Wednesday, June 5, 2013



Yield: 36 to 42 tablespoon-sized candies

1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (smooth, but you can use chunky if you are looking for more texture)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 14 graham crackers
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups powdered sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
12 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped

Make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together until combined. Add the graham cracker crumbs and beat for 10 seconds. Add the sugar and butter then increase the speed until the ingredients are combined. Scrape down the whole bowl well, then mix again. The mixture will be quite sturdy and a little dry — perfect for shaping. Set it aside while you prepare the coating.

Make the coating: Melt the chocolate either over a double boiler, stirring until it is completely smooth or in a microwave in 30 then 10 second increments, stirring before you start it again until it is completely smooth. Let it cool to tepid  while you shape the peanut butter balls. 

Assemble the candies: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out slightly more than one tablespoon’s worth of filling and use your hands to form it into a ball. Place the ball on the prepared sheet and repeat the process until all of the candies have been shaped. They can sit close to each other but make sure they are not touching.

Using a fork or large skewer, dip each ball into the chocolate and roll it about so that almost the entire candy is coating, leaving a small circle uncoated. 

Chill the buckeyes until they are set, about 30 minutes.

Do ahead: Buckeyes will keep in the fridge for what the book says is 3 days, but I’d say at least a week, should you keep them in a lockbox and hide the key.

Churro Balls

Churros Balls with Warm Chocolate Dipping Sauce

Serves 4-6

For the cinnamon sugar:
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the churros:

1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
1/2 cup water
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour 
4 large eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
Canola or peanut oil, for frying

For the chocolate dipping sauce:
4 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped finely
1 cup whole or 2% milk
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup heavy cream (or milk)
1 heaping teaspoon cornstarch

For the cinnamon-sugar, whisk together in a small bowl. Transfer to a shallow dish and set aside.

For the churros, combine the milk, water, butter, cinnamon stick, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring once or twice, until the liquid begins to boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick. 

Add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously to combine. Return the pan to medium heat to dry out the dough. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the dough forms a round mass and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes. (There will also be a noticeable "film" of flour on the bottom and sides of the pan.)

Transfer the dough to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat dough on low speed for one minute to cool and no longer steaming. Increase the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, until each is completely incorporated. Add the vanilla bean paste. (At this point, the dough should be shiny and form a "rope" when the blade is lifted from the pan.) Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Allow the dough to rest while you heat the oil, at least 15 - 30 minutes.

Fill a large Dutch oven with about 2 inches of frying oil; heat on medium-high until the temperature reaches 375°F. Line a sheet pan with paper towels or a brown paper bag, and cover with a wire cooling rack. Use a small spring-form ice cream scoop to carefully release rounds of batter into the oil, about 6 or 7 at time. (Do not overcrowd the pot; they should not be touching.) 

Flip the balls occasionally with long tongs or a spider to promote even cooking. Once churros are puffed and light amber/golden brown, about 2-3 minutes, remove to the wire rack to drain for a moment. While still hot, coat each churro in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place on a serving dish and continue frying the remaining dough. Make sure the frying oil comes back up to temperature between batches.

For the chocolate dipping sauce, combine the chocolate, milk, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is melted. Whisk the cornstarch into the heavy cream and add to the milk mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook for another 30 seconds, until the sauce is dark and slightly thickened, then remove from the  heat. Transfer to a bowl for dipping, whisking as necessary. 

Recipe Notes:

  • If you do not have a stand mixer, you can beat in the eggs with either a handheld electric mixer or by hand. If mixing in the eggs by hand, allow the flour mixture to cool for 15 minutes before beating in the eggs.
  • To make traditional log shape churros, transfer the rested dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe 4-inch strips of dough, snipping with kitchen shears to release, into the hot oil and fry according to directions.
  • To bake the churros, preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using the pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe into 4-inch logs. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly puffed. Finish off under the broiler until golden brown and crispy. Dust in cinnamon-sugar mixture before serving.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


For a fun birthday tribute to Kelli, go here!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

I think we've established that you can never have too many enchilada recipes. This is a delicious one, and a fun twist on the norm. I think you're supposed to use the traditional orange sweet potato, but I accidentally got the yellow variety, and it still turned out pretty delicious.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

2 large sweet potatoes
1 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1 small jalapeno minced (seeded)
1 can rinsed black beans (I used two cans)
1 can diced tomatoes (I used petite diced with green chilies)
1 T chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of your favorite salsa
8 large flour tortillas (I filled 10 and still had plenty of filling left to layer on top)

Peel your sweet potatoes and dice into chunks, spread out on a baking sheet with a little olive oil and salt, bake at 400 until soft.

