Thumb Print Cookies

These are the first christmas cookies of the season! Normally, I’m not really a fan of sugar cookies but putting jam in them made them a lot better, and not as overwhelmingly sweet. They were really easy to make.

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Sesame Street, Today’s Episode is Brought to You by the Letter “C” for Cupcakes

Lately I’ve been pretty busy packing up and getting ready for study abroad.  But everybody needs a break, so what better break is there than cupcakes?  And what’s easier to draw on a cupcake than a Sesame Street character (basically a ball of color with eyes).

Cookie Monster Cupcakes:

Who hasn’t wanted a snack that makes it so you don’t have to choose between cookies or cupcakes?  This character and my lack of respect for the number of calories I consume have made this dream possible!

First, cut in a space for a mini chocolate chip cookie (I used the break and bake kind) into your cupcake (I used boxed vanilla cake)

A marriage of desserts so perfect you must eat it

Then, Ice around the cookie and all over the rest of the cupcake with blue icing.

Then, add two eyes (I used York Peppermint Patty Bites, they look exactly like albino M&Ms which is admittedly kind of weird)

Non-seeing minty eyeballs for Cookie Monster

Finally, draw on the googly eyes with black icing!

And Voila! You have a monster that is addicted to eating baked goods MADE out of baked goods!

Pictured: Edible Irony

After that you can easily make Cupcake Elmo:

Ice with red icing, add York eyes, draw on eyes with black icing, add a smile with black icing, and finally add a nose with a red Dot

Ta-da!

Eat Me Elmo

Running low on black icing, I decided to make a few Oscar the Grouch cupcakes.  Ice with green icing, add the York eyes, black ice in the eyes and mouths, and add chocolate icing eyebrows/unibrow!

So tasty, I'd pick him up out of his trash can to eat him!

So, there you have it!  Sesame Street cupcakes for no real reason other than to make cupcakes and eat them!

 

Easy crepes- not an oxymoron.

I was craving some crepes a few days ago, so I did my usual routine of googling then after 15 minutes, choosing a recipe. I found this one at Allrecipe.com, and it had great reviews. I just tweaked it a little by adding a half teaspoon of vanilla, just because it sounded good. I promise they are easy to make. And no, I’m not lying. I would actually make these again instead of pancakes. Plus, you get to eat nutella and strawberries for breakfast, who doesn’t like that? Continue reading

More sibling birthdays! Vanilla strawberry cake.

Funny fact, Sammy’s sister and my brother share a birthday! Another fact, Sammy is much more organized than I am. As you can see, her cake was up on the 8th (the shared birthday)… and I am putting mine up now. But even though its not timely it is still tasty! I used good ole’ martha’s versatile vanilla cake, and the recommended frosting that I found here.   *warning* – the frosting is more like a meringue, less like delicious butter cream, and melts if you do not keep it in the fridge.

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Delicious steak!

Ok, so I will openly admit that I did not cook this completely by myself. In fact the actually grilling part I had nothing to do with, but, I made it taste freaking DELICIOUS with a marinade that I made up. Really, try this. Then give the steak to your dad to cook on the grill, it’s better that way. The recipe was inspired by a Tuscan style marinade that I stumbled upon, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients so I made up something new along the same lines.

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Cheeseburger Cake; Doesn’t contain cheese or burger

Today happens to be my sister’s birthday.  This year she made a special request for a cake shaped like a cheeseburger.  Honestly, it wasn’t too surprising considering last year I made her a cake of two great white sharks fighting each other.  Interesting cakes are normal for my sister’s birthday.  Luckily, she found instructions for making said cheeseburger cake in the July/August 2011 edition of the Food Network Magazine.  So here we go.

Ingredients:

  • 2  18.25 ounce boxes of chocolate cake mix
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup green decorating sugar or granulated sugar
  • 8 spearmint leaf gummy candies (I could only find lime gummies that worked)
  • 3 ounces orange rolled fondant
  • Cornstarch for dusting
  • 1 16 ounce tub vanilla frosting
  • 1 16 ounce tub chocolate frosting
  • 3/4 tsp yellow food coloring (I only had gel food coloring, so I sort of guessed)
  • 5 drops red food coloring (again only gel food coloring)
  • 2 tbsp crispy rice cereal

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray a 2 1/2 quart ovenproof bowl and 2 8 inch round cake pans with cooking spray.  Beat the cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil in a large bowl with a mixer.
  2. Divide the batter among the bowl and pans.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.  It will be about 25 minutes for the pans and 45 minutes for the bowl.  Cool in the pans and bowl for about 15 minutes and then unmold onto the racks.                                                    
  3. Make the lettuce by sprinkiling the candies with the sugar and rolling them out.  Keep sprinkling with sugar to keep them from sticking.  Cut each gummy in half and fold them like an accordion to get a lettuce look.
  4. Next make the cheese.  Roll out the orange fondant on a cornstarch dusted surface.  Trim the fondant into a 7 inch square.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.                                            
  5. Trim the top of the cakes and the flat side of the bowl cake.  Crumble up the trimmings and keep them.  Mix the vanilla frosting, 4 tbsp of chocolate frosting, and the red and yellow food coloring to make light brown frosting.
  6. Make the bottom bun by frosting one of the round cakes with the light brown frosting.  Then place the green gummy candy lettuce around the edge of the cake.
  7. To make the burger, spread the chocolate frosting over the top and sides of the other round cake.  Then press the crumbles from the cake trimmings into the frosting.
  8. Put the chocolate burger on top of the bottom bun and lettuce.  Then drape the orange fondant cheese slice on top of the burger cake.  Frost the bowl cake with the rest of the light brown frosting and place on top of the cheese.  Then add the rice cereal as sesame seeds on the top bun.

And Ta-Da!

Sorry if this was a super quick post, but it’s my sister’s birthday! Time to get back to the party!

 

Chicken Parmesan at least pretty much

I decided to make chicken parmesan for the new season of Jersey Shore!  No judgement.  I like to make fun of idiots and it’s far easier to make fun of someone with roid rage or acrylic nails (or in the Situation’s case probably both) when they can’t hear me.  Cue Italian dinner that is as authentically Italian as the Jersey Shore stars themselves.  So, not that authentic.  I mean how authentic can an Italian dinner be when it’s made in America by an Irish/English/Swiss woman?  About as fake as a spray tan huh?  But to get a little bit closer to something remotely Italian I got the recipe from Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network website.  I’m going to be honest though, I was a bit lazy on this recipe and ended up winging it on a lot of the steps.  Not a lot of actually measuring went down, so good thing it wasn’t a carpentry project I guess.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp of olive oil (I used 6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil because I do what I want)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves (I used 2ish)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves (I used 2ish)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves (I used 2ish and it wasn’t Italian and I don’t know what makes parsley Italian or not)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (I didn’t freshly grind it and I’m not even sure how much I threw in there, but hey she didn’t really give any suggestions on amount either)
  • 8 (3 ounce each) chicken cutlets (I used a lot of chicken tenders instead)
  • 1 1/2 cups of marinara sauce (I used a whole can)
  • 1/2 shredded mozzarella (I used a whole package)
  • 16 tsp grated parmesan cheese (I just sprinkled it all over it until I felt satisfied with the cheesiness)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter butter, chopped into pieces

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 500.
  2. Stir together the oil and herbs in a small bowl.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper.                                            
  3. Brush both sides of the cutlets with the herb oil.  <— If you’re wondering what I’m brushing those chicken tenders with I’m sorry, but I don’t know either.  It was kind of like a mustard squirt bottle with a brush on the end…?
  4. Heat an large oven proof skillet on high heat.  Add the cutlets and cook until brown (about 2 minutes on both sides).  And remove the skillet from heat.  <—Action shot!
  5. Spoon the marinara sauce over and around the cutlets.  Sprinkle 1 tsp of mozzarella over each cutlet.  Then sprinkle 2 tsp of parmesan over each cutlet.  Sprinkle the butter pieces atop the cutlets.  <—I moved them from the skillet to a casserole dish because I had waaaayyyy too many chicken tenders.  Hence the larger portions of cheese and marinara sauce and herb oil.
  6. Bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through about 3 to 5 minutes.                                          <—  God declared there shall be cheesy chicken goodness for all on Jersday and it was so.

Surprisingly, all the little changes didn’t ruin the meal and everyone who ate it really enjoyed.  In fact, they decided that “family” dinner should be a weekly occurence, so you’ll be seeing a lot of entrees.  I also had some asparagus and rolls to go with the meal, but those weren’t half as exciting as the chicken parmesan (kind of) dish.

Guest Post – Ice Cream

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Hello all!

I am Leanne, posting from Vermont, and today I’m trying out a new ice cream flavor, strawberry cheescake!  I have an ice cream maker, but in case you don’t I’ll modify some of the steps so that you can make it without.  I made this whole recipe up, and it doesn’t have to be exact so if you are lacking on some ingredients, just substitute with whatever seems good. Also if your making it without an ice cream maker you’ll find that it’s hard work to churn so you might want to halve or even only do a quarter of the recipe.  I’m terrible at math, so I’ll allow you all to figure out the calculations.

Ingredients:

  • Ice Cream maker or two large plastic bags, one bigger than the other
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 8oz. whipped cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • spoon full or two of strawberry jam
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • handful of quartered strawberries
  • for those of you without an ice cream maker your going to need some salt, ice cubes, and maybe some gloves

1.  Pour the milk, cream, and half-and-half into a large bowl

2.  Add the sugar and whisk until the sugar disintegrates

3.  Beat the egg in a measuring cup and add in the vanilla

4.  Scoop out the cream cheese, and whisk it til it’s smooth.  I noticed that when you stop mixing it becomes sort of clumpy but don’t worry it will smooth out when it starts to get cold

5.  I put in a dollop of strawberry jam, mostly because i found it in the fridge, but it gave it a nice fruity taste.  After this, you should taste it and if you feel it needs more sugar or jam go ahead and add it in

6.  Chill the mix in the freezer for 20ish minutes, if your not using an ice cream machine, you might want to chill it longer

7.  After it’s cold give it another stir and throw it in the ice cream machine.  I kept it in for 15 minutes and throw in your quartered strawberries about 10 minutes in.

8.  If you don’t have an ice cream maker pour your mix in the smaller of your plastic bags

9.  In the bigger bag, throw in a lot of ice and some salt, then put the bag with the cream base, and shake!

10.  This is when you might need those gloves, because your hands are going to get cold too!  Keep shaking until the base has an ice cream like consistency

Voila!  I have to say it turned out pretty well for an experiment.  If you liked this recipe you should check out my blog as I’m going to be posting more ice cream experiments until the end of summer Of Fluff and Other Stuff