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Fun with Puff Pastry

I recently bought a box of puff pastry at the grocery store. Puff pastry is really expensive and I think I paid 4.99 for the entire box, but the price is well worth it in my opinion. Puff pastry is so flaky and buttery and you can do a lot of different things with it. I went a little too wild I think.

The first thing I made with puff pastry was Ina Garten’s recipe for French Apple Tart. I remember her saying on the show, that it’s ok if the edges burn. We tasted it, and the outer crust was pretty nasty. Other than that, we ate around the crust. This was really good and so simple to make. See how burnt my edges got? I decided to drizzle some caramel sauce on the top. The recipe calls for apricot jam, and some apple flavored liquor which I didn’t have.

The second thing I made with puff pastry is what I like to call Mac and Cheese Dog Pockets. Yesterday, I was craving the boxed mac and cheese and I love adding cheddar wursts or hotdogs in with it to get some protein. Not the healthiest thing to eat. I decided to make it even less healthier by stuffing the mac and cheese inside some puff pastry. What a great idea this was. All I did was make the box of mac and cheese according to the package directions. Added the cooked sausage to the mac and cheese, and then cut two pieces of puff pastry about the size of pop tarts and spooned about a 1/4 cup of mac and cheese on top. I placed the other layer of puff pastry on top of that. I crimped the edges and shut them with a fork. I brushed some egg wash around the edges of the puff pastry to help the top layer stick more. Bake in 400 degree oven for 12 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden. Look at my creation!

You can also make homemade churros. These are delicious and way better than the ones at Taco John’s. I just melted some butter (1/4 cup),  and mixed together 1/4 cup of white sugar, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Cut the puff pastry into long strips and dunk them in the butter. Then in the sugar and cinnamon mixture next. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10 t 12 minutes.

Homemade parmesan bread sticks are next. This is pretty much the same method as the churros. In a bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of oregano. Cut into strips, dunk in butter first, and then the parmesan cheese mixture. Bake at same temperature (400 degrees) for 10 to 12 minutes. These are just as delicious as the churros. I actually should have made more churros than breadsticks when I made these. The husband was disappointed that there weren’t any more churros. :(

 

 

And there you have it folks. Fun with puff pastry!

Butterscotch Icebox Cake

This is just an update. About 5 weeks ago, I joined Weight Watchers online. In that 5 weeks, I’ve managed to almost lose 5 pounds. Yay! I’m actually down to 4.2 pounds lost total. My husband, has lost about 35 pounds. This is living proof, that you can make some evil desserts like this  on my blog, and still manage to lose weight. The key part is to track everything. :) I even manage to make un-lightened up desserts like this one below. I logged it in the nutrition info, and it wasn’t very pretty folks.

Icebox cakes are probably in my opinion, one of the best Summer desserts to make. Why? Because these cakes don’t require heating up any oven. Just like homemade ice pops. I just recently discovered these types of cakes and wonder why I’ve never made them before? It’s basically a frozen cheesecake but you can flavor it up with any kind of toppings you like. I decided to use butterscotch with my mine. Ice cream cakes are another good dessert to make during the Summer as well.

This icebox cake recipe has cool whip, cream cheese, sugar, and a flavor topping added like butterscotch. This recipe is easy and versatile to work with. Try changing up the ingredients a bit to make it your own.

 

calories: 302 kcal | fat: 8.43g | carbs: 54.00g | prot: 3.59g

The nutrition info above, was figured out using fat free cool whip, and fat free cream cheese.

Servings: 8

 

[gmc_recipe 5039]

 

Oreo Fuff

This stuff is like crack. It’s incredibly good and addicting. You can make it healthier by just swapping out all the ingredients for reduced fat ones. Although, I’m not sure how much healthier that would be??? I’m almost wondering what this stuff would taste like frozen in an oreo pie crust?  I think I’m going to try that actually and give an update later on :)

I found some good bargains this weekend. I got a new fossil purse that used to be 118.00 and it was marked down to 40.00 at Macy’s. Talk about a deal!

Servings: 8

Ingredients

1 (3.4 oz) box white chocolate instant pudding just the mix
2 cups milk
1 (8 oz) container cool whip thawed to room temperature
1 pkg. Double Stuffed Oreos crushed (I used Double Stuffed)
2 cups mini marshmallows

Instructions

1. In a large bowl, whisk pudding mix and milk together for 2 minutes.

2. Stir in Cool whip, crushed Oreos and mini marshmallows

3. Store in fridge until ready to eat and serve. To me, the longer it is refrigerated, the better! It lets it thicken up and I prefer it colder.

Low Sodium Challenge

 

Hi All, I haven’t been really making anything new lately. We had a lot of leftovers from the weekend to get rid of too. I’ve also been trying to watch my sodium intake because I have high blood pressure. I almost wish that someone would come out with a study that proves sodium doesn’t cause high blood pressure. Sodium is in everything and it’s so hard to avoid. You have to make everything, pretty much. There’s not a lot of good recipes out there that have a low amount of sodium.

I thought I’d start off with Tacos. Every Tuesday night, my husband and I like to go to Taco John’s and get their deal.  A hard shell is 89  and a soft shell is 99. One soft shell taco has over 700 mg of sodium. If you have 2 soft shell tacos that’s about 1,400 mg of sodium you consumed in one meal. Isn’t that awful? It’s so easy to reduce the sodium content just by making your own taco seasoning and leave out the salt. I’m on a mission to cut back on my salt intake and be looking for more ways to do that on my blog. There are however, some things that just have to have sodium in them like baked goods. Have you ever made bread with out any salt? I have and it tastes really bad. It was by accident though. ;)

If anyone wants to join me in this Challenge feel free.

Here is a recipe I’ve used before to make your own Taco Seasoning. It can be found here.

I found some cute dishes this weekend at TJ Max and I bought a Le Crueset casserole dish there too. It would be awesome one time to find a Le Crueset Stock Pot marked down for dirt cheap there. I’d so get it too.

Anybody out there???

I’m starting to become really annoyed with this blog lately, and yet I still continue to post recipes and pictures hoping that someone will respond one day. I continue to submit pictures to foodgawker and get annoyed when they don’t approve of a photo.

I know that you visit it, because my tracker is showing anywhere from 5o0 to 1500 hits per day. The most amount of time people spend on this site is 50 seconds and no one ever comments.Why is that, is it because I’m boring? Or is it because people are just too lazy these days to comment on anything?

Pretzel Dogs

Have you ever made homemade pretzels before? I love going to the Pretzel Maker in the mall and watching them make pretzels.  Not to mention, eating the pretzels too. I noticed while they made their pretzels, they like to dunk the pretzels in clarified butter. No wonder why they’re so good? I was thinking about dunking these in butter, but I never did.

The last time I was at the Pretzel maker, I got these cocktail wieners wrapped in pretzels and they were so good, so I decided to make some of my own at home. Instead of cocktail wieners, I used just regular sized hotdogs. The rest of the pretzel dough, I just made pretzel bites with. Thinking about making a cheese sauce to dunk them in. Just make the recipe below, and before you dunk the pretzels in the baking soda water, wrap the pretzel dough around the hotdog.

Ingredients from Bobby Flay

1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 F)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast (I used instant)
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled just slightly
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
coarse sea salt

On low speed, mix the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the salt and 4 1/2 cups of the flour and mix on low speed until combined.  Increase the speed to medium (I don’t put my mixer above 2 when kneading dough so I just kept it there) and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl.  Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
Spray a bowl with cooking spray (or oil with with vegetable oil), add the dough and turn to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Spray two baking sheets liberally with cooking spray.
Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 ounces each.  Roll each piece into a long rope measuring about 22 inches.  Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make pretzel bites.  Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches of about 10-15 for 30 seconds.  Remove with a large slotted spoon and place the pretzel bites on the prepared baking sheets, making sure they aren’t touching.  Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt.  Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove to a cooling rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating.

shopping spree – favorite finds!

This week, on Wednesday, I took the day off, and went to Minneapolis/St Paul MN to go shopping with my Mom. The day didn’t start so well. My Mom’s check engine soon light came on and we made it all the way up to Fergus Falls, MN. Then we turned back and went and got my car back in Fargo. That wasted half of our morning but it’s a good thing we went back.

I got a few good foodie type things on our little shopping spree. We stopped at the Macys cafeteria and had lunch there. They had one of the best cupcakes and the frosting was made from vanilla beans. Never had that before. The picture is on my mom’s phone so I can’t upload to my blog yet. There was all sorts of food in jars there like these jams from Stonewall. I picked up a fig and orange jam and dulce de leche sauce.

I got some cute pumpkins for Fall at Crate and Barrel a long with a pumpkin whoopie pan and some cupcake liners for Halloween. Be expecting some pumpkin whoopie pies on the blog soon. :)

Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite food stores to shop at there, and I’d wish we’d get one here in Fargo. I was so happy when I found my figs there. I have this obsession with figs. Every time at about this year (they’re in season), I go on a fig hunt. They’re super hard to find in Fargo so that’s why I always end up picking some up when we go to Minneapolis. Aren’t they beautiful?

My new FAVORITE store to go shopping at is Anthropologie. I first heard about this store on pinterest because people were pinning so many cute clothes from that store. I finally got to go there this week and I found my dress for the wedding rehearsal.It smelled so good in that store.

Well that’s about it. I did end up finding some whole wheat pizza dough at Trader Joe’s that’s just as good as regular pizza crust. Go and buy some and try it out for yourself. :)