Thursday, December 31, 2009

(Half) Year in Food

Happy New Years everyone! It's hard to believe that we've come to the end of a decade, its the first full one I've been through considering I'm 16 haha.  So much has happened in these past 10 years.  Just think about blogging, I mean who blogged in the 90s?  Food blogging really took off and it was something that helped me this past summer.  Click here to check out what happened in the news during the first decade of the new millennium: My favorite is "Apple introduces the I Pod, white ear buds become the accessory of the 21st century"

It is also hard to believe that I have had a blog for almost 6 months now.  So much has changed, from photography to even the layout.  Oh yeah, I also added a recipe index link under my archives!  I have had some ups and downs in the kitchen, and its been a blast.  Here's some of my fav's so far:

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes, my first post!

Peanut Butter Cake with Fudge Frosting

Hostess Cupcakes (They're creme filled!)

Oreo Pound Cake (makes great cake balls!)

Peanut Butter Buckeye Bars (new recipe! --see below)

Since I am only 16, obviously there were disasters:
Dorie Greenspan's Sweet Potato Biscuits --they never rose :( I think the baking powder went bad

Banana Cake --no one liked it, it was too dry but the cinnamon sugar crunch top was outrageous!

Muddy Buddy Cookie Mush --don't get me wrong, they  tasted amazing! They just happen to break into lots of pieces.

Rock Hard Brownies, delish ;)

The disaster Bulgar Wheat Pancakes --it took me a while to learn how to flip them

A special thanks to my mom for letting me use her very expensive camera, driving me to the supermarket countless times and for helping me do all the dishes.  To my dad for eating and trying everything I make. And to all of you, who have shown me such great support throughout the year. Keep the comments coming, I really look forward to them.  Wishing you all a happy, healthy and most of all sweet New Year.

With love and cupcakes,

Buckeye Bar Recipe: adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
  • 1  19.5-ounce package brownie mix
  • 2  eggs
  • 1/3  cup cooking oil
  • 1  cup chopped peanuts
  • 1  14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2  cup peanut butter


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, eggs, and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Stir in peanuts. Remove half of the brownie mixture and set aside. Spread the remaining brownie mixture evenly into prepared pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter until smooth. Spread evenly over brownie mixture in pan. Separate the remaining brownie mixture into pieces, flatten them with your fingers, and place them on top of the brownie mixture in pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 32 bars.
4. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes: If baking in a 13 x 9 pan double the recipe for both the filling and crust and increase baking time by 10 minutes; you will have extra brownie mixture so bake up a few cookies :)
If baking in a 9 x 9 pan, follow recipe directions

Monday, December 28, 2009

Chocolate Covered Kettle Corn

Last Wednesday was my last day of school before break.  The classes were shortened so the teachers finished all test giving Tuesday.  That basically called for either a "party" or an excuse to bring in yummy goodies in honor of the holidays.  Not many people have tasted the delicious kettle corn I make so I decided to bring some in.  However, this time I drizzled chocolate all over.  (For a reminder on how to make kettle corn or for the actual recipe click here or recipe is below)

I have tried this once before when I had some leftover kettle corn and it was out of this world.  I know leftover kettle corn.  It's unheard of.

Anyways, I figured it would be easy to make since I got had to lifeguard until 7 and it would taste super yummy.

I made 3 batches of Kettle you know how much shaking is involved with three batches?! A whole lot! (shown above is just part of one batch fyi!)

Then lay it out on cookie sheets covered in wax paper.
Melt milk chocolate wafers, or whatever melting chocolate you prefer for 1 minute in the microwave.
The take a fork, I use a plastic one to make clean up easier, and drizzle all over.  Make sure you cover the popcorn in the milk chocolate as much as possible because you are only covering one side so the rest of the kernel wont have chocolate on it and you want chocolate in every bite.

Then melt white chocolate wafers (optional) and drizzle on top.  But don't use as much because it's just for color and a little flavor.

tick tock tick tock....

Once COMPLETELY dry, about and hour or two, break up into small pieces.  I packaged them in baggies.  I got 8 baggies froms three batches and was able to hand them out or serve to classes.

Total hit! I think I ate most of it but still it could be because I was carrying around a huge bag of bags of delicious popcorn, who could resist?


With love and cupcakes,

  1. Kettle Corn (as many batches as you need --chocolate listings are for 1)
  2. Milk Chocolate
  3. White Chocolate
  1. Melt 1 cup of chocolate  on high for 1 minute, stir.  Microwave for an addition 30 seconds if necessary. 
  2. Drizzle on top of the popcorn
  3. Melt 1/2 cup of white chocolate (optional) and drizzle on top.
  4. Let sit for 2 hours, or until completely dry.  Then break into small pieces and store in an airtight container.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Merry Christmas with Muddy Buddies --Pretzel Style!

Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating the Holiday.  I just wanted to share this super simple recipe for anyone looking to make something yummy after all the festivities.  I plan to cozy on up later with a glass of hot cocoa, some popcorn and watch It's A Wonderful Life with my sister and daddy. 
For the Pretzel Muddy Buddies I recommend using the "Snaps" shape.  At first I was thinking of using just regular mini pretzels or nuggets but these seemed perfect.  It was like love at first sight in the snack aisle...

Follow the same recipe as regualar muddy buddies but substitute the Chex for pretzels.
But in case yaa get confused follow these steps:

Pour the entire bag of pretzels into a giant bowl

Then pour the chocolate, peanut butter and butter mixture on top

Then stir.  I like to use two spoons to mix, it makes it simple.

