On a Roll

That would be the most delicious pancake ever.

This pancake was beyond fabulous, but really would you expect anything less from a pancake crossed with a cinnamon roll. Needless to say the pancakes were devoured quickly and left us with quite the sugar high. I didn’t really use a recipe. I just kinda went with it after seeing a picture of cinnamon roll looking pancakes on pinterest.

But here’s the jist of it:

Batter: just your standard “just add water” mix

Cinnamon Swirl: melted butter, brown sugar, and LOTS of cinnamon (mess with proportions until you get an easily pourable mixture)

Cream Cheese Drizzle: cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla (a little vanilla goes a long way, you probably don’t need the butter just the cream cheese, I made mine just thin enough to drizzle)

Next time I’m thinking this would be good served as dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! Mmmm…

Jumping on the Band Wagon

Whelp…I did it. I jumped on the Crayon Art Bandwagon. It seems everyone is trying some form of melted crayon art. I have done my fair share of crayon art blog reading trying to decide just how I wanted to do it.

Originally I was thinking something like this.

Then I thought maybe I could get creative using pressed leaves or flowers and melting the crayon around the flower…and I am still thinking I can make something like this work. But it was two days before mother’s day, I still needed to make Relay Hats and my math homework was not quite finished. My roommate and I decided to modify this technique and make some spotted crayon art for Mother’s day.

Our Classy Set Up


On my way to a masterpiece.


At first we thought the crayons were never going to melt, but they did, it just took some patience. I highly recommend an enclosed area like we had, the crayon splashes everywhere! (unless you want colorful carpets)

Helpful Hint: The melted crayon will get everywhere. The best way to get it off hard surfaced to to heat it with a blow dryer until it melts again then quickly wipe it off.

The Finished Product

Apples on Apples

What a shame…I was going through pictures and I realized I had totally neglected my wonderful apple pancakes.

I love apples (hence apple nachos, apples in cookie dough dip, and the apple I eat almost every day). I have now found an ideal way to incorporate apples into my favorite breakfast…pancakes. Sure you can dice apples and put them in pancakes, or you can have apple cinnamon oatmeal, or you can just have an apple for breakfast. But this right here takes apples for breakfast to a whole new level.

The Perfect Hybrid


If you haven’t already guessed this made a wonderful breakfast, and I savored every last bite of it. I topped mine with regular maple syrup but I am certain the apple cider syrup would also be tasty. I was so delighted by these that I began brainstorming other things you could toss in pancake batter and cook…breakfast is about to get interesting.

Helpful Hint: The thinner the apple slices the more the apples cook and the more they get that nice sweet apple pie taste.

Trying New Things

Today’s the day. I have really been wanting to try roasted chickpeas and today I did. My roommates were gone and I was feeling a bit daring so I decided to cook something new. I followed this recipe.

Now I love hummus, I love these chocolate chip blondies. I love this cinnamon roll pie, but I just don’t like plain chickpeas. So making these roasted chickpeas was toss up. Either they would be delicious like the previously mentioned goods, or they might just send chills down my back like that one time I put plain chickpeas on my salad.


End Result: They were crunchy. They had good flavor. I did not like them

Why didn’t I like them? I am a texture person, and the inside of these roasted chickpeas had a hint of that grainy texture of uncooked chickpeas. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a THOUSAND times better then plain chickpeas, but I just couldn’t do it.

Conclusion: These are flavorful, easy to make and I am sure they would be loved by any person who doesn’t mind the chickpea texture…but that person is just not me.

At least they looked pretty.

My second experiment of the night was more successful. I made spinach chips! These were absolutely delicious. Eveyone should go out and make them. Most of them were crispy, and those that weren’t were still tasty. I used this recipe, but made a few adjustments for convenience’s sake.

Here’s what I did:
1. Toss spinach leaves in olive oil
2. Spread spinach on wax paper lined cookie sheet
3. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper
4. Bake: I put mine into the oven while my oven was preheating for the chickpeas, so it was set at 400, but was not up to 400 yet. It took about 8 minutes for them to get crunchy.
5. Enjoy

These were truly delicious. As in I probably could have eaten 3 or 4 times as much as I made. So wonderful that I didn’t take any pictures because I couldn’t tear myself away from them. So wonderful that I’ll probably make some more tomorrow.

Relay For Life

A few weekends ago our school held their Relay for Life event. Two of my roommates were part of the Relay committee, so I joined their team, S.W.A.T (students with a target), and wanted to help. So I made us team hats.

Initially I wanted to make T-shirts, but Kmart was out of black v-necks so we went with white hats.

Here’s what you need:

~Hats (t-shirts, shorts, etc.)
~Letter Stencils
~Fabric Paint
~Medium Bristled Paintbrush
~(a steady hand wouldn’t hurt either)

Now I was satisfied with the outcome and we looked super cute with our hats, however there was definitely room for improvement.

Things I Learned While Stenciling:

1. Bristles>Sponges I started with a sponge brush…Bad call. This resulted in the paint soaking under the stencil and the letters smearing a bit. I quickly switched to a bristled brush and this was much better.

2. Hats are Round. Due to the shape of hats it was difficult to get a solid surface and therefore it was easy for the stencil to move and the paint to move where it shouldn’t be. I resulted using my knee inside the hat to get a semi-hard surface. This worked much better then trying to stencil the hat while my roommate wore it.

3. I am not the world’s greatest stencil-er. The paint kept getting under the stencil. My hands were covered in paint. But all in all the hats were a success and no one cared that they weren’t perfect.

Rockin’ Our Hats

Needless to say the hats were cute. Relay was fun (and exhausting). I can’t wait for Relay next year. My roommates have already picked our team theme, and I have been brainstorming up lots of cool things to make next year’s campsite rock. 🙂

Apricots

As a child my Grandma’s neighbor had a very productive apricot tree, and we were always welcome to take as many aprictos as we wanted. I took full advantage of this and had many apricot filled summers. Sadly the neighbor had to cut down his tree and apricots no longer make up my summer diet.

However a few months ago I tried some dried apricots and was instantly hooked. These were soft, chewy and downright delicious. I had stuck to Sun-Maid Apricots and was completely satisfied with them. Well I have been out of these succulent dried apricots for a few weeks so I decided I would pick some up while at Trader Joe’s today…and boy am I glad I did. After the first bite I realized I had truly been missing out. The Trader Joe’s ones are significantly better then the Sun-Maid. So much better that I felt the need to write it down for the world to see.

Fun Fact: Try keeping these in the fridge for a slightly firmer cool snack.

Inferior Apricots

Superior Apricots

The Final Four

The final four recipes in my adventures with enticing recipes that is. These four are all main course based and were all delicious.

Spinach Tomato Sauce

During one particularly stormy day I had a hankering for tomato soup and grilled cheese, but we were out of tomato soup and it was raining therefore I was not about to leave the house. Instead I set about to find a soup recipe. Well turns out we did have the diced tomatoes, or tomato paste that most recipes called for but we did have a few fresh tomatoes and some spinach. So I took this recipe, subbed real tomatoes for the canned, skipped the milk, skipped the bread and added oregano and basil.

Spinach-Tomato SauceSo basically I completely messed with the recipe but the outcome was amazing; more sauce like then soup like. I poured it on some noodles, made a piece of garlic bread and dug in. It was so good I also ended up putting it on top of my garlic bread, and eating for lunch the next day.

Black Bean Tortilla Cakes

This was another recipe that I played with the ingredients on.
My pie filling consisted of:
black beans
onion
bell pepper
asparagus
taco seasoning
garlic

Instead of a giant pie I used a muffin tin to make miniature ones with corn tortillas. I had to cut my tortillas into small circles to fit into the muffine tins; I used a measuring cup to make the circles, it was quite the experience. The handle of the measuring cute kept getting in the way and the edges being very dull (needless to say some round cookie cutters would have been nice). These were also delicious especially when topped with some hot sauce! (I’d show you a picture but my camera was broken and I devoured this dinner before I thought to take one with my phone…but I promise they were cute and tasty.)

