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Inside Out S’mores

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I was given the honor of choosing a recipe from Hoosier Homemade. There are so many wonderful recipes on Liz’s site that it was really difficult to choose just one. Then I saw her recipe for Peanut Butter S’mores.  The S’mores reminded me that I was itching to try Smashing S’mores from How Sweet It Is. What a great way to kill 2 birds with one stone!

Jessica at How Sweet It Is copied adapted these after Trader Joe’s Smashing S’mores and I stole adapted them from Jessica.

These are so simple and so yummy! You can make as many or as few as you want so they can be perfect for a quick snack or dessert in a pinch.

All you need are:

  • marshmallows
  • graham crackers
  • chocolate chips or bar chocolate, melted

I burnt roasted the marshmallows a little bit first. I like the toasty flavor marshmallows get when roasted a bit. Once roasted let cook completely.

Melt a small bowl of chocolate to use as the glue to hold everything together.

Break graham crackers into fours, then cut or snap each plank into squares. Use a small dab of chocolate to glue the squares together. Add one dab on top of the top graham cracker and press the marshmallow on top. Let the stacks sit for 30-60 minutes or until the graham crackers and marshmallows are stuck together.

Melt more chocolate in a deep glass bowl or mug to make it easy for dipping. Using a thin fork or long pointy tool press it into the top of the marshmallow gently. Dip it in the chocolate and cover as much as you can. I sat my stacks on a fork and drizzled the chocolate over the top. Remove and set on wax paper, leaving until the chocolate is hardened.

I stored mine in the fridge but they are fine at room temperature too! While the chocolate is still wet you can add sprinkles to the top, some crushed graham crackers or chopped nuts.



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Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese &Bread Crumbs

It’s that time of month again – Secret Recipe Club time! I have to tell you, I am amazed at how much fun this is and how much I look forward to being paired with amazing food bloggers!

This month I was assigned to a wonderful blog called SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl. Desi has so many wonderful recipes over there that it was really difficult for me to choose just one! And then I came across it! Giada de Laurentiis’  Mashed Potatoes with Parmigiano and Bread Crumbs from Giada’s Family Dinners.

Mashed potatoes are one of those dishes that you serve and everyone feels like they’re home.

My darling had been away all summer working. I keep asking what he’d like to have for dinner. “Food. Food you’ve cooked, Mom. Other than that, I don’t care.”

Sigh. Just once I would like to say – “Hey, what would you like for dinner?” and actually get a response. Well, a response besides “I don’t know.” I don’t have a recipe for “I don’t know” and since they seem to request it so often, I am afraid of repeating myself too often by making it!

My son’s favorite cold any weather comfort food is meatloaf, mashed potatoes and string beans.

So we have a trifecta – the Secret Recipe Club, the triumphant return of the half-starved prodigal son, AND cold, stinky, rainy, summer-is-over, weather!

This recipe is really very simple and delicious. My guys are mashed potato purists, but that didn’t stop them from gobbling this up!

  • 1 T butter
  • 2 lbs russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 C milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 C (1/2 stick) butter, melted AND 1 T butter
  • 3/4 C grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 T plain bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400°. Coat a 13×9 inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter.

Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return potatoes to the same pot. Mash well.

Mix in the milk and melted butter. Mix in the mozzarella and 3/4 of the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Transfer the potato mixture to the prepared baking dish.

Stir the bread crumbs and remaining Parmesan in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the mashed potatoes. Bake, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

NOTE: This recipe can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead of time, up to the point right before you bake it. Cover and chill. This recipe is also easily halved!

Desi, thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes with me! I hope I did this one justice!

There’s still time to stop by my wonderful Giveaway ~ $100 American Express gift card! So simple – follow this link and leave a comment! Winner will be picked September 29th!



Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce

So it’s that time of the month again, time for the Secret Recipe Club! I am amazed! I have met and begun to follow some really fabulous bloggers!

My assignment this month? Island Vittles. Theresa is a wonderful chef and blogger living on Pender Island with her hubby and adorable dog Koda. Pender Island is possibly as far west of Brooklyn as one can get!

Reading and absorbing this blog it wasn’t a matter of trying to find something to make – it was a matter of trying to find only one thing to make!

While scrolling through recipe after recipe that I was crazy for I happened upon a recipe for Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. My son, Tommy, is wild for this condiment. He uses it on EVERYTHING! This recipe had my name written ALL over it!