Then spoon the mixture into a giant ziploc baggie

Dump a little less than half a bag (1/2 lb) of powdered sugar into the bag

Transfer to a Tupperware container.   I tried to break apart some of the pieces that stuck together and added more powder sugar.

There ya go...The best salty-sweet snack out there.
Just kidding, but it is pretty awesome!

With love and cupcakes,

  1. 1 Bag Pretzels 
  2. 1 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  3. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  4. 1/4 cup butter (or margarine)
  5. 1/2 pound powder sugar

  1. Put pretzels into a large mixing bowl, set aside.
  2. In a microwaeable bowl microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovred for 1 minute. Stir.  Microwave for 30 seconds if needed.
  3. Pour onto pretzels and mix well
  4. Place chocolate covered pretzels into a large Ziploc bag and dump 1/2 pound powdered sugar. Shake until coated and place in an airtight container to store.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pioneer Woman Chocolate Sheet Cake!

Last night was my friend Leslie's birthday.  I have been friends with her since exaggeration.  Besties since birth.  She's a chocolate lover.  Always has, always will be.  I mean could I ask for a better opportunity to make Pioneer Woman's chocolate sheet cake?

Me, and my two friends Andrea and Alyssa were planning to bake the cake for her for her "surprise" birthday party.  She knew it was coming, especially because of the snow.  Anyways I was so happy Alyssa baked the cake with me! It was super confusing at first and so nice to have her mixing all the dry ingredients while I was melting butter.  Lots of butter.  And cocoa powder.

You've met my family, now its time to meet my friends.

Start by taking out will be happy you did.
Before you begin, put up a kettle with some are going to need a cup of boiling water.

Now melt 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan.

Once melted, add 4 HEAPING tablespoons of cocoa powder and stir

Let it come to a bubble for 30 seconds and then add the boiling water.  Use this 30 seconds to reflect on how happy you are that you are about 30 minutes away from eating the most delicious chocolate sheet cake ever OR to scramble getting some boiling water all measured out and bubbly.

Pour in the 1 cup of boiling water and allow to come to a bubble for another 30 seconds.

Yum.  Turn off the heat and set aside.

While I was making that mixture, Alyssa was mixing the dry stuff.  Look how efficient we are!
So now would be the time you would prepare this:

2 cups of flour

and 2 cups of  sugar

Toss 1/4 teaspoon of salt in there too.

And some buttermilk powder. According to the kind you get it varies.  But I NEVER have buttermilk so this gets mixed with the dry ingredients and water where the buttermilk is called for...we will get to that later.

Stir all that good stuff together.

Then add the chocolate mixture into the flour/sugar mixture

and stir ever so slightly to cool the chocolate

Now in a SEPARATE bowl...I know its tricky.  Lots of bowls.

Beat two eggs

And then add to the buttermilk (water in my case!)

a teaspoon of vanilla

And mix it till combined.
Then pour the egg, water and vanilla into the chocolate and flour.

Yummy...eggs and water

I look possessed...but more pouring and Alyssa mixing it all together.  It was a little icky as first but she worked it all together.  She's awesome!

Teamwork man!

Pour into a pan.  I used a 13 x 9 pan not a sheet cake pan because I like thicker cakes and because I don't have a sheet cake pan.  Also I greased it because I'm paranoid it would stick.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes if using a 13 x 9 pan.  Bake for 20 minutes if using the sheet cake pan.

While the cake is baking...clean the saucepan you just used or take out another one to prepare the icing/frosting.  It goes on right when the cake is out of the oven.

Oh case you were wondering where Andrea was in the cake baking, she was entertaining Leslie and our other friends across the street.  She's my neighbor so its super awesome.

Prep everything first once again...everthing is super easy that way!

I even arranged it in the order that we would need it!  Cocoa powder, 6 tablespoons of milk, vanilla and the powder sugar minus 1/2 cup (ish)

Once again you start with melting butter...1 and 3/4 sticks.  That's 14 tablespoons total.

Add 4 HEAPING tablespoons of cocoa powder.  We broke out the Ghiradeli for the icing...

Mix all together.  Something about butter and cocoa powder, it makes me happy.

let it bubble for 30 seconds then turn off the heat

stir in 6 tablespoons of milk

a teaspoon of vanilla

And the pound of powdered sugar minus 1/2 cup

stir until nice and combined

and it looks like that

The cake wasnt out yet, so we left it on low heat stir occasionally so it didn't harden in the pot.

Then when the cake comes out of the oven...

pour this delicious icing over it...all of it.

My stomach is grumbling as I type this.

shiny perfection.

uh oh...Just Kidding!!

Time to sing?

Jen, Lauren and the Birthday Girl (Leslie)
Leslie, Andrea, Lindsay and Jamie

candles! I hope the wax doesn't drip on the cake! Biggest Fear, no joke!

All of us! About to sing, but we needed to get a group shot of course!

Birthday Girl!!

Time to eat, finally!!!

Me and Leslie and the Cake.  I love it.

With love and cupcakes,

Recipe (from
CAKE Ingredients

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Pecans
  • 1-¾ stick Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 6 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar
Preparation Instructions:
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. 
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together. 
  3. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool. 
  4. In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes. 
  5. While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake. 
  6. Cut into squares, eat, and totally wig out over the fact that you’ve just made the best chocolate sheet cake. Ever.


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