These bars scream AUTUMN! Cheesecake, apples, crumble topping AND caramel, oh my word… I brought a few test batches into the office and the reactions were priceless. Not much talking, a lot of oohs and ahhs, and the eye opening gesture that I love. I know that was my reaction because I love all of those things too. It’s actually the only thing I do love about the fall season.
Yeah, the colours on the trees may be pretty to most people, but to me it means winter is coming, and the colours represent my summer dying a slow death. The only thing that gets me through the fall days is apples, and caramels, and knowing Thanksgiving is coming soon (which is my favourite holiday for eating above all) So until Old Man Winter shows up and ruins everything, I am going to eat as many apples as I can, and cover as much of those apples with caramel as I can… and who the hell is going to say no to cheesecake joining that party!
There are a few steps to this recipe, and I remember the first time I made it, it felt like it took me forever! The second and third time I breezed through it. So don’t be intimidated, just tackle each section at a time. The end result is worth the TLC.
2 words: Cookie Dough. Yeah, yeah, I know you’re not suppose to eat it raw – but I do, and guess what – I’m still alive! The raw dough is 50% of why I make the cookies in the first place! I had to find away to eat more of it and really not run the risk of apparently ‘dying’. I’ve seen the concept of a cookie dough dip roam its way around the Pinterest universe and I thought it would be a good time to give this a shot. But I wanted more this time, I wanted to add… to add, something more… I was in the baking isle of my local grocery store looking for really good chocolate chips and grabbed a bag of skor toffee bits by accident, well it started as an accident, into the cart it went!
This recipe really satisfies my need for chocolate chips, cookie dough, and toffee bits all in one bite. I did take it another step and made my own Homemade Baby Bear Honey Graham Cookies, just for the hell of it and to see if I could. Well I did, and the two together is marvelous! This is now a requested “bring as a pot luck dish”, which is good as it’s pretty simple to make!
Oh those little honey bear crackers, you know the ones – they are the best road trip snack ever invented. I recently purchased a bear cookie cutter on a whim and have been looking for a justification for the purchase ever since. Well I found it now. I have no problems with the store-bought version, but I was a little curious at how I would do at making my own version of the snack. They were really flavorful and I found them a lot softer, so to me they are now a “cookie”.
Don’t over cook them. If they turn a dark brown you have gone to far and you might as well go play hockey with them tomorrow! Keep the not so brown and considerably more edible ones in an airtight container and they will last for days. Unless of course you have some Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Toffee Dip lying around, then it’s a goner.
If you remember my recipe post for Zesty Shrimp, Avocado, Cilantro and Lime Salad you will remember my Cilantro rant. You will also remember I have been trying to incorporate it more into my life. This was the product of that effort. It is actually a friend’s Dad who make this for one of the family dinner’s I attended, and it was delicious! I tweaked it so there is not so much bell peppers (they give me killer heartburn) and added avocado, cause I love that stuff. I was super happy when I realized I liked cilantro in this as well !
Oh, and be prepared to never buy that supermarket salsa again…. you will be ruined for life after having this. Sorry… well, not really…
Korean BBQ – as you may know I am fully okay to drive almost an hour to get my hands on some Korean BBQ, and I do. That is also the same place I had Vietnamese Daikon and Carrot Pickles oddly enough. If you have been following along you know that I have figured out how to make my own Kalbi (Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs) but I missed the pickled veggies. So I did a bit of research and felt like an idiot for paying what I have been paying for this when buying from a store. It is so easy to make ! I mean really easy.
The hardest part was the chopping, and chopping isn’t really hard at all. Little hint: pick out the container you are going to use first and cut both the Daikon and Carrot to that length.
Then pour over the pickling liquid and put it in the fridge. Another little hint: Make sure the water is warm enough to dissolve the salt and sugar, or your liquid will be cloudy, which is still good to use.
Now I am going to warn you , Daikon smells like feet. For 2 days I could not figure out what the heck was making my fridge smell so bad… did I loose something somewhere, did something spoil on me? “I just went shopping, what the heck can be bad already ?! … when I go back to that store I’m gonna give them a piece of my mi…. OH, its the Daikon” … yeah, this stuff smells, BAD, but it’s so good. You will have a serious decision to make here… my solution – destroy the jar in 2 days, if it even makes it that long.
I love shrimp, I really do. Every time I think of Shrimp I think of the movie Forrest Gump, and the part where Bubba was naming off all the dishes you can make with shrimp… I was literally taking notes back in the day. Then a few weeks ago that movie was back on TV, and I caught that part… it’s been shrimp city here ever since. I also happen to love summer, more specifically – summer garden tomatoes. Those got tossed in with the shrimp too. And I always have avocado’s on hand as they are so versatile and I add them to almost everything.
But I need to take a second and talk about Cilantro. See, back in my previous life when I was working in kitchens, I hated this stuff. I had the crappy job of making litres and litres of ‘buttermilk cilantro dressing’ using like 3 cases of cilantro, all chopped by hand. I couldn’t get the smell off my hands for days, and just when I did, it was time to make more. I was revolted, wouldn’t touch dishes if I could smell it in there, and trust me I COULD smell it miles away. Then one day I had an authentic taco and this sneaky little bugger was hidden inside… worst part: I kinda liked it. I have been bringing it into the house lately and trying to not throw up a little in my mouth when I smell it… it took 15 years but I think I just might make it after all.
It’s not all that bad… that cilantro.
I love Chicken Pot Pie, don’t get me wrong. But I also love a good ratio of flaky crust per filling and that always seemed a problem with the bigger versions. That is also why this little recipe was born. It gave me more pastry and a good amount of filling. Talking about filling, I was eating this straight out of the pot by the spoonful. Please don’t judge.
These do take a little extra work but they are easier to feed a crowd, and pack nicely in the lunches the next day. They are also fantastic as a quick snack when dinner is running late. To be honest, we had some friends over helping with the garage project “The Boy” was working on and these fed the army. They also let me know it went down really good with a cold beer….
This is my no-fail, go to, pastry crust. It is good for savoury or sweet applications, as a double crust (which means top and bottom) or a single crust (just bottom) I’ve made this into turnovers, mini pies, empanadas, oh the list goes on. Make sure your butter is cold or you will not have a flaky end result. Don’t over work it, when it comes together in your hands, just stop!
I have had this in my arsenal for over 2 decades, and it’s always been scribbled on the same, thoroughly used and warn piece of paper since. Well look at me going all “digital” now…
Let me layout the scene for you; It’s a sunny, summery, Sunday morning and I am up earlier than usual. I grab my laptop and start perusing this thing called the internet. My eye catches a little ad off to the side on one of the sites I’m looking at, it’s for Popsicle molds. I love Popsicle molds… cause I love Popsicle’s. I don’t give it a second thought and head out to the grocery store. I do my thing and see these strawberries, luscious and red, piled HIGH just screaming for me – oh my they are fabulous – and I grab a few pints knowing I will make something out of it. Then I see Mascarpone Cheese on sale…. well, that never happens… so I grab a few of those, I will figure out what to do with it later…. Fast forward an hour or so and I’m in my kitchen putting away my groceries. Something tumbles out of a bag and hit’s the Balsamic vinegar on my counter. Using my secret Ninja skills I catch the bottle and look at the culprit.. its the Mascarpone cheese… and it looks like it took a strawberry with it on it’s rampage out of the bag. Then it hits me, hard: I need to make some Popsicle’s, like now…
Just for the record, this post could have easy turned into a “why I love online shopping” post…. It almost did a few times.