Binge watching a television show is entirely new to me. Since Netflix came into existence I think everyone in my family has binge-watched something, besides me. Greg went through his Person of Interest days and Savannah has watched several things, including Grey’s Anatomy. Nothing has ever held my interest long enough to sit for hours straight. I don’t even sit through a two-hour movie at home. I suppose there are too many things that I need to be doing.
Things have changed. I recently discovered a show on Starz that I totally have an obsession with now! I still can’t sit down long enough to watch the entire season at one time, but over the past week, I have almost finished two seasons. That is a record for me! Season three will not be on until September so I’m even thinking of rewatching the first two seasons when I finish the last three episodes this week.
I have made a few discoveries. Binge watching is better with the lights out, it’s better with a friend, and it’s better with food. What better way to enjoy the show that you love than with a good friend and a pizza, a big bowl of popcorn, or better yet, this awesome Peanut Butter Skillet Brownie? Warm from the oven, plopped right there between you, spoons in hand and digging in while you are completely absorbed with these characters that you feel like you know personally.
This skillet brownie bakes up in 20 minutes and is delicious served with vanilla ice cream. If you don’t care for peanut butter add a few chocolate chips or nuts into the batter or over the top. Serve up warm with a glass of cold milk and you are ready for a marathon of your favorite show!
Peanut Butter Skillet Brownie
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 8-oz. dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil or butter
- ½ c. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. peanut butter
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave until melted stirring every 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and add to the chocolate mixture, gently stirring to combine.
- Transfer the batter to a well seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet, smoothing the top.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the peanut butter briefly to soften (20 to 30 seconds). Dollop the peanut butter onto the brownie batter, use a spoon handle to swirl the peanut butter into the batter.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Jimmy and Michelle are great friends of ours. Greg and I met them shortly after moving to the farm, and they quickly became like family. We love going to eat or to a good concert with them. Even chilling by a bonfire and catching up on life is fun.
Michelle will be the first to admit that cooking is not high on her list of favorite things to do. Jimmy says that he can never tell Michelle when he likes something she cooks. He says that she’ll cook it every night for three months straight until he’s sick of it. I think he likes to give her a hard time and tease her. Michelle is a better cook than she (or Jimmy) give her credit.
Chocolate croissants are one of her favorite things to make, and she has me hooked with this recipe. With frozen puff pastry, this Chocolate Almond Pastry Braid could not be easier. This recipe is so basic and fast that she often makes these pastries before school and work. The chocolate is out of this world, and I can’t wait to try apple filling, peach filling, and prune filling!
Chocolate Almond Pastry Braid
- 1 box Frozen Puff Pastry
- 3 (1.55-oz.) Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars
- 1 egg, beaten
- Demerara sugar, optional
- Sliced almonds, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Unfold both pieces of puff pastry. Using the folds as a guide, place 1½ Hershey's bars down the center of each piece.
- Usding a sharp knife, cut diagonal cuts from the fold line to the edge on both left and right sides, about ¾-inch apart. (approximately 8 or 9 cuts) Discard the corner piece. (2 per pastry)
- Begin folding cut pieces over the chocolate, alternating left and right pieces and overlapping until you have a braid pattern.
- Brush beaten egg over braid. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds. Bake until golden brown. Cool slightly and slice to serve.
Dessert is always tempting but after a big Thanksgiving meal who needs or even wants a big slice or cake or pie? These little shooters are not only the perfect size but they are adorable!
Dark Chocolate Toffee Brownie Shooters are so decadent that you’ll never believe just how easy they are to prepare. They start with a brownie mix, and the chocolate mousse could not be simpler to make. Top with whipped topping just before serving and garnish with a mint leaf if desired.
Dark Chocolate Toffee Brownie Shooters
- 1 (18-oz.) pkg. triple chocolate brownie mix
- 3 tbsp. Kahlua, optional
- 3 (3.5-oz.) Ghirardelli dark chocolate with toffee bits and caramelized almonds candy bars, chopped 1½ c. whipping cream, divided
- caramel topping
- can of nondairy whipped topping
- Bake brownies according to package directions. If desired, poke holes in the baked brownies with a straw and pour Kahula over brownies, allowing it to seep into holes. Cool completely in pan.
- Microwave chocolate and ¼ cup whipping cream in a large microwave-safe bowl at high for 1 to 1½ minutes or until chocolate melts, stirring after 1 minute. Let stand 45 minutes or until almost cool.
- Beat remaining 1¼ cups whipping cream at high-speed of an electric mixer until soft peaks form; gently fold into the chocolate mixture.
- Crumble brownies into bit size pieces. Layer brownies, caramel topping, and chocolate mousse into shot glasses. Top with whipped topping.
- Garnish with mint leaves if desired.
The season is passing by much faster than I would like. The older I get the more it seems that I don’t get everything checked from my list that I really want to do. Wes and Savannah are finished with fall semester and will be home for a few weeks. I’m so glad to have them home but for some strange reason they have the idea that I’m their “personal chef” while they are on break.
When the kids were smaller they always opened one Christmas gift on Christmas Eve. Now that we do three gifts, opening one of Christmas Eve is not an option as far as Greg is concerned. He never really liked that anyway. So, I am planning a Christmas Eve game for us this year. I’ve been collecting small gifts and I have a few secrets up my sleeve.
Todays recipe is Savannah’s recipe. She has been making these for the past couple of years during the holidays. Wes and Greg request them and they do not last long around here. This is a great recipe to get the kids involved in too!
- 36 Oreo cookies, finely crushed
- 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate
- 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
- Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended.
- Shape into 1-inch balls and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt chocolate. Remove Oreo balls from freezer and dip into melted chocolate. Return to wax paper lined pan. Return Oreo balls to the freezer until chocolate has set.
- Store in refrigerator.