Posted in Dinner Done Right, Sneak a Snack

Finals Got Me Like….

The end is in sight, y’all. Only one more week left and then winter break can start. I am looking forward to 5 straight weeks of no homework, no studying, no essays, and no bloody group projects! I’m planning on taking full advantage of this break; this will probably be the last time I have this much free time, since I plan on (hopefully) getting a job after graduating in May. Not many jobs give five weeks of vacation time, and four months in the summer off.

Do I really have to become a Certified Adult™ I think I’d be okay with staying an Adult In Training™ for the rest of my life….

Anyway, that brings me to now. It is currently 2 am on a Thursday as I write this. It’s due tomorrow before 10:20, and yes, I did have the whole week to start it. No, I did not remember it until an hour ago (ease up, it’s been a rough few weeks). I would get up early in the morning and do it, but I have a debriefing with Public Safety then about proper protesting guidelines. Students on campus are holding a peaceful protest for our food service workers to get more hours and all-around better contracts.

pizza
How you doin’?

So, I open my laptop to do homework and immediately procrastinate by making English Muffin Pizzas. I like how they each have a half pepperoni that makes it look like they’re winking. Seriously, finals is getting to me, guys.

Wish me luck,

XOXXO Maddie

P.S. Read this article by my writer and friend Roslin. I’m the Director for The Rival UHart, check us out and like us on Facebook!

Posted in Seasonal Cooking, Sneak a Snack

Thanksgiving Treats

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Happy post-turkey day everyone! My family always hosts the holiday at our house (because we have the biggest dining room). This is something that I totally take advantage of, because I get to stay in sweatpants until the first guest arrives, and we get to keep most of the leftovers.

The table was piled marvelously high with delicacies such as mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing. But for dessert, I made my Oreo truffles. These are the most delicious little morsels you will ever pop into your mouth, I promise.

All you need for this recipe is one pack of regular Oreos, an 8 oz. block of cream cheese, and enough semi-sweet chocolate chips to melt and cover however many balls you can roll out of the dough. By regular Oreos, I mean the original flavor, and not DoubleStuf. If you use DoubleStuf then the dough will be too moist and won’t hold together.

The first thing you need to do is break apart the Oreos. Either put them in a large zip top bag and smash them with a rolling pin or coffee mug, or grind them up in a food processor. Whichever method you choose, be sure that the mixture is finely crushed. You don’t want your guests (or yourself) to bite into a clump of hard cookie.

Once the cookies have been completely obliterated, add in the cream cheese. It may help if you cut the block up into sections and add them one at a time. You can mix it in by hand, with an electric mixer, or straight into the food processor and combine until you can’t see any streaks of white.

Roll the dough into small balls, no bigger than 1”. Line them up on a metal sheet pan lined with parchment paper and refrigerate so they can firm up a bit and can be handled without melting or falling apart.

While they are in the fridge, melt your chocolate chips in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler than just rest a medium-sized glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Or, just microwave and stir, in 15 second increments. You just need to make sure that you don’t let the chocolate get over 90° F or it will lose its temper and won’t solidify properly.

All that is left to do is dip your truffles into the melted chocolate to coat them completely. Using a fork to fish out the truffles, tap the fork lightly against the lip of the bowl containing the melted chocolate; this allows any extra coating to drip off. Let your truffles rest back on the cookie sheet with parchment paper, and place in the fridge to set. Remove them from the fridge a few minutes before eating so the shell can soften up a bit.

 

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Happy holidays!

XXO Maddie

Posted in Bite of Breakfast, Dining with Friends, Sneak a Snack

Breakfast of Champions: Part 2

Because last week was devoted to coffee, I figured we should get the ball rolling for the rest of our meal! Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and the only thing that makes it better is sleeping in and turning it into brunch.


Brunch is not a meal, it’s a game: and I always win.


One of the easiest ways to look like you have your $**! together is throwing together a breakfast that needs zero cooking. By that I mean, just chuck a bunch of fruits on a platter and pour some yogurt and honey in a bowl, and you look fancy AF. My queen, Ina Garten, is the best at fruit platters. But she is also the best at everything. I may be biased….

