Archives for category: Recipes

Don’t let the lack of updates fool you. I have been cooking and baking up a storm! For example, one week in March (7 days in a row) I cooked homemade meals every night. Well, a combination of crock pot meals and other on-the-spot meals. Another time, I made 2 cakes and 1 banana bread in one night. Now, for some of you that might not seem so strange. But for me, that’s a lot of cooking/baking progress. Want to see what I’ve been making?

I thought so. ;D

First up is the Strawberry Lemonade cupcakes I made for Jeremy’s house warming party. Original recipe: http://thecakeblog.com/2011/07/strawberry-lemonade-cupcakes.html

I have a confession. I absolutely hate zesting lemons. Also, I love lemon goodies, which usually 9 times out of 10 require lemon zest. So, with these I got a bit lazy. I used more of the dry lemonade mix and some lemon juice (not fresh… I know! I’m bad.) in the frosting. They still turned out awesome and everyone had lots of compliments for them. We had not a one left over at the end of the night. Success!

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As you can see, I also got lazy with making mini cupcakes, so I made some regular sized ones, also. This worked out well, as some people wanted just a bite, and some people wanted a whole cupcake. Mostly, our guests wanted a whole cupcake after trying the bite-sized ones. They were just that yummy!

Next up is the Crock Pot Hawaiian Meatballs recipe from Six Sisters’ Stuff. Original here: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2012/04/slow-cooker-hawaiian-meatballs-recipe.html

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This was a super easy recipe to make. I used frozen turkey meatballs, and it turned out delicious! Served over white or brown rice, and you have a scrumptious meal!

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I could not, of course, get the sauce to thicken. But I think that’s more of a result of my crock pot than the recipe. We poured the juices over the rice, which absorbed the flavors really well. 10 out of 10!

#3 on the list is the Peanut Butter Banana Bread! Original recipe here: http://skinnychef.com/recipes/pb-banana-bread

Not much to say on this one. Super simple, super delicious. Even Jeremy, who isn’t particularly fond of peanut butter, enjoyed it.

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Next is Four Cheese Macaroni. Here’s the link: http://sweetteaandskyscrapers.com/2012/10/20/accidental-four-cheese-ranch-maccaroni/

Now, I’m not going to lie. I didn’t use brick cheese. I used the goat cheese, the cheese soup, and shredded cheddar. It was still amazing. Jeremy loved it, but he loves most anything with cheese in it. I also used rotini noodles instead of penne.

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#5 and #6 on my list of yums: Orange Creamsicle Cake and Red Velvet Poke Cake. Recipe here: http://www.betterrecipes.com/blogs/daily-dish/2012/08/28/three-ingredient-low-fat-creamsicle-cake/ and here: http://www.recipebyphoto.com/country-cooks-poke-cake/

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Doesn’t that look yummy?! And with only 3 ingredients, it just couldn’t be easier. I’m looking forward to making this one again with a different kind of juice for different, albeit yummy, results!

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The red velvet poke cake was fantastic! I didn’t add the crushed Oreos on top, just because that was my personal preference. The only thing I’d recommend is to make it when it’s going to be eaten all in one go, like a party. It was certainly edible a few days after, but the pudding made the cake kind of soggy, and it lost a bit of its glamor. I’m sure the Oreos would have been moist after a few days, too. Definitely one for the cookbook, though! Here’s a picture of both cakes after they were done:

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Last, but not least, for this entry is the Cherry White Chocolate Pudding Cookies: http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/2013/01/cherry-white-chocolate-pudding-cookies/

These are fantastic.IMG_20130227_210824Super easy to make (do you see a pattern here?), and easily one of my favorite cookies to make. Ok, really they’re one of my favorite cookies to eat. Definitely. Again, a huge hit with everyone I shared them with. They’re lucky I shared at all. 😛

Well, that wraps things up for this entry. I have a few more things to post in different blog entries, so look forward to that! Take care!

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Right off the bat, here’s the original recipe: http://www.carlyhaslee.com/2012/02/cake-batter-cookies.html

I love cake. I love cookies. I love when they’re combined. I found this recipe through Pintrest, as usual. I was looking for something really easy to bake today. I mean, REALLY easy. And this recipe was just perfect.

