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Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts: September 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies

A couple weeks ago I saw a recipe for Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies over at The Farm Girl.  I could not get in the kitchen to make these fast enough.  I was trying to come up with all sorts of excuses why I needed to make them.  The one I ended up going with?  I had a meeting with my son’s teacher after school, and since she teaches first grade, she definitely deserved a brownie or two.  Turned out my in laws came the next day as well, so it actually worked out well.  Even my Father-in-law, who almost never eats dessert, loved these.  He was trying to corner the market on the couple that were left.  My husband, who isn’t a big fan of chocolate ate them as well!  So I suggest you come up with whatever excuse you need, and go make them now!  You will not be disappointed. 

I admit, I did adapt the recipe slightly.  I used my normal brownie recipe for the base.  Because this was last minute (and I am trying to clean out my kitchen due to the pending move) I didn’t have any chocolate chips. Although I did find 3 Hershey Bars in my cupboard from a camp fire we had this summer.  So I used those for the glaze.  I also added a little peanut butter frosting drizzle on the top… just because.  Well actually I had a tiny bit of frosting left over from something else, so I added a little peanut butter, thinned it out, and drizzled until my heart’s content.  I like drizzles!  And I liked these brownies.  Go!  Make!  Them!  Now! 

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies
Adapted from The Farm Girl

2 envelopes unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cups flour
½  tsp baking powder
½  tsp salt

1/2  cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbls milk
1 tsp vanilla
¾  cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips   Or Any melted Chocolate
2 Tbsp. shortening

½ cup powdered sugar
1 Tbls milk
2 Tbls peanut butter
¼ tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare and 8x8 baking pan. 

To make the brownies blend the chocolate and the oil together.  Mix in the eggs and sugar.  Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt until just combined.   Pour batter into pan and bake for about 25 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.

To make the filling cream together butter and brown sugar.  Mix in the peanut butter, vanilla and milk.  Stir in flour and salt until well combined.  Spread over cooled brownies.  It may be sticky. You can spray a spatula with non stick spray, or slightly dampen your hands to spread out. 

Melt Chocolate and pour over the peanut butter layer.  Put in fridge for 30 minutes to start to harden. 

Stir together the sugar, milk, vanilla and peanut butter.  Adjust the level of milk to get your desired consistency.  Drizzle over chocolate layer.  Store in fridge.  Enjoy!!

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Over the weekend we had some great friends throw us a going away party.  It was so much fun to get to hang out with everyone before we move.  I had to convince them to let me help with the food.   It is after all, kind of what I do!  In the end I was “allowed” to bring a salad and/or an appetizer.  Well, if you know me, you know I can’t just stop at one!  Stay tuned next week for the Appetizer, it was a good one!

Earlier in the week I had seen a Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette on Pinterest.  I pinned it immediately, because that is a flavor combination that I love.   This was the perfect excuse to try this dressing.   I was so excited that it was just as good as I hoped it would be.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the actual salad I made.  It was lettuce topped with Corn, Tomatoes, Avocado, and Crispy Tortilla Strips.  This dressing was perfect for it.  I was asked for the recipe from a couple people, which is how I know if it really was a success. 

The recipe makes a lot of dressing.  I used some of the leftover dressing as a marinade for turkey cutlets the next night, which was also delicious!  I am going to have to make some more of this soon!  Enjoy!

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Recipe from Our Best Bites

¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup white wine vinegar
5 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. Kosher
2 tsp sugar
1 c. canola oil
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

In a blender or food processor, combine lime juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, and sugar. Blend until well combined.  With the food processor running, add in a slow stream of oil.  Pulse in the cilantro.   You want the cilantro to be well blended, but still be able to see plenty of flecks.  Store in the fridge.  Shake or stir well before serving. 

