Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oreo Stuffed Brownies

I admit it. I was trying to show off. Or not really show off but show that I have at least a little skill in the kitchen. Hermit Crab came home for the week with her boyfriend Noel and her college BFF. They stayed here for a few days, went to the lake to visit Dude's parents for a few days, and will be back tomorrow for 2 more days. I had some food planned for dinners and snacks, but I hadn't baked anything. Looking through a cookbook, I thought brownies would be good; everyone likes brownies, don't they?

None of the brownies I had ALL ingredients for just were not clicking for me. I pulled out my Baker's chocolate thinking I would just use the recipe on the box. Nopers, some cheesecake recipe. I went to their website and found the recipe for stuffed brownies. There were all sorts of suggestions, and I happened to have a brand new package of Oreos sitting on the counter; well, hidden in a bag so they didn't get eaten, but I digress.
Oreo Stuffed Brownies
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
3 cups broken Oreos, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and grease the foil-grease it well. Melt chocolate and butter in a microwave safe large bowl. Stir until the chocolate is all melted and combined with butter. Stir in sugar; stir in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour until well blended. Stir in 1-1/2 cup of broken cookies. Spread into the prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining cookies on top of brownie batter. Bake for 3o to 35 minutes, but don't overbake. Start testing at 30 minutes. Cool in pan for 45 minutes, then remove and cut, slide off the foil into a storage container-but not until after eating at least one. Or six. Oh baby these were good!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A ......Minneuban?

Not quite a Cuban, a little Midwest influence? I took 5 ribs out of the slow cooker before adding the BBQ to the country style ribs and made some shredded pork. I poured a little of the cooking liquid in and a little bit of beef broth and stored in the fridge for the next day. We heated up the pork, split open a small French bread loaf, placed a slice of Havarti on the top and bottom, piled on some warm pork, some pancetta, some slices of roast beef and some Dijon mustard and panini-ed that sucker. Oh, so good. We scarfed these bad boys down right quick.
Dude is teaching himself to tile and here is the progress as of last week. I need to go down and click the update. We (he) gutted our downstairs bathroom and is rebuilding from scratch. Whoever built this house should be shot as their simple math skills were lacking as they apparently couldn't figure in the size of a 2x4 when measuring out for plumbing. The plumbing is too close to the wall and the furnace and well pump sit right on the other side of the wall. The first time we built the bathroom, he built a niche into the wall for the toilet tank to sit. He was able to cut out a little bit of the stud to get it to work this time. We are tiling the whole thing in black and white and it is starting to really take shape. I will snap some new photos soon, but here is the shower floor. It is finally large enough to really take a good shower-the last one was the size of camper shower!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Country Style Ribs

The supermarket had country style ribs on sale for $1.48 a pound in the value trays so I picked up a large pack for about $3.50. There were enough ribs in there for two meals, so I grabbed the slow cooker, seasoned up the ribs with salt, pepper, chipolte pepper, paprika, cumin and a little onion and garlic powder. Dropped them in the crock, poured in a couple tablespoons of water, set them on low and went to lunch with my neighbor Pat. When I got home, I pulled half of them out, poured on some BBQ sauce and let them simmer on low for another hour. We had them with some bread sticks and baked beans. Nothing fancy, but I think he was just glad I cooked.

I morphed the leftover ribs into dinner for tonight. I will post that later in the week.

Here are some new photos of Tofu:

Hey Tofu, look up here

Now look this way......

Ummm, hey, the room is starting to spin.......

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lemon Cheese Bars

Dah dah dat dah.....! (trumpet sound) I AM CAST FREE!!

Oh sweet Jesus, I am free. Those were the longest 4 weeks of my life. I was shedding like a snake when it came off, and I don't have much range of motion in my wrist and my arm is not able to straighten all the way yet, but glory be, I can move it.

