Monthly Archives: December 2013

double mint chocolate cookies

 photo 006_zpsf928571a.png
This year I wanted to make “festive” cookies to give away to family as Christmas goodies. I have no idea how festive double mint chocolate cookies are but the kids loved them. My uncle loved them as well. They are infused with mint Oreos and Andes mint chocolates. I also made white chocolate cranberry cookies and they were a hit with the adults. I guess I should have known that chocolate wouldn’t win over any of my aunts or my grandma.
 photo 005_zpsa47f4d98.png
Double Mint Chocolate Cookies (adapted from Life, Love, and Sugar)
2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup cocoa (if you want the cookies to be a black color instead of dark brown use Hershey’s special dark cocoa)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
5 oz Andes mint chocolates (I used about 3/4 of the package)
3/4 cup mint Oreos

– cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy
– add egg and mix
– add vanilla and baking soda and mix again
– add cocoa and mix
– add flour slowly and mix just until combined (it’ll be thick)
– add the Oreos and mint chocolates (I added them whole and used my mixer to crush them but you can chop them before if you’d like) and mix just until Oreos and chocolates are broken
– chill for about 3-4 hours or overnight (I chilled my for 48 hrs)
– preheat oven to 350 degrees
– roll dough into mini golf balls and press slightly to flatten them
– bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes
– let cool and enjoy or package them and give em away 🙂

I got about 30 mini cookies out of this recipe. You could probably get 16-18 regular sized cookies. They taste pretty good considering the fact that I’m not a fan of the mint Oreos. I sampled one and thought they would be awesome because they’re Oreos but I was SO WRONG! The Oreos have a funky taste that reminds me of my toothpaste. The cookies were spot on though! My little cousins loved them.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

the donut man!! (Glendora, CA)

 photo 002_zps088b9a1a.png
The Donut Man is legendary in Glendora, CA. They were on several Food Network shows. They’re known for their strawberry and peach filled donuts. They’re rockin delicious. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to make a visit to this gem. I used to go to school right by it so it’s been over 3 years since I’ve had a donut from Donut Man. It’s way too out of my area for me to be making trips. I ended up ordering 3 tiger tails, one chocolate covered bavarian cream, one filled with lemon, and one filled with apples. I haven’t tried the one filled with apples but the bavarian cream, lemon, and tiger tails are awesome. The strawberry filled ones and the tiger tails are my two favorites. Sadly, I guess it’s not strawberry season so no strawberry donuts for me 😦
 photo 001_zps23b06004.png
I love the chocolate covered bavarian cream one. It’s usually one of my favorite donuts no matter where I get it. This one is extra awesome because it’s not too sweet.
 photo 003_zps7aec58c4.png
The tiger tails are freakin delicious!!! It’s pretty much a twist of donut and chocolate but it doesn’t have a strong chocolate taste. I like it because it’s not so sweet and it’s literally about the length of a ruler. Awesomeness! I brought them to my cousins house and we chowed down. I also brought her some Christmas ornaments and we decorated her Christmas tree again because it looked real funny when my aunt did it.
 photo 007_zpsd6d70fe0.png
Our little tree this year 🙂 hehe Happy Holidays!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

chicken pot pie ver. 2

 photo 007_zpsa6502412.png
Somehow in 2011 my brother asked for a chicken pot pie for his Christmas present. Eventually, that turned into a tradition so for the past three years I’ve been making him a chicken pot pie. This year was no different. I used a different recipe but he loved it all the same.
 photo 008_zps62bbc845.png

Chicken Pot Pie Ver. 2 (makes 2)
2 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 14.5oz cans of chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2- 2 1/2 cups frozen vegetables (I used the green bean, corn, and carrots kind)
2 frozen pie crust, thawed
half a stick of butter
2-3 tablespoons of flour
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste (I used more pepper than salt since the broth was salty enough)

– in a medium pot, melt butter
– sprinkle in flour and whisk until combined
– add shredded chicken and coat the chicken in the flour mixture
– add chicken broth and whipping cream
– when the mixture comes close to a boil, add in frozen veggies
– add in seasonings and adjust to your taste (I added a lot of pepper which made a spicy chicken pot pie)
– bring it to a boil and pour half of mixture into a 8×8 inch glass pan and the other half into another 8×8 inch glass pan
– preheat oven to 375 degrees
– take pie crusts and press it against chicken mixtures
– used a knife to poke holes in the top to let the pie vent while baking
– use a fork to crimp the edges of the pie if desired
– bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes

You should let it cool before eating but I couldn’t wait that long. The day I made it, my house was freezing so it was an awesome treat. Enjoy! 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

shrimp and chicken quesadillas

 photo 011_zpscab5c422.png
I was craving quesadillas and decided to make them the other night. I’m the lazy kind so I bought a rotisserie chicken, bought shredded mexican cheese, and used Williams Sonoma’s fajita seasoning for the shrimp. The result? Deliciousness! 🙂

