Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Infamous Pumpkin Bread

My mothers pumpkin bread is probably the biggest hit among every one. It is essential to have at least 1 loaf in the freezer at all times. Since it's so good and so addicting it just doesn't last long in the freezer, ever. 

I remember eating it as a kid, two slices, slathered with butter, and being in complete bliss. I would be completely fine with eating my weight in pumpkin bread these days. I'm pretty sure Mariah, Emily and I finished half a loaf in one sitting one night..Whoops.

This recipe is so very simple, the hardest parts are 1. not eating all the batter and 2. waiting an hour for it to bake.

Infamous Pumpkin Bread

2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 heaping cup chocolate chips

1. Grease 2 loaf pans and preheat the oven to 350.
2. Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add oil, eggs, pumpkin and vanilla and beat well.
4. Add chocolate chips.
5. Pour into pans and bake for 1 hour.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes

We're baaaaack!
And naturally, what is the first thing we did Friday to kill some time while we waited for Emily and for the night to begin? Baked. 

We have an excess of white chocolate so we decided we would make chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate frosting. Well, half the cupcakes are frosted. With left over coconut whipped cream cheese frosting from Mariah's birthday cake (coming later). The other half will get frosted with the real meant to be frosting tomorrow after class (welp, the first day!)

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes 
adapted from: Eat Show and Tell

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 cup freshly brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk , well-shaken
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 extra-large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 Line 2 (12-cup) muffin tins with paper liners.
2. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
3. Whisk together coffee and buttermilk in a bowl and set aside.
4. In another bowl beat oil and sugar on medium-high speed until combined. Add egg and vanilla; combine well. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients and wet ingredients in 3 batches, starting and ending with dry ingredients; combine well.
5. Divide batter among 24 cups and bake about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a cupcake comes out clean.Transfer pans to racks and cool completely in the pan.

Coconut Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Dashing Dish

1 tub light cool whip
1 8oz package fat free cream cheese
1/4-1/2 cup sugar
1 cup shredded coconut

1. Beat cream cheese and cream cheese until well blended.
2. Fold in the cool whip and coconut.
3. Frost away :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

Something peanut butter coming from me? Miss I-hate-the-smell-don't-come-near-me-I'm-allergic girl, made something peanut butter.

Yet, this recipe was perfect for the occasion. Not that perfect describes either of the circumstances for this peanut butter pie.

On Thursday, August 11th a certain peanut butter pie recipe was everywhere in the blog-sphere for cooking and baking. The reason? A blogger, Jennifer Perillo, lost her husband unexpectedly to a massive heart attack. To see her post, click here. (Warning, it's a tear jerker.)

Her request was to make this pie for someone you love in remembrance of her husband, so I'm doing just that. A few days later because today (this was supposed to be published Thursday, but I'm a slacker), was just the right day to make this pie. As my mom and two of her four oldest, dearest friends celebrate a birthday of someone who should be sitting right beside them, but was taken too soon this past winter.

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
source: In Jennie's Kitchen


8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


1. Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs.  Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well.  Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.  Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges.
3. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
4. Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use.
5. Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
6. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar.  Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.
Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream).  Fold in the remaining whipped cream.  7. Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top, if using, and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Giant Coconut M&M Cookies

 Last Tuesday was one of the slowest days, ever. Maybe even slower than last last Friday. Why you may ask? Well because Tesshead was finallllly coming home from Europe. Do you know how inconvenient it is to have you best friend on another continent, not in an even close time zone with no texting or phone calls? I don't advise anyone to try it. 

So Tuesday night she arrived home and I had lots of time to kill and knew she'd like a treat upon her return so off I went to make cookies. She love, love, loves coconut so when I saw this recipe I decided to change it up a little and add coconut m&m's instead.

Giant Coconut M&M Cookies
adapted from: How Sweet It Is

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of salted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup Coconut M&Ms

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
3. In another bowl, mix the butter and sugars until they are combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. 
4. Gradually add flour and mix until a dough forms – it may be crumbly, but it will come together. Fold in the m&m’s.
5. Divide the dough1/4 cup portions. 
6. Shape each portion into a ball with your hands then pull each ball into two equal pieces. Turn each half so that the rough side of the half (what used to be the inside of the ball) faces upwards and then squish both halves together.
7. Place the dough rough-side up on ungreased baking sheets.
8. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown. The centers should be soft and puffy.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Another break from cooking! And a lot of background information on how I got to this craft.

