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”

Mashed Potato Cakes


It should be no secret at this point how much I love me some mashed potatoes.

So, for starters, I did not have leftover mashed potatoes. Leftover mashed potatoes don’t exist in my fridge. So I made my time tested and perfected microwave mashed potatoes with plenty of butter, sour cream, and cheddar cheese.

The only bump I really ran into with this recipe was that the desired consistency after adding cornstarch never happened. Maybe it was because they were still warm? But it was a sight. Cornstarch everywhere. Mashed potatoes all over my hands. I made it work though.

Cooking them: Only got burned by the hot oil crackling into my face once! Victory. It did take less than five minutes a side to get them to look like that though. Perhaps mine were smaller?

Either way, these are pretty good, I threw some more sour cream on top as a little garnish. Plus I love sour cream.


This recipe is me and roommate approved!

Recipe: https://www.npr.org/2011/11/22/142661574/mashed-potato-cakes


Parmesan Tilapia


So, I’ve never made fish that wasn’t shellfish before, so this was an exciting adventure.

It was all pretty straightforward, I just didn’t really know what I was doing. Like the instructions said “Bake until the fish just starts to flake” Didn’t know what that meant. Also, double that parmesan mix. There wasn’t nearly enough.

So, like this was pretty simple, and it wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t fabulous.

Also, the next day I tried to make leftovers and something congealed in the tupperware? Like it was gross enough that I threw all of it out.

So, a little bit of a fail. Better luck next time I guess!

Recipe: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/mamas-supper-club-tilapia-parmesan-53914

Edamame Fried Rice


If you like prep, this is the recipe for you.

I don’t love prep. So I got bored. Endless chopping.

But at least the end product was good.

Admittedly, I cheated hard core on the rice. It was ready rice you make in the bag in the microwave. I also did a big saucepan, because I don’t own a wok.

And overall, it turned out pretty good! I will say, it doesn’t reheat as well, so eat it all in the first sitting.

Recipe: https://www.skinnytaste.com/asian-edamame-fried-rice/#more

“Crack” Potatoes


You all know what these are. These are “those” potatoes. Those potatoes your relative brings to holidays and you eat by the pound.

Just me? Okay.

Anyway, turns out the recipe is pretty damn easy. I just wish I had a slightly bigger bowl, because mixing was an adventure.

But yeah, super easy, pretty quick, and really delicious. Bring it to your next gathering.

They’re so good I ate some before I took a picture!

BONUS: Also reheats super well! I’ve been bringing it to work as my lunch all week.

Recipe: http://www.plainchicken.com/2011/01/crack-potatoes.html

Cheesy Chicken, Bacon, and Tater Tot Crock Pot Bake

Guys. I forgot to take a picture.

I am so incredibly sorry.

I have failed you.

Although, tbh, it wouldn’t have been a pretty picture.

This recipe is extremely straightforward, as most crock pot recipes are. Layer, bake, eat.

Once everything is in there, you’re supposed to cook on high for 3-4 hours. It ended up needing 4.5 hours. Granted, I had huge chicken breasts, which may have contributed to it. But because of that, the tater tots were reduced to practically mush.

Overall, I found the recipe a tad bland. With only salt and pepper seasoning the chicken, there’s not a whole lot going on there. Plus, colby and Monterey jack cheeses are not the strongest of flavors.

So, I would maybe try this again, with some alterations.

And yes, I would take a picture.

Recipe: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/cheesy-chicken-bacon-tater-tot-crock-pot-bake-403520

Strawberry Shortcake Sushi with Strawberry Coulis


So, firstly, didn’t know that a jelly roll pan is basically a cake pan? I was very confused, started using a meat loaf pan, but glad I googled.

Everything else is pretty straightforward, until the assembling part.

The shortcake was a tad thick, which made the rolling part a little difficult. And messy. Also, all of the filling (which was delicious btw), started coming out of the side.

The coulis was pretty easy. I don’t own a blender, so I just electric mixed them together and strained it. And it was pretty tasty.

Overall, this tasted pretty good, but I think I would just make the shortcake and skip all the fancy assembly.

Recipe: http://www.takeamegabite.com/strawberry-shortcake-sushi-strawberry-coulis/

Spanakopita Bites


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

Creamy Grilled Chicken Picatta


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


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


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

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