Monday, April 30, 2012

Butterfinger Pie

Last summer I read A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth, whom I adore and I really loved reading about her life and how she got to be where and who she is.

In the book she included a couple of recipes for some delicious sounding sweets, and I stuck a bookmark on this one recipe for a Butterfinger Pie that I knew I would have to revisit. I forgot about it until now! But now I have made it, and it was so incredibly easy and so deliciously awesome. (I only made a few changes in that I prefer homemade graham cracker crust and I added more butterfinger because my Target was lacking in the kingsize variety so I got a bunch of the "fun-size" ones, but I think the chocolate ratio might be a bit higher because of that, and that is never a bad thing)

"The Top Secret Recipe for Kristi Dawn’s No Calorie Left Behind Butterfinger Pie
  • Crunch up six king-size Butterfinger bars. Smash them up in a plastic bag or beat them with a rolling pin while they’re still in the wrapper. Exercise your aggression. Very therapeutic.
  • Take a twelve-ounce deal of Cool Whip and mix it up with the candy-bar shrapnel.
  • Plop all that into one of those graham-cracker crusts. (Just get over yourself and buy the premade kind. Don’t be all Barefoot Contessa about it.)
  • Freeze! No, not you, the pie. I mean freeze in the freezer, not in the theatrical sense. This is important. If you skip this step, people will assume it’s French onion dip and stick their potato chips in it.
  • Serve with a smile on paper plates. The kind with the rippled edges, whenever possible."
Chenolicious Butterfinger Pie
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
40 fun size butterfingers
12 oz conatiner of cool whip, thawed slightly so it can be stirred

Preheat oven to 375 

Mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar with a fork until well combined. Press mixture into a pie plate. Bake for about 8 minutes, until just lightly browned. (you can skip this step and just buy a premade crust, I just like the homemade ones)

Unwrap all the butterfingers and put into a large ziploc bag. With the smooth side of a meat tenderizer or even a rolling pin smash the candy into small pieces. Put aside a couple tablespoons of the crushed candy.

Mix candy bar pieces into the cool whip until completely combined, smooth the cool whip mixture into the pie crust, sprinkle the top with the reserved crushed candy, and freeze for at least two hours before serving. Store leftovers in the freezer (it slices easily when fresh out of the freezer).

this recipe is also shared at some of my favorite food blog hops



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Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Fun: Rainbow Queen

Vogue studied the outfits worn by Queen Elizabeth II over the past year and put together this amazing chart of the Queen in a rainbow of colors, dissecting the percentages for each hue. Blue is the reigning color in her wardrobe, being worn 29% of the time.

Isn't this fabulous:


Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Do you all have anything fun and exciting planned?

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Zoku Quick Pop Maker

I recently got a Zoku Quick Pop Maker. I have been eyeing them at Williams-Sonoma for ages, and when we had a heat wave in April, I remembered how gross summer can be in Boston (and if it was 90 degrees in April, what would happen in July?!). I realized then that this would be a basic survival necessity. So I placed my order and started daydreaming about all the things I would freeze into pop form.


So even though when the pop maker arrived it was a good thirty degrees cooler out than when I ordered it, I was smitten. I love being able to make small batches and experiment with lots of different flavors and varieties of pops. They can be as healthy (or unhealthy for that matter) as I like them!

After the initial freezing period (longest 24 hours ever) I got started by making some simple juice pops, and the process is so easy. You just mix together whatever you want as a popsicle (as long as its consistency is pourable and it cannot be sugar free, since natural sugars are needed in the process, you're all set), pour it into the mold (each mold holds just about 2 ounces), wait for 7ish minutes, then voila! Popsicles!

Cranberry Orange Pops (makes 2 pops)
3 ounces Ocean Spray 100% cranberry juice (in whatever variety you like, I had cran-raspberry on hand so I used that)
1 ounce fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

Stir together ingredients and freeze


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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bloggers Bake for Hope 2012

Yesterday, I signed up to be a part of Bloggers Bake for Hope 2012, which is an online bake sale whose proceeds will be donated to the Avon Foundation. Bloggers donate different homemade treats which are then auctioned off online, after bidding closes, the baked goods are made and sent out. I am donating a batch of my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.


Do you want to be a part of this too? Here's a quick rundown:

April 27 is the deadlines for bloggers to sign up to donate something
April 30 - May 2 is when the auctions will take place
May 8 is when all the donations from the auctions are due
May 10 is by when the bakers will get the information for where the goodies go
May 24 is when the baked goods must be shipped by

Sounds awesome, right? Sign up here (registration closes on Friday!), or if you aren't able to bake for this, remember to check out the auctions when they go live on April 30th.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Guest Post: Noshing With The Nolands

Today's post is by Tara from Noshing With The Nolands, a blog that's full of great recipes and delicious photos....

Greetings my name is Tara and I have a husband Ken and a daughter Amber. We all love to nosh!! And to be able to nosh well you have to cook well. We are new to blogging but we are trying very hard to bring you innovative, creative and delicious recipes that you can easily make. All three of us love to cook and you will see that on our site at www.noshingwiththenolands.com The recipe for the stuffed meatballs was created by Ken. All the photos good or bad are done by me. This is a huge learning curve for me but I am enjoying it so much. Amber has done cooking classes with her friends and myself for the last two years. She is also very creative in the kitchen. We do Friday Night Cooking Classes which we usually call FNCC. I hope you enjoy this meatball recipe and our site. Cheers Tara, Ken and Amber.

Ken made these the other day and wow were they good!!! They are not quite a popper but more of a knife and fork appy. From the luscious interior to the crunchy exterior these little meatballs are great!!!


4 mild Italian sausage
24 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup asiago cheese, finely grated
1 cup panko crumbs
1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
canola oil
salsa


Cut the top off of the cherry tomatoes and core them. Stuff in a small amount of grated asiago cheese. Repeat for all of the tomatoes. Remove the sausage meat from the casing. Pinch off a small amount and flatten it out into a disc. Place the tomato on the disc and wrap the sausage meat around the tomato. Have three dishes ready to roll the meatball in. First one with flour, salt and pepper to taste. Second with 2 beaten eggs. Third with panko, the rest of the asiago cheese, bread crumbs and salt and pepper. Now roll the meatball first in the flour then egg and finishing off in the panko mixture. Heat 2″ of canola oil in a wok and deep fry to golden brown. Serve with salsa. Yummo!!!!



Do you want to be featured as a guest blogger on The Chic Geek? Click here to e-mail me.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas

Greg is starting a brand new job today (congratulations, Husband!). As a good luck meal last night, I combined two of his favorite foods (enchiladas and buffalo wings) into one glorious fusion creation. (After seeing the idea on a couple blogs I read, I knew I'd have to make my own version). These enchiladas were a huge hit!

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 cup bleu cheese dressing (I used Ken's)
8 corn tortillas (enchilada sized- about 8 inches)
2/3 cup mild enchilada sauce
1 cup hot sauce (Frank's is my favorite)
1 1/4 cup mild cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup monterey jack cheese, grated

Cook the chicken and shred it. I grilled mine, but any method works.

Melt butter in a large pan and add in onions, cook until brown and caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking dish.

Combine the shredded chicken, onions, bleu cheese dressing, cream cheese, 1/2 cup of mild cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup of monteray jack cheese.

Heat a griddle or skillet over low-medium heat, and working one at a time, heat the tortillas until they are warm and pliable and then fill each with about a 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture and place in baking dish, seam side down. Repeat until all tortillas and filling are used up.

Pour the hot sauce over the top of the enchiladas and bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and return to the oven for another 15 minutes, until hot, melty and bubbly.

this recipe is also shared at some of my favorite food blog hops


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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Etsy love: Debi van Zyl

Debi van Zyl's etsy shop is the home to many adorable and cuddly beasts.  She specializes in making one of a kind "Beast Pillows" to be your forever friend and keep you company at home. I love how they're all so different from each other, and the fabulous names she gives them. There's currently a two month waiting list for one, and I can see why!

I love that he can sit with you on the couch!

Nicolai


Henrik

Montgomery

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2012 London Olympic Games

I love watching the Olympics, which, as of today are only 100 days away! I'm really excited that they'll be in London this year, which is one of my favorite cities.

Today has put up a bunch of photos of the venues for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Some of the shots are really amazing looking. You can view the full slideshow here.

Olympic Park

Aerial view of the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre & Water Polo Arena

North Greenwich Arena aka The Dome

Lee Valley White Water Centre

Wimbledon

Olympic mascot Wenlock (left) and Paralympic mascot Mandeville (right)

Torch unveiled by Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the 2012 London Olympics Organising Committee

Are you all excited for the Olympics too? What's your favorite part of the games?

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ben & Jerry's Free Ice Cream Truck Tour

Are you currently experiencing a heatwave wherever you are? Here in Boston it was 90 degrees yesterday, and 80 degrees today. I broke out sun dresses, sandals, and started thinking about summer plans and icy treats.

Ben and Jerry's will be on both coasts this summer with their ice cream truck giving away free ice cream! I cannot wait until they hit Boston in August (last year they were right near my office twice, it was heavenly). And if you're on one coast or the other (evidently not in between) hopefully you'll be able to enjoy some free ice cream too.


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Monday, April 16, 2012

Guest Post: Feed Your Soul

Today's post is by Peter from Feed Your Soul, a great and fairly new blog about Peter's adventures in the kitchen, please take a few minutes to check it out, he has some really great recipes there.

This blog was created as a labor of love.  I had a desire to learn more about how to cook and was looking for people who shared a passion for food and cooking.  I have found so many people out there doing so many great things.  It has exceeded what I thought existed and has offered to me so many helpful would-be chefs with so many good ideas.

The fun thing about making pizzas at home, if you make the pies small enough, is you have room to try other flavors.  Being a big fan of chicken wings, making a Buffalo Chicken pizza was a must try.  I actually decided on this one while shopping.  I was walking down an aisle and saw a bottle of wing sauce.  Check!  Add a quick stop at Trader Joes for the dough.  Check!  Now that made this easy.





Recipe
Buffalo Chicken Pizza:

Buffalo Chicken:
  1.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a medium hot skillet
  2. Add diced chicken and cook for 10 minutes browning all sides of the meat
  3.  Turn heat to low and add buffalo chicken sauce and simmer for 20 minutes
Pizza Dough:
  1. Roll out pizza dough on a flour surfaced and add enough flour to take out most of the moisture.  (Our family likes crisp crust so I made two servings out of the prepared dough.)
Pizza Sauce:
  1.  In a sauce pan, add 1 - 15 & 1/2 oz can of tomato sauce, 1 - 8 oz can of tomato paste, 2 cloves of garlic minced, 1 tsp each salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes
Assembling the Pizza:
  1. Before assembly process starts, put a piece of parchment paper on a pizza board and dust with corn meal (You will actually cook on the parchment paper making an easy slide off the board on to your pizza stone and the corn meal will make it easy for the pizza to slide off on to your cutting board)
  2. Spread sauce on the dough almost to edges (don't overdo the sauce)
  3. Generously spread shredded mozzarella over the dough almost to the edge
  4.  Scoop out the chicken pieces with sauce and spread over pizza
  5.  Spread a generous amount of blue cheese over the pizza
  6.   Place into a 450 degree oven on a pizza stone (place the rack on a middle shelf) and cook for 8 - 10 minutes

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte


This is the dessert I make every year to bring to the Passover Seder (and sometimes I make it again for Easter as well). It is rich, creamy and super chocolatey. It tastes like the inside of a truffle.

Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte (from The Cake Bible)
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, room temperature
1/2 pound (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 large eggs, room temperature
Preheat oven to 425. Butter an 8 inch spring-form pan, line the bottom with buttered parchment paper. Wrap outside of the pan with two layers of heavy duty foil to prevent any leaking. Plan pan into a deep roasting pan
In a large bowl set over a pan of hot (not simmering) water (bottom of the bowl shouldn't touch the water) combine chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth.

In a mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water, heat the eggs until they are warm to the touch (be sure to stir constantly so that the eggs do not curdle). Once warm, attach to the mixer and beat until tripled in volume and soft peaks form.

Using a spatula, fold half of the eggs into the chocolate mixture. Once mostly incorporated, fold in the rest of the eggs until completely combined. Be sure to scrape from the bottom so that everything is incorporated.

Pour the batter into the 
spring-form pan. Pour one inch of very hot water into the roasting pan.

Bake for 5 minutes, then loosely cover the cake with a piece of buttered foil and bake for another 10 minutes.


Remove cake from oven and let cool for 45 minutes, then wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm (at least three hours)


To unmold the cake, wipe the sides of the pan with a hot, damp towel and then run a knife around the side of the pan. Release the 
spring-form. Invert the cake onto a flat,  plastic wrap covered plate, remove bottom of pan and parchment paper. Invert again onto serving plate. Decorate with melted white chocolate.

Also excellent when served with fresh raspberries.


this recipe is also shared at some of my favorite food blog hops


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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Passover Crepes

Crepes are a favorite food of mine, and just because it's Passover does not mean you have to miss out on your favorite foods! So I decided to adapt my usual crepe recipe with matzoh cake meal, and was really pleased with the results.

I filled and topped mine with sugar and fresh lemon juice, but the sky's the limit with options.

Passover Crepes (makes approx 6-8 8" crepes)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon matzoh cake meal
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup lukewarm water
large eggs
tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

for savory crepes, add:

pinch salt

for sweet crepes, add:

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before use (can also be refrigerated if you aren't using it right after 30 minutes). Whisk again to ensure the batter is smooth (the matzoh meal can clump a little).

Add batter to crepe pan  (by a little less than 1/4 cup each) or iron, swirl the batter, cook, flip and then fill/top as you like.



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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Matzoh Brei

Matzoh Brei is a favorite food of mine during Passover, it's super simple to make, filling, and extremely versatile. It can be enjoyed for any meal or even dessert, the options are truly endless

Matzoh Brei
1 piece of plain matzoh
water
1 egg, beaten
vegetable oil (you could also use butter or schmaltz, depending on your preferences)

Note: this basic recipe is per person, multiply accordingly

Break up the matzoh into pieces and put in a bowl, cover with water and let sit for a minute or two until slightly softened (but not soggy). Add in the egg and whatever mix-ins and seasonings you like (see below for some ideas).

