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Are you a corner or center?

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Brownie Perfection

I’m not asking where you line-up in football formation.

This is an all-important question about brownies.

Last night a friend brought a wonderful batch of brownies to dinner and I took a corner piece and she look incredulous and said “you actually like the corner?” She said she preferred the center of the brownie pan, to which I say NAY! The center is always to rich and gooey for me, much the reason why I don’t like fudge. It’s just too much of everything.

I do like fudgey brownies with a bit of crunch on the top and on the edges. It’s the best of both worlds.

I googled the subject and came across this funny discussion on reddit.com

There’s also the Brownie Corner Pan, something that is sheer brilliance!

Brownie corner pan

I hadn’t realized that there were people who disliked the crunchy/chewy sensation of a good corner of the brownie pan, but they are out there. So as always, I say we can all get along and this just leaves more for me!

Open-Faced Ginger Thin S’mores (or what I do when I’m bored)

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Here’s what I do when I have a few Hershey Kisses, Marshmallows and Trader Joe’s Ginger thins…put them together and make a delicious snack. (Please excuse the less than professional photos…)

1. Unwrap kiss (obvious, right?) and microwave for 5 seconds to soften a bit.

2. Cut the marshmallow in half, and roast over gas burner. I’m a bit impatient, and this causes a flare up as I put the marshmallow too close to the flame. But hey, I like that burnt taste and it smells good, too. (Note to self, clean the range top…)

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3. Place toasted marshmallow on Ginger this and immediately smoosh kiss on top.

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4. Enjoy!

5. Repeat…you do have another half a marshmallow after all…

Summatime Summatime Sum Sum Summatime for Milo’s tea!

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It’s mid June and even in the Northwest the forecast is for warm days and nights. It’s iced tea time! (Yes, I know that iced tea is a good, year ’round beverage, but it’s just so much better on a warm day with a slice of lemon, ice clinking, and beads of condensation gathering on the glass.)

Let me introduce you to  Milo’s Famous Tea; a fantastic prepared iced tea. It hails from Alabama, where iced tea is in fact a year ’round beverage, and they are pretty particular about their food and drink. I was lucky enough to live in Alabama, and Southerners are true food experts. Their restaurants boast the most regionally diverse fare anywhere in the country. Even simple potlucks rivals most good dinner parties anywhere else.

So imagine my delight when I spotted Milo’s in Idaho!

Milo’s is sold in gallon jugs in the refrigerated case. It is made fresh and has an expiration date within the next 30 days, so you know there aren’t any preservatives. In fact, all their tea is made from tea leaves, not powdered tea. The mere fact that it doesn’t live on the shelf tells you it’s fresh.

There is sweet tea, unsweet, and no-calorie sweet tea. My favorite is the unsweet, but every so often a good glass of sweet tea is just the ticket.

This tea is flavorful, and strong enough to handle ice-melt. I could drink it all day, and when I get home from work I pour a tall, refreshing glass with just a splash of organic lemonade.

Check out the Milo’s web site and see where you can buy a few gallons. It will be your favorite iced tea by the time you finish your first glass.

Photo credit: AL.com

King Cake…there’s a baby in there somewhere…

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Mardi Gras was 2 weeks ago, I know, but I love a good King Cake anytime. And I love anything that reminds my of New Orleans.

This morning instead of having my protein shake, I cut into the King Cake that I won at a silent auction and look what I found!

baby in the cake

The tiny baby. On the first slice! So, I guess this means a year of good luck..maybe…? (If I had chocked on it, maybe it would bode as bad luck?)

I could do without the beads on the cake, but that’s a minor complaint.

The history and name of King Cake goes back to Epiphany and the 3 Kings. It is made with a brioche type dough and covered in a white glaze with mardi gras colored sprinkles.  My cake had a bit of cream cheese filling and some are more butter and cinnamon filled. For more history here’s a link to Wilipedia’s post.

It’s a tradition that should move into Christmas, instead of fruitcake.

Here’s a place to buy one online at kingcakes.com

If you’d like to bake one yourself, you can’t go wrong with Southern Living’s recipe.

Southern Living King Cake

 

Do you have a favorite King Cake recipe or place to buy one? Let me know.

See’s Candies, I heart you!

See's Valentine's Box

A heart shaped Valentine’s box of chocolates is a cliche, I know. However, if you’re going to buy one, do it right.

See’s Candies makes a delicious assortment of fresh chocolates that will make most chocolate lovers swoon.

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I bought these for my Valentine, and it’s all that I can do not to dive right in!

Warm Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies on a Cold Night

oatmeal choco chips

Mmmmm, soft and chewy and warm from the oven. These cookies have filled the house with their sweet smell and now are perfect with a glass of cold milk.

I had extra oatmeal left over from the baked oatmeal last week, so whipped up these by experimenting with different amounts of flour and sugar, plus only using a small amount of chocolate chips. I know that sounds odd, but too much chocolate overpowers the oatmeal. Look closely, you won’t see lots of chips. If you want chocolate chip cookies, make those… these are soft oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips. I assure you, they do not disappoint. Also, the cinnamon is hard to detect, but it adds a depth to the flavor. Next I might try these with butterscotch chips…

Oatmeal Milk Chocolate Chippers

YIELD: about 3 dozen 2” cookies  PREP: 25 minutes  COOK: 11 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 large egg

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) softened

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips (I used Ghiardelli)

DIRECTIONS:

Add together in the bowl of a stand mixer: egg, butter, sugars, vanilla, and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beat on medium high for another minute.

oatmeal wet ingredients

Combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt, in a small bowl.

Oatmeal dry ingredients

Add oat mixture to butter mix and beat until combined. Don’t over-beat.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and use a small cookie scoop to scoop and drop the dough 2” apart on the sheet. You can fir 12 scoops to a sheet.

Chill sheet for 10 minutes in the refrigerator.*

Bake at 350 for 11 minutes. Let cool on sheet for 2 minutes and move cookies to cooling rack.

Let cool and store in an airtight container.

*If you only want to make half a batch, wrap the rest of the dough on plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Any longer and it should be frozen.

oatmeal on cookie sheet

oatmeal choco chippers

 Look closely and you’ll see the chips, just not too many…

Baked Oatmeal is perfect for a snowy morning.

baked oatmeal

When it’s cold, a warm breakfast is just what you need to start the day, and if it’s make-ahead, even better.

Baked Oatmeal is 1.easy 2.cheap 3.delicious. It’s more of a cake, than regular oatmeal, it’s not much to look at, but it’s very satisfying and perfect for a pre-skiing breakfast.

You have all of the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator. Try adding different fruits, dried berries, or nuts to make it your own recipe. I added frozen raspberries since we still have lots from last summer. Next time I’ll use the frozen huckleberries, and another time I’ll add coconut…

Oh, and it’s gluten-free, too!

Here’s the recipe. Let me know what you think and how you revised it to make it yours…

Ingredients:

1/2 cup applesauce

3/4 sugar

2 eggs

1 cup milk (I used 2%, but any kind is fine)

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup frozen raspberries

topping:

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

1.Grease a 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ metal pan

2. Mix first 8 ingredients together. Pour into greased pan.

3. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on top.

4. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

5. In the morning, remove pan from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pan in oven and bake for 35 minutes.

6. Spoon into bowls and serve with warm milk. Enjoy!

Serves 6-8.

 

 

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