“I think of myself… as a troubadour, a village storyteller, the guy in the shadows of the campfire.” ~ Louis L’Amour

I absolutely love S’mores! I believe I actually like them more than I did as a kid. The only problem is that I don’t spend much time around a campfire.

So when I came across the idea of making S’mores in an iron skillet in the kitchen, I was quite excited about that idea and I knew I must try it ASAP! 

Skillet S’mores

1/2 Tablespoon melted butter
1 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
7-10 jumbo marshmallows, cut in half
Box of graham crackers

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Swirl butter around the bottom and sides of an 8 inch iron skillet.
Evenly spread chocolate chips in the bottom of skillet.
Arrange marshmallow halves on top of chocolate chips (cut side down).
Place on middle rack and back 6-10 minutes or until the tops of marshmallows are browned.
Let sit for for 5 mins, serve immediately with graham crackers.

**caution – skillet and dip will be hot.

   
-abp

 

 

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“You can’t be a grown-up woman and not like chocolate.” ~ Julie Dawn Cole

The biggest thing I noticed about my pre-preggo self and my post-preggo self (besides the obvious shifting of all things body) would be my cravings.

I used to love good old salty, savory snacks and appetizers.  I was never really tempted by ordering desserts at a restaurant or I never ventured over to the dessert table at a party or wedding.  I sometimes never even had a piece of the brides cake.

Now, I’m like – “Is that chick ever going to cut that dang cake!”

Sweets.

I just can’t say no.

I also never liked dark chocolate at all.

Now, I dream about it.

This pie helps with my new found addiction.

Dark Chocolate Mousse Pie

  • 1 ready made graham cracker crust
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Hershey bars (1.5 oz), chopped
  • 3 Special Dark Hersey bars (1.5 oz.), chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounce container of Cool Whip

Melt cream and chocolate in microwave in a microwave safe bowl for 45-60 seconds. Stir until chocolate is melted. If additional melting time is needed, melt for 10 more seconds.

In a stand mixer, cream sugar and cream cheese until smooth.

Next, in the mixer, add chocolate mixture to cream mixture, reserving around 1/4 cup of chocolate mixture for garnish.

On a slow speed, add cool whip to mixture.

Pour mixture into prepared crust, smooth top and drizzle with remaining chocolate sauce.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Dark Chocolate Mouse Pie

-abp

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” ~ Charles M. Schulz

Chocolate and nuts.

Oh, how I love thee.

Let me count the ways.

Hersey Kisses with almonds, Mr. Goodbar, Goobers, Goo-Goo Clusters, Snickers, turtles……

There are so many ways to enjoy this combo but can you really beat good old chocolate covered peanut cluster??

Nope.

Can you beat the ease of a crockpot??

Nope.

So why not combine the two?!?

Crockpot Chocolate Covered Peanuts

(adapted from Fake Ginger)

  • 2 pound white almond bark
  • 4 ounces German chocolate bar
  • 12 ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
  • 24 ounces dry roasted peanuts
  1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker. Let cook on low for 1 hour with no stirring. Once the hour is up, stir to mix all together. Cook for another hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  2. Scoop spoonfuls of candy on to wax paper or into candy liners. Let cool completely.

3. Enjoy!

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-abp

“I got to thinking about relationships and partial lobotomies. Two seemingly different ideas that might just be perfect together – like chocolate and peanut butter.” ~ Carrie Bradshaw

I now officially know how to perform CPR on an infant – let’s hope and pray I never, ever need to use it but like a good girl scout (or was it boy scout?) – BE PREPARED.

All this learning to save a life worked up an appetite and it is still several hours until dinner.

Snack time!

And that brings me to my new obsession.

Jif® Whipped Peanut Butter and Chocolate flavored Spread.

Oh my.

No recipe needed here.

Just add fruit or bread and boom. You are very happily satisfied. Actually – you don’t have to add anything – a spoon would cover it 😉

Jif Whips

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Yum.

Try it! You’ll be glad you did!

-abp

ahh.

“Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not!” ~ Author Unknown

After a great weekend with friends, football and food I pondered the busy weeks ahead of me, there is so much going on and well, I admit – I feel a little overwhelmed. I know it’s just my OCDness that kicks and makes me feel this way, so I am going to make a very concerted effort to not stress about all the details and just enjoy every minute of this busy time in my life! And I am going to start enjoying this time by making cookies!!!!

Chocolate Mint Dream Cookies

(adapted from Nestlé)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels (I could not find these so I chopped up a cup of Andes Candies and added 2/3 cup milk chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 325º and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream butter and sugars in stand mixer until well combined.

Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.

In another bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.

Slowly add dry ingredients into mixer.

When well combined, stir in chocolate/mint pieces.

Scoop well rounded tablespoons of cookie mixture onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 11-13 minutes or until cookies are set.

Cool on sheet for a few minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

And so the cookie kick continues…….

abp

“Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold.” ~ Judith Olney

After a nice low key weekend, I have had a pretty productive no make up Monday. Bills paid, more thank you notes written, calls made, laundry done, bathroom cleaned, dishwasher emptied (I had a broken glass – boo) AND a trip to the gym.

Which I just have to tell you – the girl beside me today on the elliptical machine had on full makeup (I don’t mean I’ve been at work make-up but pageant make up), her hair rolled and curled and down around her shoulders and wait for it – chandelier earrings.

Yep.

Hmmmm.

Ok.

So, since I have a few minutes to spare before time to start dinner I decided to make  a dessert.

Chocolate Toffee Cookie Bars

That just sounds good, doesn’t’ it??

What you will need –

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy.

Then add egg and vanilla, mix well.

Slowly add in flour mixture and beat on a low speed until thoroughly combined.

Fold in chocolate chips and toffee bits.

Spread batter into baking dish and press dough evenly into pan with a sheet of parchment paper.

Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Mmm, Mmm good!

These remind me a lot of blondies, actully – they are more like a cookie cake from the Great American Cookie Co. – you just need fudge icing!!!

I think next time I may add nuts.

I served these warm with whipped cream 🙂

Chocolate Toffee Cookie Bars

I posted this less than two days after I made them – the pan full is already gone!

Enjoy!

abp

“Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.” ~ James A. Garfield

Very busy day at work on Wednesday, followed by a great start to my Wednesday night Bible Study. Not to mention the great meal served beforehand! I’m totally going to get used to this not cooking on Wednesday deal!

If you do not know – I work late on Wednesdays and Thursdays so I never cook on Thursday (usually a date night with the mom) and I only cook on Wednesday if it’s a casserole I made ahead of time or a crockpot meal. Now I will not have to worry about Wednesdays for the next 15 or so weeks! I’m especially grateful because my friend, the great and wonderful cook – Ashley H. is back at the helm so the food will be awesome!!!

I know you’re thinking – but wait – I thought you liked to cook.

I do!!! Just not when I’m pooped. And I’m pooped on Wednesdays and Thursdays!

I had another very busy day at work Thursday – dinner with the mom.

And Friday night was an awesome date night with the DH at Kozy’s. Kind of funny though – they were hoppin’ that night and ran out of grits – so my shrimp ‘n grits turned out to be shrimp ‘n potatoes. Hey – a carb’s a carb in my book!

So my hiatus from the kitchen is over for the week.

Time for Creamy Peanut Butter Tart.

This recipe comes from the blog Mel’s Kitchen Cafe – she has awesome recipes!

The only change I made was that she made her own graham cracker crust and I bought one at the store. I think its wonderful to make it completely homemade but it can get to the point that it will not be made at all because there are just too many steps.

So, I cheated a tiny bit.

Creamy Peanut Butter Tart

  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  • 3 ounces of milk or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used morsels because that’s what I had on hand)
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream, divided
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

Place chocolate in a small bowl. Heat ½ cup of heavy cream in sauce pan over medium heat until simmering and pour over chocolate. Let sit for 3-5 minutes and then whisk it until well combined.

Spread chocolate mixture over crust and chill in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

Next, with a handheld mixer combine cream cheese, peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk. Blend until sooth. Now add the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and beat mixture for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.

Spread peanut butter mixture evenly over chocolate layer and smooth out to edges.

Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Serve chilled with a dollop of whip cream and mini chocolate chips.  This is yum-o! A great dessert to serve after a big meal because it’s not too sweet or too heavy!

You really just can’t go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate!

pb

I hope everyone has a great start to a new week!

Coming later this week:

Super Moist Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce

and

Chicken Parmesan Casserole and Parmesan Knots

abp