Cake Batter Oreo Blondies

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Using store bought cake mix and just 3 simple ingredients you can make these cake batter Oreo blondies in just seconds. This could be dangerous!

I love simple baking recipes like this that require using a box cake mix. Although, that can be really bad for me. After this I’ll be testing different flavored cake mixes. My pantry has a lot of boxes of cake mix, because I like to buy them when they go under 1.00. That is a steal.  It’s also fun to see what you can put in these blondies.  Usually, my pantry at home has small leftover bags of different kind of chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Found these green candy color melting chips in my pantry and they have been in there since Halloween. Was using them to decorate a cake or something. Thought those would  be cute with the lime green oreos that went into these. We have some Valentine’s Day sprinkles leftover that were white and I even tried to pick out the heart shaped ones. Since it isn’t Valentine’s Day anymore. There may or may not be some of those heart shaped Sprinkles on these.

Oh yah speaking of Oreos, the Oreos I put in here are the new Limeaid flavored ones with a Golden Oreo crust so these bars have a lime taste in them. They’re super good. Don’t be freaked about the limeaid Oreos either. I’ve tried all the citrus flavored Oreos and everyone I’ve tried so far are great. Dipped in milk of course, or inside blondies.

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Cake Batter Oreo Blondies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box of Funfetti Cake Mix
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup of oil
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 10 to 15 oreos, chopped (save some for the top)
Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl combine the cake mix with the next 4 ingredients. The batter will be thick.
  3. Place in an 8 X 11 inch baking pan.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

 

 

Cowboy Bacon Beans

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I used to have a long list of categories on this page that contained the weight watcher points and if it was a weight watcher recipe or not. For some strange reason that disappeared and I apologizefor that. I’m thinking about just having 3 different categories on my page now which would be Bacon, Weight Watchers, and Really Fattening recipes. I’ve been noticing a trend on my blog lately and those are the only three kind of recipes which people seem to like. ;)

One of my favorite things to do on Saturday mornings is watch Food Network. My favorites are the Pioneer Woman, Ina Garten, Trisha Yearwood, and sometimes Giada (only when her boobs aren’t showing). I love to try recipes from either 4 of them and this recipe was on the Pioneer Woman. I recently went to Rib Fest and had these fabulous baked beans and I don’t really have a recipe for beans at all that I like. I saw her make these and decided to give them a try and they turned out really good. Not like the ones I had at Rib Fest, but since they had bacon in them that made them twice as good. I had these with some pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon. I was going to take a picture of the bacon wrapped pork tenderloin for another post, but sadly the bacon fell off the pork tenderloin.

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Recipe from the Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

4 cups dry pinto beans
1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into pieces
2 whole green bell peppers, diced
1 whole onion, diced
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder, optional
2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
2 teaspoons black pepper, more to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

Rinse the beans under cold water, sorting out any rocks/particles. Set aside.

In a heavy pot (cast iron), saute the bacon pieces until halfway cooked and the fat is rendered. Add the green peppers and onions to the pot and cook until starting to get brown, about 3 minutes. Add the beans and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, and then add the brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, chili powder, salt, pepper and garlic. Reduce the heat to a simmer, place on the lid and cook until the beans are tender and the liquid is thick 3 to 4 hours.

Homemade Bacon

I made homemade bacon in the oven for the first time. I’ve had quite a lot of free time to myself recently and will have a lot of it coming up pretty soon. I’m hoping I can find a job really fast or else I’ll be bored out of my mind. :(

Anyways… The first step to making homemade bacon is to find a good butcher. I went to the butcher where I live in Fargo, ND on University Drive. It’s a little nice meat place called Prime Cut Meats. The guy there was very nice. Ask for a pork belly loin. The total cost for 4 pounds of pork belly was $17.00. I didn’t think that was bad considering the cheapest pound of bacon I’ve seen here runs anywhere from 3.50 to $5.00 a pound.

If you ever watch Alton Brown on Food Network, he had an episode all about making bacon. I used his brine for this and let it soak in it for 3 days. That’s right, 3 days.

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After the pork belly has brined in it’s juices for 3 days it’s time to smoke it. I used apple wood chips.

