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.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies

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This was an interesting recipe. I feel like I did everything by the book, but none of it turned out like it was supposed to?

So everything needs to refrigerate/freeze for two hours. The dough seemed fine, but the cheesecake filling never froze. It was still sticky but i had to just go with it-I was on a time crunch. That being said, the cookie assembling process still went pretty alright. There was only one cookie where the cheesecake started to get all throughout the dough, and I just decided to live with it.

I also put the cookies in for 11-13. They weren’t fully baked in the middle until about 13-15, but the bottoms were slightly burned. AND the melted chocolate chips in the drizzle never set, even when I stuck them in the fridge.

And then when all was said and done, the cheesecake filling was a little baked in, and the cookie was just ok. Which wasn’t surprising, since it was a cake mix cookie.

So, for me, these may have been more trouble then they were worth, but they at least looked impressive.

Recipe: https://www.confessionsofaconfectionista.com/2011/12/red-velvet-cheesecake-cookies.html

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Sugar Cookie Bars

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The premise is pretty simple, make the sugar cookies into bars so you save time on rolling, cutting, etc.

It’s all pretty straightforward, but the end result is more a shortbread cookie than a sugar cookie. I first thought something may be up when I mixed the dry ingredients into the wet. It had an almost crumbly consistency, which is normally what happens when there’s too much dry ingredients. Or for something more dense, like a shortbread. I pressed them into the pan anyway and had to literally punch them into place. And since it was a denser dough, they retained that shape (which was thankfully covered up by the frosting and no one asked me why the bars were bumpy.)

The frosting is a solid recipe, but I really need to start cutting them in half. It was just too much unless I was putting a mountain of frosting on each one. I ended up wasting about half of it. And for the frosting itself, they weren’t frosting well in the pan, and I didn’t have a tupperware big enough to carry them without stacking. So I took them out, frosted them, and then tried to puzzle piece them back into the pan. I ended up screwing something up and had to eat one of them because it didn’t fit…oh well. 🙂

So, all in all, not a bad concept, but I would use a different cookie recipe.

Recipe: https://www.highheelsandgrills.com/sugar-cookie-bars/

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

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I would just like to say I am quite proud of myself. Mac and cheese has never been my forte, but I did pretty good this time. And honestly, I just had goddamn patience when making the cheese sauce. I waited until it was actually thickened rather than getting impatient.

Not gonna lie, this was not the most budget conscious recipe. I had all the ingredients except milk, gnocchi, gruyere and fontina, and those four things alone cost $25. Oof. So, save this one for a special date night or something.

It didn’t get quite as brown and crispy as I was expecting, but it was still delicious. I thought I’d be able to smash the whole thing for dinner, but I only got through about half, this shit is filling.

So, definitely give this one a try, but save it for a special night (or a special someone, hah)

Recipe: http://thecuttingedgeofordinary.blogspot.com/2010/10/gnocchi-mac-cheese.html

Crock Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup

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So, here’s the thing. Have you ever heard me complain about something being cheesy? The answer is NOPE. NEVER. But I don’t know what it was, but this just didn’t do it for me. My guess is the pound of Velveeta. I’ve never had anything against it, but the taste just lingered and was too much. I couldn’t finish it and it actually made my stomach upset.

So, this was kind of a fail? But it’s odd because I didn’t screw it up, it just didn’t work. Maybe one of you can have better luck.

Recipe: https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/broccoli-cheese-soup-for-the-crock-pot-348190

Strawberry Brownies

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I brought these to rehearsal today, and everyone loved them! I felt obligated to tell them that this was stupid easy, before they started praising my baking skills too much.

Because this is legit the easiest thing I’ve made in quite some time. It’s just buying some box cake mix and altering what you combine it with to give it a brownie texture. The only hard part of the whole thing was getting them into the pan. The poster said the batter is thick, and they weren’t kidding. It took forever to spread it out enough that the bottom of the pan wasn’t showing anywhere. But other then that, stupid easy.

Recipe: http://commoncentshome.blogspot.com/2010/07/strawberry-pinkies.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+TheCommonCentsHome+(The+Common+Cents+Home)

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

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This is such a bougie way of saying mac n cheese but it’s fine. Still went for it.

First things first, I was at my grocery store and in the meat section they had a few packages of “Chicken Breast for Stir Fry” Game. Changer. Didn’t have to cut into tiny pieces at all. Just threw the seasoning on with the chicken still in the styrofoam tray and plopped it all in the skillet to cook.

Also, when the poster says 1 small onion. That means small. I had a little over half an onion left from the Chicken Pockets I made last week and thought that would suffice. Definitely too much onion. It didn’t kill the dish, thankfully, it was just too much for my taste.

The ingredients also have you putting white wine and mustard into the sauce. Just trust it. It’s fine. I was worried and it all turned out pretty good.

Once all was said and done, I think the sauce could have been a tad thicker. (I’m pretty sure it’s because I used fat free milk.) But adding a “bit” more than the parmesan cheese for taste helped that!

Recipe: http://homeiswheretheholmansare.blogspot.com/2010/05/white-cheddar-chicken-pasta.html

Creamy Chicken Pockets

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What we got here are essentially homemade Hot Pockets. I was so down to make them.

Before making, I was taking a look over this post and saw a note at the bottom that the original poster now uses shredded chicken instead of diced. Then, I was talking to some coworkers at work and one said that shredding a rotisserie chicken is stupid easy.

And it was! I just got in there with my hands and went at it. The only tricky thing is that I didn’t quite know how much. I went with pretty much all of it minus a leg and a thigh (which I ate hah), and I learned that was a little bit too much. It made the chicken mixture not as creamy as I believe it should have been.

But. These are still pretty damn good. Something I did that I would recommend is getting the XL crescent rolls. It meant I could put a little more filling in, and still not worry as much about them exploding in the oven. I still had leftover chicken (I did use almost an entire rotisserie chicken) and I saved it and made a sandwich out of it the next day. It was kind of like a chicken salad type situation?

Anyway, this is a great easy recipe, would recommend for a potluck!

Recipe: https://www.seededatthetable.com/creamy-chicken-pockets-2/

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/

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

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