Thursday, May 28, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Outrageous Brownies

Woohoo it's my turn to choose! This was an easy choice. I knew it was going to be my choice for ages. This was the recipe that I had been meaning to try forever. I'd seen it on TV and I'd heard people rant about how good it was and this was one of the reasons that I joined the Barefoot Bloggers but I had never actually made them. I know, kinda pathetic and strange, right? Well now I finally did.

Since I chose the recipe I kinda felt I had to make it on time. No more being a slacker blogger. No more late posts. No more 5 word and no pic posts. So May 2nd I decided I had to get all my ingredients and get the ball rolling. That would just be sad if I chose the recipe and then I didn't even make it on time. Nevermind that my recipe is the 2nd one of the month and I had almost a month to make it....

As Ina says on the show, this makes a LOT of brownies. I don't know about you but I don't have 18x13 pans in my house. Those wouldn't even have fit in the oven at my old apt. I learned that the hard way. Damn 13" pizza stone. So I made these in 2 9x13" pans. So this makes 2 trays of brownies that are over 1" thick. Which only makes the lb of butter and 2 lbs of chocolate slightly better. I thought about halving the recipe but hey, it's my recipe so I can't skimp. I'm not sure I'l be making these again this month, at least not a full batch but it's definitely a recipe to hold on to. Halving it still makes a lot of brownies.

Mine came out extremely chocolatey. It was like having a 70-80% chocolate bar. But with lots of buttery richness too. It was a little more cakelike and crumbly than I hoped for but that can be fixed with some minor adjustments.

I made them, took pictures of them, just had to finish up the post and it was the 3rd. Plenty of time to do everything. Then suddenly it was the 22nd and I hadn't finished my post. I was sick for a bit, and things were ridiculous at work for a bit and I was lazy for a bit and suddenly I'm almost out of time!!!!

Well fortunately I thought to finish the post before the day so here goes nothing...

Butter and chocolate. How can it not be good when it starts like this.

And you melt them together until you have this:
And then you add this (eggs, sugar, vanilla, coffee powder)
And some dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt).

Pour it into the pan, bake and get these babies. (I did one with walnuts, one without, half of each with toffee pieces)

Which you cut up into about a million pieces and eat! Yes, I did forget to take a sliced picture and now they are gone.

Here's the recipe. And check out some of the other Barefoot Bloggers here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Studel

So this month's recipe was Strudel. It was supposed to be Apple Strudel but apple just didn't seem right at the time.

I don't know why but I wasn't really feeling it this month. I didn't even check the recipe until the 17th. After I read the recipe this seemed tedious, like making phyllo dough. It's 3$ or something for a box of it, totally worth the price rather than trying to stretch out all these thin layers.

I was home for the weekend and that was the only time I had left to make it so I went at it. I didn't have much trouble stretching the dough. I let it rest for probably 2 hours and then just pulled it. I didn't have a clean cloth table cloth so I used a set of sheets. They were clean. And I rubbed a LOT of flour into it, based on other peoples' comments. I ended up taking it outside to shake off the excess flour when I was done. My neighbors are probably wondering what's wrong with the shrubs that they are white and powdery. Oh well.

I made mine with cherry, blueberry and cheese filling. I forgot the breadcrumbs and the shell was a bit tough. I had to bake it for about 20 mins extra because it wasn't browning.

Edit: Pics added

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caf├ęs of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Strawberry Ideas

I just bought a flat of strawberries. I need recipe ideas now!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Roasted Banana Ice Cream

For some reason I have never had any sort of banana ice cream. This seems kinda wrong. I'm a big fan of ice cream. And I'm a big fan of bananas. Maybe because I'm cheap and bananas are pretty much the cheapest fruit there is. Maybe because my tastes haven't matured and bananas are really sweet. Maybe because there is something just a bit phallic about eating a banana. Who knows. Anyway, I like bananas.

I was inspired by this recipe from Evil Chef Mom. She got it from David Lebovitz and I naturally couldn't make it as is. Well really I guess I forgot to check the recipe and add the rest of the stuff. Oops. Mine's pretty good anyway. We'll call mine the simple version. Like all those ice creams that are trying to market themselves on being natural. Like the Haagen Dazs 5 ingredient thing. Only mine is 4 so I'm even cooler. Yup. I did it on purpose. I swear.

I just wanted a little bit to see how it came out. I have to say I am pretty happy with it. The texture is really good. Maybe because there is less volume and it set up better in the ice cream maker. Or maybe because if the higher fat content than some of my other ice creams have had. And it has a really good banana flavor. Definitely there but not overpowering. Now I just need to make that walnut praline.....

