Monthly Archives: February 2012

mocha brownies

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I have a ton of papers that are due next week so I decided to indulge in a college student’s best friend, caffeine. I saw this recipe for mocha brownies in The Pioneer Woman’s first cookbook and never had a chance to try it out. It looks delicious so I finally stopped being a wimp and gave it a whirl. The end result was surprisingly tasty even though I had to make a lot of changes due to my icing not coming together. As most of my readers know, I’m quite lazy. Especially if there are papers due. Something about papers just makes me want to snuggle up in my blankets in bed. Sadly, even though I’ve conquered my 20 page research paper..I’m still a wuss at heart. Papers are scary man! Anyway, I changed the mocha icing that was in the cookbook to store bought classic vanilla frosting. I’m a bit bummed because the mocha icing still tasted pretty darn good even though it looked disgusting. I think it was because I didn’t have enough powdered sugar and the recipe called for 5 cups (1 box + 1cup?). I also decorated with some heath bar bits because I was again too lazy to make chocolate swirls. The biggest thing I have against trying new recipes is the amount of workload for school. I don’t have time to go out here and there and pick up ingredients or try it again and again until it’s right. This quarter is pretty difficult although not as difficult as the last (those darn 20 page papers man!). I’m graduating soon so I don’t need anything to stand in the way of me and my diploma.
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Here’s the recipe..
Mocha Brownies (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
Brownies –
1 1/4 cup flour
4 ounces of unsweetened (or dark chocolate) melted
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
2 cups of sugar (I opted for 1 1/2 cups and added 1/2 organic cocoa powder)
2 sticks butter
Mocha Icing –
2 sticks butter
5 cups powdered sugar (1 box + 1 cup? I think)
1/4 cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup coffee (cooled to room temp)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Using a stand mixer, mix together the butter and sugar for the brownie batter.
3. Beat in eggs one at a time.
4. Add vanilla extract and melted chocolate.
5. Add cocoa powder and flour and mix until combined.
6. Spray or oil a 13 x 9 baking pan and pour batter in. Make sure to even out the top and stick in the oven to bake for approximately 45 minutes.
7. In a large bowl, mix together butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.
8. When it’s half way combined, add 1/2 cup of coffee. You may not NEED the entire 1/2 cup. Please be careful while mixing and adding the coffee. You want it to be a thick but fluffy consistency.
9. Let brownies cool to room temp and spread icing on top.
10. Stick in the fridge until icing hardens and then cut into squares. Or you can eat it straight from the pan like I did 🙂

Enjoy this one! Although my icing looked quite disgusting, it tasted like heaven. Well actually it tasted like Starbucks which is pretty much heaven because that’s all I’ve been dreaming about. So technically, it tasted like heaven. Guaranteed to knock your socks off. If you’re a caffeine addict like I am. No pressure though! Thanks for reading.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

shrimp pasta

Sorry it’s been awhile since I blogged! I’m finally done with midterms and have finals right around the corner. Gotta love the college life. Now I’m being swamped with papers. I made this pasta about a week ago but haven’t had the time to post about it so here goes nothing.
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Here’s the recipe..
Shrimp Pasta (adapted from How Sweet It Is)
1 lb shrimp deveined and peeled
4 cloves garlic minced
1 stalk green onions minced (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cups penne pasta
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional – add if you want it to be spicy)

1. Place shrimp in a large ziploc bag.
2. In a small bowl, mix the oil, salt, soy sauce, garlic and black pepper together and pour into the bag.
3. Let marinate for at least 2 hours.
4. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
5. Sautee shrimp for about 4 minutes and add pasta into the pan to combine. I added lots of green onions after I combined the shrimp and pasta.
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It’s really simple. The kind I made unfortunately lacked a bit of flavor due to me leaving out the pepper flakes! 😦 Next time! I also tried to use wheat pasta instead of regular but that probably wasn’t such a good idea because it tasted real different. Hope you try it soon 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

