Soupe Du Jour

So it’s offiicial.

My friends were cool with the idea iof me bringing some soup for their partay.

Therefore I am pleased to say that I will be making my first soup!

I will be using the recipe from the link below…

Sweet Pea and Mint Soup Taken by Kana Okada

From (http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/sweet-pea-mint-soup-10000001046889/index.html)

…hopefully it will come out just like that.

Sweet Pea Mint Soup…. seems easy enough…it only has 6 ingredients in it.

For any experienced soup makers I ask for your wisdom.

I will be creating the soup either tonight or tomorrow and will hopefully divulge my new found insight on Monday.

Thanks!

The Foodie

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Semi-Homemade Kit Kat Bars

I wanted to let you all know that this particular dessert came upon me at 5:00am last Friday.

I was awoken by the desire to make these treats for Father’s Day.

I honestly could not rest until I had the ingredients in my hands.

But here’s the catch, I had no recipe to really go of off…So I made one up…

In my half awake half asleep daze I heard the words Voortman’s wafers, mom’s chocolate fudge, and grandma’s peanut butter goop …

I did have to purchase the ingredients, except for the vanilla and powdered sugar, but it was $9.40 and I got use out of all the ingredients.

Once I remembered where I put my mommy’s delicious homemade chocolate fudge recipe, I was able to formulate some sort of plan.

However, due to certain funding cuts, I had to change it up a bit

Mom’s Homemade Chocolate Fudge

Dry ingredients

1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Wet Ingredients

1/2 cup of Milk (I used 1%)

3/4 tsp Vanilla

The next recipe adventure was my grandma’s peanut butter goop…it was written down at my grandma’s house.

Being too much in a hurry to call her, I decided to improvise.

The powdered sugar and peanut butter are combined in equal parts, whereas the milk is kinda see- how- much- you- need- as -you -go type of thing

Grandma’s Peanut Butter Goop

1/8 cup Milk (use as needed)

1 cup Peanut Butter

1 cup Powdered Sugar

Add in ingredient

1/2 package Voortman’s Vanilla Wafers

Now here is what I did…

1. First take about 16 vanilla wafers and slice them lengthwise in half.

You want to take your time and be careful not to break the wafers.

2. Next make up peanut butter goop.

Add the peanut butter and powdered sugar in half cup increments stirring as you add  little splashes of milk.

It was a little runny because I added wayyyyyy wayyyy too much milk.

I also used chunky peanut butter which was not part of the original recipe.

3. Its fudge making time!!!

For the fudge take the chocolate chips and milk and throw them into a microwaveable bowl.

Then pop it in the microwave for about 2 1/2 minutes

After that, chuck the vanilla into the bowl and stir

Chocolate fudge..Check!   Peanut butter goop..Check! Sliced wafers..Check!

Now its time those vanilla wafers get a chocolate bath…I was pretty jealous of them…

Before it gets too messy, get some wax paper set out on a 9 X 13 baking sheet

4. First, you want to take a half of a wafer and gently spread the goop on one side.

5. After that, add the remaining half back on

6. Dip the wafer into the chocolate fudge and roll it around to get completely covered.

FYI the fudge starts to stiffen fairly quickly, so yes you want to be gentle because you do not want the wafers to break, but move fast enough so that you do not get huge chunks of fudge on your kitkat bar….unless you do not mind…

This recipe makes roughly 16-20 wafers depending on how sparingly or not so sparingly you use the chocolate.

Keep bars chilled until serving time.

I must say these bars taste like the real deal.

Try this recipe out yourself and tell me how it goes.

Thanks!

The Foodie

Business Upfront, Party in the Back

Now as much as it may disappoint you, I am not talking about mullets.

One of my best friends is having a Gender Reveal Party this upcoming weekend where everyone including them finds out the baby’s gender.

It will be an adorably quaint occasion where the feast will be potluck style.

Although my favorite way to spend my time is baking, my friend specifically asked everyone to bring dinner and side dishes only.

I want to make something different yet yummy, yet not expensive…as well as vegetarian style (mainly because I have yet to master the art of meat cooking as well as I want to make something healthy)

Due to the dwindling size of my funds, I can only choose one recipe idea.

Either it will be a Sweet Pea and Mint soup, which would light and tasty side

Taken by Kana Okada

from (http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/sweet-pea-mint-soup-10000001046889/index.html)

or grilled vegetables.

Taken from (http://texasbrush.com/grill-news/?p=474)

They are both  flexible and can be manageable under a small budget..However the veggies to require  a good bit of added spices which could get costly fairly fast.

I will of course be asking her which she prefers and go from there, but I do leave this discussion open for suggestions or ideas for great vegetarian sides/meals on an itsy bitsy budget.

Thanks.

The Foodie

Wino In Training

This weekend my fiance and I enjoyed time with close relatives and lots of wine.

After gorging ourselves at a classy all-you -can -eat- anything -you- could- possibly -ever -want breakfast buffet, we decided to venture off in search of good spirits.

First we traveled to this lovely little shop called Weak Knee.

Taken from their website (http://www.weakkneehomebrew.com/Wines_for_Tasting.html)

Now this is not a store that sells wine, but sells you equiptment to make your own wine. The lady who worked was full of excitement and I do not if it was the free wine tasting or not, but we excitedly agreed to look into making our wine a hobby we could share…or secretly keep to myself… 

She gave us tastes to test from seven different wines all homemade there with their kits. I of course chose all dessert wines which are so sweet that needed no accompanying flavor to make my tongue happy.

My favorite flavors were their blackberry and blueberrry wines.

It tasted  like that first moment when you bite into a freshly baked blueberry pie when your teeth sink into a blueberry and your mouth explodes with rich juices.

 

Taken from http://www.ellesnewenglandkitchen.com/blog/2011/7/8/fresh-blueberry-pie.html 

( By the way you’ve try this lady’s fresh blueberry pie recipe! It is to die for!)

 Mind you when we were all done here, it was noon and I probably had a total of one and half cups of wine…so by the start of the afternoon you could say I was feeling pretty good.

As if that wasn’t enoguh wine, the lady suggested we check out a winery that is local to that area after we enthustically discussed how much we want delicious wine at our wedding.

 Taken from their website (http://www.manatawnycreekwinery.com/TheWinery/)

So we get there and all we see are crowds of people doting upon local craft stands presumptuosly sipping their wine.  We step into the main store front and this cute little old lady says “Welcome to our Wine Festival!”

My fiance and I looked at eachother and at time thought “score!”

She handed us a folded sheet of paper with their flavors listed front and back. We were allowed to each choose five to taste.

At first I wanted to try all dessert wines, but I figured I might as well try something different.

I tried a white, blush, red, sweet, and dessert wine.  My fiance and I develop a rating system and wrote the number on  a scale of 1-10 (10 being best of course) beside each flavor we tried.

 Do not get me wrong the flavors, in all the wines I tasted were popping excitedly in my mouth. However, I feel as though the flavors of those wines would make more sense when paired with food. It just seemed as if my mouth was searching for another taste to wrap up the sip I had taken. I gave all of the other wines a try, but their blueberry wine was soo divine.

My fiance agreed with me and decided he was going to buy a bottle of that stuff. I never knew that was what was expected of us after a free wine tasting, but both we and his family were happy with our purchase.

As we left I got distracted by these

 Taken from this website ( http://www.alpacas.com/)

I went to pet them and I literally felt as if their furry heads could be my pillow. I could not stop touching their heads…my fiance had to make me walk away…

Needless to say we brought the newly purchased beverage to his brother’s house party and  my future sister and cousins in law and I enjoyed it immensely.

If you know a place where you to wine and dine share your wino story 🙂

Thanks,

The Foodie

Karmel Apple Oooey Gooey Chewies

Okay so I know that’s not how you really spell caramel, but I wanted to spell it phonetically correct according to the way I pronounce it (the right way) 😉

 Anyways I made these puppies up on a whim for snack at church this past Sunday…

People were hesistant by the stickiness, but overall I think they went over pretty well.

Alot of this recipe was improvision and changing things at the last second..so I apologize if it may seem all over the place because that is how I felt while making them.

The best part about this recipe is that  I have purchased things over time, this time I did not need to buy anything!!

That being said…

Let’s get this party started!!

