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I enjoy cooking,eating food, being creative with food, and like to try new things. I try to avoid pre-packaged foods as much as I can.

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Apr 27, 2013

Earth Cupcakes for Earth Day

I saw the idea for these cute cupcakes on Pinterest, and I wanted to do something similar. Yes, I did make these on Earth Day. I wanted to do something special and cupcakes seemed special enough. I thought they looked cooler when they didn't have frosting, but you can't tell the family that cupcakes are done when they aren't frosted. It just isn't right. I took a pic before and after the frosting to show the difference. Sadly the cupcakes didn't look as cool when you bit into them. Oh well. Cupcakes are always awesome. I was amused by how cool the batter looked when I swirled the food coloring into it, so I took a picture of each for you. I noticed after the fact that the pictures look pretty cool with the food coloring and measuring cups in the background. Accidental picture awesomeness for the win!

I kind of cheated with these cupcakes because I didn't want to make my own vanilla cake. So, I pulled a Pintester moment and used a boxed cake mix. I learned an important lesson when I made these... you need about 1/3 of green and 2/3 of blue batter. I had too much green and a few of my earth cupcakes turned out like martian planets. I will keep that in mind the next time I make these and you might want to learn from my mistake. Another thing I did differently is that I didn't use a heart cookie cutter to take out a portion of the cupcake to fill in a heart of frosting. I attempted to frost a heart and failed, so they had white frosting and some were decorated with leftover gel decorating stuff and others just got some sprinkles slapped on them. I only managed to get 23 cupcakes out my boxed mix, but it is supposed to give you 24. I might have put too much batter in some, but they turned out just fine. I hope you get adventurous and try this!

Earth Cupcakes (inspired by a Pinterest photo)

Ingredients:
  • blue and green food coloring or coloring gel
  • vanilla cake mix (make your favorite kind from scratch or use a boxed mix)
  • frosting (canned, homemade, whatever)
  • decorations (sprinkles, fondant, different color frosting, gel decorators, etc.)
  • muffin paper cups/foil cups/ silicone
Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to the temperature specified for your cake recipe.
  2. Follow the recipe or instructions for your vanilla cake mix to make the batter.
  3. Dye 2/3 of your batter blue and 1/3 of your batter green.
  4. Line your muffin tin with muffin cups.
  5. Add a few teaspoons of blue batter to each muffin cup.
  6. Alternate spoonfuls of blue and green until the muffin cups are 1/2 - 2/3 full.
  7. Bake for the appropriate time. (My box mix took about 20 minutes or so)
  8. Let the cupcakes cool.
  9. Frost and decorate as you wish.
  10. Enjoy! 
I hope you try this recipe out. It was a fun recipe for Earth day and could also be used for other occassions (planet party, anyone?). The colors could be switched up as well leading to rainbow cupcakes, colors of an alma mater, flag colored cupcakes, etc. : )




Love it? Hate it? Want to make it? Let me know what you think with a comment below!

As always...

Bon appétit!

P.S.  If you love it, or have made it, or have any suggestions then feel free to leave me a comment! I love hearing input from my readers and would LOVE to hear from YOU! :)

Apr 16, 2013

Chicken Kabobs


As I sit here writing this entry, the thunder is rumbling and I am seriously wishing I had a desk in my room. Oh well... something to think about whenever I move out. I really should be e-mailing a few people, but I am putting it off for just a bit... Don't worry, it will get done. Just, you know, in a bit... The sun was out for a while and it was completely gorgeous! I was hoping we could grill the steaks and marinated turkey breast for dinner tonight, but the rain ruined those plans. Guess it will be more leftovers. Woo. 

In other news, Earth Day is April 22nd! I found an adorable cupcake idea on Pinterest and it looks like this. I think I might try these out! They look easy enough. Now I just wonder if we have a heart cookie cutter or if I will have to improvise. Hmm. Any excuse to make cupcakes is a good one in my opinion. 

I also wanted to give a shout out to another fun blogger who has made me giggle numerous times recently: Pintester. I will warn that she can be a bit raunchy, but it is a great way to find out if something works or not. I have gone through my pinterest boards and deleted some of the items that she said were a fail. Others have probably been lost in the ocean wave of my numerous pins. Oops. Check out her blog and have a giggle or two!

The recipe for today is one that would have worked if the weather had cooperated. However, you could prepare this recipe inside on a griddle pan if you had to. This recipe is simple stuff, people. Simple simple simple. My mom gets to take the credit for this recipe because she sort of invented it. Maybe someone else thought of the idea first, but I didn't use a recipe, so mom gets the credit for this dish. 

Chicken Kabobs 

Equipment needed:
  • Skewers- They can be reusable ones, wooden ones, long ones, fat ones, skinny ones, or any skewers you have. The only requirement would be that they don't break in half when you put chicken and peppers on them.
  • A container with an air-tight secure lid that can be used for marinating the kabobs. You will be flipping this container over! 

