Monster Cookies


I can't believe what I just got in the mail!! Well, email, really, because apparently no one sends out real mail anymore!

Go Jayhawks!

I just got a Facebook invite to my ten year high school reunion! Ten years!! I can't believe it! It seems impossible that high school was that long ago. And at the same time, so many things have happened since then (5 years of college, a year of masters, a wedding, four years of work in a REAL job, a baby who is going to turn ONE in a few months, and not to mention all the memories and friends I have made) it seems crazy to think that high school has only been ten years ago.


Looking back, I had a great time in high school. I had a wonderful group of friends, I mostly enjoyed my classes, I had a job that I actually liked and was good at, things were pretty good. Of course, I have selectively forgotten the drama and hormones that accompany teenage years, but who wants to remember that, sheesh?  Sadly, I won't be able to make my reunion as I will most likely still be unpacking boxes in West Virginia, but I am in contact with most of my old friends from high school via Facebook, anyway, so although I am sure I will miss out on a few laughs and hugs, I am still able, at least, to keep in contact with them online!
These memories do have something to do with my post for today, if you are wondering. The cafeteria at high school used to have a fairly extensive A La Carte line, and that, my friends, is where I was first introduced to the Monster Cookie! A delicious "kitchen sink" concoction of cookie goodness, monster cookies will take just about anything you throw at them. Want raisins? Add 'em! Have Peanut M&M's instead of regular? Throw them in! Whatever you want works!! There are no rules here! Pretend it's high school all over again! These cookies were great, soft and chewey, and oh so good!

I like to pretend they are good for you, too! I mean, they have oats! And walnuts, and peanut butter! All good food... All food that is totally acceptable to eat for breakfast...


Monster Cookies (loosely adapted from the Pioneer Woman)

2 sticks butter, salted
1/2 cup white sugar
1.5 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cups peanut butter (creamy or chunky, whatever you want)
1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/3 cup quick oats
2/3 cup M&M's (more to taste)
1 cup chopped nuts ( I used walnuts, but whatever you like will do!)
1/2 cup butterschotch pieces (or chocolate chips, or peanut butter chips, or whatever)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time until combined.
Add vanilla and mix well.
In a seperate bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, powder, and salt. Add to the mixing bowl and mix until just combined.
Add in the reminaing ingredients (your candies and nuts).
Use a cookie scoop to scoop balls of dough on your cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes (check them early and often, people! Just because they were done at 15 minutes is my oven doesn't mean they will be done at 15 in yours!), then cool.

The Daring Bakers Make Edible Containers - The Sweeter Side



When I first knew that we were going to be doing a dual Daring Cooks/Bakers Challenge, I came up with several ideas for what I wanted to do for the Bakers side while I was preparing the Cook's challenge.  However, when I saw what the given recipe was for the Bakers Challenge, I was so intrigued I just had to throw my other ideas out. Bacon bowls ( I just did those for the challenge, and they were fun, plus it was a good way to keep the challenges tied together) but filled with maple mousse?! And topped with a meringue?! This sounded utterly crazy to me, and so of course I had to do it!

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com/!


I made these one night while my mom was in town, and they were a fun little dessert to have. I apparently didn't skim the recipe well enough before starting off, because it was almost 10pm by the time they were ready to eat! They were defintiely interesting! The bacon cups didn't turn out so well, I don't think. I didn't get the "weaving" done very well. It's probably because weaving is close to sewing, and I can't for the live of me sew. I always say my family is lucky that we live in an age where we can buy clothes, because if we were pioneers my family would be stark naked all the time. The only thing I can sew are buttons, and I can suture dog induced gashes in stuffed animals, but it is a far cry from plastic surgery.


Anyway, back to the bacon...It got a little crisper than I wanted, and it was rather difficult to pull the toothpicks out (again, crispy bacon), but they mostly held their shape. The maple mousse was delicious, on the other hand, and I could have eaten giant spoon-fuls of it. Ok, fine, I did. But there was extra, and I couldn't let it go to waste! I am also quite pleased with my little meringue pillows! Although 18 times bigger than I thought they were going to be, they were utterly perfect! Yay me!  Overall, I am quite pleased with how this dessert turned out, but I think its a little ridiculous for me to be making it on a regular basis. Fun, for sure, but ridiculous! :)



Preparation time:
Bacon cups: preparation 15 minutes, bake 25-40 minutes depending on cup size, cooling 1 hour.
Nut Crust: preparation 30 minutes, baking about 15 minutes, cooling 1 hour.
Maple mousse: preparation 15 minutes, cooling 1 hour, refrigeration 1 hour.
Vegan maple mousse: preparation 10 minutes, refrigeration 1hour.
Meringue Time preparation 15 minutes, baking 45 minutes, cooling 2-3 hours.