Dry ingredients

 1 2/3 cup oatmeal

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

 

Wet ingredients

 1 tsp. vanilla

1 apple (creates apple juice)

1/4 cup  honey

Awesome Oooey Gooey Glaze

 1/3 cup brown sugar

½ tsp vanilla

1/3 c milk (I used soy milk)

First you want to make sure you wash that apple thoroughly

** A side note: Due to the extreme amounts of pesticides used on apples it is cleaner and better tasting to buy apples from local farmers’ markets

Next, this is when things got crazy, I decided I was going to juice the apple.

Do not have a juicer, blender, or food processor? No problem! Just do your best to chop up the apples as fine as possible.

But first the seeds and core of the apple had to disposed of.

After slicing and dicing I did some light reading to figure out how this contraption worked

Wash fruit, check! Core apple, check! Plug in juicer, check! Shove apple slice into juicer….

Not check! It took me about 3 more times to chop the apple slices to fit the funny shape juice thing and let me tell you they were not pretty. That is why there were no pictures.

Now that they were at the right shape, it was juicing time!!

One apple produce slightly less the 1 cup of juice

As well as a little more than a 1/4 cup of leftover apple skin

*For me this was good point to start preheating the oven at 350 degrees.

After I calmed down from the excitement of juicing, I set the apple items aside and began to compile the mixture

First I took all of the dry ingredients: oatmeal, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and mixed them all up in a bowl.

Next I took the vanilla, honey, and apple juice, and mixed them together. *If you do not have juicer use 6 tbsp of applsauce to replace juice*

Slowly combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Add in the leftover apple scraps from the juicing.

Next in a lightly greased 8 x 8 pan…I used my aluminium pie pan…dump this mixture in it and spread it out as thin as possible.

It might look a little gross because of some this apple peels, but believe me it tastes soooo delish!

Next is the glaze. which because I thought of doing at the last second I forgot to take a picture.

Basically you  just take the milk, brown sugar, and vanilla, and mix them fiercely.

About 8 minutes into the baking, take the pan out and drizzle half of the glaze on top. Put leftover glaze into the fridge

Put it back into the oven for another 8 minutes or until crispy brown on the top.

Let the bars cool for about 30 minutes and then dump the rest of the glaze on top.

This recipe serves 16 people or 1 really hungry fiance 😉

Be sure to keep this chilled before use and watch out because these tasty treats cause sticky fingers and messy mouths.

Thanks for reading!

The Foodie

I am “Nut”s I “tella”

While eating my bagel thin breakfast, I stared at the Nutella nestled on my desk. Image

Its chocolatey goodness makes my tongue salivate (even now when I am typing!)

I have unfortunately been binging on this hazelnutty and sugary sweet spread. It is difficult because this is truly the only chocolate fix I have on me most times when I am in my dorm. It is also usually the most flavorful thing I have to eat. So I go crazy.

Image

As you can see its almost gone…this is week # 5 and I have used this decadent spread for every occasion (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)

Here is my concern…Many say that Nutella has lied about being a healthier alternative to peanut butter.

To be honest its a tough argument.

Nutritionally speaking here is the comparison between the too:

Peanut butter 

Calories 188, Fat 16g, Protein 8g, Carbs 6g, Potassium 208mg

Nutella

Calories 200, Fat 11g, Protein 2g, Carbs 23g, Potassium 151mg

According to that, peanut butter kinda comes out on top. Nutella may have less fat, but the type of fat in peanut butter is typically poly or mono unsaturated fats which are the fats your body needs.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Spread Contains 90% Peanuts Taken from

 (http://www.jif.com/Products/Details?categoryId=339&productId=954)

Now here are the ingredients in both:

Peanut butter

Peanuts, dextrose, hydrogenated vegtable oil (cotton seed and/or rapeseed) and salt.
 
Nutella
 
Sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reducded minerals whey (milk), leacithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor.
 
If we were going by the whole no more than five ingredients rule…peanut butter would win. If we were going by the no artifical flavors..peanut butter would win. Even if I knew what reduced minerals whey was…peanut butter would still win.
 
But do not fret my fellow Nutella lovers!!
 
I may have found a solution..what if there was a simple and inexpensive way to concot our own healthier Nutella???
 
