It’s official, my cold-resistant Northern-raised skin has grown weak and I am already tired of temperature below 40. It doesn’t help that our office at lab is below 70 every day. I actually put my gloves on (winter gloves, not lab gloves) to work at my desk yesterday. Yet on the other end of the spectrum I still cannot handle high humidity and heat, resulting in a narrower range of tolerable temperatures. Southern California weather is looking mighty appealing.
If the temperatures refuse to keep me warm, them I will just warm myself up from the inside with yummy food. Stephanie and I recently cooked two meals together so that we could have two different kinds of leftovers to eat for lunches or dinners. She made a meatballs with a great pork sausage marinara sauce and I made stuffed shells. Remember the Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls? These stuffed shells reminded me of those lasagna rolls stuffed into a different pasta shape, being just as flavorful and comforting.
One year ago: Sugar Cookie Spoons for Hot Cocoa
On Friday I resubmitted my paper to the editor, hopefully satisfying the reviewers’ questions and comments. Since then I have been anxiously watching my e-mail inbox. I’m so excited to finally be able to pubmed myself after all these years of hard work! I will let you know when that happens.
In the meantime, let’s make pancakes. Pancake mix is a handy way to make pancakes but instead of buying it from the store, make it at home! This mix is full of oats and whole wheat to start your day (or end if you like breakfast for dinner). In the spirit of the holidays, I made a batch of pancakes with eggnog instead of buttermilk. It was a most excellent decision.
Two years ago: Breakfast Pizza
Ohio State lost to Michigan State last night in the Big Ten Conference Championship, and therefore lost the chance to go to the National Championship. To add insult to injury, it’s been miserably cold all over the country, including here, with sleet, freezing rain, and below freezing temperatures. Campus was closed on Friday and the St. Jude Marathon was cancelled Saturday as were the group fitness classes at my gym. I lost power on Friday but thankfully only for an hour. All day Saturday I kept expecting it to go out because my lights flickered constantly. As a result I didn’t dare prepare anything that took more than a couple minutes to cook. Which meant it was time for some microwave cooking!
Baking cakes in a mug with the microwave has been a huge trend and has expanded beyond baked goods to meals. Microwave mac and cheese isn’t a new concept, as it can be purchased at your local grocery store, but this is a homemade version using white cheddar for this much needed comfort food. With a cook time of 6 minutes and 30 seconds it was perfect to sneak in before the power finally decided to fail.
Two years ago: Toffee Apple Dip
If you are like me, the winding down of yet another college football season makes me sad. Some of you couldn’t care less but I’m going to tell you why you should – peanut butter and chocolate Saturdays are coming to a close. Regardless of the outcome of the Big Ten Championship game tonight, Ohio State will be playing in a bowl game. Which means that after today there is only one PB+C Saturday left and I know how many of you care about that combination.
These little cupcakes are a bit unorthodox for a Buckeye treat, using white chocolate instead of regular, but sometimes it’s good to change things up. I even made mini cupcakes instead of regular sized ones in order to appease all the people in my life that like to cut every dessert portion I serve in half (Stephanie). Not to mention my obsession with baking things in mini muffin pans recently, such as the wonton cups and mousse cookie cups. These mini white chocolate-peanut butter cupcakes are topped off with a white chocolate buttercream and a dose of spirited sprinkles. I’ll share if you can finish the end of this chant: “O-H!”
What do you think I should make for the last PB+C Saturday of the season?
One year ago: Cranberry Fritters
One of my favorite things about traveling is sampling the local food. What food items have you tried during your journeys that you would love to have again? Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza, Southern Fried Chicken or Mississippi Mud Cake? You’ll find those classic regional recipes in Taste of Home Recipes Across America.
Divided into five regions (Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest, and West), Recipes Across America offers 735 specialties enjoyed by locals using regional produce. You’ll even discover ethnic specialties passed down through generations that became hometown favorites. In addition, hundreds of snapshots of food festivals and landmarks are scattered among the pages. And as a bonus, you’ll also find food folklore, recipe histories and fun food facts.
Like most people I see some pretty entertaining and/or shocking things while driving on a fairly regular basis. People driving the wrong way down a one-way street, stopping at a red light and continuing through it before it turns green, honking at me from behind for not turning left after the light has turned red, and even making their own left-turn lane into on-coming traffic. Then there are the cars: OREO brand name printed, zebra-printed, big spinning rims on a junky car, reindeer and elf car costumes (have to admit I think they are cute), and eyelashes on the headlights of a VW bug. But just the other day I saw those same eyelashes on another car, and not a cutesy car similar to the VW but a big beefy car that I would never associate with girly characteristics – a Dodge Charger. I thoroughly enjoyed that sighting.
What does all that have to do with bananas foster pancakes? Absolutely nothing. Enjoy !
