October 15, 2009

Black and White Cake Cookies

Black and White Cake Cookies

I’m finally back from my little hiatus. We’re settled into our new apartment in Virginia and I’m ready to start cooking again. I was ready to start last week but after two things I tried to bake burnt to a crisp and set off the smoke alarm, it became apparent that the oven was broken. Luckily, the maintenance guy was able to fix it after he ordered a new part and now my oven stays at the right temperature (which I verified with an new oven thermometer, I’m not taking anymore chances with burning the house down).

But while I work on getting some new recipes under my belt, I wanted to finish posting things that I made this past summer. You may have noticed I have a thing for black and white desserts (see Black and White Chocolate Cheesecake Supreme, Black and White Cupcakes and Cheesecake Brownies), so when I saw Black and White Cake Cookies in my new Cooking Light cookbook, I knew I had to try them.

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September 25, 2009

BBA Challenge: The European Trifecta (and some other stuff)

Italian Bread

I’m still here! I just looked at the date on my last post and realized I haven’t posted anything since Sept. 1 and I can’t believe it’s been that long. This month has been a wash due to the fact that I’m moving. Again. Less than a year after I moved back to Orlando. Ugh. But I’m moving to the literal greener pastures of Virginia, which I’m extremely happy about it because it suits me much more than Florida ever did. We weren’t planning to move but my boyfriend found a new job in Charlottesville and we both hate Florida, so it seemed like the best decision for us, despite being incredibly inconvenient. We’re moving up there next week and once I finally get settled in my new apartment — which I chose entirely because of it’s large, well lit kitchen — I’ll be able to start cooking again and posting regularly.

But first I thought I would give an update on the BBA Challenge since I haven’t posted about it in forever. I’m still plodding along with it, though most people …

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September 1, 2009

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Frozen Yogurt (no ice cream maker required!)

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Frozen Yogurt

Thanks to twitter I recently discovered it’s possible to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. I honestly had no idea this was possible and have been actively contemplating buying an ice cream maker this summer after seeing so many great homemade ice cream recipes. But then my popcorn popper died (after weekly use for almost 2 years it was worth it’s $30 price tag) and I decided it was much more important to replace it than to buy an ice cream maker. But just as I had given up on being able to make ice cream, someone on twitter complained about not having an ice cream maker and another person replied with a link to instructions for making it by hand. I did some googling and found some more tips. Turns out it’s really easy. No, not as easy as pouring it into a machine, but for the most part with this method you are letting your freezer and a hand mixer do all the work, so it’s still not especially labor intensive.

First, I had to decide what …

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August 26, 2009

Lasagna Rolls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Lasagna Rolls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This is a fun one! I recently got a new Cooking Light Cookbook so I’ve been trying out lots of different stuff in it. I was looking for something meatless because I decided we should have at least one day a week without meat, as it would be good for our diet as well as our bank account. This just looked like a fun and interesting way to lighten up lasagna and it didn’t disappoint one bit. There was so much good stuff going on, that I didn’t care one bit that there was no meat in it.

The dish is fairly easy to make and doesn’t take too long to prepare. You prepare the three different components separately (the noodles, the cheese filling and the sauce) and then you combine them. I was weary about the sauce since I’m still in the process of accepting peppers into my life after years and years of shunning them for no good reason (ahh, the logic of a picky eater), but in the end …

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August 20, 2009

Light Strawberry-Lemon Muffins

img class=”centered” src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2463/3840762246_ddca3e4635.jpg” alt=”Light Strawberry-Lemon Muffins” width=”500″ height=”376″ />

Well, summer is almost over and strawberry season has ended, and every time I go to the grocery store they always seem to be having a sale on their strawberries, obviously trying to get rid of them as fast as possible. But looking closely at the strawberries, many are bruised or mushy and just don’t look that great. Definitely not something I’d want to display on a strawberry tart. But I have a hard time passing up such a good deal, so I buy these sad looking strawberries and immediately freeze them when I get home for use in smoothies or granita.

But sometimes this means I’ll look in the freezer and see that I have way too many strawberries. I came upon this recipe a while ago when I was looking for a recipe to use up some of these strawberries. It’s pretty much the easiest recipe in the world. You mix up the wet ingredients, including the strawberries, in a blender and combine that with the dry ingredients and you’re done. It’s takes about 5 minutes to make these.

August 12, 2009

Butterscotch Brownie Tart

Butterscotch Brownie Tart

Diet? What diet? Oh, yeah, actually I made this right before I started the diet and am only getting around to posting it now. I guess it was sort of my last hurrah and it was oh so worthy. I was looking for something to make in my new tart pan and found this recipe on Epicurious.com, but had also come across a recipe for butterscotch sauce that I really wanted to make, so I decided to combine the two into one glorious dessert. Ok, well maybe not glorious, but if you like chocolate, brownies and butterscotch like I do, then it’s pretty damn close. The brownie part is rich and fudgey and the butterscotch sauce is buttery and sweet and silky and I just wanted to lick the whole saucepan clean after I made it. It’s especially great when still warm or rewarmed in the microwave. But even at room temperature the sauce never hardens.

As a whole this recipe is very easy to make. There’s some waiting time while you freeze/cook/cool the components to get them ready, but I think that’s pretty …

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August 6, 2009

Asiago-Crusted Pork Chops with Sweet Pea and Pepper Toss

Asiago-Crusted Pork Chops with Sweet Pea and Pepper Toss

I started making a meal plan every week and now that I’ve been doing it for a little while, I have to wonder why I haven’t been doing this all along. It’s saving me so much trouble. Here’s an example of a typical nightly exchange between me and my boyfriend pre-meal plan:

Me: What do you want for dinner?
Him: I don’t know, what do you want for dinner?
Me: Whatever you want.
Him: I want whatever you want.
Me: I forgot to take any meat out of the freezer.
Him: So…pizza or chinese?

It was just unbelievably frustrating and there was no excuse for it other than laziness on our part. Now I’ve been making a meal plan for the upcoming week on Sunday and then I go to the grocery store and buy only the ingredients I need (so I’m saving some money as well since I’m not buying produce or anything that goes bad before we get a chance to eat it). I have it written out on a big white board in my kitchen, so the night before I’m reminded of what I’m making the …

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July 27, 2009

BBA Challenge: Cinnamon Rolls and Raisin Bread

Cinnamon Rolls

It seems like every week I keep saying “this is my favorite”, but hands down, these two breads are my favorite from this challenge. A couple of reasons for this:

1. Both recipes were extremely easy. No waiting a day for pre-ferments, just mix up the ingredients, knead, shape, proof, bake and boom: you have yummy bread in about 4 hours.

2. They’re just good. Period. The raisin bread tasted just like the raisin bread you buy at the store. The cinnamon rolls were just amazing. I could have eaten about a million of them. In fact, after picking out the photos for this entry (it’s been a few weeks since I actually made them), I got such a craving for them that I had to make another batch.