September 2012

Salted Caramel Brownies

It was rainy here this weekend, very rainy. Weekends like that are hard to come by in Dallas, so I didn’t want to let this one go to waste. So what did I do with all my time? Bake bake bake. It turns out if I were stranded on a deserted island with nothing but an oven and baking ingredients, I would be just fine. My body works well when sustained solely on raw batter.
I was trying to decide what to bake Saturday morning, when I saw a jar of caramel sauce lurking in the back of our pantry. Then I spotted the brownie mix (I rarely use baking mixes, but I LOVE what Betty has done with her fudgy brownies). So, I baked the brownies and immediately topped with warmed caramel sauce. I love salted caramel, so I then sprinkled about a teaspoon or two of flaked sea salt on top.  Delicious alone or topped with 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Deviled Eggs


It’s not really deviled egg season, but the truth is there is no bad time for a deviled egg. Just a standard schmandard deviled egg recipe is all you need, and a little more control over your paprika shaker than what you see above.


  • 1 dozen large hard boiled eggs
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • Dash tabasco
  • S&P
  • Paprika

Slice the peeled hard boiled eggs lengthwise and transfer all the yolks to a bowl. Smash with a fork, then mix in the mayo, mustards, tabasco, and S&P to taste.

Spoon the mixture into a ziploc bag, snip off the corner, and pipe the filling into the egg halves. Sprinkle the paprika over the top using a LIGHT HAND. You will either be repulsed by this recipe, or eat all 12 of these eggs in one sitting.

Prime Rib Sandwich

Have you ever been to a Houston’s restaurant? It’s technically called Hillstone now, but John and I have been loyal customers for so long I think we have the right to continue calling it Houston’s.
The restaurant is amazing: dark bar, piano man, large pours of outstanding red wine, and a prime rib sandwich that does amazing things to your taste buds and your overall morale. A toasted hoagie roll, thin slices of perfectly roasted prime rib, and a side of au jus. So so good.
Being that Sunday was a Chicago Bears day, John wanted to make this favorite sandwich of his to go along with the game. I can’t argue with plans on Chicago Bears’ days. So, I went along. Not that I needed any convincing, I love the prime rib sandwich too.
  • 5-6 lb Prime Rib Roast
  • 3-4 cups Beef Broth
  • 1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • 6 Hoagie or Ciabatta Rolls
  • Caramelized Onions (optional)
  • Provolone Cheese (optional)
  • Mayo (optional)
We used a 4.5 lb roast, and that made enough for 4-5 heaping sandwiches. Assume about 2 ribs per person for serving size.
To roast the prime rib, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Place the meat in a roasting pan, and sprinkle with lots of salt and a little pepper. Salt is key here. Mix the beef broth and onion mix and pour into the bottom of the pan.  Stick a meat thermometer into the roast, several inches away from the bone.
Place the pan in the 500 degree oven for 15 minutes, then reduce to 325 and cook for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours, basting with the sauce every 20 minutes or so. You can assume about 17 minutes of cooking time per pound (including the 15 at 500). A meat thermometer should read 125-130 for medium…make sure you monitor the temperature closely. There is really no way to eyeball the doneness until you cut into the meat.
When the meat is done (you want it no more than medium), remove from the oven and tent with foil to let it rest for about 15 minutes. When it is ready to slice, slice it verrrry thinly. I don’t know if this is a general prime rib rule, or my husband’s rule.
Meanwhile, caramelize the onions if you choose to add them – saute 2 sliced onions in 1 tablespoon of butter salt for about 15 minutes. Toast the sliced rolls on a skillet or griddle with a touch of melted butter.  I prepared my sandwich with provolone and onions,  John went with just mayo. Ladle out some of the au jus from the roasting pan into a small bowl and use for dipping.  Enjoy!

Almond Streusel Bread

Typically when I see a Cooking Light magazine at the grocery store, I walk right past it without the slightest bit of temptation. Not that I don’t enjoy eating healthy, but if I want to make a really scrumptious weekend meal, I want it to be good – not just ‘good for being so healthy’.
But, yesterday I saw this one:
Treat yourself?? Well, don’t mind if I do. I will treat myself. In fact I made the exact bread that is pictured on the cover. Nice job on the marketing, Cooking Light.
I followed the recipe here, but used a full stick of butter in the bread and subbed almonds for walnuts. Oh and I added an extra 1/3 cup of sugar. I am sure none of those additions affected the ‘lightness’ of it though.
The result is a very delicious breakfast bread, which was a good break from the regular Banana Bread I make. You’ll want to eat the streusel by the spoonful, which will put you at high risk for not having enough for the bread.  Should that happen, just make more.

Toasted Caprese Sandwich

Let me introduce you to my favorite sandwich: The Caprese. Fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and a balsamic glaze sandwiched between two pieces of perfectly toasted bread.
Reduce about a 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar over medium heat for 15 minutes or so, until there are just a few tablespoons left (should be thick and glaze-like). Drizzle over two pieces of bread, then top with mozzarella, basil and sliced tomato. Grill on a skillet or a panini maker until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.  Sometimes if I’m too lazy to use the panini maker (and there are plenty of times like this…you have to clean it after), I first toast the bread in a toaster, then drizzle the balsamic and create the sandwich…either heated in a microwave or not. You can’t go wrong.If I lived alone in a hut somewhere in the woods I would eat this for every meal, every day.  But I don’t. Having a husband/real life forces you to drop weird tendencies like that.

Last weekend I had a craving for Applesauce Muffins, but decided to add a few twists to spice it up a bit. I used half brown sugar and half white, added chocolate chips, baked it in a bread pan to create more of a cake, and then topped with the caramel frosting on this bundt cake. The bread should bake for about 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees, until a toothpick comes out clean. Top with the frosting once cooled. It is kind of a muffin-meets-cake dessert…I don’t know whether to suggest coffee or ice cream with it. I went with both.