Saturday, December 28, 2013

Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips: Go Buy Them

Now that Christmas is over all the candy canes and peppermint nougats will go on sale.

You are going to brave those sales and you are going to buy every bag of these you can find:

You are going to send half of them to me (because you love me) and you are going to save the rest for a secret recipe we will be doing later.

Stay tuned!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Whole Foods Haul

Today I went to Whole Foods.

This is a big deal.

Why is this a big deal?

Because I don't have a Whole Foods. I drove an hour and a half (each way) to get to a Whole Foods.

This is what I have to show for it:

Not my biggest Whole Foods haul ever, but I got some good stuff. I skipped out on produce this trip, because even though it all looked beautiful and delicious, it was pretty pricy. (I hear not being able to grow veggies in November on the East Coast may have something to do with this.) I also am incredibly proud of myself for not buying anything in the bakery. Because none of that was out of season. None of it. Like, at all.


Okay, sorry, back to business.

Here's a rundown on the things I bought for my mother, who didn't want to make the voyage alllllll the way to Whole Foods:

2 jars of 365 Roasted Vegetable Pasta Sauce - $1.99 each
Engine 2 Roasted Red Pepper Hummus - $2.99
Engine 2 Rip's Big Bowl Banana Walnut Cereal - $4.99
365 Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette - $2.99
365 Butternut Squash Ravioli - $3.69
365 Spinach Ravioli - $3.69
Subtotal: $22.33

Here's a rundown on the things I bought for myself:

365 Organic Whole Cashews - $6.49
365 Blue Corn Tortilla Chips - $2.69
365 Quinoa - $4.49
3 cans of 365 No Salt Added Garbanzo Beans - $0.89 each
2 cans of 365 Cheese Ravioli in Tomato Sauce - $1.49 each
365 Fake Spaghettios - $1.49 (these probably have a name, but really, they're Spaghettios)
365 Coconut Oil - $5.99
365 Tahini - $5.99
Zevia Grape Soda - $3.00
Whole Foods Spinach Dip - $2.99
Subtotal: $38.78

Grand Total (after tax and 5-cent thank-you-for-bringing-your-own-bag discount): $62.59

You know what I'm most excited about? The tahini.

Actually, that's a total lie. I am most excited about the spinach dip because the Whole Foods spinach dip is a gift from the gods and I firmly believe the gods do not love me because I have to drive so very very far to obtain the delicious nectar that is the Whole Foods spinach dip.

But anyway, back to the tahini. I've been looking for tahini in my local grocery stores and haven't been able to find it. Procuring tahini was one of my primary incentives for making the trip out this week. So I go through the whole store looking for tahini. I look in condiments. No tahini. I look in ethic foods. No tahini. I look in salad dressings. No tahini. I look in the other case of salad dressings. Also no tahini. I look in the seasonings. Still no tahini. It wasn't until my roommate (aka Whole Foods Caddy--what? that bag gets heavy!) pointed at the tahini jar sitting right in front of my face in the peanut butter section that I found it. Now I can make hummus. Or, you know, have the capability and ingredients to make hummus but continue to purchase it already made from the grocery store because I want to keep all the lovely hummus makers in business so they can feed their families things like hummus.

The one other thing I was specifically hoping to find at Whole Foods was nutritional yeast, which is called for in one of the recipes I'm looking forward to trying. I heard (from the girl who posted the recipe, no less) that you could buy nutritional yeast at Whole Foods in the spices section, but I had no luck finding it there and really hope I can find it at one of the super-spiffy grocery stores here. Really hope. Really really hope. You hear that, Giant? I'm hoping. You wouldn't let a nice girl like me down, now would you?

That's it for today, folks. I'm going to go park the crazy train on the couch for the evening and eat all of the spinach dip and not share any of it. Nope, not even with you.

Have a great day!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

50 Bottle Water Challenge Recap

I wanted to touch base with you guys about my experience with the 50 Bottle Water Challenge.

First of all, I know now that it is possible to drown from the inside out.

Second of all, drowning aside, I think the challenge was a really good thing for me. We're not talking super-miraculous life-changing results or anything, but there were some definite improvements after the full seven days. Here's how:

1. My lips healed up....mostly. I still have a little dry patch, but overall they are much less lizzardy.

2. My skin improved. I was recovering from a makeup-related breakout, so my skin wasn't perfect, but my complexion did seem to even out a bit.

