Thursday, May 26, 2011

S'more Brownies

Brownies are sooooo good. I don't think I know anyone who doesn't like brownies. Maybe someone who doesn't like chocolate. But then whoever doesn't like chocolate is INSANE!

So for my birthday BBQ I wasn't sure what to make but I knew I wanted something different. After looking in the pantry I decided on S'more Brownies. Why not? Sounds BBQ-ish to me!

1 box instant brownies (all ingredients required to making box brownies)
1/2 bag of mini marshmallows
1 sleeve of graham crackers
2 cups mini chocolate chips

1. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray
2. Make box brownies as per directions on the box. Pour into prepared pan.
3. Sprinkle 1 cup mini chocolate chips on top of batter. Bake as per directions on box.
4. Crush graham crackers
5. 5 minutes before brownies are done take out of oven and sprinkle marshmallow, mini chocolate chips, and graham crackers on top. Bake for 5 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
7. Cut and serve

These are hands down delish. Best of all super easy to make. I would even say semi-homemade would be appropriate. But who even cares when they are this good? No me! Save room in your tummy cause you will want more than 1 piece of this brownie.



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Congo Bar

What do you do when it's May and your NBA team is not one of the final 2 teams? I dunno cause I am a Celtics fan and the husband is a Lakers Fan. Except this season. This season both our teams are out early. This doesn't happen often to us. So in short we are in zombie state. How does a basketball fan drown their sorrows? Dessert!

I found this recipe and have wanted to try it for away. I have never made any "bar" dessert before so this was my first attempt. The closes I have ever gotten is a brownie.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut, toasted
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray
3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt
4. Mix melted butter and brown sugar until combined.
5. Add eggs and vanilla mixing well
6. Manually fold the flour mixture with the wet mixture. Mix until just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX
7. Add the chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut to the batter.
8. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan
9. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
10. Remove the bars from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

These came out super yummy. We ate them while watching the Bulls play the Heat with our friend Cheng. Lucky for Cheng his Bulls are still in the finals. The husband and I on the other hand just ate Congo bars.



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring Sangria

I feel like there is a sangria crazy going around. In the last few months every party I go to there is sangria served. So I decided to join the crazy. I am usually not one to follow crazes. But sangria is just too yummy to resist.

1 orange
1 lime
6 pieces of fresh pineapple
6 strawberries halved
1 apple
1 cup 7up
1 bottle of white wine (any cheap-o kind will work)

1. Slice up orange and line into thin slices. Cut up pineapple, strawberries, and apple.

2. Put all fruit in a big pitcher. Add 7up and wine. Mix and chill in the refrigerator.

This is nice and fruit on a warm spring day. Loved it! However, I enjoyed this while watching some NBA. I guess I am not as classy as I thought. Oops!



MGD Honey Beer Bread

Okay so during football season my husband got a little crazy with the beer for tailgating. You see beer is easy to carry when it's in a box. So every time he would buy a new case to tailgate. However, there seems to always be a few left behind that we would bring back after the game. So now that football season is over I have a whole bunch of random beer. What is a girl to do? MAKE BEER BREAD! Muahahaha! Okay I might be a little crazy but honey beer bread is super yummy.

My parents have never had honey beer bread so since my mom and I decided to play hooky from work I make some honey beer bread and called her up to pick it up.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup honey
1 can of MGD (12oz can)
3 tablespoons melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a bread pan with generously with cooking spray.

2. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3. Slowly pour the beer alternating with honey. Mix enough just so everything is incorporated. The less you mix the better. Don't worry about lumps.

4. Bake for 60 minutes. The top should be a nice brown color and tooth pick insert should come out nice and dry.

This bread is such a good snack. I know that sounds weird but once you have tried it you will understand what I mean. I am normally not a MGD kind of girl but this bread is good. My mom tried it and couldn't believe that it was made from beer. My dad called me that night and wanted to do what was really in the bread. BEER! He didn't believe me. But what else is new? That man never believe my cooking ability. Oh well. Snack on!



Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am one those those people who sleeps with their phone. No joke. You just never know. So when I woke up at 6:15am and check my Facebook someone had posted that it was national chocolate chip day (this was yesterday). Of course my first reaction is "WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME!" So of course this means I must bake chocolate chip cookies! All day at work all I could think about was chocolate chip cookies. So of course as soon as I got home I went straight to making cookies. Sorry workout you will have to wait. Sorry pup not walk today. It's cookie day!

1 cup unsalted butter softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package vanilla instant pudding mix (3.4 oz)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

2. Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy texture. Add in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix! Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Drop cookie dough with a cookie dough scooper onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes or until slight golden and set. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and cook completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

These cookies are so good I don't even know how to describe them. There is something about adding pudding mix that makes the cookies super soft and moist. This recipe is not for people who like their cookies crisp. I normally don't have pudding mix in my pantry but after making these cookies that might change.



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Carrot Cupcakes

So this year my uncle came up with this idea to combine birthdays since within 1 week span there are 3 birthdays to celebrate and Mother's Day. Since my uncle is always going on and on about how much he likes carrot cake and how Costco makes the best carrot cake I decided to make carrot cupcakes.

