December 21, 2011
This past weekend, I made 4 different varieties of fudge to give as gifts this year. I like this gift idea because it’s holiday-ish, plus fudge is good and easy, AND JoAnn’s always has a 50% off sale on lots of cute tins for cookies, candy, etc.
I kept the varieties pretty simple since I am giving this away and I don’t know what people might like (except my grandparents – I know they like chocolate with nuts).
Here are the embarrassingly simple recipes I used. I made a half a batch of each kind and altogether it filled 2 8×8 dishes (about 4lbs).
Chocolate Fudge (with and without walnuts mixed in)
Layered Mint Chocolate Fudge
White Chocolate Fudge (without cherries)
September 6, 2010
We are having a gorgeous Labor Day weekend this year! We’ve had the doors and windows open, the A/C off, and it’s been great. Yesterday, we invited both sets of our parents and Bill’s brother and his wife over for dinner. We were able to kill a variety of birds with this stone: 1) having guests over forced me to clean the house, which I admit I do far too infrequently; 2) we haven’t invited parents over to our house in years so it was long overdue; 3) and I keep saying I want to entertain so this was my chance!
We had a casual dinner and I tried out 3 new recipes. Unfortunately, I only have pictures of 2 of them.
First up is a pork BBQ recipe from my Friend, Dani. I knew I wanted to do BBQ sandwiches but my dear husband is a little on the picky side when it comes to this. He doesn’t like BBQ to be too “ketchup-y” so since Dani’s recipe had only 1 cup, I thought it would work – and it was great!! I put everything in the slow cooker on Saturday night and woke up Sunday morning to the delicious smell of BBQ! I shredded it easily with a fork and kept it on warm until dinner time. I am definitely saving this recipe!
And what goes great with BBQ sandwiches? Well macaroni and cheese of course! I went on the hunt for a good recipe and I ended up with Pioneer Woman’s. Her pictures just looked so good, I was sure it would turn out well. I made it up the day before and reheated it before serving it. It was definitely good, but I think it would have been even better if it was served immediately after it was made.
The 3rd thing I made was another Pioneer Woman recipe – a peach crisp/cobbler. It was fantastic! I didn’t make the maple cream to go with it though. We served it with vanilla ice cream. As with the macaroni and cheese, I also made this ahead of time and reheated it. Although in this case, I don’t think it had any effect on how delicious it was. I can’t wait to make it again!
August 22, 2010
Today is my husband’s birthday – woohoo! Happy Birthday Bill!! Now normally I would make a birthday cake for him, but he requested a slightly different kind of dessert – Chocolate Melting Cake (CMC). This is a dessert that we had last Fall on our Carnival Cruise. It was so good that I’m pretty sure Bill had it every night on the cruise!
For Christmas last year, our friend Valerie (who was on the cruise with us) tracked down the recipe for CMC and gave me a basket full of ramekins, flour, sugar, chocolate – basically everything I would need to recreate this! It took me almost 9 months to get around to it, but I gave it a try.
My concern with this was baking it for the exact right amount of time – the recipe said 15-20 mins. As with crème brûlée and chocolate lava cake (both of which I’ve made multiple times before) the timing is essential. Overcooking it sort of ruins the effect.
The first batch I made, I overcooked. I was remembering the consistency incorrectly and when I checked it at 15 mins, I didn’t think it was done (even though it was really overdone at this point). I left them in for 20 mins and got this.
Weird looking! And overdone. They still tasted fine – moist, dense, fudgy cake. But not what I was going for. Luckily I had extra batter, so I made two more and this time baked them for 10 minutes, checked them, and put them in for another 3 minutes for a total of 13 minutes. These were much better, but still not quite right according to Bill’s expert knowledge of CMC!
So next time I will go for only 10 minutes. I was nervous about under cooking them given that they are full of eggs, but I guess I just need to relax. It’s a recipe that requires “perfecting” so hopefully next time they’ll be perfect 🙂
June 20, 2010
I was asked to bring a dessert for Father’s Day dinner with my in-laws and I thought I would deviate from cake for a change. I asked my husband what kind of dessert his dad would like and he said “peanut butter”. I thought brownies and ice cream sounded good so I did a Google image search for peanut butter brownies and picked the one that looked the most delicious to me. I used this recipe from Cookie Madness and though it took awhile because there are multiple steps, they were DELICIOUS!
The main part of it is basically peanut butter brownie/cake/cookie marbled with melted chocolate and butter. My marbling skills leave a lot to be desired. The top looked nice, but the marbling didn’t go all the way through. And then the topping is peanut butter, butter, and vanilla with chocolate drizzled on top. They weren’t really what I would think of as brownie consistency…they were more like a cross between a really dense cake or a really chewy bar cookie. And I actually think it would have been good without the topping also. Or maybe with a chocolate ganache topping. Either way, I definitely loved this 🙂
May 11, 2010
I know this isn’t cake, but it’s still dessert so I wanted to include it here. As I was perusing Pioneer Woman’s blog the other day, these yummy little lemon bars caught my eye. Since we were headed to my parents’ house for Mother’s Day, I thought I’d give this recipe a try. It was pretty simple, and they turned out great! They were a little tricky to get out of the pan in neat little pieces, but that was the only trouble. They have earned the nickname “yummy evil” 🙂