Heaven In A Bag

Heaven In A BagI found this recipe back in 2009 and have been making it ever since. I usually made it and brought it to work, but I didn’t want everyone sticking their hands in the fudge, so I would wrap a couple of pieces in a bag. It first started off being called ….(come closer and let me whisper in your ear…crack), but when my kids started talking and going to school, it was time to change the name. I mentioned this at work and said that we have to come up with a better name. Nothing like having a co-worker yell across the store…”Hey, do you have any crack left?” Hence the name change to “heaven in a bag”. Heaven it was…it is so rich that two pieces in the bag was enough. Some of the guys liked it so much they were licking every morsel out of the bag…just like they do to an empty bowl of ice cream. We are going to change subjects now, because, you do not want me to start talking about that bad habit.

Let’s talk about some tips & tricks. Basically, we are altering the instructions. First, I take a piece of parchment paper and line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 pan. I use clothes pins to hold the parchment to the side of the pan. Second, have your Oreos already chopped up. I have two bowls. One, is chopped up fine to go inside and the other bowl is coarse to sprinkle on top. Also, I add an extra 1/2 cup of Oreos to both bowls. I love Oreos, but that’s just me. Third, after you have the butter/sugar mixture finally (because I cook on medium heat) come to a boil, I stir in the chips and let them melt a little bit, before I turn off the stove. I add the marshmallow crème and vanilla, stir, and then pour in the finely chopped Oreos. Fourth, I pour everything into the already lined pan and add the coarsely chopped Oreos on top. Now, with clean hands, I pat the Oreos down a little, so they will stay put when I cut the fudge. Finally, the most important tip I can give you…DO NOT LICK or USE YOUR FINGERS to SCRAPE OFF THE EXCESS FUDGE INTO THE PAN!!! IT WAS JUST BOILING! If you must scrape every bit off the spatula, use a butter knife. Then you can let the spatula and butter knife cool off, before you start taste testing. Now, I know that I just wrote “finally”, but I still have a few side notes. I put the fudge pan on top of an ice pack to get it to cool off faster, so I can put it in the fridge to chill. After the fudge has chilled (seems like an eternity), you lift the parchment paper out of the pan and your fudge should be rock hard. I will now tell you my trick to cut this wonderful deliciousness…a pizza cutter. I just cut lines about 1 inch apart, long ways. Then I cut again perpendicularly to make squares. Because this stuff is hard to cut through, my lines are never straight. My husband doesn’t mind. I give him all the ugly broken pieces. They still taste the same. P.S. My husband says that the fudge does taste better after it has been refrigerated. He should know. He’s been eating all the broken pieces for over 5 years now…lol.

Cookies_Cream FudgeSo, how did I get it red? Well…I’ve been planning this post for a year now. Last year, I made some fudge. It turned out perfect, but we had eaten it all before I thought to take pictures. I knew then, I had to make Valentine’s Day fudge this year, but I had to wait until this past holiday to purchase Christmas Oreos again. You know, the ones with the red centers. I bought one package as soon as they started selling them this year and then bought a “few” more after Christmas when they were 75% off. The package said they are best by April. Maybe, I will make more fudge in the spring. When Nabisco makes the yellow Springtime Oreos. Heavenly!…Enjoy.

Strawberry Banana Muffins

Strawberry Banana MuffinsStrawberry Banana Muffin SlicedSo, what do you do with those bananas that are looking a bit rough? Make banana muffins, of course! I alternate between strawberry-banana and blueberry-banana, depending on which kid answers first. If I have a lot of bananas, I will make both.

I usually make them at least twice a month. But lately, I have been making them once a week, thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law. The grandparents take the kids for the day and I receive bananas. Go figure. That’s ok, because when she brings back the kids, I pay her with muffins. Lucky woman? I think so.

Recently, I have been adding a little streusel topping. A little surprise for my daughter, since she only likes to eat the muffin tops. I’ll ask her if she wants a muffin. She replies saying that she will have the top and I can eat the rest. Now, who’s the lucky one? Enjoy.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls in DishCinnamon Roll PlatedFor the new year, I decided to try making cinnamon rolls. I had never made them before. I know a few of you are saying, “Really?” And yes, I am sad to say that I have never made homemade cinnamon rolls. It was just easier to buy them. BUT now, that has all changed.

I found a recipe from one of the blogs that I follow. I fell in love with the way they looked in the picture and had to make them. Now, I did omit the orange and made plain rolls. I figured that I shouldn’t be too adventurous on my first attempt. The recipe did make 24 rolls. If you can’t eat that much or don’t have In-laws that live down the road, I would suggest that you halve the recipe. I am glad that i made the whole batch on the first try, because the kids had fun helping me “floss” the dough.

The next morning, I took them out of the fridge, let them sit out for an hour and then popped them in the oven. I waited for the oven to work its magic. I did have to stop the magic show a few minutes early. The family and I hate burnt tops on our cinnamon rolls. I plated, iced and served. Now, for the fun part…the taste testing. I made a few edits to the recipe. I will be adding brown sugar next time. Also, the icing will need to be tweaked. It wasn’t bad, it’s just not what the kids are used to. Overall, I would have to say, not bad at all for my first try. I will definitely be making them again. Enjoy.

Gluten, oh gluten. Why do people dislike you so?

Bread Bites TopBread Bites Detail    A long time ago, I owned a breadmaker machine. That is until my Dad showed me how to make bread by hand. The breadmaker quickly went into attic heaven and then to garbage heaven. (Please, don’t be mad that it went into the garbage. Let’s just say that I would have recycled, had it been an option at the time.) Ok, back to bread.
Being time-constrained, I needed a quicker way to make bread. So, my dad told me to drown it in butter. I liked the sound of that. Now, I don’t have to fix a bowl of melted butter to dip it in. Even though my husband still has to have his “garlic butter”. Anyway, I make the bread as usual. I let it rise, until I can’t stand to wait any longer. Then I roll it out, like you are making pizza crust. Then I take my handy, dandy pastry cutter and cut it into strips…then into squares. Now, the fun part. Take some (about 4Tblsp.) butter, melt it in a bowl. (Not too melted or you will burn yourself.) Then pour a tad of butter in your baking dish, add half of the squares and toss. Make sure that they are well coated. Now, at this point, I would have turned the oven on, waited a minute and then turned the oven off. I just want it to be slightly cozy, but not where anything would remotely start to cook. I put the baking dish in the oven. One, to let it rise in it’s wonderful coat of butter. Two, to get it out of the way! Usually we have pasta with bread. So, when I finish getting that together, I pull the bread dish out of the oven and gently place it on the counter. I preheat the oven, bake everything and voila…yummy bread… and the pasta isn’t bad either. Enjoy.

Everyone Loves Pie

Applie Pie Top CrustApple Pie Slice with Ice Cream
Well, almost everyone. There are a few out there that would rather not eat it… oh well, their loss. Anyway, let’s get to talking about pie.
In my house, I always get overruled. I love cherry. They all love apple. So, apple it always is. Sad actually, but happy me, when I make cherry. It’s all mine. /evil laugh.
I love my pie crust cutter. I bought it over 10 years ago and it has never let me down. It is one of those items that you see at the store and absolutely have to add it to your kitchen collection. The only downside is, where to store it? Duh…with the other billions of things that I absolutely HAD to have and rarely use.
So, what goes best with pie? My kids seem to think a can of whipped cream is the answer. I, however, feel that vanilla icecream does it just right. I also love how the scoop of icecream turned out for this pic. Can you see the heart? It must be love! Enjoy.