Honey Beer Bread

I finally made another challenge recipe! Aren't you proud of me? As soon as I saw this posted on Brown Eyed Baker I knew I had to try it out. It was very good and I can't wait to try it out with lots of my favorite beers.
The Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour**
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 (12 oz) bottle of beer
3 Tbsp honey
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
**I did go ahead and buy some bread flour even though you can sub in regular flour. Like I said, I plan to make this a lot so it was worth the extra cost to have the right ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan. Whisk together the dry ingredients.

Pour in the beer. This time I used Blue Moon because I happened to have some in my fridge and I wanted to start off on the lighter end of beer I will drink. You always want a beer you cook with to be one you would drink anyway.

Add in the honey and stir until fully combined with a rubber spatula. Pour into prepared loaf pan.

Pour the melted butter evenly over the top of the loaf.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown and a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean. 

Cool to room temperature before slicing.

This was so darn good! We ate all but two slices with dinner. I already have a big list of beers to use in the future for this. Thanks Brown Eyed Baker!!

Squash on the Side

Summer squash is one of those things I just can't get enough of when I make but I don't make often because the kids don't like it. Well, we had a dinner guest last night so I used the excuse to of another person to go ahead and make this fast and easy side dish.
The Ingredients:

 4 summer squash, sliced into rounds
about the same amount of sliced sweet onion
1/4 cup stick butter
salt and pepper to taste

Put the butter in a skillet and add the sliced onion and squash.

Sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Put the lid on the skillet and cook over medium heat until soft.

Seriously, that's it! You barely have to watch it at all. Stir it a time or two and make sure there is enough butter that they aren't sticking or frying. Absolute perfection!

Mashed Potatoes a la PW

I couldn't believe I had never shared this recipe before but I guess I just thought everyone probably knew about it. In any case, I decided to post it today. It is straight out of the Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook and the only thing I change is I cut it in half. Here's how that looks!

The Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds potatoes
6 Tbsp butter (plus 2 more for the top)
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
salt and pepper to taste

I have a nifty little kitchen scale which helps out a lot with things like this! I peeled potatoes and added them to the bowl until it was right.

Halve or quarter each potatoes to make fairly uniform pieces that will cook evenly. Bring a pot of water to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and bring to a full boil. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes until fork tender.

Drain potatoes and put back into the pot over low heat while you mash them.

Add the butter, cream cheese and half-and-half.

Mash some more until everything is combined and soft. you may need to add a touch more half-and-half.

Season and taste and adjust as necessary. You could go ahead and serve them now but that would just be plain old mashed potatoes! PW has other ideas!! Spread those taters out into a casserole dish and dot the top with a little more butter. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes and you have really got a treat in store!


Crockpot Chocolate Cake

This is one of those super duper easy peasy only takes a minute things!

The Ingredients:

1 box chocolate cake mix
8 oz sour cream
1 cup water
1 cup chocolate chips
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (4 oz) box instant chocolate pudding mix

Most important is your crockpot! Spray it with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients together. I was excited to use my new batter whisk from Sur la Table.

Cook in crockpot for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.

Serve with ice cream for a hot and cold delight :)