Friday, July 24, 2009

A Secret Combination

I think that chocolate+peanut butter+oats=a secret combination. There is just something magical and delicious that happens when these things mix together. I have three similar recipes that I will post here.
Today Kian and I tried out the most recent addition:

Recipe #1 Swirl Bars
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 13X9 pan.

In a large bowl beat together:
1 stick softened, unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
In another bowl mix together:
1 cup flour
1 cup quick oats
1/4 tsp salt

On low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture until just combined. Press dough into pan.
Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips over top. Bake for 20 minutes.

To make the icing blend together: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 cup peanut butter and 3 tablespoons milk until smooth.

Pour icing over uncut bars while still warm and swirl chips with icing. Cool completely in the pan. I like to keep them in the fridge, it's yummy when the icing is hard.

Recipe #2 Oh Henry Bars
In a small saucepan heat until dissolved:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Stir in 4 cups of oats and 1 cup of chocolate chips

Press into greased 13X9 pan. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes--do not overbake! Let cool and cut into bars.
These bars are super chewy...good for stress eating; )

Recipe #3 Chewy Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 13X9 pan.

Melt 2 sticks of butter in a large glass bowl. Add 4 cups oats, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup and stir until well combined. Press oat mixture into pan and bake for 20-23 minutes until edges are set and center is still slightly jiggly. Cool completely.

Combine 1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips with 3/4 cup peanut butter in a small saucepan until melted and mixture is smooth, stir frequently. Spread chocolate mixture over cooled oat crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

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A hot little pocket

This recipe is courtesy of Cooking Light

Tex-Mex Calzones

We just love Tex-Mex 'round here! I did all my chopping while Millie was napping so this was really quick to throw together for dinner. This is just like a home-made hot pocket, there are endless combinations you could try!
Next time I'll make a double batch of the filling and freeze half for later, you will have enough produce and turkey to double the recipe if you want to, just remember to buy two pizza crusts.

8 ounces ground turkey breast*
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, try chipotle chili powder for heat
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fat-free fire-roasted salsa verde
1 (11-ounce) can refrigerated thin-crust pizza dough
3/4 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
Cooking spray
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring mixture occasionally. Remove turkey mixture from heat; stir in salsa.
3. Unroll dough; divide into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 6 x 4–inch rectangle. Spoon about 1/2 cup turkey mixture on one side of each dough rectangle. Top with 3 tablespoons cheese; fold dough over turkey mixture, and press edges together with a fork to seal. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until browned. Serve with sour cream.

*If you have leftover chicken you can just chop that up and use in place of turkey, 2 cups.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Caprese me

Have I mentioned how much we love panini?

Thanks to the Barefoot Contessa for this one!

Tomato, Mozzarella and Pesto Panini
2 large ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 16-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick
12 slices bakery white bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 cup prepared pesto
kosher salt
6 slices prosciutto
unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat your panini grill.
Spread each piece of bread evenly with a thin layer of pesto sauce. Place a layer of mozzarella slices and tomato slices on half of the slices of bread. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt. Top with prosciutto and remaining bread slices. Spread the top and bottom of each sandwich with softened butter. Grill the sandwiches for 2-3 minutes, until the mozzarella starts to ooze. Cut sandwiches in half and serve warm.

These were so delicious, I think they would have been wonderful on sourdough bread and even without the prosciutto (a little pricey!).

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Don't knock it 'til you try it!

Caution: Not a low calorie food.

Strawberry-Pretzel Salad
2 2/3 cups broken up pretzel pieces
3/4 cup melted butter
Mix together and press into bottom of 9x13 pan. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes. Let cool.
12 ounces cream cheese, brought to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
Mix together and spread over pretzel layer.
8 ounces whipped topping
Spread over chilled cream cheese layer.
6-ounces strawberry jell-o dissolved in 2 cups boiling water
Stir in 20 ounces frozen strawberries or about 3 cups of fresh sliced strawberries. Allow to cool and start to jelly, then pour over the chilled whipped cream layer.

Let set up completely in the fridge before serving.

Don't be fooled by the word "salad" in the title, this is a dessert! Thanks Grammare for the yummy recipe.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Crazy for Panini

We just love our panini maker. Ryan was on a kick of panini'ing everything right after we got it. I picked up this recipe while perusing Williams-Sonoma. I love that you cook everything right inside your panini grill so there isn't much clean-up! 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup smoky bacon BBQ sauce
1 large red onion, cut into 1/4-inch rings
1 large piece focaccia (about 8 by 7 inches)
8 slices Provolone cheese

Rub the chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on a preheated panini press, close the lid and cook until nicely grill-marked, about 6 minutes. Turn the chicken over, rotating 90 degrees. Close the lid and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and cut into 1-inch pieces. Transfer to a bowl, add the barbecue sauce and stir to combine.
Reduce the heat on the panini press to the lowest setting. In another bowl, stir together the onion rings, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Arrange the onion rings on the panini press, close the lid and cook, stirring occassionally, until they are soft and golden, 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Wipe the panini press clean. Cut the focaccia in half horizontally. Brush the outside of the focaccia halves with the remaning olive oil. Place the bottom half, cut side up, on a work surface. Arrange the chicken in an even layer on top, then top with the onion rings and cheese. Cover with the top half of the focaccia, cut side down.
Place the sandwich on the grill, close the lid, and cook until bread is nicely grill-marked and the cheese is melted, about 6 minutes.
Transfer the sandwich to a cutting board and cut into 4 equal pieces. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Tip: To save time and use leftovers I have used rotisserie chicken.