Ingredients:
  • 2 - 4 lbs. of chicken (depends how many you are feeding and how many skewers you have), cut into chunks roughly the same size
  • 1 bottle of dressing per 2 lbs. of chicken (We used Italian dressing.) 
  • Colored bell peppers (orange, green, red, or yellow), cut into skewer-able chunks (We used one of each kind and used approximately 4 lbs. of chicken.)
  • Onions, cut into chunks (optional)
Instructions:
  1. This might sound strange... but if you are using skewers that can catch on fire (i.e. wood) then you need to soak them in some warm water for at least 20 minutes. This will prevent them from catching on fire and hopefully prevent your hands from having burnt skewer particles on them.
  2. Open your dressing and take the lid off of your container. Believe me, you will thank me later when you have chicken hands!
  3. Start your skewers. I varied mine with 1 piece chicken then one pepper piece and so on so forth. If you are including onions, you could have one chicken, one pepper, one onion, but you can be as creative or as crazy as you want with as many peppers and onions as you wish. 
  4. Plop the prepared skewer into your container.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until your chicken, skewers, peppers, and onions are used up.
  6. Wash your hands well. 
  7. Dump the bottle(s) of dressing over your kabobs.
  8. Place them in the fridge and let them marinate for at least 2 hours, flipping the container after one hour. These can marinate for longer, if you have the time.
  9. Fire up the grill!
  10. Grill the chicken until it is no longer pink on the inside. If you didn't cook them all the way through on the grill (Like I have done before), don't panic! You can pop them in the microwave for a few minutes to finish them off.
  11. Eat and enjoy!
Time: Prep- 30 minutes, Marinating- 2 hours or more, Cooking- 20 - 30 minutes (?)

The great thing about this recipe is the fact that you can vary it to work with the dressing flavor. For example: if you wanted to use an Asian dressing you could use pieces of carrot, onion, peppers, and other flavors that would blend well. You can use homemade dressing, completely ignore the chicken and make grilled veggie kabobs, or you could choose other vegetables that you would like to grill. The possibilities are almost endless!

Love it? Hate it? Want to make it? Let me know what you think with a comment below!
As always...

Bon appétit!

P.S.  If you love it, or have made it, or have any suggestions then feel free to leave me a comment! I love hearing input from my readers and would LOVE to hear from YOU! :)





Apr 8, 2013

Crescent-Wrapped Baked Brie

Life has been the usual ordeal: cleaning, Relay For Life stuff, Youtube being a pain, cooking, baking, etc. Nothing too out of the ordinary. I don't really understand why Youtube keeps starting and stopping, but I am dealing with it. Oh! I have refrained from adding text to my photos before because I thought it was pointless, but now that Pinterest is big, the link to something can easily be lost. Basically, I am adding my blog link to my photos and the name of the recipe to one photo out of the bunch. If it bothers you, I apologize in advance, but Pinterest made me do it. Not really... it's just a precaution for the people on Pinterest who wonder what something is when someone switched the links out for a spam site. Anyway...

Crescent-Wrapped Baked Brie. In one word: nom. A delicious crescent roll outside and the ooey gooey cheesy center, mmmm. This is what I call delicious. I had never ever tried brie before this recipe and I decided that it was worth a little bit of money to purchase it. I did not use the 8 oz round as suggested (because the 7 oz wedge was on sale!) and I still had great success. If you love melty cheese and delicious crescent rolls, then this one is for you!

Crescent-Wrapped Baked Brie (from Pillsbury.com

Ingredients:
  • 1 can (8 oz) of Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls OR 1 can (8 oz) of Pillsbury crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet (or any 8 oz tube/can/roll of crescent roll dough)
  • 8 oz. of Brie cheese (approximately), with the rind removed (rind is optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten
Instructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
  2. Prep your cookie sheet with parchment paper, a Silpat mat, or use a nonstick cookie sheet.
  3. If not using the seamless crescent roll dough: unroll the dough, divide in half, and pinch the seams together with your fingers. You will have two squares of dough. If you use the seamless crescent roll dough: unroll the dough and then cut it in half to form two squares. 
  4. Place the Brie on top of and in the middle of one square and cover with the other dough square. Fold the bottom edges over the top edges. Trim extra dough if needed.
  5. Brush the dough with the beaten egg.
  6. Bake for 20 - 24 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Cool for 15 minutes.
  8. Serve warm and enjoy!
There are plenty of savory and sweet add ins that could be added to vary the flavor of this dish. I hope you like it! 

Enjoy!

Love it? Hate it? Want to make it? Let me know what you think with a comment below!
As always...

Bon appétit!