Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

S’Mores Brownies October 2, 2012

Filed under: Brownies,Chocolate,Cookout/Potluck,dessert,My Recipes — hmills96 @ 11:32 am

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I went on our first camping trip. We’d both been dying to go, but these days it’s hard to find people who are willing to go out in the woods with no electricity, no running water, and no Internet. Not us–it was a perfect chance to unplug from the busy summer we had each had and get away from everything.

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A lot of memories were made on that trip–from the near-tornadic weather that flooded poor Richard’s side of the tent (I stayed relatively dry), to the massive toothache I had on Saturday that was only lessened by large amounts of Wild Turkey 101. We hiked 3-4 miles on Sunday, and listened to football all weekend. It was a blast, and we cannot wait until next summer so we can head out to the woods again.

Ever since that trip, I’ve been craving S’mores like crazy. Lucky for me, we had some graham crackers and marshmallows still in the cupboard from when we unpacked. These were amazing. It’s the same brownie base from my Oreo Brownies, with a graham cracker crust and toasted marshmallows on top.

A suggestion–make sure to leave plenty of room at the top of your pan for the marshmallows. They will expand quite a bit. Also, for that reason, don’t put them too close to the heating elements in your oven when you broil them. Line your pan with parchment paper, too. Butter and flour are not enough!

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S’Mores Brownies
Original Recipe

3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup melted butter

1 cup butter
6 oz chocolate, chopped (I used Ghiradelli 60% chocolate chips)
3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder

2-3 cups mini marshmallows (or cut up big ones)
2-3 graham crackers, broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9×9 pan with parchment paper.

In a food processor or blender, mix graham cracker crumbs, salt, and butter. Push into bottom of pan to form crust. Bake for 5-7 minutes, while making brownie batter.

Melt butter and chocolate over medium heat. Whisk in sugar, salt and vanilla.

Remove pan from heat, whisk in eggs one at a time.

Stir in flour and cocoa powder.

Pour batter over crust. Bake for 30 minutes. Toothpick should come out almost clean, but not completely.

Cover top of brownies with marshmallows. Place under broiler for 5-10 minutes, until toasted. Push graham cracker pieces into soft marshmallows.

Cool for 10-15 minutes, slice and mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

 

Seafood Stuffed Peppers June 28, 2012

Filed under: Fish,Leftovers,Quick and Easy,Seafood — hmills96 @ 6:48 pm

It is 106 degrees today in Indy. 106!!!! The next 7 days are supposed to be over 100 degrees. This is craziness. I’m starting to think someone switched my Hoosier State with Arizona. It’s so dry–I’m not sure I have ever experienced a dry heat like this. It usually gets pretty hot in August, but we have storms every other day to balance things out. I couldn’t tell you the last time it rained here. The grass looks like straw, and the rumor is that the 4th of July fireworks are going to be cancelled.

So of course, what do I do when it’s hot? Turn on the stove and the oven. Yeah…great plan Haley. But, today was really stressful, and that means it was kitchen playtime. I had sauteed an extra bass filet the other night and it needed to be eaten, and my bell pepper was begging to be roasted. This was really great, much more my style than rice stuffed peppers. You could use anchovies in this, if that’s your style, or salmon. Really any seafood. These quite spicy enough for me, I’ll maybe add sriracha or cayenne to it next time.

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Seafood Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from Cooks.com

1 bell pepper, cored and seeded
Olive Oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Cooked fish of any kind
Your choice of herbs, minced (I used basil and dill)
Red Pepper flakes
1/2-1 cup breadcrumbs (I used crackers)
1 egg, beaten with 2 TBSP warm water
1 cup cheese (I used Italian Blend, again, use what you like)

Preheat broiler.

Sautee garlic in oil. Add flaked fish, herbs, and crumbs. Cook for two minutes.

Stir in beaten egg. Add cheese, and more water if needed to make a soft mixture.

Stuff peppers with egg mixture.

Place back in pan, and roast under broiler until peppers are starting to blacken.

Remove and enjoy!

You could definitely roast these in a baking pan if you were doing multiples. Or make the filling ahead of time, freeze, and then stuff and roast the peppers as you want them. Or these would be great on a grill! Gotta love flexible recipes!

 

Baked Egg Caprise June 14, 2012

It’s hard to believe I’ve lived in Indy for 6 months now. It was an adjustment, getting used to living in the city, since I’ve lived in small towns my whole life. But there are so many benefits. I’m close to work, there’s so many great restaurants and bars and breweries here. I’ve made so many new friends I can’t even count them.

Another benefit I have discovered this summer is that the farmer’s markets are much better here too. More people = bigger venues = more vendors. I have not made it downtown yet, as the market is on Wednesdays while I am at work. But the one just north of me is wonderful.

I picked up a couple of tomatoes this weekend. I normally associate tomatoes with late summer, but these looked so good I couldn’t pass them up. I’ve had leftover roast chicken the last three nights, and while it is delicious, I was ready for something new. This was the perfect remedy. I just did one in a custard cup, but you could do this easily in a muffin tin if you are feeding a family or a group! Would be great for breakfast too!

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Baked Eggs Caprise
Original Recipe

1 tomato
1 egg
1 basil leaf, torn or cut into pieces
Mozzarella Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 450.

Cut the top off the tomato, and with a spoon, scoop out some of the insides. Leave plenty of meat on the tomato though!

Place in greased custard cup.

Crack egg into tomato. Top with basil and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until whites are set.

Eat! I didn’t do this tonight, but I bet some good quality olive oil would be fantastic drizzled over the top. Or some balsamic? YUMMMMM…

 

Bluffton Dressing June 12, 2012

Filed under: garlic,Quick and Easy,Salad — hmills96 @ 5:09 pm

I have been craving salad like CRAZY lately. Which is weird because I am not a salad eater at all. No matter how much salad I ate, I couldn’t stop craving it.

Then I realized, it wasn’t the salad I was craving. It was this dressing.

Back home, everyone knows some version of this. Some call it Mickey’s, some call it Bohemian Bean. To me, it’s just Bluffton dressing. Whatever you call it, make it. It’s soooo good. It’s in no way light or fat free, but it is very flavorful so a little goes a long way. This also makes a lot of dressing, but if stored in an airtight container, it’ll last a couple of weeks in the fridge.

Bluffton Dressing
From the Bohemian Bean and/or Mickey’s Restaurant


3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup veggie oil
1 cup olive oil
4 oz cup feta

In a blender, pulse together first 4 ingredients.

With blender on low, drizzle in oils in a steady stream.

Add feta and blend on high for 30 seconds.

Store in airtight container, and eat on EVERYTHING.

 

Cocoa oatmeal cookies May 14, 2012

Filed under: cookies,Cookout/Potluck,My Recipes — hmills96 @ 6:02 pm
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Yes, I’m still alive! I know it has been forever. I’m after two moves, some budget adjustments, and a lot of ups and downs, I’m finally cooking again.

Boy, does it feel awesome! I’ve been cooking 3-4 times a week, instead of taking the lazy way out with ramen or popcorn.

Yesterday I even got the urge to bake! These cookies were actually going to be muffins, but then I realized my muffin pan is in storage. It was a VERY sad moment. Until I made a few adjustments and pulled these babies out of the oven.

I think my new roommate is pretty psyched to be getting spoiled!

Cocoa Oatmeal Cookies
Original recipe

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp molasses
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together butter, sugar, and molasses.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir into wet ingredients one third at a time.

Stir in oats and raisins.

Drop into greases cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Try really hard to let these cool. Fail. Burn your mouth on a scalding hot raisin. Keep eating.

Just kidding on the last part. Really…that raisin was HOT.

 

Homemade Frozen Burritos September 11, 2011

Filed under: beans,cheese,Chicken,Freezer Meals,Mexican,Quick and Easy — hmills96 @ 7:13 pm

Wow guys. It’s been a really long time since I’ve blogged. I’ve kind of been all over the place the last few months, and really not cooking very much–or at least no actual new recipes. I’m completely changing the way I eat so mostly it’s been a bit of trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t.

I went and visited my cousin in Winston-Salem a few weeks ago. She’s really big into clean eating–organics, local produce, no preservatives. I cannot afford to go as extreme as she does it, but I did learn some helpful lessons about what my body needs when. It’s been a bit of a shock on my body, to cut out so much of the junk. I’m not even talking about junk food, just the preservatives and extreme amounts of sodium so much of the convenience foods have today. Hence the trial and error–because of my migraines, I have to be careful about going too extreme too fast–which is why crash diets and cleanses have never really worked for me. I’m starting to feel a lot better–monitoring what goes in, as well as taking up biking.

Anyway, this recipe idea came at an amazing time. I’ve been trying to spend a few hours every weekend putting together a few dishes that I can freeze in individual portions. It makes it so easy then, to pack one of the meals for lunch. Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice  are great for portion control–but there’s a lot up unpronounceable ingredients on their lists. This uses simple ingredients and was so easy to throw together. The following is what I had on hand (and no, most of it isn’t organic, and probably does have some preservatives in it, but it’s still better for me than what I was eating), but feel free to change it up. I would have loved roasted peppers in this, and some cilantro.

Homemade Frozen Burritos

Inspired by The Kitchn 

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cups roast chicken (you can use raw, just make sure you cook it fully)
Cumin, chili powder, hot sauce (whatever spices you have on hand)
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen corn, thawed
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Tortillas (I used Low-Carb)

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Saute onions and garlic until soft.

Add chicken, toss with spices of your choice. My chicken was left over from a roast I had done the day before, but feel free to saute sliced chicken breasts if you want.

Add beans, tomatoes and corn. Toss until warmed through.

Set up a little work station. Make a pile of tortillas, a bowl of cheese, your foil for wrapping.

To make the burritos:

1. Grab a tortilla.

2. Spread a little line of cheese down the middle.

3. Scoop about 1/2 cup of filling onto the cheese (you need less than you think).

4. Fold two ends in towards the center. Roll burrito.

5. Roll completed burrito in foil.

6. Repeat until you have all your tortillas filled!

7. Freeze.

8. To heat, remove the foil. Wrap in a damp paper towel (this will help keep the ends from getting hard). Microwave for 3 minutes. Enjoy!

Man, I wish I would have taken pictures of this process. I could have gone all Pioneer Woman on you. Unfortunately, I do not have that much foresight or blogging prowess. Make this though. It’s so easy, and it’s soooo yummy.

 

Crockpot Lean Pork Roast July 11, 2011

I have some big plans for my future. I can’t tell you what they are yet, only that I could use some prayers, thoughts, etc for the next several months. I’ll let you guys in to my secret as soon as I know what’s going to happen!

Part of this new plan is to lose weight. I need to lose 10 pounds at first, but want to lose 20 altogether. I started this plan Tuesday, and I’ve already lost 5 pounds!

I’m doing the Slimfast 123 plan, which is working really well. I’m doing a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, a slimfast shake at lunch, and some kind of meal in the evening. I usually stick a slimfast bar in there somewhere as a snack.

My biggest struggle with this diet is the variety. It’s a LOT of sweets during the day, and I’ve never been a HUGE sweets person. Occasionally yes, but I much prefer more savory foods. By the time I get home at night, I crave real protein. So yesterday I decided to braise a lean pork shoulder so that I could have some good things in the evening. This recipe is more of a how-to than anything. there isn’t much to the marinade–just a few things to tenderize the meat and bring out the flavor of the pork. I’ll use the meat to make tacos, pulled pork sandwiches (on lowfat bread and with a vinegar based sauce instead of a heavier one), etc etc.

Crockpot Lean Pork Roast
Original Recipe

1 lean pork shoulder
1 can light beer
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 Tbsp mustard
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp honey
1 large onion, quartered
Dry rub of your choice
1/4-1/2 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock

Trim most of the fat off of the shoulder. It’s ok to leave some, it will keep the meat moist. But mine came with a good 1/2″ of fat on one side…that’s too much!

In a large plastic bag, combine all ingredients, excepting the pork and onions. Add the pork and marinate overnight (or at least 4 hours).

Remove pork from marinade and pat dry with a papertowel. Rub on all sides with your favorite dry rub. Brown on all sides in a medium skillet over medium high heat.

Place in crockpot with onions, wine and chicken stock, and turn crockpot on medium low (mine is the 8 hour setting. Cover, and let it do it’s thing for 6-8 hours.

The meat should be fall off the bone tender when it is done. Literally. The shoulder bone was completely separated when the pork was done cooking. Use two forks to pull the pork apart. Use for anything!