food isn't any good unless you have some fun!

come on in and enjoy!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Homemade Ginger Ale

Hey everyone,

This post must give all proper credit to the true maker of this beverage- the BF. I like ginger, even love it, but not in the levels of true ginger beers and ales. My sister and the BF have always liked super "spicy" ginger things- and with this, you can make it as strong (or not) as you want.

The BF used Alton Brown's Ginger Ale recipe as a starting point, and the modifications he made were- he used way more ginger, you definitely need to use a little more yeast, or better yet, find a friend who home brews or something and go ahead and actually carbonate it- the recipe with just the yeast the way Alton Brown has it will make a little fizz, but it will not be truly carbonated like we think of in our sodas today.

Arsenal- pot, bottle with filtered water, ginger, sugar, yeast. (and a funnel is pretty helpful too!)
Make your ginger syrup first (The BF has been making syrup and using it for various drink concoctions- take things into your own hands!!).
Your finished ginger syrup.
Strain the ginger out of the syrup, or not, depending on your preference (Alton says to always strain, but BF likes it both ways, now often straining half of it out and leaving half in there), then add it to your filtered water.
Then add in the yeast, and throw that cap on (tight!).
And here you have it- a homemade glass of ginger ale- spicy and refreshing!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, December 22, 2014

Skillet Cookie

Hey there everyone,

This post is more of an idea than a recipe- because you can really take this concept, and apply it to your favorite cookie- however you like it! I started with the base for my Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies, then added in whatever I felt like each time I made a cookie. These were inspired by an awesome find at Goodwill about a month ago where I found a 5-inch cast iron skillet- the perfect size for massive indulgence, or the perfect size for 2 to share. Just butter the skillet well, load it up with the dough (only fill 1/2-2/3 of the way full), set your oven to whatever temperature your cookie recipe says, and bake! It takes me about twice as long to cook a skillet cookie that is 5 inches as regular cookies- between 17-20 minutes or so. Just make sure you have a tall glass of milk to accompany this!

Your easy arsenal- skillet, butter, dough, and add-ins. I have some of the nuts separate because I like more than the BF does :)
Load up your buttered skillet.
Bake, then enjoy this thing of beauty- don't be deceived, it's super gooey and delish in the center, with crispy edges all around. Yumm!

Savor it! and give it a try!
love, rue

Monday, December 15, 2014

Guinness Irish Cream Cupcakes

Hey everyone!

I made these a few weeks back for a friend's birthday. Now, I don't really do alcohol (just not my thing), so I had to depend on the opinions of my boyfriend and friends- and I'm pretty sure you can't fake that kind of enthusiasm, haha. So these are super easy to make, despite having a few extra looking steps, and got rave reviews about how good they were- so go ahead, give them a shot! Let me show you how...

Your (a little large than usual but still mostly simple) arsenal.
Melt your butter, add Guinness, cocoa, and coffee.
Here's your butter-Guiness mixture on the left, and the egg and sour cream on the right (I only made a half batch).
After beating together the egg and sour cream, mix it all together well. This is when you can add your vanilla as well.
Then add in your dry ingredients...
And mix until just incorporated.
Fill greased cupcake tins/liners about 2/3 of the way full.
For some beautiful cupcakes like this!
And I didn't think I needed to show all the pictures from just another variation on a classic confectioner's sugar icing, so on the right is your Irish Cream Icing, and on the left your cupcakes.

[I only made a half batch, so that's what's in the pictures- a half batch made about 12 cupcakes exactly, and a half batch of the icing made enough to have extra if you're more of a medium-amount-of-icing person, and plenty if you're a I-like-a-ton-of-icing person :)]
Guinness Irish Cream Cake
-1 cup Guinness
-1 cup (2 sticks) butter
-3/4 cup cocoa
-1 tablespoon instant coffee
-2 eggs
-2/3 cup sour cream
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-2 cups flour
-2 cups sugar
-1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
Irish Cream Icing
-1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
-3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-3-4 tablespoons Irish Cream (like Bailey’s)
Melt butter on the stove, add Guinness, cocoa, and coffee. Remove from heat, let cool slightly.
Beat eggs and sour cream in a large bowl.
Slowly temper the butter mixture into the eggs and sour cream, mix well.
Add dry ingredients, and mix just until incorporated.
Fill greased cupcake tin/liners about 2/3 of the way full.
Bake for 16-19 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
Beat butter and confectioners sugar together. Add vanilla, beat well.
Add Irish Cream until you reach a spreadable consistency.
Ice your cupcakes once cool, enjoy!

