Jan 31, 2011

Birthday Pound Cake!

Sweet things are nice, birthday girls who are nice get nice sweet things. nice nice nice! Colleen is awesome, so I made her some pound cake, with a li'l help from Betty Crocker. This is a really easy way to add a little extra something to cake mix...
This is the finished pound cake, marbleized with jam and topped with lemon glaze, next to the cookbook I didn't have to use. Take that suckas!

Jan 29, 2011

QUICKIE: Unclogging a drain

Have you ever finished a shower with water up to your mid-calf? There is nothing more frustrating or disgusting than a slow drain. I hate having to watch my toothpaste chill out in the sink for ten minutes before it decided to get the hell out. I'm also writing a book called: Home Improvement as a Procrastination Technique, The Katherine D. Story.

The internet is very helpful,  all you need is 1/2 cup baking powder and 1/2 cup white vinegar. And food coloring...just kidding, that's for making volcanoes! Follow that lovely paste with a kettle of boiling water. YUM!

Step 1/2/3: Put the baking soda in the drain, mash it in with your fingers. Pour the vinegar down the drain. Close the drain. Open it up a few minutes later and pour in some HOT WATER

Rinse and repeat (in the other drain)

Sean loves to help!
Me: "Sean do you know how to unclog a drain?"
Sean: "What?"

After following these steps, the drain still didn't seem to be working any better. I decided to try to use the end of a spoon to investigate the issue.
So. Much. Fucking. Hair.

In case you were wondering, both the drains are working much better now. I'd give this home remedy 5 stars out of 5 stars. Three stars awarded purely on the basis that it seems like putting baking soda and vinegar down the drain would make the sink blow up.

Jan 27, 2011


Want to wait a really long time for something to bake in the oven? Yes? Okay, great.
This is a recipe for some really spicy french fries seasoned with my own special blend of spices:

Jan 25, 2011

Cooking With FRIENDS!

Cooking is something that I really enjoy, more and more and more and more. It can also be a really great thing to do with friends. You get to spend some (forced) quality time with them and everyone is rewarded (bribed) with a great meal!
Disclaimer: I only hang out with people who are wearing the same colored sweater as I am.
Self timer makes everyone look great!
Special Guest Stars: Ben C. and Kate S. yeah yeah yeahhhh.

Jan 23, 2011


Well, now I'm going to take off my blogger cap and put on my analrapist stocking.

Anyway. Made some really delicious rolls... Rosemary Potato Rolls, they have mashed potatoes in them! I used this recipe from someone else's blog "Two Peas and Their Pod" (that's a link to it in case you are so inclined...). I was at work and decided I wanted to make some bread and after browsing around on Food Gawker (that is also a link, prepare to be...amazed), I decided that in light of recently coming into some potatoes, I'd try them out. This recipe would make a lot more sense if you had some left over mashed potatoes you wanted to take care of, but I didn't so I just made about two potatoes worth of mashed potatoes. This recipe was delicious and made enough dough for two batches... go check it out!

Jan 13, 2011

Sugar Cookies!

Kate turned to me and said, "We should always have cookies!"I responded, "Let's make some!"
This recipe comes from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything (except venison), which someone gave to my father as a gift at some point because they clearly never met him.

Refrigerator (Rolled) Cookies
makes at least 3 dozen
 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbs. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Use an electric mixer (SIKE) to cream the butter and sugar together until light; beat in the egg.
2. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter sugar mixture, adding a little milk at a time as necessary. Stir in the vanilla.
3. Shape the dough into a disk and refridgerate for at least two hours (or at least two episodes of Arrested Development).
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the dough disk in half... blah blah blah, roll it out, cut out some shapes and bake for 6-10 minutes....

 Step one: Soften your frozen butter in the microwave. On a plate. So it gets EVERYWHERE.

Kate loves to use the pretend electric mixer!

Don't have a rolling pin? WHO CARES! Just wrap something in seran wrap...

Look at all those turkey and reindeer and dinosaurs and bells, all living together happily just like God wants.

Except for the ones we had to throw away because they got burnt, but that's okay, you know what they say...
Kate can never sleep the night before motherboy... see how excited she looks!
Pull up a stool, put some cookies on it and the tissues under it... it's going to be a great night!

Jan 10, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzels

I was inspired to make these the other morning while eating a Peanut Butter Cup (my fave candy, hint hint) and thinking about how good chocolate covered pretzels are. BAM! Pretzels covered in peanut butter and chocolate. It's rlly easy...

Number One: Ingredients

Chocolate chips, pretzels, peanut butter and a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bonus secret ingredient: freezer space for the tray...

Step One: Melt the Peanut Butter
Nothing too fancy, the microwave works just fine.

You can judge about how much peanut butter based on how many pretzels you are using, you should probably stir it a few times to make sure everything gets melty...

Step Two: Put em' in there!

It was a li'l messy but I found using a fork worked better than a spoon. Get them all nice and coated and then onto the foil lined tray.
Sean loves to help!

The peanut butter will never really get that hard so 15 or 20 min. in the freezer is fine.

 Melt the chocolate: I just used chocolate chips and melted them in a bowl in the microwave, stiring every 45 seconds or so. I would tell you how long it took total, but my microwave is wack and doesn't have time settings (or work).
Sean loves to help! part two
Velvety cloak of chocolate: it's pretty hard to get these not to look a little wonky, but they taste excellent (or at least that's what all the drunk people at my house said, and they wouldn't lie)... the peanut butter may come off a little bit in the chocolate, but it's all going back on the pretzel so the overall taste isn't really effected.

Toward the end of the process I got a really good technique going of balancing the pretzel on a fork, lowering it into the chocolate and then tapping the fork on the side of the bowl to get the excess off. Lookin' mad professional. This photo is clearly from before I figured that method out.
TA DA! A whole tray of peanut-butter chocolate pretzels. Really easy unless you are microwave challenged.  Freeze these babies for about 15 minutes to set the chocolate and then store in a tupperware in the fridge for safe-keeping.


Jan 4, 2011

Dinner time! Baked Potatoes!

When a bike is your number one mode of transportation there are some foods that are just hard to justify getting at the grocery store. For example, a five pound bag of potatoes. Thus, I took advantage of having access to a car when I was home and picked up a beautiful bag of potatoes.
all this could be yours for just $2.49...

After a long, hard, day at the office (yeah, actually) all I wanted was a baked potato. This isn't something that really seems to require a recipe, but in case you were wondering here is the informative and deceptively named website: "How to bake a potato.
If you are fancier, here is Alton Brown's recipe, courtesy of the food network. According to this asshole (just kidding, luv this dude), you need "1 large russet potato (If it looks like Mr. Potato Head(r), you've got the right one.)" Choose your potato carefully, this is VERY important.
this will have to be good enough.
after preheating my oven to 350 and moving my oven racks as directed ("... position racks in top and bottom thirds"), I put my tater in the microwave. Because let's be serious, I'm not trying to wait a hour for my potato to cook in the oven.

it's ART
PRO TIP: microwave (anything) until it's almost cooked and then pop it into the oven to finish it off, makes you feel 50 - 75% better about all the radiation...GUARANTEED!

I topped my li'l baby off with some pesto and shredded mozz cheese, mmmmmm!

Jan 3, 2011

Recipe: Apple Cranberry Casserole

This recipe comes courtesy of Ma Dukes, it's super easy, super delicious and great as left overs. I don't have any process photos but trust me, this is all that's left:

Apple Cranberry Casserole
Ingredients 1:
  • 3 cups sliced apples
  • 2 cups raw cranberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
 Put apples and cranberries in a casserole dish, sprinkle sugar over top and set aside.

Ingredients 2:
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup nuts (chopped or w/e)
Mix dry ingredients into melted butter, spread over top of apple/cranberry mixture.
Sprinkle some water over topping to moisten well.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

P.S. Look how cute this mom recipe card is...

Food Memories: Cheezy Blasters

This was something I made over the summer with my bff and my roomate... inspired by 30 Rock, specifically this scene , THANKS MEAT CAT! I promised Laura that if she would come visit me, we could make (vegetarian) cheezy blasters. Which are, in case you don't know, hot dogs stuffed with cheese and wrapped in pizza. mmmmmm.

