Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cookteen Turns 1 Year Old.

Not the person, the blog. Oh what a year...

Food has been a part of my life since day 1.  If your an ardent follower of Cookteen, then you already know that the majority of the time I was able to spend with my mom was on the set of various food television shows.  I would sit there, crayon in my right hand coloring my Disney Princess coloring book and a sugar cookie in my left.  Oh boy did I love Paula Deen's sugar cookies.  To this day I will never forget when my mom came home from a week long shoot in upstate New York with a bag of the delicious cookies made just for me. 
Last summer was the first year I didn't return to camp.  Instead I took a cake decorating class with my mom (as seen here, here and here).  Baking became what I loved.  The time I spent in the kitchen was my favorite.  I would think about how what I was making will taste after all the chemical stuff happened in the oven, about what I would do with 24 cupcakes and only a family of 4, and about how I was going to survive junior year.

I have survived one of the most challenging yet exciting years of my life so far and I have learned that this is only the beginning.  Whether in the kitchen, in the classroom or on the sports are never too old to stop learning.  

1 year ago: I sat in the car while my mom drove me to work as we bounced around names for a blog.  Cookteen was born.
Today: Not only do I drive myself to work, but also I can drive to the supermarket to pick up “forgotten” ingredients.
12 months ago: I thought that blog followers would just magically appear.
Today: I have done my share of social media research and have built a following of readers, bakers and fellow foodies. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

NO Bake Cookies! (Another chocolate and peanut butter match made in heaven)

Days are hot here in NJ during the summer. I mean hot! My weather widget says that it is supposed to get to 102* today!! On days like today the thought of heating up the entire house with the oven in obsurd.  Illogical. And simply silly when you can make delicious cookies with out the oven.

Enter Chocolate Peanut butter No bake cookies.

As I was perusing Brown Eyed Baker, a blog I absolutely adore, I noticed she said that her most viewed recipe was these cookies and well how can I not make them?!

I was meeting my friends for lunch in an hour before one of them left for a few weeks and thought these would be perfect to bring as an after lunch treat.  The cookies did not take that long to make.  I was able to make cookies and get ready in that hour.  However, it was an extremely hot day and well I didn't think that chocolate would survive baking in my car while we ate lunch so I left these at home in the fridge.  No fret, they were devoured by some of our guy friends later that evening :) After of course Daddy and I ate a good portion of them... They are addicting, don't judge ;)

Seriously though you should make these, there is a reason they are the most viewed recipe...THEY SO YUMMY!! While I am not a fan of chocolate, I seem to crawl back to the chocolate and peanut butter combination time after time after time after time.

Anytime Salmon Cakes

So my blog will be 1 years old in 6 days and my goal was to have 100 posts by then! However, I have not had as much time as I would have liked to this summer to blog considering I am in school for 6 hours 4 days a week and work four days a week as well. Not to mention, I am writing my college essays and working on my college applications...luckily I work as a life guard otherwise I don't think I would even see the sun this summer...

 And I have been cooking, a lot and creating delicious pairings (which will be featured on my new website!!!)

Oh silly me, I forgot to let you know, I have been working with a graphic designer and we are creating the Cookteen website! She's awesome and I am so excited!!! Hopefully everything will be done by the end of August so keep a look out.  We will be having some fun give aways to celebrate when the site is launched.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Otto's NYC

A few weeks ago my sister's college friends came from all over the Country to stay with her in  NY.  My mom, dad and I met up with them in the city one Saturday afternoon for some lunch at OTTO.

A description of OTTO via their website:
OTTO is a classic Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich partnership. With their signature combination of thoughtful and memorable food, an intelligent wine list, and an emphasis on living life to its absolute fullest, Mario and Joe's distinctive touch is evident in OTTO's every detail.

My family came here once before and it was so delicious we had to come back! 

First course: Antipasto!! (Pictures are of what I ate)
Starting with the cucumber salad and moving clockwise: Cucumber salad with radishes, Beets (melt in your mouth heaven), PEPPERS!! (I loooove me roasted peppers, I probably ate all of them), Roasted cauliflower, lettuce (not sure what that was part of) and tomato mozzarella salad.

I ate more of everything, especially the beets and peppers (they're my favorite!!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nutella Filled Mocha Shortbread Sandwiches

Before my adventure to Italy, I wasn't a Nutella person.  While in Italy, I finally had the opportunity to taste  a little slice of heaven.  While Nutella tastes different (at least to me) in Italy then in America, it still is delicious here in the States.

Yes I just referred to America as "The States."  How European of me.

I spotted these cookies on My Baking Addiction way back when she posted them and knew I had to make them.  I brought in the Chocolate Chip Pretzel cookies and Oatmeal Craisin cookies to work one day and ever since then, my co workers were asking for more cookies!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Eggs in a Carton.

Sounds enticing right?
ALL I was craving was an egg sandwich on a bagel so when I made it to my kitchen I whipped this up and oh boy did it hit the spot while saving calories and fat and moolahhh!
What you will need: Eggs (in a carton or regular) and Pam
Optional: Frank's Red Hot, Salt and roasted veggies from Fairway Supermarket (or any you've created--leftovers are the best!)
to be eaten on a Thomas Bagel Thin 

Spray a microwavable bowl with Pam and pour in eggs (about 1/2 cup)

Add some hot sauce if you can take the heat...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Yesterday I was having some "technical difficulties" with my pictures but finally they worked! Phew, I was getting a little nervous there!

Anyways, none of my friends work on Saturdays so we decided to have a mini "bbq" for the fourth of July! Okay, that's a slight lie, because Katie does work but she got off early and headed on over for some yummy grubbage after a rigorous day of working.

Instead of the cast of ingredients, the cast of cooks, eaters and friends:
In the photo on the left is Rachel (left) and Lauren (right) and Allie is all the way on the right

Silly Alyssa is on the left and Katie's rocking the alien headband on the right

The weather was beautiful on Saturday (as well as Sunday, Monday and well the rest of the week), a little hot though so we spent most of the time in the shade, which is fine with me, I get enough sun working as a lifeguard.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Oatmeal (C)Raisin Cookies

So I really wanted to share the cupcakes I made for the fourth of July but my computer and/or camera are being funky and saying I can't upload pictures but don't fret because I still got something for you!
These are very good cookies.  I mean so good they wont last sitting on your counter.

Oatmeal cookies = yummy.  Oatmeal raisin cookies = blech.  I am not a fan of the wrinkly fruits but will choose Craisins over raisins any day.

I made these extra large, 1/4 cup batter per cookie, and baked them for around 15 minutes to achieve a gooey and chewy center with a semi-crispy edge--perfection my dears.
These are made via the "creaming" method (as I learned on Good Eats) so to begin, cream the butter until super creamy (light and fluffy)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Peanut Chicken and Mushrooms (and a Salad)

I can eat mushrooms and onions sauteed in a little EVOO or Pam with a spoon (or my fingers) any time of day--in an omelet at breakfast time or with some chicken at dinner time.  When mushrooms and onions are paired with fresh parsley, thai peanut sauce and chicken breasts the result is a dish that will make your taste buds beg for more! Serve it up with a bright salad for some extra bulk.

First things first, place your chicken breasts in a large ziploc bag and add a couple of tablespoons of your favorite peanut sauce to the bag, the family favorite is Annie Chun's Thai Peanut Sauce, then add a tablespoon of soy sauce and sesame oil for some Asian flare.

Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan (non-stick is my best friend) and add the chopped onion.  Once the onion begins to brown, add in the sliced mushrooms and cook until mushrooms reduce and are nice and tender.


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