Saturday, December 8, 2012

National Brownie Day

Hey!

Today's National Brownie Day!!

Spoil yourself with a nice chocolaty treat!

Why not try a new recipe?

There's Shane's Classic Brownies
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Fudgy Mexican Brownies
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Nutella Brownies
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Double Decker Chocolate Chip Turtle Brownies
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Frosted Mocha Mocha Brownies
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Your own favorite family recipe, favorite box mix, or your favorite brownies from the bakery!

Enjoy some brownies today!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Apple Cider Sangria

I saw this recipe a few times, before it really clicked that it was something I really wanted to make.

While I enjoy white sangrias, I really prefer red. So, that probably accounts for my hesitation.

I decided it would be great for Thanksgiving. Mum usually serves wine, but I really don't like wine... well... unless it's in sangria form!

Anyway... I was perusing the interwebs and stumbled upon this recipe at how sweet it is... and I tweaked it a little.

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Apple Cider Sangria
1 bottle (750ml) pinot grigio
2 1/2 C apple cider
1/2 C ginger liqueur (I used Domaine de Canton)
1 C ginger ale or ginger beer
3 honey crisp apples, cubed
3 pears, cubed

Combine all ingredients and stir. Refrigerate at least one hour, preferably several.

Enjoy!!

I made a single batch of this and instantly decided to add half a batch more, then decided to just double it. We didn't have any more pinot grigio or we would have doubled it again!

This is wicked good!!! Everyone totally LOVED it!

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I only used the apples & pears for one recipe. I think if we'd quadrupled it, just 3 pears and 3 apples would have still been fine.

This can sit in the fridge for days (if it lasts that long!!) You don't get any bitterness like you do from citrus fruit in sangria. The apples and pears just keep adding more appley peary goodness!

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From this day forward Apple Cider Sangria will forever be served on Thanksgiving!! And probably many of the other days that apple cider is available! I can't wait to make it again!

I really suggest you make this today.... don't dawdle like I did!!! And make it at least a double!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chicken Peanut Stew

I've been seeing this recipe a lot over the past couple of years and wanting to try it. But it seemed like one of those things that my family might not like. No real reason, just a feeling. So I kept putting it aside.

Well, let me tell ya, I wish I had tried it a lot sooner! It was SO good!

This recipe is very slightly adapted from JungleFrog Cooking.

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Chicken Peanut Stew
1 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into bite sized pieces
1 lb potatoes, peeled & cut into bite sized pieces
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded & diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 in piece ginger root, grated
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
chopped peanuts, if desired
skinny chile pepper slices, if desired

Cut the chicken (breast or thighs, whatever you prefer) into bite sized pieces.
Chop the veggies.
Heat oil in a dutch oven. Add onions and jalapenos. Cook until onions are slightly translucent.
Add chicken. Cook and stir a few minutes. Add ginger, garlic, tomato paste, curry, coriander. Cook a few minutes until spices are really fragrant.
Add chicken broth, peanut butter, brown sugar and sweet chili sauce. Stir and cook until well combined. Add potatoes, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Stir.
Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 60 - 90 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Garnish with chopped peanuts and chile slices. Serve with crusty bread.
Enjoy!!

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Cut up your chicken. I used boneless skinless breasts.
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Cut up your veggies.
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Sweet Potatoes & Potatoes
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Heat the oil in a dutch oven.

Add onions & jalapenos and cook until onions are a little translucent.
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Add chicken.
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Cook a few more minutes.

Add ginger root, garlic, tomato paste, curry and coriander.
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Stir and cook a few minutes until spices are really fragrant.

Add chicken broth.
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And peanut butter
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Stir until peanut butter is totally mixed in.

Add brown sugar.
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Sweet Chili Sauce
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And tomatoes.
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Stir and add potatoes & sweet potatoes.
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Stir, cover and simmer for 60 - 90 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
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I had fully intended to garnish this with chopped peanuts & chile slices, but totally forgot to buy them!
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Tear off a nice crusty piece of bread and enjoy!!
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I didn't tell Jon what was in this, because I thought he'd say that the ingredients didn't 'go together'. That way he had a less biased mind to try it. He is really good about trying everything I make, well... except Rappie Pie... anyway...

We both LOVED this. Bob didn't care for it, but I really didn't think he'd like it. Tawny and Lilly weren't home, and they didn't get to try it, because Jon & I just finished up the leftovers for lunch!

This is a really hearty, thick, flavorful, satisfying stew and I wish I had tried it sooner! I'll definitely be making this again. Give it a try and don't wait as long as I did!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Caramel Apple Enchiladas

The second I saw Caramel Apple Enchiladas on In the Kitchen with KP, I knew I had to make them!

