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Double Berry Cobbler (It’s good enough to make ya cry!)

So today (actually last night) I decided to try my hand at making a cobbler.  Anyone from the south knows what a cobbler is.  Yes indeed, the typical cobbler is full of Sweet Georgia Peaches, and has a succulent biscuit topping that would make your Grandmammy cry.  But since I’m NOT from the south, and I live in the midwest (even though peaches are in season) I decided to make a double berry cobbler.

Did I use the next most famous fruit?  Nope! I used what I had on hand in my freezer.  I had a purchased a ton of fresh fruit last month and instead of it going to waste I decided to freeze it whole.  Turns out frozen fruit also makes a darn good smoothie when you use it…kind of eliminates the need for ice cubes.  But I digress.  Like I stated before, I had a bunch of frozen blackberries and raspberries in my freezer, and I used those up instead.

For those of you chomping at the bit, I will admit.  I can kind of be lazy in the kitchen, and any time I get a chance to skip a few ingredients I will do it, as long as the resulting product is the same.  So for all of you out there in foodie land, here is the recipe for my version of a delicious anytime dessert (hey we even had it for breakfast!)

Meggan’s Double Berry Cobbler

2 cups frozen raspberries (no sugar added)

1 cup frozen blackberries (no sugar added)

1 cup of water

2/3 cup sugar

For the Batter

1 cup of Bisquick Baking Mix

1 cup milk

3/4 cup sugar (white sugar folks!)

1 stick of butter (yes I know it’s a lot but hey when in the south do like Paula Deen does!)

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  Now here’s where you can go wrong or go right.  I used a medium sized casserole dish, and that worked fine, but I would recommend if you don’t want a deep dish cobbler to go with your standard 11×7 baking dish.

Now take that butter and melt it, but don’t let it burn.  Set aside.

In a large skillet or medium sauce pan, place your water and sugar.  Bring up to temperature and then add your frozen fruit.  This may take a little longer since the fruit is frozen, but it’s worth the wait.  Bring the fruit mixture up to a simmer and then remove from heat.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine your Bisquick, milk and sugar.  Whisk until fully combined (the batter will be thin).  Pour your melted butter into your baking dish, and then pour the batter over the top of that.  Slowly and gently add your fruit mixture on TOP of the batter and whatever you do: DON’T STIR IT TOGETHER!!!!  Place your cobbler into the oven and usually depending on your different environmental factors (such as altitude and how well your oven works), this can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour to bake.  Just keep an eye on it, and once the crust is nice and golden brown and the fruit is all bubbly take it out of the oven.

Now whatever you do…PLEASE do NOT serve this piping hot out of the oven!  Not only are you going to scorch your mouth but also your guests mouths, and that would not make for a fun time!  Allow the cobbler to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.  It should be warm but not steaming.  I would recommend serving this with Vanilla Ice Cream or just as is.  It’s great either way!

There ya’ll go!  Southern Double Berry Cobbler with a Minnesota twist!

SPAM Pizza Burgers (Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!)

Ok so I’ll admit it.  I’m a true Minnesotan.  I eat SPAM, I love the fall foliage when it happens, and yes I eat hotdish (not Casseroles).  So today I have decided to grace you with a recipe that I lovingly “borrowed” from a family friend years ago.

When I say SPAM what is the first thing that comes to your mind? That nasty luncheon meat that people have been criminalizing for years? Well I’m here to tell all you SPAM haters that it isn’t some weird combo of offal meats, ground into a paste and then shoved into a can.  SPAM (if you even TOOK the time to read the ingredients) is nothing more than Ham, Pork Shoulder and Salt with some preservatives added to make it into the yumminess that Minnesotan’s and Hawaiian’s all love.

So what happens when you combine SPAM, Ground Beef, Pizza Sauce and Some Cheese?  I’ll tell you what: HEAVEN.

Here’s the recipe:

SPAM-a-licious Pizza Burgers

1 can of original flavor SPAM by Hormel

1 lb of 93/7 ground beef

1 tbsp of Italian Seasoning

1 can of your favorite pizza sauce

8 hot dog buns, sliced open but kept intact

1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 375°.  In your food processor, take the SPAM and grind it up till it forms a paste consistency, set aside.  Brown your beef until done, seasoning it with the Italian seasoning.  After meat has been fully cooked, add the SPAM paste, and give a quick stir, to heat it up.  Add the Pizza Sauce, and cheese.  Let cool till it is just warm.

Meanwhile, take your opened hot dog buns, and place them on a baking sheet.  Spoon the meat mixture onto the buns, spreading it to form a semi-thick layer (you shouldn’t have any meat mixture left when you are done).  Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella on top, and place in the oven for 20 minutes.  Keep a close eye on the burgers so that the buns don’t burn.  Burgers are done when the cheese is melty and the buns are golden brown on the edges.  Sometimes depending on how thick the mixture has been spread it can take a little longer to bake.

