Thursday, October 21, 2010

Marble Squares

I got this one from one of Jeff's summer intern's wife Natalie Whittaker. I like her for several reasons. One is we both like Guittard brand chocolate chips apparently as you will see below.

This is one of those desserts that you keep going back to the pan all day long and taking a small sliver and before you know it half of the pan is gone and you accuse the kids of eating it only then you realize that you don't allow the kids to get into the brownies without your permission and then you feel bad for two reasons - accusing your kids of doing things they didn't do AND eating garbage all day long. It's really a lose-lose situation here people. Or, just share them with your kids. Either way...

Make them anyway. They are that good.

Combine, mix well and set aside:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (works best if it is softened before you mix it)
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg

In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil:
1/2 cup margarine
2 (1 oz) squares unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup water

Sift together dry ingredients into a large bowl:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Add to the dry ingredients:
saucepan ingredients (margarine, chocolate, and water)
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

Mix well and pour into a large cookie sheet with sides.

Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture atop the brownie mix. Cut through with a knife to marble.

Top with chocolate chips. I prefer the Guittard Brand. Semi-Sweet. (*tip from Mary - don't use whole bag - it will make the brownies overflow in your oven. Every time. Really.)

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Bars

Credit for this recipe goes to Aunt Shari and Carol. They included it on the recipe cards that were passed around at my bridal shower (9 years ago now, time goes by too fast!) I added a few changes at the bottom.

Pumpkin Bars
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix above ingredients together and set aside.

2 c. sugar
2 c. pumpkin pie fillings
4 eggs
1 c. oil

Mix above ingredients together and then combine and mix with dry ingredients. Pour into a greased jellyroll pan. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. butter
1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 0z. cream cheese

Combine above ingredients and beat thoroughly. Add more sugar or milk for desired consistency.

My Variation:

I just added dates, nuts, and chocolate chips to the pumpkin bars (about a cup or so each). Because of the sweetness of the dates and chocolate chips I decided not to do the frosting. They are so good, a perfect fall treat.

These could also easily be made into muffins.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hot Pink Smoothie

I was excited about Janey's green smoothie post so I thought I'd post about the hot pink smoothies I make.  I have smoothies everyday for breakfast and alternate between the green and hot pink ones.  I'm no Green Smoothie Girl, but this is my version of her recipe.

1-2 cups water (or you can use coconut water or a mixture of water and coconut water)
1/2 medium beet
5-7 baby carrots (or 1 medium carrot peeled)
3-6 dates depending on size (pitted, of course)
1/4-1/3 cup nuts (I mainly use walnuts b/c they are cheapest at Costco.  But I've also used cashews and pecans)
2 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 banana
1/3-1/2 cup kefir (or 2 tbsp yogurt) - any flavor
1 tsp vanilla
8-12 frozen strawberries

Chop your ingredients and blend away!  I use a regular Oster blender for my smoothies.  I find that the more liquid I use, the better the blending process goes.  I usually blend all the non-frozen ingredients really well before adding the strawberries.  This usually makes a 3/4 blender size smoothie for me.  Enjoy!!

TIP:  I buy my beets with as much stem and leaf that I can find.  I cut the green leafy part off, wash really well and use that in my green smoothies.  I cut the red stems off, wash really well and use those in my pink smoothies.  So, nothing except the beet peel and root gets thrown out.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes and Buttermilk Syrup

We love pumpkin pancakes, but have not had Bisquick to make the ones in the family recipe book. I tried making them with a just add water pancake mix but I didn't like the way they tasted. So, last night I looked for a recipe I could make from scratch, and this is the recipe I found. I tweaked the original recipe a little bit after reading some of the comments. They were so good we had them for dinner last night and breakfast this morning. We like buttermilk syrup with our pumpkin pancakes, so I put the recipe for that below. Enjoy!!!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice (I used pumpkin pie spice and a dash of ground cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree(Libby's is the best)
  • 2 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  1. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Tip: Pumpkin pancakes take longer to cook than regular pancakes.

Buttermilk Syrup

1 cube real butter
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups white sugar

Melt butter, add buttermilk and sugar. Stir to dissolve. Bring to a boil, remove from heat add:

1 tsp soda (Make sure the pan is large, soda expands mixture)
1 tsp vanilla