This dessert is decadence at its best! Sugar cookies, Skor bars, mascarpone cheese, and chocolate……..what more could you want?!?!?!
These little bars are perfect for entertaining because everyone can just snatch 2 or 3 and there’s not a lot of clean-up (always a good thing)! Plus, kids L-O-V-E them! Oh, who am I kidding, you’ll L-O-V-E them, too! If there’s a nut allergy, though, then you may not want to use Skor or Heath bars; chocolate chips or M ‘n’ Ms work great, too!
Chocolate Toffee Mascarpone Bars (Giada de Laurentiis)
- 1 lb. refrigerated sugar cookie dough
- 2 Skor bars, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp. veg. oil
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
Start by combining half the Skor bars, the vanilla, and the thawed cookie dough.
Then, spray a 9×9 baking dish with cooking spray, line it with parchment paper, and spray it again. Spread the cookie dough into an even layer, prick it with a fork, and bake at 350 degress for 12-14 minutes.
Now, this is mascarpone cheese. It’s a sweet Italian cream cheese and really adds a lovely flavor to this dessert. If you can’t find it, just use cream cheese. Melt the chocolate and the oil together in a double boiler, and let cool for 10 minutes. Then, whisk in the mascarpone cheese.
When the dough comes out of the oven, let it cool for 15 minutes.
Then, pour the chocolate on and sprinkle with the remaining Skor bars. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving.
Israeli coucous….sounds exoctic, right? Well actually, it’s pretty easy to find at local grocery stores, nowadays, and is just a bigger version of regular couscous. It’s a type of pasta, and if you’re like me, then that right there will tell you that it’s fabulous!
Now, I know what you’re thinking, who would chickpeas in a pasta dish? But trust me, they turned out to be one of the best components in the dish! They give that right amount of kick from the cayenne and add this really meaty texture, along with the crunch of the fresh veggies. If you’re looking for a light, summery side dish, then try this recipe!
Israeli Couscous Salad (Little House of Veggies)
- 2 c Israeli Couscous
- olive oil
- 1/2 c green olives
- 1/2 c black olives
- 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. basil, chopped
- 1 tsp. oregano, chopped
- 1/4 tsp. thyme, chopped
- salt and pepper
Spicy Toasted Chickpeas
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- a good pinch of salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper
Cook the couscous according to the package directions with the olive oil and salt, then add the veggies and the dressing.
For the chickpeas, heat the oil in a pan, then add the chickpeas and the seasonings. Toast for 3-4 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then fold into the salad. You can refrigerate before serving or serve at room temperature.
Carrot cake…….Mmmmmm. Who knew a vegetable could taste so good? Certainly not I!
These cupcakes are special.
These cupcakes are heavenly.
These cupcakes are extraordinary!
All you skeptics out there, don’t fall into the trap of believing that carrots and dessert can’t live happily together! They CAN! They can, and they will, and they’ll have little baby carrot cakes that I’ll happily pop into my mouth!…….Ok, that was a little extreme.:) But really, if you’ve never had carrot cake, a great way to try it is by making this recipe. (BTW, this is another amazing recipe from the amazing kitchen of my Aunt!)
Carrot Cake Cupcakes (The Pioneer Woman)
- 2 c sugar
- 1 c veg. oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 c flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 c grated carrots
- 1 c chopped walnuts
- 1/2 c raisins
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 4 c powdered sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs in a mixer with the paddle attachment until combined. In another bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon, and slowly add to the wet ingredients. Add the shredded carrots, walnuts, and raisins. Pour into a muffin tin fitted with muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely before icing.
Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour into an icing bag fitted with the tip #: 2D. Ice the cupcakes when they are completely cool.
I love mushrooms, I really do; escpecially with steak. I’ve always had the normal sauteed mushroom-and-onion combination, but this was the first time I’d had a flavored mushroom sauce with my steak. It was DELICIOUS!
I discovered The Pioneer Woman through Bakerella, who I discovered through Sweetopia, who I discovered through Google. (Don’t you just love the internet?!?!) They are all fantastic blogs, but I have to say, The Pioneer Woman is one of my personal favorites! Check it out sometime!
Steak with Burgundy Mushroom Sauce (The Pioneer Woman)
- 4 steaks (strip, ribeye, any kind you like)
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 1/2 c red wine (Burgundy, Merlot, Cab, etc.)
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp. butter
- handful fresh parsley
Sear the steaks in a sautee pan with olive oil. Make sure to salt and pepper both sides of them. Move to a baking sheet with a rack on top and put in a 300 degree oven until your desired doneness.
Then, melt the butter in the same pan.
Add the mushrooms.
And the onions (and garlic) and sautee until the mushrooms are soft.
Once the mushrooms are soft, add the wine to deglaze the pan. Scrape the bottom a little to pick up all that crud!:) (Pardon my messy spoon.)
Once the wine is syrupy and has reduced by half, add 1 tbsp. of butter and the parsley. Spoon over the steak and enjoy!