Don’t forget to enter to win some bakeware from Baker’s Secret by retweeting my tweet on Twitter!
— Erin (@thespiffycookie) December 2, 2013
One year ago: Christmas Red Velvet Mug Cake
As many of you may already know, Audra of The Baker Chick is bringing a little boy into the world soon. To celebrate, Lauren of Keep it Sweet Desserts organized a surprise virtual baby shower for her! SURPRISE!!! Check out the awesome lineup.
- Bananas Foster Cupcakes from Meriem
- Chocolate-Caramel Tart with Sea Salt from Joanne
- Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Brown Butter from Katrina
- Chocolate Mousse Mini Cupcakes from Jennifer
- Cinnamon Nut Stuffed Persimmons from Gina
- Coconut-Cream Meringue Cupcakes from Tracey
- Espresso Salted Caramel Buttercream Brownie Bites from Lauren
- Gluten-Free Cranberry Bread from Jacqueline
- Mini Eggnog Bundt Cakes with Salted Caramel Icing from Kelli
- Mini Gingerbread Whoopie Pies from Julie
- Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream from Rachel
- Sugar & Spice Layer Cake from Stephanie
Don’t you just love that picture of her??
When I think of of baby shower food, bite-sized items comes to mind. Little food to celebrate a little person! Super creative I know, but these wonton cups are the perfect size by using a mini muffin pan. And they are flipping delicious.
The recipe came from my friend Brandi. The first time she made them, if I had known there were olives and mushrooms involved I may have never tried them but am so very glad that I did! It’s surprising how much I enjoy these wonton cups being that they contain two things I normally put forth a large effort to avoid. I blame it on all the cheesy sausage goodness and crispy exterior.
These wonton cups are best when served immediately. If you somehow have some leftover, do not reheat in the microwave as the wontons will not be crispy. I recommend a toaster oven or regular oven.
Before Thanksgiving, hearing Christmas music turned me into a Grinch. Even seeing a billboard for a radio station playing 24/7 Christmas music annoyed me. But guess what radio station I tuned into yesterday while on my usual daily commute? I caved, but don’t really enjoy the newer Christmas songs. I tend to prefer the classics or covers of the classics. What is your favorite kind of Christmas music?
However since Thanksgiving recently past, here’s another recipe that will help you use up any leftover cranberry sauce while transitioning into the wintry holidays with the flavor of eggnog – eggnog cheesecake with a cranberry swirl! Awfully pretty arn’t they? I was a little sad that the swirls cracked away from the cheesecake a little, so next time I would mix the cranberry puree with a little bit of the cheesecake filling first. This would result in a paler color but hopefully keep the swirls intact with the rest.
If you need some more help getting into the holiday spirit, head on over to Twitter and retweet my tweet for a chance to win a giveaway from Baker’s Secret!
— Erin (@thespiffycookie) December 2, 2013
One year ago: Hot Cocoa Blossoms
Did anyone happen to watch the OSU-Michigan and Alabama-Auburn games this weekend? Talk about intense! Rivalry games are always exciting but those two games kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Not only did we just barely hold off Michigan to win in the last minute, but Auburn took over Alabama with only 1 second! Guess who’s ranked #2 in the country now!? I’ll give you a hint – I am currently investigating tickets for the National Championship Game. Eeee!!! I am trying not to get ahead of myself as we still have to tackle Michigan State for the Conference Championship this weekend. Excited!! But I digress…
I rarely whip up homemade bread products but lately I’m a human bread machine. Outside of the normal occurrence of pizza dough, in the past few weeks I’ve made gluten-free corn bread muffins, peanut butter cinnamon rolls, Greek yogurt-rosemary rolls, and cranberry-walnut oat bread. Continuing this trend I made a loaf of Italian bread and even braided it so it looked fancy, then took it a step further and made garlic bread out of it. With a little bit of pesto mixed into the garlic mixture, it was as good as it gets. I failed to take a picture of the finished masterpiece, but trust you know what garlic bread looks like!
One year ago: White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Cookies
Two years ago: Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Last Sunday I showed you how to cook a Thanksgiving meal for two with a little bit leftover to enjoy another day. Today I sharing a fun way to utilize Thanksgiving leftovers, inspired by my grandmother and her ability to make soup out of anything.
When I first decided to make a noodle soup with leftover turkey, I realized that gravy is literally reduced stock (assuming you cook down the turkey juices to make gravy) and therefore could be reconstituted in this soup. Take a moment to bask in my glorious realization. Of course you could use premade stock or a store-bought stock concentrate but if you have gravy you may as well use it! After how delicious my gravy turned out, I couldn’t see how it could possibly be a bad idea.
One year ago: Gluten-Free Ooey Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Two years ago: Pecan Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake