Wednesday, September 7, 2011

pretzel bottomed brownies

You know how some recipes just kinda reach out and grab ya?  Yeah, that's what happened when I saw this recipe.  It got me spinnin' round and round.



Here we got a pretzel bottom crust and then the brownie layer with chocolate chips and butterscotch chips mixed in.

 The salty and sweet combination is just so delicious.  And addicting.

cake batter cashew butter

So I had never heard of cashew butter before I found this recipe. Cake batter?  Yes, I've heard of that one.  But cashew butter, no.  However, I suppose there is almond and peanut butter so how should cashew butter be any different?

It really isn't, folks.  And this recipe uses almond and vanilla extract to give it a cake batter-y aroma.

So away I went, mashin' up cashews in the food processor.  So word of the wise: use a real sized food processor, as in not a mini one, like I did.  You will burn out your mini food processor.  Like I did.

Once the cashews are ground up and smooth-ish (I had to add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to smooth it out), add your vanilla and almond extracts.  Another word of the wise, do not add the sprinkles in WITH the extracts.  Or else your sprinks will start to melt away, like you can see in the bottom picture.  Whoops.  So I just added extra sprinkles to compensate for my losses :)

End result: delicious cashew butter.  I'll have to admit, it's a big different taste than peanut butter, and for some reason, I was not expecting that.  I've just eaten it as a dip for pretzels, but I'm sure it'd be great on a sandwich!

baking with janine

 I'm going to start calling my friends "from my nutrition program" "my dietitian friends" :)  'Cause you know, we're soon to be young professionals taking the world by storm with our vast knowledge of food and the body.

Young dietitian professionals who.....ermm.....bake obscene desserts in their spare time.

 And devour them with gusto.

Okay, so what was in these puppies?  The kitchen sink?  The world?  Everything your heart could desire?  Yes, yes, and yes.

But hopefully it won't give you a heart attack.

These guys were chocolate cupcakes with chocolate chunks filled with ganache, frosted with peanut butter frosting, drizzled with ganache, and topped with a brownie chunk.


I already feel my glucose levels rising.  But they sure were delicious :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

cupcake extravaganza!

 So once upon a time this summer, I had an urge.  A cupcake urge.  They demanded to be maked, baked, and eated.

Actually, a trip to the mall inspired these cupcakes!  We have a new cupcake shop called Just Baked, where they serve up an obscene number of cupcake flavors.  Think flavors like Banana Split, Drumstick (yes, after the ice cream), Snocap, and Cinnamon Donut.  So off I went in my own kitchen to devise some flavors of my own.

These three ingredients were the inspiration behind my creations:

 Peppermint Patties!

 Trail mix!

 Graham crackers!

Basically, I raided the cupboards to find some delicious things to fill and top the cupcakes with.  I settled on three different flavors: Peppermint Pattie, Trail Mix, and S'Mores.  I baked up chocolate cupcakes (yeah, yeah, okay, I used a box mix), and baked in graham crackers for the S'more cupcakes.

Then I proceeded to make the most sugary concoction of frosting ever.  I took out a third of the frosting from the batch and stirred in chopped up marshmallows and chocolate chunks to top the S'More cupcake.  It ended up looking like a messy mass of goodness.  Super sweet, but super delicious!  Trail Mix cupcakes were frosted with plain frosting and then dipped in a mix of granola, chocolate chips, and raisins. Yummm!!!  Peppermint Pattie cupcakes were dipped in, you guessed it, chopped Peppermint Patties!

 Let's just say that they came out very, very goooooood.  And basically, store-bought cupcakes may be delicious, but it's super easy to create your own at home :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

yummy snack

Oatmeal + brown suga + raisins + almonds + cinnamon = yummy snack

Lately I've been putting cinnamon and raisins in a lot of random things.  Vanilla yogurt it also a good one to try!  I think it's probably because of the AMAZING Cinn-A-Stack pancakes Matt and I had at IHOP the other day.  If you haven't tried these puppies yet, you NEED TO.  It's like....cinnamon roll-deliciousness in pancake form.  Go to IHOP.  Get the pancakes.  You won't be sorry.

But for now, I suppose cinnamon-y oatmeal will have to do until my next encounter with these pancakes.
Again....anyone know how to rotate pics on Blogger??

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

rainy banana scones

I haven't blogged a legit recipe blog in forever!  So here goes.  It's nearing the end of the semester, and full-blown procrastination methods have swooped in.  This baking episode was inspired by the four lonely, sad-looking brown bananas that were sitting on my shelf and did not want to go into the freezer to be used for later.  Enter: BANANA SCONES.

Okay, now these guys are GOOD.  And by that, I mean I could eat the entire batch, no prob.  They're soft and fluffy, could be a little flakier, but that's okay, and full of banana flavor.  The only downside is that the batter gets reallllly wet from the bananas, so you might have to add a bit (or a lot) more flour to make it pliable.  But yeah.  Really.  Good.

Oh, and we're calling them Rainy Banana Scones's raining!  And all it makes me want to do is crawl back into bed and be lazy.  Alas, my next class is in a half hour, so that can't happen, unfortunately.

Oh!  And more exciting things!  Pictured below (with the delicious scones) is a photo that I framed and matted for an art auction on campus!  The money from the auction will go to some charity - I don't remember which one, whoops - and it was open for anyone to submit art!  So here's to hoping mine goes for a ton of cash ;)

Ps: How do I flip pics in this new Blogger set-up???

 Rainy Banana Scones
Adapted from Banana Scones

1 stick butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk - adds good sweetness)
1/2 tsp. vanilla (oops!  I just realized I forgot this!  But they came out delicious anyway, so omit if you're feeling adventurous)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar, plus more for dusting
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 bananas, cut into cubes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add the butter and cut with a pastry cutter (or fork) until the chunks of butter are roughly pea-sized.  Add the milk and cut a few more times til it starts to come together. Add in the bananas and cut until the dough comes together, adding a little more flour if your dough is too wet from the bananas. 

Remove the dough onto a cooking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and pat into an 8-inch circle.  Cut into eighths, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20-25 minutes (I had to bake mine for 30 min).  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Really good with butter!  Or peanut butter!  Or....spray butter.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

why can't I sleep?

See above.  Maybe it was the cup of coffee I had promptly at 6pm in order for it to help me stay awake to finish up my paper due Wednesday.  Well, cup of coffee, here I am.  Awake.  Yet exhausted.  And not motivated to write this paper and not yet in paper-writing groove even after a day of staring at my computer screen.

Thanks, cup of coffee.  Gee thanks.

It's like my mind is....blank.  I have nothing to write about for once.  How can that be?  When I try to write my paper?  Blank.  When I try to sleep?  Blank sleeplessness.

Also.  This blog is slowly transforming into a non-cooking blog.  Hmmm.  I don't know how I feel about that.  But I'm liking just posting random thoughts and musings and posts on here.


Also.  Isn't life funny?  We go on, day after day after day.  Some days are not so hot, some are fantabulous, some are piece of shit days, and some are what we would call the best days of our life.

Year after year, growing, changing, moving, staying, learning, creating, talking, eating, sleeping, loving, teaching.  The end.

And I still can't sleep.  I am kind of hungry, actually.  And it is Fat Tuesday.  It's a good day to be hungry.

Monday, February 21, 2011

waltz to our 3/4, cause you put the art in my heart

This is probably one of the best things I've ever seen.  I've been singing it in my head all day, and it makes me want it to be summer and wear a sundress and eat ice cream and play on a playground :)


it's beautiful, and I want you to realize it.

About a week or so ago, a girl from my high school died in a car accident.  Her name was Erica.  She was 19.  She was a sophomore at Grand Valley.  I never knew Erica, but a lot of my friends from high school knew her, loved her, and were friends with her.

Yes, people in my life have died over the years.  I've often heard people say that it was unfair for someone to die, yet I never seemed to grasp the full meaning of that: the unfairness of death.  Maybe it was wrong of me to say that, but it is how I always felt.  I felt people died for a reason or it was simply their time to leave Earth.

How is it, then, that this one beautiful girl whom I have never met, never talked to, never even knew of before her death has made me realize this?  The week after she died, I couldn't help but think about her everyday, to wonder how her family, friends, and everyone she touched was able to go on without her.  I thought a lot that week, about how precious life is, how important it is to love one another, be kind to one another, and how easily our lives can be taken away.

I never knew Erica.  But I've heard a lot about her in the past two weeks: she was happy.  She was funny, clever, a good friend, a good listener.  She was beautiful.  She was smart, full of life, and lit up the room when she walked in it.

This whole thing has made me wonder about people and get angry at a few of them.  Life is so precious, why would you ever put it at risk and intentionally hurt your body?  Why are people so hurtful towards others sometimes, or argue about things that don't even matter?  Why do people judge others, worry about their looks, their weight, their image, and what other people think about them?  Why can't we all just openly love and appreciate each other without reservation?

Yes, I know this all sounds very hippie-esque or even naive, but it's true.  And it's sad that it takes an innocent life to realize all of these things.  We waste a lot of our time with inconsequential worries and preoccupations.  It is sad that these things weigh us down and sometimes keep us from truly living.

I never met Erica, but from knowing her through others, I'm going to try to live a little more, to let go of things that bother me.  Because there is no point to it.  At all.  I'm pretty big fan of life as it is, but there is always room for improvement.

And everyone.  Life is beautiful, and I want you to realize it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

dance with me, darling

"I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind."
- neil gaiman

Thursday, January 27, 2011

pseudo finals

It feels like it's finals week, and it's only the last week in January.

God help us.

The end.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

sensuous oasis

This weekend, I went to visit my friend, Namira, up at that school called MSU.  While I will always be partial to UM's campus (for obvious reasons), Namira did have quite the sensuous oasis of an apartment.  Thanks to her sheer canopy over her Tempur-Pedic bed.

Oh, and there is Nishat studying her life away in her cute lil hat :)

I seriously can't sleep.  I drank PepsiMAX for the first time today (because I was falling on my face circa 6:30pm even after a nap), and boy, did it do its job.  A little too well.  But I did get a ton of work done like I wanted to, phew.

P.S. Time is going by way to fast, semester-wise.  What the heck, life, what the heck.

P.P.S. I really need to get back on the food-blogging train.

P.P.P.S. Thanks to PepsiMAX, now I am just hyper at 3am and can't fall asleep.  Thank goodness my trusty roommate is up, too, so we can be ridiculous together and laugh at water-gulping, crazy people, and (highly) unlikely dating scenarios for our friend.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

live your life with arms wide open

Hiiiii all :)  Have not posted in awhile.  Not that I haven't been baking!  I have!  Just haven't posted. So sorry :(

Anyway, here is a short 'lil update on the things that have been on my mind lately:
1. Sledding is awesome.  And currently have an extremely sore tail bone.
2. I rediscover this song over and over again, and every time I do, I fall in love with it all over again.  It's just so happy!  And optimistic!  And empowering!  And.....happy!
3. I have so many great friends.  I am so lucky to have so many people in my life who I can go to for guidance and to share great experiences with.
4. My fam's pretty sweet, too :)
5. I have the most wonderful person in my life right now.
6. I love four day weekends.
7. Andddd Starbuck's is closing, so that means I, too, must go.