Friday, 28 December 2012

Hot Chocolate Cookies

Just made a batch of these using my NEW 1" ice cream scoop for perfect little balls of chocolate lovin' with little effort.

I made them using butter instead of coconut oil (none on-hand) and forgot to add 1/4 cup chocolate chips at the end, just melted it all.

Mix well with your bare (clean) hand and form into balls.  They don't spread or change shape at all when you bake them, so you can line them up in tight rows on the pan.

So rich and yummy!  Use the best quality chocolate you have.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Food, family, friends and fun (recipe for Pineapple Squares)

I'll be home with my kids and partner for this holiday season.  My parents are flying here tomorrow and will be with us for a whole week!  They'll get a pretty good "feel" for what life is like for us.  It's pretty chaotic at times, magical at others.  I'm so fortunate to have people around me that I love, that love me, we all have good health and are, for the most part, very happy people.

We'll be eating a turkey that led a happy life, organic vegetables and pineapple squares (my father's favourite recipe, but I'll be switching out the heavenly shortbread base for a graham crust as my father gets heartburn from the shortbread).  I had a difficult time finding a recipe similar to the one my Mum uses that is from a United Church cookbook from Newfoundland.  The name of the squares is a hard one to nail down and get the right list of ingredients.  Here's my Mum's version:

Low fat (tee-hee) Pineapple Squares
 
1st layer: Mix 2 cups flour, 1 c. butter and 4 T sugar.  Save 1/2 c. for crumbs if you want them for top of squares.  Press on bottom of 8 or 9" pan.  Bake 20 minutes at 350F and then cool.
2nd layer: Cream 1/2 soft butter, 1.5 C icing sugar and 2 eggs. Add to cooled base layer.
3rd layer: Whip 1c. of whipping cream and add a drained small can of pineapple.
4th layer: Reserved crumbs from base or cherries or nothing.
 
Note: if you are ever making them for your Dad (his fav recipe) use graham cracker crumb base as he get heartburn from shortbread base.
 
Here is a link to a blog that has an image like mine will look like in a couple of days when I make them.
 
How are you spending the holiday season?  Do you get any extra days off?  Are you traveling?  Do you wish you were with someone you cannot be with or somewhere?  What are you most looking forward to?  Anything you'd like to share?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Butterscotch Sauce

So, I've figured out one of my problems with this whole blogging thing - I'm overzealous.

I make something and then get so excited to share it with you that I don't always have pictures or know how said dish reacts to being frozen or left on the counter for three days.  I don't practice the dish with substitutions or give myself a day or two to mull it over and really know how I feel about it.

I will work on this.

But in the meantime, I'd like to share a recipe impulsively again.  Just for old times' sake.

Who can go wrong with butterscotch sauce?!  The recipe states you can "serve Hot Butterscotch Sauce warm over vanilla or chocolate ripple ice cream, pound cake slices, peach or apple pie, tapioca pudding, baked custard."  Oh my goodness!  The Big Kid and I love tapioca pudding and when I read that blurb to him, his eyes got big and he was slowly nodding his head.  I guess I know what we're having for snack tomorrow! 

Apple pie!  Pound cake!  Apple slices!  Waffles!  Oh my!

I don't get out enough.

I also don't make butterscotch sauce enough.

I'm going to change that right now.

Hot Butterscotch Sauce
from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup half-n-half or 10%
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
- combine all in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat (or medium high) stirring occasionally.
- serve as above or on a spoon (once cooled to a safe temp)
- store in an airtight bottle or in a squeeze bottle in the fridge for a couple of weeks or at room temperature for several days.

Waffles, plain ol' waffles

Here are two fabulous waffle recipes from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook.

Regular waffles
1 3/4 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1/3 cup oil (or melted butter)
2 eggs
- whisk dry
- whisk wet
- combine to thoroughly blended
- make in waffle iron as directed (or pancakes)

Buttermilk waffles
1 3/4 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk *
1/3 cup oil (or melted butter)
2 eggs
- whisk dry
- whisk wet
- combine to thoroughly blended
- make in waffle iron as directed (or pancakes)

* if you don't have buttermilk in your fridge here's a reliable substitution:
     pour 1 Tbsp white vinegar in a measuring glass
     top up to the top with milk and let it stand about 5 minutes to react
Here are a few more ideas to sub for buttermilk.

Each of the above recipes makes about 20 waffles in my waffle iron.  That's refilling the 4 squares 5 times with 1/3 cup batter each.  Batter recipes can be doubled.

Waffles make a great leftover snack as is or warmed slightly in the toaster.  They also freeze and thaw exceptionally well for an almost effortless breakfast.  Cook once, eat twice - yeah, baby!

Top with anything you can imagine!  Table syrup, maple syrup, corn syrup, Hot Butterscotch Sauce, fruit, whipped cream, Nutella, peanut butter with a sprinkling of brown sugar, bananas, sunbutter, lemon juice and icing sugar, an egg and a slice of bacon...

Friday, 14 December 2012

Another person's blog

Man, this woman can cook! 

She feeds a big family, loves to put stuff in the freezer, bakes for her neighbours and is a joy to read, at least, in my opinion.

Please meet Ree, The Pioneer Woman.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Holiday cookie exchange

I took part in a cookie exchange today!

I feel like I won a jackpot.

Here is what I scored:


Here is what I shared:


See the difference?  I used fancy plastic wrap and most of them used their imaginations.

I scored snowballs, chocolate chip cookies, peppermint bark, spiced sugar cookies, butter cookies with cherries on top, white chocolate lemon drop cookies, lemon rolled cookies, gingerbread men, oatmeal raisin cookies.  Great variety and I'm kind of surprised there weren't any shortbread cookies.  So far, the quality of the ingredients used is good too, though I have yet to sample them all.

We brought a treat to share, but because the cookie I made to exchange had peanuts in it, I did not share them in the nut-free facility we were using for the event.  I made a batch of cake balls and shared them instead.  They went over well, but they weren't the biggest hit.  I honestly feel the butter cookies with the cherries on them were better. 

I'm really impressed with the perceived effort that went into the gingerbread men.  This means she rolled out, cut out and fully decorated 72 individual cookies.  That's more dedication than I had for the cookie exchange.

 


 

 
 In retrospect, I will put more imagination and effort in to a cookie exchange next year and maybe my offerings will be dressed to impress!


I made Janet & Greta Podleski's Girl Guy Cookies, a cross between a peanut butter cookie and a spicy molasses cookie.  They are chewy and bake up really purdy-like so they look good for setting out on a platter and trading to new friends and neighbours.  The recipe is here for the Girl-Guy Cookies.

Girl-Guy Cookies with a chewy centre and crispy outside.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Tuna Noodle Casserole and a cheese sauce recipe

After a busy Sunday out 'n about (where I come from that's pronounced "oot 'n aboot") we landed home with a Christmas tree and no premeditated supper.

I was in the mood for noodles and tuna so I whipped up a tuna noodle casserole.  I based it on a recipe from Janet and Greta Podleski's cookbook Eat, Shrink & Be Merry.  I also used a white sauce from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook as I did not have a can of condensed soup on-hand.  I've been maintaining a pretty bare pantry lately in an effort to use what I have already.

Tuna Noodle Stovetop Casserole
based on Janet & Greta Podleski
1 375g pkg rotini (or any small shape)(I used whole wheat)
2 cups frozen vegetables (I used peas and corn)
1 batch of cheese sauce (recipe below)
1 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
3 cans tuna (or bnls sknls salmon), drained
- cook pasta according to pkg directions, adding frozen veggies for the last 5 minutes.  Drain.
- meanwhile, prepare cheese sauce
- meanwhile, in a big pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook just to softened (about 5 minutes).  Add cheese sauce, salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well.  Stir in pasta, vegetables and tuna.  Serve hot.

Cheese Sauce
from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cook
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp paprika
1 cup milk or half-n-half
1/2 - 1 cup grated cheese (can be medium cheddar or older)
- melt butter in small pot, add flour, salt, pepper and paprika over low heat, whisk well.
- slowly add milk, stirring constantly, to thickened.  Remove from heat and add cheese, stir to melted.

Now, without adding the pasta to the tuna / cheese / veg sauce mixture above, it could easily have been served on toast, maybe thinned out just a bit with a bit more milk or cream.  It was so tasty!  I found mixing in the pasta really dulled the tuna mixture's flavour.  It's hard to stay straight-faced as I talk to you about creamed tuna on toast, I have to admit.  It's not a serious subject.

The above-mentioned cheese sauce is also great on a package of elbow macaroni for mac 'n cheese.  I recently posted about this white sauce here and suggested how great it was on broccoli.  I wasn't kidding.  I'd mix the broccoli with the pasta and pour on this cheese sauce. 

Mmmmmm

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Movie night and pizza

Every Friday since we moved in to our new house (in our new town in our new province) we have had movie night on Friday night.  We choose a very docile, kid-friendly movie and we all gather together on the couch (we have a couch in our new house!) and watch a movie. 

Mmmmmmmmmmmm

My Man has fond memories of his Papa making an enormous bowl of popcorn and sitting down with it to watch a movie and everyone was welcome to dig into his bowl.  So now My Man, also known as Papa, makes a big bowl of popcorn every Friday night and each of the kids gets their own container to eat from.  He makes it in a pot on the stove, the way his Papa did and the way my family has always made it as well.  Here's how: heat some oil in a big pot on almost-high heat, throw in three kernels.  When those begin to pop pour in about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of kernels and put the cover on.  Keep the pot moving so as to not burn the already popped popcorn.  When popping slows nearly to a stop (a couple of seconds between pops) immediately dump the popcorn into a big bowl.  You can melt some butter and shake on some salt if you want.  If you have ideas to flavour popcorn, please feel free to share them with me below in the comments section.  I have tried cinnamon and it was not well received.

Tonight, we watched Ice Age and I cried.  I'm such a baby.

Twin 1 (aka Thing 1) helped me out cutting "wif the big, sharp knife" before his sisters awoke from their nap.

We also made PIZZA.  Individual pizzas!  They each had their own that they dressed as they pleased.  The toppings were pizza sauce, red peppers, green peppers, crushed pineapple, ham, ground beef with a bit of taco seasoning (homemade with this recipe) and mozzarella cheese.  Miam.  The crust was also homemade and such a pleasure to work with. 


4 kids' pizzas before going in the oven - they topped them themselves.
Close-up of kids' pizzas before baking.


Pizza crust
adapted from Canadian Living
1-1/4 cups hot (120 F/50 C) water
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp traditional or instant dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups all purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
- pour water into mixong bowl, add sugar and sprinkle yeast on top.  Let proof until slightly foamy on top
- add salt and oil
- add flour while mixing, adding a Tbsp at a time more until it is no longer sticky.  In my Kitchen Aid mixer, I let it knead about 8 minutes on speed 2
- grease a bowl and the top of your dough, let rise in a warm place 1 hour (Make-ahead: Refrigerate unrisen dough and let rise for 24 hours. Or freeze in plastic bag for up to 1 month; let thaw and rise in refrigerator overnight.)
- grease baking sheet and spread your dough out (it's a dream to work with!), top as desired and bake at 400F for about 25 minutes. 
 



Kids' pizzas after baking and before devouring.

 

The "adult" pizza.  The Big Kid ate almost half of ours as his wasn't big enough
(and he's not nearly a teenager yet!).
What kind of family traditions did you have?  Not necessarily around holidays, but the weekly or monthly ones.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Real food - Thai Shrimp Soup

I'm usually so excited to share with you all the sweets, treats and desserts that I make that I forget to share with you all the normal, everyday food that my family grows on. 

Well, we eat three meals and at least two snacks a day.  We share two of the meals together every day as a group of six.  My Man takes his lunch to work, but the other five of us still eat lunch together at home.  That's a lot of meals and snacks!  I bet you're wondering what we really eat all day long!  The next few posts will give you some insight into this.

The Big Kid loves shrimp!  "Shrimp and tortellini" his Gramma Jean and Nanny will tell you.  I don't think he's had them together in the same dish, but definitely in the same meal!

This soup does not contain tortellini, fear not.

All the kids gobble it down, especially the Big Kid.

There's a bit of chopping to do, then it just simmers for a few minutes.  This could most definitely be made on a school night.  You can even buy sweet potatoes that are peeled and cubed for you in many big grocery stores thereby cutting back on even more prep work.

This recipe came straight out of Janet and Gret Podleski's cookbook Eat, Shrink and Be Merry.  Hopefully you won't be put off by the long list of ingredients, it's a really good soup.

Thai Shrimp Soup
from Janet and Greta Podleski
2 tsp butter or olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 tsp minced garlic
4 cups peeled sweet potatoes (about two large)
1 tbsp fresh grated gingerroot
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander I can't stomach coriander so I leave it out
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups chicken broth
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp each chopped fresh cilantro I can't stomach cilantro either so I leave it out
3 tbsp basil leaves (I usually don't have fresh basil lying around and the soup is fine without it)
2 tbsp light peanut butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 lb cooked medium shrimp, tails removed, (thaw first)
 
- heat butter in a large non-stick pot over medium heat. Add onions, red pepper, celery and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
 
- stir in sweet potatoes, gingerroot, cumin, coriander, curry powder and cinnamon. Cook and stir for 30 more seconds. Add broth, coconut milk, salt & pepper. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, just until sweet potatoes are tender.
- trasnfer half the soup to a blender and purée until smooth. Return puréed soup to pot with remaining soup. Stir in cilantro, basil, peanut butter, brown sugar, and lime juice. Mix well. Add shrimp and heat for about 2 more minutes just until shrimp is hot.

This is NOT my photo, but my soup looks just like this so I felt it was an accurate representation.
Source http://kyliecooks.wordpress.com/


What do you guys eat every day or even now and then as meals?  How do you get your whole family to stay at the table to share a meal?

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Homemade Peppermint Patties

I love mint.  I seem to keep forgetting.  But then, maybe that's a good thing because then I keep getting surprised by how much I enjoy minty things whenever I eat them.

Just dry enough, yet a smooth minty filling.

These mints remind me of a York Peppermint Patty.  So cool and refreshing.

The recipe I used is based on one from How Sweet Eats.  She based hers on The Joy Of Baking - a great information site I recommend you read, it's a great site.

These were easy to make, very rewarding and simple ingredients.  There are a few steps, of course, but nothing is complicated.  These can be made and enjoyed in one evening.

A simple candy requiring no special tools.  Your guests will love these and perhaps you will give them away in your cookie exchange or to the bus driver or teacher or favouritest co-worker or babysitter.  Who knows?!





 


I did use peppermint extract, I didn't even bother looking for peppermint oil in this little town of mine.  I dipped my candies in a combination of a dark (72%) chocolate bar I had on-hand and some Hershey's Chipits dark (50%) chocolate chips I also had on-hand.  Delish!  The candy centre was good straight up but once dipped in chocolate, the balance was perfect.


Peppermint Patties
adapted from a combination of How Sweet Eats and Joy of Baking
2 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
drop or two of peppermint extract
2 Tbsp milk (I used 10% cream)
Chocolate Coating:
1-2 cups semi sweet, bittersweet or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp butter
- in an electric mixer, beat first 5 ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate to set. Once firm, scoop by the teaspoonful (or any size you want - from Junior Mints to York patties), roll into balls.  Fridge to set. Push down to flatten. Set in freezer.


- melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Remove patties from freezer and dip in chocolate, setting on wax paper. Freeze again until ready to eat.
 
I made 39 patties using a teaspoon.  I think there are about 25 left...  My Man is loving them, the Big Kid too.  The Three Wees haven't had any yet.
 
These pictures are actually okay!  I'm pretty pleased with them.
 

Post script: I'm certain a drop or two of green food colouring would suit if you associate green with mint.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Your kids will ask for broccoli!

It's not rocket science and generations have known for some time that if you want your children to eat their broccoli (or carrot or cauliflower or peas) smother the vegetable in cheese sauce!  Yeah, that's right, I said it.  Smother the vegetable in cheese sauce.  Of course, that is if your gang is not intolerant of gluten and dairy products.

Start off with a roux (a mix of fat and flour that you cook for a minute or so), add some milk and a handful of cheese.  Voilà!  La magie!  Broccoli disappears.  You've given them yours off your plate and still they want more.  Uh huh.

Below, I've broken the recipe for cheese sauce into a recipe for a white sauce and then added cheese to it.  The white sauce, prepared as below, can be served hot on cooked vegetables, fish, poultry, seafood or hard-cooked eggs.  You can add spices as you want depending on what you will be using it for (perhaps dill for eggs or seafood, for example).

White Sauce
straight outta Cooks Illustrated 1980
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour (I've used whole wheat also and it was fine)
1/4 tsp salt
few shakes of pepper
pinch paprika
1/2 cup milk
- measure all your ingredients and have them waiting
- in small heavy pot, melt butter
- add flour, salt, pepper and paprika.  Low heat, stir to smooth.
- gradually stir in milk, cook, stirring constantly to thick and smooth.
If you want cheese sauce, at this point throw in a handful (1/2 cup) grated cheese of your choice (medium or old cheddar recommended) and 1/8 tsp dry mustard (optional).  Stir to melted.

You can steam a head of broccoli and pour a bit of sauce over the broccoli on each plate or you can serve the broccoli with the sauce on the side if you have little dippers in the house.  You can also break up the broccoli and stir it around gently in the pot, then serve.

This sauce is also good over hot, cooked pasta or rice, although I'll be posting soon about a kick butt mac 'n cheese (maybe two).

This keeps in the fridge for a couple of days.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Chickpea Curry and Chapattis

My Big Kid loves this dish and requests it when I solicit meal ideas.  It's great fresh and leftover.  It's a complete protein if you combine it with a grain - chapattis or naan bread are awesome examples.  If you choose one of these breads you don't even need cutlery, just scoop up the curry with the bread cupped in your fingers!  Bliss!

Chickpea curry will warm you up and make your home smell so good while it is cooking.  It has lots of onion and garlic in it to help clean your blood and keep you strong on the inside to fight colds and whatever's going around. 

Served with basmati rice.
This recipe comes directly from my Essential Vegetarian cookbook.  It's a good one to put on your shelf.  It's very informative about food, the vegetarian diet and some hero foods and food combining.  It really is basic if you are just getting started understanding food and how it works with our bodies and minds.  I re-read the first 30 pages every now and then to bring myself back to centre when I feel I am straying from what is healthy and good for me.  The meals inside are usually budget- and waist-friendly as well.

This curry is not hot at all.  I can serve it to everyone in my family.  If it is not hot enough for you, try adding more chili powder and as always, ensure your spices are fresh.  Oh yes, I do not use coriander, I just can't stomach it so I omit it completely.  I've added it here because I'm sure it serves some purpose.  I (too often) forget the garam masala to add at the end right before you serve it and it really does add a lot, so do what you can to not forget it.  If you do think of it at the last second it can be sprinkled on each bowl.

It is great to prep it all before you start.  Slice onions finely and crush garlic, chop a bit.  Measure out spices into one little bowl (not garam masala).  Open cans, drain and rinse as needed.  GO!

Chickpea Curry
from Essential Vegetarian
2 onions
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp ghee or oil
1 tsp chili powder (adjust for your audience)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp grounde coriander
2 x 14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 x 28 oz can diced tomatoes (you may also add more tomatoes if you like, it still works)
1 tsp garam masala
- slice onions finely, crush garlic.  Heat ghee or oil in a big fry pan medium heat, cook onions and garlic to soft.  Stir often.
- add spices (not garam masala), stir over medium heat 1 minute to fragrant.
- add chickpeas and tomatoes (undrained).  Simmer, covered, over low heat 20 minutes.
- stir in garam masala, simmer 10 minutes.

Close-up of the delicious dish.

Pecan Pie Bars

I have made these to start off my HOLIDAY BAKING!  I'm so excited to have these in the freezer, waiting for December 1st, when I officially open the floodgates to Christmas in our house. 

Peanut batch

Fa la la la la, la la la la.  (Click here for some Bing Crosby Christmas music.)

Pecan batch.

I jumped on this recipe because it does not call for corn syrup.  Up to this moment, I'd not put any effort into researching why we should be avoiding corn syrup but just went along with the notion that high fructose corn syrup and the corn syrup you buy at the grocery store (to pour on vanilla ice cream or add to your homemade pancake syrup to avoid crytsalization) are similar enough to avoid them both.  I'm wrong!  YAY!  I can buy corn syrup again.  That said, please read a bit about high fructose corn syrup and always check the labels of the foods you buy, you'll find this ingredient everywhere. 

Unless you buy ingredients to make food and don't buy "food" prepared for you, then, you should be alright!

Enough education, let's get to the good stuff!

I made this recipe in two 8x8" square pans by using one batch of the base divided in the two pans.  I used two small pots to make the topping as I only had 1 cup of pecans in the house and I used 1 cup of salted peanuts for the other pan.  You can see the difference in the colour of the final products in the pictures, the peanuts are lighter in colour.  They are both good, but different from each other.  I'd do either again.  Chop yer nuts up real fine, like.  It's easier to cut and serve.

The pictures found at Just a Taste are far more luscious-looking than mine.  I think it has to do with the size of the pans I used.  Or perhaps I should've baked for about 5 mintues less, that would've helped too.

Pecan Pie Bars
from Just a Taste
For crust:
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
½ teaspoon salt
For topping:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream (I used 6%)
2 cups chopped pecans
- preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, leaving enough for a 2-inch overhang on all sides, grease. (Or two 8x8"s)
- first make the crust by creaming together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in the flour and salt and mix until crumbly.
- press the crust into the foil-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
- while the crust bakes, prepare the filling by combining the butter, brown sugar, honey and heavy cream in a saucepan and stirring it over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 1 minute, then stir in the chopped nuts.
 

 
- remove the crust from the oven and immediately pour the pecan filling over the hot crust spreading it to cover the entire surface.
- return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 20 minutes. (15 is using two 8x8")
- remove the pan and allow the bars to fully cool in the pan.
- use the foil overhang to lift out the bars and transfer them to a cutting board. Peel off the foil, slice into bars and serve or freeze.

MIAM!

Fast Red Lentil Soup

When I open my Essential Vegetarian that my Mum gave to me a while ago to make the Chickpea Curry, I usually whip up a batch of this soup at the same time.  It is quick to throw together, I usually have all the ingredients in the house, it freezes well and we all love it. 


I add (almost) whatever veggies I have in the house - peppers of any colour, carrots, a bit of celery, a potato, sweet potato, a bit of turnip (not much).  I add the finely chopped or diced vegetables at the beginning with the onion.

Not going to win any photgraphy awards, but here are the bowls lined up for my family's supper -
three wees and three bigs!
I also usually double it, I'm already chopping, so what's a bit more?!


Fast Red Lentil Soup
directly from Essential Vegetarian
1 onion, chopped finely
1 Tbsp olive oil
any vegetables you choose
1 cup red lentils
1 - 14oz can of diced tomatoes
4 cups stock or water (you'll want to add some seasoning if you use water, like a bouillon cube)
- fry onion and any vegetables you are adding in a bit of oil until soft
- add lentil, tomatoes and stock (or water and seasonings)
- bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Serve topped with a small dollop of sour cream.


 
You can also add some quinoa or rice (brown or wild) to this soup.  If you have some of these grains already cooked, throw them in.  If you are adding them uncooked, add extra water or stock so the grain can absorb it (thoroughly rinse your quinoa first).  Keep in mind that these grains will continue to grow and absorb the liquid so I prefer to only add them to the batch I am serving and will consume, not to the batch that is destined to be frozen.  Freeze your cooked grains along with the soup in a separate baggie or container so you will have some to add for next time. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Oreo Puddin' Poke and recipe for Crazy Cake

I made this cake for supper tonight.  And it'll be for lunch boxes next week.  It was a lot of fun.

I used my Mum's Crazy Cake recipe and used one box of Cookies 'n Cream Instant Pudding (Jell-O brand). 

The Big Kid said a couple of times that I "really outdid [my]self this time".  Uh, thanks.  It's really nothing special.  But it is good and moist.

It is believed this cake recipe may have been developed when there was a lack of eggs, butter, or milk, perhaps in the 1930's.  So far, I have not read any definitive stories about it's birth just bits and pieces.  It is most often referred to as Wacky Cake, I have always called it Crazy Cake.  It's crazy 'cuz it works!

My original recipe card that I use every time.

Crazy Cake
from Prevention Magazine January 1999
1.5 cups flour (I used whole wheat this time)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa (rounded)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp veg oil
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cold water (see Note)
- preheat oven to 350F
- sift dry in a big bowl, make three depressions and add oil, vinegar, vanilla.  Pour water over all and mix thoroughly.
- grease pan, pour in and bake as below
8x8, 30 minutes
12 cupcakes, 22 minutes
Note: you can also substitute coffee (warm or cold) for the water, it is excellent.
You can frost this with my favourite chocolate icing or a simple dusting of icing sugar.

FOR THE PUDDING CAKE, (here is where I got my inspiration) prepare and bake a cake (can be a mix or your standby recipe, see above). Near the end of the cooking time for the cake, prepare your Cookies 'n Cream instant pudding mix as per the directions. As soon as your cake comes out of the oven, poke holes all over the top with a clean pencil or skinny dowel (don't be shy, stab away at it, deep and often). Immediately pour the pudding over the cake and let it cool completely. Serve.

This would be great with cookies chopped up on top or even a sprinkling of Oreo baking crumbs. Perhaps a white cake with a lemon pudding. Or try another cake and pudding combination, go wild!

And then report back to me!

Finished cake, you can see how the pudding has sunk in.

Pouring on the pudding, you can see the holes I made, make more than I did.

Cake before refrigerating and serving.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Product review - Epicure Selections

I have tried three Epicure Selections dip mixes.

The first (and best so far) was Cheese, Chives and Bacon. Oh. my. This was way too good.

Photo courtesy Epicure Selections
I used it on a baked potato and chips.  Fortunately, I served it to guests so I didn't have to consume it all myself.  I could've though. 

The next one I loved was 3 Onion Dip Mix.  It, too, was extraordinary.  It was also served on a baked potato and on chips. 

Photo courtesy Epicure Selections
The third was not my cup o' tea.  I tried Lemon Dilly Dip Mix in my tuna salad and it didn't jive with the sandwich.  I have tried a bit on some mashed potato and it was better suited there.  Perhaps the tuna was just not the best fit for it.  I love dill, so perhaps it was the combination with lemon.  Whatever the case, this third choice was not for me.

Photo courtesy Epicure Selections

 
There is a lot to be done with each of Epicure Selections' fantastic line of products.  These, and many other Dip Mixes they sell can be used as rubs for meats, marinades, and of course, kick ass DIPS!

Note: I purchased one bottle of spice mix from my representative and was gifted two sample envelopes of other products.  The above is entiretly my opinion. 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Cinnamon Roll Pancake Squares

My family loves pancakes for breakfast.  Maybe they really just love the syrup, some days I can't tell. 

The downside of pancakes for such a big crowd (and I consider my family a crowd) is how long you're standing at the stove cooking.  Yes, you can make them early and call everyone to breakfast while the pancakes have been staying warm and toasty in the oven, but you still need to stand there, watch them, flip, pour, repeat. 

Enter... waffle iron!  Then, I can pump out four servings at once, it's faster to cook and I can actually sit with my family and enjoy breakfast.

But NOW, woah!  Not only have I figured out how to make "pancakes" in the oven, but there's a simple variation that turns them into a cinnamon roll!  SO FAST!  Gobbled up by my family for a snack just now, I HAD to come tell you about it!  I JUST HAD TO!  I felt like I shouldn't keep it to myself.

You can make this for breakfast on a SCHOOL DAY!  I swear!  If you're feeling industrious, you can mix the dry and wet ingredients separately the night before, combine in the morning and you'll have earned your Supermom status for yet another day!

I used all whole wheat flour and did not have cream cheese so used a simple glaze of 1 cup icing sugar with a bit less than 2 Tbsp 10% cream.

I feel fairly certain these will still be excellent after they've cooled.  I even see me cutting up the leftovers to wrap and freeze for lunches. 

