Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Red, White, and Whoo!


Are you loving all of the nautical and patriotic decor this summer?  It's absolutely everywhere.  

I'm not into curtains, but in my dining nook I love to decorate for my grands and have fun.  Traditional and festive,  buntings on porches is such a pretty look.  I decided to bring it inside and I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  

Each season I paint a board and add a fun saying*. This summer I taped a bunting to the back.  Then I just hung it up on the wall with picture hangers.  My window is framed with 2 black shutters, generally added to decorate outside windows.  


It was hard to photograph because of the light shining through the window, but I love how the light is merely filtered through the bunting.  Ordinarily, I only use my blinds at night for privacy, but had to close them for my photos.  It's still bright during the daylight hours. 

Thanks to Kirstin* at West Signs.  She is a vectoring genius, amazing to work with, and she can do anything, just ask! 

Add some stars, stripes, and summer forever!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Smoky-Sweet BBQ Rub

Here's a great way to be the "Life of the Party!"


Just in time for all those 4th of July parties, here's an easy, inexpensive gift (with a free printable)
I found at Southern Living.  You can make and take this delicious Smoky-Sweet BBQ Rub to all of your soon to be delighted hosts.  It's also perfectly patriotic to use it on your own grill.


Mix it up and get ready to dish it out!


Save all of your little jars, grab some twine, and print the tags for a perfect thank you gift.


Smoky-Sweet BBQ Rub
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
Stir together all ingredients.  Store in airtight container for up to 1 month. 

Happiness to all.  Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies



I took these decadent brownies to a Relief Society Service Auction tonight. Amazingly, they went for 200 service points. They are literally too rich for my blood, but if you like dark chocolate and peanut butter cups, this recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Brownies is for you.


Preheat the oven and melt butter and chocolate together.


Line a 9x13" pan with foil.  Combine eggs, sugars, salt and vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl combine flour and baking powder.  Sift into the batter and fold together.  Pour batter into the pan and press the peanut butter cups into the batter.  Sprinkle batter with peanuts.


Now add the milk chocolate chips and pop it into the oven.  Bake for 34 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test, coming out clean.  Cool the brownies for 30 minutes and then refrigerate for 7-8 hours or overnight.   Remove the slab of brownies from the pan and place on a cutting board.


Cut into 24 servings and share the love.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

  • 11 ounces miniature peanut butter cups
  • 12 ounces unsalted butter
  • 4-1/2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 9 ounces 60 percent cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose bleached flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped salted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • Non-stick spray for pan
  1. Unwrap peanut butter cups. Set aside.
  2. Cut butter sticks into one-inch slices. In a small heavy saucepan, begin to melt the butter pieces over the lowest setting.
  3. While butter is melting, chop the unsweetened chocolate into 1/4-inch pieces; add to the melting butter along with 9 ounces of the bittersweet chips. Use a small whisk to stir occasionally to speed melting process. When chocolate is melted and completely smooth, turn off the heat but leave saucepan on the burner while proceeding with recipe.
  4. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  5. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan. Line with heavy duty aluminum foil* (shiny side up) so it comes halfway up the sides of the pan and extends 1-inch beyond two ends of the pan. Grease foil in pan.
  6. Lightly whisk eggs by hand in mixing bowl.
  7. Place granulated sugar, light brown sugar and salt in a separate medium bowl; whisk into eggs until just incorporated.
  8. Gradually whisk in melted butter/chocolate mixture until just combined, then briefly whisk in the vanilla extract. Remove whisk from bowl.
  9. Place flour and baking powder in medium bowl; whisk together to combine. Sift through a medium strainer directly onto batter. Fold in with a silicone spatula until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with a small offset spatula.
  10. Push the peanut butter cups into the top of the brownie batter; do not put any within 1/2-inch of the pan sides.
  11. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts evenly over the batter, then place milk chocolate chips evenly on the batter.
  12. Bake for 34 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for 7 to 8 hours (or overnight.)
  13. To remove slab, run a thin knife between the foil and the sides of the pan, then remove chilled brownie slab from pan; peel off and discard foil. Place brownie slab on a cutting board. Use a long chef's knife to cut into squares or bars.  Makes 24 bars
* I used non-stick foil and it worked like a charm!





For the auction, along with my brownies, I asked my guy if he'd give a private dance lesson.  I won an EFT Session and the cutest blue and orange "Bronco dog" neck pillow.  Thanks Lucy and Lisa...and all the gals who pulled off a delightful evening.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kicked-Up Hanger Steak


Last summer I started experimenting with hanger steak.  My sister shared with me that she liked it even better than flank steak that I often used for fajitas.  Hanger steak is a cut of beef steak prized for its flavor. Derived from the diaphragm of a steer or heifer, it typically weighs about 1.0 to 1.5 pounds. In the past, it was sometimes known as "butcher's steak" because butchers would often keep it for themselves rather than offer it for sale.

I often marinate it overnight or use a rub prior to grilling our new affordable, favorite steak.  It's so tender and delicious and I find myself serving it often.  It's best cooked to medium or medium rare to achieve the tenderness you want.  You'll love the crunchy crust this rub creates.

Grilled Southwestern Hanger Steak


First, preheat your grill to high heat. 

Mix up some Southwestern Rub
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper 
Makes about 1/4 cup.


Press rub evenly over all sides of 1-1/2 pounds of hanger steak.  Just before placing meat on the grill, turn it to medium heat.  Sear your steak for 5 minutes on each side.  Now turn the heat setting to low and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes per side.


Whip up some fresh guacamole while your steak is cooking.


Let grilled steak rest for 10 minutes before slicing on the diagonal.


I served our steak along side grilled corn and fresh green salad.  It is also ideal served as a main dish salad.  Top a bed of greens with your favorite beans, pinto or black, sliced black olives, sliced peppers, and shredded cheese.       

To grill corn, husk, rinse and dry well.  Drizzle it with olive oil and throw it on the grill after searing your steak and turning the temp to low.  Turn it every 5 minutes.  Be sure to pass the butter...adding just a little.  It's just that easy and it is so good.


Garnish sliced steak with guacamole and serve with love.

Have a great week  and
happy grilling friends.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Magical Muffins


We enjoy hosting many of our family and friends during the busy summer months.  These yummy muffins taste like doughnuts and require a lot less preparation.  While they are baking, I scramble some eggs, squeeze some juice, and then serve breakfast with love.  You'll find these muffins are just magic!
  
Glazed Doughnut Muffins

For Batter:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
For Glaze:
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly grease a standard muffin tin or line with 12 paper muffin cups.*  In a medium mixing bowl cream together the butter, oil and sugars till smooth.  Add the eggs, beating to combine.  Stir in the baking powder baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and vanilla.  Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, combining thoroughly.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full.  Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes or until they are pale golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center muffins comes out clean. 
*Consider spraying paper liners with a non-stick spray so muffins separate from them easily.


In a medium bowl, prepare the glaze by mixing together the melted butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and hot water until smooth.  When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. 


Now repeat again, giving them a double dip. 


Serve warm or cool on a rack and wrap airtight.  Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day.  Makes 12.

recipe from King Arthur Flour 

Go ahead, make some magic muffins at your house!

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