Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and made only two minor tweaks swapping out what was called for with what was in my fridge. My technique is also a little different...I just have a hard time dirtying more dishes than I need to :)

Boyf needed a dessert for his work Christmas potluck & these sounded perfect.

The recipe said it made 10 really only makes 10 cupcakes, so I doubled everything (reflected below). I tried to stretch it to 12 and it just didn't work.

According to boyf, all of the cupcakes were devoured & deemed delicious!

for cake
1.5C all-purpose flour
2/3C cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1C + 4 tbsp sugar
1C half & half
2/3C vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

for peanut butter buttercream
1C sugar
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
3 sticks of butter, softened & cut into pieces
2C peanut butter (I prefer Peter Pan)
4 tsp vanilla extract

for chocolate coating
2C semisweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp vegetable oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cake: In a large bowl (I used my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer), whisk together sugar, half & half, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Cake: Add dry ingredients a little bit at a time until well blended.
  4. Cake: Distribute batter even amongst 20 cupcake liners.
  5. Cake: Bake ~25 minutes until center is cooked. Let cool.
  6. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the buttercream!
  7. Buttercream: In metal bowl (or Kitchenaid Mixer Bowl), whisk sugar, egg whites, and salt.
  8. Buttercream: Boil water in sauce pan.
  9. Buttercream: Set bowl in sauce pan, and whisk until ingredient appear to be melding together. (The recipe calls for a thermometer and waiting for ingredients to be 160 degrees, I didn't have that so I just kept sticking my finger in it until it got hot - safe, probably not but it seemed to have work...I probably whisked with the bowl in the pan for 8-10 minutes.)
  10. Buttercream: Remove bowl from the pan and whisk at high speed until mixture resembles shaving cream.
  11. Buttercream: Whisk in butter, vanilla, and peanut butter a little bit at a time until mixture is well combined.
  12. Buttercream: Transfer buttercream to pastry bag with tip OR if you're like me - a freezer size ziploc bag and snip the end off.
  13. Pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes.
  14. Chill the cupcakes in the fridge for about an hour (to allow the buttercream to harden for dipping).
  15. Chocolate: In double boiler OR if you're like me - a metal mixing bowl on top of a pot, melt chocolate chips and vegetable oil, whisking until completely melted and thin.
  16. Transfer melted chocolate to a deep bowl or large coffee mug.
  17. Dip cupcakes one at a time by holding on to the liner and dunking frosting into the chocolate. Let the excess drip off, flip over and let harden.
  18. I stuck my cupcakes back in the fridge for a bit to help the chocolate hardening process.
  19. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

I posted the Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, and they were delicious.
Today I made the Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes from the same blog - they were delicious!
It made 2 big pancakes each for my and the boyf. Plus, 2 for each of us for breakfast tomorrow.
The only thing I changed from the original recipe is the subbing of 1C skim milk & 1/2C half & half for the listed 1.5C whole milk because I never have whole milk in my house.

cinnamon filling
1 stick butter, melted
3/4C brown sugar
1 tbs cinnamon

cream cheese icing
1/2 stick butter
2oz cream cheese
3/4C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1C milk
1/2C half and half
1C pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 tbs canola oil
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
2C flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbs pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs brown sugar

  1. Prepare cinnamon filling: In small bowl, whisk butter, brown sugar, and cinnoman together. Pour filling into sandwich bag and snip off an end. Put in small bowl on the counter until you start pancake making (otherwise it drips on the counter).
  2. Prepare icing: In microwave, heat butter and cream cheese 45 seconds. Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Prepare batter: In large bowl (I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer), combing milk, half and half, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vinegar. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and brown sugar little by little to milk mixture.
  4. Heat greased skillet on medium heat. Scoop desired amount of batter into skillet and swirl cinnamon filling on top of batter. Once pancake batter starts to bubble, flip pancake so both sides are cooked.
  5. After cooked and on a plate, top with icing.
  6. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

BBQ Sauce

This past weekend I had no cable or internet due to a cut cable outside.
I should have been studying, instead I did some reading and some napping.
For dinner, I decided on pulled pork in the slow cooker. Soooooo I chopped up a yellow onion, tossed in a tablespoon of minced garlic, and some frozen (pre-pulled) pork. I went to the fridge to grab some bottled BBQ sauce....and we were out.
So I phone-googled for a recipe. I decided upon this because I had all the ingredients, with only 1 ingredient tweak and little prep tweak.
My is DELICIOUS! I may never buy BBQ sauce again now that I know how easy it is!

2C ketchup
1C water
1/2C apple cider vinegar
5 tbs brown sugar
5 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp pepper (recipe says fresh ground, I used regular)
1/2 tbs onion powder
1/2 tbs ground mustard
1 tbs lime juice
1 tbs worcestershire sauce

  1. In a medium pot, combine all ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring regularly, for 30 minutes (for crockpot use) or 1 hr, 20 minutes (sauce use).
  4. Enjoy!
I simmered for 30 minutes, and then put the sauce in the crockpot with pork, 1 yellow onion (diced), and 1 tbs of minced garlic. SO delicious. You should try it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mediterranean Linguine with Basil & Tomatoes

I found this recipe on allrecipes. I didn't have exactly everything it called for but I made it work. I liked it, but I do think 1) a little less EVOO wouldn't hurt and 2) my crushed red pepper is STRONG.

