Thursday, February 28, 2013

Avocado Faux-tucinni Sauce

-1 avocado
-2 oz cream cheese or greek yogurt
-pinch of garlic
-At Least 4 TB parmesan cheese (I didn't measure)
-Juice of half a lemon
-2 TB garlic cheese topper (yes even though I used garlic)
-Dash of salt

Mix it all up.  That is pretty much it.  I boiled off some pasta and sauteed mushrooms and tomato in a skillet.  Drain the pasta, toss in the veggies, and add the sauce.  Stir and eat.  The heat of the fresh cooked pasta and veggies warms up the sauce, no need to cook it.

What I did not expect was the added benefit of how delicious this is as a pasta salad!  I had leftovers and tried them for lunch and it was absolutely delicious.  I used reduced fat cream cheese, and not much of it. 

I could also be highly biased toward this sauce because it is green. 


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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Banana Granola Bars: No flour, no eggs, no butter.

 WHAT?! Again I have made something with no butter?! It is true.  I am not sure what has gotten in to me, but butter has been lasting a lot longer in this apartment.  Recipe first, then we shall discuss.

-2 Excessively ripe bananas, like those super brown ones that are perfect for banana bread
-1 C plus 3 TB oats
-1/4 C Raisins (I used golden)
-1/4 C chopped pecans
-3 TB Honey
-1/4 C Unsweetened applesauce
-1 Tsp(ish) of cinnamon
-2 shakes of ginger

I broke up the bananas into smaller pieces and tossed them in the kitchenaid with all of the remaining ingredients.  Give it a good mix on medium speed until it is all combined well.  This made a more moist batter than the nutella ones did, obviously, so yours should turn out moist but holding together well. 

I preheated the oven to 350, scraped the sides of my bowl, and plopped the blob of granola bar batter onto parchment paper covering my jelly roll pan.  Honestly, I really think I need to use my cookie sheet or other pans, I am working that poor jelly roll pan to death.

Anyway, I baked these for about 27 minutes.  They are firm but not crunchy, which is just fine by me.  They really almost could make a form of bread if they were cut just a little differently.  I am very happy with how they turned out.

In fact, I have really enjoyed making granola bars in general.  I always like to learn a new "dough" if you will.  I think one of the most important things to realize as a newbie baker (which I really consider myself still a novice on most things) is that if you know what a particular dough is supposed to feel like, you have a lot of flexibility.

Take granola bars for example.  My experimenting with them began when I made the banana bread cookies a few weeks ago, which started with a hybrid of my graham cracker recipe.  Then I realized that more oats, and a few little tweaks would turn them into something like a soft granola (thanks for advice mom!).  But I know what a graham cracker dough should look like, know what a cheese-it cracker dough looks like, know what cake batter should look like, same for both rolled and drop cookies, brownie batter, etc.  If you know the feel of something, it makes it a lot easier to alter things and experiment without disastrous results.

As you experiment with flavors, just remember that the most important thing is to have something to hold it all together.  Don't be afraid to give them a whirl, I would argue that they are not nearly as hard as some people make them out to be.  Of my two granola bar batters, the nutella one stuck together when firmly pressed.  It needed more coaxing and as such the granola bars turned out more crunchy and less moist than these, but still easy to eat.  For the banana batter, when I scraped the sides of the bowl down to where the batter was, it held its shape with little to no coaxing and looked almost like a ball when I was done scraping the sides.  That hopefully will give a little idea to two very different textures that turned out just fine for me.

Happy crafting!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Homemade Mushroom Pizza on an Herbed Crust

Crust Ingredients:
-1 C AP Flour
-1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour
-1/8 tsp instant yeast
-Dash salt
-1 TB honey
-1 TB basil
-1/2 TB Rosemary
-Pinch of garlic
-3/4 to 1 C lukewarm water

Mix all of the ingredients, adding water as needed to get to a shaggy, sticky crust.  Cover and let raise overnight.  Pop in it in the fridge the next morning until ready to use.

Have some flour ready in a cup or similar for sprinkling so you don't have to stick your doughy hands in your flour cannister. Sprinkle the top of the dough (I left it in the bowl this time) with flour, sprinkle your pizza pan with cornmeal, and grab the dough out.

Stretch and pull the dough until desired thinness, adding flour on each side as necessary, and plop it on the pizza pan. 

Topping Ingredients:
-4 TB of a 50/50 mix of sour cream or greek yogurt mixed with pesto
-Sauce as desired
-Mushrooms, sliced
-Spinach leaves, sliced
-Cherry tomatoes, sliced
-Desired amount of mozz cheese

Put a thin layer of the pesto mix on the crust, followed by a drizzle of pizza sauce.  Add on topping ingredients and drizzle the crust with olive oil.  Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes.

This was almost the pizza that never was.  First, I wanted to make a full amount of dough instead of this half batch. However, I realized that either A) the remaining yeast packets are winning hide and seek somewhere in my apartment or B) I had very little yeast left.  Either is equally likely.  I had just enough to make this half batch, so that is what I did...obviously...

Anyway, as soon as I got home from the grocery store this week I was writing out my weekly menu and it hit me like a maglev train that I had no crap.  There was no way in the world I was going back to the store at this point, so I had to get creative by the time I whipped this pizza up...

I used string cheese sticks.  I microzested them, even.  I would argue that if you want to cut back on something like cheese, you should microzest it.  If I had a bag of mozz I would have put multiple handfuls on it, heck maybe even the entire bag!  But when I have to shred it myself or even worse when I have to microshred some string cheese (more difficult than you may imagine) I use way less cheese.  And, my pizza still was excellently delicious.

Then of course my crappy pizza cutter annoyed me once again and it now resides in my trash can for being the most dull and unusable pizza cutter ever to exist.  Luckily I have halfway decent knives.

The pizza was delicious, I loved the massive amount of toppings on it as compared to a massive amount of cheese and sauce.  Some places get rather skimpy in their toppings.  Not to mention, just look at how pretty it is!

At this rate, you can about bet that a pizza will be on my menu nearly every week. 

Happy crafting!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Banana Cheesecake Wontons

 These turned out DELICIOUS!

-6 oz cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
-1/2 container Chobani Banana Greek Yogurt (or equivalent in the Champions Honeynana flavor)
-2 Very ripe bananas
-1/4 C Sugar
-1 Egg
-1 TB honey
-Pinch Cinnamon and ginger (optional, I prefer to always have at least cinnamon in anything banana flavored)
-Couple of drops of lemon extract (or a little lemon zest)
-24 wonton wrappers

Grease or spray cupcake tins and press a wonton wrapper into each cup.  Mix the remaining ingredients well with a Kitchenaid or similar on a medium speed for a few minutes.

