Hello again!!

10 Dec

So sorry to any readers (if you’re out there… somewhere…) that I have not posted in a (long) while.  Life has been random and busy and I have neglected my love of cooking recently.

Anyways…

Right now I am thinking BAKING! ‘Tis the season to indulge in the sweet stuff and I am having trouble this year (again) deciding what my second baked good will be.  Of course numero uno is Nestle’ Tollhouse Chocolate chip cookies, but recently I have taken to making a second sweet, just to try something new and expand my horizons!  In years past I have done a Chambord thumbprint cookie, and last year I took my first try at making chocolate truffles.

This is the list of sweets I have it narrowed down to this year… if anyone out there has found this lil corner of the world yet, please feel free to vote!

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/chocolate-pistachio-cookies-00100000069983/

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/toffee-chocolate-chip-cookies-00100000069985/

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/raspberry-rugelach-00100000069987/

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/buckeyes-00100000069999/

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/brown-sugar-drop-cookies-00100000069981/

(as you can see… I totally love Real Simple!  I generally read the magazine and truly enjoy it.  I find their recipe section on the web a lil annoying because I can’t seem to get the review section to ever load so I can check out opinions of those who have made the dishes… but eh!)

A lil Somethin’ Somethin’….

13 Aug

So I am pretty much in love with Real Simple http://www.realsimple.com/  and in one of their past issues they had a great article full of baking tips… some were just too good not to share!

  • Bring eggs to room temp when baking.  This allows for proper incorporation of the egg in your baking mix (I actually saw this one on Cupcake Girls the other day too… )
  • Spoon flour into measuring cup instead of scooping flour with measuring cup (so guilty of this one!) This prevents compaction of flour aka too much flour
  • Don’t let baking pans touch oven walls (leads to poor air circulation) and if using two racks stagger baking pans
  • Rotate baking pans…especially if you know your oven is not that even (soooo guilty of not doing this one too) This helps to create even baking
  • Cool cakes upside down…this makes for a flatter surface for decorating and frosting (genius!)

Thanks again to Real Simple May 2011 http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/baking/baking-tips-00000000056653/index.html

As for the cupcakes pictured…..  Devils Food with Strawberry Preserve filling topped with a Chocolate Ganache and Fresh Strawberry.  Totally easy.

I Have A Love Affair With Carbs…..

5 Aug

Carbs and I are really great friends, almost as good of friends as salt, tiramisu, and wine (not at once..I’m not that weird).  However, even I don’t feel like having pasta sometimes.  Tonight is one of those nights, so I made my Spaghetti Squash “pasta” dish instead.  Spaghetti Squash is awesome, it takes a bit of time to bake in order to get the right texture which is annoying, but once you do it is absolutely delicious.

 

 

 

Spaghetti Squash is totally easy to take a part once you get it cooked to the texture you desire, simply take two forks and pull it apart.  The squash will come off of its skin with ease and will make awesome strands, just like spaghetti.

For dinner tonight I paired the squash with a homemade tomato sauce with zucchini, onions, and I threw in some Italian sausage for protein.  I usually like to put fresh green beans in with this dish as well, but didn’t get to it tonight.  I seasoned the sauce with some fresh ground pepper, garlic, salt, and red pepper flake for a bit of flare.  I cook all of this with a smidgen of olive oil while the squash is cooking in the oven.  When I have the squash shredded I add it to the mix over low heat and add a little bit of butter just to give the sauce a velvety smooth texture over the squash when you take a bite.

 

Dear Spaghetti Squash,

5 Aug

My dearest Spaghetti Squash, I love you so much.  But I hate that you take 80 hours to cook.  I am making a delicious meal with you tonight and would like to eat before the sun goes down.  So HURRY UP!  Many thanks.

Cheese Sale = Mac ‘n’ Cheese!

31 Jul

So Albertsons had this really awesome sale…. or so I thought, on cheese.   In their ad they have Kraft Cheese for $1…A DOLLAR?!?!  That’s a bargain!  Ok, well I got to the store and it turns out it wasn’t that great of a deal; the sale was only for their 3 oz. packages  It was still a decent enough deal, and at that point I had a large enough craving for mac ‘n’ cheese, that I bought some.

My latest trick with Mac ‘n’ Cheese is that I have been putting some of that new Philly Cooking Creme in it (thank you Paula Deen for telling America about PCC).  I mean this stuff is gold, it makes your mac, lip smackin’ delish!  (Sidenote:  The Italian Herb and Cheese flavor of PCC is WAAAAY overwhelming.. and I truly do not reccomend it… It tasted like I put the whole herb garden in a food processor and stuck a straw in it!)

This image is not of tonight’s mac, tonight I did not go with the breadcrumbs  (which btw, mix with butter before putting it on the top and baking and it is velvety delicious…I don’t even like breadcrumbs on pasta and this way is super yumm-o).

*Check out the casserole dish! Way cute, dishwasher safe and only cost $4!  Thank you Target Valentine’s day Clearance!!

Ok, so here goes….

29 Jul

After many people telling me that I should do so, I have finally decided to make a food blog.  I am new to this, so bare with me while I get this all figured out….

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