September 12, 2012

Cheesy Broccoli and Corn Chowder

Cheesy Broccoli and Corn Chowder

I’ve said here many times that Fall is my favorite season. Summer can never be over fast enough for me. Usually, I’m ready to declare it Fall as of September 1st despite what the actual weather or calendar says. But this year is different. It’s weird. I almost feel like I’m cheating on Fall when I say this, but: I’m not ready for Summer to be over.

It’s not so much that this has been a great summer, in fact it’s been a pretty crappy summer filled with record high temps that chased me back into the safety of my air-conditioned apartment. No, the thing I’m regretting is that I missed out on all of the great produce. Looking back through my archives of last summer, I’m reminded of my Peach Dumplings and Blueberry Donut Muffins and Cantaloupe Pie. Because of the move to Nashville and my blogging hiatus I wasn’t able to cook or bake much at all this summer and I’m sad about that.


December 12, 2011

Molasses Spice Cookies with Orange Sugar

Molasses Spice Cookies

If you couldn’t tell from many of the recipes on this blog, I love to bake and I struggle throughout the year trying to balance the sweet treats with savory and/or healthier recipes. But from Thanksgiving to New Years Day all that falls away and I embrace what I like to call “baking season”. I don’t put restrictions on myself, I don’t worry about calories, I just let loose and make whatever I want and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about anything I eat. It’s my yearly Christmas present to myself.

Cookies are my favorite thing to make during the holiday season and I think I’ve been mentally saving up because I haven’t posted any cookie recipes here since May. So when I heard about the Food Blogger Cookie Swap I immediately signed up. I’d be making cookies anyway so why not share some of them with others?

The thing I didn’t factor in was how difficult it would be to find a good cookie recipe! The main issue was finding cookies that could travel well and that would keep for at least a week. Maybe others didn’t have any trouble with …

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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 …

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January 25, 2012

Tomato Noodle Soup (Homemade Spaghetti-Os!)

Tomato Noodle Soup

Ok, it’s confession time. While my eating habits have improved a lot over the past couple of years, I still have a lot of weaknesses for the unhealthy processed food I used to eat all the time. Things like corn dogs and snack cakes and store bought cookies. But the good thing about learning to cook is that you can learn to make all the “bad” stuff you love. Yes, it may still be unhealthy, but at least you know every single ingredient that went into it and you aren’t consuming any weird chemicals or preservatives. I’ve learned to make Oatmeal Cream Pies and Oreos and chewy Granola Bars and while I can’t say I totally gave up the processed versions of those things, more often than not when I really want them I’ll make them at home.

Spaghetti-Os are another one of my weaknesses. I’m calling them Spaghetti-Os because I think that’s how they are best known, but those are actually made by Campbells. The kind I grew up on was from Chef Boyardee and they were called …

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May 6, 2009

Oatmeal Cream Pies

Oatmeal Cream Pies

I don’t usually post recipes I’ve found on other food blogs (and actually the original recipe is from Recipe Zaar, you see my Delicious account for recipes I like from other food bloggers), but I just had to post this one because these are so awesome. Have you ever eaten a Little Debbie oatmeal cream pie? These are just like them…in fact, they are better. I used to love these when I was kid, but haven’t allowed myself to eat one in years. While these are by no means good for you, you at least know what all the ingredients are and you don’t have to worry about all the chemicals and whatever else crap is in the store bought version. I made a batch for my boyfriend to bring to his office and they were a giant hit with his coworkers who all agreed they liked them better than the originals.

April 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip “Soft Batch” Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip "Soft Batch" Cookies

If you couldn’t tell from previous posts I have quite a long list of store-bought-food-I-want-to-learn-to-make-at-home. After I cleared off Spaghetti-Os, Soft Batch cookies were next on the list. They’re probably my second favorite kind of store-bought cookie (because nothing is better than Oreos). I like them so that I can only ever buy the small packs that you get from gas stations because I can’t trust myself around an entire package. If you’re unfamiliar with these cookies, they’re basically what they sound like: extremely soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies. It’s sort of like eating cookie dough but without the threat of getting sick since they’re baked.

I bookmarked this recipe for Soft Batch cookies a while back and finally got around to trying it out earlier this month. That’s when I realized that although I love the texture of those cookies, they don’t really have much flavor other than the chocolate chips. So I decided to change the recipe a bit and add one of my favorite ingredients: peanut butter! I had to do several tests (Is Cookie Recipe Tester a real job? Because I …

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March 24, 2010

Lemonade Layer Cake

Lemonade Layer Cake

It’s been a while since I posted a dessert here, mainly because I’ve been trying to stay away from things like that, but also because I haven’t found anything that interested me. But since it’s the first week of Spring, I decided I wanted to make a dessert that was light and fruity, nothing chocolate or heavy (which is my usual preference for desserts). So when I was flipping though my beloved Cooking Light cookbook, this recipe jumped right out at me.

But I have a confession: I haven’t made many layer cakes before. Most of the ones I’ve tried have been unmitigated disasters with uneven and/or rounded layers and frosting catastrophes aplenty. So I was bracing myself for another un-perfect cake, but it turns out I didn’t need to worry. This cake should be called “Baby’s First Layer Cake”. Seriously, it’s really easy to make and I didn’t have any of the problems I normally have. For one, the tops didn’t puff up and get rounded like many cakes I’ve baked (I know I could slice them off, but let’s just say I’m not too …

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July 17, 2008

On Failed Recipes

Is it is just me or is it really depressing when you spend a bunch of time to make a new recipe and then it tastes awful?  I think this is one the main reasons I’ve never been a very adventurous eater.  I find things I like and I eat them over and over.  Maybe it gets a little boring to eat the same stuff, but at least I don’t have the disappointed (and hungry) feeling when I try something new and it turns out badly.

But the thing is I am trying to be a more adventurous eater, and I’ve actually been really lucky with all the new recipes I’ve tried since I started cooking.  Until now.  This week I’ve made two things that I just couldn’t finish eating.  And it’s not that I cooked them wrong, it’s that I didn’t like the taste.  Luckily, I think I can make some ingredient changes in both that would make them better.  I guess that’s part of the fun of cooking, though?  Trying new things, seeing what works and what doesn’t.  And hopefully that disappointed feeling doesn’t stay long because instead of dwelling, I’m thinking of ways to make it better next …

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