As an optional method, fold the corners of the wonton wrappers down.  I made some with the corners sticking up and some with them down, either way will work just fine, it really just depends on how you want them to look.  Fill each wonton with about 1 TB of batter. 

Bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes, until edges of wrapper are browning and the filling is set.  Cool on a wire rack.

I am considering putting a little dollop of peanut butter icing on some of these, as I have some leftover from the Mickey Cupcakes a few days ago AND I love peanut butter and banana together. 

I accidentally taste tested one before I took a group rest assured the batter makes a full 24!

I am trying to use things up in my fridge before Spring Break, although this still did not use all of my wonton wrappers it DID use the rest of my opened pack of cream cheese.  This is one of the main reasons I advocate for meal planning, it really makes you look in your fridge and see what the heck you have that needs to go.  On a college budget, I want to eat well but not waste things, and from what I can tell a wonton wrapper will never go to waste in this kitchen. 

I am probably going to pop some of these in the freezer, where ironically I have more cheesecake from when my mom made some, because 24 is a lot to eat on my own.  They should freeze just fine, and will be a fun dessert to have on hand.

Happy crafting!

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quick Skillet Garlic Toast

It amazes me how many people haven't really had or made skillet toast.  I grew up on it, toast just didn't come out of the toaster unless it was a rare occasion or for something like tuna noodle casserole.  When it comes right down to it, anything out of a skillet is better than anything out of a toaster.  Simple as that. 

I was shopping at Meijer today, easily my favorite grocery store, and a TON of stuff was on 10 for $10/11th free sale.  That is my very favorite sale! I love it at Meijer because at least twice a year it includes a lot of produce.  So I stocked up on strawberries, blackberries, mushrooms, Diet Mountain Dew (practically a fruit, concentrated orange juice is an ingredient!) and snagged a yummy baguette for one of my free items.  I also ran up quite a charge for my little credit card for a girl who "just needed a few things" this week.  I really just needed bread and dew... Oops. 

Anyway, the point is the part of the loaf that I used was either A) free or B) cost me up to .33 cents if you decide I paid a dollar for it!  That is pretty cheap garlic toast. 

Skillet toast of any variety is way better than toaster toast.  It is like a delicacy.  You know that toast you love at restaurants and the toasted sourdough that things like Frisco Melts are on? Yea they don't do that junk in a toaster!  You don't need a flat top grill either. 

All you need to do is spread a thin layer of butter on one side of the bread, both sides is completely not necessary.  For my garlic toast baguette, I spread a little butter and then sprinkled the ever delicious Shipshewana brand Garlic Cheese Topper on it.  I don't know if you can order that stuff online, but if you can, you SHOULD.

With a skillet on medium heat you just need to cook it for a few minutes on each side until you get the desired golden brown-ness you are looking for.  I am a "very lightly toasted" type myself. My mom would probably either laugh or roll her eyes at this, because seriously I was a VERY picky child for a long time when it came to toast.  Even out at restaurants.  There were some grilled cheeses at restaurants that directly resulted in my tears or a chef recooking it.

I am sorry chefs.  It must have been really insulting to have to recook a grilled cheese.  Please forgive me!

Breakfast is the #1 meal for skillet toast.  Your egg samich in the morning will taste much better on skillet toast.  Trust me, I have many years of experience with eating skillet toast.  It also got me through a wicked week of having my wisdom teeth cut out, 4 teeth pulled, and braces put on.

Alright fine, the new gameboy got me through that week.  Not the point.

The only time I make toast in a toaster is if A) I am being incredibly lazy and am avoiding using my grill or using a second skillet or B) when I want to put honey on toast.  Other than that, I always make it in the skillet. 

I also really don't like to turn on my oven just for garlic bread.  Maybe garlic cheese bread, as it has to melt and whatnot.  Plopping it in a skillet just seems way more simple.

And all of this is far less fatty than that butter-drenched frozen Texas Toast garlic bread that, whereas it is delicious, is way too unhealthy to justify eating it.  Not to mention it is a little heavy on the garlic.

All this to say, make toast in the skillet, you will love it.

Happy crafting!

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mickey Cupcakes

My best friend loves anything Disney.  She also loves Reese's.  I had convinced her to let me make her a birthday goodie, which was originally going to be a birthday cake.  Well, by the time I left my cake keeper lid at home instead of bringing it to my apartment for probably the fourth time, I decided that a cake was starting to get tricky.  Then I realized I had no offset spatula to use with icing, and I quickly decided that cupcakes were more reasonable and transportable.

 Regardless, as some of you may know from previous posts, I am a BIG fan of edible and TASTY decorations.  Sure, I love a good gum paste lily for a wedding cake, because they are beautiful and look delicate.  But let's face it, they taste awful.  When I was brainstorming ideas for my best friend's cake, I had thought about how large Reese's and small Reese's should essentially make a Mickey.

Now, it very well might have been more reasonable to use miniature Reese's partnered with Reese's Minis.  And I had every intention to do that...until I got to the checkout lanes an went through a U-Scan, completely forgetting that I needed to find a small bag of minis up there...

Oh well, I don't think they taste as good anyway.  I originally tried cutting the big cups in half to make them go twice as far...but that just made the cupcake look like a creepy, frowny, alien from DOOM or something.

The moral of the story here is use large, whole Reese's cups and two miniature cups to make a Mickey. I did not waste the ones I had cut in half, and instead put them in the cupcake with sprinkles around them.  I found these sprinkles at a local cake shop, so I am not really 100% sure where to tell you to look around you.  If you have a local cake shop, they might just have them.  If not, I am sure you can find these online if you really need them. 

These cupcakes are iced in a peanut butter icing, a chocolate icing, and two are both icings mixed.  For the peanut butter icing I used 1/4C crisco (butter is fine too, crisco will hold up a little better in a bipolar apartment like mine), 1/2 C peanut butter, and 3/4 lb of powdered sugar, plus a bit of water.  You may choose to start at just half a pound of sugar, because I will be the first to admit I make notoriously stiff icings.  This is what I get for whining so much when we are doing a wedding cake and the icing is really stiff and hard to pipe. HOWEVER, I do like how well and quick a stiff icing sets.  I whip all my ingredients in my kitchenaid, adding water a little at a time, until it comes together in a fluffy icing.  The two icings I used combined were just about enough to do the 24 cupcakes, with a little peanut butter icing leftover.

If you make a stiff icing, you basically need to ice a cupcake, decorate it right then.  Don't give it time to set because you want it to hold your decorations on. 

For the chocolate I used half a can of chocolate icing, and half a box (so 1/2lb) of powdered sugar.  I really hate most canned icing on the market because I can tell it is starting to get made with cheaper and more fake flavors.  I used to be able to eat cream cheese icing from a can, but it pretty much tastes weird now and I find it disturbing.  Most of them taste a lot more oily to me as well.  However, I do realize that with the logistics of a small apartment, canned icing can save me some time and mess. I am actually ok with the chocolate icing still, the milk chocolate icing does have a pretty good flavor, but by whipping it up with powdered sugar it makes it more like an icing and less like flavored crisco.

I made the mixed cupcakes after I had iced the rest.  I was almost out of chocolate icing, so I plopped a big scoop of peanut butter icing into the bag I was using.  As I piped it created a somewhat swirly looking icing, and it really does taste just like a Reese's cup.  You could go to all the work to put icing in two bags and thread them through a third, but I consider this a huge waste of bags.  Stiff icings should stay relatively in place, so if you spoon some in with a spatula, raking it against one side of the bag, you should have an easy enough time doing the same with the other icing on the other side of the bag.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Bread Bowl

It is a well-known fact that I like soup.  I also am a self proclaimed carbivore.  With my trusty no knead dough recipe, I always have enough dough for a small pizza and something else. that something else.

Bread bowls are pretty simple once you have the right pan.  By using a 5" round cake pan (aka the small little top cake pan) you can create a pretty good environment for that bread to bowl right up.  I baked the remaining half of my no knead dough from the bacon pesto pizza at 375 for about 35 minutes.  Make sure to grease the pan.

Before hollowing it out I ran a knife around the edge so that I knew it would release.  My little cake pan is not dark nonstick, and I still haven't bought pam.  The bread bowl tried to stick a little, but we made it work.

To hollow it out, you just need to cut straight down through the bread loaf in a circle.  Reach in around the ring you cut and pull out the center.  Don't make a cone shape, unless you just want to go to the extra work of hollowing it out further.

I ended up getting through about half of this bowl, which is pretty typical.  Though I may be a carbivore, I cannot eat an entire bread bowl all at once. 

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yummy Nutella Granola Bars with Craisins

My family thinks I am a yuppie...this is not going to help my case any.  I am a little picky when it comes to granola bars.  I don't like a lot of typical bars as they are usually coated or packed full of some chocolate that is bitter, bleh.  Once I read a variety of recipes on a multitude of different flavors, I realized that granola bars were pretty foolproof. 

Magic words.

-2 C Oats
-1/3 C Nutella
-1/4 C Applesauce
-Handful of craisins
-1/4 C Honey

Mix all the ingredients.  I used this little wimpy spatula in the picture and then switched off and pressed and mixed it all around with my hands.  I will be advising you to get out your kitchenaid and stop trying to avoid washing the bowl. I would have had less dishes if I had just used it in the first place....

Line a pan with parchment paper, then ask yourself why you are still using the stupid foil lined parchment paper that you can't stand.  Then remember that the answer is because you are cheap and refuse to waste it...alright that part just applies to me.

Preheat the oven to 350 and turn your mix out onto the parchment paper. Press it out to about 1/4 inch thick, or desired thickness.  Keep it as consistent as possible in thickness. 

Bake for at least 17 minutes, a few more if you prefer it more crunchy.  Mine turned out firm but not overly crunchy, which is how I prefer them.  Had I realized at Target that I would end up making nutella ones (I originally planned for pumpkin) I would have bought the hazelnut pieces that they sell on the baking row.

You can also easily do this with peanut butter and dried fruit or nuts.  I sub nutella and peanut butter in for each other quite a bit.  Nutella makes a DELICIOUS no bake cookie.

I would suggest drizzling a little white chocolate over these.  I have not done that yet but I am considering it.  All granola bars should have a pretty chocolate drizzle.

I personally like these. I am not a big chocolate lover, but Nutella is A-OK by me. 

Happy crafting!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bacon Pesto Stuffed Crust Pizza

 Hands down, this is my most delicious pizza to date.  Spot.  On.  Flavor.  Here we go:
-2 C AP Flour
-1 C Whole Wheat Flour
-1/4 tsp yeast
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1 TB honey
-1/2-1 C lukewarm water

This makes enough for two crusts of approximately this size, one super large crust, or one crust like this and something else, which is the method I always use.  Mix all of the dough ingredients, starting with a half cup and working your way up as needed until your dough all comes together in a sticky shaggy state.  I find that mine almost always needs more than 1/2 C.  Let it sit overnight covered, I let mine sit in my gas oven, and raise (for me this is usually about 12-15 hours).  Put it in the fridge the next morning and use later that day or allow it to sit for a couple of days in the fridge for added flavor development. 

I meant to make mine Monday and completely forgot.  Doesn't that figure.  However, it still tasted phenomenal even without the extra days to raise.  Turn half the dough out on a floured surface, flour the top, and press and stretch until you get the desired thinness.  If a piece tears I tend to press it back together or add another extra piece (extras tend to stick better to the worked dough).  Dust a pizza pan with cornmeal and transfer the crust to the pan.  Let it hang out while you get the pizza ingredients ready.

-1.5 slices of bacon for a smaller sized pizza, more as needed for larger sizes
-6 string cheese pieces
-1/4 block of mozzarella, shredded
-2-4 TB pesto (I used about 3.5)
-4 large grape tomatoes, chopped
-about 1/4 C shredded spinach leaves
-Olive oil
-garlic cheese topper

Get the bacon cooking in a skillet and cook it til it just starts to get crispy.  Preheat the oven to 400.

Drain the grease off the bacon by setting it on a paper towel, set aside.  I would suggest putting the string cheese around the edge of the pizza first and rolling the edges over it so that you don't end up with sauce in your stuffed crust like I did. I don't know why I varied from my usual order. 

Add the sauce, half of the bacon (I used kitchen scissors to cut it into small pieces) and the mozzarella.  There is not a whole lot of difference between bagged mozz and store brand mozz blocks, but I still argue for shredding it yourself.  Or if you can get super fresh mozz, even better!

