Yay! It’s almost Christmas! It’s starting to really feel like the holidays as Matt and I geared up yesterday for the 10 hour jaunt across country from Philly to Indiana. I was a very spoiled passenger and was able to take a few naps and watch a few movies along the way. I used to hate car trips but thanks to technology it isn’t nearly as bad. We broke up our trip with some of our favorite high school jams and I impressed my husband with my endless knowledge of lyrics. It was a great trip and it feels great to be home for a few days between the madness of constant studying.
Anyhow, we were invited to our neighbors for dinner and I was asked to bring some dessert. Since preparing for finals was consuming all of my life and braincells, it had been a while since we had a proper grocery trip. Our fridge was pretty bare, but fortunately I had all of the common staples in my fridge and pantry. These peanut butter cookies are probably the easiest cookie recipe I have ever made. All you need is 5 ingredients and NO flour and you have a perfect, delicious cookie in less than 20 minutes from start to finish. I highly recommend that you add it to your cookie repertoire. No worries if you feel you are baking challenged, these are so simple that I know you’ll have great results. It’s a very easy starter dough and you can feel free to add chocolate chips or press Hershey kisses into the cookies.
I made regular peanut butter cookies with the classic fork hashmarks and also some with Hershey hugs pressed in to the top. Both are equally delicious!
Makes 26-30 cookies
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp of salt
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With finals week approaching, I thought it would only be appropriate to share my new favorite way to consume copious amounts of caffeine. I’ve come up with a spectacular, easy way to get a drink that tastes as good as Starbucks without breaking a grad student’s budget (plus I bet my recipe is even lower in calories then the purchased kind!). If you are a coffee drinker, I bet you’ll have almost everything you need right in your kitchen. The one thing you may have to add to your grocery list is chocolate syrup or powder. The addition of the chocolate completely transforms the every day ordinary (sometimes boring) cup of coffee. To say that I am totally obsessed with this recipe is an understatement–I have literally been addicted and have made one every day! Give it a try! I bet you’ll love it as much as I do.
Necessary equipment: blender or large food processor
- 1 cup brewed coffee–I usually let mine chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes but if you don’t have the time to let it chill, just add more ice
- 1/2-1 cup milk–depending on how strong you like the coffee flavor
- 2 tbs chocolate syrup or chocolate powder
- 1 tsp or 1 packet of sweetener of your choice
- 1 cup ice
- Add ice, coffee, and milk to blender
- Pulse until smooth
- Add chocolate syrup and sweeter and pulse until well incorporated
- Top with whipped cream if desired and enjoy:)
I made these a few weeks ago, and I guess I forgot to post it! Matt and I are huge Big Brother fans and after a few times of watching Big Brother Afterdark, I quickly realized the cast was obsessed with cocoa almonds. I’d never had them before and I was definitely interested. Seriously, Brittany, Frank, & Ashely ate them alllll the time. After checking them out at the grocery store, (and finding out how expensive they were for a small container!) I figured I could easily make my own version at home. I bought a huge bag of almonds at Sam’s Club a few months ago for something like $9 bucks, so it was definitely worth taking the 15 minutes to make my own as opposed to wasting money.
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1-1 1/2 tbs cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Small sprinkle of Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp honey–this made them a little sticky, next time I may omit the honey and add the same amount of sugar instead
- 1 tsp water
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Ah. So sorry for the hiatus! It’s not that I haven’t been cooking but I have been so busy that today is the first day I’ve had a chance to upload any photos to our computer. This past week with the holiday and celebrating Matt’s birthday hasn’t left me with much free time at all. The good news though is that for the holiday and Matt’s birthday I came up with some delicious treats and meals that I can’t wait to share. Tonight we are packing up to spend the weekend in Maine with my family–so hopefully I’ll have a little time to update you all on all things delicious from Maine that we eat.
Anyway, enough with the catchup and onto one of my favorite cookie recipes. Matt isn’t a big fan of birthday cake so I spoiled him with two non-cake desserts for his birthday. One being white chocolate macadamia nut cookies–also known as crack cookies in our house because they are so addictive and another treat that you’ll have to wait and see. I will tell you though that the other dessert is a fall favorite and is as equally as addictive as these cookies. Beware!
Recipe adapted from: Joy of Cooking
- *2 1/2 cups all purpose flour—I substituted in 1 cup of whole wheat flour
- *1 tsp. baking soda
- * 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup–2 sticks–room temperature unsalted butter
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
- 1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate–if you’re going to use white chocolate chips I’d recommend Ghirardelli
*Mix 3 bolded dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk together before starting the recipe
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Remember that recipe I posted a few weeks back about Homemade Dulce de Leche? Well since that initial recipe, I have gone out to purchase 1. a bigger mason jar so I can make a double batch and 2. been absolutely obsessed with the stuff. In my initial post I commented on how great I thought the Dulce de Leche would be swirled into brownies–and boy was it delicious! The brownies are nothing special, just a regular box mix, but the addition of the carmel is fantastic. I guess the personal homemade touches really do count for something–lucky for Sandra Lee or else her Semi-Homemade show wouldn’t work like it does.
Anyway, I wanted to show how delicious the carmel is in the brownies if you needed a little more motivation to try my recipe for Homemade Dulce de Leche. I made one side chocolate chips and the other half I sprinkled with almonds. What can I say–I like variety:) I made a huge double batch of Dulce de leche last night and am look forward to mixing it into my coffee and dipping apples into it–tastes like the best caramel apple ever. I love making items that you can use for a variety of things. Enjoy & be on the lookout this weekend for my Peach Sangria–it is amazing! Matt and I drank two bottles of wine the night I created it and that NEVER happens. Happy Thursday!
We are gearing up to take a 9 hour jaunt across country tomorrow, so I thought that it was imperative to create some snacks that not only travel well but taste great too! My absolute favorite treat in the summer are S’mores. I like them the traditional way and absolutely love them with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in place of the chocolate bar. If you haven’t tried this–it is an absolute must ASAP! It’s delicious…but definitely a treat to enjoy in moderation. Anyhow, today’s treat came about because as I was browsing our pantry I saw that we had some popcorn kernels. I had initial intentions to make Kettle Corn, but my husband being the big kid that he is when it comes to his cereal selection, had just purchased some Golden Grahams last night. From there I realized that we had chocolate chips in the fridge and marshmallows as well…my mind immediately began to wander to S’mores. This creation is so good and super easy to make. I look forward to making some other popcorn creations in the future.
- 1/2 cup Popcorn–I made Kettle Corn instead–using 3 tbs canola oil & 3 tbs granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
- Mini marshmallows or regular marshmallows cut up
- Golden Graham Cereal or broken up Graham Crackers
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The first time I ever tried Molten Chocolate Lava Cake was when Matt and I were celebrating our engagement at Fleming’s restaurant in 2010. I was determined to figure out how to make it because it was so freaking good. I have found a delicious recipe that is sure to please everyone (plus it’s super easy to make! Most of the work is done in the microwave!). If you’ve never had Molten Chocolate Lava Cake you are definitely in for a treat. It’s like a warm, chocolately, gooey doughnut like cake. It’s pure amazingness.
I’ve made a few minor additions to the recipe that I feel make something fantastic even more delicious. I usually serve my Lava Cakes with a small scoop of ice cream, fresh fruit, and a little whipped cream. Cooking time varies a little bit depending on what sized ramekins you decide to use. I’ve made 6 smaller ones and 4 larger ones–just keep an eye on the cakes the last few minutes of the cooking time to make sure you don’t over cook them. They should be soft in the center but set on the outside (slightly pulling away from the ramekin). To invert them on a plate–let them cool slightly put plate on top of ramekin and invert both together. Lightly tap on the bottom of the ramekin and the cake will fall right out (of course make sure to liberally spray each ramekin with cooking spray!). Enjoy!
Light and airy. They are sooo good.
- mmmmm. look at all the delicious gooeyness.
These are perfect for any special occasion:)
Recipe adapted from brandielle
- 4 pieces (squares) Semi-sweet Baking Chocolate
- ½ cups Butter
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 whole Eggs
- 2 whole Egg Yolks
- 6 Tablespoons Flour
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- A sprinkle of Cinnamon
- A pinch of Salt Read the rest of this entry
No bake cookies may be one of my favorite easy treats to whip up in the summer. My husband, Matt, also adores them. He fondly reflects on them because they were also a go to treat his Mom made throughout his childhood. Something about no bake cookies must be nostalgic because I remember the first time I ever made and tasted them. I was about 11 years old and was spending the night at my friend Katie’s house. Ours definitely didn’t turn out all the same shapes and sizes but I do remember them tasting really, really good. I used to sleep over her house all of the time and between jumping on the trampoline or swimming in the pool we somehow found ourselves in her Mother’s kitchen. It is fun to reminisce on learning my way around the kitchen. I know a lot of people stay away from no bake cookies because they have had experiences with the cookies not setting up properly. Have no fear with this recipe! I’ve been using the same recipe for about 5 years and I have worked out all the kinks. So I encourage you to give them another try. Your satisfied stomaches will thank you!
- Granulated sugar
- Cocoa powder
- Peanut butter
- Quick cooking oats
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