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).

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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!

Garlic Alfredo Tilapia Is Scrumptious

photo 1 (4)In an effort to mix up the fish I eat, I’ve expanded my fish selection from salmon, to salmon and tilapia. When looking for different ways to make tilapia tasty, I stumbled across the absolute best tilapia recipe ever – garlic alfredo tilapio.

When making it, I adjusted the recipe to one serving. Which made for some problems. Like what is the difference between tsp and tbsp? How many tsps are in tbsps? Luckily I googled that and it turns out google really does know everything!

They have this nice converter where you can figure out how many is in each thing. You really do use math after college (but google does all the work for you). It was pretty fabulous.

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But next problem – it turns out you have to unfreeze tilapia before you cook it. So I put the tilapia in a bag and put the bag in a pot of water. But the directions on the tilapia packaging said the water had to be cold, so that’s why there is ice cubes in the pot.

photo 5 (3)Then after the tilapia was no longer frozen, I patted it dry with a paper towel and put it on tin foil. I wasn’t able to find the creole seasoning in the grocery store, so I ended up using Italian seasoning. Which most likely gave it a different flavoring but I loved it!

While the fish was in the oven, I put the butter, garlic, and alfredo sauce in a pan. Once the fish was done, I used a fork to do the fork test, which my roommate told me about. You put the fork in the fish and twist, and if it breaks easily into flakes, it’s done! You then put the sauce on the fish, add more seasoning and voila, a delicious meal.

Guacamole: A Lesson In Dicing and Mincing

Up until I recently, I didn’t realize how life changing avocado is. Avocado is super healthy for you and can be used for just about any meal. By far though, my favorite use for avocado is guacamole.

 photo 2 (4)This is the best recipe for guacamole that I’ve found. While it doesn’t taste exactly like Chipotle’s guac, it’s still super scrumptious. This recipe calls for avocados, lime, salt, onion, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic and cayenne pepper. I don’t use cayenne pepper since the garlic gives the guacamole enough of a kick.

The first time I made this guacamole, it took me about an hour to make just because I had to look up every single thing. Like what’s diced onion? How does dicing differ from mincing? I don’t know how people cooked before the internet.

What’s diced onion? WikiHow explains it here. Basically you just peel the skin off the onion, cut the onion ends off, cut it in half, cut the onion in strips with the flat end facing downward, and then cut the other direction.

photo 3 (2)What’s minced garlic? WikiHow explains it here. Just cut off the hard end of the garlic, peel off the skin, cut in strips lengthwise, then cut the other direction. To make it super thin, run the knife across the garlic again.

While I ate a majority of the guacamole before I remembered to take a picture, here’s a picture of the avocados partly mashed. I absolutely love this picture because everything looks so fresh! Fresh guac is probably one of my most favorite things in the world. Hope you enjoy!

Creamy Avocado Pasta Easy But Not Tasty

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Some recipes seem better on screen than they taste. A good example of this would be creamy avocado pasta. I had some avocados I needed to use up and was in the mood for some pasta. I hunted online for some recipes and came across creamy avocado pasta.

It looked delicious and was easy to make. You just toss some items into a blender to make the sauce. But it didn’t taste good. First, the texture was really weird. Maybe I’m just not used to avocado as a sauce but I didn’t like it. Second, I probably should have diced the garlic before I put it in the blender. I thought the blender would get it, so I just chopped the garlic into large pieces. But the blender didn’t catch all the garlic, so I ended up eating some rather large hunks of garlic. Let me tell you, not tasty. Third, you can’t save leftovers. The avocado turns brown and smelled rather weird.

Yes, this recipe is easy to make but I definitely won’t be making it again.

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!

How to Cook Corn With No Microwave

The grocery store near me had this great deal on corn – 3 for $1 – so of course I bought three. I’ve never been a major fan of corn but I figured if it was cheap, I might as well start liking it.

The only problem was my apartment didn’t have a microwave at the time (we’ve now gained a microwave). Luckily I have a roommate who knows a thing or two about corn, so she told me that I could cook corn on the stove. And it actually tastes better than in the microwave! Here’s how:

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Step 1: Peel all the husks off the corn, including the little stringy parts.

Step 2: Break off the corn handle.

Step 3: Put water in a pot large enough to hold the corn. Then put the corn in the water. If you only have a smaller pot and the corn doesn’t fit, you can always break the corn in two.

Step 4: Bring the water to a boil, so there are bubbles. After the water is bubbling, your corn should be done.

Step 5: Drain the water in the pot. Add butter or salt to taste. Enjoy!

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.