And here are the finished cupcakes!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, December 1, 2014

Caramel Filled Cookie Cups

Hey there everyone,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you're in the tradition of celebrating it! Here's a super simple recipe that could turn into all kinds of creative and wow-worthy holiday desserts- fill these with whip cream, no-bake cheesecake filling, fruit, chocolate, the list goes on!! Like last week, these start with my favorite cookie base (from my Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies). And, please, it goes without saying they're just delicious all by themselves! Let's go!

Your cookie base, chocolate chips, and caramels.
And here's a picture of how I did the process, basically.
Ending up with this beautiful tray! Half have chocolate chips, half are sprinkled with sea salt.
And here's what they look like right out of the oven- just brown around the edges, and puffy in the middle.
Let them cool, and they'll fall in a little, leaving you with a little cookie cup to fill with whatever you like (or nothing at all)!

Caramel Filled Cookie Cups
-1 cup (2 sticks) butter)
-3/4 cup white sugar
-1 cup brown sugar
-2 eggs
-1 tablespoon vanilla
-1/4 cup caramel sauce
-3 3/4 cups flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-24 (approx.) small pieces of caramel.
-optional: mini chocolate chips, sea salt
Grease a mini-muffin tin.
Cream butter and sugars. Stir in eggs, vanilla, and caramel sauce.
Add flour, salt, and baking soda and stir well.
Using a cookie scoop or spoon, get medium sized balls, form around the caramel bits, and place in your mini-muffin tin. Sprinkle with chocolate chips or salt (or other) if you desire.
Bake at 350 F for about 8-10 minutes, until just starting to brown, or 11-12 if you like your cookies a little crispy.

Your finished product- easy to store, and easy to eat!! Enjoy!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, November 24, 2014

S'more's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hey there everyone, here's a great and easy fall recipe.

I used my caramel chocolate chip cookies recipe as the template for this and made my add-ins chocolate chips and miniature marshmallows to make S'more's Cookies! This idea's been in my head for a while and I finally got myself into the kitchen to do it. Good s'more's flavor without a campfire or anything- though as you know, a really good s'more is amazing! Let me show you!

Your arsenal: basic cookie ingredients, and mini marshmallows.
Mix up your cookie dough standard, then add in your chocolate chips and marshmallows.
And stir well. It can help to refrigerate your marshmallows ahead of time so they are a little harder and stir in better.
And form into balls on your cookie sheets- see those marshmallows on the sides of a few? Try not to let that happen and pat a little dough around the marshmallow so it stays in the cookie!

S'more’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
-1 cup (2 sticks) butter)
-3/4 cup white sugar
-1 cup brown sugar
-2 eggs
-1 tablespoon vanilla
-1/4 cup caramel sauce
-3 3/4 cups flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-3/4 cup chocolate chips
-1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
Line a baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
Cream butter and sugars. Stir in eggs, vanilla, and caramel sauce.
Add flour, salt, and baking soda and stir well.
Add in your chocolate chips and mini marshmallows and your dough is ready!
Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes, until just starting to brown, or 11-12 if you like your cookies a little crispy. These work best if you form the cookie dough balls with the marshmallows not on the outside- doesn’t hurt anything, the dough just can’t do anything to keep the marshmallow in if it starts to melt off the side.

