Warm Chocolate Cobbler aka Chocolate Pudding Cake

Warm Chocolate Cobbler aka Chocolate Pudding Cake



Chocolate Cobbler.

Yes you heard me right.

There IS such a thing…and it’s easy and delicious. Also, known by various names like Chocolate Pudding Cake and Fudgy Pudding Cake, the recipes out there are varied but pretty similar and all result in a pan of warm chocolate goodness.  Think molten lava cakes, but instead of individual cakes, you spoon it warm out of a pan and top it with ice cream. It’s like a crispy topped brownie with a layer of warm fudge sauce lurking underneath it, waiting to ooze out and make you swoon.

Instead of fussing over those individual molten cakes, I’m making this for my Wonderful Guy for Valentine’s Day. It’s simple and it’s warm and gooey chocolate…what more can you ask for?

Some say the origins come from an old Betty Crocker Boys and Girls Cookbook and you’re probably bound to run into it in some old cookbook of your grandma’s. But aren’t those the BEST recipes?

Now I have to tell you to trust the process in this recipe. SERIOUSLY.

Don’t question yourself on the final step because it really is that weird.

You make two layers, (like any good cobbler). The first layer or the bottom layer looks just like a brownie mix and you start with a mix of dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl, then combine the two.


Spread the thick batter with a rubber spatula into a sprayed 8 x 8 inch baking dish.

Then in a third bowl, you mix brown sugar and cocoa powder and sprinkle it heavily over top of the brownie mixture. And really…just use your hands to mix. the spoon didn’t do well with the brown sugar lumps but your built in mixing hands can squeeze those into submission!

Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the brownie batter and then spoon the brown sugar/cocoa mixture over that.

I totally did that backward because I forgot the chocolate chips so pay  no attention to that photo!. Shake the pan back and forth and this will level out your toppings!

Pop it into a 350º oven for 40 minutes and then let it cool for 10 minutes or so before serving.

And when you dig in with that first scoop you’re going to be tickled pink. Just LOOK at that hot fudge sauce underneath!

warm pudding fudge cake

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Pudding cake recipe

And watch it melt onto that warm, chocolate crispy topped Chocolate Cobbler and mingle with that fudge sauce.

Valentine’s Day will be covered. Your honey will love you.

Enough said.


Warm Chocolate Cobbler


  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • ¾ c. granulated sugar
  • ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder, divided (so use ⅛ here)
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 2 t. espresso powder (optional)
  • ¼ t. kosher salt
  • ½ c. whole milk
  • 6 T. butter, melted
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • ⅛ c. cocoa powder (the rest of your divided cocoa powder!)
  • ½ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1½ c. hot water
  • Serve with Vanilla ice cream-mandatory!
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking dish
  4. In one bowl mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt.
  5. In another bowl whisk together milk, melted butter, and vanilla.
  6. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix with a spatula, because it will be very thick – like brownie mix.
  7. Spread into sprayed baking dish
  8. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top.
  9. In a 3rd bowl, mix together brown sugar and cocoa powder
  10. Sprinkle a thick layer of this over the brownie layer and shake pan to level.
  11. Pour the hot water over top evenly. It will start to soak into the brown sugar layer.DO NOT STIR! TRUST THE PROCESS!
  12. Bake for 40 minutes
  13. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes, then serve warm with vanilla ice cream

Calories: 2921 Fat: 81 g     Saturated fat: 50 g     Trans fat: 3 g     Carbohydrates: 446 g     Sugar: 334 g     Sodium: 2353 mg     Fiber: 12 g     Protein: 23 g     Cholesterol: 203 mg    



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Valentine’s Day Chocolate Recipe Ideas

Valentine's Day Chocolate Recipe Ideas



Valentine’s Day is coming!  What do you on Valentine’s Day? Do you go out and fight the restaurant craze or stay home and cook a romantic meal for you and your hunny?  We typically stay home and for those of you who do, here are some recipe ideas with chocolate dessert inspiration for your dinner with your sweetie.

First up, Chocolate Brownie Hearts and Strawberries.  They’re cute, they’re yummy and you can serve them with a side of chocolate hot fudge and life will pretty much bet wonderful as you know it.

chocolate brownie hearts.jpg


Espresso Truffles are easier than they look, melt in your mouth fabulous!



Peanut Butter Pie with a chocolate cookie crust and a layer of chocolate fudge at the bottom.

peanut butter pie

S’Mores Fondue.  Need I say more?


Just the name Molten Lava Cupcakes makes my Valentine romantic heart sing with joy!

Molten Lava Cupcakes

Take your pick! Any of these deliciously chocolate recipes should satisfy your Valentine’s Day chocolate craving and sweetheart!


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Bacon Chipotle Salted Caramel Crack

bacon crack recipe



Let me just apologize for this recipe right off the bat.

Bacon crack is all over the internet and anything has the two words “bacon” and “crack” has to be really good right?  I’m assuming, that is, that the word “crack” has to do with being addictive.

And merciful heavens is it EVER!

Think salty cracker crust, a caramel that bakes up from butter, brown sugar and maple syrup and just a sprinkle of chipotle powder to make things interesting.

And it’s super easy to make.  What more can you ask for?

How about an entire platter for yourself on your Body For Life cheat day? YES!

Stick with me (literally, it’s sticky) through the process that follows!

Pre-heat your oven to 400º.

My preferred method of making bacon is in the oven, but you can opt to cut your pound of bacon crosswise in 1/2 inch pieces and fry it up in a skillet if you’d rather.

Here is how I do it -Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and layer out in a single layer your bacon slices. Bake for 15 minutes then check it. You want it lightly browned and almost done, not dark because it will cook again on the crackers.