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The temperature of the pork has to get to 150 degrees. I’m not sure if our smoker is cooking things properly but I set mine to 200 degrees and let it smoke for 2 hours. That’s how long it took to get done. I’m sure there’s other types of brines out there to try for making homemade bacon, and different wood chips to try. It’s all a matter of time before I try out a different recipe. I’d try making my own again. Too bad my nose is clogged up right now cause I have a cold. I couldn’t really smell the bacon’s wonderful goodness. :(

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Scrap Iron Chef’s Homemade Bacon Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1 cup salt
8 ounces molasses
1/2 gallon (2 quarts) water
1/2 gallon (2 quarts) apple cider
2 tablespoons course ground black pepper
1 (5 pound) piece raw pork belly from the loin-end

Directions

In a large non-reactive pot, bring half the water, 1 cup of sugar, salt, and 8 ounces molasses to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour into a large container with the remaining water, and the apple cider. Place in the refrigerator and cool to 40 degrees F.

Press the black pepper into the pork belly. Once the brine has cooled place the peppered pork belly into the mixture until completely submerged. Refrigerate for three days.

After three days have passed, remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Lay on a rack over a sheet pan and place in front of a fan for 1 hour to form a pellicle. Lay the pork in the protein box of a cold smoker and smoke for 4 to 6 hours. Chill the meat in the freezer for 1 hour to stiffen for easy slicing into strips of bacon. Slice what you need and keep the remainder in a freezer safe bag in the refrigerator or freezer.

Place the strips of bacon onto a sheet pan fitted with a rack and place into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400 degrees F and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Remove from rack and drain on paper towels. Enjoy.

Smoked Party Meatloaf

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I am not sure if meatloaf is supposed to be smoked. Alton Brown said this was the best meat dish he had ever made on the show Best Thing I Ever Made. The recipe says to smoke the meatloaf for 40 minutes and then take the foil wrap off and cook it for another hour or so until the meat reaches 140 degrees. I did that and everything but the meat just didn’t have the smoky flavor to it. Can you guess what the secret ingredient in this meatloaf? He even said it on the show that it was the potato chips. I couldn’t really taste them at all in here. Overall the meatloaf did have a good taste to it. If I made this next time I’d cook it in the oven.

The next season of Food Network Star is going and I’m not really even interested in it at all. Food Network hasn’t even played the last guy’s show Justin Warner that won. I’m guessing his ratings didn’t do well? I really liked him, and I hope they have one of his shows on sometime soon. He’s supposed to be the next big Alton Brown.

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Smoked Meatloaf Recipe from Alton Brown

Ingredients

2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 ounces chipotle peppers in adobo, with adobo sauce that clings to them, chopped fine
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
6 ounces ruffled kettle-style barbecue potato chips
3 cloves garlic
1 medium carrot, cut into 6 pieces
1 Fresno chile, seeded
1 medium onion, cut into 8 pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground pork
3 large eggs

Directions

Combine the ketchup, tomato paste, chipotle peppers and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. Remove 1/3 cup of the mixture and set aside.

Pulse the potato chips in the food processor until they are a coarse breadcrumb consistency, approximately 12 pulses. Transfer the potato chips to the bowl with the ketchup mixture.

Combine the garlic, carrots, chile and onions into the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped but not pureed, approximately 10 pulses.

Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch cast-iron pan set over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion mixture, sage and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften and begin to brown slightly, approximately 5 minutes. Add the mixture to the mixing bowl with the potato chip mixture and stir to combine and cool the vegetables slightly. Add the ground chuck, sirloin, pork and eggs and use your hands to thoroughly combine. Shape into a loaf that is approximately 12- by 4- by 2-inch. Make sure to press the meat into a compact, uniform loaf. Wrap the loaf in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

Heat a smoker to 250 degrees F. Place 1 hardwood chunk in the smoker’s wood tray.

Flip over the meatloaf pouch and poke 12 to 15 holes in the aluminum foil package to allow the fat to drain off. Turn the pouch back over. Set the meatloaf in the smoker and place a drip pan on the rack immediately below the meatloaf. Cook for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, open the foil pack and fold down the sides of the foil to create a shallow “pan” around the meatloaf. Brush with the reserved glaze. Insert a probe thermometer into the meatloaf and cook until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F, approximately 40 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the smoker and rest for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Hibachi Recipes

Wow, it’s been a really busy week here. I had two potulucks at work. Both were right after each other. I brought a pasta salad with bacon, cheddar, and tomatoes in it for one and Buffalo chicken dip for another. Lot’s of cooking this week. I really didn’t make anything new either. Had some Lasagna soup earlier this week and that lasted for a couple of days. So here you are with 3 brand new recipes in one post. Lucky you!

