Monday, October 28, 2013

Banana Split Cheesecake Brownie Bars

A boxed brownie mix makes these delicious bars a breeze to make, and they are something a little different than plain old brownies to take to your next "bring a dessert" event. I garnish with sprinkles for more of a banana split feel, and you can also sprinkle with some chopped peanuts if you'd like. I usually skip the peanuts if I'm bringing these to a public event.

1 box 19 oz box brownie mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
4 eggs, divided
12 oz softened cream cheese (1 1/2 bricks)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
large, ripe banana, mashed (about 1 cup mashed banana)
1/2 cup Seedless Strawberry Jam
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (optional garnish)
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles (optional garnish)

  Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 baking dish with baking spray.
  In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, 1/2 cup oil, 1/4 cup water and 2 eggs. Beat 50 strokes. Pour into prepared pan.
 In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and the remaining 2 eggs. Beat on medium until combined thoroughly. Add mashed banana and beat again just until combined.
 Pour banana mixture over brownies.
  Drop random small spoons of strawberry jelly on top of banana mixture, Then swirl with a knife.  Sprinkle chopped peanuts and rainbow sprinkles at this time if desired.
  Bake approx 45 minutes, or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool, slice and serve.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Maple Cider Chicken

Fall is my favorite time of the year here in Ohio. Beautiful weather, especially in October, and so many great seasonal ingredients for cooking to choose from. I love coming up with recipes that can be cooked in one dish or pot. Less cleanup is always a good  thing! Bone in chicken breasts can be substituted for the thighs if you prefer. The leftovers from this make a nice salad, over chopped romaine, with a little balsamic vinaigrette dressing (to which you can also add a touch of maple syrup, to compliment the dish) Use only REAL pure maple syrup ( for this recipe!

Maple Cider Chicken

4 cups peeled and chopped (into 1” cubes) sweet potatoes
4 cups peeled and chopped granny smith apples
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 lbs chicken thighs (with skin and bone)
1 cup apple cider
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup fresh sage, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup butter, chopped in small cubes

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 5 quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine  sweet potatoes, apples, onion and garlic in the baking dish. Place chicken thighs on top.Combine apple cider and maple syrup and pour over chicken. Season the whole dish with salt and pepper and sprinkle the chicken with chopped sage. Sprinkle butter cubes over everything. Bake for 60-75 minutes until chicken is cooked through (larger thighs will take a little longer)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Raspberry Sangria

  Carrabba's restaurant makes a delicious Blackberry Sangria that I wanted to replicate at home. I found a copycat recipe online, and set out to gather ingredients. Due to difficulty in finding some of the ingredients and/or the cost, I decided to pretty much scrap that recipe and come up with one of my own. I liked it even better than the blackberry. I found the raspberry syrup at World Market, they have quite an assortment of flavored syrups (Not pancake syrup!) If you want it to be a little bit stronger, use 4 cups of cran-raspberry juice instead of 6

1 bottle sweet red wine (I used Sutter Home Sweet Red)
1 cup Chambord Raspberry liquor
1/2 cup raspberry syrup
6 cups cran-raspberry juice
Sliced lemons and oranges, fresh raspberries

  Combine all of the liquid ingredients in a large pitcher. Add fresh fruit. Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve over ice

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pineapple Shrimp Fritters

  Just in time for Lent, this recipe is a twist on a traditional crabcake, using chopped shrimp and rice. If you have rice leftover from something else, this would be a great way to use it.  White or brown rice will both work. Pineapple adds a tropical flair for February days, which can be dreary.

1 lb cooked shrimp (tails removed, deveined), chopped in small pieces
8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 tsp seafood seasoning
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cloves finely minced garlic
3 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil

  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Form into 12 equal size patties. Place on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle fritters with olive oil (if you have a spray bottle, even better). Bake for 20 minutes.