Photo Mar 09, 1 42 54 AM

While that’s baking, let’s make the rest of the recipe!

Line another baking sheet (11 x 16) with parchment paper (best method) or tin foil and lightly spray it with baking spray.

Take one sleeve of saltine crackers plus ten more crackers and line the sheet with them. Keep the edges touching to make a solid sheet of saltine crackers.

saltine crackers for bacon crack

In a small saucepan, add a stick of butter plus three-fourths cup each of brown sugar and maple syrup (i used pure maple syrup).  Also, if you want a little sweet and hot kick to your bacon crack, add 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle powder.

bacon crack recipe ingredients

Heat this over medium-high heat until the butter melts and it begins to bubble, then adjust your heat to a low simmer and let it go for three minutes. It should thicken up.

Drizzle this over your crackers. Be careful because it’s REALLY HOT!

drizzle bacon crack topping

Take a spoon or rubber spatula and try to evenly spread this around onto all crackers.

bacon crack recipe

After you’ve removed your bacon and let it cool, crumble it up and sprinkle it evenly over top of the caramel topped crackers.

Sprinkle bacon on bacon crack

Take your hand and kind of smooth the bacon out over the crackers.

Photo Mar 09, 2 28 41 AM

And please lick your fingers off afterwards…it’s like the best taste test ever!

Then pop your crack into the oven and bake it for seven minutes.

bacon crack recipe

Remove it and let it cool (about thirty minutes).

bacon crack finished

Optional – I was really going for the sweet salty play of salted caramel here, so I sprinkled about a teaspoon of sea salt over the entire thing.

salt bacon crack

Then I kind of lifted one end up with a spatula to get a hold of it.

bacon crack break apart

And then get your hands in there and break it apart onto a platter. It might be a little gooey still but that’s pure bliss, trust me!

Bacon Chipotle Caramel Crack 2


Bacon Chipotle Caramel Crack

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  • 1 sleeve plus 10 crackers, Saltine crackers
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 t. chipotle pepper
  • 1 lb. bacon
  • 1 t. sea salt (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 400º
  • Line a 16 X 11 baking sheet with parchment (works better) or foil
  • Lightly spray parchment or foil with baking spray
  • Line another 16 X 11 baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and lay out bacon, in a single layer (may require two pans).
  • Bake bacon after 15 minutes to see how it’s cooking. You want the bacon slightly under-cooked because you will bake it again on the crackers
  • Alternately you can chop the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces by slicing across the pieces and fry up in a pan until almost crispy.
  • Layer out all the crackers onto the sprayed, lined baking sheet, sides touching
  • In a small saucepan melt butter with sugar and syrup and bring to slight boil.
  • Boil for three minutes then remove from heat
  • Syrup should be thick like maple syrup, maybe even thicker
  • Pour it over all the crackers then use spatula to evenly spread over all crackers
  • Sprinkle bacon evenly over top all and bake for 7 minutes
  • If desired sprinkle sea salt over top evenly
  • Allow to cook then life ends with spatula and use hands to pull pieces apart and stack on platter.



    Bacon lovers unite! Check out these amazing other recipes created by food bloggers participating in Food Network’s Comfort Food Feast!

    The Lemon Bowl: Roasted Green Beans with Bacon
    Creative Culinary: Bacon, Potato and Leek Soup with Roasted Garlic
    TasteBook: Smokey Caramelized Onion, Coffee & Bacon Jam
    Healthy Eats: 5 Better Ways to Put Bacon on Everything
    Napa Farmhouse 1885: Oven Baked Bacon (and a Bacon Recipe Roundup)
    Taste with the Eyes: Hawaiian Wedding Shower, Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Appetizer
    The Mom 100: The Ultimate BLT Sandwich
    Dishin & Dishes: Bacon Chipotle Caramel Crack
    FN Dish: 6 Ways to Make Over-

    Bacon Chipotle Salted Caramel Crack


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    Cinnamon Vanilla Almonds | Dishin & Dishes

    How to make Vanilla almonds like mall


    Yes, Like at the Mall!


    I recently made these addictive Cinnamon Vanilla Almonds at Christmas and gave them out as gifts to my co-workers.

    I started out trying to figure out how to make them because they are my son Conner’s favorite thing to get at a ball game, or the mall, or anywhere else you walk by those booths and stop dead from the aroma of freshly baked candied vanilla almonds.

    Gifts Cinnamon Vanilla Almonds

    They were a big hit! Someone asked me for the recipe recently and I realized I hadn’t posted it for you guys so here goes!

    Photo Dec 14, 6 55 23 PM

    P.S. We might have eaten half of the first batch and had to make another one for the gifts.

    They taste and make your house smell just like the ones you get at the mall or ballgames! No potpourri or scented candles needed! They are so delicious!

    Cinnamon Vanilla Almonds 1

    I tested several recipes of these -the crock-pot version and the oven baked versions. I did not care for the crock pot version at all. It ended up being sticky and I had to finish them in the oven. I tweaked a few different recipes and came up with my own as follows!

    Also – one recommendation – I believe the almonds took longer than the pecans, and some of the pecans were darker and a tad burn, so when you get to the part where you coat them with the egg whites, do the almonds first and put them on a separate baking sheet and then do the pecans separately as well. Check the pecans after 25 minutes. You just want all the stickiness or wetness to have hardened and look sugary and hard. If you still see any sticky wetness, pop them back into the oven for another five minutes and check them again!

