Monday, March 31, 2014

'Sumbitches' Cookies

I don't know when it was that I saw my first How I Met Your Mother episode, but I do remember who it was that introduced me! It was this gal, she's pretty awesome! And I am pretty happy that she introduced me! Now together we watched two or three episodes and I thought they were hilarious, but at the time I just couldn't commit to eight seasons of 22 episodes plus the current season. It took me until last December to finally start plowing through the episodes. Now, I have only been a fan of How I Met Your Mother for a short while, but each of the characters holds a special place in my heart and I am so sad that the final episode is tonight. So, as I sob while watching the finale, I will be stuffing my face with these "sumbitches cookies".

For those of you not familiar with the show, here is the clip where the "sumbitches" cookies make their appearance! I couldn't find the whole clip, but I don't want to give the whole show away! I've got to get you watch somehow!

‘Sumbitches’ Cookies
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate covered caramel candies (I tried two candies and preferred the Dove caramel promises)

1.     In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2.     In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together butter and peanut butter until evenly combined. Beat in sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes on medium. Scrape down the bowl and then mix in eggs and vanilla.
3.     In two additions add in flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
4.     Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.  Using a small cookie dough scoop, scoop one ball of dough, pace it in your hand, then place candy on it, cover with another scoop of dough and shape into a ball.
5.     Bake 14 to 15 minutes, cool 10 minutes on baking sheet and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Print Recipe Here 
Recipe Adapted from People – Great Ideas

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Scoop #26

Peanut Butter Blossom Blondies. Peanut butter and chocolate forever, and these seem even easier than regular blossoms, so win!

Raw Citrus Cream Cakes. That color. I want a dress in that color!!

Racuszki (Yeasted Polish Pancakes). These are supposed to smell like doughnuts so of course I want them and they're pancakes, duh!

One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake. One bowl recipes are easy and I love that, but one bowl and vegan I am all over that!

Milk Chocolate Fudge Goat Cheese Ice Cream. For a few months I have been planning to make a goat cheese ice cream,  so there is no doubt I had to include this ice cream. (I am hoping to make my version this weekend, but I am going in the opposite flavor direction! Hope it works and I can share soon!) 

Gluten-Free Boston Cream Doughnuts. To me gluten-free means healthy so in my book that means these are healthy donuts, SCORE.

Mini Princess Cakes. What girl doesn't want to be a princess? And who doesn't want cake?

Mozzarella Stuffed Italian Breadsticks I want to stuff these into my face.

DIY Amethyst Mirror. How gorgeous is this? Might need to take a trip to the craft store soon!

What links are you loving? 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Florida Travels

Recently, I was on spring break and traveled to Florida. In addition to visiting my grandmother, I spent a few days in Key West! Key West was an experience, there were electric cars all over, bustling cruise ships, parrots on bikes, and chickens running loose in the streets! I felt really cool walking by all the other college students with my parents in tow…. but I am almost positive I got to stay at a much nicer place because of my folks so it all worked out! On our last morning in Key West I decided to try paddle boarding, and I am so happy that I did because I got to see TWO MANATEES and they even swam right up to me! The encounter was indescribable! I felt I had to document it so I quickly paddled onto shore and grabbed my Dad's phone, which has a waterproof case, then paddled back out and snapped some pictures!
I also ate tons, I housed two stacks of three pancakes each over my break and it was awesome! I also had so much fish, I can't even count the types or ways of preparation! Oh, and of course I took hundreds of pictures, I took over 800 in a 24 hour period….! So, I decided to share some!

Just a man riding his bike with his parrot in Key West. 
Sunrise at The Reach
Dinner at their steakhouse, The Striphouse, was fabulous!
It is also where I had that amazing 24 layer chocolate cake

Right cue Mr. Bird 

THE Mile 0 marker.
In Key West, chickens run free. 
Sunset Pier

I also had my first Shake Shack experience and it totally lived up to the hype!
Can't wait to go back and have more frozen custard! 

Rescued birds at The Girls in Delray Beach. 

None of this is sponsored, just my discoveries along the way. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Chocolate Irish Cream Cake

I would love a piece of this cake as I write this post, but instead I am eating cereal with coconut milk. For this cake I took one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes, Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake, and simply swapped out the milk for Irish cream! It worked! YIPPEE! Then I made some buttercream with a bit more Irish cream for good measure and schmeared it on top! 

Now the recipe below is for one 9-inch cake, but simply double the recipe if you want to go all out and make a layer cake! I don't know why, but for me there is something so appealing about one layer cakes. Honestly, it is probably the fact that I am lazy and they're easier because you don't have to fuss with making layers even and crumb coats. Simply, bake the cake and once it's cool schmear some frosting on top and you're done!
Happy St. Patrick's Day from a wee Irish lassie!

