Tuesday, April 24, 2012

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites


Ok, I admit it. I am slightly obsessed with bite sized desserts. I relish the chance to use my mini muffin baking tin. If a recipe can be made into a miniature version, I am all over. Check out last week's Snickerdoodle Cups or my mini {almost} Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes for further proof of this obsession.

So when I saw Crystal from Money Saving Mom post about making these Chewy Homemade Granola Bars, I decided to make them in bite sized form. To top it off, they were no bake too! Living in South Florida means that any recipe becomes infinitely better looking when you realize you don't have to turn your oven on.

These Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites would totally be worth turning the oven on for though. They are so simple and yet so good. The combo of peanut butter, honey and dark chocolate gets me every time. They are the perfect  sweet treat to cap off a meal without being too overpowering. The presence of Quaker oats makes you feel a little less guilty about eating them too : )


I have been wanting to try making some kind of homemade granola bar for some time now but for some reason I thought that they would be very difficult and labor intensive. Not this recipe. It took me longer to wash the dishes then it did to assemble these babies.

I did not spray my mini muffin tin or use liners when I made them but my recommendation would be to do one or the other to make them easier to remove from the tin once you refrigerate them.

I placed them in mini liners after the fact to store them easier.

What I really love is that these can be modified to include anything you you like or have on hand. You can add dried fruit, seeds, nuts, coconut shreds, pretty much anything. You can also play with the kind of peanut butter you use (I used regular but I bet crunchy would be awesome), the type of chocolate you choose, or you could even leave out the chocolate for a healthier version. Not that we would do that in this house, but hey, more power to you.


No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites
Recipe adapted from Heavenly Homemakers

  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter (or any kind of nut butter you prefer)
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or any kind of oil you prefer)
  • 2 cups oats (I doubled this from the original and loved it)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or any kind of mix in mentioned above)
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts (or other mix in)
1.) In a sauce pot on medium heat, mix together peanut butter, oil and honey. Heat and stir until completely combined.






2.) Remove from the heat and mix in oats followed by your other mix ins of choice. Stir until well combined.


3.) Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop mixture into mini muffin tins. As mentioned above, you may want to line or grease the tin lightly to help with removal. You can also go the more traditional route and press the mixture into an 8x8 pan to be later cut into bars.

Mine made exactly 20 bites when I was done.

4.) Refrigerate for at least two hours before removing from tin or cutting the pan into bars.


5.) Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container.

These won't last long!

Enjoy!


Make sure you stop by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up any amazing recipes you have been working on lately.


***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mealtime Monday Recipe Link Up Party & Features {#4}

Welcome back and happy new week! Hope you had a restful and relaxing weekend. I can't believe that this is my 4th time hosting Mealtime Monday. It makes me so happy to see it growing slowly but surely. I really appreciate those of you who have linked up and linked backed. Your support means more than you know : )

This week I decided to pick two different features from two different parts of the menu. As this party grows I can't wait to be able to have enough link ups to pick a feature from every part of a full meal.


The first feature of the week is this delicious sounding Chicken Croissant Casserole from  A Susie Homemaker. I love how easy it looks and it would be perfect for using left off shredded chicken in. I am so eager to try it that I added it to our menu plan for the week.


Next I chose these super cute Homemade Fondant Flowers from Pamela's Heavenly Treats. I give her big props because fondant is something I haven't tried because I am a little intimidated of it. I am thinking of using her recipe for a little Cinco De Mayo cupcake project I am attempting this week so we will see how that goes : )

You can also check out my newly created pin board for Mealtime Monday Features where I will be pinning  the original links to the items featured here each week.

If you were featured you can feel free to grab a button from my sidebar. I am hoping to soon be fancy enough to include that in my posts and will hopefully be designing a Mealtime Monday and an "I was featured..." button in the not too distant future.

Can't wait to see what you have been up to lately and I love being inspired by all the delicious looking dishes you create.

