Friday, June 30, 2017

Brownie Cookie Dough Cake

I saw some pictures of this cake on Facebook, so I decided to bring a few of my favorite recipes together to create our own version of it. It is absolutely delicious! 


Brownie Layers:
2 brownie mixes of your choice
Oil, eggs, and water (amount required on the box)

Cookie Dough Frosting:
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped chocolate chips (or mini chocolate chips)

Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup light corn syrup

Pour the 2 boxes of brownie mixes in a bowl. Add the oil, eggs, and water required for both mixes. Stir until well incorporated. 

Spray and line three 9 inch pans with parchment paper. (I didn't line with parchment paper. It will make getting the brownies out of the pan easier.) Bake the brownies for about 22 minutes at 340 degrees. Let cool. 

While the brownies are cooling, make the frosting. Cream the butter and brown sugar together. Add the flour, salt, and vanilla. Beat until incorporated.
 Slowly add the milk. (I added about 1/4 cup at a time.) Beat until smooth. Add the chocolate chips. 

For the ganache: 
Put 1/4 cup of heavy cream in a microwavable bowl. Heat in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Add the chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate is melted. Add the corn syrup and vanilla. 

When the brownies are cool, place one of them on a platter. Add about 1 cup of the frosting to the top. Add another brownie. Then place more frosting. Finally, add the last brownie layer. Top with remaining frosting (I didn't end up using all of it.) Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

 Top with ganache and place back in the refrigerator for another 15 minutes. Or, if you can't wait, just spread the ganache on top of each piece when you serve it. (We couldn't wait!) Decorate with chocolate chips. 

Sausage Caprese Pasta

1 lb pasta 
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
4-5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup Italian dressing
6-7 small to medium tomatoes
8-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 fully cooked chicken sausage links, cut
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cubed
Red pepper flakes (optional) 

Start by boiling water for your pasta. While that cooks, make your sauce. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the onions. Cook down until they are translucent. Add the garlic cloves. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add the 1/2 cup Italian dressing. Add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes, stirring occasionally. 

Using your spoon, press the tomatoes a little while they are cooking down. This will take about 5 minutes. 

Add the two sausage links to the sauce. I used the chicken sausage pictured below. Any flavor or brand would work. (Or if you don't like chicken sausage, this is optional.) 

Drain the pasta and add the sauce to the pasta. Add the basil and salt and pepper. Stir. Just before serving, stir in the mozzarella cubes. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

NBA Draft Party

The boys were pretty excited for the NBA Draft tonight, so we decided to through a little party for ourselves. 

We had these decorations from a past birthday party. We drew basketball lines on the cups and balloons. 

For food we had basketball cheese bread with pepperoni basketball lines. (
We also had a lot of other circular items: hamburgers, onion rings, and tator tot crowns. 

For dessert we had basketball cupcakes. I frosted the cupcakes with orange frosting and drew on basketball lines. I made sugar cookies into rectangles, put white glaze on them and stuck a mini peanut butter cup on as the hoop. I stuck a stick in the cookie and then placed the stick in the cupcake. 

I also did some without the glaze on the cookie. 

The best part was getting "draft" root beer from the local brewery. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Beauty and the Beast "Be Our Guest" Dinner Party

The DVD release of Beauty and the Beast was yesterday. We decided to celebrate getting the movie with a little "Be Our Guest" dinner party. We had beef ragout (just beef sauteed with onion and potatoes on the side because my kids don't like beef stew), cheese souffle (biscuits baked with cheese on top), mini apple pies, and "the grey stuff" (vanilla pudding with crushed Oreos and Reddi-whip mixed together, piped on a plate, and topped with sprinkles) We raised our plastic champagne glasses, had our dinner, and then watched the movie. 
We had more fun with this photo board I painted when the movie came out in theaters in February: