Friday, July 29, 2011

White (or Semi Sweet) Chocolate S'mores Gooey Cake Bars

Wow, what a title!!  I found this on the Picky Palate.  It originally calls for white chocolate chips, but I didn't have any.  So figuring on these were S'mores, I substituted semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Next time I make these I might just use hershey bars!
They were really good, but a little goes a long way!  You make these in a 8x8 pan, and get 12-16 servings.  They are yummy, but you don't need much!
Super good treat, especially if you are a S'more lover!!
White (or Semi-sweet) Chocolate S'mores Gooey Cake Bars

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 4 1/2 full graham crackers
  • 10 ounce bag of chocolate chips~white or semi-sweet or use chocolate bars
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with foil.  Make sure to overlap the edges.  Double wrap the foil so you have overlapping edges on each side.  Generously spray the foil with cooking spray!

Place cake mix, egg, and butter in a mixing bowl.  Combine until a nice dough forms.  It will be a little sticky, similar to a cookie dough.

Press half of the dough in your pan and press evenly.  Place your graham crackers on top.  Now layer your chocolate chips and then put your mini marshmallows on top.

Now top with your remaining dough, trying to cover your whole pan.  I took pieces of dough and flattened it in my hand and then placed on top.  It was easier this way and seemed to be able to cover the marshmallows better.  Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the top.

Bake for 28-33 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown on top.

Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, take a plastic knife and run it along the edges to loosen it off the foil.  This little trick will make it so much easier to remove when it is cooled.

Let cool completely in the pan.  When cool, use the foil edges and pull the bars out of the pan.  Cut off all the edges.  This will make your bars able to be made into little squares.  Save your edges to snack on!!  Cut your bars into squares and serve!  Enjoy at room temp or even great chilled!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rhubarb Cobbler

I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman and decided I just might need a rhubarb plant after all!  This was a great summer dessert and had great flavor!  It was easy to make and yummy with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!  I do think next time I will chop up my rhubarb in bigger chunks and also not use all the dough.  I had lots of dough and piled it on, but it ended up not getting all the way done on the bottom of the layer!  I also might add more rhubarb next time too!  Definitely a keeper and a summer treat!!

Rhubarb Cobbler
(The Pioneer Woman)
  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb (or maybe more!!)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional, but I added this)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup shortening (Crisco)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (I used what I had on hand~1%)
  • 1 egg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, combine chopped rhubarb, sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, lemon juice, and almond extract.  Stir and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, 2 tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, and baking powder.  Stir together and then add the shortening and butter.  Cut together with a pastry cutter or you could use a fork also.

Beat egg and milk together.  Pour into flour mixture and stir together with a fork until combined.

Pour rhubarb into a greased baking dish (I used a pie plate).  Make sure to get all the juices out of the bowl!  Tear off pinches of the dough and drop it onto the surface of the fruit, creating a cobbler texture.  Sprinkle additional sugar over the top.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream!  It is also good cold the next day!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pineapple-Ginger Flank Steak

I have 3 words to describe this marinade
Yummy, yummy, yummy!!!!!
I experimented this one on the extended family and have great success.  It had a super yummy flavor and was simple with ingredients I already had!
Try this one before the summer is out!!
Pineapple-Ginger Flank Steak
(Our Best Bites cookbook)
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice (I opened a can of pineapple and let my kids eat the pineapple and I used the juice!)
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger (or I used 1/8 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • Up to 2lbs flank steak
Whisk together the pineapple juice, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil and garlic.

Score flank steak about 1/8 inch deep with a knife diagonally on both sides to tenderize the meat.

Place the steak in a zip-lock bag and pour the marinade over the top.  Refrigerate for 8 hours or over night.

Remove steak from refrigerator about 30 minutes before grilling.  Grill about 5-10 minutes on each side, depending on how big your steak is and how pink you want it to be.

Let sit for about 5 minutes before slicing and enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sara's Favorite Pasta Salad

I don't know the real name of this salad or where we found it.  We have named it this after my sister, who shared this many years ago as her favorite summer pasta salad!  I share her like of this salad too!  It is one of those salads you can really add anything you want and just pour over the yummy dressing.  It is easy, and doesn't require a lot of prep and no oven!!

Pasta Salad
  • 1/4 cup herbed white wine vinegar - tarragon or sweet basil (I didn't have this on hand and found you could substitute rice vinegar)
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp tarragon or sweet basil leaves (if you use the herbed white wine vinegar, match the spice to the vinegar.  If you use rice vinegar, just pick whichever you have - I used basil)
  • 1 tsp sweet Hungarian Paprika (I didn't have this on hand and used regular paprika, 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together until well blended.  Set aside until salad is ready.

  • 3 cups cooked chicken breast, diced
  • 2 jars (6 oz) marinated artichoke hearts
  • 12 oz pasta (your choice) cooked and well drained
  • 1 can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • cherry tomatoes, sliced in half - adding as much as you like!
  • Optional add ins I have added - chopped red peppers, carrots, cucumbers, or whatever else you might like!  I added Feta cheese this time too!
Place all your salad ingredients in a bowl and pour your dressing on top.  Eat with french bread and enjoy!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

French Toast

I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman and decided to give it a try!  (She makes hers with a berry butter, which I may try later!)  It is just french toast, but she does it a little different.  She only used egg yolks.  She said on her blog you haven't lived if you haven't tried it this way!  I decided to try it when she described the yucky blobs you can get on french toast when the whites on the egg don't get mixed in.  You know when it makes cooked egg on the sides of your french toast or when you have a blob of it on the bread!  I absolutely hate that! 
So this was the recipe for me to try!  It was good, no blobs of yucky egg white and had great flavor.  She cooks with half and half, but I think you could get away with just using milk!!
Try it both ways for breakfast or as we did for our Breakfast Wednesday Dinner!
French Toast
(The Pioneer Woman)
  • 1 loaf of sourdough french bread
  • 4 whole egg yolks (just the yolks!!!)
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsps vanilla
  • zest of one lemon (which I didn't add!)
  • Sifted powdered sugar for on top
  • Syrup!
Cut your bread into 1/2 inch thick slices or buy the already pre cut bread.  In a dish combine the egg yolks, half and half, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest if you are adding.  Whisk to combine.  Dip bread slices in mixture, coating both sides and cook on a griddle or skillet over medium heat.  Brown both sides and remove to a plate.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and pour yummy maple syrup on top!  ENJOY!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ginger-Peanut Chicken-Salad Wraps

This is another keeper for me!!  My kids wouldn't eat it, but I loved it!  This is something that I will make and eat for lunches.  I would eat it all week!  Super simple, you can even use leftover rotisserie chicken or if you are grilling, do extra and have this the next day!
Definitely great and loved loved loved it!!!
Ginger-Peanut Chicken-Salad Wraps

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup seeded and peeled cucumber (I didn't have any cucumbers, but will definitely add next time!)
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or minced
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (didn't use cause hubby hates!!)
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce (or whatever you have on hand)
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook until done.  I salt and peppered the chicken too!  Remove chicken from pan and let cool.  Once cooled, shred the chicken into bite size pieces.  Place chicken, cucumber and red pepper in a large bowl and set aside.

Place sugar, ginger, lime juice, soy sauce, salt, ground red pepper and garlic in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add peanut butter and water.  Blend until smooth, scraping sides as needed.

Add peanut butter mixture to chicken mixture and stir well.  Add cilantro (if using) and toss together.  Warm tortillas.  I warmed them up on a skillet on the stove.  Place warmed tortilla on a plate.  Spoon your chicken mixture down the middle.  Top with about a 1/2 cup of lettuce and roll up!  Enjoy!!