October 20, 2014

Sea Salt Chocolate Caramels Plus Sweet Cookbook Review

This cookbook is FULL of sweets, sweets and more sweets.

I thought it would become my new favorite cookbook.

But . . . I didn't like this cookbook as much as I had hoped.  It is full of yummy looking desserts, but there is only a handful of recipes that I would actually make.   Each section has one or two recipes that I "flagged" and that is about it.

Some of the recipes have a full-size picture while others have a small picture.

 There is quite the variety of sweets in this book that range from very simple to make (like Classic Lemon Bars) to more intermediate recipes (like Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake).

There is a divine sounding fudge recipe, but it is a long and very detailed recipe that involves cooking the ingredients to a certain temperature and then cooling it to a certain temperature before mixing  and so on and so on . . . not the easiest fudge recipe, but the picture looks amazing. 
I only tried one recipe out of this book for my review.
Have you ever heard of a chocolate caramel?  I hadn't either until I found this recipe.

These chocolate caramels are weird, yet good at the same time.  They kind of taste like a cross between regular caramel and a tootsie roll.   I only added the Sea Salt to half, because I had no idea what to expect, but I liked it.  It didn't make these taste "salty" it just added a hint of a unique flavor.

The original recipe said to use an 8x8-inch pan, but those would have been the thickest caramels and not what I prefer.

This was a fun twist on the traditional caramels that I am used to, but it won't be replacing my go-to caramel recipe

Anyway,  I would suggest borrowing this book from someone or checking it out at the bookstore before actually purchasing it.  Hey, you might love it and it might become your new favorite.

For me, it was just okay. 
Sea Salt Chocolate Caramels
adapted from: Sweet
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
2 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. light corn syrup
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
Sea salt, for sprinkling

Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; add the sugar, corn syrup, sweetened condensed milk and cocoa powder.  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer registers 248 degrees, about 15 minutes.  Carefully pour the hot caramel mixture into the prepared pan, sprinkle with Sea salt and let cool.  Cut into 1-inch squares.

For High Altitude: Subtract 1 degree from the final temperature for every 500 feet you are above Sea level.  I am at around 4600 feet above Sea level, so I subtracted 9 degrees.  I took my caramel off the heat once it reached 239 degrees, but it still took right around 15 minutes.    

I received this book from Blogging for Books for the purpose of this review, but all opinions express herein are my own.  

October 15, 2014

Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken

I have a reaaaaally good dinner recipe for all of you.

I've decided I should use my slow cooker more often, at least on the weekends.   It's hard for me to use it during the week, because if I started a dish before work, by the time I got home, it would be way over cooked.  Maybe I should get one of those slow cookers where it automatically flips to "warm" when the cooking time is over.  Does anyone have one like that?  Do you like it? 

This chicken only takes a few minutes to put together and in just a few hours, you can have a terrific dinner ready for your family.    
  The chicken was so tender and shredded apart beautifully.  We did not skimp on the toppings.  Sour cream, Cheddar cheese, cilantro, green onions and tomato made this already delicious chicken dish even better.  It doesn't get much easier than this :)     

October 14, 2014

Six Sisters' Stuff 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Plus Baby Ruth Bars

The Six Sisters have released their 3rd book, 12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters' Stuff.   Like their other books, you not only get recipes, but you get other fun stuff too.  There are 12 different sections in this book and each section is in sets of 12, like 12 Homemade Christmas Gifts, 12 DIY Christmas Decorations (I love the Candy Cane Frame and I totally want to make it), 12 Spectacular Christmas Treats, 12 Christmas Cookies and more.

If you would like to read about their first book, click HERE or their 2nd book, click HERE.
 A lot of the treat recipes are not your typical, same-old, Christmas Recipes.  They have new fun and delicious treats that you and your neighbors are sure to love!  Like . . .   Mini Turtle Cheesecakes, Almond Joy Bars, Frosted Toffee Cookies and Chocolate Orange Cookies, which sound amazing by the way, because I love Chocolate Oranges and Orange Sticks. 

I wanted to make one of the yummy recipes and I was trying to decide between the Nutella Banana Bread or their Eggnog Cookies.  October seemed a little early to have eggnog in stores, but surprisingly they already had it.  But . . . at almost $5, I decided to pass until closer to Christmas. 

I ended up making their Baby Ruth Bars.  I had everything on hand, except for the peanuts and I realize that peanuts are a big part of an actual Baby Ruth Bar, but I left them out. 

These Baby Ruth Bars are so chewy and delicious.  I think the extra 1/2 cup of chocolate that is drizzled over the top is optional.  They were plenty delicious without that, but if you want to dress them up a bit, the chocolate drizzle is a good idea. 

No Bake treats are always a winner in my book.

