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.

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

Southwestern Avocado and Black Bean Salad

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So salads are pretty easy to put together, which is exciting. And this one sounded pretty good. Well, I thought the ingredients sounded good, don’t know how I felt about the dressing (cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, and hot sauce). Spoiler, it’s not bad. Not the best thing I’ve ever had, but also not bad. I had to guesstimate with some of the ingredients. Like corn. It says 2 cups of corn. That’s 16oz, and there’s 15oz in a can, so I figured I would be good. But it also called for 2 cans of black beans, which are also 15oz. So, I decided to play it by ear. In the end, I thought the 1 can of corn was sufficient, and I only used 1 can of black beans, which was honestly a little too much. So. Guess it depends on the individual person I guess. I also added more cheese than was called for (when have I not).

Overall, this wasn’t bad. I will say the combo of the black bean juice (even after draining), the cut tomatoes, the drained corn, and the dressing made this salad a little soggy. Didn’t hate it, but would probably make some adjustments if I wanted to make it in the future.

Recipe: http://www.pauladeen.com/southwestern-avocado-and-black-bean-salad

Fresh Strawberry Upside Down Cake

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I have a week off in between closing one show and starting another, so of course I was going to take that opportunity to make something!

This seemed easy enough, just layering ingredients together. Crushing strawberries was an interesting experience. Maybe I didn’t crush them enough, because the amount of strawberries I had was not enough to cover a 9×13 pan. I had a slightly smaller one on hand so I used that one instead, and that was still a little bit of a stretch to get them to cover the whole pan.

After that, it was really simple. Sprinkle the jello, layer some marshmallows, pour the cake batter over the whole thing, ta da.

Now. I’ve never made upside down cake before. So I was terrified of flipping this over. My roommates were excited regardless-either they got cake or they got to watch a cooking fail.

Luckily, it all worked out! Once I cut off a piece, I was surprised to see that the jello and marshmallow baked into the cake. It makes the cake super moist and soft.

So, definitely give this one a shot!

Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/188567/fresh-strawberry-upside-down-cake/?evt19=1

Cheesy Broccoli Potato Mash

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So, for the current show I’m in, we have two show days on Saturdays, so we decided to throw a little potluck on our dinner break, and this is what I contributed!

It was pretty simple to make, but I found the proportions to be a little off.

It says use 1 lb of potatoes, I used 2. I did use the suggested amount of broccoli, Instead of 3/4 c of cheese, I used a solid 1 1/2 c (and even brought some more to the theatre). I used 3/4 c milk instead of 1/c. So, that took some playing around and testing, but the end result was pretty great!

Recipe: http://sweetandsavorytooth.com/vegetables/cheesy-broccoli-potato-mash/

Pizza Muffins

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Last night, my roommates and I hosted an “Apps and ‘Sserts” NYE Party. For those of you who are Parks and Rec fans, you hopefully get the reference. But basically, we had a little potluck where everyone brought wither an appetizer or a dessert to share, so this was my contribution.

I didn’t find any cubed pepperoni at the store, so I just got the little guys and tore them into fourths, so that seemed like it worked. The original poster also suggested adding salt and red pepper flakes, which I did.

Side story: I was mixing everything together, and was curious as to what the batter tasted like. Turns out I didn’t mix well enough, and just got a nice old hunk of red pepper flakes. That was a fun 5 minutes of my life.

Anyway. This is a really simple one if you’re looking for something in a pinch. It’s a “throw everything into a bowl, mix it, and then throw in the oven” type of recipe. I don’t have a mini muffin pan, which is what’s suggested, so I used a normal sized one, which made 10 pizza muffins. I wish I had a mini muffin pan,  because those 10 were gone within a half hour. Not everyone had even arrived yet, and they were gone. So, that’s a testament to how good they were. I just wish I had made more!

Recipe: http://lickthebowlgood.blogspot.com/2010/07/annoying-habits.html

Avalanche Bars

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I’m visiting home for the holidays which means our annual bake off!

This year, I decided to make something called Avalanche Bars, which was a really random recipe I found.

So, basically, take rice krispies, replace the marshmallow with white chocolate and peanut butter, but still put in mini marshmallows later, add more chocolate, and you got these guys.

The tricky part for me was the whole “cooling” thing. So, the chocolate/peanut butter mixture is pretty warm once melted together, and then you’re supposed to add the rice krispies and let it cool before adding the last two ingredients.

So, I did that. But by the time the cereal mixture was cool, the marshmallows weren’t mixing into the cereal the way I wanted it to. They were just sitting there. I added the chocolate chips anyway. But when I put it all in the pan, I wasn’t happy with how everything was mixed together. The oven was already pre-heated for someone else’s cookies, so I just popped the tray in for literally three minutes, just enough to make the marshmallows and chocolate a little melty. (If melty is a word.)

But then the bars were too soft to cut, so I had to put the bars into the fridge for about 20 minutes. But then, after all that, they turned out great. So, definitely worth the extra effort.

And they were a hit at the bake off too!

Recipe:

http://cookiesandcups.com/avalanche-anyone/

Cookies and Cream Fudge Balls

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So fun fact about this recipe, it’s not supposed to be fudge balls. That part was me improvising. But I’ll get to that later. (It also explains as to why this is not my prettiest picture.)

To start at the beginning, I saw this recipe needed 3 cups of white chocolate chips. I remembered I had some leftover from a recipe in a ziploc bag. So, I said to myself “Ok, cool, I’ll just grab one bag at the store, because those are normally 2 cups, and then I’ll use the older ones for that last cup.”

I buy all my ingredients, get everything home, and get ready to start making these. I open the ziploc bag, and the old chocolate chips smelled…off. Not bad, but definitely not the way they should smell. Almost like a faint trace of sour milk. After making my roommate smell them too (as you do), I decided to play it safe and throw them out. My roommate then said I could borrow some of her spare chocolate chips she had. They weren’t white chocolate, but at least it would be something. Now, remember that I was a cup short on the chocolate chips. And also that I forgot about my roommate telling me to use hers. These are both important later.

I make the fudge everything is great, I put it in the foil in the pan and put it in the fridge to set. I test it before rehearsal. It’s not fully set. Weird. I put it in the freezer for 10 minutes, still not set. Put it back in the fridge, go to my 3 hour rehearsal, come back home, still not set, super sticky on the bottom. So, I tell myself I’ll get to it tomorrow. Not only did I not get to it until the next day, but probably a full 24 hours later. I worked until 5:30, didn’t get home until 7. And guess what? Still not fully set. So I gave up and determined to cut them up anyway. I wanted to bring them to a production meeting I had that night.

And then this happened:

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I call it “Fudge-pocalypse 2016”

It was a fucking mess. It was so stuck to the foil I salvaged maybe half of it. That’s why I decided to turn them into fudge balls. I even had to pick a piece of stray foil out of one of them.

But, I brought them to my meeting, and the majority of everyone thought they were really good. Two people thought they were too sweet. Even I can only have one before I’m good.

So. Two questions arise from this one:

  1. Can white chocolate chips go bad?
  2. Did the fact that I never added that third cup of chocolate chips (see I told you that would come back) contributed to the fact that it was super sticky?

We may never know.

Recipe:

Cookies ‘N Cream Fudge – Crazy Cooking Challenge

Cream Cheese Nacho Dip

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So, I’ve been INSANELY busy lately. It was to the point where all I had in my fridge was some butter, jelly, a yogurt, and coffee creamer.

Not exaggerating in the slightest.

I finally had two nights off in a row, so I used the first night to catch up on stuff, and the second to go grocery shopping and make this!

Also, my roommate got fired from his crappy temp job, (his boss had a serious vendetta against him) so when he came home, I said that this was his “sorry you got fired dip”

It was very easy to make, just layering. I do wish the cream cheese and sour cream could have combined a tad easier, but I was hand mixing and was too lazy to plug in the electric mixer. Oops. It also took a little longer than the recommended 30 minutes for it to really set.

