Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Ghost Cupcakes

I know you have all be eagerly waiting to find out what I made for dessert for our scary movie night.  The day has finally arrived!  I present to you pumpkin chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.


The beauty of these is in their simplicity.  The cupcakes require just 2 ingredients:  cake mix, and a can of pumpkin.  The frosting is even easier because it's from a can! Yay!


I started out piping the icing onto the cupcakes, but found it easier to just use a butter knife to mound it on and then shaped it as I saw fit.  The eyes and mouths are chocolate chips.


I loved how these looked and tasted.  When a recipe is this simple you can't not make it!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Slow Cooker Barbacoa

This slow cooker barbacoa beef is a Chipotle copycat recipe.  You can find the recipe at Low Carb Crock Pot.  I did not have cumin, or a blender, so those steps were eliminated.  I also chose to cook it on low for about 8 hours instead of high for 4 hours.


We set up a whole bunch of toppings so everyone could make their own tacos.  Clockwise from the left we've got homemade corn salsa, sour cream, salsa, saffron rice, guacamole, lettuce, olives, cheddar and pepper jack cheese, and a creamy habanero ranch sauce.


I can't say whether it tasted like the Chipotle version because I've never had it, but I can say that it was a hit.  If I make it again I'll make sure to tone down the amount of chipotles in it because it was a tad too hot for me, but otherwise it was really very tasty.  I look forward to gobbling up the leftovers.


What did we have for dessert? You'll just have to wait a few more days to find out...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Pull Apart Bread

I'll start out with telling you this is the easiest treat you might ever make.  Like, seriously, so easy.  It was also stated that it might be one of the best thing's I ever made so there's that too.  I know what you're thinking, and the answer is no, I was not the one to make that claim.

This recipe come's from The Comfort of Cooking.  We can use the term recipe loosely here because there's really no measuring or mixing happening here.  I told you it was easy!


The line-up of ingredients couldn't be simpler.  I found these honey butter biscuits that I thought would go great with this sweet treat, feel free to use whatever biscuit you fancy.


The trickiest part is lining the biscuits and apples in the pan.


Don't be shy with the glaze!


I would recommend lining the loaf pan with parchment paper as the recipe suggests.  Otherwise you get into some tricky business with several spatulas trying to remove the bread without it breaking.  You don't want to turn it upside down because it's really pretty on top.

P.S. This makes a really fantastic breakfast.  It's biscuits and fruit, that's totally breakfast, right?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Slow Cooker Short Ribs


I had short ribs for the first time a few months ago at a super fancy restaurant.  Since then I have been wondering if I would be capable of cooking them up on my own.  Stop and Shop clearly heard my pleas because short ribs were on sale last week! Who knew they even carried such a delicious item at a regular supermarket? Not me that's for sure.


I used this recipe from Fifteen Spatulas for easy crockpot beef short ribs.  Alterations that occurred: used red onion and chicken stock because that's what I had on hand and no bay leaves or grapeseed oil (just used olive oil).


The short ribs get browned in a skillet before hopping into the crockpot.


I served them on top of mashed potatoes and I couldn't be happier.  This was a really easy impressive meal.  I would highly recommend it if you'd like to dazzle some dinner guests.  They don't have to know how easy it was to put together!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Butternut Squash Blue Cheese Pizza


This little beauty is all me. Ok, mostly me and part my lovely assistant.  Not sure what made me want to put butternut squash on a pizza.  Perhaps because it's fall and this is just the kind of pizza you should have on a dreary Autumn evening.

This is a sauce-less pizza.  I promise you won't miss the sauce.  I gave it an extra drizzle of olive oil on top in case it got too dry.


I used fresh mozzarella in addition to the blue cheese because I thought blue cheese alone would be a bit intense.  Also, fresh mozzarella is delicious and I shouldn't feel the need to rationalize it's usage.


I pre-roasted the butternut squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.  The squash was diced and frozen initially.

I loved this change of pace from typical pizza toppings and I assure you that you will as well.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Apple Pie Cake


I have been waiting ages to make this cake.  Ok, probably not ages, but it felt that way.  Just looking at the pictures from Recipe Girl had me drooling.  It looked gorgeous and I had to have it.


I followed the recipe, seen here.  I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar between each layer of apples even though she doesn't say to do that; it seemed like a good idea.  Actually, I'm looking at the recipe and realizing that I did not follow the directions. Oops!  I heated the oven to 375 and cooked it for about an hour.  I was surprised when it was done so soon, now I know why.  Also, I just used regular sugar and it worked out just fine.


This cake is crazy good.  I ended up using 7 apples, all different kinds from my apple picking adventure, and they make the cake light and moist.


I'm not going to pretend like this cake is easy and quick.  Peeling and thinly slicing 7 apples is no simple task. But since the ingredients are all most likely in your kitchen at this very moment you should probably make this right now.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wendy's Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich Review


Mannnnnnnnnn Wendy's suckered me in again with their pretzel bun!  This time the sandwich is called pretzel pub chicken.  The website describes the sandwich as "a lightly breaded chicken breast topped with natural muenster cheese, honey mustard, and a warm cheddar sauce all atop a soft pretzel bun."  It also had red onion, tomatoes, and spring mix lettuce like their pretzel burger did.


All in all this sandwich was fairly disappointing.  I was definitely pleased with the pretzel bun much like last time, but the rest of the sandwich was boring.  Perhaps if they threw a spicy chicken breast on there it would have dazzled me.  They didn't give me a chicken choice at the register so I'm not sure what the official policy is.  But we all know that the Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich is the winner of all fast food chicken sandwiches.


Overall, I wouldn't tell you to avoid the pretzel pub chicken sandwich and I wouldn't tell you to run out right now to get it.  If you do decide to head over to Wendy's to get yourself a pretzel pub chicken sandwich, have them throw the spicy chicken cutlet on there.  Then let me know how it was because I am dying to know. Thanks.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Caramel Apple Brownies

It's apple time! Wooohoo! After apples, we'll get to pumpkin time.  I promise.  I know it's way more trendy than apples, but November can be pumpkin time ok? Good.


One this occasion I was dead set on making an caramel apple dessert.  I searched the web for hours.  I finally decided on a recipe.  I even went out and bought ingredients for it.  Then I got home and decided to scrap the whole thing and do what I wanted.

So this one is all me.


Caramel Apple Brownies

1 Box Brownie mix, with accompanying oil and eggs
2 diced apples
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup Rolos


1. Prepare brownies according to package directions.
2. Melt butter in pan to cook diced apples in.  Sprinkle on brown sugar and cinnamon and cook until softened.
3.  Spread apples and Rolos atop brownie batter.
4. Cook according to brownie package directions.
5. Eat up!


So easy, so delicious, so Fall!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Skillet


This was supposed to have bacon in it.  That's how I'll start this post.  I checked and hunted, but saw no bacon in house.  I carried on with the recipe only to discover there was in fact bacon in said house. Woops.  It's OK I loaded on some bacon salt to make up for it.


The recipe can be found here from Picky Palate's always indulgent blog.  Other than the bacon snafu I followed her directions.  I also added a ton more hot sauce than she recommends, but that can be your decision.


I'm going to be honest, this was not the greatest thing I've ever tasted, but it was a nice simple weeknight meal.