Thursday, June 2, 2016

Cotton Candy Funfetti Cupcakes


If happiness was a flavor, it would be cotton candy. If it was a cupcake, it would be funfetti. I do believe I have just created the happiest food in the universe: Cotton Candy Funfetti Cupcakes!!


I have loved cotton candy for most of my life. The only time I recall not loving it, was before I knew of its existence. Since then, I have discovered numerous different ways to incorporate cotton candy into everyday life. There is cotton candy ice cream, cotton candy perfume, even cotton candy extract to make all your food taste like cotton candy!! (Unfortunately, I have not yet acquired cotton candy extract, though I would definitely put it in ALL of my food.)


Did you know that by eating cotton candy everyday you increase your chances of encountering a unicorn battling a T-Rex riding unicycle by about 84% (without the use of hallucinatory drugs)?! Those are real statistics! You're welcome.



COTTON CANDY FUNFETTI CUPCAKES:

YIELD: 12 cupcakes

TIME: 2 hours
PREP: 15 min
BAKE: 15 min
COOL: 60 min

CUPCAKES:

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350ºF, and line and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a mixing bowl, beat together eggs and sugar until foamy. Beat in the butter and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients, and mix in the milk until smooth. Fold in the sprinkles.

Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tin, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges.

Allow to fully cool before frosting.

COTTON CANDY FROSTING:

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter

2 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon raspberry extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 drops red food coloring (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Beat all the ingredients together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Spoon the frosting into a piping bag, and decorate cupcakes. (You could also spread the frosting with a knife like a savage; that totally works too!) Enjoy!








Thursday, April 21, 2016

Turtle Cupcakes



I have not baked anything new in a long time. While I continuously remake the same old recipes I posted long ago, today I decided to try something new: turtle cupcakes! Unfortunately, these cupcakes are not shaped like turtles, nor do they contain bits of turtles, (probably a good thing for both the reptiles and for my health). However, they are covered in caramel frosting, milk chocolate, and pecans. 


I really wanted to partially hollow these out and fill them with caramel. Alas, that dream was short-lived as it was too messy to become reality. I am fairly convinced that aside from cotton candy and potato salad, caramel is one of the greatest foods in the universe. I also think it would be pretty fun to have a water balloon fight with caramel taking place of the water. That would be the ultimate food fight. Anyhooooo, here is my new favorite cupcake recipe:

TURTLE CUPCAKES:

YIELD: 24 cupcakes
TIME: 2 hours 
PREP: 30 min
BAKE: 20 min

FOR THE CUPCAKES:

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 cup milk 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

1 cup boiling water

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350º F, and grease and line 2 12-cup cupcake tins. 

In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, milk, vanilla, and eggs. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until well-combined.

Add boiling water, and beat until batter is smooth. Pour into cupcake tins and bake for about 20 minutes, or until cupcakes are set. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool.

FOR THE FROSTING:

INGREDIENTS:

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup caramel ice-cream topping

1/4 cup milk chocolate, melted (optional)

3 tablespoons chopped pecans (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

In a large mixing bowl beat butter until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Add caramel, and beat until everything is smooth.

Spoon frosting into a piping bag, and pipe over cooled cupcakes. Drizzle with milk chocolate and sprinkle with pecans if desired. Enjoy! 


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Pizza Pockets


I just baked the greatest food since the invention of frozen pizza rolls: PIZZA POCKETS!! Actually, they're technically calzones, but pizza pockets sounds like more fun to eat. A calzone sounds like some sort of strange ominous vegetable that mothers force down their children's throats. Like turnips, or squash. 


I think virtually everyone in the universe can agree that pizza is a pretty magical invention. Pizza pockets, however, take a new twist on pizza, by being baked in a breadstick pocket. The breadstick recipe I use actually tastes remarkably similar to Olive Garden breadsticks (click HERE for that recipe). Marinara sauce makes a really good dipping sauce, (that's marinara sauce in the ramekin, not blood!) I would also suggest eating them while they're still warm, otherwise the cheese turns into a weird blob in the middle, instead of being nice and melty. 

PIZZA POCKETS:

YIELD: 12-14 pockets

TIME: 100 min (1 hour, 40 minutes)
PREP: 20 min
INACTIVE: 60 min
COOK: 20 min

OVEN: 375  ºF

INGREDIENTS:

BREAD:

1 1/2 cups warm water (between 100-110 degrees F)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon yeast

4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/4 teaspoon organo 

1/4 teaspoon parsley

 Filling:

4 string cheeses, cut into 1 1/2" inch pieces

About 1/3 cup pepperoni

 TOPPING:

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Parmesan 

DIRECTIONS: 

Combine yeast, water, and sugar, and allow to sit until foamy for 10 minutes.

Add in flour, salt, parsley, oregano, and butter. Knead for 5 minutes. Cover, and allow to rise for 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375 ºF. 

Take a piece of string cheese, wrap it in a few pieces of pepperoni, and roll a ball of dough around it. Repeat this process with the remaining dough, making about 12-14 pockets. 

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Mix in garlic powder, and brush the mixture over the rolls. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately with warmed marinara sauce. 


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Dark Chocolate Strawberry Pancakes


I generally dislike breakfast foods. I don't hate them, I just prefer not to eat oatmeal, eggs, cereal, and pancakes soaked into sogginess curtesy of overrated sugar-water. However, I do hold a certain affinity for waffles, and chocolate chips pancakes. In fact, if I ever eat breakfast at all, it probably consists of either waffles, or chocolate chip pancakes.



Strawberries are the greatest fruit in the universe. Once upon a time, on a very boring afternoon (Thursday afternoon, actually) I decided to mash up a bunch of strawberries in attempt to make some sort of strawberry syrup/goo. The result: probably one of the best things I have ever created. Bonus, it's not overloaded with sugar and corn syrup, and might actually be remotely healthy. Plus it taste KILLER (I think that's a good thing) with dark chocolate pancakes. And it's microwavable. It just keeps getting better and better!


Doesn't that look delicious? Strawberries for the win!


This morning **cough cough** afternoon, I was really really hungry, and decided to have breakfast... even though it was after lunch time. So I created my new favorite breakfast food, besides bacon of course: DARK CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY PANCAKES YAYY!! If you could eat pure joy, I would imagine it would taste something like this.

DARK CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY PANCAKES:

YIELD: 1 serving

TIME: 10 min
PREP: 5 min
COOK: 5 min

INGREDIENTS:

{ 1/2 cup dry pancake powder/batter shtuff

1/2 cup water } or just your favorite pancake recipe

2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

1 tablespoon white chocolate chips, for garnish 

STRAWBERRY SAUCE:

5 medium strawberries, mashed

1 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoon water

1/4 teaspoon corn starch

DIRECTIONS:

Mix together pancake batter, and pour into a frying pan heated over medium heat. Sprinkle with dark chocolate chips, and cook until golden brown.

Meanwhile, mix together ingredients for strawberry sauce in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30-second increments, until it has desired consistency (I like mine to be a little thicker than syrup).

Pour strawberry sauce over cooked pancake(s), garnish with white chocolate chips, serve immediately. 






Thursday, October 22, 2015

New York Cheesecake


I made my first ever New York Cheesecake!! LIKEOHMYGERSH IT WAS SOOOOOOO AMAZING! I've made cheesecake full of fanciful flavors, like Oreo, peanut butter cup, and lemon, but this was my first ever proper plain cheesecake. Turns out normal cheesecake isn't boring at all. It's absolutely fantastic.

Wanna know a secret? I actually made this over a month ago, it has just taken me until now to post it. But it was too amazing to totally forget about, so here it is now.


Lately I have been incredibly busy with school, but my classes are super fun and interesting. I'm taking Classical Rhetoric, AP Geography, Algebra II, Chemistry, and Spanish. (Chemistry is my favorite. I really like science.) Unfortunately I do not have nearly enough time to cook, let alone write about it. However, here is the wonderful (easy) New York cheesecake recipe. (By the way, don't cut your cheesecake into slices that big. It's SUPER dense, and I could only manage to eat like a third of that. But larger pieces make for prettier pictures.)

NEW YORK CHEESECAKE:

PREP: 30 min
TOTAL TIME: About 5 hours (this includes chillin' time)

YIELD: About 16 servings

INGREDIENTS:
CRUST:

1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

FILLING:

4 8oz packages of cream cheese

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons lemon juice

5 eggs

2 tablespoons flour

SOUR CREAM LAYER:

1 pint (2 cups) sour cream

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 350º F. Combine graham cracker crumbs with butter and sugar, and flatten in a 10-inch spring form pan. Bake for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Beat together cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time until smooth. Mix in flour.

Pour filling into prepared crust, and bake for 50-55 minutes or until set. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Spread over the cheesecake. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Cool cheesecake before refrigerating. Refrigerate for 3 hours (or overnight) before serving.

SOURCE









Friday, September 4, 2015

Caramel Swirl Brownies


I think we can all agree that brownies are fantastic. I used to wonder if it was possible to make such an awesome dessert even tastier. It is! While peanut butter proves an excellent addition to most chocolatey dishes, I find caramel far exceeds nut butters in every possible way. 


Unfortunately these brownies do possess a small flaw. They lack structural integrity, and while oozing with caramel, can prove to be an extremely sticky mess if not dealt with care. But they taste soooooooo amazing! Fudgy brownies flooded in a river of caramel in my opinion outweigh any potential con of the dessert. I think their gooey-ness actually adds to the whole experience.

CARAMEL SWIRL BROWNIES:

TIME: 45 min
PREP: 15 min
COOK: 30 min

INGREDIENTS: 

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup butter, melted

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 ounces caramel

1/2 cup evaporated milk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a 9x13" pan.

Beat together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in cocoa powder until well combined. Add flour, salt, and baking powder, mixing until smooth. 

Pour batter into prepared baking dish, and set aside. 

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt caramels, and mix in evaporated milk until smooth. Pour into brownie batter, and swirl the batter and the caramel together with a spoon.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 15-20 minutes before serving. 



Thursday, August 27, 2015

{Skinny} Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins


I really wanted to make proper muffins. By proper, I mean NOT gluten free. However, classic banana muffins tend to be a little dry and tasteless. As it turns out, these {skinny} muffins are considerably, tastier in my opinion. Although they are not exactly healthy, they are less unhealthy than normal muffins. 


I don't really know what to write here... other than that these muffins are good and that you should totally make them. MUFFINS MUFFINS MUFFINS! They're like little cakes that you don't feel as bad about eating, because they're not technically cake. No frosting = not a cake. Unless it's a pound cake or something strange like that. 

{SKINNY} CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA MUFFINS:

TIME: 30 min
PREP: 10 min
COOK: 20 min

YIELD: 2 dozen muffins

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cup flour (whole wheat is healthier btw)

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup dark chocolate chips, I used 60% cacao

DIRECTIONS: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and grease 2 12-cup muffin tins.

Mix together bananas, honey, sour cream, vanilla, and eggs. Stir in flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.




Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bread-Machine White Bread



Bread is a beautiful thing. Especially crispy homemade white bread, that is NOT GLUTEN FREE! I'm very excited that gluten has not been the substance plaguing my health. I stopped consuming caffeine, and suddenly stopped getting stomach aches. Which means no more coffee for me. :( I'd almost rather be gluten free, because I loooooove coffee. And now I can only drink the lame decaf shtuff.

For the past several days, I have begun reintroducing wheat into my diet. Wheat is magical. After not have any gluten for several months, eating just a little bit is sort of like eating it for the first time. I had forgotten how incredible hamburger buns were, and just bread in general. I REALLY LOVE BREAD! I used to not like it all that much, but homemade bread, THIS homemade bread tastes like a party. If you could taste parties, that is. 

BREAD-MACHINE WHITE BREAD:

YIELD: 1 loaf

TIME: about 3 hours

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup warm, (NOT HOT) water

1 package (or 2 1/4 teaspoons) dry instant yeast

2 tablespoons white sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

Combine water, yeast, and sugar in the bread machine bowl. Allow to sit until frothy for about 10 minutes.

