Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Recipes of 2012

Ahhh! I'm back! I had a really great time in Ohio, but it went by way too fast! 
And I totally missed you guys.

And OMG it's already New Year's Eve! 

I cannot believe 2012 is almost over. This year has been so amazing. 
I got to spend pretty much all year with my favorite guy, I've been acting and working a bunch, and this blog has grown and taken off in such big ways! I have made so many wonderful new friends through here, and I cannot tell me how happy that makes me and how lucky I am to be a part of your (virtual) lives! I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store for me.  

Now, here I have a little round up of yours and my favorite recipes of the year. Aaaand...not surprisingly....cookies were very popular. Like so popular that nothing else even stood a chance. 2012 was the year of the cookie! Now go scroll down to see what you guys liked best and then continue to see my favorites that didn't make your favorites cut! (Because you guys have great taste, your favorites happen to be some of mine too!) And yes...I know the top #'s are random...just go with it...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Well my lovelies, I'm taking this week off to just enjoy my family and then dealing with coming back to NY and unpacking. I shall talk to you all next week, but I'll leave you with this:



HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Something Saturdays (12/22/12)

Hi guys!! Thank you all so much for your sweet well wishes for my time in Ohio with my family-so far it's been really busy, but fun and I have another super busy day ahead of me today! I can't wait! :D

Friday, December 21, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies at Chelsea's Culinary Indulgence

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Hi all!!

So, as you know, I'm currently having lots of fun/business in Ohio right about now.

BUT I still really wanted to participate in Chelsea's Culinary Indulgence's 12 Days of Christmas Treats:

12 Days of Christmas Treats

For the 12 days leading up to Christmas, Chelsea is having some wonderful bloggers post some of their fave holiday goodies! And today is my day! Head on over to check out my Christmas-y post and my New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mini Spinach and Goat Cheese Pies

Mini Spinach and Goat Cheese Pies
Ok you guys, prepare for a much less active Kayle-presence.

On Wednesday morning I will be getting on a bus to Ohio, where I will stay for about a week. I'm going to be crazy busy visiting with people and doing stuff and enjoying the holidays! I'll still try to get on here every now and again, and I have a post or two scheduled for while I'm gone, but I just wanted to give you a heads up. I'll miss you and I hope you all enjoy your holidays too!

Mini Spinach and Goat Cheese Pies
Now, on to the recipe!

Have you ever had Spanakopita? It's pretty amazing. The only thing Michael complains about with it(and I agree with) is that we wish there was more pie and less filling. That problem is totally solved with these mini pies!

No, this is not technically Spanakopita. It's goat cheese and spinach and such, not feta and what not.

And yes, if you prefer more filling and less pie-you can totally make these that way too.

This recipe is quite inexact as far as the crust options go, but stick through it. You can figure this out. And once you do you'll have these super amazing little pies that you can hold in your hand and that taste absolutely rich and flavorful and delicious. These would be a perfect thing to serve at a holiday party, methinks. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Browned Butter, Salted, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Browned Butter, Salted,  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I mean, come on guys, I've gotta leave you with 1 more cookie recipe before Christmas!

Browned Butter, Salted,  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ambitious Kitchen became one of my cookie idols when I saw this recipe.

Let's take stock, shall we?

Browned butter? 
Check.
Peanut butter?
Check.
Chocolate chips?
Check.
Sea salt?
Check.
Ginormous cookie, chock full of flavor?
CHECK!

Browned Butter, Salted,  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I honestly don't know what else to tell you guys. 
These cookies are huge, chewy, and absolutely, wonderfully, perfectly delicious.

Do Santa a favor, and put these out for him (or you could just hoard them away and deal with him giving you coal...I'd say it's borderline worth it.)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Kristina & Kayle's Christmas Cookie Exchange Winners

That's it!

It's over!

Thank you so much to everyone that participated in mine and Kristina's Christmas Cookie Exchange this year! I'm totally drooling over all the delicious cookies you guys shared! I hope you've all discovered some new, fun, recipes to try out too!


Now, the official winner of Kristina & Kayle's Christmas Cookie Exchange and a $10 Starbuck's Gift Card is....
Stephie from Eat Your Heart Out's "Maureen's Rice Krispie Cookies"


 And... the winner of the Silpat Baking Mat Giveaway is...
Jennifer Drummond (Entry #138) of Peanut Butter & Peppers

Congrats Stephie and Jennifer! Both of you please e-mail me your mailing addresses to kristina.whippedbaking@gmail.com or cookingactress@yahoo.com so we can send you your prize!

We had so much fun, and hope you did too!

Happy Holidays and Happy Cookie Baking!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Something Saturdays (12/15/12)

Ok you guys! This is it! Tomorrow ends the whole SHEBANG! So make sure to vote for your fave. cookies here and enter the Silpat giveaway here! I've had so much fun doing this whole thing with Kristina-thank you all for being a part of this!


Oh yeah, and since you guys were all like, "Kayle we wanna see YOU in the dress: here. It's kinda a crappy picture but whatever lol.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
Do you need a show-stopper dessert for the upcoming (AHOMGSUPERSOON) holiday?
Do you want something that takes very little effort, and that you can even make ahead of time?
Do you want THE ABSOLUTE BEST LAVA CAKE I'VE POSSIBLY EVER HAD?!?

Yes?

Good, you're smart. I like that about you.

I've already waxed poetic about my very deep love for lava cakes...it's chocolate cake...with a melt-y chocolate lava center. 
So...yeah. 

At some point when it was just starting to get around that "Kayle likes to cook.", Michael's dad suggested I try out his wife, Jeanne's, recipe. She facebook messaged me the very simple recipe and I stored it away to try...at some point. To be honest, I wasn't that optimistic. I'm always nervous when trying a recipe that I don't have photos of or detailed instructions. But, I was in the mood to make some lava cake a couple weeks ago, and Michael suggested I try Jeanne's-I had all the ingredients so I figured, "Why not?" While I was baking these up I thought to myself, "Huh, there isn't that much chocolate in here, I wonder if these will be any good?"

Oh yeah past me, they are VERY good! AND you do not need to worry about whether or not they'll be underbaked enough or whatever so that the "lava" will come out: it will be perfect. The lava was the best part and it was no issue at all. These cakes are so so sooo perfect! And once you've portioned the batter into ramekins, you can cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. Since I like these best fresh, I just baked 2 at a time over the next few days (1 for Michael and 1 for me). I cannot say enough how perfect this recipe is. Amazing lava cakes. Just amazing. Jeanne is a smart lady.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fluffy, Buttery, Rolls (Texas Roadhouse Copy Cat)

Fluffy, Buttery, Rolls (Texas Roadhouse Copy Cat)

So, these are the rolls I made for Thanksgiving.

And these are the rolls I intend to make for everything that I ever do, ever.

They are light, and chewy, and fluffy, and buttery, and ohhh so good.

When Michael had his first roll he was like...blown away. As was I. As shall you be.

Fluffy, Buttery, Rolls (Texas Roadhouse Copy Cat)

Now, I don't know if you've ever been to a Texas Roadhouse, they're pretty much just a steak chain. Not even my favorite, I'm generally an Outback kinda girl. But the big draw to Roadhouse isn't their steak-it's their rolls. They have the most amazing, wonderful, buttery-goodness, rolls (and they come with cinnamon honey butter, although I'm a crazy person who prefers just regular butter). They are the best rolls I've ever had in my life. And these rolls are a PERFECT copy cat recipe. So, if you-like me-are a slave to the wonder that is a Roadhouse roll, then you are about to flip your lid: because you can now make those exact rolls (and that exact cinnamon honey butter), in the comfort of your home.

Fluffy, Buttery, Rolls (Texas Roadhouse Copy Cat)

I'm not gonna tell ya what to do.
That's not what we do at this blog.

But I'm going to very strongly suggest that you make these rolls for the holidays.
Or just for a Thursday.

You know, whatever. Totally your choice. 
But believe me-you are gonna thank me. These rolls=game changers.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Kristina and Kayle's Cookie Exchange SILPAT GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)

Hi everyone! Our cookie exchange is still in full swing (so head on over to link up, if you haven't already)! And today we have an extra special treat for you:
A SILPAT GIVEAWAY!

Any cookie baker worth their salt knows about, and uses, Silpat. Kristina uses them. And I have been lusting after them, giving forlorn gazes at the parchment paper I have been dealing with (up to this point). 

Now, in case you didn't know, here's some of what makes Silpats so awesome:
  1. They're the original non-stick baking mat. 
  2. Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mats are made of fiberglass and good grade silicone-they are completely food safe and FDA, NSF, and Kosher certified.
  3. Cookies get some sort of traction when baking from these baking mats, and they spread less (bigger cookies=better!)
  4. NOTHING sticks to these babies-be it gooey batter, caramel, taffy, dough, etc.! And there is no greasing required-just the mat.
  5. Silpat is effective in temperatures from -40 degrees (F) to 480 degrees (F).
  6. Unlike parchment paper, Silpat is reusable and cleans super easily! (OMG I'm going to save so much money not having to constantly buy more parchment!)
  7. Not just for cookies, they also produce Silpain (for bread) and Roul'Pat (for rolling out dough).
  8. They have even more products here!
Um so yeah...I'm super psyched to start using my new Silpat ALL. THE. TIME!
And oh yeah, you can get one too!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Something Saturdays (12/8/12)

Last week some of you guys wanted to know what the dress I got from Bloomingdales looks like, well here it is: http://www1.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/french-connection-dress-almonda-stretch?ID=663773&PseudoCat=se-xx-xx-xx.esn_results (but on me there's a lot more curviness...and cleavage :P)

Gahh 90's music was the best!! (Although there are some really amazing songs that are missing from this...hello?! Smells Like Teen Spirit?!)


Of course, this week kicked off:
You can still link up your cookie recipes here-voting doesn't begin until the 13th (and don't forget, the winner gets a $10 Starbucks gift card). And check back here on Monday for a GIVEAWAY!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Michael's Post-a-ma-thing


Hello there little bloglings,

It is I, Michael. I am taking an opportunity to impart upon you some of my impeccable taste and epicurean prowess. Normally my girlfriend Kayle, aka "The Cooking Actress", would give you a witty anecdote, some pretty pictures, and a fairly detailed recipe. Today, however, good peoples of the blogiverse, I will be at the helm of this expedition and we will be taking a road-less-traveled for some of you (Kayle included) by focusing on an efficient and literally zero mess method (if done correctly) for filling our hungry-hungry-hippo selves.

I bring to you today a fine delicacy from a can.

I bring to you, SpaghettiOs.

Now you may be thinking, "What!? I know how to make that! pour the can into a bowl and heat it up." Oh no my doe-eyed blogateers! The secret is far simpler than that! We will get to the end goal of satisfaction without all those pesky steps and minutes of waiting. TO THE "RECIPE"!

SpaghettiOs, The Right Way
Michael's Post-a-ma-thing
Ingredients:
  • Can of SpaghettiOs
Preparation:
Truly this is a 2 step process with more detailed sub-steps if you will.
  • Take a can opener and open the can of SpaghettiOs.
    -I personally prefer SpaghettiOs with "meatballs" which can make this a tad trickier, but be not afraid my brood of blogchilds, I am an expert at this.
    -The trick here is to open the top of the can and position it above ones gaping maw.
    -You may notice here that the congealed mass does not seem to be in as much of a rush as you clearly are at this point, merely trickling into your mouth or quite rudely not moving at all, making you look like a large odd looking baby bird waiting to be fed. There is a solution to this!
    -Much like the classy concept of shotgunning a beer, we must break the vacuum death grip the evil can has on our delicious ambrosia. What you do is take your can opener and puncture the bottom of the can as if you were going to open up the bottom of the can, but only just enough to break the seal.
    - It should be noted that at this point one should be ready to chow down greedily as it will start to really flow down one's gullet. Which leads us to official step 2...
  • Eat/drink up!
    -That's right! No dirtying a bowl or spoon. No waiting for it to heat up in the microwave. Open that bad boy up and chug down delicious cold SpaghettiOs.
Michael's Post-a-ma-thing

So there you have it my cadre of blogatrons. No dirty dishes, no waiting, just recycle the can when it's empty and you've just enjoyed a world class meal in the matter of a minute and a half! Now you have more time to pwn n00bs, perfect your army of robot-lizard warriors, perfect your band's style, teach koalas to play polo, and generally be the stylish and sophisticated man/woman-about-town that you are.  It has been my pleasure to take this little trip with you my intrepid bloginators.  I shall remember my time with you for at least 3 and a half weeks.  Until next we meet, may the force be with you, the grace of the Valar be with you, and have fun storming the castle.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Truffle Swirled Cookies and KRISTINA & KAYLE'S CHRISTMAS COOKIE EXCHANGE!

Ah December. This entire month is pretty much just about Christmas for me. In my head it's Christmas Christmas all the time! And living in New York City, the decorations are on par with my thoughts. 

Now, as I'm sure you've noticed I love cookies. Another awesome thing about this season.
Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Truffle Swirled Cookies
To celebrate this cookie-licious time of year, I am so excited to announce the official kick-off of...
 Kristina and Kayle's Christmas Cookie Exchange!

As you guys know, Kristina (of Whipped Baking) is my girl. And she and I were like, "Um, let's get everyone together to cyber-share their favorite cookie recipes!" Because we're (ok, it was Kristina's idea, I just jumped on board enthusiastically) brilliant like that.

So, starting today, December 5th, Kristina and I invite ALL OF YOU to join our Christmas Cookie Exchange! We want you to bring your favorite cookie recipe and link it up at the bottom of either my post below or over on Kristina's yummalicious blog to share your favorite recipes. Kristina and I are blogging a couple of our own cookie recipes today, so make sure to check hers out too, after you're done here!

*Cheesy announcer voice* But wait-there's more! Not only do you get tons of wonderful cookie recipes, there's also a priiize up for grabs! After you've all linked up your tastiest cookie recipes we're going to vote! And the winner gets (in addition to Cookie Queen/King bragging rights) a $10 Starbucks Gift Card! Voting begins on December 13th and ends December 15th (then the winner will be announced December 16th)!

Here's the agenda:
  1. Today (December 5th) starts Kristina & Kayle's Christmas Cookie exchange! Enter your favorite cookie recipes by linking up your cookie posts to either the bottom of my post here or over at Kristina's blog, Whipped Baking. You can use new or old posts as long as they're delicious cookies!
  2. December 10th a very special cookie related GIVEAWAY!
  3. December 13th starts the voting period where you all can vote on your favorite cookie recipe. You can vote by coming back to this post and clicking the 'vote' button below the individual pictures. Voting ends December 15th at 11:59pm.
  4. December 16th we will announce the winner of the Cookie Exchange Contest who will receive a Starbucks Gift Card for $10! And we'll also announce the winner of Monday (Dec. 10th)'s giveaway!
We'll also totally remind you on the 13th that it's time to vote, so don't worry about trying to remember!

Don't have a blog? Send Kristina a pic of your favorite cookie and the recipe to her e-mail, kristina.whippedbaking@gmail.com, and we'll share your pictures on our Facebook pages! Unfortunately you are not eligible for the gift card (because we have no way of voting for your recipe) but we would LOVE to be able to share your yummy recipes too!

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Truffle Swirled Cookies

Now, on to the matter at hand-these cookies. When Michael's friend Katina was visiting, I decided I wanted to bake her up a special treat, and that was these cookies. They're a fairly basic (and delicious) chocolate chip cookie, but throughout it are swirls and chunks of amazing peanut butter truffle. These cookies were soft, chewy, and wonderful, with a fabulous marriage of sweet, rich, and just a hint of salt. They're a wonderful twist on a classic, just special enough to impress during this holiday season, yet traditional enough to please all members of your family (who like peanut butter, anyway). This cookie monster could have gobbled these all up in a heartbeat...but I had to share. And that was even better. :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Crock-Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Crock-Pot Chicken and Dumplings
Well.
Winter is here.
It's cold. I now officially always wear long johns under my pants or leggings when leaving the house. My only shoes that are getting worn outside are boots. I'm even occasionally donning a hat and gloves (and boy oh boy I hate wearing gloves almost as much as I hate wearing socks-speaking of...) AND SOCKS! Ugh I'm wearing socks. Not all the time, mind you, but more than I would like. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some perks of winter.

Christmas. Gotta love that.

And comforting, happy, delicious food, that warms you from the inside out.
Crock-Pot Chicken and Dumplings
Like this slow cooker chicken and dumplings recipe. 

It is pretty darn simple, and at the end you have a big bowl of warmness. It's quite lovely. Michael and I both absolutely adored this (although it does make a lot so be prepared for a lot of leftovers, or maybe make sure you serve more than 2 people). Michael was especially fond of the dumplings. I adored it but felt it was missing something. So, I whipped up my simple biscuit recipe-but I added cheese, some herbs, even a little chicken bouillon granules in there for flavor, made them drop biscuits, and it was exactly what I feel it needed! The bite of the cheesy biscuits was just sooo good slathered in the rest of it. Mmmmm hmmm. Yes. Either way, you should totally take my word for it and make the most out of winter by making yourself some!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Something Saturdays (12/1/12)

Hello my friends!

This week has been sorta weird, like, I babysat, then I spent a full 3 hours wandering around Bloomingdales (and feeling very out of place, but then triumphant when I got to purchase a dress--which I'm being reimbursed for--that I love for a short film I'm starring in, and will then get to keep ^_^), then I thought I was going to be filming but that got canceled last minute, then I spent a good chunk of yesterday hanging out with a girl who was one of my best friends in grade/middle school who just moved here (which was SOMUCHFUN) and today I'm working and then tomorrow Michael and I are Christmas decoratiiiing! Yay!

And for you guys I have an extra special event coming up this week...a surprise party...if you will. Stay tuned on Wednesday to see what I have in store ;).

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