Out of the five weeks that we have now been giving you PW Wednesdays, four of them have revolved around Mexican fair. We’re not obsessed or anything. Between mango margaritas, carnitas, and chicken fried tacos – it only seemed fitting to wrap up this first round of PW Wednesdays with another – White Chicken Enchiladas chosen by Tina.
As per the usual PW fair – it includes plenty of yum-factor. But what comes along with yum? Tight jeans. This recipe is no different. Since Ben was home for the weekend I wanted to cook something special and tasty, and with this one in my back pocket I knew I had to whip it up. Just half though, it was feeding just the dos of us.
With the yum-factor (ie: walrus factor) of any PW recipe, it comes huge batches that take me days to consume. Not unfortunate by any stretch, but now that we’re in the 80-day range of the wedding, I didnt’ want too much chillaxin’ in the fridge as I try (mostly unsuccessfully) to lose those last pounds that won’t. go. away.
To make this recipe a touch healthier, I opted for substituting the corn tortillas for high fiber low carb wraps that are not only healthier, but much tastier in enchiladas. Fluffy flour style tortillas just make enchiladas, corn ones just seem so stiff – like the upper lip of a gin swilling Englishmen.
And with as much cream as these enchiladas were originally swimming in – I not only halved the recipe, but more than halved the cream/cheese/dairy content of the whole thing with the result still being squishy and dripping with goo, but not so badly that I felt and overwhelming pang of food guilt and fat-pants shame.
The roasting of the peppers was fun to try out on my own. Never having done it before, it was a great reason to break out the grill and give this time tested trick a shot.
With the time taken to roast the peppers, steam them in a bag, peel and chop them – it did take an additional amount of time that the you might not have on a busy summer Little League Wednesday night. In retrospect using the jarred roasted red peppers would be a perfectly suitable substitution. No body would know the difference and you’ll save yourself 30 minutes over the grill.
Semi-home made Sandra Lee would be proud.
In the end, these were a pretty tasty dish. One I would make again, using 2 jalapenos instead of one for the additional heat and adding smoked paprika to give it that extra smoky hint.
With a brand new bottle of Chipotle Tabaso in the fridge, it was dripped and dribbled all over these enchiladas, the smoky flavor and the creamy goo went together like Joni and Chachi.
Yeah, I was a Nick at Nite addict – What of it?
Ben devoured them then asked for more. Anytime that happens, I consider it a win.
Check out the blogs of the lovely ladies below for their takes on this PW classic. I’m sure this will make it into your bi-weekly dinner rotation. A healthified twist on a PW insta-classic.
After this chaotic weekend, I am simultaneously happy and extremely disappointed that I played the nice office admin and gave the rest of this delicious dish to my coworkers. It will all become clear shortly… Friday afternoon I got the call from Ben he would be coming home for the long weekend, including his birthday, and not only would he be coming home – but that as he called he was already on his way home.
If you heard a girl shrieking with excitement around 12:32pm last Friday, that was me. Yeah, I was that thrilled. It had only been 2 months since we’d been able to spend a full weekend together. NBD.
But whilst the girls and I were out at happy-houring-it-up and I was sitting on tenterhooks (a la Scarlet O’Hara) waiting on Ben and sipping a gin and tonic, I got a text message that said “i think im broke down”.
If you heard a girl scream in panic about 4:17 that same afternoon, that was me.
It was a about a perfect time as any for me since there were five plates of happy hour fare in front of me, and I could eat my weight in feelings and panic. And about that time I wish I had the rest of this pan at home so I could eat my weight in bread pudding feelings.
Classy, I am.
As I called Ben frantically, and was only able to get through to him via text message the lovely woman from AllState and I played phone tag relay between her, myself and Ben to get him towed to the nearest town on a holiday weekend coordinating between Washington State and Maryland. Not an easy task with a stressed fiance, a poor helpless insurance call center operator and me – the eating-my-feelings-paniced-hot-mess. You can’t write funnier stuff than this.
Thankfully Beka and Jackie were there to shove another tonic in my hands, order me a plate of bacon wrapped prawns and formulate a plan to get me to Ben, by way of stopping for a dozen cupcakes so I could continue to eat my feelings as they drove me up the mountain to get him and start my weekend. This is what real friends do.
Eating of the Feelings has Commenced.
Rescued The Ben!
An hour later we were there, rescuing the Ben – cracking him a beer to drown the worries of a broken pick up and blown (possible) head gasket. Worked like a charm. There is nothing better than these two girls to make everything right in the world – Glee sing-a-longs, cupcakes and rescuing my fiance – for the win.
Now – for the recipe. As I went into work on Thursday I decided it was best to remove the remaining pan of this bread pudding from my house and share it with my coworkers. Just in case Ben wasn’t able to make it home this weekend (which clearly he did) I didn’t want it languishing in my fridge ready for me to pounce on it like a rapid hyena in case I needed to unhinge my jaw and shovel it into my mouth to stomp out the sads if he was forced to work a 9th weekend in a row and I couldn’t see him.
Are you seeing a trend? I eat feelings for breakfast. I am that girl. Don’t act like you haven’t done the same.
The blueberries speckling this bread pudding just scream spring and the coconut adds in a sweet balance to the tart berries. And a tropical note too – which never hurts anybody. And even now as I write about this, I’m almost sad I played the good office admin and took it to them. It sounds really good about now…
Bread pudding and I go way back. My childhood was filled with my mother’s slightly obsession and all out weakness for the dessert which I could only describe as “old people food”. It was a texture thing. But at 13, who really likes what their parents like? From their childhood food favorites to their choice of pleated pants – not much.
Now – 13 years later – I am 26 and luurrrvvee myself some bread pudding. The obvious carb-oholic nature of the dessert just gets me every time.
1 loaf French Bread, cubed
1 quart Milk, at least 1%
2 cups Sugar
5 eggs, whisked
2 Tbsp Vanilla
1 1/2 tsp Coconut Extract (optional)
1/2 cup Shredded Coconut
2 cups Blueberries
1 cup Strawberries, hulled and quartered
Non-stick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350.
In very large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and coconut extract.
Place cubed bread into a 13x9 inch pan, making sure to pack as much of it into the pan as possible so that it fits tightly. Sprinkle berries in between cubes of bread, moving the pieces out of the way to make sure it is distributed evenly. Sprinkle top with shredded coconut.
Pour milk/egg mixture over the top of the bread and berries.
Place into pre-heated oven and bake for about 50 minutes or until the middle is no longer soppy and the milk flows freely. If the top begins to brown too much, loosely tent with aluminum foil. Continue to bake until middle is not jiggly.
Remove from oven and set on rack to cool. Serve warm or place in fridge and serve cold.
Do you have a BBQ up and running today? Oh good. Tasty treats are bound to be served. Today I wanted to share a very heart felt Happy Memorial Day with all of you. So whilst you’re grilling, please take some time to remember the reason behind our holiday – the men and woman who have served our country so gallantly, so bravely, and so selflessly.
The injuries incurred are more than scars, but missing limbs, minds tragically altered and memories that can resurrect themselves plain as day of the most horrible situations imaginable. These soldiers, nee our heroes, need a hearty thank you. Or better yet a hug or a handshake. Make sure you tell them. Take those few seconds to say those thanks out loud. Thinking a “thank you” and saying it out loud are two totally different things, and verbalizing it can strike to the core of ones’ soul.
Let them know that their sacrifices great and small have been valued – and we are, as a nation, eternally grateful.
Below are a few of my favorite photos taken a couple of years ago at Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider and at the Vietnam Memorial. The grounds were so haunting, so hallowed, and so rich with the sacrifice of those who left and came home altered all in the name of our freedom and the freedom of those around the world.
Thank you to all who are serving and have served. We are ever so grateful.
1) Does anyone have a pair of rested eyes I can borrow? There are circles under my eyes that look like plums at this point.
1a) This is because it was a ridiculously busy weekend, to which I’ll tell you in a minute. Keep reading, it’s so worth your wait. I promise!! Big awesome cool stuff!
Memorial Day Weekend is four crap, three days away. The 25th marks exactly 2 months, eight weeks, 60 days, 1,440 hours since I’ve seen Ben for any great length of time.
1b) Okay, sorry – let me clarify – 1,338 hours that I’ve gone without seeing him. There was a whopping two quality hours that I got to spend with him two weeks ago when I made a Smokey and the Bandit style run out to the Palouse on a Friday night grasping at all hopes of getting to spend a half a weekend with him during a busy season that can only be reffered to as sucktastic. Yes, sucktastic – just like a Bieber obsessed 13 year old girl would say. One hour before his head hit the pillow and one hour as he was getting ready for work doesn’t exactly qualify as “quality time” but it is what it is when you’re marrying a man who works in agriculture.
2) This weekend (barring all catastrophes of him working (which I’m still counting and betting will happen)) I will get to spend with him taking care of various wedding things (rings, booking honeymoon, getting his Passport.) *Gasp* I know, how does he still not have that damn thing?! And yay, more wedding stuff. Cause that’s what a poor working man wants to deal with on his first weekend off work in 2 months…
3) Is it really Wednesday already? Send help.
4) There are five things on my “Make it or Bake it” List. Now that I’m in panic mode, I want to just bake. It’s relaxing. I needz it. And they all involve berries and carbs.
5) Here’s the big news! The matching pair of plum colored circles I have under my eyes correspond to the lack of sleep I got over the weekend doing really cool stuff like this and even cooler, more BA and epicer (can epic-er be a word, just this once?)-I was on the TV!!!
It was a fantastic experience – one that I hope I can repeat, often. Click the link here to see the Video! Hopefully you will find my nervous laughter and awkward expressions as entertaining as the food… Feel free to laugh at me, I did plenty at myself as I tried to slink away from the counter. Count how many times I was pushed back up to the counter during the segment… It corresponds directly to my level of nervousness. To top it off I forgot my CertainDri. I consider it a blessing I didn’t flop sweat through my cardi.
Now – to get to my relaxation baking. C’mere carbs, come to Mama!!
*Click HERE* to see another fabulous recipe from Our Lady of Second Helpings and her sesame crusted tofu. You will adore her!!
Seattle’s equivalent of Groundhog’s Day is when the Copper River Salmon fly into town. Except our salmon don’t see their shadows and there is no more 6-weeks of winter…well, that’s debatable – because it was freezing cold at 4am.
Press, media, tv reporters, local celebrities and food geeks (like me) flock to the tarmac of SeaTac air port at 5 am to watch that combi-plane fly into the Lower 48 and see the captain saunter out of the plane and hoist a 50+ pound fish over his head, praying like all saints that he isn’t going to drop it or throw his back out in the process.
It’s a rite of passage and a tradition seafood and salmon lovers hold dear.
And I maintain that Seattle will be the only place you see that salmon get the red carpet treatment.
This year, I was lucky enough to be invited by the people of Copper River Salmon to take part in their Fresh Catch Crew, a group of 12 food bloggers from around the country keeping you all up to date on the goings-on of the CRS season and fixing up some tasty treats along the way.
Every year of this cook off, three local well known chefs get together to compete in the winner take all, no holds bard salmon throwdown. This year’s chef selection came by way of Crush, Ray’s Boathouse and Anthony’s Homeport‘s three executive chef all mastering various types of cuisine.
Once the necessary photographs were taken, it was all down to business and the 55 pound beast was masterfully filleted, deboned, and sliced to the specs of each chef. I’ve never seen a knife go through a beast like that. Like buttahhh.
And after having a little taste of it straight from the fish, sashimi style – I. died. happily.
Each chef went to work on their creations, implementing all various means of heat to cook their fishes. We had grills, torches, a Big Green Egg (my personal fave of the cooking varietals) and pans. Flames were rising, smells were wafting and at 6:30 in the morning, salmon was smelling Ah-maayy-zzzingg!!
Even with two mugs of coffee I couldn’t force a smile as big as Chef Wayne’s. Good man.