Heat a little oil on a griddle or in a pan. Pour in the Matzoh Brei mixture (it will be a large pancake shape, or you can make it into smaller ones) cook until golden brown on both sides. Top as desired.

Here are some of our favorite Matzoh Brei variations:

Savory: first add some salt and pepper to the mix, then...
Add caramelized onions and cheese before cooking, top with more cheese
Add bite-size cubes of grilled chicken and some veggies before cooking, eat with hot sauce
Top with tuna and cheese then pop the whole thing into the toaster oven or under the broiler for a few minutes to make an open face tuna melt
Top with salsa and plain greek yogurt or sour cream

Sweet: first add some sugar to the mixture, then...
Add cinnamon and a little vanilla before cooking, top with cinnamon and sugar or maple syrup
Mix some chopped apples and cinnamon before cooking

Mix in a handful of chocolate chips before cooking
Top with jam
Drizzle with honey


with caramelized onions and lots of cheese

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Matzoh Toffee Bark

This week I will be focusing on Passover foods. Since there are a lot of dietary restrictions during the holiday, it can be easy to fall into a Passover food rut. It's fun to get creative and I hope you all enjoy the recipes!

This Matzoh candy is always a big hit, it's crunchy, sweet, a little salty and completely addictive. It can also be made with saltines (for those who don't observe Passover, or other times of the year. If you use saltines, just omit the sea salt that gets mixed into the toffee)

Matzoh Toffee Bark
5 pieces of plain matzoh
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

optional topping ideas: toasted sliced almonds, sea salt, white chocolate drizzle

Preheat oven to 350.

Start by lining a baking sheet with heavy foil, lay the matzoh pieces on the foil in a single layer (you may need to break a piece or two in half to fit, or depending on the size of your baking sheets, you may need 2)

Melt butter in a saucepan and add brown sugar and salt, stir until well combined. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for about 4 minutes, stirring the entire time. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Spoon and spread the hot toffee evenly over the matzoh. Bake for 15 minutes, checking on it often to make sure it is not burning.

After removing it from the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, let sit until the chocolate looks melty, then spread it evenly over the matzoh with a silicone or offset spatula. Sprinkle on whatever toppings you like and let the chocolate set. Finish with a drizzle of melted white chocolate (optional) and break bark into bite sized pieces.

this recipe is also shared at some of my favorite food blog hops



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Friday, April 6, 2012

Have a festive weekend!

Happy Friday everyone!

This weekend is jam packed with holidays for us! Tonight is the start of Passover, then Sunday is Easter. While these two holidays are almost always within a few days of each other (it is widely believed that the Passover Seder was the Last Supper), it is somewhat unusual for them to be during the same weekend, it makes for a very busy time. Greg and I will be seeing lots of family, and eating lots of goodies (Greg will be able to enjoy a lot more of them than I will, since Easter cakes, breads and pretty much everything are not Kosher for Passover) over the next couple days.

Daffodils

What are you all up to this weekend? Any celebrating in store?

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

Shia at World According to Shia recently gave me the Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you so much, Shia!



The rules for this award...

  1. Thank the person who gave you this award
  2. Share seven things about yourself
  3. Give the award to fifteen other bloggers
About me...
  1. I love to make lists
  2. I love food, and am willing to try just about anything once. Oddly enough, I was a vegetarian all of high school and for the start of college before I went back to being an omnivore again. 
  3. My favorite season is the fall, and my least favorite is summer (though it's very pretty out during the summer, I just don't deal well with the heat)
  4. I own more books than I have shelves to put them on, it's becoming a problem. 
  5. My favorite Disney movie is Alice in Wonderland, I also adore the original book. 
  6. It drives me crazy when people use there, their and they're wrong
  7. I'm addicted to Candy Cane Chapstick, I bought a bunch this winter to avoid ever running out when the season ended. It smells amazing!
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

OPI Vintage Minnie Mouse Collection


Another fun collection to look forward to from OPI this summer! On June 1st, a collection in tribute to Minnie Mouse will be released with four girly shades including a confetti filled shade which looks amazing.

Color names (from left to right):
The Color of Minnie
Nothin' Mousie 'bout It
I'm All Ears
If you Moust You Moust


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Monday, April 2, 2012

Custom Plushes from Drawings

Child's Own Studio is an artist who creates custom one-of-a-kind plushes that are based on children's drawings. Wendy takes your child's art work and creates a special soft toy just for them based on their own creativity. It's such a lovely and fun idea, what kid wouldn't love to see their art made into something huggable?

Check out these drawings and final products, they're so amazing:








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