Sunday, February 19, 2012

German Chocolate Fudge Bites

I have become obsessed with Katie's "Fudge Bites" from her Chocolate-Covered Katie blog. For the Super Bowl, we made the Peanut Butter and Samoa flavors (along with the chocolate chip cookie dough dip, which Elise and I devoured!).

But the very best of all, was the German chocolate flavored fudge bites. EVERYBODY likes these. And with my Penzey's Dutch Process cocoa, they are out of this world. Seriously. The ingredients are natural - pitted dates is the real secret to the fudge babies. The German chocolate flavor adds vanilla, salt, coconut, pecans and cocoa to the mix. SO yummy! I added a couple tablespoons of chocolate chips for extra decadence.

Measure it all out into the Magic Bullet cup (or a food processor):

And grind it all up. I usually scrape down the sides half-way through. You're left with a sticky, delicious dough.

Roll into bite-sized balls and store in the fridge (if there's any left after you make them!) You can get about 10 tablespoon sized bites from this recipe.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Absolute Best Pie Crust Ever...seriously

I don't like pie crust. Really, don't like it. Yuck. I eat the good gooey stuff inside instead of that soggy, sorry, not worth the extra calorie mess. Until now. I have discovered the holy grail of pie crust - it's flaky, delicious and really easy. And it's from the Pioneer Woman. The trick is to mix it with a pastry blender, not the food processor, for 3-4 minutes. Not 1 or 2 or even 5. 3-4 minutes. Maybe I always skipped that step in the past or convinced myself it looked like pea sized crumbs before its time. Not sure. It's sad how happy I am now that I have a go-to, perfect pie crust recipe I can whip up for decadent desserts, quality quiches or popular pot pies.

Perfect Pie Crust:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold butter
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add in the butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter, gradually work the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. This step should take 3 or 4 minutes.
Lightly beat the egg with a fork, and then add it to the mixture. Next, add in the cold water and vinegar. Stir the mixture together until it's just combined, and then remove half the dough from the bowl. Yield: dough for 2 crusts. Refrigerate for 1 hour before using or store in the freezer until needed. 

The Gadget Corner - Lettuce Knife

I have been thinking about posting a monthly "gadget corner" on the blog. There are a lot of nifty kitchen gadgets on the market these days. Some of them work, some don't. Some are worth the big bucks and some are not.

How 'bout we Sistas share what our favorite gadgets are for whoever out there reads this blog?

I'll start with something very simple and inexpensive. It's a lettuce knife. I learned about this when I was working as a waitress at Baker's Square Restaurant during high school. We would use a chef's knife to chop up a head of iceberg lettuce from which we used as the base of our salads.  However, towards the end of the night the cut edges of the lettuce would begin to brown and we'd have to throw it away and cut up a new one. If I had known about this gadget back then, I would've saved the restaurant a lot of money! (Or at least $2 a day.)

The metal from the knife is what turns the lettuce brown. It's just not appetizing. But use a plastic knife, and the lettuce looks fresh and green for many days! These are inexpensive and don't take up much room in your drawer.

There you have it - my gadget of the month!