Thursday, February 19, 2009

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I was bringing a dessert to a party and really wanted to make some peanut butter swirl brownies. The only recipes I could find for them only made an 8x8 pan, which wouldn't have been enough for us to take to the party. So I used this recipe I had for brownies that made a 13x9 inch pan, and this recipe for the peanut butter swirl. It made a dense, rich brownie with plenty of peanut butter flavor.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Swirl

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg


Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan. In a heavy saucepan, bring butter, sugar and water to a boil, stirring constantly until the butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted. Cool slightly and mix in vanilla. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs. Slowly add in the chocolate mixture until completely mixed. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture and mix well to combine.

Peanut Butter Swirl

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix on medium speed until well combined.

To prepare: Pour half of the brownie batter into the baking pan. Using a spoon, dollop the peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie batter. Top with remaining brownie batter. Using a knife, cut through the batter to create swirls of the brownie and peanut butter. Bake at 325 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

I had a whole pork tenderloin thawing in the fridge today and wanted to do something different with it. We usually do our tenderloins with a Cajun rub and serve it with beans and rice. Tonight I was in the mood for something Asian-inspired, but couldn't find quite what I was looking for. I decided to find a teriyaki sauce recipe and go from there. The only change I made to the original was to omit the ginger, as we're not big fans and don't keep any on hand. This was one of our "throw together" meals, served with leftover rice and some frozen broccoli, but we'll definitely be making it again. The pork was unbelievably tender, even for a tenderloin, and the teriyaki sauce was delicious.

Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • pork tenderloin, approximately 1 pound, cut into 1 inch thick medallions

Combine the 1 cup of water, soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Dissolve the cornstarch into the 1/4 cup cold water and add to saucepan. Stir constantly and allow the sauce to thicken. Pour half of the mixture over pork medallions in a container and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Over medium heat, cook the pork for approximately 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to an oven safe dish and cook in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until it reads done on a meat thermometer. Serve topped with remaining sauce.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Stew

Yet another recipe from Kmay's blog, Food alla Putanesca. This is easy to make, hearty, and we almost always have all the ingredients on hand. The only changes I made to the source recipe was to use our home canned tomatoes and a can of chile peppers in place of the canned tomatoes with chiles. The recipe below reflects the changes.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Stew
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 16 ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 16 ounce can red beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 16 ounce can corn (drained)
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 quarts canned stewed tomatoes (roughly 30 ounces)
  • 1 8 ounce can chiles
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Mix everything together in a slow cooker except chicken. Lay chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. 30 minutes before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in.

Spinach Risotto

I recently bought some medium grain rice by mistake. While it tasted alright and my son loved it, I figured I would try something different with it. I found out that a lot of people use medium grain rice to make risotto. I'd never eaten risotto before, let alone cooked it, but I thought I'd give it a try. I used a recipe I found on Joelen's Culinary Adventures because it was simple and I had all the necessary ingredients already. The only variations I made from the original recipe was using the medium grain rice instead of the arborio rice, and I used more broth (probably because of the different rice). The recipe that follows is the recipe as I prepared it.

Spinach Risotto

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups medium grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped frozen spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Coat the bottom of a large saucepan with olive oil over medium heat. Add rice to pan and allow to toast up for a few minutes. When rice has turned slightly golden, add 1/2 - 1 cup of broth. Allow rice to absorb the broth and stir. Continue to add small amounts of broth slowly to the rice when its been absorbed. When all the liquid has been used, fold in spinach. Check for doneness and serve.