1 16oz box of linguine (I used an *almost* full box of whole wheat thin spaghetti, its what I had)
1 tbs salt
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil (to me, this was a little much when eating but make your own assumptions)
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half (recipe called for 2, I had 1 - I think 1 was fine)
1 tbs minced garlic
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
dry basil (recipe says 18 fresh leaves cut in strips - I had dry basil so i just shook it over top a few times...very precise meauring, I know)
3/4 C grated parmesan cheese (recipe says more for garnish but I say nah)

  1. Heat 6 qts water to boiling.
  2. Add pasta & salt to the water, cook until noodles are the texture you like (I'm an al dente kind of girl).
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat.
  4. Add tomatoes & garlic to the heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occassionally. (recipe says 2 minutes but I like them a little more cooked).
  5. Stir in vinegar & red pepper flakes.
  6. Drain pasta & add to the skillet.
  7. Cook and stir for 1 minute until pasta is coated.
  8. Season with salt & pepper.
  9. Stir in basil & cheese.
  10. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Eggplant Parmigiana

I am a sucker for Italian food. I am also addicted to The Frisky, so when I saw this recipe I knew it would be worth a try.
I didn't modify it much, I used shredded mozz instead of fresh but it was still delicious to me.
It is a little labor intensive but worth it. It also was enough for dinner (for boyf & I) and FIVE gladware containers for lunches. FIVE.

1 medium-large eggplant (her recipe called for 2, but I think my medium eggplant was bigger than hers)
1 - 32oz jar of marinara sauce (I used Kirkland...Costco FTW)
3 eggs
3/4C flour
1.5C panko bread crumbs
1/3C parmesan cheese
A few handfuls of shredded mozz (specific measurement I know, but I am a cheese fiend - you may not be)
olive oil

  1. Cut eggplant into slices. (Thickness is up to you, mine were inconsistent sizes and turned out fine).
  2. Toss eggplant slices in 1.5 tsp of salt in a colander (strainer) over a bowl and let them sit/drain for 30 minutes. (recipe says skipping this will make the eggplant rubbery...I didn't want to chance that so I did it!).
  3. While your eggplant is draining, prepare your breading bowls.
  4. In bowl #1, combine flour with a few sprinkles of salt and pepper.
  5. In bowl #2, crack & whisk the eggs.
  6. In bowl #3, combine panko and parmesan.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  8. In pot (with lid!) heat marinara sauce on low heat, stirring occassionally.
  9. In frying pan, heat olive oil - no lies (and very unhealthy) I used a good deal of oil because things cook quicker.
  10. Work each piece of eggplant through the assembly line - flour-> egg -> breadcrumbs.
  11. Cook on both sides (flipping once) and drain finished eggplant on plate lined with a paper towel.
  12. Line 9x13 pan with layer of marinara.
  13. Arrange eggplant slices in single layer, cover with sauce and sprinkle with desired amount of mozzarella.
  14. Add another layer of eggplant, followed by sauce and cheese. Continue until out of eggplant (eggplant, sauce, cheese, eggplant, sauce, cheese).
  15. Bake uncovered until sauce is bubbling and cheese has completely melted (about 10 minutes for me).
  16. Eat plain or over pasta.
  17. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Crockpot BBQ Chicken & Veggies

I am making a serious effort to utilize my crockpot more, it is just so convenient and requires so little work to make something delicious.
I made this recipe for dinner last night and it made enough for 4 meals (lunch & dinner for myself and the boyf).
I had about 3.5 hours between coming home from work (and tossing the food in the crockpot) and coming home from yoga. The chicken was totally cooked (probably also helped that it was thin sliced).
I think if you were to use regular sliced chicken breasts, there would be no problem cooking it for longer.
We ate ours plain (just the chicken and veggies), but I think it would be great over rice or maybe with some pasta on the side.

1.5C BBQ sauce (I used 1/4C of Sweet Baby Rays and 1.25C Kraft because thats what I had)
1 green pepper
1 white onion
1 tsp minced garlic (I have a giant tub of minced garlic from Costco to make life easier, but I think 1 tsp is equivalent to 4 cloves minced)
1 package of thin sliced chicken breasts (somewhere around 5 breasts - I think the packs are usually between 1 & 2lbs)

  1. Chop up onion and pepper. Size is really subject to personal preference - I made them more like strips (think sausage & peppers sized veggies) rather than little chunks
  2. Throw all the ingredients into the crockpot.
  3. Cook on low for 3.5 hours. (Thats the time frame I had, I'm sure you could do high for shorter (1-2hrs) or low for longer and all would still be well in the world).
  4. Enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Onion Dip

I love onion dip. Plain and simple. On chips, pretzels, veggies...just about all things that get dipped. I used this recipe from Alton Brown with very minimal changes. LOVE.

2 tbs olive oil
1 yellow onion (I picked a middle of the road sized one)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 - 160z container light sour cream
3/4C mayonaisse (I used Duke's - full fat)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground white pepper (found at Giant, not at Super Walmart)
1/2 tsp sea salt

  1. In saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat.
  2. Add onions and 1/4 tsp of sea salt.
  3. Cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes. (Alton says 20, mine were black by 15.)
  4. Remove pan from burner to cool. (I transferred the onions to a bowl and stuck them in the fridge to speed the process along).
  5. In large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
  6. After onions have cooled (don't have to be cold but don't want them to be hot), add to sour cream mixture.
  7. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to let the flavors meld.
  8. Stir before serving. (I stirred periodically in the refrigerating period to get all the oniony goodness distributed).
  9. Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

Found this recipe on Pinterest, here.
Butter + salted caramel = DEEEEEEELICIOUS.

for crust
4 sticks of butter, room temperature
1C sugar
1.5C powdered sugar
2 tbs vanilla
4C all purpose flour

for filling
1 - 14oz bag of caramels unwrapped
1/3C of heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spray 9x13 pan with pam.
  3. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar.
  4. Add vanilla and flour to butter mixture until dough forms.
  5. Press 1/3 of dough mixture evenly across the greased pan.
  6. Bake crust for 20 minutes, remove from oven when done.
  7. Place remaining dough into the refrigerator.
  8. Combine caramels and cream into a microwave safe bowl.
  9. Microwave on high for 1 minute, remove and stir.
  10. If not complete melted, microwave in 30 second intervals until smooth and melted.
  11. Pour caramel onto crust.
  12. Sprinkle salt over caramel.
  13. Remove chilled dough from refrigerator and crumble evenly over caramel.
  14. Return pan to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  15. Let cool and then cut into bars.
  16. Enjoy!

