Wednesday, July 29, 2015

~ Tuxedo Brownie Torte ~

Can you stand it?  The raspberries, chocolate and whipped cream?  You must make this!

Tuxedo Brownie Torte

1 (approximately 22-ounce) package fudge brownie mix 
1/2 cup water 
1/2 cup vegetable oil 
1 large egg 
1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries 
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
1 cup fresh red raspberries 
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 
1/3 cup powdered sugar 

2 tablespoons white creme de cacao 
1 cup vanilla flavored chips, melted 
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped 
1 tablespoon chocolate candy bar, grated 

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Prepare pan as directed on brownie mix package. 

In a bowl, combine fudge brownie mix, water, oil, and egg. Blend well then spread in the prepared pan. Bake for 38 to 45 minutes, or until the center is set. Cool. 

Meanwhile, process frozen raspberries in a food processor until pureed. Strain to remove the seeds. 

In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually add the raspberry puree and mix well. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture is clear, stirring constantly. Cool for 5 minutes then spread over the brownie mixture to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Garnish with fresh red raspberries then refrigerate.

 In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and white creme de cacao; beat until smooth. Stir in melted vanilla chips and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until stiff. Fold in the cream cheese mixture, cover and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. Pipe or spread over the raspberries. Sprinkle with grated chocolate candy bar. 

Makes 8 servings

And...always add the Love!  :)

Joining ~
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday
Favorite Things on Thursday
Home Sweet Home
Live Laugh Rowe

Thursday, July 23, 2015

~ Bloody Mary Tomato Salad with Quick Pickled Shrimp ~

Bloody Mary Tomato Salad with Quick Pickled Shrimp Recipe

I believe this recipe is from Southern Living a few years ago.  It seems like a lot of steps to prepare it, however, it's easy!  Plus, no oven, no stove top to heat the kitchen. Just mixing the dressing and the marinade for the pickled shrimp is fairly quick. I think the slicing and dicing of the veggies takes a bit more time but oh my, is it worth it!  It's like having a Bloody Mary in a bowl. :) It's a great dish to serve guests and can be made in advance. Just combine all the ingredients at the last minute and serve! 

Mix and match assorted tomatoes, such as 'Beefsteak,' 'Brandywine,' and 'Cherokee Purple.' Their rich, meaty flavor counters the dressing's tang and zip. 

3 pounds assorted tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup diagonally sliced celery 
1/2 cup firmly packed celery leaves
Garnishes: chilled dilly beans, lemon slices, fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bloody Mary Vinaigrette

1/2 cup spicy Bloody Mary mix
1/4 cup olive oil 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce 
3/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Whisk together Bloody Mary mix, olive oil, lemon juice, horseradish, pepper, hot sauce, celery salt, and Worcestershire sauce.

Quick Pickled Shrimp

lemon, thinly sliced
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion 
1/4 cup olive oil 
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/4 teaspoons Creole seasoning
garlic clove, minced
1 pound peeled, medium-size cooked shrimp
Table salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Stir together lemon slices, onion, olive oil, vinegar, dill, parsley, Creole seasoning, and garlic in a large bowl; transfer to a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Add shrimp, turning to coat. Seal and chill 2 to 6 hours. Remove shrimp, discarding marinade. Sprinkle shrimp with table salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

And....always add the love!

Joining ~ 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

~ 14 Surprising Things You May Not Know about Trader Joe's ~

You may have read this but if not, hope you enjoy!
Compliments of My Domaine
14 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Trader Joe's

Oh, Trader Joe’s. How do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Between some of our favorite guilty pleasures (hello, Almond Windmill Cookies!), the best frozen apps for when we’re in a hosting pinch, and, oh yeah, our most beloved Two Buck Chuck, the budget-friendly, environmentally conscious grocer is number one in our books. Even with its widespread (and growing!) popularity, Trader Joe’s is kind of a mystery—what’s with the Hawaiian shirts? Who is Trader Joe? Erm, have you noticed those plastic lobsters lying about? Read on for 14 little-known facts.
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    Trader Joe's
    PHOTO: Flair Miami

    There really was a “Trader Joe.”

    Joe Coulombe, a Stanford Business School graduate from Southern California, founded the chain in 1958, when he bought a chain of Pronto Markets in the late 1950s. Struggling to compete with the rampant 7-Elevens, Coulombe rebranded as Trader Joe’s in 1967. German supermarket conglomerate Aldi Nord has owned it since 1979, but Coulombe remained the company’s chief executive until he retired in 1988.

    It has a killer return policy.

    You can return anything, at any time—no questions asked.