Bacon Cups:

• 24 thin slices good quality bacon

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C.
2. Take a muffin pan or 6 small ½ cup capacity heat-proof bowls, turn upside down and carefully form aluminum foil covers on the back of 6 muffin cups or the bowls.
3. Taking 2 strips of bacon at a time crisscross the strips over the backs of the muffin cups and cut to size a tad longer then the bottom part of the cup. Now use 1 to 2 more strips to cover the sides of the muffin cups in a weaving fashion. You want a full tight weave because bacon shrinks a lot. For smaller cups I used a shot glass with a square of bacon for the bottom and I wrapped 1 strip around the side.
4. Tuck the ends of the bacon strips inside otherwise they will curl while cooking. A good idea is to insert 4 toothpicks where the crisscrossed bacon meets in the weave.
5. Place muffin pan in a cookie tray to catch drippings. Bake in oven for about 25 to 40 minutes, or until the bacon is golden and crisp but not burned.
6. Cool completely, a good hour, before removing your cups delicately from the foil.
 

 
Nut Bowls:

• 1 1/2 cups crushed nuts of your choice such as almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts
• 1 egg, beaten, at room temperature
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces

1. Use a food processor or a zip-lock back with a rolling pin to crush your nuts if whole, use about 1 cup of whole nuts to get 3/4 cups crushed. You want it somewhat coarse.
2. In a bowl mix the nuts with the beaten egg and the sugar.
3. Take 6 small ½ cup capacity Pyrex cups or a similar container and line the inside with aluminum foil. Spread ¼ cup of the mixture in the bowl, all the way up to the sides making sure you have a thin and even clean layer all around.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. until the nuts are golden and fragrant (about 15 minutes). Let cool completely before unmolding.
5. Melt chocolate (either in the microwave or over a double boiler). Dip the rims of the cooled nut bowls in the chocolate. Place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened and is set.


Maple Mousse:

• 1 cup (240 ml/ 8 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)
• 4 large egg yolks
• 1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine
• 1 1/2 cups (360 ml. g/12 fluid oz) whipping cream (35% fat content)

1. Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle).
3. Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.
4. Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between) or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved.
5. Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.
6. Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.
7. Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour.
8. Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.


 

Meringue:

• 3 large egg whites at room temperature
• ¾ cup (165 g./5.5 oz) sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F/150 degrees C.
2. Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer beat for a few minutes until the whites become stiff. Now add the sugar, a little at a time, whisking until the mixture is stiff and glossy. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down and the mixture won’t fall out.
3. Place baking parchment on to a clean baking sheet. Using a spoon or a piping bag, dollop the meringue into circles that fit inside the rim of your edible cups. (See mine, I wanted height but they fell a bit...which is OK...freeform art)
4. Put the tray in the oven, then immediately turn the oven down to 250 degrees F/130 degrees C. and bake for 45 minutes.
5. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool in the oven for a few hours.
6. Place meringues as decoration on your maple mousse which has already be spooned into your edible containers.

Chicken and Mushroom Hash


I have been holding onto this recipe for a while now, wanting to make it, dreaming about it. I’m not sure why it took me so long to make it (oh yes I do, it was called “The Epic Tale of Weight Watchers vs. The Dreaded Baby Fat”). I got this recipe from a friend of mine from book club. This was her “initiation” recipe, because you can’t become a real member of our book club without proving you’ve got game in the kitchen. We like our food, what can I say?   And Sarah did not disappoint! Creamy, Dreamy, please-please let there be enough for seconds, this stuff is good!



ALso, I'm massively loving having naturally lighting back! Photos just look so much prettier when the sun is shining on them! I mean, look at this!






Chicken and Mushroom Hash
2 lbs red baby potatoes, cut into ¾” pieces
4 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ pound button mushrooms, cut into ½” pieces
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into  ½” pieces
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dried thyme leaves
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
4 eggs

Put cut potatoes in a med-large pan of salted water and simmer until almost tender (about 6 minutes).
Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, sauté 2 tbsp oil, onions, garlic, and mushrooms until the mushrooms are browned (about 6 minutes).
Add the chicken, ½ tsp salt, pepper and thyme.
Sautee until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove mixture and set aside.

Wipe out the pan and add remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and heat over med-high heat (but not smoking!).
Add the potatoes, and let cook, undisturbed, for 6 minutes.
Add the remaining ½ tsp salt, stir potatoes, and cook an additional 4 minutes, or until the potatoes are nice and browned.

Stir in chicken/mushroom mixture, and add the cream and parsley.
Cook until heated through.
Fry up the four eggs, individually, as you like them – over easy, sunny side up, or over hard. (Personally I’m not overly big on sunny side up, but I think it gives this dish a little something-something, and I recommend you try it that way!)
Serve with the fried egg on top!

Kahlua Brownies



A few weeks ago, when it was still getting dark early in the evening, I was quietly sitting at home alone. The little lady was in bed, the husband was at work still, and I was curled up on the couch reading. All of a sudden, my brother burst in the house laden with grocery bags. “I brought stuff to make white russians!”, he proclaimed! “But we need brownies! You should make some brownies!”.


I agreed this was a remarkably awesome idea, but alas, the pantry was all out of brownie mix. My brother got very sad, but I decided it was high time I make some homemade brownies. Out came the iPhone, and within minutes I found the perfect brownie recipe to go with our white Russians – Kahula Brownies!!



These brownies were easy to make. Working with my brother, we had them in the oven in no time flat. The hardest part was waiting for them to come out of the oven and cool down enough to eat one! They were a great brownie, too. These are nice and cakey, and the kahlua definitely sneaks through. My favorite part was the cream cheese layer in the middle! YUM!

Kahlua Cream Cheese Brownies (http://www.recipesecrets.net/forums/recipe-exchange/26074-sara-lee-kahlua-white-russian-brownies.html)
2 (3 oz.) pkg. of cream cheese softened
3 eggs
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
6 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon Baking powder
1/4-teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Kahlua
1/4 cup Vodka

Preparation:

Cream together cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/4-cup sugar, Vodka, 2 Tablespoons flour and 2 Tablespoons soft butter, set a side.
In a separate bowl sift remaining flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking powder.
Stir in remaining butter and 1/2 cup Kahlua, add 1 egg at a time and mix well.
Pour half cocoa mixture in a buttered and lightly floured 9" baking pan.
Add cream cheese mixture and cut lightly with a knife, then add remaining cocoa mixture.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes. When cool brush with 1/4 cup of remaining Kahlua.

Strudel Topped Pear Pie


As many of you may well know, once a month I get together with some of my closest friends and we have an evening full of laughter, good books, and good food. This past month I was lucky enough to claim the dessert before anyone else. And since I only had two last book clubs before moving far, far away, (little do they know I plan on skyping in to future meetings, but alas it will be without the food!) I decided I wanted to make something really good.

 The grocery store had some delicious pears, and after a quick search, I settled on a pear pie. I thought it sounded interesting - I had never had pears in a pie before, and the strudel topping sounded perfectly awesome.  I really liked this pie. It was quick and easy to make and had a great flavor. The strudel crunch on top was so much fun, and definitely added a lot of depth to the pie!


I would like to write more about this pie, and how great it is, but I'm currently being blugeoned with the sixth Harry Potter book. We're about halfway through, and we not only have to find out if Harry can get Slughorn to reveal his memory about Voldemort, but we also have to finish the book, watch the sixth movie, and then get halfway through the seventh book before the new movie gets shipped from Amazon...


Strudel Topped Pear Pie (Cooking Light)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup regular oats
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 7 cups thinly sliced ripe Bartlett pears (about 6 pears)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.
  • Combine 2 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor; pulse 2 times to combine.
  • Add butter, and pulse 6 times or until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • With processor on, slowly pour ice water through food chute, processing just until blended (do not allow dough to form a ball).
  • Remove two-thirds of dough, and press into a 4-inch circle on 2 overlapping sheets of plastic wrap. (Leave the remaining dough in processor.)
  • Cover the dough with 2 additional sheets of overlapping plastic wrap.
  • Roll dough, still covered, into an 11-inch circle.
  • Place the dough in freezer 5 minutes or until plastic wrap can be easily removed.
  • Remove top sheets of plastic wrap, and fit dough, plastic wrap side up, into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray.
  • Remove the remaining plastic wrap. Fold edges under; flute. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Add oats and brown sugar to dough in food processor; pulse 4 times or until crumbly. Cover and chill.
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Combine pears, granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, ginger, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss well to combine.
  • Spoon pear mixture into crust.
  • Bake at 375° for 25 minutes.
  • Sprinkle oat mixture over pear mixture.
  • Bake an additional 25 minutes or until top of pie is browned.
  • Cool at least 2 hours.

Butterbeer Cake

When I saw this cake over at Sugarcrafter a while back I knew immediately that I had to make it. My husband and I are currently reading through the Harry Potter series at night, and we are thoroughly enjoying it. 


