Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Re-Make Recap

Another month gone. I really can't believe tomorrow will be August already. Where did summer go? We've got a few fun things planned in August but I'm still starting to get that panicky feeling that summer is slipping away and we haven't done all the things we wanted to do. Case in point - we still haven't gone down the shore (although that will be remedied this weekend).


Ever since I made the first batch of this baked oatmeal SP's been asking for it weekly. I always try some and still don't particularly like it, but I did give some to Baby Girl (not heated, just straight from the pan as I'm packing it up) and she's a big fan. I'll have to try giving her some heated to see what she thinks.


This taco rice has become my ground beef go-to meal when I don't feel like making burgers. It's so simple and so tasty. We all love it.

I can't believe it had been two years since I made these grilled chicken sandwiches, a knockoff version of one of my favorite restaurant sandwiches that disappeared from their menu. The flavors are incredible and even though I didn't use sourdough bread this time they were still just as finger-licking good.

I remade my antipasti pasta salad as a quick, easy meal to take to the pool one Friday night. We all gobbled it up after swimming in the pool and working up an appetite.

No Mexican meal is complete without these refried beans. They couldn't be easier to make and we all love them.


I made a big batch of this American macaroni salad to take to a cookout only to have Baby Girl end up sick before we could go. No matter, SP and I ate most of it throughout the week. I'll definitely be making it again for our rescheduled date.

I can't get enough of this spicy pork and asparagus stir fry. It's so saucy and flavorful and I love having just enough leftover to put in the freezer for another time.


I actually didn't make these roasted tomato, mozzarella and spinach sandwiches as sandwiches, but rather as flatbread pizzas with roasted tomatoes, mozzarella and spinach. Both ways are delicious but right now I'm partial to the flatbread pizzas. I love the crispy crust and they're so easy to make it's almost criminal.


SP and I had a date night recently and finally used up the filet and sea bass we had in the freezer. I used this pan-roasted sea bass with butter sauce recipe and it's still a winner. I think sea bass is my all-time favorite fish. It's just so buttery and flaky and perfect.


The recipe for these flautas with shredded chicken made more than we could eat for one meal so I froze the rest. That meant all I had to do was defrost and fry them for dinner a few weeks later. Perfect!

My recipe for caprese pasta is really more of a method. In my mind, it's summer in a bowl and I can't get enough of those flavors this time of year.
Pin It!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Grilled Sriracha Broccoli

When I was trying to come up with sides for my recipe swap, these delicious Bang Bang Chicken Skewers, I remembered my friend Mary Ellen raving about grilled broccoli. She's made a few variations but this Grilled Sriracha Broccoli sounded like the perfect accompaniment to the chicken skewers.


I've never grilled broccoli before but I think it's my new favorite way to prepare it. I used my charcoal grill since I needed it for the chicken skewers, but I'll definitely try my indoor grill pan as well. I had 3 broccoli crowns so I should have doubled the sauce - it was delectable. We were dragging our pieces through the sauce left at the bottom of the baking dish. So, so good.


The broccoli had a nice smoky flavor and the heat from the sriracha wasn't too overpowering (I used maybe 2 teaspoons) and was offset by the sweetness from the hoisin sauce. I can't wait to make this one again.

Grilled Sriracha Broccoli
As seen on Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (more or less depending on your tolerance for spice)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 large head of broccoli cut into three sections

Whisk the first five ingredients to make the glaze.

Pour the glaze evenly onto the broccoli and spread with a brush.

Place flat side down on a hot grill. Grill 4 minutes, flip and grill 2-3 more minutes until charred and slightly tender. Serve immediately
Pin It!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Recipe Swap: Bang Bang Chicken Skewers

If you've ever been to a Bonefish Grill you've probably had their famous Bang Bang Shrimp, delicious fried shrimp coated in a creamy, spicy sauce. I've always wanted to try making them at home but I'm not a big fan of frying - it's messy and leaves the whole house smelling for days. For the grilling recipe swap I received Caroline's recipe for Bang Bang Chicken Skewers, a grilled knockoff version of the dish that uses chicken instead of shrimp (although if I'd had shrimp I would have used them, too).


In my opinion, the most important part of any make-at-home version of the Bang Bang Shrimp is the sauce. This was the perfect combination of creaminess from the mayo, sweetness from the chili sauce and spice from the sriracha. We both enjoyed the sauce mixed with smokiness from the grill.


We both love fried food as much as the next person, but this grilled version was pretty awesome. I think I may prefer it simply because of the fat and calories, not to mention the heaviness that comes with fried food. I felt like I could eat more of the chicken because it was grilled vs. fried. I can't wait to try this recipe with shrimp - I know it's going to be amazing.

To see what other grilling recipes were made for the swap scroll down past the recipe to the LinkUp. Thanks to everyone for participating, especially Caroline for submitting this recipe.

UPDATE June 2014: I don't make this recipe with red pepper anymore. I've been making it with grape tomatoes, red onion, zucchini, and mushrooms for awhile now, so I thought I'd update the recipe. Soon I'll get around to reblogging it, but for now I've simply updated the recipe below.

Bang bang chicken and veggies

Bang Bang Chicken Skewers
Modified from The Barbee Housewife, originally from Center Cut Cook

4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 12-oz package of mushrooms, cut in half
1 pint grape tomatoes
Olive oil, a few tablespoons for drizzling
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
2 teaspoons chile garlic sauce, or more to taste

Soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes before using. You can also use metal skewers.

Thread the chicken, zucchini, onion, mushrooms and tomatoes onto the skewers (keep each thing separate since they have different cooking times). Drizzle the chicken and veggies with oil, then season with salt and pepper.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce, and chile garlic sauce. Set aside.

Pre-heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Add the skewers. Cook the veggies for 6-8 minutes, or until tender, and the chicken 10-12 minutes.

Remove the skewers from the grill and let rest a few minutes. Remove the chicken and veggies from the skewers before eating. Toss the chicken with the sauce and serve alongside the veggies.

Pin It!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bacon, Brie, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato (BBLAT) Sandwiches

::Putting on my flame-retardant suit::

I'm not a fan of BLTs.

There, I said it. The simplicity just doesn't do it for me. I need more than bacon, lettuce and tomato to make a sandwich. In my mind, those are toppings. Add them to a burger or chicken sandwich and I'm a happy camper. But on their own, meh. SP, on the other hand, loves BLTs.

I think I've mentioned before that we always do a what's for dinner post on my cooking board and one night someone said they were having bacon, Brie, lettuce, avocado and tomato sandwiches - a gourmet twist on a traditional BLT. It sounded heavenly and a good way to compromise on dinner.


These sandwiches were amazing. I loved the Brie and avocado - both added a great creaminess to the sandwich. I still think a nice piece of chicken would have made these perfect but they were still great without it. I left the Brie off SP's sandwich (although Baby Girl insisted on having some on hers) and when I couldn't finish my sandwich he ate the last few bites of mine and decided he liked it better. Score!


The recipe below is really just an ingredient list since we all know how to make a sandwich. I can't wait to make these again the next time SP asks for BLTs.

Bacon, Brie, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato Sandwiches
For two sandwiches

4 slices bread, toasted
8 slices bacon, cooked to desired doneness
4oz Brie, sliced
2 Romaine leaves
1/2 avocado, sliced
4 slices tomato

Spread some mayo on all four slices of bread. Layer on the bacon, Brie, lettuce, avocado and tomato. Cut in half and serve.
Pin It!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Flautas with Shredded Chicken

Another recipe prepared by SP, this one for Flautas with Shredded Chicken from the Williams-Sonoma Mexican cookbook.


We had a Mexican feast the night SP made these - I prepared yellow rice and refried beans while he did the flautas. And man, were these good! Crispy and crunchy, with great flavor. I loved the salsa verde and sour cream on top. We tried them with both corn and flour tortillas. The corn were crispier and the flour chewier, but I think we preferred the flour over the corn. Both were good, so just use whichever you prefer.


This was a bit time-consuming, mainly preparing the filling and rolling the flautas, but SP used a rotisserie chicken, which cut down on some of the prep. The recipe made way more than we could eat so I froze half for another time.

