Girl Scout Cookie Your Heart Out

Girl Scout ice cream

Recipe: Girl Scout Cookies + Ice Cream

After-Taste: It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeeeear! Girl Scout Cookie time!! I’m personally a fan of Samoas and Tagalongs – but you know what makes these cookies taste exponentially better? Adding ice cream! I had this genius idea enter my mind and I went straight to the store to buy Tillamook Vanilla Ice Cream. It’s hard for me to pass the cute girls and say “no” to buying their cookies. I have to, otherwise I will buy every box and become obese. But this one time I went straight to them and demanded a box of Samoas. I had a dessert to consume, people! I went home and chopped each cookie into 8ths and scattered them over my scoops of ice cream. It. Was. BRILLIANT. I don’t know why I’d never thought of that before! Each bite was a perfect blend of creamy vanilla and a crunch of caramel-toasted coconut cookies (drizzled with chocolate). I do not have a sweet tooth usually – give me steamed cabbage over ice cream any day. But this one night, I was so happy my sweet tooth made an appearance. It is a deliciously brilliant dessert – Scout’s Honor.

Link: Girl Scout Cookies

Bake Your Heart Out

Pie

Creation: Apple Pie

Location: My Kitchen

After-Taste: OMG!!!! Hell has officially frozen over!! I made a PIE! And a pie that actually tastes GOOD!! On this Sunday, I had a lot of time to kill, so I got a weird thought in my head to try and make a pie. From scratch. Yes, crust and all. Making the dough was one of the greatest parts of the experience – I was so proud! I used a wine bottle as my rolling pin because I’m classy like that. And I decided I was going to attempt a lattice crust. Holy moly. Shit is getting real. And you know what? Creating the lattice was my favorite part! It was really fun, and a lot easier than I was expecting. The recipe I used told me to pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust to have it seep through all the apples, but I decided to mix the liquid with the apples beforehand. Take note: if you bake a pie, make sure to put a cookie sheet below the pie in the oven. I made the mistake of not doing this and sugary liquid dripped all over the bottom of my oven that will be very difficult to clean. Oopsies! I’ve said many times I’m not very good in the kitchen and this mistake is a perfect example. But I’m getting better, and that’s all that matters. I’m very proud of my apple pie and I’m so happy that it looks good AND tastes good!

Link: Recipe

Hard Boil Your Heart Out

Eggs

Recipe: Homemade Mayo & Egg Salad

Location: Your Kitchen

After-Taste: I’m slightly ashamed to admit this….actually, very ashamed. I have never made hard-boiled eggs. Yup. I said it. Can you tell why my New Year’s Resolution is to cook more? It’s because I barely know how to do anything in the kitchen and I really want to feel like a real human being and know how to at least COOK A HARD BOILED EGG. Sheesh, sometimes I think I’m very pathetic. But that motivates me – because you know what? When I peeled those eggs and saw perfectly cooked eggs that I could turn into a salad? I couldn’t have been more excited! Seriously, I am a 26 year old that gets giddy after successfully making eggs. Anyway, you get the idea. Me in the kitchen = a (long) learning process. BUT, get this, not only did I make my first batch of hard-boiled eggs, I also made homemade mayo for my first time! Let the giddiness commence! This process was hilarious – it is a very good test of patience…and tolerance. I used my blender and you have to pour the oil at an extremely slow rate. It’s a great workout for the arm, let me tell you! But once the eggs, oil, and mustard salt turn into a thick mayo – it got me jumping up and down with excitement! It made a huge mess, but I didn’t care. It was all worth it! It’s healthy(er) and delicious! Plus, you can add so many things to it to turn into different dressings/sauces/aioli’s/etc. I used this mayo for my egg salad (eggs, mayo, pickles, green onion, mustard, and paprika) and it was a perfect afternoon snack. Most people can do this kind of recipe in their sleep, but I’m very proud of myself! My brother is a chef so everything I do, I proudly send him a pic to show him that I’m trying. After I sent him the picture of my egg salad, he wrote, “Awesome! Nice bias cut on the green onion.” Ummm, bias cut?? I have no idea what that is, but apparently I did a good job! I responded, “I totally meant to do bias cuts…” :) Let’s see what I can come up with next!!

