Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Espresso Bourbon Chocolate Brownies with Pecans

Sweet Cravings!!!

It's time to try a new recipe just in time for Valentine's Day!!  


Last night, I was looking at many brownie photos. But I didn't decided to bake until I saw this one from Lemon&Anchovies.

Coffee with Whiskey and Chocolate and Pecans??  

Espresso Bourbon Chocolate Brownies with Pecans
Prep Time:  15 min      Bake Time: 30 minutes
1/2 cup (or 3 oz) chocolate chunks (This will be melted with the butter)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup bourbon (any Whiskey)
2 tbsp instant coffee
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a double boiler (Create yours by getting a pot with water with a bowl on top.  Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.), melt butter and chocolate.  Remove from heat to transfer to a mixing bowl.

(In a small bowl, stir the whiskey with the instant coffee.)

Add the sugar into the mix.  Beat eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla.
Now pour the whiskey-coffee mixture.

In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking soda.

Pour the flour mixture into the same bowl as the wet ingredients.  Once everything is incorporated, stir in pecans and chocolate chips.

Use cooking spray or foil in your 8x8 pan.  Pour the batter in.  Bake for 30 minutes.

My hubby LOVED it.  First you taste chocolate with the aroma of coffee. Then you are hit with the alcohol.

WOW.  This one's a keeper -- like my hubby!!!

Happy Valentine's Week!!  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Curried Crab Endive Boats

Many years ago, I was at an event with Gelson's (Grocery Store) catering. It was the first time I had ever consumed endive spear appetizers. They had put beef inside the spear. After that bite, I had to search for them for seconds and thirds. I've had these in the back of my mind. This recipe is with crabmeat, not beef.

With endive leaves, you can be creative with however you wish to float your boat. *pun intended*


Curried Crab Endive Appetizer
Prep Time: 10 minutes
2 heads endive
6 oz crabmeat (canned)
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp scallions, chopped
3 tbsp red bell peppers, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Wash and separate the endive heads into individual leaves

Mix all the other ingredients in a bowls. Scoop a generous about into each endive leaf.

You can add whatever you want in your endive boats. I actually used the leftover endive to make a small pear endive salad for the next day. Just cut endives crosswise. then top with small pieces of pear. Drizzle with dressing of your choice (I used sesame viniagrette).

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

BEST RIBS EVER (Made AT HOME!!!) - Dry Rub Included

Make it at home today.

Up to this day, I never attempted to make baby back ribs.  Searched high and low for a dry rub. When I asked friends which dry rub they used, the response was the grocery store bought ones. After poking around recipe land, I found just what I was looking for...

This dry rub utilizes spices that many home cooks have on hand. That's why I love it.

Dry Rub for Meat
Prep Time: 5 minutes 

3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper (cayenne) - you may omit this if you don't want it to be spicy

Stir together and you've created a mix that will make your meats even more delicious!

I ended up making another batch so that I could have a small jar for whenever I need it.



I'm not exaggerating/kidding when I say that I HAD THE BEST RIBS EVER AT HOME!!!  Yes, Yes, IT'S TRUE.

I cook dinner for two. You can increase the pounds of ribs to your liking.

Best Ribs Ever (at Home)
Prep Time: 5 min      Bake Time: 3 hr
Marinate: 3 hr (Dry Rub in Refrigerator)
1 lb pork ribs
dry rub (see above)
1/4 - 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I put a splash of whiskey in the bbq sauce...heheh)

Put dry rub all over the pork ribs one side at a time. Cover with plastic wrap and place it back into the refrigerator. The flavors will seep in more the longer you wait. This can be done overnight (but mine turned out fine after three hours).

Preheat oven to 300F. Place the ribs in a pan with the meat side down. Cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 2.5 hours.

Carefully take out the hot pan and uncover. Slather on the BBQ sauce generously on both sides of the ribs. Now bake with the meat side up. Cover with the foil again.

Bake for another half hour with the BBQ sauce.

Remove from the oven. Smell the aroma of meat and BBQ sauce. Then prepare yourself for RIB HEAVEN!!! WOW... Moist and juicy...finger licking good. I really should have taken a photo after I cut into the ribs so that you could witness the juiciness but I couldn't wait to taste heaven!!!

Ahh...as I am writing about it, I wish I had more ribs next to me to consume. Mmm... Mmm...


Since making this, I have used the dry rub on chicken and steak.
It's delicious on everything!! I'll have to use the dry rub on pork next time.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Oatmeal _____ Chip Bars

I don't make cookies often. I prefer to make bars. The difference??

It's less work!!

The batter is the same but I don't have to roll the dough into balls or use a scoop for cookies. Don't have to worry about the spacing of the cookies in the oven while baking since it spreads. Just pour the entire batter into a pan. Then it's ready to bake.

This is my favorite oatmeal bar recipe. Baked it with cinnamon chips and another batch with chocolate chips.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
Prep Time: 10 min        Bake Time: 25-30 min

1 cup butter (or 2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 2/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, optional
(3/4 cup raisins, optional)

With a mixer, cream butter and sugars. Then beat in the eggs (one at a time) and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, add flour and baking soda. Stir with a spoon until the baking soda is incorporated into the flour.

Add half the dry ingredients (flour mixture) to the first bowl. Beat with mixer. Dump the other half in using mixer.

Now that the mixer part is done, add oatmeal, chocolate chips (or any flavored chips you desire), and walnuts. Stir with a spoon, fork, etc.

Pour the entire mixture into a 9x13 pan. Smooth out the chunky mixture with a spoon. Bake for 25-30 min. I usually check it at 28 min.

Let the oatmeal bars completely cool; Cut into squares/rectangles. But I put some on top of ice cream for hubby while it was warm.

With cinnamon chips...

With chocolate chips...