Friday, February 28, 2014

Skinny Alfredo

Skinny Alfredo
THIS IS IT. The big one you guys!

I have dabbled with a couple different, healthier, homemade alfredo recipes. And I liked them.

But....I LOVE this recipe.
Skinny Alfredo
It's so simple to throw together--no weird ingredients, I pretty much always have everything I need for this recipe in my kitchen. It only takes like...10 minutes to make. No lie. AND...this is the big one...MICHAEL APPROVED! He never likes my alfredo recipes, he says they're never creamy enough! But this one he approved of (ok...he would've liked it better with white noodles and no zucchini, BUT he liked the sauce!)
Skinny Alfredo
I am completely obsessed and in love with everything to do with this recipe. It is so full of flavor, perfectly creamy, and you can use it on whatever kind of noodles you want. I chose to use whole wheat fettuccine or linguine, and also some zucchini noodles--I'm including instructions on how to make those in the recipe but you can completely do your own thing if you want. I just need to trick myself into eating those veggies whenever I can!

Aren't you guys proud of me?

Yeah, me too. And I'll be proud of you WHEN you go and make this. It'll only take like 10-15 minutes sooo...I'll just be waiting here.

go on. I'll see you soon.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Toffee & Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)

Toffee & Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)
I made these cookies a couple weeks ago, during yet ANOTHER snowstorm. It was coming down, all gross, and I was fed. up! I seriously....this winter. I can't even handle it. Every time I think "maybe it's done." another snowstorm hits! It makes it SO difficult to get anything done in NYC (laundry when there's snow on the ground? Not happening.) So, I was feeling quite cranky. So, what could I do?

Make cookies. Obviously.
Toffee & Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)
Cookies make every day better, in my opinion. And these TOTALLY did perk me up! Now, one thing to remember when whipping this delicious (one bowl) recipe up--they do need chilled. For at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days. Now, I knew snow was coming, so I made these the night before the storm, so the dough was good to go when I awoke the next morning to just....way too much icy white stuff. It was actually sort of nice that the dough was already ready, I just looked outside, got cranky, then began preheating the oven. Next thing I knew I had cookies!
Toffee & Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)
Mmmmm cookies. Cookies that are just a little bit crisp, but mostly soft and cheeewwwyyyy and gooey in the centers. Cookies FULL of peanut butter flavor (no flour=less to take away from that peanut buttery goodness), with crunchy little bites of toffee, and gooey wonderful bites of rich milk chocolate. Ahh these cookies. Delightful when they are warm from the oven, and matured and complex and perfect at room temperature. 
Toffee & Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)
Now, these cookies you see in my pictures might be a little more brown than yours will be. You see, you're not supposed to use homemade or natural pb in these, it doesn't make for the best texture. And I happened to have a bunch of PB & Co peanut butters hanging around. So...I sort of frankenstein'd it up and used a mix  of honey peanut butter, white chocolate peanut butter, and dark chocolate peanut butter (and that is to blame for the slightly darker color). I would've just used regular peanut butter but hey, either way...DELISH.

And let's not forget that these perfect little treats are gluten free, and I know A TON of people who are off that gluten but cravinggg sweets. Friends, never fear-THESE COOKIES ARE HERE!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins {HEALTHY}

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins {HEALTHY}
Muffins get kind of a bum rap in the breakfast world.

Not that people don't love em...oh no...people LOVE muffins. But everyone says they're not healthy, it's cake for breakfast, sugar, carbs, blah blah blahhhhhh. Well, worry no more my friends! You can eat THESE muffins and not have your annoying best friend who's going to grad school for nutrition and food science giving you a hard time about it (wait...is that just me?). REGARDLESS-muffins. Healthified. Oh yeah.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins {HEALTHY}
These muffins taste healthy. But like...in a good way. In a hearty, filling, makes you feel good about yourself kind of way. There are oats, whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, peanut butter....and....well....ok....chocolate chips. BUT you can omit them if you really want. But like...dark chocolate is an antioxidant. And really, there are NOT a lot of choc chips in this recipe.

