Monday, 23 March 2015

Bourbon Bacon Brownies

Sorry I haven't posted here in a little while. I honestly haven't been cooking or baking a lot lately. I did however made these delicious brownies for a dinner this weekend that must be shared with the public!

How does bourbon bacon brownies sound? Is your mouth watering? I know right me to...these were absolutely fantastic! I have never made brownies solely in a sauce pan before so that was different and I couldn't get over how thick this better was. I had a hard time holding the pot with one hand while pouring the batter into the prepared baking dish.



I thought the brownies itself almost had a fudge like consistency but definitely tasted like brownies. These also weren't too sweet which can be a feat with brownies.

All in all these were super delicious and I would definitely make them again!

I got the recipe from http://www.jessyandmelissa.com/recipe/recipes-by-course/dessert/bars/bacon-bourbon-brownies-with-pecans

Ingredients
 
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 pound sliced bacon
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 packed cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 
 
Instructions
 
Preheat the oven to 350°.
 
Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on 2 opposite sides.
 
Spray the paper with vegetable spray.
 
Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, until fragrant
 
 
.
Let cool, then coarsely chop the nuts.
 
In a skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, turning once, until crisp, 6 minutes.
 
Drain on paper towels and let cool; reserve 3 tablespoons of the fat.
 
Finely chop the bacon.
 
In a saucepan, combine both chocolates with the butter and stir over very low heat, until melted; scrape into a large bowl.
 
Using a handheld electric mixer, beat in both sugars with the reserved 3 tablespoons of bacon fat.
 
Beat in the bourbon.
 
Add the eggs  one at a time and salt and beat until smooth.
 
Sift the cocoa and flour into the bowl and beat until blended.
 
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the bacon and pecans on top.
 
 
 
Bake for about 50 minutes, until the brownies are set around the edges but slightly wobbly in the center; a toothpick inserted into the center should have some batter clinging to it.
 
Transfer the pan to a rack and let the brownies cool completely.
 
Lift the brownies out of the pan using the parchment paper.
 
Cut into squares or rectangles and serve.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Spring has arrived!! I am so excited about this warmer weather we have been getting here in winterpeg for the last week! I don't love the slush, water and mess but if that is what it takes to get this spring weather then I can deal!



We officially had our first BBQ of the season last weekend and it was awesome! Nothing like your first steak! Yum it was so good! We had my husband's siblings over for a BBQ and sibling poker night and it was great!



To go with those lovely steaks we BBQed, I made these really delicious roasted sweet potatoes. I have made them quite a few times before but have never posted them. I decided that they were just to good to go unposted so here we go.

I got this idea from http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2013/09/roasted-sweet-potatoes-with-honey-and-cinnamon-pin-of-the-week/

Ingredients

  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling potatoes after cooked
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle the oil, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper over the potatoes. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes in oven or until tender.

Take sweet potatoes out of the oven and transfer them to a serving platter.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Cinnamon Applesauce Bread

It's March!!! Spring is really around the corner now! It came in like a lamb though so I am hoping this whole go out like a lion is not true! We are having a mild week here in Winnipeg and it's so nice to see some of that snow start melting already!

Last weekend I did a bit of baking and one of the things I made was this awesome Cinnamon Applesauce Bread! It turned out really good and moist and I am a huge fan and wanted to share it with you!



The recipe must come from the USA as it calls for cinnamon flavoured applesauce which I couldn't find here in Canada so I just used regular applesauce and added some extra cinnamon for the spice and it turned out great!

I definitely recommend giving this recipe a try. I also think it would make a great snack cake and could be baked in a circle or square pan and cut into pieces.

I got this recipe from http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/02/cinnamon-spice-applesauce-bread-with-honey-butter.html

Ingredients:

Bread
2 large eggs
1 cup cinnamon applesauce (plain may be substituted, consider adding more cinnamon)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (canola or vegetable oil or melted butter may be substituted)
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sour cream (lite okay; Greek yogurt may be substituted)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon (not teaspoon)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:

 

Bread - Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside (don't use an 8-by-4-inch pan; it's too small)
 
In a large bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients, through optional salt.
 
Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and stir until just combined; don't over mix. Batter will be thick and with a few lumps. Don't try to stir the lumps smooth.
 
Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the surface lightly with a spatula.
 
 
 
Bake for about 60 minutes or until top is set and firm, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, tent bread with a sheet of foil (lay it loosely over top of pan) if your bread is looking a bit darker before you anticipate the center to cook through fully.
 
Allow bread to cool in pan on top a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before turning out onto rack to cool completely. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

It's so cold out right now. I hope we are having our last real cold snap of winter since March is right around the corner. I gravitate towards comfort foods when it's this cold out and one of those foods is shepherd's pie. I came across a variation of the original recipe using sweet potato instead of regular potato and knew I had to give it a try.

Last weekend I made a big batch of this on Saturday and brought some to friends of ours who just had a baby. It made enough for one 9 by 13 dish for us and another dish about 1/3 of that size for our friends. It's great for leftovers and we have been eating it for lunches this week.



I am really impressed with how good it is. I feel like the sweet potato topping just gives it a little more flavour then the regular potatoes. I love it both ways but am glad I tried it this way and I will definitely be making this again.



