Monday, February 28, 2011

Homemade Oreo Cookies and the Goods/Bads

The goods and bads in my life right now:

Let's start with the bads:
  • I keep accidentally dressing inappropriately for the weather so I either end up sweating through my shirt (not attractive) or freezing to death (also not a good look).
  • I have spring fever like never before. 
  • Weekends are too short. I vote we start a petition and standardize the three-day weekend!
  • My husband had to go to a group meeting awhile ago so to console myself I ate the entire box of macaroni and cheese and now I feel dehydrated but am too lazy to get up off the couch to go get water.
  • I just read the two best books. I highly recommend them.


    • The first one was about a British Island off the coast of France that was occupied during WW1. That makes it sound depressing but it was witty, laugh-out-loud funny, and had enough historical info to make me almost feel like I was bettering myself for reading it. So great. It is going on my (imaginary) top ten list.
    • The second is about Julia Child, her life in France (shocking, I know), and how she became a cookbook queen. Basically all it talked about was food and France. Perfect, two of my favorite things.
  • The BYU men's basketball team is ranked #3 in the nation! Oh I am so proud. Andrew and I go to/watch all the games and we yell and cheer and boo and really make fools of ourselves. It's the best.
  • Another good thing is Homemade Oreo Cookies.  They are yummy. They are easy. They are a bazillion times better than those store bought Oreos.

This recipe makes approximately 32 Oreo cookies (which is 64 individual cookies).  That may be a lot for some people so go ahead and half it. Or don't. 

I'm all about giving people options.

Homemade Oreo Cookies

·         2 Devil’s Food Cake Mix
·         1 Cup Shortening (softened)
·         4 Eggs

1. Mix well. If mixing by hand, be patient.  This is a lot and it will take awhile to combine but trust me, it will all work out!
2. Roll into quarter sized balls.  
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes.  

Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting

·         8 oz. cream cheese
·         ¼ c. margarine
·         1 t. vanilla
·         1 lb. powdered sugar

1.Mix all the ingredients until smooth and creamy and frosting-y.
2. Frost cookie, sandwich them, eat a dozen or so, and then refrigerate. They are best when refrigerated.

P.S. I hope you enjoyed the picture this time. I'm talking to you Jackie and Alyssa.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A favorite: BBQ Chicken Pizza

The other day my friend and I were talking and she mentioned my blog. The conversation went something like this:

"You cook so much dessert! You're going to make Andrew fat."

I thought about that last night as I made yet another pizookie--second one this week.  As I was adding in the brown sugar I looked over at my husband who was doing homework at the table. He leaning over to grab something and I couldn't help but notice that all his ribs were showing through his tee shirt.  
I could count them: one rib, two ribs, three ribs...

...I think we're safe from obesity for the time being.

Regardless, I thought maybe it was time to kick up my non-sugar-coma-inducing items, such as this jewel: The Infamous, Delicious, nothing-said-about-it-can-be-an-exaggeration BBQ Chicken Pizza.

This is not your average BBQ Chicken Pizza. This one is better. 

I actually don't like any BBQ Chicken Pizzas except this one. I was really surprised when I liked this one because I have tried some of the "greats". I tried the one from California Pizza Kitchen. Meh. I tried one from this great restaurant in Hawaii that had pineapples on top. So-so. And I can't think of any others I have tried but I know there have been others. This one surpasses them all and has a hard-earned, against-the-odds spot in my heart. And belly.

It's just so YUM people!

I got the recipe from my roommate, sophomore year of college. It has been a staple in my various apartments since then. It has been tried on many sets of roommates, including my newest, cutest roommate, and no one has ever though that it was anything less than great.  (Though they all could be lying to make me feel good about myself. And if so, it worked! I feel great. Thanks, guys!)

So please, I implore you, even if you think you do not like BBQ Chicken Pizza, give this one a try.

You, like me, may just come out surprised, and happily full.

Some great things about this recipe: The dough. You make it from scratch but it is quick and easy. It takes 30 minutes, max. The BBQ sauce MUST be Sweet Baby Rays. It makes all the difference. From start to out of the oven, this is a 45 minute process.

