Tales from a 20-Something's Kitchen.

One girl's mission to take on Pinterest. And win. And eat some great food in the process.

Caramel Cheesecake Dip

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Pictured in the background: Great British Bake Off.

Not pictured: Half the bottle of wine I drank.

Anyway. The original blogger wasn’t kidding when she said three ingredients, three minutes.

It was more like 5 for me, but still. This was ridiculously easy. For graham cracker crumbs, I’m using a crust from now on. It makes a decent amount and I didn’t even do the “put in a bag and smash” trick. I just took my pastry cutter and smashed it all in the foil pan the crust came in.

The recipe said just to put the crumbs on the side, but I made a small layer on top as well because why not?

This isn’t a mind blowing recipe by any means, but it would definitely work in a pinch.

Recipe: https://www.cookingclassy.com/caramel-cheesecake-apple-dip-3-ingredient-3-minute-recipe/

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Sonoma Chicken Salad

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So, yesterday one of my co-workers at my new day job hosted an “end of summer” cookout for the admin team, and this was my contribution!

Making the chicken base was pretty standard, shredding the chicken took longer than I remembered, but it still turned out!

Now, the dressing was interesting. Let me just list off the ingredients in this thing:

  • Mayo
  • Apple Juice
  • Honey
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Onion Powder (more on that later)
  • Salt and Pepper

I’m not crazy right? These all sound like they would taste really weird together, right? I was mixing everything up and thinking to myself “oh my god my co-workers are going to think I’m so weird for making them eat this.” But I taste tested it before I mixed it in the chicken and it was actually – really good? It was sweet, but not too sweet.

So, I mixed it in. And personally, I didn’t think that it was enough. I still found it all a bit dry. So, I whipped up a half serving of the dressing really quick.

Fun side note here: I went into the pantry to grab the onion powder (that I had JUST bought) to make the extra half serving, and realized I had bought garlic powder. Which I already had. So. Garlic powder substitute for onion powder in this recipe can work. And I will not have to buy garlic powder for years. Yay me.

I actually contemplated making a whole extra serving of dressing, rather than half, but then I ran out of mayo. Oh well.

But, the half extra worked. I think I would maybe double the dressing in the future from the get go.

Long story short, all of my co-workers loved it! I didn’t have a whole lot leftover, but one of my roommates taste tested it, and he really liked it to!

So, chalk this one up to a success, and one to keep in the recipe book for sure.

Recipe: http://www.cookingclassy.com/sonoma-chicken-salad-sandwiches/

Taco Pizza

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Anyone else have Taco Pizza days in grade school? If you did, like me, then this recipe will make you crazy nostalgic.

So did you know that Pillsbury now makes a product that is the crescent roll dough but already in sheet form? It’s like they read my mind. So, I got two of those to substitute the two crescent roll tubes. They were still a bitch to get open, but when are they not?

I skipped the black olives because as I have mentioned before, ew, gross. And I went with regular refried beans instead of the jalepeno kind.

When it came to browning the ground beef and making the crust, I definitely could have condensed some time by doing those at the same time, rather than one right after the other.

Getting the dough onto the pan was…interesting. The first sheet only half, but I started in the corner, so there was a strip in the bottom and on the side that needed to be covered. So I Frankensteined the other dough sheet to fill in any gaps. I will say, didn’t make a very even crust, but at least it still tasted pretty good.

From there, it’s all a matter of layering, and ta-da! I did add some sour cream to the top post picture as a finishing touch, which was an awesome idea that I recommend.

Recipe: http://realmomkitchen.com/5301/taco-pizza/

Stuffed Crescent Rolls

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So, I think I made two mistakes with this one.

  1. I bought store brand crescent rolls.
  2. I let the tubes sit on the counter while I took a shower before making these

Which I think led to the little messes you see above.

I’ll start from the beginning.

First things first, I skipped putting olives in the filling, because ew.

The filling itself was easy to make. I actually wish there was something a little extra in there. Maybe lemon juice? Some more seasoning? Something to tie it all together. It was a bit bland for me. I almost would have been better off just doing cheese. Because cheesy crescent rolls sounds like an awesome idea.

Anyway. I go to unroll the crescent roll dough, involuntarily jumped when the tube popped (like always) and found a goopy mess of dough. First thought “oh shit I left these out too long”

So I thought I would be careful and separate them very slowly. But then I couldn’t find the triangle perforations. I maybe found them twice on every roll of dough. Which I’m going to blame on being a 20 something who bought store brand dough.

So I only got like 12-13 rolls, instead of 16, because I just had to rip hunks and form them into triangles.

In retrospect, they don’t look too bad for having to form them myself huh?

Anyway, it’s not a bad recipe, would maybe want to mod it a little bit.

And refrigerate my dough.

Recipe: http://clairebidwellsmith.com/2010/01/22/windy-city-crescent-rolls/

Cheesy Potato Fries

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So, I know I’ve made cheese fries before, but those were supposed to be healthy (even though I didn’t make them that way), and these were a different recipe sooooo…

Anyway, these were pretty straightforward. Cut the potatoes, bake them, put the stuff on them.

I liked the sour cream/ranch/milk mix, it was pretty good! I didn’t put the sour cream mixture on the bottom of the fries though because I didn’t quite get why to do that. I just heaped it all on top. I also skipped out on the bacon bits as a topping because it’s not real bacon.

The only thing that was a disappointment was that the fries completely stuck to the foil they were baked on, which I was surprised about.

But other than that, these turned out great!

Recipe: http://yummy-recipezz.blogspot.com/2012/10/cheesy-potato-fries.html

Crockpot Barbecue Chicken

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So, what we’ve got here is a pretty standard crockpot recipe. Put the stuff in the crockpot, leave it there for a long ass time. Ta-da.

But that’s also why I haven’t had a chance to make this. There’s been no good opportunity for me schedule wise to meal prep this stuff.

But, yesterday was my chance. Finally. I was seeing a show at a park nearby yesterday afternoon, so I popped it in beforehand, and it was ready for dinner.

As for the recipe itself, I wish the sauce was a bit thicker. By the time it was ready to eat, the sauce was a bit thin and runny. Still pretty good though, and it’s got a little bit of a kick to it as well that took me by surprise.

It says to keep it in the crockpot for 4-6 hours. I was a little under 5 when I called them done. This was probably because I stuck them in frozen. I probably could have kept them in for that extra hour, but I was starving.

Overall, not bad. Not amazing, but not bad. And I also now have lunch and/or dinner for the next three days!

Recipe: http://forkinit.blogspot.com/2010/09/crockpot-barbecue-chicken.html

Melt In Your Mouth Doughnuts

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So, my theatre company had an end of season cookout yesterday, and this was my contribution!

I’ve made doughnuts from scratch before, but this was actually way easier than that. I literally fried some biscuits from a tin from the grocery store.

Although I will say, the frying part was…interesting. I could never get it the oil to be the right temperature. It was either way too hot and was burning the outside before cooking the inside, or being really undercooked and doughy.

Overall, these still turned out really good. I just need to work on my frying skills. And everyone at the cookout loved them!

http://www.southernplate.com/2009/01/melt-in-your-mouth-doughnuts-made-at-home-foolproof-and-great-for-beginners.html

Strawberry Glazed Doughnuts

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So, I’ve been seeing doughnut recipes on Pinterest for awhile now, and I’ve always passed them up because I didn’t have doughnut pans. Recently, I said fuck it and ordered some doughnut pans off of Amazon, and said lets make some doughnuts. Plus these are baked so their healthy(ish/er)

The first step with these guys is making a puree out of strawberries and strawberry jam. As we all know, I don’t own anything to do this. (one day….). Turns out you can make a puree with a hand mixer, a vegetable cutter, and some patience. So. I was pretty proud of myself for that.

Making the dough was easy enough. When combining the ingredients, you don’t want it too dry or too runny. That was the tricky part. I stopped adding the puree, worried it would be too much and there’s no going back. Ultimately, I could have added a bit more, but they still turned out pretty good.

The recipe then recommends piping the batter into the pan. But it was batter instead of frosting, so it was really difficult to pipe. So I just spooned it in and wiped off the center part. I assumed the dough would rise, so I only filled the molds about 3/4 full. I definitely could have filled them all the way to the top. But that’s something to know for next time!

The glaze part of the recipe makes way too much, I would half it. Or double the amount of doughnuts. I got 12 out of this recipe.

I had a movie night last night and people loved them! So I’ll definitely be making these again.

Recipe:

http://www.maryquitecontrarybakes.com/2011/05/strawberry-glazed-doughnuts.html

Summer Potato Salad

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So the roommates and I had a family dinner on Sunday night, and this was my contribution! It was a big hit.

It is a little bit more “mashed” than I think potato salad is meant to be, but it still tasted really good. I think it’s because I cubed the potatoes really small. But, I was really proud of myself, I was able to multitask the boiling of the potatoes, boiling of the eggs, and making the sauce stuff. Boom.

The recipe says to refrigerate at least two hours. We did two and a half and I still would have liked it to be a little colder.

My recommendation? Make this the day before something and refrigerate it overnight. Also, this served 4-6 peopleish. So if you’re going to an event, double it.

But overall, this is a great recipe for your next barbecue!

Recipe: http://trickschefs.com/showthread.php?tid=1385

Shrimp Linguine

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So, the first thing I have to say: Why is shrimp so fucking expensive? Seriously, I could buy two lobster tails cheaper than a pound of shrimp. Woof.

So, the recipe calls for 1.5 lbs of shrimp.  So, because I’m a cheap 20 something, I only bought a pound. Oh well.

Overall, this is a pretty solid recipe. The sauce is easy enough to make, but I would double it, or only use half the box of pasta. There wasn’t quite enough for me to fully cover all the pasta. Admittedly, this may be a personal preference, but that’s my suggestion.

So, even though the shrimp is expensive, I would definitely make this again, maybe for a special occasion!

Recipe: http://trickschefs.com/showthread.php?tid=964

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