And here's your finished product- they aren't all this pretty, but I get to choose which pictures  go up, so these are all lovely- but don't be disheartened by a misshapen or imperfect cookie- I had a few of those, and what do you know, they tasted just as good!!!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, November 17, 2014

Popcorn 'rice krispy' Treats

Hey there everyone,

Here's a really easy recipe for in between Halloween and Thanksgiving- takes minutes to whip up and is really deliciously tasty- and you can modify it to be however you'd like with whatever candy is your preference! Let's go!

Your popcorn, marshmallows, and chopped Rolos.
And here's your sugar, butter, and corn syrup.
Stir constantly until boiling.
Then pour over your popcorn mixture! (glass bowl for heat protection!)
And toss well, but gently.

Popcorn ‘rice krispy’ Treats
-12 cups popped popcorn
-10 oz. (1 regular bag) mini marshmallows
-rolos, reese’s, snickers- whatever candy and how much you want to add, chopped
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1 cup (2 sticks) butter
-1/2 cup light corn syrup (Karo)
Grease a 9x13’’ pan (or 8x8’’ for a 1/2 batch).
Mix popcorn, marshmallows, and candy in a large heat-proof bowl.
Place sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a not non-stick pot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Pour syrup over popcorn mixture, mix well but gently.
Pour into your greased pan. Chill.
Cut up and eat like rice krispy treats.

Your finished treats! Just pat out into a pan and chill- delish!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Spice Caramel Rice Crispy Treats

Hi everyone!

This is a tasty fall recipe that's going to be a two-for-one. First, I'll clue you in on how to (super-easily) make your own pumpkin pie spice so you don't have to buy anything special or pay extra. Then we'll move on to our application in Pumpkin Pie Spice Caramel Rice Crispy Treats- just as easy as regular rice crispy treats, but with a nice fall twist. Let's go!

Pumpkin Pie Spice
-4 tablespoons cinnamon
-4 teaspoons ground nutmeg (fresh grated is best!)
-4 teaspoons ground ginger
-3 teaspoons ground allspice
Mix all spices together. Store airtight. Use in a myriad of fall and holiday recipes, and enjoy!

Just mix your spices together in whatever jar/container/bag you have, and use!

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Rice Crispy Treats
-3 tablespoons butter
-10 oz. (40 large or 4c mini) marshmallows
-2-3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (recipe above)
-1/3 cup caramel syrup/sauce (like for ice cream topping)
-6+ cups crispy rice cereal
Grease a 9x13’’ pan, set aside.
Melt butter in a large microwaveable bowl.
Add marshmallows to butter and microwave until melted when stirred (1:15-1:30 most likely, but adjust for your individual microwave power). Stir well.
Add pumpkin pie spice and caramel sauce, stir well.
Pour in your cereal, mix well but gently, then pour out into your greased pan.
Pat down uniform with greased or wetted hands/spatula, refrigerate.
[This can also be done on the stovetop, I would just be very careful about how high your heat is so that nothing burns. I haven’t done it on the stovetop so I can’t tell you particulars, sorry!]

Here's your arsenal- I betcha have at least half of these ingredients already!
Here's what your marshmallows/butter should look like right out of the microwave-
all have gotten big and puffy so that you can stir it down really nice...
Then add the pumpkin pie spice and caramel! I think I might try the addition of a teensy bit
of vanilla next time too- feel free to experiment!!
And here's what your marshmallow mixture looks like --> add the cereal and mix it all well, then...
Dump into your already greased pan
(this is an 8x8'', I made a 1/2 batch- for a whole batch you would use a 9x13'')...
Then pat flat and uniform with greased or wetted spatula or hands.
Refrigerate for as long as you can resist, then dig in!

Savor it!
love, rue

Monday, November 3, 2014

Breakfast Berry Protein Smoothies

Hey there everybody!

I like to make a lot of my food ahead of time so I'm not so bogged down during the week when I need to get places and do things, but eating would be nice too. So I make a week's worth of Breakfast Protein Smoothies each weekend, then defrost in the fridge overnight each day- perfect to get something solid in, even when you can't think of anything else. Let me show you how easy! And it's important to remember- you can make this any flavor you want- any fruit, any flavor protein powder- make it to your tastes :)

Your arsenal- from ice and frozen fruit, to yogurt and milk, and your protein powder, metamucil, and milk.
Blend all of your ingredients together. Shout out to my sister Dare for gifting me this blender for my birthday this year- I use it almost daily, and it is amazing! But the point of this is that my blender is big enough to just put all the ingredients in and blend, scrape once, and blend to perfection. You might need two batches for a smaller blender.
And here are the finished smoothies- a giant pitcher of berry breakfast goodness!

Breakfast Berry Protein Smoothies (1 week/7 servings)
-14 ice cubes (about 2-3 cups)
-2-3 cups frozen fruit of your choice
-2 1/2 cups of plain, low-fat yogurt
-1 1/2 cups (approx.) low-fat milk- adjust amount for texture
-3 1/2 scoops high quality protein powder (30g protein per scoop, or adjust to make amount of protein equal)- I use half and half vanilla and strawberry, but you can use any flavor you like
-4 teaspoons Metamucil Clear & Natural (good and totally unnoticeable fiber in there for you!)
-3 tablespoons brown sugar, or to taste
Put all ingredients in a large blender (if yours is smaller, I suggest doing it in two batches), and blend well, scraping down sides if needed, until everything is smooth and pretty uniform.
Pour 1 - 1 1/4 cup servings into individual containers, and freeze.
Place smoothie in refrigerator last thing before going to bed and it’ll be perfect for you when you wake up in the morning!

Pour 1 to 1 1/4 cup servings into individual jars or containers, and stick them in your freezer. Take one out last thing each night and you'll have a perfect smoothie in the morning.

Savor it!
love, rue

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Halloween Puppy Chow

Hi there!!

I'm sorry (not that sorry) to share sweet snacks two weeks in a row, but I had to fit this one in before Halloween, because I think it's the perfect thing to have around the house as festive snack for a party or just watching a movie or reading a scary story :) If you've been following my blog for any time, you've probably read one of my puppy chow recipes/explanations before, so I won't go into too much detail, I'll just say that this is delish, super easy, and a number of people call it 'muddy buddies', in case that rings a bell where 'puppy chow' doesn't! Let's go!

Arsenal: cereal, white chocolate, confectioner's sugar, and extras!
Mallowcreme & Candy Corn M&Ms in the corner, then the white chocolate mixture,
cinnamon chips, and a large bowl with the cereal.
Toss cereal with your melted white chocolate, and toss in cinnamon chips if using- it'll look messy- that's good!
Then get all of your cereal into your gallon bag with confectioner's sugar and pumpkin pie spice
Last, pour out onto wax paper to let it harden, then store airtight!

Pumpkin Spice Halloween Puppy Chow
-8 cups Chex cereal (I used half regular rice Chex-type cereal and half cinnamon Chex)
-12 oz. white chocolate chips (usually 1 bag) or candy melts (use orange for even more festivity!)
-1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
-1/2 cup cinnamon chips (optional)
-1 cup confectioner’s/10x sugar
-1-2 cups mallowcreme pumpkins or autumn mix
Pour cereal into a very large bowl, and get out two spoons for tossing.
Prepare your gallon ziploc bag by pouring in the 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar and 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, shake around.
Melt your white chocolate slowly in the microwave or on a double boiler. Once melted, take off heat and add 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice.
Pour white chocolate mixture over cereal and toss well. If using, add cinnamon chips as well.
Transfer cereal mix to the gallon bag, toss well.
Pour out onto wax paper to harden and throw away bag and excess confectioner’s sugar.
Sprinkle with mallowcreme pumpkins or autumn mix.
[When I made this recipe this time, I put half of the mallowcreme candy in before shaking with the confectioner’s sugar, and half after, hence the pictures being a little off from the recipe. It’s delicious both ways but for visual appeal, I’d add it all at the end]

And here's your finished product- festive, and super yummy and addictive!
Good thing I have great people to share my goodies with, or else I'd eat it all!

Savor it!
love, rue