Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Raspberry Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast

I love a good brunch. It’s all I think about after waking up the morning after a long night out. It was bad news when I lived in the same building as a Busboys & Poets, and is now bad again after a Founding Farmers opened up not too far from my new home. But it’s fun to make your own brunch because it’s way cheaper. Especially when you can buy an entire bottle of champagne for the same price as one mimosa at a restaurant. Mmmm, mimosas. I could have a mimosa (or 4) every morning. So, to celebrate spring break I made a brunch for my roommates, with raspberry cheesecake stuffed French toast as the main dish.

5 eggs
¼ cup vanilla soy milk
½ tbsp. vanilla extract
Sliced challah bread ½ inch thick
Small box of fresh raspberries
Cream cheese
1 tbsp butter

Puree the fresh raspberries. Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Heat the butter in the skillet. Then, cover one side of one piece of bread with cream cheese, and dip the plain side in the egg mixture. Pop the bread in the skillet, egg side down. Spoon a dollop of raspberry puree on top of the cream cheese. Take another slice of bread, dip one side in the egg mixture. Place it on top of the first slice of bread to make a cream cheese/raspberry sandwich, egg side up. After the first side has cooked, flip the sandwich over and cook until browned. Add maple syrup and enjoy! And don’t forget your mimosa, vitamin C is very important!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

S'mores Brownies

Spring has come early this year in DC! Well, actually I’m not sure winter even came in the first place. Which is perfectly fine with me. I love love love snow, but I hate the cold. After two Snow-Pocolypses in a row, I will embrace a tame winter with welcoming arms. So, now that it’s mid-March and 60 degrees, it’s time to start planning camping trips! I love camping because you can spend a low key, relaxing weekend in a beautiful location for oh-so cheap. Sure, you wake up at 6 AM every morning with an aching back, but with the right people, a cooler full of yummy beer, and a gorgeous location, camping can be one of the best weekend trips you can take. So here my is my concoction S’mores Brownies:

Graham Cracker Crust
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup crushed graham crackers
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tspn vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups mini marshmellows

There have been many moments in my 25 years where I can be extremely scatter brained and wonder how on Earth I function day to day. This is one of them. Originally, I used my brownie recipe and thought “oh, I will just add marshmallows to it to make it s’mores! Genius!!” thinking the marshmallows would stay perfectly intact to be white clouds of deliciousness throughout the brownies. After baking, I was shocked… where the hell did the marshmallows go?!? Uhhhh… they melted during baking. Duh. So I just added more marshmallows on top of the finished product and put it back in the oven for 3 minutes so the marshmallows softened on top, but did not melt completely. 

Anywhoo, just mix together the graham cracker crust ingredients, and split in half. Spread the first half of the mixture on the bottom of a greased pan. Then, mix the brownie ingredients and spread on top of the graham cracker crust. Flatten the second half of the graham cracker crust mixture using a rolling pin (or if you don’t have one- pound it out between two sandwich baggies) and place it on top of the brownies. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Then, sprinkle marshmallows to cover the brownies, and put the pan back in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove, cool, and enjoy the s’mores brownies in the beautiful spring weather!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Call me a nerd if you will, but I am a 25 year old Harry Potter fanatic and proud of it! At least I have some nerdy friends who are just as crazy as I am, including my little sister, Nora. For years, we used to go to the midnight releases for the books, waiting in line for hours in our Harry Potter t-shirts. Until one year, when I saw a You-Tube clip of some a**hole who got the book at midnight, skimmed the last chapter of “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” and screamed “SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE!!” to the horror of the line of waiting fans. So from then on, we waited until 3am to get the books just in case this happened to us. We’re so cool. So, for Nora’s 22nd birthday party, I decided to whip up a batch of butterbeer. Perfect for a February birthday!

4 (12oz) cans cream soda
1 ½  tbsp butter
Butterscotch schnapps
Spiced rum

Heat the cream soda until it is boiling. Reduce the heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the liquor while stirring. Use your judgment for the alcohol. We used about 4 shots of each. Best served in a mug!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake Balls

Ohh the school bake sales. My program is trying to raise money to send 40+ people to Indianapolis for the Occupational Therapy national conference. So I am doing my part one dessert at a time. My roommates complain that I am constantly filling the house with deliciously sweet aromas, but then tease them by taking the baked goods away. But I usually leave them something, I’m not cruel. Since February 14th is tomorrow, today’s bake sale was Valentine’s Day themed.  So I decided to make Cake balls. I love making cake balls because 1) you get to smash up a freshly baked cake, 2) they’re super easy to make but everyone is impressed with them, and 3) you get to say things like “how did my balls taste?”

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake Balls
1 box of white cake mix
4 eggs
1 ½ cups of diced frozen strawberries
1 (8 oz) box of strawberry cream cheese

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup butter
1 (8 oz) box of strawberry cream cheese
½ tsp vanilla extract

Forget the directions on the cake box mix, and whip up the cake using the ingredients listed above. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Then, mix together all the ingredients for the frosting. Now is the fun part. Smash the cake into tiny little pieces (I like to use my hands), then add the frosting and cream it all together until it gets into a soft, mushy consistency. Roll the mix up into little balls on a baking sheet (whatever size you like your balls), then freeze. After they are frozen, melt chocolate chips, dip the frozen balls in, and then re-freeze. Soooo good! Add sprinkles for whatever your occasion J

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Banana Pecan Greek Yogurt Bread

I am not a morning person. Not at all. I can convince myself of the CRAZIEST of scenarios in the morning to press the snooze button just one more time. One time I even convinced myself that because I had my window open all night that meant I didn’t have to go to school that day. Wtf? Anyway, as I am always running late in the mornings, I am a huge fan of breakfasts that you can grab on your way out the door and eat in the car. But I do like to make them healthy, so I like to use a mix of flours (including wheat, rolled oats, flax seeds, etc.) rather than just white flour. Also to cut down on the sugar, butter, and oil. So this time I used Greek yogurt in my banana bread instead of butter, and they turned out pretty yummy!

2 cups of flour (I used ½ cup white flour, ¾ cup wheat flour, ½ cup rolled oats, ¼ cup flax seeds)
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 (5.4-oz) container of Trader Joe’s Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt
4 eggs
1 overripe banana
1/8 cup shaved chocolate
Handful of crushed pecan halves

Mix em all together, bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes… and enjoy!

the Wino OT

I never considered myself much of a cook until very recently. The thing is, I always assumed I would be a terrible cook so I never really tried. After college, I moved back into my parents’ house where, after four years of living off of cookie delivery services and boxed wine, imagine my bliss when I open the fridge and find it fully stocked! In college I lived in a dingy house with six friends, two cats, a hamster, and many dog visitors, lovingly referred to as “the brothel” after its reputation of being, well, a brothel in the 70s. So you can imagine the state that the kitchen was in.  Sooo, with way less people, a kitchen more manageable to keep clean, and a full fridge, I found the joy of cooking!

I’m getting my master’s in occupational therapy (hence the wineOT), and there’s nothing I love more than procrastinating. You can tell when I have a big project due when I’m in the kitchen baking a pie. I already ate dinner and then baked a loaf of banana bread, so there’s nothing left but do homework….. OR I could start a blog! I’m not exactly sure who is going to read this. I feel like that kid in “Wet Hot American Summer” who spends the summer DJing the camp radio show, only to find out later his microphone has never been plugged in. Luckily for the people who eat my food, I don't share his showering schedule. There’s nothing more therapeutic after a stressful day than coming home to a glass of boxed wine and a delicious new recipe idea to try out, especially when you have someone you love to share it with.