Blueberry Muffins

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 05:59 pm
forchancookie: (Pickles Loves You)
My grandparents used to watch America's Test Kitchen a bunch when I lived with them and at some point I ended up signing up for their newsletter. I used to get at least one real recipe in the letter and a bunch of links to their site where they want you to sign up for a pricey membership. Since I was getting a recipe, I kept it, but lately you don't even get that. You get a link to a recipe or video that is available free for a short time and then they want you to pay again. I really should stop the emails but I've been lazy. Not to mention that of all the America's Test Kitchen recipes that I've tried, none of them have really delivered what they promised.

Regardless, I opened the most recent newsletter and it promised me the recipe for the Best Blueberry Muffins!

Blueberry muffins should be packed with blueberry flavor and boast a moist crumb. But too often the blueberry flavor is fleeting, thanks to the fact that the berries in the produce aisle have suffered from long-distance shipping. We wanted blueberry muffins that would taste great with blueberries of any origin, even the bland supermarket kind. Join Yvonne Ruperti as she shows Christopher Kimball how we found that overloading our muffins with berries wasn’t the answer—but concentrating the flavor of the blueberries was.

Well, I love blueberries, so I clicked and watched the video. And then I wanted muffins! Of course, clicking the recipe just brings up a blurry unreadable recipe graphic with a pop up over it saying you need to sign in. Poo. But I did a google search, because the thing about recipes is that you rarely keep them to yourself. And oh hey, what do you know, somebody blogged the recipe. Success! I just needed to get a bit of buttermilk and I was ready to go.

Best Blueberry Muffins )
forchancookie: (Snack Time)
Mom took a month long vacation in Rhode Island and I was left with some interesting ingredients in the fridge. I've yet to touch the fennel bulb. I hate fennel seeds and fennel bulbs are supposed to have a licorice-y flavor, which I also do not like. It may well go bad before I attempt to use it. The quinoa on the other hand piqued my interest. It's like a grain, but it isn't. It's seeds.

I poked at various recipes and finally decided upon this one, Quinoa and Black Beans. It had good ratings and a lot of rave reviews. I didn't follow it completely, so I'll just put up my little version here. A lot of reviewers noted that two cans of black beans was too much and I only had one can anyway.

Quinoa and Black Beans )
forchancookie: (Peachy)
I really need to post more often. My posting as of late has been pathetic. I still haven't really talked about the wedding and such, but that is just a big old ball of drama. Instead, let's go with something a bit light hearted ok? :D

I just read this article about Guilty Food Pleasures. Saveur magazine editor and Top Chef judge James Oseland talks about his top five guilty pleasure foods. I'm so there with him on the Dr. Pepper, Hershey Bars and Filet o Fish sandwich. I pretty much never eat McDonald's, but when I do, I'm there for one thing and one thing only, that damn Filet o Fish. It's so bad, but so good! But to avoid being redundant, I'll not put those on my list. So here is my Top Five Guilty "How the hell can you eat that?!" foods.

1. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
I know that many people consider this a crime against macaroni and cheese, but I love the stuff. There are conditions though. It must be Kraft! It can't be X-store brand or anything like that. It must be made with butter. Margarine sucks. It can't be microwaved! That destroys the texture of the macaroni. My favorite variety is the thick and creamy, which has extra cheese sauce! Although, the shapes are fun sometimes too. Eat some pokemon shapes? Hell yeah! There's just something about the salty, slightly sweet orange cheese sauce that is so good. Recently, I tried the new Explosion flavors of Kraft Mac and cheese that use less butter and more milk. They are so bad. Sooooooo bad! They're so terribly salty and that slight sweetness that I love in the regular stuff is not there in that new crap. No, I will just stick to my Thick and Creamy thanks.

2. Taco Bell
Even having worked there as long as I did and knowing many of their secrets (none of which are deep dark ones), I still can't resist the call of the Bell. I love Mexican Pizzas, tacos, crunchwraps, gorditas, quesadillas, burritos, zesty chicken bowls, et cetera, et cetera ad nauseum. Having worked there, I've tried everything on the menu and plenty that's not. I just really like the food! I was really in love with their Caesar Grilled Stuft burritos. Damn them for being temporary! They were delicious! But anyway, Taco Bell is such a guilty pleasure. Those $5 boxes they have at the moment are so evil and tempting and good.

3. Sugary Sweet Breakfast Cereal
At a time when everyone is growing up and settling down with their Special K and Fiber Clusters, I am still eating that sugary sweet nutritionally vacant nonsense that's marketed to hyper children with taste buds for all things sweet. Cocoa Puffs, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Smacks, Captain Crunch, I just can't quit you! I know it's like dumping candy in a bowl and adding milk, but that just doesn't stop me. I love cereal. Oh sure, I love that healthier stuff too, like Rice Krispies and Cheerios and plain old Corn Flakes, but there's nothing like an indulgent bowl of Cocoa Pebbles to start your day.

4. Deep Fried Vegetables
I'm eating vegetables, so they're healthy right? Why do these things taste so good? I love Tempura. Dip my veggies in Tempura batter and fry them up and I'm in love. Broccoli, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes. Mmmm. And then there's deep fried mushrooms and green beans. Oh man! So bad for me, but they are so delicious! I love the hot juicy pop of a freshly fried mushroom in my mouth. I already love vegetables on their own merit. But deep frying them in batter or breading makes them so bad, yet so irresistible!

5. Grape Jelly/Jam
You can't have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without it! Of all the infinite varieties of jellies, jams and fruit preserves out there, the only thing I want on my pbj is grape jelly. Sure, I've made them with apple jelly and strawberry or blueberry jam, but what I really crave is that cheap trashy globular grape concoction. The same goes for my crepes. I could put peach and apricot preserves on them or some nice cream cheese and strawberry jam, but I keep reaching for that damn grape jelly! I'd rather have grape jam over grape jelly, because grape jam spreads better than that globby gelatinous jelly. I still prefer the more grown up, fruit filled jams and preserves for toast and english muffins, but grape jelly/jam holds a special place in my heart.

So there you have it folks, five of my top guilty pleasure foods. That is by no means all of them, not by a long shot, but those are the ones that popped into my head right off. Please don't judge me for my weakness to these things! You're not innocent! What are your guilty pleasures?
forchancookie: (Join Us...We have Cookie!)
I made a super yummy quiche last night. I really love quiche. It's a great way to clean out extra cheese and veggies from the fridge. Unfortunately, there's always a lot of both in there taunting me, My mom typically keeps two or three packages of feta in the fridge at once. One is not enough. *sighs* Anyway! This quiche disappears quickly. Every time I turned around, there was less and less of it. Even Andrew, who doesn't like quiche much, couldn't keep his hands off of it and had a full plate full.

Warning: This quiche is very garlicy! It is not for that special sparkley vampire in your life. )
forchancookie: (Peachy)
For days, I've been craving chicken satay like you wouldn't believe! Which is very funny, because I think I can safely say that I've only had it once in my entire life. When I was living with Deani and Summer, they ordered it and it was delicious! There's a Thai place here and I kept saying that I was going to go and I didn't. I mentioned going with mom and she told me to just make it myself. So I poked at Food Network and a Rachel Ray recipe popped up for a Chicken Satay Stir-Fry with Orange Scented Jasmine Rice. Sounded interesting and it had great reviews. A lot of them. Sounded promising. So with no one home and some chicken in the fridge waiting to be cooked, I decided to give it a go.

I was nervous about the rice, because I seem to suck at making rice. I always get super stick clumpy rice. I follow the directions and it never works properly. Plus the pot always seems to boil over and get starchy water everywhere x_x But this recipe called for Jasmine rice instead of the cheap stuff mom buys. My rice came out perfect and lovely! ♥ So, I'm going to blame my apparent lack of rice cooking ability on the ingredients.

And now I'm going to copy/pasta the recipe here with my adjustments because I like to keep my recipes in one place for easy reference XD

Chicken Satay Stir-Fry with Orange Scented Jasmine Rice )

Anyway, as long as we're talking recipe adjustments, I'd like to point out this "review" of the recipe on the Food Network site:

Substituted Trader Joe's satay sauce, and didn't use the orange zest in the rice (didn't have any oranges...); substituted... tofu for the chicken - came out great.

Well, you didn't really make the fucking recipe did you?! Adding some cooked tofu and veggies to a jar of sauce is not following the recipe! I bet they used brown rice too. WTF! Why even bother to review the recipe if you clearly didn't make it! That's why I don't bother reviewing recipes on sites. I tend to tweak them and while they often come out wonderfully, a few tweaks too many and you're not really making that recipe, you're making something else. What's worse is, people tweak and then leave bad reviews. Maybe if you followed the freaking recipe, you wouldn't have screwed up!

