Tuesday, July 26, 2011

*Cupcakes: Kind of an obsession*

Okay, so not your typical blog today, but my apartment flooded. Which means I'm crashing a friend's place and feel strange doing my typical bake and write process. Therefore, this feast is for the eyes. (A real blog will be posted later this week)

I love cupcakes.


Capital L is for the way you look so cute. O is for the obvious sweetness inside. V is very very extraordinary way you can look or taste with creative bakers. E- everyone can't help but adore.... Cupcakes.

Okay, I'm definitely not a song writer or parody writer.

I've spent a good deal of time looking for my future career path on the Food Network website; Bios of every host, chef, and judge have been thoroughly scanned to discover majors, minors, masters degrees, and progression of careers. While I'm still at a loss due to my lack of le cordon bleu and money to attend - I have enjoyed quite the eyeful.


Cupcake Wars: On-Set Cupcakes on the Food Network

  #5 Green Flower Swirl: shows my love of the beautiful accents fondant can add

#6 Chocolate Pink: probably a combination of my nieces two favorite things ever

In addition:

Candy Cupcakes on the Food Network

#2: Snickers is probably my favorite candy ever and I have saved the recipe to bake and share later

#4: Butterfinger. The cupcake makes me want to actually buy the candybar - though I might prefer the cupcake.

Enjoy the photos, the cupcakes, and the food network. I'll have more for you later.

- Mollie

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

*Sharing is Caring: Taquitos*

We've all learned "Sharing is Caring" and although it's hard to share some of our favorite foods, I find myself more inclined to do so if it is not chocolate. If it is chocolate, you better stay ten feet away or suffer the gnashing of teeth.

Meaning, today I don't have sweets to share. (Shocking, right?)

Don't worry. There will be more to come later this week. I just found this website HelloGiggles via a friend on facebook and was fascinated with the clever, down to Earth treats page created by these girls. While I bet the rest of the site is fabulous, I have to admit I always just go straight to the food section without thinking much about the rest. They have rants, raves, how-to, beauty, entertainment, and other things that probably draw in other girls, but treats did it in for me. So feel free to check the rest out, but I'm sharing a recipe I found for Baked Chile and Potato Taquitos.

First off, I enjoy this section because they have every so often posts entitled "Recipe from My Boyfriend". Men? Who cook? Major win in my book. Not only do they cook, but they share their recipes and let their girlfriends post it all over the internet for others to enjoy. That's a real keeper.

I also am fascinated by the combination of potatoes inside taquitos. My boyfriend usually just gets the chicken and cheese taquitos you find in the frozen food section. I mean, I can get major points off of this recipe as a girlfriend. He'd be so impressed. "You made me taquitos?! They're not frozen?" Not to mention the recipe feeds 2 - perfect portions!

So thank you Marissa A. Ross for sharing this recipe. Check it out at HelloGiggles Here or look below at the copy I've placed.

Baked Chile & Potato Taquitos
Serves Two

• 2 large potatoes
• ½ medium onion
• 1 jalapeno
• 1 Anaheim pepper
• 1 red chili
• 1-cup cheddar cheese
• 1 packet Taco Seasoning
• Olive oil
• 10-12 corn taco shells

1. Use grater and shred the two large potatoes. Add to large skillet with olive oil. Turn
to high heat.
2. Dice onion, jalapeno, Anaheim pepper and red chili. Add to potato mixture in skillet.
3. Sauté until potatoes are golden brown.
4. Grease 13×9 pan with olive oil.
5. Take a warmed tortilla and spread a thin-ish layer of potato mixture in center and
roll into taquito formation. Continue process and arrange on tray.
6. Heat oven to 350 and bake for 25 – 35 minutes – to be safe, monitor for desired
crispiness. Personally, the crispier the better.
7. Serve with DIPS!

Monday, July 18, 2011

- National Ice Cream Sunday -

Did you know that the 3rd Sunday in July is officially National Ice Cream Day?

