Saturday, March 24, 2012

Smoothies - discover the delight of the deliciousness

Today, I made smoothies! Of course, I cannot take credit for this idea as it was Pinterest inspired (as is most of my life lately). Unfortunately, I did not actually pin the picture I saw, just remembered it - so if someone who has made this before stumbles upon this blog and goes "that was my idea first!", I am aware. Here's some credit, oh wise one!

Anyways, this week I was considering making healthy shakes for breakfast but was feeling nervous about putting things like spinach in them. The thought of drinking spinach was making me gag a little bit. And then Julia was like "don't put kale in it, or you'll end up chewing your smoothie!" More gag. I forged ahead however, and did it anyways (drank spinach, not the gagging part).

So I cut up some bananas, kiwi, mango, strawberry, pre-frozen spinach, parsley leaves, and mint leaves. I froze scoops of yogurt with a spoon of flax seed in muffin tins as well.

Then I divided it all up into ziploc bags, and of course made one to make sure I wasn't going to be disappointed. I added a little v8splash and some milk on top, worked the magic of my magic bullet and was delighted to discover the deliciousness. Happy healthy breakfast, here I come!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Puddin Pops and Oreos and M&M's, oh my!

And then, it was St Patricks Day! I was sick most of the week and all my plans for delightful goodies for our St Pats festivities were sorely put off. On Saturday afternoon I ended up deciding at the last minute (per my usual way of making cooking decisions) to whip up a few treats.

First, some mint chocolate chip cookies! I could not find any mint extract at the store, which vexed me greatly. After perusing the candy aisle, I discovered green mint m&m's. So I bought 'em. I have never once used a "Grandmas Greatest Cookie Recipe" or anything of that nature, my chocolate chip cookie recipes come solely from the back of whatever bag of chocolate chips I have in my cupboard. So, I used that to make these. I crushed up half the bag of m&m's (in a ziploc bag, with a meat hammer - I know, I know, I'm so creative) and added them to the mixture. Also, green food coloring. Though in the end, not enough - next year, I will be sure to add more. Since they were not green enough, I put sprinkles on top.
Then, some brownies! These were a TRUE DELIGHT. First, some mint oreos on the bottom - apparently the perfect number of oreos come in a package for this dessert because there was exactly ONE leftover for me to nibble at while these were cooking. And by nibble, I mean, gulp down quickly. I put parchment paper (not be confused with wax paper!) in the bottom of my pan, you shall see why momentarily.

Then, mixed up a box of fudge mix and poured over top of the cookies.

A few days earlier, I had bought a packet of andes mints, planning that I would use them for something yummy. I chopped them up, and about 3/4 of the way through the brownies baking, I sprinkled them on the top.

Done baking!

After they cooled, I picked them up by the parchment paper and turned them upside down - this is why I used the paper, much easier to make this happen than by trying to carefully scrape it out of the pan. Because lets be honest, no matter how much spray you cover your pan in, you usually end up missing a little off the bottom. I turned the brownies upside down so I could cut them in line with the oreos.

They were truly delicious! And I made a fun name on my picture, so I can be cool like everyone else.

And THEN there were vanilla vodka puddin pops! I bought a pack of instant pudding mix (in the same spot as the jello mixes) - it was already green and vanilla flavored. It claimed to be color changing, and that after I started stirring I should say something like "presto chango by coloro" (it was not really that). However, it was green from the second the milk hit it, so hmph, there was no color changing to be seen. This mix wanted 2 cups of milk, so I did 1 & 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup vodka. Whatever mix you buy, just substitute alcohol for a portion of the wet ingredient. First world problem - I have an auto icemaker and therefore no reason to have ice cube trays. So I had to improvise and use mini cupcake liners to mold these (now I must venture to Home Goods and find some fun ice cube trays, alas!) Then they were popped into the freezer until party time.

After about 30 mins, they were getting frozen up enough that I could stick some lollipop sticks in them. As you can see, some fell down a little bit. Oh well. They were still a hit!

Here is my lovely friend Julia, enjoying them! She said they tasted like cake, ohlala