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Jazzing Up Banana Pudding

I love ordering takeout.

(Who doesn’t, right?!)

When I ordered some Chinese food for delivery tonight from a local takeout joint, I received a sweet treat coupon during my online order.

I had the choice of free pineapple, chocolate pudding or banana pudding.

I chose the banana as it’s a lighter refreshing pudding .

But I decided to take that pudding up a notch.

Continue reading “Jazzing Up Banana Pudding”

Cool Article of the Week – 11/11 – 11/17

These cool article(s) of the week are dedicated to all of you wonderful college people out there, living in the dorm rooms.This is also dedicated to the budget-friendly person who wants some really awesome, cheap and easy food ideas.

Ah, college.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Living in the dorms (er, residence halls, as one of my closest friends always corrects me on! She was an R.A. ), with those communal kitchens with the oven/stove. I remember having big communal group dinners with my friends at times, in our residence halls, sitting around the couches and having a great time.

You had to be strategic, because you don’t have a TON of space in those kitchens, but you had to have yummy food too! (Hence, as well as those group dinners in the dorms, there were tons of late night orders as well to various pizza places, ah, the days).

So as Thanksgiving is on its way, one article of the week speaks 11 Easy Recipes for Friendsgiving In Your College Dorm (thank you, BuzzFeed Food!).

Photo credit: BuzzFeed Food
Photo credit: BuzzFeed Food

I appreciate that they advise to make turkey cutlets. I’m actually a huge fan of those and when I was home living with my parents, that was one of our meals we’d make, breaded turkey cutlets with gravy and noodles. Delicious! And VERY easy to make. I approve!

The one on the list I probably would not make is #8 (Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips and Brussel Sprouts). As much as I love those vegetables, I think mashed potatoes, cornbread, biscuits, etc. are beautiful items for a Friendsgiving menu. Those personally don’t yell out “college comfort food” to me, but I see how throwing roasted veggies in the oven would indeed impress people.

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Photo credit: BuzzFeed Food

What would you make on the list? Let me know, comment below! 🙂

Speaking of college foods, this VIDEO is technically article #2 that I know ALL of you will love, again, from BuzzFeed Food.

Simple College Snack Hacks You Should Know.

Oh man.

First of all, love the use of Kroger products throughout this video (love you, Kroger!).

Second, these ideas are GENIUS.

If you ever wondered what to do with your cereal, ramen noodles, or kettle corn to spruce it up a bit, you will definitely be salivating over these easy ideas.

((And for the record, Nutella DOES make everything better.))

 

Photo credit: BuzzFeed Food
Photo credit: BuzzFeed Food

=)

Enjoy!

 

 

Cool Article of the Week 10/23-11/3

This cool article of the week comes from The Daily Meal.

Before I tell you what it is, my first reaction to this was “WHATTTTT?! OH MY GOD!”

I was happily surprised, but very curious as to how this was put together.

Alright. Are you ready?

GLOW IN THE DARK ICE CREAM.

Photo credit: Facebook.com/LickMeImDelicious

No joke!

An ice cream maker in the U.K., called “Lick Me I’m Delicious,” came up with the idea.

And how the creator made this glowing ice cream (literally), is through research of jellyfish. I don’t want to give it all away, read the article and let me know what you think.

Enjoy!

Cool Articles 10/9-10/22

This post is going to be chock full of cool articles!

These come from some of my favorite foodie sources: Eater, BuzzFeed Food, The Daily Meal and Serious Eats.

Here are some cool articles for you to check out:

1) Inspired Desserts from the New York Wine and Food Festival Godiva Truffle Showdown, Serious EatsThere was a Godiva Truffle Showdown at this year’s New York Food & Wine Festival, and get ready to feast your eyes on a slideshow of mouth-watering, decadent chocolate treats, because you are in for one tasty ride!

2) 18 Reasons Pizza is Your Best Friend, BuzzFeed Food: This is a super fun read. Especially with the pictures. It tells the tale of why pizza is, and will always be with you for the long haul. From Lunchables, to Bagel Bites, to late night munchies. Yum.