My sister-in-law said my picture looked weird. Then I asked my co-workers, they agreed. Photo failure: it happens. I chose to keep the photo though because I don't have another so just visualize with me. It cooks in a cake pan so it is square so there is no outer crust and what not. But it is delicious so embrace the ooey-gooeyness of it. Ready, embrace!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1 cup comfortably hot water
  • 2 tsp oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce (it is imperative that you use Sweet Baby Rays. I think this is the reason I like this pizza.)
  • 1 large chicken breasts (cubed and cooked)
  • 1/2 Purple onions (diced, raw)
  • 3+ cups Mozzarella cheese
  1. Combine 2 cups flour and dry ingredients.  Add oil and water.  Cover and let rise for ten minutes.
  2. While dough is rising, cube and then cook up the chicken in a skillet/frying pan. When chicken is done, remove from heat.
  3. Add rest of flour.  Knead five minutes. Let rise an additional 10 min. 
  4. Grate the cheese during this down time.
  5.  Press dough into a greased 9x13 cake pan. Spread BBQ sauce over the crust (not too much! Just enough to coat the crust). Add thin layer of cheese.  Add cooked, cubed chicken and raw, diced onions.  Top with the rest of the cheese (I like to put on a lot, like 1-2 cups).
  6. Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Deep dish cookie for two.

I love this recipe. It took no time, used hardly any ingredients, and was delicious. That is my kind of cookie.

There's this restaurant at home called BJ's Brewery. They have killer pizza and cookies and I miss them a lot.  So, in a fit of nostalgia, I searched for the cookie recipe so I could have a treat from home.  It is called a Pizookie and it is a deep dish cookie. DEEP DISH COOKIE! I can't get over how great that is.

Here is what a pizookie looks like at BJ’s:

And here it how it came out chez nous!

They usually put ice cream on theirs but we didn’t have any and a good cookie can stand alone, you know what I mean?

I baked it for 10 minutes because at 6 it was raw, but I used a pan that was about 4 inches across so that could have something to do with it. The smaller the pan, the longer you gotta cook this sucker, you know?

We pretty much gobbled this up in 5 minutes flat. It was perfect: a little gooey on the inside –not under baked gooey, just delicious gooey- and perfect crispiness on the outer edges.


We made the chocolate chunk, but I’ll post all the recipes just in case you want to try one of the other flavors. I love BJ’s peanut butter pizookie so I think I’ll try that one next.

This recipe is by Todd Wilbur, whoever that is. I just googled “BJ’s Pizookie recipe” and this is what came up but when I went back to find the link, I couldn’t.  Good thing I had saved it in my email.

BJ’s Famous and Delicious Pizookie


Chocolate Chunk
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened 
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon beaten egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut 
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon beaten egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons white chocolate chunks (or chips) 
3 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts

Peanut Butter
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened 
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter 
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 
1 tablespoon beaten egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoon unsalted peanuts

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened 
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 
1 tablespoon beaten egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
3 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts

2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
  1. 1.     Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. 2.     Combine all ingredients (except for the flour and baking soda!) for cookie of your choice in a small bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until smooth.
  3. 3.     Add flour and baking soda (plus oats and cinnamon if making the oatmeal raisin walnut cookie) and stir well by hand. Stir in remaining ingredients then press the dough into a small buttered pie pan, cake pan or 6-inch deep-dish pizza pan. (I used a 4 inch casserole pan and it worked great!)
  4. 4.     Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until cookie begins to brown (I cooked mine for 10 minutes). Cool for a minute or so, add 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream (optional), and serve.

As Todd said, “You might think that the cooking temperature of 475 degrees is extreme for a cookie, but since BJ's is a pizza joint, these suckers get cooked in cranked-up pizza ovens, and it works great. Not only will you have your cookie done in only 5 to 7 minutes, but also it'll be nice and brown on top, and slightly gooey in the center - all good things for a cookie, right?”

It's the perfect size to share, or be ambitious and consume it yourself. 

Either way, enjoy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pot Roast: Three Meals in One.

It may not be pretty, but it is delicious.
It may not be pretty, but it is super simple.
It may not be pretty, but it makes meals for days.

And if you're a carnivore like me, pot roast is down right beautiful.

I like to make pot roast on Sundays because there is something about Sundays that makes me want to eat until I am stuffed and can only lay around for the rest of the day.  That can only be accomplished by consuming a lot of meat.

This post is not for the vegetarians out there, if you can't tell.  For the rest of you: embrace the meatiness.

This is my mama's pot roast recipe and it is delicious.

Here is what you do:

Meal One: Pot Roast
(This is not post roast, this is the beginning stages of meal two, but I forgot to take a picture of meal one. Ignore the Krispy Kreme box in the top right corner.)