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

I am sitting here trying to figure out what to tell you today.  I am struggling.  I could talk about the weather.  It was in the 60's here today.  Kind of windy and overcast.  I could tell you about my day.  I went running today.  Ran for 5 miles, it was a tough 5 miles too.  Not sure why though?  I went at a different time than normal, but not that far off.  I usually go at 8:30 after I get my son on the bus.  Well on Tuesdays I volunteer in his classroom at 9:00, so I go after I am done with that.  I got hungry during my run, even though I ate breakfast.  I NEVER get hungry during a run.  Even when I ran my 1/2 marathon, I didn't get hungry.  I do the Gu and Power Blocks for the energy, not because I am actually hungry.  I also ran kind of fast today.  I kept trying to make myself slow down, but it just wasn't working.  Or maybe it was because I was by myself.  I usually do my "longer" runs with a friend.  Our schedules aren't working this week so I was on my own today.  I baked this afternoon too.  Not these little treats but something cinnamon!  It is my husbands last week of work.  Our wonderful friends had a going away party for us on Saturday.  While at the party one of my husbands coworkers suggested that I should send it one last batch of treats.  How could I not oblige!

Ok, so that is enough of nothing.  Why don't I just get to the treats.  I made these for a party we went to a couple weeks ago.  I am not a big fan of cheesecake (stems from my hatred for cream cheese), but when it is flavored I like it.  I figured my love of Oreo's would work for flavoring.  These were creamy and delicious!  My first ever attempt at cheesecake!

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes
Recipe adapted from Kraft Foods
Printable Recipe 

1 package Oreo's
3  8 oz pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup Sour Cream
1 tsp. vanilla
3   eggs
Heat oven to 325°F.
Put 1 cookie in 24 prepared muffin cups. Chop 8 of the remaining cookies; set aside. 
Beat cream cheese and sugar with mixer until blended. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each just until blended. Gently stir in chopped cookies. Scoop into baking cups. 

Bake for 18 to 20 min. or until centers are set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 3 hours or until chilled.  Topped with Whipped Cream, and 1/2 an Oreo to serve. 

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

There is just something about a fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookie that can't be beat.  I think by this point we all know that I am a huge fan of all things chocolate, but the chocolate chip cookie will always hold a special place in my heart.  I grew up making this recipe probably close to weekly from the time I was 3 years old.  It was my Dad's favorite.  I believe it was the recipe that his Mom had made for him.  At some point in high school she got tired of making them so often, so he had to resort to making his own!  Sometimes we would bake just a couple to have fresh warm ones, and freeze the rest of the dough to be able to have warm cookies each night.  I had this recipe memorized, and have barely even taken out the recipe card since I was 10 years old.  Sometimes we get a little crazy and put a few M&M's on top!  

I like my cookies to be chewy, and these are very chewy.  I use this recipe to make Bar Cookies, or the base of many other recipes like S'mores Bars, Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars, Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Cookie Cake.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 package chocolate chips

Cream butter, shortening and both sugars together.  Add in vanilla and eggs.  Mix until well combined.  Add flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until just combined.  Mix in chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.  Makes approx 3 doz cookies.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Citrus Garlic Chicken with Coconut Lime Rice

Coconut Oil is all the rage lately.  So many people have tried it, and are posting great looking recipes with it.  I must admit, I am not a fan of coconut.  But this oil has peaked my curiosity.  So when Jen from Kelapo contacted me, I was super excited to see what all the hype was about.  When it arrive the first thing I had to do was smell it.  It smelled exactly like what I thought it would...Coconut Heaven!  I could just sit with that jar next to me all day, taking sniffs every minute or so.  It is like vacation in a jar!

I have tried a couple things with it, but this rice was so good.  The chicken would have been really good as well, but it needed more citrus.  I will post the recipe as I made it.  But I think if you used the juice of the fruit just before serving, it would brighten it up and give it great flavor.  Or even marinate the chicken in some citrus and coconut oil before cooking.  This is a great dinner for fall or winter, when you are wishing you were on a tropical vacation!

The great people at Kelapo have something for you as well!  They are offering you 20% off your order.  Use the coupon code "Dinners20" at Kelapo to take advantage of this offer.  It is case sensitive, so make sure to enter it correctly.  The offer expires 10/21/11.   Be sure to visit them on Facebook or at their Blog for other great recipes! 

Coconut Lime Rice
Printable Recipe

1 cup Coconut Milk
1 cup Chicken Stock
1 Tbls Coconut Oil
1 cup Long Grain Rice
1 lime, lested and juiced

Heat Coconut Oil in the bottom of a pan.  Stir in rice to coat.  Add Chicken Stock and Coconut Milk.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook for about 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.  Stir in lime zest and juice before serving. 