This was definitely a time when sometimes you should follow a recipe as is, and not try and pretend that since you have baked cakes plenty of times before that you know what you are talking about. So, when it seems like the frosting recipe doesn't quite make enough, and what you do have is kind of thick, you should just ignore this. I didn't ignore this inner monologue of mine, so I thinned out the frosting with a bit of milk. I also thought that I didn't have enough frosting, so instead of adding frosting in between the layers of cake I did a layer of caramel. Well, turns out that I had plenty of frosting, and my attempts at making it the right consistency made it so thin it kept running off of the cake!!! 
Luckily, this cake tasted so good that it didn't matter if the frosting was all over the place. Kind of caramely/butterscotchy/cream soday. And the frosting tastes amazing! We invited our cousins over to help us eat this, and Adena happens to know HP as well as J.K Rowling herself, and she said that this was indeed a great cake! 

So, at your next Harry Potter party, or if you just fancy yourself a good cake, I suggest you try this one out!

Butterbeer Cake (Sugar Crafter)

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tso baking powder
 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp butterscotch topping
1/2 cup cream soda
Extra butterscotch topping, for decorating

Frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup butterscotch topping
1 Tbsp cream soda
1 lb powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour two 8" pans.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars.
Add in the eggs, vanilla, milk, butterscotch topping, and cream soda.
Add the dry ingredients half at a time, beating until smooth.
Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter, butterscotch, and cream soda.
Add in the sugar and beat until smooth.
Decorate the cake as desired.
Drizzle with extra butterscotch topping!

The Daring Cooks Make Edible Containers!



When I first saw what this month’s challenge was, I had mixed feelings. I definitely thought it was cool, and wanted to do something more fun than just a bread-bowl, but I also was at a loss as to what to do. My mind has been utterly buzzing lately with a giant list of “to-do” lists, a slurry of ideas, and half finshed thoughts. I didn’t have the brain power to think of something ridiculous and crazy, but after scouring the internet for a while, I  found the perfect thing!
Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com/!

Add to that pile, a much needed vacation! My husband’s Aunt and Uncle lovingly decided to take us on a vacation (in a guise of a medical convention) to San Diego this past week. We had a fantastic time, visiting the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and a bunch of great parks and museums! It was a little cold and windy (definitely not what we were expecting for San Diego weather), but we had a wonderful time, took a plethora of awesome pictures, and made a lot of memories! Our little bug LOVED it (she is destined to be a world traveler) and can only be described as both giddy and hyper the entire week!

For this month’s challenge, I decided on BRINNER! (that’s breakfast for dinner, in case you didn’t know), which is one of my favorite things of all time. Breakfast is really one of my favorite meals. Well, breakfast on the weekends. The weekday rush to get to work obviously necessitates baggies of cereal and microwave oatmeal, but the weekend, oh the weekend is made for pancakes, eggs, and bacon. I jokingly tell my husband, who approaches breakfast with a hum-drum take it or leave it attitude, that if I had known of this shocking behavior earlier, I probably would not have married him. At least, I tell him I’m joking.

I love the way these turned out! I've been wanting to make baked eggs for a while now, and the idea of putting them in a bacon cup was just too much fun to pass up! I also threw a little cheese, sauteed shallots, thyme, and garlic, and some toasted english muffin cubes on the bottom. I am not sorry I did, either, they were great! I had a momentary "uh..." moment when it was time to get them out of the muffin pan, but it was nothing a paring knife, fork, and being super fast couldn't fix.

While I liked the bacon cups a lot, I really LOVED the peaches cups! Peaches, Brie cheese (ohmygodmyfavoritecheeseever), thyme, and bacon crumbles in there. They were deliciouuuuuus! I didn't even care that a river of molten hot brie cheese was burning a path down my face and hands, I just kept eating!


Baked Bacon Cups

6 slices thick cut bacon
2 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 small shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 English muffins, cubed
3/4 cup Jarlsberg cheese, finely shredded
6 teaspoons half-and-half
6 eggs

Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Line a baking sheet with foil, spray with nonstick spray and arrange the bacon in a single layer.
Bake until the bacon is cooked, but not crispy, 6 to 10 minutes. It is important that the bacon is still pliable enough to wrap the inside of the muffin tins without breaking.
While the bacon cooks, heat the butter in a pan over medium heat.
Add the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook until the shallots are soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the English muffin cubes, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing continually with a spatula until the muffin cubes are lightly toasted.
Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray and spiral wrap one slice of the bacon inside each of 6 cups. Divide the English muffin mixture between the cups and top each with about 2 tablespoons of the shredded Jarlsberg.