All But the Kitchen Sink Pizza

Do you ever have a craving for some pizza, but you just don’t have the right ingredients and don’t want to order one? Well I did; and this here was my solution. I found this pizza dough recipe a year or so ago when my roomates and I were experimenting with the many different ways you could make pizzas: english muffin, french bread, bagel, you name it we probably tried it. Ironically I never actually used this to make pizza, I did however make it as garlic bread to serve alongside some spaghetti. This is not your traditional pizza crust, it turns out pretty thin, probably due to the lack of yeast, but not super crispy like many thin crusts. Either way, it is super easy to make and makes a nice surface for whatever toppings you might happen to have (everything but the kitchen sink or garlic butter).

Green PizzaThe everything but the kitchen sink part is up to you, mine however included:
pesto
jalapenos
mozzarella cheese
asparagus
onion
garlic

I realize this might sounds like an odd combination…but they mixed well and pizza is all about mixing it up anyways.

Baked Chicken Nuggets

My friend, whom I’ve actually know since I was two, and I were having a nice night in watching movies and eating dinner. I decided that we should make these, which resulted in us spending dinner reminiscing about eating Mcdonalds happy meals in her backyard when we were kids. I actually did follow this recipe, almost to the tee actually. I did however omit the panko crumbs because we had tons of bread crumbs and no panko. These turned out wonderfully, no complaints. I served them alongside breaded asparagus which a lot of people have been raving about. We however, were not impressed and would much prefer our asparagus plain or with a bit of salt.
Blast from the Past

The Most Important Meal of the Day

As a continuation of my enticing recipe adventures I am going to focus on my recent breakfast adventures. (I must apologize ahead of time my camera broke and my phone does not take real high quality photos)

We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and if you ask anyone who knows me you will find out that I am a huge breakfast advocate. I could probably count the number of times I have skipped breakfast, without using my toes, and I was probably sick. My standard breakfast would be oatmeal, cereal or yogurt and granola. But I also have a big place in my heart for pancakes.

Protein Pumpkin Pancakes
During finals week I woke up a bit early so that I could make my roommie a pre-final breakfast. We decided to try protein pumpkin pancakes. Well let me tell you the name is deceiving. Sadly these did not taste like pumpkin. Also I was not able to blend the mixture because the rest of the house was sleeping and waking everyone up at 7am is just not cool. So, the lack of blender usage resulted in an interesting texture from the cottage cheese. However I think with the help of double (or more) of the pumpkin and a blender these would be much more satisfying. I topped my with peanut butter and drizzle of maple syrup for a filling and satisfying finals week breakfast.

Chocolate Chip Raisin Oven Pancakes
On a more successful note I made another wonderful recipe from this blog. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this but it turned out to basically be one GIGANTIC pancake that I got to pop in the oven while I got ready for the day instead of a stack of pancakes that I had to stand by the stove and cook. This picture is only like a third of the entire pancake and as usual I topped it with some peanut butter. 🙂

Pumpkin Muffin with a Side of Spinach
So technically I think this falls under the breakfast category…but it sure did make a delicious lunch. After making the previously mentioned pumpkin pancakes I had to find a use for the left over pumpkin…hmmm…well a pumpkin muffin sounded delicous so i whipped up one of these little guys, including raisins instead of chocolate chips. And decided that while I was at it, I might as well put all the spinach in the fridge to good use since all my roommates had left for break and we still had a TON of spinach (and not much else). Now this wasn’t my first smoothie with spinach in it but it was the first smoothie that I personally made with spinach in it; I made the iced pineapple one, pretty tasty.

Brownies for Breakfast?
My final breakfast baking adventure should probably not be considered breakfast, but I definitely ate it for breakfast. These brownie pancakes really did taste like brownies…especially the batter. 🙂 Oh the batter was sooo delicious.
Brownies for Breakfast? As always this recipie gives you several options: I used 1 Tbs sugar, Hershey’s cocoa powder and 1 Tbs
oil. Then I topped mine with a little bit of butter, some powdered sugar and a side of strawberries. This was probably my favorite out of all of these breakfast dishes, although a little sweeter then a breakfast probably should be; but hey it was Saturday, so why not.

