Butterfinger Brownies

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Let's talk about these brownies for a minute.

That being said, I'm sitting here trying to find the words to describe this brownie. OMG comes to mind and  although fitting, maybe a bit over done.

Moist, chocolatey, chewy, scrumptious, decadent, delicious,,,,,all fitting, but

I think I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. You know what they say,,,,,,,

Butterfinger Brownies

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups brown sugar
Pinch of salt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
4 Butterfinger candy bars, (8.4 oz total)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 7x11inch pan with foil; grease the foil. A larger pan can be used if needed or if you want a thinner brownie, but you will probably need to reduce cook time. I would start checking for doneness after 20 minutes.

Melt the chocolate in a small glass bowl, stirring every 25-30 seconds. Set aside to cool slightly. Chop Butterfingers into bite sized pieces.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in melted chocolate, then flour. Stir in chopped Butterfingers, reserving about 1/2 cup for the top.

Spread batter into prepared pan and top with reserved Butterfinger.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or just until a toothpick or knife test comes out somewhat clean (a few moist crumbs is ok). Don't overcook! Let cool completely. (Refrigerate before serving for a fudgier texture.) 

Lift brownies out of baking dish and cut with a sharp knife. For a cleaner cut, clean knife often. 


Pulled Beef Hoagies

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This is without a doubt the best shredded beef I have had in ages.

It turned out totally tender and full of wonderful flavor. The cooking liquid turned out perfect for serving along side or drizzled over the beef...or both.

You could either make sandwiches like I did, or serve it along side some cheesy mashed potatoes or polenta.

I drizzled some of the juice (used some for dipping too) over the beef and melted on some provolone cheese (pepper jack would be good), then added some pepperoncinis. 
Oh, and make sure to drizzle your bread with some olive oil and give it a good toast. 
Makes a big difference.

I couldn't help picking in the meat while I was shredding it, to the point that I wasn't even hungry for supper and had to wait until this morning to try it in a sandwich. 

Yes, it is that good. 

And yes, I eat stuff like this for breakfast. 
Not to mention things like Spaghetti O's right out of the can or cold spaghetti 
out of the container while standing in front of the fridge. 
That's just the way I roll.

And the fact that it is a no-brainer and so simple to make, it's such a Win-Win! 
Crock pot cooking at it's finest!

Linked with Foodie Friday and Weekend Potluck.

Pulled Beef Hoagies

2 1/2-4 lb Chuck Roast
1 large Onion, sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1/4 cup Tamari (Soy Sauce will work)
1/4 cup Sherry
4 whole Pepperoncinis with enough juice to make 1/2 cup
1 cup Beef Broth
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 Bay Leaf

Combine all the ingredients except roast into a crock pot. Place roast on top and wet top of roast with some of the juice. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours.

Remove roast and shred with a fork. Place meat into a bowl; drizzle on 1/4 cup of the juice from the crockpot and cover to keep warm.

Strain the remaining liquid and reserve for serving. Let sit or place in the fridge for the fat to separate and remove, if desired. Make sandwiches and drizzle over meat or serve along side for dipping.


Mole Rice

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It's been a long time since I made this rice. 

I don't know why I don't think to make it more often, because it's really good.

I love the flavor combinations with the toasted spices and chocolate. 

It ends up having the perfect balance of a smokey and slightly sweet taste, 
with just a hint of heat from the pepper flakes. Very yummy!

Linked with Foodie Friday & Weekend Potluck.

Mole Rice

1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Allspice
3 Slices Bacon
1 Red Pepper, chopped
1 Medium Onion, chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
2 cups Mushrooms, sliced
2 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
6 oz Tomato Paste
1 oz Semi-sweet Chocolate, chopped
1 cup rice, uncooked
Salt and Pepper
Green Onions
Fresh Parsley

Toast/cook sesame seeds, oregano, cumin and allspice in a skillet over medium heat for 30-35 seconds. Set aside.

Cook bacon and set aside. To the same skillet with bacon drippings, sauté red pepper, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes with a pinch of salt and pepper until softened. Add mushrooms and cook until soft. Increase heat to high and add chicken stock, tomato paste, chocolate and seed mixture. Bring to a boil; add rice and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook till tender and liquid is absorbed, 30-35 minutes. Stir rice after 15 minutes to make sure it’s not sticking and has enough liquid left to cook completely. Add more stock or water if needed. Once rice is tender, turn off heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in chopped bacon; check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed.

To serve, top with green onions and parsley.


Broccoli Cucumber Salad

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This is a perfect summer salad. 

With all the fresh vegetables available this time of year it's nice to have a multitude of different ways to enjoy them, and this is definitely one of them.

It's super easy to throw together and has a light creamy dressing 
with a hint of tanginess that's just delicious.

Broccoli Cucumber Salad

2 cups Broccoli florets
1 cup Cucumbers, seeded and chopped
1 Carrot, grated
1/4 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
1 Fresno pepper, seeded and minced (use less if desired)
1 tbsp Fresh Dill
3 tbsp Mayonnaise, I use light
1 tbsp Sour Cream
1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Honey
1/4 tsp Celery Seed
3-4 tbsp Milk
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

In a large bowl, combine broccoli, cucumbers, carrot, feta, pepper and dill.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over vegetables and stir to combine.

Chill for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.


Blueberry Cobbler

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This has to be one of the easiest and best blueberry cobbler recipes out there.

It takes just minutes to throw together. 

It's one of the first of many dishes I'm going to make this year with my "sweet and plump" berries I picked off my bushes right in my own backyard.

They're really producing this year, and I'm lovin it! 

I have blackberry bushes too, but they're not doing as well. Never have 
and I'm not sure why. May have to look into that. 

But for now....time to enjoy me some cobbler.

Blueberry Cobbler

1 stick Butter
1-1/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Self-Rising Flour
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup Milk
2 cups Blueberries (Frozen Or Fresh)

Preheat oven to 350*.

Melt butter in a microwavable dish. 

Whisk together 1 cup of sugar, flour and cinnamon into a mixing bowl; whisk in milk. Pour in melted butter and whisk it all together. Butter a baking dish.

Rinse and pat dry the blueberries if using fresh. Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle blueberries over the top of the batter; distributing evenly. Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar over the top.

Bake for 1 hour, or until golden and bubbly.


Squash and Goat Cheese Pasta

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Pasta is one of my favorite things. 

It's so easy and can be made hundreds of different ways.

With lots of fresh squash hanging out in my fridge, I wanted to use some in a hearty 
side dish to go along with these great strips steaks I found at the grocery store.

This pasta fit the bill perfectly. Also, my basil plant is going crazy, so I obviously
needed to use a bunch of that too.


Add the meat right into the pasta and it would make a great entree.

I also got these cherries when I picked up the steaks, which has nothing to do with anything, 
except that they were really good and I like the photo.

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

Squash, Goat Cheese and Basil Pasta

Serves 6-8

1 lb Fettucini or Spaghetti
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, cut in strips
1 red pepper, cut in strips
2-3 Fresno chilis, seeded
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 yellow squash, cut in strips
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup basil pesto
3 oz goat cheese
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fresh basil, torn or chiffonade

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until just shy of al dente.

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add olive oil. Drop in onion, red pepper and chilies with a pinch of salt and pepper; sauté until softened. Add garlic and squash; cook 3-4 minutes longer.

Stir in pesto until combined; pour in chicken stock. Add cooked pasta and toss for a couple of minutes for pasta to absorb some of the stock. Tear goat cheese into chunks and stir into pasta along with the parmigiano reggiano until melted. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed. Drop in basil and toss to combine.

Serve with more parmigiano and fresh basil if desired.


White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies

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I made these for our annual Daylily Sale. 

They are delicious! I spotted the recipe at Tasty Kitchen.

We always try to have some homemade goodies for everyone, along with some cold drinks. 
I think some people have actually started coming for the refreshments.

Anyway, they were a huge hit, along with the brownies I made. 
Out of all the baked goodies, those two were the first to disappear. No kidding.

Isn't this gorgeous. I love me some daylilies.

I did good this year, I only came home with 3 plants.

You can find more information and pictures of "Griffin Farms" Daylily Sale here.

We have a good time...can you tell?

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies

2 1/4 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
½ teaspoons Salt
½ cups Butter, Softened
1 cup Granulated Sugar
½ cups Brown Sugar
1 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 whole Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1-½ cup White Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF. 

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and combine thoroughly. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper.

Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool for a couple minutes on the cookie sheet. The recipe makes 36 small cookies or 18 large cookies.


Zucchini Bread

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I got my first bag of home grown goodies from my mom (Griffin Daylily Farms) the other day.
It was full of zucchini, cucumbers and yellow squash. SCORE!

My son Christopher saw the zucchini and immediately requested zucchini bread. 
Anytime my son requests something with any type of vegetables in it, 
my answer is always a resounding, yes.

So that's what I made with it. 

It's a great recipe. Really moist and somewhat on the sweeter side, 
so it makes a great bundt cake too.

I left the nuts out this time, per my son's request, but in the past I've added a cup of white chocolate chips in addition to the nuts. Really good! 

I also mound my cinnamon when I add it, so it ends up being closer to 2 tsp.

Love how it forms a slightly crisp, sweet crust on the top. 
Almost like you sprinkled it with a thin layer of sugar before baking.

Zucchini Bread

3 c. grated zucchini

2 1/3 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. chopped nuts

Heat oven to 300 degrees. 

Mix zucchini, sugar, oil and eggs. Beat until blended. 

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, soda and cinnamon. Add to zucchini mixture stirring just until blended. Stir in nuts if using. Pour into 2 greased and floured large loaf pans and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.