There you go! Dinner is Served and it was fast and easy too!

More later,

Meggan

S’mores minus the campfire!

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Ok, so it’s almost summertime, and you’re probably getting all geared up for the start of the camping, grilling, and pretty much all good things summer season, right? Well what if where you are (Okay, only if you’re in Australia or Greenland) isn’t summery, and warm? What if you’re in your long johns and parka and you REALLY want a s’more???  You know what I’m talking about…that seasonal delicacy of two graham crackers filled with the ooey, gooey yumminess of warm melted chocolate and roasted marshmallow.  Well have no fear folks! I have combed the internet and have come to your rescue!  What you see above is the S’more Cupcake!  Graham cracker crust, chocolate cake and Marshmallow meringue on top with some graham cracker crumbs on top for garnish.  Rich? YES.  Decadent? You betcha!  Totally worth it? You bet your bippy it is!!!

I could sit here and extol the wonders of this cupcake, but needless to say it speaks for itself.  If you would like to create your own S’more Cupcakes click on this link for the recipe.  GET YOUR S’MORE ON!

Full disclosure: This cupcake contains egg products.  If you are allergic and still would like to make this recipe, please try using an egg substitute in place of the egg whites in the meringue and cupcakes! 🙂

Buffalo-Blue Cheese Cupcakes (Yes, I said Buffalo)

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First off let me say that I am sorry about not being very active lately.  It’s been hectic over here, with meeting with caterers, and finishing school for the quarter and everything else.  So I’m going to entertain your taste buds with a trio of cupcakes that I made this week.  First up: Buffalo-Blue Cheese Cupcakes with Blue Cheese Buttercream Frosting.  

When I first saw these on my fellow cupcake lovers website Cupcake Project I was totally intrigued.  I, myself LOVE me some buffalo wings, and I also LOVE me some blue cheese with it, so when Stef, who is the cupcake maven of that website posted about these for Superbowl Sunday, I was kind of on the fence.  I mean yeah..who doesn’t love quirky fun stuff?  But for this Minnesota girl, this was the first time I had discovered a cupcake that was savory.  So after religiously following Stef’s blog for about 6 months now, I decided to make the darn things.  I had my friend Jess over at the same time I was making them, and of course she made comments all along the way.  Like: “Are they supposed to be that stinky???” I finally decided to ignore her, and continue with my mission.  Once I popped those spicy, cheesy wonders into my oven, after about 15 minutes, my kitchen and living room took on the aroma of a delicious basket of BW3’s finest spicy concoctions.  I took them out of the oven and wow! They sure were orange.  I decided to take a risk and try one hot out of the oven, and I wasn’t impressed.  I made the frosting after letting them cool, and I must say with a big tall glass of milk they aren’t half bad.  Unfortunately, I was the only one who really liked these cakes.  Future Groom 1.0 didn’t even try a bite!  People at my place of employment tried them, but they said: “It just isn’t my cup of tea, sorry Meg.” No offense taken ya’ll.  

So all in all, I would have to say that these are cupcakes that would be better served as an appetizer, or in miniature form.  If you REALLY want to try making them you can find the recipe here

Next post coming soon!

Memories of my Mother

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My mother Dianne was a moving force in my life.  She shaped me, molded me into the person I am today.  Unfortunately as the day for my upcoming wedding draws near, I feel the pang of sorrow that I know will cause some tears for me.  So I have decided to dedicate the next couple of posts to my mom.  And her cooking.  The reason for doing this? My mom passed away six years ago, after fighting a losing battle with diabetes and the complications that come with the terrible disease.  So here’s to you mom! I miss you, love you and hope that you are looking down on me and are happy for me.

My mother wasn’t perfect but in her prime her cooking was probably what started my love of cooking.  Whether it was for everyday or special occasions, mom always knew how to make REALLY GOOD food. The first dish that I have chosen to share with you all is my mom’s Goulash.  But first is a little history on this Hungarian peasant dish.

Goulash is a staple meal served as a soup or stew.  It was basically formed as a one pot meal that would be able to serve a large group of people.  Mainly made by stockmen or cattle herders.  Though upon further research, my family’s recipe seems to be more along the lines of a Minnesota Hotdish. Here is my family’s version!Image

Of course every cook and family has their own version of this famous dish, but like I said, this was my mom’s version.  Please don’t get all irate with me for not making ACTUAL Goulash.  Here is the recipe!

