Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16, 2012

It's almost St. Patrick's Day - are you celebrating tomorrow? And I have to ask....are you watching these basketball games???

This week I tried a few new things, and we ended up with 4 keeper recipes. One is Owen's birthday cakes, which I think turned out really cool! He loves Legos, and I saw a picture of a Lego cake someone ordered. I used it as inspiration and made a few bricks for his birthday cake - and they came out looking fairly authentic, but you can be the judge.

Other keepers - basically Rice Krispy Treats using Golden Grahams, waffles using club soda, and a long skinny biscuit-type dinner treat called a Cheese Straw. One extra note about the Chewy S'mores bites.

Well...back to March Madness...more next week, including some St. Patrick's Day favorites!

New Recipes
Chewy S'mores Bites
Light'n Crispy Waffles
Cheese Straws
Lego Brick Birthday Cakes

Lego Brick Birthday Cakes

* Your favorite flavor cake (box or scratch)
* Vanilla or white frosting
* Gel food coloring
* Joy Mini Cups (ice cream cones)

1. Make a 13 x 9 sheet cake.
2. After it fully cools, cut it into Lego brick shapes. Mix it up...make some 6, some 4, some 2.
3. Split up the frosting into smaller bowls, and tint each a different color.
4. Using a serrated knife, cut off the bottom of the mini ice cream cones.
5. Frost the bricks, then frost the bottoms of the cones the same color. Place the cone dots on the bricks.
6. Using a toothpick, push the cones into the cake slightly to make sure they are secure. Use the same toothpick to smooth out the frosting.

The mini cones really made the difference to give the appearance of being Lego bricks. Also, the gel food coloring works really well to get deep colors. This is important for the red bricks - you don't want to have pink ones, do you?

Cheese Straws

* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
* 2 tbs plus 1-1/2 teaspoons cold butter
* 1/3 cup milk
* 2 tsp paprika (optional)

1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir in cheese. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add milk, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-in. square. Cut in half lengthwise; cut into thin strips. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.
3. Place 1 in. apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 8-9 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

I used skim milk and it worked well. I forgot to add the paprika - and these were still delicious. I will definitely try with the paprika next time.

Chewy S'mores Bites

* 3 tbs butter
* 2-1/2 cups mini marshmallows
* 3 cups Golden Grahams cereal, crushed
* 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted
* 1 cup Kraft Marshmallow Bits

1. In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt butter.
2. Add marshmallows stirring gently until fully melted.
3. Remove from heat and stir in cereal.
4. Spray your hands with cooking spray to prevent sticking and roll chunks of the mixture into balls, about the size of a golf ball.
5. Set the balls aside on a sheet of wax paper to cool for 30 minutes.
6. Melt the chocolate in a small deep dish and dip half of each ball into it, followed by dipping the ball into the Mallow Bits.

Yummy! Mallow Bites are little dehydrated marshmallows - just like you would find in Lucky Charms. They are new, and I have only seen them in Target. They come in Vanilla and Peppermint varieties. So cute, and delicious!

These would still be great even without the chocolate, so if you don't have any chips on hand make these without that step. These are a fun alternative to Rice Krispy treats!

Light 'N Crispy Waffles

* 2 cups biscuit/baking mix
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1/2 cup oil
* 1 cup club soda

1. In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix, eggs and oil. Add club soda and stir until smooth.
2. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions until golden brown.

A little extra club soda in the fridge? Break it out for these waffles! Wow...these really were crispy on the outside and light on the inside!!! We got 9 waffles out of this recipe, but you could probably count on anywhere from 8-12 waffles depending on your waffle iron.

We did make these a second time in the week, and they were still very good and we didn't really notice a difference even though they weren't made with a freshly opened bottle of club soda.