7/29/2021

S'mores Bars

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*WARNING*
This recipe is dangerous!
Dangerously good, that is!

What makes the combination of graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows so magical? I think it is safe to say that for most of us, it conjures up good memories sitting around a camp fire with family and friends, going on a camping trip with a Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop, having fun during summer camp or just sitting in your backyard enjoying the evening huddled around a fire pit.  Yeah-that's magical.  I think the only con of s'mores is waking up the next morning only to find sticky marshmallow goo in a little ones hair.  But, hey, that's part of the fun, right?

There are so many recipes and products on the market that are s'mores flavored; ice cream, cookies, brownies, cakes.  I even believe there are s'mores flavored Goldfish crackers- thanks,  I 'll pass on that one. Well, now we can add to that list with this recipe for S'mores Bars.  I have lost count on how many times I have made these.  

Oh my are these heaven on earth!! First, there is a graham crust that is baked and cooled.  Then a layer of milk chocolate is set on top of the crust followed by a good schmear of marshmallow Fluff and if that wasn't enough sticky marshmallowiness (that's not a word) for you, a good amount of mini marshmallows are sprinkled on top.  Once baked, the chocolate sets into the crust and the marshmallows puff and turn perfectly golden brown just like they would over a camp fire.  Once they are pulled from the oven, more chocolate is sprinkled on top.  I mean c'mon!  I'd say that this recipe is absolute perfection, but there is one downfall.  You have to wait at least 4 hours before you can dig in😫.  It's painful to wait, but is it ever worth it!  Happy cooking!

7/27/2021

Thin-Crust Skillet Pizza

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What do you do when you are craving pizza, but you don't want to crank up the oven to 575° F because it is hot as blazes outside? You make Thin-Crust Skillet Pizza, of course!

This is the perfect pizza to make this time of year when fresh garden tomatoes are at their peak and you have an abundance of basil growing in the garden, Those are not secret ingredients for a great pizza, but in this recipe there is one.  Beer (I use a full-flavored ale, like New Castle).  I know,  this is not a traditional pizza dough, but let me tell you it works.  Haven't you heard of beer bread?  What about beer in a fry batter?  The beer is used in lieu of yeast to achieve that yeasty flavor.  The baking soda is used for leavening.  Some of you might already be asking, "What can I use other than beer?"  I cannot speak from experience, but I suppose you could use water, although you might want to add just a touch of dry-active yeast for flavor.  

The recipe makes two 9-inch pizzas and you'll need a 12-inch non-stick skillet.  Make sure that when you add the dough round to the hot oil in the skillet, gently lay the dough away from you to avoid oil splatter. The first side is cooked until deep golden brown and crisp, then the dough is flipped, the toppings are added, and the pizza is covered with a lid in order for the cheeses to melt.  (Watch your temperature so the bottom does not burn.)  Transfer to a cutting board, slice and serve.  

Make this ASAP!  You'll thank me later😋🍕.  Happy Cooking!

7/25/2021

Sunday Dinner

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Gouda and Lemon Thyme Gougères 
with Peaches

with Lump Crabmeat Salad Garnsih

Lemon Yogurt Mousse with Blueberry Sauce


Sunday dinners are a little different now.  My son, Jack, is a recent Mizzou graduate and getting ready to move into his own world in Madison, WI.  My daughter, Emma, is finishing up her last year at Tulane and my other daughter, Mabelle is sixteen. Therefore she is barely seen or heard from.  So, it is pretty much me and my husband and the two black black furry creatures lurking under the table at dinner time.  I'll have to fill you in on our newest family member another time.  On to the menu and recipe...

It is HOT here in Illinois!! I mean, it seems like it was 50° F just a couple of weeks ago and now the heat index is over 100° F. 🔥 That means, it is a "no oven or stove" Sunday dinner. Ok, I did turn the stove on for a few minutes for the blueberry sauce and the gougères were in the freezer; BONUS!


The feature of tonight's menu is the dessert, Lemon Yogurt Mousse.  I like to think of it is as a no-bake, cold summer soufflé. A little bit of the fresh blueberry sauce is spooned into the bottom of each ramekin and then the light and airy mousse is spooned on top of the sauce. There is a nice tang from the addition of Greek yogurt to the mousse and the lemon adds a zesty (pun intended) punch.  As for the Greek yogurt, I have had equally good results using whole, 2% or 0%.  It just depends on your preference.  I used 0% for tonight.  The mousse is served in 4-ounce ramekins, so it is the perfect amount of sweetness to end our dinner on a hot summer day.  Happy cooking!

7/21/2021

UPDATE!!

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Hello, Bonjour, Hola, Salve, Guten Tag, Goddag, Dzien dobry, Konnichiwa...What I am trying to say is 

HI!!! I MISSED YOU!!!

I'm gonna keep this update short because if I had to say everything I wanted to about being MIA these last few years, I'd be writing about it for another three years.  In a nutshell, life, my part-time job and Covid-19 kind of sucked the life out of me.  But things are looking up and I am pushing up my sleeves ready to go (sort of).

My main issue after being gone is that almost everything has changed tech-wise. So, I kind of feel like I am starting from the beginning. Ugh! Blogger has changed, EOS utility has changed, Photoshop has changed, Google sites where I posted my printable recipes has changed and my printable recipes have been scrambled. So, if you try and print a recipe, you'll get a 404 error (I have no idea what that means)!  Also, those of you that have subscribed via e-mail, well, Feedburner dropped blogger, so I had to switch all of your e-mails over to follow.it (it is a great tool to follow all of your favorite sites in one news feed). As you can read, it's been a bit of a nightmare on my end, but I will persevere.  

This labor of love is also in need of a serious make-over, like an updated picture of me?? I am still ok with the layout if you are. I don't want millions of ads in your face or have my site difficult to navigate. I am just really excited to get back and share some recipes. I like to keep things simple😊.

I thank you for your comments, e-mails, and most importantly, your patience while I have been away from the computer. It means the world to me! Happy cooking and you'll hear from me soon! ~Nicole


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