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.

Artichoke Bread

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I have a confession to make.

I’ve never used the broiler setting on an oven before. In fact, I was worried I wouldn’t know how to use the broiler setting. Lucky for me there was a big button that said “broiler”. Go figure. The recipe doesn’t say whether to use high or low, so I went high.

Also, the recipe didn’t factor in all the cutting and mincing into prep time. So give that a solid 10-15 minutes. Especially if you’re a sub-par mincer like me.

Another confession.

Definitely didn’t know what a shallot looked like. I knew it was an onion, thought it was more like a scallion? Nah. I was wrong.

Anyway, as for the recipe itself, it’s all very straightforward. Mix the stuff, put on the bread, broil. I recommend splurging for the fresh bread in the bakery section, it makes it that much better. The only change I made to the recipe, and this will come as no surprise to literally anyone, I added more cheese on top. So I mixed in the 1.5 cups, and then probably did another cup on top. Also made it that much better.

I would recommend broiling it for just a tad longer than 5 minutes. The center was still a little lukewarm and the bread was only a little crispy. Still delicious though!

Recipe: https://www.crumbblog.com/secret-recipe-club-1-killer-artichoke-bread/

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Baked Spaghetti

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We all know how baked spaghetti works, yes? Make the noodles, mix it all up, pop it in the oven, eat the deliciousness. It’s very simple, and this recipe is a good quick summary of it.

I did do a few substitutions though. I did angel hair instead of spaghetti, just because I really like it. For the sauce they provide a homemade pasta sauce that you can make, or you can be like me and use the jar variety. I actually did a mixture of red and alfredo sauce, a mix I started doing in college and will probably do for the rest of my life. This is actually where my one recommendation comes in. Add in more sauce. I wish I had done 2 cups instead of 1.5. Other than that, this is a super simple quick recipe that can feed a good amount of people, or be your dinner for a whole week!

Recipe: https://kidsinthesink.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/baked-spaghetti/

French Toast Dumplings

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So. What we got here is actually one of my first fails in quite some time.

BUT. I don’t think it was all me. The recipe for this is…interesting?

The basic premise is to take a can of Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Biscuits (note that this is exactly what the recipe suggests), cut and ball them up, and simmer them in a maple syrup/brown sugar concoction.

The first big issue came with the biscuits. Notice how “Flaky Layers” are recommended. Ok. So when I put the little balls into the saucepan to simmer, the layers started to heat up, puff up, and separate. Making a giant fucking mess. The amount you see in the picture up top is maybe half of what I started with. Not a lot of these were salvageable.

I tried to wash pot out immediately, but the maple syrup was already a caked on mess. I was half tempted to throw the damn thing out.

But, I kept going. It says to cool them while making a cinnamon sugar/nutmeg combo to dip them in. The syrup basically hardened on them, making them hard to coat.

And after all that, you would hope they taste good right?

It tasted like raw biscuit dough covered in maple syrup.

I ended up throwing the batch out. A waste of time and money unfortunately, but you live and you learn! Maybe someone else can have better luck/like them more than I did:

Recipe: https://www.ohbiteit.com/2012/07/french-toast-dumplings-simmered-in-maple-syrup.html

Crock Pot Ranch Potatoes

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I know, it’s been a minute. I’ve been super crazy busy, and this crock pot recipe was next on my list. I barely had time to make a normal meal, let alone a crock pot one.

But a pretty gross spring cold led me to yesterday, a full day off with no plans. Everything happens for a reason right? My only wish that this had been just a *little* bit more satisfying.

For starters, it’s partially my bad. The recipe recommends quartered red potatoes. I had russet on hand, so I just did that. Ended up having to cut those into eighths and still some of those were a tad big. They had to stay in the crock pot for an extra half hour because they weren’t soft enough. And even after then, the bigger chunks still weren’t the desired softness.

After that, it’s just dumping a bunch of stuff on top and mixing it all together. I obviously added more cheese. Gotta stay on brand.

So, these were fine, but I would definitely get red or smaller golden potatoes if I were to make them again.

Recipe: https://www.halfscratched.com/crock-pot-ranch-potatoes/

The Skinny Tuna Melt

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I present to you, the first time I went shopping and cooked in 2019!

I shit you not. I have been so insanely busy (good busy at least) that I have only been home to sleep essentially. But, it was finally time.

And honestly, wish I would have had this recipe a bit sooner. It was done in about 15 minutes, and was pretty tasty too. The only adjustment I made was I nixed the onions, because I don’t actually like onions. And I’m super tired of buying a whole onion to use 1/4 cup in a recipe and then it sits in my fridge for eternity. So, fuck it. No onions. Also, next time I would add a tad more mayo. I know that makes it less skinny, but it was just the teeniest bit on the dry side.

Another thing I need to get better at is cooking on low. I get too impatient. So, the bread was perfectly toasted, but the rest of it wasn’t as “melted” as I would have liked it to be.

But still, a great dinner for those of us on the go!

Recipe: https://www.skinnytaste.com/skinny-tuna-melt/#more

Circus Animal Cookie Truffles

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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