Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cake

Do you like gooey, crunchy, chocolate cakes? If so, this one's for you! When I first saw this recipe last summer at One Perfect Bite, I bookmarked it. Recently, while turning all of my bookmarks into Pinterest pins, I revisited this recipe.

Not sure if the creators of this recipe (originally from Taste of Home) were going for low fat or not but seems that's the theme of this recipe. Low fat, maybe so but oh so delicious. This is one of those recipe where I can think of lots of variations, vanilla or lemon cake? mint cookies or another candy bar for the butterfingers. A quick and easy dessert that looks pretty enough to serve to dinner guests!

Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cake
Courtesy One Perfect Bite from Taste of Home Magazine

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) devil's food cake mix
1-1/3 cups water
5 egg whites
1 can (14 ounces) fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fat-free caramel ice cream topping
5 fun-size Butterfinger candy bars, crushed
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2) Combine cake mix, water and egg whites in a largebowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan.
3) Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
4) With a meat fork or wooden skewer, poke holes about 2 in. apart into cake. Slowly pour condensed milk and caramel topping over cake; sprinkle with two-thirds of the crushed candy bars. Spread with whipped topping; sprinkle with remaining candy bars. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 18 servings.

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday, Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday and Sweet Tooth Friday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sausage Pinwheels

Recently I shared the recipe for this delicious breakfast bake from fellow Omaha blogger, You Go Girl. As an accompaniment to this dish, Susan suggests you serve these Sausage Pinwheels.

Both of these recipes are wonderful ideas for a brunch or those times when you have overnight guests. The Pinwheels can be made in advance and frozen. Just thaw them for approximately 15 minutes before slicing.

Sausage Pinwheels

2 cans Grands biscuits
1 lb roll breakfast sausage

Take one can of biscuits and flatten them, pinching all seams together forming a flat 14inch or so rectangle. Spread half a roll of uncooked sausage on top of uncooked biscuit rectangle; Roll up lengthwise - jelly roll style; Wrap in wax paper and freeze. Repeat this with the other can of biscuits and the other half of sausage; When ready to bake, soften slightly for about 15 minutes and slice about 1/4 inch thick and bake at 375 degrees for about 15 min or until lightly brown. Serve with your favorite jam or jelly.

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday, Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday and Foodie Friday.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

From The Good Life - The Chef's Table

On our recent Princess Cruise, Tim and I decided to sign up for the Chef's Table. Maybe I should say I decided we should sign up for the Chef's Table. The day we sailed was my birthday, so this was my birthday present. If you've cruised before you know your meals are included in your fare. The Chef's Table, however, is one of those things that is extra. Everything I had read said how difficult it was to get "invited" to the Chef's Table. Those who had been invited suggested you call to put your name on the list the minute you get to your cabin. I was busy unpacking and caught up in the overall excitement of the cruise when Tim reminded me to call. They took my name and said we would hear in a day or so if we were "invited". Two days later in our mail slot, there it was...our invitation to the Chef's Table.

You are greeted outside of the dining room by the Maitre d'hôtel. He escorts you to the kitchen, you wash your hands and slip on the lovely white lab coats. We were the introduced to the Chef. On our cruise this was 40 year old, Chef Guido Jendrytzko, the youngest head chef on Princess Cruise Lines. He takes you on a tour of the galley and explains how the kitchen works each night. We were then treated to appetizers and champagne. Chef Guido explained each dish and paused to answer any questions. He was engaging, warm and an overall wonderful host.

We were then escorted to our table in the dining room. The table was beautifully decorated with fresh flowers and candles. Chef Guido and the Maitre d'hôtel presented each course. Everything I had read said there was so much food and to be careful or you wouldn't have room for the dessert. We were served red and white wine with dinner, as well as Limoncello and a dessert wine with the dessert course.

My favorite dishes of the evening were the Tuna Tartar, Mushroom Risotto, Leg of Lamb, the dessert cheese course and the chocolates at the end of the evening.

The Chef's Table can accommodate 12. Our particular night there were 10 of us. Of the 10, 4 had experienced a Chef's Table before. Hands down, they said this was the best Chef's Table they had attended. In addition to dinner, wine and champagne, you receive a picture of the group with the Chef, a rose and a Princess cookbook. I can't wait to go again on a future Princess cruise!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crock Pot Pork Chops - Secret Recipe Club

I always look forward to receiving my assignment for Secret Recipe Club. Will it be a blogger I know, one I am familiar with or a new one I’ve never visited before? This month’s assignment was Crumbs and Chaos. Crumbs and Chaos is made up of 4 sisters, Becca, Emily, Kate and Megan. I "met" them last month when Becca had my blog for SRC.

