Chewy Coconut Blondies

Chewy Coconut Blondies

Chewy Coconut Blondies




A few months back I started a bottle of homemade vanilla extract. All the “recipes” one can find say to let it age for about 6 weeks. Well, mine has aged about 4 months now. I’ve always been an overachiever :-p I opened it today and took a whiff. It was, without a doubt, one of the most amazing scented things I had ever smelled. Better than chocolate, better than baking lasagna, better even than my husband after he has been doing he man work in the yard. It immediately started to perfume the whole kitchen and I’m pretty sure if it hadn’t been simply 80 proof vanilla vodka infused with a ton of vanilla beans (I used vanilla vodka just to up the ante and used far more than the amount of beans usually suggested), I would have upended it into my mouth. It is sheer vanilla heaven.

So since I had this wonderful extract, I needed to find the perfect way to use it. My mind went through shortbread to cheesecake to a vanilla shake. Then I thought of snickerdoodle cookies, sugar cookies and so on and so forth. I wanted something that would highlight that floral vanilla flavor without being overwhelmed by other ingredients or overwhelming them since this is one intense vanilla

The other day, Food52 posted a recipe for Blondies. Now I love a good Blondie anyway…. that subtle flavor, the melty chips, the chewy edges; whats not to like? They are even one of the rare cases where I am fine using nuts.

But, being me, I had to change it some. Not much mind you, but some. I added toasted coconut, extra chocolate chips & extra vanilla, as well as a small amount of coconut extract plus used dark brown sugar instead of light to give it a deeper flavor.These turned out wonderfully. They have slightly crispy, slightly chewy edges, tat wonderful coconut/chocolate flavor that I personally love, the crisp topping of chopped pecans. Just all around delicious enough that it is going to take some major willpower for me to not over indulge in these. Willpower or possibly the National Guard standing over the plate with an M-16 pointed in my direction.

You know the drill…

Chewy Coconut Blondies

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter that has been melted and then cooled to room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons good quality vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted at 350 until light golden brown (stir often)
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with foil and then grease or spray the foil.
  2. Toast your pecans at 350 for ten minutes or until they are a nice toasty brown. transfer to a plate to cool quicker.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and the brown sugar. Whisk well to combine. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract and coconut extract
  5. Fold in the toasted coconut, chocolate chips and pecans. I actually sprinkled the pecans on top because I like the way it looks that way, but either way works.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes. The top should be somewhat shiny and crinkled looking. Cool on a rack in the pan until they are room temp. Lift the brownies out to a cutting board using the foil as handles and cut into small squares. Or big ones. That’s cool too.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

Lemon/Lime Pudding Cake

Lemon/Lime Pudding Cake

Lemon/Lime Pudding Cake



Honey, I’m home! I haven’t made a post in two whole weeks! I’d love to say that the reason was because I was in the Bahamas, sunning on a beach as a 25 year old buff pool boy named Julio brought me Pina Coladas and rubbed sun tan lotion on my suddenly skinny back, but alas, that was not the case. I’ve just been dealing with one of the perks of aging… aka “I’m not capable of just getting a cold. I have to get a cold that then leaves me whimpering and gasping for air at deaths door as Satan giggles and kicks me in the rib cage for jollies.” Getting older… it’s a blast. :-P

But while I was sick, I got lots done!!! Ok, while I was sick, the only thing I got done was reading various magazines, playing Farmville on my Kindle 38 hours a day, riding my exercise bike and watching my lungs fall out on the floor and fun stuff like that. Don’t be hatin’. We can’t all have my life…..and my respiratory system. I’m just that special.

BUT!!!! I am now cooking again. And it’s yummy. I haven’t lost my touch. I’ve lost my sense of smell recently, but my touch is still there :-D

Back a few weeks ago, before I began practicing death, I had let my facebook followers decide what dessert got made first; a chocolate one or a lemon one. Chocolate won by one vote. ONE…VOTE. Not that I minded. I got chocolate. So now I’m posting the lemon one. Everyone has heard of lemon pudding cake, right? Ok, you in the back… go away. You shouldn’t be on a food blog if you have never heard of pudding cake. What is pudding cake, you ask? It’s heaven on a spoon. Lemon Heaven in this case. Pudding cake is one of the easiest desserts ever. It is a layer of creamy pudding covered by a layer of moist cake. It can be a family treat or is even interesting enough to be served to company. Cover it in berries and slather it in whipped cream and your guests will love you. Did I mention how easy it is?

I, of course, couldn’t make this normally. I can see the surprise on your face. I added some freshly grated ginger to it to give it some zing. I love the combo of lemon and ginger. They complement each other so well. The original recipe from Food & Wine had no vanilla extract in it and found that sinful, so I added some :-D along with some lemon oil and lime zest and juice. Made it better and made it mine. :-)

You know the drill…. :-)

Lemon/Lime Pudding Cake

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 eggs, seperated
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 6 6 ounce ramekins. You could also do this in one souffle dish, but make sure to adjust cooking time.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour. In another bowl (don’t forget to clean as you go… it makes me happy :-p ), whisk the egg yolks with the softened butter. Whisk in the milk, lemon and lime juices, zest, vanilla extract and lemon oil.
  3. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the flour/sugar mix and whisk to combine until smooth.
  4. In a scrupulously clean bowl, beat the egg whites at high speed with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the other mixture until no white streaks remain.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins, then transfer the ramekins into a large baking dish.  Slide the dish into the oven and carefully pour hot water into the pan (not the ramekins) until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  6. Bake at 350 until they are puffy and golden, about 35 minutes. Carefully transfer the ramekins to a rack to cool for about 20 minutes. Serve warm with berries and whipped cream. :-)

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Pasta With Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce

Pasta With Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce

Pasta With Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce

Sometimes, you just come upon (and yet still change lol) a recipe that is absolutely amazing. I was looking through an old issue of Bon Appetit (I have approximately 40,00000 old magazines. It’s a sickness.) when I saw the recipe that has ultimately ended up here with all of its changes. As it was, while it was definitely intriguing; I mean….butter…it seemed….lacking, rather boring. But still interesting enough to try. I had never even considered making pasta sauce in the oven. But what a game changer this is. No splatters all over the stove and oh…my…gosh….the flavor of this is fantastic. The tomatoes that roast in all their juices in the oven, mixed with the butter, the sausage (my addition), the garlic, the onions, oregano and basil (also mine)…honest. You want to try this recipe. Trust me on this one. You throw this all together after cooking the sausage and that’s it… just cook it. You end up with a thick, rich, full of flavor pasta sauce and no messy stove top. Win Win.

My husbands reaction (he was skeptical) was “you can make this any time you want”. Even my five year old ate all of his serving. One thing. I am posting this how I made it. The original was half the amount of tomatoes. I doubled it and that was just enough to serve five of us with my husband having two servings.  I did however, not use the full amount of butter doubled. It would have been a full stick and at 3/4 of a stick, it seemed like more than enough.

Go. Make this. Thank me later.

You know the drill….. :-)

Pasta With Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce

  • 2 28 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
  • 1 lb Italian sausage links
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (cuts the acidity of the tomatoes)
  • black pepper to taste
  • cooked pasta (I used 2 12 ounces boxes of spaghetti)
  • Parmesan cheese for serving
  1. Cook your sausage in a pot of simmering water until tender. Then drain the water, lay the links in the pan and brown them all over. Let cool until easily handled and then cut into bite sized slices.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400. Dump the tomatoes in a large deep baking pan and break them up. Easiest way I’ve found over the years is to pierce the back of the tomatoes with your finger cause if you try to just break them, you’ll end up with a face full of juice. Add in the rest of the ingredients, ending with the butter.  Stir well to mix.

    This is what it looks like before you put it in the oven

    This is what it looks like before you put it in the oven

  3. Bake at 400 for 35 to 50 minutes or until the sauce has gotten almost jammy in consistency, stirring once or twice during cooking. If you like a looser pasta sauce, take it out sooner. If you like a thicker one, cook longer. Simple as that.

    Here's what it looks like when it comes out (I know; the photo stinks)

    Here’s what it looks like when it comes out (I know; the photo stinks)

  4. Serve over pasta with Parmesan cheese.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

 

Caramel Monster Bars

Caramel Monster Bars

Caramel Monster Bars

We all have heard of monster cookies. They are the big fat giant cookies that have everything in them. Well, cookies are just cookies and I wanted something that wasn’t just a cookie…does that make sense? No, I didn’t think so. Just go with it.

