Monday, August 23, 2010

Brown Butter Toffee Blondies

Brown Butter Toffee Blondies
Adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 1 ¼ cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • ½  cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3  teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 ½ cups milk chocolate heath toffee bits
  • ¾ cup butterscotch chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Line pan with foil; butter and flour.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it turns golden brown; remove from heat, and let cool. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine browned butter and both sugars; stir with a wooden spoon until combined. In a coffee mug, beat eggs and vanilla.  Add to mix and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour mixture and beat until combined.  Stire in walnuts, toffee bits and butterscotch chips. Mix until thoroughly combined, and pour into prepared pan.
  4. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before turning out of pan onto a cutting board. Peel off parchment paper; cut blondies into 3-inch squares. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

  • I went to go make this recipe and ended up not having enough butter, so I used 3 sticks of margarine.  After about 25-30 minutes of boiling, it was not turning brown so I gave up.
  • I added ½ tsp more of baking powder and ½ tsp more of vanilla. 
  • The original recipe calls for you to add in the eggs and then the vanilla.  I prefer to beat my eggs with the vanilla before adding them.
  • The original recipe calls for 1 cup of toffee bits and 1 cup of chocolate chips, I switched it up for a different flavor.  Next time, I will add 1 cup of coconut too!
  • This mixture was thick, so I was not able to pour it into my pan.  Instead, I “scooped” it up with a spatula and spread it onto the pan.
  • Mine baked for around 45 minutes.  I let it cool in the pan for about 20 minutes and then pulled the foil up to remove it from the pan.  I placed it on the counter and let it cool another 30 minutes, or so, before cutting into it.

Turkey Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza

I have recently starting making my own pizza.  It's been amazing, but I've been cheating with a Boboli pizza crust.  I decided it was time to concur my fear of yeast and give homemade pizza dough a try.  It was delicious, despite the thickness of it!
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Adapted from
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
  2. Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  
  3. When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crust, or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Roll a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further. Then, drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges outward, while rotating the crust. When the circle has reached the desired size, place on a well oiled pizza pan. Top pizza with your favorite toppings, such as sauce, cheese, meats, or vegetables.
  5. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) in the preheated oven, until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on the top.

·        I used a rapid rise yeast so it only had to sit over about 10 minutes with the towel over it. 
·        I had a hard time shaping it, so I left it as one large pizza crust.  It was very thick, like double dough.  Next time I will cut in half or just half the recipe to make enough for 1 thin crust.
·        Because I had a hard time forming it, when I finally got it, I placed it on a pizza board and covered it with a towel for a couple hours before I made it.
·        Once I was ready to make my pizza, I flipped it over and “folded” over a bit of the dough to form a crust.
·        Mine ended up cooking for closer to 25 minutes.

Topping your Pizza:
  • 2-4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 link of hot turkey sausage, casing removed
  • 8 oz of turkey pepperoni
  • 1 pound of part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

  • Brush olive oil along the crust of your dough.  I actually brush it over the entire dough.  Top with basil, oregano, crushed red pepper and garlic salt.
  • Top with 4 oz of pizza sauce, spread evenly
  • Add 1 layer of turkey pepperoni
  • Top with ½ the cheese you are using
  • Remove casing from sausage, break into small pieces and place on pizza
  • Add remaining cheese and top with pepperoni

  • I don’t measure any of my ingredients, I just eye ball it.
  • This pizza is moderately spicy.  To add more kick, add additional layer of crushed red pepper to the top of the pizza.  To lessen spice, use regular turkey sausage and omit crushed red pepper.

WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS VALUE: I cut this into ~20 squares.  1 square = 3 points


I've been obsessed with carnitas since the first time I've ever tried them.  I never thought about making them myself though.  Typically, I would just go to the Mexican grocer and pick up some already prepared.  I decided it was time to learn how to do this myself.  I would say these were awesome for my first time, but there is definitely room for improvement.