Chocolate Irish Cream Cake
1 cup sugar
¾ cup +2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons cocoa
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
½ cup Irish cream
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup boiling water
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons Irish cream

1.    Cake: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9-inch cake pan with non-stick spray, set aside.
2.    In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, combine: sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in egg, Irish cream, and canola oil, mixing on low for 30 seconds. Scrap down the bowl, then mix on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake for 20 minutes in pan, transfer cake to wire rack to cool completely.
3.    Buttercream: In the bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter on medium for 30 seconds. Add in powdered sugar, beating on medium for about 1 minute. Add in the Irish cream, beating another minute until combined.
4.    Once cake has cooled completely spread buttercream on top.

Chocolate Cake Recipe Adapted from Hershey’s
Buttercream is a Doughvelopment Original 
Print Recipe Here

Monday, March 10, 2014

Let's Talk About College

 Two weeks ago I went to this discussion for one of my classes, and at the end of it they made us hold hands with the people we were sitting next to, aka complete strangers. I had to hold hands with two complete strangers for a almost two minutes. I wanted to cry after that experience, I had no idea who these people were and to hold hands with them, I am self conscious about holding hands with anyone I know because um lets say I have sweaty palms. For me I see this as a microcosm of my whole college experience thus far, it has been unpleasant, but I am trying to endure. This post will explain my past stuck in a rut and real life posts.

Yes, I am in college, I am not really sure why I haven't told you that, but there it is. This past week I had midterms that is why I was MIA. For a while, I have wanted to share this with you all, but I just haven't been able to. After reading Jessica's 52 Random Facts, and hearing that she had a tough time in college, it finally pushed me to share what I have been going through.

For most people, college is a glorified four years that years in the future is looked upon fondly. Well, for me it has been some of my most trying years ever. College has made me feel more defeated, more lonely, and self conscious than I have ever felt before. This year I have been really shy, I have always been shy, but never to this point. Please someone help me find some self-confidence. They say once you get to college, you find out that all you previously learned isn't true. Well, college has made me feel stupid, in high school I was able to push myself through rigorous classes, but I have completely lost my drive since starting college. I used to be the kid, who would try to start my homework on Friday night. Yeah, I was THAT kid, but now I am that other kid who procrastinates like nobody's business. Seriously, if you are looking to waste time, just come to me, I sure can help you with that. College is stressful, you are supposed to decide what the heck you want to do with your life. Well, I have no idea what I want to do. I am supposed to declare a major soon, and I think I know what I am going to declare, but that is only because I am interested in it, but I don't know if that is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Obviously, I like to cook so I investigated culinary school. I applied and got in, but they wanted me to go back to being a first semester freshman. I just couldn't do it because I don't think I could emotionally handle an two years based on how difficult college has been thus far. I don't really know what else to say other than that I have been having a really difficult time in college.

Most, okay all, weekends I go home from college. I am obviously not a big partier and at school I do not have access to a kitchen, so I come home to cook. For me cooking and baking is therapeutic, it is a huge de-stresser for me. It usually lets me escape from whatever I am dealing with and use this energy to create something delicious and enjoyable. I also go home to be with my dogs. My dogs are my rock, they love me no matter what, or at least they seem to. I am way too emotionally attached to my dogs, but I don't care because I love them so darn much! I wish I could bring my dogs with me to school, but no pets in the dorm. Ugh. There is nothing like coming home from a rough day and being greeted at the door by a wagging tails and furry hugs.

Shortly after this school year started, I felt I needed some inspiration so I started to post quotes on my wall, which is where all of the above pictures are from. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Scoop #25

Check out the links I am loving this week! Feel free to share any links you are loving!

A 4 ingredient dinner? And it's pasta. I want it.

Who wants to make me this peanut butter granola with cacoa nibs and bittersweet chocolate for breakfast tomorrow?

I am all about easy, simple meals, so of course I want to try these 1 hour pot pies!

Vegan ice cream means no egg yolks, yes!

Cookies and cream shortbread combines Oreos with cookies. COOKIES ON COOKIES, PEOPLE.

Toasted marshmallow buttercream, you and I are going to be really good friends.

If you read some of my late night tweets then you may know my love of cereal, therefore my including  honey graham cereal milk pudding shouldn't be any surprise!

Summer, hurry up I want to enjoy some pina colodas.

Speaking of pina colodas...what about pina coloda cheesecake? Yes, put-lease.

Banana cake with easy peanut butter frosting. That my friends is a snack for the ages!

While I won't be hosting an Oscars party tomorrow this glitzy award show party makes me wish I was!

Angel food layer cake with coconut whipped cream and grapefruit syrup, just a few of my favorite things!

I've never had monkey bread, but I so want to try this monkey bread with orange & smoke! What combination, so creative!