Saturday, December 29, 2012

buckeye brownies

These were Shannon's find, and delicious. Just make sure you don't overcook the brownies in the first step... apparently I can bake some fairly complicated things, but I can't manage to make out-of-the-box brownies without burning them. Oops.

19-1/2 oz. pkg. brownie mix
2 c. powdered sugar  
1/2 c. plus 6 T butter, softened and divided
8 oz. creamy peanut butter
6 oz. (approximately) semi-sweet chocolate chips [I used the Ghiardelli dark chocolate baking chips, and I think they're the best]

Prepare and bake brownie mix in a greased 13" x 9" pan, according to the directions. Let cool. 

With a mixer, combine powdered sugar, 1/2 cup butter and peanut butter. Mix well and spread over cooled brownies. Chill for one hour. 

Melt together chocolate chips and 6 T butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Spread over brownies. Let cool; cut into squares. Makes 2 to 3 dozen.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Potato Leek Soup

From: Alton Brown

I totally flubbed something when I made this, but it was still good.  I doubled the recipe, but as I was making it I added 4 qts of stock instead of 2.  I didn't realize my mistake until the very end when I went to add the dairy and thought it already looked pretty thin, so I went back to the recipe and realized my mistake.  So..... I still added the correct amount of cream, and I just left out the buttermilk completely.  My soup may have been missing a bit of the tang the buttermilk would have provided, but it was still tasty and I went back for seconds.  Also, I used chicken stock instead of veggie because that's what I had on hand.

  • 1 pound leeks, cleaned and dark green sections removed, approximately 4 to 5 medium
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Heavy pinch kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • 14 ounces, approximately 3 small, Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • 1 quart vegetable broth (I used chicken stock)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives


Chop the leeks into small pieces.
In a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and a heavy pinch of salt and sweat for 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook until the leeks are tender, approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes and the vegetable broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 45 minutes.
Turn off the heat and puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream, buttermilk, and white pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Sprinkle with chives and serve

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

cranberry sauce

Duh, right? Cranberries, sugar, water, cook, done.

But this year, I tried a slight variation on Pioneer Woman's cranberry sauce, and I liked it better than my usual. A little more tart and a little more cranberry-y, because the water is replaced with juice.

  • 2 14-oz bags of cranberries
  • 2 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (she says lemon juice or any citrus zest would also work)
Wash the cranberries and put them into a large-is saucepan. Throw in all the other ingredients, stir them together, and turn on high until it comes to a boil.

After a minute or two, turn the heat down to medium and wait for it to reduce. PW says this should happen in 10 minutes; it took me more like 20 or 25. Stir occasionally.

Remove from heat and pour immediately into a bowl or jar. Let cool before covering and refrigerating until whenever you want to eat it.