Honey Apple Sangria

This is my first attempt at sangria, it tastes like fall.
It is this recipe with a few modifications.
You can have extra fruits to garnish the sangria, I did not.

1 Fuji Apple
1/2C peach schnapps
2 - 750mL bottles of chardonnay
1/4C honey
1 orange - quartered
1 lime - quartered
1 lemon - quartered
2 cinnamon sticks
2 quarter size slices of fresh ginger
3 whole cloves
1 - 10oz bottle of club soda

  1. Core and chop the apple into pieces.
  2. Combine all ingredients (minus club soda) in a large bowl.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (I sit it in the fridge overnight).
  4. Strain sangria into pitcher or punch bowl for serving.
  5. Squeeze orange, lime, and lemon into sangria.
  6. Add bottle of club soda.
  7. Stir gently to combine ingredients.
  8. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crockpot Brown Sugar Pork Loin

I served this with the Cranberry Side Dish.
I love my crockpot and I love trying new things.
I found this recipe here, and made some changes because I don't like my crockpot meats to have a crust.

1 boneless pork loin - fat trimmed off (mine was about 2lbs, but the recipe says it can be up to 6lbs)
salt & pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled & halved
1C brown sugar
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 tbs balsamic vinegar

  1. Rub garlic halves all over the pork loin.
  2. Toss garlic & pork into crockpot.
  3. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.
  4. Use fork to poke holes all over the pork.
  5. In a bowl combine brown sugar, dijon mustard, & balsamic vinegar.
  6. Rub mixture all over pork loin.
  7. Cover crockpot & cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours (If I'm home, I like to periodically spoon some juice from the crockpot back on top of the meat but its not necessary).
  8. Enjoy!

Cranberry Sauce

I found this recipe here, and only made one minor tweak.
I have served this with pork loin, as well as a (the most important) side at Thanksgiving.
I also used fresh cranberries as Costco has had a 48oz bag as of late, but I'm sure frozen would work fine maybe just cook it a little longer.

6C fresh cranberries
2 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored, and chopped up
1/4C orange juice
2C sugar
2 tbs Peach Schnapps

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a 4qt (or larger) dish, mix together all ingredients until apples and cranberries are thoroughly coated.
  3. Cover dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven & stir.
  6. Serve hot, cold, or somewhere in between (it tastes good at all temps).
  7. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Fudge

I tried to make pumpkin fudge 2 weekends ago and it was a major flop. I tried to follow this recipe and flopped big time. It had the consistency of taffy even after sitting in the fridge AND freezer. It also looked to have separated into a layer of white chocolate and a layer for orange. I failed.

I tried again, this time modifying the recipe, and it tastes like heaven.
2C sugar
1C brown sugar
12 tbs butter
2/3C evaporated milk
1/2C canned pumpkin
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
12oz bag (1.5C) of white chocolate chips
7oz jar (1.5C) of fluff 
1.5 tsp vanilla

  1. Line 9x13 pan with wax paper.
  2. Heat a medium-large sauce pan.
  3. Add sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk, pumpkin, butter, and pumpkin pie spice to sauce pan.
  4. Bring ingredients to a boil. Let boil for 12 minutes over medium heat, stirring regularly.
  5. Remove sauce pan from heat and quickly stir in vanilla, chocolate chips, and fluff until smooth and blended.
  6. Pour immediately into a 9x13 pan.
  7. Let cool/harden. I waited until it cooled, cut it up then put it in an airtight container in the fridge.
  8. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I have been making calzones for a while, with a slightly different dough recipe, but what interested me in this recipe was the style of folding the dough...its very pretty.
And delicious.
My dad (who has logged years at a NJ pizzeria) said to avoid the sauce leakage visible in my picture is to keep the gaps at the top (or don't have any).

This recipe makes 2 GIANT calzones. Mine was enough for 3 meals, and the boyfriend's was enough for 2 for him.

3C flour
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp garlic salt
2.25 tsp active dry yeast (aka 1 packet)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1C + 2.5 tbs warm water

Sauce & pizza toppings of amount and variety that suit your tastes!

to brush on top before baking
4 tbs butter, melted
2 tsp garlic salt

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In large mixing bowl fitted with dough hook (or in a regular bowl and use your hands), combine yeast, sugar, 1C flour, salt, and warm water.
  3. Mix in remaining flour slowly until dough is soft and not sticky.
  4. Knead until smooth.
  5. Let rest for ~30 minutes before using.
  6. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  7. Divide dough in 2 and roll each half out into a rectangle on the aluminum foil.
  8. Put sauce down the middle of the dough (hot dog length).
  9. Add any toppings.
  10. Add cheese.
  11. Cut the dough on the sides at about 3/4" intervals.
  12. Alternating sides, overlap dough strips to make a braided look on top. (Don't pull too tight because then your dough will rip and your toppings will ooze out during baking). Leave gaps (if any) towards the top to prevent sauce seapage.
  13. Combine melted butter and garlic salt.
  14. Brush top of calzones with butter/garlic mixture.
  15. Bake 25-30 minutes until light golden brown color appears.
  16. Enjoy!

Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe via Pinterest, here.
VERY VERY good :)

1 stick butter, softened
6 tbs sugar
6 tbs brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1.25C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
14 oreos, broken up (recipe calls for 11, my oreo sleeve had 14 in it so I used them all)
1C semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla until well mixed.
  4. Slowly add flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Mix in oreos and chocolate chips.
  6. With cookie scoop (I have one from Bed,Bath,&Beyond that is squishy on one side so you can put it out with your thumb), scoop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake 8 minutes and let cool.
  8. Enjoy!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

I found this recipe on Pinterest, they are majorly delicious and were a hit at work and at home!
Link here.

2C flour
1/2C brown sugar
1C butter, softened

cheesecake filling
3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4C sugar
3 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla extract

3 apples (the recipe said granny smith, I used gala), peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbs sugar

streusel topping
1C brown sugar
1C flour
1/2C quick cook oats
1/2C butter, softened

1/2C caramel topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 9x13 baking pan with aluminum foil.
  3. In medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with 2 forks until it becomes a crumbly mixture.
  4. Press mixture into baking pan.
  5. Bake 15 minutes.
  6. In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4C sugar until smooth.
  7. Add eggs and vanilla to cream cheese mixture, until smooth.
  8. Pour over warm crust.
  9. In separate bowl, mix apple ingredients and spoon over cream cheese mixture.
  10. Sprinkle streusel topping over apple layer.
  11. Bake ~40 minutes.
  12. Drizzle with caramel topping and cool before serving.
  13. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Spaghetti Sauce

I have been helping my dad make spaghetti sauce since I was little. Now that I'm older with my own kitchen and my own tastes, I have been tweaking things for my taste.
Below is the result of multiple batches of tweaking (and reduction of heat, because my last batch proved too spicy).

1/3C extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion
2/3C white vinegar
28oz crushed tomatoes
28oz diced tomatoes, juice drained
28oz whole peeled tomatoes
28oz stewed tomatoes
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
3 tsp dry basil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 tsp dry oregano

  1. Run the whole peeled tomatoes & stewed tomatoes for a quick blip through the blender / magic bullet / food processor. (I like chunky sauce and a quick second or two through there cuts up most of the big pieces)
  2. In large sauce pan, heat EVOO.
  3. Saute onion and garlic in EVOO until tender.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Heat over medium heat for at least 30 minutes. (When I make sauce, I generally put all the ingredients in the pot then throw in the meatballs and let it simmer for a few long as you periodically stir and make sure nothing is sticking/burning to the edges then you can't really overcook this).
  6. Enjoy!

Buffalo Wing Dip

This is a major hit with my friends. No lie.
You can heat it up, I did the first time I made it and while it was delicious it was really oily on top because of the cheese and skeeves me out. Therefore, I just do room temp and it is glorious.
You can serve it with celery, tortilla chips, whatever you would like.

1.5 C hot sauce (I use Texas Pete)
2C shredded cheddar
2C ranch dressing
2 8oz pkgs of cream cheese (VERY soft)
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken

  1. Boil chicken until cooked.
  2. While boiling, combine all other ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Remove chicken from pot, shred (pull apart) with 2 forks.
  4. Stir all ingredients together.
  5. Enjoy!


I mixed in peanut butter chips to this recipe and it was delicious, you can mix in whatever you prefer in your fudge and I'm sure it would turn out great.

3C semisweet chocolate chips
14oz sweetened condensed milk
1/4C butter

  1. Line 8x8 baking dish with wax paper or grease baking dish.
  2. Place chocolate chips, condensed milk, and butter in a large microwaveable bowl.
  3. Heat in microwave, 1 minute at a time, until chips are melts - stir in between.
  4. Pour mixture into baking dish.
  5. Refrigerate until set.
  6. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

I found this recipe here:
They were delicious.

1 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C milk
1 tbsp canola oil
1 egg

cinnamon filling
1/2 C butter, melted
3/4 C brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

cream cheese glaze
4 tbsp butter
2 oz cream cheese
3/4 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Whisk pancake ingredients in medium bowl until smooth.
  2. Mix cinnamon filling ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Put cinnamon filling into a ziploc bag and set aside.
  4. In medium bowl, microwave butter and cream cheese until melted.
  5. Whisk powdered sugar and vanilla with the butter and cream cheese.
  6. Heat greased skillet over medium heat.
  7. Pour desired amount of batter into skillet.
  8. Snip corner of ziploc bag and squeeze a spiral of cinnamon filling on top of the batter.
  9. When bubbles appear on surface, flip the pancakes.
  10. When ready to serve, spoon warmed glaze on top of each pancake.
  11. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


make everyone feel good and today was no exception.

We had cupcakes from a cupcake bakery today at work and one of my coworkers walked by after finishing his and said "These are good, but yours are definitely better."

It put a smile on my face for the rest of the day :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes

I made these with spiced vanilla buttercream frosting. DELICIOUS.ingredients
3C all purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4C butter, softened
1.75C pureed pumpkin (pretty much a 15oz can)
1.75C sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1C plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4C skim milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In mixer (or bowl) cream butter, pumpkin, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add baking soda and baking powder, mix until smooth.
  4. Add milk, mix until combined.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until combined.
  6. Add flour, mix until smooth.
  7. Add Greek yogurt, mix until smooth.
  8. Bake ~23 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool and frost.
  10. Enjoy!

Spiced Vanilla Buttercream

1 C butter, softened
3.5 C powdered sugar
1 tsp skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  1. Cream butter and sugar together in large mixing bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat until fluffy.
  3. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cinnamon Muffin Melts Knockoffs

I had a hankering for Tastefully Simple's Cinnamon Muffin Melts but did not have any at the house, so I went on the hunt for a suitable substitute.
Thankfully, I found one here.

1.5C flour
1/2C sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 egg
3/4C milk
1/3C butter

for rolling
1/2C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2C butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix first 5 ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Beat egg and milk together in small bowl and set aside.
  4. In mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy.
  5. Alternately add egg and flour mixtures to mixing bowl.
  6. Fill greased muffin pans 2/3 full.
  7. Bake ~18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool muffins until not too hot to touch.
  9. Melt remaining butter.
  10. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in shallow bowl.
  11. Dip (roll) whole muffin in butter and then roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.
  12. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
  13. Enjoy!

