Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Baked Fudge

Baked fudge is one of those desserts that really satisfies your sweet tooth. The ingredients are basic, and the only difficult part of this recipe is waiting for it to bake in the oven before devouring it.

It has a crunch on the top and remains gooey and delicious underneath. This is what warm brownie batter served in perfectly proportioned cups would taste like. It just gets even better when you add a little ice cream or whipped cream on top. Of course this could just be eaten with a glass of cold milk on the side. One of the above options is basically required to get through the chocolate deliciousness of this fudge.

Start out by whipping one egg in a medium size bowl. Then add in half a cup of sugar and make sure it all gets combined.

Then, add in 1 tbsp of cocoa powder and 1tbps of flour to the mix. Add in 1/4 cup of melted butter as well. Then whisk it all up until it forms a smooth mixture with all the items combined.

I find this recipe fills four of my ramekin cups perfectly. You want the mixture to come up about half way in whatever baked cups/pan you decide to use. I just prefer these so you can have easily proportioned containers (which I then eat two of, of course).

Place the ramekins in a baking pan and fill the pan with water so that the water comes half way up the sides of the cups. You can use whatever pan size or shape you would like, just be sure to fill the water half way up the side of the cups. Then place the pan with the cups inside into the oven set at 325 degrees for 40 minutes.

This will be a long 40 minutes, but believe me when I say that it is worth it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Photography Wednesday

One of the beautiful views Matt and I had on the beach for our Spring Break trip to Tybee Island. This was the beach right outside of our hotel on a rather cloudy and windy day. It was such a fun adventure despite the fact that it was too cold to get in the water. I can't wait to visit again some day!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Last Monday

(tank - H&M/thrifted, skirt - LOFT/thrifted, wedges - Nine West/thrifted)

The work day just ended and I just completed the last Monday of my internship. Complete with lots of coffee and one of my favorite work skirts, this was a relatively painless day back at work. I think I love this thrifted skirt so much because of the pockets. Details always make the outfit for me. Which is also why I love this shirt so much. Ruffles, buttons, pretty pale pink - what is there not to love?

My last weekend in my internship town wasn't even spent in the town itself. I traveled home to visit with my dad for a birthday celebration, and I also met up with a friend who will be traveling abroad this semester in France. I am so excited to hear the stories of all her European adventures! Being able to head back to college and see Matt everyday is exciting enough for me. Can't wait to share our own close to home adventures soon! Just one more week and I'll be flying up north to see him. It can't come soon enough!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chicken Tetrazzini

It's casserole time! When you are looking for some comfort food for dinner, chicken tetrazzini is where you should turn. With layers of flavor and many different textures in this baked dish, this is perfect for a busy night's dinner after work or for a night when you just need something hearty.

Begin by placing 1/4 cup of diced onions in a skillet with some melted butter. Stir occasionally until the onions begin to get translucent. I used red onion because it's what I had, but you can use any type of onion you have on hand. Then, add 1/4 cup of mushrooms in too. I used the precooked, presliced mushrooms you get in a jar, but fresh mushrooms would be even better. Just stir around until they get tender. These two elements will make this dish have an even deeper level of flavor.

Next, you will want to cook the chicken. I used my boyfriend's George Foreman grill, which is absolutely amazing at cooking all sorts of things, but feel free to use whatever method you like best. Just make sure the chicken is cooked through.

Then, slice or shred the chicken into small pieces. Add these pieces to the skillet with the onions and mushrooms.
At the same time the chicken is cooking, put 1/2 pound of spaghetti pasta in boiling water. Don't forget to salt the water before you add the pasta! Cook until just al dente or still has a little bite. Add these cooked noodles directly to the skillet after it has been drained.

The next step is to add one small can of cream of mushroom soup to the mix. After stirring around all the ingredients, add in 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and continue to stir until combined. If you feel the mixture is a little thick, add 1/4 cup of beef or chicken broth. Then, pour the entire mixture into a greased baking dish. I used my banana bread pan, but use whatever size or shape of pan you can get your hands on.

I then added a little something special to the top of the dish. I melted two tablespoons of butter and mixed it with 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. I then sprinkled this mixture all over the top of the caserole. Believe me, this delicious topping will absolutely make your dish! Put the chicken tetrazzini in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

So creamy, so hearty, so delicious!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

This baked potato soup recipe is absolutely delicious. Then again, potatoes are one of my favorite foods of all time. Whether its mashed, smashed, fried, cubed, or souped (yes, that is a verb now) they are always incredibly tasty. This recipe does take a little bit of time, but it is simple and satisfying in ways that only a soup filled with potatoes, butter, bacon, and cheese can be.

Start off by washing your potatoes to get off all the dirt. I found that two good sized potatoes made enough soup for two servings. Then, take a fork and poke holes in each of the potatoes. Really go at it. If you don't poke enough holes, your potatoes will blow up in the oven. Might as well get all your stress out now instead of adding more stress with a mess of potato in your oven later! Then put the potatoes in your 400 degree oven for one hour.

After the hour is done, let the potatoes cool until you can handle them without burning your fingertips. I put mine in the freezer for ten minutes which sped up the process nicely. Then cut them in half. Doesn't have to be neat or anywhere near perfect.

Take a spoon and scoop out all the potato 'meat', discarding the skins. Once again, doesn't have to be perfect, just do your best to get as much potato out as possible.

Turn on your stove top and melt 1/3 cup of butter in a saucepan. When its melted, measure out 1/3 cup of flour and add it to the melted butter. Make sure to stir to combine and then continue stirring constantly for one minute over medium heat. The mixture should be pretty smooth at this point. If its not, cook it for a bit longer, but keep stirring! This butter/flour mixture is called a roux (or at least the beginnings of a roux) and is the base of almost all stews and sauces that are delicious, but its very easy to burn so be careful! This mixture just thickens things up and makes everything taste just that much better.

Then add 3 cups of milk to the roux mixture. Stir around and wait for the mixture to thicken. You don't need to constantly stir this time, just keep your eye on it. Mine took about five minutes to thicken, but just keep your eye on it. When it clings to the spoon after you take it out of the mixture, you know its ready.

While you are waiting for the mixture to thicken, go ahead and pull out some of your additions to the soup. You can be as creative as you want with things to mix in. I've added kielbasa, green onions, and all different kinds of cheeses. This is just what I had on hand tonight. 1 cup of cheddar cheese, 5 slices of precooked bacon, and 1/4 cup red onion. Delicious! When the mixture is thick enough, add in the potato pieces you scooped out before as well as the additions you have collected and stir to combine. So good!

I hope you enjoy this hearty potato soup recipe! Any ideas for other delicious additions?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Orange and Eyelets

This skirt caught my eye right away not only because it was high waisted (which I love) but for its beautiful details. The eyelet and stitching throughout the entire skirt made it feel very vintage and feminine. Even though orange is not what I would consider "my color", I ended up convincing myself that with this amount of detail, I could make anything my color. Even unflattering orange.

(sweater - ?, cami - Target, skirt - Loft/thrifted, flats - Target)

Jazz hands anyone?

Does anyone have any advice on ways to get over this color "phobia"? I'm such a cool color girl and I want to find new ways to get some warm colors into my wardrobe. What do you do to get out of a color rut?

Monday, August 2, 2010

All That Glitters

This dress is another of those thrift store finds. Green is my favorite color and when I saw this lovely shade on such a flowing dress I knew it had to be mine. Of course I also felt like this with about 30 other items I found in the store, but thankfully (for my wallet!) not all of them made the cut.

(dress - ?/thrifted, belt - gift, shoes - target, necklace - gift)

This weekend was full of shopping and cooking adventures. Being on my own in a strange city during my internship this summer, I've had to find creative ways to keep myself busy and have fun without my boyfriend and friends constantly around me. Thrift store shopping has been one of those things that has given me lots of weekend entertainment and kept my spirits up. I am really looking forward to getting back to my life at school, though. The big city, tons of things to do, and those that I love around me. Only two more weeks and then I'm back home!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Forest Green

(top - old navy/thrifted, skirt - target/thrifted, belt - ?/thrifted, necklace - gift, shoes - ?/thrifted)

This outfit full of only thrifted or gifted items gives me so much joy to wear. Knowing I can pull together a stylish look for so little money only fuels my shopping addiction. A skirt for only $3? Of course I'll buy it. A belt that looks like no one has ever worn it before? It's mine now. I guess it's better than shopping every week at high priced stores instead, but thrift addictions can be serious too.

This skirt is one of my favorites to wear to work. It has such a lovely flow to it that it keeps me nice and cool throughout the day. The elastic waist keeps me comfortable and the knee length of the skirt keeps me work appropriate. This outfit is comfy enough that instead of wearing it to work, I wore it this weekend to lounge around my apartment and cook some delicious meals. Nothing like getting dressed up just to have no one around to appreciate it but you. Part of the joy of starting a blog is getting to share these outfits with someone other than just me!

This necklace is one of my favorites. It goes with just about anything and gives any basic shirt that extra punch of interest. As for the belt, I've had to restrain myself from wearing it with every outfit I put together.