Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mint Chocolate Brownies

I just tried this one out today and it's pretty good. I found it on this site, and altered the pan and cooking time because I like my brownies to be thicker and fudgier than the original recipe would have given me :)
2/3 cup butter OR margarine

1 2/3 cups (10-ounce package) HERSHEY'S Mint Chocolate Chips, divided

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 8x8-inch baking pan.
Place butter and 1 cup mint chocolate chips in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 20-sec intervals, stirring in between, until chips are melted.
Add sugar, flour, cocoa, vanilla, baking powder, salt and eggs; stir with spoon until smooth. Stir in remaining 2/3 cup chips. Spread batter into prepared pan; sprinkle walnuts over top.
Bake 25 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cottage Pie

I kind of made this one up based on Steve telling me about meat pies and stuff that he had while he was in Australia, so it's really general, and open to lots of interpretation :)

2 tbsp oil
1 lb stew meat
1/2 cup water
2 beef boullion cubes
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp savory
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or more to taste)
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk
frozen peas
mashed potatoes
grated cheddar

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker and brown the stew meat. Add in the boullion cubes, water, and seasoning; seal, bring to pressure, and cook for 10 minutes. After the pressure comes down, remove the meat to a small casserole dish (just big enough for the meat to cover the bottom) and leave the drippings in the pan on a medium-high heat. Combine the flour and milk until smooth and add to the drippings, stirring constantly. Since this is a gravy, you may need to add more milk or flour depending on how thick you want it to be. When the gravy is done, pour it over the top of the meat. Cover with the meat and gravy with peas, and cover those with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle a bit of cheese over it all and bake in the oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly around the edges.

Note: I love using my pressure cooker, because it cooks the meat up really tender so quickly. If you don't have one you can obviously just allow more time for it to simmer in a skillet on the stove instead. This can be done with any of your favorite meats (Steve really likes it with lamb) and vegetables.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Apple Butterscotch Tart

There's no memories or tradition behind this one yet, because I just made it this evening, but I was so good I just had to add it in here! I found it at the Cook's Recipe Index and was quite pleased, both with the taste and with the simplicity.
1 pie crust, ready and waiting in your dish
5 cups apple, thinly sliced
1 cup butterscotch morsels
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup margarine, chilled
Arrange the apples in the dish, and then sprinkle the butterscotch chips over the top. In a separate bowl combine the flour and brown sugar, cutting in the margarine, and then evenly cover the apples with this mixture. Bake in the oven at 375 for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


For most of us, the recipes that we grew up with will always hold a special place, and that is certainly true with this cornbread recipe. This is the recipe that my mother used all my growing up years, and I have never used any other, although I have tasted others! This is just always going to be my favorite cornbread recipe, bar none!

1/2 cup margarine
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 Tbsp vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour

Melt margarine, add sugar, beat in eggs and salt - set aside. Combine buttermilk and soda - add to other ingredients. Combine flour and cornmeal. Add to the rest of the ingredients. Stir just until everything is moistened. Do not stir out your lumps or it will affect the texture of your cornbread. Pour into greased pan (I have a 6x10 glass pan that I like) and bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of the pan (which determines the thickness of your cornbread). You are looking for the cornbread to be golden brown on top and to have pulled away from the sides of the pan. If you are using an 8" square pan, be sure that it's done in the center before you pull it out :)

Steve's Chili

Steve showed me how to make chili this way when we were newlyweds and he was still in college. It's ultra-simple, which makes it great for the crock pot on a chilly day when you don't have a great deal of time.

3 cans beans, undrained (we usually make each can a different variety of bean)
1 small can tomato sauce
1 lb ground beef (or ground turkey or stew meat)
2 Tbsp chili seasoning

Combine beans, tomato sauce, and chili seasoning in the crock pot. Brown meat and add to other ingredients. Do not add water or any other liquid, even if it looks a little thick to start with. Cook on low most of the day (or on high for about 4-6 hours) and then taste. You may need to adjust your chili seasoning depending on the kind that you have and how strong you like your chili to be.