Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Resisting the temptation....

Lots to talk about today! Let's start off with the sweet side of things. Since today is Tuesday I had to get the Wednesday Treat Day goodies done for Jeff to bring into the office tomorrow. I have to admit, it was a test of will power to let these cool completely before trying to cut them to snag a bite!
Nutty Peanut Butter Caramel Bars are a layered cookie that starts out with a dense base loaded with peanut butter flavor. Pecan halves are scattered over the top of the raw dough so they are allowed to get a toasty flavor while baking. Smooth caramel is then drizzled on the baked cookie and seeps in between the pecans. A combination of milk chocolate and bittersweet chips are scattered over the top. When the chips soften from the heat, you could use an off-set spatula and spread the melted chocolate over, but I left them as is so you could bite into chunks of chocolate. They are rich and decacdent bars, so cutting them into smallish pieces is very acceptable.

We are still relatively new to the world of tofu, so we tried out another recipe that looked like something we should like. For this recipe, Ground Turkey and Tofu, I cut turkey breasts into chunks and then with a couple pulses in the food processor we had ground turkey. The prices here for the ground version can get a litte crazy, so this saves us a bit of money by just doing it ourselves. I do this with chicken and pork too. Drained firm tofu is first chunked and browned in some olive oil which gives the outside a bit of a crust. Next, the ground turkey is browned and a sweet/spicy sauce is added made from hoisin, soy sauce, red pepper and garlic. The tofu is added back with some baby green peas sneaked in. This was good, but it could have been better I think. If the tofu would have absorbed more of the other flavors this could be excellent!

I had no idea how to serve or what to make to go along with the above recipe so we went the simple route. Cumin Roasted Potatoes are thick sliced russet potatoes coated in olive oil, cumin, red pepper and garlic. Roasting at a very high temperature allows them to get a slight crust while the inside remains moist and tender. The spices bring a bite with some smoky flavors. This was exceptionally tasty, quick and very easy to prepare.


  1. Joe,
    Have you made the CL Ma Pao Tofu? This recipe looks almost identical, but using ground turkey rather than ground pork. I'm wondering if it tasted similar? If you have leftovers, it might be a fun filling for lettuce wraps...

  2. Okay those bars look incredibly yummy and now you've given me another "Joe Recipe" to try! I like how you left the chips as is, makes for a much prettier bar, imho. Thanks, Joe! =)

  3. I was going to suggest Mapo Tofu as well. It's become one of our favorite dinners and is very easy to fix.
    I have the recipe with a picture of the finished dish on my blog at

  4. Okay, that's it. I'm adding you to my list of favorites. I just found this post through a Blog Search for recipes. WOW! I'm hooked. Now to read more of your blog...

  5. Oh gosh...first Anna and her PB/Chocolate bars and now yours... I swear it's a conspiracy!!

    Looks great though!

  6. Wow, those bars look really dangerous to have around!
    I have used tofu a couple times and I would like to incoporate into our meals more. This is going on the to try list.
    Tell Jeff that the coconut flavor in my coconut shrimp is not real pronounced, but you can definately taste the sweetness.

  7. Are you trying to kill me with those treats or what???!!!

  8. I just baked the Cumin Roasted Potatoes ... that recipe really WOW me ... :).
    a great one. try it out folks..next step : Nutty Peanut Butter Caramel Bars ...

  9. My god. That is a drool-worthy cookie!

    Tofu really takes on flavor if you let it marinate a bit. But it's good that you're experimenting with it!

  10. Can't go wrong w/ chocolate and peanutbutter. Or spuds and cumin for that matter.

  11. I love the potato picture and the recipe. I want to try!

  12. Maureen - I have not! I tried searching for it but no luck - do you remember which year/month it is from?

    Lis - Thanks!

    Barbara - Ooh thanks for the recipe link!

    Momma M - Thanks for checkin' us out!

    Erika - PB/Chocolate combo rules!

    Patti - I will let him know! I hope to try that recipe soon!

    Cameradawktor - hee hee, I think his co-workers thought the same thing - but no treats came back home!

    Sab - Great to hear that you liked them! They are a new favorite of ours now!

    Stephanie - Thanks for the tip about the tofu! I think I've read that before - but I was not sure how that would work out with this recipe!

    Raniandraja - Totally agree!

    Sara - Thanks!

  13. Ok, those peanut butter caramel bars look ridiculously good - and the Turkey and Tofu looks yummy, too. I think I'll pick up some Tofu and try something like this.

  14. I saw a recipe a few weeks ago on a website by a cook in India for some potatoes similar to this. She left baby red potatoes whole, however, and roasted them, skinned, in a large wok with the cumin. I wanted to do something like that, but don't have the wok or the baby red potatoes. Your recipe makes it "do-able." Just a different shape. Can't wait to try it!

  15. JOE , I made the roasted potatoes once again for some friends. even better than the first try. I add some paprika and a little pinch of curry... that was great . to go along with , I brush some chicken "filets" with the remaining mixture. and THAT was great !!! a great hit !!! I should send you some pictures. thanks again for this easy / quick and adaptable recipe.

  16. Erin - Thanks! I'll be waiting to see what you do with the tofu!

    Cyndi - I hope you can give them a try!

    Sab - beautiful pictures you sent!