You start with a box of Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix. Add 2 eggs and 1/3 cup of oil.

Mix well until you get this:

Make sure you get all of the dry powdery stuff all mix in. Then, scoop 1 inch balls of dough onto a cookie sheet like this:

These cookies hold their shape pretty well, so they’ll look almost exactly like how you scoop them out. You might want to use a cookie scoop, like I did, if you care that they look pretty. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, which should be preheated to 375 degrees F. Bake for about 6 minutes. The original baker said they don’t let the cookies brown underneath, as is their personal preference. After 6 minutes in the oven, my cookies had a nice medium brown underside. I don’t mind, but if you do, try lowering the baking time a bit. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then move them to a rack to cool.

These were seriously the easiest cookies to make. And they are delicious! One thing worth mentioning, is that this recipe doesn’t make a lot of cookies. Using a 1 inch scoop, I got 36 cookies. So, if you’re planning on making these for a birthday party, or another holiday, you may want to double the recipe. But I promise, it will still be super duper easy!

Funfetti Cake Batter Cookies

Ingredients:

1 box of Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 Cup of oil

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix all the ingredients together.

Scoop balls of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes.

Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then move them to a rack to cool completely.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

As I said in my last post, I’ve been in a baking mood. And I mean really in a baking mood. So, on top of red velvet brownies (not literally, but yum!) I also made carrot cake cookies! My boyfriend is a huge fan of carrot cake. This year, I made one for his birthday, and it was a huge hit. I was in the autumn spirit today, and since this recipe for carrot cake cookies calls for pumpkin pie spice, I thought it would be perfect. They turned out deliciously well. The addition of oats gives the cookies a nice chewy texture. I sandwiched some cream cheese frosting between two cookies, but the cookies are pretty damn good by themselves, too. I used canned frosting (Gasp! I know.) and it turned out pretty well.

 
Here’s the link to the original blog entry: http://whiskandaprayer.blogspot.com/2011/04/carrot-cake-cookie-sandwiches.html

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. You might want to line some cookies sheets with parchment paper. I have nonstick cookie sheets, but there was still some sticking going on.

Cream 1 cup each of packed brown sugar and granulated sugar with 2 sticks of room-temperature butter. Your mixture should be light and fluffy.

Add 2 room-temperature eggs and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Combine well.

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring only until just blended.

Grate 1 1/2 cups of carrots, or 2-3 large carrots.

Mix in the grated carrots and 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats.

I then used my small cookie scoop to make 1 inch balls of dough, and placed them onto cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, rotating half way through for evenness. I didn’t have to bake my cookies as long as the recipe calls for. Set the timer for the shorter amount of time. They can always sit in the oven for a few more minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack until cooled completely.

When the cookies are cooled, spread some cream cheese frosting on the back of a cookie and then smoosh a second cookie in the frosting the make a sandwich cookie.

They look delicious, don’t they?! They are. Oh, they are. I hope you enjoy this recipe! Here’s the whole kit and caboodle for those whole like to copy and paste like I do:

 

Carrot Cake Cookies

Ingredients:
•    1 cup packed light-brown sugar
•    1 cup granulated sugar
•    1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
•    2 large eggs, room temperature
•    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
•    2 cups all-purpose flour
•    1 teaspoon baking soda
•    1 teaspoon baking powder
•    1/4 teaspoon salt
•    1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
•    2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
•    1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots, (about 3 large carrots)
•    Cream Cheese Frosting

Directions:
1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper, and set aside.
2.    Combine sugars and butter; beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until well combined.
3.    In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; stir to combine.
4.    Gradually add flour to butter mixture; mix on a low speed until just blended.
5.    Mix in oats and carrots. Chill dough in refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour.
6.    Using a 1/2-ounce ice-cream scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Transfer to oven, and bake until browned and crisped, rotating pan halfway through baking to ensure even color, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat baking process with remaining dough.
7.    Once cooled completely, spread cream-cheese filling onto a cookie. Sandwich together with a second cookie.
8.    Repeat with remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

I’ve been in baking mood lately, but I just haven’t had the time. Well, today I had the time. So I made Red Velvet Brownies! Red velvet is one of my favorite kinds of cake. I even made a red velvet cake for my birthday this year. I have a Halloween party coming up, and I thought blood red brownies might be a pretty cool addition to the food table. So, I decided to give them a test run.

 
I found this recipe on Pintrest, where I find most of my recipes. Here’s the link to the original blog: http://www.newlyweds-blog.com/2012/02/21/red-velvet-brownies/

Preheat your over to 350 degrees F and prepare a 9×13 baking pan.

Cream two sticks of room-temperature butter, and 1 1/2 C each granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add 4 eggs, one at a time, being sure to scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition.

Stir in 2 oz red food coloring and 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour, 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the red batter until just incorporated. Be sure not to over mix! The batter will turn a bit darker, and start to get that velvety look.

Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes. I baked mine for 35 minutes.

Let the brownies cool on a rack completely. Then cut into bars and serve. I think these would be delicious with a cream cheese frosting on top, or maybe a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Here’s the recipe:

Red Velvet Brownies

Ingredients:

1 cup  unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 oz red food coloring (optional)
4 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour a 9 X 13 baking pan.
Beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in food coloring (if not using food coloring add 4 T of water or milk) and vanilla, mix until the color is fully incorporated.
Mix flour, cocoa and salt in a separate bowl.
Slowly add in the flour mixture being very careful not to over mix. Do not over mix. The batter will be very thick.
Stir up the batter with a rubber spatula once or twice just to ensure all of the flour has incorporated from the sides of the bowl and there isn’t anything stuck on the bottom of the bowl. You’ll want one uniformly colored (red) batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. 35 minutes for a thin crust on top and gooey underneath.
Set aside to cool, cut into bars and serve.

I love chai tea. I love getting an iced chai with raspberry syrup at Starbucks. I love drinking amaretto vanilla chai with all the glorious foam at our local coffee shop, The Steaming Cup. A few summers ago, Baskin Robbins had a chai cookie dough flavor of ice cream. I loved that, too. Some of my fondest memories include chai. And even though it’s been a hot and icky summer, I’ve been enjoying some yummy instant chai at home.

Truffles are a nice alternative to baking cookies or brownies on a hot summer day. I like that I can make something sweet and chocolatey without having to turn my oven on. On a 90-something-degree day like today, I prefer not to watch the cats melt into the carpet. All week I’ve been toying with the idea of making truffles. But, I was feeling uninspired. I have found quite a few recipes online for all kind of truffles, but none of them were calling out to me. Then it hit me.

Chai truffles!

I did a Google search, but to no avail. The type of truffles I wanted to make were the cookie dough dipped in chocolate kind. Not the ganache rolled in cocoa powder kind. If ya know what I mean. I hope you do. So, after searching through the truffle recipes I had saved, I found this one: http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2010/01/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-truffles.html

It’s a simple, but delicious-looking chocolate chip cookie dough truffle recipe. This is where my inspiration finally kicked in. I can use the above recipe, and modify it a bit to make my chai truffles. Now, I haven’t made the chocolate chip cookie dough truffles yet, so I’m unfamiliar with the recipe, but I’m just too excited not to dive right in with my adjustments.

Here is the process, and the results:

I like the idea of using different spices to make up the chai flavor, but I didn’t have most of them on hand. What I did have was instant decaffeinated chai. I cut the flour down to 2 1/4 cups, and used 2 1/2 tablespoons of the instant chai. But that comes later.

My (current) favorite instant chai. Decaffeinated *and* sugar free!

First, you beat together 2 sticks (1 cup) of room-temperature butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and 3/4 cup packed brown sugar until fluffy. FYI – I used unsalted butter.

Beat together 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, 3/4 cup white sugar, and 3/4 cup packed brown sugar until fluffy. Make sure your butter is at room temperature!

Then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/3 cup of milk, beating until mixed. Add 2 1/4 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 2 1/2 tablespoons of instant chai mix. You can add more or less chai mix, depending on your tastes. The great thing about these truffles is that there are no eggs. So you can do a little taste test without any worries!

Add 1/3 cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 baking soda, and 2 1/2 tablespoons of instant chai (more or less to taste). Beat until incorporated.

Now comes the time to wait. Cover your bowl of truffle yumminess and stick it in the fridge for at least an hour. It should be pretty firm, so that you can work with your hands. Now, using an ice cream scoop, melon baller, or your hands, form the dough into 1-inch balls, placing the balls onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment or wax paper. I used a cookie scoop and left the bottoms of the balls flat. That’s just an aesthetic choice on my part. If the dough gets too sticky to handle, stick it back in the fridge for a few minutes until it firms up.

Let the truffle mix sit, covered, in the fridge for at least an hour. Then, using a melon baller or your hands, place 1-inch balls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.

More waiting time! Stick the cookie sheet covered with truffles in the freezer and let them chill for about 30 minutes.

Let the dough chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Next, melt 12 oz of chocolate chips, or candy coating according to directions on the package. I used 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I usually put my chips in a glass bowl and microwave them for 30 seconds first. Then microwave them in 15 second increments, stirring in between until fully melted. You don’t want burnt chocolate!

Microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds, then stir. Keep heating for 15 seconds a time, stirring in between until fully melted.

Now it’s time to dip! Roll the truffles around in the chocolate until covered. Use a fork the shake off the excess chocolate.

Dip the truffles in the melted chocolate until coated. Use a fork to shake off the excess.

I’m going to be honest with you. It’s 4 minutes til midnight, and I have an early morning appointment tomorrow. I got lazy. I didn’t dip all of my truffles in chocolate. *gasp* I know. But the truffles will hold until tomorrow, when I have more time. Here’s a scrumptious close-up to make up for it.

Don’t they look delicious?!

I’m really going to enjoy these chai cookie dough truffles, with or without chocolate! I hope you enjoy them, too! Here’s the recipe with my adjustments:

Chai Cookie Dough Truffles

Ingredients:

  • 
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 
3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 
1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 
1/3 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons instant chai
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1.    Beat butter and sugars and in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated.
2.    Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
3.    When dough is firm enough to handle (it may help to lightly flour your hands), form dough into 1″ balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheets in freezer and let chill for 30 minutes.
4.    Melt chocolate chips in the microwave 30 seconds at first, then in 15 second increments. Using forks or a dipping tool, dip cookie balls into melted chocolate to cover. Tap fork on side of pan to remove any excess coating, and return to waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill until set. Store, chilled, in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

A few months back, a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to a delicious sounding recipe. It was for a Sour Cream Noodle Bake from The Pioneer Woman: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/03/sour-cream-noodle-bake/
I decided to give it a try, and it was amazing! My boyfriend, our friend James, my parents and I all loved it. It’s wonderfully savory. And filling! Now, its become a regular recipe for dinner. I don’t have a weekly menu or anything. But when I want something easy that I know we’ll enjoy for a few days, this is what I make.
I just so happen to be making it for dinner tonight. Now, The Pioneer Woman has some awesome pictures on the link I provided, but I’ve decided to take a few of my own. First, here’s the recipe, with a few changes:

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

Ingredients:

•    1-1/4 pound Ground Chuck
•    1 can 15-ounces Tomato Sauce
•    1/2 teaspoon Salt
•    12 ounces Egg Noodles (The original only calls for 8 oz, but I use a whole 12 oz bag of No Yolks Extra Broad.)
•    1/2 cup Sour Cream*
•    1-1/4 cup Small Curd Cottage Cheese*
•    1/2 cup Sliced Green Onions (more or less to taste)
•    1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

*I usually add more sour cream and cottage cheese to compensate for the extra noodles. It’s not exact, I just eyeball it.
Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brown ground chuck in a large skillet. Drain fat, then add tomato sauce. 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir.
  5. To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted.

*NOTE: My mom has a severe allergy to black, red and white pepper, so I always omit those from my cooking. If you like pepper, of course you should feel free to add it in, like the original recipe calls for.

Now for some yummy pictures!

By the way, it’s my half birthday, today! What a nice way to celebrate!