Flautas with Shredded Chicken
As seen in Williams-Sonoma Mexican Cookbook

1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for frying
1/2 white onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
3 serrano peppers or jalapeno chiles, finely chopped (remove ribs and seeds)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large ripe tomato, finely chopped or 1/2 cup drained canned diced tomato
2 1/2 cups finely shredded poached chicken
sea salt
20 corn or flour tortillas, about 6 inches in diameter
4 cups finely shredded romaine lettuce
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
To serve - salsa verde, crema or sour cream, guacamole

In a frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion, chiles, and garlic and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and the color changes, about 3 minutes. Fold in the chicken, season to taste with sea salt, and heat thoroughly. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Lay a tortilla in the pan for a few seconds until hot. Transfer to a plate and lay some of the chicken filling across the lower third of the tortilla. Tightly roll the tortilla up into a tube and secure with a toothpick, then set aside. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

In a bowl, toss the lettuce with the lime juice. Spread it out on a serving plate or on individual plates, dividing it evenly.

Pour oil to a depth of at least 3/4 inch into a deep heavy frying pan and heat over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers and registers 350 on a deep-frying thermometer. Add the flautas, a few at a time, and fry until crisp and pale gold on all sides. Using tongs, transfer them to paper towels to drain. Keep warm in a low oven while frying the rest.

Place the flautas on the lettuce. Spoon 1/2 cup salsa across the flautas and top with the crema. Serve with more salsa, crema, and guacamole, if desired.

**To freeze, prepare the flautas but do not fry them. Cover a baking sheet with plastic wrap and arrange the flautas on the sheet, evenly spaced so they aren't touching. Cover with more plastic wrap and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until the flautas are completely cold. Wrap each flauta in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and freeze. To cook, thaw the flautas completely then unwrap and fry as directed above.
Pin It!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Flatbread Pizzas with Roasted Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Spinach

These days I'm on a mission to use up the things I've thrown in my freezer. We had three bags with one or two flatbreads in them leftover from my recent love of the grilled chicken Caesar flatbreads. I saw a recipe for 5-Minute Flatbread Pizza with Prosciutto, Arugula, and Mozzarella in my blog reader and decided to combine that recipe with the always-delectable Roasted Tomato, Mozzarella and Spinach Sandwich.


The result was positively delicious. I love revisiting favorite recipes but it's also great to reinvent them to use up ingredients. When I make the grilled chicken caesar flatbreads I spread butter on the bread before I grill it. Everything is better with butter and it imparts such an amazing flavor that I decided to do that with these. The roasted tomatoes are always delicious and you can't go wrong with melty fresh mozzarella.


We really enjoyed these and I can't wait to make them again.

Flatbread Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Spinach
Inspired by Serious Eats and Kate's Recipe Box

1lb plum tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Thyme sprigs, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 cup baby spinach, coarsely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Spreadable butter
4 flatbread pita rounds, whole wheat or regular
8oz fresh mozzarella, sliced

Heat oven to 400F degrees. Lay tomatoes, cut side up, in a roasting pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Roast for 30-45 minutes. Allow the tomatoes to cool and then smash with a potato masher. If you don't like tomato skins, remove the skin after smashing.

In a small mixing bowl, dress the spinach with some extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and set aside.

Heat a 12-inch skillet or a grill pan over medium heat until hot. Spread some butter over both sides of each flatbread. Add the flatbread to the skillet or grill pan and cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and then immediately top with the cheese and tomatoes. Cover and cook until the cheese starts to melt.

Slide the pita out, place on a serving plate and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining batches. Top pizzas with the dressed spinach and cut into wedges. Serve immediately.
Pin It!

Monday, July 15, 2013

California Pizza Kitchen's Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad

You all know how much I love a good chopped salad. I've been trying to do one salad a week in the summer, so as soon as I saw this California Pizza Kitchen's Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad on Lauren's Latest Facebook page I knew I had to make it ASAP.


This is one awesome salad. Awesome. I loved everything about it - the tang of the red onion and BBQ sauce mixed with the cool creaminess of the ranch dressing and avocado. The basil (and I'm sure the cilantro, too, if I had remembered to ask SP to buy it) added complexity to the romaine. I love the pop of corn kernels in salad and the black beans were a great way to add protein and a slight creaminess. And you can never go wrong with fresh tomatoes this time of year. Everything came together beautifully and I wished the bowl had been twice as big.