In an effort to choose something besides desserts for my SRC assignments, I noticed the Crumbs and Chaos ladies feature Crock Pot recipes. I am always searching for new crock pot recipes to add to my collection. We don’t have pork chops often at my house. Occasionally we will have them grilled in the summer but never during the winter months. Pork chops cooked inside always remind me of the ones my mother made as a kid, fried and dry. They reminded me of shoe leather, not that I’ve ever eaten shoe leather.

When I saw Emily of Crumbs and Chaos' recipe for Crock Pot Pork Chops, with mushroom sauce, how could they be anything but moist and delicious. I substituted flour for the tapioca. The sauce wasn't as thick as I would have liked so I added a little cornstarch and thickened it stove top. Served along side noodles or rice, this makes the perfect weeknight dinner.

Crockpot Pork Chops with Mushroom Sauce
  • 4-6 boneless pork chops
  • 1 can mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1- 4oz. can sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef bouillon granules or 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, optional
Place pork chops in slow cooker.
Combine remaining ingredients and pour over pork chops.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Serve over rice or noodles.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chocolate Chip and Oreo Brownie Bars

We’ve all heard the expression a day late and a dollar short! Seems that applies to my post today. If I had been on the ball, I’d have posted this on Tuesday, Oreo’s actual 100th birthday. I didn’t realize it was the century mark for everyone’s favorite cookie until after I’d already posted the Baked Chicken recipe on Tuesday. How do you eat your oreo's? Are you a dunker or do you twist them apart and eat the middle?

When I saw this recipe, I knew it was a must try! As I read through the recipe, I couldn't help but notice this is really three desserts in one. This is truly one of those recipes that’s causing our society to be overweight and unhealthy. So what did I do but bookmark it and then a few weeks later, make it. I did only eat one small piece. I sent the rest to work with my husband so he could share this treat for “food day”. For what it’s worth, I did omit the caramel layer, which I am guessing reduced the calories from 2 zillion to maybe just a zillion and a half. If you’re okay with calorie laden, unhealthy desserts, give this one a try. It’s decadent and delicious.

Chocolate Chip Cookie 'n Oreo Brownie Bars
Recipe Courtesy of A Bountiful Kitchen

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips, semi sweet
1 package of Oreo cookies
1 package of brownie mix (to be prepared as directed on the box) Or homemade.
Dulce de leche or caramel topping

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Press the cookie dough evenly into the pan.
Now place the Oreo's on top of the cookie dough.
Spread or drizzle the dulce de leche or caramel topping on top of the oreos.
Prepare brownie batter as directed. Pour/spread brownie batter on top and smooth it around with a spatula.
Bake for about 50 minutes. Bars are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out with a bit of a moist crumb attached. Remove from oven and let cool completely, about 2 hours.
Cut into squares and serve.

I am linking this to Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday and Sweet Tooth Friday.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Baked Chicken with Pamesean and Herbs

Do you participate in Secret Recipe Club? If you do, then you are familiar with the group founder, Amanda. If you don't, you can check it out here. It's a great group to belong to but I think there might be a waiting list right now. This recipe is one I found on Amanda's blog, Amanda's Cookin'.

I am always looking for new chicken recipes, especially ones you could serve company. This is one of those recipes, delicious and makes a beautiful presentation.

Baked Chicken with Parmesan and Herbs

Recipe courtesy of Amanda of Amanda's Cooking

4 skinless chicken breasts
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. In a saucepan, melt butter & stir in mustard, Worcestershire and garlic. Remove from heat. Dip chicken in butter, then roll in bread crumb mixture, pressing gently to make crumbs cling. Place in shallow baking pan. Bake 45 minutes or until golden.

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nutella Scones - Club Baked

I love nutella! The combination of chocolate and hazelnuts is so rich and delicious! This recipe combines chocolate scones with a nutella filling. I love the way the Baked bakers instruct you to make the scones. You make a square, fold them and then cut them in triangles. So much easier than the ways I have formed scones in the past.

My scones were a little dry. I think I overbaked them just slightly. I am still trying to get baking right in my new convection oven. I also think they needed more nutella in the middle. All in all I was a little disappointed.

If you'd like to give these a try, you can find the recipe at the PhDcupcaker. Check out the other Club Baked baker's scones here!

I am linking this to Miz Helen's Full plate Thursday, Foodie Friday and Sweet Tooth Friday.