Monthly Archives: July 2012

Foodie Penpal – My First Box!

Want to get a box of surprise food items picked just for you from a total stranger? Um, yes, please!

Last month my friend Sarah from At Home for Dinner blogged about her first Foodie Penpal experience. I was immediately intrigued and signed up myself. Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean matches food bloggers and food lovers from across the country and each participant sends another a box of goodies. In July she paired up nearly 1500 people! I sent my box of goodies to Alexis from Lex’s Life as a New Wife. You should check out her Congo Bars. They look delectable!

Now to the amazing box that I received from Becky, a foodie enthusiast, from Vermont. That’s a picture of the contents up top. In the box I found a jar of pure Vermont maple syrup (Greg, if you’re reading this, perhaps you could make your famous waffles this weekend?), Madhouse Munchies BBQ Chips, vegan Cowboy Cookies from Liz Lovely, cupcakes from My Little Cupcake, a peppermint crunch dark chocolate bar from Lake Champlain Chocolates, and some fun cupcake liners. Finally, I was most excited to see the two pouches from Justin’s Nut Butters. I’ve seen these on other blogs and am so excited to try both the Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Blend and the Honey Almond Butter. I’m just waiting for the perfect piece of fresh baked bread to slather them on. Thanks Becky for all the great treats!

Interested in participating in August? Here’s how it works:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re interested in participating for August, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by August 4th as pairings will be emailed on August 5th!

*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I’ll see if we get enough interest this month!

Rocky Road Brownies

News flash! While celebrating Marshmallow Week, I think I’ve found the perfect brownie recipe. The brownie layer at the base of these Rocky Road Brownies is amazing. It’s a from-scratch-recipe that only used one bowl to come together. That fact alone, would make these brownies great. They’re a dense, rich and fudgy brownie. Baked for 35 minutes, then topped with chocolate chips, mini marshmallows and pecans. Back in the oven for 5 minutes more. Just long enough to puff the marshmallows and gently toast the nuts.

Rocky Road BrowniesEveryday Food, June 2008

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper.

In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine butter and 1 cup chocolate chips. Heat, stirring occasionally, until just melted, 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove mixture from heat, stir in both sugars and salt, then eggs, and finally flour, stirring until just combined. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove from oven, immediately sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips, then marshmallows and nuts. Bake until chocolate is shiny and marshmallows are puffed, about 5 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift brownies onto a work surface and cut into 16 pieces.


Snickerdoodle Krispie Treats with Cinnamon Frosting

As we continue to celebrate Marshmallow Week here at Made By Mike, I’d like to reintroduce you to one of my original recipes from back in February of last year. The sweet and crunchy Snickerdoodle Krispie Treat.

Rice Krispie Treats, great just as they are. Even better when the recipe is tweaked just a tad. I’ve been trying to get my head around creating a rice krispie treat with a snickerdoodle-like flavor. You see, the soft and chewy snickerdoodle just might be my favorite cookie. If you’re looking for a great recipe, check out the one in Martha Stewart’s Cookie cookbook. They are cheered by most of my friends.

But back to the task at hand, the Snickerdoodle Krispie Treat. I started with the blank canvas of the traditional rice krispie treat recipe that’s right on the box. For my twist, I added a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. I love that you can see the little flecks of cinnamon in each treat. Alone, the treats were terrific. I decided to take them up another notch by adding a cinnamon-sugar frosting. You’re welcome to leave it off, I wouldn’t. It’s pretty tasty on its own.

Enjoy this made by mike original recipe. I’m busy trying to think up my next twist on the humble rice krispie treat. Stay tuned and please feel free to drop some suggestions in the comments section.

Snickerdoodle Krispie Treats with Cinnamon Frosting -Made By  Mike original recipe

Makes 24 with lots of delicious scraps.
For the snickerdoodle krispie treats:
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
4 Cups of miniature marshmallows
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 Cups Rice Krispies cereal

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
Stir cinnamon and vanilla extract into marshmallow mixture.
Remove saucepan from heat.
Mix in Rice Krispie cereal until uniformly coated with marshmallow mixture.
Spread the mixture evenly in a buttered 13x9x2-inch pan.
Cut into 24 pieces with a 2-inch round cookie cutter. Save the scraps for a snack.

For the cinnamon frosting:
2 Cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon

Add melted butter, milk and cinnamon to the powdered sugar.
Beat until smooth and creamy.
Spread about a teaspoon of frosting on each snickerdoodle krispie round.



S’mores Cookies

I’ve been eager to post these cookies for over a week. They were very well received at a work party. But sometimes life just gets in the way. Like a freak July 4th hail storm that shattered most of the windows on the back of our house. The storm also decimated my flowers and tomato plants.

But life goes on, and what better way to move forward than with sweet delicious summer treats? And while I was thinking about these terrific S’mores Cookies from Everyday Food magazine, I decided to go full-marshmallow on you  this week.  That’s right, each day will feature a recipe that celebrates the humble marshmallow. I hope you enjoy the week.

Back to the cookie. These are pretty simple. I probably should have pulsed the rolled oats a bit finer, but I enjoyed the texture that they brought to the soft graham cracker-inspired cookie. Keep a close eye on your marshmallows under the broiler. I needed to move my baking sheets around to get an even browning on all of the marshmallows.

S’mores CookiesEveryday Food, July/August 2009

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into 30 squares
  • 15 large marshmallows, halved horizontally

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse oats until finely ground. Add both flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; pulse to combine. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture until just combined.

Drop dough by tablespoons, 1-inch apart, onto two parchment lined baking sheets. Top each with a chocolate square. Bake until just lightly golden, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Remove sheets from oven, heat the broiler. Top each cookie with a marshmallow half, cut side down. One sheet at a time, broil until marshmallows are lightly browned, 60 to 90 seconds. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.

Marshmallow Week Begins Today


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