Archive for November, 2013

Smore Brownies

I think I found this recipe online originally, but I’m not sure where.

  • 10 whole Graham Crackers, broken in half (20 squares)
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 4 squares of unsweetened Baker’s chocolate
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows (we just sprinkled marshmallows over the top until we felt there was enough, so I don’t know how much we used)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (same as above)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with foil. Grease foil. Line the bottom of the pan with 15 Graham squares. Break remaining 5 squares into pieces and set aside.

2. (The original recipe says to microwave the butter and chocolate to melt it, but we melted it in a bowl set over a pot of hot water.) Stir in sugar. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Add flour. Spread over the Graham square level in the baking pan.

3. Bake 30 to 32 min or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out with fudgy crumbs. (There’s a warning not to overbake, but ours needed almost 40 minutes to reach this stage.)

4. Sprinkle marshmallows and chocolate chips evenly over top. Bake 3 to 5 minutes or until marshmallows begin to puff. Remove from oven and press Graham pieces into marshmallows. Cool before cutting.

Smore Brownies (2)

Verdict: These were very good. The brownies themselves were rich, but I liked the smore aspect of them as well. The definitely needed to cool a little longer than we gave them. They were probably the best the day after baking.

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Cheese ‘n Ham Spirals

This is a Kraft recipe.

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Half of a 397g package of puff pastry (we ended up using all of it)
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (didn’t use)
  • 170g cooked ham (since we made a second log with the puff pastry, I think we used almost double of the ham and probably the cheese, but we didn’t measure the exact amount used)

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Beat together egg and water until blended and set aside. Roll the puff pastry out into a 14×10 inch square (we did this with each half) then cut in half lengthwise (we had 4 pieces). Brush all pieces with the egg.

2. Sprinkle cheese, pepper (if using) and ham on one piece of the pastry. Place remaining piece, egg-side down, over ham and seal edges. (We did this twice to have 2 logs. We also sprinkled cheese on all four slices and the ham on only two.)

3. Roll up tightly to form a log, starting at one of the long sides (we did this wrong, starting with the short sides, which is why we decided to make the second half of the puff pastry package). Cut into 24 slices (I am skeptical that this is possible. Though we did roll wrong and wanted a more substantial sized piece, we ended up with 8 from two logs). Brush with remaining egg and sprinkle with cheese (since we had sprinkled cheese on both pieces of each log we didn’t add any more on top).

3. Bake 12 to 14 min.

Cheese Ham Spirals

Verdict: These were delicious. They were nice and cheesy. I am not normally a fan of puff pastry but I think the ham and cheese taste worked well with it and made it a very enjoyable meal (served with some nice potatoes!).

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Cocoa-nana Bread

I am pretty sure I found this recipe on another food blog, but I can’t remember which one.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder (the original recipe said to use semi-sweet cocoa powder, but we couldn’t find that anywhere up here and had to use the unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (we used salted butter so we didn’t add more salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan. (The original recipe says to place the pan on two baking sheets, to prevent burning the base of the loaf. We used only one and didn’t have a problem with burning, but we were happy to have the one sheet we used, as the loaf expanded quite a bit and some batter dripped out of the pan.)

2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt (if using) and baking soda.

3. In a large bowl (or with a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, as the original recipe said) beat the butter until softened. Add sugar and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add bananas (if using a mixer, the original recipe recommends lowering the speed). Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches. Add the buttermilk. Stir in chopped chocolate. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

4. Make a tin foil tent over loaf. Bake 30 min then remove foil. Bake an additional 40-45 minutes without the foil or until knife inserted comes out clean. Let cool.

Cocoa Nana Bread

Verdict: Maybe it was because we couldn’t find the semi-sweet cocoa powder, but it felt like something was missing from this recipe. The chocolate taste was nice, but kind of muted. You could taste the bananas, without them overpowering the chocolate taste (we’ve found in other recipes that bananas can sometimes take over a whole recipe, no matter how many different flavours it seems there should be). The loaf wasn’t really moist and seemed to get dryer on the second day.

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Creamy Chicken, Bacon and Tomato Pasta

This is a Kraft recipe.

  • 3 cups farfalle pasta
  • 450g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bite-sized pieces
  • 3 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (we made 4)
  • 540ml can of Italian style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 125g of Cream Cheese Spread, cubed (we didn’t cube it, just kind of dropped it in and it still worked fine)
  • 1/2 water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (we left this up to the individual person, because in my family we use a lot of Parmesan cheese)

1. Cook pasta as directed.

2. Meanwhile, cook chicken in a skillet on medium heat until cooked through. Add bacon, tomatoes, cream cheese spread, water and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 min, or until cream cheese is completely melted and mixture is well blended.

3. Drain pasta. In a large bowl, mix pasta and sauce together.

Bacon Tomato Pasta

Verdict: I wanted to try this recipe because I have never really been a fan of cream cheese. I am trying to find ways to use it in cooking that I won’t mind eating. Using it here, to make a kind of rose sauce, really worked. The one issue we had is that the bacon kind of got lost in the dish. We would probably need more slices to notice it, though it could be cut out all together without changing the dish’s overall taste.

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Broccoli Cheddar and Sausage Egg Muffin Pull-A-Parts

I found this recipe on another food blog.

  • 6 Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits, from a can of 8 (they don’t sell these around here, but we used a can of 5 Pillsbury dinner rolls)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup of cooked broccoli florets, cut up
  • 1/2 cup of cooked sausage, cut up
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Cut each of the 6 biscuits into 8 triangles and place into a muffin tin (we split our dinner rolls into 2 pieces each and used a large muffin tin. We also baked ours first). Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Split broccoli and sausage evenly amongst the biscuits.

4. Whisk together eggs and milk.  Pour evenly over each biscuit. Top each with cheese.

5. Bake 28-32 minutes until egg is set (and biscuit is done if they aren’t pre-cooked) and cheese is golden.

Broccoli Sausage Cups

Verdict: These were very tasty. We made them larger than the original recipe called for, I think, because of how we had to modify based on what we had at hand. But it was like a little breakfast in a muffin form. Yummy.

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