Monday, January 27, 2014

How to Make a Spongebob Oreo Birthday Cake in 19 Easy Steps

Today I'm going to teach you how to make this cake:

We're making this cake because it's somebody's baby brother's NINTH birthday and somebody's baby brother likes Spongebob and Oreos. Somebody's baby brother has excellent taste. He gets that from somebody, you know.

Anywho. Here's what you have to do:

Step 1: Go to Walmart.

Step 2:
Procure 2 boxes of vanilla pudding, 3.5 cups of milk, two packages of golden Oreos, 8oz of cream cheese, 12oz of Cool Whip, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and one stick of butter (you'll just have to convince your fellow shoppers to chip in for the other three sticks). Do not take pictures of the powdered sugar or butter as this will ruin the whole cake.

Step 3:
Find cool looking Happy Birthday letters and cool looking candles and then go into the aquarium section and get a Spongebob figurine and Spongebob's pineapple house but don't tell anybody you got your cake toppings from the aquarium section because they'll probably think that's gross and then they won't eat the cake. On second thought, tell them and then keep all the cake for yourself.

Step 4:
Go home and make the Help crush the Oreos into oblivion.

Step 5:
While the Help is crushing the Oreos into oblivion, mix together your pudding mixes and the milk.

Step 6:
Spoon the Cool Whip onto the pudding.

Step 7:

Step 8:
Take a break. Eat some Cool Whip. Soften your butter. Eat more Cool Whip. There are leftovers for a reason.

Step 9:
Put your butter and cream cheese and sugar in a bowl.

Step 10:

Step 11:
Stir your pudding and Cool Whip mixture into your butter and cream cheese and sugar bowl.

Step 12:
Procure a 9x13 baking dish.
Little-known Fact: They call it a 9x13 because it measures 9 inches on the short side and 13 inches on the long side. Mind. Blown.

Step 13:
Spoon half of the goop into the dish and spread it out.

Step 14:
Sprinkle some of the crushed Oreos on top. Use more than this.

Step 15:
Spoon on the rest of the goop. Spread it out.

Step 16:
Cover the goop with the rest of the Oreos.

Step 17:
Use letters to write things. The cake can entertain itself reading these things while you refrigerate it.

Step 18:
In the morning decorate with aquarium ornaments and candles. Take a picture of birthday boy's knee.

Step 19:

And there you have it! A delicious Spongebob Oreo birthday cake in less than 20 steps! What are you waiting for????

(Also, did you see the Spongebob cup photobombing?)

Monday, January 20, 2014

My Roommate's Superbowl Party Dip

So my roommate goes to New York and comes home telling me he had the most amazing dip on earth and that life will never be the same and that he brought the recipe home and I have to try it.

So I tried it.

Honestly, I didn't think it was all that fantabulous but you can try it yourself and tell me what you think.


1lb ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
4 oz sour cream
Tostitos Creamy Spinach Dip
Jarred jalapeno slices


1. Brown your ground beef and add the taco seasoning according to the directions on the package. I used Old El Paso Mild seasoning because it's my favorite, but you can use whatever you like.

2. Stir in 4 oz of sour cream. I is bad at the maths (I'm not a math scientist, after all) so I added 1/2 cup. Seemed logical.

3. Dice up some of the jarred jalapenos and stir them in. I used, like, eight rounds and didn't think it was very hot. My roommate's sister uses three rounds and says it's too spicy. Use your own judgement. (Wimp contests are being held below! Tell me how many jalapenos you used. Biggest wimp wins!)

4. Add half the jar of spinach dip (7 oz).

5. Serve with tortilla chips, warm or chilled.

My roommate claims the only way to know you made it right is if it looks like this:

Go Broncos!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know those peanut butter kiss cookies with the Hershey's Kiss on the top? I don't like those.

These are a million times better.

These peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are a perfect hybrid between peanut butter kiss cookies and chocolate chip cookies. They are soft and pillowy with just the slightest bit of crunch on the outside.

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips


1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. The peanut butter I used (Jif) was very salty all by itself, so adding extra salt was unnecessary. If you think your peanut butter can benefit from some extra sodium, go ahead and add a 1/2 tsp salt.

2. Mix together the butter and sugars.

3. Mix in vanilla, eggs, and  peanut butter.

4. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

5. Stir in the chocolate chips.

6. Scoop tablespoonfuls of dough onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

I roll my dough into smooth balls and then squish them a little bit. You can skip this step for taller and more irregularly-shaped cookies.

7. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

8. Cool the cookies on the sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Try not to eat them all before they cool.

Makes approximately 40 cookies.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Vegan Swing Carrot Cake (Oil Free Variation!)

Once upon a time somebody said, "Hey you know what would make this cake better? Vegetables."  That guy was a nutcase. But he made damn good cake.

I'm choosing to call this "Vegan Swing" cake because it can be made oil free and vegan or not, just by switching out two of the ingredients. This is based on Tammy Elliot's carrot cake recipe on

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 eggs or Ener-G Egg Replacer
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil or plain unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup raisins


1. Start by grating your carrots. I used most of a 1lb bag.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

3. Mix together your eggs (fake or otherwise), oil or applesauce, sugars, and vanilla. I used 1/2 cup of oil and 3/4 cup of apple sauce in this particular cake and it turned out well. You can fuss with the proportions as much as you want.

4. Sift your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and mix together.

 5. Stir your carrots into the batter.

Add your raisins.

(Or don't. Probably don't. Raisins should not be in cake. They should be in cookies.)

7. Oil and flour two 8" round cake pans. If you're going oil free flour alone should be fine.

8. Pour half your batter into each pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Swap pan positions in the oven halfway through for even baking.

9. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes or so then turn them out onto a cooling rack. Observe the echinacea tea photobombing in the background.

10. Find some frosting.

11. Take your cake outside for some inexplicable reason and plop half a can of frosting on one of the layers. Spread it out.

12. Put the other cake layer on top of the frosting. It will now look like a giant whoopie pie.

13. Plop another half can of frosting on top of this layer.

14. Spread it out.

15. Cover the sides with more frosting so they don't feel left out.

That's it, folks! You now have a delicious carrot cake that may or may not be vegan. Throw some candles on top of that thing and have yourself a party.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Aladdin Reusable Water Bottle Review

So, once upon a time I went out and bought a water bottle. Then I bought another one. Then I bought another one. Then I bought two more.

These water bottles are awesome! They are the Aladdin 18oz Two-Way Lid Water Vessels and I love them.

(For those of you who can do math, yes, I said I bought five and I only show three in the picture. That is because I am a lovely person and gave away two of them.)

These water bottles come with three parts that can be deconstructed for easy cleaning and ice-filling.

Want to know my favorite things about these bottles? Here you go:

1. They Look Snazzy.
When I bought mine during the summer they came in five or six different colors. I'm not sure which colors are still available but I wouldn't be surprised if Aladdin switched them up every year.

2. They are Durable.
I have knocked these suckers off the table, smacked them against walls, and even dropped one while walking across a parking lot, and they still haven't shown a scratch.

3. They are Grippy.
You'd think the ridges would make these unnecessarily bulky, but no! They're actually very easy to hold onto and not too heavy. The whole sliding-out-of-my-hand thing was in no way the fault of Aladdin's design team but just me being a klutz.

4. They Stay Cool.
These aren't technically insulated but they do keep drinks cooler much longer than a Crystal Geyser bottle.

5. They are Affordable.
I bought mine at Walmart for $5 each. That is incredibly affordable considering the quality and the average price of other reusable water bottles.

6. They are Environmentally Friendly.
I fill these puppies up on a daily basis. Sometimes multiple times. That adds up to a lot of saved plastic bottles and a lot less crap to drag to the recycling center.

7. They Won't Leak.
These don't leak. Ever. No matter what.

8. They Don't Have a Straw.
No straw means no cleaning your straw and no weird mold growing in your straw and no lip wrinkles from sucking through a straw and you can drink out of your water bottle like a normal person drinks out of a water bottle. Imagine that

9. They Hold 18 Ounces.
I love that these bottles are bigger than your standard .5 liter (16.9oz). It always kind of bugged me that 16.9 was the standard size. It's like "What? I'm not good enough for 17 ounces? I see how it is!"

10. They are BPA Free.

I bought these right when everybody started flipping out about how leaving your water bottle in the car caused cancer. No worries with these. They are BPA free and don't get all weird and melty when you leave them in the sun. (Sidenote: Why don't you have your water with you if it's that hot out?)

11. They are Dishwasher Safe.
Need I say more?
These water bottles have officially made me an Aladdin convert. I would buy more in a heartbeat if they came out with new colors. (Just not pink. I don't like pink.)

You can still find these at Walmart and I've seen similar styles at Target. Go snap one (or two or seven) up for yourself!

Edit: While I was reroofing my house one of these suckers rolled off the ridge and landed in the garden. It's a little scratched up now, but it still refuses to die.

Water Bottle - 1; Roof - 0.