I got my recipe idea from http://www.canadianliving.com/food/sweet_potato_shepherds_pies.php

Ingredients

2 lb extra-lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1  green peppers, seeded and diced
2 bay leafs
1-1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp  dried thyme
1/2 tsp  pepper
1/4 tsp  ground nutmeg
2 tbsp.  all-purpose flour
1/2 cup  sodium-reduced beef broth
1/4 cup  water
1-1/2 tsp  Worcestershire sauce
4 lb sweet potatoes, (about 3) peeled and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup  milk
2 tbsp.  butter

Preparation

In Dutch oven, cook beef and garlic over medium heat, breaking up with spoon, until browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Stir in celery, onions, carrots, green pepper, bay leaves, 3/4 tsp of the salt, the thyme, pepper and nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.



 Stir in flour; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in broth, water and Worcestershire sauce; simmer for 3 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Divide between two 8-inch (2 L) square baking dishes.

Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook sweet potatoes until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and return to pot over medium heat; cook, stirring, until dry, about 1 minute. Stir in milk, butter and remaining salt; mash until smooth. Spread evenly over each beef mixture.



 Bake 1 of the pies in 350°F (180°C) oven until bubbly, about 35 minutes. (Make-ahead: Cover remaining pie with plastic wrap then foil and freeze for up to 1 month. Bake, uncovered and frozen, in 350°F/180°C oven for 50 to 60 minutes.)

Monday, 23 February 2015

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

I can't believe it's the last week in February already, boy does time fly! I have finally been back in my kitchen the last few weekends whipping up some meals that I wanted to share.

Last weekend I made this awesome orange chicken in the slow cooker. It's a lot like Chinese orange chicken but it's a but healthier as it's not deep fried. I found my sauce to be a bit strong on the orange flavour so I would just caution that less is more to start with and you can always add more.



Otherwise this was fantastic, the chicken was so tender and the sauce was a nice change. I made some brown rice to serve this over. It also made enough that my husband and I were able to get one leftover lunch with this meal which is always a bonus!

I got this recipe idea from http://www.oprah.com/food/Slow-Cooker-Orange-Chicken-Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup flour (such as Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix)
  • Olive oil, for browning the chicken
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 6 ounces (1/2 can) frozen orange-juice concentrate, thawed pulp free
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. ketchup

Directions


.

Dredge the chicken pieces with the flour, and shake off the excess. Throw away any excess flour. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on the stove and brown the chicken on all sides. 

Plop the chicken pieces into your slow cooker. In a small mixing bowl, combine the orange-juice concentrate, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt and ketchup. Taste. If you'd like the chicken to be a bit sweeter, add a touch more sugar. Pour sauce mixture evenly over the chicken, and toss gingerly to coat.



 Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 to 4. Serve over white or brown rice.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Butterscotch Banana Bread

I love Banana Bread and I have made various kinds that you will find on this blog. I am always looking for different variations of banana bread and when I came across this one using Butterscotch chips, I knew I had to give it a try!

I made a double batch of this on the weekend and was pleasantly surprised with how good this turned out. The combination of delicious moist banana bread and butterscotch chips is delicious!

I found this recipe really easy to make and as I said I doubled it to get two good sized loafs. I highly recommend giving this recipe a try for something a little different.



I found this recipe from this site http://www.momontimeout.com/2014/02/butterscotch-banana-bread/

Ingredients
  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • ¾ c light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1¼ c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
Instructions
 
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Peel and mash the bananas.
 
Add in the egg, butter, brown sugar and vanilla and mix until well combined.
 
Combine flour and remaining dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
Do not overmix.
 
Stir in butterscotch chips.
 
Grease a 9 in x 5 in loaf pan and then pour the mixture in.
 
 
 
Let the bread bake for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Hawaiian Casserole

Happy Tuesday everyone! It was a long weekend here for us in Winnipeg this past weekend and was that extra day off ever nice! It also helped me to be able to make a few things this weekend and the first one I wanted to share with you was a dinner casserole I made called Hawaiian Casserole.

This was nice and easy to make and the best part you make this whole thing in one pan!! I was amazed as I have never made pasta before in a frying pan but it worked really well. I started off by crisping up the bacon. Then I put that aside drained some of the bacon fat and started frying up the leftover ham. Then I added the tomato sauce, broth and spices and pasta and let that come to a boil. Then I covered it turned it down to medium and then that simmer until the pasta was nice and tender. I removed it from the heat and added the pineapple and the bacon and some mozza cheese and voila a delicious one pan Hawaiian Casserole!



I would definitely recommend making this for friends and family. As you can tell from my pictures it's not necessarily pretty to look at but it tasted so good, especially if you are a Hawaiian pizza fan!

I got this recipe from http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/hawaiian-one-pan-pasta/

Ingredients
  • 8 oz Jones Dairy Farm Cherry Hardwood Smoked Bacon
  • 8 oz leftover Jones Dairy Farm Ham, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 oz dry rigatoni pasta
  • 8 oz pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • chopped cilantro
Instructions
 
Dice the bacon into small pieces. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease.
 
Add the cubed ham to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the ham is browned. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, onion powder, basil, salt and pepper to the ham. Stir to combine, then add the pasta and stir again. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and cook until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. (I like to stir this one or two times during the cook time to make sure all of the pasta gets cooked evenly.) Stir in the pineapple and reserved bacon, then remove from the heat.
 
 
 
Sprinkle the top of the pasta with the mozzarella and cover again. Let the dish sit until the mozzarella is melted. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.