Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gravy Cheese Fries Poutine

Gravy Cheese Fries Poutine
I have yet to make baked in the oven french fries that taste as good as the real thing:
Now, this doesn't mean it doesn't exist, I just haven't succeeded yet.

But, you know what totally makes up for any sort of problems with baked french fries flavor?
Smothering them in homemade gravy and lots of cheese.

Oh yeah.
Gravy Cheese Fries Poutine
I've never been particularly in love with gravy, but I've started coming around to it in the past year. I'll never be anywhere near my brother's level of obsession (he used to order gravy anytime he'd get chicken fingers when we were out, or sometimes he'd just like...drink gravy, lol!), but I'll eat it on occasion-such as on these fries! And the cheese really adds a great sharpness and extra bit of gooeyness.
Gravy Cheese Fries Poutine
I warn you, this is a totally dangerous and addictive recipe. I couldn't stop eating these. Poor Michael ended up with third of the recipe instead of half-I couldn't control myself from going after his bowl!

Rich, flavorful, warm, comforting-all good things in these fabulous fabulous fries. I'd never had "poutine" fries before this recipe but now I am totally in love with the concept-so all you Canadians/Frenchies should come make me some authentic ones sometime, k? In the mean time I'll just content myself with these.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Coconut Toffee Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut Toffee Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
You know what we haven't had in awhile?
Coconut Toffee Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pretty much if we go a week without cookies here Michael or I say that to the other (it became an inside joke after he said it to me in semi-seriousness one day and I was like "...we just had cookies" "No those were chocolate cookies!" it's a funny thing between us :P). You've obviously ascertained by this point I have a bit of a...fondness* for cookies.

*dramatic understatement.
Coconut Toffee Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
You've also probably figured out that I'm inclined towards large, chewy, gooey cookies. These cookies are not like that, but I love them just the same. These cookies are more on the crisp side, but I wouldn't want them any other way. We've got coconut and toffee, and-to me-those lend themselves especially well to a "thinner" cookie, if you will. The flavors are out of this world. Michael was instantly in love after he tried one. As was I. Oatmeal, chocolate chips, coconut, and toffee provide the most amazing, tasty, cookie experience.
Coconut Toffee Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies actually bring me back to when I was filming in Maine, way back in 2010. The woman who made us all our food would oftentimes bring us the most delicious cookies, and I was shocked by how much I loved them since they were thin and crisp! But toffee was the secret. Toffee in a thinner cookie is like magic somehow. I don't know, but these cookies reminded me of those cookies but...even better. The coconut and oatmeal gave these cookies such great texture, as well as taste, and ya know...getting to eat these in the comfort of my own home instead of a lake house I was sharing with like 15 (more or less) strangers was also a plus (I totally had tons of fun filming, though! Don't get me wrong! But being nearly completely cut off from the outside world for about a month wasn't my favorite thing--internet was spotty and cell reception was borderline nonexistant.)

So yeah, these cookies are special. They're delicious. You should make them and continue to eat them to your heart's content (which means you'll eat them all...which is totally cool.)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Something Saturdays (2/23/13)

You know, I don't share nearly enough of my acting stuff with you guys. I mean...this is the cooking actress right? I've already mentioned that this week I was featured on the "Green Widow" episode of Investigation Discovery show "My Dirty Little Secret" (check the link to see next time the episode will air so you can watch it!) Annnd, I'm gonna post on here the first episode of a tv series (airing on public access in California) I'm in called Rock-Star Cafe. I play Valerie. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Walkers Shortbread Recipe Challenge & Walkers Shortbread GIVEAWAY!(CLOSED)

It's here! It's here! I can finally talk to you guys about the Walkers Shortbread Recipe Challenge I participated in(and won :P) last Monday! Basically, 8 food bloggers were contacted and asked to develop recipes using Walkers Shortbread. We started this whole thing last fall, but due to weather complications we ended up having the event in February. We all had to make desserts that fell into one of these categories: cake, pie, tart, custard, pudding, or trifle. Then they were judged on taste, appearance, creativity, level of difficulty, and overall impression. Highest overall score=winner. Anyway, all us bloggers arrived at the NASFT headquarters, bringing 2 of each of our dishes (1 for judges, 1 for us all to try).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

S'mores Hot Cocoa

S'mores Hot Cocoa

Do you know what I'm doing right now as I write this??

(The Investigation Discovery show "My Dirty Little Secret", "Green Widow" episode. I play Nicole Samuels :D)
Like...on my TV. On a TV show. This is craziness. 
S'mores Hot Cocoa
You know what else is craziness (in the totally awesome way that seeing myself on TV is craziness)?


(I apologize for all the caps, I'm a smidge excitable)

When I first saw this recipe on the Chocolate Moosey I was like, "Um, well, that's the best thing I've ever heard of." Then when I finally bought myself some cookie butter from Trader Joe's I was like "Ahhhh I'm gonna make myself some s'mores hot cocoa! Whatwhaaaat!" (imagine some dancing and hands raising the roof). And I didn't even have to share. Michael doesn't like this. So I waited until I came home one day and it was cold outside, and I was like "It is time. I will have myself some s'mores hot cocoa now. Yes."
S'mores Hot Cocoa
Let me 'splain to you how insane this hot cocoa is.

It's like a surprise. You make the hot chocolate itself and you're like "Ugh this is like a super plain, not even that chocolatey hot chocolate, I am not sure about this." 

Then it's fun, because you get to toast marshmallows, and you're like "If nothing else, these are delicious."

Then something magical happens-you whisk some of the toasted marshmallows into the hot cocoa (with some cookie butter) and it transforms into a thick, luscious concoction.

You throw it in a mug (if you're super cool like me, it'll have Disney Princesses on it), plop a marshmallow, some chocolate, and graham cracker crumbs on top and you have yourself the perfect cup of hot cocoa for any s'mores lover.

And in case you haven't heard, I am a huge s'mores loverrr.
(that sounded kinda dirty?)
(I'm cool with it.)

Seriously-obviously you taste the chocolate. But the toasted marshmallow flavor is also totally present, and the cookie butter does a phenomenal job of giving you that graham cracker taste. I'm completely obsessed.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Butter Cream Chicken

Butter Cream Chicken

Yepp. That's right. Happy Monday everyone,
I have another chicken recipe for you!

Butter Cream Chicken

I feel that it's been established, I'm a big fan of butter. It's delicious. When I was a kid, I would literally take a finger-full of butter (ok...margarine...but...close enough) and eat it. I would drown my mashed potatoes in it. I would cover my pancakes in it. Even though my self control and...let's say palate...have matured, I still love anything that tastes buttery. Enter this chicken. It's coated in nothing but delicious, buttery, Ritz crackers. Then, you pan fry it. Then, you make the most amazing buttery cream sauce. Which I had a ton of leftover, btw, but this sauce tastes delicious on lots of different kinds of chicken and other stuff (I put it on my butter baked chicken as well). Put together, the chicken and sauce create a moist (sorry I know everyone hates that word), buttery, extremely flavorful entree. So yummy.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Something Saturdays (2/16/13)

Hi you guys!!

So, this was a big week! First I had the Walker's Shortbread Challenge, and won that so-yay! I will be doing a full post about the event as soon as I can, but here's a lil sneak peek:
Susan, The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen, me, and Mallory from Total Noms! Love these girls!

Anyway, then, Tuesday was Fat Tuesday, Wednesday was Ash Wednesday/the beginning of Lent. Michael and I, as usual, are trying to give up cursing (I am not doing so well so far...I keep forgetting!), and I'm trying to just be better in general about other stuff. What are you guys doing for Lent (if you celebrate it)?

And Thursday was Valentine's Day! I hope you all, single or steady, had a great day! Michael and I are celebrating Sunday, so I still have my day to look forward to :) What did you guys do?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Spinach & Brie Puff Pastries

Spinach & Brie Puff Pastries

So...I was planning to write up a post about the Walkers Shortbread Recipe Challenge today.
Buuut, I still need to get all the photos and stuff together, so stay tuned for that! 

In the mean time, for today I'm gonna share with you a vegetarian, savory, treat--since I'm doing the whole no meat on Fridays in Lent thing (*fingers crossed* last year was the first year I ever successfully did this).

Spinach & Brie Puff Pastries

So...yeah, like...can we talk about these pastries for a minute?

Puff pastry is just flaky, buttery, goodness. The spinach makes me feel healthy. And brie. 

Oh I love brie. I know it's like fancy French cheese, guys...brie tastes like butter.
Like buttah.

What's not to like?!

Spinach & Brie Puff Pastries

The flavor is fairly similar to those mini spinach and goat cheese pies I made, but still unique. It's so incredibly buttery and warm and comforting. I couldn't stop eating them. And the recipe only makes 4. So a day after I made the first batch...I made a 2nd batch. Don't judge me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Vanilla & Honey Shortbread Pie (Walkers Shortbread Recipe Challenge)

Vanilla & Honey Shortbread Pie
So um...
I kinda won a recipe contest Monday?

Yes. I am still in shock. I mean it when I say I had 0 expectations of winning. Everyone had such amazing, beautiful, delicious desserts, so I am just humbled. I am so so thrilled that I did win, though-definitely a highlight of my time as a baker/food blogger :).

And now I get to enjoy the awesomeness that is Michael being adorable and saying things like "A kiss for the winner!" "I love you my little champion", etc. etc. :) :) :)
(not to mention the awesome prizes I won. Including 2 tickets to the Summer Fancy Food Show-which I'm super excited about!)

On Monday I (along with 8 other food bloggers, including my friends Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen and Mallory of Total Noms) brought our recipes, featuring Walkers Shortbread, to the NASFT center in Manhattan. We all had to bring 1 copy of the dish for the 3 judges, and 1 for everyone there to try. This whole thing has been in the works since the fall, so we had all been thinking about our recipes for quite some time. I'll be posting a bunch more about the actual event later. For now, let's talk pie:
Vanilla & Honey Shortbread Pie
I decided to make pie. In my head, shortbread is warm and comforting tasting. So I thought that vanilla and honey were two flavors that would compliment that. And then I sort of just had a vague idea of what to do. And then I decided to just wing it the Sunday before the contest. Because I'm insane, I guess?

Anyway, the recipes I was sort of adapting the elements from didn't behave the ways I thought they would so I really had to think on my feet to make it all work. But it did! And the plus side is, the recipe is now 100% Kayle original :). Lemme sum it up for you:
  1. A buttery shortbread crust with honey and peanut butter (although 1 judge, Corina, suggested omitting peanut butter from the crust, as it can overwhelm the other flavors-so feel free to mess around with it).
  2. A rich, vanilla-honey pudding filling.
  3. Whipped cream on top! (I used honey & a lot of vanilla in mine)
Vanilla & Honey Shortbread Pie
The aforementioned judge, Corina, said it was like "eating a hug", and she made an audible noise of happiness when she took a bite. Best compliment ever :).

Oddly enough, the first time I tasted the entire pie together was while at the contest. I was pretty happy with it, tasted good to me. And Michael really really really liked it (he said it was extremely flavorful without being overwhelming). You will too. It is pure joy in pie form. 

I've got a ton left over, feel free to come on over and have some.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine's Day Dessert Ideas

I'm a big old, softy, love-loving, romantic, cheesy, cliche'd girly girl.
It is who I am.

So, I adore Valentine's Day, but had honestly never truly celebrated it until last year (the first time Michael and I had ever been together, in the same state, on Valentine's). And it was wonderful! Now, I understand that a lot of people aren't that into it. I understand that Michael, and most other people, think it's a fake holiday. I don't care. I don't even need a lot. Just a smidgen bit of romance and specialness, nothing big. This year we're going to celebrate on the 17th, so we're both off work, and we're going to go see Warm Bodies and catch dinner in the city. I'm pretty darn excited :) I'll probably also make some sort of yummy dessert, but then again, what else is new? Making dinner isn't especially...special...since I do it all the time. But for all of you who are making the (super awesome) decision to treat your beloved with homemade food, you have come to the right place!

Last year I shared some ideas to make for the entire day, but since I have a much larger recipe index to choose from this year, I'm sharing some of my favorite ideas for Valentine's Day desserts:

Valentine's Day Dessert Ideas
(Left to right, top to bottom)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Something Saturdays (2/9/13)

Well this is just one of the sweetest things I've seen in a long time:

Oh yeah, and my lips have a new best friend. Not really a couple months...but I wear it soo much! Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain=a long lasting (and I mean it) lip stain that is also a balm so your lips are all moisturized and happy! Lovesick is my color of choice and I wear it pretty much all the time. I especially love it when I'm just running around and don't do my hair or my makeup, but when I swipe on this stain I automatically look a bzillion times better!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ritz Cracker Chicken Casserole

Ritz Cracker Chicken Casserole

I don't go into this a lot but...I've had really awful experiences with roommates (not including Michael, he's an angel <3). They always have ended in ruined friendships, panic attacks, crying, and me hiding in my bedroom from roommates who hate me (I swear I didn't do anything!). Anyway, details aside, they didn't go so well. The first real incident I had of this was in my first (non-dorm) NYC apartment, in Brooklyn. It ended very badly. I have very few fond memories of my time there or of the people I lived with. Especially of one roommate (who I hadn't really liked to begin with)--probably the only thing about her that I liked was a poppy seed chicken casserole she made. Prior to the fallout she made it and shared with all of us-and it was delicious! It tasted fattening and bad... but oh sooo good. Then, post fallout, she would still make this casserole frequently...and oh how I wished I could have some. Anyway, since I moved out, I haven't thought much about it. Until I saw a recipe for just this casserole online!

Ritz Cracker Chicken Casserole

Now, I made a few adaptations. I didn't have poppy seeds, and really didn't think they'd make much of a difference (they didn't seem to). I also thought I'd try to somewhat healthify the recipe by using homemade cream of chicken soup (good choice), subbing in Greek yogurt for sour cream (altered the flavor slightly, but not in a bad way), and using homemade Ritz crackers (BAD CHOICE--they just weren't crisp enough. Stick with the store bought for that one). Of course you can completely disregard my adaptations and make this the original way, but now you have options :).

It's delicious. It's rich and buttery and really unforgettable.
 After all that roomie drama this casserole stuck with me. 
And I'm sure you'll find it just as memorable and addictive!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

S'mores Pie

S'mores Pie

I'm going to wax poetic about pie for a second.

I love pie. I, generally, prefer it over cake. When I speak about my love of pie...I'm not really talking about fruit pies, those are more Michael's thing. I love a good dessert pie. Peanut butter pie. Chocolate pies. Oreo pie. The good stuff. Rich and dense and always with some delicious crust! Ohhhh the crust. Buttery, rich, sweet, delicious crusts. Dear dessert pies...I love you.

S'mores Pie
Now I'm gonna say an ode to s'mores.

Oh s'mores. Toasted marshmallow-so ooey and gooey and sweet yet smoky + crisp, buttery graham goodness + rich, melt-y chocolate=a perfect trifecta of flavor. I love you in your original, campfire form. I love you as brownies. I love you as creme brulee. I love you used in any manner of cookies. I love you in cupcake form. And I love pie.

S'mores pie. This is real life. Super buttery, so good you wanna holla (oh yeah I went there), graham cracker crust meets rich, thick, chocolate ganache-y filling and is topped with the sweet perfection of toasted marshmallows. This pie is good chilled, warm, or even hot (although I'm not gonna's a mess whilst hot)--in this context chilled or slightly warm are the best, but there's really no going wrong here. I mean...we're talking about s'mores pie. Oh yeah.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Potato "Cake"

Potato "Cake" like potatoes.

As I'm sure you've noticed, I'm consistently finding new ways/variations on potatoes. Michael has said my blog is pretty much just endless sorts of cookies, chicken, and potatoes.

I don't think that's entirely true.

But, I'll admit there's a lot of em. I'm a consistent gal. This potato recipe is cool, because it's sort of like a potato cake. It's crispy, and the onions give it a really tasty flavor, and you could totally eat this for breakfast, as a side, or as an appetizer! Versatility! I like how the cake-like structure makes this seem sort of fancier, so if you're hosting an elegant brunch or some such thing, this is a prettier alternative to, say, hash browns.

So, bring these out for your fancy shmancy parties, or maybe just for you on a lazy night in. 
Like I said-versatility. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Something Saturdays (2/2/13)

I want you guys to all know how much you, the readers, mean to me. Your comments totally warm my heart. This one made my day when I read it (posted on my New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe post):
Christine said, "I must admit i was so skeptical. I mean 48 hours? Was this a sick joke? Yet for the better part of my existence i have been c.c cookie challenged. And i love them, so the fact that i couldent make a good one to save my life hurt that much were so right! I felt like a rockstar when these came out of the oven. My life will now be divided into two categories. Before and after " the 48 " hours. Thank you so much."
On a different note....I um....I suppose tomorrow's the Super Bowl? Yeah? Well, football isn't really a thing in my apartment, but if you're having a party with yummy yummy food (which I could totally get behind that!) I posted a round up of some recipe ideas last year, and check out my recipe index for more!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Welcome Home Brands Snowflake Collection Review & GIVEAWAY!(CLOSED)

You guys may have noticed that this week I showcased a couple recipes that I made in super beautiful paper bakeware. These baking beauties are the Welcome Home Brands Paper Bakeware Snowflake Collection.

Let me tell you some of what makes this paper bakeware SO cool:
  • Obviously, it's super gorgeous. 
  • Paper bakeware is disposable, so if you ever take something to a party or gathering, no need to ask for dishes back (plus, no dishes to wash! Yay! And don't worry, this stuff is recyclable.)
  • No need to grease the "pans".
  • They're oven safe up to 400 degrees (F) and are also freezer safe (super helpful if making something ahead of time!)
And there are like tons of other benefits to using this pretty paper baking stuff! Check out the FAQ's page on the Welcome Home Brands site for more info! You can also see more/learn more on their facebook and pinterest pages.
Using pleated baking cups for Quick Cinnamon Rolls
I, in particular, am soo in love with the Snowflake Collection! Obviously, this would have (and still could be, next year) been perfect for Christmas-but it is a generally beautiful winter set! I love the vibrant shades of red and green with the beautiful snowflake patterns. Breathtaking. My food has never looked prettier!

There are lots of other collections/styles of Welcome Home Brands paper bakeware and you should definitely check those out too! 
Using round baking pans for French Silk Brownie Pie

Now, wouldn't you like to win some of this awesomeness?

Congratulations to Julie from Quilt, Cook, and Love!
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