I put my pesto into a snack size plastic bag so that I could cut the tip off and squeeze pesto where I wanted it instead of trying to spread it.  I was hoping it would make a pretty design, but mine was cold and that just didn't happen.  It might be worthwhile to warm the pesto slightly, especially since you will be able to drain some oil off by doing so.  In hindsight, that might have worked a touch better.

Add the pesto, tomato, and spinach leaves and remaining bacon.  That's right, mine has bacon above AND below the cheese.  Drizzle or brush EVOO on the crust and add garlic cheese topper.  Bake for 18 minutes at 400.

Now, since I did not consider heating and draining my pesto beforehand, my pizza did have a little oil on it when it came out.  I was not concerned by this and responded to it by grabbing a paper towel and letting it soak up the excess.  When it is a homemade pizza with quality ingredients, I don't mind correcting little glitches like this.  When it is super creepy frozen or delivery pizza that I have to do it to, that I mind.  I like to know exactly what is creating the oil.  Pesto will do that.

It is not, however, something to get overly concerned with because the pizza was FANTASTIC.  I mean absolutely on point.  It really hit the spot.  I like this particular dough with the substitution of some whole wheat flour in it. 

The cornmeal dusting is a MUST, as always.  It helps the crispy factor!

Now all I need to do is decide what I want to use the remaining dough on...stay tuned!

Happy crafting!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Stir Fry" Soup

-7c water
-2TB soy sauce
-4 chicken tenderloins so about 2 chicken breasts
-a whole pack of sliced mushrooms 
-3TB butter
-1 carrot mandolined thin
-about 1/8 c onion
-1/4 c mixed sweet red n green peppers mostly red
-1/4c frozen corn
-half cup of rice
-1/4 tsp ginger
-dash of thyme n garlic
-Zest of half a lime 
-salt n pepper to taste 

Drop the water, chicken, soy sauce, butter, ginger, and thyme, and bring it up to a boil, letting it start cooking for about 15 minutes or so. Then chop all the veggies and add to the mix, lower the temperature just a notch and cover. I used my mandoline to thin slice the veggies.
I actually really enjoyed the mushroom amount, so I didn't regret that at all.  My original plans were to just use half the pack and save the remaining for a pizza that I want to make tomorrow, but I got on such a roll with dumping things in that it resulted in all of the mushrooms being added.

Let that boil covered n lowered for another 10-15 then pull out the chicken n shred it with forks. When you pull the chicken out, taste your broth and add salt and pepper as needed. You can add more soy sauce if you want instead of salt, but I like how the balance of this turned out. The mushrooms and soy sauce worked especially well to give the broth some richness. Drop the chicken back in and add the rice and lime zest, cover it, let it go another 10 or so. During this time, I piddled around making bread dough for tomorrow's pizza that will now be pesto and bacon instead of mushroom haha. I needed to use up some pesto anyway.

This soup lends itself perfectly to a bread bowl.  If I did not have a portfolio review tomorrow, you better believe that I would have a bread bowl done for lunch before Stats class.  Darn myself for signing up for this timing!

Really though, I am SOUPER (teehee) impressed with this soup and I always like soup better after it has been in the fridge.  Leftover soup is way better than fresh soup in almost all cases (especially chili), so I am pretty excited to see what this will taste like tomorrow.  I find more and more that I love soy sauce, ginger, and lime combinations.  Eventually I am going to have to learn the art of marinading things I believe.

Or I will just stick with soup.  Either way.  This recipe can easily be halved if you do not want such a large pot of soup.  I like to eat mine off and on for a few days and freeze leftovers.  You never know when you are going to get sick out of nowhere and a relatively quick defrost on a bowl of soup might be just the thing that fixes you up.  Plus, I would much rather have fresh soup frozen than soup from a can any day of the week. 

The second I learn how to make quality tomato soup, my can buying days might come to a rapid end.  The best part about these soups is that they get me to eat my veggies that I may otherwise ignore :).  That $1 bag of carrots is turning out to be quite the quality investment, and may just make my list of recurring purchases.

For the amount of meals that you can get out of each pot, soup is a great way to stretch ingredients, and a pretty good healthy option that does not require expensive purchases.  Soup and my college budget are getting along very nicely.

Happy crafting!
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7Up with Fruit

So I completely forgot to blog yesterday.   Go figure.  Anyway, I have had two goals lately.  First, I want to avoid some fake color.  Not necessarily rule it out entirely, but at least lessen some of my intake.  Also, I want to avoid some creepy chemicals.

7Up is a yummy beverage...if you enhance it. Sliced up lemons and limes, or frozen mixed berries in 7Up make it significantly more delicious than just boring old regularness. 

My favorite has so far been berries such as blackberries and raspberries, with lemons and limes being a close second.  This would be a great thing to serve to kids on New Year's and other special occasions.

Freezing the berries and add-ins also doubles as ice, which is even better. 

I will blog again here in a few hours for my super fantastic whatever I do next!

Happy crafting. Pin It Now!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Cinnamon Toast Crunch" Cookies

-1 pack of sugar cookie dough, refrigerated or mixed up, or your homemade variety
-1/2 C sugar
-2.5 tsp cinnamon, plus extra

These are super simple! Flour your countertop before rolling out.  All you need to do is roll the dough out into a rectangle, approximately 9x12 or so. 

Sprinkle heavily the cinnamon sugar mix on the dough and press/rub it in as you go.  You probably will only use half of the cinnamon sugar mix, but that is never a bad thing to have on hand.  Roll the dough up from the short side, tightly, and cut about 1/2 inch slices off.  I like to smoosh mine down on a greased pan personally.  Dark nonstick, as always.  I get another half a tsp of cinnamon out and rub a small bit on top of the cookies as well, just to make sure they have plenty of flavor in them.

Bake them at 350 for 15-18 minutes.  I let mine bake until they were pretty golden, which is why mine were a tad more on the crispy side.  This spawned my sisters both equating them to cinnamon toast crunch, which is clearly one of the best cereals ever invented.  I have NO issue getting a compliment like that.  Another option is baking on parchment paper so that they don't get as dark on the bottom.

Mine were in for about 18, so feel free to cut back a little on your time for a softer cookie.  I think a maple or cinnamon cream cheese frosting would turn these into DELICIOUS cookie sandwiches as well. Pin It Now!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Delicious Cheesecake

This recipe was adapted from

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (50/50 mix of honey and cinnamon)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter
4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 475F and place a pan filled with 1/2 inch of water in it to create a water bath.
The easiest way to make crumbs for us non-food processor owners is by far to put them in a ziploc back and roll the crackers will a rolling pin.  It is quite fun.  Mix the crumbs, cinnamon, and butter together and press into pan, going about 2/3 of the way up the side. Place in the freezer until filling is ready.
Mix all of the filling ingredients except the eggs and blend until smooth. Scrape sides of the bowl and add the eggs, mixing until blended.  Pour on top of crust and bake for 12 minutes in the water bath. Be cautious when you open the oven because a serious steam wave is going to come rolling out of it. My mom likes to cover her springform pans with foil around the bottom to ensure that no water leaks through.  Turn oven down to 350 after the 12 minutes are up and bake another 50-60 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from the bath and cool on a wire rack.
Time of baking can vary a LOT by your stove and similar.  Be mindful of this and ready to adjust your baking time as needed.  This took the full 60 in my mom's oven, but I think my gas stove which has no window on the door may have gotten it done more quickly, so definitely check when it is getting close to time.
Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for around 4 hours or overnight, still in the pan.  When ready to remove the sides of the pan my mom suggests running a knife around the edge to ensure the release of the sides.
Happy crafting!
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Upcycled Giftcard

I love iTunes cards, they are so fun and brightly colored.  So I decided to cut mine apart, punch holes in them, and hook them together into a bracelet.

Making a large statement necklace out of this would be equally fun.  It is unfortunate that so many of these get tossed out, so I just wanted to figure out a way to reuse them. 

I think it could make fun mosaic style wall art as well.

Short sweet and to the point!

Happy crafting. Pin It Now!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Banana Bread Cookies

Talk about a happy accident!  I started out this day with deciding that I was going to make those birthday cake cookies again, but make them banana and make this yummy creamy dreamy icing to go in the middle. the time I had added twice the amount of honey I intended, I decided that we were just going to have to wing it.

Here are some things I know in life.  I know you can make cookies without flour when things like peanut butter are involved.  I know banana can be a viable replacement for butter.  I know that not everything has to have an egg in it.  I know that overripe bananas are only useful for baking.  I know the relative consistency of batter, drop cookie dough, roll out cookie dough, and pancakes.  So naturally, this gave me the confidence to just go on a whim.  Makes sense right?

-3 very ripe bananas, the darker the better
-1/4 c honey
-1/4 c milk
-1 cup AP flour
-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
-1/4 cup sugar
-5 TB oats
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp cinnamon (I used a half, but I would suggest upping it)
-1/4 tsp ginger
-2 dashes of nutmeg
-pinch of salt

THAT'S RIGHT! No butter, no egg needed.  Very uncharacteristic of me. Mix all the ingredients together.  You are going for a batter that is not as stiff as a cookie dough but does not spread out much.  Absolutely bake these on parchment paper.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. 

I would completely suggest adding nuts into the batter.  Yummy.  I sprinkled powdered sugar and a cinnamon sugar mix on top of mine when they came out of the oven.

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


For anyone thinking this looks really small for a meatloaf, my mom makes up batches of meatloaf awesomeness and freezes smaller loaves for my college self.

Yea that's right.  She makes them for me.  Want to throw spoiled brat card? DO IT.  Haha, no but seriously I thank her for them profusely and love having these little guys.  Perfect sizes for eating on a few days.

AND she was even nice enough to agree to let me release her double top secret recipe.  Feel free to ooh and ahh now.

-2 lb 90/10 sirloin ground beef
-1/2 small onion finely chopped
-1 egg
-1 C evap or whole milk
-1/4 c ketchup
-2 C oats
-Salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all up and spread the ketchup on top.  I usually put seasoning salt and pepper over everything in my dish, and then put the ketchup on, but you do as you see fit.  Bake covered for an hour at 350.  I add about 1/2 c water to large dishes like this and a tablespoon or so of butter.  What can I say, I butter everything.

Now, you may think this little guy looks really dark.  Hmm, why is the ketchup so dark you ask? BECAUSE IT IS BBQ! Hahah, that is right, I barbecued this little guy.  Now, it was alright but it was not as good as I had hoped, but I can tell you exactly why.

I don't actually like smokey BBQ sauces all that well.  I prefer honey BBQ.  Well, I happen to still have part of a bottle of Weber BBQ, and don't get me wrong the flavor is fine and whatnot, but had this been Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ, I might have been completely blown away by this.  All in all though it was good.  Just more smokey than I prefer.

Now, if you take very little of my advice in life that is fine but I do highly suggest this: BUY a mandoline and simultaneously BUY kevlar gloves.  This is a combo made in heaven.  I love my gloves because I can slice stuff at lightning speeds without worrying about losing my pinky.  And trust me, I would have already lost it by now, I have knicked my gloves on many occasions.  But I thick sliced some carrots and potatoes to go in with the meal and it was just delightfully rapid.  Highly recommend the tool.

Highly recommend the meatloaf.

Highly recommend butter.

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Cajun Soup

So this is yesterday's post.  I have no idea how I managed to forget to post it, but it probably had a lot to do with me watching Alias on Amazon Prime all evening.  I have watched an entire season in a matter of days, haha.

Anyway, I wanted to make something sort of like jambalaya but I really wanted soup.  So, I decided to make a completely non-authentic cajun flavored soup.  My new favorite thing is to make a lot of soup, eat it for a few days, and then freeze the rest of it.  If this recipe sounds a little larger than what I usually make, that would be why.

-7 cups of water
-3 chicken tenderloins (at least)
-3 TB butter
-1 cup of shrimp
-1/2 cup scallops
-2 smoked sausages, unless you happen to have a more authentic spicy sausage on hand
-1/4 cup chopped green or a mix of red and green peppers
-1/4 cup corn
-1/8 cup chopped onion (or as I like to say, some)
-1 cup chopped tomato
-1 cup minute rice
-1 TB Zatarain's Creole Seasoning**

Let me start off by saying that I am not exactly impressed with the Z. Creole Seasoning I bought.  Had I realized that the first ingredient in it was SALT I would have paid more for the McCormick.  So please keep that in mind.  If you use a different spice with more heat and way less salt, which I would suggest, you may want to start with about half that amount and work your way up to just the right spice, and then add your own salt.

Regardless, put the water, butter, chicken, peppers, tomato, onion, seasoning all in a stock pot and bring it up to a boil.  I like to cook all of mine together (covered) until I can shred the chicken with two forks, which usually takes 40 minutes or so.  Shred the chicken and return it to the stock pot.  If you are using a different sausage other than the ones you can microwave and throw on a bun, you will want to cook it in a skillet first before transferring it to your soup.  Add the sausage, shrimp, scallops, and let cook for a few minutes until nearly done.  Add the rice, put the lid on the pot, turn off your heat, and let the rice cook while you make some cornbread cakes on the griddle.

Now, I really did not know exactly how to make griddled cornbread, but I have made plenty of pancakes.  So I did what any self respecting cornbread lover would do, I winged it.  I added a cup of corn meal, an egg, and enough milk and oil to get me to a pancake texture, making sure that milk was the predominant addition. 

Not all cooking is an exact science, and you really can't get a more flexible meal than soup and cornbread.  Recipes really need not exist for soup sometimes in my opinion.

Stay tuned for whatever the actual craft of THIS day ends up being.

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pumpkin French Toast

-1 egg
-5 TB milk
-4 TB pumpkin puree
-1 tsp cinn
-3 shakes ginger
-1 shake nutmeg

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and dip three pieces of bread on both sides. 

Butter a skillet and cook each piece for a 3-5 minutes per side, or until desired done-ness.  I like to sprinkle mine with cinnamon sugar and top with maple syrup.

It is pretty much like candy for breakfast. 

You could add a little cloves as well, just a dash.  I happen to still not have any. 

Enjoy! Pin It Now!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cake Lace

Who remembers the squiggly ornament? This is the cake technique that inspires it.

It is so simple and such a great way to cover up flaws or add a little pizzazz to the side of a cake.

All you need is your decorator icing in a bag with a writing tip on it.  Apply even pressure so that you get a consistent line.  You want the line to be continuous and only to terminate down near the piping.  The middle needs to be a solid line.

The great thing about it is you can make it loose or tight and you will still get pretty good results.  I prefer a tighter technique with smaller designs, but I have seen it done a variety of ways.  Once you get into a rhythm it is easy to accomplish.  Practice on a plate or similar to get used to the technique and get a feel for what works best for you!

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Easy Resume Layout

Ha, so I am going to be the obnoxious one for a bit that takes pictures of her screen because she doesn't feel like photoshopping them off a screenprint.  Bear with me.

Make a table in Word.  What, you hate Word? I know right, Word is obnoxious, but once you find a few little quirks it can be useful. 

So, table. However big, you just need to two columns and you can always add rows later.  If you hover over the middle column line you can pull it over to the left like so.  Basically this is to make offset consistent.

Type in whatever information, section headings in the left and details in the right. 

Highlight the entire left column and go to the "Table Tools" section at the top.  Under that tab you will find a sub-tab of "layout" where you can change the justfication of this column to completely to the right (top right, to be specific to my preference, you change it to middle right if you prefer).

So you might want to add in some extra spaces at the end of each section, just to space it out further between the sections.

Anyway, after you have the spacing just like you like it, you can go right back to "Table Tools" and go to "Design".  Under design, you will see borders.  You can change it to no borders to make all the little lines dissapear.

Then, in that same table tools selection area you find "Draw Table".  Highlight the top table row, change the line weight next to "draw table" to about 2 or so, really whatever you want.  Click the bottom of the boxes below your name and your contact information.

I click in the middle of where the bottom of the cell would be, if that helps any.

This just sets apart all your details.  You can change the layout and justifications as you like.  I prefer to use Arial and Times New Roman in stuff like this.  Basically, this is just an easy way to set up a quick resume that looks a little different than the typical everything one column, left justified set up.

Just a thought!

Happy crafting!

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Portobella Pizzas

I will be the first to admit that I am ONLY eating dinner these past few nights to justify rewarding myself with one of those birthday cake cookie sandwiches I made a few days ago.  Oh my, those things are DELICIOUS.  I might even be so inclined to admit that more than one might have been consumed in a single day at some point...

My bad :).

Anyway, I really wanted to order pizza tonight.  Pretty darn badly.  Pizza Hut keeps emailing me about these pizza sliders they have, and I do so love Pizza Hut Pizza.  The problem, though, will sound a little egotistical but...I really like my own homemade pizza....

Like a lot.

But since I had no dough made up nor any desire to make any dough, I debated on what the alternative could be.  I did my grocery shopping today which is weird I usually do it on Sundays, but there were a few things I needed and I was just in a mood to get out and enjoy the town.  Yes, as weird as it may seem, I LOVE to grocery shop.  The bad thing is, when I shop in a good mood, I buy random things, especially if under the $5 mark.  So I bought myself a cute green dish drying mat that is supposed to be super absorbent so I don't have to keep using my dish towels.

Which brings me to how this post happened.  I saw a sale sign on some mushrooms looking through my spiffy-fun glasses, and I had to peruse what was available.  I opted to get the large portobella mushrooms as I love bella burgers and had decided to use them as a pizza base as well.

 Now, why I made 5 of them for 1 of me I have no idea.  I guess I thought I was way more hungry than I really was.  No matter, I will save them and eat them again this weekend.

I took the gills and stem out from the mushrooms and topped them with chopped tomatoes, chopped spinach leaves, herbs de provence as it doesn't have oregano so I like it better than pizza seasoning, garlic cheese topper, salt and pepper, and a mix of block mozz cheese and the last remaining bits of a bag of shredded mozz.  Mozz is one of the only cheeses I still consider buying shredded when it is on sale. 

Two had just those ingredients, one added pineapple, one added ham, and the last one added pineapple and ham.  I popped them in a 350 oven for 20 minutes in a pan with a lip.

Now, after reviewing things online a lot of recipes call for broiling them for about 5 minutes before adding toppings. I can only imagine that this is to get all of the juices out of them.  I clearly did not bother with this step, but it was not an issue because my pan had a lip on it.

Be mindful of that.

Portobellas do make a fun pizza base though, and I enjoyed the fresher flavors of this over using pizza sauce.  Were these as good as getting pizza sliders from pizza hut that have a zillion calories in them? Probably not.  But they did allow me to eat a birthday cake cookie afterward without feeling like I had been completely awful for the evening haha!

There are benefits to healthy.

All in all, you could really put anything in portobella mushrooms and I think it is worth finding a flavor profile you like.  This pack came with 5 for $3.99, of which I was only able to eat two.  Had this been some sort of meal with something like salad or a side of pasta or similar, I may have only been able to eat one, so they really can be budget friendly.  Portobellas make delicious "burgers" as well.

Happy crafting!

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Upcycled Jeans Bag

 The seat ripped out of my very favorite jeans.  Talk about OBNOXIOUS! I loved those darn jeans.  I had them for probably at least 5 years though, which as my friend pointed out is about 100 in jean time.  So I was cutting them apart trying to find a way to turn them into a skirt.  As I raised them up to judge the angle, I started noticing that there were so many places in the sides and hips that were getting threadbare and seethrough...

Foiled again.

I had cut the legs off the jeans (35" inseam pair, if that helps,) and then had cut the jean legs in half.  I cut them close to the seams to keep the cool seams intact.  I dissected the material so I had the equivalent of the back half of the leg that I was working with.  I finally came up with making into a bag.

I folded the bottom seam up to where the cut was at the top.  This was my super sneaky way of not having to sew in a bottom seam! Haha. 

(working with the jeans inside out) I sewed the sides up as far as I could.  The backs of my jeans always rip out since I buy them so long and they cannot handle the rock salt and craptacular weather for long.  I cut the excess fabric off the top to give me a relatively straight line.

I flipped the bag rightside out and then folded the top down about two inches.  I folded the edge back up under it to make it about a 1 inch seam for this specific reason: I wanted to flip it back under enough that the stitch would not only close the seam but attach it to the jeans at the same time. 

Thankfully I chose a light gray, because my sewing was completely not usual.  I am working on it I swear!

I used one of the thick seams and cut off the excess fabric from the sides.  I folded the seam over and cut to make two equal parts.  Originally I was going to put two straps on the bag, but I opted for one and saved the other for the next leg of the project (pun completely intended and I will not apologize).

I hand stitched the straps on, as I did not know the proper way to sew through that much fabric on a machine.  Your machine is only as limitless as your knowledge, so I like to err on the side of caution.  I also don't own a thimble, but the floor works great for helping to push a needle through.

All in all, I think this is fantastically cute!  I have a lot of need for organizational totes and mini bags such as this, especially in my studio. 

This would also make a cute small gift sack, a utensil holder or similar at an outdoor BBQ, or maybe even a purse for a little girl with a longer strap and some super cute patches and decorations.

I plan on cutting the top part of my jeans in half to make two bags with pockets, along with utilizing the other leg for a bag identical to this one.  My best friend just gave me a bookshelf that will be used for studio storage space, and these little bags might just find a home on that as well, or perhaps on a hook on my pegboard wall.  Regardless, they WILL be utilized and thoroughly enjoyed.

And to my "rockstar jeans"...I will miss you! Those jeans gave me more confidence than any article of clothing ever thought about, they never stretched out, they never shrunk in too much in the wash, and they were freakishly comfortable.  And I got them for $10.  Which is pretty much the best part of it.

Talk about awesome economics.  I buy a clearance pair of jeans essentially at a $2 investment per year.  That is going to be a hard one to beat.  My Doc Martens are 9 years old this year, so they still have yet to eclipse under a $10 per year investment.  I am all about investment clothing (as I bet you can tell) and staying the same size so that I do not have to go replacing a whole lot.  The fact that I can still get enjoyment out of the jeans (and subsequently save money by not having to buy more organizing mini totes) means a lot to me.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Birthday Party Cookies!

-1/2 stick of butter, melted
-1/4 C Almond Milk
-1/8 C Honey
-1 and 1/4 C AP Flour
-1/4 C Wheat Flour
-1/2 C Sugar
-1.5 tsp Vanilla
-1/4 C sprinkles
-1/2 tsp baking soda

I set aside the sprinkles and mixed everything else together until it was incorporated.  Then I added in the sprinkles.  I did not think they would fade, but I did not want to take any chances with them hitting something like the melted butter.  Let the mix sit for a few minutes and grease a baking sheet.  I suggest a dark nonstick jellyroll pan, as it is my favorite to use.  Preheat the oven to 350. 

Drop the mix onto the greased sheet by spoonfuls and use the spoon to flatten them out a bit.  I would suggest putting them an inch or so apart, some of mine ended up coming together.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes until they are golden and just firm.  This may take a little longer on a lighter pan.

Transfer them to a cooling wrack or parchment paper and dust with powdered sugar.

To make icing:
-1/2 stick butter, softened
-1/2 tsp vanilla*
-3/4 lb powdered sugar
-Dash of water

Mix all of the icing ingredients together, taste, and increase the vanilla as needed.  Vanilla was not all created equally as far as I am concerned, so you may need more.  You may also want to use less powdered sugar if you prefer an icing that is not as stiff.  I wanted mine to set, and my apartment can be a little on the warmer side sometimes so I did not want anything to be runny.

I mixed in some sprinkles with my icing too, which made them way more fun!

If you are hesitant about the wheat flour, use all AP flour.  I happen to like things that are a mix, so this worked just fine for me.  These are not overly sweet, and I like that about them as well.

They have a hybrid texture between a cake and a cookie, are not crumbly, and would make perfect ice cream sandwiches as well.

And I HAD to make something to go on my new miniature cake plate from Hobby Lobby!  This recipe made about a dozen, so the rest are in my fridge.

Happy crafting!

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

101 Things About You: Valentine's Ideas

Back when I met my best friend I started making jokes like "that would be reason #73 on a list of 101 reasons why that will never happen" or "that's reason #56 why I do not care" and similar.  Well it evolved to a more elaborate scheme of actually writing her a list of 101 Reasons Why she was a great best friend, which conveniently worked as a way to cheer her up.

SO, I now offer this idea to you as a Valentine's challenge or just to let someone know you care.  It is seriously so easy to make a list like this.  Even when a relationship is just starting out, you can come up with more reasons than you think.

For those of you who may be in newbie relationships, consider splitting your list between reasons why you like them, funny memories, and things you are excited for.  For all relationships, friendships, and similar, make sure the list has more than just superficial looks reasons.  Some of those are fine, everyone likes to know you think they are beautiful or handsome, but you definitely should avoid the whole list being like that.

I like to do a little physical, a lot of personality traits, fun memories, and inside jokes.

Now, I do hope you didn't think that all I was going to give you is an idea for a list.  I am going to also offer up ideas on how to turn the list into a gift:

-Write your reasons and things on the 3/4 inch circular labels and stick them on the small Reese's cups, or use parts of rectangular labels and stick them on your main squeeze's favorite candy miniatures.  Pop them all in a jar or similar vessel.  This is fun because the list would become more of a surprise.
-Make a photo collage. You could caption the photos, zoom in and crop things like a smile to highlight the reason.  Make them all different sizes and fill in with printed paper or memorabilia from the relationship as needed.
-For you social media holics, TWEET IT.  #101Reasons and getting 101 tweets sent at me? How cool would that be. 
-Make a Prezi.  Prezi is an online presentation machine that can make some really fun presentations with a LOT of twisty turny flying.  You can email the link to your significant other.
-Post-it notes...EVERYWHERE.  Label them with the reason # so that you both can be sure that all of them are found.  Hide them all around the house, in the car, wherever.  Finding those all throughout the day? Amazing, I personally love post it notes so this one is my suggestion.

Now look, I know taking Valentine's Day advice from the chick with the worst Vday luck ever is a bit of a crapshoot, but I can honestly say that this is a pretty solid idea.  Think about how you would feel if someone could give you 101 reasons why you meant everything to them? You would love it!

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Wrappetizers (my BEST for parties!)


Base Ingredients:
-1/2 container of Buitoni Pesto
-1/2 block cream cheese
-2 6 oz containers of plain greek yogurt
-8 large taco shells

Filling Ingredients:
-8 oz Mozzarella, shredded
-Some combination of the following: honey baked ham, diced tomatoes, spinach leaves, chopped

Filling ingredients I would strongly consider:
-Pistachios if you want a crunch here and there, chop them up pretty good
-Roasted Red peppers

I have very picky members in my family, so I made these three different ways for Super Bowl so that they would appeal to meat-aholics, tomato-enemies, and a vegetarian.  As for me, I like all three ways, so I often benefit from my families different perspectives.

Anyway, mix the pesto, cream cheese, and greek yogurt together.  Spread this base filling over a taco shell, getting pretty close to the edges.  This will reduce the waste if you don't have to cut off and discard the ends.  If you are hungry, the ends make great pre-party snacking!

Sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella over the filling, I lightly sprinkle mine so that the filling will stick to the other ingredients and help the taco stay rolled.  Add strips of ham, some diced tomato, and some chopped spinach for the rolls shown in the picture.  Roll the taco shell tightly and cut into sections that are about 3/4 of an inch or so.  I leave them with the rolled edge down and stack them, but you can put them cut side up on a platter if you prefer to display the yummy looking insides.  Skewer them with toothpicks if necessary.

For my sister I made them with ham, spinach, and cheese.  For her vegetarian husband I made them with spinach, tomato, and cheese.  I think roasted red peppers would really lend themselves well to a vegetarian one, or any in general.  The great thing about pesto used in moderation is that it has many of the italian seasonings also used in meats and hearty italian dishes, so it tastes incredibly savory and a little can be stretched a long way.

Each taco gets approximately 6-8 cuts depending on how far out to the edges you go.  You do want to plan for one taco shell feeding MAYBE 2-3 people at a max.  These things are delicious, they store very well, and they are also incredibly viable lunch options for on the go lifestyles.  But if you are making them for a party, I strongly suggest making extras.  They are completely addictive.

I used one pack of tortilla shells (8 ten inch shells) and did manage to still have some leftover after a party of 7 (2 males 5 females, and with considerable amounts of other food).  Hopefully that will give you some idea of how many you will need to make for a party.

Words cannot describe how delicious these are, in my slightly biased opinion.  I have made them for Super Bowl two years straight, and do believe that they will be a consistent offering at all future SB parties.  My entire family liked them and kept leftovers.

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Graham Cookie Cake: Dessert Victory

-1/2 C Milk
-1/4 C honey
-2 Tsp Vanilla
-1 tsp cinnamon
-3 shakes of ginger
-2 Cups AP Flour
-1/2 C Wheat Flour
-1 C brown sugar packed
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 C salted butter, softened

Mix all of the ingredients together.  I still do not bother chilling my dough but you can if you like.  With a greased (preferably dark nonstick) pan, turn out and shape your dough to whatever you want it to look like. 

I have a tradition of fun desserts, and really cookie cakes especially, that I always try to keep going during Super Bowl.  So I kept it up this year with a homemade graham cookie cake, which is WAY better than any storebought thing ever thought about being.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or so, until the edges start to brown and firm.  Lighter pans may require a bit more time.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the cookie when it comes out of the oven.

Icing Ingredients:
-1/2 pack of cream cheese
-1/2 stick of butter, softened
-2-3 TB REAL maple syrup
-2-3 cups of powdered sugar
-1 TB meringue powder

Powdered sugar can be adjusted on how stiff you want your icing.  I wanted mine to be just at a stage before set, so I used closer to 3 cups.  Mix all of these ingredients well, I mixed and added powdered sugar until mine could hold a peak.

Then I just piped a border and some cute designs on it once the cookie was completely cool.  The good thing about this jellyroll pan is that it comes with a lid and a handle, so taking this thing was SUPER simple. 

This is a great way to do a cookie cake that is completely homemade, not packed with preservatives and questionable amounts of who knows what, and that is a delicious diversion from the relatively tasteless norms that come from the store.

I am sorry, but those things hardly even have a chocolate flavor, much less a quality COOKIE flavor.  You know everything that goes in this cookie, and can easily make it any shape you want to fit the theme of the party.  I also don't mind knowing that the dessert people are downing is part wheat flour instead of all completely white flour!

This was a complete hit for the party, with VERY few leftovers.

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Lemon Poppyseed Wafers

-1/2 C Milk
-1/4 C honey
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-1.5 tsp lemon extract
-2 Cups AP Flour
-1/2 C Wheat Flour
-1 C brown sugar packed
-1 tsp baking soda
-zest of a lemon
-1 TB poppyseed
-1/2 C salted butter (I partially melt mine as I never remember to set things out beforehand)
-powdered sugar for dusting

Mix the milk, honey, extract, and butter all together, and then mix in all the rest.  Chill your dough if you don't want it to be a sticky nightmare.  Or just be prepared to use liberal amounts of flour for dusting your rolling pin and surface.

Roll them out fairly thin, the more thin the more cracker-like they will be, and put them on a greased baking sheet. 

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, this will vary by what kind of baking sheet you are using.  Dark nonstick pans bake a little more quickly, so keep that in mind. 

Spread out some wax paper on a table and transfer them to it when they come out of the oven.  Immediately dust with powdered sugar. 

They are delicious!

Happy crafting. Pin It Now!