I will be featuring my favorites next weekend and I will be pinning things to my Pinterest boards too. Make sure you check out my Link Ups page for lots more fun places to link up at too.

As I teacher, I enforce rules all day so I am going to call these my suggestions.

I would love it if:

  1. You would link back to this post/blog. You can do so by grabbing my button (upper right hand corner), linking back to this post in your post, or by adding this blog to your list of places you link up to/party at on your Link Parties page. The more people who link up the better it is for all of us : )
  2. Please follow this blog through GFC, Linky Friends or Blog Lovin.
  3. Please only post directly to your recipe link. No giveaways, etsy shops or anything not family friendly. 
  4. Visit at least two new blogs and show them some love.
  5. Come back next Monday and link up!
Show me what you got!

Menu Plan Monday 4/23


Happy Monday! Hope you had an amazing weekend!

It is a crazy busy week for me school/work and personal life wise, so here's hoping we can actually stick to a menu plan and make most of our meals at home this week. If we don't, then we can always push some to next week : ) 

Still trying to clean out some space in the fridge/freezer this week so our meals will be relying on what we have on hand mostly. 

We will be having:
WW Honey Crunch Chicken, smashed red potatoes, veggies
Skinny Enchiladas & veggies
Breakfast for Dinner: whole wheat pancakes, crock pot apples, eggs
One meal out between work and an evening work event
Chicken Croissant Casserole & salad

Make sure you stop by Mealtime Monday and link up some of your favorite recipes!

What are you making? I would love for you to comment and let me know what you are making this week or leave a link to your menu plan post.

I am linked up at OrgJunkie.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Weekly Totals Link Up & Saved 66% At Publix Today 4/19



I can't believe another week is over. It will be summer before we know it and I am totally fine with that.

After an inventory of my two freezers this week, I realized that we have tons of frozen foods that we need to start slowly whittling away at before the start of hurricane season this summer. The thought of losing my highly prized stockpile of meat, frozen veggies and other items makes me cringe.

I am pretty glad I went through things because I realized that we still have 2 1/2 bags of Purdue chicken, 2 packs of fresh (then frozen) Publix chicken, 3 whole chickens, a ham, some ground beef and a pork loin in our stash. This means I won't be buying meat for a few weeks unless I see a really, really good sale. I also have about 20 bags of frozen veggies so I decided to forgo fresh ones this week so we can work on what we have.

Not buying meat or veggies allowed me to use my grocery budget to get 2 bottles of allergy medicine, and 18 pack of toilet paper, and take advantage of the extended Spring Cleaning sale without exceeding $50. I am slowly starting to stock up on things like peanut butter just in case we do need things this hurricane season.

I ended up saving 66% this week and I was able to use my last $5/$30 Publix spring cleaning coupon stacked with a $5/$30 Winn Dixie coupon from Enjoy the City. I hit up Target earlier this week and spent $6 putting my weekly shopping total right at $50.

Breakdown of today's trip:
Total retail value: $132.14
Total spent: $44.45
Total saved: $87.69
Percent saved: 66%

What I bought with sale/coupon match ups:
  • 2 tubs of DiGiorno Cheese, retails for $4.79 each
    • On sale BOGO made them $2.39 each
  •  Kraft Fresh Takes, retails for $2.99 each, on sale BOGO ($1.49 each)
    • Used two $1 off coupons from a Kraft First Taste home mailer
    • Made them .49 cents each check out my Fresh Takes Pasta Bake!
  •  2 jars of Peter Pan peanut butter, retails for $3.49 each
    • On sale BOGO made them $1.74 each
  •  2 boxes of 4C Panko Bread Crumbs, retails for $1.59 each
    • On sale BOGO, made them .79 cents each
  •  Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner, retails for $2.29 each, on sale BOGO ($1.14 each)
    • Used a $1/2 coupon from the 4/15 SS
    • Made them .64 cents each
  •  2 Lysol All Purpose Cleaners, retails for $2.69 each, on sale BOGO ($1.34 each)
    • Used a $1/2 coupon from the 4/15 SS
    • Made them .84 cents each
  •  4 packs of Jello Pudding/Gelatin, retails for $3.39 each, on sale for $2.00 each
    • Used four .60 cents off coupons from the 4/1 SS
    • Stacked with two $1/2 Publix coupons from the Stocking Spree booklet
    • Made them .90 cents each
  •  1 carton of Smart Balance milk, retails for $3.99, on sale for $2.50
    • Used a $1 off coupon from the 4/1 SS
    • Made it $1.50
  •  4 single serving cartons of Silk Almond Milk, retails for $1.19 each, on sale for $1.00 each
    • Used four .55 cents off coupons from Coupons.com 
    • Made them .45 cents each
  •  5 pound bag of Publix Red Potatoes, retails for $4.09
    • On sale for $2.99
  •  2 packages of Allegra Allergy Medicine (30 count each), retails for $22.49 each, on sale for $17.99 each
    • Used two $4.00 off coupons from SmartSource.com
    • Stacked with two $4.00 off Publix coupons from the Green Ad. Flyer
    • Made them $9.99 each
  •  2 boxes of New York Texas Toast, retails for $3.65 each, on sale 50% for $1.83 each
    • Used two .55 cents off blinkies found in store
    • Made them $1.28 each
  • 1 tub of Charmin Freshmates, retails for $2.89, on sale for $2.29
    • Used a Publix Stocking Spree coupon for FREE Freshmates WYB any Charmin product
    • Made them FREE
  • 18 roll package of Charmin toilet paper, retails for $14.69, on sale for $9.99
    • Used a $1 off any Charmin product coupon from a P&G Home Mailer
    • Stacked with a $2 off Target Coupon WYB both Charmin toilet paper and Freshmates from the 3/4 Target P&G insert
    • Made it $6.99
How did you do this week? Inspire me (and everyone else) with your amazing savings and deals this week. Please link up directly to your specific post. No main pages, giveaways, or etsy shops please. I would love it if you would link back to this post or grab my button from the sidebar : )

Click below to link up your posts!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Snickerdoodle Candy Cups



WARNING: Do not read this post if you are hungry. You are about to be barraged with an onslaught of delicious looking photos. You may be compelled to head into your kitchen and whip these up right now. You may be amazed (as I still am) about how easy they are to make and you may want to make them on a weekly basis. Don't say I didn't warn you....


The inspiration for these bite sized pieces of heaven come from Dorothy at Crazy for Crust. She made these little babies. My first question was what is a Peepster? (Marshmallow, chocolate covered amazingness I later found out) Followed by when can I make something like this?

Turns out, I am currently not feeling as motivated as her. I love her idea of S'more Cookie Tarts but making homemade dough on a week night? Not really my thing. I also did not have the necessary ingredients in my pantry. What I did have was two boxes of Krusteaz cookie mix and a few bags of assorted Easter and clearance candy. And lo and behold, Peepsters was one of them.

I love getting candy and baking stuff for cheap with coupons.
And that is how Snickerdoodle Candy Cups were born. I made the cookie dough. Rolled it in the included cinnamon sugar, pressed it into a mini cupcake pan, and stuck pieces of left  over candy in them. Bake them, let them cool and there you have it. So easy, I would be willing to do it on a week night.

The process is simple but I will list it out for you. Mainly I want a reason to fill this post with as many decadently gorgeous photos as possible. Enjoy!


Snickerdoodle Candy Cups
  • Snickerdoodle cookie dough (homemade or from a box, I clearly took the easy route)
  • Cinnamon and sugar mixture
  • Assorted candy pieces, whole or chopped up. Pretty much anything you like would work.
1.) Make a batch of Snickerdoole cookie dough according to the directions on the box or your recipe.


2.) Using your hands or a cookie scoop, make tablespoon sized balls of dough and roll them in the sugar mixture just as you would a normal snickerdoodle.

3.) Press into a greased/butter mini cupcake pan. I always am better safe than sorry when it comes to greasing the pan since I would hate to not be able to get one of these lovely treats out of the pan.

4.) Press whatever candy you choose into the center of the dough. I used Dove Caramel Pieces, Peepsters, and chopped up Snickers Peanut Butter Easter Eggs.

Peepster: A creamy marshmallow center covered in chocolate

Dove caramel pieces

For the Snickers pieces I made a little bowl for them to rest in.

So good.

Hungry yet?
5.) Bake for 7-10 minutes at whatever temperature your original recipe or box mix directs you to. Keep an eye on them because there is a fine line between melted chocolate and a nicely done cookie and chocolate explosion and a burned cookie cup.

Right out of the oven.

Make sure to let them cool completely before taking out of the baking pan or they can crumble and break.
I really can't pick which candy combo was my favorite. They were all so amazing yet so simple. Here are some close ups of the three varieties. Which one looks the best to you?

All three.

 Here they are cut in half to show their delicious centers.
 

Peepster

Snickers  Egg

Dove Caramel

Too hard to choose right? I know. That's why I had to try all three. More than once. It's embarrassing. Please don't judge me. It was totally worth it.

Enjoy!

Make sure you stop by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up any amazing recipes you have been working on lately.


***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***

Saved 76% At Target 4/18- Only Spent $6



I am loving my new "Fresh Grocery" Target. It seems like our store got so much more than a renovation. I enjoy the fresh section of the store but really what I am loving is that it now carries many of the brands and product sizes I could never find before.

I would always be reading about deals at Target, head to my store coupons in hand only to find out it didn't carry that specific item, brand or size. Ever since the renovation, I can pretty much find every deal. To make it even better, I have now gotten THREE Target home mailers in that many weeks plus our registers were updated to properly scan and adjust down overage. While losing overage isn't awesome, not having the hassle at the register for every coupon is priceless.

Today's trip was extremely successful because not only did I find all the deals I was looking for but I also found a rumored clearance deal on Revlon that made for some really cheap mascara. Almost all my coupons came from Target's website so it was nice to be able to get great deals without sorting through newspaper inserts.

Make sure you check out this week's Weekly Totals post and link up your savings for the week. Here's hoping tomorrow's Publix trip is just as successful as my trip today!

Here is the breakdown of today's trip:
Total retail value: $26.80
Total spent: $6.49 after tax
Total saved: $20.31
Percent saved: 71%

What I bought with sale/coupon match ups:
  • 1 Revlon Nail File, retails for $1.69
  •  1 Revlon Nail Clipper, retails for $1.42
  •  4 packets of Ortega Low Sodium Taco Seasoning, retails for .56 cents each
    • Used two $1/2 coupons from Ortega's website
    • Made them .06 cents each
  •  2 bottles of Up & Up Nail Polish Remover, retails for .97 cents each
  •  2 packages of Up & Up Tin Foil, retails for $1.02 each
  •  1 Five count package of Zyrtec, retails for $5.29, price cut to $4.76
    • Used a $4 off coupon from the 4/15 SS
    • Made it .76 cents
  • 1 Revlon Mascara, retails for $6.97, on clearance for $2.97
  • 3 pound bag of Granny Smith Apples, retails for $3.49

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Publix Ad & My Favorite Deals 4/19





Publix is finally back on its regular sale cycle again this week. The new ad will start this Thursday (or Wednesday in some areas) and looks like a pretty good list to me. There are lots of carry over "Spring Cleaning" sales from the last ad and some have even better coupons to go with them from last week's paper.

I still have one last $5/$30 Publix Spring Cleaning Sale coupon to stack with my Enjoy The City coupons or a possible Albertson's coupon depending on what I see in tomorrow's paper.

Here are my favorite sales from the new ad with coupon match ups:
  • Kashi Cereals, on sale for $2.99
  •  Kraft Fresh Takes, on sale BOGO at $2.99 ($1.50 each)
    • Used a BOGO free Publix coupon from Cooking With Kraft
    • Possibly stack with the $1 off or .55 cents off manufacturer coupons from Coupons.com
    • In Florida, makes it FREE plus possible overage
  •  Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner, on sale BOGO at $2.29 ($1.14 each)
    • Use a $1/2 coupon from the 4/15 SS
    • Makes them .64 cents each
  •  Smart Balance Milk, on sale for $2.50
    • Use a $1.50 coupon from the 4/1 SS
    • Makes it $1.00
  • DiGiorno Shredded or Grated Cheese, on sale BOGO at $4.79
    • Makes them $2.39 each, pretty good price if you like a little higher quality shredded cheese

You can also visit Publix's website for the full ad from your area as well as some new printable Publix coupons as well. Visit HERE and HERE for my favorite sale/coupon match ups for this week's ad. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mealtime Monday Recipe Link Up Party & Features {#3}

Welcome back and happy new week! Hope you had a restful and relaxing weekend. You don't know how happy it makes me to see this recipe link up party growing slowly but surely. I really appreciate those of you who have linked up and linked backed. Your support means more than you know : )

This week I decided to pick two different features from two different parts of the menu. As this party grows I can't wait to be able to have enough link ups to pick a feature from every part of a full meal.

The main course feature for this week is Black Bean & Salsa Sloppy Joes from Searching For Dessert.  This is such a great idea and it would be an amazing option for a meatless Monday or for anyone who doesn't eat red meat.


This week's dessert feature comes to us from Dorothy at Crazy for Crust. I seriously love her desserts and many of her recipes appear on my "Desserts I Will Make Soon" pinterest board. These Tiramisu To Go Cups are no exception and they would be the perfect treat to bring to a party or cookout. So easy to transport and clean up after.


You can also check out my newly created pin board for Mealtime Monday Features where I will be pinning  the original links to the items featured here each week.

If you were featured you can feel free to grab a button from my sidebar. I am hoping to soon be fancy enough to include that in my posts and will hopefully be designing a Mealtime Monday and an "I was featured..." button in the not too distant future.

Can't wait to see what you have been up to lately and I love being inspired by all the delicious looking dishes you create.

I will be featuring my favorites next weekend and I will be pinning things to my Pinterest boards too. Make sure you check out my Link Ups page for lots more fun places to link up at too.

As I teacher, I enforce rules all day so I am going to call these my suggestions.

I would love it if:
  1. You would link back to this post/blog. You can do so by grabbing my button (upper right hand corner), linking back to this post in your post, or by adding this blog to your list of places you link up to/party at on your Link Parties page. The more people who link up the better it is for all of us : )
  2. Please follow this blog through GFC, Linky Friends or Blog Lovin.
  3. Please only post directly to your recipe link. No giveaways, etsy shops or anything not family friendly. 
  4. Visit at least two new blogs and show them some love.
  5. Come back next Monday and link up!
Show me what you got!

Menu Plan Monday 4/16


Happy Monday! I can't believe we are already half way through April. It will be summer before we know it...

You may have noticed the lack of red meat on our menus. Truth be told, I don't really eat red meat. In fact, I have never even had a hamburger. Justin eats dinner at the fire station about 3 times a week so he gets his fill of red meat there and we just stick to chicken or meatless dishes at home. Saves us a little money and it's better for us too. 

This week I am going to be making some of our recent favorites that are also quick and easy. We need to clean out the fridge and freezer a little this week so our dishes are based on what we have on hand. 

We will be having:
Homemade Whole Wheat Naan Pizzas
An easy dinner of soup, salad and bread

For a sweet treat I am going to be attempting to make Margarita Madness cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World to get ready for Cinco De Mayo.

Make sure you stop by Mealtime Monday and link up some of your favorite recipes!

What are you making? I would love for you to comment and let me know what you are making this week or leave a link to your menu plan post.

I am linked up at OrgJunkie.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Not So Bad For You Peanut Sesame Noodles


I have been trying to find some more quick and easy dinner recipes that we can whip up on a week night using things we have on hand in our stockpile/fridge/freezer. When I saw the original recipe from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom, I knew this was something we would love and could add to our regular rotation of week night meals.

 I easily adapted this to work with what we like and what I had on hand. We ate it hot but it was even better cold as left overs the next day. I was shocked at how flavorful it was using such simple and relatively light ingredients. It is like the little bit better for you version of Thai take out.

By breaking this recipe up into eight servings, each serving is only 6 Weight Watchers points plus. Not too shabby if you ask me.  It made for tons of left overs which was perfect for lunches the next day.




Not So Bad For You Peanut Sesame Noodles
 Makes 8 servings, 6 Weight Watchers Points+ per serving
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  •  3Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  •  3Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used the equivalent in our minced garlic from the fridge)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 13 oz uncooked whole wheat spaghetti noodles (a regular sized box)
  • 6 small carrots, finely shredded (or any other veggies you like)
  • 1  1/2 cups frozen peas (or any other veggies you like)
  • Crushed peanuts for topping (optional)
1.) Combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, peanut butter, and garlic in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. I found it took a little while for the peanut butter to dissolve into the mixture but it eventually did.


2.) Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and sesame oil.

3.) While the sauce is simmering, boil and the pasta according to the directions on the package, drain and set aside.

4.) Add the cooked noodles and veggies to the sauce and toss until evenly coated.


5.) Top with crushed peanuts and serve warm. (But is just as good or even better served cold the next day). We also added some left over chopped up chicken to ours the next day too.

Enjoy!

This is what we had left over after Justin went up for seconds and even thirds!

Make sure you stop by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up any amazing recipes you have been working on lately.


***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***

    Friday, April 13, 2012

    Five Enjoy The City Books For $29 Shipped- Back Again Through April 17th



    You can get 5  Enjoy the City coupon books for a total $29  plus free shipping. Use the code FUN at check out to get the deal. 


    You have to put all 5 books into your cart for the deal to show/work. If this is anything like the last 5/$29 deal they did you can also mix and match books from different areas to get your five. It will show your discount at the bottom of your order and you might have to click all the way through the checkout process to right before you pay to see the deal reflected. 


    I have bought a couple of these books through fundraisers and the best part about them is the four $5/$30 Winn Dixie coupons which my Publix also accepts. (note: not all books have the Winn Dixie coupons in them) That in itself pays for the book at more. My area's version also has tons of great coupons for restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. 


    You can actually preview you area's entire book to make sure you like the coupons before you buy. I am not sure how long this promotion lasts so you may want to take advantage of it now if you are interested. 

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Weekly Totals Link Up & Saved $80 At Publix Today 4/12

    Spent $42 for $120 Worth

     After a few weeks of lack luster shopping trips (in my opinion), I was so happy with how today's trip turned out. Today was the perfect balance of buying what I needed for our life/meals and stocking up on couponed items. I was finally able to break out of my two week slump of saving less than 60% this week. I ideally like to save 70% but because I coupon a little more "realistically" than extreme types, I don't always save that much since I still try to buy what we want within reason and not buy more than we need of the super deals.

    I was lucky to have the $5/$30 Publix coupon from this past Sunday's paper as well as the option to use either a $5/$30 Enjoy The City Winn Dixie coupon (hate parting with those!) or a $5/$50 Target catalina that printed for me last week. I didn't know if I would hit $80 before coupons but surprisingly I did and I was able to use the Target once which expires in 10 days.

    I only spent $42 today which includes a 5 pound whole chicken, trash bag, sandwich bags, salad, 2 boxes of Kashi bars and much more. Pretty good day in my book. I did hit up Target Easter clearance earlier this week and spend about $15 so that still keeps me under our weekly spending budget with a little extra left over from the week to stick into our new camera fund : )

    Remember to link up below and show off how well you did this week! We have had 25 link ups or more the past few weeks and I just love seeing how you all save and finding new blogs to read.

    Breakdown of today's trip:
    Total retail value: $120.64
    Total spent: $41.79
    Total saved: $78.88
    Percent saved: 65%

    What I bought with sale/coupon match ups:
    • 2 bags of Fresh Express Salad, retails for $3.99 each, on sale BOGO ($1.99 each)
    •  2 bags of Alexia Frozen Sweet Potato products, retails for $3.79 each, on sale for $3.00 each
      • Used two $1.00 coupons from Coupons.com
      • Stacked with two .75 cents off Publix coupons from the Freshen Up Your Menu Booklet
      • Made them $1.25 each
    •  2 bags of Cape Cod chips, retails for $3.79 each, on sale for $2.50 each
      • Used a $1/2 coupon from the 4/1 SS
      • Made them $2.00 each
    •  2 boxes of Kashi granola bars, retails for $4.05 each, on sale for $2.99 each
      • Used two $2.00 off coupons from Recycle Bank
      • Made them .99 cents each
    •  1 half gallon of Silk Almond Milk, retails for $3.49, on sale for $2.50
      • Used a .75 cents off coupon from Coupons.com
      • Made it $1.75
    •  4 bags of Goldfish crackers, retails for $2.39 each
      • On sale BOGO, made them $1.19 each
    •  1 bag of Terra Sweet Potato Chips, retails for $3.50
      • On clearance rack for $2.00
    •  2 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, retails for $1.59 each, on sale for $1.00
    • 1 bag of Kraft Shredded Motzerella cheese, retails for $4.19
      • On sale 50% off, made it $2.10
    • 1 package of whole wheat Tandoori Naan retails for $2.99
      • On sale for $2.50
    •    Almost 5 pound Purdue whole chicken, on sale for $1.29 a pound
      • Made it $5.93 
    •  2 packages of Kraft Big Cheese slices, retails for $3.19
      • On sale 50% off made them  $1.59 each
      • Used two $1 off manufacturer coupons found in the store, I had some from a few weeks ago but there was also a display of them in the aisle at my store
      • Made them .59 cents each
    •  Banana, on sale for .28 cents
      • Used a $1.00 off produce WYB Kraft Cheese slices Publix coupon from Cooking With Kraft
      • Made it FREE plus .72 cents overage
    •  Lemon, .67 cents
      • Used a $1.00 off produce WYB Kraft Cheese slices Publix coupon from Cooking With Kraft
      • Made it FREE plus .23 cents overage
    •  Glad Tall Kitchen trash bags, retails for $8.11, on sale for $5.99
      • Used a $1 off coupon from Coupons.com
      • Stacked with a $1 off Publix coupon from the One Stop, One Store booklet
      • Made them $3.99
    •  4 Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaners, retails for $2.29 each, on sale BOGO ($1.14 each)
      • Used two .50/2 coupons from Lysol's website
      • Made them .89 cents each
    •  2 boxes of Glad storage bags, retails for $3.49 each
      • On sale BOGO made them $1.74 each
    • 1 loaf of Publix Bakery Sourdough bread, retails for $3.65
      • Used a $1 off Publix bakery item WYB Kraft Shredded Cheese from Cooking With Kraft
      • Made it $2.65
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    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Baked NYC's Sweet & Salty Brownies

      


    Do you ever see something on TV and tell yourself "I am totally going to make that tomorrow" only to go online look up how much work is involved in making said item and then completely blow off the project? That is what happened with me and these brownies. 

