Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Strawberry-Banana Cheesecake

Oh, how I've missed you my blogger babies! Life has been nothing short of a whirlwind lately. I'm five weeks into my Esthetics course which means after one more week of freshman training, my days will get longer and I'll officially be released into the wild to start treatments on people! With an Anatomy test looming over my life like a dark cloud, where else would I be but updating my long lost food blog! So, I've had these pictures sitting on my phone for awhile. I didn't use a real camera, I'm ashamed to say I captured these beauts with my handy dandy BlackBerry. I will go ahead and say that though I'm not a cheesecake lover, I think these went over well. I made them for my brother-in-law's 17th birthday since cheesecake is his favorite.

They're essentially the same cheesecakes, but one has a strawberry glaze on top. Here they are for viewing pleasure. Let me just also add that once I'm graduated and this deployment is over I'll be back in full swing! Until then, I hope your hearts are happy and tummies are full!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Poppy Seed Kolaches

Kolache, kolacky, delicious, scrumptious, same thing! I can pretty much look back and remember points throughout my life visiting a cafe on the outskirts of downtown Omaha with my family. The Bohemian Cafe, ah delicious, is definitely one of those places that pops up from time to time when you can't quite figure out where you should dine out at that night. While my dad loads his plate with extra gravy, dumplings, and saurkraut.. I can't help but to be anxious for dessert. They serve these amazing (and very cheaply priced) poppy seed kolaches. Mmm. I want one now even thinking about them. I'm quite certain that on my 6th grade graduation night we ate here, and for sure my high school graduation as well.

So, now that I'm in Omaha for the deployment, kolaches have been on my mind. In fact, now that I've got them on my mind, my mind is searching for new delicious ways to use this amazing pre-made poppy seed filling I picked up at HyVee. It tastes just like the filling from the ones that are homemade at the cafe, so I'm convinced it's the same stuff they use. Anyways, I think once I finally splurge for my ice cream maker attachment for my stand mixer I want to make some type of poppy seed ice cream, or maybe poppy seed kolache ice cream, using the pastries straight from the cafe. I'd use my own but we did not exactly perfect the recipe with the first go. The pastry was good and the filling was good, but they just weren't a match made in heaven for each other. With that said, I'm not going to post the recipe just because they didn't turn out just how I imagined them to, but I thought I'd share a photo either way! If you haven't ever tried one of these, I highly recommend finding a bakery that has perfected them, it's well worth the search!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ah, bloggeroos, these little creations were a hit. I made a full 2-dozen of them and they were all gone within hours. I took some to work, some to my aunt's and the rest stayed here, well, they stayed here for awhile, before entering the watering mouths of loved ones around me. Mmm. I may or may not have gone on and on about this cake my aunt T made at my cousin's son's 1st birthday. Wow, that was a mouth full of relations, huh? She made this banana cake and after everyone had gone home everyone was re-eating. The main course? Pizza. I opted out since it was from the place of my employment, I won't rag on the company I work for, but I will say their pizza is dis-gust-ing. Is that ragging? I thought it was more honesty than ragging, but to each their own.

My cousin sat down with a big piece of this and told me to try a bite, I shoved two-bites-in-one in my mouth with her fork and my eyes instantly got huge and I pushed my chair back as fast as I could to get my own heaping bowlful of cake. That's right, I didn't say piece, I said bowlful! Mmm. I'm not one to rant and rave over cream cheese frosting but even this stuff was amazing. I think I devoured said bowlful of cake within seconds and talked about the cake for the next week. I had emailed my aunt begging for her to share the recipe and finally after calling her work phone, yes I said it, work phone, and leaving a lovely little message I got said recipe. Now, I'm not sure if she was really busy (hey the lady does have two married children, a teenager, a set of 6 year old twins, a grandchild), oh and don't forget the husband (because we all know they may be more work than all the children combined, right?) orrrrrrr if she was trying to keep this delicious recipe for herself. So.. for now I won't post the recipe, but know that these were amazing in cupcake form, without frosting, with the frosting, and I can't wait until I eat some more of said cake.

Patriotic Berry Cheesecake

For the love of blog, I went out of my way to ensure I'd have some new posts for my favorite little followers. I made two of these little cheesecakes, took one to work and left the other to continue chilling in the fridge for the following day, yep, the 4th of July. Well I'd have you know that taking one of them to work and deeming the other one 'off limits' caused quite the stir back at the house while I was at work. In the chilling process of the untouched berry goodness, tantrums were thrown, feet were stomping, lips were pouted, phone calls were made, threats were unleashed, oh yeah, it got dirty. Needless to say I had to rush the remaining cheesecake from the tester pan back home once I closed work to ensure that the people back at home were allowed to try some. It all got eaten, I tried some myself, I'm really not into cheesecake, except I am quite fond of the crust part of cheesecakes, but that sort of void and nulls the point of the actual cheesecake, right? Right. So, I tried a small piece of this, for it being cheesecake I thought it was good. I had to go with the red, white, and blue theme to be patriotic and supportive of the troops. The 4th of July is one of the holidays that reminds you that you currently have your spouse deployed to a war zone. Real cool America, real cool. I took it with great shots- er- I mean strides.

2 pre-made graham cracker pie crust
2 pkg. cream cheese (room temp.)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 c. sugar (plus 2 tbsp. for berries)
1/3 c. fresh blueberries (plus a few extra for garnishing)
1/3 c. fresh raspberries (plus a few extra for garnishing)

Combine cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, sugar (minus the 2 tbsp). Pour into pie crust pans. Let settle while you prepare the berries. In a food processor, combine 1 tbsp of sugar with 1/3 cup of blueberries, set aside. Rinse out processor and repeat steps with the raspberries. Swirl or drop berry mixture into filling however you desire. You can refer to my picture as to how I did mine. You could even fully swirl it throughout the mixture, that would have been really pretty too, didn't think about that until just now! I threw in a few extra whole blueberries for garnish on the top. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes or less, do not allow the filling to turn brown!

On a side note to refer back to the Oreo treat things I posted about recently, I made them again on the 4th to add a little, okay, a lot of sugar to my brother's last minute BBQ, and boy, that stuff is not pleasant to be sick with, so just a warning if your night is going to consist of a mexican themed fiesta complete, and only consisting of tequila, limes, salt, and oreo treat things? Pass on the oreo treat things I promise, they'll be much better the next day, tequila free and all!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Oreo Treats

That's right I said it, Oreo Treats. These are similar to Rice Krispie Treats but substitute the cereal for delicious crushed Oreo cookies and wha-la! Let's just say that the women of this family are emotional eaters and this last week was definitely an emotional one. We topped off our last big indulgent day with these delicious little things.

I know I've got to add an apology to my good ol' friend K for coming over and enjoying some. I made her take the rest of the pan home to her boyfriend because I knew I'd wake up first thing the next morning and eat them for breakfast if I didn't. Well, I guess I can't apologize for giving her the delicious treats but I did manage to let them set up in the freezer for a bit too long and when I went to cut a few bars out of the pan for us to eat a knife went flying and may or may not have landed... quite hard... on her little baby toe. Oops, sorry bff. The darn thing was bruised the second the knife hit it and only got worse the following day when she picture messaged her foot to my phone. I was going to add a photo of her bruising foot to the blog but I thought that A) It may take away from the tastiness of the treats and B) It was a little hard to see the bruise in the photo.

So, with all that said, I recommend these if you need something easy. I would use less marshmallows next time though!

1 16 oz. pkg Oreo cookies
1 bag large marshmallows (I used the entire bag but next time I'll try only 3/4 of the bag)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter

Place the Oreos into the food processor until they are totally crushed into smooth crumbs, there shouldn't be large chunks. Melt butter and marshmallows in a large bowl and then mix in Oreo crumbs. Once combined completely, place into a non-stick cake pan that's been sprayed with non-stick spray and flatten with a spatula. Place in fridge or freezer to set up a bit before cutting and serving. I thought they were delicious out of the freezer 10-15 minutes, but I love most things out of the freezer!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lemon Cookie Re-do

I figured that since I put myself into a cookie induced coma last night that I should blog about it right? Right. I made my favorite CCC of course but I also had my mom requesting Lemon cookies too so I had to double both batches, you know, just for supply and demand reasons. I know that I've already blogged both recipes but I thought that since my Lemon cookie pictures weren't quite as pretty as I'd like them to be, I figured I would re-do them. I was dying to display something in my new white bowls from my mother-in-law and I think these were the perfect thing to do it with! Thanks again to her for the amazing new bowls she got me! It felt good to do some baking, although I have to admit that cooking in someone else's kitchen definitely throws me for a loop. Have no fear foodies, I made it through and thanks to dusting off my stand mixer and my Silpat liner, it was a success. Well, it was a diet fail, but a cooking success at least!

