Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 11 of 2011!

Top 11 of 2011!

Hello! I'm back!
I missed this blog of mine, but I had an amazing Christmas and got to spend some much needed time with family and friends. (I also bought a super duper awesome new camera that I'm so excited to take pictures of food with! I'm such a weirdo.) But now, New Year's is creeping up on me! 2011 has been such a crazy year. I've had a bunch of acting work, I got a new day job, dealt with another case of roommate drama, STARTED THIS BLOG, Michael moved here, we got our amazing apartment, and it feels like my life has started this year! (Here's hoping next year sees a ring ;) )

Most of my favorite food bloggers have been doing lists of the top viewed and of their favorite recipes. I love the idea, so here's my round up! First your favorites, then mine. :)


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ohio for Christmas!


My house back in Ohio (this is only partially decorated). Excuse the old cellphone picture.


Today I am getting on the 12:20 PM Megabus to Pittsburgh (where I will then be picked up by my mom and grandma and driven 2 hours back home.)

I am SO excited-I shall be spending time with my family and very best friends, and just enjoying the holiday.
And let's not forget that Christmas is this Sunday!
(but also- Happy Hanukkah to everyone!)
I'm going to wake up early, open presents, see lots of loved ones and eat!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mini Apple Pies-Take 2: Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week 15 (Pie)

Mini Apple Pies

Now, the moment you've all been waiting for-the ridiculously easy, boyfriend-approved (which, trust me-for apple pie-that's big) mini apple pies!

I made these for Michael for Thanksgiving. I was making pumpkin pies, which he does not like, and I didn't want him to not have a dessert, too! The problem with making an entire apple pie is, if it's just for him, he has a hard time finishing it before it "goes bad". So, I had the brilliant idea that mini apple pies might be just the ticket!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Perfect All-Butter Pie Crust-Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week 15 (Pie) UPDATED PHOTOS

Can I tell you something?

I used to be afraid of homemade pie crust.

I had two reasons.
  1. My mom always ranted about what a hassle it was, and how store bought is just as good without ALL that hard work.
  2. My boyfriend's mom (my Mama Maria) is, like, the queen of pie. Her pie crust is spoken of in reverent tones. So, you know, intimidating.
For my birthday, Mama Maria got me (in addition to a lovely apron) the new edition of The Betty Crocker Cookbook. Until that point I hadn't even bothered to look for a pie crust recipe, because I knew only hers would do. However, she informed me her recipe was in that book-yay!

Fast forward a month (because I got my present early) to Thanksgiving. I was making 3 pumpkin pies for myself (and, I thought, Brandon) and some mini apple pies for Michael (recipe coming soon!). Well, first of all--when I found the recipe for the mini apple pies, it had the crust recipe for it too, and it had a way for me to make it with a food processor, and it was all butter (no shortening-thank God! I hate shortening. I don't have any and I don't want to get any.) So I was pretty excited about that, actually. But, for the pumpkin pies, I had decided to do what my mom did and just buy Pillsbury pre-made crusts.

Baking day came. Everything was ready. I had just mixed up the pumpkin filling. Then I took out the crusts and....realized they were the wrong kind. My mom's instructions hadn't been quite specific enough. So, I was stuck with these two pre-made pie crusts that were in their own little tins (thusly needing no pie plate) and were FAR too small for the amount of filling. I knew I'd need at least one more pie. So-I did what I had to do. I looked in the Betty Crocker Cookbook-but, unfortunately, there was no pie crust recipe that didn't have at least some shortening. I googled, in search for an all-butter pie crust recipe I could use. And I found one. And I used the food processor method I had read about for the mini apple pies to make it super easy! In the end-my oops was a happy HAPPY accident! With that extra pie crust, the filling filled all three pies up PERFECTLY. And after baking it was obvious which pie was the prettiest (and after tasting it was obvious which pie was the tastiest). 

But there was one more hurdle. Michael's the one who likes fruit pies. He's the one who, more often than not, would be wanting the pies that had this sort of crust. Would it compare to his mom's?

Answer=Yes! He proclaimed the crust was just as good! 

Yay! I don't have to use shortening! 

And neither do you--use this recipe. Because, seriously, with the food processor method, I don't know what my mom was talking about. This is in no way difficult, and it is definitely worth it!


(Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Nine , and Week 10 Parts 1 and 2,Week 11 Parts 1 and 2, Week 12 Part 1 and 2 and Week 14 Parts 1 and 2)

Perfect All-Butter Pie Crust

Very slightly adapted from Food For My Family


Perfect All-Butter Pie Crust

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Caramel Corn-Take 2: Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week 14 (Holiday Entertaining)

Caramel Corn
When you think about nostalgic, classic images of Christmas-one that pops into my head is of people decorating their trees with apples and pine cones and strands of popcorn. Something about popcorn just goes with the holidays (and...admittedly....I just love popcorn always. But I digress.) Up until recently, I wasn't a huge fan of caramel corn. I'm unsure why. I think because I'm generally not a caramel fan, so I assumed. But last summer, while I was filming You Can't Kill Stephen King in Maine, we were provided with free popcorn by Michele's Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn. I became an addict. So, when I recently saw this recipe on Sing for Your Supper, I knew it was time to try my hand at making some on my own. It was so amazing I can't even say. Michael had his work friends impressed and he and I couldn't stop munching on this stuff! This is also perfect for holiday entertaining-put out a bowl of this caramel corn, at any party really, and that bowl will disappear within moments. Now go! Make this and do some holiday stuff. I'm currently watching some of my favorite Christmas movies (on right now is a TV movie-"Once Upon A Christmas"). :)

(Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Nine , and Week 10 Parts 1 and 2,Week 11 Parts 1 and 2, Week 12 Part 1 and 2 and Week 14 Part 1)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just Chicken Pot Pie-Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week 14 (Holiday Entertaining)

Just Chicken Pot Pie
I'm apparently hopeless at entertaining. The last two times I tried...well...let's just say very few/no one showed up. Perhaps someday this will change. But for now, I'm resigning myself to just having things for Michael and I. Which, actually, is fine with me :). Anyway, this week for The Holiday Recipe Exchange we're supposed to post recipes for Holiday Entertaining. Since I can't really speak with experience on this, I'll post things that I imagine I could/would prepare if I were to entertain at the holidays. This pie seemed like something that would be really great for just such a thing. I've made this twice now (first with a Betty Crocker mix for the crust and the second time with my new go-to pie crust recipe, which I will share with you soon). Michael and I both aren't huge fans of the traditional pot pie. Maybe it's too many vegetables. I don't know. When I stumbled upon this recipe, dubbed "Just Chicken" Pot Pie-I knew maybe this could be something good. And oh boy it is good! The crust tastes buttery and delicious and pairs perfectlt with this insanely delicious, unmistakably chicken tasting, filling. It's hot and filling and is so perfect for these cold months (that, admittedly, the cold has just now started to kick in up here in NY). I know if you served this at a holiday party/function, all the guests would be in love with you (well...unless they're vegetarians)-and that's a promise!
Just Chicken Pot Pie

(Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Nine , and Week 10 Parts 1 and 2,Week 11 Parts 1 and 2, and Week 12 Part 1 and 2)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Easy-NO ICE CREAM MAKER-2 Ingredient Ice Cream-Take 2: Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week 11 (Vanilla/Vanilla Beans)

Ice cream is okay.

I mean, it's good. I like it. It's just...
I could have chocolate instead.

Don't get me wrong, sometimes that mood hits me and I really want some ice cream like right that second. But in general, there are desserts I'd prefer (like this or this.)

The boy, however, he loves him some ice cream.
It's a part of that whole "refreshing" obsession he seems to have.

Anyway, I'm becoming a big fan of having as much of stuff I make be as homemade as possible. 

Then I saw something about ways to make ice cream with only 2 ingredients (plus mix-ins). Then I saw it again. I was intrigued. Not only because of the short ingredient list, but also-it requires no ice cream maker of any sort. Which is good, because I don't have one (still holding out on getting that KitchenAid Stand Mixer someday, then the ice cream attachment :P)

I had a recipe for a mixed berry milkshake I had been planning to make for Michael (like the nice girlfriend I am). And I decided that was the perfect time to attempt this ice cream.

I only needed vanilla ice cream for the milkshake (as opposed to the various different flavors I'd read about)-so I decided adding some vanilla extract to the base would create what I was looking for.
It worked!
It's awesome. Doesn't taste different than any other ice cream. 
And it.is.so.EASY!
I'm super excited to attempt the different, fun kinds!

(oh, and the boy approved)


(Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Nine , and Week 10 Parts 1 and 2,Week 11 Parts 1 and 2, and Week 12 Part 1)

2 Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream



Easy-NO ICE CREAM MAKER-2 Ingredient Ice Cream

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Supposedly "Right Way To Make" Cinnamon Toast-Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week 12 (Vanilla/Vanilla Beans)

I had a great weekend with my mom :). Spending some time with her made me think about when I was little, it brings me right back to childhood. Whenever I had an upset tummy (or was just in the mood) my mom would make me cinnamon sugar toast. And it always tasted great. It was comforting. Well, fast forward a lot of years to me in my food blog obsession (a phase that is obviously not going away :P) I was going through all of the recipes on The Pioneer Woman (as I always do when I find a new food blog) and found her very passionate post about making cinnamon toast "the right way". She then gave examples of 4 ways you can make it. And her absolute WORST method-was the one I had so fondly grown up with. I was shocked. I had no idea apparently I'd been eating inferior cinnamon toast all along. So I decided to try out her superior method. And....
I mean...it's good. There's nothing wrong with it. It's just....
I still like mine the old fashioned way.
But! This is pretty tasty-and since The Holiday Recipe Exchange is featuring vanilla, and that is this recipe's secret ingredient (and one that, in my opinion, was actually a little overpowering in this), I thought now was the time to share my findings with you and let you decide for yourself how you like your cinnamon toast.

And if you'd be ever so sweet to share your opinions, you know I'd just love you forever :)

(Other Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Nine , and Week 10 Parts 1 and 2 and Week 11 Parts 1 and 2)


Cinnamon Toast "The Right Way"



The Supposedly "Right Way To Make" Cinnamon Toast

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Recipe for a Great Weekend

I know she looks like a teen mom here-but she was 22, I promise. Just looks young :P
 My mommy's here.
I'm so excited.
We're going to go see NYC all Christmas-y.
I hope you have a great weekend too :)
I love this pic of us. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Butter-less Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies-Take 2: Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week 11 (Holiday Cookies)

As I previously explained, I am working on creating my own holiday baking traditions. 
You know what we have a lot of around the holidays? 

Butter.

And you know what's great about this recipe? 

NO. BUTTER.

Forreals. It seems the large amount of peanut butter in this recipe takes over the role of the butter. And peanut butter is good for you (protein and all that). Thusly I dub these cookies healthy and say you can feel good about eating these and you know....eat 6 of them. 
It's OK, because they have no butter!

(Other Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Nine , and Week 10 Parts 1 and 2 and Week 11 Part 1)

Butter-less Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies



Butter-less Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 20-24 cookies

Something Special Cookies-Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week 11 (Holiday Cookies)

Something Special Cookies
Yes! It's finally here! Thanksgiving is over, which means I am within all rights to FREAK OUT about CHRISTMAS!!!! Yay! I've already begun watching some of my Christmas movies, all the gifts are bought, and my mom is coming to visit this weekend to see NYC all Christmasified and to bring us some more decorations! Eee! 

I had a normal childhood. Christmas was a time of my mom OVERHAULING the sweets. We always had sugar cookie cut-outs, which my mom, brother, and I all decorated (mine were always the most creative. Also...I never liked to eat them. I just liked decorating.) Mom also, of course, made chocolate chip cookies-which again, I was never a fan of (thin...crunchy...no way for a cookie to be)-HOWEVER-the dough was BOMB so my dad and I would always sneak some while it rested in the fridge. On top of that she usually made some other cookies (usually pre-made dough from tubs, etc.) and candy. The candy is what we used to impress everyone else. But anyway, as is obvious, there are no holiday cookie recipes that I exactly wanted from my mom (the only cookie recipe I could think of that I'd want from a family member is maybe the anise cut outs and pizzelle recipes that the Blognas have) . And now, it's just Michael and I here, until I visit home just before Christmas. And when I'm there mom will be the one baking, not me. And, since I don't have any kids yet, I'm in this very strange place as far as holiday traditions go. So, for this holiday recipe exchange post about holiday cookies, I want to share with you a new discovery. They're chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter cookies...but...there's just something...different about them. (psst....it's the cinnamon) Anyway, they taste like they should be made for Christmas, comforting with just a hint of that holiday spirit! And, on another plus note, they're diabetic friendly (I got these from a diabetic site...I don't know why. This is a recipe I stock piled a looong time ago). Regardless! These are super tasty, a little better for you, and I hope that maybe they'll be added to you holiday repertoire. Will they become a part of my future one? Only time will tell :)

(Other Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Nine , and Week 10 Parts 1 and 2)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

25 Things About Me

One of the blogs I frequent, The Baker Chick, posted 25 things about her, and she said it's starting to circulate the blog community. Like her, I remember when that was a big thing on facebook, and I almost wrote it off. However, I think she has a point. How much do we really know about bloggers? If you're like me, you visit their blogs every day, eager to read and see if you can obtain a new recipe. And you barely know them. Seems silly. So, I'm going to join in!

25 Things about Kayle (The Cooking Actress)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Smashed Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes
And it's over! My first time hosting my own Thanksgiving and it is done. And I can't wait to do it again next year :D. I'll be sharing, every now and then, the recipes I used, and I decided to start it off with these smashed potatoes. The difference (to my understanding) between "smashed" and "mashed" potatoes is you leave skins on and just use a masher and leave it kind of lumpy for smashed potatoes, whereas for mashed they are skinless and you use a mixer to get them creamy. Anyway, these were great. They were simple to make, especially with my boy helping with the mashing:
Smashed Potatoes

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Me, in my amazing apron I got for my birthday from Mama Maria. Ready to start cooking!
One of the mini apple pies I made for Michael (recipe to follow)
My 3 pumpkin pies (1 has a homemade crust...guess which?  Homemade crust recipe to follow as well.)
I've had like....a lot of these. And that's a piece with the homemade crust, for the record.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Butter Baked Chicken-Take 2:Holiday Recipe Exchange:Week 10 (Butter)

Butter Baked Chicken
Note: None of what I am about to write about pertains to this recipe. It's good-go try it. Now listen to me ramble:
As this post is another submission for The Holiday Recipe Exchange (view Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Nine , and Part 1 Week 10) let's talk about the upcoming holiday, shall we? Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. This is the first Thanksgiving I have ever hosted, or even got close to hosting. Growing up, we always spent Thanksgiving day at my paternal grandparents' house (which oftentimes meant we had spaghetti for Thanksgiving dinner--NO COMPLAINTS!) and we celebrated with my mom's side on the following Sunday. My mom has never hosted it. So I've never seen the full of thing up close. All I know is that she made Pumpkin Pie (and I am doing the same-even using the same recipe!....Yes...it's the one from the back of the can...shut up I love it.). Last year I wasn't able to go home, but I worked that day (as Michael was still in Ohio)-so...obviously...no real effort there. This year I'm hosting a "small" dinner at our apartment with me, Michael, and my friends Brandon and (maybe) Trish. I say "small" because, although it is very few guests....I'm making a lot of food. What are we having? Well....

Main Course: 
Turkey, duh. But, specifically, as I am a little nervous to make a whole one (and since there are only a few of us) my mom gave us two Butterball Turkey breasts. I'm still kind of nervous...

Side Dishes: 
Rolls (brought by Brandon)
Cranberry sauce (also brought by Brandon. I don't like it. Him and Michael do, so, whatever)
Gravy (there are packets that came with the turkey)
Corn (frozen corn of the cob...I just need to cook it a little. Then I'll cut it off the cob, just because it's easier)


Dessert:
Pumpkin Pie (previously mentioned)
Mini apple pies (for Michael-he doesn't like pumpkin pie-, and maybe Brandon too.)

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies-Holiday Recipe Exchange:Week 10 (Butter).

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
I'd heard the hype, I knew all about browned butter. And I believed it, it sounded awesome. And you know what?

It. is. AWESOME.

This was exactly as amazing as I expected. For those of you who don't know:
When you cook butter until it browns, something magical happens. It all of a sudden has the ability to add an unbelievable amount of complexity and an almost smoky, nutty quality to anything you use it in. 
These cookies were SO. GOOD. Michael's take on the difference in taste? 

"I can taste the butter more."

Yes, sweetie, I'm sure you could.

In general it's just a great chocolate chip cookie, lovely texture and great, unique taste from the browned butter. And, since the butter is obviously the star of this cookie show-what better submission for a butter themed Holiday Recipe Exchange? 

(Previous Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week SixWeek Seven, and Week Nine)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Popovers-Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week Nine (Holiday Baking).

Popovers
My nickname used to be "The Carbohydrate Queen". I love bread, rolls, pasta, and the like. So, the best breakfast I could have had on any holiday morning (most of all Christmas) was homemade bread. I have yet to be able to tackle homemade bread myself (excluding friendship bread), so for this week's Holiday Recipe Exchange challenge I am submitting these super easy, super delish. popovers.

(To see my other Holiday Recipe Exchange posts: Week 1 Parts 1 and 2, Week 3, Week Six, and Week Seven)

Popovers
Before I became food blog obsessed, I had never heard of popovers. But they looked good and like rolls so I was in! Especially when I found this recipe! If you are a popover newbie, like me, I'll try to sum up what they are like:
They are like light, airy rolls...that are also sort of fried.
I know. Confusing. But trust me-goooood.
Popovers
They're also pretty.
So, if you've got childrens running around your house, or maybe just an insatiable boy, or-heck-even just little adorable you, make these for breakfast, or to serve as a roll on the side. I especially encourage you to make these this Thanksgiving, or maybe Christmas. 
Note: These are best served fresh from the oven and hot, but if you keep them in a Ziploc bag, or something, they keep well for a little while, and you can just heat them up in your microwave for a bit and then voila! They're still good :).

My Birthday!!!

Yesterday-was my birthday! Not a big one, just 22 years, but nevertheless-I love my birthday :) I feel so old now, my mom was this age when she had me. This thought is what, I'm assuming, caused me to have a dream where I was pregnant the night before my birthday. Anyway, like I said-weird. I feel like I'm still only 16! (While simultaneously also being middle aged, what with all the cooking and housework and then relaxing on the couch with the boy-weird, I know.) Anyway, I thought-since food was a large portion of my day, and since this is a food blog, why don't I share it with you?

(I am not being reimbursed by any of the following places or things. I, in fact, gave them money...you know...for the pleasure to eat the yum yums. So please know all of this is just my experience and opinion.)

 The perfect start to any good day is Godiva. I got some free chocolates (REWARDS CLUB!) and they also had a sale, so I bought some dark chocolate bars for future baking.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Candy Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Candy Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you have leftover Halloween candy? Do you need something to do with all of that?

Candy Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don't. We didn't have candy for Trick or Treat-ers. 

Candy Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

However, I do love candy. And I do love Picky Palate. One of the most intriguing recipes I ever found of hers was for "Candy Bar Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches". I'm sorry....is that...a REESE....inside of a CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE!!!?? NOMYGOD! 

Candy Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
A scoop of cookie dough on top and bottom of the Reese cup


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chicken in Parchment Paper-Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week Seven (Fresh Herbs).

One day, I'd like to have my own herb garden. Heck, I'd love a vegetable garden too. There's just something so appealing about being able to do all that yourself. Weird, I had never thought of myself as one of those people who'd be drawn to "living off the land", but then again I never thought I wouldn't want to eat McDonald's (turns out...once you go without for awhile...your body won't allow that sort of atrocity to enter it again. It gets P.O.'d at you. Weird, huh?) Anyway, this week's Holiday Recipe Exchange asked for a recipe with fresh herbs, and really-this is the only recipe I've ever used FRESH herbs in, so perfect! I know, another chicken recipe. Get used to it-I'm picky and chicken is easier to make and more versatile than beef so just deal with it *harumph*...

Sorry...I'm sensitive about my picky-ness. Let's not fight. Let's just eat chicken, k?

Note: This recipe can totally be played with. Put different stuff in there, season it different. Go nuts. I intend to.

Poulet en Papillote (Chicken in Parchment Paper)


From sophistimom


Poulet en Papillote (Chicken in Parchment Paper)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Michael's Applesauce-Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week Six (Fall Spices).


Slow Cooker Applesauce

Why did I ever buy applesauce? It's so easy to make and so freaking much yummier!!!!! When Michael and his mom (my "Mama Maria") started speaking about some sort of cryptic special applesauce recipe that Michael did when he was little-I had to see it. So, my precious Mama Maria scanned it and emailed it to me. CUTEST THING EVER! So cute, I'm sharing pictures of it with you--it has the recipe for the applesauce on it! However, since it was written by a 6 year old, it leaves some little details out, so you can also scroll down and see the more in depth directions written by me right under it. Also, it's Holiday Recipe Exchange time again! (View Holiday Recipe Exchange posts for Week 1-Parts 1 and 2 and Week 3) This week is fall spices-and this applesauce has a very obvious and perfect cinnamon component. Seriously make this-it's amazing freshly made and hot, and also great leftover and cold. It tastes much more like actual...apples...than any other applesauce I've ever had! And, it's in no way difficult to make, and requires very few ingredients (and you almost definitely already have all of them). Go forth and make applesauce! (And go "awww" at the cuteness of my boyfriend when he was little). :D

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Frothy Hot Chocolate

Frothy Hot Chocolate
Yes...those are Disney princesses on my mug. Why do you ask?
It snowed. In October. And is freezing. So, I'm officially declaring it winter! And since it is winter, it is cold. And since it is cold, we need something warm and comforting in our bellies. And what's more classic for just that than hot chocolate? One night Michael and I were chilly and in the mood for some hot chocolate, so I used this recipe I had. I absolutely loved it-it was thick, chocolatey, and delicious-a perfect cup of hot chocolate in my opinion. Michael, as you are learning, does not share my taste preferences usually. This was no exception. He thought it just tasted like melted chocolate and he wanted one of those dried hot cocoa packets instead. *sigh* What am I going to do with him? This recipe definitely makes enough for 2 to drink a good amount, so if I make it again I shall have to half it, since it'll be just me. Such is life. Regardless! This is suuuuper yummy if you like the same kind of hot chocolate I do! So make it!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Breaded Crispy Chicken

Breaded Crispy Chicken
....I couldn't even finish those green beans. *sigh*

Sorry if I don't post a lot lately-I'm in the middle of shooting a short film and also a modeling campaign, and my day job is super busy right now too! Anyway...
I make chicken liiiike...a lot. And I eat it almost every day. Why? I'm picky and I need protein, k?! Anyway, so, obviously...I try to mix it up a liiittle by finding different chicken recipes. This one by How Sweet sounded healthy, different, and delish. Michael loved it too so, big hit all around!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oat Waffles (+ Chocolate Chips)

Oat Waffles (+ Chocolate Chips)

Sooo, I'm not super in love with breakfast food--I know I know! Don't worry, I always eat breakfast, but it's always like peanut butter toast, fruit, green monster smoothie, etc.-just because I know it's good for me. The only other like big breakfast foods I like....well...they taste like dessert. Cinnamon Rolls. Muffins. Pancakes and waffles--BUT--only if they have chocolate chips and I spread peanut butter over them. I wasn't always this way, I used to kind of like the classic butter and syrup combo. But now that I can have a breakfast with one of my flavor combinations, it's done for. Anyway, one day I wanted waffles! And I wanted to use what I had! But I didn't want them to be boring! So, after poring over the internet and thinking a bit, I sort of Frankenstein-ed this recipe together. They're healthier (I have to make up for my pb chocolate weakness) and light yet substantial (as a result of the whipped egg whites + oats). They're delishums! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Pink Marshmallows and Pink Lemonade)


 October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I've been fortunate enough, thus far, that this hasn't tainted mine or any of my loved ones' lives. However, I have had experience with other kinds of cancers, and I know how important it is to be informed and recognize all those who have suffered. On Foodbuzz I received a request from the lovely woman behind Oh Cake to read her post about her experiences (especially regarding her friend-and breast cancer survivor-Liz), and about some lovely pink marshmallows. She wants to remind everyone to see your doctor regularly, have mammograms, and remember that cancer is beatable-especially if caught early. Plus these facts:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Crock-Pot Chicken-Again-Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week Three (Crock Pot/Slow Cookers).


Sorry about the little hiatus I took there! My mom and cousin visited (so much fun showing a 13 year old girl NYC! <3) and then I had a lot of work (Comic Con). But-I'm back! I'm back with Week 3 of the Holiday Recipe Exchange. I don't use my crock-pot often (yet), and honestly don't have time to make a new recipe with it before the end of the week. So instead, I'll re-post this recipe from back in July. You can see the original blog entry here. Enjoy!! :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Triple Layer Oreo Bars-Take 2: Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week One (CHOCOLATE)!

I know-you must be flabbergasted. So many recipes in such a short amount of time! 2 chocolate desserts in a row! Well, this is due to that Holiday Recipe Exchange I talked about in my last post. We are able to submit 2 recipes per week, and this is my second. I had leftover Oreo cookies from the Raspberry Cake-Pie, and I had a recipe of How Sweet's that was on my list to make (this list probably contains like 200 recipes or so). These are sooo good. They taste kind of like the Oreo Balls I made but in bar/brownie form. Go-make them! Enjoy the num num numminess! 

Triple Layer Oreo Bars




Triple Layer Oreo Bars

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chocolate Decadence-Holiday Recipe Exchange: Week One (CHOCOLATE)!


Chocolate Decadence
I know what you're thinking-these are the most beautiful photographs you've ever seen, right? Look at how yummy! This was a pleasant little surprise for me, my friends. I was going through my old recipe box (from my pre-food blogging addition days) and saw this recipe for "Chocolate Decadence" with no picture. So...I really wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. I just knew...hey, with a name like that-it couldn't be bad, right? I also decided to make it because I had on hand all the ingredients necessary. Right around this time, some strange thing called Hurricane Irene kept coming up. I ignored it and assumed it was no biggie. The day before Irene was gonna hit though, I started noticing "Hey....like...everyone's freaking out?". So then, I actually looked into it. And got concerned. Although I don't live in an evacuation zone (Astoria, I was right outside of it), it was apparently almost definite I'd be without power. So, I went to the grocery store and picked up as many non perishables as you know....were there. It was crowded and awful and I was not happy. Michael, meanwhile, told me to stop overreacting that we'd be fine. My mom, kept telling me all the things I needed to do because, "Kayle, there is no doubt about it, you are definitely going to be without power for days." Obviously I was, you know, conflicted. I decided to play it safe though. Anyway, Saturday arrived, I had nothing to do, and Irene wasn't going to hit until that night. So I thought "Hmm...well...if the power goes out...at least I'll have chocolate?" So I made this. And it was glorious. I realized, what with the whole no flour thing, this was what can also be referred to as a flourless chocolate cake, or a torte. Um, I love those things. I lucked out! It is almost velvety in texture, rich, fudgey, melts in your mouth, just goooood. It's best cold and refrigerated so-good thing-Irene affected us not at all. We didn't lose power or anything. But hey! At least we had this! I'd been waiting for the perfect time to share this with you guys because really...this is one of my favorite recipes, for sure, now. And now is the perfect time! Two of the blogs I read regularly (My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats) have a Holiday Recipe Exchange-and week one's theme is CHOCOLATE!  Perfect! So, enjoy (and go to the link at the bottom of the post to find out more about the exchange) :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Brown Sugar Roasted Chicken- Michael's birthday dinner!

