Monday, June 25, 2012

Homemade snickers bar

 I am really enjoying Instagram, it allows and encourages me to take snap shot of my life and share it with my friends. I also like modifying the pictures, it helps enhance them. I started that when I decided to start blogging again so that I could usemy phone to take pictures. Don't get me wrong, I have a camera and I love it but I always have my phone at hand. 

This is also why you will probably find more random pictures on my blog, such as that picture of Trysta. This is what I woke up to on Saturday, it was not even 8 but was past my usual 5:30 and she was apparently eagerly waiting for me to get up.

The recipe I am sharing with you here today is a recipe I have starred at for months but didn't dare trying. I tried it because one of my friends came to visit and it was also the first recipe I share with my colleges at Ford. You might find more treats/cookies recipes here because I have gotten in the habit of bringing cookies to work on Monday, I almost feel bad if I don't bring a little something but it's very bad for my waist line so I might take a break once in a while ;). This is something that keeps me busy when Matt is not here and allows me to bake him something to bring back home with him.

Anyway, here we go, this is a WINNER!!! homemade snickers, it is so unbelievably easy and tastes AMAZING, I can guarantee that your friends/colleges/family will be in love with you. It does make a lot (9x13 pan :) ).

Homemade Snickers Bars
Bottom chocolate layer:
- 1¼ c milk chocolate chips
- ¼ c creamy peanut butter
Nougat layer:
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 c granulated sugar
- ¼ c evaporated milk
- 1½ c marshmallow creme
- ¼ c creamy peanut butter
- 1½ c salted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Caramel layer:
- 14 ounces caramels
- ¼ c heavy cream
Top chocolate layer:
- 1¼ c milk chocolate chips
- ¼ c creamy peanut butter

- Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper
- Bottom chocolate layer: Melt together the chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave on 50% power until completely smooth and melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour into the prepared baking dish and, smooth into an even layer. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, until cool and hard.
- Nougat layer: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook about 5 min, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and mix in marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Stir in the peanuts, then pour over the bottom chocolate layer. Smooth out, refrigerate at least 30 minutes, until cool.
- Caramel layer: Unwrap the caramel and combine with the heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Once completely melted, cook for an additional 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour the caramel over the nougat layer. Refrigerate another 30 minutes.
- Top chocolate layer: Melt together the chocolate chips and peanut butter the same way you did for the top layer. Pour over the caramel layer and, using a spatula, smooth into an even layer. Refrigerate at least, 30 to 60 minutes, until completely cool.
- Let warm up a little and remove the bars from the par, cut into desired shape. A little word of warning the chocolate layer melts very easily at room temperature so I do recommend to refrigerate to store but I enjoy eating them at room temperature.

Share and enjoy!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer salad

I had a few recipes to pick from to start with but considering the current weather here I thought that this salad was appropriate it was something I put together real quick, not really a recipe but it was VERY yummy. Towards the end of the week I always end up digging through me fridge wondering what I am in the mood for. Often my fridge feels like my closet, even though it's full to the brim I feel like nothing fits me :). 

Anyway yesterday I felt like a healthy dinner in a hurry because I had to take Ariel to the chiropractor and I am always STARVING when I get dog, it's kind of Pavlovian. You can here see a picture of Ariel on the way back, she was obviously tired and very relaxed. Oh and way after everyone I discovered Instagram and guess what, I am LOVING it!!!!! if you want to follow me look for lexcoppe.

Anyways, the idea behind this post came with asparagus, I don't know about you but I love asparagus in any kind of form. When I was a child my mom would buy pounds (rather kgs ;) ) of them and I always loved helping her peel them, she knew the lady who sold them so often she only bought broken ones, which were heads. Those were white asparagus, it's only after coming here that I started eating mostly green asparagus (and purple ones in MI!!!), white ones are hard to come by. My mom made AWESOME asparagus soup, I hope to be able to replicate it sometimes, also a really nice asparagus/potatoes ragout in white sauce.

 The key point of this recipe is the "fastest", easiest way to steam asparagus you can can think of and this is what I wanted to share with you :), all you need is asparagus (obviously...), paper towels, a microwave and maybe salt (definitely if you are me).

Summer salad (1 large salad for one)
Ingredients (quantities are really up to you)
- 2 cobs of corn, charred on all sides (I am in love with my new grilling pan but we will get back to it later...)
- 1 tomato, diced
- half a small onion, finely chopped
- half a romaine heart shredded
- 1lb of asparagus
- chopped cilantro
- crumbled feta cheese
- dressing of your liking (I used 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar & 1 tbsp olive oil)
- 1 avocado would be a great addition

- After grilling the corn thoroughly (about 10 min), cut the kernels of the cobs using a large sharp knife
- dampen paper towels, squeeze most of the water out, layer the asparagus in a single layer, season with salt, fold the paper towel over the asparagus and roll. Microvave for 4 to 5 minutes (you will need to test that depending on the size of your asparagus and your microwave)
- chopped all the veggies
- toss all ingredients together with the dressing

 Enjoy outside on the patio! (ok, that's only a very strong suggestion...)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And I'm back!!!

I am not exactly sure if anyone will read this since I fell off the grid for over 6 months but I thought I would try to go back to blogging. The past 6 months have been such a roller-coaster I am now trying to get back to some sort of stability. I won't share any recipe with you today but rather try to catch you up real quick on all that happened since this year started, can you believe that we are already almost through half that year?!!! I REALLY hope that the Maya were wrong and that this is not the last 6 months we get ;) otherwise this is not nearly enough and I have some major complaints!!!!

Anyway, here we go with my time line:
- late December 2011 I got engaged!!! Yes I know, I could have told you there and the but we wanted to keep it somewhat between us... We decided to get married in the spring so it would be a short lived "secret" anyway
- early January I moved to Florida to teach as you know. I was terrified but it turned out amazing, I really enjoyed interacting with the student and I grew quite fond of some of them. I was hard to leave and I miss it a lot. This is when I quit blogging, I was hardly cooking anymore and seemed unable to find time, not sure why but it was just not the right time.
- I left Florida on May 1st, back to Philly to get married on the 12th. My family got there on the 6th, it was crazy times, the wedding went well, we kept it small, 25 guests to be able to manage it more easily. It went with its fair share of drama but other than that was fine. I do hope however that this is not the best day of my life.... :)
- anyway, on the 17th I moved to Michigan, that's where I am at now.

Matt lives in Philly, I live in Ann Arbor. I work for Ford optimizing body for weight. I am still trying to figure out what my job exactly is and once I know that we will decide where we settle down, here, Philly or somewhere else...
In the mean time I am cooking some more and baking quite a bit so I thought I should go back to blogging as an attempt to returning to normal life. Glad to be back!