Friday, October 14, 2016

Loaded S'mores Dip

I can't remember where on the internet I first heard of s'mores dip, but long after I'd lost the link I decided to reverse-engineer it, with a couple added ingredients. 
  • 2/3 C chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 12 large marshmallows, cut in half
  • 1 banana, coined, with coins cut in half
  • graham crackers
1.  Preheat oven to 450°F.  Divide chocolate chips between two cast-iron mini skillets (5 inches top diameter), covering the bottoms.  Dollop peanut butter over chocolate chips in several places.  Top with marshmallow halves, cut side down.
2.  Bake at 450°F for 7-9 minutes.  Remove from oven, stir briefly, and scatter banana pieces into dip.  Serve with graham crackers for dipping.

Robyn's notes: this is definitely delicious, but very rich.  I've always enjoyed peanut butter with banana, and fluffernutters are popular with a lot of people, so it's kind of a combination of s'mores and those two things.  I think the cool fresh banana adds something to the otherwise thick hot dip.

*** 3 Stars: Good. At least one of us liked this enough for me to make it again, but not often

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pumpkin Sloppy Joes

It may have snowed here yesterday, but for most people in the Northern Hemisphere autumn is in full colourful glory!  Time to satisfy all those pumpkin cravings.  But since this calls for canned pumpkin, keep it in your back pocket any time of the year for a little something different.
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 C ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp tomato juice
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • dash ground cloves
  • dash ground nutmeg
  • dash pepper
  • 2/3 C canned pumpkin
  • 2 hamburger buns, split
1.  In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
2.  Add the ketchup, tomato juice, chili powder, and spices, mix well.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in pumpkin.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.  Serve on buns.

Robyn's notes: I actually don't get that excited about pumpkin, but still enjoyed this.  It's satisfying if you feel like having sloppy joes, while being different enough to make it special.  Watch me demonstrate this recipe on youtube!

*** 3 Stars: Good. At least one of us liked this enough for me to make it again, but not often

Monday, October 10, 2016

PB Poire Belle Helene

From the first moment I heard of this recipe I knew I had to make it.  Poached pears with vanilla ice cream in warm chocolate sauce?!  Absolutely, I'm all over that.  But I basically just didn't get around to it, until one day I was playing around in the kitchen and came up with the peanut butter chocolate sauce.  I decided I had to try that with the pears, and here we are!
1.   In a wide saucepan or deep skillet, bring water and sugar to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. 
2.  Add pears, cut side down, and raise the heat so that the syrup boils up over the pears (it may be necessary to spoon some syrup over the top of the pears).  Lower heat, cover, and simmer 5-7 minutes.  Turn pears, cover and simmer another 5-7 minutes.  Pears should be tender when pierced.  Remove from heat, cover, and leave to cool. 
3.  Scoop 1/2 C ice cream onto each of two serving dishes.  Place two pear halves alongside each scoop of ice cream, and drizzle with chocolate sauce. 

Robyn's notes: Bosc pears are the best for poaching, as they hold their shape when cooked.  This was really quite good, best with a bit of each element in every bite. 

**** 4 Stars: Very Good. Enjoyed by us both, I will make this frequently  

Peanut Butter Chocolate Sauce

  • 1/3 C chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp shortening
  • 1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1.  Add chocolate chips and shortening to a small microwave-safe bowl, do not stir.  Microwave, at 70% power, for 2 minutes.  Remove from microwave and immediately stir in peanut butter until sauce is smooth.

Robyn's notes: I have made this with milk chocolate a few times but have mostly used semi-sweet.  My microwave is 1540 watts, cooktime and power level may be different for other machines.  This is great over ice cream, cookies, all sorts of things, and licking the bowl is a must!

**** 4 Stars: Very Good. Enjoyed by us both, I will make this frequently