Monday, May 28, 2012

Marshmallow Brownies

OhmygoshIlovedthesesomuch!  A fluffy marshmallow layer sandwiched between chocolate-y frosting and fudgy brownie studded with milk chocolate chips?  You've got to be kidding me!  Worth every darn calorie and then some.  If you want to rocky road them just add nuts to the brownies.  I kept it simple since I was taking them in to a family with several young children, and we all know how most kids are about nuts.  Personally I think nuts would send these into the stratosphere.  Such a keeper.

Marshmallow Brownies
{Recipe only slightly altered from The Sister Cafe}

1 cup butter
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour
2 t vanilla
1 cup walnuts or pecans (or in my case milk chocolate chips)
1 lb mini marshmallows

Melt butter and chocolate.  Remove from heat and add sugar, then one egg at a time, beating after each addition.  (I did this in the kitchenaid.)  Add salt, flour, vanilla, nuts and/or chocolate chips.  Mix well.  Bake in a 12x15 inch well-greased pan (I used my cookie sheet with sides) at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven just long enough to sprinkle liberally with mini-marshmallows (you want the top to be all but covered with marshamallows).  Return to oven for 3-minutes until marshmallow are super soft, but not browned or crusty.  Gently press down on marshmallows to fill in any possible gaps.  Let cool completely then frost.

1/2 cup butter
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup milk, cream, evap. milk, or half-n-half
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
dash of salt

In medium sauce pan, melt butter, chocolate, and milk product of choosing.  Stir powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth.  You want it runny enough to easily spread, but thick enough to set-up quickly and not pool.  (Think texas sheet cake, if you're familiar with that).  Pour over cooled brownies and spread as necessary.  Let frosting set and come to room temp before cutting.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Grilled Chicken Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

Salads are yummy and main dish salads are even yummier.  To be honest we ate this quite awhile ago, I've just been lazy with the cooking blog, but looking at it now that we're into full-on summer, I know how desperately I need to make it again.  Grilled chicken, toasted almonds, flavorful red onions, crispy bacon and the world's best poppyseed dressing make this a most satisfying warm weather meal.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
{Recipe from The Sister's Cafe}

Spinach leaves
Chopped romaine
Grilled chicken, seasoned with lots of lemon pepper (or your fave marinated grilled chicken)
Red onion, thinly sliced
Crispy crumbled bacon
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Toasted (in oven) or sugared almonds-about equal amounts sugar and sliced almonds cooked in skillet over medium heat until sugar melts and almonds are well-coated and golden.

Poppyseed Dressing:
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 t salt
2 t dry mustard
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 T sweet onion, chopped or grated
2 cups canola oil 
3 T poppy seeds

Mix first 5 ingredients in blender, then slowly add the oil, blending until thick.  Stir in poppy seeds.  This makes quite a bit of dressing.  And I like to add a couple drops of red food coloring to get that pinkish hue.

Mix all salad components together, there are no "amounts", just add however much you would like of each item.  Can either dress salad and serve or serve dressing on the side.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

South of the Border Open-Face Sandwiches

We are big fans of toasty sandwiches so naturally we were big fans of these.  Fresh tomatoes and avocado, roasted turkey, mexican spiced sandwich spread, and melted cheese = yummy.  I was a little leery of "cooked" avocados but it totally worked.  I'm so looking forward to the leftovers for lunch today!  Also these would be an easy way to feed a crowd and quickly.

South of the Border Sandwiches
{recipe originally from the Lion House}

1 loaf french bread, 1/2-3/4 inch slices
1/2 cup olives, chopped (i omitted these)
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup mayonaise
1/3 cup lite sour cream
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1 lb sliced turkey
2-3 tomatoes, sliced
2 ripe avocados, sliced
3/4 cup colby jack cheese, grated
3/4 cup monterey jack cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 and arrange bread slices on a cookie sheet or 2.

In a small bowl, mix seasonings with mayo, sour cream, green onions, and chopped olives (if using).  Liberally spread a tablespoon or so of mixture on each slice of bread.  Top with 2 or so slices of turkey, 2 slices of tomato, and some avocado.  Sprinkle each sandwich with the grated cheeses.

Bake in oven 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and sandwich is warmed through.  Serve!  (8ish servings)