Hot Fudge Ice Cream Bar Dessert

hot-fudgeIngredients
(16 ounce) can chocolate syrup
3/4 cup peanut butter
19 ice cream sandwiches
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup salted peanuts

Directions
Pour the chocolate syrup into a medium microwave safe bowl and microwave 2 minutes on high. Do not allow to boil. Stir peanut butter into hot chocolate until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Line the bottom of a 9×13 inch dish with a layer of ice cream sandwiches. Spread half the whipped topping over the sandwiches. Spoon half the chocolate mixture over that. Top with half the peanuts. Repeat layers. Freeze until firm, 1 hour. Cut into squares to serve. Recipe: ohsoshabbybydebbie.com

Cheesecake Brownies!

Combine two things like cheesecake and brownies, and you truly have your own little piece of heaven!

421075_429214513818879_1605551376_nCheesecake Brownies

Ingredients

Brownie Layer:
2 eggs, at room temperature
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

Cheesecake Layer:
1 egg, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon flour

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour or using baking spray with flour one 8×8 inch pan.

In a medium pot, melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.Whisk in sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula as needed.

In a separate bowl, beat together cream cheese, egg, sugar, flour and vanilla until fluffy. Carefully pour over brown layer.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack then slice and serve. The cooler the brownie, the easier it will be to cut.

Peppermint Cheese Cake Layers: The ultimate holiday dessert!

This layered cake, courtesy of Southern Living Magazine, is pure heaven for both the taste buds and the eyes.  It will make an impressive end to any holiday meal or party!

189285_415990718474592_1250846181_nIngredients
3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup crushed hard peppermint candies
Sour Cream Cake Layers:
1 (18.25-oz.) package white cake mix
2 large eggs
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
White Chocolate Mousse Frosting:
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup white chocolate morsels
2 cups whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Garnishes: White chocolate curls, peppermint candies

Directions
1. Prepare Peppermint Cheesecake Layers: Preheat oven to 325°. Line bottom and sides of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil. Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 Tbsp. butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy and smooth. Add 3 eggs, l at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add flour and next 3 ingredients, beating until blended. Fold in candies. Pour batter into prepared pans. Place cake pans in a large pan; add water to pan to depth of 1 inch.
2. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until set. Remove from oven to wire racks; cool completely in pans (about 1 hour). Cover cheesecakes (do not remove from pans), and freeze 4 to 6 hours or until frozen solid. Lift frozen cheesecakes from pans, using foil sides as handles. Gently remove foil from cheesecakes. Wrap in plastic wrap, and return to freezer until ready to assemble cake.
3. Prepare Sour Cream Cake Layers: Preheat oven to 350°. Beat cake mix, next 3 ingredients, and 1/2 cup water at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds or just until moistened; beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.
4. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
5. Prepare White Chocolate Mousse Frosting: Cook 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Add morsels; cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes), whisking occasionally.
6. Beat cream and 2 tsp. vanilla at high speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. Gradually fold white chocolate mixture into whipped cream mixture, folding until mixture reaches spreading consistency.
7. Assemble Cake: Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Top with 1 frozen cheesecake layer. Top with second cake layer and remaining cheesecake layer. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread top and sides of cake with frosting. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish, if desired.
Melodie Belcher; Lagrange, Georgia, Southern Living

Sparking Cranberry Bites: The Perfect Thanksgiving Appetizer!

Take the tartness of cranberries, add in a little sweetness and some creamy brie, and you have one amazing Thanksgiving (or Christmas) appetizer!   Better yet, it’s amazingly easy to make – something to cherish in the midst of the holiday cooking flurry: Simply prepare the cranberries 1-2 days before, then your elegant appetizer is ready to throw together Thanksgiving afternoon.

Sparkling Cranberry Bites

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup good maple syrup
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Brie of choice
Crackers of choice (*We like Carr’s® Table Water Crackers or Assorted Biscuits for Cheese)

  1. Rinse cranberries and place in a medium bowl. Heat syrup in a small sauce pan just until warm. Pour over cranberries when syrup is warm, not hot, or cranberries may pop. Cool, cover, and let soak in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Drain cranberries in a colander. Place sugar in a large bowl or baking dish. Add cranberries in 2 batches and roll around until lightly coated in sugar. Place on a baking sheet until dry, about 1 hour.

Serve with warm or room temperature brie on crackers. To warm brie, bake in often preheated to 350°, just until melted – about 10-20 minutes depending on size of brie round.

(Recipe from http://clarecooks.wordpress.com)

Set a Festive Fall Table

Naturally, we love good food.  But we also love to enjoy it with people we love.

Fall, particularly, is a time to celebrate: family, friends, the harvest, and the changing of the seasons.  So a festive table setting is only appropriate, and we love these ideas from HGTV:

Add Glitz:
For a sophisticated but not over-the-top look, balance the sparkle of metallics with natural elements, like fall branches or fresh fruit. Erinn’s Tip: “Metallics add a great modern touch to a fall tablescape. Deep copper and bright bronze are a lovely additional to a traditional table. I prefer to bring in natural, textured elements like these seed-beaded placemats so the table doesn’t get too glitzy.” Photo courtesy of Bobbi Fabian. See more of Erinn’s designs in HGTV’s Designers’ Portfolio.

Contrast Colors:
A humble pinecone adds an organic touch to each place setting. Erinn’s Tip: “Have fun with materials; contrast ceramic with glass, wood and gleaming metal. Forgo the old standby tablecloth and opt for glamorous, polished silver chargers and chocolate-brown linen napkins.” Photo courtesy of Bobbi Fabian.

Add an Aromatic Centerpiece:
Who said a centerpiece needed to time-consuming, expensive or even floral? Erinn created this arrangement by grouping scented candles with an earthy potpourri. Erinn’s Tip: “During the fall, natural elements are the best decorations. This potpourri creates a lovely centerpiece and its subtle fragrance is a great addition to the table. Look for large, chunky potpourris and add elements from your own backyard, like pinecones and seed pods, to the mix.” Photo courtesy of Bobbi Fabian.

Accent with Glass:
Golds and ambers pair beautifully with the traditional browns and oranges of fall. Erinn’s Tip: “Glass vases can be found very inexpensively in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes at your local housewares store. They’re fantastic for adding a splash of luminescent color to the room. So go wild! Bring a bunch home, try them out and return what you don’t use.” Photo courtesy of Bobbi Fabian.

A Day in the Life: The Perfect Steamboat Summer Day

You’ve heard it, probably many times before, “I came to Steamboat for the winter, but stayed for the summer!”  A cliche, perhaps, but a true one.  Steamboat summers are just as fabulous as the winters, if not more so!

How so?  Check out A Day in the Life: a typical summer Steamboat day.  Come on, could it get any more perfect than this?

7:00am You’re up early – so much to do!

7:45am Breakfast (coffee and a bagel?  Winona’s waffle?  Anything goes!)

9:30am You’re on the gondola, bike in tow.

9:45am The beautiful view, no matter how many times you’ve seen it before, catches your eye and you stop to take it in before jumping on your bike for an exhilarating ride to the bottom.

11:30am Sweaty, you head to grab lunch with a smile.  (No need to shower if you’ve got more planned for the day – Steamboat’s a home for outdoor enthusiasts!)

1pm – The heat of the day has set in and you grab your tube and head to the Yampa. Fun, water, and relaxation ahead!

3:30pm A couple hours on the river has left you parched.  Happy Hour anyone?  There are plenty of riverside options in Steamboat.

5pm You suppose a shower is probably due and you head home (and your friends, by now, are thanking you).

6:30pm Dinner out or in?  It’s Friday, so out it is, and you head to the same happy hour spot for some good food.

7:30pm Rodeo!  Hey, it’s a Steamboat tradition – and a fun one at that!

Sound like a day on vacation?  Hey, in Steamboat, it’s just the norm.

Making the Perfect Scone

Making the Perfect Scone: Take your time!

Scones: we love them, who doesn’t it?  Buttery, often sweet – what’s not to love? But if you’re wanting to make them at home, they often prove to be a rather poor comparison to the lovely scones found in restaurants and bakeries.  So we’re here to help!

No, we’re not giving away the farm and revealing our ultra-tasty scone recipe, but we wanted to provide a few simple tips for the next time you make scones at home. The key: take your time!  Making scones is not a quick process.

First, a bit of Scone History:
Scones are traditionally connected with Scotland, Ireland and England, but exactly who deserves the honor of invention, no one knows for sure. Originally, scones were made with oats, shaped into a large round, scored into four or six wedges (triangles) and griddle-baked over an open fire (later, a stovetop). With the advent of oven baking, the round of dough was cut into wedges and the scones were baked individually.

Today’s scones are quick breads, similar to American biscuits. They are traditionally made with wheat flour, sugar, baking powder or baking soda, butter, milk and eggs, and baked in the oven—both in the traditional wedge form and in round, square and diamond shapes.

How to Make the Perfect Scone:
1.
Use the right flour. Use a soft, low protein flour, such as aquality pastry flour. You want soft, tender scones and too much protein leads to too much gluten which makes your scones chewy.

2. Keep your ingredients cold. Temperature is critical to buttery, flakey scones. Start with very cold butter—it should chip when you cut it into chunks and your liquids should be ice cold. Before you start, measure your milk or water and put it in the freezer for ten minutes. Consider chilling your mixing bowl before mixing. Work with the dough quickly to keep it cool.

3. Don’t work your dough too much. Kneading converts the protein to gluten. Mix only until the ingredients come together into a combined mass.

4. Use a folding technique to produce flaky, layered scones. Roll the dough out to about 3/8-inch thick. Fold the dough in half and in half again and again. Roll the dough out to about 3/4-inch thick before cutting the scones.

5. Use a ruler. For appearance’s sake (if you would like nice, neat scones), use a ruler both as a straightedge to cut against and to measure equally-sized scones.

6. Leave the cut edges of the scones alone. Patting the edges with your fingers melds the edges so that the scone will not rise as nicely or have a flakey, layered structure.

