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)