Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Meatball Stuffed Cheesy Garlic Bread

Oh Sundays - you are my friend. Nothing like some football and baking. That has become part of our routine, and I have to admit I love it. Up on the menu was these delicious little balls of yuminess. I was all for these from the beginning - meatballs -yum. Cheese - yum. Bread - yum. Ok it's actually a biscuit but who doesn't love a biscuit?! 

With two hungry men watching football and ready to chow down, it was time to get going on this snack. Into the kitchen I went while BP and his dad were glued to the Red Zone cheering and hollering, and I have to say it was close to perfect. It made me wish my dad was there to have a little man bonding time with the love of my life and his father. I can only imagine that the same thing will happen in a couple weeks when BP and I go to my family's for Thanksgiving. 

With the delicious snacks all ready to go, into the oven they went. Man, those 25 minutes couldn't of gone by any slower. My stomach was beginning to rumble, sounding like an angry monster. Food needed to be eaten, and soon. And the aroma coming from the oven wasn't helping. 

When the  timer finally went off, I did a little happy dance inside and went to go get those babies out of the oven.  Snack time! Sauce warming on the oven to dip them in was ready and I made up some plates for each of us. 

Oh my word - winner. And I had some happy campers from BP and his dad - mission accomplished. Although I really hit one out of the park later that day with some German Chocolate Cupcakes....raves all around. 

Meatball Stuffed Cheesy Garlic Bread Balls 
Makes 24 balls

can (12 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Jr. Golden Layers® refrigerated buttermilk or flaky biscuits
frozen cooked Italian-style meatballs (about 5 oz), thawed, each cut in half
sticks (1 oz each) string cheese, each cut into 10 pieces
tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
teaspoon Italian seasoning
teaspoon garlic powder
cup marinara sauce, heated

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Separate each biscuit into 2 layers. Press each biscuit layer into 3-inch round.

2.  Place 1 meatball half, cut side up, and 1 string cheese piece in center of each dough round. Wrap dough around meatball and cheese, pressing edges to seal. In ungreased 8- or 9-inch round cake pan, place seam side down in single layer.
3.  Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
4.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and biscuits are no longer doughy in center. Serve warm biscuits with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Caramel Corn

My love for anything caramel runs deep. To the point where when holidays rolled around and bags of Rollo's are brought out they last less than an hour between myself and my dad.  Caramel corn has always been a favorite, and if you add caramel corn coated in chocolate well then I'm a happy camper. And you can bet good money that I will absolutely make chocolate coated caramel corn soon.

When I saw this recipe for homemade caramel corn I was in - big time. BP had already asked for Coconut Cream Pie (there was pie dough that needed to be used in his freezer....thank youTarget ad that reminded me of it), one thing for him and one thing for me. 

Saturday night rolled around and BP was off to play some poker. While he was out doing what he loves, I was home doing what I loved - baking. Pies were done and chilling and it was time for some caramel corn. This girl was excited. Like happy dance excited. 

I was a thinker and doubled the batch - I mean I knew I could eat a single batch by myself before BP got home, and that wouldn't be a good thing. So double batch it was. 

Now, pop your own popcorn. It's easy and delicious. All you need is a brown paper lunch bag, 1/4 cup pop corn kernels, 1 tsp vegetable oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Toss it all in the bag, shake it up, fold the top over a couple of times and microwave for 2 minutes or until popping has stopped and you will have amazingly tasty popcorn. 

And here's a tip - make sure to remove all unpopped kernels....they aren't so fun to chomp down on later. Yes, I failed on that part....big time. Lesson learned.

Back to making the caramel corn. This is an easy recipe. You do need some time for it. You bake it in the oven for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. But I promise you, it's worth it. So worth it. 

I mean look at that picture! Food porn at its finest. This stuff is amazing! I can't tell you enough how addicting it really is. 

I couldn't wait to try it and share some with BP's dad. You know, for quality purposes of course. And man oh man I wasn't sure if there would be any left by the time BP came home. But we were good and only had a small bowl each. 

Just sitting here typing this up makes me want some right now. I should of taken a treat bag for myself. But I know this will be made again - and often. Perfect anytime snack. 

Caramel Popcorn

15 cups popped corn (1/2 cup kernels, unpopped)
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup salted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1) Preheat your oven to 200°F and line a half-sheet pan (18" x 13" pan) with parchment paper. Pour the popped corn into a large bowl, at least 6 quarts, and set aside.

2) In a large saucepan over medium-high heat cook the molasses, brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Stirring occasionally, boil the syrup for 5 minutes. The syrup will darken slightly.

3) Remove the pan from the heat and add the baking soda. Stir well as the mixture turns foamy.

4) Immediately (and carefully) pour the hot syrup over the popped corn and stir until the corn is well coated.

5) Spread the hot caramel corn into the parchment-lined pan. Bake at 200°F for one hour. Stir the corn every 15 minutes during this time.

6) Remove from the oven. This caramel corn is a warm, sticky, sweet and crunchy treat straight from the oven. It can also be cooled and stored airtight for several days. This recipe doubles and triples very well.