Browned Butter Cupcakes

I paired these with the Chocolate Buttercream listed below for a BBQ this weekend.
They were a hit!
I would say they are a more flavorful take on your average white cake cupcake, not too different but just enough.

1C butter
2.5 C flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2C sugar
4 eggs, room temp
1C milk, warmed in microwave on high for 20 sec
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter over medium heat in a pan with tall(ish) sides. Stir constantly until the foaming subsides and dark brown flecks start to appear. Continue cooking on medium heat until butter is brown and smells nutty.
  3. Remove butter from heat and allow to cool for ~10 minutes.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl and set aside.
  5. In mixing bowl beat sugar & eggs until thickened.
  6. Add milk, butter, and vanilla to mixing bowl until combined.
  7. Add flour mixture a little bit at a time until well mixed.
  8. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
  9. Bake for ~20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispy Treat

Hands down THE best rice krispy treat I've ever eaten.

1 stick butter
1 - 10oz bag marshmallows
1/2 tsp sea salt
6C Rice Krispy cereal

  1. Spray 8x8 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in large pot until it turns brown and smells slightly nutty.
  3. Turn off heat and stir in marshmallows until smooth.
  4. Stir in salt and cereal.
  5. Quickly spread into prepared pan.
  6. Let cool, cut into squares.

Watermelon Salsa

Made this last summer after a recipe appeared in Women's Health.
It is delicious and perfect for summer.

1C watermelon diced in small cubes
1C mango diced in small cubes
1C cucumber peeled and diced in small cubes
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
4 tbs lime juice
2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp finely chopped parsley

  1. Combine all ingredients in bowl.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Chill 30 minutes before serving.

3rd Place Chili

This Chili won me 3rd place in the Chili Cookoff at work last summer.
I don't eat chili, I don't like beef and I don't like beans.
I just like to cook and wanted to enter the contest.
It got good reviews from my coworkers, boyf, and roommate.

Being as I didn't know much about chili, I found a bunch of recipes and mashed them together and added more stuff until it smelled good.

Note to the wise, poblano peppers are very hot - don't rub your face after you cut them until you wash your hands.

I cooked this chili in a crockpot because we didn't have a stove for warmup at work. I'm sure that it would be fine for quicker cooking on a stove top!

2 lbs ground beef
1 lb bulk Italian sausage
45 oz chili beans, drained
15 oz chili beans in spicy sauce
46 oz diced tomatoes with juice
6 oz tomato paste
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 poblano peppers, chopped
1/4C bacon bits
4 cubes beef bouillon
1 bottle Yuengling
1/4C chili powder
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs dried oregano
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp tabasco sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sugar

  1. Brown meat in pan and drain grease.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a crockpot, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  4. Enjoy!

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes (with Pink Lemonade frosting!)

I made these for the Scentsy party and for Phill's uncle's birthday.
They were interesting and very well enjoyed!
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen via Food Network (Pink Lemonade Layer Cake).

I would recommend grating the lemon zest VERY finely, I find eating long strings of lemon zest reminds me of having a hair in my food.

1C butter, softened
1 box white cake mix (I used Pillsbury, it was on sale)
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbs pink lemonade drink mix powder

1 lb powdered sugar
5 tbs frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare cake batter using directions (and ingredients) from package.
  3. Add lemon zest, vanilla, and pink lemonade powder to batter.
  4. Pour batter into prepared cupcake pan w liners (or greased muffin pans).
  5. Bake ~32 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Cool completely.
  7. While cakes are cooling, prepare frosting.
  8. Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  9. Add vanilla, lemon zest, and frozen lemonade concentrate to mix.
  10. Beat until well combined.
  11. Frost those cupcakes.
  12. Enjoy!


I made this guac for a Scentsy party I had at my house.
It is DELICIOUS, has a little bite but it is great.

3 avocados
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 onion, diced
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced

  1. Scoop avocado into a large bowl.
  2. Add salt, cumin, cilantro, and cayenne and use a potato masher to smash together.
  3. Fold in onions, tomatoes, and garlic.
  4. Add lime juice, mix together.
  5. Enjoy!

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I topped my peanut butter cupcakes with this delicious chocolate buttercream.
I have never been a fan of buttercream from a bakery, but buttercream has been growing on me as I've been learning and experimenting with my own.
This might possibly be the best frosting I've ever tasted, no lies.

6 tbs butter, softened
2 2/3C powdered sugar
1/2C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3C skim milk
1.5 tsp vanilla

  1. Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl.
  2. Add cocoa powder and vanilla.
  3. Add sugar a little at a time (otherwise you'll have a powdered sugar explosion all over your kitchen).
  4. Add milk a little at a time.
  5. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I made these for a coworker after he completed a 30 day fast.
I used a chocolate buttercream frosting (recipe to follow), but they taste just like a soft PB cookie so I imagine they would be delicious with any kind of frosting!

3C all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4C butter, softened
1 3/4C creamy peanut butter (I use Peter Pan)
1 3/4C sugar
3 eggs
1C plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4C skim milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In mixer (or bowl if you don't have a KitchenAid) cream butter, peanut butter, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add baking soda and baking powder.
  4. Add milk.
  5. Add eggs & vanilla.
  6. Add flour.
  7. Add Greek yogurt.
  8. Bake ~18 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool & frost.
  10. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hummingbird Cupcakes

I watched Cupcake Wars and they made hummingbird cupcakes. They looked delicious and pretty easy to make. Apparently hummingbird cake is pretty popular in the south. Traditionally hummingbird cake has pecans in it, but I'm allergic so I used sliced almonds.

I need to work on my icing skills.

1C sliced almonds
4 bananas chopped into pieces
1C chopped pineapple
2 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 3/4 C sugar
3/4 C vegetable oil
2 8oz pkgs of cream cheese, room temp
12 tbs butter, room temp
1 tbs lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
2C confectioner's sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line muffin tins or grease cupcake cups (I have silicone cupcake cups that I use instead of wasting cupcake liners).
  3. Combine almonds, bananas, and pineapples in a bowl with 1/2 C of flour. Make sure all pieces are coated.
  4. In separate bowl, combine 2 1/4C flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
  5. Beat eggs and sugar in mixer until thick and creamy.
  6. Add oil to the egg mixture.
  7. Gradually add flour mixture to egg/sugar/oil mixture.
  8. Fold in banana mixture.
  9. Put batter into cupcake cups.
  10. Bake cupcakes about 28 minutes, until golden brown.
  11. Let cupcakes completely cool.
  12. Beat cream cheese and butter in mixer until fluffy
  13. Gradually add lemon zest and powdered sugar.
  14. Beat until smooth.
  15. Refrigerate ~20 minutes.
  16. Frost cupcakes.
  17. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cinnabon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Glaze

I made these for work, they were a huge hit! I love me some Cinnabon so I will keep trying to recreate the wonderful cinnamony taste forever.

3C All-Purpose Flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1C butter, room temperature
2C sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1C milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

8oz cream cheese
1/4C butter, room temperature
2 tbs caramel sauce
2C powdered sugar

Caramel Chocolate Syrup
4tbs caramel sauce
1tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tray with liners (or grease a muffin tray).
  2. In large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In separate bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and cream with butter until white and fluffy (I used my mixer and took about 7 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  4. Turn mixer speed to low and add flour mixture and milk a little bit at a time.
  5. Divide batter amongst cupcake liners. Bake about 22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and cool.
  7. (This can be done while cupcakes are cooling or while they are baking). Combine cream cheese and butter with paddle attachment until smooth and creamy. Add caramel sauce. Turn speed to low and add powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
  8. Beat on high speed until mixture is smooth (~3 minutes).
  9. Mix all caramel chocolate sauce ingredients together and stir until well combined and smooth.
  10. Frost cupcakes.
  11. Drizzle with caramel chocolate syrup.
  12. Enjoy!

Chicken Parmigiana

My boyfriend actually made this recipe, off of a "healthier version" recipe from People magazine.

4 thin, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Olive Oil spray
Salt & Pepper
2 C marinara sauce
1 C drained canned whole plum tomatoes, chopped
1 C chopped fresh basil leaves
1 C mozzarella (they suggested reduced-fat cheese but I don't like the way reduced-fat cheese melts)
6 tbs grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
1/2 C bread crumbs (they suggested whole wheat, though I used regular seasoned bread crumbs)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with olive oil spray.
  2. Heat pan on medium-high heat, spray chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken ~1.5 min per side until cooked through.
  3. Spread half of the marinara sauce over bottom of baking dish. Put chicken on top of marinara sauce. Spread the rest of the sauce over the chicken and top with chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle with half of the basil and all of the cheese and breadcrumbs.
  4. Bake chicken for 10-12 minutes until cheese melts. Sprinkle remaining basil on top.
  5. Enjoy!

Pardon my absence..

Grad school took over my life for the last few months.
I am taking a summer class, but I will hopefully have more time to keep up with recipe posting :)

Stay with me!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chicken Meatballs

I modified what my dad does to make his meatballs, he uses beef. I don't like beef, and I wanted to add more spices...and his recipe relies on "add a little of this, a little of that".
I like details and specific measurements.

1 lb ground chicken
1 egg
1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
1/2 C bread crumbs
1/4 C chopped white onion
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp dry parsley
1 tbs dry basil
2 tsp dry oregano

  1. In a large bowl, combine everything together.
  2. Use your hands to make sure everything is combined well.
  3. Form into balls.
  4. Add balls to large pot of red sauce.
  5. Cook on med-low heat for at least 3 hours. The longer, the better. The flavors get a chance to meld together.
  6. Enjoy!
I have never cooked my meatballs first before putting them in sauce, I think they have a really nice soft texture and even better flavor being cooked in sauce. If you don't have sauce or time to cook them in, I'm sure you can google how to cook them in the oven or on the stove!

Shredded Buffalo Chicken

I stick this in the crockpot (2-3 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low). I stick it in tacos, you could probably do sandwiches or eat it by itself.

2 lbs chicken breasts
1 12oz bottle of hot sauce (I prefer Frank's Red Hot Sweet Heat, some kick but not bad)
1/2 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Powder Mix
2 tbs butter

  1. Add chicken, hot sauce, and ranch mix to crockpot.
  2. Cook on low for 1.5-2 hours on high or 5-6 on low.
  3. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken breasts in the crockpot.
  4. Add 2 tbs of butter to crockpot.
  5. Cook for addition 1-1.5 hours on high, or 1.5-2 hours on low.
  6. I like to mix/stir every so often to make sure everything is covered, but its not necessary.
  7. Enjoy !
This also reheats well. You can pretty much cook it for however long on low, but you might want to add some more hot sauce to prevent it from getting dry.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

[Insert Color of Your Choice] Velvet Cake

I have had a Red Velvet obsession as of late that morphed into a green velvet cake for St. Paddy's Day.

To make Velvet Whoopie Pies, add 1 cup of flour to recipe.

2.5 C all purpose flour
2 C sugar
1 tbs cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1C oil
1C buttermilk
1 tbs vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 oz food coloring of color of choice

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Whisk eggs in medium bowl. Add in oil, buttermilk, vinegar, food coloring and vanilla until well mixed.
  3. Put all dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix on med-high for 2 minutes until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into well greased pans.
  6. Cook 15-20 minutes depending on type of pan.
  7. Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Frosting

Modification of the filling recipe, a little thinner than the filling.

