In the Kitchen

Brigadeiros 

brazilian-truffles

I’m one week behind on this post, technically last week was Brazil week over at /52weeksofcooking but thankfully they have a three week grace period.  When I saw the challenge was to cook something from Brazil, the first thing that came to mind was meat – and lots of it.  Brazilian steakhouses are pretty popular and every year most of my GenCon friends go there for dinner the final night.  Obviously that’s not going to work for my blog but some research pointed me towards a simple and delicious dessert recipe.  Generally I stay away from the super chocolate heavy desserts in favor of caramel but these truffles seemed so easy I just had to give it a whirl.   I found a number of different recipes online, all of which had different cocoa:butter:milk ratios so I gradually added the cocoa until I got the right taste and consistency.

Brazilian Chocolate Truffles

Serves: Makes 12 truffles

Ingredients

14 oz can unsweetened condensed milk

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp cocoa powder

sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Heat the unsweetened milk and butter in a saucepan over medium heat, once it begins to simmer whisk in the cocoa powder. DO NOT BOIL (reduce heat if needed)
  2. Continue stirring over medium heat until mixture begins to pull away from the side of the pan.
  3. Pour into a 8x8 baking sheet lined with wax paper and place in fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Remove from fridge and lightly flour hands or a melon baller. Form walnut sized and then roll in the sprinkles. Place on wax paper and allow to reset in the fridge for at least an hour.
  5. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/04/in-the-kitchen.html

 Sprinkles are the traditional topping, or so Google tells me, but any small treat would work – shaved coconut, mini chocolate chips, nuts, or anything else that goes with chocolate!  One word of caution – I used Wiltons sprinkles for these and while they tasted normal to me both of my family members with nut allergies said they tasted very nutty.  I’m not sure if that’s unique to the white ones but will be avoiding this brand in the future!

Also want to wish a Happy 5th Birthday to my favorite nephew 😀

Need You

Biscuit Sandwich

biscuit_cookie

Welcome to April’s Secret Recipe Club reveal for Group A!  Normally when I get my blog assignment I go to the recipe page and read everything, saving and pinning anything that catches my eye.  This time however I was transfixed by a thumbnail on Chit Chat Chomp  and HAD to make it.  So I first searched her dessert page, trying to not be distracted by all her delicious goodies before finding MY recipe on her baking page: Melting Moments.  Leigh made these for her boss’s birthday and for some strange reason was not given a raise, which blows my mind because oh my goodness are these biscuits insanely good.  I had to make a change to the custard filling, switching the lemon curd for vanilla due to my citrus allergy.   Not so surprising Leigh has a recipe for vanilla custard as well so I used that as the filling for my biscuits!  I just halved that recipe and dropped the zest – super easy and super incredible.  We wound up with some “extra” pudding after assembling the cookies and it was very hard to not lick the bowls clean.

Biscuits

Serves: Makes 20 biscuits

Ingredients

2 sticks butter, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar (10x sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup flour (sifted)

1/4 cup corn flour (sifted)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy - about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix in the sifted flours until just blended.
  4. Form tbsp balls and place on cookie sheet leaving a cookie length between the cookies.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/04/need-you.html

I also enjoyed the irony of getting an Australian blog seeing as how I got one just over a year ago when my little sister moved to Australia for a year.  She gets back next Monday (!!!!) and I can’t wait to get all the food details about her trip.  I have a feeling I’ll be making some more of Leigh’s recipes once she gets back, especially since she has a very large vegetarian recipe section.

Lost and Alone

Vegetable Chili

chili

Another one of my awesome freezer meals – this time one that also doubles as a great way to clean out the fridge/freezer!  Once we had finished prepping my list of meals, I checked what I had left and decided I could squeeze out at least one more meal.  This hodge podge of ingredients was fantastic last weekend when Mother Nature decided we needed another round of cold weather, to include snow!

Lost and Alone

Serves: Serves 5-6

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 zucchini, diced

2 carrots, round sliced then quartered

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

4 cups black beans, presoaked

1 can (28 ounces), crushed tomatoes

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Toss all the ingredients into the slow cooker and set for low. Cook for 7hrs - or cook on high for 3hrs.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper, or more chili powder!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/03/lost-and-alone.html

We topped this with cheese but chives, sour cream, guacamole or nothing would also work.  As for the vegetables, whatever you have on hand will work.

and Gumdrops

Cafe Mocha Cheesecake

cheesecake

Welcome to #16Cheesecakes – part 2!!!