Thank god for the internet because after about 15 seconds of googling we were able to find this recipe.
Please, please do make these... they are amazing. Since ours were both home-made and vegetarian I would definitely consider this to be a healthy meal. To make it veg. all you have to do is leave off the 'ronis and use vegetarian hot dogs (which have until I threw them away recently been languishing in the freezer because they are fucking disgusting unless they are wrapped in pizza).

Get yer pizza nice and ready...


Cook your hot dogs... mmmm doesn't this look delicious?

Stuff 'em with some jack cheese...

Roll the doggies up in the pizza.

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH! I felt like Dr. Frankenstein unveiling his monster...


These were seriously awesome though, I'm totally making these again if I can con anyone else into doing it with me...

"Pecan" Passion

The aunt of a friend of mine makes delicious cookies every year for christmas. She was nice enough to share with me both cookies and the recipe for these which are basically chocolate with nuts and caramel... ask Eli, I seriously couldn't get enough of these cookies and couldn't have been more excited to try my hand and making them once I was back in Philly.

So... "Pecan Passion" by way of Pam Wright, originally from: Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies

Toasting the "Pecans" (I used walnuts, so sue me, they were a lot cheaper at the shoprite)

"First, toast the pecans for the top layer. Place them in a shallow pan in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes, siring once or twice, until they have a strong smell of toasted pecans when you open the oven door. Set them aside."  
mmm... nothing like the smell of toasting nuts "when you open the oven door"

 Making the bottom layer:
  •   3 oz unsalted butter 
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
  • 1/8 tsp. salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/4 cup flour

Sean loves to help!
Preheat the oven to 375, line the "9x9" (or 11 x 7 in this case) pan with tin foil, and grease it...mmmm pam

Melt the 3/4 stick of butter and add the sugar, salt, vanilla and egg. Mix it up!
  Use your pretend electric mixer, it makes it a lot easier.

Beat in the cocoa and flour...

 Maida sez: "Place this thick chocolate mixture in a ribbon or in several mounds all over the bottom of the lined pan. With the bottom of a metal sppon, spread the mixture in an even layer. It will be a thin layer. It will level itself while baking. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the shallow cake springs back when gently pressed with a fingertip.Remove the pan from the oven and let stand."

Look ma, two hands!

Put that baby in the oven, and get ready for the stressful part....


  • 1 Tablespoon dark rum or cognac 
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream 
  • 3 oz unsalted butter 
  • 1 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
  • scant 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 dark corn syrup 
  • 7oz (2 cups) toasted pecan halves

"Add the rum or cognac to the cream, set aside."  - I was ready to stop here, this was probably the best thing I've ever smelled.... boot leg egg nog anyone?

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the sugar, salt, and corn syrup. Stir this until it begins to "BOIL ALL OVER THE SURFACE"

Get ready, because this is where things start to get dicey:

"Place a sugar thermometer in the pan and cook, stiring occassionally, until the temperature reaches 250 degrees (this takes about two minutes of boiling). Watch it carefully - do not let it cook even a bit too long." 

Luckily Sean was there to hold the candy thermometer. We did our own New-Years style count up, 175, 200, 225, 250! Take it off the heat OR ELSE!
 "Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the cream mixture and then the pecans. Immediately pour the hot mixture over the bottom layer. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Time this very carefully. If yu bake it the least bit too long, it will become hard."

At this point, I started having a really hard time judging whether Maida was just trying to be helpful or if she was undermining me....all is well that ends well however...SIKE

25 minutes later:


Oh wait! It didn't work out. At all....

 Bye bye!!

After all that, I was left with a very pleasant caramel and nut combo on top of an impenetrable crust of burnt chocolate. Bummer! I scraped off as much of the top as I could and was left with this....

I'm not sure if my oven was too hot, if I cooked it for too long, made too many substitutions or if my immortal corn syrup is to blame....

I can't wait to eat this in 20130 after the apocalypse.

Anyway, I was pretty disappointed because these should have been SO FUCKING GOOD. But, Sean was nice enough to point out the top part came out alright, so I think up next will be caramels... maybe with sea salt. mmmmmmm! 

p.s. if anyone wants a coherent version of this recipe to try their hand at email me: kaydetto at gmail dot com