Monday, April 30, 2012

Cook Yourself Thin Chicken Tenders

Cook Yourself Thin Chicken Tenders
You know what's hilarious?
When I speak to people I know in real life, and this blog is brought up, they always say, 
"You post the most delicious things! Poor thing, it must be so hard not to eat them."
To which I respond, "Uh....I eat pretty much everything I put on the blog. If it's a dessert I probably eat almost all of it."

Then they look at me in confusion.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Buckeye Cake + Happy 1st Birthday to The Cooking Actress!

Buckeye Cake
WOW! The Cooking Actress is 1 year old today!
  (and, coincidentally, my best friend is 21. Happy Birthday Alex!)
I can't believe it has only been a year! I remember debating whether I should start, resigning myself to the fact I would probably be the only one to look at it, and that my photos and site would just look awful.
But! In only a year I've managed to convince some of you crazy people to read, my photos have improved, I'm cooking and baking things I did not dream I'd be making (especially as often as I do), I've made some great friends, and this fun little blog of mine has consumed a piece of my life-and I couldn't be happier!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Perfectly Imperfect Mashed Potatoes

I like potatoes. They're tasty. 
And I think they totally count as a vegetable.
I also may sort of be obsessed with trying a bunch of different mashed potato recipes...
They're all different, though-no matter what Michael says.
These potatoes are kind of unique, not super fattening, and easily customizable to your preferences.
Go on, give 'em a try. 
Perfectly Imperfect Mashed Potatoes


Perfectly Imperfect Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sunshine

Thank you to one of my good blogger friends, Maggie, of Kitchie Coo for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Puppy Chow

The BEST Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)
I had such a good weekend! Michael and I had a lot of fun meeting with our high school's trip to NY. We saw "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", starring Nick Jonas (we did not love it.) and "Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark" (so cool! Not spectacular as far as plot and music, but visually astounding!). We also spent a lot of the time just visiting. It was super nice :) And it made me super nostalgic (I went on that trip 3 years in a row, in High School).
The BEST Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)
This nostalgia brought me back to Puppy Chow. This delightful treat is known by many names (such as muddy buddies), but it's pretty much amazing. It was one of the first things I ever started to make on my own (way back in high school).
The BEST Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)
I tweaked it to my own personal preferences. I like a lot of chocolate and peanut butter (so I added slightly more of those), and I don't like when there's a lot of powdered sugar (so I use a little less than called for). Those changes are reflected in the recipe below. It's the best. And it's no bake! Ok...so you tech. use the stove. But....who cares!? You should make this. You'll feel like a teenager again ;).

Friday, April 20, 2012

(HEALTHY) Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes


(HEALTHY) Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes
Sometimes I make pancakes.
Not often.
I'm concerned they're not super healthy for breakfast.
I've never shared any recipes with you because....
my pancakes always turn out ugly.
Apparently I am unable to cook pancakes and have them look pretty.
Or at least-I was!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Crispy Cheddar Chicken + Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

Crispy Cheddar Chicken + Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

I know you missed those photos showing what Michael ate and what I did. Above, is Michael's 1st helping. Below, mine. Pretty similar actually.
Crispy Cheddar Chicken + Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
I'm tired. But like, in a great way. I am so wonderfully busy! Like I said before, the premiere this weekend was a great success! I had a lot of fun, and loved the movie (I'm pretty hilarious), and everyone else loved it too! We even won the award for "People's Choice". :) Also, I've got some auditions and stuff going on, and work, and later this week my high school is coming up to NY for a performing arts trip. Michael and I are going to meet up with them and do a few things (like see How to Succeed in Business and Spiderman After Dark--and, for Michael especially, hang out with his brother who is 17, and his best friend, who is one of the teachers). So yeah, exciting and busy stuff!
You want to know about this chicken? It's one of our favorites. Pictures do it no justice. It is so delicious. I can't even describe. Especially when you drizzle the "sauce" (AKA cream of chicken soup) over it. And, as a bonus recipe, you now know how to make homemade cream of chicken soup (sans preservatives)--and it's super easy and super tasty! Eat it up!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Chewy Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies + Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil

The winner of the Tropical Traditions giveaway is "Ha-v-v"!! She says about her plans for the coconut oil: "I plan to use the coconut oil for one thing is those chocolate chip cookies first!!!!!!! I cannot wait to try them. I have actually been researching coconut oil for a carrier oil and a natural sunscreen ingredient. The research has shown me some wonderful things, coconut oils properties are something I want to incorporate into our foods, homemade salves etc." 
Congratulations! I'm so excited for you :D. Please email me at cookingactress@yahoo.com to claim your prize.
And thank you to everyone who entered!

(Thank you everyone for all your support and well wishes for the premiere this weekend, I absolutely loved the movie and we won the People's Choice Award!!)
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Today is a very exciting day! Tropical Traditions is sponsoring my first ever giveaway (scroll past the recipe)(giveaway closed)-AND they were sweet enough to provide me with a jar of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. OMG (I think I overuse OMG, sorry!)-if you haven't heard about the awesomeness of coconut oil yet, look into it. I have a friend who uses it (in place of butter or shortening) in every recipe she bakes, she puts it in her hair, to cleanse/moisturize her face (which I tried-it's awesome, and smells amazinggg-even though Michael refuses to kiss me because I "smell coconut-y"), and for a bunch of other stuff! There's a lot of great information on all the links in this post, and you can also just google to find out more about the wonders of coconut oil :). 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Award :)


I won the Versatile Blogger Award!

Again :)

Thank you so much to the super sweet Jennie at The Messy Baker!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Boozy Brownies

Boozy Brownies
I've previously mentioned that for my "survival job" I am a promotional model-and I largely do liquor promotions. For once, I brought my work home with me. One day I was doing a tasting for the, newly released, Patron XO Cafe Dark Cocoa Coffee Liqueur with dark chocolate and made with Patron Silver tequila. As I was giving recommendations to consumers for what they could use the liqueur for, I had an epiphany! 
Boozy Brownies
Brownies.

I had seen a million chocolate recipes (cake, brownies, etc.) that had some coffee added, just to intensify the chocolate flavor. And I knew I'd seen brownie recipes with liquor in them before. So, I decided, then and there, I was going to make brownies using Patron XO Cafe Dark Cocoa.
I told everyone I spoke with that day. They were all very jealous. They wanted me to bring them those brownies.
Boozy Brownies
If I have any leftovers from my tasting (unless there's a lot left), I'm able to bring the alcohol home with me. I usually don't-I don't drink, so why bother? But this time I made an exception. That night, I looked and found the recipe I wanted to use and adapt (I knew there would be no recipe specifically for this, as it was a brand new drink). The next day-I made these brownies. They are super gooey, quite sweet, and there's just a little something extra given to them by the XO Cafe Dark Cocoa. You can use any liqueur you fancy in these, have fun with it! Try not to eat the brownie batter, though, you won't be able to stop, and then you'll be drunk. And I assume baking + drunk do not mix well.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Cooking Actress is going to her film premiere!

Hello my lovelies!

I just wanted to give you all the heads up that I will be out of town and away from the internet this entire weekend (I leave tomorrow morning).

I'll be in Maine-at the Lewiston-Auburn Film Festival, watching the world premiere of the feature film I was one of the stars in, You Can't Kill Stephen King.

I'm super duper excited, I filmed this movie nearly 2 years ago and now I'll finally get to see it! AND-it is already proving very successful, so I'm looking forward to lots more good stuff from it. Needed to fill you in, so you don't worry if I'm somewhat quiet this weekend. Don't fret though, I have a sweet treat all ready to be shared with you tomorrow morning.

Stay tuned ;).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No Knead Dinner Rolls

No Knead Dinner Rolls

You may have noticed in my nifty new header up there, I have some photos of recipes I have not yet shared with you. That was cruel of me, I know. I sincerely apologize. I decided, I'll ease some of your suffering today by sharing these LIFE-CHANGING rolls. They are amazing! A super duper favorite of Michael's and mine. Lightly, fluffy, buttery, delicious rolls-and they are surprisingly easy to make! They require no kneading, and if you (like me) are a newbie with yeast/making breads/rolls this is a great recipe to start with! Trust me when I tell you, though, that the taste leaves absolutely nothing to be desired--some of the best rolls I've ever eaten. Ever. Definitely the best ones I have made.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Discovery! PB Crave + FREE SHIPPING!


Ah! Everybody! I could not wait to share this amazing find with you!! As I'm sure y'all have figured out, um, I love peanut butter.

Somehow, yesterday, I stumbled upon PB Crave. Oh-MY-GOD! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mini, Baked, Meatballs

I did it!!! I made it through Lent without cheating on a single meatless Friday! Woohoo! A small accomplishment, but exciting, nevertheless. As a reward for being so good, I have extra meaty little treats, just for you! Mini, baked, meatballs!

I hate to be annoying and barely write anything for y'all to read, but I am simply exhausted! Lots of exciting stuff going on in this cooking actress' life :).

Don't you fret-I will continue to supply you with tasty foods!

Mini, Baked, Meatballs

Adapted from How Sweet It Is


Mini, Baked, Meatballs

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Menu Ideas

Easter Menu Ideas

Tomorrow is Easter! I hope everyone has a great holiday :)

Ok-so I don't have a lot of cutesy Easter recipes (yet). However, if you are looking for some inspiration for tomorrow, I have a few ideas:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday Recipe Round Up

Today is Good Friday. 
In addition to no meat today, some people go all out and fast.
I tried that once.
I made it like....7 hours and felt like I was going to faint.
So I ate.
I obviously need food.

Since this is the biggest Friday of all the Lenten Fridays, I thought I would share some meatless recipes that you can still enjoy (this is also good even if you don't celebrate Lent but just don't like/eat meat).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

4 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

Ohmigoodnes, I can't begin to tell you how excited and in awe I am at how much this blog has grown. My page views and readership have increased SO much (like...5 times what they were). Part of this is thanks to making some great food blog friends and giving each other support--a lot of that is thanks to Food Bloggers Network (an amazing network that meets in a facebook group, set up by Jessica of Oh Cake). I'm happily planning on meeting up with some of my fellow NY bloggies. This is also part of the reason for the recent influx of awards. Another great success for the blog is one of my photos (for these cookies) was featured on TasteSpotting--wow that increased my readership! AND I was a food blog of the day on Foodista. And I even have a few reviews (and giveaways) coming up! I am so pleased with everything that is happening, and I just needed to share my joy with you :). So-thank you everyone for reading. I am very grateful.

Speaking of joy. Chocolate mousse. Light, airy, chocolate heaven. I warn you, however, unless you really enjoy bitter chocolate--use chocolate that isn't too high of a cacao percentage. I used something like 86% or possibly 72% and I had to mix sugar into the end product to make them palatable for Michael and I. So, keep that in mind. A major draw to this mousse is how simple it is. It really is quite idiot proof and requires very few ingredients. Plus-it's sophisticated and will impress people. And we all love the cred you get from other people for making something they find impressive, at least I do! 

4 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

Adapted slightly from Smells Like Home


4 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mini Cinnamon Sugar Popovers

Mini Cinnamon Sugar Popovers
Easter is coming up. Michael and I will be spending it here in NY, with just each other (wish we could be with our family), but I want to make it feel like Easter, nevertheless! That's why I'm making a big dinner. And you know what else I'm making? These mini cinnamon popovers for breakfast.
Mini Cinnamon Sugar Popovers
 For some reason they just scream EASTER to me. 
Plus they're super duper tasty.
It's fun to think about what Easter will be like when we have little ones--I'll make all sorts of cute bunny and chick, etc. treats for them, we'll hide eggs for them to find, etc.! I sort of can't wait to get to that part :)
Right now I have to attempt to create these holidays for us, which can be hard when it's just us two. 
Mini Cinnamon Sugar Popovers
Anyway, these popovers are super yummy and comforting! Cinnamon sugar always makes me think of the toast my mom would make me when I didn't feel good (I don't know why that was the thing to eat, but it helped *shrug*), so these popovers definitely have the comfort food factor for me. Plus, they're so tiny you can just pop a bunch of them into your mouth! It's fun! Michael and I both really loved these.

 I just wish I had an actual mini muffin tin. The tins I have create something more akin to mini cinnamon sugar....discs....than popovers. Yummy discs, though!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Awards!

Oh my-more awards! I've been passed on these three lovely awards from the amazing Lyn at The Lovely Pantry. Please stop by her phenomenal blog-it is one of my faves!

  

Also-- the giveaway at I'm Cookin' In My Kitchen is going on until April 9th, so there's still time for you to win!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lasagna: A Guest Post for I'm Cookin' In My Kitchen

Lasagna

I have some very exciting stuff for you today! I have written my first ever guest post over at one of my best blogging friends, Jenn's, blog- I'm Cookin' In My Kitchen. It's a fairly new blog-but full of lots of delicious recipes, fun and oftentimes inspiring writing from Jenn, and the occasional adorable photo of her cat, Buddy. :)

She requested I share a favorite Italian recipe, perhaps a family one? And so, if you would like the recipe to that delicious lasagna you see up there (that Michael and I absolutely gobble up whenever I make it) head on over and check it out!

AND to celebrate our combined first guest post ever, Jenn is hosting a great giveaway! Click to see what she's giving, and how to enter!CLOSED


Lasagna


Family recipe from my Grandma Friedrich (maiden name Moore)


Makes 1 large lasagna pan (or one 9 x 13 pan and one 11 x 7 pan)

Ingredients:
·         About 1 pound lasagna noodles (you may need less, I usually do. I also use Ready Bake lasagna noodles to make my life easier—I end up using 15 noodles in all, when doing so. To make this healthier you can use whole wheat.)

·         32 oz. Container of ricotta cheese (you may use less or more, depending on your preference of how much ricotta you want. I always use 32 oz. I also love ricotta.)

·         Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Provolone cheese. The original recipe calls for 1 package, each, of sliced cheese. I prefer to use shredded, and usually use about 3 bags of “Italian” shredded cheese (which contain a mix of mozzarella, Parmesan, and provolone). (You can also use different cheeses, or more or less, to taste.)

·         About 1 large can/jar of your favorite pasta sauce (homemade or store bought. I use meat, you can use meatless or whatever you like. The amount you use depends on preference. I use less than called for, as I don't love a lot of sauce.)

·         1 pound ground beef, browned in a skillet (Optional-you can also use whatever add-ins you choose.)

Preparation:

·         Cook lasagna noodles and drain (if not using oven ready noodles). Brown the ground beef in a pan—season to taste.

·         Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

·         Spray pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray.

·         Put a very thin layer of sauce on bottom of pan(s) (helps keep bottom layer of noodles moist). Then lay lasagna noodle layer. Layer (in whatever order you prefer. I usually layer noodles-sauce-ricotta-beef-cheeses-noodles-etc.) the meat, ricotta, other cheeses, sauce, and noodles. Repeat until the pan is nearly full. (9 x 13 pans have 3 layers, 11 x 7 pans have 2 layers—could perhaps hold 3.) The top of the lasagna should have the cheeses.

·         Sprinkle dried basil on top of layered lasagna (optional).

·         Cover with foil (with the underside coated in non-stick spray) and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake more 10-15 minutes-or until bubbly and beginning to brown.

·         Let sit 5 minutes before cutting.

·         Make Ahead Directions: Take the layered, uncooked, lasagna pan(s) and cover tightly with plastic wrap, then foil. Refrigerate up to 2 days, or freeze up to 2 months. When ready to bake, remove plastic wrap and replace the foil. Bake refrigerated lasagna the same as you would bake fresh. Bake frozen lasagna 1 hour and 30 minutes, making sure to remove the foil before the final 10-15 minutes of baking.
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