At least healthier from the standpoint of knowing what ingredients are going into my belly.
 
Let’s face it…it’s hard to make anything sweet without it havnig lots of sugar, but I will take on that challenge!…if I can afford it..
 
So it may not be this week, but in the near future I plan on conquering such a feat.
 
Suggestions are welcome, especially one that do not break the bank.
 
P.S. I do not have a blender or food processor whichI discovered might be useful when trying to create such things…if anyone can help me find another way of making it that would be great…all I have is metal spoons, pots and pans, and a juicer…
 
Until next time,
 
The Foodie

I Survived a Drive-By

I was afraid to pullover, but I had to do something about it. I was not sure where to go. I had so many options, but I just could not decide which would be safest for me…At the redlight, the red and yellow glow of the Sheetz gas station caught my eye. Mesmerized I followed the path up the road to my new destination…This was going to get ugly…

The rain was pouring hard at the time…7:35am to be exact. I grabbed my wallet and rain into Sheetz.

 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhaithaca/218879420/)

I was bombarded by the scent of icing dripping off of  freshly baked donuts..high sugar coffees topped with flavored creams…discounted breakfast burritos saturated with grease…I had to find something and quick…

I took a chance at the big screen…started pushing buttons…all I could find was the overusage of the word “shw” and everything meat.

I circled up and down the aisles tempted to grab a cheap maple syrup sausage cheese shwbiscut or whatever..when something caught my eye.

Relieved that it was much cheaper than normal ($2.99 when normally $3.69), I snagged one and went on the hunt for something light yet satisfying to pair this drink with…cookies no. cheese no. apple pie…maybe-no…

Then my eyes saw what deep inside I have been looking for all this time

 

woot! woot!! Honey Nut Cherrios were apart of THIS complete breakfast.

Safe, yet a little scarred by the overdose of sugar potpouri, I was finally on my way to my work. I survived the fast food drive by, did you??

P.S. There was no actual shootings during the blogging of this post. I went against my budget ($4.58 for breakfast) due to the lack of sustainance this morning because I had forgotten to prepare my breakfast the night before. (EPIC failure)

Don’t you just love these kind of days 🙂

Whether you do or not, how do you survive fast food drive bys when you are in a frantic tizzy in the morning?

Thanks,

The Foodie

Italian Bread Gone French

Heres the scoop on my most recent baking venture. I had a hankering to bake up something crunchy on the outside yet fluffy and strachy on the inside. Why not make Whole Wheat Italian bread?? Epic idea.

I decided that I would run (literally) to the grocery store (about 2.5 miles away) and pick up some whole wheat flour, yeast, and brown sugar (by the way it only cost me 4.77!!)Image

That same day I lunched out with my good friend and she offered to make a meal fit enought for my bread. I so excited to here this I jet back to my fiance’s apartment to begin the journey.

First off let me give credit where credit is due. The following recipe was based off the one found at this link

http://www.food.com/recipe/crusty-whole-wheat-italian-bread-38746

Dry Ingredients

1. 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3. 3 cups whole wheat flour

4. 1 package active dry yeast

Wet Ingredients

1 1/4 cups of luke warm water

Dough Rise # 1

After I warmed up the water in the microwave for about 30 seconds on regular power, I poured it into a rather large pot.

Then I continued to add the brown sugar and yeast.

After stirring it for a second or two, I allowed it to sit for about 5-10ish minutes.

As I patiently waited, I measure out half of the needed amount of whole wheat flour

and all of the salt.

Once added, I mixed very enthustically with my pasta spoon.

I then added the rest of the flour stirring and kneading the dough inside the pot (I had no where else to do it) until it was stiff yet smooth.

ooooo so shiny!!

Using an aluminum pie pan prayed with PAM, I plopped the chunk of dough and move it around to grease it up. Then I placed a 9 X 13 aluminium baking thing..overtop the pie pan and set it in the oven with no heat on.

After an hour of praying that the dough will rise, I opened the oven to peak on the results.

Dough expansion!! Now that’s what I am taking about!

Dough Rise #2

After I did a victory dance, I beat the dough down and divided it in half. I made two very narrow cylinders of dough and placed them onto a greased 9 X 13 baking sheet. I then attempted to use the same 9X13 alumuninum baking thing to cover up the dough for the second rising which by the way should last about 45 minutes.

To pass the 45 minutes I gazed endlessly at episodes of Bridezilla on Netflix. I took notes in my head on what NOT to do during my engagement.

Time to Bake!! Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

To my dismay the did not rise or expand as before probably because the oven was not big enough to fit both pans and the door did not close tightly…

With a little bit of disappointment and defeat I made a few indent slices across each loaf and sprinkled some flour over top.

I shoved those suckers bake into the oven (at 400 degrees F), and gave them about 15ish minutes to bake and brown.

Voila!!

A little narrow for Italian bread..but I just told my friend I made French bread instead 😉

Two loaves are supposed to be enough for about 16 servings…however the four of us consumed both of them in one sitting.

I am pretty sure my fiance ate about half of bread on his own.

Here is the nutrition info according to the recipe’s website

Serving Size: 1 (45 g)

Calories 92.4

Fat 0.4 g

Protien 2.9 g

Sugar 1.7 g

And that was the story of the Italian bread gone French!

If you decide to give this a try and come up with better results share your story!

Thanks!

The Foodie

TGIS (Saturday)

Hope everyone’s weekend is doing well! I slept all day so I feel recharged and ready to go!

 Image Taken from this website–>http://onesabrina.blogspot.com/2010_05_01_archive.html

(That’s me in the picture by the way..)

I decided that I will most likely be posting a recipe experiment about twice a week due to time and my dwindling budget. The next idea I have is to share recent experience with my homedmade bread making. It will probably be posted on Monday given that the morning workload does not kill me. However I need to bake up some bagels…So if anyone has any suggestions for healthy low budget homemade bagels send them my way 🙂

Thanks!!

The Foodie

Skinny Chewy Oatmeal Bars

I just want to say..for those who say you cannot bake with 4 by 4 kitchen I prove you wrong. Yesterday afernoon my fiance’s oven and I bonded over almost melted plastic and almost ear thrashing alarms. BUT for the most part the procedure was a success!

Image

Let’s relive the drama!

First it started with preheating this quaint oven…

Image 

By the way, there was no indication of exactly how hot the oven was going to get, other then faded numbers. So by default I would say preheat around 325-350 degrees.

Second, make sure you have some sort of mixing tools before you begin baking.Image

Yes that is a cereal bowl, pasta spoon, and pie pan…

Image

And a rice cooker…

Image

Next!!

For some reason with this oven, the heat rises from the stove with a vengence that has the ability to melt or burn whatever is sitting atop of it.

Needless to say I needed to relocate everyting in the 4 by 4 kitchen, and turned the heat down…at least I hope I did.

Here we can see some of my tools and ingredients hiding in the cupboard.

The only available spot for the “mixing bowl”…atop the mini fridge.

After the mayhem, I was finally able to begin to compile my concotion.

Dry Ingredients

1. 2 cups oats

2. 1/2 tsp salt

3. 1 tsp cinnamon Sugar

Combine into mixing bowl

Wet Ingredients

1. 1/2 cup applesauce

2. 2 tsp vanilla

3. 2 egg whites

4. 1/2 cup honey

Combine in a…smaller mixing bowl.. (or cereal bowl if you do not have a regular mixing bowl)

Next dump the wet stuff into the bowl with dry stuff.

Mix it up until it looks something like this:

 

I know …it looks pretty awesome 😉

After about 15ish minutes ( at God knows what temperature) the bars are browning around the edge and are ready to come on out.

Oh and I drizzled a couple teaspoons of my fiance’s grandfather’s good friend’s homemeade maple syrup …yummm!!

And after all that I got this:

Image

As an FYI…it needs to be a little sweeter… raisins or little bit of brown sugar would go a long way. The total cost of the purchased ingredients (salt, eggs, and applesauce) were about 2 dollars. I got roughly 12 servings of these bars…wait a second…11 servings ( my fiance snuck one from last night)

Nutritional Info per serving

105.75 calories

1g fat

13.5g sugar

1.5g fiber

Hope you enjoyed this thrifty homemade deliciousness! If you get a chance, test it out and add your own personality to it 🙂

Thanks,

The Foodie