The last few days were the worst, since I knew it was coming off soon. To take my mind off of it for a little while, I looked for a recipe that was easy enough to make pretty much with one hand. I had a couple Meyer lemons that looks close to end of their life, so I found this recipe in my church's cookbook we put out about 5 years ago. I have to say that I love the local cookbooks that churches, community centers, school and service organizations put together. They have the tried and true recipes that people always love. These bars fit this to a tee. I was told by several people at work that I could bring these in every week if I wanted.

Lemon Cheese Bars
from Norma and Marge at St. Marks Lutheran Church

1 box yellow cake mix
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice (I used the juice of two Meyer lemons)
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix dry cake mix, 1 egg and 1/3 cup oil until crumbly. Reserve one cup. Pat remaining mixture into bottom of an ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg and lemon juice until light and smooth. Spread over baked crust. Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top of lemon layer. Bake 15 minutes longer. When cool, cut into bars.

Easy and delicious. Give 'em a try soon!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I don't have a good name for this, but I made a cocktail out of the remaining bottle of POMwonderful I had.

1 bottle POMwonderful Pomegranate juice
1 TBSP simple syrup
1 TBSP triple sec or orange liqueur
1 ounce vodka

Stir all ingredients together and pour over ice.

Since I find the juice a little tart (and I like sweet cocktails), I added the simple syrup. It was a little tart, a little sweet and a good finish to a nice sunny day.

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's a Salad.....and I actually like it!

I am not a salad fan. I like lettuce in a bowl with some croutons, cheese, bacon bits, nuts and some dressing-that is a salad in my eyes. I don't like potato salad, fruit salad (unless it is naked fruit in a bowl and I can pick out the pieces I like) or most other salads, other than my popcorn salad. This however has won me over. I first had it at one of our 'girls nights' with my friends Casey and Megan. I recently had it two weeks ago at a baby shower and emailed Machelle when I got home asking for the recipe. I have made it twice in the last two weeks-and ate about 75 percent of it myself. The recipe makes A LOT. I cut it in half the first time, then as I read the recipe, the vinegar to sugar/mayo ratio was easy to divide out, so I made a smaller batch the second time so the cukes didn't get mushy after 3 days.

Summer Salad (from Machelle-and Megan too)

2-7 ounce boxes of ring pasta, cooked and rinsed in cool water
2 cups diced cucumbers
2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 bunch green top onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup vinegar
1-1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 cup mayo (not Miracle Whip)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg (I didn't use since Machelle didn't use)

Mix all together and refrigerate over night.

Or dig in after 2 hours with a huge fork, which is what I did!
I also cheated and used those shredded carrots-just chopped them all up-works great.
I feel the need for some more wine: Drama Queen is going to prom and Hermit Crab now has a boyfriend and wants to bring him home at semester break to meet us. I have already stated that statistically she will meet her future hubby in college, and I forbid her to move to his hometown. Since he lives in the Northwest Territories, like 5 million miles from Minnesota. She made circling motions next to her head while talking to me. At least I'm sure she did-we were texting-but I know she did.
Where is that corkscrew?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hmmmm, butter....I mean Steak...

ahhhh, butter and onions. Is there any better smell? In the world? I think not.

I will say that this took me quite a while to slice the onion for this. With the awkward position that my left arm/hand is in, it would cramp right up. But I persevered and got it sliced. 5 tablespoons of butter, saute the onions, take out of the pan and reserve, throw steak in, brown about 5 minutes on each side, throw 'er in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Take out and throw onions back in the pan. Yum!

And the house smelled freakin' fantastic.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Cheater Easter Dinner

Since my cooking abilities are now extremely limited, I used convenience items: ham steaks that we grilled, some refrigerated mashed potatoes, and my 2 corn casserole. We also had a pasta salad, but I'm going to post that recipe this week yet. Since it was only the three of us and someones teenage daughter snacked too much before dinner, we had plenty of food for dinner and a snack later.

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 3, 2010