    Cinnamon Vanilla Almonds



    Recipe type: Snack

    • 1 large egg white
    • 1 T. pure vanilla extract
    • ½ c. sugar
    • ¼ c. brown sugar, packed
    • 2 t. ground cinnamon
    • 5 c. raw almonds or pecans or mixture of both (not roasted or salted!)
    • (Note: I used 2½ cups almonds and 2½ cups pecans and LOVED)
    1. Preheat oven to 300º
    2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
    3. Whisk egg white and vanilla in small bowl
    4. In a large bowl, combine sugars and cinnamon
    5. In another bowl, add nuts and pour egg white mixture over top. Mix well, making sure to coat all nuts completely.
    6. Add wet nuts to sugar mixture bowl
    7. Mix well to coat all nuts completely
    8. Spread nuts out evenly on parchment lined pan
    9. (I used a spider (or large slotted spoon to lift nuts from bowl tapping to remove excess sugar mixture)
    10. Bake for 30 minutes. Check to see if any nuts are still moist, If so, cook an additional 5 minutes and check again.
    11. Let cook and if any are stuck together, break apart.



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    Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits | Dishin & Dishes

    Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfait Recipe


    My cousin Diane recently texted me that her mom had brought her over some baked pumpkin pie custard and that she had scooped it into a bowl with some different delectable things and it was delicious. She challenged me to create a recipe based on it and the first thing I thought of was parfaits.

    I love the idea of serving these at a quaint Thanksgiving get together or even to friends coming for dinner in the fall – and aren’t they beautiful?

    Pumkin Parfaits

    I wanted to skip the baked custard part so I thought -why not make a mock-cheesecake mixture to use so I mixed up one (15 oz) can of pure pumpkin puree with an 8-ounce block of cream cheese and a cup of powdered sugar for my pumpkin layer.  Oops! Almost forgot to add one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice!

    pumpkin cheesecake mixture

    I then whipped up some whipped cream (see tutorial here), using a 16 ounce carton of heavy whipping cream.

    Also spoon this into a gallon bag and snip off the corner.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 34 14 AM

    Now assemble (1/2 cup each) of some other yummy ingredients.

    Heath toffee bits.  Crack in a candy bag. Put 1/2 cup in a bowl.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 28 46 AM

    Toss about 12 store-bought gingersnaps into a food processor (or you can put them in a Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin).  They should like like sand when you’re finished. You’ll need about 1/2 cup in a bowl as a reminder.

    crushed gingersnaps

    Also put 1/2 cup of chopped pecans in a bowl.

    This is not necessary, but it’s awful pretty to decorate the top of the parfaits with – some caramel. I am using my homemade salted caramel (recipe here) but you could use plain ol’ store bought regular caramel, like the kind you top ice cream with.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 43 42 AM

    I spooned some into a squeeze bottle, but again, not necessary as you can just heat it up to become thinner and drizzle it with a spoon over top.

    I’m just saying – get some of these squeeze bottles though – they are SO useful for so many things and they are usually at any grocery store now for a couple of bucks or less.

    So now you should have assembled – pumpkin cheesecake mixture in a baggie with corner snipped off, whipped cream in a baggie with the corner snipped off, 3 bowls each filled with a half cup each of -chopped pecans, crushed gingersnaps and toffee bits and some warmed caramel.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 43 37 AM

    Let’s assemble some parfaits!

    You can use a variety of things as cups – champagne glasses, wine glasses, even low ball glasses or martini glasses. I happen to have some cute parfait glasses Mr. Wonderful got me so I’m using them!

    You can layer these however you want but here is how I did it…

    A spoonful of gingersnap crumbs in the bottom.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 45 09 AM

    Squeeze in a layer of pumpkin cheesecake mixture.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 46 20 AM

    Squeeze in some whipped cream.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 47 19 AM

    Take a spoon and tamp down these two.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 48 11 AM

    Or you can gently rap them on your hand to level them out and fill the air pockets like the Wonderful guy did.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 48 21 AM

    Now add in a heaping spoonful of toffee bits.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 49 08 AM

    Shake to level them out.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 50 31 AM

    Then add another layer of pumpkin and whipped cream.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 51 42 AM

    If you’re at the top of your glass, make a pretty dollop.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 51 54 AM

    Then sprinkle on some of the pecans.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 53 04 AM

    Also you could sprinkle more of the toffee bits and cookie crumbs.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 54 07 AM

    Then drizzle some caramel over top.

    Photo Nov 15, 2 55 19 AM

    Last thing! Cut or break in half three of the gingersnap cookies to stick on top of each parfait for a cute garnish!

    Photo Nov 15, 2 56 32 AM

    The Wonderful snuck one of these the night I made them and gave them two thumbs up.

    Photo Nov 15, 3 14 50 AM

    They are really scrumptious. I may have snuck one myself around midnight after he went to sleep.

    Photo Nov 15, 3 10 55 AM

    I couldn’t help it- my cousin Diane was right…the combination was delicious!!

    Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits



    Recipe type: Dessert

    • 1(15 oz) can pure pumpkin puree
    • 1 (8 oz) cream cheese
    • 1½ c. powdered sugar (divided)
    • 1 t. pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
    • 15 ginger snap cookies (1/2 c. crushed plus 3 whole for garnish)
    • ½ c. Heath toffee bits
    • ½ c. chopped pecans
    • ½ c. salted caramel (or regular caramel)
    • 1 (16 oz) heavy whipping cream
    1. Let cream cheese come to room temperature
    2. Beat pumpkin puree, cream cheese and 1 cup of the powdered sugar together until smooth and creamy
    3. Wash mixing bowl and then pour in heavy cream, ½ c. powdered sugar, 1 t. vanilla and whip until soft peaks form.
    4. Put ginger snap cookies in food processor and process until they resemble sand or put in baggie and roll with rolling pin.
    5. Line up all ingredients with parfait cups
    6. Spoon about a tablespoon of crushed gingersnaps into bottom of parfait cups
    7. Place a gallon baggie inside a large glass and fold down the top over the glass – for the pumpkin cheesecake mixture
    8. Do the same with another baggie – for the whipped cream
    9. Spoon the pumpkin mixture into the first baggie
    10. Spoon the whipped cream into the 2nd baggie
    11. Zip both baggies removing as much air as possible and snip a corner off each baggie
    12. Pipe the pumpkin in on top of the gingersnaps to make a thin layer
    13. Pipe the whipped cream on top of the pumpkin
    14. sprinkle toffee bits over top of whipped cream
    15. Add another layer each of pumpkin then whipped cream
    16. Continue layering to the top of your parfait cups and make the last layer a pretty dollop of whipped cream
    17. Sprinkle with nuts, more toffee bits and gingersnap sprinkles then drizzle with caramel.
    18. It helps to heat the caramel a bit in the microwave to make it thinner to drizzle
    19. Break or cut 3 gingersnaps in half and stick on top for garnish



    pumpkin cheesecake parfaits recipe


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    Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte Concentrate

    Water sugar pumpkin chai latte



    You remember my recipe for Homemade Chai Tea that was inspired by my daughter Kayla’s short stint in India a few years back?

    All I’ve heard about of late is the craze over Pumpkin Lattes since fall has hit and I received a new inspiration to come up with a homemade Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte over the weekend.

    But since slow-simmering a pot of steaming milk and spices isn’t really work-week friendly for me, I decided to try to make a concentrate solution that could easily be added to a steaming hot cup of milk throughout the work week.

    And by jove, I think I’ve got it.

    The process is similar to making Chai Tea in a pot on the stove.

    T start out, you’ll need a medium saucepan with four cups of water. Add in a cup of brown sugar. Stir it over medium heat until the sugar melts, stirring it with a whisk.

    Turn the heat down to simmer. Then add in some spices.

    Add in two whole cinnamon sticks.

    Cinnamon sticks chai pumpkin latte

    Also, roughly smash 12 peppercorns.

    Pgppercorms chai

    Black peppercorns chai latte


    Add in 3 star anise pods.

    Star anise chai latte

    I think they look a little like a creepy spider don’t you?


    Add in 12 whole cloves.

    Cloves chai tea

    I like a really spiced-up chai latte. When it comes to drinks, give me boldness and flavor.

    Also add in a chunk of ginger, about the size of your thumb. My ginger was ornery and didn’t photograph well, as do all yellow items I try to photograph. If you truly love the ginger flavor, cut it up into 3-4 pieces to make it stronger.

    These are cardamom pods.

    Cardamom pods chai

    They have tiny little black seeds inside. I find them whole at a place here in Oklahoma City called Spices of India. If you can’t find them whole, but you can find the seeds, use about 1/8-1/4 of a teaspoon. I give about 8 pods a whack to open them up.

    Add in ¾ cup of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, which is evil, and bad).

    Pumpkin purée chai latte

    Stir the spices up a bit and let the pot simmer for 5 minutes. Then remove it from the heat and add your tea.
    Take ten black tea bags and wrap them around the handle of the pot (to keep them from falling in completely) and submerge them in the water.

    Chai tea pumpkin katte

    After 10 minutes, strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and into a large mason jar.

    Let the concentrate cool for an hour then stir in one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.

    To serve, mix one part of the concentrate with one part of steamed milk (coconut and almond milk are both delicious). Serve it hot or cold over ice. I would also probably heat the concentrate with the milk and right now, because it’s autumn, piping hot sounds perfectly wonderful.

    Pumpkin chai latte concentrate

    If you’re feeling a little bit naughty, add some frothed milk or even some whipped cream.

    Pumpkin chai tea latte

    This is the perfect hot drink for a cool fall day.

    But, how about this? For summer, try adding the base to ice-cube trays and freeze them. Pop out three or four and then pour over some milk, coconut or almond milk. Delicious!!


    Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte Concentrate



    Recipe type: Drink

    • 4 c. water
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 1 knob of ginger the size of your thumb
    • 8 cardamom pods, cracked
    • 3 star anise pods
    • 12 whole cloves
    • 8 black peppercorns, crushed
    • 10 black tea bags or 1 c. loose-leaf tea
    • 1 c. brown sugar
    • ¾ c. pumpkin puree
    • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
    1. Add water and sugar to medium sized saucepan.
    2. Heat almost to boil and stir to dissolve sugar.
    3. Add the spices and tea and pumpkin puree. Simmer on low for 8 minutes.
    4. Remove from heat and let cool.
    5. Stir in vanilla.
    1. Mix 1 part concentrate with 1 part milk or half-and-half.
    2. Microwave or heat in pan until steaming. You can also pour over ice in the summer heat.
    1. Blend in vanilla smoothies
    2. Spoon over ice cream at Thanksgiving with Pumpkin Pie
    3. Drizzle over Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Cheesecake


    Look what other fabulous food bloggers made this week using pumpkin for Food Network’s Fall Fest!

    The Hungry Traveler: Pumpkin Brown Butter Madeleines
    Bacon and Souffle: Pumpkin Lasagna with Sausage, Kale and Parmesan
    Homemade Delish: Warm Pumpkin Salad
    Creative Culinary: Pumpkin Butter
    The Lemon Bowl: 20 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes
    Weelicious: Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts
    Virtually Homemade: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
    TasteBook: Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
    Dishin & Dishes: Homemade Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
    Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes
    Red or Green: Spiced Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bars
    The Heritage Cook: Roasted Pumpkin, Potato, and Sage (Gluten-Free)
    Swing Eats: Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Pumpkin Seed Brittle
    Taste with the Eyes: Sultry Pumpkin Soup – Southwest Flavors, Dressed To Kill
    FN Dish: 8 Ways to Eat Pumpkin All Day Long


    Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte


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    Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

    cuisinart ice cream maker


    I have to confess to you that I am not much of an ice cream fan.

    There I’ve said it.

    Anything icy-cold hurts my sensitive teeth and I just have learned I don’t enjoy eating it much.  My family however, makes several runs during the week to Braums, our local dairy store to buy things like Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream.  I thought maybe I should learn how to make it and save hundreds of dollars each year so I began looking at recipes.

    Three weeks ago, this little naughty kitchen toy arrived so I set to work.

    So far, I’ve tackled several different versions like Coffee Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks (Mr. Wonderful’s favorite), Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream with Peanut Butter cups in it (the kids thought vanilla would be better), Vanilla Toffee Crunch (everyone loved!), and Fresh Strawberry.

    I could now buy stock in Braum’s Dairy store because I’m mostly funding them with all the whole milk and cream I’m buying.

    I have now established what I think is my perfect vanilla ice cream base for several different ice creams including this Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream recipe.

    Here is how it goes!

    To begin, pour one and one half cups of whole milk and one and one-half cups of heavy cream into a medium sized sauce pan.

    milk and cream

    Add in one-third cup of white sugar and one-third cup of brown sugar,  one teaspoon of vanilla (use PURE vanilla extract, not imitation!), and a pinch of salt.

    Whisk it up and turn the heat to medium.  You just want this to start steaming, not really boiling. Make sure you keep whisking it every ten seconds or so, so the bottom doesn’t scorch like milk does.

    In a small bowl, add four egg yolks.  Save the whites for after you eat ice cream. You know, the next morning when you’re feeling guilty, you can make an egg white omelet and redeem yourself!

    egg yolks

    Whisk them up well.

    Once your milk/cream mixture steams, ladle about ½ cup of it into the eggs.

    Photo Sep 02, 8 51 21 PM

    Whisk quickly to incorporate.

    Photo Sep 02, 8 51 31 PM

    This is calling “tempering” and it keeps the eggs from scrambling if you added them quickly to the hot milk mixture.

    Add in another ½ cup of the hot milk mixture.  Whisk.  Now you can pour the egg mixture into the milk mixture safely. Whisk it in quickly.

    ice cream custard

    Bring the mixture to a steam again and keep whisking it for about ten minutes.

    Photo Sep 02, 8 52 27 PM

    It will have thickened up enough to coat the back of a spoon.

    Photo Sep 02, 9 05 52 PM

    Remove it immediately from the heat.  Set a fine mesh strainer over a medium sized bowl.

    Photo Sep 02, 9 07 57 PM

    Pour the custard into the strainer, and using your whisk, begin whisking to push the custard through strainer to weed out anything grainy that might be in it.

    strain custard

    Stir in a teaspoon of vanilla and one more cup of cream.

    cream in ice cream custard

    Cover the custard and put it into the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight.

    Photo Sep 02, 9 30 09 PM

    Next, turn on your ice cream machine and pour it in!  ( I have this ice cream maker and I love it!)

    Photo Sep 03, 4 18 33 AM

    Set a time for 15 minutes. At the end of 15 minutes, the ice cream will be like a thick milkshake.

    Photo Sep 03, 4 28 35 AM

    While that’s mixing, chop up your peanut butter cups.  I used the small wrapped Reeses peanut butter cups.

    Peanut Butter Cups

    I like them fairly large but you don’t want things TOO large in your ice cream. Note the picture above for the size.  You’ll want roughly about 2 cups of chopped peanut butter cups.  If you don’t like a lot, scale back to a cup and one-half, but why in the WORLD would you do that?

    After 15 minutes, add in the chopped peanut butter cups.

    Photo Sep 03, 4 30 02 AM

    Let it mix to incorporate all the lovely peanut butter cup pieces.

    peanut butter cup

    This should only take about a minute or two tops.

    Photo Sep 03, 4 32 13 AM

    Then scoop it into an air-tight container and pop it in the freezer for several hours. We like it best after at least 4 hours or better yet, overnight.

    Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Closeup

    This is delicious.

    Trust me.

    Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream



    Recipe type: Dessert

    • 1½ cups milk
    • 2½ cups cream (divided)
    • ⅓ cup white granulated sugar
    • ⅓ cup brown sugar
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla
    • Pinch of salt
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 1½ c, chopped peanut butter cups
    1. Combine the milk, 1½ cups of the cream (save the other cup for later), sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat the base until it begins to steam, whisking continuously.
    2. When the base begins to steam, pour one- half cup out of the pan and into the egg yolks, whisk immediately.
    3. Add another ½ cup of the milk to the eggs. Whisk.
    4. When completely combined, add the yolk mixture back into the rest of the of the base, and heat until the mixture reaches 170°F, or until it coats the back of a spoon.
    5. Remove immediately from heat and pour through a fine mesh sieve using whisk to push through.
    6. Add in the remaining cup of cold cream and let chill for 3 or 4 hours or overnight.
    7. Pour the base into an ice cream maker and churn according to your ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions.
    8. When 1 minute remains, add in peanut butter cups and let stir for full minute. Don’t add earlier, as you don’t want to overprocess and break up the peanut butter cups.
    9. Yield: Makes a quart ane one-half of ice cream.
    1. teaspoons instant coffee granules and 1 t. coffee extract to make coffee ice cream
    2. Add 4 oz. of Heath bar crunchies to make toffee ice cream
    3. Sprinkle ¼ c. sugar over 1½ c. sliced strawberries and let set for ½ hour to make strawberry ice cream. Pour in juice and strawberries at 1 minute to go mark.



    peanut butter cup ice cream recipe

    Check out what other fabulous bloggers made in the way of frozen treats for Food Network’s Summer Soiree this week!

