Monday, December 23, 2013

Homemade Marshmallows

Today was a pretty incredible day.  I made homemade marshmallows.  Not just any homemade marshmallows mind you, cinnamon dolce homemade marshmallows.  I almost feel bad telling you about it because I have a feeling you did something really lame today.  Like maybe you went to work?  I'm so sorry.  I made marshmallows.

Here you can see the line up of ingredients.  I used a Better Homes and Gardens recipe for these flavored marshmallows.

Flavored Marshmallows
From BHG

4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup water
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup purchased syrup, I used cinnamon dolce from Starbucks
1/4 tsp salt
Powdered sugar for cutting and dusting

1. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving paper handging over sides. Coat parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
2. To a very large mixing bowl add gelatin. Pour water over to cover completely; stir to combine. 
3. In a large saucepan combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, flavored syrup, and salt over medium heat; stirring until sugar is completely melted. Bring sugar mixture to boiling over medium-high heat; attach a candy thermometer to saucepan. Boil 1 to 2 minutes more or until thermometer registers 240 degrees F.
4. Slowly add sugar mixture to gelatin bowl.  Mix on high until mixture is white and fluffy, about 5 minutes, and bowl is cool to the touch.
5. Transfer marshmallows to prepared pan.  Chill, uncovered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
6. When ready to cut, sift powdered sugar over top of marshmallows in pan. Turn out onto cutting board, remove paper.  Sift powered sugar on top.  Coat a sharp knife with powdered sugar and cut marshmallows into 1 inch squares.  Dredge squares in additional powdered sugar.  Eat up!

They came out of the parchment lined pan nicely.  I was worried, but check it out, perfect!

Piles of marshmallows and powdered sugar all over the place!

I packaged them in little baggies to give as gifts.  Don't you wish you could be so lucky!

Don't worry, I tested them out in a cup of hot cocoa.  They are a definite success!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Frosting Candy

If you like sugar, sugar, and more sugar, this candy is for you!

I used the recipe for buttercream pinwheel candies from Cookies and Cups.  For the filling I chose to use Speculoos Cookie Butter, courtesy of Trader Joe's.  I will say I used waaaaay more confectioners sugar than the recipe called for.  I had a lot of trouble getting the dough to form.

Buuuut let's move on to pictures of crazy sweet candies!

This is the dough rolled out.  Just sugar, butter, and milk here kids.

I would have liked more cookie butter flavor, but that was all I had left in the jar

I'll be straight up with you guys, these babies are way too sweet for me.  But they look pretty darn cute and everyone else seemed to enjoy them so who am I to judge!

Christmas baking is complete, now what to cook up for new year's eve?

Cake Batter Truffles

I'm going to blow your mind with this one guys.  Cake batter truffles!  Best part about them? They knock cake pops on their ass in flavor and ease of preparation!!  That's right, I went there.  I think they are better than cake pops and they are so much easier.  It's a no brainer guys.  Forget the cake pops, ditch the oven, and get with these cake batter truffles.

Cake Batter Truffles
Adapted from Averie Cooks

3 cups white cake mix
1 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
optional: food coloring, I used green to make them festive for Christmas
optional: sprinkles to top finished truffles
3 cups chocolate chips

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Let dough set up in fridge for 15-20 minutes.
2. Roll dough into balls.  I made mine about a half a tablespoon big. Freeze balls for 30 minutes until firm.
3. Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each set of 30 seconds.
4. Coat frozen balls on melted chocolate.  Top with sprinkles for some extra flair.

These babies are pretty darn decadent and would make a fabulous addition to your holiday cookie tray.  They would also be a great homemade gift.  So hop to it guys, your guests will be glad you made them.  You can thank me later.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dorito Crusted Chicken Nuggets


Yesssss, you read that correctly.  I made chicken nuggets and crusted them with Doritos! 


Notice how that egg mixture looks a little orange? I put some sriracha in it. Wooooo baby I bet you're getting ready to make these now!  The Doritos have a smile on, they are psyched to be a part of chicken nuggets for sure.


I baked them in the oven, because I'm totally health conscious, at 400 for about 20 minutes.  Surprise, they were delicious!

And don't worry, we had some vegetables too.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies


Disclaimer: this was made using a mix that probably is not found at your supermarket.  Sorry if this post is a bit of a tease for that reason.

On to the food porn!


The pumpkin cake portion was delicious.  It had a nice spice to it.


The cream cheese frosting, I was not a fan of.  I will say these babies were gobbled up quickly, so not everyone felt the way I did about the frosting.

That's all for today kids, I'll have more for you on Sunday.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Apple, Bacon, Pecan Pork Chops

Apples, bacon, and pecans! If that doesn't get you kids all riled up, I just don't know what will.

Oh, actually if that didn't get you excited how about this? I made it in a crock pot!!

Yeaaaa, now you're listening.


Apple, Bacon, Pecan Pork Chops

4 pork chops
4 strips of bacon, cut into pieces
1 apple, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 cup pecans
1 cup beef broth

1. Plop pork chops in slow cooker, top with next 4 ingredients.
2. Cover with broth and cook on low for 6 hours.
3. Seriously, that's it!


Not the most attractive dish in town, but definitely one of the easiest to put together. Hope you like it!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings


Have I gushed enough about my slow cooker lately?  Because it really is the most fantastic kitchen gadget around.  Prepping dinner in the morning and having it all set to go when you need it is amazing, plus the added bonus of the scents of dinner wafting through the house all day long.


This recipe is so easy.  You could do all the chopping the night before and pop it all in the slow cooker in the morning before you start your day.

Chicken and Dumplings
2 cans cream of chicken soup
4 soup cans of water
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 package canned biscuits, cut into pieces

1. Place veggies and chicken in the slow cooker, cover with soup and water.
2. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
3. Place cut biscuits over soup in an even layer.
4. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until biscuits are cooked through.


Then proceed to eat 2-4 bowls, it's that good!


With the holidays coming up and snow in the forecast, this is the perfect meal to whip up.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Egg in a Hole Pancake Style

No bread.

No English muffins.

Potatoes require too much work.

Pancakes! with an egg in the middle!

That was my thought process this morning when I wanted an egg breakfast, but really needed a carb to accompany it.


I spooned the pancake batter into a circle with a nice sized hole for the egg to fit in.


Once the egg was set it flipped perfectly with the pancake.  I used a very large spatula and it was successful. PS I did not eat that Canadian bacon, it was just for photographing purposes. Not a fan.


I buttered up the pancake a bit, but wasn't bold enough to go with the syrup.  You can decide what you'd like to do on that front.

Want something different for breakfast this weekend? Then a pancake with an egg in the middle is for you.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013



Has everyone caught on to the cronut craze?  It's really heating up in NYC, but I haven't ever eaten one.  The idea of a deep fried croissant has had me salivating for months though.  I was even considering driving 15 miles to find an imitation cronut at one point a few months ago.


Then low and behold over one of my Pinterest binges I discovered that you can very easily fry up some cronuts in your own home.  Just take some Pillsbury crescent dough, fry, and cover in cinnamon sugar.


And that is what I did around 11 o'clock at night one Saturday evening.  When the cronuts were fresh out of the fryer we tossed them in cinnamon and sugar.  They were delicious!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving, a Retrospective

This year, I cooked up a Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday for me and Chris since we wouldn't be spending Thanksgiving together.

The menu consisted of stuffing, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, and turkey cutlets.


For the stuffing I added sauteed carrots, onions, and celery to a bagged stuffing mix.


The mashed potatoes were mixed with sauteed corn and red onion and topped with paprika and Fritos.


The brussel sprouts were mixed in a dijon balsamic vinaigrette with pecans, blue cheese, and craisins.  This was my favorite dish of the night.  You can find the recipe over at Two Peas and Their Pod. The recipe does not call for you to cook the brussel sprouts, but I did.  I sauteed them in a bit of olive oil with the pecans.  Best brussel sprouts ever!


I placed a sage leaf on each turkey cutlet and sauteed them in a frying pan.