I don't know why people bother to comment if they didn't put forth the proper effort. No, your opinion of some concoction you made similar to the recipe has no bearing on the recipe itself, so keep your two cents and put it in the bank. Save up until you have something relevant to add. Moron. -_-
forchancookie: (Snack Time)
In my America's Test Kitchen Newsletter, they had a really tasty sounding recipe for a New York Crumb Cake and I wanted to make it, but I don't have buttermilk and I can't be arsed to go out and get it. =P But I ended up on a recipe for something else and the name just boggled me. Blueberry Boy Bait. *blinks* It had a cutesy little story attached:

In 1954, a 15-year-old girl won second prize in the junior division of a Pillsbury baking contest with a moist and tender blueberry cake that was named after the effect it had on teenage boys--one bite and they were hooked. Topped with cinnamon-sugar and loaded with blueberries, it straddled the divide between coffee cake and dessert cake.

Ok, sounds tasty and I have all the ingredients, so I made it.

Blueberry Boy Bait )

So the answer the the question that I'm sure you're all asking, "Will Blueberry Boy Bait bring all the boys to the yard?" is disappointingly "No." It's lacking too many things that would make it truly enjoyable. Right now it's just palatable as far as I'm concerned. I'm not looking forward to polishing this thing off. =/

Tropical Coconut Cake

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 10:34 pm
forchancookie: (Snack Time)
I had about a paragraph written in here for two days or so. I just ditched it. Instead you get a cake recipe, a Tropical Coconut Cake. Mom made it for Mother's Day. It's labor intensive, but so worth it. It's AMAZING! Why do we eat boxed cakes? Canned frosting? What's that? This cake will kill your urge to ever eat the boxed cakes with canned frosting ever again. Boxed cake mix is a lie! A LIE!

Oh, and don't think I made my poor little mother make her own cake. I made the previously mentioned Divine Chocolate Chip Cookies. I nearly killed our hand mixer too >_> Anyway, here is the cake recipe:

Tropical Coconut Cake )
forchancookie: (The More You Know)
I love Frosted Mini Wheats. They are yummy. I love when you get the ones with extra frosting on top so they're almost solid white. I like it when the frosting has just gone shiny, that's the best time to eat them. It's one of my favorite cereals. And now there's like a zillion varieties of them. I love the classic flavor, but I'm absolutely enamored with the new Blueberry Muffin. It just marries two of my favorite things. I love blueberries (when they are not wrinkled and dead). The strawberry is also nummyliciuos. I like the fruit filled shredded wheats, but I'm not sure if they make them anymore. D: I remember the strawberry, raisin and apple-cinnamon varieties. I like the raisin the most.

The reason I'm babbling about shredded mini wheats is because my mom bought some of the new Chocolate Little Bites and I don't like them. XP With any chocolate breakfast item, you run the risk of it being too desserty. I don't have a problem with Cocoa Pebbles or Cocoa puffs (which I saw used as a mystery dessert ingredient on Chopped the other day). The first time I saw chocolate chip muffins, I thought of it less like breakfast and more like a cupcake minus frosting. And chocolate chip pancakes or waffles just seem like a perversion to me. It's weird how I can accept chocolate in some forms in my breakfast but in other forms it's blasphemy. For instance, I love a bowl of regular frosted flakes with chocolate milk on it. I would have never eaten it that way normally, but when I was younger, it was time for breakfast and we were out of regular milk and it was my mom, of all people, who suggested I use the chocolate milk in my frosted flakes. I did and it was goooood. Chocolate milk is something we buy once in a blue moon, so I think it was destiny XD

Moving along, the Chocolate Little Bites Mini Wheats are overkill. Eating them straight out of the box is like shoving a handful of candy in your mouth. It's weird to have a mini wheat so damn tiny for one thing. I'm used to eating them one at a time. And the wheat itself seems chocolate coated, so it's less like a chocolate flavored mini wheat and more like a chocolate covered one and then there's frosting on top of that. Complete overkill and completely not yummy. My mouth is just not happy after going through a small bowl of it. I just thought I'd give it a try before writing it off as yucky. So now that I've tried it, I can say that it is yucky. If you like dessert for breakfast, this is probably up your alley. If you're not a big fan of chocolate in the morning, run away! Run away!
forchancookie: (Default)
Day three into my not-diet and I'm noticing a problem. My stomach insists that it is hungry if I don't overeat. Somewhere in the past few months I've just gotten into the habit of overeating. You know that thing your parents tell you about wasting food and starving kids in Africa? I think I have it engraved on my brain. It doesn't help that I seem to be the only one that really eats the food at home. If I don't eat it, it tends to rot. As a result, I end up overeating stuff so it's not wasted. Thanks for the issues mom! -_- So yeah, I'll eat, feel slightly full and a short while later I'm hungry all over again. I'm thinking I might combat this with smaller more frequent meals and snacks. I also need to add in some movement. Get that step counter and do more walking, uncover my floor so I can do some DDR. I just have to actually get doing instead of just saying.

Maaaaan, I feel like I'm starving even though I finished off a small bowl of ice cream less than two hours ago. This is ridiculous. And yet, stupid me did it to myself. And of course it takes longer to fix the damage than it does to do it. Well, nothing for it but to get hopping.

And speaking of Issues, I stumbled across this video on youtube a while back and I got addicted! )

Happy Birthday to Me

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008 01:55 am
forchancookie: (Default)
Due to conflicting schedules, we went out to dinner a day early. We went to a Japanese place called Sakura. Most of the food was good. I got a bento box but the rice they served was brown rice with some egg and random carroty bits in it. It was not yummy. I really would have preferred some sticky rice =/ But the food was good and they actually had mochi ice cream for dessert! YAY! I made Mom and Andrew try red bean mochi ice cream and we had strawberry too. It was good. I missed mochi ice cream!

I got an ecard from Sancy and one from my dad. My grandmother stayed up till midnight to call me and wish me Happy Birthday. I also got a card in the mail from her and Grandpa. Dad called me from Indonesia. Summer sent me an artbook! YAY! Deani sent me a mystery something. Oooh. Mysterious.

The rest of you suck. =P
forchancookie: (Snack Time)
Cheesy Broccoli and Chicken Pot Pie


* pie crust for 2 crust pie
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1/4 cup flour
* 1/4 tsp. pepper
* 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
* 1/2 cup chicken broth
* 3/4 cup milk
* 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
* 2 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken
* 2 cups cooked broccoli florets

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 9" pie pan with one of the pie crusts and set aside.

Melt butter in medium saucepan and add flour and pepper. Cook until this roux is bubbly, stirring constantly.

Add broth and milk, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Add poultry seasoning, cheese and stir until combined. Remove from heat and add chicken and broccoli. Pour into bottom crust. Top with second crust, cutting slits in top crust for steam to escape.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling bubbles. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

This pie is delicious! Don't count on leftovers, whatever you do. After four people were served, there's only one big slice left. I used a really flavorful cheddar and a really salty broth (I added chicken bullion to the water I boiled my chicken in) so it would lend flavor to the chicken and broccoli. It was sooo sooo gooood! Mmm! Everyone went back for seconds. I'm super happy with how this one turned out. Though, I think next time I might make a little more roux so it's a bit saucier. Either way, if you love chicken and broccoli and cheese, make this! You won't regret it.
forchancookie: (Angel Cookie)
Our fridge is full of veggies that my mother keeps on buying and never cooking, so when they've been in there for a while, I have to scramble to think of something to do with them. Last night, we had some zucchini on their way out. There was also some ricotta about to go South. We had spinach in the freezer and just enough eggs for a quiche. We didn't have any pre-made pie crusts though and I hate making dough. There was an ancient copy of The Joy of Cooking on the counter that my great-grandmother gave to my mom in 1976 according to the inscription. It was published sometime in the 30s of 40s (the date isn't clear) and it shows its age. I flipped through and found what sounded like an easy recipe for pie crust, and it was!

Hot Water Pie Crust )

It's a really easy recipe and it worked! I made pie dough! I avoid making pie dough like the plague! But it worked! *dances* So if you're like me and can't make pie dough, well, now you can. Now onto the quiche part. This one is a little different because it's uses ricotta, so you get a much softer texture. It's quite yummy, though I did modify it a bit for some extra flavor. ^_^

Spinach Ricotta Cheese Quiche )

And here's pictures of my quiche. Food Porn? )


Thursday, January 17th, 2008 08:09 pm
forchancookie: (Hello Kitty Japan)
Look what I made for dinner!

That's my very first crack at onigiri. I went for something quick and accessible, so they're tuna and mayo onigiri with some soy sauce in the mix. I had a handy dandy mold to get that perfect shape and with the excess, I made one last ball in pink plastic wrap. They're really yummy. I'm pleased with how they came out.