Recently, I went to a Hibachi restaurant for a friend’s birthday party. Ben and I don’t normally eat at those types of restaurants because they’re really expensive. It’s super easy to make everything at home. All it takes is a little time and love. The restaurant we go to starts off their meal with a bowl of mushroom soup. The soup is good and flavorful, and it doesn’t have much to it. Just a special type of broth, some sliced mushrooms, and scallions for decoration. It is so divine.

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Mushroom soup recipe from Carrie’s Cooking

Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 stalk celery
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 3 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 8 cups water

Directions

Step 1
In a large saucepan or stockpot, combine the celery, onion, carrot, ginger, garlic, and a few of the mushrooms. Add chicken bouillon, beef bouillon, and water. Place the pot over high heat, and bring to a rolling boil. When the mixture reaches boiling, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 45 minutes. It can cook for longer than 45 minutes (sometimes I leave it on for a couple hours), you will just need to add more water if too much water evaporates.
Step 2
After it's cooked for at least 45 minutes strain the cooked soup and discard all of the vegetables, leaving the broth. Serve the broth with sliced mushrooms and sprinkle french friend onions over the top

The way they serve each course there is kind of confusing to me. Next they give you rice with this really good sauce called Yum Yum, sauce. I’d rather have my rice and protein together. Then you also get to chose if you want any noodles. The noodles are so good… Probably because they use a lot of butter and MSG.

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Hibachi Noodles from Best of the Veg

Hibachi Noodles

Ingredients

  • Japanese dried noodles
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 8 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons semesame oil

Directions

Step 1
Cook noodles according to package directions.
Step 2
In a jar combine remaining ingredients and shake well.
Step 3
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sauce to the pan with the noodles. Toss the noodles around in the sauc e for 2 minutes and Serve.

 

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Homemade Yum Yum Sauce

Yum Yum Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Directions

Step 1
Using a fork or a whisk, blend all ingredients together thoroughly until well mixed and the sauce is smooth. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Every recipe I thought, was pretty similar to what I was served at the restaurants. If you want to make these recipes at home it’s good to have some Asian ingredients stocked up in your fridge. I like to keep my fresh ginger in the freezer and I take it out to use it whenever I want. These are some ingredients I recommend that you keep on hand.

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Just a heads up…..

I am in the process of transferring over my site to a new server. My site has been loading kind of slow loading lately so sorry, if any of you are experiencing that. Will let you know when it’s done.

Fun with Puff Pastry

I recently bought a box of puff pastry at the grocery store. Puff pastry is really expensive and I think I paid 4.99 for the entire box, but the price is well worth it in my opinion. Puff pastry is so flaky and buttery and you can do a lot of different things with it. I went a little too wild I think.

The first thing I made with puff pastry was Ina Garten’s recipe for French Apple Tart. I remember her saying on the show, that it’s ok if the edges burn. We tasted it, and the outer crust was pretty nasty. Other than that, we ate around the crust. This was really good and so simple to make. See how burnt my edges got? I decided to drizzle some caramel sauce on the top. The recipe calls for apricot jam, and some apple flavored liquor which I didn’t have.

The second thing I made with puff pastry is what I like to call Mac and Cheese Dog Pockets. Yesterday, I was craving the boxed mac and cheese and I love adding cheddar wursts or hotdogs in with it to get some protein. Not the healthiest thing to eat. I decided to make it even less healthier by stuffing the mac and cheese inside some puff pastry. What a great idea this was. All I did was make the box of mac and cheese according to the package directions. Added the cooked sausage to the mac and cheese, and then cut two pieces of puff pastry about the size of pop tarts and spooned about a 1/4 cup of mac and cheese on top. I placed the other layer of puff pastry on top of that. I crimped the edges and shut them with a fork. I brushed some egg wash around the edges of the puff pastry to help the top layer stick more. Bake in 400 degree oven for 12 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden. Look at my creation!

You can also make homemade churros. These are delicious and way better than the ones at Taco John’s. I just melted some butter (1/4 cup),  and mixed together 1/4 cup of white sugar, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Cut the puff pastry into long strips and dunk them in the butter. Then in the sugar and cinnamon mixture next. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10 t 12 minutes.

Homemade parmesan bread sticks are next. This is pretty much the same method as the churros. In a bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of oregano. Cut into strips, dunk in butter first, and then the parmesan cheese mixture. Bake at same temperature (400 degrees) for 10 to 12 minutes. These are just as delicious as the churros. I actually should have made more churros than breadsticks when I made these. The husband was disappointed that there weren’t any more churros. :(

 

 

And there you have it folks. Fun with puff pastry!