There are times in life when the only thing you can do for someone is feed them. When no words can soothe, a warm favorite food meal may provide some measure of comfort. Packing a casserole with goodness and love because it’s all you can do is occasionally part of this thing called life. The sucky part of life. This lasagna is perfect for such a time. It is also great for a weekday dinner for your family. Who, you should hold close. And tell them you love them. Give your kids an extra hug today while you’re at it. Because life is precious.
It’s Girl Scouts cookie contest time!! I’m cooking with cookies! I feel I have crossed a MAJOR milestone in my life. I had a box of Girl Scouts Samoas in my cupboard for a week and managed not to consume the entire thing. In my opinion, Samoas are the perfect food. Shortbready cookie, caramel, coconut and chocolate. Oh glory.
I know I’m not alone. Samoas make up about 20% of the total cookie sales by those sweet little sugar hocking scouts. These babies are second only to Thin Mints, which I contemplated using for this contest, but knew I could only stretch my willpower so far. My task for this contest was to create something incredible using Girl Scout cookies. And The Girl Scouts of Western Washington GAVE me 5 boxes to play with. My life is so grand! My very first thought was that Samoas could only be made more perfect by one thing. Marshmallow. With that plan in mind, this is what I came up with. Samoas S’more Rolls.
These three ingredient rolls are absolute heaven and the most time-consuming part is waiting for the oil to heat up.
It’s a simple chop, fill, roll and fry. But the result is just amazing.
I consumed the first two rolls fresh out of the fryer, burning my fingers getting the molten chocolate and caramel into my mouth. Where, I also toasted my tongue just a little. The smell was overpowering – I could not resist long enough to allow them to cool. The filling was divine. Melty mallow goodness wrapping around sweet caramel and rich chocolate with a hint of buttery coconut. All of that gorgeous deliciousness wrapped in a crispy roll. Oh gracious these are good.
I cooked up a few more batches, fed some to my kids and then ran the rest over to my neighbors because once there was caramel and chocolate dipping sauce on the plate, these were not long for the world at my house. Little envelopes of perfection. Mmmmmm.
Girl Scout Cookies go on sale to the public March 1-17! There is an awesome cookie locator, as well as an app, that tells you exactly where girls are selling cookies in your neighborhood! Head over to the Girl Scouts of WW facebook page and give them some love! As soon as cookies go on sale, get yourself a box of Samoas and whip up some of these rolls. Your taste buds will sing thanks to me but the rest of you may hate me for giving you the idea!
You can vote for the finalists from February 19 – March 1 by clicking HERE. I hope you’ll see these Samoas S’more Rolls on the list!
Samoas S’more Rolls
a Bakerlady original
1 box Girl Scouts Samoas Cookies (you may have a couple left for eating)
12 egg roll wrappers
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
In a deep pot, heat oil to 380 degrees F. (I used my frydaddy)
Cut Samoas into 1/4-inch chunks. Take an egg roll wrapper, and brush edges with a little water, and lay on a work surface, water side up, with a point facing you, not a straight edge. Place about 1 chopped cookie 1 or 2 inches from the edge, and top with 4 mini marshmallows.
Fold the corner closest you up and just over the filling, press lightly, then fold in the sides, making a little pull or tuck to keep the roll right. Then roll away from you and press to seal tightly. (Take care not to tear the egg roll wrapper. This can cause roll to leak while cooking. If tear occurs, pinch dough together until it reseals or discard wrap and use a new one.) Repeat until all egg rolls are formed.
Fry egg rolls 2 at a time, turning almost immediately, cooking on all sides to just golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. (Make sure not to overcook filling. If you see marshmallows start to ooze out before both sides are golden, filling will be overcooked and egg roll will appear hollow inside) Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat until all cooked. Make sure to check your oil temperature between additions.
Not only is my friend Bethany an excellent cook, she also enjoys mixing cocktails. It’s one of her many endearing qualities. She threw together this little drink while we were visiting and it was delicious! We decided to name it the Kihei Killer. Enjoy!
from Bethany’s Bar
2 ounces pina colada mix
2 ounces orange juice
2 ounces vodka
4 ounces Malibu Black
1 ounce pineapple juice
dash of grenadine
Mix well over ice and strain into glass.
I’ve tasted my fair share of fish tacos. It’s my favorite tropical vacation food. These are the best ever. The thing that puts them on a different level from all others? The absolutely gorgeous and delicious avocado creme. Light with a hint of tequila and lime, it is the perfect base for deliciously seasoned Mahi Mahi. Absolutely glorious.
The title says everything you need to know. Say it slowly with me. Mango. Guacamole. Feel the words as they bounce from your lips. Mango. Sweet, light, tropical. Guacamole. Rich, creamy, delicious. Now put them together. You know it’s going to be unbelievable.