But seriously, all you have to do is get a handful of your favorite fruits and pile them all next to each other on a platter. Smaller fruits like berries are best, since you don’t have to cut of peel them. If berries aren’t in season then just buy the freshest and most flavor fruit on the market!

This spread's just for YOU. You killed it these past three days!!! Treat yourself and keep an eye out cause we'll announce the winners tomorrow! Hanks for the  @earthyandy by sambazon:

If you like fruits that sit on the exotic end of the spectrum, try something like this!

Hey guys  I wasn't having the best day, so thought I would cheer myself up…:

Voila! The easiest breakfast ever. Just put this in front of your guests along with some yogurt and honey and the perfect coffee that you now know how to make and they will be tres impressed. Happy brunching!

Posted in Dining with Friends, Seasonal Cooking, Sneak a Snack

How to Celebrate the First Snow of the Season

Ladies and Gentlemen, the first snow of the season is here! And I am here to tell you just how you can celebrate it.

First, you have to get through all of you classes, or the entire work day. Just because it’s the first snow doesn’t mean that there won’t be plenty more. And those storms will come rolling in with big puffy flakes that drive you back under the covers. So don’t waste an absence or a sick day—save it for when you actually need it!

Once you are at home, make a list of things that you will need. In the case of me and my roommates, we immediately went back out into the cold snowy air (yay, but also, why??) to pick up milk and ingredients to make cookies. Then we went back to the dorm. Can you guess what we did next?

That’s right, we baked them! Then we ate them!

Your list should look pretty similar to that. Take off your work appropriate clothes and put on comfy sweatpants and start baking. I may or may not have the Nestle Tollhouse recipe for chocolate chip cookies memories, but you can use whatever recipe for whatever cookie you like. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl—flour, chocolate chip morsels, sugar, chocolate chip morsels, butter, chocolate chip morsels, eggs, chocolate chip morsels. Can you guess what my favorite part of the dough is?

It also needs other stuff like vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda, but who really cares about that stuff??

Once your cookies are safely in the oven, make your drink of choice. Now because I still had a lot of home work to do, I made a nice strong cup of chai tea. Sprinkle a little extra dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, add a splash of milk and a sprinkle of sugar, and you have a mug of the best holiday beverage that will ever pass your lips.

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These cookies and tea are best enjoyed with a few great friends and a bit of Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. If you don’t have any work to do and just want to relax and enjoy the season, then I recommend some Spiked Spiced Cider… But that’s another post! 😉

Enjoy!

Xxo Maddie

Posted in Bite of Breakfast, Seasonal Cooking, Sneak a Snack

Festive Apple Pie Cresents

While it’s not quite Halloween yet, I’ve been noticing myself getting a little ~excited~ for the holiday. Being the last day of the month, All Hallow’s Eve has its advantages of the dramatic build-up.

Pumpkin carving. Apple Picking. Costume hunting (or building, in my case). And of course the decorations. And scaring people. And the candy.

Where was I?

One of the perks about Halloween is the festive and creative food you can make. No need to go crazy with a turkey that needs a 24 hour marinade like on Thanksgiving, or a yucky fruit cake that no one eats on Christmas. Halloween food can get away with being made from the leftover ingredients you have in the kitchen.

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To make these yummy mummy roll-ups, you’ll need a roll of pre-made crescent dough, apples–preferably green so they don’t fall apart in the oven– both white and brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg (or if you are fancy you can use apple pie seasoning), and mini chocolate chips. Plus a little bit of butter, if necessary (butter is always necessary).

Pre-heat your oven according to the instructions on the tube of dough, then lay out and prep each triangle. You will only need 1 or 2 apples, since you’re just putting one large slice per triangle. Mix the two sugars with the cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle generously on the dough.

Once all the triangles are seasoned, roll them up, wide side to skinny side, so that the tip of the triangle is on the top. Lay each crescent so that the seam won’t fall open, then place two mini chocolate chips for eyes and TA-DA! Your apple pie crescents look like mummies!