    The Hungry Traveler Blog: Banana Coconut Paletas
    The Lemon Bowl: Chocolate Peanut Butter Magic Shell
    Creative Culinary: Strawberry, Lemon and Basil Sherbet
    The Heritage Cook: Grilled Plums and Port Parfaits (Gluten-Free)
    TasteBook: Triple Chocolate Mousse Pie
    Dishin & Dishes: Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
    Homemade Delish: Jalapeno and Peach Gelato
    Napa Farmhouse 1885: Healthy Chocolate & Greens Fudgsicles
    Red or Green: Ice Cream Sandwiches with Frozen Yogurt
    The Mom 100: Easy Chocolate Mousse
    Weelicious: Fruity Lemonade Ice Pops
    Taste with the Eyes: Figs and Sabayon à la Julia Child
    Healthy Eats: Puddings, Pops and Pies: 7 Desserts Best Served Cold
    In Jennie’s Kitchen: Seven Sensational Frozen Treats
    FN Dish: 8 Desserts to Check Off Your Frozen-Treat Bucket List



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    Cobb Salad with Roasted Onion Vinaigrette

    Cobb Salad Recipe 4


    There are conflicting stories about the origins of the Cobb Salad.

    One boasts that one late night in 1937, Hollywood Brown Derby owner Robert Cobb was hungry (or he was feeding Sid Grauman, the creator of the Grauman Chinese Theater)  and tossed together some components leftover from the restaurant to form this legendary salad. I love that this restaurant was shaped like a derby hat and was old Hollywood glam inside.


    Another is that Cobb’s executive chef at the time, Robert Kreis created the recipe and named it in honor of the restaurant’s owner.

    Whatever the true story is, one thing is for sure, this salad has spanned across the decades to become a beloved classic in the salad world.

    The original recipe used various greens like watercress, chicory and romaine and something akin to a classic vinaigrette. Over the years, however,  the dressing of popularity seems to have changed to Bleu Cheese dressing in restaurants across the globe.  There seems to be a few ingredients in common that everyone uses, so here are  what I believe to be the necessary components of a good Cobb Salad.

    mean, a salad this popular is beloved for a reason right?  So it goes without saying that we should not deviate too far from the original.

    Cobb Salad Recipe 2

    Greens – The original called for romaine, watercress and chicory. Everyone has their favorite lettuces, but try to stick with two or three and tear or chop them up to make a nice line down your plate or platter at least an inch or two wide. I favor one soft buttery type like buttercrunch and one crunchy type like thinly sliced kale or spinach.

    Tomatoes – (don’t forget to lightly salt and pepper) they are an important acidic note to balance the richness of the following ingredients…

    Bacon – need I say more? Just…bacon. Crumbled, but not too fine.  All things chunky are good in this salad.

    Avocado – again…no reason necessary. It would be the last known food I’d love to have before I die. A good guac could take me straight to heaven happily.

    Bleu Cheese – find one you like, whether mild or stinky and pungent enough to knock your socks off. This is important stuff.

    Hard Boiled Eggs – Sliced, chopped, however you want them. Just do it.

    Chicken – It just always seems to be on the plate. That is all.

    For the dressing, I find Bleu Cheese to be redundant and I’m not a huge fan of thick, creamy dressings anymore. The salad already has the bleu cheese so I prefer a nice vinaigrette, like the original called for to cap it off and also the acidity again cuts through some of the rich ingredients. I saw a recipe for Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette in Food & Wine magazine and after making it, revised it to my taste and opted to use that as I had a brand new bag of Vidalias in my pantry that I was dying to use.  (I’ve included my dressing recipe with the printable recipe at the end of this post.)

    Vidalia Vinaigrette 1

    We also had our first harvest of peas this week.

    peas from garden

    Man are those lil buggers a pain to shell!

    fresh peas

    I also used some “stuff” that was leftover in my refrigerator in tradition with Cobb’s original creation. Sometimes those thrown together things end up being a culinary masterpiece you end up coming back to time and time again.

    Classic Cobb Salad Recipe

    We ate this salad as a main the first night, then used the leftovers to make a smaller version as a side for shish-ka-bobs the next night. We loved it both nights.  Here is my version!

