Friday, April 29, 2016

Hot Fudge Sauce

Sometimes, you just really want hot fudge sauce....or specifically a Peanut Buster Parfait . . .which is basically all about the hot fudge sauce.  Just sayin'.  And truth be told, you are too lazy to go drive to DQ to get a PBP.   And hot fudge is kind of spendy at the store.  So instead, just make up a batch of this easy and decadent hot fudge sauce.  Pour it over ice cream while the sauce is still warm....mmmmm.  Or, eat is straight from the pan - I'm not here to judge.  Just sayin'.  

Please note that this recipe does use a little instant coffee.  It is not enough to make it coffee or mocha flavored.  Rather, it just adds a little bit of dimension to the flavor.  If you've ever worked in a restaurant that serves hot fudge, you likely may already know that it is very commonplace to thin out the fudge sauce with coffee when it gets too thick.  So, don't be afraid!  You will love it!

Hot Fudge Sauce
Yield:  1 Pint

1/2 Cup Salted Butter
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 Cup Half and Half (or whatever kind of milk you have on hand)
1 Teaspoon Instant Coffee (optional)

Step 1:  In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Once melted, add the Half and Half, cocoa powder and instant coffee.  Stir until the instant coffee and cocoa powder is dissolved.  Remove from heat.

Step 2:  Add the sweetened condensed milk to the pan and stir until combined.  If it seems too thin - place back over low heat and stir until desired consistency.  Too thick?  Add a little more Half and Half if necessary.  Serve warm.  Store any leftover in the fridge.  This will keep up to a month if stored in the fridge.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Baked Potato Salad

Here is a quick and easy side dish or small meal.  All the wonderful flavors of a yummy loaded baked potato, except in salad form and served cold!  Sour cream, chives, garlic, onion, bacon . . .oh my!  I'm filing it under single-serve, but it could be two servings  . . .if you were the sharing type of person! 

Baked Potato Salad
Serves 1-2

1 Large Potato, Baked and Cooled
1/2 Small Onion, Diced Fine
1 Teaspoon Chives
1/4 Cup Sour Cream
2 Tablespoons Milk
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Nature's Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Bacon Bits
1 Tablespoon Cheddar Cheese

Step 1:  Cut the cooled, baked potato into bite-sized pieces.  Place in a medium sized bowl.

Step 2: Add the diced onion, chives, bacon bits and cheese to the bowl.  Set aside.

Step 3:  Time to make the dressing!  In a small bowl:  combine the sour cream milk, garlic powder, and Nature's Seasoning.  Stir well.

Step 4:  Pour the dressing over potatoes etc.  Gently stir to combine.  You can serve immediately - but if you let it chill for about a half hour, it tastes even better!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

Mmmmmmm....warm banana bread with chocolate chips.  Always a favorite.  But sometimes you just don't have an hour or two to commit to baking a full loaf of banana bread!  In this mug cake - you'll find all same flavors . . .just pared down to a few ingredients.  Look at that lovely color on mine!  That comes from a farm fresh egg :)  Regardless of if your eggs are store bought or from a local farmer . . .this mug cake will make your tummy smile and leave you feeling satisfied (without the hour long wait!).

Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Mug Cake
Serves 1 (Generously!!!)

1 Medium Ripe Banana, Mashed
1 Tablespoon Applesauce
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Milk
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
3 Tablespoons Flour
1 Tablespoon Chocolate Chips

Step 1:  In a large mug, combine the mashed banana, applesauce, egg, milk and honey.  Stir well with a fork to combine.

Step 2:  To the mug, add the flour, baking powder and chocolate chips.  Stir with the fork until well combined.

Step 3:  Place in microwave and cook for 1 minute.  If the center is firm (not jiggly) - it is done.  If it still appears jiggly - cook another 30 seconds.  Repeat in 30 second intervals until the center is no longer jiggly.  Mine took 2 minutes.

Step 4:  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Jalapeno Popper Toast

Okay, so this one isn't so much a recipe  . . .but more of just 'my favorite breakfast' or 'super-yummy snack'.  This could easily fall into that category of 'fancy toasts' that so seem to be all the rage lately.  I've been eating this forever.   Trust me.  Delish.

Jalapeno Popper Toast
Serves 1

1 Slice Bread 
1 - 2 Tablespoons Cream Cheese
1 Teaspoon Jam of Choice
Sliced, Pickled Jalapenos
Bacon (optional)

Step 1:  Toast your bread.

Step 2:  Slather your bread with cream cheese.  Top with a bit of jelly or jam.  I used grape today - but raspberry is actually my favorite.

Step 3:  Top with sliced, pickled jalapenos.

Step 4 (optional):  Top with a few slices of bacon.  I did not have any today :(  Bacon makes everything better!

Step 5:  Enjoy!!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Almond Shortbread Bars

These rich and tasty little treats are so good that you will find yourself looking for reasons to walk into the kitchen and sneak one when no one is looking.  And don't even think that no one saw you.  Because, as soon you exit the kitchen - one of your kids will be standing there...looking at you...and asking what you are eating and if they can have some.  And then you say "noooooooooooo . . .mama was just drinking a glass of water...."  Seriously.  These are so buttery and melt in your mouth - perfect with a cup of coffee or tea - or even by themselves.  They are deliciously yummy and completely melt in your mouth with each buttery-almond bite.  It's hard to eat just one because they are just that good!  

Almond Shortbread Bars
Yield:  16

1 and 1/2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Butter, softened
1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar 
12.5 oz. Can of Almond Filling

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Step 2:  In the bowl of a mixer, add the butter, flour and powdered sugar.  Mix until very well blended and crumbly.

Step 3:  Reserve about 1/3 of the dough from Step 2 and set aside.  With the remianing 2/3s of dough - press it into a 9x9 square baking pan.  Try to make the layer as even as possible, but it certainly does not need to be perfect!

Step 4:  Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Let cool slightly for about 5 minutes.  Make sure to leave the oven on during this time.

Step 5: It's now time to spread the Almond Filling onto the shortbread crust.  I found that the easiest method to do so was to scoop dollops of the filling from the can and place onto the crust.  Then, with an offset spatula - gently, very gently, spread the filling across the shortbread crust.  The crust is very delicate - so be gentle.  It will so be worth it!

Step 6:  Once the filling has been spread on the crust, take the remaining dough and crumble it on top of the almond filling.  Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 25 minutes.  

Step 7:  Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting and eating.