baking, blogging, chocolate, recipe blog, recipes, Uncategorized

St. Patty’s Day Brownies With A Twist

St. Patrick’s Day is just about here and you will see everyone adding the color “green” to just about every drink and food they make. Not for nothing, but I find that mostly not appetizing.

Instead of making your brownies green, how about we add a little Bailey’s Irish Cream to the batter and also to the frosting?  We can add green sprinkles that look appetizing to top it off.

Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder  and I add about 2 tablespoons of sweetened cocoa.
1 tsp. instant coffee powder 
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
heaping 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil and lightly spritz with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, instant coffee powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Set aside. Place butter in a large microwave-proof bowl and melt in 30 second spurts, stirring in between each interval until completely melted. Set aside to cool a bit. Once the butter is warm (not hot!), add eggs one at a time, whisking constantly to incorporate. Whisk vigorously for about 10 seconds to incorporate fully. Add sugar, vanilla, and Bailey’s and whisk until combined. Add the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, folding until just combined. Coat the chocolate chips with a little bit of flour and then add them to the batter. The flour will help the chocolate chips not sink to the bottom of the pan while baking. 
Pour batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to smooth out the top. Bake at for about 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Let cool.  You can make a chocolate glaze to go onto the brownies by getting a can of your favorite icing, melting it in the microwave at about 20 seconds and then add about 1 tablespoon of the Bailey’s Irish Cream and stir.  Then pour over the mixture.   This of course is optional.  Then sprinkle the green sprinkles…..  and enjoy! 
You can also top the brownies with just a dusting of powdered sugar instead.
Tip: To cut brownies with clean lines, lightly spray your (sharp) knife with cooking spray
Baily's Irish Cream Brownies

 

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comforting food, recipe blog, Uncategorized

Comfort Toast – a new twist

Toast is supposed to be a “comforting” food.  You eat it when you are sick, you eat it when you need something quick and you eat it with so many different toppings (not just butter!)

guamole toast

Guacamole is becoming eaten more and more these days. So I decided to use it for my guacamole mozzarella toast.

To Make:

I used oatmeal bread but you can use any type of bread your heart desires.  Then I toast it in the toaster lightly.  When it is done, I put about 2 tablespoons butter in a frying pan and wait until the butter is just about melted, then I add the toast.  I let them “toast” for about 3 minutes each side.  When I take it out, I spread the guacamole, add the cheese, and then place it again in the toaster just to melt the cheese somewhat.  When it starts to melt, I take it out, and sprinkle a little garlic salt with parsley and some pepper.

Delicious!

salad toast
Using the same bread above, I made an open salad toast. I toast it in the toaster lightly.  When it is done, I put about 2 tablespoons butter in a frying pan and wait until the butter is just about melted, then I add the toast.  I let them “toast” for about 3 minutes each side.  Then I place pepper jack cheese on the toast, put it back in the toaster to melt the cheese. When the cheese is melted, I take it out and place the lettuce on top, crunchy onions, some pepper, and top it with avocado ranch dressing.

Another comforting toast recipe complete.

 

baking, blogging, chocolate, crafts, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day Treats

valentines day cakes

Pictured above: Raspberry-filled golden butter heart cakes. ( Not iced…yet)

Golden Butter Cake:

 

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Baking Spray

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.  Pour into your heart pans which have been sprayed with baking spray.  Bake at 325° until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 21 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Invert pan onto a wire rack over waxed paper and hit the hearts with a spoon to loosen the cakes to fall out.

Raspberry Filling:

Combine raspberries, sugar, 3/4 cup water, and lemon juice in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Pour mixture back into the saucepan.  Mix remaining water and cornstarch together in a bowl until dissolved; add to raspberry mixture. Bring mixture to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Cool filling in refrigerator, at least 30 minutes.

OR… here’s a HACK: Get a can of raspberry pit filling in your grocery store. ( It’s easier and no one will know!)

I then used a small heart cookie cutter to cut a hole into each cake and fill it with the fruit filling. Then I placed the heart I cut out back inside.

Go to my Facebook page tomorrow and see the finished cake!

 

valentines day cookies

Another treat that you can make that is much easier than the cakes, are sugar cookie hearts.  It’s your simple sugar cookie recipe and then frosting is a cinch!  Frosting hack: Get a tub of vanilla or white icing and melt it in the microwave. You don’t want it to be soupy. Melt it at 21 seconds, check and then add 5 seconds until you get a good consistency.  Then I scoop it into a pastry bag and design the cookies. I have heart sprinkles and place those on the cookies.  Oh, how did I get pink cookies? Simply, separate the dough and with half the dough I add some pink or red food coloring and mix.

Check my Facebook page tomorrow for how I created the DIY bags to put these lovely cookies in.

 

blogging, crafts, decor, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day DIY

There’s a lot of fun stuff you can do out there for Valentine’s Day! Really, the sky is the limit.  I will show you a few DIY gifts you can do that will cost you under $20 to make.

baby plate

Here is a plate you can make for grandma or auntie!  You need a paint marker and then match the color with some paint for glass.  Put the paint in the bottom of your baby’s feet and do one foot at a time.   I would do the feet prints first, and then write the L O E after they are dried.

These are great “goody bags” for any party or for your kids to give out stuff at school to their teachers.  The bags were from Michael’s Crafts, but I have seen some bags just like this a lot of different places, so look around.  Then I take paper arrows ( you can make them as well with construction paper) and write the person’s name on them.  I found these cute felt hearts at Target and tied it to the back of the bag. Then I glued the arrow to the heart. Simple equals Tasteful.

painting samples

You know those color painting cards you get in Home Depot or Lowe’s?  Well, You can use them for your gift tags! All you need is a heart hole puncher, ribbon and a pair of scissors.  These are free, BTW, so the only cost will be the hold puncher and ribbon.