Chef Pat Donahue of Anthony’s started his salmon off on the grill to sear the outsides, then finished it all on soaked cedar planks. Classic, unadulterated and divine. No muss, no fuss. The seasoning was impeccable with a little bit of cocoa that just nailed the whole dish.
When asked what the biggest mistake people make in cooking salmon is – the consensus, across the board was – over cooking your salmon.
Medium-rare to medium is the highest you should cook it. That’s it? Well, I have some serious adjusting to do, but I’m equal to the task.
The winning dish. Let me just tell you that rhubarb angels painted this plate in deliciousness, cocoa kissed the salmon and one bite of this left me furiously happy. Furiously.
It took all my will power to not snatch one of the left-over tasting plates from the judges.
You wanna know what goes good with salmon and a variety of wines in front of you? 7 am.
Goes great with both. Just sayin’.
In the end, this dish – from Pat Donahue of Anthony’s (pictured above) took the top prize, making it a third year in a row he’s taken the top prize. Overachiever.
The whole morning was an absolute delight, the people were amazing, the food was divine. And after a 2am alarm, I went home to sleep it all off. Now – to get my hands on some salmon….
*Fine Print* I was selected by the fine people of CRS to participate in a summer long campaign to promote this fabulous fish. I have not been moniarily compensated for this post, just given the chance to see a Seattle tradition in person.
And bacon. It also has bacon in it. The magical animal. Or so says the omnipotent Homer Simpson. At least that bumbling animated oaf got something right.
Growing up I had a terrible case of the I-hate-bread-puddings, imagining old people food and Isotoners abound. But then I realized one day that adding bourbon to the mix and a heart stopping amount of butter could make anything better. This time around I opted instead for a savory bake that one could actually feed to one’s family and children that was a mix of ham and cheese grilled sammie with eggs.
Life is better when you can do a mash-up of breakfast foods and childhoo
d favorites. It’s like the Glee of breakfast foods. Get it? Mash up?
*Sidebar* Is anyone else still into that show? As much as I loved it in the beginning, I think I’m kinda getting over it. I’ve tried pin pointing what the jump-the-shark moment was, but I suppose kind of like Grey’s Anatomy – at some point it just didn’t do anything for me anymore.
This breakfast bake is put together quite similarly to another bread pudding recipe, chock full of thinly sliced pears and well, as any self respecting girl w/should – chocolate. They’re practically the same, but for that. And the sugar. And the cheese. And the bacon. Ya know.
Everything good and decent in life starts with 2 cups of shredded cheese.
5 slices of bacon, fried and chopped.
Black Forest ham is the hammiest of the Black Forest hams.
And when combined all together with slices of crusty carby French Bread – the world is a more peaceful place and so is your tumtum. Like the mother of a toddler, I just said tumtum. Sorry about that. Truly.
Into a 13×9 inch sprayed pan, line it with one slice of bread, two slices of ham, a drizzle of shredded cheese and then another bread. Lather, rinse, repeat with the rest of the pan – cramming as much of these into the pan as possible.
Once the layers are combined, and the magical animal is sprinkled on top like Oinking Fairy Dust – 8 whisked and beaten eggs with 1 cup of milk are poured over the top of the whole hammy, cheesy pan and tossed into an oven at 350 for 40-45 minutes.
If you’re really feeling like a rebel – you can even make this the night before a family brunch. Because the last thing you want is to be panic with the in-laws arrive and you’re still in your bathrobe with bunny slippers and scrunchie clad.
With fluffy eggs, melty cheese and magical bacon and ham mixed in – this is a dish bestowed upon you by the ham-gods. Mmmm, ham gods.
*Sidebar* Just enjoy this cheesy hammy bake with a side of fruit. It would make your mother happy.
1 loaf French Bread, sliced 1/2" slices
8 whole Eggs
1 cup Milk
3/4 pound, sliced Black Forest Ham
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded or variety of your choice
5 slices Bacon, fried and chopped
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 13x9 inch pan with non-stick spray. Slice french bread into 1/2" thick slices. Set aside.
Fry five slices of bacon, let cool and then chop into small pieces. Set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until evenly combined.
Shred cheddar cheese, or other cheese of your choice, and set aside.
In 13x9, layer one slice of french bread on it's end, placing two slices of ham next to it. Sprinkle on cheese. Layer another slice of french bread next to cheese and ham - like a sandwich standing on it's end. Repeat process until all of bread, ham and cheese has been layered. Sprinkle chopped bacon on top. Pour milk/eggs mixture over the top of the whole pan of bread/ham/cheese.
Place in oven for 40-45 minutes or until egg is cooked through.
Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice and serve.
Thanks to everyone for entering! If you didn’t win, don’t fret – there will be another Maxwell and Williams giveaway coming up in the next few weeks!! You’ll just die furiously happy. (Click the above link for a sneak peek!)
Have a great weekend, everyone. And don’t forget, hug a service member.
Who says that fancy ass dinners have to be difficult or overly expensive? Not me! (Though my notoriously cheap fiance would beg to differ.) Moving on.
On some big night where your hunny will don a pair of trousers one notch to tight and you take ratchet up the hotness with a pair of heels that never got broken in – you sit down at dinner, scanning the menu of some restaurant with low lights, over priced wine and market priced lobster that you know means it’s $53 for a 4 ounce tail and all you get out of it is a huge bill, nary a wine buzz because you didn’t want to drop the moolah for another glass and sore feet.
Mood killer. C’mon date night – what’s a girl gotta do to catch a break here?
Well, I’m going to blow the lid off this one and show you a recipe that you (and even your hunny!) can make for a just the two of you, drinking all you want of a wine you actually like (that was even on sale at the store for $8.99 *Score!*) and get down to all that romantic schmoopy business that a date night is really supposed to be about.
And since date night is supposed to be about all things romantic, and not slaving over a hot stove, this is a one pot meal that is stove to table in 30 minutes. Seriously? Seriously. I don’t kid about date nights.
With a perfect portion of asparagus, a dollop of curried pearl cous cous and a steamed lobster tail – you’ll have your hunny swirling you around the living room in no time. Or at least after cooking for you and throwing an epically tasty date night – he should be twirling you around the living room. C’mon, man! Woo her!
2 Lobster Tails - about 4 oz.
1 cup Pearled Cous Cous
1 tsp Curry
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cups Chicken Broth
10 spears Asparagus, cut lengthwise into halves
In tajine or large saute pan with lid, pour in pearled cous cous. Whisk cous cous, olive oil, chicken broth, curry, paprika together and bring to a boil. Turn down and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Add asparagus spears around the edges of the pot to steam/simmer. Continue to cook. Stir cous cous to make sure it is cooking evenly.
Take two lobster tails and flip over. Using sturdy scissors, cut the underbelly of the lobster, opening up the cavity. Sprinkle with pepper. Place lobster tails, slit side down, on top of the cous cous, cover and let steam until shells turn red. About 15 minutes. Add more chicken broth to the pot if the cous cous is beginning to dry at all. It will get absorbed into the cous cous, so don't worry.
Test the asparagus with a fork to ensure they are tender.
When lobster is bright red, turn off heat and remove entire tajine or saute pan from heat. Place lobster tails on cutting board and let rest until you can handle them a bit more easily. Flip them over and pry them open. Using a spoon, run it along the sides of the meat to dislodge it from the body. Gently pull it from the shell.
To plate the dish, place asparagus onto plate, top with cous cous, add lobster shell to the top of cous cous and then gently top the lobster shell with the steamed meat.
Original recipe from Megan Pence
Now – for the Giveaway! Maxwell and Williams is a company originating in Australia just making it’s debut in the USA. They pride themselves on using a wide variety of materials in their products, from ceramics, to glass, acrylics and stainless steel. And along with this move to the US, they are now licensed with the Ralph Lauren company. Whoa! My introduction to M&W came by my dad who adventured down under for work and came back bearing a white classic casserole dish for me to which I immediately fell in love. The clean lines and white ceramic just did a number on me.
With such a diverse cooking line, I was immediately intrigued by the tajine which has roots back in Northern African cooking. M&W has taken the tajine from earthenware stew pot to an updated do-all-the-things miracle worker. This tajine goes from stove, to oven, to microwave and freezer in a blink. And…and, it’s dishwasher safe. The non-stick coating handled this cous cous like a champ and the conical design made sure that all steam was circulated and expedited the cooking process. I was intrigued and left with my mind blown.
And if nothing else, it sure is a conversation starter!
Maxwell and Williams has graciously offered to give one away to a lucky reader to help in their new US campaign. I have a feeling this is the start of a new obsession. I hope you’re ready.
Tell me – What would you cook in this tajine if you won?
Like Maxwell and Williams on Facebook, leave a comment telling me you did.
Follow M&W on Twitter, leave a comment telling me you did.
Tweet about the giveaway with – “I want to win a tajine from @mw_usa and @CountryCleaver so I can cook #allthethings http://bit.ly/KrByxn” – Leave a comment with the tweet link.
Like WBACC on Facebook, leave me comment sayin’ so.
Good luck, everyone. You’ll be the rockstar of your kitchen with this and your hunny will sweep you off your feet. Especially if you tell him to do the dishes and he just has to throw this in the dishwasher. He’ll love you for not making him scrub another bloody dish, at least for one night.
*Fine Print* Maxwell and Williams sent me this tajine to review. Reviews and recipes are my own. It’s fabulous and I stand by it. The giveaway will end on Friday, May 25th. The winner will be contacted via e-mail and announced on this post. The winner will be chosen via Random.org and Maxwell and Williams will send the winner a tajine. Over and out!
Pizza and beer. Two things that inextricably and undeniably go together – but what if it’s a breakfast pizza? Now I don’t know about you but I was utterly conflicted on whether it was legit to enjoy a beer with breakfast food. Granted it was dinner time, breakfast for dinner, but still something about it seemed daredevilish. So, I went and had a beer like the rebel I am. *laughs at the thought of me being a rebel*
Now at the risk of sounding like an alki – I’m going to say it anyway – beer, eggs and hashbrowns on pizza is a flavor combination that can only be compared to party in your mouth. A mouth party. Animal House style. Raucous, Insane and totally a flavor combo to remember.
The girls of PW Wednesdays, Julie, Gina, Rachel, Tina and I all teamed up to make this and give you our own takes on the dish. This is the fourth of our PW Wednesdays and I think out of all of them so far, this is my favorite.
There were plenty of veggies to keep the dish colorful and fresh.
The hashbrowns on the top were crisp and felt like a Saturday morning.
One of the best tricks I learned about crisping up potatoes came to me from ATK when I made their oven fries. Cut, or in this case shredded potatoes left an abundance of starch on the outside yielding soggy, soft and dastardly results. Bleh! The key is soaking the potatoes in cold water for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the cuts. For this recipe I soaked the potatoes for about 20 minutes and changed the water three times just to make sure all the starches were washed away. As the starch settles it forms a white swirl on the bottom of the bowl. You’ll be able to see it plain as day.
The ‘taters were drained, patted dry with a handful of paper towels and then prepared as usual. Worked like a dream!! America’s Test Kitchen has never let me down.
All whilst this was going on, one recipe of PW’s Pizza Dough was fixed up and left to rise almost going The Thing on me and nearly overfilling the bowl.
Once all the ingredients were prepared and ready to go, the pizza was easy to piece together. The piece de resistance was absolutely and without question – the egg. My first introduction to egg on pizza was in DC a couple falls ago where I meandered around Georgetown taking in a few Georgetown Cupcakes (My God!), Dean and Deluca’s (The Cheese!) , and Pizza Parradiso where I sat down with a botarga pizza, a beer, a book and had the whole restaurant to myself. It was like a scene from a movie. DC and egg on pizza captivated my heart.
Needless to say, that was the what sealed the deal on this recipe.
And since this had bacon, hash, and egg on top – Hello! Look out, Megan’s comin’ through!! It was a win through and through. I highly encourage you to make this for your family. They’ll love you forever, even though they’re obligated to forever anyway – the beauties of family.
Don't mind the dental floss on the pizza… Kidding! The cheese was superiorly stringy!
Take a peek at the other girls’ take on this pizza and see how it stacked up.
Rachel – Baked by Rachel –> Click here for the full recipe!
With a Monday morning come all to soon, I have a recipe for you to get the week started on the right foot.
Nanaimo bars are a magical bars of chocolate, butter, coconut, walnuts and pure unadulterated joy. Originating from Nanaimo, British Columbia these are tasty treats detrimental to ones waistline – but worth every extra minute you’ll be required to spend on the elliptical.
The first layer includes graham crackers, walnuts, coconut, melted butter, egg whites, brown sugar and bliss. Now, let me clarify one thing… these are no bake bars. a) that means they’re perfect for summer, although not your waistline. 2) the egg whites might make some people squirm since these aren’t baked bars. iii) I would suggest substituting meringue powder and water for the egg whites if you’re squiggy over the idea of consuming raw egg. Wilton makes a meringue powder that will do just fine.
The second layer of these heavenly delights is simple – butter, powdered sugar, custard powder, milk/heavy whipping cream and a touch of vanilla. Whip it into submission and you’re golden.
Last but not least is of course the chocolate ganache top layer. Is there anything better than ganache? I think not. Except maybe…nope. Not much else is better than ganache.
All in all these take about an hour to prepare, with the chilling times included. You can’t beat a no baked and decadent dessert all set for summer when you feel like nullifying your morning workout. NBD.
2 cups crushed Graham Crackers
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, melted
2 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
2 Egg Whites, or Pasteurized Egg White Substitute
1 cup Sweetened Flake Coconut
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts
2 cup Powdered Sugar
4 Tbsp Butter, softened
1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tbsp Custard Powder, Bird's
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2/3 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
4 Tbsp Butter
Line a 11"x7" baking dish with parchment paper, using a piece of parchment paper about 16 inches long and 7 inches wide. Let the extra paper lay over the sides of the dish to create a mock-sling so the bars can be lifted out of the pan when ready to cut.
In a large bowl, combine all 1st Layer ingredients, butter, brown sugar, cocoa powder, egg whites, graham crackers, coconut and walnuts, together stirring with a spoon until all are evenly mixed. Press firmly into the bottom of the lined baking dish. Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes and begin preparing second layer ingredients.
In a large bowl with a whisk, or a stand mixer with a whisking attachment, beat together powdered sugar, butter, heavy cream, vanilla and custard powder until light colored and airy. It will remain fairly stiff, but spreadable.
Remove bars from the freezer, spread the custard over the top of the first layer with an offset spatula. Spread out evenly and place bars back into the freezer until the third layer is ready to finish.
In a small sauce pan, fill with 1" of water and bring to a simmer. Set a large heat safe bowl over the top of the pan adding the butter and chocolate to the bowl. Stir together until the butter and chocolate chips have just melted and mixed together. Remove from heat as soon as they have melted to ensure they don't scorch.
Promptly pour over chilled layer of custard. Smooth out with an offset spatula and place back into the fridge until the chocolate has set.
To Cut and Serve:
Slide a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to ensure none of the custard or ganache has stuck to the sides of the baking dish. Grasp the two over hanging edges of the parchment paper and lift the bars out of the baking dish. Using a sharp knife cut the bars into 24 even squares. Serve immediately or chill. Can be refrigerated up to three days.
*Note* Substitute prepared pasteurized meringue powder and water for egg whites if desired, since these bars are not baked.
*Note* Make sure these bars remain refrigerated.
Adapted from Nordstrom Friends and Family Cookbook
1) This week marks 6 going on 7 weeks that I haven’t seen Ben. Busy season of agriculture (planting, fertilizing, harvesting) effectively renders the significant other of any agri-man virtually a widow. And it really blows. In case that wasn’t apparent. Hopefully this weekend he’ll *finally* get a weekend off work so I can go out and visit him in Eastern Washington without having to play the waiting game of seeing him just when he wakes up and before his head hits the pillow. It’s tough to justify 5 hours of driving each way just to do that. We have just gotten used to it.
2) Less than one week until the Copper River Salmon runs open. And exactly one week until that Seattle bound Alaskan Airlines plane lands at Sea-Tac delivering all the salmony goodness to the Lower 48 masses. It’s a big deal in this town, if you didn’t know. News coverage happens when the salmon comes in. Seattlites take their salmon seriously.
3) 8 Days until I appear on my local PBS Station. Baked Chicken Piccata is the order of the day. Pray for me and send me happy thoughts. I’ve surmised that it might be inappropriate to have a shot of something before going on the air to take the edge off, so in lieu of that – please just pray for me not to pit stain my cardigan, swear on live tv, or talk with my hands like Rachel Ray… Deal? Thanks.
4) To finance this thing called blogging, I have a day job in tunneling and wastewater treatment. Sexy, huh? Okay well the tunneling part totally is. Big machines, underground, like big steel moles digging their way through the dirt hundreds of feet underground and miles long. Anywho, a couple days ago I got to take the official team photos for another local project that my former boss and some of my coworkers are on. They are doing tunneling for transit instead of wastewater. It was fantastic to see another big job really kicking ass and taking names.
The whole team.
The most competitive guy I know – former coworker and pseudo mean big brother – pulling an Usain Bolt. We’re having a blackberry pie throwdown this year. He doesn’t know who he’s messing with. Sucker.
ME! This tunnel boring machine is 24 feet in diameter and will be one of four on a light rail system we’re building throughout downtown Seattle. Kinda BA, don’t ya think?
This is what the tunnel will look like when it’s finished, with track and all but you get the idea. I love this job. On days like this. So, if you like local infrastructure – go hug a tunneler.
5) I need more coffee. My triple shot doesn’t seem to be kicking in.
6) Huck has a thing about guys in hardhats, as in goes bat crap crazy when someone walks in with a hardhat on and gets uber protective. Does your dog have a protective-trigger? Apparently his is guys in construction gear…
6a – totally unrelated to 6.) Sometime last week was my 2nd Blogiversary, and I spaced it. With Julie from Table for Two celebrating her one year, the lightbulb went off and made me realize I missed my very own! Happy 1year to Julie, she’s kinda incredible – if you hadn’t already heard. Here’s to many more recipes and tighter jeans!
7) As promised – I have a cookie recipe for you! Finally, right? Well, you all know of my adoration and all out obsession with Biscoff. It’s making it’s presence known again today with a recipe that has been languishing in my backlog for a couple weeks. Inspired by Cassie’s Biscoff White Chocolate Cookies, they’re an 11/10. They’re sweet, salty, white chocolatey and just Biscoffy enough to be utterly addicting. You’re welcome.
And don’t forget to say Hello to your Mama for me. Wishing all the Mom’s out there a blissful, and macaroni necklace filled Mother’s Day!!
2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup White Sugar
1 cup Butter
2 whole Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Biscoff Spread
1 cup White Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Chopped Cashews
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Setting aside.
With your handy dandy mixer, blend together the two sugars and then 1 tablespoon of butter at a time until mixed. Mix on medium until it becomes light and creamy. Now, add in one egg at a time mixing for 30 seconds in between each egg. Scrap down the bowl a couple of times if necessary.
Add in the vanilla. Mix. Pour in white chocolate chips, Biscoff spread and cashews. Mix until evenly combined.
Dollop 2 tablespoons worth of dough onto your baking sheet and bake at 300 for 17-20 minutes, or until golden brown. These are baked low and slow. The end result is a scrumptious cookie perfectly crisped on the outside and soft on the inside.
Adapted from Bake Your Day Biscoff White Chocolate Cookies and America's Test Kitchen Peanut Butter Cookies
Welcome to Country Cleaver, where country comfort and convenient cooking come together. Follow my adventures of self-reliant country cooking and baking from scratch with a little life mixed in for kicks! ...more