Saturday, March 26, 2016

Thin Mint Gooey Cake Bars

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout cookie?  For me, it's Thin Mints!!  Besides eating way too many of these cookies, I love using them in recipes.  One of my favorites is this mint pie.  I've been making this recipe for years, since high school and that's lots of years!!

I needed something for treat day at Tim's office and wanted to use ingredients I had in the house.  I keep a box or two of Thin Mints in the garage freezer.  Out of sight out of mind, I kind of forget they are out there, so I am not tempted to eat them.  Too bad that doesn't work with ice cream.   While not as gooey as traditional gooey butter cake, these bars are a delicious combination of mint and chocolate!  I believe Tim said they got a thumbs up from his coworkers.

Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Gooey Cake Bars

 Recipe Courtesy of Picky Palate

 1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 stick softened butter
1 large egg
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup Andes Mint pieces (I used crushed thin mint cookies)
1 small can Sweetened Condensed Milk
20 Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies, broken into pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a 9×13 inch baking dish with non stick cooking spray.
2. Place cake mix, butter and egg into a large bowl, mix until dough forms. Using hands is easiest to mix together. Press dough into bottom of prepared baking dish. Top evenly with chocolate chips and Andes mints. Drizzle sweet milk over top and top with broken pieces of Thin Mint Cookies. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until baked through. Immediately after removing from oven, take a plastic knife around edges to loosen. Let cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.
Makes 12 bars

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Deconstructed Nutella Cheesecake

Last year Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla rallied some blogging friends to help her celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary. She was only looking for fifteen cheesecake recipes. But we posted waaaaaay more than #FifteenCheesecakes.

It was such a hit and we all had so much fun that she decided to see if she could get enthusiasm for another round of cheesecakes. Yep. This is an encore performance by some of her favorite foodie bloggers.

Happy Anniversary, Camilla!  Cheer's to many more!!

Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts.  I love to eat it, who doesn't? Making it is fun, too.  This year, I decided to choose a deconstructed cheesecake.   The crumbs for the crust go in first, topping with the cheesecake mixture and a little bit of fruit.    Easy and beautiful!!  I love when a restaurant serves a small dessert, like this one.  Perfect when you just want a bite or two!!


4 oreos, crushed
2 heaped tsp. butter, melted
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp. nutella

Place the oreos in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Divide this mixture between two dessert glasses, reserving a teaspoon for garnishing if desired. Place in the refrigerator.
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and nutella together until smooth and thick. Fit a piping bag with a large star nozzle and fill with the cream cheese mixture. Pipe the mixture into the glasses, garnish with the reserved crumb mixture or fresh fruit, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

More than #SixteenCheesecakes

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wacky Cake - Secret Recipe Club

For March Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned The Tasty Cheapskate.   Jean, the blogger behind The Tasty Cheapskate, says :

"I grew up neither cooking nor eating much. There were so many other things to do (like exercising compulsively. And high school! Cuteness! Grades! Rah!). And though my mom made most of our food (cheapskatery was a major theme of my childhood), I still managed not to learn to cook. I only ate foods, after all, with no fat, and the concept of whole foods was a little lost on us, (as it was on many in the '80s and '90s). We were more in the fat-free margarine camp (oh look, I can see my liver glowing). So fortunately, I've gotten past all that. I cook now. And eat. Good things, very good things (no offense to all the weirdo diets out there). Though--for the record--I'm still really cheap (not margarine cheap, my friends, but cheap). It's in my bones." 

Stop by and check out Jean's blog, lots of tasty recipes!!

Normally for SRC, I have a hard time deciding just which recipe to make.  For the second month in a row, I had no trouble deciding.  Early in my travels around Jean's blog, I found her recipe for the Wacky Cake.  Wacky Cake is perhaps the first cake I ever baked.  I remember how much fun this cake was to make and still have the recipe card written in my grade school handwriting.  Not familiar with a Wacky Cake?  The cake is made in the pan, has no dairy or eggs but does have vinegar.  I've always thought the addition of vinegar is how the cake got it's name. Some say the cakes name came from the depression era and was considered wacky because of the omission of eggs or dairy, which were rationed during that time.

If you have kids or grandkids, this is a great cake to make with them.  Everything gets dumped into the pan and when you add the vinegar, it may even fizz.

Wacky Cake
Recipe courtesy of The Tasty Cheapskate
Serves, well, it should serve at least 24
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Cost: $.88
(flour: .16, sugar: .32, oil: .12, cocoa: .18, other stuff about .10)

2 C flour
2 C sugar
6 Tbsp cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. espresso powder (this is my addition)
2 C warm water
2/3 C oil
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla (or 1/2 tsp mint) extract

In a 9x13 inch pan, mix dry ingredients
Add wet ingredients.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick (knife, fork, whatever) comes out clean. Note: It is possible that if you bake this in an aluminum pan, vinegar/baking soda will react and cause it to taste like metal, so use glass or a non-reactive metal.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Chicken Curry

Well this isn't the most appealing dish I've ever made but it certainly is one of the more delicious ones!!!  My son shared this recipe using chick peas as the protein source.  I didn't think Tim would buy into the chick peas being the "meat" in this dish, so I substituted chicken.

This recipe is so versatile, you could substitute any protein or veggies.  I may try carrots next time just to brighten up the color.   If you're a curry fan, give this one a try.  It's easy and oh so yummy!!

 Chicken Curry
Recipe Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
  • 2 cups Basmati Rice
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced Fine
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Curry Powder, Any Variety
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 2 cups cooked diced chicken breast or thigh
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can (13.5 Ounce) Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey, More To Taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha Or Hot Sauce (more To Taste)
Cook the basmati rice according to the package instructions.  (I use a rice cooker, one kitchen appliance I wouldn't be without!)

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes, until the onions are soft and starting to turn golden. Sprinkle in the curry powder and garlic and stir, cooking for another minute or so. Pour in the vegetable stock and stir to scrape up all the brown bits in the pan. Add the coconut milk, honey and a squirt of sriracha. Bring to a boil, add the chicken and peas, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, honey, or Sriracha (or lime juice, if using.)

Serve the curry over the rice.