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 tag “homemade”

Spanakopita Bites

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So, I keep pinning these bite size appetizer recipes, and I also keep forgetting I don’t own a mini muffin pan.

One day I’ll learn. This recipe is supposed to make 60-72 mini muffins, I got 12 normal size muffins. (Definitely could have made more, but more on that later.)

So, everything was going great and according to plan, until the phyllo dough. I’ve used phyllo dough before, so I thought this was all going to be a no brainer. Well, turns out you’re supposed to let it thaw for five hours. It had already been thawing for about one hour, and I literally did not have time to wait for the other four (I had a show that I had to leave for) so I said screw it. Most of it was fine, but the middle was a little crinkly and hard to cut. The two inch squares obviously weren’t going to cut it for my muffin tin, so I measured the size of the wells and cut the dough according to that. I got about 36 squares.

Here’s where things got confusing. At least to me. Here is what the original recipe says:

“Remove the phyllo dough as packaged (with the dough in layers) and cut into 2 inch by 2 inch squares; set aside.

Prepare your mini muffin pan by brushing butter in each well. Place 1-2 squares of phyllo dough into each well, pushing down to create a cup or crust. Brush the top phyllo filled wells with more melted butter and repeat by placing 1-2 squares of phyllo dough into each well and pushing down to create a cup or crust again. Repeat with another layer of 1-2 squares of phyllo dough and brush with more melted butter.”

The phyllo dough was 18 sheets. When she says “1-2 squares” I thought the squares still had to be in layers, like the previous paragraph said. So, I shoved two squares of all 18 layers into the wells. Upon watching the video she also has on the page, she separated the layers. So, one square is literally on thin layer square of phyllo. So, where there are supposed to be 6 piece of phyllo per muffin, mine had 36. (I didn’t do the multiple layers because I would have run out of dough. The whole time I was thinking it was just because the sizes were different because of the bigger muffin tin.)

So, at the end of the day, I had a phyllo massacre on my counter, a decent amount of extra filling in the fridge, and some decent tasting spanakopita muffins. Definitely too much phyllo. I wouldn’t mind making these again, but doing it right next time…

As a side note: The filling makes an excellent spinach dip on its own. So, no complaints there.

Recipe: https://www.whatscookinchicago.com/2010/09/spanakopita-bites.html

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Creamy Grilled Chicken Picatta

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So, I had a night off from rehearsal on Tuesday night, and decided to make this for dinner. So, I made the marinade, put it on the chicken, and put it in the fridge. The recipe says marinate overnight, but I wanted to eat it for dinner, so my plan was about two hours. However, it turned in to overnight because I got distracted watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and then when it was over it was past 11.

Oh well.

But then, I also forgot about it the next day. I got home from rehearsal at 10:30 and remembered the chicken was in the fridge. I googled how long chicken can marinate, and it said 1, 2 days max. So I figured this was a use it or lose it situation.

And that’s how I ended up making this recipe at 11 at night.

Basically, I pan seared the chicken (because I don’t have a grill) and made the pasta. It was all easy enough. When I made the sauce, first, I had to use mozzarella instead of parmesan because when I grabbed the cheese I had in the fridge, it had gone moldy. So I had to use my roommates cheese instead. When I tested the sauce for taste/consistency, I didn’t know if I liked it. It was very lemon-y, and I think I was expecting something cheesier/creamier. But, when I put it with the pasta, I really liked it. I cut the pasta into strips and put it on top.

Overall, not a typical late night snack, but a good one nevertheless!

I will say-it is best fresh. It re-heats alright, but it’s not quite as good as when you first make it.

Recipe: http://www.plainchicken.com/2010/08/creamy-grilled-chicken-piccata.html

Crock Pot Cheesecake

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I won’t lie, I made this mostly for the “the fuck? You can do that?” factor.

And yes, indeed you can. If you have patience. And maybe a smaller pan.

The trick to the whole thing is a pan that fits INSIDE of your crock pot, and then creating a double boiler from that. The smallest I had was an almost fit, so I decided to just go for it.