Carnitas in the Slow Cooker
A Hudocks to Haddocks Original Recipe

  • 3.5 lb pork shoulder
  • 6 oz goya green chilies
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 3/4 cup of chicken broth
  • 6 packets of Sazon


  1. Wash defrosted pork shoulder and place in crockpot
  2. Cover in green chilies.  Add cumin and chicken broth.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours, flipping shoulder over halfway through cooking time.
  4. Remove pork shoulder from crockpot, shred with 2 forks, add sazon and mix well
  5. Serve on flour or corn tortillas.
  • Optional toppings: salsa, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato
  • I put this in the crockpot and then was running errands for several hours, so I came home after 6 hours of cooking to look at it and see that it needed to be flipped.  I flipped it and put it on high for those last 2 hours, so I figured 8 hours, flipping midway, should do.
  • I wish I has more time for this dish, since I would have liked to add the sazon and throw it back in the crockpot for another 30 min - 1 hour for it to cook in the flavoring better.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake... on a stick!

I find that foods on sticks always go over well with our group of friends.  We're all trying to eating healthier though so I knew I had to go healthy with my dessert choice.  I found this Weight Watchers recipe and gave it a try!

Strawberry Shortcake on a stick!
Adapted from Weight Watchers Cookbook
  • 1 pound of fresh strawberries, halved
  • 12 shortcakes, quarted
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp butter 

  1. Alternate shortcake and strawberries on a skewer
  2. Place on a wax paper lined baking sheet
  3. Melt chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler or in the midcrowave
  4. Drizzle chocolate over kabobs
  5. Chill for 10 minutes or until ready to serve

1 Serving = 1 Kabob
1 serving = 2 points

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Spinach Feta Dip

Another one from LaaLoosh!  It did not look very pretty, so I had to explain to people what it was so they were not scared.  It ended up being a huge hit!  I served this with a veggie platter, tortilla chips and crackers.

Spinach Feta Dip
Adapted from LaaLoosh

  • 4 1/2 cups spinach ( fresh & chopped)
  • ¼  cup green onions (chopped)
  • ½ cup reduced fat cream cheese
  • ½ cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup crumbled fat free feta cheese ( didn’t really measure, I used about ½ container)
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

1.      In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Once hot, add spinach and toss for a few minutes or until the leaves just begin to wilt.
2.      Place spinach, green onions, cream cheese, garlic, sour cream, feta cheese, crushed red pepper, chives, lemon juice in a blender; puree. Taste dip and add salt and pepper to taste. Empty dip into a serving bow and dig in!

Entire recipe makes 8 servings
Serving size is 3 tbsp
Each serving = 1 Point Total

Buffalo Chicken Dip - WW Edition

I was so happy to find this blog with all of its glorious Weight Watchers recipes.  I made this dip for a jewelry party I hosted.  I served it with tortilla chips, crackers and veggies.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Adapted from LaaLoosh

- 16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 8-oz. fat-free cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup fat free sour cream (I added another tablespoon)
- 1/2 cup hot sauce (I use Valentino’s)
- 2 tbsp low calorie butter (I used country crock light spread)
- 1/2 packet of dry ranch dressing mix  
1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2.   Rub chicken breasts with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Spray a skillet with non-fat cooking spray, and set on med/high heat. Put in chicken breasts, and cook until brown on both sides and meat is cooked through. Set aside. Once meat is cool, cut it up into bite sized shredded chunks.
3.      In a large bowl, stir cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in chicken and other remaining ingredients, and mix until thoroughly combined.  Move to corningware.
4.      Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until dip has heated all the way through.

Entire recipe makes 12 servings
Serving size is approx 1/2 cup
Each serving = 2 Point Total

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

If you are looking for a great treat for your next party, look no further.  These brownies were AH-MAZING!  They disappeared before I could even get a good pic!

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies
Adapted from Betty Crocker Website

Brownie Base
  • I box brownie mix (I used Pillsbury Milk Chocolate Brownie Mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk

  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup butter

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray or shortening.

