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