Press down on the mixture with the back of a spoon to make room for the eggs, then drizzle 1 teaspoon of half-and-half over each cup.
Crack one egg on top of the cheese layer, being careful not to break the yolk. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes.
Allow the cups to cool in the pan for several minutes before carefully transferring them to a plate.
(Makes 6 cups)

Savory Summer Fruit Tartlets (adapted from http://www.eatcaliforniafruit.com/)
1sheet frozen puff pastry (1/2 of a 17.3 oz. package)
1/3pound wedge Brie cheese
2 small California peaches or nectarines or 2 large plums (or any mixture), diced
2-3 strips cooked bacon, chopped
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Thaw pastry according to package directions and lightly roll to remove creases.
With a pairing knife, cut the puff pastry into 12 rectangles.
Flatten each rectangle between your hands, pulling and stretching it just a tiny bit.
Press each into the bottom of a mini-muffin cup, and up the sides. It won't be perfect, let it spill over the top and overlap a bit. You want it to look rustic, just make sure that the majority of the muffin tin is lined.
Trim away the rind of Brie and cut into small pieces (1-inch cubes).
Place equal amounts in the bottom of pastry lined cups.

Place several pieces (or lots) of fruit in each cup on top of cheese.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped thyme and bacon.
Serve warm.

Venison Calzones

The other day I put my brother in charge of dinner. He instantly proclaimed that we were having venison calzones. We didn't really have a recipe, so we decided to just wing it. It turned out really well!! And amazingly, I actually wrote down what we put into it so that I could post it!

I meant to put the tomatoes inside the calzones, and serve some marinara sauce on the side for dipping. But after they had been in the oven for a few minutes, I just happened to notice the can of diced tomatoes sitting on the counter. Open. Instead of just wasting the can, I whizzed the tomatoes through the food processor with a pinch of italian spices.  If you have never tried venison before, I highly recommend it. It's a lot leaner than beef, and has lots of good flavor but it isn't very "gamey", either. 


Venison Calzones (3 servings)
4 ounces venison steak, chopped and cooked
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
3 pinches red pepper flakes
3 pinches dried basil
3 pinches
1 onion, sliced and carmelized
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
pizza dough, prepared (I used those "just add water" mixes from Betty Crocker)

Roll out prepared dough.
Add ingredients to one half of the dough
Fold over the naked side of hte dough, and pinch the sides. Tear off any giant clumps of excess dough, and roll the edges over to seal.
Spray tops of calzones with cooking spray
Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Spicy Dr. Pepper Pork Roast



Normally when I check my RSS feeder to see what all my blogging buddies are up to, I skim through posts, save items I want to make some day in the future, and then go about my day. However, every once in a while, a post will stop me in my tracks and I just have to drop everything that I am doing and drive to the grocery store. That instant.

Back in college, my roomy and I drank. A lot. Of Dr. Pepper. We went through cases of this stuff, and we loved it!!! I remember I actually got a case of it for Christmas one year! That and Ritz Crackers. It got to the point where I had to cut myself off, cold turkey, because I was becoming a crazy person.

But when I saw this I kinda lost it and jumped wholeheartedly off the wagon and ran all the way to the grocery store. Ok, I didn't really run, I drove. But you get the idea. And since, I have had the odd drink of Dr. Pepper, in case you were wondering.

I really enjoyed this recipe. It is a fantastic slow cooker recipe, and has wonderful flavor. I only used 1/3 of the chipotle peppers that Ree suggests, because I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to heat, and I just wanted a little bit of warmth.  There are a ton of ways to eat this. Ree made tacos out of hers, I ate them with mashed potatoes one day, and then as sandwiches the second (oh man, they were awesome the second day!)



Spicy Dr. Pepper Pork Roast (The Pioneer Woman)

1 whole large white onion
1 whole pork shoulder (often called a "pork butt")
salt and pepper
1 can (11 ounces) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 cans Dr. Pepper
2 Tbsp brown sugar

You can do this two ways, either in the crock pot or the oven.

Oven:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of the large dutch oven.
Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.
Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (including the sauce).
Pour in both cans of Dr. Pepper.
Add the brown sugar to the juice and stir in.
Place lid tightly on the pot, then set the pot in the oven.
Cook for at least 6 hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process.
Check the meat after 6 hours, it should be falling apart (use two forks to test it). If it isn't falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.
Remove meat from the pot and place into a bowl or some type or work surface. Shred with two forks, discarding any large chunks of fat.
Return the meat to the cooking liquid and keep warm until ready to serve.

Crock Pot:
Exactly the same steps, but in the crock pot instead of the oven. You should be able to figure this out! :)
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