3. My hair was happier and much more cooperative.

4. I got thirsty. By the end of the seven days, when I hadn't had water in a couple of hours I felt legitimately thirsty, unlike before the Challenge when I'd look up at six o'clock and go, "Oh, I wonder if I've had anything to drink today."

I ended up completing the challenge at 11:30pm Day Seven, and despite my original intentions, I did not consume any alcoholic beverages (or any non-water beverages) all week because by the time I got my daily water quota in, the last thing I wanted was more to drink.

I encourage you to take on the Challenge for yourself and let me know what differences it makes for you!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve!

This holiday...

...I hope you survive celebrations with your family...

...I hope the reindeer don't tear up your lawn...

...and I hope Santa likes your cookies.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies in the Whole Wide World

Earlier this year we discussed edible oatmeal, however, if you are looking for truly delicious oatmeal, stop right here and soak up the realization that your life will never be the same again. From now on you will always know that you possess the secrets of the universe wrapped in the fresh baked goodness of these oatmeal raisin cookies.

[Looking for the vegan update to this recipe? Click here.]

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

50 Bottle Water Challenge

For the next week I will be participating in the 50 Bottle Water Challenge.

The 50 Bottle Water Challenge is based on consuming 50 bottles of water in seven days. This ends up equaling approximately 25 liters/6.5 gallons. Allow me to share with you my reasons for embarking on such a challenge:

1. Water encourages healthy skin, and based on my current blotchyness, I can use all the happy skin mojo I can get.

2. Hydration repairs dry lips. The first sign I'm getting dehydrated is usually sore, cracking, flaking lips. I, being the resilient badass I am, tend to power through this and wind up eating my own lip scales until I bleed. This is not pretty.

3. Adequate water consumption encourages loss of water weight. Supposedly the human body can carry a few extra pounds of water weight because most people aren't giving their bodies regular watering, thus causing the body to hoard water like a camel. This is also not pretty, and I don't know about you, but I can get down with skinniness for Christmas.

4. Water curbs appetite. Now that I'm unemployed and spending the vast majority of my time chillin' on my couch, I've been boredom eating. This new hobby of mine is undoubtedly delicious, but also undoubtedly hazardous and should be nipped in the bud as soon as possible.

5. My toilet and I just haven't had enough bonding time lately and I would like to visit it as much as possible during the next week. (Can you taste the sarcasm there?)

What are the rules of this 50 Bottle Water Challenge, you ask?

Well, that depends on just how committed you are. If you're really, really committed you can choose to eliminate all other fluids from your diet and consume solely water for seven days. If you're not really down with that you can take the more taste-friendly route and drink whatever the hell you want. The only real "rule" with the second camp is that alternative beverages don't count toward your daily water consumption. Personally, I've decided to adopt the second method, with the added rule that for every alcoholic beverage consumed I must drink one additional bottle of water. I'm hoping that by painstakingly doing this for a week I will be reminded to keep the H2O flowing during my future alcohol-enjoying endeavors.

Before you health freaks and scientists rip me to shreds in the comments, I would like to remind everyone that I am NOT a health freak or scientist or doctor or dietician or circus performer. Everything I do is subject to my own stupidity and subsequent failure. As such, I can not be held responsible for your stupidity and failure. I will, however, happily take full blame for your success if you choose to let me.

Also, I know many people recommend consuming a gallon of water per day, every day, always, but the reality of the situation is that most average Joes (like me) don't do this and taking up the 50 Bottle Water Challenge is a great jumping off point to make you aware of your own water consumption.

If you have any questions about the Challenge or if you decide to take it on yourself, let me know in the comments. I'd love to hear how you do.

In the meantime, I will do my best to keep my updates posted here and on Twitter. I give you full permission to hold me accountable in publicly embarrassing ways!

UPDATE: I finished the challenge! Read about my experience here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Banana Twinkies and Minions!

I have fallen prey to the marketing ploy of little yellow minions.

These are banana Twinkies. Endorsed by minions.

This can't possibly go wrong.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Homemade DIY Sugar and Spice Body Scrub Recipe

Not gonna lie. This kind of looks like poop.

I promise, it's much better than poop.

As a matter of fact, this is a super-spectacular DIY beauty treatment that will make your already-gorgeous self especially smooth skinned and glowy.

Glowy, not sparkly. We can't all be Edward.

There's a good chance you already have all of the ingredients in your house waiting to be made into scrubbiness....that is, if you're the kind of person who already has coconut oil and adorable teeny tiny baby food jars in their cabinets. If you're not, that's okay. I wasn't either.