These bars are fattening delicious. I advise cutting very small pieces because it’s an overload of sweetness. If you have diabetes you do not want to make these or you may end up in a coma…if you do I won’t tell. It’ll be our little secret. Remember my secret from last time. You don’t tell mine I won’t tell yours. That’s what bestestestest friends do. Ok, onto these bars.

~~RACHEL~~

Adapted from: www.momontimeout.com

Ingredients:

Caramel Filling:

  • 11 oz bag Kraft caramel bits
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

Cookie:

  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup mini Reese’s pieces (they can be found in the baking aisle)
  • 1 cup toffee bits (I used skor bars broken into pieces)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×13 pan
  2. Melt the caramels with the butter and sweetened condensed milk. I used the microwave and just checked and stirred every 30 seconds until melted.
  3. Mix butter and sugar together. Once completely combined add the peanut butter and mix.
  4. Add eggs one at a time. Add in vanilla.
  5. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  6. Add the flour to the butter mixture making sure not to get flour everywhere.
  7. Stir in the all the chips, Reese’s pieces, and toffee bits.
  8. Spread 2/3 of the cookie mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  9. Add the caramel over the cookie mixture
  10. Drop small amounts of the remaining cookie mixture over the top of the caramel.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes. Let it cool completely before cutting.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Triple Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Triple Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies


I doubt it’s a secret anymore that I have six kids (and eleven cats…and one husband). For the newbies to my blog….ummm…I have six kids. :-P I think of them as separate batches. There’s my three oldest, all within a few years of each, my next two, also close in age and then my baby, who is only five while the rest are grown or almost grown. I swear; it was something in the water.

When my oldest were young, I was baking all the time then too. I had to if my kids were going to get any treats at all, because we were stone broke. With, at one point, five kids at home, plus myself and my ex husband, I had to learn to bake (and cook) in bulk. No “this makes four servings” foods for my household; not if I wanted to let everyone eat. These cookies are one of the first things I ever made. I remember that the first time I made them, all I did was double the recipe for Toll House Cookies and that was that. Yummy, sure, but over the years, it has morphed into what I make now.

For the most part, these are like the back of the bag cookies. The changes are subtle. But they are enough to make this a very different cookie. I lowered the amount of sugar, I added orange zest and extra vanilla and when I have it in the house, I use some Fiori di Sicilia from Williams Sonoma. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that this used three different types of chips? Yep. Semi Sweet, White Chocolate and Butterscotch. All three of these chips go so well with the subtle orange flavoring (and it IS subtle, so don’t worry; it’s NOT a “chocolate/orange” flavor by any means.) and the Fiori di Sicilia, plus they complement each other as well.

This makes a TON of cookie dough, so you can either half the recipe or do as I do when I make them now (since I’m not feeding as many anymore and I’m more careful with how much sweets I keep in the house) and just bake half of the dough and  freeze the rest. You can either make preshaped balls of dough, freeze them and then transfer them to ziploc bags or just wrap the full half of dough in heavy duty foil and freeze it that way.

No matter what you do, definitely make these cookies. They are totally fantastic, if I do say so myself. :-D

You know the drill….get to cookin’!

Triple Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag butterscotch chips
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer (you can also do all of this with a hand mixer, but make sure it’s a strong one; this is a lot of dough), combine the butter and sugars. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, orange zest and Fiori di Sicilia, if using.
  3. Beat well, until the mixture is well combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to blend. Pour into the butter mixture, put on the splatter shield and beat at low speed until the dough comes together in a soft dough.
  5. Add in the three bags of chips (make sure to snag a few first; quality control and all) and beat on low speed until combined.
  6. The dough will be soft. Transfer it to another bowl, cover and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 24.
  7. When ready to bake, either grease your cookie sheets very lightly or use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat ( I love these mats) and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Scoop rounded tablespoons (or do as I do and use a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop. What? I like large cookies! :-P) of dough onto the prepared sheets and bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are firm and golden brown. If making the big cookies, bake for 14 to 17 minutes.
  9. Let cool on the sheet for one minute, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake with Honey Lemon Syrup

 

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake with Honey Lemon Syrup

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake with Honey Lemon Syrup

Whew, it’s good to be back…I think. I’ve been working on this clean eating thing and it’s working well, but I miss baking so I had to come up with something that I could share with you all and then just pass on to one of my friends that loves baked goods. She’s my go to girl to get rid of my fattening desserts. :)

Even with this clean eating thing passing up pound cake was almost impossible. I’ve tried so hard not to eat any, but I did end up sneaking a total of about 5 small bites of it, but how could I describe it to you if I didn’t. Shhh….don’t tell anyone. That’s a secret just between you and me, okay? Good, thanks!

So, this pound cake is delicious…plan and simple. It’s ultimately the best way to describe it. You get just enough honey flavor from the pound cake without it being overpowering and the syrup is….AMAZING! Trust me…just go make it!

Adapted from: www.food.com

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons honey
  • zest of 2 lemons

Syrup

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp water
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and grease a 10” bundt pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl mix together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest and honey.
  5. With a mixer on low speed, add the flour alternately with the wet mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing until just combined, make sure to scrape down th edges and get the flour that’s stuck to the sides.
  6. Pour the mixture into the pan and baked for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a thin knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let it cool for about 15 minutes and then pour the syrup over it.
  8. To make the syrup; mix the juice, sugar, honey and water together in a bowl and pour over the cake.
  9. Cool completely before cutting.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Café Caramel Parfait

Café Caramel Parfait

Café Caramel Parfait




When we cleaned out our garage, I found that I had about 798 cans of sweetened condensed milk. I kind of figured I might, just might, need to use some of them up. I was totally tempted to just sit down in front of the TV with a can or eight and a spoon and watch endless reruns of Downton Abbey, but just for YOU, I resisted that urge. Though in all honesty, I still have 796 cans of sweetened condensed milk left, so I make no promises as to my future plans. Downton Abbey and I have a date with destiny. Wait for me, Bates!!! I love you!

Sorry.

So what did I use some of that condensed milk for? Just for you, I made the noble sacrifice of developing a Café Caramel Parfait. Talk about easy, also. This is so easy, even my husband could make it. Ok, maybe I’m pushing it when I think that the man who lived on frozen burritos and Doritos before he met me could make this.

This is a whipped cream lightened with Dulce de leche, vanilla, a touch of instant coffee and sour cream layered with plain Dulce de leche. Easy, huh? You make your dulce de leche (or cheat and buy it premade), mix it with the other ingredients and layer.

This is rich and creamy, yet surprisingly light in taste (definitely not in calories). It’s like having your favorite coffee drink in a spoonable treat.

You know the drill… :-)

Café Caramel Parfait

  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk (or 3 small cans premade Dulce de leche)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. To make the Dulce de leche- I’m going to tell you how I do it, but know that it’s not “recommended” by many. I will touch on other methods, but how I make it is how I’ve done it for over ten years, with not even one problem.
  2. Fill a LARGE pot with water. Put your unopened cans of milk in the water. make sure, now and at all times, while it cooks, that the cans are covered by at least 2 to 3 inches of water. This keeps the pressure inside and outside of the pan equal and that is what makes this safe. The ONLY way this would explode would be if the pressure was different in and out of the can. Keep it covered and you’ll be fine.**
  3. Over medium heat, cook the cans of milk for 2 to 3 hours. The longer it cooks, the thicker and more…well…caramelly (yes, that is now a word. hush.) it will become. I usually cook in the 3 hour range. Just keep an eye on your water level.
  4. Once it’s cooked, turn the water off, leaving the cans in the water until the water is completely cool. take the cans out, let them cool also before you open them. When you do this, you’re best off to make a few cans and just store them in the cabinet. This is the the most time consuming part of this recipe so having extras never hurts. It’s great in coffee too!
  5. Once your caramel is cooled, you can beeeeginnnnn. :-p
  6. Whip the one cup heavy cream in a medium bowl until firm peaks form.  Slowly beat in 3/4 cup of the Dulce de leche, the vanilla and the instant coffee powder. Beat in the sour cream. Cover and chill for one hour (after eating a few spoons of it :-D )
  7.  Scoop the remaining Dulce de leche into a small bowl. Beat at medium speed for about one minute. You’re just trying to lighten it up because it’s a very thick product.
  8. Spoon a layer of the Dulce de leche into 6 small glasses. Top with a layer of the chilled cream and then drizzle with more of the Dulce de leche. Chill until ready to serve. You may end up with a little of the cream and/or the caramel. Just cover it and store in the fridge. It’s wonderful in coffee or as a dip for fruit.

**Here is a wiki detailing some of the other ways to make the Dulce de leche- Dulce De Leche Wiki . Feel free to use any of these methods. The only one I’VE used however is what I detail above. Many of the others leave you with slightly burned caramel. Ick!

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Spicy Pork And Pineapple Chili

Spicy Pork & Pineapple Chili

Spicy Pork & Pineapple Chili



Don’t even say it. I KNOW it’s May and I’m making chili. But c’mon. Are you going to tell me that from the beginning of May until the first frost, you never make a chili or anything resembling it? Ha! That’s what I thought!

I had a butt ton of pork stew meat that had been in my freezer since approximately the year 1575 and I needed to use it up. But although I’ve got a fairly large amount of pork recipes, I wanted something different. I searched for about 956 hours (not that this post is having any tendency towards exaggeration or anything) and found nothing that excited me. Well, other than some shirtless pics of Matthew Mcconaughey. But that’s neither here nor there.

So I went into our garage for inspiration. I can see the confused looks from here. My husband and I are of the survivalist ilk. Not big time… we have no concrete bunker or 800 semi automatic weapons. but we DO tend to keep a good food supply. it’s been quite helpful during hard financial times….. or when I have 4 pounds of pork stew meat to use up. I scouted around, found some ingredients that said “Hey! Janet! I’d go great in a pork chili!” I tend to listen when food talks to me.

I was really pleased with how this turned out. It is filled with tender meat, sweet chunks of pineapple, all in a spicy sweet sauce. We served this over rice just because that’s how I roll (did I ever mention my sad rice addiction?) but you could have it plain, like any normal chili. This is so amazingly full of flavor… one bite a little bit sweet, one bite with a bit of heat that kind of hits you in the back of the throat, one bite nice and meaty. All in all, this is a top notch chili, if I do say so myself and I will be making it again.

You know the drill…

Spicy Pork And Pineapple Chili

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 12 ounces chorizo, casing removed
  • 2 pounds pork stew meat ( or pork loin {NOT tenderloin}, cubed
  • 1 28 ounce can of green enchilada sauce
  • 12 ounce jar of salsa (I used a pineapple salsa I got at Trader Joes)
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas (Garbanzos), drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Garnish-
  • sliced green onions
  • grilled pineapple slices (I used my grill pan on the stove)
  • cilantro

 

  1. Pour the oil into a large pot. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper, celery and jalapeno. Cook over low heat until they are limp and tender. Remove from pot to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Crumble the chorizo into the same pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it is cooked through and browned. Spoon out into the same bowl as the veggies and set aside. Leave the oil from the chorizo in the pot
  3. Working batches, brown all of the cubed pork in the remaining oil from the chorizo, removing each batch to the bowl as it gets browned. You may need to drizzle a little vegetable oil in there after the first batch.
  4. After all the pork is browned, dump the bowl with the pork, chorizo and veggies back into the pot. Stir well to combine.
  5. Add the enchilada sauce, the jar of salsa, the can of pineapple chunks, the sugar. the cinnamon and the salt to the pot. Stir well. Cover and cook over low heat for about an hour or until the meat is tender.
  6. Add the drained beans; stir well and leave the cover off of the pot. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for another 30 minutes or until reduced to desired thickness.
  7. Add in the balsamic vinegar; stir well.
  8. Taste for seasoning (salt, more balsamic, a bit more sugar, etc)
  9. Serve plain or over rice. Garnish as desired

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

White Chocolate Coconut/Lime Bars

White Chocolate Coconut/Lime Bars

White Chocolate Coconut/Lime Bars




For a few years now, there has been a recipe floating around the ‘net for lemon brownies. They have, in their various incarnations, been pinned about 4 bazillion times and remade probably as much. There is, at this point, no way to dig and find out who did it first. So, now you’re thinking, “so you made those lemon brownies even though they are all over the internet?! I’m disappointed in you, Janet!”

Surely, you jest? ( “I don’t jest and don’t call me Shirley!” Sorry… I was channeling one of my fathers old jokes.) Me? Me?! Repeat what has been repeated  ad nauseam? Not happ’nin. So what did I do, you ask? Please tell me you were asking or about to. Otherwise, kittens will cry.

I…wait for it…changed it up. A lot. You’d NEVER expect that out of me, now would you?! I took the original recipe and kind of turned it on it’s head. It’s no longer lemon. It’s Lime. With coconut flavor… and chunks of Lindt White Coconut Bar. This is…so…good. The bar is slightly chewy and then you get a somewhat melted in bite of White Chocolate Coconut bar along with the tang of lime in the bar and in the glaze. Did I mention that these are fantastic?

You know the drill… :-)

White Chocolate Coconut/Lime Bars

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring (in the same area in the store as the vanilla extract)
  • 2 3.5 ounce Lindt Excellence White Coconut bars, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour to toss the chocolate in
  • Glaze-
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • milk if needed to thin glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square pan with non stick foil.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, flour and salt until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lime zest and the flavorings. Pour into the flour mixture and beat well for about two minutes on medium speed. The mixture will look really thin and even might look somewhat curdled. You didn’t mess up; it’s fine.
  4. Gently, fold in the chopped chocolate. Pour into the prepared pan
  5. Bake at 350 for between 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out barely clean.
  6. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.
  7. When cool, combine all the glaze ingredients and spoon over the bars. When the glaze has had a while to firm up (refrigerate if you want o hasten this) lift the bars by the foil and lay out on a cutting board.  Cut into desired size squares…or rectangles or if you cut as badly as I do, something resembling a hexagon on steroids.
  8. So far as I can tell thus far, these are good at room temp or straight from the fridge. Haven’t tried frozen.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

Cracked Pepper & Two Cheese Biscuits

Cracked Pepper & Two Cheese Biscuits

Cracked Pepper & Two Cheese Biscuits



I have a thing for biscuits, scones, quick breads, all of that type of food. They are quick, they are easy and the biscuits are pure southern comfort food. There is nothing like a biscuit, spread with some fresh butter and dripping with honey or jam.

That said though, there are times I like to change it up. Biscuits are fun to play with.  Ok, that came out sounding strange. I now have a mental image of myself and the boys outside batting around a biscuit. Hmmm, back when I was first learning to make them, that actually may have been possible, though if someone got hit with one, it would have been fatal.  Asssssss I was saying before I had an “ooo, shiny thing” moment there,  biscuits are fun to play with. The normal ones are delicious, but they lend themselves to so many variations. I have made them with the addition of bacon, green onions, cheese, dried fruits, you name it, it can probably go in biscuit dough.

This time I wanted to make them a wee bit more sophisticated. Though sophistication falls by the wayside when they are being eaten by three boys whose idea of sophistication is McDonalds and whose table manners resemble a horde of hungry Hyenas attacking an elephant carcass after being on a 4 day juice fast. But hey, *I* actually took the time to savor them and enjoy the step up from plain biscuits.  I used a good amount of cracked pepper in these (enough that when my five year old actually stopped eating long enough to breathe, he said “these are spicy, momma!” I used two slightly more upscale cheese (as opposed to say, American cheese slices :-P ) and the flavor was wonderful…. cheesy, peppery, with all the flavors of a good biscuit also. This is perfect for a fancier dinner or a family dinner or just to nosh on.

You know the drill…. :-)

Cracked Pepper & Two Cheese Biscuits

  • 4 cups self rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, refrigerator cold and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup solid shortening, chilled and sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (use whole milk buttermilk if you can find it. It makes a far better biscuit and really, low fat milk in a biscuit is a waste of time calorie wise)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 ounces Fontina Cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces Havarti Cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 (400 if your oven runs hot) degrees, Grease a large baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper and cheeses.
  3. Drop the butter and shortening into the bowl of flour. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles pea sized crumbs.
  4. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk, all at once, Use a fork to stir and combine the milk with the flour until you have a cohesive dough. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured board or counter top. Pat it down into a flat circle. Fold it into thirds like you’re folding a letter to fit into an envelope. Pat it down again, fold it one more time. Finally, pat it into a rough circle of about 1 inch high.
  5. Cut out as many biscuits as you can get, laying them right next to each other in the baking pan if you want soft sided biscuits or about an inch apart if you want crisp sided biscuits.
  6. Bake at 400 to 425 for about 20 to 24 minutes, until they are firm on top and golden brown. Take off the pan and serve piping hot, preferably with some nice fresh homemade butter. Believe it or not, even with the cheese and the pepper, these are excellent with honey on them too; it adds to the flavor, making a sweet/savory combo.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.