This made the actual cooking process longer, like a solid hour longer. The instructions are to cook “until the center of the cheesecake is no longer watery when you stick a thin knife into the center of it.”.

It all seemed watery, but my roommate said it was fine, so I moved onto the part where you leave it in a turned off crock pot for an hour. This was where I forgot it was in there because my roommates and I were too busy trying to film an episode of our webseries (That’s a whole other thing entirely).

Then when I remembered it was in there, I took it out, and put it in the fridge where it’s supposed to set for an hour.

I fell asleep.

The next day I had work and rehearsal so I didn’t even get the chance to try it until almost a full 24 hours later.

And the verdict?

It’s not bad! Not the best cheesecake I’ve ever had, but it was definitely cheesecake. And it was definitely made in a crock pot.

Recipe: https://crockpotladies.com/recipe/crockpot-cheesecake/

Olive Oil, Garlic, Chives, and Romano Cheese Mashed Potatoes

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I’m sure I’ve mentioned this a few times, but I am quite a big fan of mashed potatoes. Like, I have a process to make a quick bowl out of 2-3 potatoes in the microwave. But these sounded fancy so I figured why not?

Two things about the ingredients. It says 2 lbs of potatoes/3 large potatoes. I had a 5lb bag in my pantry, and I ended up using 4 medium potatoes and 1 small one, I think my estimation skills ended up being right. Also, I didn’t know that romano cheese smelled? The taste was basically a very sharp parmesan, but my roommate was like “that cheese smells like vomit.” So, off to a good start. I also spent 10 minutes grating a block of romano because the block was cheaper than the pre-shredded.

The recipe itself is a standard mashed potato recipe, I had them done in about 20-25 minutes. I had freeze dried chives, so I did 1 tbsp instead of 2.

And they were really quite good! But I’m not going to lie, about 2.5 seconds after taking this picture, I added butter and sour cream to them. Because why the hell not.

Lastly, it says this serves 3-4 people. Lol I ate the whole thing by myself.

Recipe: https://goddessofscrumptiousness.tumblr.com/post/13544053231/olive-oil-garlic-chives-and-romano-cheese-mashed#disqus_thread

Crab Hushpuppies

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Guys, not going to lie. I’m pretty damn proud of these.

It was definitely an adventure, but they turned out pretty good! My roommate loved them.

The crabmeat at the store only came in 6 oz cans, and there are 8oz in a cup (the recipe requirement) So I just got two cans and said screw it, there will just be a lot of crab.

And honestly? I wouldn’t have hated more. I’m also a pretty big fan of shellfish.

Also, had an accomplishment with frying. It didn’t go terribly and I didn’t burn myself!

Overall, these are probably fattening as hell, but at least they’re tasty!

Recipe: http://www.pauladeen.com/crab-hushpuppies

Frozen Strawberries and Cream

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So, this was an interesting recipe. Now that I’ve made it and everything, I still don’t quite know how to describe it? Maybe like one of those strawberry crunch ice cream bars we had has kids? But a little lighter than that.

It even started with making the crust/topping. It was a pretty basic pie crust recipe, but the recipe kept describing it as “crumbs” Mine was most definitely not crumbly. It stuck together. Then they came out harder/baked. And then the recipe said to press them in. Which would have been easier if I hadn’t of baked it? It was a all a tad confusing.

Making the filling on the inside was a little more successful. It was really light, (almost a little too light, I would have liked a little bit more flavor to it.)

So, I put it in the freezer, for which the recipe says to do for a minimum of 3 hours. I literally forgot about it.

I was sitting on the couch watching Game of Thrones (I know I’m only on Season 3) probably 4 and a half hours later and my roommate was like “is that cake thing done yet?” To which I ran to grab it.

I think I over-froze it. The strawberries were like little popsicles inside the cream center, like a minefield of coldness. The consistency of everything else was pretty good.

I put it in the fridge after the fact. I’m hoping that will thaw the strawberries out a bit.

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Overall, a little bit too much effort for something that was just fine tasting.

Recipe: http://www.pipandebby.com/pip-ebby/2012/4/17/frozen-strawberries-and-cream-dessert.html

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/

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

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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