Laurie's Kitchen

A cooking blog of some of my favorites

Slow Cooker Brisket October 25, 2011

Filed under: Beef,Dinner,Dutch Oven,Slow Cooker,Winter — laurms15 @ 11:03 pm


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 5-to-6-pound first-cut or flat-cut brisket, cut into 3 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • garlic powder/salt
  • 1 12-ounce bottle stout beer (I used two bottles of Guinness instead of one)
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (I used additional to season)


Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the brisket with salt and pepper, paprika, and garlic salt, then brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the meat and garlic to a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Pour the beer into the skillet and simmer 30 seconds, scraping up the browned bits from the pan; add the beer mixture to the slow cooker.

Nestle the celery around the meat and add the brown sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, bay leaves and paprika. (I added in the second bottle of Guinness) Stir, then cover and cook on low 8 hours or on high 6 hours. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes, then thinly slice.

Serve on brioche halves with coleslaw; drizzle with the cooking liquid.

I saved the leftover meat in the liquid from the slow cooker and was thankful that it wasn’t oily so I served the leftovers over egg noodles.

This can also be done in the dutch oven.


S’mores Cookies

Filed under: Chocolate,Cookies,Dessert — laurms15 @ 10:44 pm

I made these for a BBQ this summer and they were a huge hit!!

Source: Ice Cream Before Dinner

11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ½ cups flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows (I used a few more)
3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper. I used one 11×17 pan and one 9×13 pan but you can really use any sized pans you want.

Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching). I used 16 graham cracker squares on one pan and 10 squares on another. You may have to add or remove graham crackers according to how much dough you have. If you want your cookies thicker you will use more dough and less graham crackers.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.

Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. (you can chill the dough overnight at this point I didn’t)

Place tablespoons of dough on graham crackers about 1 – 1 ½ inches apart. I averaged about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough per graham cracker square as seen in the picture above. Press down slightly with fingertips.

Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey’s bar pieces on to the top. You can place as many pieces or as little as you want depending how much chocolate flavor you want.

Bake for 5 – 7 more minutes or until dough is beginning to turn golden brown at the edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool. For clean cutting make sure cookies are completely cool and cut with a sharp knife.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites October 17, 2011

Filed under: Chocolate,Dessert,Peanut Butter — laurms15 @ 8:10 am

I made these over the weekend and had t hide them from my husband to get him to stop eating them!

– 1 cup creamy peanut butter
– 1/4 cup melted butter
– 2 cups powdered sugar
– 1 – 2  Tbsp milk
– 1 1/2 cups of chocolate (chips or pieces for melting)
– toothpicks
– parchment paper

1. Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar and butter together until a soft dough forms. If it’s a little bit dry or too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir until it becomes the consistency of Play-Doh.

2. Roll the peanut butter into small balls.

3. Melt chocolate in a glass container for 30 seconds in the microwave. Remove, stir and heat another 30 seconds if needed. Repeat until the chocolate is runny enough for dipping.

4. Remove peanut butter from the freezer. Use a toothpick to skewer one of the balls. Dip it in the chocolate and gently shake off the excess into the bowl. Place the candy on waxed paper to harden. (If there’s a spot where the peanut butter didn’t get completely covered – usually where the toothpick was – just drop a little bit of chocolate on that spot with a spoon.)


Lo Mein October 16, 2011

Filed under: Asian,Chicken,Dinner,Sea Food,Vegetarian Optional — laurms15 @ 10:53 am


3/4 pound lo mein noodles
Sesame oil (start with a small amount)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (I just sliced mine)
sliced scallions (green onions)
1 cup julienne carrot (2 large)
1 cup thinly sliced celery (1-2 stalks)
3/4 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 cup (2 handfuls) snow peas, halved on a diagonal
1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned


Cook the lo mein noodles in boiling salted water until al dente. Cool. Toss lightly with sesame oil to prevent sticking.

Combine the hoisin and soy sauces in a small bowl and mix well.

In a wok or a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon canola oil and quickly sauté the ginger and scallions until they release aroma, then add the carrots, snow peas, pepper, and celery and briefly sauté before adding the noodles and at the end the bean sprouts.  Add the soy-hoisin mixture and stir to coat.

I have also sauteed chicken or shrimp in some olive oil and soy sauce and added them to the dish if I want a protein though it stands quite well as a vegetarian dish as well.


Chocolate Caramel Cookies with Sea Salt

Filed under: Caramel,Chocolate,Cookies,Dessert — laurms15 @ 10:42 am

Another fantastic Pintrest (love) recipe. Notice the theme? Pintrest is my new favorite pastime.


1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (I used dark cocoa)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Soft caramel, rolled into little balls (I used KRAFT Caramels but I need to find something different as they were not soft enough.)
Sea salt


Preheat oven to 350ºF; line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Sift together flour, soda, and salt; set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa powder and sugars (mixture will resemble coarse sand). Add yogurt and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add flour mixture, stirring until moist. Wrap the chocolate dough around the caramel balls. Place balls on cookie sheets and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until almost set. Cool on pans 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.

These are amazing served with vanilla ice cream!

Original Recipe


Balsamic Glaze Pork Loin

Filed under: Dinner,Dutch Oven,Pork,Slow Cooker — laurms15 @ 10:30 am

This was a fantastic slow cooker recipe! I found it on Pintrest (love) I served it with these potatoes and a vegie.

1 (3 pound) boneless pork loin (fed 4 adults with 1 portion leftover)
1+ tablespoon ground sage
1+ tablespoon salt
1+ tablespoon pepper
1+ tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons soy sauce
I will preface this by saying the measurements above are approximate as I don’t measure usually when I cook but these are my best guesses. Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar. Cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 5 hours).
About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.
Original Recipe to which I made a few adjustments.

Hasselback Potatoes

Filed under: Dinner,Potato,Side Dish — laurms15 @ 10:21 am

This was another recipe I found on Pintrest (love)!!

4 Medium Size Potatoes (or 1 per person eating)
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper


Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Put the potato on a chopping board, flat side down. Start from one end of the potato, cut almost all the way through, at about 3 to 4 mm intervals.

Arrange the potatoes on a baking tray scatter some butter on top of each potato. Then drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

About midway through the cooking I opened the oven and sprinkled a little more olive oil/butter/salt/pepper. At this point the potato has opened a bit and more of the flavor will sink in.

Bake the potatoes for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes turn crispy and the flesh is soft.

Variations: you can sprinkle garlic powder on top or place small slices of garlic between the slits. Or you could top with any kind of cheese. That is a favorite of mine as well!!