Really. Seriously. I'm not kidding. Scout's honor.* (I really was a Girl Scout so you know that's legit.)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins {HEALTHY}
The only problem I have when I make muffins is....there's 12. For just me and Michael. And we can each really only eat like 1 a day soooo it's a smidge difficult. But no worries, these beautiful muffins did not go to waste-I gave a few to the parents of a little girl I babysit, and Michael and I managed to finish off the rest. :D

Of course you can always freeze leftover muffins. Or, if you have a big family, do not worry because these will get gobbled up before you know it! Perfect for breakfast or a nice healthy snack!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Something Saturdays (2/22/14) + some BIG news!

THIS WEEK HAS BEEN CRAZY! I've been working a lot more frequently, so I'm just feeling wiped out. I seriously don't know how people with full time jobs do it!

And....Ok....guys....I've been keeping something from you since this summer. And now that things are moving along I can FINALLY tell you (this hasn't been a secret, just not something we've announced thus far):

Michael and I are moving to Ohio!

I'm sure you have many questions. I will pretend I'm you and ask/answer them:
Why Ohio?
If you didn't know, Michael and I are originally from Ohio. It is where pretty much the entirety of our families live. I've been in NYC for over 5 years now, Michael for over 2 (he moved here for me) and we are really missing our families. I love New York, I always will, and I am so glad I came here, but it is time for us to go home. I want to plan my wedding there and build our life there, one where we are surrounded by our loved ones. 
Where in Ohio?
We're moving to Cuyahoga Falls-it's about 30 minutes from our hometown (Canton), 30 minutes from Cleveland (where I'll probably be going to for work), and only about 10 minutes from Kent (where Michael will attend grad school....hopefully.)
What will you do?
Well, Michael has applied to grad school and various jobs--he actually has an interview for a position in Akron and an interview for grad school coming up in 2 weeks. I AM still planning on acting-I will just be doing it in Cleveland, a smaller market but a market nevertheless! I have a friend who referred me to some great info and people and I'm kind of looking forward to maybe being a bigger fish in a smaller pond. I'm also going to still try to do my promotional modeling, there's a good amount of that going on around there too. So yeah, that's the idea.
What does this mean for the blog?
Nothing! Well...not nothing but probably not anything big. I'll still be an actress and I'll still make food. I love this blog and I have full intentions of keeping it going. Obviously life is about to change in a really huge way for us (I haven't lived in Ohio since I was 18!) so I can't foresee everything but I will try very hard to keep things consistent on here. Perhaps they'll even get better (I'm certain I'll have an easier time with my food photography when I get out of this tiny kitchen.) Additionally, I'll probably start looking into any Ohio-based blogging opportunities/peoples. I'll miss my NYC bloggies, but it'll be fun to make new friends too!
When is this move happening?
Um...still not 100% on this one. Probably sometime in April. Really it depends on Michael's job situation/our new apartment situation. But...hopefully April.
Will you ever visit New York again?
Of course! I am pretty darn certain visits will be happening. I'll still have a bridesmaid/cousin here after all :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
My brother and I are 2 and a half years apart (but he's tall and I'm short so we tend to look the same age) and don't really look alike. Now, this isn't really a big deal, who cares if my brother and I don't look like each other, right? Well, here's the problem: sometimes Josh and I hang out, and oftentimes (note: almost all the time) when we're out together, people think we're together. Like a couple. This is very traumatic, as I'm sure you can imagine. When it first happened we were horrified. Now it's this thing we expect and fear. To the point where we will literally go out of our way to mention that we are siblings. The worst/best was when I went to look at one of the reception locations with my mom and Josh (this was not the place we ended up choosing) the woman came over to talk to us and, according to Josh, kept glancing at him, as well as me, when she asked questions. When she stepped away, Josh turned to me and hissed, "MAKE SURE SHE KNOWS I'M NOT YOUR FIANCE' I'M YOUR BROTHER!" Ugh. It is unfair that this is a necessary thing. 
Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Anyway, what's all of that have to do with cookies?
Nothing.

I just wanted to share.
Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
SHARING however, does have to do with these cookies!
I would looove to share some of these with you!

These cookies are little bites of coconut-y goodness. Chewy and full of amazing texture, and, duh, chocolate. All wins. PLUS they're actually not too bad for you. They don't contain any butter-just coconut oil. AND I used all white whole wheat flour in these. So I occasionally found it acceptable to have one of these for breakfast. That's totally ok with you guys, yeah?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Remember how last week we talked about the new Dark Chocolate Dreams cookbook? Remember that yummy pie? Well, that was Michael's choice from the cookbook to make. THIS was mine.
Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Um....flourless chocolate cakes are freaking delicious. They're rich. They're dense. When warm they're a little molten, when chilled they are silky decadence. And this cake is all of that...plus PEANUT BUTTAHH.
Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
This is totally not wedding diet approved.

