Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Butterscotch Brownies with Brown Sugar Butter Icing

      We went over to our new friends' house for dinner the other night and I volunteered to make dessert, cause hello! I began the hunt for just the right recipe! We were having grilled bbq chicken (which was so tasty! I love home-made bbq sauce!), corn on the cob, salad, and watermelon, and I wanted a dessert that would blend with that. I immediately pictured some kind of handheld bar of some type. I searched and searched, and ended up using a recipe that I already had in my dessert folder, waiting to be tested! My husband agreed that this was the dessert!

     Now, if you're a diabetic, or have any issues with sugar... do not venture any closer! You will be swallowed by the amount of sugar in these bars. But who am I kidding myself... I'm willing to go into a sugar coma for something this tasty! So bring it on!

     Start out by beating together the butter and sugar until fluffy.

Then add your eggs and vanilla and beat until their all lovey dovey.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix well. 
Then add the flour mixture, in 3 different batches, to the sugar mixture and mix on low until incorporated.

It should look like this when you're done.

Add your chopped pecans and blend one more time.

Pour batter onto a greased half sheet and realize that it's too thick to spread with a spatula.

So, whip out your way cool little angled cake spatula 
(if you don't have one of these, get one, they make life easier!)

And easily spread the batter!

Then, lick the spatula, of course! Holy cow! Delicious!
I'm not preggers anymore, so I can do that now!
Unless you're my friend Sara who has some weird phobia of licking any batter off the utensils... Crazy!

Then bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let cool for 30 minutes.

Now for the icing: in a saucepan over medium, melt the butter and sugar.
Once a little bubbly, turn down to low and stir for 2 minutes.

Beat together the powdered sugar, half and half and vanilla until creamy.
Then add in the melted butter mixture slowly, and beat until combined.

It will look like this when it's all finished. Yummy! Lick those beaters! Don't waste that!

Use the cool spatula again to spread the warm caramel-y frosting over the brownies.
I had about 1/2 to 1 cup left of frosting that I didn't use.
Move quick because the frosting begins to dry immediately.

Let the frosting sit for 30 minutes so it hardens and it cuts clean. 
Then pray that you have the ability to wait 30 minutes!

Oh dear are these tasty! 

Butterscotch Brownies with Brown Sugar Butter Icing


For the Brownies: 
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 C brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
3 C flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 C chopped pecans (mine were salted, so it made the brownies extra tasty!)

For the Frosting:
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 C brown sugar
4 C powdered sugar
1/3 C half and half
1 tbsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350, and line a half sheet (13x18 in) pan with foil and grease (use the paper the butter was in to grease since you have that already)

Blend together the butter and sugar on med until fluffy, about 2 minutes. 
Add eggs and vanilla and beat for another minute.

In another bowl mix your dry ingredients (Flour, baking powder, and salt).
Beat dry ingredients into the wet ingredients on low until fully mixed together.

Stir in the pecans and pour into the greased baking sheet, smoothing it down with your cool spatula.
Bake until kinda fluffy (25-30 minutes) and cool completely before frosting.

Melt the butter and sugar on the stove in a small pan.
Once it begins to bubbly a little bit, turn down the heat and stir occasionally for 2 more minutes.

In a bowl, mix together the half and half with the vanilla and powdered sugar until creamy.
Slowly pour in the butter mixture and mix together until all yummy and tan looking.

Working quickly, pour frosting over the brownies and use the cool spatula to spread it. 
Let the brownies sit for another 30 minutes to allow the frosting to set so that it is easier to cut.

The directions suggest wrapping the brownies in strips of parchment paper for a cute look, and to keep the frosting from sticking if you stack them. 

They will keep for up to 3 days in an air-tight container.
So excuse me while I go scarf down the rest of the brownies since I only have one more day until they go bad... the things I do in the name of cooking! Pity me! 

Recipe courtesy of: iVillage

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tamale Pie

     Grant's mom makes tamale pie. And he loves it. Which means that if I make it, it's gotta be good. Because she's a good cook. She's one of those comfort food, Weight Watcher, Taste of Home, recipes-you-never-would-have-thought-to-try-but-are-delicious kinda cooks! Thankfully, I have a husband that doesn't feel like he can't like my cooking just because he likes his mom's so much. Awesomely enough, he really enjoys my food, most of it, at least that's what he continues to tell me. There was one time that an experiment went awry... so awry that we couldn't even pretend to finish it and had some PBnJ on stale bread b/c anything would be better than what I dished up. But that's for another time.

