Friday, March 19, 2010

Chocolate Chip Pecan Bars

OMG! I cannot wait to try this recipe out. I think my boys will LOVE them. I heart you Duncan Hines.

Cookie Bars:

1 pkg Duncan Hines® Moist Deluxe® Classic Yellow Cake Mix

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp shortening

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and flour 13 x 9-inch pan.
  • For cookie bars, combine cake mix, melted butter, brown sugar, water, eggs, 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and pecans in large bowl. Mix with spoon until thoroughly blended. Spread in pan.
  • Bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.
  • For drizzle, combine 1/2 cup chocolate chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power for 30 seconds; stir. Repeat until chocolate is melted. Drizzle over cooled bars. Allow chocolate to set before cutting into bars.

  • Thursday, March 18, 2010

    Crazy stuff!!!!

    I have heard recently that you can take a regular box of cake mix (any flavor) and bake it with a can of SODA (instead of the eggs and oil). The result is a lower fat cake option that doesn't need frosting. I was curious.... so I googled it. Turns out, it's TRUE!!!

    Click here for a more detailed description.

    CRAZY stuff, eh?

    Extreme Fudgy Peanut Butter Brownies

    I ran across this recipe on the Duncan Hines site while searching for a jazzy new spin on brownies. Sweet Jesus, I think the search is over!

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9 inch baking pan; set aside.
    2. Prepare brownie mix as described on box using eggs, water and oil. Fold in 1 cup of milk chocolate chips. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
    3. Bake in center of oven for 25 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Place on wire rack.
    4. Add peanut butter and butter in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until combined and smooth. Note: You will get a much taller filling if you whip this with an electric mixture to incorporate lots of air.
    5. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixture will be a bit crumbly.
    6. Blend in cream until mixture is fluffy and reaches desired spreading consistency.
    7. Spread evenly over warm brownie.
    8. Melt Duncan Hines Milk Chocolate Frosting for 30 seconds in the microwave. Stir and put back in for another 10 – 15 second. Pour over peanut butter spread on the brownies. Use a knife to spread the chocolate evenly.
    9. Put in refrigerator for an hour to set.
    10. Take out and let the brownie sit in room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Millionaire Brisket with Coffee and Beer Mop Sauce

    I found this outstanding recipe while searching for BBQ tips and variations. THIS GUY has some of the best!!! Try this one, you won't regret it!


    • 1/4 cup kosher or sea salt
    • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
    • 2 tablespoons pure chili powder
    • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 (5 to 6-pound) center-cut piece of brisket
    • 6 slices bacon
    • Coffee and Beer Mop Sauce, recipe follows
    • 4 to 6 cups hickory or apple wood chips, soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, drained


    Make the rub by placing the salt, brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, pepper, onion powder, and oregano in a small bowl and stir to mix.

    If your brisket has a thick layer of fat, trim it to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Place the brisket in a roasting pan and generously sprinkle both sides with the rub, using about 3 tablespoons per side and patting it into the meat with your fingertips. The leftover rub can be stored for several months in a jar. You can cook the brisket right away, but it will taste better if you let it cure in the refrigerator covered for at least 4 to 24 hours.

    Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-low. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke then reduce the heat to medium-low. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to medium-low, then toss 1 cup of the wood chips on the coals.

    When ready to cook, place the brisket in the center of the hot grate, fat side up, over the drip pan and away from the heat. Drape the bacon slices over the top of the meat, and then cover the grill. Cook the brisket until very tender, 5 to 6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches about 190 degrees F. Generously mop or baste the meat on both sides with the mop sauce. Wrap the brisket in aluminum foil, and continue cooking until done. If using a charcoal grill, every hour you'll need to add 12 fresh coals and 1/2 cup wood chips to each side.

    Transfer the grilled brisket to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain, using an electric knife or sharp carving knife. Transfer the sliced meat to a platter. Spoon the barbecue sauce over the meat or, better yet, serve it on the side.

    Mop Sauce:

    • 1 cup beer
    • 1 cup apple cider
    • 1 cup cider vinegar
    • 1 cup coffee
    • 1 cup beef or chicken stock
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 tablespoons hot sauce, (recommended: Tabasco sauce)
    • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Place all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and whisk to mix. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, if necessary.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Make your own Chipotle Paste

    7 ounces Can chipotle chilies en adobo
    2 tablespoons Corn oil
    3 large Garlic cloves
    2 teaspoons Ground coriander
    1 teaspoon Thyme
    1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper


    In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until blended but still slightly chunky, about 1 minute. The paste can refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 3 weeks.

    Uses: the possibilities are endless.... brush on beef, chicken, or pork before cooking, add a blob to your soup base or drop a blob into your hummus (my personal fav)

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    Heavenly Maple Syrup Muffins

    Heavenly Maple Syrup Muffins..... need I say more?????

    1/4 cup margarine
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 1/4 cup flour
    1/2 cup milk
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    3/4 cup rolled oats
    1/2 cup maple syrup
    1 tablespoon butter, melted
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon maple syrup


    Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin pans, or place liners in cups if preferred.

    Soften margarine, blend in sugar and salt. Add dry ingredients and blend with pastry cutter until crumbly. Mix in oats.

    Blend milk and syrup together and pour over dry ingredients, stirring only until just combined. Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until muffins test done.

    Mix the butter, powdered sugar and maple syrup. Spread glaze over muffins when they have cooled slightly.

    Sunday, March 7, 2010

    Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage

    Another great recipe score from Family Fun. This is one of my hubby's favorite meals... and a cinch to prepare. I have never added sugar or vinegar to mine in the past... but I am eager to try this variation. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    The slow cooker is the perfect way to go for this traditional dish, since it must bubble away untended for hours, in any event. Be sure to serve with crusty bread, and Dijon mustard and horseradish on the side.

    • 4 cups hot water
    • 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
    • 2 tbsp. sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
    • 1 large or 2 medium onions, cut into wedges
    • 1 3-lb. corned beef round or brisket, packaged with spices
    • 8 small white or yellow potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
    • 1 head of green cabbage (about 1 1/2 lbs.), cored and cut into 10 wedges

    1. In a 6-quart electric slow cooker, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, pepper and onions, mixing well. Place the corned beef in the mixture. Scatter the potatoes over the top and along the sides.

    2. Cover and cook on the High heat setting 4 hours. Remove the lid and scatter the cabbage wedges over the top. Cover and continue cooking on High 3 to 4 hours longer, or until the beef is tender. To serve, carve the beef into slices and serve with the cabbage and potatoes, with some of the cooking liquid spooned on top of the beef to keep it moist. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

    Saturday, March 6, 2010

    copycat recipe- Chili's Baby Back Ribs

    More copycat recipe action.... I am loving this awesome site. Who doesn't love some awesome baby back ribs? Chili's makes some of the best! Here's how they do it!!! Break out the wet naps!

    4 racks baby back ribs
    1 1/2 cup water
    1 cup white vinegar
    1/2 cup tomato paste
    2/3 cup dark brown sugar
    1 tablespoon yellow mustard
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon liquid smoke hickory flavor
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon paprika


    SAUCE: Combine all ingredients except ribs over medium heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring often 45-60 minutes until thick.

    Preheat oven to 300*.

    Brush sauce over entire surface of each rack of ribs. Wrap each rack tightly in aluminum foil. Arrange packets on baking sheet with foil seam up. Bake 2-2-1/2 hours until the meat has pulled back from the cut ends of the bones about 1/2 inch.

    Preheat grill to medium heat.

    Remove ribs from foil. Grill on BBQ 4-8 minutes/side. Brush sauce on both sides a few minutes before removing from grill.

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    Fresh Skillet Vegetables

    Try this along side grilled chicken, steak, or fish. WAY better than a boring baked potato!

    1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
    2 large zucchini, cubed
    2 large red and/or yellow bell peppers, cubed
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


    In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and cook zucchini, red peppers, onion and garlic, stirring frequently, 5 minutes.

    Add basil and black pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

    To serve, sprinkle with cheese.

    Cheesecake Factory's Carrot Cake Cheesecake

    OMG! I just found the coolest website EVER!!! Zillions of copycat recipes that you have always been wishing for. First up my FAVORITE cheesecake on the planet. Can't wait to try this recipe out for hubby's birthday next week.

    Cheesecake Factory`s Carrot Cake Cheesecake Recipe

    16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon flour
    3 eggs
    ***Carrot Cake:***
    3/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    8 1/2 ounces can crushed pineapple, packed in juice, drained well, reserve juice
    1 cup grated carrots
    1/2 cup coconut
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    ***Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting:***
    2 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1 tablespoon butter, softened
    1 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon reserved pineapple juice


    In large bowl of electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in flour, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. Set aside. Meanwhile prepare Carrot Cake.

    Carrot Cake:

    In large bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract; mix well. Stir in dry ingredients; mixing well. Stir in drained pineapple, carrots, coconut and walnuts.

    Spread 1 1/2 c. carrot cake batter over bottom of greased 9- or 9 1/2" springform pan. Drop cream cheese batter over carrot cake batter by spoonfuls; top with large spoonfuls of remaining carrot cake batter. Repeat with remaining cream cheese batter, spreading evenly with a knife. Do not marble with a knife. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven for 50 to 65 minutes or until cake is set and cooked through. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. When cake is cold, prepare Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting.

    Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting:

    In a bowl of electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and reserved pineapple juice. Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency. Frost top of cheesecake. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before serving.

    Note: Don't skimp on the ingredients (and don't use store brands or generic). Use regular cream cheese, real butter, and pineapple packed in juice, not sugar syrup. You will be glad you did.

    Taste a Rainbow cupcakes

    I found this fun and festive recipe on the Family Fun Magazine website. It's a perfect St. Patrick's Day treat..... which is one of MY favorite holidays!!!!

    Here's what little leprechauns look forward to on St. Patrick's Day: a magical snack that can add color to the grayest March afternoon. Pot of gold not included.

    • White cake mix (we used an 18-1/4-ounce box)
    • Food coloring (red, blue, green, and yellow)
    • Baking cups
    • Whipped cream (optional)

    1. Prepare your favorite white cake mix, then divide the batter evenly among six small bowls. Following the chart below, dye each bowl of batter a rainbow color.

      Purple 9 red and 6 blue drops
      Blue 12 drops
      Green 12 drops
      Yellow 12 drops
      Orange 12 yellow and 4 red drops
      Red 18 drops

    2. Line 16 muffin pan wells with baking cups. Evenly distribute the purple batter among the cups, then the blue, and so on, following the order shown. As you go, gently spread each layer of batter with the back of a spoon to cover the color underneath.

    3. Bake the cupcakes according to your recipe directions. Before serving, remove the paper wrapping, and if you like, top each cupcake with a whipped-cream cloud.