Growing up, we used to always go apple picking in the fall so that's when my mom always started making apple desserts! Apple Crisp, Apple Dumplings, Apple Pies...

The weather was cool in Pittsburgh. It was definitely feeling like fall. And I was dying to get my apple on.

As soon as I saw the recipe for Caramel Apple Enchiladas, I couldn't stop thinking about them. Unfortunately, I was heading out of town to help my sister with her annual Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention.

Which, by the way, you can still make a donation to, if you're so inclined, by clicking this link... http://afsp.donordrive.com/participant/spryte

I was considering making them at her house... but we were so busy, there was just no time. So they had to wait... and I have to say, they were definitely worth the wait!!

After checking out LOTS of Apple Enchilada recipes, (most of which called for canned apple pie filling *shudder*) this is what I came up with.

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Caramel Apple Enchiladas
5 flour tortillas (soft taco size)
5 apples (I used 3 MacIntosh & 2 Honey Crisp)
1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 - 3/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 C butter
5 Caramel sheets (used for easy caramel apples)
1 TBLS butter, melted
1 TBLS cinnamon/sugar (for sprinkling)
Vanilla ice cream (optional)
Caramel sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F.
Peel, core and chop apples.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup of butter.
Add chopped apples, sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg.
Cook apples for about 5 - 8 minutes, or until tender.
Place flour tortilla on work surface, then place caramel sheet in the center of the flour tortilla.
Put a scoop of cooked apples in the center.
Fold bottom of tortilla up over apples, fold sides in, then roll it up, being careful to keep the filling inside.
Place seam side down in 8x8 glass baking dish.
Repeat with remaining tortillas & caramel sheets.
Brush enchiladas with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar.
Bake at 425F for 10 - 15 minutes or until golden.
Serve warm with ice cream and a drizzle of caramel.

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So peel your apples.
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I like to use a couple types of apples, when I bake.
One is almost always MacIntosh, today the other was Honey Crisp.

Cut out the cores and chop them up.
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Melt 1/4 C butter in a large skillet.
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Add the chopped apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
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Cook 5 - 8 minutes, or until apples are tender.
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Ok... those spicy apples smelled amazing!

Now you need soft taco sized flour tortillas & caramel sheets.

You can usually find caramel sheets in the produce department at the grocery store.
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I had never used them before. They're pretty cool... just packed between sheets of parchment paper.
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First lay out a tortilla.
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Add a caramel sheet.
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Add a scoop of apples.
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Fold the bottom of the tortilla up over the apples.
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Fold in the sides.
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Then roll it up and place it seam side down in an 8x8 glass baking dish.

Repeat with remaining tortillas & caramel sheets.
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I had a little bit of apple left over... it was so good reheated on pancakes the next day! But it would have also been great stirred into oatmeal.
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Now brush the enchiladas with melted butter.
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Sprinkle them with cinnamon/sugar.
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And bake for 10 - 15 minutes at 425F, or until golden.
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Some of the caramel oozes out, but that's ok. It totally scoops right up with the enchiladas.

Serve with some vanilla ice cream and an extra drizzle of caramel!
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These were SO good!! And they went together really fast! No baking for an hour or making dough like a pie. Just sweet, spicy, apply deliciousness!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

There's a Lean Cuisine I like called Ranchero Braised Beef with Chipotle Sweet Potatoes. Admittedly, lots of Lean Cuisines aren't very good. But this one doesn't totally suck. The meat isn't great... but I love the sauce mixed with the mashed chipotle sweet potatoes. So I decided to make the Sweet Spicy Mashies myself.

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Alton Brown's Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can of peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put cubed potatoes into steamer basket and place steamer into a large pot of simmering water that is no closer than 2 inches from the bottom of basket. Allow to steam for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Add butter to potatoes and mash with potato masher. Add peppers, sauce, and salt and continue mashing to combine. Serve immediately.

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I have 4 sweet potatoes, because mine were pretty small.
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Peel 'em.
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Cut them into cubes and steam them for 20 minutes or until they're fork tender.
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While they're steaming, you can chop your chipotle pepper.

I like to buy the San Marcos brand, because it's a really small can and I usually only use one pepper at a time.
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Mmmm... spicy & smokey!
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Even with one chipotle, these potatoes have a nice spicy kick.
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All steamed and tender, butter added...
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Mash them up!
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Add the pepper & sauce.
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Mix until the pepper and sauce are well combined with the sweet potatoes.
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Now they're ready to serve.

They were perfect with some grilled chicken, sugar snap peas and baked beans.
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The color is bright and gorgeous! They were creamy, sweet and spicy! Totally delicious! And a gazillion times better than a Lean Cuisine!