Citrus Garlic Chicken
Printable Recipe

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbls Garlic, minced
1 Tbls Ginger, minced
1 Lime zested
1 Lemon zested
1 Cup Chicken Stock
3 Tbls Coconut Oil

Heat 2 Tbls Coconut Oil in a skillet over med - high heat.  Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.  Add chicken to the pan, and brown on both sides.  Remove from pan (it will not be cooked through). 

Add the garlic and ginger to the pan.  Cook for a minute or until soft.  Add in chicken stock.  Return chicken to the pan.  Cover and simmer over low heat until the chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan.  Stir in the zest and 1 Tbls of coconut oil.  Pour over chicken.  Enjoy!

**I received a jar of Coconut Oil from Kelapo.  The opinions are completely my own. 

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week in Review 9/23/11

It is the first official weekend of fall!  Anyone have any fun fall things planned?  We have a busy weekend, but nothing fall like.  I was hoping to pick apples, not sure we will be able to fit that in.  Tonight our wonderful friends are having a going away party for us.  Only 5 days of work, and hubby is done!  Also having an Open House this weekend.  So, if you know any potential buyers let me know :)  Let's get on to what happened this week, I have to get cooking some yummy stuff to bring to the party!

This is what I was up to this week:
Caramelized Onion Dip - French Onion Dip to a whole new level, so good!
Twix Peanut Butter Brownies - Fudgy Brownies with Peanut Butter Twix folded in.
Snickerdoodles and a Cookbook Review - My first experience with Snickerdoodles, and I reviewed a cookbook!
Taco Pasta - Tacos and Pasta come together in a dinner the entire family will enjoy.
Questions and Some Pancakes - I answered questions about my blogging story and made some delicious S'mores Pancakes

This is what I have booked marked this week:
Bourbon Chicken Teriyaki by The Cooking Bride - This sounds so flavorful and saucy!
Slow Cooker Tikka Masala by Meal Planning 101 - I had Tikka Masala for the first time this week, really want to try this recipe at home!
Cilantro Lime Dressing by Our Best Bites - Love all the flavors here!  Might even make today for the party
Gooey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars by Keep It Sweet - Oh my, nothing about this does not sound amazing!
Maple Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls by Gingerbread Bagels - I can't wait to try this with my son!  Some of his favorites all in one breakfast!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Questions and some Pancakes

 I love getting mail!  And fan mail?  So cool!  Lately, I have gotten a few emails about how I started blogging, and what have I done to be successful. One reader suggested that I write a post dedicated to answering some questions, to the benefit more than just her.  I thought this was a great idea!  So here it goes….

Yes, I really did just start blogging in April 2011. It all started when I was talking to my best friend Beth (via instant messaging because we don’t live near each other), about what I should do with my life.  At the time I was working from home for 12 hours a week or so, and needed something else to do with my time while my son is in school. She said I needed to do something fun, something that would work with  my personality rather than going back into accounting (my career before Mommyhood).  She threw out the idea of a blog and I kind of laughed at her.  Can you really make any money with a blog?  That was part of the criteria, I had to make money.  She proved to me you could, so I thought okay, let’s try this and thus, the blog was born.

The next day, I asked a couple people what I should name my blog.  Back and forth for awhile we came up with Dinners, Dishes and Desserts.  I set up my account with blogspot, wrote an “about me” section, and I was so excited.  I headed straight into the kitchen and whipped up some cookies.  I wrote the post immediately, and I have been hooked since! 

One of the first things I did was find other food blogs, so I could see how they set up their sites, what they posted about etc.  I saw a lot of people had a Foodbuzz logo on their site, so I went there and set up an account.  That opened up a whole new world of bloggers to meet.  The more I read, the more links I saw to other sites like “Tasty Kitchen”, “Foodgawker”, “Yummly”, and Mommy sites.  I just went crazy and joined everything I could.  In order to get maximum exposure, I put my posts everywhere I could and I commented on every blog I visited.  I visited A LOT of them.  I think this was probably the best thing I did.  Eventually I set up a Facebook page for my blog, and that opened up to even more bloggers to meet.  I have found that putting myself out there on facebook and now twitter has gained lots of support.  The food blogging community is so supportive of each other.  I have never met a group of people like this; it is so great to be a part of it. 

While I love blogging, I am finding that balancing my time is proving difficult.  On top of blogging, I am working from home for about 20 hours a week.  I try to work while my son is in school but between, housework, running errands, and real work I don’t have a ton of time for my blog.  I really want to turn this blog into a part time job, but that is hard to do.  I spend lots of nights watching TV with my husband with the computer in my lap reading and commenting on blogs.  I am trying to cut down on this, because I know it bothers my husband. I can’t blame him either, if the situation were reversed I am not sure I would like him focusing on something other than me and our family.  So, I am trying to figure out a schedule for myself where I can still spend time blogging and reading/commenting on other blogs but find a way to spend time with the family as well. 

I am so glad I started this blog.  I have met some amazing people in the process.  I can’t wait to see where this is going to go in the future!  Thank you so much to each of you who read this, I would not be here without you.

Of course, I can’t leave you without food today; it is after all why you come here.  Here is a throwback to one of my earlier posts.  These would make the perfect breakfast this weekend!  Enjoy!

S'mores Pancakes
Serves 2 - 2 pancakes per serving
2/3 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
Optional - splash of vanilla
1 Tbls mini chocolate cips
20 mini marshmallows, halved
Chocolate Syrup
1 sheet graham crackers

To make the batter, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the eggs, milk, and splash of vanilla. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and the marshmallows. Stir in the marshmallows slowly, so they don't stick together. You could use a griddle if you were making a lot of them, but it was just 2 of us, so I used a non-stick skillet that I sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on the first side, and then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Once they are cooked through, put on a plate and get ready for the yummy part! I used an ice cream topping Hot Fudge - so I had to microwave it to get it "dripable" I put a bunch on a spoon, and just drizzled it over the top of my pancakes. Top with a squirt of reddi-whip, and then crush up 1/2 of the graham cracker over the pancakes.

These really did kind of taste like S'mores. Next time though, I think I wouldn't mix the marshmallows into the batter. They kind of melted in there, and didn't stand out. I think I would just sprinkle them over the top. The pancakes are hot, so the whip cream melts quickly. I think the marshmallows would as well. And really, if you have a favorite pancake recipe you could use that, and just stir in the chocolate chips and top this way.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Taco Pasta

I think this was one of the first things I pinned when I joined Pinterest!  That site is amazing, so much better than just bookmarking.  It is addicting, which can be a problem!  I love following new people, so join me over there!

I am always struggling for dinners that all of us can enjoy. We are all picky in our own ways, that is undeniable.  But my 6 year old is kind of over the top.  So if I can get something all of us will eat 75% of the time, I am doing amazingly well.  Tacos are one of those that is always a hit! So when I saw this recipe for Taco Pasta I knew I had to try it. 

I was so excited for this!  I will say that if you do not like spicy foods you really need to use just plain diced tomatoes.  I didn't have plain tomatoes, so I used the can of Rotel that I had.  It was fine for hubby and I, but not for my son.  We were adding shredded cheddar cheese and crushed tortilla chips to try to cool it down for him.  I think he drank 3 glasses of milk during dinner that night! He did like it though, and said if it wasn't spicy he would eat it again.  My husband topped his with cheese too, but that is just because he likes cheese.  Don't mind the mix of pasta shapes, I didn't have enough macaroni, so I broke some lasagna noodles to fill in.  I am looking forward to making this again without the heat.

Taco Pasta
Recipe The Girl Who Ate Everything
Printable Recipe

1 pound ground beef
10 oz small pasta shapes
1 small onion,diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can Rotel tomatoes (or plain diced if you don't like spicy)
1 packet taco seasoning
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to the package directions.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. 

Meanwhile, in a large skillet  brown ground beef, and onions over medium-high heat until cooked through. Once the meat is cooked, mix in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning.  Let simmer over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Snickerdoodles and a Cookbook Review

One of the perks of writing this blog is getting the chance to review new items, and this time I was given the chance to review a new cookbook.  The name of this cook book: The Cookiebedia. How could you not be interested with a name like that!

Author Stacy Adimando is a chef and food writer living in Brooklyn. She is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. Her writing has appeared in Men’s Fitness, Natural Health, and on She is currently deputy lifestyle editor for Every Day with Rachael Ray.

This book showed up, and I was pleasantly surprised.  There were so many good things to pick from!  The book is divided up by type of cookie: Buttery, Chocolately, Fancy, Fruity, Spicy, and Nutty.  At the beginning of each chapter are pictures of all the cookies in that chapter.  There are your classics like Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  But there are also ones like Fig Bars, Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, Mint Thins, and Salt and Pepper Cookies. 

In addition to the wonderful pictures that look tasty enough to eat, there is a section after each recipe for you to make notes about the recipe, and different variations to try.   So it is like 3 times the amount of recipes in this little book.  

So what do I make?  Believe it or not, I don't think I have ever even tried a Snickerdoodle.  Not sure how that happened.  My 6 year old loves anything cinnamon, so I knew these would be a huge hit.  These cookies were perfectly sweet, with the spice from the cinnamon.  They were chewy, and I really can't believe I have gone 32 years without them!  This is a great cookbook, I can’t wait to try more of the cookie recipes in here.  You can go here to order your own copy of this book.  And thanks to Quick Books, the publisher, who contacted me about reviewing this book.

Recipe from The Cookiepedia

1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbls sugar
2 Tbls light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extra

For Rolling:
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp cinnamon

Grease cookies sheets, or line them with parchment paper.  Set aside.  

Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt into a bowl, and set aside. 

Cream butter and both sugars on medium speed for several minutes until it is light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.

Add the flour mixture in two batches, making sure the first half is incorporated before adding the second.  Stop when the second batch is fully combined.

Stir together cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.  Roll 1 inch balls of dough into the micture. Place them on the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.  Flatten the balls slightly with the palm of your hand.  

Bake for 9 to 10 minutes for a chewy cookie or 12 to 13 minutes fir a crispy cookie.  Cool the sheets on wire racks for a few minutes, then transfer cookies directly onto the racks to let them cool. 

**The book The Cookiepedia was sent to me by Quick Books.  The opinions in this post are fully my own.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Twix Peanut Butter Brownies

Let it be known (not that it was a secret before), I like peanut butter and chocolate together.  I have seen so many different versions of peanut butter and chocolate brownies floating around.  Some have peanut butter cups, some have just peanut butter, others have peanut butter chips or other candy.  Well I had to jump on this bandwagon, late to the party or not!  I didn't want to have to go shopping though, so I raided my pantry.  Guess what I found?  Two Peanut Butter Twix candy bars from my son's Easter Basket.  As any parent out there, I ration the candy my son eats.  So we end up with a lot of it on a shelf in our pantry.  Every once in awhile I go through and clean it out.  Now I am going have reason to do it more often.  There are yummy treats in there, that should be turned into wonderful desserts! 

Twix Peanut Butter Brownies
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 Twix Peanut Butter Candy Bars

Mix together chocolate and butter.  Add in sugar and eggs, and stir until well combined.  Add flour, salt and baking powder.  Mix until just combined.  Chop the candy into small pieces.  Fold into the batter. 

Pour into a prepared 8x8 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Cool, and enjoy!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Caramelized Onion Dip

French Onion Dip is one of my favorite dips.  I could eat it almost every day.  I like the full fat stuff too, not the Lite.  So it is very rare treat for me.  My husband and son on the other hand like the Lite stuff, and eat it with pretzels quite often.  A couple years ago I saw a recipe for caramelized onion dip that was warm and had a crispy bread crumb topping.  I made it a couple times, and it was very good.  But not quite what I was looking for.  So recently I decided to try again. 

This one is over the top delicious, in my opinion.  I took it to a party, and it got rave reviews by all.  It makes a lot, so good thing it is good the next couple days too!  This version is cold, which is how I think dip should be. 

Caramlized Onion Dip
Adapated from The Barefoot Contessa
Printable Recipe

3 large sweet onions (yellow or white)
3 Tbls butter
3 Tbls olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayo

Slice all of the onions very thin.  Heat the butter and oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the onions, salt and pepper.  Saute for 10 minues.  Reduce heat to medium low, and continue cooking for about 20 minutes.  You want the onions to get soft and caramel in color.  You don't want them browned from too high of a temp.  Once cooked, allow to cool slightly. 