     So, when I asked Grant what he wanted for dinner when I was making the menu for last week, he promptly said: Tamale pie! And the hunt for a great recipe began! I searched for hours that day just trying to find the perfect recipe! I couldn't find the perfect one, so I combined a couple that turned into my own version... and it became the perfect Tamale Pie recipe! (You can find the link to the two recipes that I adapted mine from below.) Let me tell you... I unfortunately don't have a picture, but I can tell you that it was super delish and you should go to the store right now and get the ingredients to make this for dinner! Do it!

Tamale Pie

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 C onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 8oz cans tomato sauce
1 15oz can corn
1 medium can of olives, sliced
1 small can chopped green chiles
1/3 C raisins (I was a little worried about this, but oh dear goodness it adds a subtle hint of sweetness that is too good to ignore!)
1 tbsp crushed garlic or 1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp pepper
6oz shredded cheddar cheese
Cornbread mix (and ingredients to make cornbread, usually milk and 1 egg)

In a skillet over med high heat, brown the ground beef and drain. Add onion and red pepper to ground beef and saute for a few minutes until soft.

Add cans of tomato sauce along with corn, olives, green chiles, raisins, garlic, and seasonings. Turn down heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375.
Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle generously with shredded cheddar.
(By the by, I've started lining every single baking dish with foil beforehand, and it's saved me so many hours of cleaning dishes! yah!)

Prepare the cornbread and pour over ground beef mixture. I poured several rows and then used a spatula to spread it out. The cornbread batter is thick, so I wouldn't pour it in one spot and then try to spread it from there, I don't think it would reach everywhere. I was worried that there wouldn't be enough batter in fact because I was having a hard time covering the whole casserole, but it worked out.

Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

Here's all I have left for you:

Recipes courtesy of: Simply Recipes and All That Splatters

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Huevos Rancheros

     Sorry for the super huge long absence! Having a baby sorta makes it hard to find the time to post new recipes, as if I was so great at it before anyways! But here's to a new resolution of trying to get more recipes on here, if not frequently, at least not once every 5 months!

     I was watching the Food Network one day last week (my computer was acting up) and caught an episode of Paula Dean cooking with her son. It seems like she can never cook alone anymore, every show as someone else on it, usually one of her sons, but whatever. I'm not the biggest fan of Paula like everyone else is, but I think she has some good recipes. I've just made a few that weren't all that great before. But this one is pretty great! Although, it's not really hers, it is her son's, so yah for Paula's son! I did change up the recipe just a bit based on what I had at home, and the fact that my weird husband doesn't like chorizo, sad day for me! Anywho, a link to the original recipe is below.

     I'm salivating right now just looking at the picture wishing I had some to eat right now!

Huevos Rancheros

1 15oz can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
1/4 C diced yellow onion
1/4 C cilantro leaves
1 large clove garlic (I just used crushed garlic I have in a bottle, works perfectly for everything!)
1 jalapeno pepper (seeded if desired; I just took out the membranes, but left all the seeds)
1/2 tsp salt
5 oz or 1/2 pkg of Jimmy Deans Sausage Crumbles . They're really good! I use them for all kinds of things!
Vegetable oil
4 6-in corn tortillas
1 16oz can refried beans (I used half the can for 2 servings)
4 eggs
shredded pepper jack or your favorite cheese for topping

*This made 4 servings. We each had 2 tortillas and 2 eggs, and there was just enough of the sauce and beans  for 2 more servings the next morning!

In a food processor (or blender, if you're me and too lazy to get the processor out and then clean it afterwords), combine the tomatoes (with juices), onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, and salt and puree until smooth. Transfer to a medium skillet and simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Cover and keep warm over low heat.

After you let it warm up a bit, add the already cooked sausage crumbles to the sauce while it was thickening to allow them to heat up.

Place a tortilla in the skillet and cook until warm and pliable, about 30 seconds. Flip and cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer to an individual plate (2 tortillas to a plate), and cook remaining tortillas.

Heat the beans up in the microwave while the sauce is cooking and spread about 1/3 - 1/2 C onto tortillas

Add another tbsp of oil to the skillet. Crack one egg into the pan (I use a small skillet) and cook until the bottoms are set and the edges golden about 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until set, about 1 minute more. Place one egg on each tortilla (so, 2 to a plate), and spoon the sauce over the eggs. Then you can add any toppings you want, I sprinkled some shredded pepper jack cheese and chopped up cilantro over it, as well as a little dusting of salt to bring out the yummy flavors.

Recipe courtesy of: Paula Dean Click here for original recipe