And stay tuned because if I'm able to convince the husband sometime soon that adding the ice cream mixer attachment to my mixer is an immediate must have.. I'll be posting some great summer recipes!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Sorry my little blogger babies, but this lady has been busy, stressed, and kitchenless! The husband is currently deployed and I made the choice to stay with family for the duration of the deployment. As many of my stalk.. I mean followers =P have heard me mention, my mom isn't really a kitchen guru. Her kitchen isn't well stocked when it comes to utensils, pans, or food for that matter. I'm going to try and at least start doing one post a month. Maybe that will add another countdown to my deployment countdown list. That's right, I've broken it down into weeks, months, days, minutes.. err.. anyways. Figured for all of those wondering if my kitchen went up and flames and I went down in a burning blaze of cooking glory.. I did not. I'm still lurking around the blog world, whining, complaining, and pouting about this deployment. I'm trying to kick it's ass one week at a time but bare with me, there shall be food again!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chocolate-Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

Something different, right? Right. Like I've mentioned before I've been trying to use up all of my baking goodies before I hit the road back home for this dreaded deployment that is very rapidly approaching. Due to OPSEC I'm not at liberty to disclose just how close, but trust me, it's too close for comfort. Now, with that said, I've been trying to not be a big bawl-baby and suck it up to not further stress out my husband. So far, so good except I did get a bit teary last night when he came home and disclosed a leaving time-line which would only change the date by a few days, but hey, a few days is a few days, right? Anyways, I've been trying to ease up a bit on the whole health nut thing towards the end of him being home. I mean hey, if we want to eat Goldfish during the entire episode of Jersey Shore together, who is going to stop us? That's right, I didn't think there would be any takers! Now, I will admit that while we were home during block leave I went a good four whole days with no gym or working out! When I got back to the gym yesterday it felt so good, but boy do my legs feel sore today. Anyways, I started last night's baking adventure with our new favorite chocolate chip cookies I've been so excited about. My husband had three spoonfuls of dough and 6 full-sized cookies, complete with a glass of milk of course. Now, I have no idea how he managed to keep all those cookies down but he was more than happy to bag the rest up and share with friends he was helping move. I started thinking about my cousin who yells at me when a day or two goes by and blog is left with nothing new for one reason or another. Come to think about it, I don't even think she's a registered follower.. which means, COUSIN, yeah YOU, if you want these sweet blogs to keep a'commin' you better become a follower missy! With that said, I looked through my cabinets to see what I had that I could use to make something new with. Ah, a package of Craisin...cherries? So, my husband and I were a little confused. Are they Craisins or are they Cherries? They tasted like cherries to me! The first batch of these I literally used an ice cream scoop and tried to make a giant cookie. Well, I had a few that weren't quite as big and so they cooked through and the others ones didn't. Normally with any other cookie I'd serve those ones to my husband, but he was full off of the CCC's from earlier, and well, wasn't even home at this point. So, my second batch turned out, more of your typical cookie size, and definitely done throughout the entire cookie.

So, here is it. The recipe I totally just threw together and crossed my fingers. I tried one, I just don't like cherries, the cookie was really good, but I was forcing myself to swallow the cherry filled bites whole. Now, for those of you who do like cherries, I have a feeling you'd love these!

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp.)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 cup quick oats
1/3 bag bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
3/4 pkg. Craisin Cherries (they were the Ocean Spray kind)

Cream together sugars and butter. Add egg and vanilla. Whisk dry ingredients together except oats, chocolate, and cherries. Slowly combine flour mixture to sugar mixture. Once well combined, stir in oats, chocolate chips, and cherries until evenly distributed through out the dough. Drop with cookie dropper and bake at 350F for 6-8 minutes or until edges are crisp and middle is not doughy. Allow to cool completely on the cookie sheet and then remove.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chocolate Souffles

Well, though I am a day late, I'd like to say Happy Valentine's Day to all of my lovely little bloggers. I hope you're day was filled with a little love and a lot of sugar. My husband bravely conquered the kitchen last night, only asking about one billion questions along the way. It was adorable, I'm not going to lie. Now, I've seen some more than adorable home-made aprons on Etsy that I really want because all great chefs should have an adorable apron, right? Right. Now, if only I had one of those and could have made my husband wear it while cooking last night...

Anyways, I've won two awards from two of my followers, whom I'd like to thank. Miss Maloree whose blog you can find here. Also, Miss Carissa, whose blog can be found here.

The award does come with a few rules, so here they are:

- Thank the person who gave you the award!
- Share 7 things about yourself
- Pass the award on to 10 other versatile bloggers.
- Let those other bloggers know that you gave them the award.

Seven little things I know you'd love to know:
One. I'm funny. Well, you might not think I'm funny, but I think I'm hilarious which is all that really matters, right? If you can make yourself laugh... or you can laugh at yourself, you've got a great quality within. I have found that laughter is truly my cure for sadness and can turn almost any day, even if only for a moment into a better one. And hey, even my husband will admit I'm funny, after he's had a drink or two.

