Monday, August 30, 2010

Magazine/Cookbook Monday: Crispy Cinnamon Cornflake Squares

And the award for most versatile breakfast cereal goes to.......drumrolll...... CORNFLAKES!!! wooohhooohowowoo! Seriously, what can't you use cornflakes for? I have seen it used as a chicken coating, thrown on top of casseroles, mixed into meatloaf, baked into cookies... I could go on and on. September's Real Simple issue features three recipes that utilize cornflakes. Real Simple is hands down my favorite magazine. What more could you ask for in a magazine? Simple recipes, beauty tips, fashion, house keeping advice. Basically everything I love compiled into one magazine, but I digress. The recipe I pulled from this month's issue does NOT disappoint. It consists of four ingredients and comes together in about ten minutes with no baking required. All you need: cornflakes, marshmallows, butter, and cinnamon. The resulting treats are reminiscent of rice crispy treats but with a warm, buttery, cinnamony flavor that makes them a bit more sophisticated. They are gooey, but the cornflakes retain a crispy crunch that lead me to consume about three of these delectable little squares before I even began taking pictures.... self-control is not my forte... Needless to say, I highly suggest you try this recipe.

Crispy Cinnamon Cornflake Squares


2 tblsp. unsalted butter plus more for pan
1 10 oz package marshmallows
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment, leaving an overhang on 2 sides.

In a large saucepan, cook the butter and marshmallows over medium heat, stirring, until melted. Mix in the cornflakes and cinnamon.

Press the mixture evenly into the pan. Let cool completely, then lift out and cut into squares. Makes 16.

Crunch, crunch!

Beauty and Bedlam
It's a Blog Party

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Peachy Keen Applesauce

I have a great recipe for you today! I love applesauce but I am not a big fan of the store bought variety. The cheaper kinds tends to include lots of artificial sweeteners, and the good, unsweetened stuff is usually pretty expensive. I also like my sauce chunky, if it's too smooth, the texture reminds me of baby food. Homemade applesauce is actually really easy to make, no special equipment required. Right now is the perfect time of year to make applesauce as apples are just coming in to season, so lots of stores have them on special right now. Also in season? Peaches and berries! Why not cook them all together and make mixed fruit sauce? Well that's just what I did. You could use pretty much any fruit to do this, have a few apricots? Throw them in! Extra strawberries? That works too! Basically whatever fruit you may have sitting around could go in the pot. The best part was that adding the blueberries and ripe peaches made my sauce perfectly sweet, no sugar needed! Hello guilt free snack! Top it with some granola or mix with oatmeal for a delightful breakfast treat! Also works really well to stick in a school lunch for the kiddos to make sure they are getting their recommended daily servings of fruit. This sauce can be made in large batches and frozen for later use. Easy peasy! Enjoy!

Peachy Keen Applesauce
3 ripe peaches (pitted)
5 apples (cored)
1/2 cup blueberries
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice

Rinse fruit, cut into large chunks and put in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. If you prefer a smoother sauce, remove peels. Add water. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring occasionally (I did about every 7 or 8 minutes). Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until fruit is tender and skins are softened. Uncover and simmer until almost all liquid in saucepan has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and cinnamon. Using fork or potato masher, mash mixture until coarse and chunky. Again, if you like your sauce smoother, you can allow it to cool, then put in a food processor or blender. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until cold.

I love a good fruit sauce!
What are you yummy treats are you cooking up this weekend? Hope they turn out SUPER!

The Girl Creative

Friday, August 27, 2010

Double Duty: Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Barbecue Mac and Cheese

Happy Friday! Who loves a good crock pot meal?? I do! Earlier this week, I made a super easy bbq pulled pork in the crock pot. I got the idea from Mel's Kitchen Cafe blog. It has been so hot here this week that I really haven't wanted to turn on the oven, or even the stove for that matter, so I was thrilled to find another great crock pot recipe. It was so simple and turned out delicious. I put the pork in sandwiches and enjoyed it thoroughly. Now it's Friday and my fridge is full of leftovers. Time to use some up! I threw my leftover mac and cheese (from this post) and the leftover pulled pork into a big bowl, mixed in some extra cheese and scooped it into individual casserole bowls which I then sprinkled with MORE cheese and warmed up in the oven. It was soooo good! Perfect lazy Friday meal! I think I liked the mac and cheese even better this way... Which is saying something cause that mac and cheese was some good eating! I hope you guys enjoy, and take it easy! It's Friday! The perfect day for leftovers!

3-4 pounds pork loin
Salt and Pepper
2 cups water
Your favorite barbecue sauce (about 2 cups)

Rinse the pork loin and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and put in slow cooker. Add water. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours until very tender (mine was small so only took 8 hours).

Remove from slow cooker and discard remaining liquid. Using two forks, shred the meat.
Place back in cooker with barbecue sauce. Cook until heated, about 20-30 minutes. Stick it on a bun and your done! (sorry about the silly rhyme... I spend alot of time with kids ☺) Refridgerate leftovers in a tightly covered container.

Leftovers?? See below!

Pulled pork (however much you have left over)
Mac and cheese (again whatever you have left over)
Barbecue sauce

Mix leftover pulled pork and macaroni in a large bowl with 1/2 - 3/4 cup good quality cheese (I used tillamook cheddar and jack cheese) and about 1/3 cup barbecue sauce (depends on how saucy you want yours). Scoop into individual casserole cups. Top with a sprinkle of grated cheese. Heat in oven on low heat until warmed through (about 15 minutes).
Have a wonderful weekend!

New Friend Fridays

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Whisked Away Wednesday: Blackberry Peach Crunch Muffins

Happy Wednesday! I just realized that last Wednesday I did a post about fruit muffins as well.... But can you really ever have too many muffins? Especially fresh fruit muffins!
My sister and I went blackberry picking this weekend.
My dog came along to help too ☺
Blackberries grow like weeds here and within an hour we had two giant buckets full of yummy blackberries.
I froze some, ate a lot, and the rest I have been using for baking. I used the last of them for this weeks muffins, which turned out great despite the fact that way through I was about to write them off as a total disaster. It began fine, I whisked all the dry ingredients together no problem. Next, I "tossed" my blackberries and peaches together with some flour, as the recipe says. My blackberries were a little over ripe though so it turned into peach blackberry goosh... I then mixed the goosh and the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and the resulting bluish black dough was surprisingly dry... this can't be right I thought, so I added more heavy cream to moisten it up. I got it to the right muffin batter consistency, turned around to grab the muffin pan, and saw my two eggs sitting on the other counter.... I had forgotten to put them in, thus the dry dough... but I had already added more milk, what to do?

I added the eggs, sprinkled on more flour, added a bit more baking powder and crossed my fingers... this is probably the UGLIEST dough I have ever seen, kinda the color of a bruise.

I didn't want to throw it out just for lack of pretty color so I scooped it into my muffin pans, topped it with a buttery sugar crumble and slipped the muffins into the oven. I'm so glad I didn't give up on these! They turned out super flavorful. The peach and blackberry flavors complement each other perfectly. They do have seeds in them, thanks to the blackberries, but I didn't mind. That happens with berry muffins! They are very moist and when you bite into them you get that great, tart blackberry flavor with creamy sweetness from the peaches. All together a pretty darn good muffin!

Blackberry Peach Crunch Muffins
Recipe courtesy of Picky Cook
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream (I only had about a half cup so I subbed in 1/2 cup peach yogurt)
2 teaspoons heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
8 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup peaches - diced
3/4 cup blackberries - sliced in half if they are big

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin pan with liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl whisk eggs, sour cream, milk, sugar, butter and vanilla together.
Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir to combine. Do not over mix.
Toss the peaches and blackberries with a little bit of flour and then fold into the batter.
Divide batter into muffin cups filling about 3/4 full.

Sprinkle the batter with the crumb topping (recipe follows). Bake for 17-20 minutes, cool on a wire rack.
Crunch Topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter - softened a bit

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl until crumbly.

Have you ever averted a near kitchen disaster? I think it probably happens to me more often than I'd like to admit... Have a wonderful week, and happy whisking!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Taste and Create: Peach Cobbler Cupcakes

One of the foods on "The List" for me to make is cupcakes and frosting from scratch. Thus, I was super pumped when I was paired with Stef from The Cupcake Project for this month's Taste and Create. Super pumped, and kind of terrified. She is a cupcake superstar! Whereas I have never ever made a cake or cupcake from scratch... I know, for shame! I usually make everything from scratch, but cake making has always scared me a little for some reason... after looking through her website various times and giving myself a few pep talks, I selected a recipe for peach cobbler cupcakes. I topped them with a peach whipped cream frosting and a sprinkle of granola. OH YUM! I will never resort to a boxed cake mix again! These cupcakes are delish! Light, peachy, moist, and the frosting?!?!? Oh the frosting.... I need a moment.... it is lick the beater good. I must've eaten at least a cup full... I was a little sick later... but it was worth it! I was probably most nervous about the frosting part because when I have frosted my store bought previous cupcakes, with store bought frosting, I have ended up with icky, ugly, flat topped, pasty tasting cupcakes. To psych myself up for the cupcake frosting process, I bought this:
I am so glad I did! It gave my cupcakes a pretty, professional look (ok not quite professional... but prettier than my average smear it on with a butter knife technique). The whipped cream frosting is NOTHING like store bought. It is light, creamy, melt in your mouth... I could go on... but I won't as this post is getting long. Needless to say, I am a cupcake convert. I now understand all the hype, and I'm sure I will be borrowing more delightful recipes from Stef's website! Have a beautiful, cupcake filled day!

Peach Cobbler Cupcakes

Courtesy of

Yield: 16 Cupcakes


1 1/2 C flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 C brown sugar

1/4 C sugar

2 eggs

1/2 C sour cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 C peaches, roughly chopped (about 2 medium-sized peaches)

With a fork, whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.

Beat butter and sugars in a large bowl for 1 minute until light and fluffy (mine didn't really get light and fluffy cause my butter was a bit cold, but it didn't seem to affect the end result too much).

Beat in eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract until blended.

Mix in flour mixture.

Fold in peaches.

Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full (mine didn't rise a whole bunch probably thanks to not making my butter light and fluffy so 3/4 full worked for me).

Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cupcake clean.

When completely cooled, frost and top with a sprinkle of granola (I used my homemade granola, recipe here)

Peach Whipped Cream Frosting



1 C heavy whipping cream

1/3 C sugar

2/3 C finely pureed peaches, fresh or canned (use fresh if possible!)

Beat whipping cream on medium speed for about five minutes, until soft peaks form.

Mix in sugar.

Fold in peaches to the whipped cream.

Be sure to keep refrigerated.


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