You can purchase 12 Days of Christmas HERE
Baby Ruth Bars
From: Six Sisters' Stuff
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1 c. light corn syrup
1 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
6 c. cornflakes cereal
1 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips, divided
2/3 c. roasted peanuts

Grease a 9x13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.  In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine corn syrup, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar.  Stir until smooth and heat until sugar is dissolved.  Mixture will start to bubble.  Remove from heat and add cornflakes and 1 cup of milk chocolate chips and stir until cornflakes are completely coated.  Press mixture into the greased baking pan and let cool.  When bars are set, melt the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and drizzle over the bars.  Let the chocolate set before serving.  Makes 16 bars.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The publisher provided me with a copy of this cookbook for the purpose of this review, but all opinions expressed herein are my own.  Giveaway is offered by the publisher and will be shipped by the publisher.   

October 8, 2014

Spider Web Dessert Pizza Plus a Rhodes Prize-Pack Giveaway

It is almost Halloween, can you believe it?  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I think I have just as much fun as the kids on that day.  

I wanted to make something that was not only easy, but both kids and adults would enjoy.  Rhodes Dinner Rolls make the perfect pizza crust and when you top it with fruit filling, streusel topping and cream cheese frosting, it is simply irresistible.  

With just a few short steps, you can turn an ordinary dessert pizza into a spooky spider web dessert pizza for Halloween. 

Be sure to enter the giveaway and then head on over to RHODES BLOG for a step-by-step tutorial on how to make this Spider Web Pizza.  

Enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter below.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway This is a sponsored post by Rhodes Bread, but all opinions expressed herein are my own.  This prize pack is provided, free of charge, by Rhodes Bread. 

Linked up at Weekend Potluck!

October 4, 2014

White Chocolate Pumpkin Bread with Crunchy Streusel Topping

Guess whaaaat????  The Walking Dead returns on October 12th!!  Who else is obsessed with that show?

I started watching it back in February, watched 43 episodes in just a few days and it is my absolute favorite show right now.  

I decided to make some fabulous bread to celebrate.  Don't you celebrate when your favorite show will be returning in 8 days? hehe!

This Pumpkin Bread is so soft and tender and the streusel topping is sweet, buttery and crunchy.

The white chocolate chips dissolve into the bread and you get little pockets of creamy goodness.

This makes an awesome breakfast on day 2 :)

"The Mr." who pretends he doesn't like pumpkin even loved this recipe.  It took him a day or two to finally try a slice, but when he did, he said, "mmm . . .  this is really good"


You might also like:
Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread
Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Molasses Sandwich Cookies
White Chocolate Pumpkin Bread with Crunchy Streusel Topping
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
pinch of ground clove, opt.
2 eggs
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. white chocolate chips

Streusel Topping:
2 1/2 Tbl. light brown sugar
1/2 Tbl. all-purpose flour
1/2 Tbl. unsalted butter, cold
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.  In a separate bowl, combine eggs, canned pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, milk, oil and vanilla.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, along with the white chocolate chips and stir until just combined and no streaks of flour remain.  Pour batter into a well-greased (or line with parchment) 9x5-inch loaf pan.  Top with streusel.  Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.  

For the Streusel Topping: Combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.  Add the cold butter and using your clean hands, rub ingredients together until it resembles coarse sand.

Linked up at Weekend Potluck!

October 1, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Dip Plus The Girl Who Ate Everything Cookbook Review

The Girl Who Ate Everything was one of the first blogs I discovered when I was first learning to cook.  I have always been blown away by her beautiful photographs.  She has such a talent for making anything and everything look delicious.  Even casseroles.  

Her book is exactly what you would expect.  AMAZING pictures with AMAZING food.  I tagged so many recipes and I can't wait to get working on making them.

The majority of the recipes are new and not on the blog.  

A lot of them are favorites that came from family and friends and there is a picture of every single recipe.  They are all easy recipes with simple ingredients.  

If you want a book full of recipes that the whole family will enjoy, then I think you will really like this book.
She said she was nicknamed the "Dip Queen", so I definitely wanted to try out one of her dip recipes.

There is no mistaking the flavor of this dip.  The second you taste it, it screams buffalo.

I personally don't think it is too spicy at all.  It is thick and creamy and best served warm.  I did try it cold, but it was too thick for my chip to scoop up without breaking.

I even used low fat cream cheese, low fat cheddar and low fat ranch and it was still delicious.

Some of the other recipes I can't wait to try are:
Creamy Artichoke Dip
Chicken Pesto Stuffed Shells
Chicken Pot Pie Crumble
Darrell's Fudge
Double Cake Batter Cookies
Cinnamon Roll Sheet Cake

P.S. Did you know her husband plays football for the NFL?  How cool is that.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 1/2 c. cooked and shredded chicken (around 2 chicken breasts)
1/2 c. Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. ranch dressing
3/4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
Blue Cheese Crumbles, opt.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir the chicken and Buffalo sauce together in a medium skillet over medium heat until heated through.  Stir in the cream cheese and the ranch dressing.  Cook, stirring until well blended and warm.  Mix in the shredded cheese.  Pour the mixture into a shallow oven-safe dish and sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles, if desired.  Bake for 10 minutes or until hot.  Serve with chips, carrots and celery for dipping.  Makes 6-8 servings.  Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.  

To Reheat:  Heat in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.  

The publisher provided me with a copy of this cookbook for the purpose of this review, but the opinions expressed herein are my own.