Let me warn you right up front that for the next week or so, you’ll be hearing a whole lot about my best friend Bethany. You may remember her from these Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes I made to say goodbye when she (sob) left me to move to Maui. Obviously there are benefits to her living there. Namely, we have a place to stay for the very reasonable price of free. Actually, Bethany does requires one thing…that you allow her to Martha Stewart you while visiting. She’s a meet you at the airport with a lei, basket of chocolates and lotions on your bed, act as your chauffeur/chef/activity coordinator, wash and fold your clothes, play with your children, pack a cooler and a bag of goodies for the beach, provide you with rockin’ sunblock, and set up an umbrella so your pale freckly skin is protected kind of friend. Being with Bethany is, in a word, ah-mazing. Bonus, we have equally out of control hair and manic smiles when being blown off the edge of the world on top of Haleakala. It’s always a good thing to have friends who are equals on the crazy train of life.
Do you remember counting down the days til your birthday? Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve done that too. But every year I try to put myself back in that childhood mode when the countdown started the day after your last birthday. Turned 4 last week? You are TOTALLY almost 5. In my opinion, a kid’s birthday should be the most amazing day of their entire year. I get a little crazy at birthday time. My son’s big day just happens to be smack in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A most inconvenient time to add a big birthday bash to our calendars. However, I recognize that this is not his fault, and so every year I attempt to make his day truly special in the midst of all the holiday bustle.
Who knew homemade Chinese food was so simple and delicious? I’m a big fan of the little boxes take-out Chinese comes in, but I generally stick to chicken dishes when ordering out because the “steak” always looks a little off to me. I’ve had a hankerin’ for some broccoli beef for a while now and decided to give it a whirl. So. Easy. Mouthwateringly good too.
Just a few simple ingredients to get started. We got a Kindle Fire for Christmas – it’s my new go-to on-the-counter recipe book. Love it!
Start by slicing up a boneless round into thin strips. I totally felt like a Benihana chef while I was doing this. Sharp knife is a must, and be sure to cut across the grain.
I used real fresh ginger in this recipe because I think fresh is just so much better than dried. If you aren’t familiar with ginger, here’s what you’re looking for.
Then you grate it up over a microplane zester. It comes out almost like a paste.
Add the ginger to some soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic (and if you want, some red pepper flakes for heat). Then we get the meat soaking in a the marinade – just for a few minutes while you chop up the rest of your ingredients.
A whole load of broccoli and an onion, sliced into wedges.
Get a big pan hot with a little oil, and using tongs, drain as much liquid as you can from the meat before getting it all into the pan to cook. Keep the bag with the marinade liquid in it – we’re going to use it later. It’s very important that you don’t over do the meat. Just a little “hi there, how are ya’?” to the heat, and then off to a bowl covered in some foil to stay warm. Your steak is cut really thinly, so it doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
Put all the broccoli and the onion into the same pan (there will be some liquid left from the meat, leave it in there!). Cover and let it steam for about 4 minutes.
Add some cornstarch and water to the remaining marinade and dump it into the pan along with the warm meat. Stir it around until it’s all covered and the sauce has thickened slightly. Serve over rice.
Mmmmmmm. Better than any take-out ever! Full of flavor, tender steak and perfectly steamed veggies. Yum yum yum!
adapted from Food.com
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 lb boneless round steak or 1 lb charcoal chuck steaks, cut into thin 3-inch strips
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups broccoli florets
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
2/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons grated ginger (about a 1 inch piece of fresh ginger)
2 cloves garlic, grated
hot cooked rice
- In a ziplock bag, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and garlic.
- Add beef and allow to marinade 20 minutes.
- In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir-fry beef in 1 tablespoon oil until beef reaches desired doneness; remove and keep warm.
- Add broccoli and onion, cover and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Return beef to pan.
- Combine cornstarch and water and add to remaining marinade in the bag. Then add to the pan.
- Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
- Serve over rice.
“I don’t understand why so many ‘so called’ chocolate lovers complain about the calories in chocolate, when all true chocoholics know that it is a vegetable. It comes from the cocoa bean, beans are veggies, ’nuff said.” I have no idea who said this. I found it online at one of those portals for quotes about chocolate. But it says everything I feel about chocolate. When I’m eating it. I just don’t care about calories. I just don’t. I’m lost in the rich pure deliciousness of it. These cookies are a chocoholic’s dream. Fudgey cookies topped with a morsel of pure Dove dark chocolate. I used hearts since Valentine’s Day is coming up. Nothin’ goes better with a made up holiday about love than chocolate.
I stumbled upon this drink and thought it was only fitting to share as I will soon be basking on the warm sand of a Hawaiian beach. I am not genetically blessed, or maybe just didn’t appropriately apply coconut body lotion while pregnant and as such, I will not be in a bikini – but I figured I could test drive this drink anyway. It’s fruity and fun. Delightfully sweet, but not too much. It’s like summer in a glass. Perfect for sipping while soaking up some rays, or bringing a little sunshine to your dark, depressing winter day.