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Bake according to instructions and remove when golden brown. If you want them extra golden brown, spread a thin layer of melted butter over the top before popping them in the over (you’re welcome).

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Let cool before eating, and try not to eat them all in one sitting. If you can’t, justify it with the fact that they have apples and apples are healthy.

Trick or Treat!

Posted in Sneak a Snack

Staying Distracted During A Hurricane

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For all of the people living within the path of Hurricane Matthew, just know that I’ve got my fingers crossed for your safety! I’m sure that most of you have stocked up on groceries, but in case you haven’t I made a small list you could consider. Stay dry, everyone!

  • Popcorn
  • M&M’s
  • Gummy Worms
  • Bottled water

Image result for m&ms in popcorn

  • Pop-tarts
  • Rice
  • Rice Krispy Treats
  • Kraft Mac & Cheese
  • Apples
  • Bananas

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  • Hot chocolate and hot spiced cider
  • (Batteries for flashlights in case you lose power)

Now put on a cozy Halloween movie, eat your snacks, and try to avoid checking the weather as much as possible! I suggest doing all this in a blanket fort, but you can pick where ever. Make sure that you’re in your comfiest pajamas and that the Netflix queue is full, and you should be able to stay distracted while you wait out the storm. Praying for everyone’s safety!

Posted in Bite of Breakfast, Seasonal Cooking, Sneak a Snack

The Return of The Invasion of The Pumpkin Spice Latte

 

Today’s date: September 22nd, 2016. This is the official Autumnal Equinox, also known as the first day of fall. So, roll out the red carpet, gather the trumpeters, and a drum-roll please…

It’s here, it’s here! Autumn has finally arrived! But you know what that means: So has the Starbucks child prodigy, the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Some of you may already stop reading there, and I cannot hold that against you. Once September 1st rolls around and Starbucks releases the PSL, it feels like that is all anyone can talk about. There are three teams: the team that loves PSL, the team that hates PSL, and the team (my team) that loves to watch the drama unfold between the two.

I may be a bit hypocritical in this area, because I have never had a Pumpkin Spice Latte. This is because I like my coffee to taste like coffee. I also like my bagels to taste like bagels, my pancakes to taste like pancakes, and my Cheerios to taste like Cheerios. All you PSL Haters can’t jump on Starbuck’s back for the mind wipe they perform every autumn, because they aren’t the only ones. It seems like as soon as the leaves change color, artificial (and sometimes *natural*) flavoring gets dumped onto everything.

If youre on the team of hating the PSL, I can see your reasoning. It seems like people drink it as an excuse to finally say they drink coffee (it’s not coffee, it’s ice cream that’s been microwaved and poured in a cup). It simply cannot be that good that you are willing to spend almost $6 dollars on a few ounces of a hot beverage.

If you are on the team of loving the PSL, I feel you. It is like autumn in a cup. The first couple sips are like drinking in everything that makes fall wonderful: pretty leaves, cozy sweaters, and nights by a fireplace. It gives you a feeling of nostalgia and excitement for the fun things to come that the season has to offer.

psl

If you are on my team, the team of loving the drama as it unfolds, grab a seat. I love to watch people in the Starbucks line roll their eyes whenever someone at the till orders a PSL. I admit, it does make me wish there was a separate line for people who just want to order a black coffee, but I digress. My roommate Jean says that the PSL is overrated and “basic as fuck” and I agree with her.

Besides the fact that it is an overpriced cup of hot whipped cream, have you ever seem a PSL without the lid? The surface of the beverage is dotted with little pools of oily flavoring that they pump into the cup. It looks like the BP oil spill got an autumn makeover (is that too aggressive?).

Either way, no matter what team you are on autumn is here! I hope you are all ready for the next few (dozen) posts about apple picking, pie making, and pumpkin carving. Fall is my favorite season, so pull on your tall knitted socks and get ready to dive in…to a huge pile of leaves!

XO Maddie