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Monday, April 21, 2014

Chocolate Almond Toffee

Hey guys,

This is a recipe for one of my top five favorite foods in the world. Seriously. I have a massive sweet tooth, and I have loved the toffee my mom has made since I was a kid. We made it in the microwave and over time as microwave powers increased, we had a little trouble getting the recipe just right so the temperatures all worked out perfectly.

Incredibly fortunately for me, my boyfriend and his wonderful mom both make amazing toffee, and a few weeks ago I finally got myself over to their house and made some toffee the real way- candy thermometer and all. I'll try to show you how easy it is- just have everything set out beforehand and it comes together in under 10 minutes.

Your arsenal: butter, white and brown sugar, light corn syrup, water, vanilla,
chocolate chips, and sliced almonds. 
Melt your butter in a heavy NOT non-stick pot, then add the sugars.
Once it comes to a boil, add the water and corn syrup, which is really easy if you just
measure them out into a bowl together beforehand.
Stir constantly (hard to get a good picture!) until it reaches 290 F on a candy thermometer.
Here it is at 290 F- mix in your almonds fast, then pour...
...onto your prepared baking sheet.
Spread the toffee out to the thickness of your preference.
Sprinkle chocolate chips (we used half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate) over top and let the
heat from the toffee melt them. Spread, then sprinkle remaining almonds.

Chocolate Almond Toffee
-1 cup butter (2 sticks)
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-2 tablespoons water
-1 tablespoon light corn syrup (Karo)
-1/2 cup + 1/2 cup sliced almonds
-8 oz. chocolate chips
Grease a cookie sheet to pour the toffee on later.
Melt the butter in a heavy (and NOT nonstick- it won't work) pot. Add the sugars and stir.
When the mixture begins to bubble add the water and Karo.
Cook to exactly 290 F while stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 cup almonds.
Pour toffee out onto your prepared baking sheet.
Sprinkle your chocolate chips on top, let them melt a little, then spread over the top.
Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup almonds on top of the melted chocolate.

Put in the fridge or freezer to harden completely. Enjoy!

Your finished toffee!! Delish. Refrigerate and wait (if you can!) for it to harden then dig in!

Savor it!
love, rue

p.s. Special thanks to my boyfriend and his mother!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Homemade "Magic Shell"

Hello again!

This is a super-simple use-on-anything sweet-and-frozen trick, more than it is a recipe. You can find this same "recipe" in several different places on the internet, so I'm not claiming I came up with it, but I don't know of an original source either.

Here are your two ingredients: chocolate chips and vegetable oil.
Melt your chocolate chips, then stir in the oil very well. Done!

"Magic Shell"
-1 cup chocolate chips
-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Melt chocolate chips in microwave until smooth. Quickly stir in the vegetable oil.
And now go put it on top of ice cream or anything else frozen you can think of!

Just keep it in the fridge and melt it to use again.

Drizzle your "Magic Shell" on ice cream or whatever else you can think of- it's exactly the same, delicious, and so much cheaper!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, April 7, 2014

Nora/Mom guest post: Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes

Here's a great guest post from my mom, Nora. Take it away, Mom!

I like to have pancakes for dinner on the weekend. It's an easy, warm, fragrant dinner. Using a recipe that has less white flour and fat reduces the guilt to practically nothing. Add some fruit and this is a world-beater. You can also shred and add a small zucchini ... adds moisture and you won't taste it at all.

Gorgeous strawberries- use whatever's in season and whatever's your favorite!
Blend up your batter then stir in the strawberries.
Make sure to use a little bit of butter on your griddle/pan/comal- so worth it!
The pancakes cooking on the comal.

Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes
-1 egg
-1 C plain yogurt
-2 T butter
-1/4 C flour (I use whole wheat)
-3/4 C oatmeal
-2 t brown sugar
-1/2 t baking powder
-1/4  t baking soda
-1/4 t salt
-fruit (chopped strawberries, blueberries, etc)
Put all ingredients in blender and blend till mixed. Pour into a bowl, stir in chopped fruit.
Preheat the pan or comal (so handy! every stove should have one). Slip a little bit of butter onto your grill. This is so worth it for taste! Turn pancakes when they get dry around the edges/ show bubbles.

Your finished pancakes, and some beautiful Mexican flowers and tile work as background!

Delicious. Great without any syrup at all! I think I will go eat the leftovers now.

Thanks, Mom! And to everyone who doesn't know- a comal is a flat griddle-like cooking surface that we've encountered everywhere we've been in Mexico- all the stoves have them in the middle- ideal for tortillas etc.- google it if you want more info!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, March 31, 2014

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Hey everyone!

For The BF's birthday, I had him pick out a cake recipe for me to make for him for the celebration with his friends. He picked a recipe very similar to this, and I just took the idea and changed the method a bit to make it more user-friendly and simpler to follow. These cupcakes got rave reviews- they're delish. Below are the results!

Cream your fats, then add in the sugars. 
Beat in the egg and vanilla.
Add your dry ingredients and the milk, alternating halves (see recipe).
Fold in your bacon (I used at least 1/3 cup or more, not 1/4 cup- however you want it!).
Your beautiful finished batter.
Spoon into about 9 greased cupcake liners.

Maple Bacon Cupcakes
-4 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
-1/2-1 tablespoon solidified bacon drippings/fat
-5 tablespoons brown sugar
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-1 egg
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 1/4 cups flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup milk
-1/4 cup crispy fried minced bacon + more for topping (I used 8-10 strips total)
Cream the butter and bacon fat, then cream in the sugar and syrup. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients and the milk, alternating (add 1/2 the dry ingredients, then mix, then 1/2 the milk, then mix, then the other 1/2 etc.).
Fold in the minced bacon.
Spoon into greased cupcake liners/muffin tin, about 2/3 full. Makes about 9 cupcakes.
Bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Rotate the pan after 10 minutes.

Maple Icing
-1 tablespoon butter, softened
-approximately 1 cup powdered/confectioner's sugar
-1 tablespoon+ maple syrup
Cream together ingredients, adding more syrup or sugar until it is a spreadable consistency.

Ice the cupcakes fairly thinly- it's sweet icing. Then sprinkle or press more minced crispy bacon into the icing while still wet so that it sets in place when it dries.

Your baked cupcakes, finished icing (usual icing making process, I did not feel it needed pictures- just see another one of my posts with icing- all confectioner's sugar icings are pretty similar), and minced bacon.
Your finished cupcakes- YUM! Everyone loved these- go make them soon!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cookie Butter Cheesecake Bars

Hey everyone, this is an amazing recipe.

Have you ever had cookie butter? I hadn't until just a few months ago, and I just recently purchased my first jar, and it is amazing. Basically it's a spread made out of cookies, yumm. Biscoff makes a really good one, and that's the one I have. This recipe looks a little long and maybe even complicated but I promise that it's really actually very simple, a breeze to prepare, and the hardest part is waiting for them to cool and refrigerate so you can eat them! Let's get started.

Mix up your crust and press into the bottom of the pan, then bake it real quick.
Dump all cheesecake layer ingredients into a big bowl or your mixer bowl.
Once it's all creamed well, gently spoon and spread the cheesecake over the crust.
Cream the cream cheese and cookie butter, then mix in the sugar and egg for the swirl.
Here's the finished cookie-butter-swirl, and the cookie butter I used.
Dollop the swirl mixture onto the cheesecake layer, this is what we tried.
Then run a sharp knife up and down through the cookie butter mixture to make (hopefully) a pretty pattern- or take your own approach- it'll always taste good.

Cookie Butter Cheesecake Bars
-1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (or other cookie crumbs)
-3 tablespoons white sugar
-5 tablespoons melted butter
-14 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1 egg + 1 egg yolk
-1 tablespoon flour
-3 oz. cookie butter (Biscoff makes a great one)
-2 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
-2 tablespoons sugar
-1 egg, less 1-2 tablespoons
Mix Crust ingredients together, press into a greased and parchment-lined 7x11'' pan. Bake at 325 F for 8 minutes, let cool.
Cream all Cheesecake ingredients well. Gently spoon/spread evenly over the graham cracker crust.
Cream together all of the ingredients for the cookie butter Swirl, then spoon over the cheesecake, then drag a knife through the swirl to make it pretty- see my pics, or try your own method.
Bake at 325 F for 45-55 minutes, until a tester comes out pretty clean.
Let cool, then refrigerate for a few hours (2-3 at least).
Lift out by the parchment paper, and you can cut the bars cleanly on a cutting board, wiping the knife clean between cuts.

Here are the bars just out of the oven- just starting to brown at the edges.
And here is your final product, post cooling and waiting- delicious and beautiful cheesecake bars with an awesome twist- cookie butter. Yum!

Savor it!
love, rue