Place the remaining in the bread machine, and select the "Basic" or "White Bread" setting. Press start.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Chocolate Covered Caramel Corn (Cub Scout Copy-Cat Recipe)


When I was little, my brothers did Cub Scouts, and every year they had to go door-to-door selling this incredible (overpriced) chocolate covered caramel corn (among other popcorn flavors). Every year we ended up with a barrel or two of this shtuff, and it. was. amazing. Amazing, actually is probably an understatement.


Today I had the absolutely brilliant idea of replicating it myself, since I don't have a lot of access to Cub Scout popcorn anymore. The caramel corn itself tastes absolutely amazing, and doesn't actually require chocolate, but pretty much everything tastes a little better with added chocolate. Imma put all the poor little Cub Scouts out of business with this recipe!


I have found a lot of caramel corn recipes tend to call for a lot of stove-top-popped popcorn. I personally do not have a stove-top-popper, nor do I know many people who do. (Probably why caramel corn isn't a super popular homemade dessert.) So I used good 'ole butter flavored microwave popcorn. In addition to my house now smelling like a cross between a county fair and a movie theater, my caramel corn turned out brilliantly, proving the microwave popcorn works just as well in caramel corn recipes. Yay!

CHOCOLATE COVERED CARAMEL CORN:

YIELD: About 6 cups

TIME: 2 hours
COOK: 45 min

INGREDIENTS:

2 bags of microwave popcorn, popped

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

2 1/2 cups milk chocolate, melted

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F, and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, until boiling, and then boil mixture for about 5 minutes until golden brown, and sugar crystalizes. 

Place popcorn in a large bowl, and pour caramel mixture over the popcorn. Gently fold caramel into the popcorn with a rubber spatula.

Place an the baking sheets, and bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool fully, and then break apart the popcorn.

Once popcorn is cool, pour melted chocolate over it. Gently stir, and coat each kernel. Place in a cold location until chocolate is hardened.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls


Brunch is seriously one of the best meals ever invented. I adamantly despise mornings. Not sunrises or fresh morning air exactly, but I dislike having to get up in the morning. Partially because I'm a serious committed night owl (regularly going to bed at 2-3 AM), and because my bed is very comfortable. Which is why brunch is so awesome. It's all the joys of breakfast, just at a later happier time. (I personally like the name Elevenses, over brunch, but then it has to happen at eleven o'clock.)


What better culinary creation to have for brunch, than cinnamon rolls? Though, I have not made or eaten any in a long while. (If you would like my non gluten free recipe for cinnamon rolls, click HERE.)


Gluten free cinnamon rolls are a lot more difficult to work with than normal flour ones. However, they are manageable, just be very careful while rolling them up, because the dough is prone to cracking. 

GLUTEN FREE CINNAMON ROLLS:

TIME: 140 minutes (2 hours 20 minutes)
PREP: 2 hours
COOK: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons (or 0.25 oz) yeast

4 cups, +1/2 cup gluten free flour, divided, 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup butter, melted

2 cups brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

ICING:

4 oz cream cheese, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oil, milk, and sugar until warm. Mix in yeast, and let sit for 10 minutes, or until foamy.

Combine yeast mixture and 4 cups of flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Allow to rise for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and grease a 9x13" pan.

Once risen, knead into dough the additional 1/2 cup of flour. Remove from bowl, and place on a large surface dusted with flour. Roll out into a large rectangle. Spread the melted butter over the dough, and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Carefully roll the dough into a large log-like shape, and slice it into 12 pieces. Place rolls into the prepared pan, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Once roll are finished cooking, combine cream cheese, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Spread over the rolls, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. 


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Chocolate Milkshake


There's a first time for everything, including making extremely awesome milkshakes! And then balancing it on the edge of a railing praying it doesn't fall to its messy doom. (spoiler alert: it didn't fall.)


They say you can't buy happiness... actually you can buy ice cream and Hershey's syrup which is basically the same thing. 

Here's a pice of advice: Poor the milkshake into the glass over a sink. Because most of my milkshake ended up on the counter, dripping down cupboard doors, forming a sticky puddle on the floor. (That's why the glass looks so stick in the picture btw.) 


I could probably drink chocolate milkshakes for the rest of my life. I'd probably get sick of them after a while, but it would take a looooooong while. Because milkshakes are awesome. You know, people would probably be much happier if they had a chocolate milkshake everyday. But that sounds a lot like WALL-E, so maybe that's the my best idea. 

CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKE:

YIELD: 1 serving (about 1 cup)

TIME: 5 min
PREP: 5 min

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup vanilla ice cream (about 2 scoops)

1/2 cup milk

chocolate syrup (to taste)

1/8 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoon cocoa (optional)

whipped cream, to garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. 

Pour into a serving glass, top with whipped cream, serve immediately. 


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Brownies


Peanut butter + brownies = total awesomeness!! And I don't even really like peanut butter very much.



I really wanted to make brownies. Specifically, I was going to make the super yummy gooey gluten free brownies I recently posted (click HERE for that recipe). However, while mixing the stuff together I did not pay very close attention to the recipe, and ended up dumping in four eggs instead of two... Oops.


So of course, I used my wondrous improvisational skills, and did not ruin a beautiful batch of brownies. I also decided to add some peanut butter, because sometimes peanut butter and chocolate tastes absolutely incredible. And because I forgot the salt. 

GLUTEN FREE PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES:

YIELD: About 16-20 brownies

TIME: 40 min
PREP: 15 min
COOK: 25 min

OVEN: 350 degrees F

INGREDIENTS:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

8 oz Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips

4 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons corn starch

1/2 cup Krusteaz gluten free flour

1/2 cup peanut butter

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease an 8x8" pan.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Mix in sugar and chocolate until well combined, and chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.

Beat in eggs, and vanilla. Add in flour, salt, and cornstarch, mixing until smooth. Pour into prepared pan, set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, heat peanut butter for about 60 seconds, or until melted. Mix in 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Pour into brownie batter, and use a spoon to swirl it in with the chocolate.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until set, and brownies pull away from the edge of the pan. Remove from oven, and cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

3-Cheese Gluten Free Mac 'N' Cheese



I have always loved mac 'n' cheese. By that, I mean real  with mac 'n' cheese, with a real cheese sauce, not the yucky powdered Kraft stuff. In fact, although I adore this decadent cheesy pasta, I refuse nothing less than perfection. And here for you all, is the perfect ooey gooey cheesy BEST gluten free macaroni and cheese that I have ever encountered. Plus it only takes 20 minutes to make!


I believe several months ago I posted a similar gluten free macaroni and cheese recipe, but since then, I have refined my technique a little bit, and have modified the cheese sauce making it even tastier. I discovered that using only one cheese in the sauce makes it rather dull. However, combing three different cheeses causes an epic explosion of cheesy awesomeness. 

3-CHEESE GLUTEN FREE MAC 'N' CHEESE

TIME: 20 MIN

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz gluten free elbow pasta, cooked

8 tablespoons (or 1 stick) butter, melted

1/2 cup corn starch

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 cup Colby Jack cheese

1/2 cup American cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Mix together melted butter, corn starch, salt, and milk together in a saucepan over medium heat until thickened.

Add in the three different cheeses, stirring until melted. Mix in the cooked pasta. Serve immediately. 



Friday, August 7, 2015

Vegetable Fried Rice


I LOVE LOVE LOVE FRIED RICE! I could eat it like every single day of the week. But then I would get sick of it... so that's why I don't eat it every single day of the week. 


Today, there was no food to eat. By no food, I mean tons of food, but just no food I wanted to eat, plus most of it wasn't gluten free. But I really wanted fried rice. Unfortunately for me, I have no money, no car, and no driver's license, and the Chinese takeout place is not within walking distance. So I did the next best thing. I made my own! Yay! 


For this recipe, I literally just dumped a bunch of stuff into a frying pan and hoped for the best. I do that a lot, and it usually turns out pretty fantastic. So here is my (probably somewhat flawed) interpretation of fried rice. 

VEGETABLE FRIED RICE:

YIELD: 2 servings

TIME: 10 min

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups brown rice, cooked

1 1/2 cups frozen veggies, (I used mixed veggies, and picked out the yucky green beans)

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon dried minced onions

1/8 teaspoon garlic salt, or to taste

1 egg, beaten

DIRECTIONS:

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Once heated, grease pan with oil, and add the veggies and dried onions. Cook until tender, and scramble the egg with the veggies.

Stir in the rice, and season with garlic salt. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.







Thursday, August 6, 2015

Gluten Free Fudgy Brownies


Summer days usually consist of me doing extremely random things in order to amuse myself. Although those random activities can occasionally yield some sort of academic benefit (such as me studying marine biology), usually they serve no purpose. For example, I spent over two hours color coding my closet. Sure it looks pretty cool, but essentially serves no practical purpose.



Today has been one of those day in which I have no idea what to do with myself. Although I do have a stack of 16 bills for my senate class which I had planned to go through line by line looking for logic errors, I most likely will end up wrapped in a blanket burrito, sitting by my window with my camera attempting to capture pictures of miniature birds and squirrels. However, so far I settled on something a little more interesting; I baked brownies.


Brownies, although a beautifully simple dessert, possess all sorts of unique possibilities. Just by slightly altering a recipe, you can change the flavor, texture, and appearance. I do believe I have posted several brownie recipes already, but this is definitely one of the tastier gluten free versions.

GLUTEN FREE FUDGY BROWNIES:

TIME: 35 min
PREP: 10 min
COOK: 25 min

INGREDIENTS: 

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

8 oz dark chocolate

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons corn starch

1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease an 8x8" pan.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Mix in sugar, and add chocolate, stirring until melted. Remove from heat.

Beat eggs and vanilla into chocolate mixture, and mix in cocoa powder, corn starch, and salt.

Pour into prepared pan, and bake for 25 minutes, or until set and brownies pull away from the edges of the pan. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

(Click HERE to see the original unaltered recipe.)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Gluten Free Almond Joy Granola


I've never been a huge fan of granola... I don't dislike it, I was just indifferent towards it. That however, did not stop me from trying to make it. Since I don't eat granola frequently, I cannot pretend to be any sort of expert. I quite literally took a bunch of ingredients and dumped them together in a bowl, and hoped for the best. It did turn out quite nicely, and tasted like an almond joy candy bar, except it was made out of granola. (I LOVE ALMOND JOYS! THEY ARE SO AMAZING!) 



Whenever I am particularly stressed out, I tend to bake a lot. Last Christmas around finals week, I baked four batches of seasonal cookies to keep me sane. (Those were pretty epic cookies, by the way.) Logically, I should deal with stress by eliminating it (i.e. doing my homework), however, during moments of stress, I throw off such logic, and bake really amazing food. A lot of really amazing food. This summer I am taking four classes, because I get too bored in the summer otherwise. With classes comes loads of homework, and this afternoon, instead of writing papers and taking tests, I made epic almond joy granola. But hey, at least it tastes pretty good so it wasn't a complete waste of time. 


GLUTEN FREE ALMOND JOY GRANOLA:

YIELD: About 4 cups

TIME: 30 min
PREP: 5 min
COOK: 25 min

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups gluten free oatmeal

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons raw cane sugar

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

3 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, and line and grease a cookies sheet with parchment paper. 

Mix together oatmeal, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Add wet ingredients, and stir until well combined. Mix in almonds, coconut, and chocolate chips.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving.







Thursday, July 16, 2015

Gluten Free No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars


















Do you ever have a craving for a food you absolutely hate? I know, it's weird... but probably about as weird as the fact that I detest peanut butter. It's just really gross, and the way it sticks to the roof of your mouth. Blechhh! So I contracted this annoying unusual hankering for peanut butter that demanded to be satisfied, but instead of grabbing the nearest jar and a spoon, I made no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars.


No-bake recipes are my best friends in the summer. No one wants to labor over a hot stove in the middle of the summer, it's incredibly unpleasant (if you do like that.... well, whatever floats your boat). I guess you could technically make this over the stove if you have some sort of dislike towards microwaves. (SHOUTOUT TO THE PERSON WHO INVENTED MICROWAVES! YOU'RE SERIOUSLY AWESOME!) Anyhow, these take like 5 minutes to whip up in the microwave, and all they do is sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then vuala! Perfect peanut butter oatmeal bars that taste fantastic, and not gross, even though they're full of peanut butter.

GLUTEN FREE NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL BARS:

Yield: About 20 bars 

TIME: 35 min
PREP: 5 min
CHILL: 30 min

INGREDIENTS: 

1 stick butter, melted

2 cups sugar

4 tablespoons cocoa

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup creamy peanut butter

3 cups instant oatmeal

DIRECTIONS:

Combine butter, sugar, cocoa, and milk in a bowl, and microwave for about 4 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved, and mixture is boiling.

Mix in vanilla, peanut butter, and oatmeal. Scoop into an 8x8 pan, and chill for about 30 minutes, or until hard. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Gluten Free Monster Cookies



Monster cookies are some of the most amazing cookies in the universe. Possibly, because they are a big combination of lots of different cookies, including but not limited to; peanut butter cookies, M&M cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and oatmeal cookies. They also usually contain raisins, but because raisins are the most disgusting food in the universe, I decided to substitute them out for even more M&Ms! Problem solved. 

 Did I mention how much I love monster cookies? Most gluten free cookies crumble away as you try to eat them, but monster cookies stick together like they're stuck with glue (that's the magic of peanut butter, my friend). Just don't fill them with raisins. Raisins are a very sad food, filled with evil. Basically grapes, with all their goodness brutally sucked away from them. They do not belong in amazing monster cookies. 


Humidity + Heat + Chocolate = a recipe for disaster. Literally, haha. It's not a super good day to try and take pictures, at least in Minnesota. Not just because the conditions are unpleasant, but because my lenses would continuously fogged up every few seconds. But I like a challenge, and I did manage to take a few not-foggy photos, featured in this post. 


GLUTEN FREE MONSTER COOKIES:

TIME: 25 min
PREP: 10 min
COOK: 15 min

YIELD: About 3 dozen 

INGREDIENTS: 

1 1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

3 eggs

1 stick butter, softened

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1 cup M&Ms

1/2 raisins (BLECH don't put these in)

2 teaspoons baking soda

4 1/2 cups gluten free oats

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and greasing some baking sheets.

Combine sugar and eggs. Beat in peanut butter, salt, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Mix in chocolates, baking soda, and gluten free oats (I would throw away the raisins. Far far away.)

Spoon onto baking sheets, really big spoonfuls because they're monster cookies. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 8 minutes before removing from baking sheets. Enjoy!





Saturday, July 11, 2015

Iced Coffee



I have a mini obsession with coffee. (Mini is probably an under-exaggeration.) Coffee is definitely the greatest beverage in the universe. Not only does it taste incredible, it makes me super hyper. For some reason, I noticed about two years ago that it also heightens my memory. For example, I drink a lot of coffee before studying for a test, because I memorize the information about 3x as fast. I still remember the phylum and classes of Kingdom Monera from my freshman biology class. It's pretty useless for me to still have that memorized, but I have coffee to thank for it.


Since it is now midsummer and the temperature has gradually increased to nearly unbearable temperatures, hot coffee is not always appreciated. When it comes to hot coffee, I drink it straight up,
black. I don't like milk watering down my hot coffee. However, for some reason black coffee does not seem to taste as pleasant on ice. With some experimentation, I have developed a really yummy
iced coffee that doesn't taste nasty.


If you haven't seen my last post, I got a new camera a couple days ago! So far I'm really loving it, it's so much easier to work with than my iPhone. I got two lenses with it, a 18-55mm and 55-250mm lens. All the photos from today's post are with the 18-55mm lens.

ICED COFFEE:

YIELD: 1 serving

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup ice

1 cup black coffee, cooled

1/4 cup milk

2 tablespoon half & half 

2 teaspoons Dulce de Leche 

DIRECTIONS:

Combine ingredients together in a large glass. Serve immediately.