Author Archives: xtinamac

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Make these.  I’m not kidding–they are heaven.  Do not skip the ganache.  You will be sorry if you do.

As you can see, I was so excited I forgot to take a picture of the finished product before we dug in.

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Please ignore Z’s hand.  Why do boys love to try to destroy pictures?

Ingredients:

-1 box Bettty Crocker original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)

-1/3 cup vegetable oil

-1/4 cup water

-2 eggs

-1 pouch Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix

-1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

-1 egg

For the ganache, you’ll need:

-12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate morsels

-3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

-6 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom of 13×9 pan with cooking spray.  Make brownie mix as directed on the box, using oil, water and 2 eggs.  Spread in pan.

2. Make cookie mix as directed on puch, using butter and 1 egg.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto brownie batter; press down lightly. 

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3. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean 2 inches from the side of the pan.  Cool for 30 minutes.  Frost with ganache.

Oh yes, ganache.  So easy and delicious:

1. In a small saucepan, heat cream and butter until just before the boiling stage.

2. Pour over chocolate morsels (I used a mixing bowl)

3. Let stand about 20 seconds, then stir until smooth.

4. Pour over brownies and let set before cutting.

Enjoy!

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Salad with Pan Roasted Garlic Dressing

To go along with our fabuous sandwiches in my last post, we had this delicious salad.dsc00055

It takes a little prep, but is so worth it.  This is the ONLY dressing we eat at home anymore, and it is frequently requested by Z.

Last time we spoke, I mentioned that sous-chef Zack was working on a little something in the kitchen when I got home from work.  He was beginning the salad by getting the garlic roasting on the stove, like this:dsc00052

Yeah, looks good, doesn’t it?  Here’s what you need:

-10 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped

-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

-1 tablespoon dijon mustard

-salt & pepper

-grated Parmesan

-2 hearts Romaine lettuce

**This recipe is for 4. I usually do 6 or 7 cloves for the 2 of us and pretty much keep the other measurements the same.**

-In a small skillet, combine garlic and oil.  Over low heat, brown and caramelize the garlic until brown and soft (about 20 minutes.)

-Transfer garlic to blender or food processor. (I use my blender.)

-Add vinegar and mustard. Blend until smooth.  With motor running, slowly stream in the oil you used to cook the garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

-Chop lettuce into bite-sized pieces and put in large bowl.  Pour dressing over the top and toss to coat.  Sprinkle cheese on top and server immediately.

**This is the important thing about this recipe: this dressing is SO versatile.  In its true form, it’s sort of like a caesar salad. (If you are using romaine, make sure you soak to release any trapped dirt particles.)  But we commonly use it with spinach, like we did here.  We’ve also substituted blue cheese and gorgonzola for the parmesan.  We  like to add sliced almonds to it.  I’m considering adding lemon or raspberry to it in the future to make a vinaigrette.  And quite frankly, it’s better to toss the whole thing together, cheese and all!**

And here’s how pretty it looks on the plate:dsc00057

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Pulled Pork Sandwiches

The Crock-Pot is your friend.  In fact, we happen to have 3 of them (don’t ask.)  I have no idea where this recipe came from, but it is one of our favorites, and super easy.  There’s nothing like smelling your already cooked dinner when you get home from work!  Without further ado:

Your ingredients:Ingredients

-1-1 1/4 lb. pork loin

-3/4 cup to 1 1/4 cup BBQ sauce

-heaping 1/4 cup brown sugar

-salt and pepper to taste

The How-To:

-Thoroughly coat pork loan with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker.

-In a bowl, mix barbecue sauce and brown sugar.  Pour sauce into clow cooker, making sure all sides of loin are covered.

-Cook on low for 8 hours or more.  Break up with a fork and serve.

in the pot

In the pot!

Now, let’s back up and talk sauce.  I use this:

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

This sauce is from a barbecue serving biker bar in Syracuse, NY, near where my Dad grew up.  My parents bring it home every year. It’s unbelieveable (and if you don’t believe me, you can order it online.)  But let it be stated for the record, next time I made anything requiring barbecue sauce, I am going to try Rhoob’s sauce, per kmslat’s last blog.

Ok, back to the cooking.  I got home from work, and sous chef Zack–this guy–

sous-chef Zack

sous-chef Zack

had diced up some onion, tossed it in the crockpot, and gotten some Texas Toast in the oven to make our sammiches.  He was working on a little somethin’ else too, but that’s for a later blog, let’s not get sidetracked.

Here’s the final product:

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Hmmm, you say, that looks fantastic!  But what’s that delicious looking salad?  All in due time, my friends. 

But seriously, so easy, so good.  And the leftovers are amazing!

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