BBQ Sliders and stuff

Tan lines are just infuriating. I like being tan but all this stripe nonsense is obnoxious. There. I just had to get that out of my system.

I leave for Haiti in 10 days. That is just crazy! I feel like there’s so much I need to do and I feel like I won’t be ready…but I know that God will take care of things and provide for me like he has the whole time I’ve been preparing for this trip. I’ve been so blessed by all the support I’ve received from everyone. It’s been very encouraging! I’m a little nervous about going but absolutely can’t wait :) And more good news, I took my first malaria pill today. Everyone had been telling me how awful they were but I didn’t get sick! So hopefully I have a good experience with taking the rest of the pills. I would really appreciate your prayers for me and the other people I’m going with while I’m in Haiti :)

So, on a completely different note, the other night I made BBQ sliders for dinner. It was the first time I had ever had to…touch beef. Ewwwwwww. Actually it wasn’t that bad. But meat really is pretty gross. I think that raw chicken is more gross than raw beef though. (I probably shouldn’t be talking about how gross I find meat before I post pictures of the hamburgers I made…hem hem.)

So anyways. For these sliders, I put some cajun spices in the beef and formed them into little patties. I then brushed barbecue sauce over them. Then I grilled them. I was going to make them in the oven, which you can totally do if you have a oven that works consistently and you’re not also making cajun sweet potato fries. Jim helped me grill them because I’d never done that before and was rather terrified by the whole thing. After flipping them on the grill I (err Jim) brushed more BBQ sauce on them. We ate these on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. Those rolls are soooo good! On my slider I had some cheddar cheese and ketchup and grilled pineapple slices. I thought it was really yummy :)

Along with the sliders, I also made sweet potato fries. I think they turned out pretty good but weren’t as crispy as I wanted them to be. Is there a trick to making oven baked fries crispy? I never can see to do it. I put a ton of cajun spices on the fries so they were really spicy! The flavor was yummy I just wish they were crispier.

Let me clear something up, sweet potatoes are not the same thing as yams. Yams are from Africa I believe. What we eat are most definitely sweet potatoes. According to Wikipedia, Yams are part of the Dioscoreaceae family and sweet potatoes are not part of this family. So don’t be calling sweet potatoes yams people. That’s right.

When I was chopping up these definitely-not-yams, I thought I was going to cut off a couple fingers…or my hand. But I managed to cut them up and just lose one finger! Ha. ha. Just kidding.

So after I had them all cut up into fries, I put them in a big ziplock back and put some oil and lots of spices in there and mixed it up. I don’t have pictures of that. Or of the final fries. Because the next little while was very stressful with the oven shutting off and trying to do the sliders and all that. But I put them on a cookie sheet and cooked them at 450 or 500 degrees for like 30 mins (flipping them over after 15 mins).

Here’s my plate! Doesn’t that look yummy! Oh look, there you can see a picture of the fries. Don’t they look good? And the slider was all cute and yummy. And there’s my ketchup and pineapple slices and oh what’s that? Corn on the cob in the background?! Yeah it was a pretty fancy meal! And we had Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp for dessert!

BBQ Slider Recipe:

Inspired by Pioneer Woman’s sliders.

Beef (I used 3lbs and it made 16 sliders…we put the extras in the fridge for leftovers)

4 tsp spices (I used cajun spices…the recipe for that is here)

1/4 cup BBQ sauce (or as much as you want really…)

Mini Rolls

Directions:

Put the spices into the meat and mix around with your hand (I actually did that…kinda proud of myself). Form beef into little patties and brush BBQ sauce over them. Oh and apparently you’re supposed to put a dent on the top of the patties. Now put them in the fridge for like 30 minutes. You can skip this step but Pioneer Woman recommended it. And I had time. So I did it. Now either put them in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees or grill them for like 5 or 6 minutes. If you grill them, you can put more BBQ sauce on them after you flip them. Once the patties are done, put them on rolls and serve with ketchup or bbq sauce. I would totally recommend grilling some pineapple slices and putting them on there. It’s not weird, it’s delicious.

Cajun Sweet Potato Fries:

Recipe from Simply Recipes :)

3 Sweet Potatoes

1/4 cup olive oil

1-2 Tbs brown sugar

2 Tbs Cajun Spices

Directions:

Chop up the sweet potatoes into similar size pieces. Put them in a big ziplock bag with olive oil and cajun spices. Arrange on 2 baking sheets and bake at 450+ degrees for 30 minutes (flipping them over halfway through). Eat. And tell me if you manage to get them crispy and then tell me how you did it.

And there you have it!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

This has been a long day. Not really bad…just felt really long. I had a slow morning…ate some Special K with banana slices which is one of my favorite (healthy) breakfasts. For lunch I had half a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich. I love the peanut butter and banana combo. I’ll slice up a banana and eat it with peanut butter, I have it on waffles, sandwiches, toast, in smoothies. It’s just so good! I need to bake something with banana and peanut butter soon…bread maybe? Muffins?

Well anyways, after lunch I went to the pool. I’ve been to my neighborhood quite a bit recently. I like going there to just read and swim around- the water is finally warming up! I’ve been reading Life of Pi. Actually I read it and then when I finished it I felt like I hadn’t really gotten the most out of it…so now I’m reading it again! It’s a really intriguing book if you’re looking for something to read.

I came home and worked out…I did the elliptical. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. I got sick of Jillian beating me up every day. The elliptical is rather difficult but he’s a little bit nicer than Jillian. His name is Phillip. Why? Because I just named him that. So after I worked out on Phillip (ok that sounds incredibly awkward) I showered and then went to Kroger to pick up some last minute things for my baking/cooking this afternoon.

The other day I saw rhubarb in Kroger and I was like “Yes! Time for strawberry-rhubarb crisp!” When we checked out at the store, this was the very interesting conversation we had:

Checkout Girl 1- What is this?

Mom- Rhubarb

Checkout Girl 1- What?? I’ve never even heard of that. Checkout Boy 1, do you know the code for this?

Checkout Boy 1- What is it?

Mom- Rhubarb

Checkout Boy 1- Ruu…par? What? I’ve never heard of that.

Mom- Ruuuuubaaarrb. R-H-U

Checkout Girl 2- What are you guys looking up?

Checkout Girl 1- Rhubarb?

Checkout Girl 2- Haha what? I’ve never heard of that.

(Do you sense a theme here?)

Jim- Well that means it’s free right?

Checkout people- ha. ha.

Checkout boy 1- The code is blah blah

Me: How do you not know what rhubarb is??? Crazy people. (I didn’t actually say that…)

So yeah..apparently a lot of people don’t know what rhubarb is! I looked up its origins. Apparently it originated in China where is was used because of its supposed medicinal purposes. It then spread to Europe and was introduced to the U.S. in Maine and spread to Massachusetts. Rhubarb production is pretty low now-a-days with most of it being grown in California, Colorado, Washington State, and Oregon. So there you have it!

Do youuu know what rhubarb is? You don’t?!?!?!?!?!??!? OHEMGEE! Come over and have some! It’s delicious!

Well here is it:

This is rhubarb. Go ahead and have a nice big bite! Raw!

Just kidding..don’t do that. Cause then you’ll hunt me down and yell at me. It’s gross raw. But delicious cooked with sugar! Mmmm! It’s a stalk-like plant thingy and all red and stuff.

I also looked up the difference between cobbler and crisps. I don’t really know the official difference. I think crisps just have topping and cobblers have more of a pie crust top action going on.

The first thing you do for this crisp is cut up the rhubarb (leaving out the leafy top part) into little pieces.

You can make just rhubarb crisp but I like it with strawberries. So you need to cut up a container or two of strawberries. Look at this little guy- isn’t he cute? All bright and red and delicious :) He was almost thrown into a bowl with leftover strawberry and rhubarb pieces that was going to be fed to hungry worms! But I saved him. And then I chopped him up. And baked him. Let’s have a moment of silence.

