TWD: French Chocolate Brownies

All I can say is: WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!!

When I saw this recipe was chosen I was instantly excited because I have been making brownies a lot lately (and it's always been the same recipe- my favorite from Martha). With all of that brownie practice behind me, I had plenty of confidence in myself as I started to peruse the recipe. Then I saw I needed to use fire! That threw me for a loop, I got a little anxious and considered omitting the raisins all together.

Then I called Mom, told her about the recipe and she admitted she has never flambeed any foods either. She did give me an alternative to the fire- microwaving the raisins in the rum for a few seconds and then leaving it to sit & soak. I considered this too. When push came to shove though, I knew I was going to go for the fire.

I did have some trouble getting the rum to ignite and it took nearly a book of matches before I had success. I think the problem is, I was picking up the pan and tilting it so that I could light it and get my hand out of the pan (I don't have really long matches). I think I was also expecting to see 10" flames coming out of the pot so that was playing into my anxiety. Once I got my 1" flames for about 10 seconds I was happy though! It turned out to be a lot easier than I was making it out to be.

The brownies took a little under an hour to bake and boy was the smell driving me nuts while they were cooling. I had to cut them while they were still warm- and they were insanely good. I polished off 5 before I was able to get a hold of myself.

The perfect snack!
As much as I love my Martha brownies- I do believe Dorie's have taken over 1st place in my book. These were really unbelievable, and the rum raisins were a great touch!


TWD: Florida Pie

The beginning...

Hi Mom!

Yummy nutella over on the counter!
Right before hitting the oven!

I went home for Mother's Day & brought Dorie's book home to show to Mom. After looking at a half dozen recipes, she went straight to amazon and bought it for a steal! Then we ran out to Waldbaum's to pick up a few necessary ingredients and got started on the Florida Pie.

To save time we got a Keebler graham cracker crust & baked away. I was so excited that everything was turning out as expected! (It also helped- a lot- that I was making this with Mom so she was quick to jump in if something wasn't turning out right, etc). After all of the baking and freezing was done- it was time for the merengue & the broiler! I have never used the broiler before and Mom told me the browning should be really fast- about 2 minutes (famous last words!). After about 90 seconds all I could smell was burnt pie. We took it right out- were horrified at the sight- and figured 30 seconds was probably all that was needed.

The cake of doom!
Now if it was me, I probably would have looked at the burnt creation, tossed it and cried. Mom on the other hand was quick to save the day, grabbed a knife and sliced off the top of the merengue. Then we put it back in the broiler for a more acceptable amount of time :-)

Mom saves the day!
When it came time to eat, we knew we were the only ones in the house that would eat it so we grabbed a few forks and just dug in. We topped off our meal with Snapple pink lemonade which we drank in specialty glasses. :-)

Overall, I think I enjoyed the pie more than Mom did. It was a bit too coconutty and I think the next time I might use unsweetened coconut and only use it in the merengue. It was fun being home and being able to bake with Mom though! Look for her reviews in the future now that she has the book!

The finished product (after a fork hit it anyway!)


Chipotle Pork Posole (MS-Everyday Food)

I went out last night for dinner & drinks with a friend after our final exam. My husband (whom I will now refer to as the cilantro king of atlanta) elected to make this soup for himself & boy am I glad he did! I was lucky enough to have some of the leftovers for lunch today. Unfortunately, we have no picture evidence of this fine soup (that's how fast it was devoured). Un-be-liev-able I tell you. Can't wait until he makes this again :-)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb) halved crosswise
coarse salt & ground pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced chipotle chiles in adobo
2 cans (14.5oz each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cans (15.5oz each) hominy, rinsed & drained
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
lime wedges for serving (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Season pork with salt and pepper. Cook until browned on all sides, 6-7 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate, and set aside (reserve pan). Place onion and garlic in pan; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften, 4-5 minutes.

Add chiles, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, hominy, tomatoes, pork, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of pork registers 145 degrees, 3-4 minutes.

Transfer pork to a work surface, and shred with 2 forks; return to pan. Top soup with cilantro, and if desired, serve with lime wedges.

Recipe Exchange: Mom's Apple Omelets!

For this round of the recipe exchange I was lucky to get the super-easy-to-make Mom's Apple Omelets! As the recipe suggested, I made them with pork chops which was an excellent choice. I haven't picked up a pie dish (yet) so I made this in a corning ware dish and the only change was the cooking time. Instead of 45-50 min, it ended up taking a little over an hour (which was a good thing because I was running late cooking everything else).

The verdict: very tasty and very effective at helping us reminisce about the holidays :-) (I can't remember the last time we talked about Christmas so much in May!) This would be a great side dish on a cold day in January and we certainly plan on enjoying it again when the weather isn't quite so warm. Thanks for sharing!!!!

And the recipe................

Meal type: Side Dish (goes great with pork)

3 cups apple sauce (1 small jar)
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
Cinnamon to taste (I probably put about one tablespoon)

Mix together and pour into a pie dish. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until center is firm.

Can also be microwaved for 20 minutes or until center is firm.


Chicken Tostadas (Everyday Food- MS)

We had these on Sunday with unbelievable homemade salsa (recipe will show up in a future post!). They are the cover recipe from the April issue of Everyday Food and were really unbelievable. There was so much flavor from the vegetables & according to the magazine there are 472 calories per serving. We had these with a side of cilantro-lime rice (recipe also in that issue or you can check out Hornedfroggy's yummy blog here)

2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers (ribs & seeds removed), thinly sliced (we used a red & green pepper)
1 box (10 oz) frozen corn kernels
1 cup prepared fresh salsa (our recipe is from Viva la Vida)
2 tbsp olive oil
coarse salt & ground pepper
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (we used perdue)
4 6" corn tortillas
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 450. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. On foil, combine onions, bell peppers, corn, 1/4 cup salsa, and 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt & pepper

Roast, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Add chicken, stir to combine, and continue to roast until warmed through, 5 minutes more. Transfer chicken and vegetable mixture to a serving bowl, discarding foil (reserve sheet).

Arrange tortillas on sheet. Dividing evenly, brush with remaining tablespoon oil; top with cheese. Bake until edges are golden and cheese is melted. 5 to 8 minutes.

Dividing evenly, top tortillas with chicken-vegetable mixture and remaining 3/4 cup salsa. Serve with cilantro-lime rice if desired.

TWD: Peanut Butter Torte

The subheading for this could be: "It's important to read directions completely!"

This is my first TWD recipe attempt- my baking experience is pretty limited which is painfully obvious if you look at my collection of baking utensils and pans (basically I have a whisk, spatula, icing spatula & a handful of muffin & special bundt pans). I knew I needed a 9" pan for this recipe so I ran out to TJ Maxx to get one. Once I started progressing through the recipe I read something about removing the sides of the pan and realized I was way up the creek with no paddle. It wasn't a regular 9" pan I needed but a 9" springform pan instead. Yikes. Too late. The crust was already in the oven, the whipped cream was in the fridge & the filling almost finished. So I finished the recipe knowing full well I'd never be able to get the torte out of the pan in one piece. It was a depressing moment to be sure.

Nonetheless, it still tasted alright!

The changes that I made to the recipe included:
-using peanut butter oreos (about 30)
-using lightly salted peanuts (instead of the fully salted variety)