Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds

Recipes, devotional thoughts, and other cool things I come across.

Blondie Ambition April 24, 2012

You can tell that summer is rapidly approaching because nearly everyone I know is starting to suffer from a summer cold.  Unfortunately, I also feel like I’m coming down with something, but that won’t stop me from sharing all sorts of wonderful tidbits with you.  Today I got an e-mail from Haagen-Dazs letting me know that Free Cone Day is fast approaching!  It will be on May 8 from 4-8 PM at participating stores.  Hopefully, you’ve got one near you so you can take advantage of this great offer.

I also had another fun DIY that I wanted to share.  My husband loves to use Febreze fabric refresher, but it’s a little expensive.  Since our bottle was running low, I decided to go online to see if I could find any way to make it myself.  I found this great post that shows you how to make it in just a couple minutes with regular household ingredients.

Before we get to our exciting movie section, I want to share a couple of delicious recipes.  The first recipe is one of my hubby’s favorites.  He loves this casserole so much, he asks for it nearly every year on his birthday (including this year).  I got the recipe from one of my grad school roommates and am glad that I can share it with you.  It’s not the healthiest, but I figure that once a year can’t be that bad.

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

3 c. chopped, cooked chicken

1 10 3/4 oz. can of cream of chicken soup

8 oz. sour cream

1 tbsp. poppy seeds

1 1/2 c. crushed Ritz crackers

1/4 c. melted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the chicken, soup, sour cream, and poppy seeds and spoon into a lightly greased 7×11 in. dish (or an 8 in. square pan – which is what I used).

2. In another bowl, combine the crushed Ritz and the butter and sprinkle over the casserole.  Bake, uncovered, for 30 min.

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole 2

One of his grandmothers’ birthdays falls pretty soon after his, and this year she asked for a cheesecake.  Instead of making a regular cheesecake which would be hard to cut into smaller pieces (she’s diabetic), I made 4 dozen mini cheesecakes.  They were delicious and are perfect little creamy portions.  I might’ve not so accidentally discovered that they’re also delicious frozen.  I didn’t put the glaze on top, and they were still perfect.  This is something that would be great to make and then freeze to satisfy sudden cheesecake cravings (what, you don’t get those?).

Mini Cheesecake Cups (from Taste of Home)

For the cheesecake cups:

3 8 oz. packages softened cream cheese

1 c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

5 eggs

For the glaze:

1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar

1 c. sour cream

1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese til smooth.  Gradually add the sugar, vanilla, and salt; mix well.  Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

2. Spoon 2 tbsp. of batter into paper-lined mini muffin cups.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or til set.  Cool completely.

3. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and confectioner’s sugar; spread a little over each cake.  Chill 1 hour.

Mini Cheesecake Cups 2

Our next installment of the movie/recipe duo is starting to get us in the mood for summer: Legally Blonde. (Trailer here.)  Elle Woods is happily expecting a proposal from her college sweetheart.  On the big date, she gets the shock of her life when he dumps her in preparation for law school.  Despite her “dumb blonde” status, she makes it into Harvard, but then runs into several bumps.  However, she makes new friends, learns to believe in herself, and finds love along the way.  This movie has a little more emphasis on comedy than most of the others in our series.  Some of my favorite parts are when Elle’s shopping for the big date, the Harvard admissions board, when Elle helps out David, Vivian and Elle’s bonding moment, Elle’s day in court, and the graduation ceremony.  There are also some great lines: “I’m sorry. I just hallucinated. What?”, “I can’t believe you just called me a butthead. I mean, no one’s called me a butthead since about the ninth grade.” “Maybe not to your face.”, and “If you’re going to let one stupid [jerk] ruin your life, you’re not the girl I thought you were.”

Since there’s not a lot of eating in the movie, I was trying to figure out what would be a good recipe to share.  At first I was thinking about something Californian or Bostonian.  Then it hit me.  Blondies!  I decided to go with a homemade version of a restaurant favorite: Applebee’s White Chocolate and Walnut Blondies.  I think I originally got the recipe from one of those Top Secret Recipe cookbooks, but I was able to find that he shared the same recipe on Good Morning, America over at their site.  Though it requires a few more steps than your average blondie recipe, the results are more than worth it.

White Chocolate and Walnut Blondie (from Top Secret Recipes via GMA)

For the blondies:

4 egg whites

1/2 c. softened butter

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. milk

8 oz. white chocolate chunks

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

For the (amazing!) sauce:

1/2 c. softened butter

1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar

1/4 c. softened cream cheese

2 tbsp. maple syrup

1/4 tsp. salt

To serve:

8 scoops vanilla ice cream

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks.  Add the butter, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla and mix til smooth.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add the dry mix to the wet mix and mix well til they’re smooth.  Stir in the milk, chocolate, and walnuts.  Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or til the blondies are golden brown on top.  When cool, slice into 8 pieces.

2. While the cake bakes, combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl.

3. When you’re ready to serve, heat a small cast iron skillet on high heat for about 5 minutes.  Arrange the cake in the center of the pan.  Nuke the sauce 30-60 seconds til hot and creamy.  Place a scoop of ice cream on the blondie, drizzle with sauce, and top with a tbsp. of walnuts.  (If you’re like me, you don’t have a small skillet, cast iron or otherwise.  I just nuke the blondie and then top it as they suggest.)

Have a great day and try to not catch the summer cold that’s going around.     🙂


2 Responses to “Blondie Ambition”

  1. […] we’ve got some deals to discuss.  Don’t forget that tomorrow is Haagen-Dazs’s free cone day!  If you live near a store, you might want to plan an afternoon stop.  If you don’t live […]

  2. […]  This actually isn’t something that my hubby requested.  His forever request is to have poppy-seed chicken casserole, which isn’t exactly healthy.  I wanted to balance the cream of soup with some vegetables. […]

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