Ronald Regan was the one who designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the 3rd Sunday as the official day. I made this discovery because yesterday (July 17th) was this year's official National Ice Cream Day!

Of course, I had to take advantage of a reason to eat ice cream - especially after I had finished off everything in our fridge.

Although we had some tasty options for ice cream - like the wide variety at the grocery store - we wanted to go for something big and special. I mean, it was National Ice Cream Day. Go big or go home. Yet our local Bobtail ice cream place was losing the usual sparkle it did when we first moved in and spent many a hot August day visiting it.

Therefore, we opted for a typical favorite: Baskin Robbins. First, because it's the only other just ice cream store nearby. Second, because it's something we both had at home. Baskin Robbins was my late night runs to get ice cream and vent with my best friends. It was where we sat in the backs of cars in the parking lot shoveling the cold treat into our faces, laughing, and making a mess. It's where we let ourselves feel free for a sweet moment while everything else whirled by. This is why I enjoy Baskin Robbins despite the actual lack of 31 flavors behind the counter.

So my boyfriend and I grabbed our friend and headed to the combination Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins on the corner of Clark and Belmont - formerly known as "Punkin' Donuts" due to the high amount of punk kids who hung out outside of it and in the area.

The one problem I do have at here is making any sort of decision. I'm surprised my boyfriend and the people behind us in line didn't smack me across the face. It's hard not because of the wide variety, but a combination of your typical flavors and expenses. I'm a college student and can't spend a ton of money on a brownie sundae that doesn't come from Windy City Sweets. I mean really, quality versus price is something I have to keep my eye out for.

The ice cream behind the glass was mostly typical. Fat Free Frozen Yogurt Vanilla, chocolate, cookies and cream, chocolate chip, strawberry, and a few twists like the Super Soldier Swirl for Captain America. These less exciting ice creams made me want a 31 Below - which is soft serve vanilla swirled with anything you want. It has my favorites like Snickers and Oreos and cookie dough. But why get oreo 31 below when there's cookies and cream? This is the biggest debate I had.

And when they were out of Snickers, I knew I had to get the cookies and cream.
But, I spiced it up by making it a sundae.

The best part too was that the girl who we ordered from and who made my sundae was new. In fact, it was her first day. Therefore they had to teach her how to use the whipped cream and pump the chocolate. It was cute watching her learn, flustered how to pump hot fudge and that she had to ask about almonds and cherries on top. It was especially good for me, because I got extra hot fudge on top due to the learning curve. I'm not complaining.

On a hot summer day, what could be better than an ice cream sundae? Even as my boyfriend's 31 below got liquidy and I slurped most of it up for him on the walk home, I was just in sugary bliss.

- Mollie

What's your favorite ice cream flavor or combination?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Raspberry Rugelach - oh and chocolate too!

Although I landed safely back in Chicago, I've still lingering taste buds from delicious meals in Delaware. Before they disappear I thought I'd share a new found sweet sensation - at least for me.

I'm sure most people know what a rugelach is. Or perhaps not?

I had never heard of it before.
We were offered them as an option for dessert one night. I was told I had to give it a try. Of course, I never refuse a new sweet treat - especially in cookie form. The best thing about cookies that are small is that if you don't like it you don't waste a lot and you aren't tasting it for hours later.

Yet not tasting it hours later, these rugelach left my mouth watering for more hours later. If you don't know, here is a rugelach:
Photo via Flikr: Neil W Strathearn
The beauty about these little cookie treats is that they're filled with a variety of things. The pack we had from Harris Teeter (a new grocery discover that isn't in Chicago!) had raspberry and chocolate rugelach. Two flavors that I cannot resist in a dessert.

The beauty of rugelach is the swirled pastry that cushions the filling. It's not too sweet, not bland, and when frozen (as we had it) it's cool, crunchy, crumbly, and carries it's more flavorful filling friend. The pastry just felt like I could pick layers off as I would a fresh croissant roll from the bakery - which makes sense because (as wiki says) rugelach and the croissant may share an ancestor, and before they're cut the rugelach are usually in a similar croissant shape from rolling a triangle of dough.

Anyone who knows me will be shocked by this: I actually liked the raspberry more than the chocolate.

... let me give you a moment to take that in.

The fluffy pastry though was perfect for that light fruity flavor. It was like sweet jam giving those bright flavors to toast. Not to mention I was on a fruit kick from all the delicious cherries, apples, and fruits we had in Delaware. The chocolate might be better, and sweeter, if not actually frozen. It fell flat for me due to the lack of pop in contrast to the pastry. Instead I knew there was that bit of chocolate, but it was closer to the hard inner chocolate of a Panera bread pastry than the bright pop of flavor this cookie called for.

These Rugelach came in a nice big container from Harris Teeter. It was convenient so I could nibble on a few each day. They were delicious in vanilla ice cream (which softened the chocolate filling a bit) as well as perfect nibblers for a picnic

Since rugelach are Jewish pastries,  I'd like to see if "The Bagel" on Broadway has any and give them a second taste test. If you've any tips or tried any in Chicago, let me know! The corner bakery has also gotten great reviews of their rugelach on yelp. So give these treats a taste, especially since there's probably a hundred other flavors in store for everyone.

- Mollie

Sunday, July 10, 2011

- On the Boardwalk -

Hello from Delaware Internets!

If there is one thing Delaware is lacking, it is unsecured wireless networks to steal from. Therefore making my attempts at trolling, exploring, facebooking, writing, and killing time online much more difficult than expected. Instead of screen time, I've been reading books, sunbathing, at the beach and the pool, and enjoying so many delicious foods.

One thing Delaware doesn't lack: Ice Cream.

And after a morning at the beach, a rest in the air conditioning, and a walk on the boardwalk there is nothing better than an ice cream cone as you watch the waves crash upon the coastline. Kids love it. Adults love it. Teens in teensy bikinis love it. And twice we have gone to the boardwalk in Bethany Beach for Dickey's Frozen Custard.

The first time was a rough day. Everyone had gotten into their bathing suits (which is difficult for an almost 2 year old and a 4 year old included) and we were packed up when *KABOOM*
... lightning and thunder.
It had been completely dry for weeks here. Then the Chicagoans show up and here comes the rain.

Therefore, to suppress the sadness, we later went out for pizza and ice cream on the boardwalk. I didn't expect the wide array of ice cream flavors at this little ice cream place in a small beach community. But they know that people love their ice cream.

While my nieces had chocolate with patriotic sprinkles (picture left), I opted for a tollhouse cookie. Oh boy was I in for an unexpected surprise. At most, I thought it'd be like the Reese's with just little bits of cookie bites in vanilla ice cream. But oh, it was more than that. Vanilla ice cream, cookie pieces, chocolate chips. Soft, flavor in every bite. I didn't even think of there being just "plain" vanilla in between the bits I really wanted. It felt like there was something perfect in each bite. I got my cookie and I got my ice cream.

The second time the girls still got chocolate and coated themselves as it melted in the afternoon sun. I decided to try "Fudge Tracks" - which at first confused me. I wanted to ask them if they understood about Moose tracks. But oh no, Dickey's knows their flavors. Without even flinching, the woman working told me it was vanilla with fudge bits, chocolate sauce, and peanut butter bites. Oh yes, perfect. The peanut butter bites even looked like itty bitty Reese's cups. The fudge was decadent, soft, and full of that rich chocolate that blended so well with the vanilla ice cream. It melted as I licked at it. Of course, the crunch of the cone made it even better. Unless you're too young to eat the ice cream before it melts, I'd just opt for a cone no matter what. They're so yummy!

With my new golden toasty tan I feel confident as I devour the ice cream. And although there are quite a few options here in Delaware, I'd say if you're in Bethany Beach to go for Dickey's. The local authority (who I'm staying with) always picks it first. And don't worry, it's summer, the calories don't count right?