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Recipe: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Trifle

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Trifle

The perfect dessert for all the leftover Reese’s from Halloween.


I can’t take credit for this dessert. This one was made by my dear friend Annie Flettrich for one of our Sunday movie nights. She made this Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Trifle and it was amazing so I’m sharing with the world.

My love of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups is well-known and this dessert satisfied my love of Reese’s. It’s so light and airy that you totally forget about all the calories.

Ingredients:

  • 1 store-bought angel food cake
  • 2 (3-ounce) packages instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 16 ounces Cool Whip
  • 8 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (crushed)

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Trifle

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Trifle


Directions:

  1. Crumble the angel food cake and set aside.
  2. Beat the chocolate pudding mix and milk together until blended.
  3. Beat together one cup of Cool Whip and all of peanut butter.
  4. In a large trifle bowl, layer 1/2 the crumbled cake, half the chocolate pudding and half the peanut butter mixture.
  5. Smooth half of remaining Cool Whip on top and sprinkle with half of crushed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
  6. Repeat with another layer of cake, chocolate pudding, peanut butter mixture, Cool Whip and Reese’s.
  7. Chill for four to six hours or overnight then serve.

Chocolate and peanut butter is a food lover’s dream combo. At least, for me, it is. So this dessert is perfect for the chocolate and peanut butter lovers.

If I could serve it to trick or treaters by plopping a spoonful in their bags, I would, but I guess I’ll have to buy some other candy this year. This is great for adult trick or treaters though.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Bone Marrow on Toast with Goat Cheese and Black Pepper Fig Jam

Bone Marrow on Toast with Goat Cheese and Black Pepper Fig Jam

Bone Marrow on Toast with Goat Cheese and Black Pepper Fig Jam



Bone Marrow

Bone Marrow

Hands down, Bone Marrow on Toast with Goat Cheese and Black Pepper Fig Jam is one of the best appetizer recipes I’ve yet to create.

I also call it Blood and Bone Toast for short so it may make a nice addition to an adult Halloween appetizer spread. This recipe may look like a lot of work, but it’s surprisingly easy to prepare.

Ingredients:

For the Black Pepper Fig Jam:

  • 1 lb. Mission figs, diced
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP cracked black pepper
  • 2 TBSP butter

For the rest:

  • 1 loaf of French bread, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • Bone Marrow on Toast with Goat Cheese and Black Pepper Fig Jam

    Bone Marrow on Toast with Goat Cheese and Black Pepper Fig Jam

  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 3 large beef bones with marrow
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. On a large baking sheet, stand bones up vertically and roast for 20-30 minutes or until marrow is melting inside the bone.
  3. While bones are roasting, in a small pot, melt butter then add all Black Pepper Fig Jam ingredients. Bring to a boil and let simmer on low for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Remove fig jam from stove and refrigerate to let cool.
  5. Remove bones from oven and on a separate baking sheet, arrange bread pieces in a single layer and toast for 7 or 8 minutes.
  6. While bread is toasting, over a bowl, remove marrow from bones by using a kitchen knife (the narrower the better) to push or scoop out the marrow from the bone.
  7. Once bread is toasted, fig jam has cooled and bone marrow has been extracted, prepare the toast by spreading goat cheese on first, followed by fig jam and top with roasted bone marrow.
Black Pepper Fig Jam

Black Pepper Fig Jam

All these ingredients may seem like a weird combo. Hell, bone marrow itself may seem like a weird ingredient. But, I promise you this appetizer is decadent and full of flavor.

I should probably actually jar some of the black pepper fig jam. To me, it and the bone marrow are the equally award worthy costars in this recipe for Bone Marrow on Toast with Goat Cheese and Black Pepper Fig Jam.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Appetizers, Cookin', Recipes

 

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Recipe: Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce over Mushrooms and Red Pepper

Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce over Mushrooms and Red Pepper

If you’ve never had chimichurri, you’re missing out. It’s an Argentinian condiment, similar to pesto, that contains parsley, garlic, oregano, garlic and onion.

Chimichurri pairs very well with red meat so this recipe combines one of my favorite cuts of steak, the flank. While it’s no filet, flank steak is still a nice cut that’s very versatile. I decided to turn the flank steak I had into Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce.

For the chimichurri:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 TBSP oregano leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

    Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

  • 2 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Finely chop the parsley, fresh oregano, and garlic (or process in a food processor several pulses). Place in a small bowl.
  2. Stir in the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Adjust seasonings to your preferences.
  3. Serve immediately or refrigerate. If chilled, return to room temperature before serving. Can keep for a day or two.

For the Flank Steak:

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 lbs. flank steak
  • 1 red bell pepper (julienned)
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP butter

Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce


Directions:

  1. Preheat a charcoal or electric grill.
  2. Cook steak to desired temperature. I went with medium-rare.
  3. In a medium pan, saute the red pepper and mushrooms in butter and olive oil until cooked.
  4. Once steak and vegetables are cooked, make a bed of vegetables on a large serving platter then top with steak.
  5. Spread sauce over steak and serve.

This dish is great served cold or warm, it’s up to you. Feel free to add other vegetables to accompany the Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce.

Since I didn’t want to bother with going outside to grill, I used a George Foreman Grill and the steak still turned out perfectly (even it was missing some char).

 
5 Comments

Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry


I’m pretty sure is the third curry recipe I’m posting, but the stuff is just so damn good. This one is a sort of a hybrid of coconut shrimp and Thai curry, hence the name Coconut Shrimp Curry.

Curry is so full of flavor, it’s quickly become one of my favorite dishes. And it’s not that hard to make — especially with the assistance of a food processor.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry blends shrimp, vegetables, pineapple and toasted coconut in a Thai curry.


Ingredients:

For the curry sauce:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, minced
  • 1 TBSP dried chili flakes (less if you don’t want it too spicy)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
  • 3 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Gulf Shrimp in Coconut Curry

    Gulf Shrimp in Coconut Curry

  • 1 TBSP ketchup (or tomato paste)

For the curry:

  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/3 cup dry toasted coconut

Directions:

  1. Place all curry sauce ingredients in a food processor and process well. Alternatively, whisk the ingredients together and stir well to combine.
  2. Pour sauce into a deep pot and heat over medium-high heat until boiling, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium. Add the vegetables, pineapple and shrimp, stirring to mix. Simmer until shrimp look plump and turn pink.
  4. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm while you toast the coconut.
  5. Toasted Coconut in Curry

    Toasted Coconut in Curry

  6. Place dry shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. “Fry” the coconut, stirring continually until it turns golden-brown and is fragrant. Then turn off heat.
  7. Add half of the toasted coconut to the curry and stir to combine.
  8. Taste for salt and sweetness, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough, and more brown sugar if you want it sweeter. Also, you can also add chili sauce if you’d like it spicier.
  9. To serve, transfer curry into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the rest of the toasted coconut on top of each dish and serve (over rice if desired).

As I live in New Orleans, I’m lucky enough to have access to fresh Gulf shrimp. They really make this dish stand out from using frozen shrimp, but you gotta use what you have access to. I recommend fresh over frozen any day.

As this is a curry, it goes great over rice, but it’s good enough to eat it without. The choice is yours. Enjoy this Coconut Shrimp Curry!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, One-Pot Wonders, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Silken Tofu with Kimchi

Silken Tofu with Kimchi

Silken Tofu with Kimchi

Looking for a vegetarian entree or appetizer that’s full of spice and loaded with nutrition? Look no further. This recipe for Silken Tofu with Kimchi is delicious and takes about 15 minutes to make.

Kimchi is a Korean dish that’s a spicy blend of spicy peppers, cabbage and other Asian vegetables. I used storebought kimchi I got from our local Asian market, but feel free to make your own. Here’s a recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 block silken tofu
  • 1 cup kimchi, minced
  • 6 tsp soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
  • 4 tsp chili oil
  • 1 TBSP sesame seeds
  • Silken Tofu with Kimchi

    Silken Tofu with Kimchi makes a great entree or appetizer

  • Chopped scallions, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Boil a pot of water and add tofu and simmer until the tofu is warmed through. This should take about 5 or 6 minutes.
  2. Drain the tofu.
  3. Divide the tofu evenly between 2 bowls (or 4 if making as an appetizer). Drizzle each portion with half of soy sauce and half of chili oil. Divide kimchi evenly atop both bowls of tofu.
  4. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, then serve.
Silken Tofu with Kimchi

Silken Tofu with Kimchi serves 2 to 4

I was surprised at just how much flavor is in this dish given the limited amount of ingredients and easiness to prepare it. The only problem is that I was left wanting more.

While this can be served as an entree or an appetizer, it’s probably better as an appetizer as the portions are small. I chose to eat mine as an entree as I had a tennis match to play an hour later so I wanted something light. This Silken Tofu with Kimchi definitely fit the bill.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Appetizers, Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Golden Raisin and Bacon Scones

Golden Raisin and Bacon Scones

Golden Raisin and Bacon Scones

Having never made scones before, I wasn’t sure how this recipe would turn out. Luckily, it worked. Thanks bacon!

These Golden Raisin and Bacon Scones are a great sweet-savory treat around breakfast time.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 TBSP butter (the colder the better)
  • 1/2 cup cooked bacon (drained)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • Golden Raisin and Bacon Scone Dough

    Golden Raisin and Bacon Scone Dough

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour and sugar. Using a fork, cut in 6 tablespoons of butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  3. In a small bowl, combine bacon, golden raisins and walnuts.
  4. Stir 1 cup of bacon mixture into the flour mixture. Set remaining bacon mixture aside.
  5. In another small bowl, lightly whisk egg and cream together. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in egg-cream mixture. Stir with a fork until the mixture is moist.
  6. Golden Raisin and Bacon Scones

    Golden Raisin and Bacon Scones Close-Up

  7. Divide dough into two balls of the same size.
  8. On a greased cookie sheet, place dough balls about 3 inches apart and pat each one into an 8-inch round.
  9. Using a knife dipped in flour, cut each round into 8 pieces, but do not separate.
  10. Sprinkle remaining bacon mixture over each round then bake 14-16 minutes until edges are light golden brown.
  11. Carefully separate each round into 8 pieces. Serve warm with fresh jam.

Scones make a great grab-and-go breakfast option if you don’t have time to prepare a full breakfast every morning.

Scones are also very customizable. You can easily substitute in the ingredients of your choice when making this recipe.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Breakfast, Cookin', Recipes

 

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Recipe: Cold Fried Chicken

Cold Fried Chicken

Cold Fried Chicken

To me, there are some foods that are just as good served cold as they are served warm/hot. Spaghetti, pizza, steak and fried chicken all come to mind. So I decided to try out a recipe for fried chicken, but to serve it cold — hence, Cold Fried Chicken.

The prep work for serving it cold is obviously no different than serving it warm. However, once cooked, you must make sure the chicken cools to room temperature before refrigerating. This helps the batter keep its crunch and prevents sweating between the batter and chicken meat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 wings, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 breasts)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 6 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 TBSP hot sauce
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP black pepper
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP red pepper
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 1 TBSP cayenne pepper
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • Peanut oil, for frying

Directions:

  1. Rinse the chicken pieces and dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, water, honey and roasted garlic. Then soak the chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  3. On a large platter, place flour and mix in spices. Mix well so the spices are nicely incorporated into the flour. Taste flour and adjust seasoning as you see fit.
  4. Roll the marinated chicken pieces in the flour mixture until well coated. Dip chicken back in buttermilk mixture and coat in flour again.
  5. Heat 1 inch of peanut oil in large skillet or Dutch oven to 375F. While oil is heating, leave chicken sitting in flour mixture.
  6. Cold Fried Chicken

    Fried Chicken is popular with my taste buds.

  7. Working in batches of 3 or 4 pieces, add chicken to oil skin side down.
  8. Fry for 5 minutes then turn to other side and fry for an additional 5 minutes. Continue to turn and fry 5 minutes per side for a total of 20 minutes (two 5-minute periods per side) until golden-brown. Use a meat thermometer to ensure chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165F.
  9. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  10. Repeat frying process with remaining pieces.
  11. Once all chicken is cooked, let cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Refrigerate for several hours before serving cold.

This is some damn good fried chicken that keeps its crisp whether it’s hot or cold. It’s perfect for a summer picnic.

This is one of those dishes that’s actually better on the second day once it’s sat in the refrigerator for a while. After trying this Cold Fried Chicken, you may not want to go back to eating it hot.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Easy Peach Pie

Easy Peach Pie

Peach Pie is a great summer dessert.


What do you do when you’ve got some extra summer peaches on hand? You make peach pie.

This recipe for Easy Peach Pie couldn’t be much, well, easier. It reminds of the peach pie I ate growing up when I spent many hours in the kitchen of the Mennonite family who helped raise my sister and me.

Ingredients:

  • 5 fresh peaches
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 4 TBSP milk
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon

Easy Peach Pie

Easy Peach Pie


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Slice peaches and place in a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 cup of sugar. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Roll out the pie dough and put into a pie dish. Fill the shell with peaches.
  4. Beat the eggs then add the flour and remaining sugar. Pour the mixture of the peaches.
  5. Pour milk over mixture and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  6. Bake 15 minutes at 450F, then 45 minutes at 350F.
  7. Turn oven off and let pie cool in oven or remove and let cool on a wire rack.

This is great peach pie recipe that isn’t too sweet and really let’s the peaches take center stage. You can serve it hot or cold and garnish with ice cream or whipped cream if you want.

It’s summer and peaches are in season so I recommend making this Easy Peach Pie before they go out of season. Also, I highly recommend organic peaches if you can get them.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

I always enjoy the “challenge” of cooking vegetarian. I use challenge in quotation marks, because it’s pretty damn easy, but I find it scares most people.

Using the fresh eggplants and mushrooms I had on hand, I decided to make a Pappardell with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu. There are a lot of simple flavors in the dish, but what really sends it over the top for me are the fresh garnishes of orange zest, parsley and ricotta cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes (peeled or skin-on)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBSP chili flakes
  • Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

    Eggplant is the Key Ingredient

  • 2 TBSP kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 lb. pappardelle
  • 1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • Grated orange zest
  • Fresh parsley, minced

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Put the olive oil in a large skillet (I used a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. When oil is heated, saute the onion and garlic for 1 minute, careful not to let the garlic to burn.
  3. Add the eggplant, chili flakes and Kosher salt. Lower the heat to medium. Saute, stirring occasionally until the eggplant is nearly tender.
  4. Add the red pepper and mushrooms then cook for 3 or 4 more minutes. Pour in the red wine, and continue to cook until the eggplant is fully tender. Reduce heat to very low so ragu comes to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

    Simmering the Veggies in a Dutch Oven

  6. Boil the pasta according to package directions (usually about 5 minutes). Drain the pasta, but reserve 1 cup of the water. Toss the noodles with the ragu, gradually mixi in some or all of the pasta water to achieve a light glaze on the noodles.
  7. Plate the pasta then divide the ricotta, placing a few dabs on each plate. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, orange zest, parsley and black pepper then serve.

This is a delicious vegetarian dish full of some classic flavors. The veggies, garnishes, cheeses and pasta work together in perfect harmony.

If you can’t find or make pappardelle, I would suggest boiling lasagna then cutting it into strips. Make sure you use all of the garnishes, they really elevate this Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Blueberry Crunch

Blueberry Crunch

Blueberry Crunch

My mom told me I “had to” try this recipe for Blueberry Crunch because it was “too die for.” She got it from a friend and tried it for the first time last weekend. Basically, crushed pineapple, fresh blueberries, yellow cake mix, pecans, sugar and butter are layered then baked to perfection.

When I got an invitation for dinner from a friend and she asked me to make dessert, I figured it was time to give Blueberry Crunch a try. However, she asked for a healthy dessert and this definitely does not fit the bill. So I ignored her, and it was a hit.

Ingredients:

    Blueberries

    Blueberries are the star ingredient in Blueberry Crunch

  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 8-oz. cans of crushed pineapple (with juice)
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar (divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Pecans and Yellow Cake Mix

Pecans and Yellow Cake Mix top Blueberry Crunch


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a 9×13 pan, layer pineapple, blueberries, 3/4 cup sugar, and cake mix.
  3. Spread pecans over top then drizzle with melted butter.
  4. Sprinkle remaining sugar (1/4 cup) on top.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until browned and bubbly.
  6. Let cool slightly (for about 5 minutes), serve and top with whipped cream or ice cream (if desired).

When I make it again, I’ll probably omit the 1/4 cup of sugar on top, but one of my friends said that was her favorite part. I think it could stand to be just a tad less sweet.

All in all, it’s an easy dish with lots of flavor. It’s got a nice crunch, hence the name Blueberry Crunch, and is buttery, sweet and rich.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Cookin', Desserts, Recipes

 

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