Bialosky Bear Vanilla Wafers

Bialosky Bear Vanilla Wafers

I’ve been struggling with depression lately which has involved a lot of wandering aimlessly around the kitchen late at night.

kitchen animals dog food reaching

I knew I wanted something snacky and sweet but didn’t want to get into anything too involved and inspiration hit though when I remembered my go-to cookie recipe as a kid.

These were the cookies I would make while home alone which devolved into me eating just the dough, and then into not even finishing the dough and eating just the butter/sugar mix. #thisiswhyimfat

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I had forgotten just how easy and simple these were to make – this whole cookbook is geared towards children so it’s to be expected – but seriously easy.

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Even though I accidentally added to much sugar they still turned out delicious and exactly what I needed.

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Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans

I’m not a big fan of nuts.

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Sure, I can eat a handful of honey roasted peanuts now and then, salted cashews are starting to grow on me, and I like my peanut-butter crunchy, but I despise Jordan almonds and think that nuts ruin perfectly good fudge. I hate nuts in stuffing, I hate nuts in trail mix. They’re usually bitter and make my teeth feel weird.

Cheezburger animals eating peanuts hamster

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But these Candied Pecans might as well be some illicit drug with how addicted to them I am.

Cindy Suen love heart hearts feeling you

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I would go as far as to say that besides for the allergic, these would convert even the most ferocious of nut-haters.

candied pecans

They’re so easy to make and perfect to have on hand for the holidays. I’ve served them for our last three holiday movie parties, and several years ago I even made festive little baggies of them as gifts.

Candied Pecans
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20 servings
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces pecan halves
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat to 300 degrees and line a large baking tray with wax paper.
  2. Whisk the egg white, vanilla, and water together in a large bowl until its thicker and frothier.
  3. Add in the sugars, cinnamon, and salt, and then mix thoroughly until the pecans are well covered.
  4. Spread evenly over the wax paper-lined baking tray and place in oven for 45 minutes.
  5. Stir the pecans every 15 minutes.
  6. Cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.
  7. Stores well in cookie tins.

 

You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t give them a chance.

holiday party 2

Our humble party spread featuring the candied pecans, kettle corn, movie-theater popcorn, hummus and veggies, hot cocoa and fresh whipped cream, eggnog, pomegranate punch, salted caramel cookies, various candies, and a delicious cabbage salad courtesy of my brother and his girlfriend.

 

holiday party 1

Holiday shorts and cartoons before our main feature during our Holiday Movie Party

Chocolate Port Cake

Chocolate Port Cake

I’ve been making a version of this cake from Italian Kiwi for more than two years now. I remember originally thinking that wine and chocolate are such a good pairing that there MUST be an excellent recipe out there on the internets that combines the two. I’ve modified it from the original, swapped out plain ole red wine in favor of port and adjusted the proportions a hair.

portcake

It’s so delicious, you guys. Rich, flavorful, creamy, and complex. Mmm.

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It pairs beautifully with the cranberry port sauce over chicken with Gorgonzola and the honey roasted Brussels sprouts, too.

Chocolate Port Cake
 
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Serves: 10 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3½ sticks salted room temperature butter
  • 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup port or red wine (I prefer the port)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
Instructions
  1. Set out your eggs so that they can make it to room temperature.
  2. Grease and flour the heck out of a cake pan.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Using an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar until well mixed.
  5. Slowly mix in wine - you'll eventually have a lovely purple mixture that is far too easy to pick at with a spoon.
  6. Take half of the wine mixture (plus an additional ½ cup) and set that aside for later.
  7. Slowly mix in the eggs (one at a time), cocoa powder, flour, and baking powder.
  8. Pour the batter into your super prepped cake pan (this likes to stick).
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
  10. Shortly before it is done baking, take the reserved wine, butter, and sugar mixture and melt it in a small pot over the stove. Stir often, and make sure it doesn't burn -- here you're working to get the sugar properly melted into the butter (if you skip this step, it can occasionally turn out grainy).
  11. While the cake is still relatively warm and the mixture melty, tip the cake out of the pan. Pour the melted mixture over the cake. You may want to poke a few holes so that it soaks in.
  12. Serve while warm (you can also microwave it BRIEFLY) to remelt the gooeyness. Scoop up the sauce to make sure each portion comes with a nice helping.
  13. Enjoy!

 

 

Chocolate Pots de Creme – Recipe Review

Chocolate Pots de Creme – Recipe Review

Cat and I cook well together because often my issue is lack of inspiration, and Cat’s issue is lack of desire to do the thing.

So when she finds something she’s interested in eating, it’s great because I’m usually interesting in making it!

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To go with our Pizza Balls the other day Cat suggested we try this recipe for Chocolate Pots de Creme from Food Network and I was psyched about how easy the recipe looked.

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They ended up being exactly as easy to make as they looked, and as delicious as I thought they would be. Incredibly rich and very chocolaty.

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The main issue I had with these was that though I followed the recipe to a ‘T’ (not something I usually do), and gave them greater refrigeration time then said necessary, they turned out to be not as thick as advertised.

I would suggest that when you make this recipe that you either give them at least 4 hours in the refrigerator before eating, and or mix about a teaspoon or two of cream of tartar in with the sugar.

Secondly, not an issue with the recipe, but a heads up that this would lend itself perfectly for flavor ad-ins! Mint extract, orange extract, vanilla, almond! So many possibilities!

Chocolate Pots de Creme
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 9 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar (add an extra tablespoon if using bitter chocolate)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. Place the chocolate in a blender. Whisk the milk, 1 cup cream, egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spatula and almost boiling, 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Immediately pour the milk mixture over the chocolate in the blender. Cover and hold the lid with a thick kitchen towel; blend until combined and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Divide the chocolate mixture among ramekins or small cups and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
  3. Whip the remaining ½ cup cream and the confectioners' sugar with a mixer or in the blender until soft peaks form. Top the chilled pots de creme with whipped cream.

I will definitely be making these again with some of those flavor adjustments.

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4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

10 Popsicles You Need In Your Life Right Now.

It has been super hot again and everything is terrible.

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What’s that? You’re upset that a person with a college education, a job, a safe place to live, and ample food is complaining about things? Then stop reading a darn food blog and do something valuable with your time. You know, like sponsor a needy rescue bat. 😀

Anyway.

Temperatures have risen and any food that involves making my kitchen even warmer sounds awful. I’ve resorted to lusting after popsicle recipes on Pinterest. Here are a few that look especially delightful:

1. Matcha (Green Tea)

(Image from 40 Aprons)

(Image from 40 Aprons)

2. Coconut Mango

coconut-mango-pops-3

(Image from the Little Epicurian)

3. Edible Flower (HOW FREAKING PRETTY ARE THESE?)

(Image from Chew Town)

(Image from Chew Town)

4. Salted Caramel Mocha

(Image from Melanie Makes)

(Image from Melanie Makes)

5. Peanut Butter Banana

(Image from the Detoxinista)

(Image from the Detoxinista)

6. Blackberry

(Image Tutti Dolci)

(Image Tutti Dolci)

7. Watermelon Lime

(Image from ehow)

(Image from ehow)

8. Orange Julius

(Image from A Night Owl Blog)

(Image from A Night Owl Blog)

9. Lemon Cream

(Image from Give Me Some Oven)

(Image from Give Me Some Oven)

10. Mojito

(Image from Flour on My Face)

(Image from Flour on My Face)

Am I missing any tried and true favorites? Link to them in the comments!

Strawberry Margarita Cake

Strawberry Margarita Cake

I made this cake for the first time about four years ago.

 

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My boyfriend at the time was working in a managerial position for Claire’s corporate, and I had somehow ended up as the official cake baker for his employees birthdays. They quickly caught wind that I enjoyed turning alcoholic drinks into baked goods so besides for this Strawberry Margarita cake, I also made a White Russian cake and my classic Irish Carbomb cake.

strawberry margarita cake

When it showed up on my Timehop, I knew without a doubt I had to make it again. Fortunately I had the perfect excuse, it was my mothers birthday on the 2nd and she had requested a Mexican theme for the food. So, along with our Crock-Pot Enchiladas (for which I made my own red enchilada sauce), we had a taco bar, margaritas, chips and guacamole with the most perfect avocados I’ve seen all season, Cream Cheese Things, Tomato Basil Mozzarella apps,  Coconut Macaroons, and this cake.

strawberry margarita cake 2

As you can see from the photos, the frosting looks a little suspect. Not only was it very warm in the house which exasperated the situation, but I had somehow run out of powdered sugar and it was just too late to get any more. I experimented with using a little corn starch to try to thicken it up, but it didn’t work like I had hoped.

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If you use as much sugar as you’re supposed to, you’ll have a nice fluffy frosting on your hands like my picture from four years ago.

Strawberry Margarita Cake
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16 people
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks room temperature (or hurriedly microwaved) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons lime zest (about 4 limes worth)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup non-alcoholic margarita mix
  • 2 Tablespoons tequila
  • Tequila Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 2 Tablespoon Tequila
  • Frosting:
  • 8 oz room temperature Cream Cheese
  • ½ cup room temperature salted butter
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, blended
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 Tablespoons non-alcoholic margarita mix
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • Special Supplies:
  • Stand Mixer
  • 2, 9" Cake pans
Instructions
  1. Cake:
  2. reheat the oven to 325 and butter and flour the inside of two 9" round cake pans.
  3. In a small bowl sift together the flour salt and baking powder.
  4. In the bowl of stand mixer with a paddle attachment, blend the butter and granulated sugar on medium low until light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape down the sides and one at a time add the eggs.
  6. Scrape down the sides slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined. Do not over mix.
  7. Scrape down the sides and add the lime zest, milk, margarita mix and tequila. Mix until combined. If you feel your batter is too thick, add more margarita mix.
  8. Divide and pour equally into the prepared pans and place in the oven for about 35-40 minutes until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean from the center. Rotate the pans once halfway through baking.
  9. When they're done, remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
  10. Remove the cakes from their pans as carefully as possible and set flat side up on some cooling racks. Brush the tops of the cakes each with a quarter of the tequila glaze.
  11. When your frosting is ready, cut the first cake in half and place the glazed half down onto your plate or tray. Frost this layer generously.
  12. Place the second half of the cut cake, cut side up on top of the frosting. Brush with ¼ of the remaining glaze and allow it to soak in for a couple of minutes.
  13. Frost this layer generously.
  14. Approach the second cake in the same way, cut in half, put the cut half on top of the frosting, frost, place the last half on top, glaze, and then frost.
  15. At this point you're ready to frost the rest of the cake. Be generous with your delicious frosting.
  16. Decorate with freshly sliced strawberries and a twisted lime slice right on top.
  17. Glaze:
  18. When you cakes are about ready, prepare the glaze by mixing the sugar, water, and tequila in a small bowl with a fork or a whisk until fully combined and smooth. Set aside until needed.
  19. Frosting:
  20. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, place the butter and cream cheese and whisk on medium until blended and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  21. Add the lime juice, blended strawberries, and margarita mix, whisk for another 2 minutes.
  22. Add the powdered sugar slowly, scraping the sides of the bowl every now and then, until the frosting is at your desired thickness.

The frosting is a little week, but still delicious. However, the cake itself is amazing; super moist and tangy and delightful. You could forgo any alcohol or even margarita mix, and just use it as a zesty lime cake!

“I Screwed Up the Bread” Pudding

breadpudding

Our breadmaker is… well… really darn old. I usually put a knife block in front of it while it’s running because the latch on the door doesn’t stay shut while it’s wobbling wildly during its mixing stages. Add the ricketyness to the fact that we got some new but not quite right paddles and I had me an ugly, underbaked loaf.

Thankfully, there’s no need to throw away imperfect homemade bread – add just a few things you probably already have in your house and you’ll have a lovely bread pudding.

This was so popular that the whole batch disappeared in less than 12 hours. Frankly, that’s only because I fought Mark off until Brie could get back from school. The recipe also came together quickly, which was great.

The only real drawback was I didn’t get a chance to properly photograph it after people realized it existed. This was my only other evidence:

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4.0 from 1 reviews
"I Screwed Up the Bread" Pudding
 
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Delicious bread pudding made from the remnants of a failed loaf of homemade bread.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 sad loaf of bread.
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup mixed berries (optional, and frozen is a-ok)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk or cream
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Tear bread into small chunks and toss together with berries in a medium sized baking pan.
  3. Pour butter evenly over bread chunks.
  4. Combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extra in medium bowl and wisk together well.
  5. Pour over bread chunks.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until firm (a little liquid in the center is okay, just make sure to give it time to set before serving).
  7. Let set either at room temperature for at least an hour before serving.
  8. Enjoy!