Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cake Batter Truffles

Finally the last of the recipes from Thursday. The star of the show. That turned out to be a bit of a misfit. Note taken, you can't make three desserts and dinner all at the same time. Disaster will strike.

Also, white chocolate chips do not melt well. Second note taken, buy the candy melts instead. We drizzled ours with milk chocolate, but they are supposed to be rolled in melted white chocolate. Way to hard for our impatient selves.

Cake Batter Truffles
adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything


1 ½ cups flour
1 cup yellow cake mix
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
3-4 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons sprinkles
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted

1. Beat together butter and sugar using an electric mixer until combined. Add cake mix, flour, salt, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add 3 Tablespoons of milk or more if needed to make a dough consistency. Mix in sprinkles by hand. Roll dough into one inch balls and place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Chill balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up.
 2. Melt the chocolate chips and drizzle on top. Place truffle back on the cookie sheet and top with sprinkles. Repeat with remaining balls until finished.
3. Chill cake batter truffles in the refrigerator until serving. Makes around 24-30 truffles.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chicken Marsala

In twenty four hours from now I will be DONE. (well less when you read this) That means five of my eight semester of college are over and three remain. I think I might cry thinking about it that way. I'm staying in school forever and ever, sorry mom and dad! 

Tonight (last night) we got a special delivery. SPRINKLES CUPCAKES all the way from NYC! Hello perfect study break. Mariah's parents went to NYC this past weekend and made a pit stop at Sprinkles and came home with a dark chocolate, coconut, lemon and red velvet cupcakes for us, YUM.

I also desperately want  need these mom, pppppppuuuuuhhhhhleeeeaaasssseeeeeee.

Anyway, the point of this post was dinner tonight (last night). You can clearly see how spacey I am today. I had a twenty minute laugh attack today because of a conversation I had with T via texting..

me- "what size syracuse pinky do you have?"
t sends me back a picture of her pinky with the caption "normal but a lil chubby?"
me- confused as ever realized i typed pinky instead of pinny. 

maybe you just had to be there.

okay for real, dinner.

Chicken Marsala
adapted from: Blog Chef

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon oregano
salt and pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
10 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
4  garlic cloves (minced)
2 cups marsala wine
3 cups chicken stock

1 cup peas

1. 1 at a time, place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of wax paper (or plastic wrap). With a mallet (or can of peas in our case) pound chicken breasts until they are about ¼” thick.
2. On a plate combine flour, salt and pepper, and oregano. Dredge chicken breasts in flour until coated thoroughly.
3.  Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet. Fry chicken breasts until they are almost fully cooked (about 3 minutes on each side). Remove from pan and keep warm in the oven at 175 degrees.
4. Deglaze the pan with marsala wine. Make sure to scrape up all the brown bits (the goodness!!) on the bottom of the pan and mix them with the wine.
5. Add chicken broth mushrooms and garlic. Cook on medium-high for 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half. Add chicken breasts back to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the peas with about 5 minutes left to heath through. The sauce should now have become somewhat thick.

White Chocolate Coconut Cranberry Bark

Instead of studying for my two finals tomorrow, or packing, or preparing the apartment for a month of no one living here, I'm trying to finish up last Thursday's baking adventure.

I guess I can kind of consider this studying since my one final is based off this is kind of like studying..sort of.

We ended up making two kinds of bark because we failed not once, but twice trying to melt white chocolate appropriately. Go us.

White Chocolate Coconut Cranberry Bark

1 bag of white chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup craisins

1. Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler (or in 30-second intervals in the microwave on 50% power, stirring after each). Once the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and the coconut.
2. Tin foil and spray a baking sheet (we used a circle pie pan) and pour the mixture into the pan spreading evenly.
3. Top with craisins
4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar Cookies

I think everyone has had a Lofthouse cookie before, you know the big, fluffy, soft sugar cookies with a mound of frosting on them? Growing up people always brought them into school, and oh my they were so good. We've seen recipes before but have always shied away because they had to refrigerate overnight, no thank you. We found one that only had to for two hours so we added it to the list of things to bake Thursday. To say it was a messy project would be an understatement.

Mariah's worst nightmare
 Using our resources wisely

(we halved the recipe and it made about two and half dozen, the whole recipe is supposed to make 5-6 dozen)

Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar Cookies
source: Brown Eyed Baker


For the Cookies:
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups sour cream
For the Easy Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons heavy cream


1. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.
3. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough will be a bit “sticky”. Divide dough into two sections. Flatten into rectangles about 1½ inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least two hours until firm.
4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
5. Flour the counter top and the top of the dough. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, until pale golden. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Cook cookies completely before frosting.
6. To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and the pinch of salt. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat at medium-high speed for a minute or two until light and fluffy. If desired, add food coloring and beat until combined.
7. Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

we tried to use cookie cutters, and I do not recommend. The dough got super sticky and it was a disaster. Stick to the circles, much easier.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Included in Thursday's festivities was dinner, we deemed Mariah head chef and she cooked up a storm while Amels and I got to relax.

On the menu was Creamy Avocado Pasta with roasted asparagus and Garlic Tuscan bread. Garlic Tuscan bread is a weekly thing at home and I can't get enough of it and I introduced it to them and I think it may have been life changing for them.

Creamy Avocado Pasta
adapted from: The Healthy Foodie

1 box of linguine
3 cups of spinach
2 ripe avocados
2 cups sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Juice of a lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Cook pasta according to instructions on package
2. In the meantime, heat about a teaspoon of olive oil) in a medium non stick pan over medium heat and cook the spinach for 2-3 minutes, until just tender. Remove from heat but leave in pan.
3. Add avocado, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the bowl of your food processor and process until smooth.
4.When pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to your spinach. Add avocado mixture and toss delicately to combine.
5. Serve immediately.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cake Batter Bark

Oh hi. Meet MEM or Maria or Amelia or whatever my desired name of the moment is for them. Their my best friends. And we like to get into major shenanigans. Last year these shenanigans occurred on a daily basis when we all lived together, but now their limited to the weekend and (almost) weekly week day gatherings because our little Amels had to become a big kid. Boo.

A few weeks ago this happened..(tilt you're head I don't know how to rotate...)
 The jist of that was I let Emily dye my hair, minus the purple kitchen floor and purple walls in the bathroom, it was a success! So last night I asked her to redye it, and we bribed her with dinner and baking. A perfect night in our books. One of the things we attempted to make were cake batter truffles, now we love, love, love cookie dough as much as the next person (minus Mariah because she has some odd fear of raw eggs.....) so when I came across these I knew I had to make them, last year we made chocolate chip cookie dough truffles and I think ate the whole batch in one sitting. Needless to say this did not go as planned. You had to melt white chocolate to coat the truffles in, well after two tries of failing to melt we decided to make bark.

Cake Batter Bark

1 bag of white chocolate chips
4 tablespoons yellow cake mix
1/2 cup melted chocolate

1. Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler (or in 30-second intervals in the microwave on 50% power, stirring after each). Once the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and add the cake mix and sprinkles.
2. Tin foil and spray a baking sheet (we used a circle pie pan) and pour the mixture into the pan spreading evenly.
3. Top with melted chocolate and sprinkles.
4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes

This is so terribly addicting.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Magic Bars

So I have this thing for coconut. Many people look at me funny when I say this because they assume I can't eat it because it's a nut. Well it's not and I can eat it and quite frankly could eat it any time of the day, it's just SO good. Last year I went through a phase of only drinking coconut milk, yum.

Christmas time= so many cookies stocked in the freezer at all times, just calling out my name saying "eat me, eat me" so clearly I do. Aside from Kiss Cookies magic bars are my all time favorite Christmas treat. Also, I do believe it is how we found out that I was allergic to nuts..yet the traumatic experience didn't shy me away from loving these bad boys.

Magic Bars

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
6 oz chocolate chips (I prefer chunks)
1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 cup nuts (optional, a definite no for me)

1. Preheat oven to 350 line a 9 x 13 pan with tin foil.
2. Melt butter in microwave and pour into bottom of the pan.
3. Add graham crackers over butter and push out to cover bottom of the pan.
4. Pour half the condensed milk over overs.
5. Top with remaining ingredients and finally with remaining condensed milk
6. Press down gentle, bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before cutting.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Minestrone Pot Pie with Whole Wheat Biscuits

Friday afternoon Mariah and I literally spent all afternoon in the kitchen. We made two batches of brownies, apple butter and homemade chicken soup. And had this grand plan of making this pot pie for dinner, too bad after spending four hours in the kitchen we wanted nothing to do with making dinner, so we opted for chicken soup and decided this would be better apt for Sunday night when we had a little bit more patience.

This is a must. It is so good and the biscuits? I could have ate 5. I got a pastry cutter for my birthday because I was making muffins this summer and failing miserably without a pastry cutter, we finally got to use it to make the biscuits.

We ended up halving the biscuits and had half the pot pie mixture as pot pie and saved the other half for soup later this week, with finals quickly approaching I have a feeling we'll be needing quick dinners.

Minestrone Pot Pie with Whole Wheat Biscuits
adapted from: How Sweet Eats

Minestrone Pot Pie

1 onion, chopped1 container baby bella mushrooms, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
3 cups raw spinach leaves
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) peeled whole tomatoes
1 cup cooked chicken, roughly chopped
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup parmesan cheese + 1 parmesan cheese rind

1.Heat a large pot over medium heat add onions to the pan with a sprinkle of salt, cooking for 5 minutes.
2. Add in mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add spinach, chicken, squash, tomatoes, beans, stock and parmesan rind. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook f0r 20 minutes, covered. While soup is cooking, make biscuits below and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
After 20 minutes, stir Parmesan into soup and transfer to the baking dish. Top with biscuits, then brush each biscuit with cream. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Whole Wheat Biscuits
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups heavy cream + 2 tablespoons (and more for brushing)

1.In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add butter cubes, and using your fingers, a fork or a pastry blender, mix until coarse little crumbles remain.
2.Make a well in the middle of the flour, then add cream and cheese. Stir until a sticky dough forms, then make 8 small rounds of dough.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pumpkin Rolo Chunk Cookies

More pumpkin. Even though it's December, aka not pumpkin season anymore. I'm still catching up on all my pumpkin recipes from last month.

These are the easiest cookies to make and they are SO GOOD. I mean so good.

The pictures are a bit rough because I was in a huge rush making them so 1. they look like a five year old made them and 2. pictures are a little blurry, and don't do them justice.

Pumpkin Rolo Chunk Cookies
adapted from:Picky Palate

1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
One 15 ounce can Pumpkin
2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped Rolo’s

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment or spray with non stick spray.
2. Place cake mix and pumpkin into a large bowl, mix to combine. Stir in chocolate chips and Rolo’s, mixing until combined. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 15-17 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Prosciutto-wrapped Scallops

To accompany our onion soup with fontina and thyme on Sunday we had prosciutto-wrapped scallops for lunch. Mind you, scallops just may be my favorite seafood and it was the third time in the 10 days that I was home that we had them, but that was a-okay with me because their my favorite, minus the way they make the house smell.

This recipe is also from Giada, same episode as the soup, if she served them together we figured we would too!

Prosciutto-wrapped Scallops 
adapted from: Food Network 


1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped pitted black olives (about 10 olives)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 medium scallops
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 slices prosciutto


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a food processor, add the tomatoes, basil, olives, and olive oil and process until finely chopped. Season both sides of scallops with salt and pepper. Rub each scallop with the tomato mixture.

3.Fold each slice of prosciutto in half lengthwise, then wrap each scallop in 1 slice of prosciutto. Place wrapped scallops in a buttered baking dish, seam side down. Bake until scallop is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I don't know about you but I could eat chocolate chip cookies for days, even better if their made with chocolate chunks instead of chips, chunks are just so much better.

Something I like more than chocolate chip cookies? Chocolate chip cookie bars! I mean it's basically the equivalent of cookie cake and my love for Wegman's cookie cake is everlasting.

I made these a while back with coconut and sprinkles and brought them to the boys and they were gobbled up within the hour so I knew they were a hit. I whipped up a batch when I was home last week. I wish I had one right now!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
source: Two Peas and Their Pod

2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter and sugars together until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Pour cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Bake cookie bars for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Cool bars on a wire rack to room temperature. Cut bars into squares and serve.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Onion Soup with Fontina and Thyme

Since my father's been out of commission for quite some time and can't do a whole heck of a lot, I had an excuse to lay around all week and watch TV and keep him company. As we were watching we found some must try recipes from Giada.

On Sunday we had lunch before I headed back to school and mom made us two of the recipes we saw from the show, the first was French Onion Soup. They've been on a quest for a good make at home recipe and I think we found it!

Onion Soup with Fontina and Thyme
source: Food Network

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large Vidalia onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
4 cups beef broth
4 slices ciabatta bread, cubed
4 ounces sliced fontina cheese
Special equipment: 4 (1 1/2-cup) ovenproof ramekins

1. In a medium, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the thyme and broth. Simmer, uncovered, until the onions are soft, about 15 minutes.
2. Divide the soup between the 4 ovenproof ramekins. Divide the cubed bread among the ramekins. Top each with slices of fontina cheese. Place under the broiler, until the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Monday, November 28, 2011