Coming up on the blog on Tuesday, I will have all the recipes you will want to sink your teeth into for Valentine’s Day!  YUM!

Uncategorized

It’s Super Bowl Time – Time for Super Treats!

super bowl

Happy Superbowl day to all!  Since it’s the last day of the football season – we need treats that are well, super!  So let’s begin going from top left and working our way down the picture.

TOP LEFT: Ref Cookies

These are so simple! You buy Nutter Butter Cookies and dip half the cookie in melted white chocolate. Let those dry. I put them in the fridge so they get hard quicker and stay hard.   Then you get a black gel cookie writer and use that for the strips. Finally I use some vanilla icing to glue on the candy eyes.   I then put it back into the fridge to harden. I took them out to get room temperature before I am serving them.

TOP RIGHT: Taco Crescent Bites

Another “hack” type recipe.  All you need to do is go to the grocery store and buy Crescent Dough Sheets – if you can’t find it, you can use crescent rolls, but then you will need to roll them together into one big sheet.

On parchment paper, I roll out the bottom layer of the dough.  Then on a separate piece of parchment paper, I roll out the top layer of the dough.  Next, you need ground beef. I buy 90-10 ground beef, about 1 pound( 10% fat) and coat a skillet with olive grilling oil, and start breaking up the ground beef in the skillet.  Once I have all the meat in the skillet, I then add HALF a packet of Mild Taco Seasoning and about 2 teaspoons of Buffalo Wings Hot Sauce. and stir.  You need to keep stirring and breaking up the meat so it browns evenly with a wooden spoon.  After about 10-12 minutes, the meat is done. I turn off the gas and start to spoon it onto the bottom layer of the crescent dough I rolled out.  I transfer it to a cookie sheet ( Parchment paper with dough) then I add Mexican Style Cheese and press it onto the top of the meat. Once that is done, I place the top layer of the dough onto the mixture and fold the sides so the meat stays put and use a fork and place holes on the entire top layer.  Then I melt about 1 -2 pats of butter and brush it on it the crescent dough.  You bake it at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Once it is cooled, you can cut it into bite-sizes and serve it with Salsa.

The 2 bottom pictures go together. The little bags are made from blank labels you can get in an office store and I cut them to look like a football and place them on the bag.  Inside the bag is a NO BAKE popcorn snack.   Now, you can use AS much as you want of Popcorn, M&Ms, and Chopped Walnuts, depending on HOW many guests you have. I don’t have that many for today, so I used small snack size bags of popcorn, 1 box of M&Ms, and about 1 cup of chopped walnuts.   Lay all ingredients out on a cookie sheet that is covered with parchment paper.  Then you sprinkle sea salt and cinnamon sugar on it. Finally you melt chocolate ( I have a combo of milk and dark)  and drizzle it all over the popcorn mixture.  I put it in the fridge to get hard and then about 2 hours later, you can take it out,  and break it up into pieces and place them in each bag.

There ya go!

Now you have 3 different treats to serve at your Superbowl party! Have fun and remember, don’t drink and drive!!

blogging, crafts, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day DIY

Don’t look now, but Valentine’s Day is approaching! It’s only 3 weeks away! This can be a really fun day for everyone – and that includes little kids! I used to be a preschool teacher and I loved doing crafts with my class.  This day was really fun!

Here’s a quick little DIY project that you can do with your class or at home.

tic tac toe

This can work in a few ways:

First off, you will need to cut out a heart and draw the Tic Tac Toe board on the heart. Next, you will have to make the hearts.  You can either get these puffy hearts at the craft store and use those, or you can make your own.

You will have to cut out 20 small hearts; 10 in red and 10 in pink.  Then you will need to glue HALF the heart together and leave an open side. Once it dries, you can rip apart some cotton balls and stuff them into the hearts.  You will only need to use 1-2 cotton balls per heart.

Next you will need to glue the heart shut.  Once it dries you can now go ahead and play Tic Tac Toe!

 

baking, blogging, DIY, recipes, Uncategorized

Let’s Party!

pita chips

Homemade Pita Chips – Part 1:

There’s nothing quite like making your own chips! First off, it’s healthier. Secondly, it’s fun! With the AFC/NFC Championships this today and then the Superbowl in 2 weeks, it’s a great time to start thinking about snacks for your football parties!

First you need to buy pita bread. You can buy whichever you prefer.

Secondly you will need to cut each pita into wedges OR if you don’t want to be that creative, you can just cut the pita bread into pieces.

Next, Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Then you need to place the chips in a large plastic bag so you can coat each pita slice/piece with olive oil. I use grilling/Sautéing Olive Oil.  There’s real no “exact” measurement of how much, since I just eyeball it into the bag, seal it shut and then massage the chips on the counter ( the pita bread gets a spa treatment!) until I see that each piece is coated. If I have to add a little more oil, I do. BUT you don’t want to soak the bread, just coat it.

Then I place them on the baking sheet and sprinkle my spices. I make a mixture of Garlic, Parmesan Cheese, Salt and Pepper.    I make sure BOTH sides get coated with the spices. If you want them plain, then you skip this step and follow the next one.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy and browned. Cool completely.

Part2: Then I like to serve mine with salsa and melted cheese. OR you can Serve them with your favorite dips or eat them plain! The choice is yours and it’s endless!

pita recipe

Happy Snacking!