Pudding Cups

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 Wicked Good Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cups. They’re from the book, Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey Treats for Kids by Jill O’Connor and just as good as their name states. These pudding cups, they are really fun to make and even more fun to eat. You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

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Let the pudding chill for at least four hours before eating.

Now, here’s the best part.

It involves balloons to make bowls.

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We blew up regular size balloons about halfway so they were still small, but found that water balloons worked best. They are a perfect size for this project, just hard to fill with air instead of water. I about busted a lung.

After you blow up the balloons, wash them off and let them dry. And before you use each one, spray a little non-stick cooking spray on each. Just a little.

Okay, here’s what you do.

Melt some semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate or confectionery coating. Let it cool slightly before using. It doesn’t need to be super hot.

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Spoon a small amount on a wax-paper-covered baking sheet.

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Then take one of your prepared balloons and dip it in the chocolate. Dip it in enough so the chocolate makes a bowl shape around the balloon.

Remove from the chocolate and place the balloon gently on top of the chocolate waiting on the baking sheet.

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And repeat.

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Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

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It’s as easy as one…

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two…

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three!

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And like I said earlier … just fun. 

You can place the tray of balloon bowls in the refrigerator to speed up the drying time.

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Then it’s time for the really fun part.

Pop them all with a pin.

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Gently remove the balloon carnage from the inside of the cups and they are ready to go. If you want, you can also serve other treats in them like ice cream.

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But we had wicked good pudding waiting in the fridge. Fill each cup as full as you want.

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Then you can top them off with whipped cream.

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Lots and lots of whipped cream.

To make Jill’s Sweetened Whipped Cream, just chill a metal bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 15 minutes (to help whip the cream faster). Then combine 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat on medium-low using a mixer until the cream starts to thicken. Then increase speed to medium-high and beat until firm peaks form.

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Finally, you can add some sprinkles. As few…

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or as many as you like.

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Want some?

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Come on… you know you do.

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And when you’re all finished, you can eat the bowl, too.

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Enjoy making a mess!

Source: Bakerella

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The Comfort of Eggs in a Basket

egg in a basket

 Ideally, make this with slices of toast cut thick. This allows, over medium heat, for the bread to reach just the right golden crispness, the egg whites to fully set, and the yolk to remain nicely runny so you have something to dip in.

I guess I have a fondness for very fast and simple eggs + bread dishes. Maybe it’s because when I’m hungry, I’m hungry, and it’s a substantial comfort to know that a dish like this–and one that tastes as good as this–is just 5 minutes away. I know that hunger won’t have dominion long. Eggs and bread is my protector.

What are your go-to quick meals when hunger looms?

Eggs in the Basket

egg in a basket in a pan
  • 2 slices bread 1-inch thick
  • 2 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons oil, butter, bacon fat, etc.

Cut a hole in the slice of bread about 2″ x 2″, reserving the piece you cut out. Heat the fat in a skillet over medium heat until quite hot (if using butter, the foam should start to subside) and add the bread and the cut-out round in the skillet next to it. Crack the egg into the hole and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the bread is golden underneath; flip carefully and cook the other side until also golden, seasoning with more salt and pepper. Don’t forget to flip the cut-out round, too.

Serve immediately.

Pots de Creme

Okay, first of all, here’s how you do NOT pronounce Pots de Creme: “Pawts deh Creem.”

Here’s how you DO pronounce Pots de Creme: “Po de Krehm”, or, if you want to get really technical, “Po de k(insert phlegmy, back-of-the-throat crackly French sound)ehm”.

Okay, now that we have that life-altering issue under control, let’s talk about this delightful dessert! Folks, I can’t begin to express to you how monumentally easy this Pot de Creme is to prepare, and how truly delicious it is. Now, it does need to chill for 3 to 4 hours before serving, so it does require a tiny bit of planning. But the preparation couldn’t be easier, and will leave you with much more time not to water your garden and not to do laundry and not to clean out your fridge and not to clear off the counter right inside your door where everyone sets their papers and junk and dead frogs.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Let’s make Pots de Creme! It’ll make ya feel reeeeeeal fancy-like.

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The Cast of Characters: Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, Eggs, Vanilla, and Strong Hot Coffee. Nothing complicated here!

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Begin by throwing in 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips.

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Crack in four eggs…
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Right on top of the chocolate chips
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Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
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OR! If you want to kick things up a little bit, you can substitute either Cognac, Grand Marnier, Kahlua, or any other liqueur you can think of. 
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Next, add in a healthy pinch of salt.
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Now, put the lid on..
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Then turn on the blender.
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Then, as soon as the mixture is blending, remove the circular disk from the blender lid…
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Anyway, the mixture will slowly expand and rise in the blender…
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Just make sure you keep it in a slow stream and you’ll be fine.
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After you’ve added all the coffee, continue blending for a few more seconds until mixture is smooth, then turn off the blender.
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Now, traditionally, Pots de Creme is served in little “pots”, or demitasse cups. 

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Just pour the mixture into all the glasses, leaving plenty of room to add whipped cream later.
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And that is IT! Took five minutes, tops.

Now place the glasses into the fridge for 3 to 4 hours at least so the mixture will firm up. That’s what I’m gonna go do right now.

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Prep Time: 4 Hours  |  Cook Time:  |  Difficulty: Easy  |  Servings: 2

  • 12 ounces, weight Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 4 whole Eggs, Room Temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract (or Cognac, Grand Marnier, Etc.)
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 8 ounces, fluid Strong Hot Coffee

Preparation Instructions

First thing to do is to take your eggs out of the refrigerator ahead of time and let them come to room temperature before starting.

When eggs are at room temperature you can begin by placing the chocolate chips into a blender. Follow this with the eggs and the vanilla (or liqueur). Add a pinch of salt. Turn on the blender.

While it is blending, remove the circular disk from the blender lid and very slowly pour in 8 ounces of strong, VERY HOT coffee. It is essential that your coffee be extremely hot in order for the final product to be the right consistency and texture.

Blend for a minute or so until mixture is smooth and fairly free of visible bits of chocolate.

Pour the mixture into your serving glasses or little demitasse cups, leaving plenty of room to add a heap of whipped cream later.

Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 to 4 hours so the mixture has a chance to set.

Garnish with whipped cream and maybe a chocolate curl or two and you have an easy, delicious and yes, elegant, dessert!

Crash Hot Potatoes

Created by Australian food writer Jill Dupleix, it’s called “Crash Hot Potatoes” and has soared to the top of my Favorite Side Dishes to Serve With Big Ol’ Hunks of Beef.

They’re so simple, it’s terrifying. Well, not terrifying…but almost. They’re a lovely twist on the tired old baked potato Flavorful, Crispy Surface Area.

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 The Cast of Characters: New Potatoes (or other small, round potato), Olive Oil, Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, and whatever herb you like. I’m using Rosemary.

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Begin by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil. 

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Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make, and cook them until they’re fork-tender.
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Next, generously drizzle olive oil on a sheet pan.

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This will mean the difference between the potatoes sticking and not sticking, so don’t be shy here.
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When the potatoes are tender, place them on the cookie sheet…
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…Giving them plenty of room to spread out. 
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Next, grab your potato masher and gently press down on the potato until it slightly mashes…

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Then rotate the masher 90 degrees and finish flattening it. Of course, you don’t want to absolutely smash it into the pan—you want it almost to resemble a cookie.

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Repeat until all are flattened. And really, I don’t know why you couldn’t use the bottom of a glass for this step if you don’t have a potato masher. The surface might not be as textured and interesting, but I think it still might work. 
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Next, brush the tops rather generously with olive oil.

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Next, grab some Kosher salt. You can use regular salt, but I’d really recommend using kosher. It adheres to the potatoes more easily and really flavors them nicely without getting too salty. Or something. 
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Remember: potatoes need salt. Don’t skimp! 
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Be ever as generous with fresh ground black pepper.
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 Now, you can grab some chives…or thyme…or whatever herbs you have available.
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 Whatever herb you use, just chop it pretty finely and sprinkle over the top.
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That’s it!
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Now throw them onto the top rack of a very hot (450-degree) oven, and cook them for 20-25 minutes…
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…Or until they’re golden and crispy and sizzling.
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Mmmm.. Just look at these babies.
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They almost look like latkes, don’t they? But only almost…

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Recipe: Crash Hot Potatoes

Prep Time: 30 Minutes  |  Cook Time: 25 Minutes  |  Difficulty: Easy  |  Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes)
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt To Taste
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • Rosemary (or Other Herbs Of Choice) To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.

On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.

With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.

Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Food that Pops!!

Everybody likes hosting parties 🙂 And deciding the food is a super difficult task.. Take a look at these creative ideas on how get rid of the boring food, utensils, and expensive dinnerware. No more deciding if you want chicken, fish or steak, instead, fill your plate with a little bit of everything!!

GET THIS STYLE

1. Poptarts on a stick via The Kitchn
2. Greek Salad on a stick via Cooking with My Kid
3. Panini Pops via PaniniHappy
4. Pancakes on a stick via Best Destination Wedding
5. S’mores on a stick via The Kitchn
6. Pizza on a stick via The Kitchn
7. French Toast Kebabs via Parent Map
8. Pizza Meatballs on a stick via Big Red Kitchen
9. Watermelon on a stick via Bobble Blog
10. Caprese Salad on a stick via If the Ring Fits
11. Chicken Waffles on a stick via Taste Popping
12. Sandwich on a stick via Parent Map
13. Chicken Fingers on a stick via Al Cibbo Comme Stibile
14. Tortellini on a stick via Opie Foto
15. Donuts on a stick via ICanHasCheezburger
16. Bread on a stick via Sunset-Vine
17. Pie on a stick via The Family Kitchen

Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls

     

 Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls anyone?  These are cute aren’t they.  I thought it would be fun to share some fun party food this week to get ready for game day. 

 

 Here are your ingredients, nice and simple.

 

Unroll your french bread loaf and cut into 10 equal slices, about 1 inch thick.

Flatten each slice with the palms of your hands about a 3 inch round.

Press in the bottom and up the sides of your muffin tin.

Time to cook the spinach, watch it wilt in seconds.

Now add your garlic and stir it all up for a good minute or so.

Place your cream cheese, sour cream, spinach and parmesan cheese into a mixing bowl.  Mix mix mix.

Here’s the yummy part.  Add a pinch or two of Chile Pepper.  Love this!

Don’t forget the garlic salt.

Give another good mix and….

Scoop dip into your bread bowls.

Sprinkle with cheese, bake for 15 minutes and….see photo below.
Wait until you dig into these, Enjoy!

Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls
13.3 oz roll of refrigerated french bread loaf
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
3 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 Cup light sour cream
2 Tablespoons fresh shredded parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon Chile Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 10 muffin cups with non stick cooking spray.  Unroll package of french bread loaf and slice into 10 equal size slices, about 1 inch thick.  Press each slice into about a 3 inch round, I did this by pressing in between my hands.  Press into the bottom and up sides of the muffin cup.  Set aside.
Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Cook and stir spinach until wilted, about 3 minutes then add garlic, cook and stir for another minute then turn heat off.
Place cream cheese, sour cream, cooked spinach and garlic, Parmesan Cheese, Chili Powder, garlic salt, salt and pepper into a medium bowl.  Mix until well combined.  With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dip into each of the centers of bread bowls.  Top evenly with shredded cheese and bake for 15-17 minutes until just turning brown on edges.  Remove and let cool for 3-5 minutes before removing from oven.
10 mini spinach dip bread bowls 🙂 Source: Picky Palate

Hot cocoa cookies :)

I am a teeny bit obsessed with the cookies from the issue of EveryDay with Rachael Ray magazine. I don’t think I need to tell you that these were tasty. The photos sort of speak for themselves..

Ooey gooey chocolatey marshmallowy deliciousness. Hot cocoa in a cookie!

In a medium saucepan, melt together:

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter

12 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate (bars)

Stir frequently over medium heat until smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together:

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Using an electric mixer, beat together:

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Beat on low speed until smooth, 2 minutes. Mix in the cooled chocolate mixture just until blended. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll between your palms to form 1-inch balls. Arrange about 16 balls 2 inches apart on each cookie sheet, flattening slightly. Bake until the tops of the cookies crack, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut 7.5 ounces of semisweet chocolate (bars) into 1-inch squares. Snip 8 marshmallows in half crosswise and stick 1 square of chocolate onto each of the cut sides.

Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and gently press a marshmallow half, chocolate side down, into each cookie. Bake until the marshmallows are just softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 5 minutes.

Grate 5 ounces of semisweet chocolate over the hot cookies. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the racks and let cool. Repeat the process with the remaining dough, marshmallows and chocolate. Bake each batch on a clean sheet of parchment paper.

Enjoy! More cookies to come!

Source: Pip & Ebby