Last year Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla rallied some blogging friends to help her celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary. She was only looking for fifteen cheesecake recipes. But we posted waaaaaay more than #FifteenCheesecakes.  It was such a hit and we all had so much fun that she decided to see if she could get enthusiasm for another round of cheesecakes. Yep. This is an encore performance by some of her favorite foodie bloggers.

More than #SixteenCheesecakes

Last year I kept things rather simple with a chocolate caramel cheesecake – something I knew my husband would love.  As I mentioned last year, Joe and I also did a cheesecake at our wedding and it was the BEST decision ever.  This year I decided to go for something more my style: Cafe Mocha Cheesecake.  Don’t get me wrong, Joe’s a huge fan of coffee but not in his dessert so much as with his dessert.  I, on the other hand, prefer Double Dunker ice cream by Turkey Hill to almost anything!  Coffee and chocolate and just the hint of vanilla to keep things from being too overpowering – perfection!

Cafe Mocha Cheesecake

Serves: Serves 8-10

Ingredients

2 cups vanilla wafers, crushed

1 stick butter, melted

3 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened

3 eggs

1 cup white sugar

2 tbsp kahlua

2 tbsp espresso

1 cup dark chocolate chunks

Instructions

  1. Mix together the vanilla wafers and melted butter and press into a 9inch springform pan, going halfway up the sides.
  2. Preheat oven to 500
  3. In a blender mix together the cream cheese and sugar until creamy, about 7 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time while mixing then add in the kahlua and espresso and mix for another 5 minutes.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chunks and spoon into the springform pan.
  5. Bake at 500 for 15 minutes, then turn heat down to 200 and bake for one hour, then turn the oven off and allow cheesecake to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge for three hours.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/03/and-gumdrops.html

Make sure to check out all the other fantastic cheesecakes – perfect addition to a holiday dinner or a substitution for dinner.

Wish You

Spaghetti with Skinny Green Onion Sauce

skinny_green_onion

Welcome to a BONUS Secret Recipe Club posting – this time from Group C!  The best part of posting with a different group is being able to explore blogs I wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to as I’m not the best at checking when other groups post.  I was sent to Adina’s Where is My Spoon which is full of family friendly recipes.  Since I only had a few hours to find a recipe I got straight to work to find a recipe that was already vegetarian as I knew I wouldn’t have the time to adjust it.  Luckily a recent green onion series led me to a deliciously fantastic pasta – Spaghetti with Skinny Green Onion Sauce!  I had to make a few adjustments as my store did not have any decent looking tomatoes but they did have some great looking mushrooms – so I subbed in a can of diced tomatoes.  I also omitted the vegetable stock as I forgot to pick it up (oops).

Wish You

Serves: Serves 5-6

Ingredients

1 lb spaghetti

2 green or red bell peppers, diced

1 bunch green onions, diced

1 cup wild mushrooms, diced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp Gourmet Garden Italian herbs

1 tbsp Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic

1 cup low-fat milk (2%)

4 tbsp low-fat cream cheese

1 cup reserved pasta water or vegetable stock

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 can diced tomatoes, Italian style

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper along with the green onions and mushrooms and saute for 5-7minutes. Add the Italian herbs and the garlic and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the pasta per the box. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of the water. Set aside the pasta.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the pasta water, cream cheese, tomato paste, and milk. Stir into the green pepper mixture along with the diced tomatoes. Bring to a bowl, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes before adding the pasta.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper then Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/03/wish-you.html

This sauce was fantastic!  It was creamy, tomatoey, and quick – which is key these days.   As a bonus, it can easily become gluten free by switching out the pasta.  To make things even quicker, I used some Gourmet Garden herb pastes that I had left from Fresh Tasty Valentine.  I put this together after working my first post-baby convention and running on fumes.  A few other recipes that I flagged for later are her broccoli cauliflower meatballs and her lentil quinoa carrot salad which sounds perfect for summertime.