Thursday, 13 November 2014

Peanut Butter Oreo Fudge

Yes, my dear friend, you read that title correctly. Peanut Butter OREO fudge. Something this delicious hasn't happened since chocolate and peanut butter we married together in the form of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup...true story.

Anyway, this has been 3 of the craziest weeks of my life INCLUDING the time I got married. I cannot express to you the absolute insanity that is my life right now. First it's work, then it's Zumba, then it's running, then it's a FLAT TIRE (fml). However, there is little that brings me peace like whipping up a batch of something delicious.

Enter: Peanut Butter Oreo Fudge

Originally I was going to try making Cookie and Cream fudge, but I realized a little too late that I didn't have white chocolate chips. I took to the trusty Google to help me find inspiration and lo and behold...I found a recipe from Sally's Baking Blog for easy, peanut butter fudge. I also had Oreos (meant for the cookie and cream fudge) and I decided to put the two together.

BEST THING EVER. Not to mention that this recipe makes enough for J to feel like he wasn't jipped AND enough to bring to work. That almost NEVER happens.

So here you are peanut butter lovers - buttery, sweet, fudgey, peanut butter happiness. Also, you can tell from the first two ingredients that this is SUPER low-cal.......... ;) 

Peanut Butter Oreo Fudge
Modified from Sally's Baking Addiction  

1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Kraft)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
4 cups icing sugar
20(ish) Oreo Cookies, smashed
4-5 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, chopped 


Line an 8 inch baking dish with tinfoil. Make sure there is enough so that the tinfoil hangs off the sides (this will help you lift this beautiful magic out once it has set).
In a glass bowl, placed over a pot of boiling water (or a double boiler if you have one), melt the peanut butter and butter together. I chopped the butter up first to get it to melt faster. Continue to stir until it is combined completely (it will be fairly runny at this point). Add the salt.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the icing sugar. It will seem kind of chunky and weird, but keep stirring until it is nice and thick. Don't worry if it kind of seems like cookie dough, that is a good thing!

Add in the Oreo cookies and make sure everything is evenly combined (no one likes Oreo peanut butter fudge with no about disappointing).

Press the fudge (it's fudge! Aren't you proud of yourself!?) into the baking dish you prepared. Sprinkle chopped peanut butter cups over top and press into the fudge. Put in the fridge (or freezer if you want to eat it faster) and let set. You'll know it's ready when it feels like, hard but not too hard. You know?

Slice and enjoy! Like I said, SUPER low cal, so don't worry if you have a couple pieces ;) 

**DISCLAIMER: This fudge is NOT LOW CAL. If anything, it has more calories that you should consume in a meal, so best enjoyed in small dosages...if you can...I won't tell**

Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Perfect Brunch Meal Plan

Remember that time I was all "GUYS I'M BACK" that I posted awhile ago? Yea, me too...I'm so sorry I haven't posted since that. Work has been monumentally busy and by the time I get home, make dinner and do the dishes, I'm pretty much done for the night. Due to this, I don't get a lot of oppertunities to try new things (baking wise) and any posts that I want to put up...well, they just don't happen.

However, I happen to have a Sunday morning with an extra hour (yay for daylight savings) and a quiet moment with my coffee, so I wanted to tell you about a SUPER easy & yummy brunch idea that I made last week when my Dad came over!

Here is the meal:

Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwhich



I only had to make enough for 3 people, but this could easily be done with many, many more, like on Christmas Morning.

On a side note, my beagle just jumped up on me and sniffed my armpit...I think I'm in need of a shower. *Sigh*

Anyway, here is how to make this scrumptious meal! I don't have super awesome photos (had to take these with my phone) but you get the idea!

The Perfect (Easy!) Brunch Meal Plan
by: ME!

Serves 4
The Breakfast Sandwhich
4 English Muffins
Sliced (or Shredded) Cheese - I did about 2 slices (from a brick of cheese) per person
6-8 Eggs (depends on your crowd, for my Dad & J I estimated 2 eggs each & 1 for me)
8-10 pieces of bacon (again, depends on your crowd) 

The Homefries
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
6-8 potatoes (allow about 2 per person, unless the potatoes you are using are HUGE)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional: Onions (we didn't use because my Dad doesn't like onions, but they would add a LOT of flavour to the homefries)

The Mimosas
Orange Juice (with a little pulp)
Sparkling Wine (I LOOVE the Barefoot for this) 

The only tricky thing to this meal is there is a LOT going on at once, do just make sure you're watching everything carefully. 

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line 2 baking sheets with tinfoil and lay bacon strips out side by side. Set aside.
2. Thoroughly wash and cut off any bruises on the potatoes. Cut into bite size cubes.  Add oil to a non-stick skillet and allow to warm up. Once skillet is ready to go, set to medium heat and add potatoes, salt & pepper. Stir around until potates are coated in oil & salt and pepper. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes. 

3. Once oven is heated, put bacon into the oven. Set timer for about 10 minutes. 

4. Once 10 minutes is up, take lid off potatoes and stir around, trying to flip over to other side. The side that was face down in the pan should be nice and crispy.

5. Check on the bacon, if it is sizzling, remove from oven and flip each piece to other side. Put back in the oven for about 8 minutes. At this point, you really want to watch the bacon to make sure it doesn't burn. Check every 3 minutes or so. 

6. Stir potaotes again, make sure they aren't burning. 

7.  Line another baking sheet with tin foil and lay the english muffins cut side up and lay cheese on top

8. Remove bacon from oven. Switch to "Broil" and put pan with English muffins and cheese in. Watch carefully. 

9. Cook eggs however you like them. I did mine scrambled. 

10. Check potatoes. At this point they should be done. If not, give another stir and let cook.

11. Remove English Muffins from oven. Add bacon & egg. Plate with a scoop of potatoes. 

12. Make Mimosas - fill your glass halfway with sparkling wine and fill the rest with orange juice!




Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

Ahhhhhhh! I love fall SO much. I love the crisp, cool air, I love the leaves that are changing colour (leaves that I get to rake now!) and I love the smell of firewood that lingers in the air! I know it's totally cliche, but Fall is my favourite season, hands down! I have so many happy memories associated with this time of year and they just continue to develop.

The happy memory for this year will be moving into our new home AND the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon. Training for this marathon was a shorter shorter time period than last year. I had more going on, which meant I missed training on 4 different weekend. I also went into the race with a different mindset. This year, I just wanted to run. I didn't care about the time, I just need to show myself that I could do it again.

I was lucky that I got to do this race with very special people (all of them half marathon virgins!). We finished with a time of 2 hours and 40 minutes, which I was really pleased with. It was a really great course and if you're thinking of running a half marathon next year, I highly recommend this one. I'll be doing it again (and hopefully with my lovely husband who PINKY SWORE he would do it with me).

The night before the race we had a HUGE pasta dinner (gotta get them carbs!) and for dessert, fruit & these yummy brownies. Although they were a little gooey (I didn't use the right type of chocolate) they were still very tasty. These are a fabulous fall treat & will be a hit anywhere you take them!

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 oz bittersweet (NOT milk) chocolate
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup pureed plain pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
chopped nuts (optional, I didn't use)

Preheat oven to 350F & butter a 9 inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment paper. This allows for easier cleaning & for easier removal.
Melt the chocolate and butter together using a double boiler or a glass bowl over a pot with water. Make sure to use bittersweet. I used milk chocolate and it was tooooooo gooey! Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Don't be nervous about the cayenne pepper. I know it sounds weird, but it adds a really unique flavour to the batter. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer) whip together the sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly add the flour mixture until everything is combined. 

Put half the batter in a separate bowl (so you have 2 bowls of batter). Add the melted chocolate to one and the pumpkin, oil and pumpkin pie spice to the other. 

Working quickly, pour half of the chocolate batter in your prepared pan & smooth with a spatula. Do the same with half the pumpkin batter. Repeat with the remaining batter. Using a knife, swirl the two batters together. Sprinkle with nuts (if desired). 

Bake for 40-45 minutes. I had to bake mine for longer as I used a smaller pan. The brownies will be a little gooey and that's totally OK! That's what makes these amazingly delish. 

Allow to cool for about 20 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or a glass of milk!