CORRECTION: THIS is why the Terrorists hate us! (EpicMealTime)

… Why?

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Service With A Beep: McDonald’s To Go Cashier-less

Via YahooNews

McDonald’s restaurants in Europe will soon be swapping the chain’s legendary “service with a smile” with “service with a beep.”European McDonald’s restaurants are preparing to replace cashiers with touch screen computers at terminals where customers will be able to order up their hamburgers and fries and pay with credit cards.

About 7,000 of the fast food franchise’s locations in the United Kingdom will be fitted with the touch screen technology, which aims to make the McDonald’s experience more convenient and accommodating.

The touch screen method of ordering will improve efficiency and make the average transaction three to four seconds faster for each customer, Steve Easterbrook, president of the European branch of McDonald’s, told the Financial Times. Easterbrook didn’t provide a date for when the touch screens, which were inspired by a trip to Japan, will be introduced to UK McDonald’s restaurants.

The new terminals will also phase out cash as an accepted payment method, as the machines will only take credit and debit cards. No word yet on whether McDonald’s in the United States will be next in line to replace cashiers with computers, but the addition doesn’t seem to be part of the ongoing $1-billion makeover of the company’s U.S. restaurants.

Homemade Oreos

Via Flour Child

Homemade Oreos

Homemade Oreos

Homemade Oreos

Homemade Oreos

Homemade Oreos

From Smitten Kitchen

Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies

For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
  2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
  3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
  4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
  5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in milk.
Cookies and friends. Couldn’t ask for much more. 

Jordana

Fudgy Earl Grey Chocolate Cake

A Chocolate Cake Recipe, by Amanda
Fudgy Earl Grey Chocolate Cake

Tea leaves from 6 bags of Earl Grey tea, ground into a fine powder using a spice mill/coffee grinder
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups (packed) brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
2 cups buttermilk

Lavender Ganache (recipe follows)
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with butter then line the bottoms of each pan with a circle of parchment paper. Set aside.

Place butter and tea powder into a small sauce pan over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes until the butter has melted and the tea flavors have infused into the butter, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

While the butter is cooling, place the cake flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk to combine evenly.

In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and buttermilk. Add buttermilk mixture and the cooled tea-infused butter to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Whisk or beat until just combined. The batter will be slightly lump and that is okay. Do not over work the batter or the cake will be tough and dense rather than light and fluffy.

Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.

Bake cakes at 325 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the center of the cake comes out clean with only a few crumbs but no batter.

Cool on a rack for at least one hour. To remove cakes from pans, run a knife around the edges of the pans to loosen then place a plate over each cake pan and invert onto the plate. Peel off parchment paper and discard.

Place one cake onto serving dish. Tuck strips of parchment paper under bottom edges of the cake to protect the serving dish from getting messy while frosting.

Evenly spread the ganache over top of the first cake. Place the second cake over the ganache bottom layer. Evenly spread cream cheese frosting over the top and sides of the cake. For best results, use an offset spatula. You may not use all of the frosting. Once frosted, carefully remove and discard the parchment paper lining the bottom of the cake.

The cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 12 hours before serving or refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.

____________

A Ganache Recipe, by Amanda
Lavender Ganache

4 oz heavy cream
6 oz good semi-sweet chocolate, chopped in chunks (or chips)
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp lavender extract

Place chocolate and sugar in a heat proof bowl and set aside.

Heat cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour simmering cream over chocolate-sugar mixture. Let sit for 60 seconds then whisk until all chocolate is melted and the ganache is shiny and smooth. Add lavender extract and stir until incorporated. Let chill for 20 minutes, until thickened slightly, before using as a filling for cake.

______________________

A Frosting Recipe, by Amanda
Basic Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
16 oz powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

Tomato Basil Soup + Grilled Cheese Bites

Via With Style and Grace

{Created/photographed by With Style and Grace}

Growing up, this is my hands down, favorite comfort meal, tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich. Maybe it was all the bread and cheese I consumed that had me develope allergies to dairy and gluten? Whatever, it was totally worth it. Good news, this soup is DAIRY-FREE! If you have dairy allergies you know that most soups, especially those at a restaurant are made with dairy. Between the flavor from the roasted tomatoes and all the fresh basil, this soup is so incredible, next time, I’m doubling the batch!

I made this for my husband the other night and I kid you not, he has not stopped talking about it since. I asked my husband how he’d describe the soup and his response was, “The most amazing, awesome-ness tomato soup, ever!” I assure you he’s not five, that’s just the response you get when you hold his dinner – the soup – hostage. He’s been eating this soup {every night} with turkey meatballs and sprinkles of Parmesan cheese. I wonder what I can get with the major bonus points I just earned…

Looking for something different to serve for the Super Bowl? Fill little cups with the roasted tomato basil soup and using a large toothpick, skewer the bite-size squares of grilled cheese and lay on top of the cups.

This is also a great option for parties/entertaining and only want to serve light or bite-size appetizers.

NEXT: Healthy bite-size turkey meatballs!

Psst… Check it out, I added the option to print the recipe! Now that the not-so-techie self (me) figured it out, I’ll be going back and adding it to previous recipes.

Roasted-Tomato Basil Soup Recipe from Barefoot Contessa

Print this Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (approx. 2 onions)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp butter – I left this out
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz. canned plum tomatoes with their juices – I used died tomatoes
  • 4 cups of fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock (or water)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt +pepper.

Spread the tomatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes.

In a large stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, butter (optional), and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes or until the onions begin to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Then add the oven roasted tomatoes and include any of the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and then simmer (uncovered) for 40 minutes. If you have a food mill, use that to pass the soup through. I used a Cuisinart to puree – mine was more on the chunky side – but you could also use a blender.

Serve hot or cold. Enjoy!

 

Hot Mustard and Jarlsberg Grilled Cheese Sandwhich…*drool!

I must be very hungry tonight, 😉

This is from http://www.chow.com  Check ’em out!

Sweet Hot Mustard and Jarlsberg Grilled Cheese
Difficulty: Easy

TIME/SERVINGS

Total: 15 mins

Active: 15 mins

Makes: 1 sandwich

Sweet Hot Mustard and Jarlsberg Grilled CheeseSee More in the Gallery

By Aida Mollenkamp

It’s a ballpark classic to combine soft pretzels with hot mustard, and it’s a favorite of CHOW Editor in Chief Jane Goldman to combine hard pretzels with Jarlsberg. Here we teamed up all those flavors and toasted the results for a winner of a snack.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 (3-ounce) Soft Pretzel Roll (or substitute 1/2 Dutch crunch roll)
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons Sweet Hot Mustard
  • 1/3 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat. While the pan is heating, cut pretzel roll in half lengthwise and press down on each half to flatten. Spread butter on outer side of each half and mustard on inside.
  2. Once the pan is warm, add 1 roll half buttered side down, top with cheese, and close sandwich with remaining roll half buttered side up.
  3. Cook until bread is toasted and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes per side.