Figuring out what to make for Michael's birthday dessert was easy. The dinner was a bit more of a challenge. All he said was "Just, nothing that has any Italian seasonings". So...I sort of decided to wing it. He supplied that corn and rolls would be good, and when I suggested I try making roast chicken (like I've made previously from a Just Chicken Pot Pie recipe) with a brown sugar covering, he was up for it. It was a success! It was moist, and subtly sweet. Next time I'll probably put the brown sugar mixture on top and bottom because Michael said it was a bit too subtle. Overall, though, it was really tasty and a great departure from what I usually make. :)

Brown Sugar Roasted Chicken

Cooking Actress original. Referencing How Sweet it Is and  Heat Oven to 350 for inspiration.

Brown Sugar Roasted Chicken

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Raspberry Ice Cream "Cake-Pie" (for Michael's birthday!)

Raspberry Ice Cream "Cake-Pie"

September 17th was an exciting day at our household. It was Michael's birthday!!! I've never been able to spend his birthday with him before (he was always in Ohio and I was here in NYC), so I was soooo excited! He hates having a lot of focus and attention on him, so I agreed no presents, no party, no going out-I just wanted to be able to make him dinner. The post about his dinner will follow. This is about his birthday "cake" (tech. a pie). Michael and I have different tastes in desserts, as I've mentioned, so I wanted to make him something that I don't like but that he would. Enter this "cake-pie" (as we came to call it). It has the trifecta of Michael's dessert loves: berries (esp. raspberries), dark chocolate, refreshing (ice cream). He LOVED it! Yay! So, if you're like him at all, you should love this too.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pizza Caprese with Garlic Cheese Bread

Pizza Caprese with Garlic Cheese Bread
My Italian ancestors will be so proud of me. I made pizza! Alright...I didn't make the dough, but I will do that on some special, ambitious day. To make the pizza a meal, I also made cheesy garlic bread. I realize that that pretty much is almost the same thing as pizza. Apparently, all decent side dishes to serve with pizza, are essentially pizza. Regardless! This was delicious. Beloved by all in my home (AKA....Michael). And seriously...the pictures speak for themselves. Drool away!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Dip (A Continuation of The Worst Housewarming Party Ever)

If you've read this previous post, you know I had a very anticipated and quite disappointing housewarming party. But c'est la vie, what's done is done! Anywhozzle, I made this chicken dip to serve as well. It's one of Michael's favorites, and honestly...just about anyone else who has had it. My mother was given this recipe by an old co-worker, and it's been a family favorite ever since. She now routinely brings it to big get-togethers. Speaking of which, I just returned home from a blissful (yet busy) 5 day visit home in Ohio. Michael's cousin, Jimmy, got married (CONGRATS JIMMY AND DIANA!), and we were visiting for the wedding. And I figured, I might as well make it a little longer of a stay so I can see some people! I haven't been home since Christmas, so it was so nice to see everyone :). As always there were people I didn't get to see, and that's always sad. But on my last day in Ohio, my mom's whole family came together at my Grandma Jo's house for the last Sunday at her pool, and to see me. It was just wonderful. I got to see my cousins, play with their adorable babies (so weird...other than Farrah I'm the next one in line to have a baby! Chill out all, not for a few years.), and just visit with loved ones I don't get to see often enough! Oh yeah, and there was food. I made some amazing cookies. And, my mother made her Cheesy Chicken Dip! As always, it was beloved. And now I shall share it with you:

Cheesy Chicken Dip

Cheesy Chicken Dip

Monday, August 29, 2011

4 Layer Cookie Bars + The Worst Housewarming Party Ever

If you've been reading this blog/if you know me at all, you know how excited I was/am about our new apartment. So excited I decided to throw a housewarming party! The apartment's not huge so I wanted to make sure not to invite too many people (especially because some people might bring other people...etc.), but I also wanted to invite enough that people would actually come. I made a facebook event, and texted, inviting somewhere around 10-15 people, with around 2-3 weeks notice before the date. There were more people I would have loved to invited, but, again, space issues. I was so thrilled! A good amount of people told us they would at least maybe be coming, and some said they were definitely! I planned the menu, bought lots of soda, bought snacks, made cheesy chicken dip and 4 Layer Cookie Bars (recipe below). I decided to make the 4 Layer Cookie Bars because they looked good, but also like the kind of thing that are perfect for sharing (not like the thing you want to hide away all to yourself...like a certain chocolate decadence I will post sometime). I cooked, we cleaned the entire apartment, and then pretty much spent all of party day waiting...and waiting....and waiting. 2 people ended up showing up. One of them was my neighbor who's door is like 2 feet from mine. It was a disaster (don't get me wrong, Robert and Brandon were fun and I was so happy they came but....table full of food, me dressed up, music playing....4 people total). I was completely devastated. I started texting extra people. I got, all on that day, a barrage of texts from people cancelling (for perfectly good reasons, I'm not mad at anyone for not coming, I understand. It just figured they all would have something come up on the day of the one party I throw). It was just dead. I kept fighting back tears. Barely any of the food got eaten. Poor Michael had to eat practically nothing but chips for a couple weeks. And I ate way more of these cookie bars then my tummy should have allowed me. The cookie bars came out great, Robert and Brandon raved about them-definitely make them when you're entertaining! The moral of this story, for me, though, is that I just should not throw parties. They always end this way. *sigh*

4 Layer Cookie Bars


4 Layer Cookie Bars

"Oreo Balls" a la Kayle (No Cream Cheese!)

"Oreo Balls" a la Kayle (No Cream Cheese!)

This is not one of those recipes where there are...umm....measurements. It was pretty much just me doing a lot of improvising and guesswork. "Let me esplain....no, there is too much. Let me sum up" (The Princess Bride-my fav. movie):
We had only been moved in a short while. My new food processor was sitting there, begging me to use it. I had a half used package of Oreos, that had pretty much gone stale. I was having a chocolate craving (which happens at about 4:00 PM every day). I thought to myself, "Hey! I have that Oreo Balls recipe on my computer from How Sweet, I should make that!" Once I consulted the recipe, I realized....I didn't have cream cheese. Nor do I particularly enjoy it in my desserts. I searched the internet for substitutions but found nothing. But I figured...how hard could it be to just mimic the texture?
"Oreo Balls" a la Kayle (No Cream Cheese!)
 So, I broke apart the Oreos I had left and put them in the food processor. Then I decided peanut butter might be a good substitute for the cream cheese, so I put some of that in there to. I processed for a while but...it was too thick. I added some more peanut butter. I added a little milk. Then I melted some chocolate and poured that in there too. That did the trick! They seemed to be the exact same consistency as the actual "Oreo Balls"!. Then I did as my original recipe instructed, I rolled the mixture into many little balls, and put them on a tray and set them in the freezer for an hour or so. After they'd frozen and firmed up, I melted some chocolate and dipped them in and coated them (some got covered in milk chocolate, others in dark-I definitely think I preferred the dark chocolate). Then back to the freezer (where they remained)!
"Oreo Balls" a la Kayle (No Cream Cheese!)
They. Were. Per-fect! PERFECT! I loooved them, Michael loved them! It was a miracle! They were like yummy little peanut butter Oreo truffles and they were awesome-I hope you try them and love them as much as we did (and now I have something to do with leftover Oreos!) :).

Oreo Balls

Author: Kayle, "The Cooking Actress"

"Oreo Balls" a la Kayle (No Cream Cheese!)
Ingredients:
  • Oreos
  • peanut butter
  • melted chocolate (milk, dark, or white-whatever you prefer) + more to coat the Oreo balls
  • Optional-milk, if the consistency is too thick
Preparation:
  • Break up Oreo's and place in a food processor. Add peanut butter and melted chocolate. Proccess until it reaches a consistency that will allow you to roll them into small balls. If too thick, add a bit of milk and/or extra melted chocolate.
  • Rolls the mixture into small balls (about the size of a gumball). Place on a tray that is lined with wax paper or parchment paper and freeze for about 1 hour, until firm.
  • Melt some chocolate and dip the frozen Oreo balls in until coated. Place back on the wax or parchment paper and return to the freezer until the chocolate has hardened.
  • Store leftovers in the freezer or refrigerator. 
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I love it when you try & want to share recipes you found here! Please just rewrite in your own words, use your own photos, & always link back to me! Thanks!

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