My contribution to my family's Thanksgiving meal were these adorable cheese ball turkeys!  I mixed cream cheese, 2 cups of an Italian blend of shredded cheeses, and sage to make the balls.  Then I rolled them in chopped pecans, put craisins for the eyes, cheese for a beak, and sliced almonds for the feathers.


I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  I'm giving thanks to you guys for another record breaking month here on the blog!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese


Did you think it was possible for me to have more pumpkin posts?

Surprise, it is!

This pumpkin mac and cheese comes together in a flash so you really have no excuse for not making it.


Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

1 lb pasta
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
1/2 stick of butter
2 cups grated cheese, I used a Cheddar combination
sprinkle some sage, nutmeg, and pepper as you see fit

1. Boil pasta and cook according to package directions, drain.
2. In pasta pot melt butter, cheese, and milk.
3. Pour pasta back into pot and mix with sauce.
4. Season with nutmeg, pepper, and chopped sage.


Is pumpkin season over? Should it ever end?

We'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Jello Squares


Sometimes Friday nights can get lonely.  When that happens I take on ridiculous projects, like this one.

There is nothing incredibly difficult about this recipe, but it is most definitely time consuming.

So if you need complicated recipes to fill the voids in your life, this one's for you kids.


Jello Squares

3 boxes of Jello
2 boxes of unflavored gelatin
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
plenty of hot water

1. Mix can of condensed milk with 1 3/4 cups of hot water.

2. Mix 2 envelopes of gelatin with 1 1/4 cups of hot water. Combine with milk mixture and set aside.

3. Combine 1 Jello package, 1 envelope gelatin, and 1 1/2 cups hot water.  Pour into a greased 13x9 pan and freeze for 15 minutes.  Don't worry you won't taste the spray and the Jello squares will come out so easily.

4. Pour half of the milk mixture on top of frozen Jello.

5. Mix your second package of Jello as per instructions in step 3.

6. Pour the rest of the milk mixture on top of frozen Jello.

7. Mix your third package of Jello as per instructions in step 3.

8. Cut into squares and serve!  The first one might be tricky to get out of the pan, but the rest will come out just fine.  I promise.


Jello squares are a labor of love.


Layer after layer after layer after layer after layer.


Well worth my Friday night.  They look really impressive.  You could do fun colors for different holidays or events too.  Red white and blue for 4th of July, red and green for Christmas... you get the idea.

Note: the green layer is super thin because I had already used most of it for a preschool art project.  I'm sure you have no queries about Jello art projects right? Good.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stuffing Casserole

In a week's time I'm sure you'll all have some leftovers laying around that are sick of eating.  Why not transform them into something a little more desirable?


For the base of this casserole we shredded a few cups of leftover chicken.  The chicken was then topped with frozen corn and butternut squash.  No need to thaw it, it's going in the oven.  Layer the stuffing on top and cook until heated through.


We whipped up a quick gravy from a packet to top it all off with.  Serious culinary skills here folks.


Little known fact this dish makes a fantastic breakfast.

Yes, that was me telling you all we cooked this at 10 am.  By the time it was done, it was totally brunch time so quit judging.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

pumpkin rolls

Have you guys had enough pumpkin yet? Doubt it!

These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are such a great weekend or holiday breakfast.  What makes them so great? They are beautiful, give off the appearance that you were in kitchen all morning, smells up your kitchen something wonderful, and are ridiculously easy!


Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

1 can Pillsbury Recipe Creations seamless dough sheet*
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
cream cheese frosting, only about 1/2 cup will be needed. a powdered sugar and milk glaze would work nicely also

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Unroll dough sheet.  Spread pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg evenly over the dough.
3. Roll dough into a log, working from the short side of the dough.
4. Cut dough into 8 pieces using a serrated knife.  Place onto a greased round glass pie plate.
5. Bake 15-20 minutes.
6. Top rolls with cream cheese frosting and devour instantly.

*Note: You can use regular Crescent rolls.  You would just have to press all the seams together.


Just unroll it, spread it, roll it up, and slice it. I told you it was easy!


These are very small cinnamon rolls so if you are feeding more than 3 or 4 people you will certainly want to double the batch.


It's ok to drool.


You have to, have to, make these for breakfast.  You're family would be so disappointed if you didn't.