But, the roommates all liked it! They liked how easily customizable it is. They noted this would be really good with some chicken and jalepenos. Maybe next time!

Recipe:

http://alittlenorthofcrazy.blogspot.com/2011/04/gone-in-blink-nacho-dip.html

Blueberry Doughnut Muffins

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All three of my roommates asked me the same question: “So, what makes it a doughnut muffin?” And I don’t even know if I one hundred percent know the answer. My guess is the consistency of the muffin itself, it’s a little cakier. But, they’re also delicious, so does it really matter?

Right out the gate, getting the ingredients was an adventure for this one. I went to the store, got everything, and when I got home, realized I forgot to get the lemons. I have no idea why that escaped my mind. So, I had dinner plans with some friends that night, and on the way home, I went back to the grocery store. I couldn’t find the damn lemons. I don’t know if they were moved or gone or what. So I grabbed some lemon juice. By the time I got home, I looked at the clock and saw that it was just too late to make anything. So I went to bed. The next day, I get up and when I went to fridge to have cereal for breakfast, and find out that my milk expired a day before the expiration date. I need a cup of milk for this recipe. So, I went to the gym and stopped at the grocery store yet again for some milk, and guess what I found? Lemons! So, I got my lemons and milk and finally head home to make this recipe. Told you it was an adventure.

And the funny thing is, the recipe itself is pretty simple and straightforward. You measure the things, combine the things, mix the things, put them in the oven. Although when the recipe says that you’ll fill the muffin pan up to the top, she wasn’t kidding. These guys were huge. And it ended up taking about 20 minutes to bake properly, rather than the given 15-17.

But yeah. From there, the glaze is pretty simple. I also recommend double dipping them, as the original post does. Thank god they taste so good, or all that running around would have been for nothing.

Recipe:

Blueberry Doughnut Muffins

Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

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I have a lot of feelings about red velvet. Like that time I learned that it’s a lie. Red velvet = red food coloring. A lot of red food coloring. That costs money. Just to change the color of something.

So, I was going to just make regular cheesecake brownies, but then I noticed that I actually had most of a little bottle of red food coloring already in the pantry. So I said why the hell not.

I needed one tbsp of it, which I remembered as I was measuring it out. Which is one of those little bottles. I didn’t quite have enough, so these turned out a little more like maroon velvet brownies.

The brownies are from scratch, which is fun. The recipe says that they’re going to be thick, but I thought maybe almost a little too much? It weighed down the cheesecake layer, which is the best part.

As you can see, I almost got the swirling thing down right. I had just a little too much of the red velvet mixture and it got everywhere.

Anyway, I would make these again, but I probably would just make normal, non red velvet ones.

Recipe:

Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

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Not pictured: My hands covered in chocolate, just out of frame. But more on that later.

Also, this is my first recipe in my new apartment! I moved about three weeks ago into a bigger place (read: bigger kitchen) with some friends, and I finally had some time to get some groceries and make a recipe last night.

So, this started out a pretty standard eggless cookie dough recipe. I actually think it’s one of the best ones I’ve ever tasted, so that was exciting.

But when it comes to these damn truffle recipes, the chocolate coating part is always my downfall.

I melted the chocolate and hoped for the best. I didn’t use shortening because I still have nightmares of that crap from when I worked at a cupcake shop in college.

And then the disaster started. I tried using a fork, as the recipe suggested, but it kept getting stuck in the dough. Then I tried a spoon method, that also did not go well. So I gave up and just started using my fingers. Much more effective. Also a lot more messy.

Then I didn’t do it quick enough and the frozen cookie dough balls started to soften in the chocolate. So, some have weird little bald spots.

But you know what? After all that, they still tasted pretty good. I’m also excited for these roommates because they have as big of a sweet tooth as me, so I know I’ll have more to share!

Recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

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