Monday, February 11, 2013

Peanut Butter Oreo Brownies


I saw this idea on Pinterest a couple weeks ago, but just now got around to trying to make them. Super easy to make and oh so tasty.

I lined a muffin tin with cupcake liners and preheated the oven to 325.  I spread some peanut butter on one Oreo cookie and then put another one on top.  Next, I spread some more peanut butter on the top cookie and then put the stacks in the cupcake liners.

I mixed up my favorite brownie recipe and scooped some on top and then baked them for about 15 minutes. You could easily use boxed brownie mix if you prefer, but I like the taste of my homemade batter. After baking and cooling the brownies, I cut one in half for a picture.

Of course, the picture didn't turn out well, so I took a closer shot and it also didn't turn out, but I think you can still get the idea of the goodness that is waiting for your taste buds.

I have to remind you of the warning I opened with...These brownies are so delicious.  I am glad that I only made 12 of them and used the other half of my brownie recipe to make German Chocolate Brownies for James.  In order to save myself from inevitable weight gain, I am going to have to take some of these to work. Peanut butter-y, oreo-y, and oh so yummy!!  Happy Eating!

Friday, February 8, 2013

One of the many reasons I love my husband...

We recently threw out the couch we have had for the last ten years. The couch was a hand-me-down from my parents, who had already had the couch for several years. It was smelly, had a hole torn in it from our dogs, and had been with us through about 19 greyhounds. It was definitely time to say good bye to that couch, but because Mary, our 13.5 year old greyhound, loved it, we had held on to it for too long. We finally had to give in and get rid of it.

Two weeks is how long it has been since we got rid of the couch, and this is what our living room tends to look like at night.  Mary is in the chair on the left, and 12 year old Daisy is in the recliner on the right.  The old girls love the chairs in the evening...I think it is easy on their old bones.

I love my husband for many reasons, but one of them is that instead of shooing the old girls out of his chairs, he let them stay comfortable.  He was tired and ended up laying down on the very expensive therapeutic floor pillow we had gotten for the beasts.  He promptly fell asleep.

The generosity and love this man displays for our "children" is amazing and I am blessed to be a part of his life.

Love you baby!

Pork with Apricot Sauce

In my continuing quest for variation in our diet, I came across this recipe in the 2002 Quick Cooking cookbook.  Unlike the original recipe, I cooked the pork in the crockpot while I was at work and just made the sauce and added it later.  I think by looking at the picture, you can tell which plate is mine, but at least I did eat some nasty broccoli.
We liked this sauce a lot and will definitely be making it again.  We thought that it kind of tasted like the duck sauce you can get in packets at fast food Chinese restaurants.  Kind of sweet and kind of sour, but nothing overwhelming.

Apricot Sauce

10 oz of apricot preserves (I just eyeballed it)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup ketchup (I used a mix of 2 fast food packets and some hot and spicy Heinz)
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon of cornstarch of arrowroot powder

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan or pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Stir until sauce is thickened. 

Happy Eating!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Homemade Sesame Chicken

I LOVE Chinese food...I mean, I really love it.  One problem, I am highly sensitive to MSG (monosodium glutamate), a food additive that is often added to Chinese food and most flavored potato chips, premade queso dips, and some frozen foods.  I usually get a migraine within two hours of eating it when it is added to the foods listed above.  Because of this sensitivity, I have had to stop eating frozen foods (no big loss), flavored potato chips (good bye Cheetos), and I only eat Chinese food rarely.  (Even though soy sauce has a small amount of MSG in it naturally, I seem to be able to tolerate it).
Well, last week I had Chinese food three times!  My boss took me out to eat to a local Chinese restaurant that does not add MSG to their food.  I really enjoyed my lemon chicken, but did save half of it for James to have as lunch the next day.  More importantly I made Chinese food at home twice last week.  I made General Tso's Chicken one day using this recipe I found on Yahoo.  The General Tso's Chicken was good although it was a little different from the traditional recipe.
On Saturday night, I made Sesame Chicken, using a recipe I modified from the 2003 Quick Cooking recipe book.

James and I really enjoyed this recipe, and yes, for those of you who know me, I did eat the broccoli.  It almost ruined the meal for me, but James has asked me to start cooking with more vegetables and we all know I will do almost anything for that man.  The original version used the marinade to make the sauce, and James is sensitive about using marinades that had raw meat in them for sauces, so I just made a double batch.  Also, the original marinade was really tart, so I added some brown sugar and honey to even out the tartness when I made the sauce (not in the actual marinade). Here's my version of the recipe:

Sesame Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 Tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup chicken broth
1-2 T sesame seeds, toasted

1.  In a glass bowl (or resealable plastic bag if you use them), mix together half the amounts of each of the following: the soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and ginger and all of the canola oil.  Stir with a fork or whisk to combine.  Add the chicken, cover, refrigerate, and marinate for 8 hours or overnight.

2.  Remove chicken and grill until juices run clear.  Meanwhile, discard marinade.  Mix the rest of the soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and ginger in a sauce pan.  Add the cornstarch, water, brown sugar, honey and broth until smooth.  Bring to a rolling boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened.

3.  Dice the chicken into bite size pieces and mix with sauce.  Add the toasted sesame seeds. At this point, I also added some fresh broccoli I had cooked and cooked rice.

Happy eating!