Sticky Chewy Fudge Sauce…

Well, we are approaching summer time! What goes with summer? Ice cream! I’m practicing for summer. Ha!

Who doesn’t like a hot fudge sundae. But ya gotta start with a good fudge sauce. Not just any fudge sauce. I like the kind that’s sticky and chewy. Like when it hits the ice cream, it firms up a bit and is like chewy chocolate yum-ness. Have you had that kind of fudge sauce? You don’t want the runny kind that just slides off your ice cream. So, that’s why you just have to try this fudgy goodness.

It makes great gifts. Imagine a cute little (or huge) jar filled with fudge sauce, in a gift basket. You could include an ice cream scooper, maybe some nuts or a jar of cherries, or  some sprinkles. Oh! and a couple of cute ice cream sundae bowls! Is that a great gift idea or what!! Ok, please feel free to send me one! hahahha, just kidding.

This fudge topping is super inexpensive to make. It’s also very easy. You will make it again and again. I know you will love this stuff.

Sticky Chewy Fudge Sauce

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
6 Tblsp cocoa powder
3 Tblsp corn syrup
1/4 cup milk or half and half
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)

In a saucepan, add everything but the vanilla. Stir over medium heat until butter is melted and sauce is smooth. Bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, reduce the heat to a simmer and stir constantly for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Allow to cool slightly before serving or pouring into a jar. This will keep for a few weeks in the fridge, but trust me, it wont last that long.
Reheat  for 15 seconds in the microwave, before serving.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

 

 

Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks….

Ohhhhhh, these are good. So good. Crispy, chewy, buttery, cheesy and garlicky. Oh, and they are so easy to make.

These are not your average bread sticks. These are very rich. I like them as is and dipped in a good marinara sauce. I must warn you…..if you serve these before a meal or along side a meal, you will get full on these and not be able to finish your meal. You won’t be able to stop eating them!  Just give me a basket of these and a bottle of wine and all is good. Did I just say a bottle of wine?? I meant to say a glass of wine. Yeah, right.

If you are hesitant to work with yeast, please don’t be. This is the easiest recipe ever. Just make sure your yeast is not expired and you will be fine. But if you still feel uncomfortable, you can always use a ball of pizza dough from the grocery store. But please, please try this dough.

Ok, are you ready?

 

Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks

For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1½ teaspoon dry active yeast
1 cup lukewarm water

For the spread:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons salted butter
3 fresh garlic cloves, minced very fine
1 tsp parsley or chives
2 cups Italian Shredded Cheese (I used a mixture of parmesan, asiago, fontina and provolone)
Optional:  pizza sauce for dipping

In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Slowly add the water, making a dough. The dough should come together and be soft, not dry and shaggy.
Knead for two minutes and form a ball.
In another bowl, add about a tsp of oil and place your dough ball in. Move the dough ball around, coating it and the bowl with the oil.
Cover with a dish towel for 1 hour or until dough has doubled.
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Lightly oil a baking sheet. Place your dough ball on the sheet and press it out with your fingers, to a thickness of approximately 1/4″
In a small bowl, mix together the butter, olive oil, garlic and chives/parsley. Spread it all over the dough.
Sprinkle dough with the shredded cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the dough has browned and cheese is all melty.
Cut into sticks and serve immediately.
I should tell you….these really are best eaten the same day. Oh darn! They aren’t as good the next day, reheated.

Chicken Poblano Lasagna….

Oozy goozy cheesy noodles. Yum. I love this dish. It is one of my favorites for sure. It’s loaded with cheese and a rich cream sauce. Oh my. Be warned, after you eat this you will turn into a blob on the sofa. It’s so filling, but so delicious. Sounds good right? Oh yes.

If you don’t want to bother with roasting your chile peppers and peeling them, you can just buy them whole in a can. I’ve done that and it’s still delicious. I used Poblano chiles. They are large dark green  peppers. You never know if you’re going to get a spicy one or not. Some have no heat at all….just good flavor. But sometimes……yeehaw….nice and spicy. So if you are not into heat at all, go with the whole green chiles in a can.

There are no real exact measurements here. Just depends on how much stuff you want. Know what I mean? But I will try to give you an idea of how much stuff you need.


Chicken Poblano  Lasagna
serves 5-6

approx. 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
approx. 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
1 box of lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 cup butter
1/2 flour
4 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 – 4 poblano or whole green chiles, split open and cut into large pieces

Saute the onions, garlic and jalapeno until the onions are soft. Set aside.
In  a sauce pan, at medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and mix into a paste (roux). Slowly add the milk, whisking until smooth and creamy. If it looks too thick, add a bit more milk so that you have a nice smooth sauce. Just taste to make sure you don’t have a flour taste. Keep warm while you assemble your lasagna.

Butter or spray the bottom of a deep baking dish. I use 13x 9.
Start the layering process:
sauce
noodles
chicken
onion mixture
cheese
Chiles
sauce…..repeat until pan is filled. Try to end with sauce.
Save some of the cheese to put on top the last 5 minutes of baking.

Bake at 350 for approx. 45 minutes or until bubbly. Add some more cheese and allow to melt.

If you have some sauce left, heat it up and spoon over each serving.

 

Cracked Brown Sugar Cookies……….

I have a new favorite cookie…….at least for now. 🙂 I came across this cookie some time ago. I don’t know what took me so long to make it, but am I ever glad I did. The recipe comes from Foodiechicksrule.com.

You know what a cookie monster I am. Well,  this is the best cookie that I have had in a very long time. These are the most buttery, sweet little gems. They are both crispy and chewy. Seriously. I could go on and on about how much I love these little babies. I love a good sugar cookie. I have a favorite recipe that I use when I am in the mood for a no fuss, simple sugar cookie. But these are made with brown sugar……..dark brown sugar. I am in love.

You must make these cookies. I promise you, you will make them again and again. It’s amazing how much the butter flavor comes through.

Please, please make these. Today. Now. If you’re at work, tell the boss that you must go home and bake cookies.You will be so happy!

Oh, I should let you know….these cookies are not only addicting, but they are very sweet. They are rolled in sugar too, which makes them even more sweet. After I made  the first batch, I didn’t roll them in sugar. They don’t need it. However, rolling the dough balls in sugar is what helps give it that super crackly surface.

Ok, that’s all. Go bake now.

Cracked Brown Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup DARK brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cream of tartar

sugar for rolling (optional)

Heat oven to 350.
Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and beat for 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture but don’t overmix. Roll the dough into little balls (1 inch). Roll them in sugar and place on an ungreased, unlined baking sheet. CHILL for about 10 minutes.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. You may not notice the crackles at first, but as they sit and cool, the crackly surface will appear.

They are just as good day 2 or 3, as they are on day 1.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

 

Quick Pasta Carbonara…..

What is it about pasta that is just so comforting? I love it! There is a family favorite that I used to make all the time….carbonara. It’s the ultimate comfort food. But wow is it ever heavy and rich. My version is loaded with sausage, bacon, cream, butter, cheese. You know…..all the good stuff. Ha! Well, I don’t make that one much these days. But maybe I should and share it with ya’ll  sometime soon.

Recently, I saw a super quick simple version of carbonara on a cooking show. I was skeptical but I tried it and was surprised at how good it was. It was too easy and quick to be that good!  There is no cream in it….no liquid at all, but you would swear there is! It’s very creamy, but it’s from the eggs and cheese.

If you want a quick, filling comfort dish, well then here ya go! Here is my version.

I am not at all happy with my photo quality lately. I am in need of a better camera. Bear with me!


Quick Pasta Carbonara

approx. 3 cups hot cooked  spaghetti
Bacon, diced (as much as you like)
2 eggs
1/4 cup parmesan or romano cheese (grated fine)
1 Tblsp butter
crushed red pepper, optional
In a large skillet, cook the bacon. While the bacon is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk the eggs really well. Mix in the grated cheese. Set aside.
Once the bacon is cooked, leave a couple of tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan. Add the hot, drained pasta to the pan. Add the butter and give it all a toss to coat the pasta with all that yummy goodness.

Add the egg/cheese mixture and quickly and vigorously mix it all together for 1 to 2 minutes. It should look nice and creamy. Sprinkle with black pepper or red pepper flakes. Serve immediately.