In case you haven't gotten to know coconut oil yet, I'd like the honor of introducing you.

You, this is coconut oil. Coconut oil, this is you.

There. Now that everybody knows everybody, you can read this list of all the amazing things the two of you can do together and then make this scrub, which I have been so nice as to write into a small recipe and a big recipe. Don't you love me?

The Small Sugar and Spice Body Scrub Recipe


2 tbs coconut oil
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger


1. Put your coconut oil in a little bowl. Warm it up if necessary. Soft is good, liquid is liquidy. In layman's terms that is approximately fifteenish seconds in the microwave.

2. Dump your sugars and spices on top of the oil.

3. Stir.

4. Test the texture. If it's too harsh for your skin add some more oil. If it isn't gritty enough add some more sugar. In my experience the brown sugar is gentler than the white sugar.

5. Scoop the whole thing into a pretty little jar.

6. To use, rub mixture into wet skin and rinse off. A light layer of oil should be left on the skin for moisturizing awesomeness.

The Big Sugar and Spice Body Scrub Recipe

1 cup coconut oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tbs cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cloves


1. Put your coconut oil in a bowl. Warm it up if necessary. Soft is good, liquid is liquidy. In layman's terms that is approximately fifteenish seconds in the microwave. Probably more. You be the judge.

2. Dump your sugars and spices on top of the oil.

3. Stir.

4. Test the texture. If it's too harsh for your skin add some more oil. If it isn't gritty enough add some more sugar. In my experience the brown sugar is gentler than the white sugar.

5. Scoop the everything into pretty little jars to give to your friends.

6. To use, rub mixture into wet skin and rinse off. A light layer of oil should be left on the skin for moisturizing awesomeness. 

That's it, folks. If you give this a try let me know how it works for you, especially if you tweak it in fantastic new ways.

Happy scrubbing!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Triple Cheese Baked Ziti

I'm going to tell you right now, my pictures of this suck. Mostly because it was cold and the sun was setting and my lighting was off, but also because it smelled so good I couldn't wait to eat it and subsequently got sloppy. If you want better pictures, make it yourself.

This is super simple to make. It may not even require half your ass.

You start by gathering your ingredients. It is fully acceptable to steal ingredients from friends and neighbors to avoid the grocery store.

Then you cook your pasta (if you need to learn how to boil water click here) and dump all your ingredients into the pot and stir. Do not burn your hands on the absurdly hot pot handles.

Then you dump it all in a pan and put more cheese on it because cheese is an amazing thing and you can never have too much of it.

Then you put it in the oven and then you take it out of the oven and let it cool off so all the cheesiness doesn't cause permanent burn damage to the roof of your mouth.

And then you eat it and you tell everybody you know that it's terrible so that they don't eat it and there's more for you.

 Did you get all that? No? Oh, fine. Read the recipe then:


1lb box of ziti
15oz ricotta cheese (approximately 1 3/4 cup)
3 1/4 cups of tomato sauce (that's more than one jar, just FYI)
8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
Parmesan cheese to taste (I used the stuff in the green shaker can that may or may not be real cheese, but you can use the fresh stuff if you're fancy like that)


1. Cook your pasta in a great big pot according to the directions on the box. After draining noodles, return them to the pan.

2. Add approximately 2 1/2 cups (24oz) of tomato sauce to the pot along with ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and seasonings. Stir until well combined.

3. Pour the additional 3/4 cup of tomato sauce into a 9x13 pan. Spread it across the bottom and up the sides.

4. Dump the ziti into the 9x13, spread it out, and then sprinkle the Parmesan cheese across the top.

5. Cover pan with foil to keep cheesiness from escaping and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

6. Serve with leftover Thanksgiving punch.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

I Might Love Macaroni and Cheese

I have a thing for macaroni and cheese. It's not a fetish, exactly, more of just...a love. A deep, creepy, stalker love, granted, but isn't stalking the truest expression of admiration? Although, I suppose since macaroni and cheese is generally quite incapable of independent movement I'm not so much a stalker as a kidnapper. No, not a kidnapper. I don't sit outside the playground trying to lure delicious bowls of macaroni and cheese into my creepy van. We'll come back to titles later.

