Peanut Butter Bliss

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I figured it was high time for a little “sprinkles” on my stilettos… A recipe I mean! Thanks to the ever popular
Pinterest, I came across this dangerously simple recipe for peanut butter cookies. The danger part comes in the fact that you probably have all the ingredients in your cabinets right now. Oh, and did I mention they are the easiest things in the world to make?! It’s just 4 simple little ingredients! You will go from zero to cookie heaven in just a matter of minutes!

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Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

{image via GiadaDeLaurentiis.com}

It’s time to add a dose of sprinkles to our stilettos! {in other words, it’s time for me to give you a recipe for a sweet treat!} This weekend was wonderfully relaxing, and I was able to tackle a little baking fete that I have been meaning to attempt for a couple of weeks. I made my own Nutella! Thanks to the super easy to follow recipe from my favorite chef, Giada DeLaurentiis, whose new book comes out next week…yay! Aside from the fact it took me two weeks to track down hazelnuts, the recipe was incredibly simple. Our town is not know for variety in the grocery isle…one man’s response when I asked him if they carried hazelnuts was, “is that a nut?”. Why yes sir, yes it is. Always an adventure here!

You can find the full recipe by clicking here. My only little cooks note has to do with the hazelnuts. When I finally did track some down, they still had their skins. You have to be sure they are free from all their skins before making this. In order to do this, simply place the nuts on a cookie sheet, roast for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, let them cool down, and then you should be able to simply slip the skins off! Try this on fruit, on bread for breakfast, or simply dip with pretzels for a little snack!

I am so happy with how this turned out and I promise….once you try this recipe, you will never buy Nutella from the store again!

In the Kitchen with Eva

Pair my love of celebrity watching, with learning to cook good, fun, food, and you meet the extreme excitement when I find a celebrity cookbook. I’m sure chefs who really know what they are doing in the kitchen might turn their noses up to anything other than a professionals book, but not this girl. Hey…this time two years ago my claim to fame was a grilled cheese sand which. I’m taking baby steps.

Eva Longoria just came out with her very own cookbook. Surprised? You shouldn’t be…she is the proud co-owner of restaurants both in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. From the research I did on this cookbook, it seems it contains some out of the box fun recipes to try, along with everyday fare.

I’ll be sure to update you once I get the chance to try some of her recipes. Upon first look, her guacamole sounds fabulous. She uses lemon juice instead of lime in order to enhance the sweeter tones. Delish!

Chocolate Heaven

In honor of my, ahem, …birthday, AND 100th post…I figured it was time to post something a little more “sprinkle-y” vs “stiletto-y” and talk about my favorite ganache that for years has made this girl very happy.

Don’t let the denim blouse w/ popped collar fool you, this lady is not to be messed with in the dessert department!

This recipe is from Ina Garten. Do not offend by using the word icing…this is nooooo icing, baby! This is made from straight up chocolate, heavy cream, and oh yeah….BUTTER. What’s not to love? This is way better to use on a cake vs. your typical icing, no matter how home made and glorious that icing may be. Don’t love to bake? Never fear. Sometimes I’ll make this strictly as a dip for pretzels or fruit. In a word, heaven! It’s scary how easy this is…

24 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips

1 1/2 c heavy cream

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp

*This makes a TON so if you are not using it for baked goods, I’d suggested cutting the recipe in half.

Place chocolate chips and heavy cream in a saucepan, stirring constantly over low heat until chips are melted. Take pan off heat and add the corn syrup and vanilla, stir allow to cool to room temp. Pour chocolate mixture into a mixing bowl and add softened butter and beat with electric mixer until thickened. The end!

Store in the fridge until ready to use. Just pop it in the micro until it’s of a spreadable consistency!

**Due to slight addiction to this ganache, and the loathing of having to clean extra dishes, this process can be shortened even more by just adding the butter to the hot concoction and stirring till combined.**

Luck of the Irish

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I love holidays that call for wearing a specific color. Heck, this holiday teaches people to pinch you if you don’t abide! Love it. Now I have not an ounce of Irish in me…but let me introduce you to a couple of my favorite people who do…

My sweet husband is part Irish, so I did at least marry into a little Irish-ness ….isn’t he handsome?

Meet my favorite Irishwoman and best friend, Kimberly Poovey. And no, she’s not really a mermaid, and as much as she might desire.

Seeing as I am not Irish, I feel no need to cook anything traditional. I actually fear both corned beef and it’s icky cousin hash. With that said, here are some extremely non Irish, but GREEN things I’ll be both making and wearing this St. Patrick’s Day!

I have an extreme affinity for grilled cheese. {perhaps even an addiction} Give me one in a holiday coordinated color? Yes please! Green grilled chese! Recipe here.

In a perfect world where I, A.} had the money for this dress, B.} didn’t have to pay rent for say, about4 months, and C.} had a place to wear this dress, it would be beyond perfection.

Instead, how about this adorable lime colored dress?

And this dress is great for summer…also love the green pattern.

And one last recipe I may make on this day of the Irish, is Pea Pesto Crostini by Giada DeLaurentiis. Do not be alarmed by how strange this sounds. The tastes are amazing and the color is so vibrant and, well….Irish!