I know, the coloring looks really bizarre. But the blue bowl was clean so that's what I went for and my counters are almost the same color as the ice cream. And I was lazy and didn't want to clean my ice cream scoop afterwards so I just used a spoon. It is soft enough that the spoon worked fine for scooping although it doesn't make pretty round scoops.

Roasted Banana Ice Cream.

2 ripe bananas, with some brown spots
1/3 cup of dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups light cream

Roast the bananas with the brown sugar and butter for about 40 minutes at 400F. Scrape the bananas and the syrup into a blender and blend until smooth. Add the cream and blend it again. Put in the fridge and chill overnight. Churn in your ice cream maker.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Reeses Brownies

This is so not a fancy recipe. It uses a boxed mix and Reeses Peanut Butter cups. It's almost that ridiculously simple and packaged that it seems kinda wrong to post about them. But they are really good so I'm posting them anyway.

Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

1 box Ghirardelli double chocolate brownie mix and whatever it says on the box
1 bag Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

Mix up the batter like the box says.
Line a 9x9 pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour in about half the batter.
Lay out the peanut butter cups in a single layer so they cover the batter.
Pour the remaining batter on top.
Bake according to the box.
Allow to cool completely before slicing and eating.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Tuna Salad

This one was chosen by Kate at Warm Olives and Cool Cocktails. This is not your typical canned tuna + lots of mayo tuna salad. It uses fresh tuna steak, no mayo and a vinaigrette dressing.

I halved the recipe. Although I do like tuna, it is probably unwise for me to eat 2 lbs of it all at once. The one thing that I don't like about this recipe is that the acid in the lime juice cooks the tuna too much so it has to be eaten right away. All of it. Maybe I just put too much lime juice in it, I was juicing limes when I remembered that I was halving the recipe so there is a bit more than the recipe called for. If I were to make it again I would just toss the part I know I'm gonna eat right away in the dressing. Also, I might not cook the tuna at all. Slice it sashimi style and dress it and eat it. That would be better in the summer anyway because my stove was radiating so much heat just to cook this for a minute.

Here's the recipe.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pasta, Peas and everything else

This was my attempt at a light spring type dish. Or something like that. I was having a really lazy day but needed some food so this was what I ended up with. It only took a couple minutes to make. It's got a relatively light cream sauce and assorted random items from the fridge/freezer so I'm not really sure how this is a spring thing but just go with it. It's quick, easy and actually pretty good.

1/2 lb fettucine or other pasta
frozen peas
ham, chopped into small pieces
1/2 container grape tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 medium onion, chopped

Put the butter and flour in a pan on low heat and stir until coated. Toss in the onions and saute until they are translucent. Add the milk and chicken stock and stir until it bubbles and thickens. Check the seasoning and add the tomatoes and drop the heat to low. Meanwhile, boil a pot of salted water and cook the noodles. A couple minutes before the pasta is done add the peas and ham to the sauce and stir through to warm. Add the pasta and toss. Sprinkle on a little parmesan cheese.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I'm rather excited. I bought a few plants to attempt to grow my own. First I started with some herbs that just didn't work out. I tried to start from seeds and they never really sprouted. Next I had a rosemary bush that K gave me. I used a few sprigs of it but it slowly has turned brown and tree like and the leaves fell off.... I'm not quite ready to call it dead yet although I can't really say that it's thriving.

Anyway, so spring comes along and they have stuff in the gardening section at Walmart and Lowes that I walk by every time I go in the store. So one day I decided to try this again. I like to buy plants in the rain. Don't ask me why. But the only time I decide to go look at the plants they have outside it is really rainy out.

So I got some chives, parsley and basil. The other thing that I was kinda scared of was a tomato plant. I stood there in the rain and pondered and thought about it and wavered a whole bunch. In the end I decided it was $5 so at worst I'd lose $5 and I bought it. I used the same logic and bought a blueberry bush a couple weeks later except that was $10.

Well these are doing better than my first attempt. Tomatoes suddenly appeared on the plant. I don't know where they came from. I was watering it every day and suddenly one day I looked and there were tomatoes growing on there. I had chosen a Sweet 100 plant figuring hopefully I'll get lots of tomatoes. Well I'm not quite sure what I got but I don't think it is a sweet100. The tomatoes are about 2 inches in diameter right now, which is bigger than sweet 100's should get ever. And this is only about a week after they showed up. So this should be interesting. I just hope I got a real bright sweet type, whatever it is.

Anyone know what I got? The tomatoes are currently about 1 1/2" across.

Is it sad that I finally got the motivation to find my card reader and hold the stupid thing while copying the pictures for this rather than any of the posts I've done in the last few weeks? Also, I've finally put the rest of my pics in some of my old posts.