Mar 27, 2010

Peanut Butter Fudge-Swirl Brownies

3 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or margarine
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coarsely chopped unsalted peanuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan. In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate with the butter over low heat; stir to blend. Set mixture aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, beat the peanut butter and oil together with an electric mixer until combined. Add the sugar and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in he eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in the flour and salt until just combined.

In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of the peanut butter batter and the cooled chocolate mixture. Stir the peanuts into the remaining peanut butter batter.

Scrape the peanut butter batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Spoon the chocolate mixture over the batter. With a table knife or metal spatula, make a zigzag pattern through the layers to create a marbled effect. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted 2 inches from the center comes out almost clean. Cool the brownies in the pan, set on a wire rack.

Mar 22, 2010

Call for vegetable recipes

I realize that I don't have a very large group of people who follow this blog, but I'm still going to boldly go forward and issue my first call for recipes. Is anyone out there willing to share their favorite vegetable recipes? I'll be happy to post them here and give you full credit. I usually just cook frozen veggies and add a little butter and salt. But I'd like to find some new recipes that will help me to eat more healthily.

Mar 17, 2010

Julie Bateman’s Mandarin Orange & Almond Salad

Dressing:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons French mustard
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 medium purple onion, chopped
2 cups salad oil

Combine dressing ingredients in blender. Blend and then refrigerate.

Salad:
Mixed greens
Chopped celery
Dried cranberries (I'm not a big fan of dried cranberries, so I substitute fresh, chopped apple instead.)
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 package slivered almonds (caramelize the almonds in 1-2 T butter and 1/2 cup sugar)
Grated mozzarella cheese

Mar 8, 2010

Apple-Date Spread

If you want to try something a little extra special when you serve a sweet bread like banana bread, pumpkin bread, or zucchini bread, try this delectable apple-date spread. My mom made this a few years ago when an exhibit of her botanical art opened at a local gallery. This spread was a big hit.

1 8-oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely chopped tart apples
1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts or pecans
3/4 cup finely chopped dates

Blend cream cheese with milk and cream. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Mar 2, 2010

Scotcharoos

My friend and coworker Angie is a passionate lover of books and can recommend a good read to just about anyone. You can visit her book blog here. Frankly, I don't know why Angie isn't a librarian, but then she has other interests, too, including cooking. This Scotcharoo recipe is an oft-requested treat that Angie brings to office parties. The peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch make an awesome combination.

1 cup corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
6 cup Rice Krispies
1 bag chocolate chips
1 bag butterscotch chips
(I use about a bag and a half of each kind)

Combine corn syrup and sugar and bring to boil over low heat. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter and mix till creamy. Mix in Rice Krispies and pour into a buttered 9x13 pan. While treats are cooling, combine chocolate and butterscotch chips and melt over low heat, stirring as necessary. Pour over cooled treats and refrigerate till topping solidifies. Cut into chunks and serve.