Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nutella Buttercream

Note to self:  nutella frosting straight out of the fridge taste like fudge on ecstasy.

I had to make cupcakes the other day on sort of short notice with little time to do anything really fancy. I settled on the old go to - vanilla bean cupcakes and chocolate frosting - but decided to throw the chocolate icing a little twist.

I added nutella.

Is your mouth watering now?

There was enough of the stuff left over after piping it onto my cupcakes that I saved it in the fridge.  And, lucky for me, a little low blood sugar later and I was able to dive right into that frosting for a quick boost of glucose.

It tasted like fudge.  On ecstasy.

Absolutely divine I tell you.

Go ahead and make some for yourself today.  Just make a basic chocolate butter cream but add 1/2-3/4 nutella into the mix.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fancy cookies

Oreo cookies.

I only like them two ways.

Dunked in milk or covered in chocolate.


Chocolate covered oreo cookies. The only thin that has worked right for me today.

I ate dinner with the family a couple weeks ago at Zupas and they were selling a box of 8 chocolate covered oreo cookies for $10.  That's more than a dollar an oreo.  Now, I'm sure they used more expensive chocolate than me but come on - $10?

I made these the other day for a couple of neighbor and teacher treats.  They are super yummy.  Half dipped in red vanilla flavored candy melts and the other half in milk chocolate.

Maybe if I decided to sell them, I could make a pretty penny.  I decided to eat them instead.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

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At the end of the summer we headed to Ogden for a football game and decided to spend the night and make a quick family getaway weekend out of it.  In the morning the family and I went to the farmers market and it was there that I encountered a hand made mint limeade.  It was made in a mason jar by this super cute hippy guy and I could have stood in front of his booth and drunk one all day long.

Since the beginning of September I've been trying to copy the recipe with little success.  However, over Thanksgiving weekend I found a recipe for a basic limeade and then I went to town creating my own.

The perfect mint limeade.

Here's what you'll need to make 2 quarts of most refreshing drink around:
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup sugar (I used raw, pure cane sugar (that's why it's brown) but you could use whatever you'd like.)
6 cups water
10 mint leaves, bruised
crushed ice

Add the water, lime juice, and sugar to a pitcher.  Wash mint leaves and rough them up a bit in your hand or on a cutting board.  Add the mint leaves and mix everything together.  Put some crushed ice (the Ice Berg, Sonic, and Hires sell theirs) and add the mixture to the ice.

I promise you will drink the entire 2 quarts.

Cherry Dump Cake

Cherry dump cake for dessert. Yum!

In our family, we love us some good cherry dump cake.  It's one of the richest, yummiest things to eat and oh so easy to make.

Here's what you'll need for a 9x13 size pan:
2 cans cherry pie filling
2 teaspoon almond extract
1 yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter

Spray your 9x13 pan with a cooking spray.  Open the cans of cherry pie filling and add 1 teaspoon of almond extract to each can.  Dump both cans of cherry pie filling into the prepared pan.  Open the yellow cake mix and dump the mix on top of the cherry pie filling, covering it evenly.  Melt 1/2 cup butter and pour over the cake mix.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then check on the cake.  The top needs to be browned and a little crusty.  If it's not quite ready, bake in additional 5 minute increments until it's ready to eat. 

It's best served with a cold scoop of ice cream on top, but would also be great with some home made whipped cream.

Orange Chicken

Orange chicken for dinner. I wish I knew how to photograph food.

Panda Express sells it's orange chicken sauce at the grocery store.  I don't do much grocery shopping, my husband does, but a few weeks ago I ended u going to the store and happened across the aisle with the sauce and picked up a bottle.  Can I tell you, the sauce is heaven.

The other night I wasn't really sure what to fix for dinner.  I had chicken, a red pepper, some frozen green beans and some onions.  Voila!  Orange chicken in the making.  And if I do say so myself, it was delicious.

What you'll need:
Chicken
Cornstarch
Red pepper
Green beans
Onion, diced
Carrots, if you have them
Rice
Orange sauce

First, cut the chicken up into small chunks or strips.  Put the chicken in a zip lock bag and add a couple table spoons of cornstarch.  Shake the chicken in the cornstarch until it's completely coated and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

While the chicken is resting in the cornstarch, start prepping your veggies any shape or size you'd like.

Heat up a skillet (or a wok if you've got one) and add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  When the pan and oil are hot, gently add the chicken and let it cook on one side until it gets golden brown.  Flip the chicken and brown the other side.  When the chicken is finished, remove it from the pan, dump the excess oil and add the vegetables.  Cook the veggies to your liking.

Once the veggies are cooked, add the chicken and the orange sauce back into the pan and let it simmer for about 5 minutes so that the sauce really penetrates the chicken and the veggies.

Serve over rice with a little soy sauce on the side.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fast and Easy Puff Pastry Dessert

Though I love to eat stuff that is decadent and insanely caloric, sometimes a treat that is a little bit lighter is in order.  That's where this puff pastry treat comes in.

Here's what you'll need:
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
nutella
egg wash (1 egg + 1 tbsp water)

First, thaw out the puff pastry sheets and cut each sheet into 6 equal rectangles.  On each square, add about a tablespoon of nutella.

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Next, wet the edges of each square of pastry, fold it over and press the edges together with a fork.  Once ever rectangle has been folded and pressed and placed on a cookie sheet, pierce each piece a couple of times with a fork and brush on your egg wash.

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Place in a 400 degree oven for about 16 minutes (start watching them at 10 minutes just incase your oven is a bit hotter than mine). Once golden brown on the top, take them out of the oven, dust with powdered sugar and eat.

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I of course chose to fill my pastry with nutella, but I'm sure you could substitute a little bit of chocolate heaven for something else - jam, fruit, even something savory might be fun to try.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Seasoned Oyster Crackers

Seasoned oyster crackers
Back story: Right after Ross and I got married, we lived in student housing at the University of Utah while he finished his MBA. We were in a regular ward that met in the awesome little chapel just across from presidents circle up by the "U" and were called to be on the activities committee with this awesome lady named Marilyn. She was cool. She called the refrigerator the "re-fridge". It cracked me up all the time - not sure why but it was funny.

One of the activities we helped to plan was the annual chili cook-off. It was a big deal in this ward. I don't care for chili, but Marilyn brought seasoned oyster crackers. I was completely addicted to them. She brought gallons of them for the cook-off and I asked ever so kindly if I could take all the left-overs home. She said of course and I was in cracker heaven for a good week after the party.

 I totally forgot about the crackers until a week or so ago and then headed out to find a recipe. The following, from epicurious came pretty close so I tested it out and...voila!

Marilyn's crackers.

I've nearly devoured the entire bag.  I just can't stop.

Give them a try and you will wow yourself and everyone else who gives them a whirl.  Mix the ingredients up, and shake the mixture with the crackers.  Let the crackers dry on some paper towels for about 30 minutes and then put them in a clean air tight container.  The longer they sit, the better they taste.  They're good for a week, but they won't last that long.



  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • a 1-ounce package powdered ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • an 11-ounce package oyster crackers (about 6 cups)