    You can try literally any product in the store if you wish.

    Yes, even wine! If you ask an employee to try something, it is policy to open it up and give you a taste right there!
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    Trader Joe's
    PHOTO: Bev Cooks

    The bells you’re hearing? Employee code.

    No blaring intercom system here, folks! The golden maritime bells are actually employee code. One ring means it’s time to open an additional register. Two rings signal that a cashier needs assistance, while three rings mean chaos is afoot and a manager is needed.

    Trader Joe’s was originally a California-only brand.

    The first Trader Joe’s store, originally called Pronto Market, opened in 1967 in Pasadena, California. Expansion began in 1993 (to Phoenix, Arizona), and there wasn’t a single East Coast outpost until 1996 (Boston)!

    Every single Trader Joe’s store has a plastic lobster in it somewhere.

    The reason remains a mystery…
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    Trader Joe's

    Each store has an in-house artist.

    What, you thought those charming chalkboards illustrated and painted themselves?

    The first Trader Joe’s private-label product was granola.

    Launched in 1972, the Trader Joe’s private-label granola would set the standard for the store. Today, 80% of the 4000 items sold are Trader Joe’s brand.

    Trader Joe’s is good to its employees.

    Part-time workers can earn $20 an hour with full benefits, while managers can make $130,000 a year.
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    Trader Joe's
    PHOTO: Bev Cooks

    Two Buck Chuck FLIES off the shelves.

    As of 2012, Trader Joe’s had sold over 600 million bottles of the Charles Shaw wine lovingly referred to as Two Buck Chuck. Though the wine used to sell for $2, it now costs $2.49 or $3.69, depending on where you live.

    It introduces new products every single week.

    It’s why some of your favorite items might disappear every once in a while.

    Its famously punny product names sell.

    “This Fig Walks Into a Bar” Cereal Bars, “Trader Joe’s Contemplates Inner Peas” Crunchy Snack—the list goes on! A 2004 Dutch study found that consumers prefer products with witty slogans.
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    Trader Joe's

    The Hawaiian shirt is not random.

    The first Hawaiian shirt was worn sometime around 1969, when “tiki culture” was booming, and soon became standard uniform. Legend has it that Mr. Coloumbe was first inspired to infuse his grocery store with the laid-back spirit of a Caribbean store after traveling there himself.

    Triple Ginger Snaps are the number one most popular product in the store.

    We have a hunch it’s that crystallized ginger that makes these so widely loved. Coming in at the number two spot is the insanely delicious Speculoos Cookie Butter.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

~ Virtual Tour of One Freedom Center ~

This is an amazing virtual tour of One Freedom Center. Don't miss it!

Nearly 14 years after the collapse of the twin towers, the
new One World Trade Center tower finally opened to the public on May 29th.

The opening of the observation platform at the top of One World Trade Center is undoubtedly the most anticipated event this spring in New York. The tower 1776 feet high (in homage to the year of American independence) is the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

The platform is built on three floors (100th, 101st and 102nd). The
view is 381 meters high, unsurprisingly, breathtaking.

For reference, the observation platform of the Empire State Building
is located at 373 meters and the Rockefeller Center is 259 meters 102 floors in 60 seconds.

The multimedia experience starts on the ground floor. After passing
the security check, visitors will line in a tunnel, where the
foundations of the tower will be exhibited.

Another corridor presents multimedia portraits of men and women who have worked in rebuilding the tower.

Five lifts (Sky pods) transport visitors from 1st to 102nd floor in 60
seconds. They are among the fastest in the world. The walls of the
lifts are LED screens that project images of the New York skyline from the 1600's to the present, as if it was outside the ascent in a glass cube.

At the 102nd floor, we find the theater, "See Forever," which presents a film about the reconstruction of the site and the 101st floor, there are three restaurants.

On the 100th floor, it has a 360 degree panorama of the city. We see
the George Washington Bridge up there and all Brooklyn. One
unfortunately can not go outside while it was permitted at the "Top of the World" old twin towers.

Access to the observatory will be free for the families of the victims
and rescuers. Tickets are $32 for adults and $26 for children.
It is estimated that the observatory will generate revenues of $875
million over 15 years.

A beautiful video:

Saturday, July 11, 2015

~ Fairs and Festivals in Texas ~

10 Fairs And Festivals In Texas You Have To Go To This Year

Throughout the year, Texas literally holds hundreds, if not thousands, of different fairs and festivals celebrating everything from watermelon to hot air balloons to the German heritage. No matter what you prefer, I guarantee that one of these awesome festivals or fairs will strike your fancy.