Two. Though I sometimes curse the Army, hate being the only person at the gym in civilian clothes, and could stomp my feet and throw a child-like temper tantrum every time I have to go to the PX... this experience, this life, has shown me a world totally out of most's element. It has changed me as a person, matured me into an adult, and really shown me there's more to this world than Omaha, NE.

Three. I'm a 'stage-5 clinger'. That's right, I'm admitting it. My husband always like to make fun of me when he comes and hugs me because he has to pry me off sometimes in order to walk out of the room. I normally only do it while we're being goofy but the other day he had to crawl down the hall way with me latched around his neck...ah, the memories.

Four. I'm a home-maker. I like a house that's homey, I want everyone fed a good meal, and I want a clean space to live in. I love helping people pick out paint colors for their homes, furniture, and decor. Despite my age, crafts and DIY projects on the weekends sound much more entertaining to me than frat parties and kegs.

Five. I would not be the person I am today without my mother. End of story.

Six. I would not be the little chef I am today without my father, because no offense, but I sure didn't get this from my mom!

Seven. I spoil my husband absolutely rotten, and that's the truth.

I don't know if I follow a full 10 blogs, I'm not the greatest at following blogs I have to admit, but here are the one's I do:
Carissa found at Domiciliary Artillery
Maloree found at A Day in My Life
Amber found at 4 Guys 4 Me
Noel found at Issued to a Soldier
Laurie found at Cows and Combat Boots
Natalie found at Life as a Dreamer
Michelle found at The Musings of Me
Dayle found at The Science of Home

I know that's not ten, but my husband is pushing me out of the door to go tanning and go to the gym. He's home for a few hours and I'm able to take the car during the day, so I'll probably have to finish up the award rules later.

As for the souffles I followed this recipe.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mini M&M Cookies

Well my husband and I were planning on seeing a movie tonight but when we pulled into the tiny movie theatre parking lot to find a line to buy tickets I suggested we just run to pick up a few things at Wal-Mart that we needed and try the movie tomorrow. He agreed and we headed to Wal-Mart. Now, I was more than disappointed when I couldn't find the Valentine's day colored M&Ms so I settled for the mini ones. I don't know what my new obsession with mini is but they just seem to make everything so much cuter! Mini chocolate chips look so much better than regular sized chips and the same can be said with these little colorful cuties! Now I used my new favorite CCC recipe but just swapped out the chocolate chips for M&M's and actually made them mini. I first had the idea to make them ginormous. I got out my ice cream scooper and then felt like maybe it'd be better if I went in the other direction and made them mini. I used my cookie scooper and then split that into two smaller balls, rolled them into a ball and then flattened the tops with my fingers. Once I flattened them I put a few M&Ms on the top of each cookie and baked them for just 6 minutes at 350F. This was the first time baking with my new cookie sheet and Silpat liner that the husband got me for Valentine's day! I must say that the Silpat liner is an absolute must for anyone that bakes. It's so- nice! While I was baking the husband was having a glass of wine in the other room. I kept thinking how classy he was being, drinking it out of a wine glass and everything. As soon as I bring him a plate of cookies my husband crumbles back into a child and asks for a glass of milk with his cookies. A big smile followed, just like I knew it would!

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt (heaping full)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla (I fill it until it spills over)
3/4 cup mini M&Ms

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Trail Mix Cookies

Trail Mix Cookies? That's right. I went there. My husband's grandma D gave us some munchies for the car ride home, this included a big bag of trail mix. It was a pretty good mix in my opinion. It included raisins (both colors), cashews, peanuts, and M&Ms. Now, last night for whatever reason I blurted out to my husband something about how I could probably use the trail mix for cookies. I don't think he really paid much attention but I did just that today. I followed the same recipe I use the other day for my chocolate chip cookies but swapped out the mini chocolate chips for the trail mix. I also spiced up the trail mix by adding some sliced almonds we've had sitting in the cabinet for way too long, some extra raisins and a big handful of oats. I keep trying to figure out with more creative ideas on how to get rid of all the baking supplies piled up in the kitchen but so far, I just keep coming up with cookies. My guess as to why cookies, well, they're fairly easy to whip up and they're really easy to throw in a bag and send to work that day with my husband to pawn off to his friends. Yesterday the entire batch of muffins and half the batch of pretzel cookies got sent to the barracks. While I'm totally okay feeding the hungry little sharks at the barracks, I'm also hoping they're appreciating every sugary homemade bite they eat. With this said, let me go on to give all the specifics on these bad boys.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup trail mix (you could use prepackaged or throw together just a few of your favorite mix ingredients)

Cream together butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. Whisk together dry ingredients (except trail mix). Slowly add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Once combined, fold in trail mix with a plastic spatula. I used a cookie dropper for these. The first batch I just dropped but they didn't look perfect enough for me so the next batch I used the scoop, rolled the ball of dough in my hands and then flattened the top of the ball slightly with my fingers. The second batch came out pretty perfect looking, but hey, whatever floats your boat blogaroos! Bake at 350F for 6-8 minutes. Allow cookies to set on baking sheet (about 2 minutes) before placing on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Chocolate and bananas... just a couple of my favorite things. I didn't try these because I figured that trying one of the cookies was enough sugar and junk for one day. My husband did come home in time to still try them while they're warm. He gave these the thumbs up. Now, I added some spiced rum at the very end, no worries people, not enough to knock your socks off but I'm sure I could bake up a batch that could if you were having that kind of day! These were easy enough to make and baked up fairly quick. I've got a new obsession with cupcake liners and cookie cutters so I was semi-eager to use some of the new liners I picked up from the PX this weekend. I have some cuter ones but I'm saving them... for who knows what. Maybe I'll make something later this week with them. I got them in the mini size too, not that I have a mini muffin pan, but I've hinted to my husband about 5x now that the PX sells them for semi-cheap. Now that I think about it, Wal-Mart probably sells them for even cheaper. Now, to make up a good enough excuse to go to Wal-Mart.. hmm, ah yes, the car needs an oil change! Perfect. Muah-haha.

3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar (I used light)
1 tsp. baking soda
3 heaping tbsp. cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
2 eggs
1 tbsp spiced rum (optional)

With a mixer, beat bananas until smooth (well, they're be some lumps). While still beating bananas, add oil, sugar, and eggs. While mixing, sift flour, cocoa, and baking soda together and then slowly add to wet mixture. At the very end add 1 tbsp of rum. (This is optional.) Line muffin pan with liners and fill liners 3/4 of the way full. (I used an ice cream scoop) Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350F or until the tops are peaked and firm. I pulled them out immediately and placed on a cooling rack.

M&M Pretzel Cookies

So the past two years my mom has used my husbands (now non-existant) sweet tooth as a semi-easy way out of Christmas ideas. Not that she doesn't get him other super sweet things, but it's easy enough to buy someone bags and bags of sugary goodness on the side, right? Well, I got to thinking about how I really need to start using all of my baking stuff I've got piled up in the kitchen that I don't really feel like hauling back to Nebraska in a month or so when I go back home for the big dreaded D. What should I do with it? Bake with it of course! So, I've got an M&M cookie recipe that I'm quite fond of but I didn't use it for this. Now that I think about it, I probably should have because my recipe spits out fluffy cookies. The recipe I used was a flatter cookie but the salty/sweet aspect of these was nice. Don't worry mom, I didn't go for the multiple cookies on this taste test. I told my husband that if I was going to bake up some delicious goodies he must save himself a few and take all the rest to work. I've got a weakness for homemade cookies like you wouldn't believe. Anyways, onto the sugary details! I found this recipe on the same site I got my new favorite CCC recipe from, I might use it again but alter it a bit. Sorry for the Christmas colors in advance!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay, I've held out on all things sweet for months now. I let myself eat one.. okay two.. of these cookies. Literally, these are the best homemade chocolate chip cookies I've ever had, and they were seriously so easy. I'm so glad I chose these for my first time using the brand new Kitchen Aid mixer, compliments of my dear 'ol dad! Thanks again, Pops! I'm seriously in love with my new mixer. I don't think my husband can quite grasp just how much love I have for this big, heavy, kitchen appliance!

My husband and I had to travel back home at the end of last week and return after just 36 hours in town... let's just say 40 hours of driving in 4 days is exhausting. Exhausted or not, I'm glad I made these, and I'm also glad that I'm pulling myself out of bed tomorrow morning before the sun rises to head to the gym! And with that, here is the link to the recipe I used. I wouldn't change a single thing about it! Check it out here.

I wanted to share that I was invited to take part in a cookie party. Take a look at all the other goodies!

I'm stopping back in today to add that I didn't make these cookies mini. I made them regular size just because it was getting a bit late and didn't want to deal with so many cookies! I used my handy dandy cookie dropper and went about it that way, although I did still flatten them slightly after dropping them onto the cookie sheet!

I also wanted to add that I've got my homemade noodle recipe accepted and featured on Nibbledish! You can check it out here! Homemade Egg Noodles

Monday, January 31, 2011

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

Since I'm a little pre-occupied, I'm going to make it short and sweet and to the point. Get it, short (shortbread) and sweet (chocolate)? Ha...Ha... no?

Oh, I'm editing to give a huge shout out to my Pops for getting me a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and to my Aunt D who apparently came across a good deal!

