Friday, May 31, 2013

S'mores Round Up

S'mores.
Oh sweet, gooey, wonderful toasty melty s'mores.

Today is the last day of May so, as far as I'm concerned, summer is officially about to start! (Plus, um, it's 90 degrees here.) And there are few things that make me think more about summer than s'mores. So, to start this (what I can tell will be crazy amazing) summer off right, I've got a round up of all the s'mores recipes here on the blog-so far :P

(This is not to say that anything will ever top the purity of 2 graham crackers, a slab of chocolate, and 1-or 2-toasted marshmallows, sandwiched together into the perfect treat. But I assume you people are all smart and know how to make those. And sometimes we need to take our fave desserts and fuse them with out other beloved sweets. And that is what you are about to see.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Creamy Garlic Shells

Creamy Garlic Shells
I'm gonna take you all back in time with me for a moment. Imagine you're a young Kayle (this story could apply to virtually any time of my life for as long as I can remember until I moved out-but we'll specifically talk about the time period prior to me being 16/17, when my parents got divorced). You're sitting at the round wooden kitchen table with your back facing the front window. Your little brother sits across from you. Your mom is to your left and your dad is to your right. Your dad made steak (that tastes strongly of teriyaki) and your mom made corn and butter noodles.

We're currently talking about those butter noodles. They come out of a packet with powder that becomes the sauce. They're garlicky and creamy and you're a big fan.
Creamy Garlic Shells
But then little Kayle grows up and you no longer really eat foods that come from packets.
So you haven't had butter noodles since that one time when you were visiting and your dad made it for you at his house. Oh wait...actually...you made that. He made the steak (or whatever) still though. But anyway that was awhile ago. Then you stumble upon a recipe on pinterest that claims to be similar, but homemade.

So obviously you make it. 
Creamy Garlic Shells
And it's so luscious, so creamy, so full of flavor. A perfect side dish...whether it's with steak and corn, or something else.

;)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Extra Flaky Biscuits

Extra Flaky Biscuits
Hey!
You wanna make biscuits that are SO incredibly flaky that you could just die?
AND they don't come out of a can!?
AND they're even kinda healthified?!

Yes?
Well, I've got some good news for you.
Extra Flaky Biscuits
Turns out, you just need to do some dough folding and rolling and you then end up with those layers, the ones you see on those pilsbury commercials, the ones we all go crazy for!

These biscuits have THE MOST amazing layers, they're soft, they're delicious (um hi honey, thanks for being in my biscuits, that's a good place for you to be) and seriously, so good. Michael was like raving about em. He totally caught me though. I made these with white whole wheat flour (which like...barely counts as whole wheat flour as far as flavor and texture goes) and I didn't say ANYTHING to him about that yet still, he's on the phone to his dad saying,
"Oh Kayle made these whole wheat biscuits today, they're exactly like the Grands ones but homemade..."
And I was like, "Aw that's so nice he-wait a minute! Whole Wheat! How did you know I used whole wheat??!"

And he just shrugged and said "I know things."

But it's ok that he knew, because he loved em. Me too. Too good you guys. Too good.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Something Saturdays (5/25/13)

Let's just, as a group, feel super old but also nostalgic while reading this.

And, as I mentioned, I'm super crazy busy right now trying to cram the filming of an entire movie into 7 days, but I'm having so much fun (who knew being fake pregnant would be so amusing?? Everyone's all like "Congratulations!" and "When are you due?" and I'm like...ooooh I'm such a liaaar.)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Alice's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Alice's Chocolate Chip Cookies
I'm gonna be honest with ya.
I debated if I should even share this post with you.

It's been sitting in my photos folder, as my backup, for if a time came where I was so desperate for some food to publish, I would have something. That day is today. These cookies have been lauded as "the best" by a few select bloggers. And I respect these bloggers. But..well...I didn't love these cookies.

They're actually the cookies that inspired these toasted marshmallow cookie sandwiches, because I just couldn't eat the leftovers by themselves anymore.

BUT-we're all different, and have different opinions. And, I might as well let you decide for yourself. What makes these cookies unique is the dark brown sugar, creaming process, lots of sugar, and you don't need to chill them at all-you can just immediately make them. You then have a fairly classic, chewy cookies with some very complex, hints of molasses (due to the dark brown sugar).

For my personal preference level-these just weren't thick enough. I knew I was in trouble when I saw how wet the dough was (in my experience thicker dough=better cookies). And I didn't think, other than the dark brown sugar, the flavors were anything great. 

But again, that's me. Let's allow the jury to decide, shall we?

Or, if you wanna try some of MY favorite, classic, chocolate chip cookie recipes, check out one of these:



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

BBQ Potatoes

BBQ Potatoes
It's always a happy day when Michael turns to me, after trying a new recipe, and says,
"I like these. You can make these again."

Oh I can?
Thanks babe.
BBQ Potatoes
I really can never have enough potato recipes. 

Potatoes are my friends (but not in a Finding Nemo "fish are friends not food" kind of way. Potatoes are most certainly food.) What makes these so cool is:
1. You can make them on a grill if you are so inclined and oh hey summer is nearly upon us!
2. They are cooked in broth, which makes them incredibly tender and taste ohh so rich and good.
3. You literally put slabs of butter on top of them prior to cooking. Uhh yeah.

So you should eat em. Maybe grill some steak too. Be a meat and potatoes guy/gal like me. All the cool kids are doing it.

I'm gonna have to cut this lil post-y short now because I have to go strap on my fake baby belly to play a woman who's 8 months pregnant in a feature I'm filming.

HOW FUN IS THAT!? :P

Monday, May 20, 2013

Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Chip Waffles

Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Chip Waffles
I'm oddly lazy in the morning when it comes to cooking. I mean like...I'm pretty good to go by 9. But since I wake up at 7, usually, that means me making a like...actual breakfast, doesn't happen often. I go to sleep the night before with great intentions to make something. Then I wake up and it's just like "Ughhh I don't wannaaaa." So, I was pretty proud of myself a few weeks ago when, one Sunday morning, I told Michael "I'm making a big breakfast! Waffles and eggs and bacon!"

And do you know how he responded? He snorted.
"That's funny that you think that's a big breakfast. When my mom would say she was making a big breakfast she made hash browns, an egg casserole, mini muffins, pancakes, sausage, bacon, the holy grail..."

Ok...so maybe he didn't say that last one. But the rest. How can I live up to that?! Aghhh
Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Chip Waffles
But anyway, I digress. We're here to talk waffles. Chocolate waffles. Double chocolate waffles. Cocoa powder + chocolate chips. Yes.

Oh and they're like...fairly good-ish for you. We've got whole wheat flour goin' and the darkness of the chocolates makes em like healthy n such and just a lil bit of heart healthy oils as fat.

Now...if you decide to top these waffles with ice cream and hot fudge...that's up to you.
You could also put fruit on top.

These waffles are just cool like that.
Whole Wheat Double Chocolate Chip Waffles
Pretty quick to whip up (you don't even need to whip egg whites like you do for my other waffle recipes), I was able to actually deliver on making these waffles that Sunday morning. I'm confident all you other busy (or lazy) peeps can do it too. They're thick and chewy, but crisp on the outside, and they really just taste...well..like chocolate waffles. 

So yeah. Nothing not to like about that.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Something Saturdays (5/18/13)

Hi you guysss! SO, I just wanted to give you a heads up that starting this coming Wednesday I'm gonna be like semi-MIA (there will still be posts, no worries!) I'm filming a movie for about a week and will be pretty darn busy with that, and I'm super excited but it's the first time I'm like "leaving" the bloggy stuff for such an extended period! So just know I still love you, ok? K. :)

Oh and I had a blast with my brother last week. It was so awesome having him here. And now he's all 21 and stuff *sigh* they grow up so fast.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Olive Oil Brownies

Olive Oil Brownies
The gooeyness level of these brownies is pretty killer, huh?
You're probably ready to break out your fat pants.

But hey hey hey! Don't be so hasty. You don't...necessarily...need those. These aren't...that...bad!
These brownies are made with whole wheat flour AND have no butter in them. Nada. Only...
olive oil.

I know! It's like...whaaa??!
Olive Oil Brownies
Now, I'm Italian. I adore olive oil. Once, my freshman year of high school (before my first high school dance, in fact) I was challenged to an Italian-off:whoever drank the most straight olive oil won.

I was the victor.

But...you know...olive oil tends to stay on the savory side of my life. I've heard of like..olive oil ice cream. And I've been intrigued by it. But...just hadn't happened.

And then I met a chocolatey brownie recipe that I just couldn't say no to.
Olive Oil Brownies
So. I made em. And they were gooey, so full of chocolate, and very yummy.

Buuut...
I could tell there was olive oil in them. It wasn't unpleasant it was just like "I wish they tasted like this instead".

That said-the flavor was far less noticeable leftover. And again-they were pretty darn tasty, regardless.
And less bad for you. Which is always a plus.
Olive Oil Brownies
And I'm pretty sure Michael never knew these had olive oil in 'em.
What can I say? It never came up.

Oh and also...throw some salt on top of these brownies. 
Do yourself a favor.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

100% Whole Wheat Bread

100% Whole Wheat Bread
Confession: whenever I see a Rockin' Body commercial I think to myself "Those people look so in shape and like they're having so much fun! If I buy that maybe I can look like that too! And have fun dancing!" And then I remember my unused Flirty Girl Fitness DVD's....*sigh* 

Since I'm apparently allergic to exercise, I...ya know...try to make small changes to keep stuff under control on this body 'o' mine. Switching to whole wheat is a big move I made, like, a couple years ago (I mean...in some stuff...obviously white flour still has it's place in many baked goods). Mostly this applies to pasta and bread.
100% Whole Wheat Bread
Anyway, after I had that nutella & pb sandwich I toldja about, I knew I wanted to make homemade Nutella AND a nice, classic, completely whole wheat sandwich bread. Obviously the first place I turned to was King Arthur Flour for the recipe-and they did not disappoint.

This pretty darn easy recipe yields a nice, soft, loaf of bread that is perfect for sandwiches and toasting and spreading good stuff on it. The whole wheat flavor is not overwhelming at all and it's pretty much just the best.
100% Whole Wheat Bread
Michael super duper loved this recipe ("it's soft", he commented).

Sometimes you just need some recipes that are classic staples, that you know you're gonna hang on to and use for like...ever. This is one of those. Lurve. I could live on bread. I mean it. That whole "man cannot live on bread alone" thing? Does not apply to me-except for water. I need water too. Moral of the story is I would have fared just fine (food-wise) in an old timey prison.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Moms....you are amazing.
No matter how much credit and thanks I give you, it will never be enough. 

So I'll leave you with some tasty food, food that I think MY mom, would particularly like.


Thanks ladies. We love ya.

(note: My mom doesn't like chocolate. Yes I'm certain I'm her biological daughter...apparently all the chocolate lovin' genes got sent to me. Anyway, that's the reason for the lack of chocolate below)


















~HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!~

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Something Saturdays (5/11/13)

MY BROTHER IS HERE!!!
(OMG he's so funny watch this video he made)

And thusly I'm busy. Today we're hitting the Museum of Natural History.

Funfunfun!

Aaaand, in case you didn't realize. THE BLOG REDESIGN IS DONE! Whattya think??! I lurrrve it!
-there are a few kinks I need to work out, like the commenting system, but hopefully that will all be fixed soon :D-
(so many thanks to Jenn from Munchkin Land Designs for being so patient and helping me figure out what I wanted, and bringing this whole thing together! And to Lauren from HeyHey Designs for making my little cartoon me come to life! Both of these ladies are AMAZING!)

Also a big shout out to Something Swanky for posting 2 amazing posts that led to those snazzy social media icons you see there on the sidebar! Click here for post 1 and post 2.

Stay tuned for a Mother's Day post tomorrow (which will replace this week's Monday post).

Oh and...here...laugh today. (Josh and I have giggled and quoted this incessantly since yesterday)


Friday, May 10, 2013

Roxana's Dinner Rolls

Roxana's Dinner Rolls
MY BROTHER IS HERE MY BROTHER IS HERE! Yippee skippy! My little brother (not so little...he towers over me at 5'9" but still, he's 2.5 years younger than I) hasn't visited me in like...3 years, and he's never visited by himself! We're gonna have so much fun! Yay yay yay!

When we first talked about what he'd want to do when he's here, all he said was, "I just want you to make me food." Ha! He was unlucky enough that I didn't really get into cooking until after I moved out, so he tends to get mightily jealous whenever I post yumminess that he can't have. This week(end) we are gonna remedy that.
Roxana's Dinner Rolls
Anyway, in the spirit of tasty food and celebration, I thought today would be the perfect time to share these dinner rolls. I made them for Easter because when Roxana says these rolls are the best, well, I had to try. That woman knows her breads. Essentially these rolls are somewhere in between a classic dinner roll and brioche. They're gorgeously golden on the outside, and fabulously fluffy inside. They're also not super difficult to make-it's nice to have a stand mixer but I made these fine by hand. 

And ahhh, they smell amazing.
Roxana's Dinner Rolls
Now, do these replace my current favorite dinner roll recipe?
No.

But that's me. I prefer that kind of roll. I still really loved these, and Michael raved about them. They're better for if you're looking for a more classy and classic roll. Seriously, if you're having a dinner party-serve these rolls.

Oh! And a major bonus-they freeze awesomely. I made these the day before needing them and froze em. They worked wonderfully. You can also make a double batch and just keep these babies frozen until a major roll craving strikes.

And let's face it, who doesn't get hit with the occasional roll craving?

(Unrelated note: Ooooh look! The blog looks all different! The blog redesign is finished people! Yayyyy! Do you like it? I hope you like it!)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Nutella Crack Pie

Nutella Crack Pie
Soooo remember that homemade Nutella we made Monday?
Well...then I put it in a pie.
A crazy addictive*, potentially dangerous pie.

Crack pie.
That's right. Nutella crack pie.

*(people, don't do drugs. Just eat pie.)
Nutella Crack Pie
Just in case you didn't know-I can't take ownership of the crack pie idea, crack pie is one of the big desserts over at Momofuku Milk Bar. And then some crazy amazing people on the interwebs put a new spin on it-adding Nutella. Essentially what we have is an oatmeal cookie crust (WHICH OMG IS PROBABLY THE BEST PART, I WAS OFTEN TEMPTED TO JUST EAT IT! SUCH BROWN SUGARY GOODNESS) and then a gooey, brown sugar-y filling (which in this case also has the addition of some chocolate hazelnut-y goodness).

Since I used the homemade Nutella, the hazelnut flavor really came through, but you can absolutely just use storebought. Whatever. You won't hurt my feelings.
Nutella Crack Pie
This pie is traditionally served at room temperature (or even possibly slightly warm?), but I actually preferred it chilled (a rare thing for me). I thought it just really helped the flavors of the filling come through and still...that crust....*drool*.

He'll deny this, but when I tried to explain the pie to him Michael didn't seem to optimistic about it. Then he tried it. And loved it. Duh. Who wouldn't?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Homemade Nutella (Chocolate Hazelnut Butter)

Homemade Nutella (Chocolate Hazelnut Butter)
They said it couldn't be done.
They said I was crazy.

BUT I DID IT!
buahahahaaaaaa!

I made homemade Nutella with only 2 ingredients:
hazelnuts.
chocolate.
Homemade Nutella (Chocolate Hazelnut Butter)
There are a lot of homemade Nutella recipes out there, and to be fair-most of them are actually probably closer to the store-bought. But I really just wanted a simple, healthier, chocolate hazelnut version. I asked various people about if I couldn't just make it the way I make any other chocolate nut butter, but I was told it wouldn't work, I needed to use cocoa powder, etc.

Well ta-da! I did it! I just took some roasted, skinned, hazelnuts and processed them. Then I threw in some dark chocolate chips and a dash of salt. Process until smooth, refrigerate, and done! YUM.
Homemade Nutella (Chocolate Hazelnut Butter)
You know those Nutella commercials where the mom is spreading it on toast and talking about how it's a healthier option for her kids (you know, the kind of stuff that got them sued)? Well...this is actually pretty healthy (I mean..dark chocolate is kindaaaa healthy). And I spread it on whole wheat toast and ate it for breakfast. Just like those kids in the commercial.

Oddly enough, I had been meaning to try this for awhile but one day, while babysitting, I made myself a toasted Nutella and peanut butter sandwich...and it was just so good I knew I needed to make some for myself ASAP.
Homemade Nutella (Chocolate Hazelnut Butter)
More good news=in addition to being able to just eat this on toast, with a spoon, etc. you can even use it in (some) recipes. I have a few coming to the blog soon :)

In summary, this is a spread full of amazing hazelnut-chocolate flavor, you're gonna love it, and to all who doubted me: nananananaaaa.

hehehehe.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Something Saturdays (5/4/13)

This is what happens when I try to workout. Sans dogs.

Huh. Turns out facebook did something again-they're hiding pages you like from you.
Luckily, it's super easy to work around. Just check out this short post on it.

Do you like Law & Order: SVU? Do you like the show I'm in, Rock-Star Cafe?
Yes?
Then have I got a treat for you:

Friday, May 3, 2013

Homemade Cheddar Cheese Crackers (Cheez-Its)


Homemade Cheddar Cheese Crackers (Cheez-Its)
MY NEW FAVORITE SNACK.

Imagine buttery, cheesy, crisp, yet flaky, little bites of heaven.
Imagine cheez-its but...like...a million times tastier.
Imagine Kayle eating 80 crackers over the coarse of like..2 days.

I'm sorry about that last one. You guys didn't need that mental picture. 
The point is: these crackers are the shiz-nit. 
Homemade Cheddar Cheese Crackers (Cheez-Its)
Oddly enough, cheese was never a big part of my diet until the last few years (I know, shocking). And cheese crackers were no exception: I thought they were OK, but they were never my go to.

Fast forward to the last time my mom visited. She brought um...about 10 different kinds of snacks with her (a few varieties of potato chips, pretzels, chex mix, and-Cheez-Its). You see, my mom is a salty snack kind of gal. She rarely finds herself wanting a sweet (and when she does she's satisfied with a few ropes of red licorice). Obviously we are very different people. Anyway, from her snack peer pressure I had some of the stuff she brought. And then I was like "Um...Cheez-Its are like yummier than I remember." But I still wasn't going to buy them for myself because, um, super bad for you and stuff. (In spite of their ever so reassuring "made with real cheese" promise *eye roll*).

Then I got into making homemade crackers. And saw a few copy cat recipes on the interwebs. In the end, this recipe won out because it was the simplest. Just pure, cheddar cracker goodness. And it delivered. These are like...pretty easy to make, and just taste incredible. So flavorful. So wonderfully cheesy. They're definitely best, texture-wise, the day they're made, but don't let that deter you from leftovers. They still hold up. They're pretty much the only non-sweet snack that I think I need in this life. Perhaps you'll agree?

*Note: Don't be alarmed that in the pictures my dough is pretty much white--I used white cheddar. They still turned out a gorgeous, almost orange color after baking. You can totally use orange cheddar if that's what you have. Don't fret about it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

S'mores Cakes in Jars

S'mores Cakes in Jars
We're in the midst of my favorite time of year, particularly in NY. The weather is 60's and 70's. The flowering trees have blossomed. It's warm and sunny and happy. *sigh* Beautiful. But, spring is fleeting. Over before it even really begins. And then we have summer.

But that's totally OK, because I love summer too.
S'mores Cakes in Jars
Summer is shorts, flip flops, tank tops, and pure, embracing, sunny heat. It's long days and warm nights. It's green grass and yellow sun and blue skies. Growing up it meant spending all my time swimming at my grandma's pool, playing with my cousins. It meant running around with my friends as the sun went down, catching fireflies and watching flickering flames of the bonfires our dads would have. It meant family and friends and fun and lazy days.

It also meant s'mores.
S'mores Cakes in Jars
I've gotten all gooey (figuratively and literally) about s'mores with you guys before
Suffice it to say: I love em.

So, in preparation for all the summer fun to come, I've got a fun (and portable) s'mores treat for ya. These are ideal for picnics, barbecues, parties, and such. Or, if you're me, just sitting in your apartment with a spoon. S'mores cakes in jars! Yes yes yes. Fabulously buttery graham cracker crust layered under moist chocolate cake, then topped with sweet, toasty marshmallows. Then ya dig in with a spoon and get messy. They're pretty darn easy to throw together-and they're really yummy leftover too (seriously, pop em in the microwave for 1 minute and you're good, or you could even just eat em room temp. Your call.)

These are about to be one of your new favorite things.
S'mores Cakes in Jars
And...you may end up with some extra batter.
I made a cute little loaf cake with crumbled graham crackers on top.
You could make cupcakes.

Or just eat it.
You know me, I don't judge.
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