When I went to Syracuse 3 weeks ago,my ex roommate*, Emily, had just moved into her new apartment and had these adorable canvases she painted! On one she dipped fake flowers into paint then splattered painted on top and the other was checkered boxes, they were too cute! I knew right away that would be my next craft.

*I say ex roommate, because first of all ex seems like there was some harsh break up and it was anything but that. Emily is a year older than Mariah and I, and the smarty pants graduated a year early but thank the heavens she is coming back for another year!! But since she's now a grad student, she can't live with us little undergrads, hence why she is our ex roommate. But really she's still our roommate. And we still refer to each other as roommates, and always will. And we were called the tripod by someone and it stuck, and perfectly describes us.

So I searched for some canvases, found some on sale at Michaels and waited until I had some free time to create some masterpieces and until some great idea popped in my head. I knew I wanted to do the saying "long hair don't care", I just didn't know how. I stumbled across a website that had a guest post featuring canvases and it was perfect.

Where did the saying come free? "long hair don't care" was introduced to me by miss Alexandra earlier this year and it literally applies to everything. I shared it with E and M and it too has become our phrase and what we live by. 

Click here to learn how! Mod Podge Silhouette Canvas from Tatertots and Jello

I realllly liked how the canvas came out and kind of wanted to leave it, but I was too impatient to make another to paint over.

 Once mod podged..

 I forgot the in between pictures of tracing the letter and painting.

And I had to add a personal touch of glitter, obviously.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

White Chocolate S'mores Gooey Cake Bars

White Chocolate S'mores Gooey Cake Bars. Welp, that's a mouthful. Once, big, sweet, delicious mouthful that is.

I never can go anywhere without bringing treats and last weekend when I went away, treats came with me, obviously.

I really, really like s'mores. S'mores Brownies, S'mores Cookies, S'mores anything is fine by me! Scary thing is, I have yet to have a real s'more this summer. AH. Only 3 and a half more weeks to get that done.

White Chocolate S'mores Gooey Cake Bars
source: Picky Palate

1 box yellow cake mix
1 large egg
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 full graham crackers
10 ounce bag white chocolate chips
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 inch baking pan with tin foil that’s been generously sprayed with cooking spray. 
2. Place cake mix, egg, and butter into a large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until a nice dough forms. similar to a cookie dough. 
3. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. 
4. Layer with graham crackers, white chips then marshmallows. 
5. Top with remaining half of dough pressing evenly. 
6. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over top then bake for 28-33 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown on top. 
7. Remove from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes then take a plastic knife and run along edges to loosen marshmallow- it's going to be sticky!
8. Let cool completely then remove bars from pan with foil edges. Cut off all edges if desired, about 1/2 inch each side. Cut bars into squares and serve. 

The layering process..

I didn't take a picture of them cut out, I was rather rushed after spending 2 hours at the car place, not that I'm complaining :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chicken Scallopine

As I look at my long, long list of items that need to blog, I see that most are baked goods, odd, because I prefer to cook. I try and break it up between sweet and savory but sweet tends to win!

But, alas I found a savory dish. 
For Emily's Birthday Mariah I and planned a whole big extravagant dinner and baked not one, not two but THREE desserts for her.

For dinner we had Chicken Scallopine with a side of roasted brussels sprouts and carrots.We sent her off with a babysitter for the afternoon and left this on her seat.

Chicken Scallopine
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 pound Linguine 
6 whole Boneless, Skinless, Trimmed Chicken Breasts 
Salt And Pepper, to taste 
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
4 Tablespoons Butter 
12 ounces, weight White Mushrooms, Sliced Thin 
1 cup Dry White Wine or Chicken Broth 
1 whole Lemon 
1/2 cup Heavy Cream (can Use Half-and-Half) 
1 teaspoon (heaping) Capers 
1/2-1 cup frozen peas, thawed (depending on your love for peas)
Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley 
Parmesan Cheese, For Topping

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Flatten chicken breasts to uniform thickness. Salt and pepper both sides, then dredge in flour. 
3. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken breasts until golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.

4. Throw mushrooms into the pan and stir. Immediately pour in wine (or chicken broth), and then squeeze juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon. Stir to deglaze the pan, and then cook vigorously for 1 minute, until sauce reduces.
5. Pour in cream and stir, then add capers, peas and parsley and stir. Turn off heat. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Don’t under salt!
6. Place pasta and chicken on a platter and top with every last drop of sauce. 
7. Load it up with Parmesan cheese and serve!