Baked Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
from Big Red Kitchen
1 1/2 cups milk
4 Tbsp melted butter
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp sugar
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease an 11×17 inch jellyroll pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together milk, butter and egg. Add sugar, then gradually beat the flour in. Carefully stir in the baking powder and salt.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Squeeze out swirls of Cinnamon Roll Filling over pancake batter- 4 swirls across, 3 down, for 12 pancakes.  You can vary the size if you like.
- Bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until centre is set and does not give when pressed with your finger.
- Remove from oven and drizzle with Maple Cream Cheese Drizzle.
- Serve immediately. Makes 12 large pancakes.

Cinnamon Roll Filling
4 Tbsp melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
In a small bowl mix filling ingredients together until blended well. Place in a pastry bag or plastic ziptop bag and snip corner to swirl over pancake batter.

Maple Cream Cheese Drizzle
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp good maple syrup
milk
Mix the first three ingredients in a bowl until smooth, dripping in small amounts of milk until mixture is a drizzling consistency. I like to place mine in a pastry bag and drizzle that way.

My goodness, these were so easy and I think you guys can come up with some variations of your own to share with me.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Sauce day again

Oh yeah, today I made my first Comox Sauce!  Smells so good and can hardly wait to have some for supper and freeze the rest.  I see chili and lasagna in our future.

Pancake muffins, the night before

My day doesn't feel officially over until I've started getting ready for tomorrow and my sink shines.  Call it OCD, a neat freak, perfectionism or just plain ol' crazy, but it's true.  I like to know what is for breakfast and have it started if possible, coffee maker ready to go, lunch bags set out with stuff in them and the stuff from the fridge for lunches is just waiting.

Last night, I prepped some pancake muffins.  Here is where I got my inspiration, though I did not follow the recipe.

It worked beautifully.  They were even better cold at snack time.

Last night, I measured the dry ingredients and covered the bowl with a plate and left it on the counter.  I measured the wet ingredients into a big mason jar (gosh, I do so love my mason jars - so much so that my next fun thing to do for myself is to build a terrarium in one) and popped it into the fridge.  In the morning, I turned on the oven, shook up the wet ingredients (remember this jingle?), added them to the bowl of dry ingredients, mixed lightly and away we go!  Breakfast for a crowd in 15 minutes!  HA!

Ingredients

I also sprinkled half of what I made with cinnamon sugar and dropped sliced bananas on a quarter and left a quarter plain for experimentation purposes.  The cinnamon sugar was a big hit!  Next time I'll do the whole thing.

I made 12 muffins and poured the remaining batter into two 9" square pans.  One of those pans was silicone and I highly recommend this.  I haven't used this pan yet, but now I have a regular use for it!

So, here is a recipe for pancakes that I did not follow either, even though they are great I just didn't think of this recipe.  I used my Mum's Best Pancake recipe which is lower in fat than that other recipe.

It is important when making pancakes, as well as muffins or quick breads, to not overmix your wet and dry ingredients together.  Just really wet the dry ingredients and stop.  There will be little lumps of dry ingredients but that is okay, do not panic.  Step away from the bowl and leave it rest for a few minutes.  Then approach when ready to dish it out onto your hot pan or griddle.  No more sneaky stirring.  None.  If you must add in stuff, like blueberries or chocolate chips, add them to the pancake immediately after it has been poured onto the hot pan, not to the bowl.  I don't know why, that's just how my Mum did it.  So you will too.

Dry and wet

Mum's Best Pancake
2 c flour (I use 1 c whole wheat and 1 c all-purpose)
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp baking powder (or 5 tsp = same thing)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 c milk
2 Tbsp oil (or melted butter, or coconut oil)
2 eggs
- mix dry
- mix wet
- combine very little, leave lumps

FOR PANCAKE MUFFINS
- pour 1/4 cup batter into greased muffin tin
- sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, a few berries, banana slices or chocolate chips
- bake in oven at 350 for about 14 minutes
- let cool several minutes until you can handle them, then serve with a smile
* they're pretty plain so have syrup or jam or PB & brown sugar at the ready
FOR "CAKE"
- pour this batter into one or two greased 9" square pans - only enough to barely cover the bottom of the pan
- bake in oven at 350 for about 25 minutes
- serve in wedges or cut out with cookie cutters depending on the season or holiday

This was a great way to get pancakes on the table for my whole family and not stand over the stove for half an hour cooking up one pancake at a time.  I will DO IT AGAIN! 

As previously stated, it was great for snack too!  Breakfast and snack with one set of dishes to clean!  BONUS!

 

Beautiful mason jar with wet ingredients ready for the morning.
How do you plan breakfast?  What are your mornings like?  How do you manage them?  Are you the manager?

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Picnic meals and breakfast CAKE

We get out a lot here as a family.  It's been one week and we haven't missed a day yet.  They're usually late afternoon or evening walks with a stroller or two or a kid in a backpack.  Often, they kids get out and walk a kilometre or two, depends on where we are.  There are so many parks with short trails (1-3 km) that we stop and do them and see something pretty, turn around and come home. 

This afternoon I was enjoying the wee ones taking a nap and got ahead of the gang and made a casserole for supper and a cake for dessert.  When The Man came home and we all wanted to get out for another walk, I threw the casserole in the van with plastic cutlery and plates and a jug of water and away we went!  Love impromptu outings when I'm ready for them!

The casserole was "meh", everyone ate it and enjoyed it and even asked for seconds.  I think I'll make it again or at least use this recipe as a template for various meats and add some frozen veggies and mix up the spices.

The breakfast cake was not served for breakfast, we ate it as soon as we got back from the park and before the bath.  The family loved it!  It's so funny feeding a big family of good eaters - when you take something out of the oven like this you have to remove the portions you plan to put in lunches for the "away" people and then serve the dessert until there is none left!  One meal!  HA!  Seconds all around.  The only thing missing was some cream to pour on top or ice cream.