There they are again with some soy sauce in the middle. I mixed a little mayo into the soy sauce to dab on bits of rice that didn't have enough filling. Yum yum.
forchancookie: (Fiesta!)
So today was yet another great kitchen experiment. I created a Chicken Enchilada Casserole that came out so yummy! Of course, I'm biased, but whatever ^_^ I love the flavors of enchilada, hence my love of last week's Creamy Enchilada Soup. Anyway, on with the recipe!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole )
forchancookie: (Fiesta!)
I went to see Sweeney Todd with my mom and Aunt today. We got stuck in traffic so we missed the matinee! Darn. We ended up going over to my aunt's apartment to hang out until the next show. She has a five toed cat called Mittens. I let is sniff me and it'd sniff, but every time it bumped its nose into my finger it winced and jumped. Then it decided to just scratch me D= Bleh. We watched part of What Women Want on tv before heading back to the theater.

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street )

Brian used to work at J. Alexander's and they had this delicious tortilla soup that was really creamy and cheesy and full of tortilla and chicken. I really wanted to find a recipe, but when I looked up tortilla soup, I found out that J. Alexander's had obviously made their own version as tortilla soup is not a cream based soup. It meant I'd just have to figure out how to make it myself. And I did. This will be an evolving recipe as this is version one and I want to try some things next time. It's also a recipe that relies strongly on your taste to prepare it. Quite a few of the ingredients are "to taste" so there's plenty of room to get it how you like it.

J. Alexander's Creamy Tortilla Soup Take One! )
forchancookie: (Angel Cookie)
Tonight I'll be making enchiladas ^_^ I was reading through a cookbook my mom had and they had a recipe for a Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie. I thought that would go perfectly with enchiladas, so I ran out to get the ingredients. Here's the recipe:

Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie )

Ok, so I've eaten the pie now. The crust was a little more crumbly than I would have liked, so a little more butter may be needed to keep it together. The filling has a very strong margarita taste with its kick of strawberry, lime and tequila, so how is it in the pie? It overpowered the crust a little, but as you crunch on the crust, the pretzel taste makes itself known. I didn't put any whipped cream on it, but I think that might have helped to mellow it out a little. Overall, I think it's a fun combination. It's chilly and crunchy and a perfect dessert to go with your Mexican food. And now that I've made a pretzel pie crust, I'm thinking of experimenting. I bet a chocolate pie filling in a pretzel crust would be yummy, sort of like chocolate covered pretzel, only pie!

Alfredo Verdict

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 07:28 pm
forchancookie: (Angel Cookie)
I have completed and eated the Fettuccine Alfredo. I used a recipe from America's Test Kitchen, a PBS cooking show. They say that their goal is "a luxurious sauce that remained supple and velvety from the first bite of pasta to the last." So, was it?

The Recipe )

Now first of all, I went out and bought fresh grated parmesan. I hate when people tell me "There's Kraft in the fridge." Yeah? So? If I'm cooking with it and it's the basis of the meal, I'm not using Kraft. I know it claims to be 100% Parmesan, but it's been sitting on a shelf for who knows how long. So, I ran out for the fresh stuff.

I followed all the instructions, used the fresh pasta, etc and so forth. As promised, it did thicken up very nicely. So how did it taste? Like parmesan... How did I want it to taste? I wanted it a little creamier. Despite heating the bowls and serving it hot, it's cold here and it congealed pretty quickly, so it wasn't smooth and creamy, it was lumpy and kinda creamy. I love cheese, but I was expecting more creaminess and less overwhelming parmesan. There's really not that much cheese in the recipe. Don't get me wrong, it was good, it just wasn't what I was looking for. I definitely want more cream and less cheese in my alfredo sauce. Ah well, live to try another day. Well, if I don't clog up my arteries trying.

Bottom line: Don't cook this dish on a cold night! Cook it when it's warm and when you're jonesing for parmesan. The fresh pasta is a nice change from the box stuff, it cooks in no time! I imagine it would be very tasty with broccoli or something in it. ^_^ Even by itself it is tasty and full of cheesy goodness. Don't be greedy, have a small serving and some nice veggies!


Thursday, July 12th, 2007 05:39 am
forchancookie: (Angel Cookie)
Someone out there lied to us when they said that an apple caused a certain couple's exile from Eden. It was obviously cherries. Deep dark read plump round delicious cherries. They are sinfully delicious. Honestly, how can an apple hope to compare with such a treat? Biting into them and having their juices stain your fingers like blood suggests a much darker image than an innocent old apple. Besides, you don't pop someone's apple, but you do pop someone's cherry and isn't that where all that trouble lies? So obviously someone out there got something wrong, because cherries are a temptation that cannot be resisted, that must be tasted, that are just that good.

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