Sunday, October 28, 2018

HALLOWEEN - Monster Mash Candy Bark

There are two kinds of people in the world.

1. Those who get sick of the same ol' candy

This solves both of their problems. It's basically like making candy out of candy, and it is the perfect way to eat ALL OF THE CANDY ALL OF THE TIME.

Plus, the pretzel-bark bottom ensures a bit of salt to cut all that sweet.

The recipe is really more of a series of suggestions, since it can be adjusted for anything you have on hand--or anything you steal out of your child or younger sibling's treat bag (I won't tell). You can even share the result with them!

This is also a great way to use up any leftover Halloween treats after the holiday. And it looks pretty neat, too!

Monster Mash Halloween Bark
  • About 50 pretzel thins
  • 1 12oz bag of white chocolate chips
  • 12 Halloween Oreos, broken into fourths
  • 1/2 cup candy corn
  • 1/4 cup Halloween M&Ms (extra points: pumpkin spice!)
  • 1/4 cup Reese's Pieces
  • 1/8 cup peanuts
  • 1/8 cup Halloween sprinkles
-Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and arrange the pretzel thins in a single layer so that they're touching.

-In a double boiler over low heat or in a microwave at half power, melt the chocolate chips until smooth.

-Pour half of the melted chocolate chips over the pretzel thins and use a spatula to smooth the surface.

-Drop the rest of the ingredients, minus the sprinkles, and press them lightly into the surface.

-Drizzle the rest of the melted chocolate over the top, and sprinkle the sprinkles over the top.

-Let set in the fridge for at least an hour, then break into chunks. Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Savory Fall Dinner - Pumpkin Risotto with Roasted Garlic


Risotto is one of those dishes that people think is too complicated to try. After all, countless food shows have showed chefs foiled when they were assigned, or attempted, a risotto.

In reality? It's so easy. Yes, it's technical. Yes, it's time consuming. But if you can pour broth into a pot and stir, you're going to be just fine.

Simply keep an eye on the texture and diligently add more broth or wine until the rice goes from singular granules to a flowing, creamy consistency. No cream required!--but I do dollop some sour cream on top. Just because.

It's also one of the most versatile dishes--add some veggies to liven it up. Add a protein and you have a full meal. Plate it fancy and be super impressive. It's up to you!

I went with some seasonal flavors and the result was just fantastic. Feel free to use the base recipe (onions, rice, broth) and jazz it up how you wish. Let me know how it goes!

Pumpkin Risotto with Roasted Garlic

  • 1 cup aroborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth (use vegetable for vegetarian)
  • 1/4 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic, roasted (cut top off garlic, drizzle with olive oil, bake in tinfoil at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until insides are soft)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmsean cheese
  • 1/4 cup frozen spinach (or 1 cup fresh)
  • salt and pepper
  • drizzle of oil + 1 tbsp butter

-Warm the oil and butter over medium heat, until melted. Add the onion and cook until just soft. Then, add the rice and stir until it has absorbed all the liquid.

-Add the wine and stir until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Repeat with the broth, adding by the quarter cup until all liquid is absorbed.

-Stir in the pumpkin, roasted garlic, and spinach. Check the tenderness of the rice. If it is not done (should be soft, not hard or sticky, thick but does not hold shape) add more wine and broth in alternating batches, letting the liquid absorb each time.

-Add the cheese and salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.