Shrimp & Chicken Quesadillas
1/2 lb shrimp peeled and devined (I think that’s the word)
1 teaspoon fajita seasoning
8 big flour tortillas
approx 2 cups of shredded chicken (I used rotisserie from a local grocery store)
1 cup shredded mexican cheese

– add oil to a frying pan and cook shrimp (should take about 2 mins.)
– warm up tortillas on medium heat on both sides (keep warm with foil) in same frying pan
– assemble quesadilla with a tortilla, a layer of cheese, shredded chicken and shrimp, another layer of cheese, and another tortilla
– push down with spatula to make sure the cheese sticks to all the ingredients
– carefully put back into pan and melt the cheese
– cut into four and enjoy with salsa! 🙂
 photo 012_zpsfc26bb4e.png
Big sis is making tacos later! 🙂 Yummmm! Another recipe for chicken pot pie will soon be posted on here.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Dark Chocolate Almond Cluster Cookies

Hey all! I’ve been waiting to post this for awhile now. The day is finally here! 🙂 For this years cookie swap, I made dark chocolate almond cluster cookies. My dad bought a ton and I had to find creative ideas to include them in my baking.
 photo 003_zps54373682.png
I put the cookies into a ziploc bag and stuck them into pails to add some cushion for the delivery trip.
 photo 007_zps46d30e3c.png
Than I wrapped them in red cello paper and tied them with festive ribbon! 🙂
 photo 009_zps53a5e648.png

Here’s the recipe..
Dark Chocolate Almond Cluster Cookies (adapted from Lovin From The Oven)

2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups bread flour
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon baking Soda
2 cups dark chocolate almond clusters, chopped (I used the See’s Candies kind)

– preheat oven to 350 degrees
– mix butter with sugars
– add in eggs one at a time
– add vanilla, salt, and baking soda and mix again
– add flour and mix until combined (don’t overmix it)
– add chopped dark chocolate almond clusters (just until incorporated)
– roll dough into mini golf balls and bake at 350 degrees for about 13 minutes

These are awesome! 🙂 I sent these babies off to Tara of Chip Chip Hooray, Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Cam, and Laura of Pink Cake Plate. I received soft ginger and molasses cookies from Harvey of Baked Chicago, chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies from Renee of Tortillas and Honey, and two different kinds of sugar cookies from Hannah of Cats and Commas. Thank you to all who baked for me! Your cookies were delicious! I am highly motivated to work out for my new year resolution! Haha 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Project Give: December Giveaway WINNERS!!

Congratulations to Kara from Ramblings of a Marine Wife for winning the Christmas Special for young children and pre-teens.

Congratulations to Kelly from Hiccups and Sunshine for winning the December giveaway as well as the Christmas Special for toddlers.

There were no entries for the teens category so I contacted Operation Homefront to see if they’d take it as a donation towards their toy drive. So far I haven’t heard from them so hopefully they do.

Please send me your shipping information within two days ladies! Congrats again! 🙂

Project Give has a giveaway the first of every month. Be sure to check back for January’s giveaway! January is my birthday month so I’ll be celebrating with whoever wins the giveaway.

Sorry for the lack of festive holiday cheer on my blog. My mom wouldn’t allow me to purchase a Christmas tree this year. Yes, you read correctly. Apparently she thinks it’s too much money to get one and she wouldn’t stop nagging me so I gave up. I’m such a wuss. I did receive some awesome Christmas flavored cookies through the FB Cookie Swap. For those who are posting endless pictures of your trees, I will live vicariously through you.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

chocolate cupcakes w/chocolate ganache frosting

 photo 030_zps7015f81d.png
It’s no secret I love chocolate but these are some pretty awesome cupcakes. I was craving chocolate cupcakes and altered the Kroger recipe 🙂 They taste better cold!

Chocolate Cupcakes w/Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Cupcakes:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 stick butter
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp expresso powder
1 11.5oz box chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup sour cream

Ganache:
6 bars of dark chocolate (See’s candies)
1 cup heavy cream

– in a small pot, melt butter and add boiling water
– add cocoa powder and stir until melted and incorporated
– in a large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking soda, pudding mix, and expresso powder
– pour in cocoa mixture and stir (it should be thick)
– add eggs, milk, and vanilla extract, stir carefully
– add in sour cream (mixture should be thick but pourable)
– line muffin tin with cupcake liners and use an ice cream scoop to measure out the cupcakes
– bake at 350 for 30 minutes
– let cool completely before frosting!
– in a small pot, heat heavy cream until boiling
– break chocolate bar into pieces in a medium bowl
– pour heavy cream over chocolate and stir until all chocolate is melted
– dip cupcakes in chocolate or spoon chocolate on top of cupcakes!
 photo 029_zpsee70c12a.png
Look how glossy they are! 🙂 I love ganache. These would be great for Christmas with peppermint chocolate on top or andes mint chocolate. I decided to leave them be because they weren’t gifts for anyone. All for me!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina