thursday things

xnxiKtr

When I logged in this morning I noticed an unusual amount of traffic from Reddit. When I followed the trail to the source I discovered this picture… featuring a League of Legends character running across my biscotti. And it made my mother-freaking day. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting into LoL lately and it might have just given me the push I need to start…

Other things that made my day this week include this tiny human who for some god-forsaken reason decided to turn Oreos into mascara… WHY ON EARTH you would waste PERFECTLY GOOD Oreos to make cosmetics is beyond me… Unless you wanted an excuse to to eat your eyelashes….

After the cronut and the cragel our slutty friend, the croissant, is at it again by now breeding with a cookie to create the “crookie”… WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END!?

cheetos-sweetos

Cheetos has created a sweet cinnamon snack, aptly named “Sweetos” which I can only assume is essentially a bag of cinna-twists (in untwisted form). I’m so down.

Although I’ve mentioned it with basil before, we finally have a definitive list of foods that will magically regrow themselves.

Scientists have found a way to let our astronauts enjoy espresso in space. Next up, maybe we will cure world hunger… but at least we found a way to fix space caffeine-withdrawal in the mean time.

The Super Bowl is taking place in my general vicinity this year, but I would be much more excited to score tickets to the Puppy Bowl. And by “score tickets” I really mean just roll around in the pile of Puppy Bowl pups.

And I could give you a super bowl round up but first I want to let you see this video of Will Ferrell blasting this cheerleader in the face with a basketball. I could watch this freaking loop ALL. DAY. LONG.

Super Bowl Recipe Round Up

Pretzel Bites from Yours Truly (cut the ropes into 2-inch pieces for bites)

soft pretzel main

Hot & Cheesy Crab Dip from Foodness Gracious

crab-dip-01-600x900

Sugar & Spice Cocktail Nuts from Some Kitchen Stories

sugar_pecans1

Make some chili to eat as-is or to put on hot dogs, or even some chili-cheese tots!

photo(9)

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip from FoodieCrush

Slow-Cooker-Buffalo-Chicken-Dip-foodiecrush.com-019

Spinach-Ricotta Turnovers from A Periodic Table

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Fig & Prosciutto Flatbread from right here

DSC_7846edit

Popcorn Party Mix from Smitten Kitchen

popcorn-party-mix

cheddar crisps

DSC_0187-cheddar-cracker-left

As someone who enjoys baking, sometimes I tend to forget about the other half of the world. You know, that “savory” half. Baking isn’t all about cupcakes and muffins.

And honestly, sometimes there are only so many sweets you can take… I mean it’s rare but every once in a while I hit a wall where I feel like I am literally going to hurl if I see one. more. freaking. cookie. Like for real.

Enter: these crackers. Your saviors. They are here to give you a delightfully salty treat when one more cookie is the last thing you need. They are light and crisp and packed with cheesy flavor, thanks to the extra sharp cheddar.

You don’t have to use cheddar, but you will want to use a nice strong cheese to make sure your flavors stand out. Some browning on the bottom of your cracker will also help you in this department, as will a sprinkle of smoked paprika on top… if you feel so inclined.

cheddar crisps

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse butter until it is broken up. Add the cheese, salt, and spices and pulse until the mixture forms small curd-like pieces.
  2. Add flour and pulse until the dough forms into a loose dough with pea-sized clumps, about 1 minute.
  3. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface and knead it gently until a cohesive dough forms. Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour, or until firm.
  4. Working 1 disk at a time, roll the dough out between sheets of parchment to 1/4-inch thick. Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut into round disks (I used a 1-inch cutter), placing the rounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gather the scraps and re-roll and cut the remaining dough (I did this twice). Repeat with second disk of dough.
  5. Place baking sheet, lightly wrapped with plastic, in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F degrees. If desired, sprinkle disks with sea salt and bake for 15 to 17 minutes until the bottoms start to brown.
  7. Once you remove them from the oven, sprinkle them with sweet or smoked paprika and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

* Dorie uses Gruyere in her book, she also recommends Comte or Emmenthal as well. Any semi-firm cheese should work here.

* This dough can either be rolled and cut, as in the directions, or chilled into a log and sliced into 1/4-inch disks. Whichever you prefer.

http://wee-eats.com/2015/01/27/cheddar-crisps/

[ Recipe from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan]

it’s national peanut butter day! (+ a giveaway!)

IT’S NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER DAY! And it’s no secret around here that I love peanut butter. Like, to an unhealthy extent. Like, eat-it-straight-out-of-the-jar-with-a-spoon extent or a substitute-graham-crackers-for-spoons extent or a literally-everything-is-better-with-peanut-butter-extent.

So yeah, a lot.

So below you’ll find some of my favorite peanut butter recipes…. and a chance to win your own peanut butter prize pack!

Peanut Butter Eggs from Wee Eats

peanut butter egg 1291

 Fluffernutter Cake from Life Tastes Good

p1010282a-e1393456863976

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies from Some Kitchen Stories

peanutbutter_truffle_1

Reese’s Pieces No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie from Wee Eats

reeses pb pie 2

A Periodic Table’s Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake from Wee EatsDSC_5996-2

Wit & Vinegar’s Baked Peanut Butter Oreo Doughnuts

624x867xpb-oreo-doughnutssh.png.pagespeed.ic.IAFkjsVS8z

Buckeye State Ice Cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

buckeye state main

Movita’s Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies 

img_5018

My Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Bundt Cake

reeses-cake-8545-large

Peanut Butter Granola from Pinch of Yum

granola-1051

 

So… How about that giveaway?

