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.

Circus Animal Cookie Truffles


So, this was my entry into my family’s annual holiday bake off. I wanted to make these because those circus cookies remind me of my childhood.

Firstly, getting the cookies into crumbs was an adventure in itself. The post says 3 cups of cookies. The bags of cookies I got said they were 13 oz a piece, so I thought, “Great I’ll just use a little less than both of these bags.” But 3 cups of cookies, per the post, was literally only half of one bag. So, I determined that maybe it was 3 cups of crumbs? This led to me asking my family every two minutes if the bowl I was pouring the crumbs in looked like it had 3 cups in it. Eventually, I used almost two full bags, which is what I thought in the first place. So.

Next, freezing for three hours. I did it, but then the recipe said to use a fork to dip it into the chocolate. But they were frozen. So I couldn’t put a fork in them. I used a spoon, but then it led to them being kind of chunky, because the chocolate couldn’t drip off.

But oh well, people were still a fan of them!

Recipe: http://www.unicornlove.com/blog/2012/8/9/circus-animal-cookie-truffles-recipe.html


“Weight Watchers” Chicken Pot Pie


So, I put “Weight Watchers” in quotes because all of the recommended ingredients were like low fat this and reduced fat that and I didn’t have the time or money to go buy skim milk when I had perfectly good 2% in the fridge. So, I just used normal stuff, like 1 egg instead of egg substitute, etc. The post wasn’t specific about what kind of frozen mixed vegetables, so I went with a broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mix.

Overall, this is is pretty simple. Mix the stuff, layer it, bake it. The post says to bake for 30 minutes, it took about 45 to get the golden brown in the picture, and I wish it was actually a little more golden brown.

Overall, this wasn’t bad, but I found it a bit bland. Which probably comes from trying to make it “healthy”. But, this is a pretty quick chicken pot pie if you’re in a bind.

Recipe: https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/weight-watchers-chicken-pot-pie-167202

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Pudding Cookies


So, my day job has a happy hour once a month, and sometimes we’ll do fun stuff. Like this month, we had a chocolate chip cookie contest. And I was told that “a derivative of a chocolate chip cookie” would count. So I made these guys.

Ya’ll, I’ve never followed a recipe so closely in my damn life. Sometimes I admittedly get lazy and don’t measure closely, but I was quite meticulous on this one.

Also, I got to test out my new hand mixer! I’d been using my roommates, but they moved, so it was time to be an adult and get my own. (Next stop: Kitchen Aid Mixer).

And let me tell you, even the dough on these was amazing. I ate a shit ton of just that. And the cookies? If you eat them just out of the oven, holy shit. They’re a little crispy on the outside, and soft to the point of almost under-baked on the inside (especially the bigger ones.)

As for the cookie contest? Very close second place! (The winner’s cookies were absolutely amazing though, so it was deserved.) But this is definitely one to keep in mind for the future.

Recipe: https://www.somethingswanky.com/white-chocolate-snickerdoodle-pudding/

Frozen Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie


So this is technically a Weight Watchers recipe. I did not follow the Weight Watchers route. You totally could, but I wasn’t going to buy skim milk when I had perfectly good 2% in the fridge.

So, I realized I did not own an 8×8 pan. I had already bought everything, so I said screw it, I’ll put the crust in the actual pie tin. It all just kind of fell apart and when all was said and done, was less of a crust, more of an Oreo layer on the bottom.

Making the actual pie part is pretty straightforward, just mixing stuff together.

Now, here’s my question. The title says “Frozen” pie. But the directions just say “Chill”. To me, chill means put it in the fridge, not the freezer. So that’s what I did. And I think it was fine. It could have been firmer, sure, but I thought it was pretty good. It didn’t blow me away or anything, but I didn’t hate it. And my roommates didn’t either!

Recipe: https://dashingdish.com/recipe/frozen-reeses-peanut-butter-pie/

Apple Enchiladas


I was super excited to make what was basically apple pie burritos. And these turned out pretty great too, minus a few bumps in the road while making them.

To start with, I fucked up right from the get go. I put the filling in, rolled them up (which I am not great at clearly) and then realized I forgot to sprinkle the cinnamon on the apples before rolling it up. There was zero chance in hell I was going to unroll them to sprinkle some cinnamon on and roll them up again. So I sprinkled the cinnamon on top hah.

Then, I wanted to put them in a 13 x 9 cake pan in order to have the sauce soak more into them. My roommate was using it, so I resorted to a cookie sheet. It was fine, but it meant more sauce on the pan than on the enchiladas and a very sticky clean up after.

OTHER than that, these are quite delicious. You can even eat them on their own without ice cream if you don’t have any handy. They’re a tad too much work, and the recipe only makes about 6, so save them for a small night in.

Recipe: http://cornfedmomma.blogspot.com/2011/04/apple-enchiladas.html

Bayou Brownies


So, I don’t really know what constitutes these desserts as either brownies nor from the bayou, but I thought they looked good so I went for it.

A pretty simple two layer bar recipe, with the bottom layer being a cake mix/pecan mixture, and the top a cheesecake-y type concoction.

I wish the bottom layer had a little more flavor, and I didn’t really care for the pecans/didn’t think they added anything. Like maybe some vanilla or something would have given it a little more?

The top layer was pretty good. I ended up just eating mostly that of the second bar I ate.

Also, as you can probably see from the picture, they fell apart pretty easily when I was cutting them.

So, even though I was a little disappointed, one of my roommates really liked them. So, different things for different people I guess!

Recipe: https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/bayou-brownies-43350

Cinnamon Sugar Pizza


Ya’ll, this was stupid easy. Make the crumb topping, unroll some crescents, pop it all in the oven, make the glaze, done.

I realized while making the crumb topping that I was actually using my pastry cutter for its intended purpose – cutting the cold butter into the cinnamon sugar mix. Normally I used it as a mashed potato masher hah.

Also, this recipe says to put the crescents onto an ungreased baking sheet. Lie. Put some Pam on that shit. I lost a crescent and a half because it stuck to the pan.

I also would have doubled the glaze recipe, it didn’t make quite enough to make a huge difference. You can’t even really see it in the above picture.

Also, while these are pretty yummy, I feel like its missing something. My roommate said he put some ice cream on top of his, and it was awesome. So, I think this is a dessert side, or a part of a dessert dish, rather than the main event. If that makes sense.

Recipe: http://thesweetestpear.blogspot.com/2011/12/cinnamon-sugar-pizza.html

Chicken Spaghetti


So, on paper, this looks like a weird ass list of ingredients. But, when put together, it was all actually pretty good! It also lasted me like five days. So, it’s a good meal prep one if you’re into that sort of thing.

Speaking of the ingredients, I did a cheat on this one. For the grilled chicken. Instead of like buying and grilling chicken, I bought a bag of the frozen strips of grilled chicken. Popped them in the microwave, cut them up, called it a day. Saved me probably a solid half hour.

But this is a simple enough combine and bake dish. The Rotel tomato and chiles give it a kick that I wasn’t expecting (but I should have been). And I think if I had known exactly what kind of flavor it was going to give, I would have sprinkled Mexican cheese on top instead of Parmesan.

Side bar about the cheese: The directions literally say a sprinkling of cheese. Bish please I probably used half the damn bag. But you knew that.

Back to the tomato thing. A suggestion I would offer up is that if you’re going to go the Rotel route, do Mexican cheese on top. If you want to do parmesan cheese on top, just do a can of normal diced tomatoes. That’s what I would do if I were to make this again. Which I just might!

Recipe: http://www.boomerbrief.com/2012/03/super-satisfying-chicken-spagetti.html



Well, this was supposed to be Meatloaf Muffins. But two of my roommates moved out and took the muffin pan with them. And I didn’t realize it until I was already making this. So I decided to go a more traditional route.

Also, I have made meatloaf muffins before. (https://jeleff2014.wordpress.com/?s=meat+loaf) But, that was a barbecue meatloaf, and this was a more traditional one.

So, call me Betty Crocker.

Anyway, along with a muffin pan, the roommates also took the knife set. Which was good for chopping vegetables. So, I was at the grocery store buying ingredients and I also picked up a paring knife and one of those slap chop things. I forgot how convenient those were. Stuff is chopped and minced in like two minutes. Except the carrots. That did not go according to plan. They just got stuck, whole, to the blade. So I had to cut those by hand. I also had to mix all the ingredients together with my hands, which was kinda gross.

So, once it was in the oven, I thought I was done. I failed to realize that cooking for 25 minutes was for the muffins, not for a whole loaf pan. That’s why there’s a weird divot thing in the middle, that was me digging through the meatloaf trying to figure out if it was done. All in all, it cooked for about a hour.

And once it was done it was pretty good. I think at the end of the day, I personally prefer barbecue meatloaf, but this was still a solid recipe.

Recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/diner-meat-loaf-muffins

Sugar Cookies


So, two of my roommates are moving out this week. I didn’t realize how much of the kitchen utensils belonged to them…

So, I had to do all mixing by hand, which was annoying but doable. I also had to roll out the dough with a tea tin and use a wine glass as a cookie cutter. (Although I don’t think I had any cookie cutters to begin with honestly.)

Then, the dough was honestly quite hard to work with. It stuck to every surface, even after I floured it. It took quite some time to get 30 cookies and I ended up throwing a bit away because I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore.

Also, it said to bake for 7-8 minutes, and that it would still not look done. But after 7 minutes they were still clearly not baked. 10 minutes was what worked.

Then, the frosting happened. It came out very grainy and gross consistency wise. Didn’t really like it. Also, found out my food coloring expired this past December.

So, I’m going to buy some frosting in a jar, do that, and then bring them to my meeting tomorrow.

So, these were kind of a fail. Oh well, better luck next time I guess.

Recipe: http://peppermintplum.blogspot.com/2011/03/thick-soft-sugar-cookies.html

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