March 7, 2012

Crispy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Granola

Crispy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Granola

We’ve already established that I love those crispy, chewy granola bars and I’m always on the look out for snacks like that so when I found this recipe I was almost angry with myself for not coming up with it on my own. Granola…with Rice Krispies in it. It’s so simple and obvious! It’s basically those granola bars without the extra step of making bars. I’ve always liked granola but it turns out this one simple addition was all I needed to fall in love with it.

Of course, it’s not quite as simple as adding some rice cereal to oats. The thing that makes this granola a real treat is the chocolate. The oats and cereal (and pecans if you want, I left them out) are coated in a chocolate-honey mixture and everything is baked until it’s nice and toasty. Then to make it extra good (and healthier) the granola is topped off with some dried cherries or cranberries. Eat this chocolate granola with milk like a cereal (with bonus chocolate milk left over!) or sprinkle it on your yogurt or you can just do what I …

Read the Rest »


December 21, 2009

Christmas Cookies!

Christmas Tree Cookies

I may have gone a bit cookie crazy. Besides my Peppermint Fudge Pinwheels, I have two more cookie recipes to share. Well, it’s more like one recipe and one technique, but I’ll get to that.

I’ve never been able to find a sugar cookie that I actually like. I’ve tried about a million and they all just taste blah to me. But I think that’s just the kind of person I am. Brandon told me the other day that I have tendency to put too much flavoring in the things I bake and that may be true, but I just want something that tastes like…something. I hate blah food. Even something that has too much flavor is better than something that doesn’t have any. But I think this is just that age old debate of people who like vanilla ice cream and people who like chocolate. Of course I choose chocolate! The only time I’ll eat vanilla ice cream is if it’s covered in fudge or caramel.

Anyway, I’m not sure I even have a point other than to say that this desire for flavor translates into everything I cook and share on this blog. I make a lot of stuff that I don’t share here because it’s boring or basic. I always try to find recipes that are fun (at least to me). Which leads me to these totally adorable Christmas Tree Cookies. They are fun and easy to make and did I mention how adorable they are? But that’s not even the best part of them. The original recipe was for plain ol’ sugar cookies, but of course I modified them! The best part is that they taste just like cinnamon graham crackers, which are my absolute favorite. And my boyfriend, Mr. You-put-too-much flavoring, actually said that these were perfect! And he hates cinnamon, so if he likes these cookies, anyone will.

Christmas Tree Cookies Christmas Tree Cookies

I bet these cookies would be fun to make if you have kids. You divide the dough into three rolls which you cover in green sugar, then after they’ve chilled for a while, you just sliced them up and bake. I think kids would definitely have fun assembling the little trees; I did and I’m almost 30 years old! These would be really festive and pretty for a party and they keep well in an air-tight container. As with all Betty Crocker cookies I’ve made (or maybe it’s just a personal preference?) I think these taste better the day after you bake them.

Christmas Cookies

The other kind of cookies I made are technically called Stained Glass cookies, but I’m not sure that’s really accurate, especially after I modified them. I have seen recipes for stained glass cookies that actually have a little transparent window of sugar in them and these are not like those at all. These are just your basic sugar cookie recipe, but you divide up the dough and color parts of it with food coloring.

You are supposed to cut out shapes with cookie cutters in the uncolored dough and then cut up the colored doughs into little squares and arrange them on top of the uncolored cut-outs so that it looks like a stained glass window. But OH MY GOD, that is tedious. Seriously, I did about 3 cookies like that and I was done. It took forever and the colored dough kept getting too soft so I had to keep freezing it every 5 minutes. I was about ready to shoot someone and that is not the attitude you should have when making Christmas cookies! It’s supposed to be fun, not mind-numbing. So I pretty much just gave up on the whole “stained glass” thing and just cut out circles and whatever else I wanted. Then I took the colored doughs and cut them with cookie cutters and added more little details. It was much more fun when I could just do what I wanted to.

Christmas Cookies Christmas Cookies

Despite all that work, the cookies that came out were pretty but they were blah. Just about the blandest sugar cookies I’ve ever tasted: they weren’t even that sweet! So I won’t be posting that recipe, but the technique is still interesting and fun (as long as you do what you want and don’t try to kill yourself being “perfect”), and it should work with your favorite sugar cookie recipe.

Read the Rest »

August 4, 2011

Lemon-glazed Blueberry Donut Muffins

Lemon-glazed Blueberry Donut Muffins

I go back and forth a lot on what my favorite food is, but donuts are definitely in the top five and likely to be in the top spot most days. Despite that, I don’t buy them very much. I’m just not the kind of person who can eat one donut and be satisfied. And ultimately, I don’t mind staying away from donuts because then when I do eat them they taste pretty magical.

But sometimes you just get a craving that won’t go away. I’ve made homemade donuts before but was not in the mood for the hassle of cutting and frying dough and I don’t have one of those donut pans to make cake donuts in. Then I remembered this recipe for donut muffins that I printed out ages ago and decided it was finally time to give it a try. Cut to this week, now the second time I’ve made them in the past month and I think I have a problem. I can’t stop making them! No, they aren’t quite as good as real fried donuts, but they do have the exact same taste and texture …

Read the Rest »

July 24, 2008

Cheesecake Supreme with Oreo Cookie Crust

Cheesecake Supreme

It was my boyfriend’s birthday last weekend and I wanted to make him something special despite the fact that he didn’t really want to celebrate his birthday. The problem is that he doesn’t like many traditional desserts, most especially cake. I can’t even conceive of disliking cake, but somehow he does. Thankfully, though, he does love cheesecake (which he vehemently insists is not really a cake, so much does the taint of the word “cake” bother him). But even having found a dessert he actually likes, he’s almost impossible to entirely please because every single cheesecake I’ve made for him in the past, though always praised as “good” comes with the disclaimer of “but not as good as the New York cheesecake I had that one time”. AAARRRRRRGGGGGGG! So I have made it my mission of find and make a real New York style cheesecake and this time I think I found it. I actually got a “I really like this” out of him, no disclaimers!

October 19, 2010

Hearty Beef and Potato Stew

Hearty Beef and Potato Stew

I’ve posted a lot of sweet stuff lately, so I decided it was time to switch things up and post something healthier. Since the weather finally started turning cooler this month, I’ve been on the look out for some new soups or stews that I love as much as my chicken tortilla and chicken pot pie soups. Unfortunately, there are a lot of soups out there that are bland and boring, but after trying out two disappointing soups I was happy to find out that the third time was the charm with this recipe.

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 …

Read the Rest »

February 4, 2010

Quickie: Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Smores

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter S'mores

I’m doing Project 365 this year, which is a challenge to take a picture every single day for a full year. It’s a month in and I’m already starting to run out of ideas of what to take pictures of. Last week I was sitting in my kitchen trying to come up with something, but my mind kept wandering to dessert (this is not unusual). Then I realized: I should take a picture of dessert! Perfect.

This is my favorite go-to snack. I always have all the ingredients in my pantry and when I’m having a chocolate craving I can make a couple of these in 5 minutes, which is much faster (and healthier) than making up a batch of cookies or brownies. It’s not a mind-blowing dessert or anything, but when I posted this picture on flickr a lot of people commented saying how good it looked, so I decided I should share it with all my wonderful foodblog readers as well! Because maybe you guys have never thought to add peanut butter to s’mores? Seriously, peanut butter makes everything better.

August 7, 2008

Sugar and Spice Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Have you ever seen two different recipes for the same thing and didn’t know which one to make? That happens to me all the time. Sometimes I don’t bother at all, thinking it’s too much pressure to pick the “right” recipe, but if it’s something that looks really good I might just make both and see what I like better. That is the case for these dueling snickerdoodle recipes that I found on two or my favorite sites: What Geeks Eat and Simply Recipes. The big difference between the recipes is the Shuna’s at Simply Recipes has cornstarch, while Vanessa’s has the more traditional cream of tartar. You can go read Shuna’s post about why cornstarch is special. Due to this different “secret” ingredient in the cookies, I found the outcome of both to be completely different tasting cookies.

If you are cookie dough connoisseur, the cornstarch recipe wins hands down. I LOVE cookie dough, but I could barely eat any of the other recipe because it was too flour-y. The problem comes after you bake them. The cornstarch cookies have a really nice …

Read the Rest »