Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate, Heath Bars, and Pecans

Whenever I can make up an excuse to bake, I will. The excuse behind these cookies was the fact that some family members were in town.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

S'mores Ice Cream Cake

Yesterday (Tuesday) was my birthday, and to celebrate, I made this ice cream cake. I did not have time to make a layer cake or anything like that, so I just made this super easy and quick ice cream cake. 

With just 3 main ingredients, this ice cream treat is filled with chocolate and tastes absolutely amazing. I thought the graham crackers would become soggy because of the ice cream, but they did not! They remained crisp and yummy throughout the entire process. 
Also, this recipe called for toasted marshmallows on top to complete the "s'mores" package, but I was so excited about this cake I forgot to include them! Oops! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Strawberry Banana Cream Pie

Last weekend I was looking for a multi-component dessert that involved several steps and some sort of crust. I was intrigued by the strawberry and banana combination in a pie, so I immediately decided to make this Strawberry Banana Cream Pie. 

While you must make the crust, custard filling and whipped cream for this pie, it is very simple and easy. Layers are fun! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Have you ever had a recipe you used to make all the time drop out and then reappear again years later? This cookie recipe is that "long lost recipe" for me. 

When I used to hate nuts in baked goods, I made these cookies without pecans so often because they are so soft and filled with delicious peanut butter and chocolate chips. The flavors compliment each other so well and taste great together in this cookie.

...And I'm definitely going to have to find a cat to make cat treats for since we don't have one.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pretzel Pizza Bites

I'm already wishing it was the end of the week and planning what I'm going to make this weekend. When I decided to make these Pretzel Mozzarella Rolls on Friday, I remembered these pretzel pizza bites I had made earlier but had not posted yet.

These bites are pretty much the same thing as the rolls, but they are smaller and have turkey pepperoni.

The original recipe for the rolls calls for hot dogs, so you can use those as well if you like, but I like the mozzarella!

And be prepared, this recipe makes a lot!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

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After reading all about Cup4Cup gluten-free flour from Joy the Baker, I have been desperately wanting to bake with it and see how it reacts with everything.  I've been waiting for an opportunity to try out Cup4Cup, so when my gluten-free friend, Caroline, said that she would be in town for the better part of September, I knew I had to bake something for her and try out this flour. I ended up making 2 different types of cookies for her last weekend (recipes to come), and this weekend on Sunday afternoon we baked these whoopie pies together using Cup4Cup. 

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While I have only tried one type of gluten-free flour prior to Cup4Cup, the cookies I made with said flour were absolutely terrible. I knew that the recipe for the cookie was great because I had made them once before, but when I made them with that sketchy gluten-free flour there were weird chunks and these hard pieces throughout. It was a disaster.

I was so happy to try this flour because I had read so many great things about it. Although it is a little pricey, it is definitely worth it when you need to bake gluten-free for yourself or others. It looks, bakes and tastes like all-purpose flour. The cookies I made last weekend were crispy, but not hard, and soft. These whoopie pies had similar great results. This flour definitely lived up to all the wonderful complements it has received.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Guest Post: Sixteen Beans

Today, I have my first swap/guest post! I'm sharing this Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake from Kyleen of Sixteen Beans. I absolutely love her blog, so I asked her if she wanted to maybe swap posts for a day. I'm totally into her Spinach Tofu Burgers, Raspberry Lime Creme Pie, Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake, and so many more recipes. This Black Forest Cake also looks amazing! I can't wait to execute her recipes soon. In the meantime, though, here is another great post from Kyleen: 


Hi, I'm Kyleen, the overworked high school senior girl behind sixteenbeans. Today Elizabeth and I are swapping posts, so head over to my blog to check out her Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies. (Bask in the Nutella; I'm (mildly) allergic to hazelnuts, so my blog has never seen a Nutella post before. 

*         *          *

Last summer, I did co-op at a bakery. After each work day ended, I headed to the library to enjoy the air conditioning study. On one occasion, my best friend Jenny and I met at the library to do math homework together. As I worked through problem sets, she sauntered off to look through the rows and rows of cook books. The cook books are located right beside the math and physics textbooks, as luck would have it, or misfortune (considering how distracted we would be).  


After a little while, Jenny returned with an armful of cookbooks. Among the cook books was Chocolate Cakes, by Elinor Klivans. The book was completely devoted to chocolate cakes—it’s almost unnecessary to say that my math homework was promptly cast aside as I opened flipped through the pristine pages.  


Chocolate Whiskey Cake, Chinese Five-Spice Chocolate Chiffon Cake, and Chocolate Zebra Cake were just some of the recipes that caught my eye. But what I really wanted to try was the Brandied Chocolate Cheesecake. In my mind of course, I would replace the brandy with a healthy splash of my favourite alcohol, Bailey’s Irish Cream.


After all those months of imagining and dreaming of Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake, I finally had time to make one last weekend. One morning, I woke up early (9AM on a weekend morning is early), and while the rest of my family was asleep, I opened the cabinets in the kitchen and banged the pots and pans around making a cheesecake.


In an attempt to prevent my cheesecake from cracking like the Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake had , I underbaked the cheesecake until it was almost set in the center, turned the heat off, and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for several hours. I went out for the day; when I came home, I was delighted to find that my cheesecake had a smooth, uniform surface, free of cracks.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Three Cheese Asparagus Tarts

Last night, I cooked with Jessica for the first time in her kitchen. It was so much fun cooking with another person in a new environment! Also, since she is a blogger as well, I didn't feel super weird for taking an excessive amount of pictures... 

I chose to make these tarts because they are simple, but flavorful, and take a fairly short amount of time to make. It's amazing how such basic ingredients can taste so well together! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chocolate Cheesecake Mini Pies

When I wrote about Salted Caramel Ice Cream back in July, I included pictures of the ice cream atop chocolate cheesecake mini pies. I was planning on posting the recipes for the pies soon after the ice cream, but here I am in September just now writing about them!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Pecans and Blue Cheese

I've never been into salad dressings and I've especially veered away from them ever since I made a homemade caesar salad dressing last year. Seeing the anchovies was so disgusting and I almost gagged  when I tasted it. I really liked caesar dressing prior to this experience but I could not deal with it after I made it myself. I haven't had said dressing since then and don't think I ever will since it was so repulsing (and still is). Just thinking about it makes me cringe! 

So, I've been steering clear of salad dressings even more now. Everything is so much simpler and tastier (I think) without it. For this particular dish, I just added some different ingredients that I like and called it a meal. Easy, simple and so tasty.  

Here's what I threw together! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Podcasting

If you haven't noticed already through my recipe sources and posts, Joy the Baker and Shutterbean are my two favorite bloggers. Their recipes are amazing, and I love the writing and photography on their websites. The way they blog and live their lives is so wonderful and inspiring. 
I listen to their weekly podcasts over and over again because they are so funny, entertaining and informative (very informative; I'm not kidding). I love hearing them talk about anything and pretty much everything. When they asked dudes last week to request topics for them to talk about I immediately wanted my dad to call because he loves the podcast as well! I introduced it to him this summer while we were on a long road trip. It didn't take as long to reach our destination because time flew with Joy and Tracy. He likes their red flag podcast the best, so he called to ask Joy and Tracy to request more talk about red flags. 
Turns out, his call was included in their podcast this week! Eeks!! I was so excited when I heard his call this afternoon while catching up with their latest episode, 'Dude, Where's My Podcast?' since I love listening so much. It was so odd and awesome to hear my dad talk on such a great website. He didn't openly freak out as much as I did when he listened, but you could definitely tell that he was super excited! 
His call shows up around 20:20. Check it out if you aren't a regular listener already! And while you're there, listen to the other 62 of them. Time well spent. 

Thanks for including the call, Joy and Tracy!! 
You're the best! Keep podcasting. 

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

I've been on a total cookie baking craze lately. Cookies used to be my least favorite item to bake, but now, they are one of my favorites!

I'm not really sure what changed to cause me to like to bake them more now, but it's just so much fun, especially when oats are involved. I love oatmeal cookies and they are perfect when they are soft, not too chewy, and filled with delicious peanut butter chips.

These are so good!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Three Cheese Tomato and Herb Tart

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Three day weekends are one of my favorite things next to pies and the green color of ripe avocados. They give you an extra day to bake even more and an excuse to put things off yet another day. The bad part about three day weekends is that they start the week off on a Tuesday. 

Tuesday is the absolute worst day of the week. 

On Tuesday mornings you have four entire days ahead of you and it's just a gross day. Yes, you have five days ahead of you on Monday mornings but Mondays are somehow better because they get so much bad talk. I think I kind of like them because so many people dislike them. I guess that's kind of weird... 

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To cover up my dislike for the start of this week, I made this for dinner on Monday night. It's easy and yields a satisfying result. I wasn't expecting it to be so flavorful, but the tomatoes, herbs and cheeses tasted perfect together and I loved the combination of the ingredients. I served it with spinach and strawberries and the raw spinach tasted great with the tart! 


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nectarine Pie

You know that feeling you get when you eat an unreasonable amount of sugar in one day? That's how I feel right now. Between this pie, a bundt coffee cake, and a batch of cookies from Friday night I have way too much sugar in my system! I also didn't eat very much non-sweet food, which doesn't help at all. The good end of the sugar side effects I'm experiencing right now include knowing the fact that everything was really delicious. This pie was definitely my favorite out of everything I ate, though.

Nectarines are not really front and center in my mind because peaches dominant the picture as my favorite fruit, but this pie was absolutely delicious! It tasted very similar to peach pie, but just slightly different. I'm not sure which one I like more! 



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