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Recipes

How to Make the Quintessential Watermelon Margarita

watermelon-margarita-1325

It’s official – with the recent passing of Cinco de Mayo, it is officially Margarita Season! You may be wondering to yourself, “Since when do margaritas have a season?” and to that I answer with this : When is the last time you came in from the brisk winter cold and had a hankering for a cool margarita? Oh, never? Well then.

Margaritas are the quintessential summer cocktail and with that in mind I crammed even more summer flavor into this margarita by filling it to the top with the crisp, refreshing flavor of watermelon.  While it may seem like an odd combination at first, the tartness of the lime juice perfectly complements the sweetness of the watermelon and salt really brings out the watermelon’s flavor  (salted watermelon is a popular snack in these parts) so don’t be afraid to salt that rim!

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The Quintessential Watermelon Margarita

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 6 minutes

Yield: 3 Margaritas

Serving Size: 8 oz

Ingredients

  • 1 cup watermelon, cubed
  • 1/4 cup tequila (I use Sauza blanco)
  • 2 Tablespoons simple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cointreau
  • 1 lime, sliced (for garnish)

How to Make It

  1. Process watermelon in a blender until liquified. Strain if necessary to remove any seeds.
  2. In a large cup or shaker, combine watermelon purée, tequila, Cointreau, simple syrup, and juice of one lime. Shake or stir with ice to combine.
  3. Strain into ice-filled glass and garnish with lime slice to serve.
Categories
Recipes

How to Make DIY Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs

reeses-peanut-butter-egg

You’ve probably encountered at least one Reese’s peanut butter egg in your life. If not, you’re missing out, buddy.

As a die-hard chocolate and peanut butter fan it was only a matter of time before I recreated these godly treats in my own kitchen. I had to find a way to thicken the peanut butter filling without adding a ton of sugar, as that tends to overpower the desired peanut butter flavor. Enter: powdered peanut butter (or “peanut flour”). This helped to both a) keep my filling peanut-buttery and delicious without additional sweetness and b) thicken my filling.

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DIY Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs

Yield: 8 to 12 eggs, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 to 12 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter flour (I used PB2 powdered peanut butter)
  • 8 to 10 ounces chocolate coating

How to Make It

The filling:

  1. Place peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 50% power for 30 seconds and stir.
  2. Continue heating in additional 15 second intervals until butter is completely melted and stir the mixture until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Stir in the salt until incorporated. Stir in peanut butter flour and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar until incorporated.
  4. Stir in additional powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the mixture stiffens almost to play dough-like consistency.
  5. Cover bowl and place in fridge to cool, about 1 hour.
Shape the filling:
  1. Once cooled, scoop into a scant tablespoon-sized ball and roll into a ball.
  2. Place the ball in the palm of your hand and pat into an egg-like shape.
  3. Place onto a parchment-lined plate or baking sheet and continue with the rest of the peanut butter mixture.
  4. Cover peanut butter eggs and place in refrigerator or freezer until chilled, about 15 to 20 minutes.

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The eggs:
  1. Melt chocolate in a double-boiler or microwave. I melted my chocolate at 50% power in the microwave and stirred, then continued melting at 10 second increments until it was mostly (85 percent) melted, then stirred to complete the melting process.
  2. Remove peanut butter eggs from freezer and working one egg at a time, quickly but gently drop the egg top-down into the chocolate, then flip to coat the bottom and lift out of the chocolate.
  3. Give the egg a couple of gentle shakes to allow extra chocolate to drip off, then place chocolate-covered egg on parchment to dry. If necessary, use the back of a spoon or a butter knife to encourage your egg to jump onto the parchment.
  4. Repeat with remaining eggs until complete.

Notes

  • Eggs can be made larger or smaller as desired, I got 10 eggs out of mine.
  • If your peanut butter eggs begins to soften, return it to the fridge to chill and re-melt chocolate once the peanut butter has chilled to try again.
  • If you aren’t a fan of the “dunk and flip” method, you can also dip the bottom of the egg into the chocolate, lift it out, and then spoon additional chocolate over the top of the egg to cover. Give it a gentle shake to distribute the chocolate and shake off the excess.
  • My chocolate-dipping “tools” usually consist of a plastic fork with the middle two tines removed and a plastic spoon.
  • Although I’ve seen PB2 everywhere lately, if you can’t find it, I’ve spotted peanut flour at Trader Joe’s. You could also use finely ground almond flour.
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Hit-Or-Miss

Martha Stewart Gives Epic Sex Advice, Talks About Prison Food

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Martha Stewart’s recent AMA confirmed what we already knew: She’s a boss (especially alongside Mr. Obrien). Some of the highlights include her epic sex tips (take note, ladies and gentlemen) and her vehement distaste for truffle oil. It’s not often that the 72-year-old, self-made woman behind the Martha Stewart mega-empire speaks so frankly.We got to give her props for not shying away from the more TMI questions and those on her prison stint a few years back.

Oh, Martha, we love you.

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Martha will not criticize you. (A piece of advice we could all probably follow…)

martha stewart criticize

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Martha wishes she were closer with Snoop. But, don’t we all?

martha stewart snoop dogg

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Martha’s favorite singer is Pharrell.

martha stewart pharrell

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Martha will not feed you snacks, only hors d’oeuvres. There’s a difference.

martha stewart snacks

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Martha will not drink your soda, but she would love to eat your kale.

martha stewart soda

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Martha does not understand why you would want to freeze your cheese.

martha stewart cheese

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Martha Stewart stops at one taco. She doesn’t even know how many she can eat because she stops at one, even if she is still hungry. (This concept eludes us.)

martha stewart taco

It is unclear on how much catamole Martha could consume, but we assume she would only eat one serving whether she was still hungry or not.

martha stewart catamole

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 Martha gives the best sex advice

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She basically owns Emeril

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Martha Stewart on truffle oil

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Martha Stewart on prison food

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Her favorite movie is Wolf of Wall Street, obviously

martha-stewart-wolf-of-wall-street

Categories
Recipes

How to Make Mini Peanut Butter Tagalong Cheesecakes

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Despite my best efforts to avoid the evil Girl Scout army this year, I ended up with a couple boxes of Tagalongs hanging out in the pantry anyway. I hadn’t opened them yet because… well, I know what happens when I open a box of Girl Scout cookies.

Those “servings” on the side of the box? Lies.

So I was left with a problem to solve: how do I open the box of cookies without immediately inhaling all of the contents and collapsing into a pile of self-loathing on the floor?

My solution? Chop up all the cookies and divide them between another bite-sized treat… Thus, the mini Tagalong cheesecake was born. In the end, you really just end up eating a bunch of delicious cheesecake bites filled with Girl Scout cookies. Sigh, it’s the thought that counts.

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Mini Tagalong Cheesecakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 21 cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 cup peanut butter (not “all natural”, I use Jif)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 box Tagalongs, coarsely chopped** (or 1.5 cups mix-ins of your choice)
  • 21 whole Tagalongs* (see note below)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees and line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each liner* (see note below)
  2. In a small bowl, gently beat eggs with vanilla extract, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. Add peanut butter and continue beating until incorporated.
  4. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until combined, scrape down sides of the bowl.
  5. Drizzle in egg mixture, a bit at a time, beating until incorporated. Add sour cream and beat until combined.
  6. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and stir in chopped cookies by hand.
  7. Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake about 22 minutes, or until filling is set. Outsides should be stiff but it’s ok if the centers jiggle a little when you tap the pan.
  8. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  9. Serve with whipped cream, drizzled chocolate, and additional chopped cookies.

Notes:

*For the “crust” you can use a cookie of your choice. I used a second box of Tagalongs for the first 16 and then used Oreos as needed for the rest.

**You could use 1.5 to 2 cups of any mix-ins for these cheesecakes — chopped peanut butter cups or chocolate/peanut butter chips would also be great.

Categories
Recipes

How to Make Cranberry-Orange Pull-Apart Bread

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Here’s a not-so-secret secret: tart cranberries paired with sweet oranges make a remarkably delicious combination.

So, I give to you, the perfect brunch recipe: Cranberry-Orange Pull-Apart Bread. While the bread was still very good, it would have benefited from juicer berries for more moisture. I recommend re-hydrating them in some orange liqueur, orange juice, or even just some warm water, for about 30 minutes before throwing them into the bread.

Alternatively, you can use some orange marmalade instead of orange sugar for the filling, fresh cranberries instead of dried, or even leftover cranberry sauce.

pull-apart-bread-recipe

Cranberry-Orange Pull-Apart Bread

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves

What You Need

The dough
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 4 cups + 2/3 cup all-purpose flour; divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
The filling
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons orange zest (about 3 to 4 large navel oranges)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries* (see note below)
  • 1 stick of butter; softened to room temperature
The glaze
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons milk; plus extra if needed

How to Make It

Filling
    1. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and orange zest, set aside while you prepare the dough.
    2. In another bowl, reconstitute dried cranberries (optional, but recommended)
Dough
    1. In a large (8 cup) saucepan, mix the milk, sugar, and vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is steaming. Remove from heat and cool to luke-warm (110-115F degrees), then add the yeast. Stir to combine; let sit 5 minutes to allow yeast to bloom.
    2. Stir 4 cups of flour into the milk mixture and put lid on the pot. Allow to sit for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, add remaining dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour dough out onto a large sheet of saran wrap and wrap dough tightly. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour or up to overnight. (You could also roll the dough out immediately by sprinkling the counter with flour and kneading until the dough is no longer sticky. Once the dough isn’t sticky, cover with a kitchen towel for 5 minutes to allow the dough to rest)
  • To roll the dough
    1. Pour dough onto lightly-floured surface and separate into two equal halves. Roll one half to a 12 x 20-inch rectangle and cover the other with a kitchen towel to prevent from drying out. Spread softened butter over the dough. Cut the rectangle lengthwise into 6 long 2-inch wide strips.
    2. Spoon generous amounts of orange sugar onto one strip of dough and sprinkle with cranberries, top with another strip and sprinkle sugar/cranberries onto that strip. Repeat until all of the strips are in a pile and covered with sugar/cranberries.
    3. Slice the strip of dough into 5 4-inch wide strips. Stack strips tall-wise into a loaf pan. It will be sloppy, they’ll flop everywhere, it’s OK.
    4. Repeat with the other half of dough, sugar, cranberries, and butter.
  • To bake the dough
    1. Cover and let rise 20 minutes while the oven preheats.
    2. Preheat oven to 350F. Once dough has risen and oven is preheated, bake bread 45 to 55 minutes until cooked through. If the top starts to get too brown, lightly tent with a piece of foil and continue cooking.
    3. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack to continue cooling.
Glaze
  1. Mix ingredients together, adding more milk if the mixture is too thick or more powdered sugar if the mixture is too thin.

Tips

  • Those of you who use a thermoter, you want the final temp of your bread to be between 190F and 200F.
  • Glaze is entirely optional, if you do use a glaze be sure to pour it on while the bread is still nice and warm.
  • You can re-hydrate dried cranberries by covering with water, or another liquid. Pour liquid over dried cranberries and let stand 30 minutes.
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Recipes

How to Make Butterscotch S’more Blondies

butterscotch bars

Move over pumpkin-flavored ho-hum,  Butterscotch S’more Blondies have arrived. These crispy, chewy, light and airy bars are what would happen if a blondie and a s’more had a baby, and then filled that baby to the top with butterscotch.

Add some chocolate chips and gooey marshmallows and they become absolutely irresistible. They are the perfect fall treat, with a warm color and s’more flavor, and only take 10 minutes to make.  You could also use these as a vessel for any of your leftover Halloween candy.

I hear that’s a thing, “leftover candy,” though I’ve never witnessed it myself.

butterscotch bars 2

Butterscotch S’more Blondies

Printable Recipe ]

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Here’s How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and prepare a 9 x 13-inch pan for baking. (Line with foil or parchment and spray with baking spray.)
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together the butterscotch chips and butter, stirring constantly.  Once mostly melted (it will not be completely smooth), set aside to cool.
  3. While the butterscotch mixture is cooling, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Mix the vanilla and eggs into the cooled butterscotch mixture (you can mix it right in the pan), stirring well.  Add the flour mixture and stir to combine.  Gently fold in mini marshmallows and chocolate chips, stirring just until combined.
  5. Spread batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.  The edges should be lightly browned, but the center does not have to be completely set, the bars will firm up more once they cool.

Adapted from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles ]

Categories
Recipes

Make This No-Bake Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Pie

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Looking for a quick, easy recipe for October? Well, this pie will satisfy even the strongest sweet tooth without even looking at the oven.

Think a pre-made Oreo cookie pie crust filled with delicious whipped cream, peanut butter, and Reese’s Pieces. Top it off with a decadent ganache, and it’s basically like you’re eating a giant, chilled peanut butter cup… covered in Oreo.

Of course, if you’re feeling motivated, you could make the crust from scratch… But then you’d have to turn on the oven, and who wants to do that? This pie has pretty much the best of everything… it’s a little salty, a little sweet, a little creamy and a little crunchy, and a whole lot of delicious.

No-Bake Reese’s Pieces Pie

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

Makes 1 9-inch pie

  • 1 9-inch Oreo pie crust (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 cup chopped Reese’s Pieces
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whipped topping (Cool Whip works)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I always use Jif Creamy)
  • 2 Tbsp whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz bittersweet (I used leftover semisweet mini chips) chocolate, chopped

How to Make It

1.  Toss chopped Reese’s Pieces, mini chocolate chips, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

2.  In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese with powdered sugar. Start slow, and once incorporated mix at medium speed until cream cheese is smooth. Beat in peanut butter, milk, and ¼ cup of the “crunch.”

3. Stir in ¼ of the whipped cream to lighten the mixture. Once incorporated, stir in the rest of the “crunch” mixture (I left some aside to sprinkle on top). Then gently fold in the remaining whipped cream, being sure to scrape the bottom.

4. Pour peanut butter mixture into the crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Cover with plastic wrap once the mousse firms.

5. To finish, heat heavy cream in the microwave until almost boiling (about 2 – 3 minutes).  Add the chopped chocolate (I used leftover mini chocolate chips) and stir vigorously with a fork until it’s smooth and shiny. Pour the “ganache” over the pie and smooth (or tilt the pie) to cover the top. Sprinkle with reserved crunch (if you saved some) and place the pie back in the refrigerator to set for at least 20 minutes.

Categories
Recipes

Make this S’mores Icebox Cake, aka ‘Marshmallow Lasagna’

smores-icebox

It’s summer, which means you need s’more recipes. (Couldn’t help it on that one.) Because who can say no to s’mores?

Not this girl.

The best part is that you can make them from the comfort of the great indoors.

For this recipe, we keep our roasted marshmallows and layer them with graham crackers, whipped cream, and chocolate pudding.

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After we layer our ingredients, we use the magic of the refrigerator to turn those crunchy grahams into soft layers of cake. It’s like biting into sweet, toasty little clouds in between layers of chocolate and graham.

Like I said, magic.

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S’mores Ice Box Cake

Makes 1 (9×5 inch) cake

Printable Recipe

  • 2 ¼ graham sheets per layer (1 sleeve total), 1 cracker reserved for crumbling
  • 1 ¾ cups milk
  • 1 (3.5-ounce) package chocolate pudding (I used this one)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (optional)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar, separated
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows, toasted if you’re feeling motivated; 2 Tablespoons reserved
  • 1 Hershey bar, chopped

1. Whisk pudding mix and milk in a medium bowl until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Place in fridge to thicken up, at least another 5 minutes.

2. Make whipped cream:

In a small bowl, whip cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.  In a large bowl, whip heavy cream until thickened. Add ¼ cup powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until it reaches firm peaks.  Gently fold cream cheese into whipped cream and stir to combine.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Note: I added cream cheese to my whipped cream since it helps “stabilize” the whipped cream.

3. Toast your marshmallows (if desired, trust me, you desire). I used this adorable handheld torch that the BF got me for Christmas.

4. When ready to assemble, layer your cake starting with graham crackers, then whipped cream, mini mallows, and chocolate. Some icebox cake recipes tell you to start with a thin layer of whipped cream (like lasagna has you start with a layer of sauce).  This is optional, but will help your bottom layer to soften faster.  I prefer to skip this step and not have my bottom layer glue itself to my serving platter, but to each his (or her) own.

A 9×5 cake will require each layer to have 2 1/4 sheets of graham crackers.

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Repeat your layering until you reach the top (3 layers in all, of course you could make it taller with extra grahams. There was plenty of whipped cream and pudding left over).

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5. Spread whipped cream over sides as well, if you would like a fully-frosted cake, or leave the sides unfrosted for a more whimsical look. Sprinkle with chopped Hershey’s, mallows, and graham crumbs.  Chill for at least 4 hours to allow grahams to magically turn into cake.