Flower and Sugar

Short Cut Supper: Barbequed Pork Pizza

Oh leftovers… how to eat you up but avoid boredom? Actually, I’m kinda ok eating the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day for a month. Weird – I know. But Matt’s not as ok with that as I am. We always have this barbequed pork in the freezer for busy weeks – and after we’ve used it in sliders, salad, quesadillas, and even on baked potatoes we needed to find something new to make with it. This isn’t so much a recipe as an idea – but it’s a tasty idea!

I had a pita in the freezer and I threw it in the oven at 375F to defrost while I got out the pork and chopped up some cheese. Once the pita was defrosted and a bit toasted, I topped it with some extra barbeque sauce, the leftover pork, and the cheese. I baked it in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the pork was warmed through and the cheese was melty.

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Smoothie Adventures: Peanut Butter Banana

We are three weeks into the spring semester and it has been CRAZY! Teaching statistics is such a different ballgame from anything else I’ve tried. While I am loving it – it has been very time consuming and having these frozen smoothies has been a HUGE help! Matt and I make a bunch over the weekend, we freeze them, and in the evening I pick out my flavor and pop it in the fridge and it’s ready to go the next morning!

While most of the smoothie flavors we’ve been trying have been green smoothies, or at least fruit based, Matt and I are huge peanut butter fans – so it’s probably no surprise that a peanut butter smoothie has shown up! It’s a bit of a treat that I saved for a Friday morning. This smoothie was wonderful when we had a taste the day we made them, it’s super smooth and creamy. But a word of warning, it was a bit icy after it had been frozen. Next time we make it we plan to increase the liquid ingredients and we might try frozen bananas. I think it’s just a matter of time before I decide to try a chocolate smoothie :)

Recipe

  • 2 bananas
  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup ice

Makes 2-3 smoothies

Blend all ingredients until smooth to your desired consistency. Pour about 8-10 oz into 12 oz Kerr jars and freeze. Refrigerate the smoothie the night prior or pull out of the freezer a few hours before you are ready to eat and shake up or mix to regain smoothie consistency.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

We had a couple over for dinner that appreciated pumpkin as much as I do – so I knew this had to be on the menu. As it was only the four of us, I only made a half batch of these bars. I loved the combination of pumpkin and chocolate, and I loved the contrast of the chocolate and cheesecake. It made for a pretty dessert to share with friends!

Recipe (Found at Bake at 350)

For the cheesecake:

  • 8 oz room temperature cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 eggs

For the brownies:

  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325F. Line an 8x8 pan with tin foil (easier to remove the bars from the pan) and spray with cooking spray.

Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until no lumps remain. Add in the pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and spice and continue to beat until smooth. Add in the sour cream. Lightly beat the egg then mix it in until well combined. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the sugar and stir over low heat until combined and hot, not bubbly (mine did bubble a bit and it turned out fine). Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs until smooth. Stir in the flour.

Transfer about 3/4 of the brownie mixture into the pan and spread to cover the bottom. Pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie layer and spread evenly. Drop dollops of the brownie batter on top of the cheesecake layer. Use a butter knife to swirl the brownie into the cheesecake. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the cheesecake layer is set. Let cool completely on a wire rack then store in the refrigerator.

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Salted Caramel Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ever since I made these cookies I’ve really been into salted cookies. OMG – so good! I was excited when I came across this recipe. The addition of the cornstarch made the texture of these cookies super chewy – and I was not disappointed! I chose this recipe as it called for caramels to be added to the cookies and I received a timely baking package from my mother in law in the mail that included these chocolate caramels. The caramel isn’t as distinct in these pictures as the original recipe, but the flavor is still spot on!

I took these cookies into work for the staff kick-off meeting of the class I am an instructor for this semester. We have resident TAs and they put in pretty long hours. I appreciate how they carve out time for this class – and as I’ve shown over and over on this blog – I bake my thank yous!

Recipe (From Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Appx 3 dozen cookies

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or peacans)
  • 16 wrapped caramels, cut smaller pieces
  • sea salt

Wait on preheating the oven – these need to be chilled first.

I mixed these up by hand. Cream the softened butter and sugars together. Then mix in the vanilla and egg. Next, stir in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Lastly mix in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and chopped caramel. Cover dough and move to the refrigerator – chill for at least 30 minutes, I chilled it overnight.

When ready to bake these, preheat your oven to 350F. Line some baking sheets with parchment paper and scoop the dough onto the sheet pan. I used my cookie scooper – or drop 1 Tbsp sized balls of dough. Squish down the dough balls to flatten them a bit and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 8-10 minutes - do not over bake – they wont have the same texture! Cool for a few minutes on the pan to set before moving them to a cooling rack.

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Adventures in Smoothies: Cherry Smoothie on Instagram

And we continue on our smoothie adventure. See our earlier post on how we are putting together make ahead smoothies and freezing them to eat for breakfast throughout the week. We made this smoothie one weekend where we didn’t think to break out the camera (those who know Matt know how rare that is!) so you get the Instagram version taken by yours truly! While this one is a green smoothie with a good handful of spinach added, the dark red of the cherry covers up the color. This one might be a bit more palatable for anyone hesitant to jump on the green smoothie bandwagon,

I actually set up my Instagram account for a personal project I wanted to take on this year. I call it my Thankful For project or TF. Each day I try to take a picture and document something that I’m thankful for. I’m a bit of a grumpy person so I’m hoping this might help me to put things in a better perspective. So far I think I’ve done a good job of thinking of something every day and I’ve gotten a few good pictures out of it! (And a lot of just ok pictures ☺)

Recipe

  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 small carton of vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 banana
  • 8 oz frozen cherries

Makes approximately 2 smoothies

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