7. Don’t over-bake your scones. Over-baking for even a minute or two will dry your scones out. As soon as the edges begin to turn brown, remove them from the oven. Immediately, place the scones on a wire rack—the hot pan will continue to cook, and therefor dry, the scones.

Storage tip: can be frozen for up to three months. Reheat them at 300 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Probe the inside of the scone to make sure that it is warm.

Ready to try?  Check out this recipe from Food Network: Dried Cherry Almond Scones.  They’re delicious!

A Day in the Life: Steamboat Mud Season

Spring on Emerald Mountain

Steamboat’s “Mud Season” for locals often brings a time of much-needed peace.  The bustle of the ski season is past (for now), and those with seasonal or tourism-related jobs get a bit of a break.  What’s it like for a typical Steamboat “Local” during this time? We can’t speak for everyone, but we’d wager it often goes a bit like this:

6:45am: Alarm goes off!  Mental note: De-program your alarm.  But for now, you hit the snooze and roll over (no work today!).

8:30am: Eyes open.  You should probably think about getting up.

9:16am: You finally do get up.

9:45am: You’re showered, dressed, and hungry!  Head to Winona’s – hey, cash is low, but they have great Mud Season specials.

11:00am:  The day is all yours, and now you have the energy to do something.  Town is empty, so…how about a hike?

11:25am: You park at Emerald, hiking gear on.  An hour on the trails (they’re empty, a bit muddy, but a good workout!) and you’re sweating.  Sure, you skied all season, but that didn’t provide a lot of cardio!

1:00pm: Nap time.

3:00pm: Hunger. Winona’s leftovers!

4:02pm:  You’re feeling s bit of boredom creeping in.  Who to call, what to do?

4:40: After a phone call to a few pals, you’re happy-hour bound! What better than an evening at your favorite spot, with good friends, for some half-price drinks and apps (they count as dinner, right?).

7:10pm: Home. You let out Fido, fill up his dish, and are ready for some TV.

9:55pm: Lights out!  You decide to call it a night, to be ready for an early morning ride.

A Spring Menu, Winona’s Style!

Get outside and celebrate spring!

Spring is in the air, which inevitably brings the gathering of family and friends, whether to celebrate  Easter, the first time eating outside after the long winter, or simply the sight of green grass!

Below is a fresh, inspired spring menu, Winona’s Style: That is, delicious, simple, and fabulous to eat!  It’s perfect for an Easter dinner or restive spring meal.  So dig out your apron and get cooking!

Smashed Peas With Mint Bruschetta (Real Simple)
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 baguette
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Thinly slice half a baguette. Place the rounds on a baking sheet and broil them until they’re golden brown (about 1 1/2 minutes per side).
  2. Process the peas in a food processor until roughly chopped. Stir in the mint, oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Spread the mixture on the rounds. Garnish the bruschetta with fresh mint leaves, if desired.

Salmon with Brown Sugar & Mustard Glaze (Martha Stewart)
Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 side salmon (about 3 pounds), skin removed, cut into 8 fillets
  • 1 bunch watercress (about 3/4 pound), thick stems trimmed
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat broiler, with rack in top position. In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add shallot and cook, stirring often until softened, 3 minutes. Add vinegar and cook until slightly evaporated, 1 minute. Add mustard and brown sugar; stir until warm and combined, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. (To store, refrigerate cooled glaze in an airtight container, up to 1 day.)
  2. Place salmon fillets on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Transfer 1/2 cup glaze to a small dish and brush on top of salmon. Broil salmon until glaze is bubbling and fish is opaque throughout, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness; brush remaining glaze over fillets. Serve salmon along with watercress and lemon wedges.

Strawberry & Asparagus Salad (Food Network)
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (1-inch pieces) fresh asparagus
  • 8 cups arugula
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Directions

In a small bowl whisk the lemon juice, oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Put 2 cups of arugula on each serving plate, top with strawberries and asparagus and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

Mashed New Potatoes with Fresh Mint (Food Network)
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds red new potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut in chunks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and put them in a mixing bowl while they are still nice and hot. Add the chopped mint and mash so the potatoes are chunky and green in spots. Fold in the butter and stir everything together so the butter melts. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with a healthy amount of salt and pepper.

Lemon Cloud with Strawberry-Mint Compote (Cooking Light)
Serves 6

Cloud:

  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 4 large egg whites
  • Dash of salt

Compote:

  • 2 cups quartered small strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Preparation

  1. To prepare cloud, preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Lightly coat a 1 1/2-quart soufflé dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar, shaking out excess. Place dish on a baking sheet.
  3. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Stir in lemon rind, juice, and egg yolks. Place over medium heat; cook for 3 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; immediately scrape mixture into a glass bowl. Cool to room temperature.
  4. Place egg whites and salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 30 seconds or until foamy. Increase mixer speed to high. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating just until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon into prepared dish. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned. Remove from oven, and cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Cover and chill.
  5. To prepare compote, combine strawberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, and mint; toss gently. Cover and chill. Serve with lemon cloud.