I mean...there are 8 eggs in this recipe. And 2 sticks of butter. And a bunch of chocolate and peanut butter. But like....life isn't worth living without indulgences, right? RIGHT. Plus...this cake is seriously SO rich, and that even I (queen of "THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS TOO RICH") only need a small slice to get my fix. So hey, there's that! I'm super sorry that this recipe is too late for Valentine's Day, because it would've been perfect. But...um...you probably have a birthday or anniversary or something coming up, right?

If not...just serve it on a Tuesday. Because you deserve it.

Monday, February 17, 2014

{Healthier} Chicken and Waffle Sliders

{Healthier} Chicken and Waffle Sliders
I've always been like...crazy curious about fried chicken and waffles. Like...I like fried chicken...I like waffles...I'm intrigued.

But I feel like maybe I like it more in a making the waffle savory kinda way as opposed to putting syrup on both. But who knows. I haven't tried it yet.

In the meantime...I tried these:
{Healthier} Chicken and Waffle Sliders
SAVORY waffles with baked, crunchy chicken. And cheese. Of course there's cheese. These sliders were super tasty-the waffles were crisp, yet tender, and had a yummy cheesy-slightly garlic-y flavor, and then the chicken was perfectly cooked, and the cornflake breading gave them just a hint of subtle sweetness. And the cheese was cheese. And cheese is good.

These are good.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Something Saturdays (2/15/14)

How was your Valentine's Day? I hope it was good. Or at least average. Michael and I just cozied up, watched some movies, and ate some food (which, actually, ended up being kind of an annoying experience: we ordered food, it was late and they forget the dessert. So then I had to call to have them bring it back and that took forever....blah). We're mostly celebrating tomorrow, we're planning on going to see the Lego movie and get burgers. Yepp, very romantic of us. :D

Today I'm actually venturing down to Brooklyn to check out the Baked bakery (FINALLY) with Mallory and Susan. I'm so excited to enjoy the best brownie ever with 2 of my fave girls!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Whole Wheat Chocolate Dutch Baby

Hello there! Happy Valentine's Day! <3
Whole Wheat Chocolate Dutch Baby
When it came to the photography for this one, guys...I just kept it simple. I found myself out of powdered sugar for dusting (d'oh!) and really wishing I had some strawberries or raspberries hanging around (but of course...I didn't) so I just was like "Ok. This is what is is. Let's just show everyone a chocolate dutch baby."
Whole Wheat Chocolate Dutch Baby
There are 2 BIG reasons this recipe rocks (aside from the fact that it's yummy):

It's healthy-ish (low sugar, whole wheat flour, low calorie)
SO quick and easy to make. I seriously whipped this baby (this dutch baby, to be specific...hehe) up in less than 5 minutes (+ baking time)
Whole Wheat Chocolate Dutch Baby
And it is SO versatile. Michael liked his with syrup. I liked mine with some whipped cream...and...well...at one point I may have put some toasted marshmallows and melted chocolate on top...#sorryimnotsorry.

Now...what is a dutch baby? Um...I believe it is a German pancake. But it's sort of like something between an American pancake and...a cake. Michael initially believed this to be more cake-like but, upon trying it, then realized that it may lean more pancake.

Hey, whatevs. It's chocolate either way.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies

Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies
I don't know about you but I'm a BIG supporter of cookies for breakfast. Oh yeah. However-in general I really try not to eat sweets in the morning. It seems like the first thing you eat for the day is somehow the most important?

That's the beauty of BREAKFAST COOKIES. They're meant for breakfast, and are totally healthy-ish so no need for the guilt and worry :P.
Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies
And, there's another bonus to breakfast cookies (for me anyway):

I don't feel like I need another sweet/dessert. That's good for my day. So...ya know...woot.
Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies
These breakfast cookies are PERFECT! Full of peanut butter flavor, they also have oats, whole wheat flour, flaxseed meal, AND they're made with coconut oil-not butter! If you wanna be uber healthy you can omit the chocolate chips. Buuuut....whyy? Why omit the delish chocolate chips? I certainly could not do it.

