Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Brownie with Rolos

Rolo Brownie Bites

I've had a sweet tooth lately... well, that is really nothing new but I usually get my fix with our candy dish at work with a rolo or two.  Do you have a candy dish at work? Or at home?  Us girls in the office have our favorites - in no particular order - twizzlers, crunch bars and rolos.  But we have learned that we have to put the candy dish away at the end of the day... sometimes we get some (hungry) cleaning elves who deplete our supply!

I decided to do some baking this week because I wanted to send some treats to work with the DIY Guy.  I had seen some cute brownie bites somewhere and thought what a perfect bite size treat.  What I hadn't realized is that I bought the wrong size pan - I think my clue should have been there were only 12 slots!  I had meant to buy the mini pan.  Oh well, we have this batch at home (9) and I will be making more to send to his work soon. 

Don't these look nice and gooey! And the best part, baked in the middle is a rolo.  John even had his with a side of ice cream.... that really kicked it up a notch!!

Rolo Brownie Bites

by Deb Attinella
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients (10 larger brownies)
  • 1 Brownie mix (with syrup)
  • package of rolos
  • 3 T unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 T warm water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • caramel sauce for drizzling
1. Preheat oven to 325
2. Prepare the box mix according to directions
3. Prepare brownie pans (I used the pan with 12 slots) with soft butter
4. Pour batter about 2/3 up and place a rolo in the center
5. Bake until done – which is about 25-30 minutes – check with a toothpick near the center but do not insert in rolo
6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove
7. Make frosting by combining all ingredients with a whisk and dip tops in and set on rack to dry.
8. Drizzle caramel sauce
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What's your favorite candy???

And speaking of desserts and chocolately things - head over to see what I guest posted at White Lights on Wednesday... it's an oldy but goody with a twist!

Another rolo recipe you might enjoy - Rolo Brownie Pizza

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lasagna ala Deb

Meat Lasagna

Recently we were invited to our friend's cabin and I offered to bring up our first night's meal.  I knew us three girls would be shopping on our way and definitely not arriving in time to make a meal.  And the guys were probably going to be fishing and anything they caught that day we would eat the next night.

Lasagna is one of those meals you can make ahead of time and either freeze it until you want to use or assemble it the day before and bake it the next (and yes, the third option is to assemble and bake at the same time, but I've found it is best to let it sit for a day before baking - the flavors meld better).

Another new trick I read about and tried was not to cook the noodles - yep, even the boiled ones - which was what I used! I was very skeptical but when I poised this tip on my blog's FB page, I had so many comments from people who don't pre-cook their noodles, that I knew it would be OK (and it was).

So once us girls got back from shopping, we turned on the oven and popped this in - about an hour later we were seated and ready to go.  Along with this, we served a caesar salad (pre-bagged) and some yummy bread.


by Deb Attinella
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Ingredients (serves 8-10)
  • 3 links sweet Italian sausage crumbled
  • 1 ½ ground beef (85/15)
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 12 oz tomato pate
  • 13 oz canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 tsp basil, dried
  • 1/2 tsp crushed fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 Tbl chopped parlsey
  • 12 lasagna noodles (regular noodles but no need to pre-cook)
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 lb sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (or parmesan)
  • 1/2 lb sliced provolone cheese
1. In a large heavy pot cook the sausage, beef, onion and garlic until well browned over medium heat. Then stir in all tomatoes and water and mix well. Next mix in the seasonings through parsley. Simmer, covered for 1 ½ hours being sure to stir occasionally.
2. Preheat oven to 375
3. Combine the ricotta cheese and egg and set aside
4. To assemble: spread 1 ½ cup sauce into a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with PAM. Place 4 noodles on top overlapping a bit. Spread ½ of ricotta mixture on noodles then 1/3 of mozzarella cheese , 1/3 romano cheese, 1 ½ cups sauce then 1/3 of provolone cheese, 4 noodles then repeat cheeses and meat. Place last 4 noodles on top with finish with remaining meat and cheeses. Spray a piece of foil with PAM and place on top.
5. Bake covered for 25 minutes covered. Remove foil and bake an additional 25 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand about 15 minutes before cutting
Notes: Noodles will cook in sauce
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Take a bite...

Then another!

NOTE:  you will get your workout carrying this around - I think it weighs about 5 lbs!  Mangia!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

I've been experimenting with some different ingredients this summer as I'm trying some new salads.  Last week it was quinoa and today I'm using couscous.  I really hadn't realized how easy this is to use - it cooks up in 5 minutes and since I used vegetable broth as a base, it is also a great vegetarian dish.  This particular couscous is tri-colored which added some fun!

Mediterranean Couscous Salad | Cooking on the Front Burner

And while I did not photograph the final product, it was topped with feta cheese.  We found this recipe to be quite refreshing and tasty.  I think it would look cute in a canning jar and brought along on a picnic!

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

by Deb Attinella
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4)
    • 2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken)
    • 1 ½ cup couscous (I used tri color)
    • 2 plum tomatoes seeded and diced
    • 1 cup diced cucumber (unpeeled)
    • 1/2 cup diced Kalamata olives
    • 2 green onions sliced thin
    • 3 T chopped fresh dill
    • feta cheese for topping
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 3 T fresh lemon juice
    • 1 T minced shallot
    • 1/2 t sugar
    • 1/2 T ground stone mustard (or Dijon)
    • S&P
    1. Prepare couscous as directed on package using broth instead of water – I ended up only using 3 cups as you might want to adjust your ingredients – I had leftovers
    2. Combine the cooled couscous along with the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, green onion and dill in a bowl
    3. Make the vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients minus the olive oil in a food processor, slowly add the olive oil until well combined. Toss with other couscous salad and refrigerate at least 45 minutes.
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    Mediterranean Couscous Salad | Cooking on the Front Burner


    Thursday, July 25, 2013

    Grow Your Blog Hop


    Happy Thursday and welcome to a new adventure I am taking part of called  Grow Your Blog Networking Party.  You may remember this party from earlier this year and I'm excited that Julie @ This Gal Cooks and Paula @ Call Me PMc have decided to resurrect it!   Tanya @ Lemons for Lulu and myself are being added as permanent hosts and each week we will be joined by four co-hosts. Interested in co-hosting? Just email us at and we will get you scheduled! 

    What is the Grow Your Blog Networking Party all about? NETWORKING, of course! Meeting new bloggers, finding new content to follow, building your readership. Why is blog networking great for you? Simply put, it increases readership and traffic to your blog. How do you network? Visit. Comment. Invite. Communicate. These are key to growing your blog.  (Even if you don't blog, you will find some new ones to explore!)  What are some of your tips for networking? Leave a comment below! We may feature your idea at a future party! Let's meet the hosts and co-hosts of the party! 


    Julie from This Gal Cooks (Host)
     Paula from Call Me PMc (Host)
     Tanya from Lemons for Lulu (Host)
    Deb from Cooking on the Front Burner (Host)
    Kaylynn from Among the Young (Co-Host)
    Melissa from Persnickety Plates (Co-Host)
    Amanda from My Show (Co-Host)
    Lisa from Sweet 2 Eat Baking (Co-Host)

    Each week we will be including a link up to a social media outlet of our choosing. This week we chose Google Plus. So after linking up your blog, be sure to scroll down and link up your G+ Profile.
    Some tips when using G+:
    • Tag people in your posts that involve them. If you share someone's post on Google plus, tag them by typing @ and their name. A dropdown with a list of names will come up. Select their name to tag them. Below is an example. I wanted to tag Tanya so I typed @ and then started typing her name.
    Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 10.24.43 PM
    • Plus one other posts.
    • Add people to circles. One of the great features of Google plus is that you can add people to circles. This makes it so easy to keep track of who posts about food, tech info, DIY, etc. You can create your own circles and name them whatever you want to name them.
    • Participate in G+ Communities. I am part of the G+ Food Bloggers Community. I've met some great people through that group. And I even attended a virtual Food Bloggers conference that was held on G+!
    Do you have any G+ questions? Just let us know. We'd be happy to answer them for you!
      • Follow and/or visit your hosts and co-hosts. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know you stopped by!
      • Link up the main page of your blog, not an individual post. You may link up your individual posts to Marvelous Mondays.
      • Visit and follow other bloggers
      • Comment to let them know that you stopped by and how you followed (Email, GFC, Facebook, Bloglovin, etc)
      • Invite them to visit your blog. Leave the name of your blog in a comment. Please do not leave a link - Google is going to start viewing links as Spam and they will decrease page ranking of sites that are viewed to have a lot of Spam.
      • Communicate with them about what you like on their blog. Let them know you are interested in their blog.USE THEIR NAME! A simple “I’m so and so stopping by. I followed you please follow me.” just isn’t going to interest someone into visiting your blog. Sure, you can request a visit to your blog or a follow along but engage in some type of conversation first.
      • Place our party graphic on your page. It's not required but it would be a pretty rad thing to do. You can get the graphic by copying and pasting the GYB graphic located in the beginning of this post.


    Wednesday, July 24, 2013

    Fresh Peach Cobbler

    Fresh Peach Cobbler

    This recipe is possible by a special request from the DIY Guy.  For the past few weeks Trader Joe's has had the best peaches - they are $5.99 in a box and theeeee most flavorful and perfect peaches I've seen in a quite awhile.  No bruises or blemishes and just the right amount of ripeness - we have had about 3 boxes between the two of us so far!

    One night John suggested making a cobbler.  I was game even though it would be a first for me so I did a bit of cookbook research, made some adjustments and came up with a recipe that seemed pretty easy.  I also knew I wanted them to be in individual dishes and these quiche dishes worked well.  The cobbler isn't overly sweet and the crumb topping cooked up perfect.... one of my additions was quick oats.

    Fresh Peach Cobbler | Cooking on the Front Burner

    Fresh Peach Cobbler | Cooking on the Front Burner #peaches

    Fresh Peach Cobbler

    by Deb Attinella
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Ingredients (serves 4)
    • 6 peaches, peeled and sliced into wedges
    • 2 T white sugar
    • 2 T packed brown sugar
    • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
    • 1 T lemon juice
    • 1 ½ tsp cornstarch
    • 3/4 cup flour
    • 2 T sugar
    • 1/2 cup quick oats
    • dash salt
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 4 T cold butter cut into small pieces
    • 2 T boiling water
    • 2T sugar combined with 1 tsp cinnamon
    1. Preheat oven to 400
    2. In a bowl combine the peaches, both sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and cornstarch
    3. Spray with PAM either an 8x8 square baking dish or small quiche dishes (4) (above). Divide peaches into the dishes (or dish). Bake for 5 minutes.
    4. Make the topping while the peaches are cooking by combining the all dry ingredients and mix well, add butter and use a pastry cutter until it resembles medium crumbs. Add boiling water and mix until combined well.
    5. Remove peaches from oven and drop chunks of dough onto peaches and then sprinkle with a cinnamon and sugar mixture.
    6. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in oven for 20 minutes until top is golden brown….
    7. Cool and serve with ice cream if desired.
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    Fresh Peach Cobbler | Cooking on the Front Burner #peaches

    You might like them 'naked' but we liked ours topped with vanilla ice cream and if I was really ambitious, I would have made my own with my new ice cream maker.  Maybe next time!

    I loved how the ice cream melted a bit and seeped into the cervices of the cobbler - YUM!

    Fresh Peach Cobbler | Cooking on the Front Burner #peaches

    If you like, be sure to let John know!  Maybe he'll come up with something else for me to try....

    Monday, July 22, 2013

    The Best Summer Snack!

    How to make a s'more

    Dare I say this is the best summer snack ever!  Such a timeless classic   How could you not love these - they are the best combo of flavors.  And when made just right (meaning the marshmallow is not set on fire!), and you take the marshmallow, squish it between the cracker and chocolate, hold it for bit so the chocolate melts, you have an ooey gooey sweet delight!

    We recently spent a weekend at a friend's cabin and decided to have these as an afternoon snack.

    We had a fire tender who started this

    And when it died down a bit, the DIY Guy started with the roasting - he really prides himself in making the perfect - no burnt - marshmallow

    Oh yea, this is a good one

    Time to assemble

    And of course, time to eat

    I had two... how many would you have eaten??

    Hope you are having a great summer!!

    Saturday, July 20, 2013

    Rustic Berry Tart

    Rustic Berry Tart

    Happy Saturday! Twice a month I will be contributing desserts on White Lights on Wednesday - this was my first post and if you didn't have a chance to see it at Julie's, I'm sharing now.  Summer berries are still in season!

    Hi, I'm Deb from Cooking On the Front Burner and happy to be contributing for Julie with a post on desserts.  When Julie asked if I would like to do this, I was excited for a few reasons... I love desserts, I love making desserts but I can't eat all the desserts!  So that is where the DIY Guy (aka the Mr.) comes in handy, he can eat all the desserts (and somehow manage to keep thin) and his co-workers love desserts - it's a win-win for us all!  I always taste what I make but then happy to pass them on... I will even take requests... so let me know if there is something you would like me to make.  I'll be back posting in a couple weeks.

    Let's get back to this dessert - I think you will love it!  It is so easy and a great way to use seasonal berries.  Don't bother making your own crust...keep it simple: a pre-made will do just fine.  The berries are tossed in cornstarch and sugar, placed on the crust and then baked for 15 minutes.  Viola! Done!  Impress your family and friends!  Want to make it even more special?  Top with some whipped cream.  Enjoy!

    Rustic Berry Tart

    by Deb Attinella
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Ingredients (6 servings)
    • 1 pie crust (premade to be easier)
    • 3 cups assorted berries (strawberries, blueberries, black berries and/or raspberries
    • 2 T sugar
    • 1T cornstarch
    • 1 egg beaten
    • additional sugar
    1. Preheat oven to 450.
    2. Follow directions on pie crust box and bring to room temp for about 30 minutes. Place on cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper
    3. In a large bowl combine the cornstarch and sugar; add the berries and gently toss until well coated
    4. Place berries on crust leaving 2” around
    5. Fold dough over berries overlapping as above.
    6. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar
    7. Bake for 15-20 until golden brown. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
    8. If desired top with whipped cream
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    Here's another dessert you might like - Mini Triple Berry Fruit Pizza

    Thursday, July 18, 2013

    Asian Quinoa Salad

    Asian Quinoa Salad

    Today I'm sharing a new ingredient that I haven't used before or tasted.... Quinoa.  What is it? Well according to what I found on the web it is:

    Quinoa, a species of goosefoot, is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the true grass family.

    Ok, there you have it - it's a seed!  And it is pronounced KEEN-wah.

    Now with the technical stuff aside, you probably want to know how it tastes... it's kinda nutty and to me it took on the flavor of the other dish ingredients.  Would I make it again - yes.  We both liked it and I'm going to be experimenting with some other dishes. 

    I love salads in the summer - do you??  You might want to give this one a try!

    Asian Quinoa Salad

    by Deb Attinella
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Ingredients (4 servings)
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 Tbl rice vinegar
    • 2 Tbl plum sauce
    • 1 garlic clove minced
    • 1 ½ tsp minced fresh gingerroot
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
    • 1 med orange pepper chopped
    • 1/2 cup diced water chestnuts
    • 1/2 cup fresh sugar snap peas trimmed and halved
    • 2 green onions thinly sliced
    1. In a large saucepan bring to boil the 1st eight ingredients then add quinoa. Cover and reduce heat to simmer and let cook for 12-15 minutes until the water is absorbed
    2. Take off from heat and add remaining ingredients, fluff with a fork; cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
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    Asian Quinoa Salad |Cooking on the Front Burner #quinoa

    Another salad recipe you might enjoy is this Greek Salad recipe.

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013

    Summer Salad-Blackberry Vinaigrette

    Summer Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette

    Today is reveal day for Get Your Chef On with the ingredient of blackberries - I had a real tough time trying to decide what to make - there were so many ideas floating around in my head.  Instead of sheep one night I was counting blackberries - LOL.

    Be sure to stop by below for the other recipes.. I know I'm curious!
     Julie @ White Lights on Wednesday and
     Jen @ Four Marrs and a Venus

    Well, as you can tell from above, I decided to go with a summer salad with lots of yummy ingredients and a vinaigrette made from the blackberries.  I just love salads and this combo worked perfectly!  One of my favorite things to do is roll a scoop of goat cheese in crushed pecans - usually I buy the sugared ones from Trader Joe's and this time I opted for their sweet and spicy ones - they did not disappoint!  The mild flavor of the goat cheese with the pecans along with the dressing made for a tasty salad.

    Blackberry Vinaigrette | Cooking on the Front Burner

    This type of salad can be made with YOUR favorite fixings if you wish.

    Summer Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette

    by Deb Attinella
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 0
    Ingredients (4 servings)
      • Bag of spring salad mix
      • spicy or sugar pecans crushed
      • goat cheese (I used honey flavor)
      • red onions
      • strawberries
      • blackberries
      • 1 ½ cups blackberries (fresh)
      • 3 Tbl white balsamic vinegar
      • 1/2 cup olive oil
      • 1/2 tsp stone ground mustard
      • 1 tsp minced shallot
      • 1 1/2 Tbl honey
      • S&P to taste
      1. Scoop and roll into small balls the goat cheese and roll in crushed pecans – refrigerate until needed
      2. In a blender add the vinegar, mustard, shallots and blackberries for 30 seconds.
      3. Add the oil in the blender slowly to combine
      4. You must strain the mixture in a mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Adjust seasonings with S&P. If you would like it sweeter, add a bit more honey.
      5. Assemble the salad on a plate topped with the red onions, strawberries, blackberries and the goat cheese balls.
      6. Drizzle over the salad – either room temp or chilled.
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      Summer Salad | Cooking on the Front Burner

      I really had fun taking pictures (obviously!)  Just so colorful!

      Summer Salad | Cooking on the Front Burner


      Another salad recipe you might enjoy is this Mexican Quinoa Salad recipe

      Monday, July 15, 2013

      Beer Cheese Soup

      Beer Cheese Soup

      Today is the SPIKED! Recipe Challenge reveal day with the secret ingredient of craft beer.  An interesting ingredient indeed!

      Now I know I could have went to the store and found something that was considered a 'craft' beer but instead I phoned a friend because I knew her husband did some brewing.  Luckily they were happen to contribute to my cause and only requested that I return (the empty) bottles.

      I was given 3 to choose from:

      I wasn't sure which one to go with so after deciding to make this soup, I felt the Alt beer was the best choice (I knew stout was more of a guinness and the red was - well - red).

      I was really pleased with the results - you could definitely taste the beer but it wasn't too overpowering.  Great topped with popcorn too!

      Beer Cheese Soup

      by Deb Attinella
      Prep Time: 15 minutes
      Cook Time: 35 minutes

      Ingredients (8 servings)
      • 4 slices of bacon
      • 1 cup diced celery
      • 1/3 cup diced onion
      • 1/2 diced carrots
      • 1 Tbl butter
      • 1 tsp minced shallots
      • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
      • 2 Tbl butter
      • 1/4 cup flour
      • 12 oz pale ale beer
      • 1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
      • 3/4 cup heavy cream
      • 1/2 tsp stone ground mustard
      • 1 ½ Tbl Worcestershire sauce
      • 6 oz cheddar cheese grated
      • 2 oz smoked gouda cheese grated
      • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
      • S&P
      1. In a large skillet cook the bacon until crisp then set aside on paper towels
      2. Add 1Tbl butter to the skillet and sauté the celery, carrots and onions until tender (about 10 minutes) and do not let brown. Add shallots and thyme and stir for 1 minute
      3. Add remaining 2 Tbls of butter and after it melts and bubbles, sprinkle the flour on top – let it cook for about 2 minutes until it is golden brown. Add the beer, chicken broth, crumbled bacon and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
      4. Remove from heat and process mixture in blender on puree until desired consistency. While blade is running add mustard, Worcestershire sauce and heavy cream (I heat in microware 45 seconds prior)
      5. Return to a large saucepot – add cheeses, cayenne pepper and S&P to taste.
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      Beer Cheese Soup | Cooking on the Front Burner

      Beer Cheese Soup | Cooking on the Front Burner

      Be sure to stop by to see Julie and Carrie during the day to see what other recipes will be linked up.  This was a fun challenge (as they always are!) and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone made.

      A special thanks to Ted for providing the ingredient for me!  It was very appreciated!!

      You also might enjoy this Tomato Tortellini Soup recipe