedge with egg wash. Place on a silpat lined pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Scone should start to brown and be firm to the touch. Don't over bake. These are delicious warm. Actually they are good anyway!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Another Trip To the ER

It started out as a nice weekend trip to watch our sweet granddaughter dance. And dance she did--center stage right in step. We enjoyed ice cream and the zoo. Grandpa was happy to help Jarom get some yard work done. Lots of power tools were used--EJ was happy to stay inside and play Angry Birds on our Pad. 
We encouraged EJ to go outside and collect bugs with Grandpa, a favorite pastime. Then it happened, the accident.  EJ walked outside just as Grandpa was letting pressure out of a new gas can. Something malfunctioned and gas sprayed in EJ's eye.
She screamed, we brought her in the house and tried to pour water in her eye. After 20 minutes of more screaming and not enough water in her eye we literally threw the towel in and took her to the ER.
Now EJ is smart. She knew that if she didn't hold still and cooperate they would have no choice but to strap her down. She is also very articulate. She cooperated with the ER personnel but she did not hesitate to let them know exactly how she felt.

This is terrible past zero
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. (repeat)
I am NOT having fun.
This is the worst day of my life.
My face is so red.  I look ridiculous.
I hate this 100 percent."
We are happy to say her eye is fine. I think she gave the ER personnel something to smile about! And I'll continue to call my blog Everyday Insanity, because it is.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Gold Medal Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

No, this recipe didn't win a Gold Medal (yet) it came from the back of a bag of Gold Medal Flour. I often make recipes on the back of packages--they are usually yummy. I just assume products would only want the best recipes on their packages.
Do I really need another oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe? Yes, of course I do! I liked this recipe because it is easy, perfect for the beginner. No fussy instructions; just a few ingredients combine to make a delicious cookie. Is it good? My granddaughters gave them thumbs up. I will make them again when I need a quick, tasty cookie. Enjoy.

Gold Medal Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar (11 1/2 ounces)
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
In a large bowl beat together brown sugar, butter, vanilla and egg. This can be done by hand or with a mixer.. Add oats, flour, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips and nuts. Mix well.
Using a medium scoop drop dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes--until golden brown. Makes 3 dozen.
Printable Recipe

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cocunut Shrimp Curry

We do love curry and will often order out just curry at a favorite Thai restaurant. As my daughters and I became more familiar with Thai ingredients we decided to try a few Thai dishes at home. Curry was an easy place to start. My daughter sent me some small cans of red curry paste. Now even though the cans are small they contained way more than the recipe called for. I measured the paste in 1 teaspoon amounts and put each teaspoon on a piece of parchment paper. These were quick frozen and put in a labeled, freezer baggie. Now we get many uses of one can of curry paste. We tried this dish with chicken--it was not bad but we will stick to shrimp in the future.

Curry Ingredients
1 pound shrimp
2 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp canola oil (split and used at different times in the recipe)
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup snow peas, strings removed, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 cup bean sprouts
2 carrots, cut with a Julienne cutter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
(when preparing ingredients mix the 1 tsp oil, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl - when it comes time to add it to the pan you'll pat yourself on the back for making it so easy!)

Coconut Curry Sauce
1 can coconut milk, not light
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2-3 tsp red curry paste
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch

Combine the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl, set aside.

Make sure the shrimp are peeled, deveined, and thawed if previously frozen.  Toss the shrimp with soy sauce.  Heat 2 tsp oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally until curled and lightly brown, about 2 minutes.  Do NOT overcook. Transfer the shrimp to a clean bowl.

Add 1 Tbsp of oil to the pan and heat until shimmering.  Add bell pepper and cook until crisp tender, about 2 minutes.  Stir in zucchini and snow peas and cook one more minute.  Clear the center of the pan and add the oil, garlic, ginger mixture.  Cook, mashing into the pan with a spatula, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in cooked shrimp, bean sprouts and julienne carrots.  Quickly whisk sauce ingredients to recombine and add to pan.  Bring to a simmer.  Cook until the sauce thickens, about 1-2 minutes.  Serve immediately. Over a big bowl of rice. May accompany with Naan,
This recipe was inspired by one we saw on Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

TWD/BWJ Oasis Naan

I was excited for our recipe this week. Naan is a food that is on my 'baking bucket' list, I do love Indian food and good curry. Naan is the perfect accompaniment to such dishes. So I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make. I started the dough by hand but finished it in the mixer, my back just can't knead. I added the lesser amount of flour as I was aiming for a softer dough. 
I can tell this is a recipe that needs practice! Why is round so difficult?? But my last naan looked much better than the first one. I served the warm, chewy naan with Skillet Chicken Tikki Masala, a favorite 30 minute meal.

You'll want to check Maggie's or Phyl’s blog for the complete recipe. This is a recipe worth perfecting. Who doesn't love warm bread with a meal?