Easy Apple Tart… and its kinda low-cal

Everyone’s favorite

So when you buy refrigerated pie crusts you get two in a package.  I used one to make a quiche…  and you can’t just let the other crust go to waste.  I guess I’m saying that I had to make an entire apple tart and eat the whole thing.  It was fate.

Serves: 8

About 150 calories per serving!!

Recipe:

1 9″ refrigerated pie crust

1/4 cup smart balance light

1 gala apple

2 tsp cinnamon

6 packets splenda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lay the pie crust on a baking sheet.

Peel (or don’t, its your tart) the apple and remove the core.  Slice into 1/4 inch slices.

Melt 3 tbsp of the smart balance for about 30 seconds.  Stir in 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 3 packets of splenda into melted butter.  Brush or spoon the melted butter mixture onto crust.  Lay sliced apples on the tart, layering them from the center out until you almost reach the end of the crust.   Melt remaining smart balance and stir in remaining cinnamon and splenda.   Pour over layered apples.  Fold crust ends over top of apple mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Enjoy!

Quiche her?! I hardly know her!

Egg pie

Lets get real – I think I’m hilarious.  A quiche pun? C’mon!

A few months ago I visited a friend I’ve known for about 15 years.  Ugh.  How have I been alive long enough to know someone for 15 years.  Of course, I was like, in junior highschool when I met her, but this makes me feel hip-achingly old.  Anyway, I visited her and her gorgeous family in their gorgeous new home. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.  She used her amazing state of the art kitchen to make us dinner while I entertained her brilliant handsome little boys playing ‘Prisoner of War’ – aka trapping them underneath a laundry basket and sitting on it so they can’t get out.

I’ve been craving this quiche ever since that night, because seriously, one bite of it and I was ready to move into her house and live there forever.  She’s beautiful and quite positively the most upbeat positive person I have in my life.  So of course she’s thin and radiant and can eat a quiche made of eggs, whole milk, fatty breakfast sausage, and about a pound of cheese.  Just thinking of that makes me barf.  (Should I mention barf on a baking/cooking blog?  Probably not.  My bad.)

Anyway, I lightened this up to a tolerable level and its still amazingly delicious!!

Golden crust and toasty cheese? Yes please.

Serves: 4

Recipe:

2 whole eggs

1/2 cup liquid egg whites

1/4 cup skim milk

1/3 cup cheddar cheese

1/4 cup diced red onion

4 turkey breakfast sausage patties

1 tsp garlic powder

black pepper, to taste

1 cup broccoli, steamed and softened and cut into bite size pieces

1 refrigerated 9″ pie crust

(You can also add salt to taste, but with the pie crust, cheese, and sausage there are already hyper-tension levels of sodium in this thing.  Ease up.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put pie crust into a 9″ pie pan or whatever you have.  I used the classiest dish in my apartment – a disposable aluminum tin that I have had leftover from making some kind of dip for a party a few months ago. Beat eggs, egg whites, and skim milk in a mixing bowl.  Chop turkey sausage into bite size pieces. Stir cheese, sausage, onion, garlic powder, black pepper, and broccoli into egg mixture. Pour egg mixture into pie crust.  Bake in oven for 45 minutes.  Remove and let cool.

Eat Up!

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Super gooey and amazing

So, when a girl is invited over for dinner its her duty to bring something delicious with her.  I’m visiting with my BFF, her husband, and their new puppy tonight!   I’ll be wearing lounge pants and won’t be brushing my hair.  Thats just how I do things.

Anyway, these cookies are so good.  And equally easy to make.  I don’t normally like white chocolate but for whatever reason when it is combined with red velvet, white chocolate becomes delicious.

Recipe –

1 box red velvet cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup canola oil

2 tbsp water

2/3 cup white chocolate chips

Combine the first 4 ingredients until well mixed.  For some reason the red velvet cake mix was SO thick that I was unable to mix this up.  It could be that I spent an hour this morning lifting weights and my arms are like jelly. Whatever the reason, I had to have my big strong boyfriend come mix these for me.  As such, he can now claim that he made these cookies and that he is an excellent baker.

Once the ingredients are combined, stir in the white chocolate chips.  Using a cookie dough scooper, put dough balls onto a cookie sheet.  You can choose to not use the cookie dough scoop, but your fingers will be stained a vibrant red.  Its up to you, messy hands.  Do whatever you want.

dough balls

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 9 – 10 minutes.  Mine were done around 9 1/2 minutes, but I doubt an extra 30 seconds would really do any damage.

Gobble these cookies as soon as they’re cool enough the handle.  The white chocolate chips are so melty and creamy and amazing.  Definitely worth the red fingers.

Wrestlemania is upon us

Finally, the Fruity Pebbly Cupcakes have come back to my belly

So I’ve been trying to diet and be good at life so I haven’t baked anything in a while.   But for Wrestlemania Sunday – anything goes.  In a tribute to The Rock vs. John Cena match, I made Fruity Pebble cupcakes.  I don’t really watch wrestling, but I live with someone who does.  So unfortunately/fortunately I know more about wrestling than anyone ever should.  I even wore a wrestling T-shirt in public today.  Ugh, who am I.

Anyway, I am bringing these guys to a Wrestlemania party where I will eat them until I fall asleep on the couch in a room full of dudes, cigar smoke, and Angelo the dog.  If you’re interested in the actual wrestling details – check them out at http://countingthelights.com/   They’ll recap the whole ‘Mania and are probably live tweeting it like nerds.

So anyway, how do Fruity Pebble Cupcakes even come into this wrestlemania occassion?  Well, for those of your clueless jabrones, the Rock once called John Cena a ‘fruity pebble’ and the nickname stuck for a while.  Since its Rock v. Cena tonight, These are fitting.  I want the cupcakes to appear neutral, but I’d say they’re leaning towards a Rock win.

PS. I needed to sample a cupcake and so did my bf, so what better place to enjoy this delicious mini cake than in front of my TV in the living room drinking a beer out of a mason jar.

PPS.  Not my beer.

Makes 24 Cupcakes –

Cake –

1 box classic yellow cake mix

12 oz (1 can) diet cream soda

1 cup fruity pebbles

Buttercream frosting –
2 sticks butter, softened

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 box dry vanilla pudding

1 tsp vanilla extract

Fruity Pebbles – garnish

Combine the cake mix and cream soda until well combined.  I recommend using a sexy sexy hand mixer for about 3 – 5 minutes.  Once combined stir in the fruity pebbles by hand so you don’t break them up too much.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 16 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

To make the frosting beat butter until whipped for about 3 minutes.  Combine with pudding mix and vanilla extract and beat for another minute.  Then add powdered sugar a little at a time until you’ve created delicious fluffy icing.  Pipe on to cupcakes and garnish using the cereal.

From the sample that I ate, these are seriously delicious.  The crunch of the cereal on the cakes is an insane combination of delight.

I mean – lookit!!

Peanut Butter and Banana Cake

Image

 

So my little brother turned 27 on Friday.  27.  Ugh.  Anyway, he’s 27 and a father and all of these things blow me away constantly because I still picture him as a bratty 7 year old.  We took him out to a family dinner and of course I baked him a cake. What kind of cake would a bratty 7 year old boy want for his birthday?  A banana cake with peanut butter frosting, of course.  Because my brother is obsessed with our Mexican heritage I decorated the cake with a sombrero and a bandito-mustache.  Its kind of racist, so you don’t get a picture of that.  

Banana Cake – 

1 box of banana cake mix

1 ripe banana

1 1/3 cup water

1/3 cup oil

2 eggs 

 

I added a banana to the cake mix to add some real flavor, since banana cake mix kind of tastes fake.  I also added the banana to make the cake more moist since I find that cake made from the box is kind of dry. It worked!  Pour all ingredients into a bowl and beat with a hand mixer for about five minutes until the batter is really smooth.  Bake according to the box directions.

Peanut Butter icing

1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened

2/3 cup peanut butter

2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

3 tsp water

Beat butter until smooth.  Stir in peanut butter and beat for an additional 2 minutes until well blended and smooth.  Slowly add the powdered sugar until the icing reaches a thin consistency.  It should be smooth and taste delicious. 

I baked the cake with the original intention of making it a layer cake by putting some chocolate fudge icing in the middle. Unfortunately I made some kind of ridiculous baking mistake that made the cake too dense and overly moist.  I mean, it was still delicious, but I was all ‘WTF, cake”  Turns out I forgot to put eggs in the cake.  Oops.  But anyway, I couldn’t cut this cake into layers so I needed a chocolate option.  I frosted the entire cake with the peanut butter frosting and then took one of those weird meat-mallet-hammer things and broke up some chocolate chips and pushed them on the sides of the cake.  It looked super cute and like it came from a grocery store bakery – so you know, really professional.   Then i piped on some racist decorations and it was done. 

The cake was seriously delicious, even with my no-egg mistake.  The flavor combination is something that everyone should try.  I didn’t think that banana and peanut butter would be good, but it seriously is.  My boyfriend has decided that despite a previous request for his favorite cake flavor for his birthday, he needs this cake again next week.  So I will get to continue to make and eat this delicious cake again next week.  Holy yum.  

 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Look at these sexy little berries

 

So… are you ready for the easiest recipe of all time?  Seriously, two ingredients but the end result is so delicious and so fancy that everyone loves you and thinks you’re amazing.  I was invited to my boyfriend’s mom’s house for a really nice family lunch and I decided to make these little berries to bring with me.  I’m notoriously the cupcake girl so they expected me to bring some kind of baked good… well I like to mix it up a bit.  My boyfriend’s brother really loved these when I made them for the holiday’s last year, and he’s had a rough few months, so bringing these was kind of a ‘here you go lil buddy’ type of gesture.  Plus, they’re like… so delicious.

 

Ingredients –

about 10 oz of melting chocolate candy wafers.  I used the dark chocolate flavored ‘Make and Mold’ brand

strawberries – a regular pound size container that are almost the point where they are too ripe.  The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice I always say.

 

Rinse all the berries under some cold water and peel off any gross looking leaves from the top of the berries.  You can either leave that little green on the top or cut it off.  totally up to you. I like to leave them and use them as a handle.

Pat the berries dry with a paper towel.  This is important because the melted chocolate will not stick if the strawberries are wet and you’ll be left with a gross looking mess.  I also pull the leaves back a little bit so they don’t get dipped in the chocolate.

Melt the chocolate 3oz at a time.  Put them in the microwave for 30 seconds and remove and stir them.  Put them in for another 30 seconds and remove and stir.  Do this for as long as it takes until the chocolate wafers are melted completely.  If you burn the chocolate it will turn into a disgusting waxy consistency so, you know, don’t do that.

Dip the dried strawberries into the melted chocolate and make sure the strawberry is coated but leave some room at the top.  I feel like the appropriate chocolate coating level might be self-explanatory but maybe there are some people out there who are total idiots who don’t know not to cover up the entire thing.   I just dipped them in using my fingers and twirled until it was coated.  When the chocolate level was kind of low I used a spoon to help cover the strawberries.   Set each berry on a sheet of parchment paper until the chocolate is cooled and forms a hard shell.  It takes about 10 minutes to cool and harden.

Then eat them all before anyone else knows you made them. These can be put in the fridge if you have any leftover, but I don’t really like them out of the fridge.  The strawberries will start to release a little bit of strawberry juice-liquid and they get a little sloppy.  But they’re still good.

 

Superbowl Nachos

 

So I know this is a baking blog, but I’m in charge so go f yourself if you have a problem.  Plus I put these in the oven so technically they were ‘baked’.

This is what I had for dinner while watching the Superbowl and subsequently vomitted up after seeing Madonna’s plastic surgery nightmare face at the halftime show.   They’re delicious and I have chronic and debilitating cravings for these nachos and they’re super easy to make.  The measurements aren’t going to be exact because I just throw it all together, so if you’re a Type A neurotic asshole about recipes you might want to move on.

Ingredients:

tortilla chips – I used about half a bag

3 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp bbq sauce

1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded

1/2 cup french fried onions

1/2 medium red onion, diced

1 cup shredded lettuce

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the shredded chicken breast with 2 tbsp bbq sauce and set aside.  Place some of the tortilla chips on a baking sheet.  I don’t know how to describe the method but just dont toss them on in a pile, make like a 1-chip thick layer. Layer the red onion, french fried onions, and bbq chicken over the tortilla chips and sprinkle with cheese.  Drip some bbq sauce randomly over the cheese.  Layer on additional tortilla chips, onions, french onions, and chicken.  Cover with remaining cheese and sprinkle with more bbq sauce.  I said 1/4 cup but use as much as you want, it’ll be your fault if your nachos are soggy.  Bake for 10 minutes.  When they’re done sprinkle with lettuce and serve warm.  Seriously, they’re so effing good.

 

PS.  Who cares about this Superbowl right now, you guys?  Puppybowl was way better.

Salted Caramel Is My Boyfriend

First of all… OMG.  Second of all… OMG.

Now that I’ve gotten that out I will tell the tale of this amazing cookie.  I got home from work, had some cuddle time with DJ, and then made us a steak sandwich dinner. I sat, digesting on the couch, and lept into cookie making action.  I needed chocolate salted caramel in my life and in my mouth.  Luckily for me I had purchased weird little caramel chips from Walmart a few weeks ago.  Judge me all you want, but groceries at Walmart are cheap as shit and they have weird things like caramel chips.  (They were with the regular chocolate chips, if you’re going to look for them)

So I looked up a recipe and decided that I’d modify it a teeny bit and make Chocolate Pretzel Salted Caramel Cookies

3/4 cup wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

7 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

5 tbsp margarine

1/3 cup vanilla yogurt

3/4 cup caramel chips

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1 oz honey wheat pretzels, crushed

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

other salt – as much as you want

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt the margarine (I used the microwave, the recipe calls for melting it on the stove… who has time for that) then stir in the sugars and cocoa powder until it combines into a thick paste.  It will resemble brownie batter.  Also, it will taste like brownie batter so try not to eat it all.  Then stir in the yogurt and it will totally ruin the texture of the delicious brownie batter but I guess its for the greater good.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients – Segregation Never! Integration Now! – and then stir in all the various caramel and chocolate chips and then add the crushed pretzels.   The dough will be pretty thick and thats a good thing.  Roll into balls and put them on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with generous portions of salt.  I like a lot of salt so I just dumped it on.  What?  What do you mean ‘hypertension’?  Pfft.   Bake for 10 – 12 minutes and cool.

This is only supposed to make 20 cookies, but I think it will make a lot more.  Also if you can’t find the caramel chips then just buy those regular caramel candies and wrap the dough around the caramels.  Be careful when they come out of the oven because they will be molten lava.

Recipe modified from: http://www.pastryaffair.com/blog/2011/1/12/chocolate-salted-caramel-cookies.html

Dijon Beer Bread

If you ain't doin' shots get the fuck up out da club

Ok, so a friend of mine bought some beer when she was here… at Christmas time.  We’ve had this beer in our fridge… since Christmas time.  Its shameful that we didn’t drink this beer.  I don’t know who we are anymore.  Anyway, I’ve been obsessed with beer recipes lately to try to use it up since we clearly aren’t drinking it.  I made beer and bacon mac and cheese a few weekends ago (seriously, do it, it will change your life) and my hunger for beer-based foods was fueled and cannot be stopped.

If any of you out there are women, then I’m sure that you’ve been invited to a bunch of stupid parties – candle parties, purse parties, costume jewelry parties, sexy lingerie parties that you go to with your grandmother and then she wins a zebra print thong as a door prize and giggles.  And of course, Tastefully Simple parties.  Which are probably my favorite parties because of all the dips.  Girls love dips.  And what goes amazingly well with the Garlic Garlic dip?  The mother effing delicious beer bread.

Anyway, did you know that making beer bread is hella easy?  There is seriously like… AN ingredient in it.  Inspired by that mac and cheese, I added some mustard and created delicious delicious bread.  I stare at it with pride on a daily basis.  Like as much pride as the dude who created Edward Scissorhands when he looked at Edward Scissorhands.

3 cups self rising flour

12 oz (1 bottle) beer

2tbsp dijon mustard

1tsp black pepper

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp dried minced onion

Stir all ingredients in a bowl until just combined.  The dough will be thick like whoa, so prepare yourself for that.  I let my dough rise for about 5 minutes because I like looking at risen bread because its kind of like a science experiment. Then I mashed it down and threw it in a pam-sprayed loaf pan.  Bake at 375 for 45minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  What you get is a perfectly deliciously seasoned thick loaf of beer bread.

It would seriously be perfect to eat with spinach artichoke dip. Unfortunately my boyfriend loves the bread so much that its basically all gone and is not worth investing in spinach artichoke ingredients.  All dip and no bread makes Desiree a dull girl…

Can you ssssmmmmeeeeellllllllllllllllllll what the Rock is baking?

somebody call my mama

 

So I am lucky enough to be BFF with one of the handsome gentlemen over at Counting The Lights (http://countingthelights.com/) and they invited me over to watch a live abortion!  Just kidding, kind of, they invited me over to watch the Royal Rumble PPV.  They’re a fun group of guys so of course, I baked cupcakes and headed over.

I thought they’d all ‘mark out’ for cupcakes with their logo on the top, so thats what I did.  I recently made peanut butter cupcakes for Christmas and they were delicious so I thought that a house full of boys would like them.  I also brought fritos and diet soda because I am an excellent house guest and bring the goods.  And they’re good hosts and provided manwich, aka God’s greatest gift to man. They live-tweeted the event, so even if you missed it, you can feel like you were watching it.  With a room full of dudes who had been drinking two types of bloody marys since noon that day.  Follow them on twitter –  @countinglights – and definitely check out their site.

 

Onto the cupcake recipe….

I thought about being lazy and just posting a link to my previous post, but I guess I won’t self promote.

Cupcakes:

1 box Devil’s Food cake mix

12oz diet cream soda

24 mini reeses cups, frozen

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill cupcake liners slightly less than halfway.  Unwrap a reese cup and put it in the middle the batter, secure it in the batter but don’t mash it to the bottom of the liner, you’re not an animal.  Bake for 15 minutes and let cool.

Icing:

2/3 cups peanut butter

2 sticks butter, softened

2 1/3 cup powdered sugar

 

Whip butter until creamy, about 3 minutes.  Combine with peanut butter and whip an additional 3 minutes.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar until fluffy, adding water if you need to thin it out.

Pipe on to the cupcake.  Eat.