Here are those remains I was speaking of. Put them in a bowl so your dad can give them to his worms. What? Your computer programming dad didn’t randomly decide he needed some sort of hobby and choose worm farming so now you have tens of thousands of worms in bins in your garage that he lovingly cares for and prepares food for? Huh that’s strange….

After you chop up the strawberries and rhubarb, throw it all in a bowl! It’s about to get a little messy!

Mmmm sugar. That should make you smile! You throw some sugar and flour and I don’t know…something else maybe (?) in with the fruits.

You mix it all together until the strawberries and rhubarb is coated with the yumminess. Do it with your hands! It works better. It’s just messy. Especially when you’re trying to take pictures of what you’re doing. Then you throw it all into a pan.

This is what you need to make your topping! Remember, crisps have yummy crumble toppings.

Put it all in a bowl…see my wooden spoon? I stir my ingredients with a wooden spoon. Because I’m cool. Be jealous.

I mixed it up with the spoon but the butter was not quite melty enough and I ended up using my hands.

Yum yum yum! I love oats. Put that yummy topping over the fruit (is rhubarb technically a fruit?) in the pan. I was worried this wouldn’t be enough topping but there was plenty!

Put that in the oven for about 38 minutes at 350 degrees. And it starts to bubble up and look all delicious!

Look how tasty this looks! If you’re not totally won over right now, you should be. Don’t be freaked out by the rhubarb…it’s really good. I promise. Get a nice big scoop of this and put it in a bowl and top it with vanilla ice cream! Sooo yummy. The hot crisp and cold ice cream helps balance the slight tart-ness of the crisp :) This is one of my favorite desserts. I made this for dessert tonight. I also made dinner but I’ll post about that later :) For now, just go to the store and get some rhubarb and have all the checkout people think you’re weird. It’s so worth it :)

Don’t be freaked out. It’s delightful.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

6 stalks of rhubarb

2 (1 lb) containers of strawberries

3/4 cup sugar

2 Tbs flour

Topping:

1 stick of butter

1 cup oats

1 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1 cup flour

Dash of cinnamon

Directions:

Chop up the rhubarb into approximately 1 in pieces. Cut strawberries up into like 4 pieces each. Or 2. It doesn’t really matter. Put rhubarb and strawberries in a bowl and mix in sugar and flour. Mix it up with your hands and get it all coated. Then put it in a glass baking dish (9 by 11ish or a similar size). Now make the topping! Mix together one stick of butter (kinda melty) with the oats, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Put this over the rhubarb and strawberries and bake at 350 degrees for about 38 minutes. Or more. Just make sure the strawberries and rhubarb is soft and bubbling. Now take a nice big scoop and put it in a bowl…and eat it. Mmmmm :)

Cajun Chicken Pasta

I have been in the mood for pasta. Pasta and chicken. Yummy yummy pasta. I love pasta when it’s mixed with a lot of things, either peppers or chicken or yummy sauce. This dish had all 3! It’s fettuccine pasta with chicken and bell peppers cooked with flavorful Cajun spices. This isn’t hard to make but err definitely turn on the stove fan because I didn’t and the whole house was filled with smoke.

The first thing you do is chop up your peppers and chicken! Actually the first thing I did was look up what Cajun spices are and mix those together. Then I chopped up the chicken and peppers.

I started the pasta by boiling the water and while that was getting ready I cooked the chicken. You coat the chicken with the Cajun spices and then put them in a skillet. You let one side sit there and cook for like a minute and then flip them over. Watch out for the  oil. It jumped out and attacked my finger. Owwy.

By this time I think I added the pasta to the water….Yep. So you take the chicken out and then you cook up the peppers. And you add more Cajun spices. Yum!

Then you make your sauce. I don’t have step by step pictures of this because I was too busy making the pasta and getting the sauce done and all that stuff. I don’t get how people take these perfect step by step pictures of their cooking. Oh well!

But for the sauce, you cook chicken broth and scrape up all the black stuff from the bottom of the pan so those flavors are in the sauce (that’s the picture above). Then you add the cream and it’s supposed to thicken but mine didn’t really…I was kinda freaking out about it but it turned out ok! So then you add your chicken and peppers to the sauce and add more spices and cook for a bit and then you add the pasta and mix it all together in the pan! I thought that was pretty fun.

Doesn’t this look soooo good?? The answer is yes of course! You kinda let it all blend together in the pan and then you serve it up!

This is one of my favorite dishes EVER! I would get this in a restaurant. I would eat this every day. And then I would cry at my 400 pound body. And feed my sadness with Cajun Chicken Pasta.

I got this recipe from the wonderful Pioneer Woman! I changed several things, though. I’ll post how I made it and if you want to see what she did (which I’m sure is yummy too) click this link –> Cajun Chicken Pasta Original Recipe.

Cajun Spices:

2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Mix it all together! I thought this was really good. Adapted from All Recipes.
.

Cajun Chicken Pasta:

3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Cubes
3 teaspoons Cajun Spice Mix, More To Taste
1 pound Fettuccine
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
2 ½ cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 cup Heavy Cream
Cayenne Pepper To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
Salt To Taste

Preparation Instructions:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook!

Sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp Cajun spices onto the chicken pieces and toss the chicken around to coat. Put 1 tbs oil and 1tbs butter in a skillet over high heat. Add half of the chicken in a single layer to the pan. Leave the chicken alone for about a minute (don’t wander off or anything now!) until it’s brown on one side. Flip it to the other side and cook it for another minute or so. Take the chicken out of the pan and put it on a plate. Repeat with the other half of the chicken.

Now add the remaining olive oil and butter to the same pan. When heated, add the peppers. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 2 minutes, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible.  Remove from pan.

With the pan over high heat, pour in the chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce the heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. (This is what was not happening for me. I’m not sure why. But I cooked it for a while and even tried adding some flour…I ended up just adding the chicken and peppers.) Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or salt to taste. I usually just throw in more cajun spices! I like my sauce spicy, but of course it’s up to you :)

Lastly, add the chicken and vegetables to the sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine. (The fact that my sauce didn’t thickehn much didn’t matter after I added the pasta).

You should totally try making this at home! And remember the fan and oil bit.

The Cake-Cookie Semi-Fiasco

So it’s the end of the school year *loud cheering* and I was going to make cookies for my teachers. I’ve had some really excellent teachers this year and they deserve cookies! I decided to try a recipe from my friend Taylor where you make cookies using cake mix. This is a really cool idea! It’s a super easy recipe and very versatile because you can use any cake mix flavor. Taylor usually uses strawberry cake mix which makes these really interesting pink strawberry cookies! The cake flavors I chose were “triple chocolate fudge” and “party rainbow chip.” It almost seemed a shame to not make these into cakes…they looked so delicious…

Side note…what is the difference between rainbow party chip sprinkle whatever and funfetti? Let me look it up…google knows all. Well after extensive research…I think funfetti is by pilsbury and this is betty crocker. And the consensus is that this one is better! Anyways…So this cookie making process started out pretty good. We had just had Ella’s birthday party and I was so full from the 2 pieces of cake I had..hem hem. So I wasn’t in the mood to eat cookies but I had to make them so I could give them to my teachers! I started baking at like 8:30pm and everything was fine at first. This recipe really is super easy. First you cream together a stick of butter and a block of cream cheese! Or neufchatel which is slightly not as bad for you.

It looks so yummy and creamy! Then you add an egg and some vanilla.

You mix that up until it’s all nice and smooth. Then you add your box of cake mix. Now this part is very important. You have to stir in the cake mix with a wooden spoon.

Why a wooden spoon? Because it will make you feel like the most awesome person ever. Because you probably are. It’s true.

Here’s party rainbow chip!

And triple chocolate fudge! When making these cookies, you can add whatever you want to the batter (how it tastes may differ…). I didn’t add anything to the first but I threw in a cup of chocolate chips in the second. More chocolate=more better-er.

Now I was so full but I did manage to choke down some of the dough. I was rather skeptical because the dough tasted kinda strange…but I just went with it! At this point you roll the dough into little balls and roll them in powdered sugar. Then you put them on cookie sheets. I had to bake each cookie type in 2 separate batches because there were 3 trays of cookies for each.

Then you bake them at 350 for 10ish minutes. The rainbow sprinkle ones came out looking all fluffy and delicious! The only thing was that the first batch was burned on the bottoms. They still taste good but I’d rather they weren’t burned…for the last tray I lowered the temp to like 340 and cooked for a little less time and the bottoms weren’t burned! (Does putting down parchment paper help keep the bottoms from burning? Maybe I’ll try that next time.)

These cookies really do taste like funfetti! They have an almost cake-like texture. Really yummy. I look forward to making them again.

So you may be thinking, what is the fiasco part of this post? Haha well don’t worry, it’s coming. So I had baked my 3 trays of rainbow cookies. Then I made the chocolate ones and put them on the trays and stuck the first 2 trays in the oven. When the timer beeped, I checked the cookies and they were oddly not cooked…hmm. And then I realized the oven was not very hot. Uhhhh…oh no. See our oven stops working whenever it feels like it. And apparently that’s what happened. So I tried turning it off and back on again, I pre-heated it again, I tried everything I could and it didn’t work. So here I have 2 trays of cookies in the oven and no way to finish cooking them. My solution? Broil them! Yeah..I was desperate. So I broiled the cookies and it worked at first but then they started burning and I took them out of the oven.

You know I think it would have worked if I had taken them out a little faster…But oh well.

A couple of the cookies didn’t burn and I tried those and they were actually fine. But the majority ended up in the trash…sad.

Well the good news is that I had already made the rainbow cookies and I had one more tray of uncooked chocolate cookies. I put those in the refridgerator and baked those this morning when the oven was working again. Those cookies turned out great! My teachers therefore got 4 rainbow cookies and 1 chocolate one…It’s the though that counts!

These cookies are really good, though. I want to try making them with all sorts of cake mixes!

Box Cake Cookies

Recipe from Taylor

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter

1 8oz block of cream cheese

1 egg

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 box cake mix (any flavor)

Any chocolate chips or whatever that you want to add

1 cup powdered sugar (for rolling cookies in)

Directions:

Cream together butter and cream cheeese until smooth. And the egg and vanilla and blend those until creamy. Slowly stir in the cake mix. Add chocolate chips if you feel like it. Form into 1 in balls and roll in powdered sugar. Put on cookie trays and cook at 350 degrees for 10-ish minutes. Makes about 40 cookies, depending on size.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Last night I made dinner for my family. It was my first time really cooking much of anything and I was kinda nervous. But they turned out great! Everyone in my family loved them, even Ella who is very picky about what she’ll eat for dinner. I’m definitely going to make dinner again soon!

To start, I cooked 3 chicken breasts by boiling them. Then you saute together rotel, cream cheese, and the chicken. This mixture is so yummy!

After that, you take a tortilla and put some of the chicken stuff in there and roll it up. You have to roll them up tightly. At first I was worried that all the tortillas wouldn’t fit in the pan.

After they’re all in the pan, you cover it with cheese. Lots of cheese.

Then you pour heavy cream on it. Lots and lots of it. The recipe called for 2 full cups of cream. I actually poured on a little less because it was SO much.

Then you bake it for 30 minutes covered and like 15 minutes uncovered and it turns out all golden and delicious looking.

And then you eat it! This picture doesn’t look great…I need a good macro lens! Well anyways, these were totally amazing and you should make them for dinner tonight. Seriously.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
Recipe from Kevin and Amanda

Ingredients:

1 tbsp butter or margarine

1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, drained

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, cut up and softened

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

8 (8″) flour tortillas

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 1/2 whipping cream (It probably wouldn’t hurt to use half and half instead)

Preparations:

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9×13 baking dish with Pam.

To cook chicken, drop the chicken breasts in boiling water for about 20-30 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink on the inside. You could also use already cooked chicken from the store or pan-fry the chicken.

Melt the butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add rotel and saute 1 min. Stir in cream cheese and chicken and cook, stirring constantly until cream cheese melts. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas tightly and place them seam side down in the baking dish. Sprinkle the tortillas with the cheese and pour on the cream. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. Take off foil and cook for another 15 mins, or until top is golden brown.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

I was looking for recipes on the interwebs and I ended up on the Cooking Light website. They had a whole section on “healthy muffins.” A lot of the muffins looked absolutely delicious so I decided to make the Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins! I adjusted several things when making these and they ended up being well, not so healthy. They’re about 240 calories which is pretty high (but not as high as packaged muffins which are like 400 calories). But anyways, healthy or not these muffins turned out delicious! They’re fluffy and very sweet. Next time I make them I’ll probably make them with a little less brown sugar topping. I would definitely recommend you making these :)

Here is the batter. A brown sugar and cinnamon mixture is gently folded into the batter.

This recipe is supposed to make 18 muffins and I suppose I could have made that many if I really tried. I opted for making 14 muffins instead. However, I only had 12 of my nifty little muffin liners.

I ended up putting the batter of 4 muffins just in the muffins pan without a liner. Then I took 4 liners and filled them with muffin batter and put them on a cookie sheet (these are my nifty free standing muffin liners, remember?)

After you put the muffins in the tin, you top them with some extra brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

The recipe called for baking these at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Our oven tends to run hot so I baked them at 380 degrees and they were done after 20 minutes. After you take them out of the oven and let them cool, you put a little bit of powder-sugar glaze on them. The recipe called for a orange-flavor glaze but we didn’t have orange juice so I just made a plain glaze. It was very good! But again, I would probably make these less-sweet next time by putting less topping or frosting on.

Eat the muffins warm with a little bit of butter. Yum!

Side note: The muffins I put in the tin without a liner were slightly burned and I ended up tossing them. I would definitely use liners no matter what.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins (adapted from Cooking Light)

Yield: 14 muffins

Ingredients:
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Muffin tin liners
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 teaspoons milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400° (or lower, depending on oven).
Brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.
Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add eggs and beat until blended. Beat in sour cream, water, and vanilla.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture; add sour cream mixture. Stir just until com1bined.
Place 3 tablespoons brown sugar mixture in a small bowl; set aside. Sprinkle surface of batter with remaining brown sugar mixture. Gently fold batter 4 times (do not mix the brown sugar into the batter, gently fold it in so it’s swirled into the batter).
Place 14 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into prepared cups. Sprinkle batter evenly with reserved brown sugar mixture. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack. Cool 10 minutes.
Combine powdered sugar and milk, stirring until smooth. Drizzle powdered sugar mixture evenly over muffins.

My Favorite Food Blogs

I really love baking. It’s so much fun and works out perfectly since I love eating baked goods. This summer I am planning on learning how to cook! I’ve never really cooked much before…unless pasta and sandwiches count. But I am definitely excited to get some experience with making “real food” as well as continuing baking. In order to get recipes and inspiration, I visit a lot of really awesome food blogs. In case you are like me and love drooling over what other people are cooking, you should check them out :)

My absolute favorite blogs I visit are Sugar Plum and the Pioneer Woman. The first has fantastic baking recipes! I’ve made a lot of them (like the chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream cake, and chocolate cheesecake cupcakes) and they’ve all turned out amazing! The blog is also really fun to read. The second website has more than just baking. “Pioneer Woman” Ree writes about photography, home and garden, daily life, and cooking! A lot of the recipes I want to try this summer come from her website. My mom makes a lot of her recipes for dinner and they’re always so delicious. My favorite recipe of hers has to be her chocolate sheet cake. I make this cake whenever I have a serious chocolate craving- it always turns out perfect (well except for that time that I forgot the baking soda hem hem). I also use this cake batter for when I make chocolate cupcakes. It’s super easy and the frosting is delicious!

I’ve been looking at more blogs lately and here are the links to the new ones I’ve discovered. They all have some amazing looking recipes and I’m excited to try them out :)

The Sugar Crafter

Recipes from Kevin and Amanda

La Fuji Mama

Love and Olive Oil

Recipe Girl

Check these out and have fun baking/cooking!

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