    I love Food Network. Borderline obsessed. I often talk about the people on Food Network to my husband as if they are real people we know personally and interact with on a daily basis. I actually have a season recording set up on my tivo for multiple Food Network shows. It's embarassing. 

    One of my favorite shows (and by one of, I mean one of my top 20 favorite shows on Food Network), is The Best Thing I Ever Ate. We have actually planned vacation schedules around eating at the places on this show. Again, embarrassing.

    This Sweet & Salty Brownie from Baked Bakery in NYC was featured on one of the episodes. A dark chocolate brownie with fleur de sel caramel sauce baked right into? Yes, please. And since caramel and chocolate could be one of my favorite combinations of all time, I knew I had to make it. I was totally pumped to get baking that very night until I found the recipe online and it had about one million steps to it. 

    Needless to say, my bubble was burst and there was no way I was making that brownie anytime soon. Fast forward a year. I got ambitious. I was going to do it. I started step one and began making the homemade caramel and due to some inattention on my part, I burned to caramel to the point of no return. I was so discouraged that I never made it to step two. 

    Fast forward another year and a half to tonight. Armed with a candy thermometer, the perfect sauce pan and no distractions, I was ready to tackle that caramel. 

    Yes, it is a complicated recipe. Yes, there are a lot of steps involved. No, I would not try to multitask while you do this. But despite what these photos may indicate, these brownies are totally worth it. (Why is it that the most ooey, gooey, delicious things never photograph the way you want them to?)

    They are they perfect combination of dark chocolate and sweet, salty caramel. The bitterness of the dark chocolate is exactly what this treat needs to keep it from being overly sweet and the random flakes of sea salt and sugar sprinkled on top are an amazing contrast to the whole thing. 

    This recipe is taken from and adapted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented.



    Baked NYC's Sweet & Salty Brownie

    Caramel:
    1 c. sugar
    2 TBSP light corn syrup
    1/2 c. heavy cream
    1 tsp fleur de sel (sea salt)
    1/4 c. sour cream

    Brownie:
    1 and 1/4 c. flour
    1 tsp. salt
    2 TBSP dark cocoa powder (I used Hersey's Special Dark)
    11 oz. quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped (I used Ghiradelli's 60% Cocoa Chocolate Chips)
    2 sticks unsalted butter, cut up and at room temperature
    1 & 1/2 c. sugar
    1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
    5 large eggs, room temperature
    2 tsp vanilla

    Topping:
    1 and 1/2 tsp fleur de sel (sea salt)
    1 tsp coarse sugar ( I used demera sugar)

    Make the Caramel:
    1.) In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 c. water, stirring together carefully so you don't splash the sides of the pan.  Cook over high heat, until a thermometer reads 350 degrees and is dark amber in color.


    2.) Remove from the heat and slowly add the cream (it will bubble up).  Then add the fleur de sel.  Whisk in the sour cream.  Set aside to cool. I put it in a separate bowl so it wouldn't burn if left in the pot. 



    Make the Brownie:
    3.) Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water.  


    4.) Whisk in both sugars until completely combined.  Removed bowl from pan


    5.) Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined.  Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined.  Add the vanilla and stir until incorporated.  Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or the brownies may be dry or too dense.

    6.)Add the flour mixture.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until just barely combined. 


    Assemble:
    7.) Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.  


     8.) Drizzle and 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce (not all of it) over the batter, trying to stay away from the edges. Gently spread the caramel sauce evenly.  I used an off set spatula.



     9.) In heaping spoonfuls, scoop the remaining batter over the caramel layer. Smooth the brownie batter gently over the caramel. I drizzled the remaining caramel sauce over the top of the batter before baking or you can save it to serve with them later.



    10.) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Sprinkle the mixture of sea salt and sugar on top for the perfect crunch. (It really does make a difference I swear.) Allow to cool before serving.

    Enjoy!

    Make sure you stop by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up any amazing recipes you have been working on lately.


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