Monday, August 30, 2010

The Amazing Disappearing Rice Krispie Treat

If there is one sweet treat that seems to pull off the greatest of all disappearing acts it is the Rice Krispie® Treat. Seriously! I could set a decadent chocolate cake, fudgy brownies, a delicious fruit filled pie and Rice Krispie® treats out on a table and I guarantee the familiar cereal squares from childhood would be the first to go (and in record time, mind you).

What is it about this goody that sends kids and adults alike running toward the dessert buffet? Is it because it creates a feeling of nostalgia? Is it because of our secret adoration for Snap, Crackle and Pop? Or, is it because of the sweet, sticky, gooey concoction that holds the little puffed rice together? Whatever the reason (and I'm pretty sure it is a combination of all the above) they don't last very long around my house.

These treats are very simple to make and not too time consuming. I've used different cereal too, Cocoa Krispies®, Cocoa Puffs®, Fruit Loops®, Cap'n Crunch®...the list goes on... This recipe trends a little off of the original-they are a little bit more buttery and gooey!
Melissa's Cereal Treats
yield: 16 squares
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7 cups mini marshmallows
5 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 t. salt
6 cups of puffed rice cereal (or any other crunch, puffed cereal)

1. Coat an 8x8-baking pan with nonstick spray. Line with a sheet of waxed paper, allowing for an overhang to allow you to lift the cereal treats out of the pan. Spray with nonstick spray.
2. Cook the marshmallows, butter and salt over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until smooth.
3. Remove from heat and stir cereal into the marshmallow mixture using a heat resistant, rubber spatula; mix thoroughly and fold the mixture bringing up marshmallows from the bottom of the pan.
4. Spoon in mixture. Coat hands with nonstick spray and press mixture firmly into the pan. Press into the corners of the pan and the top to smooth. Allow to cool.
5. Remove from pan by lifting the overhanging waxed paper ends. Cut into cubes.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Outside-In Cheddar Sliders

Outside-In Cheddar Sliders on Mini Buns
Summer is finally coming to a close (you can thank me for stating the obvious later).  Teachers are back in their classrooms prepping for the upcoming year and parents are roaming the grocery aisles with school supply lists in hand.

As a kid I hated this time of year.  Whether it was the end of summer or the angst of beginning a new school year, I could have done without mid to late August.  And still I find myself not really being a fan of this time of year, though it is only because of the heat.  It is just too darn hot!

Like my new Weber kettle grill??? Bought it half price and already assembled (score!)
And speaking of hot...how about some girl on grill action (sorry for the pun.)  B4tB is getting a little meaty this month with these tiny burgers.  They are so cute and pretty darn good-and this is coming from someone who doesn't really eat beef.  Yes, I am from Texas and am not crazy about beef...I am an anomaly!

My accompaniments of choice: mustard, pickles and oven dried tomato-oh yeah!
Outside-In Cheddar Sliders on Mini Buns
Bon App├ętit, July 2009
Yield: Makes 8

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (20% fat)
4 1-inch cubes sharp cheddar cheese, each halved
Salt & Pepper
8 soft dinner rolls, split

1. Divide meat into 8 equal pieces (approx. 3oz. ea) Shape into balls.
2. Press 1 cheese piece into center of 1 meatball and enclose cheese in meat. Flatten to 21/2- to 3-inch-diameter patty. Repeat to form 7 more patties.
3. Sprinkle both sides of patties with salt and pepper.
4. Prepare barbecue (medium-high to high heat). Grill patties until cooked to desired doneness and cheese centers soften, about 5 minutes per side for medium.
5. If desired, grill cut side of rolls until toasted, about 1 minute. Transfer patties to rolls; let rest 5 minutes. Serve with your favorite burger accompaniments.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lessons From The Playground-Strawberry White Chocolate Shortcake Cookies

My son is fanatical about the playground. We are very fortunate to live in a neighborhood with three parks and try to visit one of them each day. As a new mom, it seems like I've learned a lot from the playground myself, much like a kid does I suppose. This is what I've learned:
  • If your child falls in love with the swing, be prepared to stand there and push until your arm falls off.
  • Keep an eye on those miniature geologists-because some of those "rocks" end up being dog poo.
  • If you hear the names "Chet" and "Greyson" turn around and walk away because your kid will get beat up if you stick around.
  • Don't become offended if the playgroup moms blatantly ignore you-even if you are the only non-playgroup mom at the park. Apparently the playground can be cruel to adults too!***believe me I wasn't hurt, just thought it was rude and weird.
  • Always have on hand: first-aid kit, beverage, snack, diaper, wipes, chalk, bucket and shovel! Especially if your kid is wild, has found his new pooping spot under the slide or borrows unsuspecting kid's park toys...
Maybe I should bring these cookies to the park...I wonder if those moms would ignore me then...or forgive my child for taking their kid's toys?

Strawberry White Chocolate Shortcake Cookies
slightly adapted from MS Living Magazine; June 2009

yield: 3 dozen

1 1/2 c. strawberries, cut in 1/4 in. dice
1/2 c. + 1 Tbsp.s sugar
1 tsp. lime juice (can use lemon)
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 c. heavy cream
6 oz. white chocolate chips
Sanding sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Toss strawberries, 2 T. sugar and lime juice in a bowl to combine
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, remaining 7 T. sugar and salt to combine. Cut in the cold butter (much like making pastry (pie) dough) using a pastry cutter or hands until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together. Stir in Strawberry mixture. Stir in Chocolate Chips until all is combined.
5. Drop onto parchment covered baking sheets. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

Notes: Because of the fresh strawberries these cookies don't have a very long shelf time. Maybe 1 day in an airtight container. They are so good the day they are made.

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