Friday, August 29, 2014

Cookie Dough Brownies

When it comes to desserts there is an endless array of options.  There are desserts out there to suit every taste.  Pies, cakes, cookies, pastries, ice cream, bars; the list truly goes on and on.
Every person has their own favorite dessert that is their "go to".  My brother and dad are pie people, my mom could (and does) scoop buttercream out of the bowl by the spoon fulls, so buttercream along with anything chocolate is her forte, my sister-in-law is a cake person (white on white to be precise).  Then there are people like me, I don't really have one particular dessert that is my go to.  What I want truly depends on my mood.  Sometimes I want bars, other times I want a pastry of some sort, and then other times I want just a plain ol' fudgy brownie.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Strawberry Cream Oatmeal Smoothie

I love to bake; that is my "me time".  My time to relax and just let go.  Tucker shares my passion for the baked goods and the process  of making them.  But, if I baked as much as I wanted to, or as much as my little guy wanted to then...well, it just wouldn't be good.  Plus, I think Spencer would lose his mind. See, he tries to keep up with my baking excursions with a fierce effort but never seems to conquer the task of eating the mountains of cookies or cakes filled with decadent frosting.  So, in order to keep the peace I try to refrain from baking every waking moment.

That's not to say, however, that there aren't sweets of some sort in my house.  Smoothies are one of those things that are so versatile.  They are a delicious, and more healthy option to help quench those sweet cravings.  They are also ideal for a quick, healthy and filling meal and perfect to have in hand on the way out the door.

I went for quite some time without having a single smoothie.  But, I decided it was due time to change my eating habits and get a little healthier with my meals and snacks.  So, as of lately I've been on a smoothie kick.  My little guy has since followed suit.  We smoothies at least 3 to 4 days a week, and most of the time he requests them before I even have a chance to ask what he wants to eat.

Monday, August 25, 2014

SRC: Banana Cream Cheese Muffins

I am one of those people who always has bananas in the house.  My boys go through them like monkeys at the zoo, so I very rarely have overly ripe bananas laying around.  But, on the rare occasions I do I take advantage of it and quickly pull one of my bookmarked banana recipes out and run to the kitchen.
I had been craving a banana baked good for quite sometime.  I came across these banana cream cheese muffins on Hapa-tite, my assignment for this month's Secret Recipe Club.  It was like the planets aligned; I found a delicious recipe I wanted to make just in time for the swap and I had some ripe bananas on hand.  It was meant to be!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tate's Bakeshop Lemon Pound Cake (A.K.A-The BEST Ever Lemon Pound Cake)

I am a sucker for anything lemon; lemon squares, lemon curd, lemonade.  You name it and it if involves lemons, I'm in.  But, I am picky when it comes to consuming lemony concoctions.  I don't want a subtle lemon flavor, or a mostly sweet, non-tart lemon flavor.  I want a in your face, mouth puckering, tart lemon flavor.  Go big or go home, right!?!
So when I started trying to find a lemon pound cake recipe for my sister-in-law's birthday, I went at it with a few things in mind.  It had to be packed with bold, lemon flavor.  It had to be moist and delicious.  And, it had to have a glaze that made my cheeks pucker.

I looked through a few recipes before coming to The One.  When I came across the one from Tate's Bakeshop I knew it had to be a winner.  They are known for their infamous chocolate chip cookies, but they have a variety of other sweet treats that equally enticing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grilled Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan is a classic.  There's something so incredibly irresistible about chicken that is lightly breaded, fried and swimming in homemade tomato sauce and topped with gooey, melted mozzarella cheese. It's the ultimate in comfort food.
Traditionally, chicken parmesan is served atop or with a side of delicious pasta.  But in this version, it differs a little.  This is served on a delicious, crusty baguette in the form of an open faced sandwich.  Instead of fried, this chicken is seasoned and grilled.  The marinara sauce is bright, simple, fresh and full of all those flavors that are expected in classic marinara.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chewin' Tuesday: Beef Rissoles with Baby Greens

Then end of summer is around the corner, but there are still plenty of days to enjoy the summer sun and backyard bbq's.  One of our favorite things we've enjoyed this summer are these beef rissoles.  I first learned of these little jewels on The Chew.  Chef Curtis Stone filled in for Daphne Oz while she was out on maternity leave with her sweet little Philo.

During that time Chef Curtis shared several amazing recipes, some of which I'm still anxiously awaiting to try! One of the first I decided to make was his rissoles.  Rissole is a dish that is served up in several countries, but his version is obviously of Australian influence.  It's a beef patty that is a little smaller than a traditional hamburger patty, actually about the size of our sliders.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Nutella Swirl Brownie and Sugar Cookie Tart

A few months (yes, months...I know I'm late with this post) ago we celebrated my mom's birthday.  She just happened to be in town so my crew, along with my brother and sister-in-law decided to get together to celebrate her birthday.  We had steaks, salads, baked potatoes, bread and, of course, some veno!
But, no birthday celebration is complete without dessert.  My mom is a chocolate lover, so I thought long and hard about all the options before finally settling on a tart.  But, not just any tart.  A brownie tart with a Nutella swirl and chunks of chewy sugar cookie.  But what really put it over the top was the flecks of salt and bits of toffee.

This tart is the best of both worlds combining delicious flaky pie crust, chewy and dense brownie and buttery sugar cookies.  As if that isn't enough enough, dollops of delicious chocolaty-hazelnut plopped over the brownie batter before being baked.  This not only add another level of flavor, but amps up that chocolate flavor too.  The addition of salt makes for the sweet salty combo, as well as cutting some of the sweetness.

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