Saute your garlic and jalapeno in the olive oil, add black beans, tomatoes, chili powder, and sweet potatoes. Mix everything really well and let cook for a few minutes.

Spread 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of salsa on the bottom of a casserole pan. Fill tortillas with the bean and sweet potato mixture, roll tightly, and place in pan. When finished top with remaining salsa and filling. You can also top with cheese if you would like. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Serve with lettuce, olives, avocado, and a little sour cream.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

V-Day Food Fun

Trying to decide which of these ideas to do for which meal over the weekend and Monday. Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!

Pizza idea from One Charming Party, Fruit Kabobs from Bev, and Warm + Fuzzy Cookie Pops from The Decorated Cookie. Thanks for the cuteness, friends.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Food for Thought

I doubt I am alone in my quest to eat healthier this new year. I have so much room for improvement in this area. I want the shift to be a lasting one, not a fad or specific diet. I have done a bit of searching and have come up with some great resources to help me (and you, if you want) to do better.

I have enjoyed browsing Ellie Kreiger's recipes. A few that I am going to try soon are the whole wheat pancakes with strawberry sauce, the buffalo chicken salad, and the chicken and mushroom quesadillas.

I am loving the new blog Word of Wisdom Living. Lots of great info.

Martha is sure to inspire with 50 light and healthy main dishes.

I've not tried any of the recipes on the Mayo Clinic website, but it's worth a look. I think I'll start with the Pan-Braised Onions with Rosemary. NOT. I said I was going to eat healthier, I didn't say I lost my mind!

Happy and Healthy New Year, every one!

Poor little food blog...

You have been neglected for too too long. Sorry about that. We will take better care of you. Right, Maren, Kelli, Amanda and Emma? :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spooky Eats

I love spooky Halloween food... here are a few new-to-me ideas for your repertoire.

Menu, 10-17-10

I don't know if anyone cares what we eat for dinner 'round here, but it helps me and my meal planning to post it here and refer back to my menu's, so here ya go.

Sun- broccoli cheddar soup, strawberry spinach salad, cornbread, chocolate pumpkin cake and ice cream

M- baked potato soup, salad, crusty bread, no bake cookies

T- fast chicken fajitas

W- stir fry

Th- spaghetti and turkey meatballs

F- beef stew

Sat- trying to narrow down which version of whoopie pie I want to bake-n-take to a Halloween party

Monday, September 27, 2010

Summer Vegetable Gratin

I strongly urge you to make this dish as the summer is winding down- you won't be sorry. Aren't those heirloom tomatoes from Trader Joe pretty?

Summer Vegetable Gratin

  • 6tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1pound zucchini , ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1pound summer squash (yellow), ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2teaspoons table salt
  • 1 1/2pounds ripe tomatoes (3 to 4 large), sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 3/4teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 medium garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 T. minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1C. bread crumbs
  • 1 C. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4cup chopped fresh basil leaves

  • 1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 13- by 9-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil; set aside.
  • 2. Toss zucchini and summer squash slices with 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl; transfer to colander set over bowl. Let stand until zucchini and squash release at least 3 tablespoons of liquid, about 45 minutes. Arrange slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible.
  • 3. Place tomato slices in single layer on double layer paper towels and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 30 minutes. Place second double layer paper towels on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry tomatoes.
  • 4. Combine garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and thyme in small bowl. In large bowl, toss zucchini and summer squash in half of oil mixture, then arrange in greased baking dish. Slightly overlap tomato slices in single layer on top of zucchs. Spoon remaining garlic-oil mixture evenly over tomatoes. Bake until vegetables are tender and tomatoes are starting to brown on edges, 40 to 45 minutes.
  • 5. Combine bread crumbs, remaining tablespoon oil, and Parmesan in medium bowl. Remove baking dish from oven and increase heat to 450 degrees. Sprinkle bread-crumb mixture evenly on top of tomatoes. Bake gratin until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and let sit at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen. Although Christopher Kimball is the nerdiest nerd ever, I can't help but love him for the good work he does. :)

Menu 9-26-10

Trying to get back in the swing of things after a crazy couple of weeks...

For dinner this week I willl do my best to stick to this menu:

Sun- spaghetti, green salad, rolls, peach cobbler

M- pesto tortellini soup


Sat- pizza?

I don't care that it's still 100+ degrees here, I'm in the mood for soup and soup it is. Much to my delight and Chris' dismay, soup season is only beginning...