February 8, 2012

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Bites

I recently had a party where I needed some sort of dessert. I didn't want to bake, and I didn't want something straight off the shelf.

While I was wandering Cost Plus World Market the day before the party, I saw this cool toothpicks with knotted bamboo at the decorative end. And it struck me (an idea - not the toothpick): I could do a dessert skewer!

Thus, Chocolate Covered Strawberry Bites were born.
Strawberries - cut into halves or quarters, depending on size
1 Sara Lee Pound Cake - cut into bit-sized cubes
Candy chocolate (or chocolate chips and a spoonful of Crisco)

1. Skewer alternating chunks of pound cake and strawberry
2. Melt chocolate in microwave - stirring often.
3. Drizzle chocolate over skewered food (skewers should be placed on wax paper or something similar for this step).
4. Let set.

Dinner Braids

I was bouncing along Pinterest one day recently when I came across this idea to stuff dinner inside a bread braid. I thought about how lazy I am when it comes to baking breads. And how generally lazy I am in making dinner when I have no other adults to feed any give night. So, I immediately wrote off the bread braid idea.

One night while staring at my fridge - praying a fully prepared dinner would randomly show up on a shelf - I noticed a tube of Pillsbury crescent dough. You know, the kind that rolls out in one whole sheet. And that's when I realized I, too, could be fancy!

Bread Braid:
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Unroll crescent dough. Roll out or press out slightly with fingers.
3. Fill center third with whatever filling you want (see below for ideas)
4. Make cuts about an inch apart along the remaining two-thirds of the dough.
5. Braid pieces over each other.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Simple, right?
Isn't it pretty?

Filling Ideas:

- Ham and cheese
- Pesto, mozzerella & sliced tomato
- Peanut butter, banana, and jelly

- Small meatballs, marinara, mozzerella
- Pizza fillings
- Grilled veggies and cheese
- Taco fillings

Go Try it. See how awesome it is. Everyone will think you're fancy, too!
If you try any other fillings, let me know! I love new ideas!

Brownie Bottom Cupcakes

The premise: A cupcake with a layer of brownie on the bottom

The reality: A cupcake with brownie on the bottom

Here's my attempt at here. I'd say it worked out. It was yummy and easy to make. Two boxes of mix. Twice as many cupcakes as normal. All around, it's a simple, lovely way to make a "fancy" cupcake.

Rolos Butter Bars

I'm addicted to a blog called Cookies and Cups. This chick makes super yummy looking desserts. I'm a fan. I haven't tried everything on her blog, but I have stared at the screen and drooled for hours. Of the few things I've made, they've been winners...

Except this one:
The blogger did a series on desserts using cake mixes. I'm not a purist. Cake mixes rock my world. So, I showed the pic of the Rolos Bars to my officemate and he started drooling. So I made them. And they weren't that exciting. They tasted an awful lot like cake mix and Rolos. I guess I imagined a buttery, caramelly, chocolately goodness. And it just wasn't that.

I know I didn't botch the recipe (read it - you'll see why you can't botch it.) And I know the author of Cookies and Cups knows her stuff. But even when you're the best whatever-er in the world, you're going to make something less than a homerun every once in a while.

Now, I must get off the computer before I drool over her other blog entries.

Quick and Easy Appetizers

For years and years I've gone to this easy-peasy appetizer recipe for all my party needs. I throw everything in a crockpot and then just leave it to do its thing while I get ready for the party.

Cocktail Meatballs:
Put into corckpot 1 jar (10oz) of chili sauce, 1 jar (12 oz) of grape jelly, and one package of frozen, cooked meatballs or lil smokies. Set crockpot to low for at least two hours.
Serve from crockpot with slotted spoon or toothpicks.

Why not put both meatballs and lil smokies in the crockpot? It's yummy and is a good source of giggles for the right (immature) crowd.