Seriously?!? Costco makes the best carrot cake? That is one weird man.

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup butter milk
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots
1 can crushed pineapple (strain juice out)
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2. Stiff all dry ingredients

3. Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, sugar, vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients until combined. Do not over mix!

4. Mix in pineapples, carrots, coconut, and walnuts until combined.

5. Bake for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the cupcakes. (if you are baking a cake bake for about 55 minutes)

6. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes and then move them to a cooling rack.

7. Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting!

This recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

After taking a bite out of a carrot cupcake my uncle says to my mom, "don't eat a cupcake cause it's too sweet for you" then he continues to gobble up his cupcakes. Of course my mom yells "it's not too sweet! I told her to make these". Oh my crazy family! Gotta love them! The best part about baking things that people enjoy is that you don't have to try very hard to pawn off the extras.



Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee Cookies

So I promised to make cookies for this charity event to help kids with math and reading. I wanted something different than the normal chocolate chip cookie. So I whipped these up as a treat for the kids.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup regular milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup toffee bits (I like the Heath Bar kind)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.

3. In another bowl cream butter and sugars. Whisk in egg and vanilla extract until combined. Next add the peanut butter until combined scrapping down the sides of the bowl.

4. Slowly stir in the dry mixture to the wet mixture until just combined. Next add in the oats and mix until evenly distributed.

5. Add in mini semi sweet chocolate chips, regular milk chocolate chips, and toffee pieces and mix until even distributed.

6. Using a cookie scoop, drop onto a non stick baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 9 minutes or until cookies turn a golden brown. Keep a eye on the cookies because they will be a little darker than normal because of the wheat flour.

7. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5-10 minutes on baking sheet. Then move to cooling racks to cool completely.

These cookies came out really yummy and just chewy enough. All the chips made it super yummy. Oh and the wheat flour and oats made them healthy. Right? Muahahahaha!

But, something happened and the event was canceled. However, no one told me about this. So guess what they did. Some of the volunteers just divided up my cookies and ate them! I guess at least someone got to enjoy them. Wish it were me!



Monday, May 9, 2011

Banana Muffins

This is probably the easiest banana recipe there ever was. It's easy and taste good. Which sometimes is hard to come by. It's one of those where you might have a bare pantry but can still make banana muffins!

2 bananas
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
3/4 cups of white sugar
1 egg
1 cup of self-rising flour
1/4 cup of walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking pan with cupcake liners or spray with cooking spray.

2. Mash bananas. Mix mashed bananas with maple syrup, sugar.

3. Mix in egg.

4. Add flour and mix until batter is smooth.

5. Fold in nuts with a spoon. Save some to sprinkle on top of batter.

6. Pour batter in pan. I used a ice cream scooper. Sprinkle remaining nuts. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.

Some of my walnuts seemed to have sunk down to the bottom and I probably didn't add enough since I am not really a "nut" kind of person. However, this was still tastey! I think next time I will add more chopped nuts on top and not cupcake liner.



Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I am currently obsessed with bananas. I don't know what my deal is. However, the husband and I hardly ever have ripe bananas around because we eat them as snacks or before we workout. I sadly am the person who asks others for ripe bananas. I have even traded my mom green/yellow bananas for brown bananas. I know, I am insane. But there is just so many banana recipes out there and not enough ripe brown bananas.

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 bananas, smashed
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a bowl hand mix sugar, oil, egg, milk, bananas, and peanut butter.

3. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

4. Combine wet mixture with dry mixture. Do not over mix.

5. Take half of chocolate chips and mix in with the batter. Decorate the other half on top of the batter.

6. Fill muffin pans. Bake for about 16 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.

These came out super tastey. Oh and the chocolate chips on top of the batter made the muffins look really good. This is a great snack with milk.



Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

Now I always need something sweet and something savory during brunch. I know I am weird. So no brunch would be complete without a breakfast casserole. After all, when you are entertaining what is easier than a casserole?

1 package frozen hashbrowns
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced ham
1/4 cup diced green onions
1 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
Pappy's seasoning


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Mix egg with some Pappy's seasoning salt. I used about 2 shakes. Then I poured the eggs over the hashbrowns and mixed. Then flatten the hashbrowns into a 9x13 pan. Spraying the pan with some cooking spray is helpful for serving. I sprinkled a little bit more Pappy's seasoning. Bake for about 20 minutes or until hashbrowns are golden brown.

3. While hashbrowns are cooking dice up some ham.

4. Slice mushrooms.

5. Crack and beat remaining 7 eggs with milk. Then add mushrooms, ham, green onions, and cheese. Mix until combined.

6. Pour egg mixture on top of hashbrowns and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Slice in squares and serve.

This casserole hits the spot. I mean, who can complain about hashbrowns with ham and egg? I know I can't! Oh and this is just ask yummy as a leftover for lunch. The dish that just keeps on giving.



Maple Oat Buttermilk Bread

My mother in law loves bread. She is the person who will eat or try all the bread in the bread basket at a restaurant. Oh and she will take any leftover bread home too. So for Mother's Day brunch I made sure there was enough carbohydrate items for her.

