The return of Once Burned Pizza

There comes a time when every blog must take an unexpected hiatus. For Once Burned Pizza, that was when I entered my final semester of grad school. But now that I am officially done (done!) with grad school and have a lot more free time on my hands, I’m ready to get back to writing and back to cooking.

Peer pressured to turn on stove*I officially announce this hiatus OVER!*

So on to the good stuff, like my cooking skills.

This week I came across this slightly embarrassing timehop. Two years ago, I didn’t even know how to turn on the stove in my college house so my roommates forced me to turn on the stove.

Two years later, not only can I turn on the stove in my apartment, but I just made a carrot cake from scratch and it actually tastes pretty good. Keep an eye out for my next post where I describe the triumphs and tribulations of making carrot cake.

You Can’t Beat Funfetti Cupcakes

photo 2 (6)Whew, this week has been crazy busy. Although this is a bit late, I just HAD to blog about the funfetti cupcakes I made for the 4th of July.

I know funfetti cupcakes may seem simple because they come out of a box and it’s just cake — but you honestly can’t beat them. You bring cupcakes, people like you. But if you bring funfetti cupcakes, you’re the life of the party. There’s just something about eating a cupcake with colorful sprinkles in it that just makes you instantly happier with life.

The great thing about the box I bought was that it can make almost two dozen cupcakes! For like $1.50, you really can’t beat that. (Especially since you can buy one cupcake from a cupcake store for $3).

photo 1 (5)photo 3 (4)


My cupcakes turned out pretty well, although I did forget to buy frosting. So remember, when you’re buying a boxed cake mix, frosting might be key. But since I don’t actually like frosting on cupcakes, it didn’t really matter too much.

Hope you all had a lovely 4th!

Homemade Hot Pockets

There are some ingredients I would never pair together. Like whomever put together the turkey burger with guacamole was a genius, but a genius who likes to live life on the edge. What if the combination tasted horrible? It would be an utter waste of a good turkey burger.

So when someone on Facebook shared a recipe for avocado, cream cheese, and salsa pockets, I was intrigued but slightly hesitant. Avocado, cream cheese and salsa are three ingredients I would never think to put together. But separately I love them all. Could this be delicious delicacy? Or a waste of money?

HotPockets3Let me tell you – avocado, cream cheese, and salsa pockets are scrumptious. The flavors worked in harmony and the mixture of the hot puffed pastry contrasted with the cool avocado and cream cheese.

Although, finding a puffed pastry in the grocery store is harder than one would expect. Like would puffed pastry sheets be near the croissants or in the frozen section? It turns out in my grocery store they are near the frozen pies and there was only one brand of puffed pastry sheets. Which at least made the decision process much easier once I finally found them.

HotPockets1While finding puffed pastry sheets in the grocery store was tricky, these were incredible easy to make. Basically to make these you just cut the puffed pastry sheets into squares. I attempted to make mine hot pocket sized but as you can tell from the picture, they turned out a bit bigger than hot pockets.

Then you just put a dollop of avocado, cream cheese, and salsa on the puffed pastry. Personally, I probably should have mixed the ingredients together a bit more. Since I really just plotted them on there, part of the pockets only had one flavor, which was annoying at times.

HotPockets2After you put the ingredients on the pocket, you just use a fork to close the pocket and stick them in the oven. Keep an eye on them while they’re in the oven so they turn a nice golden brown and don’t burn.

These would be really nice to have for an appetizer at a party, or if you’re like me, you can use them as a meal. As for leftovers, they even taste good after being in the fridge for a night – just stick them back in the oven and you are good to go!

Delicious Peanut Butter Bars

photo 5 (1)The college I went to had these absolutely delicious peanut butter bars. Every single time they were offered as a dessert, I HAD to get one…or two (…or three). Not sure if it was the peanut butter bottom or the chocolate top but I was hooked. After I graduated college, I was devastated that I had to leave these delicious bars behind.

That is, until a few days ago when I decided to see if I could find the recipe online. Low and behold these bars are not as elusive as I thought they’d be – it was the first recipe after googling “peanut butter bars.” They looked easy enough, so I decided to make them as my first non-box-mix attempt.

The first problem I ran into was when I was purchasing my ingredients. I had no idea what confectioners’ sugar was or how it was different from normal sugar. Luckily I quickly learned from a roommate that confectioners’ sugar is another name for powdered sugar. Why not just say powdered sugar in the recipe? Life would be so much easier if ingredients only had one name.

photo 1 (2)photo 2 (3)The second problem concerned the graham crackers. The recipe calls for graham cracker crumbs, so on my first attempt I tried to break up the graham crackers using a spatula (see picture on the left). But then I quickly realized that breaking graham crackers up with a spatula is super messy. More crumbs ended up on the floor than in my little pile of cracker crumbs. It’s also very time consuming.

Then I had the brilliant idea of putting the graham crackers in the bag they came in and breaking them up with my hands (see picture on the right). Not only was this way not messy but it was faster than using the spatula. See, this is what they should tell you in recipes – kind of like the Half-Blood Prince notes (but seriously, how did Harry not know that was Snape’s handwriting?)

photo 4 (1)You may be thinking to yourself, there’s no way you could have a problem with the rest of the recipe. That is where you would be wrong my friend. This recipe calls for melting the chocolate in the microwave or in a metal bowl over simmering water. Didn’t have a microwave, since a former roommate took hers when she moved out, and didn’t own a metal bowl. So I did what any normal person would do – I just heated the chocolate on low heat and hoped it would turn out correctly. Which it did!

After placing these bars in the fridge for the allotted time, I tried one. I must say they passed the taste test. They tasted exactly like the ones at my college. I would recommend keeping them in the fridge if you aren’t serving them right away, since they taste better when cold. Room temperature makes them softer and melty.

If you’re looking for a simple delicious recipe, look no further. Peanut butter bars are the way to go.

Brownies From A Mix ✓

Good news – even I can’t mess up brownies from a mix.

I had bought a box of triple chunk brownie mix because I’ve never made brownies from a box on my own. And these brownies looked too delicious to pass up! The mix only required me adding water, vegetable oil and an egg.

While it turns out I probably should have used a smaller pan to make the brownies, these tasted just as delicious as they looked on the packaging!

Brownies1Brownies2Brownies3 Brownies4Brownies5