Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Bark.......

I kind of love holiday baking.  I don't really do a lot of fancy shit but I do have a few regulars that close friends and family expects me to make......Buckeyes (it's been fun giving them to my Alabama friends this year because of this little event!) and my mother's famous Molasses Cookies.  The rest of what I do is easy and quick.  But damn good.

There are a several Peppermint Bark recipes out there but this one is by far the best.  It's three layers so it takes a little chill time for each layer, but it couldn't be easier.  My best tip for all of these is to buy the highest quality chocolate you can afford.  The better the chocolate, the better the end result.

This is my riff on the ever popular saltine bark, or as it's sometimes called, Christmas Crack.  Who doesn't love S'mores??

S'mores Bark

Regular Graham Crackers
1 cup butter (two sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
3 cups mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a 9"x13" sheet pan with foil and spray liberally with Pam.  (Don't skip the foil and Pam or you'll  hate yourself.  Really.)

Line the FOILED and SPRAYED sheet tray with as many graham crackers as you can fit.  Don't worry if there are tiny spaces between.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the brown sugar, constantly stirring.  Bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer for 3-5 minutes, keep stirring until it slightly thickens.

Remove from the heat and carefully pour over the graham crackers.  Resist the urge to put your finger in the caramel and taste it or you'll once again hate yourself.  That shit is HOT.  Spread it around with an offset spatula until the crackers are covered.

Put it in the oven and bake for about 5-8 minutes....until it's bubbling.

Remove from the oven and let sit for a minute or two and then evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top.  Let them melt on their own for about a minute then with a (clean) offset spatula spread it evenly over the cracker mixture.  Sprinkle with the mini marshmallows and gently press them into the chocolate.  

I usually put mine into the freezer to speed up the setting process, but they can go into the fridge also.  Once they're really firm, break into pieces.  Store in the freezer or refrigerator.  Or, be like me, and give them to all of your friends so you DON'T EAT THE WHOLE BATCH.

See how easy that was??

This Oreo Bark is even EASIER.  And freaking delicious.

I'll be back next week with my 2014 wrap-up.  Now, go get your damn shopping done.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TWD - Cranberry Crackle Tart

I totally almost forgot about this weeks Tuesday with Dorie project.  I, like probably most of you, am hosting Thanksgiving and since I took a little four day beach trip last weekend with the girlfriends, I've been scrambling this week to get shit done.

I don't remember what made me think about it but when I looked up the assigned recipe I thought, "Oh, I really wanted to make that."  We were given a little leeway because of the holiday and were allowed to post it on Thanksgiving and I did consider doing this, but then I remember I had to make three other desserts tomorrow, so I just went ahead and knocked it out today.

Isn't it pretty!!  And surprisingly delicious.  I say surprisingly because I don't normally like meringue.    Hubs does, but doesn't normally like cranberries.  We both loved this.  The cranberry's tartness is tempered by the sweet meringue and the jam (I used strawberry) and the crunch from the crackly meringue and crust were perfect.  I have to admit that I cheated on the crust.  I had already made a double batch of the Barefoot Contessa's pie crust yesterday and since I only needed three of them......

It wasn't a sweet dough like Dorie called for, but for me, it was preferable.  The tart didn't need anymore sweetness.

If you're looking for something different to take to your Thanksgiving gathering, this is perfect.  It's extremely easy and will definitely get some ooh's and aah's.  

You can find the recipe here.  Or better yet, BUY THE BOOK!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday links........

It's cold.  Everywhere.  Even in Alabama.  So I hope we don't freeze our tushies in Tuscaloosa tomorrow tailgating with our friends. I may even have to......please don't tell anyone this....pull for Alabama.  Damn, that hurt.  But I need their help.  See, if Alabama beats Mississippi State and Georgia beats Auburn and Ole Miss beats Miss St and Auburn beats Alabama and whoever wins the SEC East beats the winner of SEC West and Oregan and TCU lose and we win out then THE BUCKS ARE IN!!!  Oh, and if the cow could jump over the moon, that'd probably help too.

Happy Weekend, everyone!!

I'm taking this to the tailgate party because YUM!!

THE most adorable interview with my niece, Charlotte (Carly) about her recent wedding.

Started reading this yesterday (Don't judge.  I love Andy!!)  This is on deck.

After reading this, I'm even more excited about Trader Joe's coming to Birmingham next year.

52 of the world's most widespread myths and misconceptions, debunked

What, exactly, you're entitled to when you flight goes awry.

Awesome photography hacks for your iPhone....

Writing advice from the chief copy editor at Random House

The best airport food around the globe according to famous chefs.

Quite possibly the most beautiful dog photography Ive seen.

Christmas gift ideas from Oprah and Garden and Gun (a subscription to GandG is always a great gift idea, even for the non-Southerner's on your list)

My new favorite instagram account

What I've been listening to.......

Go Bucks!  Beat Minnersoter!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

TWD - Palets de Dames, Lille Style

I've decided to start baking with the Tuesday's with Dorie group again.  They're baking from Dorie's new book Baking Chez Moi, Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere, which I had already purchased, so I thought, "What the hell.  Why not."  I know the recipes will be fabulous, Hubs sweet tooth will be satisfied, and it will force me to post more regularly.  This, apparently, will make my niece, Annie, happy......we were texting the other day and I mentioned I was bored and she shot back "Go write some blog things.  I like reading them more than once a freakin month."  Pushy.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pumpkin Tiramisu

There isn't a lot that I miss about my old house.......except my stuff.  To be clear, I don't want to have all the space that it takes to house my stuff.  Nonetheless.....I want my stuff.  I like my stuff.  The other day I made hubs go with me to the three storage units that are currently holding all of my household stuff.  (That wouldn't include all of the wine that's in another storage unit in another part of town.  Oh and all of hubs' garage stuff which is in yet another unit in yet another part of town.  Yeah.)  I wanted to visit my stuff and maybe bring some of it back to an already cramped rental.  I don't always think clearly.  So I dug through one of the units and made hubs move furniture and boxes so that I could find my purses and cooking magazines.  I wanted all of my cookbooks too, but then we there wouldn't have been room for us in the rental and we would have had to move in with my parents.  I have a LOT of cookbooks.  So I just came home with four boxes of purses and three boxes of old issues of Bon Appetit, Gourmet (I miss them) and Food and Wine.  I have almost all issues of each one dating back to 1998 and random issues all the way back to '94.  Shush.  I don't care that they're probably all on the internet.  Those suckers have moved all over the world with me.  I love them.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mimi Thorisson's Pear Flognarde .........and a little getaway

I'll get to this deliciously light cake along with Mimi Thorisson's beautiful new book in  a moment.  I still need to think more about how to adequately describe just how much I love everything about A Kitchen in France.  And how annoyingly jealous I am of her seemingly perfect life in her perfect French farmhouse!

Hubs and I decided early last week that it was time for a short getaway.....somewhere we could drive to, preferably to catch a little of the quickly fading fall colors.  I had recently read about the Hotel Domestique in  Garden and Gun.  Since we had spent about 15 years on and off living in Greenville, SC we were familiar with the area, knew we could get in some great hiking and check out some old favorite spots.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cauliflower Cake and a GIVEAWAY!!

There is a wealth of great new cookbooks coming out/already out this Fall and I know my husband thinks I purchased ALL OF THEM.  I didn't.  Well, almost.  And now I don't know where in the hell I'm going to put all of them in this shoebox in which we're living.

I'm currently digging into this, this and (unfortunately for my pants) this one.  And I can hardly wait for this and this to arrive.

But the new one from Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty More, is my new obsession.  It could be because my former obsession, Plenty, is packed away in probably the rear of one of three storage units of which I won't see the contents for at least several more months.  Or because absolutely no one makes vegetables as appetizing as this dude.  You know a book is going to be great when you dog ear the page of the very first recipe.  And practically every other page after that!  

Share it