We had a delicious BBQ for Memorial Day & tried out a bunch of new recipes. If you’re interested in summer fare, these might be for you. Note: My husband barbecued short ribs & sausage, and I prepped corn on the cob & potato halves (still trying & failing to get the delicious salty baked potato like Outback Steakhouse – my favorite place for potatoes). However, none of those are difficult / original / online recipes. And, if you can’t tell, I love The Pioneer Woman & Smitten Kitchen & cook from their recipes often.
Baked Beans – Wow! I already have a spicy baked beans recipe that I completely love, but sometimes sweet baked beans are just right. All four of us ate multiple helpings of these beans. They were seriously that good. I was kicking myself for halving the recipe, even though half the recipe makes more than four people should eat. This was definitely my favorite recipe of the night.
Key Lime Pie – This pie was relatively simple to make & absolutely delicious. It tasted like it had a lot more work put into it & balanced the right amount of tartness with the sweet. It was my favorite of all of the (four) desserts made. I used the rest of the whipped cream on the top (see: strawberry cake below) & it added a little creaminess, but I think it would be just fine without.
Strawberry Icebox Cake – The boys really liked this one, but I was just iffy on it. However, neither strawberries nor whipped cream are high on my list of favorite foods, so perhaps I am a bit biased. It all melds together as promised & is good. I think the chocolate on top was completely unnecessary, so feel free to omit.
S’mores Brownies – I have actually made these twice. The first time (last Monday), I followed the recipe to the letter & was disappointed by the marshmallows (too gooey, didn’t crisp on top) & the brownies being too cakey & not sweet enough (the graham cracker crust needs to be cut with some sweetness, in my opinion). This time, I substituted my current favorite brownie recipe (omitting the salt) & cut the squares into 1.5″ squares with half a large marshmallow in the center of each one. They were two-bite sized, which is about perfect (the crust is crumbly) & easy to cut since the marshmallows aren’t sticking together. Additionally, the sweetness of the brownies is just right. We used our hand torch (previously only used for creme brulee) & still didn’t quite get the caramelized consistency I wanted, but regardless, they were much better overall!
Banana Ice Cream – This one ingredient experiment DID work. You can make ice cream with just frozen bananas. However, it simply tastes like creamy bananas. We added some honey & peanut butter, but it was still only okay. If you’re looking for a way to get kids to eat bananas, this might be worth making. Otherwise, it dirties a food processor & is only marginal. It’s worth making once for the novelty, but I won’t repeat it.
Corn Bread – Maybe I am too accustomed to sweeter corn bread, but this one just tasted wrong to me. I didn’t like the lack of sweetness. I didn’t like the too-much shortening. Also, even though the batter was swimming in shortening, it still stuck to the pan & I baked it just under the recommended time & it was a bit too crispy for my taste. Now, we were playing Mexican Train Dominoes while waiting for this (the last piece of dinner) to finish, so somehow I might’ve messed up, but I’ll stick with my Marie Callendar’s mix. Even after four different types of homemade corn bread, only this one matches it for tastiness & the mix is so much simpler…
Thank you to the guys for being such patient taste testers & rankers of recipes.