Thursday, September 27, 2012

The BEST Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting!

I'll admit it, I fit the girl stereo type of loving anything and everything chocolate, so any excuse I have to make something chocolate flavored I will! When I asked one of my friends what kind of cupcakes he promptly said chocolate with chocolate icing. I knew it was time to try a new chocolate icing recipe! I think I may have a new favorite chocolate icing! It was super easy to make and SO yummy! This will be my go to frosting from now on! YUM! Let's get started!

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
4 cups powdered sugar
2 sticks of butter at room temp
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened coco powder

1. Cream butter until white with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer. You want the butter to be soft and creamy.

2. Sift in the coco and the powdered sugar slowly. You don't want your sugar to go flying out so set your mixer on the lowest speed until the sugar and coco are combined. After they are just combined turn your mixer up to a medium speed.

3. Add your salt and vanilla and mix on a medium to high speed for three minuets. If your icing isn't as thick as you would like it to be you can always add more sugar to the mix.

Thats it! Easy right? And SO SO SO good! I had left over icing after piping it on to 18 cupcakes, so of course that meant me and my roommates just HAD to eat it over a couple of days, dipping graham crackers into it. Enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Elvis

If you know me, you know I LOVE Elvis. But not in the weird "He's still alive, he just got abducted by aliens. The King will return!" kind of way. I love Elvis because I love his music. I love the era he was a part of. I love that his music defined a generation and closed a gap between races with his music. My love was taken to a whole new level when in the 5th grade my mom and step-dad asked me where I wanted to go on vacation. Without hesitation I said Memphis, Tennessee. I got to see all things Elvis including the Mecca of Elvis fans: Graceland. On our stop in the kitchen of our audio tour I learned that Elvis enjoyed fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. So today I decided to created my version of Elvis's favorite food. Let's get started!

"The Elvis"
2 slices bread
peanut butter

Butter one side of each of the pieces of bread. I never claimed this sandwich would be good for you ;)

Spread peanut butter on the "dry" side of the bread. A good layer, not too thick but you don't want to be able to see the bread through it either.

Cut about 6 pieces of banana and place them on the peanut butter on one piece of the bread. You can cut them as thick or thin as you like.

Assemble your sandwich and place it on a hot skillet. Grill it just like you would a grilled cheese.
And this is the result. A warm, melt-y, yummy, sandwich. I know why Elvis loved these so much now! I am a believer! Simple and delicious! Enjoy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Ahh, fall. It's time for sweaters, boots, and most important...SOUP! Growing up I was not a big fan of tomato soup because all I knew of it was straight out of the can. Eww. When in high school a bakery in town offered a creamy tomato soup and grilled cheese special on Thursdays. After that I was hooked and I had to find out how to make it on my own! In my searching I found this recipe, and while it isn't quite what that bakery makes, it is good in it's own right! And did I mention it is SUPER easy?? Let's get started!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
2 cans condensed tomato soup
1 can tomato puree
1 can diced tomatoes
1 16 oz. block of cream cheese
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning
1/2 Garlic Powder
 In a medium sized soup pot put all the canned ingredients and the milk in a pot and bring to a boil. Add in your spices and stir.
 Cover your soup and simmer for 10 minutes.
 While your soup is simmering, cube your cream cheese. This is easier if your cream cheese is cold. In other words don't keep it out on the counter while you are doing everything else. Keep it in the fridge so it will be firm when you try to cube it.
 After your soup has been simmering for 10 minutes, put in your cream cheese. The recipe I have said to "melt the cream cheese." Fun fact, cream cheese doesn't really melt. It just turns into smaller pieces. Still yummy!
 After your cream cheese is "melted" you can enjoy your soup! Be careful you will want more than one bowl!

Starbucks Announces Single Brewing Station

Starbucks, the coffee giant, announced that they are introducing their own coffee brewing system called Verismo. Their edge they say? A specialized coffee pod that will allow you to make lattes at home. The machine will use fresh milk and try to reproduce the product that you can get at the store. While this "milk pod" is a new turn to the products on the market I don't think I will be going out and getting one anytime soon. I have a little bit of an attachment to my current Kurig. Starbucks even has their own K-cups if you really just HAVE to have their brand of coffee. I may not have the most refined coffee tastes or maybe their really isn't that big of a difference between other coffees and Starbucks other than the name. I'm not sure. I do know that my Kurig can get me out the door with a cup of coffee in just under 2 minutes. Granted I do not normally drink milk in my coffee unless I am getting it from a coffee chain. Every once and a while I get a small health kick and decide I can drink my coffee without milk just to spare calories. For me, I will stick with my Kurig and Green Mountain coffee. Unless Starbucks wants to prove me wrong by giving me a free machine. In that case, I won't object! Starbucks to 

                                         Starbucks to Introduce Single-Serve Coffee Maker
                                                           (New York Times Article)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

College football means one thing...FOOD!

Saturdays in the South mean one thing. College football! Now me personally, I am more of a NBA fan but all of my friends really love it so I see it as an opportunity to cook! This past Saturday I tested out some favorites along with a new recipe I found on Pinterest. Everyone loved what I made but with it being free food, who would complain? Our menu was: French Bread Pizza, Jalapeno Poppers, MexiCorn Dip, and my grandma's Chocolate Sheet Cake. In this post I am just going to talk about the appetizers and have the cake in my next post. It is a lot more labor intensive the other foods today! Let's get started!

French Bread Pizza
This is a Recipe that is just what it says it is. Pizza made on halves of french bread purchased from the grocery store. It's simple enough. Bread base topped with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni and stuck in the oven to warm up and melt the cheese. My pizza went in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes but really just place it in the oven until the cheese is all melted and gooey! Yum

Jalapeno Poppers
For these poppers all you need is a can of crescent rolls, cream cheese, and sliced jalapenos. One can of 8 crescent rolls will yield 16 poppers. To prepare cut each crescent roll triangle in half, place a small dollop of cream cheese on the new smaller roll, then place two jalapeno rings on top of the cream cheese. Wrap up in a bundle and bake at 350 until golden brown. You might want to make more than one package of these because they go fast!

MexiCorn Dip
This dip is my go to dip to take to any gathering I am invited to. It is so simple, requires practically no prep time, and is always a hit! For this dip you need one 16 oz container of sour cream, 2 cups of shredded cheese, 1 can of drained Rotel, and 2 cans of drained MexiCorn. Now throw all of those ingredients into a container, stir it all together, and chill until you are ready to serve! The picture above does not do it justice! I had to fight off my roommate's boyfriend just to get this picture! 

Grandma's Chocolate cake
Here is a teaser of my next post, my grandma's chocolate cake with peanut butter chocolate frosting! Yum! Check back for more!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Improvements: A class assignment

So going along with my last post about what I have learned so far we are supposed to keep two questions in mind with our blogs. What can we improve? And what can make them more interesting?
Obviously my blog is still a baby blog so I am sure there are tons of improvements I could make. First my picture quality is terrible! I shoot all the pictures of my food and crafts with my cell phone. I know I could have much better pictures with an actual camera. My layout is still a little off to me as well but I think I can fix that in time once I get more comfortable with the blogger site.
How do I make it more interesting? I already think it is interesting! Ha! But if I HAD to make something up I could do a weekly feature. Maybe every Tuesday do my own version of a recipe by a famous chef or a Pinterest craft Sunday. We will see if those ever come about but I could see them happening in the future!

What I Learned: A Class Assignment

As I mentioned before this blog was created for a class I am taking so you can expect posts for class time to time. Just so happens today is the first time I have to post for my professor. We were supposed to read Technorati's State of the Blogosphere 2011 and write about what we learned about our own blogs. So here ya go!
1-I am a hobbyist. I post about what I love to do and (unfortunately) I am not getting paid to do it. At least not yet!
2-I am in the smallest group of bloggers, females aged 18-24. When I think about that it makes sense. Most of the blogs I follow, while they are female, they are aged 25-34, the largest age group of bloggers.
3-The most professional bloggers post 1-2 times a day but I will follow trend of most hobbyist bloggers and post 2-3 per week.
4- Regular postings generate more followers. I am more apt to follow someone if they most regularly so I will do that as well. I don't want my readers to get bored while waiting for me to post or forget about me in-between postings.
5-Most hobbyists do not post reviews on products and services. I probably will not either, but if I am using a product in a post you can bet I love it and I will probably tell you why! Not a review just an FYI!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Parmesan Chicken Alfredo *Remix*

It's 9pm. I just got out of my one evening class of the week and I am STARVING. I made the fatal mistake of not eating a snack on my hour break between work and class. So of course for the last half of class all I could think of was what I could throw together fast as soon as I got home. I knew I had a left over piece of parmesan crusted chicken from my dinner out with the girls the night before and I had some noodles I could boil. The result was a make shift Alfredo sauce to top off my noodles and left over chicken. I must say I am a little impressed with myself! It turned out better than expected! So here it is!

Parmesan Chicken Alfredo *Remix*

1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1/4 tablespoon Italian seasoning
fettuchinni noodles
left over parmesan crusted chicken (this is what makes it the remix!)

 I am assuming everyone knows how to boil noodles, so I will leave that part out. Just cook them to your liking. I am more of a firm noodle girl. Al dente is the technical term. Fancy right?

So to make my sauce I measured out a 1/2 cup of milk and poured in what I am guessing was about 2 tablespoons of parmesan. I tend to just eye ball measurements, so sorry! Then I added what I am guessing to be about 1 tablespoon of butter. Again, sorry for the inaccuracy! Microwave that until the butter melts, it only took me 30 seconds.

This is where my experimenting kicked in. I watch Food Network like nobody's business and I remembered someone (of course I wouldn't remember who!) talking about how a rue is a base for all creamy sauces. A rue is just melted butter, four and milk. Easy! So I added in flour little by little with a regular spoon until I thought it was just about thick enough. So four spoons later and 15 seconds in the microwave I had my sauce! BE CAREFUL! I accidentally put the sauce in for too long and it got SUPER thick! But it was an easy fix, just a couple splashes of milk and it thinned back out!

Now the fun part! Eating! Noodles, left over chicken, sauce. YUM! It took about 30 minutes in all. Easy, yummy, and college budget friendly!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Diet Dr Pepper Brownies

Ok so sometimes I make things that aren't so great. It's RARE but it happens haha. Well this is one of those times. Since I am fully committed to this blog I will show you the completely terrible things I make along with the good. The recipe is supposed to be Weight Watcher friendly, but you should probably know by now that I don't buy into that. So let's get to it.

Diet Dr Pepper Brownies

One box brownie mix
One 12 oz can of Diet Dr Pepper
Non-stick spray

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour brownie mix into your mixing bowl. I went ahead and blended my mix just to break up any clumps.
 Next add in the can of Diet Dr Pepper. It will fizz alot! When ever you start to mix the ingredients it will foam and start to look kind of fluffy.
 Spray your 9X9 pan with a non-stick spray. I LOVE my Misto. You fill it with what ever kind of oil you want, give it a few pumps and voila! Cooking spray! It is awesome!
 Pour your brownie batter into your greased pan. And here is where I made my mistake. I went ahead and poured in the Carmel packet. Don't do that! It sinks to the bottom and is gross.
 Place it in the oven and bake for about 25 mins until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

And here they are! Kinda spongy on the top and the bottom is gooey and Carmel-y. If you like that sort of thing then these are for you! Personally I will take my fattening brownies with eggs and oil!