Link: Homemade Mayo

Pudding Shotz Your Heart Out

Pudding Shots

Recipe: Pudding Shotz

Location: Your Kitchen

After-Taste: Screw jello shots – it’s all about pudding shotz now!! (requirement to be spelled with a z. It’s a thing.) They are the perfect addition to any tailgate or party! I attended the Seahawk playoff game (GO HAWKS!) and I had to bring something to all the tailgates I was going to hit up. There are a couple of bars I know that serve pudding shotz and I’ve always loved them (Leny’s and Kate’s Pub) so I decided to make them in my own kitchen. It requires: pudding mix, whipped cream, milk, and alcohol. Yup, it’s that simple. I decided to go with pistachio and I even chopped up some pistachio nuts to put on top of each shot…you know, to class it up a bit. I made about 50 and they were SO perfect for the tailgates! Seahawk tailgates are the best and I was on cloud 9 the entire morning. My friends were super excited to try the shotz and they were definitely satisfied. Not only are they tasty, but they have just the right amount of alcohol to loosen you up. There were so many people downtown so I was worried about how I was going to go to the bathroom – the closest one was in Krispy Kreme and they required a passcode to use it, plus there was a super long line. Welp, pudding shotz to the rescue! There was an RV next to our tailgate, so I offered a few shotz to them in order to use their restroom and they happily offered it up. Ahhh, I love Seahawk fans. They liked them so much that they kept coming back to get more. WIN! They’re a great bartering tool. :) So forget your diet that you’re on, and make some pudding shotz for your next get-together. They’re a unique party favor that are impossible to not like!

Link: Pudding Shot Recipe

Cook Your Heart Out

Tom Kah Gai

Recipe: Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken Coconut Soup)

Location: Your Kitchen

After-Taste: My New Year’s Resolution is to cook more, so my Mom and I decided to get a jump-start on the resolution by making one of my favorite soups ever. Every time I go to a Thai restaurant, I always get Tom Kha Gai – it’s a creamy, coconut soup with a bit of a kick. [commence drooling] It was a super fun adventure to do with my Mom because we went to an Asian market to get most of the ingredients. This recipe requires quite a few different ingredients that you can’t find in your local Safeway (for instance, kaffir lime leaves and galangal root). Luckily the recipe only calls for a small portion of these unique ingredients, so you can freeze the rest and use later…because trust me, you will want to make this soup again. The prepping of the soup is the hardest part – it’s pretty time consuming. But this is me talking, and I’m not a very great cook, so I’m sure it would take the average cook half the time it took me. Once you get everything prepped, you literally put it all in a pot, wait a bit, and it’s good to go! The soup was so delicious and it was so much fun eating it at home. It also introduced me to curry paste and now I’m obsessed! I want to put that stuff on everything! Going forward, you may start seeing a few more recipe posts since I really want to stick to my New Year’s Resolution…so wish me luck!!

Link: Tom Kha Gai Recipe

Meat Ball Your Heart Out

Meat Ball

Event: Meat Ball

Location: Your House?

After-Party: How many Ugly Christmas Sweater parties do you get invited to or hear about every year? Probably a lot. They’re definitely the most common kind of holiday party, but here’s an idea that’s super clever and super fun. My friend Jessica throws a party every year at her house called the Meat Ball. It’s a brilliant idea where everyone dresses up in fancy dresses, the men all come in suits, and we’re all required to bring one dish containing meat. Get it? Meatball = Meat Ball. Of course there’s always a large dish of delicious meatballs – my favorite though, is when one person always brings bags of Dick’s burgers. If you ever want a cheap item to bring to a party – pick up some Dick’s cheeseburgers. It’s cheap, easy, and the people go NUTS over them! [aaaand I just made myself laugh…People go NUTS over the DICK’S….I may be 5 years old..] Anyway, do you know how fun it is to dress up all fancy and then stuff your face with a bunch of meat?? ……wait, that came out wrong. You get what I mean. This year, people brought homemade banh mi sandwiches, lasagna, bacon, meatballs, Dick’s Cheeseburgers, and lots of alcohol (including bacon-flavored vodka). I made the most delicious appetizer I’ve ever made. It’s pretty much the easiest thing in the world to make, too. People loved them – and they’re good hot or cold! All you need are club crackers, Parmesan cheese, and bacon. Check out the recipe below – I used this link and it was super helpful with all the pics and descriptions. When the bacon cooks, they literally hug the crackers and the juices seep into the crackers. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. GREAT idea for an app to bring – that’s also easy on the wallet! Oh, and obviously, this kind of party isn’t really suited for vegetarians. :( Hopefully they wouldn’t start any beef with you for not being invited….. [seriously……5 years old.]

Link: Bacon-Wrapped Crackers