Not Your Standard Dessert

Over the past few weeks I have decided that I should try making all sorts of different enticing recipes from popcorn cakes to green smoothies to black bean pie. But for now let’s concentrate on the desserts and I will fill you in on all the other stuff later.

First I made popcorn cake. For starters we must all understand that I truly love popcorn, it might be a minor addiction. There is no late night snack more satisfying then a nice warm bowl of stove-popped popcorn. Second the roommates and I recently discovered that we had accumulated roughly 3 bags of marshmallows and were getting pretty sick of rice krispie treats, so this popcorn based dessert seemed to be the answer. However we didn’t want a whole cake so we just made a few popcorn cupcakes and subbed chocolate chips in for the m&ms. These were a delicious study snack but should be eaten shortly after being made; they were stale by the next day.

But wait…popcorn balls aren’t enough. I also tried my hand at sweet popcorn. I added brown sugar and cinnamon to my usual canola oil-popcorn kernel mix. I thought I recalled reading recipes that called for a tablespoon or two of sugar to make kettle corn so I added just a little sugar and a little cinnamon. And I am not gonna lie, the final product was wonderful; however it was not actually sweet like the kettle corn I have had so many times at fairs. So after demolishing my bowl of cinnamon sugar popcorn I looked up some kettle corn recipes and found where I went wrong. The recipes all called for 1/3 cup or more of sugar…not a tablespoon. But that’s alright I still enjoyed it and I didn’t consume an outrageous amount of sugar in the process so I’d say that was a win win situation.

Even after the popcorn cupcakes we still had more marshmallows then we knew what to do with. So I set about making baked smores. I started with crushed graham crackers topped with marshmallows and then chocolate chips and baked at 325 for about 10 or 12 minutes (I think…this was a few weeks ago). I probably should have mixed the graham crackers with the chocolate chips so that the chocolate melted into the graham cracker solving two minor problems: 1) not as much loose graham cracker at the bottom of the muffin paper and 2) not so much chocolate stuck to the sides of the muffin paper. These did not quite compete with real campfire roasted s’mores, but they were s’mores nonetheless.

Finally I made this delicious chocolate chip cookie dough dip. This is currently one of my favorite food blogs, the recipes are delicious and I love all the unexpected ingredients like garbanzo beans. I made this dip for a movie night with the bestie. My friend and I thorougly enjoyed this dip with apples for dipping; my sister on the other hand could not get past the texture (it was a bit grainy). I highly suggest putting it in the freezer or fridge for a while before eating because I found it to be much tastier when it was cold. This recipe gives lots of suggestions and alternative to make the dip more your style. For the nut butter I used almond butter, and I used about 1/2 cup of brown sugar as sweetener. We were not able to eat this all in one night (waaay to much dip) so I put the dip into mini muffin tins the next day and made cookie bites; which were just as tasty.

Red Velvet Birthday Celebration


After having a hankering to bake for the last two weeks or so I finally got the opportunity…my best friend’s birthday celebration. I wanted to make something fun and exciting. I knew she was quite the fan of red velvet (mainly due to her unconditional love for cream cheese frosting) and I have always been a bit curious what exactly is Red Velvet? This question has puzzled me for several years now and finally I got the genius idea to use the powers of modern day technology to find the answer. After discovering the secret to red velvet I set out to make some rather large cupcakes.


After reading several recipes I settled on this one. The recipe turned out fabulous…just a little redder then I had imagine…but hey red is a wonderful color. I did not feel like going out and buying buttermilk and had previously heard about making your own buttermilk, this worked wonderfully.

I decided while I was at it I should go ahead and make rich cream cheese frosting as well. This frosting was much cream cheesier then I care for but for the cream cheese lovers this is ideal, and the extra was perfect for dipping strawberries. I put my cake decorating bottles to work and frosted the cupcakes with swirls and dollops to make them fancier. These were definitely a hit. Everyone loved them, especially the birthday girl.

Cupcake Bliss