Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Chocolate Covered S'mores

Chocolate Covered Smores from Pioneer Woman. I wonder if you could toast a marshmallow on the graham cracker in the oven for about 5 min, then dip it into chocolate. Toasted marshmallow for sure has a different taste than regular.
Ingredients
16 whole Graham Cracker Squares (two Single Rectangular Pieces Still Stuck Together)
1 container (7 Ounce) Marshmallow Creme
1 whole Package Chocolate Almond Barn Or Other Melting Chocolate
Chopped Nuts, Sprinkles, Etc.
Instructions
Scoop a heaping tablespoon of marshmallow cream onto 8 crackers. Top with the other 8 crackers, pressing gently. Immediately put the sandwiches in the freezer---within a minute of putting the second cracker on top. Freeze for a minimum of 30 minutes to set the marshmallow creme as much as possible.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a glass bowl, then set aside to cool, stirring occasionally to keep the chocolate melted. When the chocolate is room temperature, remove the sandwiches from the freezer. One by one, dip the sandwiches in chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Work quickly, then add on whatever sprinkles you'd like to use. Immediately put the sandwiches back into the freezer to set the chocolate and keep the marshmallow from rebelling and oozing out.
Freeze for at least 30 minutes, then you can store the s'mores at room temperature or in the fridge until you're ready to serve!

Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast in the Crockpot

Balsamic and onion roast....the reduced balsamic was too sweet in the gravy. Maybe use redwine vinegar next time. The leftovers were too dry cold for a sanwich...I heated the leftovers and used warm on a sandwich and was great.
Ingredients
I used a standard 3 1/2 quart Crockpot for this recipe.
3-4 pound boneless chuck roast
1-2 T steak rub (I used Szeged Steak Rub.)
black pepper to taste
1-2 T olive oil (depends on your pan)
1/4 cup water to deglaze pan
2-3 large onions, peeled and thickly sliced
1 cup beef stock, reduced to 1/2 cup (can use a can of beef broth, but be sure to reduce it)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (I used Fini Balsamic Vinegar)
1/2 cup tomato sauce (You can substitute one can diced tomatoes, drained well. I might puree the tomatoes.)
Instructions
Trim as much fat as you can from roast, and cut if necessary to fit into Crockpot. Rub meat well with steak seasoning and black pepper. Heat heavy pan with small amount of olive oil and brown roast well on both sides. This will take a few minutes; don't rush the browning step.
While roast browns put 1 cup beef stock in saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, then let cool slightly and mix in balsamic vinegar and tomato sauce. Peel onions and cut into thick slices. Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup water and add to sauce mixture.
(You can stop at this point and refrigerate browned roast, cut onions and mixed sauce ingredients and then put them in the Crockpot when you go to work in the morning. Don't refrigerate them in the crockery liner. Having the meat start out cold will add several hours to the cooking time, which will be good if you're cooking it all day while you're away.)
Place onions in bottom of Crockpot. Put meat on top of onions and pour beef stock mixture over. Set Crockpot to low and cook 6-8 hours, until beef is tender. The meat might be partly submerged in liquid after this much time. (If I am home, I might turn the meat once or twice.
Remove meat from crockpot and cover with foil to keep warm. Drain liquid from Crockpot and remove as much of the fat as you can with fat separator or skimmer. Cook down liquid by about 1/3, and serve sauce with meat and onions.
Note: If I wasn't making this for phase one, I might put some carrots in the bottom of the crockpot with the onions.

Clean Eating Dark Chocolate “Turtles”

These turtles can be kept at room temperature, but the chocolate and date may soften and become sticky, so refrigerate to keep them at their best!
Ingredients
3½ oz dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa, preferably unsweetened or with unrefined sweetener)
1 cup pitted dates
2 oz pecan halves
Instructions
Process dates in a food processor until they become a sticky and very thick jam-like consistency.
Roll the processed dates into 15 small balls, place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Press 3 pecan halves into the date balls.
Heat a small saucepan over low heat, add in dark chocolate and slowly melt into a sauce.
Pour a small amount of sauce over each date/pecan ball.
Place in the fridge to set for at least 10 minutes – the chocolate will harden and hold everything together.

Oven or Grilltop Roasted Mushrooms with Garlic, Thyme, and Balsamic Vinegar

These roasted mushrooms with garlic, thyme, and balsamic vinegar are a delicious side dish, no matter what you serve them with! Healthy side dish for Thanksgiving.
Ingredients
1 lb. mushrooms (I used brown Crimini mushrooms)
2 T + 1 tsp. olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 T finely minced garlic
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 T chopped fresh parsley (optional, for garnish)
Instructions
Preheat oven to 400F/200C or heat gas or charcoal grill to medium high. Wash mushrooms, pull out stems, and cut into halves (or quarters if the mushrooms are large.) Put mushrooms into bowl and toss with 2 T olive oil, salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Cover a roasting pan with foil, then arrange mushrooms on the pan in a single layer. (Spread them out as much as you can. For cooking on a grill, I'd probably use heavy foil to make a "pan" so the flame doesn't turn the bottom of the roasting pan black.)
Roast mushrooms 15 minutes. While mushrooms cook, finely chop fresh thyme, then mix with minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, and the tsp. of olive oil. (You could mix this right in the bowl you originally tossed the mushrooms with.)
After 15 minutes, drain off any liquid that has accumulated. (If you spread the mushrooms out well, the liquid will evaporate, but if yours are too crowded like mine, you'll have a little liquid to pour off.) Then toss the hot mushrooms with they garlic-thyme mixture. Arrange back on roasting pan and cook about 10 minutes more. Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley if desired.