Sunday, April 29, 2012

Winners!

I was going to wait until Monday but I felt bad making you guys wait another whole day so.....

The winners are:

Monica H!!

Monica you won Dories book!

Dorie

and....

Teri!!!

Teri you are now the proud owner of Pioneer Woman's new book!

PW

Ladies please use the contact me button to the right and send me your addresses!

Congrats and thanks to everyone for entering!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Giveaway Day! Pioneer Woman & Dorie Greenspan Cookbook Giveaways!

I'm sure that some of you figured out that I was going to give away cookbooks by the little hints I left on Friday.

Ok so it's Giveaway Day!

I’m overdue!

I haven’t had a giveaway in a long time, so here it comes. Today I’m giving away copies of 2 wonderful cookbooks!

The first is Dorie Greenspans: Baking: From My Home to Yours. I’ve had this book for a few years now and I have to admit, it’s the cookbook with the most post-it’s attached to it on my shelf. It’s filled with delicious recipes. I haven’t made one yet that hasn’t turned out fantastic.

Dorie


The second book is from P-Dub herself. The Pioneer Woman Cooks! Food from my Frontier. Probably the biggest blogger on the planet. Filled with down home goodness and lots of pictures of cowboys, horses and Charlie the ranch dog.


PW


Two great books! Multiple chances to win!
 
How?

It’s easy.

Just leave me a comment telling me which cookbook you’d choose if you won.

Maybe you already have Pioneer Woman’s book and you’d love to bake up everything in Dories book? Or vice versa?

Either way….comment and let me know.

Want more chances?

If you’re a follower – let me know! Double your chances!

If you’re not already a follower, follow me and let me know that you’re a newbie – you get an extra chance too!

You can also follow me on Pinterest. Just scroll up to the top of the page and click the red button on the right hand side. More chances to win!

You can now follow me on Facebook too! Scroll up to the top of the page to the right and like The Cutting Edge of Ordinary! (Just made a page today!) Another chance to win!
 Giveaway will close on Friday, April 27th at midnight EST.

 Good Luck all!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Double Decker Brownies (Sugar Cookie Espresso Brownies with Chocolate Chips)

Double Decker brownies1

Did you ever have a brownie epiphany?

One where you stand in the middle of the kitchen with a slightly warm brownie in your hands, crumbs trailing down your face and think "why didn't I try something like this before?"

Even though I have only made these once, these will now become my "go-to" brownie. The ones I'll make for parties and cookouts, the one's I'll change up just a little to make them different for each occasion, the one's I'll bring to you if your sick in bed, or just need a pick me up, the ones that will be requested when I ask "what would you like me to bring?"

The bottom layer is sugar cookie dough, topped with espresso spiked brownies then topped with a boatload of chocolate chips! Brownie nirvana!

I'm already I’m thinking of all kinds of alternative toppings to make with this recipe. Throwing on a little coconut, adding in some nuts, white chocolate chips. Endless possibilities!

AND....they are so easy to make! Bonus!

Double Decker brownies

I baked these late Sunday afternoon as a snack for the boys while they are out on school vacation. It was almost dusk before they were really cool enough to cut into to, so I knew I wouldn't get a decent picture of them that night. I also knew that if I left them on the counter, I risked coming home to an empty pan, so I took a piece of note paper and positioned it down the middle of the pan and wrote on it:

DO NOT EAT FROM THIS POINT ON!

I drew little arrows pointed to the other side of the pan.

It worked! There actually were some left when I got home!

Once the photos were snapped I had 3 teenage boys lurking over them on the plate. Are you done? Can we eat these now?

Yes, they are that good!

Double Decker Brownies (Sugar Cookie Espresso Brownies with Chocolate Chips)
1 (1lb, 1.5oz) pouch sugar cookie mix (made according to package directions).
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 – 19.5 package milk chocolate brownie mix
½ cup vegetable or canola oil
1/3 cup strong coffee or 1 tablespoon espresso powder dissolved into 1/3 cup hot water
1 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli double chocolate chips)

Oven to 350. Preapre the sugar cookie recipe as directed and then press the dough into the bottom of a 9x13 inch lightly greased pan.

In a large bowl combine the eggs, brownie mix, cooking oil and coffee mixture. Stir until just combined. Spread the batter over the sugar cookie dough. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until edges are set. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Coming soon......

mouse

I have a little secret.....

Cause you're all so nice.

Cause you keep coming back to my little space on the world wide web.

Cause I love to make people happy, especially when those people are my readers....

I'm having a giveaway!

I'll give you a few hints....

They are square.

They are filled with goodness.

Full of beautiful pages.......

And I'm giving away 2 of them, both the same but different!

Check back Monday for details on how to win!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Honey Beer Bread

Honet Beer Bread

It's finally getting warm in Rhode Island.

Yesterday I had a day that I needed badly. A day to myself.

John was off to a Red Sox game, the boys off doing what they do. Jesse was home but I barely heard a peep from him, it was a day mostly for me.

I dug in the dirt. I cooked and baked what I wanted, when I wanted too. I spent hours taking pictures and editing them. I took a magazine outside and hung out in the yard reading. It really was just what I needed.

The weather is cooperating too so things are looking downright springy around here....plants are starting to bloom, flower beds have been raked, all the stuff that was piled in the shed last year has now seen the light of day.

My hydrangeas are are budding, my hostas are peeking their noses out of the ground, I'm looking through seed catalogs, I'm designing new beds in my head, I'm anticipating all those cookouts and get togethers with family and friends.

 Spring really is here.

I couldn't be happier.

I love working in the yard.

I love planting and growing my own food.

I love getting my hands dirty and I still love to bake bread.

I know it's not really the bread making season, but our bread eating doesn't stop in the spring, or summer, or any season for that matter.

This is a recipe you can throw together in literally 5 minutes.

You can eat with a delicious soup, you can eat it toasted for breakfast, you can eat is as a snack.

 My friend Tati was over Sunday morning and she ate it with butter and jam.

 It has a touch of sweetness to it. Kinda like my day yesterday.

 Honey Beer Bread 2

 Honey Beer Bread Recipe
Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
4 Tbsp. (half stick) butter, melted (**You can double this if you’d like**)

Makes 1 loaf

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ x 5″ x 3″ inch loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer and honey into the dry ingredients until just mixed.

Pour half the melted butter into the loaf pan. Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter. (Use a pastry brush to spread it around if you’d like.)

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick/knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Waiting to exhale.

me

I carry this big to-do list around in my head every day
Each and every hour of the day
It’s always there
It keeps me awake at night
It forced me to be obsessive about list making
About crossing things off
A scratched off word
Erased in my head
More to fill its space

Sometimes I wonder if that space will ever be full
Will there come a time when those spaces will fill up with something other than what needs to be done?
What to pick up at the grocery store
What needs to be done in the yard
The garden
The house
My life

I don’t want time to rob me of the things I want to do
To take more photos
Make more pies
Read more books
Plant
Create
Connect
Live

Will there be a day when I’m free of the “to-do’s”?
When the “cant’s” are replaced by the “yes you cans”?
When my mind will finally take a rest
and let the rest of me breathe?

I'm waiting to exhale.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Coco-Choco Banana Bread

Coco Choco Banana Bread

Do you eat up all your bananas every time you buy them?

If you do, please identify youselves cause I have polled about 30 people and out of all those 30, none of them said they eat them all up before they get to the mushy, brown, fruit flies are buzzing around them stage. Not-a-one!

I suspect that my father-in-law might though, but sadly I have to admit, I do not. I buy them with the best of intentions, pick them when they are just a pale yellow color, planning in my head as to which day they will be perfectly ripe and ready to eat.

This is the scenario that plays out in my head every time I pick up a bunch:

"So let's see, today is Thurday, these should ripen by Monday, there's 5 bananas, I should have one for each work day. Yeah that'll work. I will eat all the bananas. I will!"

Never happens.

By Wednesday they are starting to get too ripe, by Friday if the fruit flies haven't begun an attack, they are officially ready to become banana bread, and I'm ok with that.

I love banana bread....and I have a little secret that makes my banana bread a little less heavy than most. Whip your bananas! It's true. I do it every time I make banana bread, no matter the recipe. I whip them up with a mixer until they are light and fluffy and I fold them into the batter at the end. Works like a charm.

This version has chocolate and coconut! It's like banana bread's version of a Mounds Bar.

What's not to love about mushy bananas?

Coco Choco Banana Bread 2

Coco-Choco-Nana Bread
From www.mmmisformommy.com
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 medium bananas, whipped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)

In a large bowl or in stand mixer, cream butter and sugar well and add eggs one at a time, beating well between each. Mix in the vanilla and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the flour, soda and salt together. Add the dry ingredients into the wet by hand and combined just until no bits of dry ingredient remain. Fold in the whipped banana. Divide the batter into two bowls and add the cocoa and coconut to one of the bowls and mix in well by hand.

Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and alternate the two batters, I did half plain, three quarters of the chocolate, the other half of the plain and then the rest of the chocolate in two 'glops'. Swirl and somewhat even with a long skewer or a butter knife. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 60 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack until completely cool before wrapping.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Feeding my mind.

BIG BLUE

I visit a lot of food blogs.

I make great recipes.

I meet nice people.

I get inspiration.

Food blogs are not the only kind of blogs I visit. Sometimes I need nourishment for my mind as well as body. That's where Jen comes in.

My friend Jennifer is a poet, photographer, gentle soul, and fantastic Mom to two beautiful girls.

She strings together words that make me sigh, that make me nod my head in agreement, that make me print them out to hang on my fridge.

This is a true gift. To be able to not only express how you feel, but to capture that feeling for someone else. Just with words and pictures. Amazing.

I often wait until just before bed to check out her posts so her sweet words will linger in my head as I drift off to sleep. It's a nice way to end the day.

If you haven't visited Under the Big Blue Sky, you should.

You should fill up your head with beautiful words, and gorgeous pictures, and true emotion.

I keep telling her she should write a book.

I'll be the first one standing in line to buy a copy.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Deviled Egg Spread

I'm re-visiting an old post today. One I posted way back in 2009. Since there will be an abundance of hard boiled eggs happening this week, I thought I'd dust off this recipe for Deviled Egg Spread.


Deviled Egg Spread plate


We just can’t have a party here without deviled eggs. It’s something my husband started when he moved here to RI from the Southwest. I can’t even begin to tell you how many deviled eggs I’ve made over the years. Lets just say – a whole freakin’ lot. I have my deviled egg recipe memorized, that’s how many times I’ve made them.


There was one instance where I threw caution to the wind and decided I wasn’t putting deviled eggs on my party menu. I believe it was Evans’ birthday in 2007. I even announced it proudly to the family weeks before “I’m not making deviled eggs” I yelled loudly from the kitchen. Like it was a proclamation. “I shall not be preparing the eggs of the devil for the celebration that will take place in a fortnight”. There were a few “awwww’s”, but really no major protesting. Evan doesn’t even like deviled eggs, so he could care less. Well, well I thought. Maybe no one will even care if I don’t make them.


Fast forward to the party. A glorious array of food covered the counters and tables. A virtual feast lay out before the party guests. Surely no one had even noticed that the deviled eggs aren’t on the menu. Huh, I pulled this off. Maybe I won’t be stuck making deviled eggs 15 times a year after all.


And then it started. My sister-in-law was the first to notice “Lee, where’s the deviled eggs?” (She is a deviled egg fiend). “Oh I didn’t make deviled eggs.” I said. “What??” “No eggs??” She looked like the Aunt in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. “Whatchu mean you didn’t make deviled eggs? You always make deviled eggs!” And so it began, person and after person looking for the deviled eggs. I heard it the whole night. Alright, alright already. I learned my lesson. I’m sorry. I shall repent. I will never again host a party without the deviled eggs!! Well almost….. read along my friends.


Deviled Egg Spread.1jpg


I found this recipe in Food & Wine magazine. It’s a recipe from Katie Lee (Billy Joel’s ex-wife). I guess she’s quite the little Southern cook. The preface to this recipe was “I can’t have a party without deviled eggs”. Hmm sounded vaguely familiar. So on I read, and by the time I got to the end of this recipe, I was once again proclaiming in the kitchen. This time I was shouting “ I will be making deviled egg spread for the labor day party, not deviled eggs, but a tasty spread that tastes just like deviled eggs, served on crackers!” The kingdom roared! “Yes, yes, please make the deviled egg spread” they begged. And so I obliged. Happily boiling, peeling, chopping and mixing. The deviled egg spread was served and the kingdom rejoiced!


So if you are a slave to the deviled eggs like I was, liberate your self from the plain ole stuffed eggs and make a deviled egg spread instead. Your kingdom will roar too.


Deviled Egg Spread coll


Deviled Egg Spread
Recipe from Katie Lee
Food & Wine – Sept 2009
1 dozen large eggs, hard boiled
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
Salt & pepper
Paprika for dusting


Shell the eggs and halve them lengthwise. Coarsely chop half the egg whites and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the remaining white and all of the yolks to a food processor along with the mayo, mustard and vinegar.. Process until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and blend with the chopped egg whites. Season with salt and pepper. Can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight.