Sunday Shinanigans.

Yesterday was fun.

We invited my Mom and her husband Aaron over for lunch. The fog cleared just in time for us to sit outside under the plum tree in our backyard/garden, sipping champagne and eating this, that, and the other thing.

Gift bucket for Mom and Aaron. Zucchini, plums, garlic, purple sage, and green beans all freshly picked from our garden.

We started off the meal with Roasted Heirloom Tomato and Fresh Herb cheese dip. Not normally something I would make, but, it was the weekend, so… we were allowed to break a couple rules, right?

The dip was followed by Bi-color corn with Cilantro-basil and lime cream sauce. The corn was so sweet Aaron thought I put sugar in the water (I didn’t).

After the corn, we moved onto the “main course”. Atlantic Salmon filets with Roasted Garlic and Basil, then wrapped in Prosciutto, served with Asparagus. It could not have tasted better. So so so good.

The Salmon was followed by a dessert of Tart Plums with crisped Angel Food Cake and whipped cream.

Delicious food and great company made for a great weekend.

 

 

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Hazelnut Boysenberry Thumbprint Cookies.

There was a storm last night. I thought that I slept great, I usually do when it’s storming…wind and rain are calming.

I guess not. Because today, I’m exhausted. So, instead of being super productive with my day (which was the plan), after class I came home, ate leftovers from last nights dinner, took a shower, and made cookies.

I know this picture isn’t very good… but I still think it’s interesting.

I love that even when Hazelnuts aren’t in or paired with chocolate, they still taste like it… at least to me. But, then again, what do IIII know?!

I was talking to one of my best friends today and we both decided that this particular Tuesday is just plain not a good day. Everyone I know, including myself, woke up in bad moods…

So I thought to myself, “What always makes you happy?”. Butter and sugar.

They look delicious and I haven’t even baked them yet!

And now they look super amazing. And they are.

They are the most amazingly delicious cookies ever made. I love them.

So, what started as a bad day is ending on a rather good note. Spectacular cookies always fix everything.

Baked Apple Cake Bites with Maple Glaze and Bacon Bits.

I’m at that point with my refrigerator and pantry. They are both basically empty, but I refuse to go to the grocery store until Friday. We have dinner for tonight and are busy tomorrow. I’m. Not. Going.

But.

There is something I’ve been meaning to do… and today was the day to do it.

I’m catering a party at the end of this month and I needed to test an idea I have for it. It just so happens I have all the ingredients in the house. Ha! Success!

BAKED APPLE CAKE BITES WITH MAPLE GLAZE AND BACON BITS

Ingredients: 2 apples ( I used Pink Ladies), butter (3 sticks), nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, bacon (2-3 strips of the good stuff), powdered sugar, maple syrup, and this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cooking-live/classic-white-cake-recipe/index.html

THE SHMECIPE:

Gather your ingredients. Whelp, scratch that, well, kind of. This is a lot of items to have on your counter while you’re cooking, so, just have things handy.

Start with your apples. Peel, chop, dice, and dice some more.

In a small pan, melt about 1/3 of a stick of butter and add your apples. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves to your liking. Once those are well incorporated and it seems like your apples are softening just a bit, add some brown sugar, roughly a quarter cup. Stir in, let melt, and turn off the heat. Let ’em sit.

Follow the recipe from Food Network (I know, I know, how horrible of me). If you have a better one for classic white cake, pass it on. After having used this recipe, I like it, but I would LOVE to try something else. Yes, I’m following a recipe for the cake, but, as I have mentioned before, with baking, I just have to. The rest of this idea is mine though.

In a small pan, get that bacon going. Get it nice and crispy-like, perfect for adding a nice crunch onto those little bites!

So. You’ve got your batter, your apples, and your bacon. Incorporate your apples into your batter and fill cupcake tins about a third of the way up.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until you do the toothpick test.

Your bacon should be completely cooled, ready for choppin’ so, chop away!

Creating your Maple glaze is uber easy. Combine with a whisk your maple syrup and powdered sugar. Whisk together to form a smooth, silky, glaze that isn’t too watery, but isn’t just a bucket of powdered sugar. Once you have desired texture and your little cakes have cooled a bit, glaze the tops, and, while the glaze is still wet, sprinkle with bacon bits.

These perfect little treats would be a great addition to any Superbowl party or just for having around (I know my husband will be inhaling them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner).

side note: when making the batter, don’t hesitate to add more sugar than it calls for, not a whole lot, but a little  wont hurt; I’m not a big sweets person (like, super sweet), but this could use a bit more. Also, it’s going to look like you’re adding a ton of apples, but do it… I used small apples and wish I had used bigger ones, mine needed more. Ok, that’s all. Happy Eating!

Thumbprint Smore Cookies.

AKA The Devil.

Why? You ask.

Because. They are delicious and it’s hard to have just one. Even though they’re kinda giant. And they’re nothing less than horrible for you.

But heck! How else are we supposed to keep warm with these freezing Winter temperatures?!?!

THUMBPRINT SMORE COOKIES

Ingredients: Your favorite brownie mix (yes, brownie) or your favorite brownie recipe; Marshmallow Fluff, Whipped Cream Cheese, Graham Crackers, eggs, butter, cooking spray

By now you’ve realized this is kind of a gross idea. I mean, seriously, that list of ingredients nearly gives me a heart attack just reading it. But alas, sometimes ya just gotta do whatchya gotta do. Plus, I wont eat any, so, no guilt here! Ha. Awesome.

THE SHMECIPE:

Begin by gathering all your sticky, sweet, sugary, fattening, delicious ingredients together on the counter.

I cheated. I totes cheated. I used BOXED brownie mix.

I know, I know…it’s a horrible horrible thing to do… but, it’s Trader Joe’s, so it’s alright…right?!?!

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees!

Get your brownie concoction together. If you do decided to use a  boxed brownie mix, just use one less egg, and it should make the consistence thick enough to roll into little balls.

If you fail at mixing your batter together by hand, resort to your handy dandy friend, your mixer. After all, that’s what they’re there for.

FAIL.

GREAT SUCCESS.

Now, roll your cookie brownie batter into balls a little smaller than golf balls and place in greased cupcake tray. If you don’t have one, use a baking sheet, it’ll be fine.

Place the tray in the oven and begin on your Marshmallow Fluff and Cream Cheese mixture (insert heart attack here).

Using your mixer again (clean it yo), combine a little over half of your fluff container (about a cup and a half), and about a cup of your whipped cream cheese. Mix until well blended and put into piping bag and refrigerate.

Your brownie cookies should take about 20 minutes in the oven, but, everyone’s oven are different, so, to check, insert a toothpick into the center of one of the middle cookies, and if the toothpick comes out clean, take ’em out! If not, check them again in a couple minutes and repeat the process.

Once they are done, remove them, and let them cool. As soon as you can take them out of the tray, do so and let them rest on the counter. This way the bottoms don’t keep cooking and don’t get all gross and crusty. If they are cool enough to touch but not break, use the back of a spoon and create your “thumbprint”, or, use your thumb!

While your cookies are cooling take some of your graham crackers (I used about three) and break them into little pieces and put them into your mini food processor. If you don’t have one, just crunch them up really well 🙂

In your “thumbprint” sprinkle a little bit of your crumbs into each cookie.

By this time, your cookies should be completely cool.

Take your piping bag and fill each void with Fluff Stuff generously then sprinkle with graham cracker crumble.

It’s ridiculously good and VERY, VERY sticky. You will want a glass of milk and some napkins with this tasty treat!

THIS is how you keep warm when it’s 30 degrees and you can’t go outside and make the real thing.

Enjoy!

Brownies. Bacon. Brussle Sprouts.

Happy Food Year.

We got invited to a wonderful NYE party.

It was a Pot-Luck and these are some of the things I brought.

BROWNIES WITH LEMON CURD AND WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING.

I’m so glad I found Leeks. I love them. They are wonderful.

Especially when thrown in Bacon grease, with the Bacon.

FRIED BRUSSLE SPROUTS WITH CRISPY BACON, CORN, LEEKS AND GOAT CHEESE

I did IT.

I USED A RECIPE.

I couldn’t NOT try this Apple Cheddar Bread. Right?!?! I mean, how do you say no to that!?!! I found it at everybodylikessandwiches.com (super cute), and couldn’t resist. I probably added more cheese, and more apples, seeing as how I didn’t measure those two components… but I DID measure everything else (giving myself a high-five in my head).

APPLE CHEDDAR BREAD

Photographas of my bread makin’: