Saturday, April 30, 2011

Deep Fried Candy Bars

When I first mentioned this idea of deep frying candy bars to my son's girlfriend she immediately turned to him and said, "This is why I date you." :) We had so much fun making these and they turned out great. It's amazing when you bite into one of them and your teeth sink through the crispy outer shell and into the melted chocolate and caramel, so decadent. I encourage you to try these with your family, it makes for a really fun evening.

Up to 8 full-sized candy bars
We used, Snickers, Milky Way, 
3 Musketeers and Reeces Peanutbutter cups
2 quarts vegetable oil 
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c milk
2 TBSP vinegar
Candy thermometer or deep fry thermometer
1/2 c powdered sugar

Prep Candy Bars
Unwrap candy bars and place in freezer for at least 3 hours.

Prep the oil for frying
Pour oil into a dutch oven type of pan on med high heat and insert candy thermometer. You will need the oil to reach 375, this takes about 20 minutes.

Mix ingredients for the batter
Place 1/2 c of flour on a plate and set aside. Place the remaining flour in a med bowl and stir in baking soda and salt.
Combine the milk, vinegar and 1 TBSP vegetable oil and mix together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until smooth.

Dip Candy Bars
Once the oil is at 375 it's time to cook! I suggest you try to fry no more than 2 candy bars at the same time. Dip the candy bar into the flour and heavily coat it, don't forget the sides of the bar. Next dip the flour drenched bar into the wet mixture and coat thoroughly. Carefully transport the wet candy bar into the hot oil, do not drop it in!!! It will start cooking immediately and will be ready faster than you think. As soon as one side turns light brown turn the candy bar to the other side and let cook for a few seconds and pull out of oil. Place on a prepared plate that has been covered in paper towels.  Let cool slightly then sprinkle with powdered sugar and eat!
I used a Dutch oven
Making the batter
Nice and smooth
Ready to dip!
The oil is ready
Dip the candy bar into flour, coat heavily
Next, dip it into batter
Make sure all sides are covered, see our missing spot?
Shake off extra
Place in oil
Flip as soon as it starts to turn brown
Remove quickly
Place on paper towel
A reminder, coat the chocolate heavily!!
In the batter too!!
Sprinkle with powdered sugar
MMMM melted Snickers bar
All gone....

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dijon Tilapia

As the days get hotter I want to spend less time cooking in my kitchen. I absolutely loathe being hot, which makes the fact that I live in Central Florida a joke. This recipe is a nice light, quick choice for dinner, I paired it with lemon rice and green beans.

4 Tilapia Fillets, about 1 1/2-2 lbs
2 TBSP Regular or Light Mayo
2 TBSP Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. Paprika
1 TBSP Dried Parsley Flakes/ I used fresh
Dash Pepper
1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
1/2 tsp salt

Heat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with Pam
Combine the mayo and mustard, rub the mixture over the tilapia fillets.
In a food processor combine, breadcrumbs, paprika, pepper, onion powder and salt. Pulse to combine. Pour breadcrumbs into a wide shallow dish. Dip the coated fillets in the mixture turning to coat both sides.
Arrange the coated fillets in the baking dish. Spray the top of the fillets with Pam. Bake the fish for 10 minutes for every inch thick the fillet is, so if fillet is 1 inch thick, then bake 10 minutes. Fish will flake easily when done.
Serves 4
(I  made a double batch)
Breadcrumb mixture
Mayo and Mustard mixture
I used my hands to spread it on both sides of the fish
Then dip it in the breadcrumbs
Place on a baking dish lined with foil and sprayed with Pam
Spray Pam on top of the fillets also

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chocolate Ice Cream Cups

My middle child Simon recently emailed me a picture of a cup made out of chocolate; he mentioned that he'd like to try to make them (today is his first day home from  his freshman year at college) so guess what we did tonight! I figured out how to create an amazingly delicious edible ice cream cup. I also made some yummy chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream using my basic ice cream recipe and added chunks of cookie dough.  I'm not worrying about the raw eggs in the cookie dough, I've eaten enough of it in my lifetime and haven't gotten sick yet :) 

Melting chocolate/Almond Bark 
or Candy Melts
Small water balloons

Melt the chocolate  in a small shallow bowl according to package directions. Blow up water balloons and spray bottoms with pan. Place a non stick mat or wax paper on a baking sheet. Put a spoonful of melted chocolate on the non-stick mat, then dip the balloon half way into the melted chocolate, let excess drop off. Sprinkle with jimmies and place on top of wet chocolate ( on the non stick mat) Thus creating a base for your chocolate bowl. Finish dipping remaining balloons and place baking sheet in refrigerator to set. Once they are firm take out of fridge and pop balloons with a pin, carefully remove balloon pieces. Serve with your favorite ice cream.
Melt chocolate in bowl
Spoon chocolate onto non stick mat
Spray balloon with Pam and rub around
Dip in chocolate and let excess drip off
Set on top of melted chocolate spot
Throw some sprinkles on the melted chocolate
Ready for the refrigerator
Using a pin pop the balloon
Dig out excess balloon
Ready to fill with ice cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

Here is a great and simple recipe for ice cream. I've added many different extracts, cookies, brownies, candy pieces and more to it and it never fails to turn out great! 

3 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp REAL vanilla

Mix all ingredients in a blender and then pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lasagna with Meat Sauce

I love inviting friends over for dinner, I think mealtimes are where friendships are solidified. To me food is love, and I love to share my love with others. Lasagna is one of my favorite things to make, it feeds a crowd and is super easy. My son's girlfriend Julia loves lasagna so I try to make it at least once a month for her.  I love to use my meat sauce recipe for the red sauce, but with canned sauces tasting so good it's not a deal breaker to buy store bought sauce.

Ingredients for Lasagna
1 box no boil lasagna noodles
15 ounces part skim ricotta
4 c mozzarella cheese
1/2 c bread crumbs ( I like the Italian version)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 bag fresh spinach
1tsp garlic salt
Pasta Sauce (two bottles if store bought)

Preheat oven to 350
In a small bowl mix ricotta cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, 1 cup mozzarella and garlic salt. Use a 9x13 pan and start with some red sauce and place noodles on top of sauce. Spread out some of the ricotta mixture on top of noodles. Then place a large handful of spinach on top of ricotta mixture, top that with red sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat this process 3 times. Top lasagna with cheese and place a tin foil tent over top. Bake for 30 minutes with foil, then remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and golden brown. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Ricotta mixture
First layer of noodles 
Then some ricotta spread evenly over noodles
Next spinach
Some red sauce and cheese
I like to alternate directions of my noodles for each layer
I topped mine with some fresh basil
Out of the oven
Yum! Who got the first piece?