So, make these, and enjoy the most important meal of the day :D

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dark Chocolate Dreams Icebox Pie-31 Days of Dark Chocolate Dreams Cookbook Review

Dark Chocolate Dreams Icebox Pie-31 Days of Dark Chocolate Dreams Cookbook Review
I'm feeling prettyyyy cool. Wanna know why? I got to check out an ADVANCE copy of Peanut Butter & Co's new cookbook "31 Days of Dark Chocolate Dreams" (written by Peanut Butter & Co. founder and president, Lee Zalben)!! The cookbook released on January 27th (but I received it a couple weeks before) and features a whole month's worth of delicious, crazy, fabulous recipes using PB&Co's most popular (and my FAVORITE) peanut butter: Dark Chocolate Dreams (remember when I did that full scale review, back in the day?)
Dark Chocolate Dreams Icebox Pie-31 Days of Dark Chocolate Dreams Cookbook Review
When PB&Co approached me about the opportunity, I mean..it was a no brainer. I LOVE them. They have this amazing sandwich shop here in NYC and...I mean...their peanut butters...AHHMAZING. And Dark Chocolate Dreams is the best: chocolate + peanut butter=goodness. Duh. Bonus: it has no cholesterol, no trans fats, no hydrogenated oils, and no high-fructose corn syrup. It is also gluten-free, certified vegan, and certified kosher pareve. Awesomeness, right? And a whole cookbook using this nectar from heaven...whoa!

There were so many delicious options, flipping through this cookbook, that I didn't know where to start!

Fortunately, Michael very succinctly made up my mind. He pointed to the icebox pie and said, "That one."

...ok then
Dark Chocolate Dreams Icebox Pie-31 Days of Dark Chocolate Dreams Cookbook Review
My boy loves pie. So do I. And this, this is the embodiment of everything I want in a pie. After his first bite, Michael said, "Ohhh....this is so good...I take back what I said about the soup." He then proceeded to savor each bite, very slowly. And when the day came that he had to finish the last piece...he was a sad Michael.

Let's break it down: homemade, crunchy, buttery, chocolate cookie crust. Then a rich, thick, creamy, heavenly, dark chocolate peanut butter filling that will make you just want to let it sit on your tongue so you can just enjoy every moment. Then, on top, the perfect bit of texture is added by garnishing with peanuts and chocolate chips. Just....ahhh....so good you guys. I'm not even kidding. You need this pie in your life, NOW.

Just ask my poor, broken fiance', crying in the corner because there is no more pie*.

*this is a slight exaggeration. Slight.

((Keep on reading after the recipe for a GIVEAWAY!))

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Something Saturdays (2/8/14)

In case you haven't heard, Michael and I have a date set for our wedding! :D
(and I got my first wedding related freak-out out of the way. We initially booked Occasions for June 6th, but then when I called the church they were booked on that date. SO we ended up going with June 20th, which was sort of the date I didn't want BUT it's totally ok and at least we got both places and it's going to be amazing!)


Friday, February 7, 2014

Valentine's Day Desserts Round Up

One week until Valentine's Day! Are you a gooey romantic who goes all out? Are you a Valentine's grinch who essentially protests the entire day? Or are you like Michael and I-finding a compromise between the two and having a nice, but essentially low-key, day?

Whatever you're doing, methinks it is always the right time for desserts. So, I've gathered some of the most Valentine's appropriate desserts from the blog, to give you some inspiration and some yumminess in your tummy (and if you're trying to snag a special someone...perhaps I've helped find the way to seal that deal?)

2 years ago I included a round up of great recipes for all of Valentine's Day if you wanna check that out, and last year I had a dessert round up too!

Anyway, read on, get some ideas, and enjoy! (and if you want to pin a specific recipe to pinterest, I suggest clicking on the recipe link and pinning from the individual blog posts.)
Valentine's Day Desserts Round Up
(in order, left to right, top to bottom):
Mini Raspberry Swirl Cheesecakes

Cream Puffs (from scratch)

Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Pie

Nutella Crack Pie

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Chocolate Chantilly

Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding (Lightened Up)

Buckeye Cake

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Pecan Truffles

Chocolate Cobbler

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Decadence

Deep Dish S'more

Chocolate Truffle Tart

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cheesy Chicken and Potato Chowder

Cheesy Chicken and Potato Chowder
I know...I go nearly 3 years with nary a soup recipe and now here I am with 2 recipes 2 weeks in a ROW!

But..guys...it's been SO COLD (I don't even wanna talk about the fact that another winter storm is happening today. I am OVER this winter). I need comforting, warm, food!

Michael loved this soup so much that he declared, "I'm kind of sad-everything you make from now on is just downhill, because this soup is THE PINNACLE."

I've already made it twice, and it was only a few weeks ago that I made it for the first time.
Cheesy Chicken and Potato Chowder
This soup really has it all: it's like the popular kid who's also really nice and smart and well rounded and genuinely gets along with everyone, and who gets all the best superlatives in the yearbook and goes on to have an amazing life.

This soup is that person.
Cheesy Chicken and Potato Chowder
This soup is pretty darn easy to make-the only things that take time are chopping the veggies (gah I hate chopping) and cooking the chicken (but if you already have chicken or buy a rotisserie, hey, look, that's done!). It's chock full of veggies so I get all proud of myself for eating it. AND it is so lusciously creamy and cheesy and flavorful...it is just the perfect balance of all things. It could not be better. Not possible!

We ate the whole batch in about 2 days. So...brace yourselves. Maybe do a double batch. I dunno but, whoever you feed this soup to will become your new best friend. Use this power wisely.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pierogies Au Gratin-Mrs. T's Pierogies Review

Pierogies Au Gratin-Mrs. T's Pierogies Review
 I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central for Mrs. T’s Pierogies. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Hey! What about that Super Bowl yesterday...I mean...it was....right? Yeeeah.

...I don't know what happened.
Pierogies Au Gratin-Mrs. T's Pierogies Review
You know what I do know things about? TV shows. And movies. I've already made it clear that I'm super into the idea of my bachelorette party being a big slumber party where we watch movies. Really, if I'm hanging out with my friends, that's all I need. The rest is just details...well...except for the food. The food is like the most the 2nd most important part of a get together.

Whether I'm sitting down to watch Orange is the New Black (or whichever show) by myself, or with my buds, Mrs. T's Pierogies are always there for me.

Now, you know me. I'm not generally into eating frozen food. But-I AM NOT KIDDING-when I was approached to work with Mrs. T's...I already had 2 boxes in the freezer. For myself. They're my solution for when I need something quick for myself. Or, something still-pretty-quick-but-slightly-less-quick, for entertaining.
Pierogies Au Gratin-Mrs. T's Pierogies Review
Such as pierogies au gratin.

But before we spiff em up, let me explain what Mrs. T's pierogies are all about, if you're not familiar. They're yummy whipped potatoes combined with additions (Mrs. T's has 11 varieties-including whole grain and mini kinds-so some of these additions include onions and cheddar) and then they're "gently folded" in a pasta shell. There are SO many different ways you can prepare the pierogies, and different ways you can use them! Honestly, I usually bake em and then serve with a little butter. Easy and delicious. However, if you wanna do something special, there are so many ways you can use 'em! I went on to Mrs. T's website and looked through the recipe ideas before stumbling upon the pierogies au gratin. I tweaked the recipe just a smidge and it turned out DELICIOUS-beautifully cheesey and just so comforting. Nothing not to like. It's like if macaroni and cheese and potatoes au gratin got together and had a baby. A delicious baby....that's not an actual baby. Just pierogies n cheese. Calm down. And also, check out Mrs. T's facebook and twitter pages while you're at it!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Something Saturdays (2/1/14)

I am ANXIOOOUS today--today my mom is taking the deposit over to our hall to book them for the wedding. So, by this afternoon, we'll gave a definite date for the wedding! EEEE!

I know this is way long overdue, but I present to you a collage with some highlights from my Disney trip:
(left to right, top to bottom: Epcot; Me, Josh, and the Geis girls-our godsisters-in front of the tree at Disney's Hollywood Studios; Tower of Terror; New Fantasyland with Eric's ship and Beast's castle; Josh and I on Dumbo; Dinsye + Mickey in front of Cinderella's castle; the castle lit up at night; Animal Kingdom; Christmas fireworks; Josh and I in front of Cinderella's castle)
My fave is that picture of Josh (my brother) and I in front of the castle. Love! :)

Wanna waste an hour giggling your head off? Yes? Great! Then go and become as obsessed with this tumblr as I am--let's just say it's a bunch of ridiculous looking Disney dolls having hilarious antics...*teehe* 

This video makes me happier than words can say:

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