Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Knock You Naked

First things first.  HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!  
Thank you, Oma, for our V-day shirts!
And in honor of the lovey dovey day there's these:

image from http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/05/knock-you-naked-brownies/

Ree Drummond's Knock You Naked Brownies

1 box
(18.5 Ounce) German Chocolate Cake Mix (I Used Duncan Hines)

1 cup
Finely Chopped Pecans

1/3 cup
Evaporated Milk

1/2 cup
Evaporated Milk (additional)

1/2 cup
Butter, Melted

60 whole
Caramels, Unwrapped

1/3 cup
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1/4 cup Powdered Sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, chopped pecans, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and melted butter. Stir together until totally combined. Mixture will be very thick.  Press half the mixture into a well-greased 9 x 9 inch square baking pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside. 

In a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water) melt caramels with additional 1/2 cup evaporated milk. When melted and combined, pour over brownie base. Sprinkle chocolate chips as evenly as you can over the caramel.

Turn out remaining brownie dough on work surface. Use your hands to press it into a large square a little smaller than the pan. Use a spatula to remove it from the surface, then set it on top of the caramel and chocolate chips. 

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for several hours. When ready to serve, generously sift powdered sugar over the surface of the brownies. Cut into either nine or twelve helpings, and carefully remove from the pan. 

*Adapted from the classic "Knock You Naked Brownies" recipe, based on a dessert at the Salt Creek Steakhouse in Breckenridge. These brownies don't really knock you naked...but almost.

And when I was at the store I stumbled upon a wine label I've never noticed before:
image from winenotebook.blogspot.com


Which got me thinking that a nice roast, green vegetable, decadent dessert, and good wine would be quite nice for a Valentine Dinner.  I didn't end up with a roast, but instead decided on this crock pot pork recipe (I added to this an onion, 2 garlic cloves, and a splash of OJ)  I'm now tutoring on Tuesday evenings, so I needed something I could throw together ahead of time and be ready when I get home.

And just to round everything out, our side dish is roasted brussels sprouts.  If this is a vegetable you've completely cast aside because the thought of them revolts you, try again.  I immediately think of the time I visited my Great Grandma Paulk (first name Gussie; married at 14; survived three husbands) at her assisted living residence and the place wreaked of overcooked brussels sprouts.  I'm pretty sure that's as bad as mushy, canned asparagus.  But buy a fresh bunch, rinse, cut in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little sugar and roast at 350-400 degrees until browned and YUM-O!!!  A litle crumbled bacon makes them extra yummier.  Your perception will be changed forever...super quick, easy, and tasty. 

So there you have it...reservations at Casa Watson is what we'll be doing tonight.  Simple and low key, which describes most celebrations around here and that's just how we like it.

And for the record...I'm guessing after all this yummy goodness no one needs to be seen naked.

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