This maple oat buttermilk bread is so yummy you would never know there were oats inside or whole wheat flour.

1 1/4 cups all purpose white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup quick oats


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with vegetable oil spray.

2. Whisk together the white flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In another bowl, whisk the egg with the oil until smooth. Whisk in the maple syrup, brown sugar, and buttermilk. Stir in the oats.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake until the bread is a golden brown. About 1 hour. The edges should pull away slightly from the sides of the pan. A tester inserted in the center should come out clean.

5. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then cool on a rack before slicing.

The bread turned out nicely. I think next time I might bake for a little less time. But with so many dishes going on for Mother's Day kinda got side tracked. Either way it was still yummy with butter or dipped in maple syrup.



Angel Food Cake French Toast

I grew up with a family that always made more than you can eat for the holidays. It's no surprise that now that I am older that is how I cook too. Plus, leftovers are always good for when you are too lazy to cook.

For Mother's Day I decided to make some french toast since I have not made french toast since I was a kid. This recipe is a little different from others since instead of bread you use angel food cake. That's right! I said angel food cake. I am normally not a french toast kind of girl because it's just doesn't seem worth it to load up on all that bread when there are other things to eat. However, this recipe is so light and fluffy that you can eat 1, 2, or maybe 4 pieces! Muahahah!

1 7-8 inch angel food cake
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray
whipped cream
maple syrup
cup up strawberries or any berries

1. Turn on electric griddle to 300 degrees

2. Slice the angel food cake into 10 to 12 1-inch wedges.

3. Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla.

4. Soak wedges in egg mixture for 1 minute per side. (If you have fragile slices soak for half teh time and make sure you have plenty of non stick spray)

5. Spray griddle with cooking spray and cook wedges for about 1 to 2 minutes per side until golden brown.

6. Serve with whipped cream, maple syrup, and berries.

Makes 4-5 servings.

I think my father in law ate the most pieces during brunch. Which is funny cause he is known not to like "sweet" things.



Sunday, May 8, 2011

S'more Brownies

So my mother is really picky with her sweets. As most Asian people will complain that American desserts are too sweet my mother is no different. So this year for her birthday I decided to try to make something she can't complain about. Hence my homemade s'more brownie recipe. Just enough sweetness to satisfy the sweet tooth.


7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
pinch of salt

Brownie:8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup all purpose flour

Topping:1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
3 to 4 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 8x8 inch pan with non stick cooking spray.

2. Prepare crust: In a bowl, mix butter with graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

3. Prepare brownie: Place butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Melt and stir until completely melted. Add sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate and mix together. Add eggs and beat vigorously until you see a thick and glossy batter. Stir in flour and mix just until incorporated. Pour batter over the baked crust. Bake until top is set and toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.
4. Remove pan from oven. Turn oven to broil. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the baked brownie. Add a nice thick layer of marshmallows. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top.

5. Place your pan of brownies back into the oven. Toast under the broiler until golden brown. Keep a close eye on it. 1 to 2 minutes should do the trick.

6. Cool for a few minutes in pan before trying to cut. Use a wet and sharp knife when cutting brownies.

This was a hit with my mom. She found the marshmallow topping not too sweet but just enough. Thank goodness cause she is one picky mom.



Simple Yummy Shortbread Cookies

I have been looking for a easy not too sweet cookie recipe for a long time. Coming from a Chinese background family members are always asking for a cookie that is not too sweet. Well I have finally found something to make the old Asian women happy. These shortbread cookies are not only easy to make but super yummy. Just sweet enough to satisfy the sweet craving.

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups flour

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees

2. Cream together butter and sugar.

3. Stir in the flour. You may have to use hands until it all come together.

4. Use 1 tablespoon scoop to measure out the correct amount and place into mini cupcake pan.

5. Press the shortbread into the pan to create a well for the jam when finished baking.

6. Bake for about 15 minutes.

7. When completely cooled place a teaspoon of your favorite jam in the center of the cookies and dust with powdered sugar.

Even my grandparents who are not a fan of dessert loved these. Ah finally!


Strawberry Muffins

With the spring here ... and Costco selling trays of strawberries what could be better than strawberry muffins?

Since the holidays are special I try not to repeat dishes for brunch. So since for Christmas brunch I made blueberry muffins I decided to switch it up for Mother's Day with strawberry muffins. They turned out really yummy. This recipe is a keeper. The father in law liked them so much he asked if he could take some of the leftover home.

3 eggs
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cooking oil
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl beat the 3 eggs until thick and lemon color.

3. In a separate bowl mash the strawberries. Add the sugar, mashed strawberries, and oil to the eggs and mix well.

4. In another large bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, soda, and salt.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the berry mixture and mix until just incorporated. Do not over mix.

6. Grease muffin pan.

7. Use ice cream scooper to fill muffin pans.

8. Bake for 22 minutes.

9. Cool for 10-15 minutes before removing bread from pans.

Tip: If the strawberries are too juicy, strain so muffins stay fluffy.

What is funny is I had bought blueberries with every intent to make blueberry muffins. Now what should I do with the blueberries?