  • Roast (tri-tip)
  • 1 package (there are 2 packages  per box) Lipton's Beefy Onion Soup Mix
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes (peeled or not peeled, which ever)
  • Onions 
  • 1/4 cup water
Roll the roast in the soup mix. Place this in a crock pot or foil-lined pan.  Place carrots and potatoes on opposite sides of the roast.  Cover with foil.  Bake for 4 hours on low heat in a crock pot, or 8 hours at 225 degrees in the oven.

Once you devour most of the roast, save the remaining, BUT DO NOT SAVE THE GRAVY IT IS IN. Refrigerate. 

The next day make:

Meal Two: Hash

  • One baked potato
    • If you don't want to take the time to bake the potato, stab it repeatedly, then put it in the microwave for 5 minutes. That will do the trick.
  • 1/2 of the remaining pot roast meat, diced
  1. Put a little bit of oil in a pan. Turn heat to medium high.
  2. Dice up the potato into cubes and fry it up until turning golden brown. 
  3. Put in the meat, which should be cut into roughly the same size cubes as the potato.
  4. Fry until potatoes are golden to medium brown and meat is heated all the way through.
  5. Serve with some sort of yummy veggies.
Then take the remaining meat a day or two later and make...

Meal Three: Salsa Verde Tacos

  • Remaining meat, shredded.
  • 1-2 small cans of Salsa Verde--- what, you don't know that that is? Here:
    • I don't really like the thick and chunky style, but if that thrills you then go for it.
  • Tortillas, toppings, and sides
  1. Shred the meat and put it in an un-greased frying pan.
  2. Add Salsa Verde.
  3. Cook over medium heat until warm and the salsa verde is no longer liquidy, but sticks to the meat.
  4. Warm up tortillas.
  5. Serve on tortillas with cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and whatever else you want. Go crazy with the side dishes! I made beans and rice, not too thrilling, but yummy.

Pot roast: it's really good! Enjoy!

P.S. For those of you who thought this was meat-overload, next post I will devote to something vegetarian. Or something sweet. I promise.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Yummy Nutella Cookies

Life is hard. Listen to everything I did this weekend.

Baked, read Julia Child's book, napped, relaxed, thought about running some errands, baked, chatted, took a walk, laid around, ate, ate, ate. Oh yeah, and a friend came over and we baked some more!

Man, my life is rough.

It was warm here (an outrageous 48 degrees and sunny!) so I completely got spring fever and could do nothing at all. My internal body clock thought it was summer; I didn't want to be rude and tell it any differently.

I like my weekends. I need more weekends in my life.

Anyway, this is one of the many things I made the last few days...

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tip- These cookies can turn out really flat which means not delicious and chewy. 
To prevent this catastrophe:
  • Buy and use baking liners. They'll prevent your cookie from spreading out on the pan.
  • When it says to whip the butter and sugar, whip it good! The fluffier it is, the less pancake-like your cookies will be.
  • Refrigerate it for the required hour. It will be worth it. Eat some of the dough while you wait.
  • Do not, I repeat, DO NOT completely melt your butter. I did the first time I made the cookies because I was lazy, forgot to take the butter out in advanced, and didn't think it would matter. Don't be like me.

  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 heaping tsp baking powder (use just under 1/2 tsp. It will help them be fluffier)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 stick butter (at room temp.)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Mix together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.
  2. Cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in Nutella and vanilla extract. Mix in egg.
  3. Add flour mixture, mix. Add chocolate chips.
  4. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  5. Drop ping-pong ball sized dough balls 2 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 for about 11 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then remove to cooling racks.

Adapted from SugarCooking

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cake and sprinkles.

We had another bake-off at work. The theme was red which meant we have to incorporate something red in our food. I kind of cheated because I made a white cake with white frosting and added some red sprinkles in order to qualify.

I don't care that I cheated, it was delicious and that is really all that matters. Plus, I had great intentions of making it a marble cake by using red food dye, but when I went to the store I was feeling cheap and food dye is expensive.

About the cake. I am going to let you in on a little secret: you can make a box cake taste like it's from scratch. It's easy. Follow me, I'll tell you how.

The Lazy Cook's "From Scratch" Cake

1. Make a box cake according to the instructions (I chose to make a french vanilla cake), but when mixing the ingredients, add one heaping scoop of sour cream and three teaspoons butter!  Easy cheesy and it will make the cake moist and delicious and seriously so good.
2. Make your own frosting. It makes all the difference.

I made frosting found here on tasty kitchen. It was really good, super light and airy, but really, really rich. I liked it a lot, but I am more of a cream cheese frosting kind of girl and may stick to that. However, everyone else adored it so I would recommend making it at least once to try it out. It may change your life if your life is easily changed.

(Almost) The Best Frosting I've Ever Had
  • 5 Tbs Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated (not powdered) sugar
In a saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be super thick, like the consistency of brownie mix. This will take approx. 3 minutes and scare that heck out of you because it looks weird as it happens. 

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and cool to room temperature. 

While mixture cools, cream butter and sugar until it is super whipped and light and fluffy. There should be no graininess left. I didn't know you could whip the graininess out of sugar but you can. I suggest using a standing mixer because it takes about 10 minutes and that would make my hand get tired but my Kitchen Aid never ties, it's indestructible.

Add the cooled flour mixture and beat it with the butter mixture until it resembles whipped cream (another 10+ minutes). It should be CRAZY light and fluffy, like whipped cream consistency. 


P.S. if you're wondering, I did win the cook-off, but only by default because everyone else forgot to bring something. I don't know if I count that as a victory. However, I did get a ton of compliments and it was gone pretty quickly so I'll take that as a consolation prize.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wedding Photos

I'd say we had a lot of fun...

...but obviously not as much fun as Justin.

Photographer: Iris and Light.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Brookies versus Brownies

I realized I haven't posted a recipe in a long time and I did get my wedding photos (YAY!) so I decided to do a quick food post prior to throwing down 1,000,000 photos of me and my man (get ready for that magic).

I've been experimenting with foods I don't absolutely love and guess what... I don't really like chocolate all that much. However, I do like brownies kind of (how that works out, I do not know). So, I decided I was going to explore the world of brownie-like goodies and host a little Iron Chef of sorts. It was me versus me. Or me versus brownies.

...This is confusing. Let's cut to the chase. I made two different brownie-type dishes: 1. brownies from scratch and 2. Brookies, aka cookies that taste like brownies.

The competition:


In the end, I honestly liked the Brookies a lot better than the brownies. The brownies were good, don't get me wrong, they were eaten in two days BUT the Brookies! Well they were gone in two hours. (This is not an exaggeration, we have a sugar consumption problem in my home.) They were chewy and crispy and just yum.

Here are the recipes for you. Make them both and decide which you prefer. 


From Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook (I got this from
(Makes about 18-20) -Made about 10-16 for me we are notorious dough eaters around here.
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chunks (52-62% cacao)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  1. Melt the oil, butter, and 2 cups of the chocolate together in a stainless-steel bowl of a double boiler. Let the mixture cool. (I don't have a double boiler butone pot on top of another pot full of boiling water will do!)
  2. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla together until combined.
  3. Fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until combined.
  5. Freeze the batter in a shallow pan for 6 to 8 minutes until the batter sets and hardens slightly.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350°F at this time.
  7. Scoop the cookie dough into balls and place on baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes until the tops look dry and cracked.
  9. Cool completely for a soft and chewy Brookie.

From my new Grandma Fran

  • Melt 2 cubes butter and place in large mixing bowl
  • Add 2 cups granular sugar. Cream butter and sugar.
  • Add 4 eggs (2 at a time). Mix.
  • Add 1/3 cup cocoa. Mix.
  • Add 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tsps vanilla. Mix.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix.
  • Add 1 cup chocolate chips (I added this just to give it some more umph! I recommend it.) Mix.
  • Pour into 9"x13" cake pan.
  • Bake at 350 for 28 minutes.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cake.

Haven't posted recently because I was waiting until a few things happened:

1. Waiting, waiting, and yep, still waiting, until I got my wedding photos so I could put millions of picture up for your viewing entertainment. I've stopped holding my breath on that one.
2. Waiting until I finished my Spanish test. Took it today. Check.
3. Waiting until I finished my piano test. Completely bombed it, but still, check.
4. Waiting for some free time. Ah yeah.

So here I am. I've been cooking like crazy lately, so I will share some things with you.

This was divine. And I don't use that word lightly because it makes me sound like a drama queen. But honestly, anything with this much sugar has to be good.


  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) real butter, melted
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) real butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped (optional... aka throw this out. nuts are disgusting.)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
The glaze will be super runny. Go with it.
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in the 1/2 cup melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
    3. In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and pecans until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.
    4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center.
    5. Place powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    I got this recipe from who got it from I don't know who she got it from.