Mr. Eats, knowing my deep love of peanut butter, insisted that I host a giveaway for National Peanut Butter Day  0 So, What do you get?

One lucky winner will receive their choice of :

PB2 Prize Pack: 

pb2

1 container of regular PB2 and 1 container of chocolate PB2 – This stuff is great for smoothies or for baking (you can use it in place of peanut flour in recipes, or to give an extra peanut butter kick to anything you’re baking!) Learn more about PB2 on their website!

PB&Co Prize Pack

pbco

Winner will receive one of each Peanut Butter & Co flavor: Smooth Operator, White Chocolate Wonderful, Crunch Time, and Dark Chocolate Dreams. These peanut butters are great for your pb&j sandwiches or to use as a dip!

Enter using the Rafflecopter below! The lucky winner will be chosen Sunday, Feb 1st. Contest ends at 11:59 PM (EST) on Jan 31st. Good luck! Entry only available for US & Canada residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

chocolate chip toffee shortbread cookies

DSC_0193-toffee-shortbread-cookie

One of my favorite cookie recipes of all time is this soft and chewy toffee chip cookie recipe from Serious Eats. I almost always have a batch tucked away in the freezer ready for last-minute guests to enjoy. So, naturally, while I was picking out recipes for my 2014 treat boxes, this one from The Kitchn caught my eye.

This recipe kept the same flavor profile (chocolate + toffee) that my usual treat recipients love, but with a new delivery method: shortbread!

The crumbly shortbread is a great complement to the melty, sweet chocolate and crunchy toffee bits. These cookies, much like their soft and chewy siblings, were an absolute hit. Everyone who received them raved about them, and I’ve already gone through most of the “bumper crop” that was stashed in the freezer, which means you should probably make some of these ASAP. You could even get creative and roll them into a football shape for that big football game that is coming upl in a couple of weeks!

chocolate chip toffee shortbread cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 cup Heath toffee chips

Instructions

    Mixing:
  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until soft. Add powdered sugar, and salt and continue beating at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract, beating until combined.
  2. On low speed, mix in the flour until the dough comes together. Add the chocolate and toffee chips and mix just until combined.
  3. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a log about 1 foot long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap both logs in parchment or plastic wrap and secure the ends. Refrigerate the rolls until firm. If baking more than 3 days later, place dough in freezer to stay fresh and thaw in the refrigerator overnight prior to baking.
  4. Baking:
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the top third and bottom third of the oven.
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  7. Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into 1/2-inch thickness and arrange about 1 inch apart on your prepared baking sheet. (They won't spread much).
  8. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pans once, until the edges are firm to the touch and just barely brown. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets to prevent breaking.
  9. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
http://wee-eats.com/2015/01/20/chocolate-chip-toffee-shortbread-cookies/

[ Recipe from: TheKitchn ]

toffee shortbread cookies - wee eats

 

cinnamon apple bourbon

DSC_0184-apple-bourbon

I’ve been infusing my alcohol for awhile now, as you may recall, but this is the first time I’ve ever chosen bourbon as my vessel. Partly because I never drink bourbon (personally, I’m not a fan) and… well no, that’s probably the only reason. Mr. Eats’ family on the other hand… well they ARE bourbon drinkers. Or whiskey. Or scotch. Or anything, really.

With the winter season around us, the weather just screams for something rich, warm, and comforting. So what better way to celebrate than with a spin on a hot toddy using none other than apple-infused bourbon. You want to start the infusion at least one week ahead of time, but you can keep it going longer if you please. For a more mellow infusion, remove the cinnamon sticks after the first couple days, or you can leave them in for a spicier experience (think, “Fireball” with a bit less burn).

apple bourbon

You can let it infuse in the refrigerator, giving it a shake every few days or so, until you’re ready to strain out the infusers. There will be some sediment after you strain the bourbon, but it can easily be removed with a quick trip through some cheesecloth.

Create your own toddy using 2 ounces of this bourbon with 6 ounces of warm apple cider, sweeten to taste and add a twist of lemon or cinnamon stick for garnish if you so please. Or, if you’re feeling sassy, shots for everyone! It’ll warm you up in no time at all.

(Drink responsibly, of course.)

cinnamon apple bourbon

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 500 mL

Ingredients

  • 1 (500 mL) bottle bourbon (I used Maker's Mark)
  • 2 apples, preferably organic, washed, dried, and sliced
  • 2 to 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 large jar, washed and sanitized (a trip through the dishwasher will do)

Instructions

  1. Place apples, vanilla bean, and cinnamon in a large clean container. Place the cinnamon sticks in last so they will be at the top in case you want to remove them early for a smoother infusion.
  2. Secure lid and place in refrigerator for at least one week, shaking every few days, making sure that the apples stay submerged.
  3. When ready, pour through a fine mesh sieve and discard apples, cinnamon, and vanilla bean (or you can keep the vanilla bean if you have a use for it). If there is still sediment in your alcohol, run the liquid through some cheesecloth to remove the sediment and transfer to a smaller container for storage.
  4. The concoction should keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.

Notes

If you don't want to "waste" your apples, you can use just the skins (I would increase the amount to three or four apples in that case) and enjoy the apple insides as you like!

Enjoy mixed with warm cider or on its own!

http://wee-eats.com/2015/01/17/apple-pie-bourbon/