3) 23 Most Glorious Balls of Cheese, BuzzFeed FoodWho doesn’t love cheese? And who doesn’t love a big ball of cheese? But honestly, I would not eat the one that looks like a rat (would you? Do tell below!)

4) 13 Things You Didn’t Know about Dunkin Donuts, The Daily Meal: Time to make the donuts! The Daily Meal puts out a fun list of things you (may) not have known about the coffee/donut shop. Something I didn’t know:

There are Dunkin’ Donuts coffee experts that taste an average of 200 cups of coffee a day to ensure that they’re delivering the best possible coffee to consumers.”

Did you know this? That’s so cool! Can you imagine being a coffee taster for #DD? Brilliant.

Enjoy!

SWEET TREATS: Oreo Brownies

My brother and one of my best friends are coming to town this evening via road trip. Love you both 🙂

In the past day or so, I’ve been envisioning in my head what I could bake them as a “Welcome to Ohio” surprise.

My mind immediately went to Oreo’s.

I’m very, very close with my family. I love my family very much. I love my brother very much, and one of the things we always do together when we see each other is late at night, we watch TV shows, hang out, and have cookies and milk. Usually, it’s between Oreo’s, some sort of chocolate chip cookies (be it Wegman’s brand, Pathmark brand, etc.), some sort of dessert with chocolate in it. We’ve inducted Aisha into this tradition as well. 🙂

So as I LOVE brownies, I thought, why not make some Oreo Brownies?

When I was younger, there was a boxed mix of Oreo Brownies that were probably some of the best brownies I’ve EVER had. I ALWAYS looked forward to those brownies. Soft, moist, fudgy, warm (!) chocolatey brownies, with a glaze on top. Heaven!

But ever since then, I’ve never seen that boxed mix in stores. I’ve seen pre-packaged wannabes (already baked), but nothing compares.

So tonight, I attempt to make some yummy Oreo brownies, via one of my new favorite hobbies, Pinterest. 🙂

Thank you so much, Suburban Coupon Mom, for your post, and for the inspiration!

Here is her recipe for Oreo brownies:

2 boxes of brownie mix ( I used Ghiradelli) and bought a family sized box of Oreos because they were on sale!!

1/2 Cup of Water

2/3 Veggie Oil

2 Eggs

1 sleeve of Oreos crushed

CREAM TOPPING

1/2 Stick of Butter

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

2 Tble spoons of Milk

1 to 1 1/2 cup powder sugar.. add gradually and check for consistancy

I’ve made a few modifications. Instead of using two boxes of brownie mix, I went for one. My favorite go-to brownie mix I’ve been using as my base at the store is Betty Crocker Ultimate Fudge (with Hershey‘s Fudge, yum!)

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Mix the brownie mix as per usual using the ingredients listed on the box (water, vegetable oil, egg, fudge packet, mix).

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Tonight I decided to use my brownie pan for the occasion. As it has three rows (for easier slicing), I greased the pan with butter, then put some of the mix in my pan.

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You could get creative with exactly what kind of Oreo to buy (there are so many flavors now). My brother loves Double Stuf’s, but tonight at Kroger I discovered there are Oreo’s a step up from Double Stuf, called Mega Stuf! (Can you believe it?!) 🙂

IMG_4046

I layered a row of Oreos into my pan and then put the remaining brownie mix on top. You’re going to have to make a judgment of how much to put in each row. This time around for me, there wasn’t enough batter left to cover the Oreo’s, but that’s okay. We’ll see how the batter forms around the cookie.

I’m also not following a specific “done” time. My first aim was at 25 minutes at 350. From then on, I kept checking with a fork into the middle (if it comes out clean, it’s done!).

As of 12:53 a.m.: 25 minutes baked at 350 degrees, stuck the fork in, came out a little covered in batter.

Put timer on for 7 more minutes.

Second check: 1:01 a.m. – still not 100 % there yet. Putting on another three minutes.

Third times the charm: 1:05 a.m. – dunzo!

IMG_4047

While I’m letting those cool down a bit, I’m starting up the glaze. Instead of making the glaze directly in the pan, I’m going to do another double boiler, only because I don’t want the glaze burning or sticking in a pan.

I mix all ingredients as per the recipe above and put it in the double boiler:

IMG_4048I put the half stick of butter in the bowl and melted it on close to high temperature on the stove…

IMG_4049Then I got the vanilla out. 🙂

IMG_4050As soon as the butter melts, mix the vanilla, and milk together, stirring constantly.

Then, add the confectioners sugar slowly. It’ll turn into the glaze-like consistency, like this:

IMG_4055IMG_4056I tested the glaze, it is DELICIOUS!

IMG_4057Here is the final product. I poured the glaze on the brownies and spread evenly.

Let cool, slice up and serve.

Enjoy!

 

SWEET TREATS: Buckeye Brownies

One of the first things I heard about when I moved here to Ohio was this:

Buckeyes.

I knew of the sports team, but what I didn’t discover until I was physically here in Ohio   were the chocolatey peanut butter desserts sold here.

Here’s an instance of a Buckeye foodie discovery I had while out and about.

I go to one of the local supermarkets here (Dorothy Lane Market), and am browsing around one of the cases of desserts. I’m seeing all of these Killer Brownies it makes (that could be a whole other post by the way: these are these thick, moist brownies with gooey delicious layers in the middle), and then lo and behind I see a Buckeye.

Thinking about it now, here’s something coincidental about this.

The size of the buckeye I tried there, at least circumference wise, is the size of an O you form with your hand. O for Ohio! Eyyy! 🙂

If you haven’t tried a Buckeye before, it’s a peanut butter ball covered in chocolate just enough so the peanut butter is still sticking out.

It looks just like the nut that comes off of a Buckeye tree.

The other night I was thinking about something I could bake (and surprise!) for a dear coworker whose last day was Monday. She is moving away from Ohio, and so I went to Pinterest for some inspiration.

I love baking brownies. While browsing for brownie ideas, I by chance came across this recipe.: (thank you My Patchwork Quilt!)

Buckeye Brownies

19 1/2 oz. pkg. brownie mix
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. plus 6 T. butter, softened and divided
8 oz. jar creamy peanut butter
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Prepare and bake brownie mix in greased 9″ x 13″ baking pan according to pkg. directions. Let cool.

Mix powdered sugar, 1/2 c. butter, and peanut butter in a bowl.

Mix well (I used electric mixer) and spread over cooled brownies.

Chill for 1 hour.

Melt together chocolate chips and remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Spread over brownies.

Let cool; cut into squares.

Makes 2-3 dozen.

I modified the recipe just a tad: I used a brownie box mix that wasn’t 19 1/2 oz (honestly, I couldn’t find one that big!), so I used an 18 oz box.

Another thing I did that’s different from the recipe: the brownie box I got didn’t have the cooking time for the brownie pan that was required in the recipe (9 x 13), so I played with the timing with my trick below.

With any brownie or cake, what you want to do to tell it is done is to stick something in the middle of it (normally I’d go for toothpicks, but since I don’t have any right now, I used a fork). If it comes out clean, your baked good is done, if it comes out with dough stuck to it, you need to cook it some more. This is when you keep a close eye on the oven, these final minutes.

IMG_3803 IMG_3800

Another modification I did was I added more chocolate chips instead of just 6 ounces (because I ran out when it was just 6 ounces), and added some more butter in when I added the extra chocolate.

A good trick for melting ANY chocolate (and thank you Culinary Arts class in high school for this tip), is to melt it in a double boiler (pictures above), not just in the saucepan alone. That way, there is no chance of your chocolate burning. A double boiler is when you boil a pot of water (or in this case, I put it to medium heat), and put a bowl on top with the chocolate in it, and melt it / stir it up that way.

Another thing I did was I chilled the brownies overnight in the fridge after putting the melted chocolate on top.

Pouring the melted chocolate on the brownies!
Pouring the melted chocolate on the brownies!

Now I’ll admit, it was a little hard to cut them today, but I will tell you, these brownies are SUPER delicious, chocolatey, fudgy and moist. I especially loved the chocolate with the fluffy peanut butter frosting/filling concoction in the middle. My now former coworker enjoyed them too, which I am so glad about :). I made them especially to remind her of home before she leaves for another coast :).

I officially really really really love Buckeyes :).

Enjoy!

Cool Article of the Week — 7/13-7/20

This week,  it isn’t exactly an “article” per se that struck me as my cool article of the week.

But it’s an intriguing thought that caught my eye, to spread into the foodie-sphere.

It’s a tweet that comes from an awesome radio morning show based in Long Island:
 Dana & Jeffrey in the Morning.

Tweet from Dana & Jeffrey!
Tweet from Dana & Jeffrey!

Isn’t it amazing how packaging for food in general has transformed itself over the years? Yes, we can thank technology for how the packaging of the one of the left compares to the one on the right. But the one on the left versus the one on the right, there are clear differences. I actually really love that the left one you can see the cookies in the packaging.

Dana & Jeffery raise a great question for the #foodies out there.

The tweet flashes me back to the Oreo commercials in the 1990s.

I’m also flashing back to when Oreo would put out collector cookie tins in the 90’s too. Myself and my family would put the cookies in there at Christmas time, as it had a cute picture of Santa Claus on it (but well, we would use that tin during the year too, Christmas all year!).

Flashing forward to this decade….and Oreo celebrated its 100th birthday last year, and now  there are so many types of Oreo’s for us all to split in half , lick the cream, put it back together and dunk it in milk then eat it.

Bottom line: I will always love Oreo’s.

And thank you, Dana & Jeffrey for the awesome reminder!

Your tweet is donned my cool article of this week.

Do you love Oreo’s? Join the conversation below!

LONG ISLAND: Lemon Squares by Quogue’s Have Your Cake Ltd.

Yesterday, while I stopped at Hayground Market, my mom stopped at one of our favorite supermarkets in Long Island: Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace.

Long Islanders, if you haven’t been to Uncle G’s (which I call it for short), you should head there as soon as you can!

This supermarket is local to Long Island only, and is Italian themed. Frank Sinatra music plays overhead as you browse the aisles of not only regular groceries, but fresh fish, fresh meat, fresh made pasta and sauces, fresh Italian pastries, cakes and cookies, a HUGE prepared foods section/deli with tons of entrees, sides and appetizers (such as rice balls, one of my favorite Italian dishes!), and amazing fresh produce.

While browsing at Uncle G’s, my mom found a container of one of my family’s favorite desserts: lemon squares, by a local company called Have Your Cake, Ltd. She bought two packs of lemon squares for us to try that night for dessert after our dinner consisting of steak, corn and tomatoes.

These lemon squares were outrageously good. In fact, these changed my whole perspective on lemon squares as a whole:

First of all, when you lift up the square, you can feel how light and airy the square will be when you eat it. It’s a very delicate bar, and may crumble in your hand. There are no preservatives in the square, and Have Your Cake, Ltd. uses very simple ingredients for these: sugar, eggs, organic wheat flour, butter, fresh lemon juice, baking powder, natural flavors, confectioners sugar and cornstarch to prevent caking.

When you take a bite, you can taste the buttery, flaky crust first, then the sweet, a little tangy, and almost crystallized texture of the lemon part, and then the sweet confectioners sugar on top. The whole square melts in your mouth really quickly, and truly raises the bar for me on what a lemon bar should be.

If you’re at Uncle G’s, or you happen to be in Quogue, N.Y. (where Have Your Cake, Ltd. is located), definitely check out the sweets and confections from Have Your Cake, Ltd. If the lemon squares were really delicious, I have a very strong feeling the other sweets, including brownies and cakes, will be just as amazing!

Have Your Cake, Ltd.

Quogue, N.Y.

631-653-8233

http://haveyourcakeltd.com/home.html

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