I love my microplane.  It makes zesting so much easier and quick.

This is my first recipe using this year's blackberries that my neighbour gave to me already frozen a few days ago.  We have only been here one week and I have lots of berries and apples in the freezer.  Today's find, by the way, was chestnuts.  We will roast them tomorrow morning.  We took nine home tonight.

Here is the recipe for the CAKE!  YUMMY!  I feel certain any berry can be used, be sure to fold in the frozen berries while frozen, do not thaw them.  I baked it in a glass 9" casserole dish and it took a full 55 minutes.  Next time, I'll use a 9" square and it may take less time.  I loved the crust that was formed from the glass pan and the sprinkle of sugar on top before you bake it.

Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

from Alexandra's Kitchen
Serves 6-8
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour (set aside 1/4 cup of this to toss with the berries)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups fresh berries (whatever is in the freezer)
½ cup buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and of the sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with 1 Tbsp of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness.  (Note: Baking for as long as 25 minutes more might be necessary, in 10 minute increments.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Monday, 1 October 2012

I'm ba-ack (and a recipe for applesauce cake)

I'm back - hopefully on a more consistent basis as I have missed cooking and blogging.

We have trekked across Canada, keeping it as far South as possible.  The kids were great, the terrain was breathtaking, the food was lacking in excitement.  We've been in the house for one week now and have had two good, homemade suppers to satisfy.  Oh yum.

My kitchen was set up almost right away and even though I have not done one big grocery run yet to stock it up like it usually is, I am finding it exciting to find recipes to use what I have on-hand first and foremost, then get the condiment or little thing I need to complete that recipe. 

Living in a province with such bountiful lands is comforting somehow.  We've been foraging on the most obvious crop available to us - blackberries.  They grow EVERYWHERE!  We can be at the park (any ol' park and there are many to choose from) and everyone can get their full of blackberries.  The wee-est one sees a branch with berries on it and walks towards it with her mouth wide open!  She stuffs her face and gets all messy from ear to ear and grins so happily.  We have picked some to freeze and enjoy with later.  There just are so many!  Back home (NS), we had a small patch near our house that we thought was fantastic so we harvested from it each year, but it doesn't come close to the amount of berries near us here!

We've been getting out as a family every afternoon or evening since we arrived and that's been wonderful. I'm enjoying walking and marvel at how close we are to everything we need.  We have moved into a town, pretty much the heart of a small town with a small city right nearby for all the other services we may need.  There is a farm nearby and we can smell the "pooping cows" several times a day, it brings a smile to our faces.  There are orchards all around and my neighbour has taken to picking enough apples and pears for our family too.  I've bottled and frozen so much applesauce and have made an apple crisp (will have to post that recipe soon, it's almost as famous as my brownies) and an applesauce cake (recipe below).

The Big Kid gets to come home for lunch.  It's such a treat for me to not have to make his lunch on days there is little in the house to get creative with.  He enjoys the break from school too.  He'll stay now and then when he wants to.

When I left NS I was concerned about what I'd find for coffee, I had loved Just Us! but have no fear, these Islanders love them some coffee!  There are coffee shops everywhere!  There's even a tiny shed (like a Steve-O-Reno's in Halifax) on a walking path.  Anyhow, I have tried a few and have come to enjoy Karma Coffee.  It's what I'm perking now, Lefty's.  Ho yeah, I got a houswarming gift from my realtor of a Keurig!  So for a few days, I had my espresso machine, Keurig and circa 1984 coffee percolator all lined up on my counter!  I thought that was pretty crazy!  Where is that Bodum so I can add it to my display...  Keurig is not for me, if anyone wants one they can have mine.  I've brewed 12 cups in it and will not be buying more pods for it.  Works great, like new.

So, life is good here.  Falling back into the cooking routine feels good; actually having a routine at all feels great after a summer of being transient and living out of a duffle bag for the kids and I.  Enjoying stir-fry's and meat 'n potatoes meals - things we didn't eat much of on the road.

Here's a recipe for a great lunchbox filler and late night munching.  Also refined enough to share with a new friend and a cup of tea or coffee, of course!  I did not frost mine but have included a recipe that I think would be divine with it. 

I baked mine in two 9" square pans for 45 minutes.  I replaced the shortening with butter and decreased it to 1/3 cup and I think you can get down to 1/4 cup no problem.  I creamed the butter and sugar, added the remaining wet ingredients and then the dry.  It freezes well, so bake two, share one right away and as soon as the second one is cool, cut it into single servings, wrap well in plastic wrap and freeze.

APPLESAUCE CAKE
(From the 1971 Betty Crocker cookbook)
2 ½ cups flour 
2 cups sugar
1 ½ tsp soda
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp allspice
1 ½ cups canned applesauce (I used my homemade applesauce, it was slightly chunky)
½ cup water
½ cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup raisins
½ cup finely chopped walnuts-
 Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour baking pan, 13x9x2 inches, or 2 round layer pans, 8 or 9x1 ½ inches. Measure all ingredients into large mixer bow. Blend ½ minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan(s).
- Bake oblong or bundt pan 60 - 65 minutes, layers 45 - 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean. Put topping on warm cake:


BUTTERSCOTCH BROILED TOPPING  
1/4 cup soft butter 
2/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 cup finely chopped nuts
2 Tbsp milk
- Mix thoroughly butter, brown sugar and nuts. Stir in milk. Spread mixture evenly over warm 13x9-inch cake. Set oven control at broil and/or 550 degrees. Place cake 5 inches from heat and broil about 3 minutes or until topping bubbles and browns slightly. (Watch carefully--mixture burns easily.) Note: it only took a minute and a half in my stove.
 
What did you do this summer?

