Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Peanut Butter Bars

Great last minute treat and always a hit!

Peanut Butter Bars
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream butters and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients. Press onto a jelly roll pan.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

* Bake an extra 5 minutes if you use a 9x13

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mexican Quinoa Salad

By request, here is my recipe for quinoa...

Mexican Quinoa Salad
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup quinoa

Heat water to boiling. Add quinoa and cover with lid. Lower heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until the liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Cool.

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
1/2 small jalapeƱo, finely chopped (I leave this out if using spicy salsa)
2 green onions, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained and rinsed (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 handful chopped cilantro
1/2 cup salsa (if I have pico I use that)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
salt to taste 

Add remaining ingredients to the cooled quinoa. Lightly toss together until well coated by the salsa and oil. 

Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Just to wet your palate I am adding this picture from

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kolaches - sausage or fruit

Picture and recipe from Homesick Texan...

Kolaches (adapted from recipes found in Texas Monthly and the HoustonChronicle)
1 package of active dry yeast
1 cup of warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup of melted butter
1 teaspoon of salt

In a large bowl, combine yeast, warm milk, sugar and one cup of flour. Cover and let it rise until doubled in size.
Beat together eggs, 1/2 cup of melted butter (reserve 1/4 cup for brushing on the pastry) and salt.
Add egg mixture to yeast mixture and blend.
Stir in about two more cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. The dough should be soft and moist.
Knead dough for about 10 minutes on floured surface. Don't worry, it’s a joy to knead as the dough is smooth and highly malleable.
Put dough in a greased bowl and let rise covered until doubled in size—about an hour.
After dough has risen, punch it down and pull off egg-sized pieces. In your hands, roll pieces into balls and then flatten to about three inches in diameter. Brush with melted butter.
Place flattened pieces on a greased cookie sheet, cover and let rise again for another half-hour.
After second rising, with your finger gently make an indention in the center of the dough (be careful not to flatten it too much) and fill with one tablespoon of fruit filling (recipe to follow) and sprinkle with posypka (recipe to follow).
Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Brush with melted butter when you take them out of the oven and serve warm.

Kolache filling
1/2 pound of dried fruit such as apricots or prunes.
Sugar to taste
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
Lemon zest

Soak the dried fruit in water for a few hours or overnight.
When fruit is re-hydrated, cook on low for 15 minutes, adding sugar to taste (I find the fruit sweet enough so I don’t add sugar, but you may prefer it sweeter), cinnamon and lemon zest. Mash with a potato masher until you have a puree.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients until crumbly.

This recipe makes about 18 kolaches, depending on how large you make them. And the variations are endless. For additional flavor you can soak the dried fruit in tea such as Earl Grey or you could sprinkle goat cheese on the apricot kolaches before baking. You can also make sausage and jalapeno kolaches by wrapping the three-inch flattened piece of dough around a two-inch piece of sausage and a couple of pickled jalapeno slices.

Monday, January 16, 2012

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars

A hit! I found the recipe on the blog Buns In My Oven, which has some really fun recipes.
Pic from Buns In My Oven

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I wish I'd used milk chocolate, but that's just me)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
In a medium saucepan cook butter, brown sugar, and oats for 3 to 4 minutes. Add vanilla. Press half of the oat mixture into an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment/wax paper.
Microwave the chocolate and peanut butter until smooth, stirring occasionally. Spread over the crust.
Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top of the chocolate.
Refrigerate for a few hours before cutting...I'm impatient when it comes to yummy treats, so I just popped it in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe

1 brownie mix
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 can sweetened condensed mix

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan.

Mix the first 4 ingredients (it will be very thick). Press 3/4 of the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Set the rest aside. 

Mix the peanut butter and condensed milk. Drop over mixture in pan and spread as best as possible. Drop the remaining chocolate mixture on top of the peanut butter layer in teaspoon size blobs. Spread as best you can.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is set.
Cool completely. Enjoy with a  glass of milk!