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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Criss Cross Apple Sauce

Fall is my FAVORITE season. If it was single and liked dogs, I'd marry it. It's not just one thing about fall either, it's everything. It's the crisp air, the sound of crunching leaves, the colors, and obviously the autumn produce, duh.  The moment the air turns from hot and sticky to crisp, one thing is on my mind: apples. I am an apple fanatic. I've literally been eating since I came out of the womb. I don't have prejudice either, I appreciate them ALL. Whether you're a simply sweet Red Delicious, a tart McIntosh, a tangy juicy Honeycrisp, or a sharp Granny Smith, get AT ME, because I love you all and will devour you in an equally ravenous fashion. Fall is prime time for apples, and while you can go to the grocery store and get some nice ones, why not go and pick your own? I'm probably the only person on the planet who likes apple picking as much as 7 year olds. I go every single year, always wear a plaid shirt (an absolute must), eat myself into an apple coma, and pick pound after pound and bundle after bundle of fall's most precious treasures. While I pick, my mind is swirling with what to do with my sacred new cargo. SO many apples, so many recipes, so many decisions. Well, welcome to part one of what's about to be apple mania (sorry Gwenyth Paltrow's daughter I'm not talking about your birthday), because I have big plans for these babies and big plans for all of you. First, we keep it simple with some homemade apple sauce that makes Mott's look like cat food. If it really is true that "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" well then I will never have to go to the doctor, and you won't either because I ate enough apples for you too.
Apple Sauce

10 apples, I used McIntosh
1/2 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs honey
1 tbs grated lemon zest

Recipe: Peel, core, and cut your apples. In a large skillet, combine the apples, water, cinnamon, honey, and zest. Mix well, turn the heat on medium high, and cover. Cook for about 25-30 minutes, stirring every so often until the apples are mushy and form into the desired consistency. For fine texture, puree, for chunky, mash softly. Let cool a little, and eat warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
so it starts with these...
then you prep 'em
 and tada !
 now das good sauce
now enjoy some apple picking pix
 and this is where apples come from
 how CYUTE is she?
 so good.
 my kind of baby
me being sillee
 a hungree baby is a happy baby
 my helper!

apples to apples

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chocolate Chip Sprinkle Cookies

Ya okay these are good. They are just simple crowd pleasers. I mean sprinkles and chocolate, whats not to LYKE?! I was visiting my high school field hockey team *SHOUTOUT 2 WILDCAT FLOCK* and I couldn't show up without bringing something to make their preseason practice a little bit tastier. To be honest, a good gatorade flavor would  make preseason tastier but that's not the point. These cookies are simple, buttery, delicious, and the sprinkles prettify *thats actually a word I looked it up* the whole cookie and make it fun and playful.  SO whether you want to storm the bake sale, brighten up someone's day, or are celebrating a wednesday, try these out. You won't be disappointed...except maybe with yourself when you realize you have absolutely zero self control.
Chocolate Chip Sprinkle Cookies


3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks salted butter, room temperature, totally softened
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 bottle rainbow sprinkles, about 1/4 of a cup*NOTES: I like my cookies super chocolatey so I add a TON of as you like

Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine the first three dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt) and set aside. In another bowl cream the butter and the sugars. Beat for about 4 minutes, until well combined and light. Add eggs one at a time and continue to beat throughout the addition. Add vanilla. Beat for about 7 minutes on medium speed, until the mixture grows inside and is very fluffy and creamy. Slow down the speed and add the flour mixture in batches. Once the flour is totally incorporated, add the chocolate chips and sprinkles and mix on low for 1 minute, then stir by hand. Roll dough in seran wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Grease a baking sheet and spoon healthy heaps of dough 2 inches apart from each other, making sure not to crowd. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until cookie edges are golden and center is barely firm.

 tell me you can can stop lying now.
 this is what danger/heaven/temptation/diet breaker looks like

sprinkles make life more fun

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Coffe Cake with Cream Cheese Filling

If you haven't heard of pinterest, check it out now because it's my latest obsession. The amount of time I spend browsing recipes on Pinterest is actually embarrassing, but hay, NO SHAME in this house. Well, the other day I came across this Coffee Cake and literally started trembling from the picture. It looked like it was gushing cinnamon cream cheesy crumbly goodness and well, I had to have it immediately. So with a few additions/adaptations, my version of this coffee cake was born. When I was little I wouldn't touch coffee cake because I thought there was coffee in it, LOL, how i've grown up because now I can't get my hands off of it. The cake is rich yet fluffy, packs a strong cinnamon flavor, and gets a sweet tang from the cream cheese filling. I also triple the amount of crumble topping because we all know thats the best part, so no need to thank me. If you're feeling indulgent or  know it is going to be a rough day, sip some coffee, snack on this, and all will be better. In my house, however, the coffee doesn't even have a chance of being made. As soon as I pulled this cake out of the oven, I was literally accosted/stormed by everyone and had to photograph at lightning speed so everyone could try. Such EAGER BEAVERS! but hey, can ya blame 'em? #hungreefamilyproblems
ps. it's another excuse to eat dessert for breakfast
Coffee Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, *adapted from Pinecones and Acorns

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eegs
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbs maple syrup
2 tbs dark corn syrup
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp each: ground nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon

1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1 stick butter, softened
2 tbs maple syrup
1 1/2 tbs cinnamon

Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sour cream, syrups, and vanilla and beat for 3 minutes. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, baking powder, salt, spices) and gradually add to wet mixture on low and mix until well combined. Spread half of the bater into the bottom of a GREASED spring form pan.
For the filling: Mix all the filling ingredients together and beat by hand for about 2 minutes, until well incorporated. Spread filling mix evenly over coffeecake, then spoon remaining 1/2 of coffee cake mixture over the filling.
For topping: Combine all the ingredients. Using an electric mixer or your fingers, cut the butter into the topping and mix until it resembles corse crumbles. Sprinkle generously on top, yes there will be a lot but this is the best part.
Bake for 50-55 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before removing spring form attachment. Enjoy warm with a cup of coffeeeeee or tea.

 okay like tell me you don't want a piece, HA
 this will turn humans into full on carnal animals
 and look at those CRUMBS. UGH this will wake you up
 jeeealouz cause that's my fork?

who needs coffee to wake them up? iz all about da CAKE

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

When I was little I was one of those weird kids that loved going to school. Strange, I know. I loved getting dressed in non-matching totally color non-coordinated outfits, putting bows the size of my body in my hair, and carrying around my hot pink *obviously* backpack. I think another reason I loved going to school was because of breakfast. Whether it be a pile of fluffy pancakes, some cheesy scrambled eggs, or grandma's famous french toast, breakfast was totally my favorite part of the school day. My favorite breakfast memory is of Cinnamon Raisin Toast. My mom would buy multiple loaves at a time because we ate so much of it and I remember running downstairs only to be greeted by the warm welcoming aroma of cinnamon deliciousness swirled with the scent of melting butter. If one were to open up my stomach between the ages of 5 and 13, one would be bound to find at least 100 loaves of cinnamon raisin bread...tehe. Well, I decided to take my favorite breakfast to the next level by making it french toast style. Let me just say, it's a good thing my mom didn't do this because I probably wouldn't have been able to fit in the school desks.
Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

4 slices cinnamon raisin bread
1 egg
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp cinnamon sugar, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar

Recipe: In a mixing bowl whisk the egg, milk, 1 tsp cinnamon sugar, and vanilla until well combined. Lay the bread slices in the bowl making sure to coat each piece evenly. Let the bread soak for about 5 minutes. Heat a large skillet on the stove with 2 tbs butter. Heat until the butter is melted and spread it around, coating the entire pan with melted butter. Using tongs, remove the soaked bread pieces and put them in the pan. Brown each side for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and top with syrup, powdered sugar, and more cinnamon sugar.
 you would like school too if you had this to start your day
 hubba hubba

officially hungree 4 school

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Classic Brownie *Troop 214 Brownies*

Funny story. When I was seven years old my Mom got a letter in the mail asking if I wanted to join the local Girl Scout Troop, and be a "Brownie." I guess I never heard the first part or just didn't know what a girl scout was because all I remember taking in was that I was going to be a "Brownie." This was the greatest news I had heard in all of my seven years; I was going to be my favorite dessert. I showed up my first day ready to be covered in chocolate or something, actually looking back I'm not really sure what I was expecting, and was obviously disappointed when they handed me a brown sash and an ugly beret and told me I would be doing good deeds and learning about nature. WHERE WAS THE CHOCOLATE?! #realitycheck SO not what I signed up for. Okay so that was a big slap in the face to my 7 year old self but I eventually got over it...kind of. Kidding, still bitter. So, I created the ultimate classic brownie as a tribute to my sweet, naive, and very hungree 7 year old self. It's as fudgy as can be,  simple as pie (or as brownie), and heart-stoppingly, overwhelmingly chocolatey and divine. My 7 year old self would surely thank me now and would probably want to be THIS exact brownie.
The Classic Brownie *Troop 214 Brownies*, makes 16 rich, dense, insane brownies

1 stick of butter
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup of flour

Recipe: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a double boiler method, melt the butter and chocolate chips over a boiling pot of water. Or use a microwave method. Melt until smooth and creamy. Once smooth and totally melted, remove from heat and pour into a heatproof bowl. Whisk in the sugar. Once well combined, add the vanilla, eggs, and salt. Beat by hand for about 2 minutes. Use a rubber spatula or spoon to mix in the flour by hand. Pour into a tin-foil/parchment lined baking dish greased with butter. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool and let rest and dust with powdered sugar. Cut and eat warm or refrigerate for a dense, cool brownie.
 oh HIIiiii precious.
 so now do you understand my 7 year old self wanting to be this? cause i do.
 7 year old justice done right

sorry girl scouts, i'd rather be a REAL brownie

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Spaghetti with Marinara, Cherry Tomatoes, and Spicy Sausage

Nothing screams family like a massive bowl of hearty pasta. That was my mentality for dinner the other night. I'm getting ready to head back to school and was feeling sentimental towards my family and wanted to make them a dinner that would evoke feelings of warm love and home. And that's just what this dish does, with a little kick of course. A deliciously simple marinara gets a jolt from some spicy sausage and some fresh golden and red cherry tomatoes that become meltingly tender and burst with flavor. Tossed with an al dente spaghetti and this dish will start gracing your table at least once a week.

Spaghetti with Marinara, Cherry Tomatoes, and Spicy Sausage, for 6


2 16 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (total is 4
2 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 vidalia onion, finely chopped
handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup assorted cherry tomatoes, whole
3 spicy pork sausage (or sausage of your choice)

1 box of spaghetti

Recipe: Heat a large skillet with the olive oil. Once hot, add the garlic and vidalia onion and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, puree the canned tomatoes (with juices) in a blender/food processor until smooth. Once the onions are translucent, add the pureed tomatoes and roughly chopped basil to the skillet. Turn the heat down to low and cover and cook for atleast an hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Follow the pasta instructions and set aside. 
Meanwhile, make the sausage. You can do this in one of two manners. You can grill the sausage outdoors on a grill until they're nicely charred and cooked through, or you could cook them on a stovetop and add the pan juices into the sauce for a super sausage-y flavor. Once cooked, slice each sausage into rounds. Add cherry tomatoes and sausage to the sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes, just until the tomatoes look like they are going to burst. Toss with the pasta and serve with parmesan cheese. 
 ummm...ya. if this doesn't scream FAMILY i don't know what will

sweet 'n spicaAYyyYY

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Simple Basil Pesto

I love pesto. It's just one of those things that brings color and a springy flavor to whatever it touches, whether that be al dente penne pasta for a pesto pasta salad, some crunchy pieces of sourdough toast for the perfect snack, or the undersides of fluffy italian bread for the ideal turkey sandwich. Whenever I go to a farmer's markets, I'm that girl standing at the gourmet dip stand test tasting all of the dips until I'm asked to buy something or go away. Usually, I  go straight for the pesto, tasting and sampling all of it's different variations. These farmers should take my sturdy presence at their stand as a compliment, even if  I am diminishing their supply. Well, no longer will I be this girl, and you don't have to be her either. Why? Because now I've got my own gourmet pesto supply on lockdown, courtesy of MOI. Making pesto is actually the easiest thing in the world. The hardest part is either restraining yourself from eating all of it plain or deciding what to do with it once you've made it. But those are two of my favorite types of dilemmas so I guess its okay.
Simple Basil Pesto

4 cups fresh basil leaves
juice of 2 lemons
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/3 cup of GOOD olive oil, makes a difference!
1 1/2 cup pinenuts (pignoli nuts)
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Recipe: Roughly chop the basil leaves. Put the basil, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor/blender and pulse until a thick paste is formed. Add pinenuts and cheese and pulse until you get your desired consistency. If you like it runny, add a little more olive oil. If you like it extra lemony, add some more lemon. Put into a bowl/jar and refrigerate. Eat plain/spread on anything/toss with pasta and ENJOY !
 i wish my eyes were this color
 toss it with some pasta and OLAY
 eat it hot, eat it cold, WHATEVER it's ridiculous

peace, love, pesto

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Chicken Parmesan

Expect a lot of caps in your near future because I'm really really really excited about this post. Probably because Chicken Parmesan is one of my absolute FAVORITE things in the world. I think the worst question on the planet is when people ask me "What is your favorite food?" Honestly, don't EVER ask me that question. It makes me stressed and gives me extreme anxiety because I don't want to pick one food over another and leave something out. Seriously just don't ask. But, when people beg and plead and push and prod and don't back down, Chicken Parm is usually the answer I offer. The perfect Chicken Parm is very hard to achieve, however, and few restaurants execute it perfectly. It's either too thin, too dry, too thick, too breaded, or just not right. In my opinion, Piero's (search review) makes the best Chicken Parm I've ever had. The sauce is rich and tomatoey in flavor, the chicken is the perfect width and is effortlessly juicy, and the cheese is melted and broiled to absolute bliss. Well, I've tried to execute Chicken Parm in a similar manner as Piero's, and while it's not perfect, it's pretty dam good.
Chicken Parmesan, for 4

for the sauce
1 16 oz. can, and 1 8oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (total is 3 cups)
2 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 vidalia onion, finely chopped
handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
salt & pepper to taste

4 large chicken breasts, pounded out to a medium thickness, about 1/2 an inch
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs, I use panko for extra crunch
2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Recipe: First make the sauce. Heat a large skillet with the olive oil. Once hot, add the garlic and vidalia onion and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, puree the canned tomatoes (with juices) in a blender/food processor until smooth. Once the onions are translucent, add the pureed tomatoes and roughly chopped basil to the skillet. Turn the heat down to low and cover and cook for atleast an hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Set up a breading station for your chicken. Put the flour on one plate, the egg in a large bowl, and the bread crumbs on another plate. Beat the egg. Dredge each chicken breast in flour, then the egg, and finally coat it in bread crumbs. Once all the breasts are prepared put a large skillet on the stove. Add 2 tbs of butter and melt. Once the butter is melted and hot, add the chicken breasts, and brown each side, about 3 minutes per side. This is a browning step, this will not cook the chicken through. Once each side of the chicken is browned, add them to a glass casserole baking dish and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, until cooked through.

Once the chicken is cooked through remove it from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Ladle the sauce over the chicken. Mix the cheeses together and arrange it on top of the chicken. Put in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and melted. Serve with a nice big bowl of pasta and ladle some of the sauce on that too. YUM-ME
 check please

gotta have my #1

Friday, August 17, 2012

Chocolate-Banana-Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

Chocolate + Peanut Butter + Bananas = nuf said. I could rave and rave and rave about this recipe but you won't fully be able to absorb my point unless you a) make this b) have me make this for you c) tie me down/force me to make this for you. Honestly, as long as I get some I'm okay with any of the above options. Okay so imagine if all your favorite things somehow got together and had a baby. For me, this pie is the outcome. When brainstorming a dessert to make for dinner, I was stuck between yearning for something chocolatey, something peanut-buttery, and something banana-y, I mean how can one choose when one wants all? #hungreegirlprobs. So, I decided to marry them all together into one bite that may or may not be *let's go with may* heaven recreated on earth in dessert form. I'm telling you, one day this pie will win awards. A buttery graham cracker crust gets topped with a layer of chocolate ganache, followed by a thick layer of peanut butter mousse, then a layer of fresh bananas, and finally a heaping layer/mountain/ocean of whipped cream. Shave some chocolate shavings on that biatch and you got yourself something that might even distract you from Shark Week.
*shark week is the best week of the year following my birthday/cupcake week
Chocolate-Banana-Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

8 graham crackers crushed into crumbs
4 tbs melted butter
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (you can use milk/dark if you'd like)
3 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 jar creamy peanut butter (YES CREAMY PLEASE, i know I like crunchy too), room temp
5 oz. regular cream cheese, room temp
1 cup powdered sugar
2 fresh bananas

Recipe: Preheat the oven to 370 degrees. Butter/grease a 9in spring form pan (you can use a pie pan but a spring for shows off the pretty side layers). Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and mix until the crumbs are moist. Pat in an even layer on the bottom of the pan (not sides if using spring form). Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. *KEEP SPRING FORM PAN INTACT UNTIL SPECIFIED!!

While the crust is baking, melt the chocolate using the double boiler method. Fill a small saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Pour the chocolate chips into a bowl that hovers over the saucepan just above the water but not touching it. Let the chocolate chips melt, stirring frequently until smooth. Once the chocolate is completely melted remove it from heat and whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the cooked crust and spread in an even layer. Put in freezer while preparing the mousse.

Combine the peanut butter and cream cheese in a small bowl and mix by hand until well combined. In a bowl fitted with an electric mixer beat the remaining 2 1/2 cups of heavy cream, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Remove 1/3 of the whipped cream to be used as topping and refrigerate until ready to serve. Add the peanut butter cream cheese mixture to the remaining whipped cream and beat on high until the mixtures are well incorporated, creamy, and smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove the crust from the freezer and spoon this peanut butter mousse over the chocolate layer. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Assembly: Once ready to eat, remove the from the fridge. Thinly slice the 2 bananas into rounds and press the rounds into the top of the peanut butter layer, creating a layer of bananas. If you used a spring form pan, remove the sides of the pan now. Spoon the set aside whipped cream on top of the bananas. Take a good chocolate bar and use a grater to shave some beautiful flakes on top of the whipped cream. Cut, serve with a big glass of milk, and eat yourself into a coma. Your welcome.
 i want to swan dive into this...

jus look at these layers..and YES, those are bananas under the whipped cream
slice time
 i deserve a pat on the back
 or maybe some kind of medal?
 sensory overload much?
 how much do you wish you were here?
 the absolute perfect bite

i swear i share