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4C butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 lb powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk

  1. In mixer cream butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and milk.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar until smooth.
  3. If too thick, add more milk to make it the desired consistency.
  4. Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Filling

I used this for the whoopie pie filling and it is pretty much delicious!

1/2 C butter, softened,
8oz cream cheese, softened
3 3/4 C confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla

  1. In a mixer cream butter, cream cheese, and vanilla.
  2. Gradually add confectioners sugar until smooth.
  3. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chocolate Lace Cookies

These are always the first cookies I grab out of the assorted box of Italian bakery cookies.
I made these last night. Turned out pretty good, I think I could have spread them thinner to make them a little more true to form.

2/3 C butter, melted
2 C quick oats
1 C sugar
2/3 C flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C light corn syrup
1/4 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In large bowl, combine butter, oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon, milk, corn syrup and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  4. Use teaspoon to drop cookies onto foil, spread into thin circle.
  5. Bake 8 minutes.
  6. Move foil to cooling rack and continue for additional batches.
  7. Melt chocolate.
  8. Using a spreader (I definitely used a cheese spreader), spread chocolate onto smooth side of one cookie. Sandwich another cookie (smooth side) onto the chocolate.
  9. Chill for at least 10 minutes, for chocolate to harden.
  10. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls

This is my signature recipe -- they are a major hit with everyone I make them for.
for dough
1 C warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 C butter, melted
4.5 C bread flour (though, when I don't have it I use all-purpose flour with hardly any difference)
1 tsp salt
1/2 C sugar

for cinnamony middle
1 C brown sugar
2.5 tbsp cinnamon
1/3 C butter, softened

for icing
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 C butter, softened
1.5 C confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix sugar, butter, salt, and eggs in large bowl.
  3. Add flour and mix well.
  4. Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  6. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle.
  8. Spread dough with 1/3C butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture.
  9. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls.
  10. Place rolls into a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan.
  11. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  12. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4C butter, confectioner's sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.
  13. When rolls are done baking, remove from oven and flip pan onto serving tray (this allows for the cinnamony goodness to run over the rolls instead of getting stuck in the bottom of the pan).
  14. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.
  15. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Muffins

These were a hit with my G and GGLittles for Rockathon.

for muffins:
1/2 C butter
1 egg
1 C sugar
1.5 C flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C milk

for topping:
4 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In large bowl cream sugar and butter until well blended.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon to bowl.
  4. Whisk egg and milk together.
  5. Add milk mixture to flour mixture.
  6. Mix until well combined dough is formed.
  7. In bowl combine topping ingredients until well mixed.
  8. Pour batter into greased muffin cups or liners.
  9. Sprinkle topping evenly on top of batter.
  10. Bake 30 minutes.

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

I used these to make Phi Mu cookies for Danielle's GGLittle. This recipe worked pretty well with cookie cutters.

2 C confectioner's sugar
1 C unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tsp baking soda
3 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 C butter, chilled and cubed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 C chopped semisweet chocolate

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine confectioner's sugar, cocoa, baking soda, flour, and salt until well blended.
  3. Add butter, eggs, and vanilla until well mixed and stiff dough forms.
  4. Fold in chocolate pieces.
  5. Chill dough for 10 minutes.
  6. On floured surface, roll out dough to desired thickness and cut into shapes.
  7. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes on ungreased baking sheet.
  8. Enjoy!

Oreo Truffles

These are my sister's favorite. They are pretty delicious and can easily be tweaked to have different flavors using the various types of Oreos!

16oz package of Oreos
8oz cream cheese, softened
16 oz Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted

  1. Crush 9 Oreos, reserve for later use.
  2. Crush remaining cookies (~36) into fine crumbs.
  3. Combine crumbs with cream cheese until well blended.
  4. Refrigerate mixture for 10 minutes.
  5. Roll cream cheese mixture into 42 balls, about 1 inch in diameter.
  6. Dip balls into chocolate and place on wax paper.
  7. Sprinkle with reserve cookie crumbs.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Macaroni and Cheese

I love mac & cheese. Personally, I think shapes taste better than regular noodles. Shells will do the trick too!

4 tbs butter
1/4 C flour
2 C milk
8 oz cheddar, cubed
8 oz Velveeta, cubed
1 box of pasta
8 Ritz Crackers
1/2 C shredded cheddar
Salt & Pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions, drain.
  3. In sauce pan, melt butter.
  4. Add flour and milk to sauce pan, bring to boil.
  5. Stir in cheese cubes.
  6. Add salt & pepper to your liking.
  7. Combine pasta & cheese sauce.
  8. Pour pasta and sauce into a baking dish. (The bigger the dish, the shorter the cooking time)
  9. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar and Ritz crackers.
  10. Bake to desired level of brownness, ~20-30 minutes.
  11. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

White Cake

For Tash's birthday I made a tiedye cake. In order to get all the layers in different colors, I had to make white cake batter. I didn't have a box on hand so this is what I made.

Use either 2 9" round pans or 1 9x13 pan.

12 tbs butter, softened
1.5 C sugar
2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 egg whites
3/4 C milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  3. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, mix egg whites, milk and vanilla extract.
  5. Combine milk mixture with butter mixture and flour mixture.
  6. Beat until well combined.
  7. Pour batter into greased pan(s).
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes.
  9. Cool completely.
  10. Enjoy!

To make a tiedye cake, just separate the batter in varying amounts into different bowls and dye each bowl a different color. Pour each bowl in the pan, right on top of each other in the center of the pan.

Rainbow 7 Layer Cookies

adapted from smittenkitchen

4 eggs, separated
1 C sugar
7oz tube almond paste
1.25 C butter, softened
1 tsp almond extract
2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
red food coloring
green food coloring
12 oz apricot preserves, heated and strained
7oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 13x9 pan and line with wax paper leaving over hang on both ends. Grease paper.
  3. Beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Add sugar slowly while beating at a high speed.
  4. In another bowl, mix almond paste and 3/4C sugar until well blended. Add butter and beat until fluffy. Add yolks and almond extract and beat until well combined.
  5. Add flour and salt to mixture. Mix until well combined.
  6. Combine egg white mixture with almond paste mixture.
  7. Divide batter into 3 bowls. Add red food coloring to one bowl and green food coloring to another. Chill green batter in covered bowl. Set white batter aside. Pour red batter into pan and spread evenly.
  8. Bake red layer 10 minutes.
  9. Transfer layer to cooling rack. Cool 15 min.
  10. Take green batter out of refrigerator.
  11. Clean pan, grease pan and line with greased wax paper.
  12. Bake white layer 10 minutes.
  13. Transfer layer to cooling rack. Cool 15 min.
  14. Clean pan, grease pan, and line with greased wax paper.
  15. Bake green layer 10 minutes.
  16. Transfer to cooling rack. Cool 15 min.
  17. Flip green layer onto a wax paper lined baking sheet. Throw out paper from layer and spread 1/2 preserves onto green layer. Flip white layer on top of green layer. Take off paper and spread remaining preserves onto white layer. Flip red layer onto white layer and throw out paper.
  18. Cover with plastic wrap and weight with a large baking pan. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  19. Remove weight and plastic wrap. Melt chocolate.
  20. Trim edges of layers so that assembled layers make a rectangle.
  21. Spread 1/2 of chocolate in a thin layer on top of assembled layers.
  22. Chill uncovered 15 minutes.
  23. Cover with wax paper and flip onto another baking sheet.
  24. Remove paper and spread remaining chocolate on top.
  25. Chill 30 minutes.
  26. Cut lengthwise and crosswise into pieces.
  27. Enjoy!

Spicy Caramel Corn

3 tbs canola oil
1/2 C popcorn kernels
2 C peanuts
1.5 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 C sugar
3 tbs butter
1.5 tbs sea salt
1/2 C water

  1. heat oil over medium heat in large saucepan
  2. add kernels to pan and cover. move saucepan around for ~5 minutes until all kernels have popped.
  3. Add popcorn and peanuts to greased mixing bowl.
  4. Mix together baking soda and cayenne pepper in small bowl.
  5. Grease a large baking sheet.
  6. Mix sugar, butter, salt and water to saucepan over high heat. Cook for 12 minutes.
  7. Remove from stove and mix in baking soda / cayenne mixture.
  8. Pour immediately over popcorn in mixing bowl.
  9. Use spatulas to quickly toss caramel and popcorn together until popcorn is completely coated.
  10. Spread popcorn onto baking sheet and separate into small pieces. Cool for 15 minutes.
  11. Enjoy!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

I dyed these green for St. Paddy's Day and modified a recipe from Betty Crocker. I would say leave out the green, or just do a better job of dying so that they don't turn out looking babypoop-green.

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
1 egg
1 cup Andes creme de menthe baking chips (I could only find them @ Walmart)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In large bowl, combine cookie mix, butter, mint, egg until well mixed.
  3. Fold in Andes chips and chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop dough into balls, 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake 10 minutes.
  6. Cool ~3 minutes before eating.
  7. Enjoy!

Rose Sauce

This recipe is by far my roommate Danielle's favorite. We put it over 5 cheese tortellini for "Tortellini Rose". This recipe is good for 1-1.5 lbs of tortellini.

1 pint heavy cream
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 C Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dry parsley
Pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbs tomato paste

  1. Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat
  2. Stir in cream, garlic, parsley, and pepper
  3. Stir in cheese and tomato paste until well blended
  4. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
  5. Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Dip

I am *trying* to eat healthier. In my efforts, I have relied on spaghetti squash as a substitute for various things. This dip is similar to a spinach-artichoke dip in texture.

1/2 spaghetti squash (cut top to bottom aka long ways)
2 tbs butter
1/4 cup mayo
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup shredded mozz
1.5 tbs grated parmesan cheese on top

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lightly grease an 8x8 baking dish.
  3. Place squash cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 35 minutes.
  4. Scoop out cooked squash (careful, you may burn yourself if you don't use a mitt) and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add butter, mayo, garlic, cheese until well blended.
  6. Pour into baking dish, sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake 20 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

Vodka Sauce

1/2 C butter
1/2 white onion, diced
1 C vodka
2 (28oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 tsp dry oregano
2 tsp dry parsley
1 tbs dry basil
4 cloves garlic, minced

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in butter until onions are slightly brown and soft
  2. Pour in vodka. Let cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Mix in tomatoes and spices. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour in heavy cream. Cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!
As with any sauce, the longer you cook it the more the flavors blend together. Overall, this takes me about an hour of cooking & has very little prep.

And away we go :)

I love baking. And cooking. And testing out new recipes on my roommate, boyfriend, and friends. They like it too, at least I think so.

I recently bought a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and now my baking obsession has reached an all time high. I'm serious, my Stand Mixer is like a child that I waited a very long time for.

I am starting this blog so that I can put all my successful recipes in one place, for others to try and indulge in the deliciousness. I am a computer geek by trade but given the choice (and maybe a winning Mega Millions ticket) I would open up a bakery/cafe in a heartbeat. I cook when I am stressed. I bake when I am sad. I bake when I'm happy. I cook when I'm excited. I just love it.

I have a small galley kitchen and no culinary training so don't be scared off by the recipes because if I can do it, you can too!