Monday, July 19, 2010

Beer Onion Chive Cheese (BOCC) Bread

Two weeks! That's the amount of time that's passed since I last blogged. And that's much too long! Where does the time go? Since school has ended, I've somehow been much busier....hmmmm. That doesn't seem right!

But anyway, I do actually have a recipe for you here. It's a delicious quick bread made with beer. Can you go wrong with adding beer? I don't think so! As you can read from the title, this bread also contains onions, chives, and cheese. YUMMM! I've made this recipe a few times now. It's super simple in terms of the steps and the ingredients involved. Have I mentioned that you can't go wrong with this recipe? ;-) I found this recipe in Cooking Light, and here is a link to it for you.

There are multiple variations you can make with this bread, depending on the type of beer you choose to add, the type of cheese, and any herbs you might also add. There are probably endless combinations! The link I gave you above shares some suggestions of ingredients to add, but be creative and add other things too! This past time while making this bread, I used good ol' cheddar cheese and a pilsner style beer (see below - gotta love Sam Adams!). And then I added fresh, chopped chives from our garden! I think the addition of fresh herbs is a must in this recipe. :)

Here are a few more pictures of the process for you.

Sauteed onions!

Dry ingredients, onions, and cheese...

I like this picture of the addition of the beer...all foamy and yummy! The baker is allowed to drink any leftover beer, of course. ;-)

Mmmmm, fresh chives.

Ready for the oven!

Or wait, is it ready?

Nope, it also needs some butter or margarine drizzled over top before baking!

Final product! Soooo good. I prefer to eat this bread warm or toasted. I don't add any extra butter to it, but if you prefer that, I say go for it. But I just think it's delicious as is! And remember, it's a Cooking Light recipe...
No guilt as long as you enjoy in moderation. ;-)

Hope to see you again soon...sooner than two weeks from now!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Candy Pizza!

Yes, candy read correctly! Apparently I like to make pizzas that are not your typical tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings... Remember my Breakfast Pizza post? Yummmm. Actually, I do love making regular pizza at home, but I just haven't blogged about it yet. I'll have to do that soon! In the meantime, I'll share with you a very fun recipe for a dessert-themed pizza. :)

My mom used to make a delicious candy pizza for us when we were younger, and that was my inspiration for this one. When I decided to make this the other day, I was not planning ahead very well and I did not have time to chat with my mom beforehand to get her recipe, so sadly this is not the same original recipe she used to make. However, it is very close in terms of its flavors, toppings, and overall deliciousness! You can read the recipe that I followed here. It's from good ol' Betty Crocker!

Now, the main difference between the recipe I used and the one my mom used to make is the crust...  Both pizzas have a peanut butter crust, but my mom's was from scratch, whereas I used the shortcut of Betty Crocker's peanut butter cookie mix, pictured below.

You can read the exact instructions in the link provided above, but essentially this recipe simply involves making the crust with the peanut butter cookie mix, oil, and an egg and pressing it into a pizza pan, after which you add whatever toppings your heart desires!

I added dry roasted peanuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips...

...and butterscotch chips and dark chocolate m&m's.

You bake those toppings for a while before adding the mini marshmallows (which I like to think of as the pizza's "cheese"!!).

The marshmallows only bake for the last 7-8 minutes or so.

Look at them all puffy and fluffy! :-D

For a fun touch at the end I drizzled on some chocolate syrup and caramel sauce...

And that's all there is to it, friends! This recipe literally takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. Sooo easy! I think it'd be such a super fun recipe for kids too. They'd love to pick out some of the yummy candy toppings and put them on the pizza themselves, I bet! I think it'd be tasty to add different types of candy bars or candies, chopped into smaller pieces... Reese's peanut butter cups? Snickers? Milky Way? Hello!! 

I've got a busy week, but I hope to post again before the weekend is here...we shall see! Stay tuned for more yummy Barbershop goodies. ;-)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Summertime Strawberry Dessert

Welcome back and happy 4th of July weekend, all! This is a special Barbershop post... Are you wondering why? Well, it's my 60th post! 60! And in honor of this milestone, I thought I'd share a yummy, cool summertime dessert that is red, white, and blue, which is obviously appropriate for the holiday! Here you go. :)

I was looking for something cool and summery to bring to a friend's going-away party. The recipe I ended up with is a combination of a couple different recipes. I did not follow one exactly to a "t," as you might say. What I ended up making was inspired by this Strawberry Pretzel Squares recipe and this Tropical Strawberry Cream Pie recipe.

Essentially, this dish was a graham cracker crust recipe, topped with a cream cheese/cool whip/sugar layer, which was then topped with a jello/fruit layer, as you can see in this picture below. :)

I'll share with you the ingredients I used as best I can... I have to honestly say that I did not always measure exactly! Since I wasn't baking something that is "scientific" (ya know, something that needs flour, baking soda, baking powder, etc.), I figured I could improvise a bit!

-1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
-5 Tbsp. of butter or margarine, melted
-2 cups cool whip (I used light)
-8 oz. softened cream cheese (I used light)
-1/4 cup sugar
-instant JELLO gelatin, strawberry flavored (I used two packages that were each 4-serving size)
-3/4 cup boiling water
-1 cup ice
-1 cup sliced strawberries
-1 cup blueberries

Now, as far as the jello goes, you can certainly use whichever flavor you like! I actually used one package of strawberry flavored gelatin and one of raspberry; you can see their different colors here! They were also sugar-free.

You could switch up the fruit you use as well. It's your call! That's the beauty of recipes like this. Another change you could make is what you use for the crust. I used graham cracker crumbs, but the two recipes I worked from used even different items - one used crushed pretzels and one used crushed vanilla wafers. Yum to either of those options!!

Here are your instructions:

Mix the crushed graham crackers with the melted butter. Press this mixture into a 9-inch pan (I used a square glass pan, but you could probably even use a pie plate).

Next, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Then gently mix in the cool whip with a spoon or spatula. Top the graham cracker layer with the cool whip layer.

Add the boiling water to the gelatin and mix until the gelatin is fully dissolved; then stir in the ice until it's melted. The jello should be very slightly starting to solidify at this point.

Next, mix in your fruit and refrigerate the jello mixture for 5 minutes or until it's thickened but still "spreadable." At that point, top the cool whip layer with the jello and fruit mixture.

Refrigerate the entire dish for 4 hours or until set (mine was fine after 2 hours actually!). 

When I served this, I topped each slice with the remaining cool whip too...everyone got a dollop. I just really wanted to use the word dollop. :) This dessert was definitely a hit with our friends! I'm always a little nervous when I try new recipes for the first time, but once people had their first bites, I knew it was a keeper. Unless they were just trying to humor me, they indicated that this is a very delicious dessert! Perhaps the next time I make it I'll try different flavored jello or a new type of fruit! I bet peach jello with fresh peaches and pineapple would be good. Mmmmm, I can almost taste it now. ;-) And it tastes like summer to me!

See you next time, and once again, happy 4th of July!