Sunday, February 19, 2012

Baked Hash Browns

I found this recipe on I was looking for a way to make hashbrowns that wouldn't take over my stove since I needed the burners for other things. These came out a little browner that I would have liked but I got distracted doing other breakfast items. It was still really good and had wonderful flavor. This is a great way to prepare hashbrowns when you've got other items on the stove that need tending too. Just don't forget about them like I did ;)



Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Peel potatoes and wash. Use a mandolin, or food processor with the grater attachment, to finely shred potatoes. Place in a kitchen towel and squeeze dry.
Take a 9-inch oven proof skillet and add bacon and sliced shallots. Set over medium heat and render fat, 4 to 5 minutes. Shallots will caramelize. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and shallots and put in a large mixing bowl (reserve the bacon fat and pan) with potato slices, egg white, green onions, and thyme leaves and season well with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Spoon mixture into the hot pan with the bacon fat. Pack it in well pressing down with a large spoon to compress the mixture a little. Drizzle the top with some extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. When it starts to get golden brown and crispy around the edges flip the hash brown over and pop into the oven to bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before running a knife around the edges and then inverting the potato onto a cutting board. Slice into wedges, garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley and serve.

Monday, February 13, 2012

S'mores Bars

This recipe is just a flat out share of one I saw on pinterest. S'mores are one of my all time favorites desserts. This recipe is so easy that I had to stop keeping the items to make it in my pantry.

The bottom and top layers are a soft shortbread made with crushed graham crackers. The middle is just 2 giant hershey bars and a jar of marshmallow fluff.

Incredibly easy and incredibly addictive.

The original post is on this Blog.

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.
  3. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Another great pinterest find. The original blog post can be found HERE.

I made a slight modification though. The original recipe called for what I thought was more than enough swirl and icing. So instead I double the batter amount and kept the swirl and icing portions the same. I still ended up with alot of swirl left over. The following recipe is doubled batter, halved swirl and the same icing. It makes just about enough for my, hubby and my two sons (who each eat twice as much as I do!)


2 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/8  cup brown sugar, packed (half of 3/4)
1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 Tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



1. Prepare pancake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in milk, oil and egg, just until batter is moistened (a few small lumps are fine).
2. In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small zip baggie and set aside. You don't want this to remain super-liquidy. It's best if it becomes a consistency similar to toothpaste.
3. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl- heat butter and cream cheese until melted. Whisk together until smooth; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract; set aside.
4. Heat large skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Scoop about 3/4 cup batter onto the skillet. Snip the corner of your baggie of filling and squeeze a spiral of the filling onto the top of the pancake. When bubbles begin to appear on the surface, flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.
5. When ready to serve, spoon warmed glaze onto the top of each pancake.


*Keep the heat low or your pancakes might cook up too quickly. Don't flip them until you see those bubbles starting to pop on top. Flip them with a wide spatula so you can grasp the whole thing without batter and filling dripping all over the place!
*It's best if you pour the batter onto your skillet, wait a minute or so and then swirl the cinnamon onto the batter. That'll give it a chance to set a little before you add the swirl.
*If your baggie of filling begins to get too thick, just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it up again. On that same note, it shouldn't be too runny. The consistency of soft toothpaste is perfect. If it's melty and runny, it will tend to run all over your pancakes. Once you micro it, let it sit on the counter at room temp for a while until it thickens slightly.

The ingredients and directions were copied from the original blog. This tends to make a big mess, so make sure you either use a good non stick griddle or put your pans and utensils in hot soapy water before washing for easier clean up.

Cream Cheese Won-ton Cups

One of my favorite treats are cream cheese filled won-tons. But the classic version is alot of work and is best made in small batches. I wanted to convert so that I had a shorter prep time and I could make all of them at once.


8 oz cream cheese, softened
24 won ton small square papers
ginger to taste
1 chopped green onion


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix cream cheese and green onions. Grate ginger into the cream cheese mixture and continue tasting until you get the flavor that you like. I prefer having a bit stronger ginger flavor and I think I used about 1 tablespoon of grated ginger.

Transfer the cream cheese mixture to a piping bag or a ziploc bag.

Put one wonton paper in each cup of a mini muffin tray.  I used a shot glass to push the papers down into the cups.

Squeeze about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese into each cup.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until the tips are golden brown. Serve warm, and try not to eat all of them yourself.

Rice Krispie Valentine Treats

Thanks to Pinterest, I decided to make a homemade Valentine gift for Keegan's classmates. I knew there would be a few issues or problems with the idea in my head, but I knew I could make it work.

First off you need to make a batch of Rice Krispie Treats, according to the box directions.

Put the tray of treats in the fridge for an hour or so to really firm up.

Before taking the treats out of the fridge, chop and melt your chocolate.

 I used half a big block of Almond Bark and make 17 heart treats. Worked out perfectly.

Next, cut out your rice krispie treats. I used a heart for Valentine's Day.

Now comes my first hurdle. The first time I dipped the treat in chocolate then tried to put the lollipop stick in. Big mess. So push the stick into the treat to create a hole, then remove it before dunking in chocolate. I was also worried that the treats would be too soft to hold up. So make sure you coat the entire back of the heart shape to give it some stability. Lay out on a sheet of wax paper. Sprinkle with candies shortly after dipping so the candy will stick to the chocolate.

I wrapped each treat and closed with a red bow.

I had my son pose for a picture with his fist up in the air. I used photoshop to add a heart, border and text. Then I had Walmart print 4x6 copies.

Make a small slit at the top and bottom of the hand with an xato knife.

Insert the lollipop stick into the holes so that it looks like they are holding the lollipop.