In bowl of an electric mixer combine cream cheese, sour cream and mayo.  Beat until smooth.  Add in the onions and mix until well combined.  Serve immediately or chill to serve later.  Works well with potato chips, and pita chips are my favorite dipper with this!

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week in Review 9/17/11

Another week done, and we are in mid September already.  How did that happen? I can't believe we are in full swing with school, football is back, and it is pretty much fall.  Only a couple more weeks, and my husband starts the process of our move to Colorado.  We have been talking about this for so long, I can't believe he only has 10 days of work left.  I really need to get on cleaning out my freezer!  I go in spurts with that.  Not too much happening this weekend.  Star Wars came out on Blu-Ray Friday, and since we have a boy completely OBSESSED with it, we had to buy those.  So I am sure this weekend will be filled with movies!

Here is what I was up to this week:
Flourless Nutella Cake - Secret Recipe Club, rich and delicious flourless cake
Spinach Artichoke Dip - Creamy spinach and artichoke dip
Sargento Taste Test - Sargento All Natural Cheese vs. Processed Cheese
Raspberry Fool - Sweetened Whipped Cream with Raspberry Puree
Pumpkin Bread - Moist pumpkin bread

Here are a few things I bookmarked this week:
The Chocoholic Brownie by Ravie NomNoms - Really? A brownie with Nutella?  If that doesn't have my name on it, I don't know what does.
Crock Pot Pork Butt by Angie's Big Love of Food - Tender fall apart full of flavor pork!
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies by The Farm Girl - How can you not fall in love with this one?
S'mores Pizza by Live Love Pasta - S'mores in a pizza?  So good!
Chicken Enchiladas by Goodlife Eats - This homemade enchilada sauce sounds amazing

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

It is very fall like here this week.  We had our first frost advisory last night!  Probably not very exciting for those of you who live in warmer places.  I am so not ready for winter, but I do like this time of year.   It is sunny, the temps are in the 60's, it is just perfect to be outside and get stuff done.  But that also means cold nights!  Hopefully we can have a nice long fall this year. 

With this time of year comes Fall baking.  Apples and pumpkin are what I think of when I think fall.  My 6 year old would eat pumpkin pie every day if he could, so he loves this time of year as well.  He was very excited when I brought home (or I should say my husband brought home, because I sent him to the store that day) a can of pumpkin.  I could make pumpkin bread!  There is just something so comforting about pumpkin bread, in my opinion.  This recipe makes 2 large loaves of bread.  It freezes great (trust me, I have some in my freezer right now).  You could put this into muffin tins and make muffins too.  It is just like pumpkin pie in a bread!

Pumpkin Bread
From Food Network
Printable Recipe

3 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
16 ounces canned unsweetened pumpkin
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
2/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9 by 5 loaf pans. 

Stir together sugar and oil. Stir in eggs and pumpkin. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl. Blend dry ingredients and water into wet mixture, alternating. 

Divide batter between two loaf pans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Raspberry Fool

This summer I saw a few different Fool recipes floating around, and all of the claimed that Fool is a traditional English dessert.  My Grandma was born and raised in England, my Dad was born in England, and he still has lots of family there.  So I was shocked I had never heard of this before.  I asked my Dab about it, but he didn't know anything either (he left England when he was 2, my Grandpa was in the Air Force).  So I did a little research, and sure enough it is English.  So I had to make some! 

It is a super easy, rather light dessert.  By light I don't mean calorie wise, I just mean not heavy.  It is basically a homemade whipped cream with pureed fruit mixed in.  It is a great dessert for a big meal, not too sweet and not too heavy.  Plus it is super easy to make.  No baking or cooking, so you are done in less than 10 minutes!  It is pretty versatile, you could use many different fruits.  From what I could find it looks like raspberry is traditional, but I could see strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries being great.  I even saw someone layer the cream over grilled fruit (peaches I think). 

Raspberry Fool
Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 pint raspberries

Using an electric mixer whip the heavy cream over med high until you get soft peaks.  Mix in powdered sugar and vanilla.  Do not over mix or it will curdle and turn to butter. 

Place all but a few raspberries in a food processor.  Puree until almost smooth.  You don't want soup, but you don't want huge chunks either. 

Fold the raspberries into the cream.  Serve in a glass, and top with the reserved raspberries. 

If you want to take it over the top and away from tradition you could layer in some brownies! 

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