I love that Baby Girl eats salad now. She snacked on all the ingredients as I was chopping them up and then chowed down on her portion. This was a great weeknight meal. I was able to grill the chicken during the day so I didn't even have to turn on the stove or dirty a pot/pan at dinnertime.

California Pizza Kitchen's Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad
Slightly modified from Lauren’s Latest

2-3 Romaine hearts, chopped
1/4 cup basil leaves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup rinsed and drained black beans
1 cup drained sweet corn
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 cup grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
1/4-1/2 cup prepared ranch dressing, such as Hidden Valley
1 large tomato, diced
1 ripe avocado, sliced
2 leftover grilled chicken breasts, chilled and diced
1/4-1/2 cup prepared BBQ sauce*

In a large bowl, combine lettuce with the basil, cilantro, black beans, corn, red onion and cheese. Toss with ranch dressing (just enough to coat) and divide between serving bowls. Place diced tomatoes around the edges of each bowl, top with avocado slices and diced grilled chicken. Drizzle BBQ sauce over top the whole thing and serve.

*If you didn't grill your chicken with BBQ sauce, dice cooled chicken breast, toss in a little BBQ sauce, place on salad and drizzle with more sauce.
Pin It!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pasta with Bacon and White Beans

My friend Cassie recently posted this recipe for Pasta with Chicken, Bacon and White Beans. I used to think beans and pasta were an odd combination but now I know better. Since I already had two other chicken dishes on my weekly menu I decided to just omit the chicken from her recipe.


SP thought I'd already made this dish. He was thinking about this pasta with sausage, white beans and mascarpone, which is very similar. Needless to say this was a big hit at our house. Baby Girl was sneaking beans out of the strainer as I was cooking and anything with pasta is always a hit.


Since SP didn't need lunch the next day I only used 1/2 lb of pasta but kept the rest of the ingredient amounts the same. It was plenty of food for both of us, especially with a veggie side. I happened to have 8oz of campanelle pasta in the pantry so that's what I used, but any short-cut pasta is fine. I have both rosemary and basil growing in my backyard, but my basil plant is out of control so I subbed basil for the rosemary. Either would work great. Even thyme would be delicious. This is a great pantry meal. Thanks Cassie!

Pasta with Bacon and White Beans
Modified from Cassie Craves

1/2 pound penne or other short pasta
6 slices bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can cannellini beans, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente; drain.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Add the garlic and beans; stir for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken stock and half and half. Cook until thickened. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Off heat add the Parmesan cheese and basil. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Pin It!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

American Macaroni Salad

We invited my mother-in-law over for a belated July 4th celebration dinner the Saturday after the holiday. I was all set to make my creamy macaroni salad when I realized my carrots were moldy. Since it's one of the only veggie ingredients in the dish I knew I needed to find a different recipe. A quick Google search for macaroni salad brought up this American Macaroni Salad from the folks at the Food Network Kitchens.


As much as we all enjoy the other macaroni salad I often make, this was a great alternative. I had to make a few changes based on what I had on hand. I loved the addition of the tomato, something I wouldn't have thought to add. The mixture of flavors from the mayo, dry mustard, sour cream and lemon juice was perfect. I only made a half order and we polished it off that night. I can't wait to make this one again.

American Macaroni Salad
Modified from Food Network Kitchens

1/2 pound elbow macaroni, cooked, rinsed, and drained
2 hard-cooked large eggs, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1/4 cup minced red onion, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, drained
1/2 cup diced vine-ripened tomato
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley (optional)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl combine the macaroni, eggs, celery, onion, tomato and parsley. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, dry mustard, lemon juice, sour cream, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
Pin It!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Ham, Brie, Marmalade and Arugula Pressed Sandwich

I saw these Ham, Brie, Marmalade and Arugula Pressed Sandwiches on my friend Jaida's meal plan recently and was intrigued. I love all the ingredients but wondered how the marmalade would work with everything else. After Jaida posted about them and raved I knew I had to make them.


This was a great sandwich but I found the Dijon to be a bit overwhelming. I've decreased the amount and add some mayo to counteract that tartness. Baby Girl was a big fan even with the "spicy" mustard.


I don't know if anyone else has this problem but I have no luck with arugula these days. My store sells it in plastic bags that trap moisture and ruin the arugula before I can eat it. The day after SP brought the bag home the arugula was wilted and slimy. I had even removed it from the bag and wrapped it in paper towels but I guess the time it spent in the bag had set the spoiling process in motion. I was able to salvage a few pieces for this sandwich but next time I'll use spinach instead.

Ham, Brie, Marmalade and Arugula Pressed Sandwich
As seen on the Kitchn

8 slices rustic country bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons mayo
8 ounces brie, cut into slices
Sliced cooked ham, about 16 slices
Freshly-ground pepper
4 tablespoons orange marmalade
Cooking spray
1 cup arugula

Spread four slices of bread with 1/2 teaspoon mustard and 1/2 teaspoon mayo each. Layer each piece of bread with 3 slices of Brie, 4 slices ham, and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Spread the each of the remaining slices of bread with 1 tablespoon of marmalade and place each slice marmalade-side-down on top of the sandwich.

Spray both sides of each sandwich with cooking spray. Set the sandwiches in a panini grill set on high and cook until bread is golden brown and cheese has melted, about 5 minutes (depending on your machine). When finished cooking, remove the tops of each sandwich and add 1/4 cup arugula on top. Put back together, cut in half, and serve warm.
Pin It!

Friday, July 05, 2013

Baked Oatmeal

This is a post I never thought I'd write.

I'll be the first to admit I'm not a fan of oatmeal. I never ate it growing up, maybe when I was a baby (Mom, can you weigh in on that?) but as far back as I can remember it wasn't a breakfast choice for me. SP happens to love it and my friend Melissa has raved and raved about this Baked Oatmeal forever so I finally decided I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.


The verdict - I'm still not a fan of oatmeal. This makes me really sad, actually. I wanted to like this. I even tried it a few different ways, discussing the options with Melissa before finally deciding that maybe oatmeal isn't my thing. I've run into this a few other times in my life with thing such as hot dogs and pineapple. I desperately wanted to like hot dogs but every time I'd try them my taste buds said no thanks. Same deal with pineapple. Then I got pregnant and couldn't get enough of pineapple - it was, and still is, so darn good - and after having Baby Girl I finally started liking hot dogs. Oatmeal, though, is going to be a work in progress.


SP, on the other hand, declared this the best oatmeal he's ever eaten. His actual words were "out of this [bleeping] world." So I know it's me and not the recipe, which is apparently amazing and should be made and enjoyed by any oatmeal lover out there. I'll be making this once a week for the foreseeable future so he can enjoy it for breakfast during the week. He's already asked me about adding raisins or dried fruit. At least it's an incredibly simple dish to put together and easy for him to heat and eat at work.


Baked Oatmeal
As seen on Alosha's Kitchen, originally from Foodie with Family

2 tablespoons butter
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (do not substitute quick or instant or steel cut oats)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the 2 tablespoons butter in an 8-inch x 8-inch or 9-inch x 9-inch baking pan. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven and let the butter melt as the oven heats. (Don’t forget it’s in there. As soon as the butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven or the butter may scorch.)

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the milk, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, pour over the dry ingredients and mix together with a sturdy spoon or spatula until everything is evenly combined and wet. Scrape into the pan with the melted butter and stir until most of the butter is incorporated.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Cool and package in air-tight containers stored in the fridge.

To serve - combine oatmeal with 1/3-1/2 cup of water or milk, heat in the microwave for 1 minute. You can drop in some dried blueberries, dried cranberries or sliced banana and put the lid back on for a few minutes to soften the fruit. I've also served it with vanilla yogurt, sliced banana and a few chocolate chips.
Pin It!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Salted Fudge Brownies

These brownies. Oh lordy, these brownies.


Now you all know I rarely bake. Too many steps, too much precision, too much time waiting for things to cool, too much fat and calories for my waistline. But sometimes, sometimes I see something calling my name and I decide I want to make it. Usually this means I print out the recipe and wait for a time when I'm going over to someone's house so I can make the recipe and share it.

But then Eva posted these Salted Fudge Brownies on our cooking board and I just couldn't help myself. I printed out the recipe and while folding laundry that night I decided to just go ahead and make them right away. I had all the ingredients and when I looked at the instructions I was taken aback by how easy it is. No mixer required, no letting things rest, just melting a few ingredients in a saucepan and pouring into a baking dish. Right up my alley.

Unfortunately it was 8:30pm by the time these went into the oven, so baking for 35 minutes plus cooling for an hour on the counter plus another hour in the fridge meant I didn't get to sample them until the next day. I removed the brownies from the pan and cut them into squares. I could tell just by cutting them these were going to be the best brownies I've ever had. They were gooey and rich and fudgey, just the way I like them. And the flavor...I can't even fully describe how delicious these were, the sweetness paired with the saltiness was pure perfection. Dangerous.

If you have a well-stocked pantry I'd be willing to bet you have all the necessary ingredients to make these. So go, right now, into the kitchen. You won't be sorry.

Salted Fudge Brownies (aka the best brownies you'll ever taste)
As seen on Eva Bakes

1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Generously grease an 8x8 inch or 9x9 inch square baking pan.

In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate. Stir occasionally until the mixture is uniform. Turn off the stove and remove the saucepan from the heat.

Whisk in the cocoa until it is fully incorporated. Do the same with both sugars, eggs, vanilla and flour. Be sure to add in each ingredient individually and fully mix them in before adding the next one.

Transfer the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Evenly sprinkle the sea salt over the top of the batter. Using a spatula or knife, swirl the salt into the brownie batter.

Bake the brownies in the center rack of your oven for about 40 minutes, or until the edges are done but the center is still slightly gooey. If you insert a toothpick into the center, it should come up with a little bit of the brownie batter.

Remove the brownies and set on a wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to cool for an additional hour.

After the brownies have been chilled, cut them into 16 squares and serve at room temperature.

The brownies can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Yield: 12-16 brownies
Pin It!

Monday, July 01, 2013

June Re-Make Recap

How is it already the end of June? I know summer didn't officially start until June 21 but I still feel like it's 1/3 of the way over already. SP, Baby Girl and I are making the most of the extended daylight, hot temps and (mostly) nice weather and I can't wait to experience the next two months.

Whenever I make Mexican food these homemade refried beans have to be part of the meal. I've said it before and I'll say it again, once you try these you'll never go back to that stuff from a can.

I've been making this creamy macaroni salad a lot this summer as an alternative to potato salad. It's simple, delicious and I'm always shocked that 1/2lb of pasta can yield so much food.


The first time I made these Shake Shack burgers I was hooked. And promptly made them again following week and the week after that, too. There's really nothing out of the ordinary about these burgers - the toppings and even the Shake sauce are all made from things most people have in their fridge or pantry - but they come together so beautifully.

Baked Chicken Burrito

I didn't actually make these baked chicken burritos with creamy poblano sauce, I found some of the filling and sauce in the freezer (score one for saving leftovers so they didn't go to waste). All I had to do was add the filling to tortillas and bake them off, then reheat the sauce. Brilliant.


This taco rice was actually a recipe redo that turned out just the way I imagined it would. I guess you could also call this a burrito bowl. Whatever you call it, it's delicious and I can't wait to make it again.

This is another meal I didn't remake but got to enjoy from the freezer. I found one serving of spicy pork and asparagus stir fry in the freezer one day when I was hunting for something for lunch. I decided to serve it over angel hair pasta, which was brilliant. I need to remember angel has as a good alternative to rice.

I asked SP what he wanted me to add to the meal plan one week and his quickly said weeknight spaghetti and meatballs. He and Baby Girl have been on a meatball kick lately. I was able to prep the meatballs during the day, which made this an even easier dinner since all I had to do was cook everything when we got home. I really love one-pot dishes like this where even the pasta cooks in the same skillet as the rest of the ingredients.

I got it into my head one day that I needed spicy chicken lettuce wraps. Maybe it's the heat and the idea of lettuce wraps sounded refreshing and not too heavy. Like I did with the leftover spicy pork, I made myself some more angel hair pasta to go with the leftover filling for lunch the next day. Delicious.

Pin It!