I'm just a busy wife and mom who loves to cook (and hates to clean up afterward), balancing the many hats I wear and trying to look cool, calm, and collected while doing it...

Oh, and I rarely measure anything when I cook, so consider yourself warned. Love good food. Try new things. Eat to your heart's content.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Peanut Butter Brownie Bars

Are you in the mood for :
A) Chocolate Chip Cookies
B) Something Peanut Butter-y
C)Fudgy Brownies
D) All of the Above!!

If you Answered D, then you're in luck! I've seen a recipe similar to this referred to either as Santa's Suicide or Slutty Brownies (on where else... Pinterest! BTW This other blogger's pictures on the Pinterest post are waaayyyy better than mine. They probably have an amazing camera. I use my phone... Whatevs.)
Basically this thing is a layer of chocolate chip cookies on the bottom, a layer of fudgy brownies on top, and a layer of gooey peanut butter in between.

Chocolate Chip Cookie-Peanut Butter-Brownie Bars

2 Sticks (1 Cup) Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt + a sprinkle of Coarse Sea Salt if desired (I like getting a little chunk of salt in my cookies.)
1 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup Natural Peanut Butter
1 box of Brownie Mix, and ingredients to prepare them (Make sure it's for the 9x13 size pan. Some boxes are smaller...)

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.

Mix the brownie mix according to directions. Set that aside too.

With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla.

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

With your mixer on a lower speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture (I do it a large spoonful at a time, so flour doesn't go everywhere) until it's all combined. Now stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the cookie dough into your greased pan, and spread it evenly.

Now melt the peanut butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave. Stir and heat a few seconds more, or until it becomes nice and liquidy.

Now pour that over he cookie dough, and spread it out, but not all the way to the very edge of the pan.

Now pour the brownie batter over the peanut butter and spread it to the edges (careful not to mix the PB and brownie batter). Then I like to give the whole pan a bit of a shake to even it all out.

 Now bake it covered with foil for 30 minutes, then uncover it and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

 The brownie batter will be jiggly in the middle still but will set up into fudgy goodness while it cools.

Now for the hard part... you have to wait for it to cool before you cut into it. Bu after it cools... Oh Boy!! Sooo goood!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gettin' Our Stuffed Cabbage On!

Hey! Look at me! I'm blogging!

Is it possible to get Bloggers Block? I think that's what I've had for the past month or so (maybe even longer! When was my last post again?), even though I cook dinner every night, and try, or make up, new recipes. Hmmm... Sorry about that.

Well, here you go... an actual blog entry! Woo hoo! *pats self on back*

Tonight I got in touch with my long buried Pennsylvanian Dutch/German roots.

I made cabbage rolls. And they were good.

And they took FOREVER!!

Note to self: When trying a new recipe, make sure you look at the total time it takes other to make it by looking up similar recipes on the interwebs... This one took about 40 minutes to prep, and 2 hours to cook... so make sure you start about 3 hours before you want to eat. So starting the whole process at around 5pm isn't the best idea if you want to eat at a normal time... Just sayin'.

So here they are folks:

Cabbage Rolls/Stuffed Cabbage

1 head of cabbage, core carefully removed, whole leaves gently peeled off
Enough water to fill up a LARGE pot
Lots of salt in the water... a least 2 TBSP, probably a little more.

1 Lb. Ground Beef
1 Lb . Ground Pork (or Pork Sausage)
3/4 cup Uncooked White Rice
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 a large onion, finely diced
A good handful of baby carrots (about 3/4 cup), finely diced
1 TBSP. Worcestershire Sauce
1 TBSP Cider Vinegar
1-2 tsp. Salt
1+ tsp. 21 Seasoning Salute (Amazing salt-free seasoning from Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup Ketchup
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
4- cloves Garlic, pressed/minced
2 tsp. Dried Parsley

1 can Tomato Soup
1 8oz can Tomato Sauce
1 can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1tsp. 21 Seasoning Salute
1 tsp. Seasoning Salt
1/2 cup Water
1 TBSP EACH: Worcestershire, Cider Vinegar, White Vinegar
1 clove Garlic, pressed/minced

Preheat oven to 350.
Get your salted water in your large pot good and boiling. Drop your cabbage leaves, about 6 at a time, in and sir with long tongs for about 3 minutes, until they become a little more tender/easier to work with.

Removed them with the tongs into a colander, to drain and cool so you can work with them. Try to keep them as in tact as possible, being careful not to rip them.

After the cabbage is all par-boiled, put all of the filling ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix with your hands until it's all well combined.

Now take one leaf at a time, and fill with a good amount (about 1/2-3/4 cup) of the filling, folding the sides in first, then rolling them up, like a burrito, and placing them seam side down in a 9x13 baking dish (my favorite is the Rectangular Baker from Pampered Chef), continue until you use all your filling up. (I had a few leftover cabbage leaves. And I also ha to use a smaller baking dish to fit the last 6 or so roll in, as my bigger pan was full.)


Now combine all the sauce ingredients, and stir well. Pour it evenly over all the cabbage rolls.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 2 hours. I served mine with zucchini and fresh French bread and butter, but mashed potatoes would be great with this too.

Oh, and I think traditionally, they are served with a dollop of sour cream, but I forgot to do that... I'm sure it's be fantastic though. I have enough leftovers that I'll try it that way tomorrow. Seriously, this recipe made enough for us to have dinner twice and probably still have leftovers... it probably serves 10!