Sunday, 2 September 2012

And the next breakfast

http://www.jocuri-gatit.info/hash-brown-waffles/

Waffles, coconut waffles

Oh, what a dream these will be!  I'm making coconut waffles in the morning with a fresh fruit salad (pineapple, grapes, bananas, strawberries, kiwi and peaches).  Miam miam. 

I'm going to double the recipe and I will report back.

The next morning...

These were good!  I really liked them.  A couple people did not love the texture of having shredded coconut in the waffles, but I did and a couple others did too. 

I did not double the recipe as I only had one can of coconut milk in my pantry.  There were plenty to feed this family of six (may have made 20 waffles - 5 rounds of 4 in the waffle iron). 

When I opened up my can of coconut milk, it was a beautiful thick creamy texture usually highly coveted.  But this meant there wasn't much actual liquid in the can so I ended up adding almost a cup of milk (cow's) to get it the right consistency.

I used butter as the recipe called for but you could definitely use melted coconut oil; I'm all out.

These were sweet and crispy in the "wells" of the waffle.  I had to let my waffle iron go past the first warning beep that they were cooked to the second warning so they wouldn't be wet inside.  Go with your gut and watch the steam and when the steam stops pouring out, they're done.

Miam miam


Saturday, 1 September 2012

Peanut Butter Ginger Cookies

From Janet & Greta Podleski's Eat, Shrink and Be Merry come Girl-Guy Cookies, a peanutty gingersnap (though mine never snap).

So good, make a double batch and freeze some.

Ingredients
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
small bowl cinnamon sugar (1 tsp cinnamon, 2 Tbsp granulated sugar)
Directions
1. In a medium bowl, stir together both flours, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt. Set aside.
2. In another medium bowl, beat together brown sugar, peanut butter and butter on medium speed of electric mixer for about 1 minute. Add molasses, egg and vanilla. Beat again until smooth.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
4. Using a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture into peanut butter mixture. You will be making a stiff dough. Using your hands, shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll balls in reserved cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place on cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart (they spread a lot when baking). Flatten cookies slightly using a fork.
5. Bake cookies for 7 minutes. They may appear undercooked, but that’s okay. Remove cookies from oven and immediately transfer from pan to a wire rack to cool.

http://countingmycalories.com/?p=323

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Crazy summer food ideas

Well, this has most certainly been one craaaaazy summer of stress and fun.
There's honestly not a lot of home cooking going on and I especially miss baking (and eating it).  I had a hankering for a chocolate chip cookie for weeks!  Thought I found what I was looking for at an Irving (Circle K) but the very next day I wanted more, so I guess those cookies didn't scratch my itch.  I don't often walk through the bakery section of my local grocery stores, but I did a couple of days ago and there was a pack of Gourmet Chocolate Chunk cookies from Sobeys.  The ingredients were not listed.  They were baked in-store.  They were good!  They were good enough to satisfy. 

We're eating a lot of our meals out of the grocery stores these days when we need to get out for showings of the house (it's for sale), work to be done on it and general summer fun.  I got the usual down pat.  I'm practicing for our long journey across the country in a few weeks.

Not my picture, but I love it!
source


I'm talking healthy choices that don't require cooking and maybe minimal heating or fiddling.  There are various breads and condiments (from PB&J to greek pita and hummus), a rotisserie chicken, bagged salads and pre-washed veggies to munch on and more (that I can't bring to mind right now, it's been a long day / week / month and it's going to be a long seven weeks ahead).  Fruit and cheeses.  Yogurt.

I'm looking for more of your ideas!  I'm often soliciting ideas from you and I do love your feedback.

I would like to know what you grab from the grocery store to eat as is or creatively throw together for a yummy meal.  What are your shortcuts?  Whether you're on a long drive and eating most of your meals picnic-style or rushing home after a long day of work, what do you turn to?  What are your fall-back meals?  Tell me everything!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Away

I've been away.  I've missed you muchly though I confessed in the beginning that my blog fell low on the priority list.

We are relocating to the other side of the country and I'm certain I'll pick it up again once things settle.

Feel free to write to me if you have suggestions for road trip food, music, games, hotel tips and anything else you can think of pertinent to a 6122km journey with four kids, three under 3.5!!!!

I'd love to keep hearing from you.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

PB cups - my new "fix"




If you are on a "diet" stop reading now.  You don't want to know the rest of this story...

I'll wait while you find something else to read...

This is your last chance to change the page...

Too late now, welcome to my world, you're still reading.

Crack

My new crack.  Flavour combination is addictive, texture is fabulous, I almost always have these ingredients on-hand, this is quick to make therefor a good quick "fix", ALL red flags.

You may still stop reading if you so choose, but you'll never know what you're missing.

PB Cups That Rival Reese's
adapted from CheekyKitchen
3/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter, or sunbutter)
1/4 cup shredded coconut (toasted or not)
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips
3 Tbsp coconut oil or butter
1 cup Rice Krispies (or O's or Corn Flakes)
- mix PB, coconut, icing sugar and vanilla in a small bowl
- melt coconut oil and chocolate chips in a medium bowl in the microwave, add cereal and stir to coat.
- spread about half chocolate cereal mixture onto plastic wrap covered plate, let harden in fridge (or if you're really in a rush pop into the freezer to harden, it's waaaaay faster)
- shape PB mix to cover chocolate cereal bottom and lay on top.  Cover with remaining chocolate cereal and let harden again (freezer?)
- when not frozen but yet hard, cut into pieces to share ideally, or store in the fridge or freezer to eat later tonight, but not all at once.

They can also be made in individual mini cupcake papers for easier sharing and portion control.

These melt very quickly on your fingers, be aware and have a wipe nearby.

Oh, it's good.

Remember the microwave brownie?  I would consider that my first discovery of crack. 

You're welcome.