Weird Wednesday: Brownie Solutions

I love desserts. More specifically, I love brownies. And for my fellow brownie lovers, you are all too familiar with the race for those middle squares. Nothing dashes a dream brownie like a bunch of crusty edges. In a word, ick. Well, this “Weird Wednesday” post has a solution to that! The non-stick edge pan.

I love that with this pan, each and every square will have 2 chewy edges. And this one from Baker’s Edge even has a removable bottom. Ok, so what kind of tease would I be if I introduced you to a new brownie pan without giving you a new recipe?!

If you are not familiar with Rachel Zoe, you should be. She is a celebrity stylist and has her own tv show on Bravo, her own jewelry and clothing line, and just all around style setter. She is a genius and definitely one of my fashion icons. She sends out daily emails with little fashion tips, or trends to try, and the other week she sent out a recipe. “What’s this?” I asked myself. “A recipe for something chocolate from my favorite style guru?”. Having yet to lead me astray fashion wise, I knew her brownies would also not disappoint.

Get ready to enjoy the richest, most chocolatey brownie you’ve ever had.

Ingredients:
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sweet cocoa powder
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups semi sweet OR milk chocolate chips OR chunks
1/2 – 1 cup walnuts (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, use a spoon to stir eggs with sugar and vanilla until smooth.
Add softened butter.
Sift ground chocolate with flour, baking powder and salt.
Stir dry mixture into egg mixture until blended and smooth.
Add chips and nuts. (DO NOT OVER STIR!)
Pour and spread evenly into a greased 8″ or 9″ square pan.
Bake for 20-30 minutes—less time for chewy and more time for cake-like brownies.
Makes 16-20 brownies.
Cut into squares when cooled.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving with vanilla ice cream

Heart Shaped Scones

I’ll never forget my first scone. I was in college and one of my professors took all the freshmen girls to a “tea”. We had the best time and the scones….oh the scones! I always assumed something that delectable had to be incredibly difficult to make, so I never thought about trying to make them on my own till I stumbled upon this recipe, from my “friend” Giada.

As long as you keep everything super cold, work fast, and use a pink food processor (just kidding on that last part, but it does make it more fun!) I’m sure you will be just as happy as I was.

{Note: be sure to use fresh rosemary. I suggest growing your own!}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now go make something sweet, and happy Friday!

 

 

Homemade Peanut Butter Twix

As mentioned in previous posts, for some reason I’ve given up my microwave queen crown. Don’t get me wrong, I love a simple chocolate chip cookie, but there’s some sort of pride that goes into a meal when its truly out of the ‘norm’. Take candy for instance…sure people make candy, but even with that there’s the safety factor. Chocolates, lolipops, etc. all of which are delicious, but I stumbled across a recipe that truly had me do a double take….
Home made Twix bars! And surprisingly the recipe did not seem too difficult. However, I decided to change it up a little. While I love a good Twix bar just as much as the next girl, some of you will recal the second cousin to our classic Twix friend. The peanut butter Twix. In college I traveled with a drama group in the ministry of Student Life. In order to get from place to place, we’d pile in a 15 passenger van for days on end. Needless to say, I became quite the conniseur of gas station snacks. Hence my adoration of said peanut butter Twix bar.
The original recipe I found here. To make it my own, I added 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the shortbread mix, (to create the chocolate cookie).
Instead of the caramel recipe, I used 3/4 c. peanut butter, 1/3 c. crushed graham crackers, 3/4 c. powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Spread this on top of the cooled chocolate cookie. {let me just say I could eat this by the tub}
Then for the final touch, melt 8 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips with 3 tablespoons of butter, and pour on top of the peanut butter and then let set in the fridge. Viola! Home made peanut butter twix! Ok….time to eat!

A Fanciful Treat

Since getting married, I’ve gone from fearing the making of boxed macaroni and cheese….to trying to find the most adventurous things I can make. Now, this doesn’t always mean that I’m good at creating these adventurous things, it just means that I am finally to the point where I want to try it out.

I had been wanting to try my hand at meringues. It was a little risky seeing as our oven has the capabilities and reliability of an Easy Bake oven. I tried this recipe and I changed it up just a little bit. I wanted to make them a bit lighter, so instead of using mascarpone cheese I substituted it with light whipped cream. They actually turned out great! Pretty too…and easy on the waste line. Hooray!

A Surprise for the Grill

I love to make home made pizza. It’s so much fun to get creative on everything from the type of crust, to the toppings. Plus, knowing everything that has gone into your meal, no crazy ingredients, no shifty people touching your food, just makes you rest easier.

During the summer months, we started grilling our pizza. It was a nice alternative to the hamburger, plus it gives it an incredible smokey flavor. Last night as the temperatures are beginning to drop, we were wanting to take advantage of our grill as much as possible, so we made this simple grilled pizza.

Just buy pizza dough from the grocery store. {or you can make it on your own…I seem to be completely unable to master the art of getting dough to rise, so I have just stopped trying} Coat one side with olive oil, and place that side down on the heated grill. Let the dough firm up for 3-5 minutes. As it does this, coat the upside with olive oil as well. Flip the dough. Quickly apply your sauce, cheese, and whatever toppings. Close the grill and just wait for the cheese to melt and the crust to get “crusty”.

{the finished product}

I promise you’ll never put a home made pizza in the oven again! Happy weekend!