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Friday, March 25, 2011

Birthday Cupcakes

My roommate's birthday was a few weeks ago.

I haven't been present in my apartment much this semester, so I decided to make cupcakes in honor of her birthday, but for everyone in the apartment.

I usually make cupcakes from scratch, but I was feeling lazy, so I bought a box of Rainbow Chip cake mix.

I am very anti-store bought ice cream(unless its chocolate or coconut pecan) so I made my own buttercream. It was the BEST buttercream I have ever made! It was perfectly sweet and buttery.



Classic Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!)  Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed.  Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter.  Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt,  and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for for 3 minutes.  If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar.  If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.  


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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicken, Brussel Sprouts, Potatoes

I really need to come up with more creative names for my posts.


For at least the last two months, I have eaten dinner at Apartment 208(Marisa, Taylor, Laura, Asenath, Megan, and Elissa) almost every night. I generally contribute food or money, and sometimes I even cook.

I have been broke for a while, so I've been mooching meals off of them. Yesterday, I got paid, so I was determined to make dinner. I made brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, and chicken. After dinner, I made Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies from Picky Palate. It was an epic fail, I put too much dough around them, and they ended up being giant cookies, but extremely tasty, especially this morning at 6:45.

Brussel sprouts and potatoes are pretty straight forward, but for chicken, I didn't know how I wanted it to taste. I started mixing flavors, and came up with something pretty swell:




I know, it looks gross. I was going for lemon pepper chicken, but then my creative juices got away from me. Here's what I came up with:

1 Tbs. Lemon Juice
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 Egg
2 Tbs softened Butter

Mix Lemon Juice, Soy Sauce, and the seasonings. Beat the egg, then stir into mixture. Whisk in butter. Dip chicken in the marinade(if you have time, just put the chicken and marinade in a bag and leave it in the fridge to marinate for a couple hours. I didn't have a couple hours though :) ), then place on a pan. Once all the pieces are coated, pour the remainder of the marinade on the chicken. Cook at 350 degrees for 37-42 minutes, or until the inside is no longer pink. 

Mashed Potatoes

4 medium Idaho Potatoes
1/2 stick of butter
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp butter
a dash of garlic powder
1/4 milk(or until desired consistency is reached)
Boil potatoes until soft, drain the water, mash the potatoes(or use a mixer) with milk and butter, and continue to mash/mix until they are the right consistency. Add the seasonings, and mix again.


Brussel Sprouts
4 Tbs Butter
4 Tbs Flour
1 tsp salt
a dash of pepper
2 c. milk
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter on medium high heat. Add the flour, one tablespoon at a time, constantly stirring with a whisk. Stir in the salt and pepper. Stir in the milk, and stir constantly until the mixture is boiling, then turn down to low heat and wait for it to thicken. Steam your brussel sprouts.  Once the mixture is thick, pour it over the brussel sprouts. Voilà!




 Final Product:



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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sweet Potatoes

 Ew. 
Delicious.

Sweet potatoes have always sort of freaked me out. I don't like the texture of them and there are a bagillion things above those on my list of things to eat. My mom makes delicious sweet potato pie at Thanksgiving. This is usually the only way I will eat them.  

In the research I've done for this blog, I've read a lot about how healthy sweet potatoes are for you, so I bought one in hopes of reaping the benefits of that. So far it has sat in my cabinet for about 2 weeks. 

Marisa came back from a dinner last night and told us about the potatoes they had, which were a mixture of sweet and Idaho potatoes. She had Idaho potatoes, and I still had my sweet potato, so naturally, we tried this out today. It was delicious! Enjoy!

Sweet Mashed Potatoes

Peel, cut, and boil 1 large sweet potato and 4 Idaho potatoes 
Drain water, mash potatoes
Add milk until you've reached the desired consistency
Stir in Butter(as much as you like, we used 1 stick)
salt and pepper to taste

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thoughts by Erika

Like Woody said, last week I got to go to California last minute. Marisa and I got our tickets at 11, and then left the Idaho Falls airport at 2. It was spontaneous, but so much fun! We had a great weekend; I got to see Woody, hang out with his family, go to the beach(but not swim because of the sardines), eat lots of sushi, be warm, see the sun, and just relax. It was excellent! It went by really fast, but now only 2 more weeks until Woody comes to Rexburg, and 3 more to the wedding. I can't believe how close it is!
Here's some pictures from California:




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Greek Yogurt

I have a love hate relationship with yogurt. Some days, I love it, and other days, it makes me want to throw up. Certain brands of yogurt I can stomach more than others. Activia is one of my favorites. Another one is Greek yogurt. While researching this, I discovered that Greek yogurt is chock full of goodness. A favorite of many bloggers that I've seen is Fage. 


Greek yogurt can have twice as much protein as regular yogurt, which will help you stay full longer. One cup of plain yogurt generally contains between 5 and 10 grams of protein, whereas Greek yogurt has between 13 and 20 grams of protein.

Greek yogurt has up to 50% less sodium than regular yogurt. 

Greek yogurt has about 1/2 the amount of carbohydrates as regular yogurt. 

It has less lactose, and is therefore less likely to upset your stomach.

Greek yogurt is creamier and smoother than regular yogurt.

Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute for milk, sour cream, mayo, and as an ingredient in many recipes. Some of my favorites that I've found are Blueberry Breakfast cakes (from How Sweet it Is) and Chicken and Pasta salad (from About.com). 


Information from Livestrong.com

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Late St. Patty's Day!

Hello Readers!
The last few weeks have been crazy for me-maybe they have been for you too!
Today, I am stuck in bed with the flu or something like it,  so I have time to post! Last night, we had a green party in honor of Saint Patrick's day. I made stuffed Jalapenos, which is the main topic of my post today.


You will need:
1 lb of Sausage(Jimmy Dean is best, I used Western Family because I'm poor :) )
8 oz of cream cheese
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1/8 c. green onion
1 clove of garlic
salt, pepper
10-12 jalapeño peppers

First, brown the sausage with the green onion and the garlic. 

Drain the grease, and pat it down with a paper towl(if you want...I do), then mix it with the cream cheese.


Then, stir in the cheese and then salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the jalapeños in half, and scoop out the insides.


Scoop the mixture into the peppers and arrange them in a 9''x13'' pan. I also sprinkled more shredded parmesan on top.


Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Here's some more pics from St. Patty's day:
(Marisa's green cupcakes)

 (Green Eggs and Hams)


(Free Popcorn from Horkleys)





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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thoughts by Woody

So pretty much Erika just needed to see me and flew last minute to LA to spend the weekend with me. Best weekend ever. We didn't have much to do so we just got to hang out the whole time. We did go look at wedding bands (rings). And erika was pro and knocked the price down 140 dollaz holla. And we had sushi with papito and Misa. Best part of the week was just seeing and hugging Erika!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

As you learned earlier, I LOVE mushrooms. Tonight, we made sushi. Well, Marisa made sushi. But we had leftover crab, so we decided to use it to make crab stuffed mushrooms, which were delicious. Here's the recipe!


Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
1 cup crabmeat
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
4 Tbs Parmesan cheese
House Seasoning(below)
10 white mushrooms caps
Nonstick cooking spray


Directions:


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.


Combine the crabmeat, cream cheese, parsley, green onions, and Parmesan. Season with House Seasoning, to taste. Stuff the mushroom caps with the mixture and top with bread crumbs. Spray the tops with nonstick spray to help them brown. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the filling is hot and melted.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. 



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