chocolate covered cake balls

I made some chocolate covered cake balls. Let me say this first..I give props to Bakerella for having the patience to make all those amazingly cute cake pops. I was only make chocolate covered cake balls and I already getting tired of them. I’m a very impatient person. Anyway, I made dark chocolate cake balls covered with white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate. I wanted to drizzle chocolate on top for a fancy look but unfortunately I ran out of chocolate! 😦 I also made myself a delicious bratwurst for lunch along with a side salad. It was so good!!
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Here’s the recipe..
Chocolate Covered Cake Balls
1 box dark chocolate cake baked according to instructions (I used Duncan Hines)
1 cup vanilla frosting (I used Pillsbury classic white)
1 12oz bag of white chocolate chips
1 12oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
sprinkles, heath bar bits, or chopped nuts for decoration (optional)
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1. Crumb your cake in a large bowl. I used a fork to get everything crumbed evenly
2. Mix 1 cup of frosting into the cake. Make sure it’s even distributed that way the cake stays together.
3. Make balls a little smaller than the size of a ping pong ball and set on a foil covered baking sheet. When you have all the balls made, stick them in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to harder it up so that it doesn’t break while you’re dipping it into the chocolate.
4. In a medium bowl, melt your chocolate. Use two bowls for the two kinds of chocolate please! I did the white chocolate first and then the semi-sweet.
5. Dunk your cake ball in the chocolate and use a FORK to get rid of the access chocolate.
6. When they’ve all been dipped in chocolate, put them back into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. After that you can eat them right away or put them in candy boxes to give away! 🙂 Great ideas for gifts by the way.
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I got the boxes from Sweet Baking Supply. This recipe made about 30-32 cake balls. Some of mine were a bit bigger than a ping pong ball but that’s only because I was getting tired and lazy. Enjoy em! 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

bbq chicken potato skins

Hey all! Sorry for the lack of reads on here. Midterms completely destroyed me. I went on a grocery shopping spree to find ingredients for bbq chicken potato skins. I was browsing around blogs and stumbled upon the bbq chicken sweet potato skins made by How Sweet It Is. That woman is awesome, just saying. They looked so delicious in her pictures I almost drooled on my keyboard. I knew they were the perfect comfort food to get me over my midterms slump. These are quite time consuming so with that in mind you might want to prep everything before hand or make them in big batches for parties and etc.
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Here’s the recipe..
BBQ Chicken Potato Skins (adapted from How Sweet It Is)
approximately 10 medium golden potatoes washed thoroughly
1/2 cup or more bbq sauce
3 large pieces of chicken cooked and dice or shredded (I used thighs)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 medium onion cut into thin strips and caramelized
3 stalks of green onions diced
sea salt for sprinkling

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While your oven is preheating, wash your potatoes and cut them in half length wise.
2. Cover a baking sheet with foil and place the potatoes cut side down.
3. Bake for approximately 35 minutes and let cool.
4. Mix your bbq sauce with your diced or shredded chicken. You might need more sauce depending on how much you like. Set aside.
5. When potatoes are cooled, scoop out the insides but be sure to leave some on the skin so it’s sturdy.
6. Take half of the scooped potatoes and mix it with a small fistful of cheddar cheese.
7. When the potatoes are all scooped, place them cut side down and drizzle the tops with olive oil. I sprinkled mine with sea salt.
8. Bake for another 10 minutes and then take them out to turn them over and bake again for 3 minutes.
9. Scoop some of the mashed potato/cheese mixture into the skins.
10. Top with bbq chicken, onions, and the rest of the cheddar cheese. Repeat until all potato skins are full and bake for another 3 minutes.
11. When serving, drizzle more bbq sauce on top and garnish with green onions.
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Enjoy these!! They’re so delicious! I’ve already ate three and I love them. I think these are great appetizers or snacks to hold you over because potatoes are heavy and these are very filling. If you’re interested, Bulleyes BBQ sauce is the way to good! I bought the Kansas City kind and holy cow, do they know their bbq sauce. Chocolate cake ball truffles and shrimp pasta to come! Sorry for the lack of post, my photobucket account is super hating on me and everything works EXCEPT the upload button. How bizarre is that? Anyhoo, thanks for stopping by.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

midterms food

Is there anyone else out there that snacks like crazy when they study or is it just me? I’m not going to lie..I snack on pretty much anything I can get my hands on. I had a midterm earlier today and another one on Thursday and I’m snacking like crazy. It’s actually starting to scare me because I feel like I’m not full so I keep snacking. It’s ridiculously bad for my health but it’s like anxiety coupled with fear that’s driving me insane. I did end up going home the previous weekend for my mama’s birthday. I feel like such a bad daughter because I actually momentarily forgot that it was her birthday until my sister asked me what we should buy for dinner. We ended up having lots of ah-mazing Chinese dishes such as Hainese chicken, honey walnut shrimp, char siu, and beef & green beans.

Here’s a picture of the cake my sister bought for my mom. It’s a chocolate cake with raspberry jam filling and on top of all of that is chocolate mousse. It’s sprinkled with cocoa powder for decoration..not bad at all. Not exactly my kind of cake though. The jam was wayyy too sweet and the mousse was really heavy which made it hard to swallow. I love sweets but even I couldn’t finish my entire piece.
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Here’s a picture of my weird combination of spaghetti sauce. I added corn and actual tomatoes because I wanted to be creative. It didn’t taste bad but not the tangy spaghetti sauce I’m used to.
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More recipes to come! Promise 🙂 This weekend is going to be a feast because I found some awesome recipes on How Sweet It Is so I’ll be posting those up. I’m going to try her bbq chicken potato skins and shrimp pasta. I’m also planning on making chocolate cake truffles.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina