May 8, 2013
If you love all things cookies & cream, then you may have just become my new best friend. Cookies & Cream is one of my go-to dessert flavors (along with mint chocolate or salted caramel), and when I saw an Oreo Ice Box Cake from Cookies & Cups in my Feedly account I knew I needed to try it immediately. Then, shortly after I saw Brown Eyed Baker post one for a cheesecake adaptation. I immediately added the ingredients to my shopping list and planned on making this for a family birthday party the next weekend.
This cake is VERY rich, but it definitely doesn't disappoint. It had all of the flavor profiles I love about cookies & cream, but additionally, it was an ice box cake, and who doesn't love ice box cakes?! They're simplicity alone makes them a great dessert, but they're always so rich in flavor from sitting in the refrigerator for such a long period of time (usually overnight for most people I'd imagine!)
Oreo Cheesecake Ice Box Cake
90 Oreo cookies (I used Original, not Double Stuffed)
2 boxes cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix
4 cups of milk
1 8-oz. tub of Cool Whip
Chocolate Syrup and/or Crumbled Oreos as desired
Line the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish with about 30 of the Oreo cookies. You can break some up to fill gaps around the edges.
In a medium-large bowl, prepare both boxes of pudding as directed on the package. Once thickened and set, fold in the Cool Whip just until incorporated.
Pour one third of the mixture over the Oreos. Repeat Oreo and pudding layers two more times, for a total of 3 layers of each.
Garnish with chocolate syrup and crumbled Oreos if desired.
Refrigerate for 6 hours, up to overnight.
Source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker and Cookies and Cups
May 3, 2013
Do you know why salsa is the number one condiment in America? Because people like to say Salsa! That may be true. But also it may be because there are so many different kinds of salsa out there that your bound to find one you like.
I previously posted this recipe, but it's buried deep in the blog, and I recently made it again so I figured it was time to bring it out of the vault. (Wow, I'm all about Seinfeld today apparently!) When I last posted it, I actually didn't eat Salsa. Since then I've developed an appreciation of it. I won't say I love it, but I do eat it when we go out now. And this restaurant style salsa is the exact kind I like. It's not chunky, but still has all of the wonderful fresh flavors of salsa. You can make it as chunky as you want, but since the reason I was always so "not a salsa person" was because they tend to be chunkier than I prefer... give me smooth salsa and I'll be happy!
¼ teaspoons ground cumin
½ cups cilantro (more to taste)
April 23, 2013
Pasta can be a very easy side dish, but it can also be a very boring side dish when you get stuck in a rut. Sadly, I've seen quite a few ruts and I can be tempted to buy the super cheap pasta and rice side packets from the grocery store. They're cheap, quick and easy and what's not tempting about that? But, these dishes are definitely something that can be made from scratch just as cheaply, quickly and easily! And not to mention - so much better.
Gotta love homemade convenience food!
Creamy Garlic Pasta
8 oz. short pasta of choice (I used shells)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup milk
salt & pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons parsley flakes
Cook pasta according to packaged instructions, drain and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt olive oil and butter. Add minced garlic and saute until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle in flour and whisk, cooking for about 1 minute. Slowly pour in chicken broth and milk, whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth. Season with salt & pepper and stir constantly until the mixture is thick - about 4-5 minutes.
Take pot off of heat. Stir in cheese, garlic powder and parsley flakes until smooth. Add cooked pasta and stir to combine.
Source: Iowa Girl Eats
April 18, 2013
When choosing between dessert flavors at a bakery, ice cream shop, etc., if there is salted caramel, there is a good chance that I will be giving that a try (unless there is mint oreo/cookies & cream - then there would be a tough decision to make!). I just love salted caramel flavors. I'm sure I've said it before that while I like sweets, I don't necessarily crave them (give me chips and cheese please!), but what I may not have said is that if it's a salty sweet - well, that's a whole new ballgame there!
Sadly, I haven't made many salted caramel flavors before... but I'm hoping that will change. Starting with this amazing, yet simple, frosting.
Salted Caramel Frosting
2 sticks butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup salted caramel (homemade or store bought*)
3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
*If you can't find store bought Salted Caramel sauce simply add about 1 teaspoon of sea salt to the caramel)
With an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until thoroughly blended.
Pour in Caramel and mix until combined.
Slowly mix in powdered sugar, beating for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Source: Baked Bree