Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ramen Noodle Soup with Vegetables

I was really hoping to make it out of this cold and flu season without falling ill, but it just wasn't to be this year. I started feeling a bit off early last week. You know how it does, slight tickle in the throat, headache, drippy nose... I was hoping to fend off any bugs with some orange juice and extra sleep. Sadly my little cold turned into a full blown cold by Thursday - the day of my big presentation.


I flew off to Santa Monica, California last Wednesday morning for a conference. Thursday I had several meetings, an afternoon presentation and half a speaking voice. Not so fantastic. Luckily it was a short presentation and I was able to beg off of dinner for the night.

Room service soup and HBO for the evening was just what the doctor ordered. This soup would have been perfection, but unfortunately the leftovers were in New Jersey.


If the end of winter has caught you in its grips and you are feeling unwell, print off this recipe and give it to someone close by. The recipe is super simple and even the worst cook can whip up a batch of soup for you!

One Year Ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes
Two Years Ago: Cherry Kuchen Bars
Three Years Ago: Cherry Coconut Bagels
Four Years Ago: S'mores Cupcakes

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Junk @ Home 2015 - Girl Scout Samoas (aka Caramel delights)

Call them Samoas, call them Caramel delights, whatever you choose to call them and wherever you live in America, they are delicious. I just wrote that they are devilious. Yeah, that's totally (not) a real word and it applies to these cookies. Because they make you want to eat the entire box! So devilious...

Anyways...


I added these cookies to my Junk at Home challenge because they were highly requested during my oh-so-official poll in December. People love Girl Scout cookies and they want access to them year round.


I hate to tell people, for fear that they will blame me when they gain forty pounds, but two varieties of Girl Scout cookies are available year round. Thin Mints and Samoas.



The same factory that produces Samoas and Thin Mints, also produces a Keebler-branded version of each cookie - the Grasshopper and the Coconut Dream. They are the exact same cookie. You can buy these any time you want, so long as you are at a grocery store. But if it's Girl Scout cookie season, be sure to buy from those cuties. Yes, even though they cost like $85 a box now. (Price of cookies when little Vicki sold cookies? $2.25/box. True story.)

Since you can buy the legit, original cookie anywhere, anytime, and there are dozens of recipes on other food blogs, I didn't want to make just any Samoa cookie. I made them a little bit more tasty, with more chocolate. And salted caramel. Enjoy.

Four Years Ago: Homemade Butterfinger Bars

Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel Samoas
A Wilde Original

For the Cookies

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cream butter with sugar until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla extract. Beat to combine. Sift in cocoa powder and all-purpose flour. Mix until smooth. Lay out a long sheet of plastic wrap. Pour dough onto plastic wrap and fold over. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Place on a baking sheet and set in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Take dough from the fridge and stamp out donut-shaped cookies (using either a donut stamp or two circular cookie cutters. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes on the pan. Carefully remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire cookie rack

For the Caramel topping

2 cups caramels, unwrapped (one entire bag of  Kraft Brand Caramels)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups shredded coconut

Place caramels, heavy cream, kosher salt and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir caramels until they are all melted and the mixture is smooth.  Using a spoon, coat the tops of the cookies with a thin layer of caramel.

Add coconut to the remaining caramel in the saucepan and stir to distribute. Use a spoon (and probably your fingers) spread coconut-caramel mixture over the cookies. Place cookies in the fridge to set up the caramel.

For the chocolate

1 cup dark chocolate chips

While the caramel is setting up in the fridge, melt chocolate using your preferred method. Easiest option is to place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, pop in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between each 30 seconds.

Dip the bottoms of the cookies in melted chocolate, place cookies on wax paper. Once cookies are all dunked in chocolate, pour remaining melted chocolate in a squeezey bottle. Pipe stripes over your cookies. Place in the fridge to harden the chocolate.

Share with your friends.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Frying all the Potatoes

I may have mentioned a few weeks ago that the boyfriend got me a deep fryer for Christmas. This was both a great gift for me and a self-serving gift for himself. I think he really just wanted some french fries!

I have always been nervous about deep frying. Heating a giant vat of oil to over 300 degrees just seemed like a dangerous proposition. My new deep fryer takes away all the fear and I've been having a great time frying everything! Chicken tenders, chicken wings, donuts and of course, french fries.


I have finally been able to put my French Fries cookbook to good use. I've tried a few methods to get the perfect golden crunch on my fries, the frying method from this cookbook delivers the most delicious and consistent results. I'm thinking of making my way through this cookbook, cover to cover.

I may put on twenty pounds this year...

In other news, I'm putting my gym membership to good use!

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