Mom’s Goulash

1lb extra lean ground beef (93/7 or 96/4 is the preferred fat content)

1 Vidalia onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

3 ribs of celery, diced

1 small can tomato paste

1 can tomato sauce

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (I use Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic)

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 lb elbow macaroni

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

In a dutch oven, combine ground beef, onion, green pepper, celery and spices.  Cook fully until vegetables are slightly softened but still have a crisp bite.  Meanwhile, boil macaroni according to package directions.  Drain Macaroni and set aside.  Add tomato paste, sauce, and diced tomatoes (for kid friendly goulash, simply pulse diced tomatoes in a food processor till almost pureed!).  Stir until completely combined.  Add can of Mushroom soup also.  Cook on low heat until heated through.  Serve with hot french bread.

Makes enough to freeze for another meal, unless you have a big crew, in that case, chow down!

Check back next week for more memorable dishes!

The Magic about these bars is how quickly they dissapear!

So I was rummaging through my cupboards one night, and I realized something: I was BORED.  Yes folks, I will admit it.  I was bored with a capital ‘B’.  This happens to me more often than naught, especially when the fiancee is upstairs sleeping before work and our four year old is in bed for the night.  When this happens, I know that I’m in a bad spot, but when it comes to creativity, it’s a wonderful thing.  And now for your eating pleasure:

Magic Cookie Bars!

(Ok so there isn’t any egg in the recipe, I just put it there for filler) Anyways, these bars are great not only because they are easy to make, but they don’t last long.  I do believe my 9×13 cake pan full lasted only about 12 hours, thanks to my future hubby and my best friend, (and myself of course!) For those of you not savvy in the ways of the Magic Cookie Bar (or MCB from here on out), these are simply decadent.  Grab a pen or grab your printer cuz the recipe is comin’ at ya!

Magic Cookie Bars

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup white sugar

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup sweetened flake coconut

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1/4 cup white chocolate morsels

1/4 cup butterscotch morsels

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, take the graham cracker crumbs, and combine the sugar and melted butter.  Stir all together till well coated.  In a greased 9x13x2 baking pan, press the graham cracker mixture down to form a crust.  Next take your can of Sweetened Condensed Milk and pour evenly over the whole crust.  Spread it out in an even layer with a rubber spatula.  Now comes the fun part.  Sprinkle a thin layer of coconut on top, and then sprinkle evenly all three candy morsels.  Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts, and a little more coconut.  Pop that in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees F.  Let them cool for about 20 minutes before cutting so that the yumminess can solidify a bit.

There you have it! One of my favorite bar recipes and so super easy to make too!

Check back next week for more Sweetness!

Meggs

Cookies into Cupcakes? I think so!

Total Decadence Folks!

So here it is, a couple days gone by and I do apologize for not getting this done sooner.  But being a newly engaged woman (pics of the ring to follow!) and a full time college student as well as being a mother of a RAMBUNCTIOUS four year old, I just didn’t have the time!  Regardless, here is the new post you all have been clamoring for! 

I originally found this recipe on another blog Kirbie Cravings,  I stumbled upon it just by chance I tell you!  But when I saw her post for Cookies and Cream Cupcakes I was in love!  After I shoved (well shooed more or less) my best friend and her son out the door, I immediately threw on my oven mitts, and pulled out the mixing bowls.  However, Kirbie’s recipe uses cake flour and pretty much everything from scratch.  I cheated (YES I CHEATED!) and I used a box mix.  Now you can all just hush, cuz honestly I have made some pretty DAMN good cupcakes using a cake mix as the base.  The trick to baking with a box mix is to IMPROVISE.  Follow the box mix for the most part, but then throw in some awesome add-ins.  Such as your favorite alcoholic beverage, add sour cream as a substitute for the oil (makes for a SUPER moist cake), etc., etc.  Actually the combinations and possibilities are ENDLESS!  So back to the cake.  I took my box mix out of the cupboard, dumped it into a bowl and added the eggs, and I added a box of white chocolate instant pudding and sour cream and yes even buttermilk.  The result was a thick pudding like cake batter that wasn’t runny, it was almost a mousse consistency.  Oh and I also added some pulverized Oreo Cookies as well.  Stir that all together and then voila you got supreme yumminess!

Yep, that’s right, a WHOLE Oreo on the bottom!

Can you see the flecks of yummy Oreo? 

Pop those bad boys into the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees and after you let them cool, you make your frosting.  I chose to make a cream cheese frosting with Oreos.  However, it didn’t have enough of the cookie flavor.  I decided to go one step further and once again I found another recipe to from Kirbie’s Cravings for Oreo Spread!  That’s right.  You can find it here.

But anyways, the end result was a dense, moist cupcake, with a super rich frosting that the FH absolutely said that it was his 2nd fave out of all the cupcakes I’ve made so far!  YEA!

Check back next week for more of my SWEET EATS!