    Cobb Salad


    Total time



    Recipe type: Salad

    • 2 chicken breasts, (or 2 c. rotisserie chicken)
    • 4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled in medium pieces
    • 2 hard boiled eggs
    • 1 c. toasted walnuts
    • 4 cups chopped buttercrunch lettuce
    • 2 cups finely shredded kale
    • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
    • ⅔ c. blue cheese crumbled
    • 1 c. frozen or fresh peas (dethawed if frozen)
    • 4 green onions, chopped
    • 1 c. fresh or frozen corn (cooked and cooled if frozen)
    • 1 avocado, chopped
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • 3 unpeeled garlic cloves
    • 1 large Vidalia onions. peeled and quartered
    • ½ c. olive oil, plus more for brushing
    • ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
    • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
    • ½ c. pure maple syrup or honey
    • 1 t. fresh herbs (I used tarragon)
    • 1 T. fresh chives
    • ½ t. Kosher salt
    • ¼ t. Freshly ground pepper
    1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and grill, then slice thinly. Or shred rotisserie chicken
    2. Fry, bake or microwave bacon to become crispy, let drain on paper towels, then break in medium pieces
    3. Toast walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat just until you smell them then let cool. Chop if preferred (I left them whole)
    4. Chop the lettuces
    5. Chop or slice the eggs (Boil eggs starting in pan with cold water. When water boils, remove pan from heat and let set, covered for 14 minutes. Drain hot water in pan and add cold water and about 8-10 ice cubes to chill, peel immediately)
    6. Run warm water over peas to thaw if not using fresh
    7. Cook corn according to package directions. Or slice fresh corn off cob and boil about 5 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain
    8. Chop tomatoes and lightly salt and pepper
    9. Chop green onions
    10. Chop avocado
    1. Take each ingredient and make a line from top to bottom of platter or plate almost overlapping with next ingredient. Assemble so like colors don’t adjoin one another for it to be the prettiest!
    1. Preheat oven to 425º
    2. Place onion (cut side down) and garlic on pan. Brush onion tops with olive oil. Roast until onion gets slightly charred, about 45 minutes to one hour. Remove to cool.
    3. Squeeze garlic out of cloves into blender. Add onions and all remaining ingredients except oil and blend about 30 seconds. Slowly drizzle in olive oil. (Dressing can be made ahead 4-5 days and kept in refrigerator). Drizzle over assembled salads


    Want to see what other wonderful food bloggers made this week featuring tomatoes for Food Network’s Summer Soiree?

    The Heritage Cook: Rice and Cheese Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes (Gluten-Free)
    The Lemon Bowl: 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef & Eggplant
    Homemade Delish: Sweet Tomato Jam
    Healthy Eats: 7 Seasonal Uses for Fresh Tomatoes
    Creative Culinary: Warm Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta 
    Weelicious: Heirloom Tomato Salad
    Dishin & Dishes: Cobb Salad with Homemade Roasted Onion Vinaigrette
    Domesticate Me: 10 Totally Awesome Tomato Recipes
    Swing Eats: Tiny Insalata Caprese
    The Wimpy Vegetarian: Tomato and Swiss Tart
    Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Tomato Pickle
    Taste with the Eyes: Quiche with a Black Quinoa Crust, Heirloom Tomatoes, Spinach, Goat Cheese
    Red or Green: Summer Pasta With No-Cook Tomato Sauce
    Napa Farmhouse 1885: Heirloom Tomato & Crouton Casserole (Scalloped Tomatoes)
    The Mom 100: Chopped Salad with Chicken, Tomatoes and Lemon Thyme Dressing
    FN Dish: 10 Ways to Be a Tomato Whisperer


    Cobb Salad Recipe



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    Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette Salad Dressing



    A few days back I bought some Vidalia Onions. I’m like a giddy little kid who reacts to the sounds of the ice cream truck when I see these sweet onions arrive at the store. I go running over, peer through the bags for the one I think most perfect and lay it in my grocery cart with a goofy smile all over my face.

    Vidalia onions are grown in Vidalia, Georgia and are usually only available in late-spring/early summer in grocery stores or by ordering them online. Due to the makeup of the sulfur in the soil they are grown in, the onions are incredibly sweet and some onion lovers swear you can eat them like an apple. I’m not alone in my love of them – these onions which were almost grown by accident in the 1930’s, have their own mascot…

    They have also inspired state and federal protection, have an actual committee,  and are the official vegetable of the state of Georgia.

    I’m not alone in my adoration…see?

    My absolute favorite thing to do with the onions is really showcase them by themselves, like sauteing them down until they are caramel-colored, brown and sugary, and topping grilled meat, tacos or hamburgers with them. I also adore them in fried potatoes. The ratio of onions to potatoes should be 50/50 because…again…they are the star.

    However, I am Fitbitting, and have thus lost five pounds from walking diligently and lightening up my diet, so I was looking for a new way to utilize my Vidalias. We are also picking scads of lettuce from our garden right now, so I thought about a Vidalia onion vinaigrette. I’ve used onions before in dressings, like my Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing so I thought …why not?

    How to make Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette

    I had seen a recipe in Food & Wine recently that used Vidalia onions and they roasted them along with onions and garlic but upon making it, it just wasn’t right for me. I tweaked it somewhat by adding some fresh herbs and pure maple syrup and the result was perfect for the Cobb Salads we made that night (recipe will be posted for that tomorrow!)

    I halved the recipe since it’s only the two of us and it was still enough for four large salads with some leftover.

    Start by peeling and quartering one large Vidalia onion. Place it on a lined cookie sheet with three cloves of unpeeled garlic.  Don’t peel the garlic because the skin will keep it from drying out too much while roasting in the oven.

    Photo Jun 09, 3 23 34 AM

    Brush the onion with a little olive oil and pop the pan into a 425º oven for forty five minutes to one hour or just until the onion edges are browning and the garlic is soft but not turning hard.

    After they are done, let them cool and then squeeze the garlic out of its skin, or simply peel it off and put the ooey gooey cloves into a blender and toss in the onions.

    Photo Jun 09, 4 22 30 AM

    Add in 1/4 cup each of apple cider vinegar and fresh squeezed lemon juice (about one large lemon), 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup (or honey), a dash of salt and a few grinds of pepper.

    Vidalia vinaigrette ingredients

    Pop the lid on your blender and whiz this up for about 30 seconds.

    Photo Jun 09, 4 34 37 AM

    Then take off the inserted round lid on top of the blender and slowly pour in the olive oil.

    Photo Jun 09, 4 40 11 AM

    Blend another 30 seconds or so and you’re done! Pour it into a pretty container to serve it.

    Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Recipe

    Because if you go to all that work, why put it in an unattractive serving piece right?

    Vidalia Vinaigrette 1

    I beg you to stay tuned for the Cobb Salad recipe I’m posting tomorrow to put this dressing on. And remember, you can keep this in the refrigerator for up to four days!

    Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette Salad Dressing



    Recipe type: Dressing

    • 1 large Vidalia onion
    • 3 cloves garlic with skin ON
    • ¼ c. fresh lemon juice
    • ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
    • ½ c. pure maple syrup
    • 1 t. roughly chopped fresh tarragon
    • 1 T. chopped chives
    • ½ c. (or to taste) olive oil (I typically like less in my dressings) plus more for brushing
    1. Preheat oven to 425º
    2. LIne a baking sheet and peel and quarter onion. Lay cut side down on baking sheet with garlic cloves and brush the onion tops and sides with olive oil
    3. Roast in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the edges are browning and garlic is soft, then let cool
    4. Place onion and garlic in blender and add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT for olive oil
    5. Blend 30 seconds then slowly drizzle olive oil thru top of blender to thicken
    6. Keeps up to four days in the refrigerator


    Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette


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    Glazed Lemon Zucchini Blueberry Bread

    Glazed Lemon Zucchini Blueberry Bread


    With Mother’s Day coming up, I was looking for a recipe to make on my show this week to feature for Mother’s Day so I thought about myself. What recipe would I love for someone to make me for a delicious breakfast-in-bed this Mother’s Day?

    Something with lemon is always at the top of my list and what goes great with lemon but blueberries?  Oh yes, and zucchini.


    Yep, zucchini.

    Zucchini adds moisture to this soft and tender loaf but you actually can’t taste it at all so why not sneak a vegetable into breakfast and have a moist lemon-packed bread bursting with warm blueberries as well?

    To begin, preheat your oven to 350º.

    Take one lemon and grate it all over into a bowl. Make sure you just get the yellow and not the white pith cuz it’s nasty bitter!

    zest lemon

    Also take one large zucchini and grate in until you have one cup.  Keep the zucchini and lemon zest ready oh hand for later!

    zuchini grate

    Then add some dry ingredients (2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon of salt)  into a bowl and whisk them together.

    Photo May 04, 1 36 47 AM

    Now using a mixer, add 2 eggs into a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds.  Then add in  1/4 cup of plain greek yogurt (or skip the oil and use 1/2 cup Greek yogurt if you’re feeling healthy) and 1/4 cup canola oil and one and one-fourth cups of sugar.

    Wet ingredients

    The mixture will be pale yellow and a bit runny.


    Add in the zest and juice of one large lemon.



    Add in 1/2 cup of buttermilk.


    Mix this all up and then turn your mixer down as low as it will go. If your mixer is super strong then just do the remainder of the steps by hand with a rubber or wooden spatula. I use my KitchenAid mixer on the lowest speed and it works just fine.

    Now add in your one cup of grated zucchini. Just blend it for 20 seconds or so until the zucchini is evenly mixed in.

    zucchini bread batter

    Now this last part has to be done by hand.  You’re going to add in a cup of blueberries, but you need to fold them carefully by gently pulling the batter over the blueberries a few times until they are mixed in  Otherwise you will end up with blue batter and it’ll be ugly and unappetizing.  And your Mom won’t like that at all..although she will pretend she doesn’t see it cuz that’s how moms are.

    fold blueberries

    Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and pour in your batter.



    Bake this for 50-60 minutes or until you can poke a fork into the center of the bread and it comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and let cool for five minutes then turn it out onto a plate or platter.

    lemon zucchini bread with blueberries

    Now we’ll make a simple glaze. Just squeeze one more lemon into one and one-half cup of powdered sugar and whisk it all up into a beautiful glaze.  If it’s too thick, add a tiny bit of water just until it’s pour-able.



    Pour this right over the warm bread.

    Photo May 04, 3 47 15 AM

    Keep pouring.

    Photo May 04, 3 47 22 AM

    Then spread that luscious glaze all over the bread. Let it ooze over the sides and down to the bottom of the plate. You can scoop up that leftover loveliness when you serve it.


    And then cut a big slice of heaven…for your Mom of course…


    Or maybe for that Wonderful guy who’s been lurking in the background….just waiting.

    Photo May 04, 4 42 05 AM

    And if you can’t keep his hands off of it…

    Photo May 04, 4 42 15 AM

    Let him have just have one slice….one lemony, warm and blueberry bubbling bite.

    Photo May 04, 4 41 44 AM

    If you make your Mom this recipe this weekend, she will love you for life.


    Glazed Lemon Zucchini Blueberry Bread



    Recipe type: Breads

    • 2 c. flour
    • 2 t. baking powder
    • 2 eggs
    • ¼ c. Greek yogurt
    • ¼ c. canola oil
    • 1¼ c. sugar
    • Juice of one large lemon
    • zest of one large lemon
    • 1 medium-large zucchini grated (about one cup)
    • 1⅓ c. sugar
    • juice of one large lemon
    1. Preheat oven to 350º
    2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in medium bowl with whisk
    3. Grate zucchini until you get one cup
    4. Zest lemon into small bowl
    5. Add eggs to mixing bown and beat for a minute or two until light colored and fluffy.
    6. Add oil and yogurt and mix
    7. Add sugar and mix
    8. Add lemon zest and juice and buttermilk and mix again
    9. Turn mixer down to very low and add grated zucchini.
    10. Using spatula gently fold blueberries into batter
    11. Pour into 9 x 5 inch baking pan
    12. Bake for 50-60 minutes until fork inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.
    1. Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice and pour over warm bread.



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