  • 2 red chilis
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1/4 C white vinegar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t fish sauce
  • 1/2 t soy sauce
  • 3/4 C water
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 2 T water

NOTE: I wasn’t able to find fresh Thai chilis so I used dried ones from the herb section of my produce department.

Split the chilis and discard seeds. If you’d like more heat, keep some of the seeds.

Puree the chilis, garlic, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small food processor.

Pour the mixture into a small saucepan along with 3/4 cup water, and the fish & soy sauces. Bring to a low boil and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

Combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Remove the pot with the chili sauce from the heat, stir in the cornstarch slurry and return to the heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens a bit, about 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool completely. Transfer to a clean jar with lid and refrigerate. Keeps 6 weeks, probably longer, but, as Theresa said, I doubt  a batch will last more than a week in our house.

NOTES: This is so simple to put together. The ingredients cost less than a bottle of the sauce in the supermarket and certainly tastes better! The end result is fabulous! I was nervous about the seeds for the first go round, but will add a few more in next time – and, oh yes, there will be a next time!

Thanks to Theresa for sharing this wonderful recipe!

Homemade Flour Tortillas

So, it’s the summer and 1/2 of our household is away.

It’s hot.

I am bored.

I am a nurturer by nature with no one to nurture. Well, there’s the dog – Zena. And she will take absolutely as much attention as you are willing to give to her. She will always say yes to a snack or a meal or to go out and ‘do’ something. Though our ideas of ‘doing’ something are polar opposites.

I have a lot of time on my hands.

Just when I was about to give into despair and yet another day of watching the Real Housewives of some horrible place that I wouldn’t want to be lest they be my neighbors, I found The Secret Recipe Club. Simple premise. Join. Get an email with the link of the blog you are assigned. Hop over to that blog. Find a recipe you like. Use it for inspiration, make it exactly, or tweak it to your suiting. Blog about it. How much fun is that!

For my first go at this, I was assigned the wonderful life adventures of Adventures in All Things Food. Very nice blog indeed.

Scrolling through the days and weeks of this blogger’s life, I came across a recipe for both flour and corn tortillas! Both of these have been on my wish list of things to try, though I had bookmarked a recipe from Rick Bayless’ book Authentic Mexican – which, by the way, is celebrating its 20th anniversary!

And besides, I had a new TOY! A tortilla press! The choice was now simple! Flour tortillas!

  • 12 oz (about 2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 5 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening (or a mixture of the two)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup very warm water

Simple ingredients, right?

Add the flour and shortening (or lard) to a large bowl.  Use a pastry cutter (or your fingers) to work the fat into the flour – you want it incorporated completely. 

NOTE: I am pastry cutter stupid. They do not work for me. Yes, simple. hold it and smoosh into the flour and butter, or lard or shortening and kep doing that. Nope. The solid gets stuck in the cutter part. It is a mess and then I get into a very. BAD. MOOD. I started with the pastry cutter and ended with my hands!

Combine the salt and water in a measuring cup and pour about 3/4 of the water over the flour and shortening mixture.  Use a fork to stir to stir together until all of the dry ingredients are moistened, adding the rest of the water (and even a little more), if needed. 

Turn the dough onto your work surface and knead until smooth – it’ll only take a minute or two.  The dough shouldn’t be very sticky, but if it is, add a tiny bit of flour to your hands so you can work with it.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball.  Put them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes.  This rest time helps the dough relax so it’ll be easier to roll.

Set a heavy skillet (I used cast iron) over medium to medium-high heat. 

NOTE: I used a cast iron grill pan.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, set on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 7-inch circle.  Add only enough flour so you can work with the dough – it will be quite thin by the time it reaches 7 inches in diameter.

NOTE: I used my new toy. I will have to make the dough balls smaller. TOo much came out the sides and was too thick. But smooshing them makes for fun in the kitchen!

Transfer to the flattened tortilla to the preheated pan – you will hear a sizzle when you place the dough in the pan and should see bubbles forming across the surface almost immediately.  Cook for 30-45 seconds on the first side, then flip and cook 30-45 seconds on the other side.  The tortilla should be golden brown and might have a few dark spots, but you don’t want to over cook it or it will be crisp rather than pliable.  Transfer to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel.

Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, and continue stacking them under the towel.  Serve warm, or let cool then wrap in plastic and keep at room temperature for a few days, or pop in the freezer.  Reheat in the microwave wrapped in damp paper towels.

Makes 12 tortillas

NOTE: These are SO good! I had one immediately with butter. Had one with my dinner and then stopped myself by putting the rest in the freezer!