1 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. instant coffee (room temperature)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix butter and powdered sugar together until totally smooth and creamy. Add coffee and vanilla. Mix flour in slowly just until flour is combined, do not over work the dough. Carefully fold in the chocolate chips. Place all dough into 1 gallon zip-loc bag and roll dough into square (filling the bag). The dough should be about 1/4 inch or so. Get as much air out of the bag and seal it. Place in fridge for 2 hours. Remove dough after it has chilled and set. Cut one side of the zip-loc bag off and throw away. Cut into bar sized portions and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-16 minutes. Remove immediately and place on wire rack to cool. Serve cooled.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Birthday Cake #2

Let me tell you about my chocolate filled day. I know you are all too eager to sit around and read about it so, I'll make it as short and overly sweet as possible. Just as I had finished cleaning up the house my husband walks in and informs me that we were heading to a friend's house later since tomorrow was his buddy's birthday. Oh my goodness! I just knew a cake was in order. I made sure to drop my husband off at work after his lunch was over, made my stop at the store and went to town for a good 4 hours. I must say, I was impressed with my last cake, but this my friends, this was an accomplishment if I do say so myself. You'd have to really love chocolate to be able to tackle an entire slice of this cake and believe me, I say that after watching three large soldiers make their attempt at sharing one slice. Needless to say, they failed. Now, I'm not quite sure if they failed because of how much cake it was, it was so incredibly chocolatey, or because they all may or may not have had a few beers and dinner before the cake was sliced. Either way, I know it was not because it was bad. It made my whole house smell of chocolatey goodness and was I jealous to watch them eat it? Of course.

I want to talk about how 1/2 way through making my frosting my hand mixer broke. I think it's a sign from the cooking Gods above that I must need that Kitchen Aide stand mixer I've been wanting so badly. The only issue was that I still needed to whip my frosting for an additional 6 minutes. I managed to whip it up the best I could without my mixer, I think it still turned out pretty close to how it was supposed to, just not as fluffy as it should have been. I started sending my husband angry text messages about how the stupid mixer broke and then called my dad and ranted about how the stupid mixer just stopped and then you know what he said? 'Why don't you use an electric drill with a mixer attachment?'. I tried, I failed. It didn't work.


For the cake:
2 boxes Devil's Food Cake mix (that's right, I used box cake mix and you'd never know!)
(this called for a total of 6 eggs, 2 2/3 cups oil, and some water)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
**2 bags of mini chocolate chips (for the sides)

For the frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
2 pkg cream cheese (room temperature)
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa


For the frosting:
Cream the butter and cream cheese together for 5 minutes with a mixer. While this is mixing, soft the cocoa and powdered sugar together. I sifted mine twice to ensure they were well blended. Mix 1/2 of cocoa mix into cream cheese mixture and slowly combine with mixer. Add remaining cocoa mix slowly and allow frosting to whip for 6 minutes. It should be light and fluffy.

For the cake:
Prepare batter as direction on box, once mixed, add 1/2 cup chocolate chips per batch. I use two 8 inch rounds that have been greased lightly with butter. Bake according to package. When cooked, remove from oven and allow cakes to cool for 5 minutes on cooling rack. Take a spatula and gently slide it between the edge of the cake and the pan. Place hand gently on top of cake and flip over. If it doesn't come out on your hand, tap around on the bottom of the pan until it falls loose. Place top down on rack until completely cool. Repeat with next batch. When all 4 rounds are completely cool, cut the top of the cake off to make an even and level top. Place first layer on plate (I use wax paper underneath to pull out later for a cleaner look after frosting). Frost top of cake, stack next layer, frost, repeat. Once all of your layers are stacked and frosted on top, frost the sides of the cake. Take handfulls of the mini chocolate chips and press them to the sides of the frosted cake. Once the entire cake (excluding the top) are covered, take a clean spatula and press the chocolate chips evenly into the frosting. This will help them from falling off. Melt 1/2 cup of extra chocolate chips to drizzle chocolate on the top (if desired).


Monday, January 24, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Chops

Well, while I was pre-occupied trying to make my husband these pork chops, some onion petals complete with dipping sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy, and creamed corn... I burnt my own dinner out on the grill. I managed to complete his dinner, oh and to top it off, I made him some puppy chow. I can't lie. I'm just a little jealous! Right after he finished dinner he came back to sit on the couch... I'd say less than five minutes later he jumped up about four feet screaming. Finally I noticed why he was jumping and screaming as a huge, and I do mean huge spider fell to the floor. Ah, never a dull day in this house!

2 boneless pork chops
2 strips thick cut bacon
2 eggs
1/3 cup cornstarch
garlic powder
black pepper
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil

While heating oil in a large saucepan, season both sides of pork chops with garlic powder and black pepper. Wrap each chop with a slice of thick cut bacon. Whisk eggs in one bowl and place corn starch in another. Dip each chop in the egg mixture and then into the corn starch. Allow to cook in the hot oil 4 minutes on each side. Remove and place on paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil. Ta-da!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chicken Alfredo

With my husband and I eating very different things as of lately, I'm getting a lot better at making two meals out of one. I decided I was going to have some baked chicken for myself tonight for dinner. It was easy enough to boil some noodles and whip up some Alfredo sauce while the chicken baked. The only problem is that there are always leftovers and my husband just doesn't seem to ever eat them the next day! Now, I think that people who don't cook on a regular basis might find the simple thought of leftovers as boring, or repetitive. I, my friends, a seasoned chef of course, love left overs. How nice is it to wake up the next day, have a little breakfast and when lunch time rolls around, you don't have to cook anything because low and behold, there are some delicious left overs! No, my husband would rather have something new to eat which I guess I could complain about, but then again, practice makes perfect. My cooking skills are... somewhat improving I hope!

1/2 box fettucini noodles
1 baked chicken breast
1 packet Alfredo sauce mix
(which calls for 1 cup of milk and 3 tbsp of butter)
garlic powder

While the noodles are boiling, slice up your chicken breast into strips. Whip up the sauce according to packet directions. I add some garlic powder and black pepper to mine. Once the noodles are finished boiling and drained, toss in a bit of olive oil. Combine with alfredo sauce and sliced chicken. I tossed a few brussel sprouts to the boiling noodles the last few minutes to serve on the side along with a slice of Texas garlic toast. No complaints tonight!

Salsa Chicken

Okay blogaroos. This meal was amazing, not even kidding. My husband wasn't as crazy over it as me, but I like to think it's because he's more picky about tomatoes and wasn't too fond of this salsa when I bought it for him to dip some chips in. I thought it smelled great and was so- good with this meal. I made the husband some spanish rice and refried beans to go on the side of his chicken, he also got some melted cheddar cheese on top of his. I kept the cheese and sides off of my plate and was still a satisfied eater! A lot of my Army wife friends rave about always making this 'Salsa Chicken'. A lot of the time I hear about it being made in the crock pot. For whatever reason, cooking this in the crock pot was a major turn off for me so I opted to bake mine instead. Mmm. I'd make this again for dinner tonight if I knew it wouldn't result in moans and groans from my husband. I made a point to run to the store for some taco seasoning for this meal, you know when I'm willing to make an extra trip to the store for one ingredient, I'm pretty gung-ho on making it!

I picked up some boxed spanish rice and just canned refried beans but my husband obviously couldn't eat them all. I threw the left overs in the fridge and today threw it all into some tortillas with some shredded cheese and leftover steak from the other night. While I wouldn't eat it, my husband was more than satisfied with his 'leftover burrito' lunch!

I would also like to add that thanks to JCPenny's heck of a sale today and my dad venturing out with my aunt to do a little sale shopping, I will soon have a few new pieces of serve ware for the plating of my blog photos. This makes a food blogger a very happy girl!

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 packet taco seasoning
1 small jar salsa (your favorite brand, and level of heat)
*I used 'On The Border' medium heat.. it's got good flavor and isn't really chunky like other salsas, I thought it was perfect
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 425. Sprinkle taco seasoning on both sides of chicken and rub into meat with hands. Empty the jar of salsa over the chicken and bake for 45-65 minutes. Sprinkle cheddar over chicken (if desired) and let it melt over the chicken for the last few minutes of cooking.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chicken with Rice & Veggies

Okay with my last post being about how much my husband disliked the meal, I'm glad to say, and shocked all at the same time at how much my husband ate of this! He went back and piled all the remaining veggies and rice onto his still half full plate! Meals like that make me a proud gal! I also only took three, count them, three, photos of this meal, normally it's as many as twenty! I must have really just been on top of my game that night! I won't go on to brag about how I kicked his butt at the Kinect later, or maybe I will a little. Alright, alright, we basically end up evening up the scores but hey, details, schmetails!

Anyways, I'm trying to accomplish something this morning but there isn't much to do around the house. I went to town yesterday all morning and into the afternoon, cleaning, I mean deep cleaning our laundry room and bathroom. Washed all of our & the pups bedding, dusted, you get the picture. Oh, I can't forget to mention that I used my massive guns to rearrange the bedroom furniture all by myself! I don't know why but I always love sleeping in my room the first night after it's been rearranged. It's like I'm on vacation somewhere else.. that sounds silly, huh? Well with a movie on the agenda later for the hubs and me, I better get to finishing this blog post and on to the rest of the day!

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (I used carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and squash mix)
2 cans cream of celery soup (plus 1 can of water)
2-3 tbsp. chicken bouillon
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. parsley flakes

1 cup white rice
1 tsp. garlic powder

Pre-heat oven to 425F. Combine soup, water, and seasonings together in a large casserole dish. Place chicken breasts in mixture and take a spoon to cover chicken with mixture. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and add frozen vegetables. Re-coat your chicken with the mixture again and place back in the oven for 20-30 more minutes or until your chicken is fully cooked.

I cooked my rice on the stove just before my chicken finished cooking. I seasoned the water with a bit of garlic powder but feel free to leave it out! Wha-la!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fettucini with Vodka Sauce

Well, this wasn't my husband's favorite meal. He's really picky about not liking tomatoes.. so typically pasta always has too much sauce on it for him. Well after serving up a ridiculous amount of this sauce over pasta to a bunch of drunkies on New Years Eve I should have realized that he wouldn't like the sauce without a few beers in him, huh? Well, I grabbed a jar yesterday while at the store. I told myself, 'What the heck? It's worth a short, right?'. Wrong. He claimed there was 'so much pasta'. Psh. I jazzed it up by slicing up a couple of sweet Italian sausages.. and even a slice of garlic toast! Nahhhh. If I could eat carbs, I would have devoured this dinner. I'm not a huge pasta lover to begin with, but this sauce smelled really great. Either way, I think most normal un-picky husband's would enjoy it so I decided to add it to the blog either way. Plus, somewhere about 60 posts ago, I promised to blog the good, the bad, and the ugly.

While we're having story time, let me also fill you in on what happened in our lovely little home this morning. I'm all snuggled up in our warm bed, an adorable pup softly snoring beside me in my husband's usual spot. She likes to keep me company in bed while he's at PT in the weee-early morning. Then, suddenly, my phone begins to ring. It's my husband, he's running late, can I pleaseee wake up and make him breakfast. Alright, sure, why not. While we originally agreed that I would make him bacon and a bagel with cream cheese this morning.. I was feeling a little lovey and decided to make him a breakfast burrito and the bagel. That's right, a warm crisped up tortilla, filled with freshly scrambled eggs, two thick sliced cuts of bacon, and lots of cheddar cheese. Mmm. (Well, Mmm, for all of you bacon and egg lovers). Anyways, I wrapped it up all nice and neat in foil, baggied up the toasted bagel and sit them on the counter next to a piping hot, freshly brewed cup of his favorite coffee... and I even set out a Monster for later because well, I'm perfect like that.

When he comes home for lunch I asked him if he ate his bagel this morning, he says yes, then I asked if he ate his burrito.. he tried saying yes at first but then come to find out he 'took a few bites and just pulled out the bacon because I didn't have a lot of time'. (I'm shaking my little fist at a picture of my husband as we speak people, asssss we speak!) Now, the logical thing, in my opinion, would have been to eat the burrito my wife spent time on cooking it especially for me, instead of eating the bagel she simply tossed into the toaster. The neighbors probably think our marriage is ending in a dirty divorce with how loud I got. I mean, I'm pretty good at doing this, I'm mad but I'm really joking thing, but sometimes I yell a little with it and while he had opened the door to leave I yelled 'No! You get out of my house right now!' What they missed was all the good stuff before he had opened the door. All the 'You're never getting breakfast made for you again's' the, 'See if I ever neatly wrap a burrito up in foil for you to take's' the, "I'm just going to start pre-cooking bacon for the week and you can just eat that every morning's.' Ahhh, yes, it was a good, good day of threats in this household.

Oh and yesterday? I put sugar and creamer in his coffee. Apparently in the week and half that we visited family in Nebraska he suddenly 'lost' his sweet tooth. So the coffee I had made for him and sent to go made it's way back home later and dowwwwwwn my little kitchen sink. *big overdramatic sigh* I guess I failed this week.

I guess after all of this rambling I could go ahead and get on with the original post. I know that a lot of you have missed my story times and gathering around the magic carpet for snack ti---- I mean... reading my semi, somewhat, sometimes entertaining posts. Well, here it is.

1 jar Vodka sauce
1 box fettucini pasta
3 sweet Italian sausage links
parsley (for garnish)

Boil sausages until fully cooked in small saucepan while noodles are being prepared in large saucepan according to package directions. Fettucini takes awhile to cook so my sausages finished sooner than my pasta. I sliced them and put them back into the saucepan without any water. This allowed them to crisp up just a bit. Add jar of sauce to sausages and bring to a simmer. Once noodles are finishing boiling, drain, and toss with olive oil. Place desired amount of sauce over noodles and garnish with a sprinkle of parsley. I served mine with garlic toast, and good thing I did or I'm sure my husband would have gone to bed hungry!