  1. In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, water, oil and eggs until well blended. Spread in pan. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

  1. In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base.

  1. In small microwavable bowl, microwave topping ingredients uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set. Store covered in refrigerator.

Macaroni Salad

I am not a mayo person so foods like pasta salad, chicken salad, potato salad, etc. never enter my mouth.  This never stops me from making it for others though.  I was recommended this recipe for someone who does not like pasta salad.  I tweaked it a bit (cut down on the mayo) so I actually ate it and enjoyed it!  I hope you do too.

Pasta Salad
Adapted from Jamie Cooks

·  1 lb. Elbow Macaroni, or curly pasta
·  ¼ large Spanish Onion (minced)
·  1 Celery Stalk (minced)
·  ¼ cup chives (minced)
·  ¼ cup Fresh Parsley (minced)
·  1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
·  1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
·  ¼ tsp Garlic Salt
·  ½ tsp Chili Powder
·  1 cup Mayonnaise
·  Black Pepper, freshly ground
·  Kosher Salt

  1. Cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted water, until al dente. Drain & rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the onion, chives, celery, parsley, lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder & chili powder.
  3. Add the macaroni & stir to combine. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, for the flavors to meld.
  4. Add the mayonnaise, stir well and season with salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Antipasto Salad

My goal was to make antipasto on a stick, but I ran out of time so I just left it as a salad instead.  

Antipasto Salad
A Hudocks to Haddocks Original Recipe

  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes (sliced)
  • 6 oz can of whole sliced mushrooms (drained)
  • 8 oz block of mozzarella cheese (cubed)
  • 8 oz can of quartered artichoke hearts (drained)
  • 8 oz can of black olives (drained)
  • ¼ pound of thinly sliced genoa hard salami (quartered)
  • ½ cup of Italian dressing (I use light Italian dressing)
  • 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1-2 tsp ground black pepper


    1. Add first 5 ingredients together in a medium bowl with a cover.
    2. Add in next 3 ingredients.  Cover and shake until well mixed.
    3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Carrot Cake with Vanilla Frosting

Sometimes I get the spur of the moment urge to bake.  All I had in the house yesterday was some cake mixes, so I decided to make a carrot cake.  What a great Sunday night treat to enjoy while watching True Blood!

Carrot Cake
  • 1 carrot cake mix ( I use Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Decadent Carrot Cake Mix)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of oil 
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 small bag of chopped walnuts
  1. Pour ingredients in a medium bowl.  (I whisk the eggs together in a small cup or bowl before adding in) 
  2. Beat ingredients together with a hand mixer for  2 minutes
  3. Add in chopped walnuts
  4. Pour into 13x9 greased bottom baking pan
  5. Bake at 350 for 28 minutes
Allow cake to cool  before frosting

Vanilla Frosting
  • 3 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • a little more than a half stick of butter (softened)
  • 1/2 bag of powdered sugar (I don't measure, I just slowly add in until the consistency and quantity is just right)
  • 1-4 tbsp cream or 2% milk
  1. Beat together cream cheese & butter
  2. Slowly add (or sift in) sifted powdered sugar
  3. While you are slowly adding in your powdered sugar, add your cream/milk as needed.
  4. Ice cake & enjoy!

BBQ'd Buffalo Wings

I had my little cousin over this weekend and decided to have a nice BBQ yesterday with the 3 of us. I had some chicken wings that I decided to make a marinade for myself. The result = soooo delicious!

Buffalo Wings (Caution: may be hot for some!)

7 chicken wings
½ to ¾ cup of your favorite hot sauce (I did not measure)
1-2 tsp ground black pepper
1-2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp chili powder
1-2 tsp crushed red pepper
1-2 tsp BBQ seasoning

1. Add all ingredients together in a Pyrex bowl. Cover, shake to mix well and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes prior to cooking.
2. Grill to your desired level.
3. Enjoy!