At any rate, I woke up this morning with an undeniable craving for macaroni and cheese. I had to have macaroni and cheese. But not just any macaroni and cheese. No. I needed the Great Value (aka: Walmart) Rich and Creamy boxed macaroni and cheese. Thing is, I want it circa five years ago, and as we all know, grocery store brands are notorious for changing their recipes as soon as they have you hooked.

In an attempt to satisfy my craving, I perused my collection of macaroni and cheese. (That's it! I'm a collector, not a stalker kidnapper.) Nothing in my collection could even come close to the tangy deliciousness wrapped around chewy macaroni noodles that lived in the red box back in 2008.

You want to know what the really embarrassing part is? I have more than one of each of these mac-and-cheeses in my kitchen cupboards. I almost don't have enough space in there for the Oreos.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

5 Christmas Gifts for Bakers

It's officially Christmastime! Encourage your favorite cook (aka, mom/girlfriend/sister) to be in the kitchen this holiday season with these fantastic gifts:

1. An Adorable Apron
Boojiboo's Sweetheart Apron Black and White Polka Dot with Purple MAGGIE

There are a ton of gorgeous aprons on Etsy, but I have personal experience with Boojiboo and recommend her highly. She has a variety of styles and each comes in a ton of color combos. Keep your eyes peeled for her seasonal designs too!

2. Almost Edible Earrings
Sweet and Savory Trinkets Cookies and Cream Cake Earrings

I have at least three pairs of earrings from Sweet and Savory's delectable collection and I love them all! These cookies and cream cake earrings are definitely on my wish list.

3. Not Edible Earrings

My first true love on Etsy were these miniature utensil earrings from Alliteration. The forks and spoons are competing for most worn earrings in my personal arsenal of earwear. I also have my eye on her meat cleavers, if you know what I mean.

4. A Kitchen Timer 

If you color coordinate this vintage-style kitchen timer with her KitchenAid mixer, you will be regarded as a god of giftgiving. You will publicly give all credit to me and the loveable monkeys from Think Geek.

5. Measuring Spoons,default,pd.html?cgid=kitchen_cooking

Everybody needs penguin measuring spoons. Everybody. That's why you're going to take your butt down to Pier 1 this weekend to buy a set for everyone you love. Including me.

What do you want for Christmas? Tell me in the comments!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Fake Turkey Sandwich

Happy Turkey Day!

Gobble Gobble Gobble!

(Is that supposed to be turkey-speak or just what everybody's doing all day?)

As a vegetarian with no place to be on Thanksgiving, I decided to embrace the spirit of the season and make myself a Thanksgiving Fake Turkey Sandwich.

This sandwich is comprised of three slices of fake turkey...

...two slices of non-smoked provolone cheese, lots of lettuce, and a layer of cranberry jelly, all sandwiched between two pieces of multigrain bread.

In all honesty, my intent was for this sandwich to be turkey, cheese, green beans, stuffing, and cranberry jelly (which is much more Thanksgiving-y), but alas, the stuffing was repulsive and I don't like green beans, so I worked with what I had available.

If, like me, you are spending this holiday alone, and, unlike me, you don't want to eat a turkey sandwich and pretend you're having fun, I highly recommend watching Hannah Hart's Thanksgiving for Juan.

You can also draw handprint turkeys:

But, you know, only if you're cool like that.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Punch

Dear Internet,

Do you know how much I love you?

I love you a lot.

I quite possibly love you the most.

I would like to prove this to you by giving you my super-secret Thanksgiving punch recipe.

Are you ready?

Here it goes:

64oz cranberry grape juice
2 liters ginger ale

Pour juice and ginger ale into vessel of choice (recommended: punch bowl or pitcher). Stir or shake to combine. Serve cold. Consider spiking.

That's it, dear internet. I'm sure my secret is safe with you.

Love always,

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Limited Edition Holiday Candy Cane Oreos

Speaking of limited edition holiday munchies, there are these totally awesome new Oreos you should try:

They taste like Girl Scout Thin Mints. They are delicious.

That's all.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Limited Edition Holiday Pringles Review

Potato chips are now dessert.

Not kidding.

Take a look:

Yes, you saw that right. These are limited edition holiday Pringles. They come in three flavors: Cinnamon sugar, white chocolate, and pecan pie. Apparently this is top-secret, information, however, because even Pringles themselves deny the existence of the white chocolate Pringle. This confidential information is to be kept between you, me, and the guy with the really big mustache on the can.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Alcoholic Gummy Bears

Are you ready to become a creative drunk? It's easy. All you need are gummy bears and vodka.

First, you put your gummy bears in a bowl.

Then you drown them in vodka.

(This only takes a couple of ounces. I didn't bother measuring to be sure--that would have required my whole ass, and that's just not the way we do things around here--so use as much vodka as it takes to cover your bears.)

Put the lid (aka: plastic wrap) on your bowl and hide it from yourself in the back of the fridge for as long as you can hold out. I honestly forgot about mine and ended up leaving them in there for about two weeks.

When you pull them out they will be swollen and extra gummy (think Jello jigglers) and super delicious. I detected no vodka taste in mine, just little sting, which made the pineapple bears extra pineapple-y.

What have you spiked lately?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Muffin Recipe

Remember that baking fail from last week? I've turned it around, baby!

The first batch of pumpkin muffins I made were dense and chewy. The flavor was okay, but I just couldn't get past the texture. These new, improved muffins are light and soft with just the right amount of spice. I'm telling you, they taste like fall.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/3 cup melted butter


1. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.

2. In a separate bowl mix together pumpkin, egg, butter, and sugars.

3. Combine the flour mixture with the pumpkin mixture. Stir until just combined.

4. Spoon into a muffin tin, well greased or lined with cupcake papers.

5. Bake at 350 for approximately 18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

(Full disclosure: I set my oven to 375, then decided against it and turned it down to 350 when I stuck the muffins in. You can do that on purpose if you want. I don't know if it makes a difference.)

What are your favorite fall recipes? Post them in the comments!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Macaroni and Cheese for Grown-Ups

I had every intention to post about pumpkin muffins today. I got off my lazy ass last night and made muffins for just such a purpose.

Then I ate said muffins and discovered they were disgusting and now you're getting a picture of my lunch instead:

You should take your pumpkin-muffin-less butt to Target right now and snag some of this stuff. It's not healthy by any stretch, but it is absolutely delicious and you need to experience it for yourself. Also, you need to meet the adorable funny-shaped noodles I didn't take a good picture of before gobbling them up. Sorry about that.

Happy Monday anyway!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Mike's Hard Smashed Apple Cider Review

This is the late TGIF post I promised.

I love the Mike's Hard brand. Their limeade is supremely delicious. Their cider? Not so much. Let me show you what I mean:

First Sip: Hey, this tastes like beer.

Second Sip: I don't like beer.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

National Oatmeal Day

Today is National Oatmeal Day! It is not, however, National Oatmeal Cookie Day (April 30) or National Oatmeal Nut Waffles Day (March 11) or even National Oatmeal Month (January), which means we can't cheat the system by making oatmeal cookies or oatmeal crumb topping. Nope. We actually have to make oatmeal.

How to Make Oatmeal That Doesn't Taste Like Ground Up Senior Citizens

Start by boiling 1 1/3 cups water.

Add 3/4 cup oatmeal. Turn down the heat (because your stove kind of smells like barbeque sauce because your roommate spilled who knows what on the burner) and cook for 7-ish minutes until most of the water is gone.

Put your oatmeal in a bowl.

Add 2 tbs milk.

Add 1/2 tbs brown sugar (because the internet is watching and you can't add 1/4 cup).

Get tired of measuring and throw six shakes of cinnamon on top, then a shake of nutmeg just to mix things up a little.

Stir it all up and enjoy your mostly healthy breakfast!

Happy National Oatmeal Day!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

It was a chilly day today and my roommate and I (who were both home--on a weekday, no less!) decided we needed to make a gigantic pot of chili. This, my friends, is that chili:

First we gathered up all the ingredients....

....and then I chopped the green peppers....

....and then I chopped the onions....

....and then I chopped the jalapenos....

....and then we dumped it all in a pot....

....and then I typed up the recipe while we waited.

3 medium onions
2 green bell peppers
2 jalapeno peppers
12 oz tomato paste
29 oz petite diced tomatoes
30 oz canned kidney beans
15 oz canned great northern beans
1 tbs basil
2 tbs chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Water as needed

1. Drain all your beans and dump them in an enormous pot with the canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook them for about 90 minutes over low heat. Add water if it gets too thick.

2. Chop all your veggies and add them to the enormous pot along with the basil, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cook for another three hours or so. Add water if it gets too thick.

3. Pour into bowls, top with cheese, and serve with crackers. Share with the neighbors.

For those carnivorously inclined, feel free to add a pound of browned ground beef about an hour before you plan to eat.