April 22, 2014

Chocolate Mousse

Oh my. So simple. Two ingredients. So delicious. (I ate four of the five in one day. In my defense, my children slept horribly the previous night and napped poorly that day. My husband is lucky indeed I saved him one.)

These are rich enough that a small portion truly does satisfy when you're not eating away your stress. Top them with homemade whipped cream for a perfectly impressive dessert. You can fill 5 1/4-pint jars with one batch.

You can substitute other milk varieties if desired. I think this would be perfect with a peanut butter whipped topping, but Oh Ladycakes has many ideas beyond just her basic recipe. I've shared my shortcut method below, but her post has a more traditional approach.


Chocolate Mousse
6 oz. dark chocolate
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Have your 1/4-pint jars or other small bowls ready before you start as you will need to work quickly. Melt the chocolate on medium heat in the microwave, stirring often until just melted. Place bowl on top of ice packs to chill chocolate while adding the almond milk. Beat with a hand mixer on medium-low speed for 3 to 5 minutes. The mixture will be very bubbly, and then fine lines will start to appear. Once the bubbles diminish and all you see are lines, mix for 10 more seconds. Pour mousse into jars, and tap to remove any trapped air bubbles. Chill at least 2 hours until set. Mousse will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Makes 5 portions.

Buttermilk Honey Bread

Homemade bread is a staple in our house, so much so that cheap storebought bread becomes the treat. (There's something about the nostalgia of a pb&j with the flimsy bread.) This recipe from Local Milk caught my eye over the weekend, and it was on our dinner table the following Monday.

This is a sweeter bread than I normally would prefer, but it is oh so soft with a crunch to the crust. Delicious toasted and slathered with butter.

Buttermilk Honey Bread
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. sugar
1 heaping tsp. yeast
1 1/2 buttermilk, warmed
1/3 cup honey
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups flour

Heat the water to 110°, and mix the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let it stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.

In a large stand mixing bowl, whisk together 4 cups of flour and the salt.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the buttermilk and warm gently, stirring. Remove from heat, and stir in the honey as well as the yeast mixture.

Add the yeast mixture into the flour, and knead on low. Add more flour as needed until the dough comes together into a smooth, elastic dough. The dough will still be sticky due to the honey but shouldn't stick to the sides of the bowl.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel, and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about two hours.

Punch the dough down, form in a loaf, place into two oiled loaf pans, cover with the towel again, and let it rise until doubled again, about another hour. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375°F.

Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes until golden and hollow sounding when knocked on the bottom. If the top seems to be getting toodark , cover with foil for the rest of the bake time.

Allow to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove, and allow to cool for 30 minutes to an hour before slicing. Makes 2 8 x 4 loaves.

April 13, 2014

Strawberry Jam Crumb Bars

The original post at NAMI-NAMI calls these an Estonian crumb cake, but in my mind it's not a cake. This is a buttery crumb bar with strawberry (or other if you choose) jam sandwiched between the piles of crumbs. Tasty, but not my treat of choice since there is no chocolate involved.


Strawberry Jam Crumb Bars
3 1/3 cups flour
3 oz. sugar
Pinch of salt
14 Tbsp. cold butter, cubed
1 egg
1 pint strawberry jam

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Grease a 9 x 13 pan, and set aside.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer 1/3 of the mixture to a small bowl, and set aside as the crumb topping. Add the egg to the food processor, and process until well mixed.

Pour into the prepared pan, spread evenly and press down with the palm of your hand. Spread the filling evenly over the crumb base, leaving a bit of room between the jam and the edges of the pan if you desire an easier pan to clean. Sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture.

Bake 30 minutes or until crumb topping is lightly golden. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Caramel Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

There's nothing like using 7 sticks of butter in one morning (two sets of bars including these and the world's largest batch of waffle batter for a family of 2 adults, 1 toddler and an almost 9-month-old babe). I felt much better knowing most of the bars would go to our church's Lenten fish fry, so I'm sharing the buttery wealth.

When I saw these bars on Buns in My Oven, I knew I wanted to make them. I also knew I didn't want to be tempted to eat a half batch of them, so taking them to the fish fry is the perfect solution for me.


Caramel Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 bag (11 ounces) milk chocolate chips
Read more at http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2014/03/27/caramel-peanut-butter-oatmeal-bars/#1987oijMM4Qzkzbv.99
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 bag (11 ounces) milk chocolate chips
Read more at http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2014/03/27/caramel-peanut-butter-oatmeal-bars/#1987oijMM4Qzkzbv.99
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 bag (11 ounces) milk chocolate chips
Read more at http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2014/03/27/caramel-peanut-butter-oatmeal-bars/#1987oijMM4Qzkzbv.99
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, divided
3 sticks plus 2 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups oats
2 cups flour
11 oz. milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a medium saucepan, melt together 2 Tbsp. brown sugar and 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add the sweetened condensed milk, and cook stirring almost constantly until the mixture thickens and deepens to a caramel color, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Set aside.

Combine remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, oats and flour together. Melt the remaining 3 sticks of butter, and mix well into the dry ingredients. Press half the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of the pan, and bake 10 minutes. Immediately top with chocolate chips, and spread caramel peanut butter sauce evenly over the chocolate chips. Sprinkle evenly with remaining oat mixture.

Bake for another 15 minutes or until top is golden. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
make the caramel sauce by melting 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat. When melted, stir in the sweetened condensed milk and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and darkens to a caramel color, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla.
To make the crust, combine the flour, oatmeal, and remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar in a large bowl. Melt the remaining 1 1/2 cups of butter and stir into the oatmeal mixture.
Press half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the oatmeal crust. Spread the caramel peanut butter mixture over the chocolate chips and crumble the remaining oatmeal crust mixture over the top. Return to the oven and continue baking for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.
Read more at http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2014/03/27/caramel-peanut-butter-oatmeal-bars/#1987oijMM4Qzkzbv.99
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 bag (11 ounces) milk chocolate chips
Read more at http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2014/03/27/caramel-peanut-butter-oatmeal-bars/#1987oijMM4Qzkzbv.99

April 8, 2014

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake

Our semi-vegetarian quest through Lent continues. I made white bean burgers while my husband was out of town for work since he thought they sounded disgusting. Disgusting ... no. Delicious ... no. I have a hard time getting behind bean burgers, I guess. I think they sound pretty good and then am left feeling bleh.

But this Enchilada Bake from Two Peas & Their Pod has no blehness whatsoever. This is delicious. And it's versatile in the sense that leftovers could be made into burritos (with a bit of fried chorizo on a non-vegetarian day). Both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this, so this will be a repeat meal for us.

No pictures here, but check out the original post for pretty pictures.

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 cup corn frozen kernels
Juice of 1 small lime
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. dried cilantro
30 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray, and set aside.

Add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and fluff with a fork. Cover quinoa, and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and peppers. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the corn. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lime juice, cumin, chili powder and cilantro. Stir to combine.

In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the vegetable mixture, and stir to combine. Pour in the enchilada sauce, and stir. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

Pour the black bean and quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, and then remove foil. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with toppings, if desired. Serve warm. Makes 8 to 10 servings.